Let's Make the Redesigned AIA Communication Two-Way
One of the beauties of Web-based communication is that it allows readers to participate directly in an open exchange of published ideas. Among the many options now possible through AIArchitect is a blog being launched this week by AIA Executive Vice President/CEO Christine McEntee. She will tell you the thinking behind this new format and give you the opportunity to express your views.
Hello again and welcome to the new look for AIArchitect. If you haven't already, I welcome you to click around this week's edition and see what you think. If you have thoughts to share, go to "Add Comments" below and let everyone benefit.
As President Kate Schwennsen, FAIA, mentions in her column this week, this redesigned publication is just one result--albeit a highly visible one--of an ongoing endeavor on the part of the AIA national component staff to solicit direction from you the members and pay careful attention to what we hear. Survey responses from more than a thousand AIA members completed earlier this year as well as many, many comments from you to me--all gratefully received--pointed up four clear areas where we can focus more carefully to make AIA communications of more value to you:
- Give members more in the way of immediately useable practice information
- Make it easier for every individual browsing AIA Web offerings to find pertinent information quickly
- Make stories shorter and still--for readers with a special interest in detailed analysis--offer ready access to more in-depth coverage
- Make AIArchitect a gateway to other information and a vehicle through which members can communicate with each other.
Useable practice information
You will find a continuation of the popular risk-management series in this issue from authors James Atkins, FAIA, and Grant Simpson, FAIA. This month they talk about the challenges of changes in design details and specifications. You'll also find news on regulatory trends as well as tips on evaluating the effectiveness of your communications.
Quick access to information you want
At the heart of the new AIArchitect layout is its zone organization. News is at the top, followed by sections on practice, business trends from AIA research and outside sources, and the latest design developments. Continuing education opportunities? They're in there, including a link to a new AIA/CES offering still under development: podcasts.
Make articles shorter
A time-honored rephrasing of Occam's Razor is: "State everything as simply as possible, and no simpler." Thus, it is true that some topics will need more in-depth coverage than others. The AIA communications audit tells us something else that it is equally important to members, though: "Save me time." AIArchitect is now adhering to a length limit for all articles. For those topics that call for more detail, interested readers will find one or more links to fuller explanations. One example in this week's issue is the Best Practices in Risk Management feature, which links to a much-more detailed, print-friendly PDF file.
More interactivity on-line
The new AIArchitect presentation takes advantage of the power of the Internet to facilitate instant links to other more-specialized sources and allow immediate interaction between sender and recipient, which brings me to my final point today. More accurately, this is President Schwennsen's final point. I am hard-pressed to improve on the power and poignancy of her words, so I lift them verbatim:
Give us your feedback
We listened and, with the design specifications in hand, launched a new AIArchitect, with the goal of making this primary communications resource a "must-read" publication. "Must-read" is code for providing value to members to be true to the promise of the AIA's mission: "To be the voice of the architectural profession and the resource for members in service to society."
Read AIArchitect with particular care. Does it meet the design specs identified by the audit? Are we delivering on the promise of being the best source of information to help you learn to make a living and to live a life?
It's a new day, a day filled with energy, potential, and optimism. Let's make the best of it. Let's hear from you.