Board of Directors Discuss New Direction for IAI

Andrea Resmini, Dan Klyn, Dorian Taylor, and Jeff Parks met recently to share with the community upcoming changes to the IAI that will benefit members and the discipline of Information Architecture globally.

The first of what we hope to become a regular podcast by the IAI board of directors is up and available for download and streaming.

Time of Podcast: 17 minutes 42 seconds


Iceland was useful to dig deeper into the global vision we had started shaping in late 2010. We wanted to reposition the IAI as the meeting point, the place to go, for practitioners, researchers and educators involved with IA. The meeting provided us with clarity in respect to what the IAI does best and where our interests as a board lie, resulting in a greater focus for us to help the community at large move forward.

We went home with a few notable artifacts, and with a shortlist of initiatives and changes we intended to tackle during 2011, including how to reposition the IAI, how to reinvent the incredibly successful IDEA conference, and how to make one of our most valuable services to the community, mentoring, even stronger.

Polar bears in Iceland


We created a conceptual framework that places the IAI in the middle of a set of mediated relationships. The purpose of this framework is to frame at the most abstract level what the IAI does, act as a litmus test for current initiatives and provide a template for future functions.

It looks like some Russian robots found their way into the IAI site. About all they did was put in a hook to spamvertise pharmaceuticals to Google. We've since cleaned them out.

I did a content inventory as well as an analysis of the paths taken through the site using some robots of my own and some Semantic Web technology. I'm using this data to create a manifest for a content audit, which is a task I know some of you are dying to help me with.


The IAI is cash positive at $64,000. We are focused on using this money to build a strong foundation for both the membership and future Board members to continually evolve and improve upon these initiatives.

Most look to the IA Summit as being the premiere IA event run by the IAI when in fact ASIS&T has been running this event since it's inception. With differing amounts of IAI support and participation from year to year. We are working to build stronger ties with ASIS&T where we can clarify the conference space for our profession and mutually benefit in even greater capacities than have been accomplished to date.

IDEA has been a revenue neutral or revenue positive event for the IAI over the years. That said we want to look at creating an event that will have a global reach and to that end we are in the planning stages to create a World IA Day. This event would see 13 different cities around the world hosting a full day conference focused on all things related to Information Architecture.


While in Iceland Noreen provided many statistics about the current status of the IAI. One stat that stood out was the need for more mentors in our community. There is currently a 6:1 ratio of apprentices : mentors. We are working on building a stronger mentorship program that connect people both online and in person. In addition, volunteers are the backbone of every non-profit. We are working on ideas, and welcome other insights from our members, to align experiences and passions of volunteers with the specific needs of each event or initiative.

If you have ideas or would like to provide feedback in the areas discussed, please contact the Board member who has shared insights in each of these areas.

We can be reached at andrea, jeff, dan, shari and dorian

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