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Mar 21, 2002: Random Comments on the 3rd IA Summit

The IA Summit, held in Baltimore last weekend, was a smashing success (I can't believe we've done three already!). For the first of what will likely be many trip reports, here's one from Eric Morgan.

For an old fart like me it was an exhausting weekend, wanting to attend sessions, catch up with everyone, and simply not having enough time. My overwhelm-ment was further frustrated by the multi-tracking of sessions, a first for the Summit and a necessity if the program is going to keep up with the field's growth without expanding into a week-long extravaganza.

None of the sessions I attended was weak or even mediocre, but the highlight for me was Matt Jones' discussion of BBC's intelligent approach to enterprise-wide search. Not only is the work brilliant, but so is Matt's style of presentation. Even perusing his slides without the physical comedy and wisecracks will be worthwhile; keep an eye on his blog and I'm sure his Powerpoint presentation will appear there soon.

(As a couple of you have asked, the slides for my presentation on developing an enterprise-wide information architecture team and business model are here.)

Perhaps the best symbol of the Summit and its role in the IA community is David Fiorito's comment on SIGIA-L a couple days after the Summit ended:

This past weekend in Baltimore was AMAZING! I had recently discovered ASIS&T after working for the past year as the Information Architect... I had felt kind of isolated in my profession but I now have a new clan to identify with. Thanks to all of you for making this past weekend so awesome.

Awesome indeed! Speaking of which, kudos to the Summit's program committee, especially Christina Wodtke and Dick Hill, who plugged every hole they spotted. Talk about amazing...

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Comment: Dell Whisonant (Mar 21, 2002)

The highlights you mention are definitely on my list as well, and I agree that the Summit was a smashing success. Titles and labels (of jobs) weren't the main focus, which was a pleasant surprise. I don't remember any titles of the many cool people I met, but it was clear that we're all in this together- one way or another.

All of the presentations gave me plenty to think about, and now that I'm back at work the idea of "Enterprise IA" in particular has been on my mind this week. For me, your and PeterMe's presentation on this was very helpful- to get my head out of my familiar IA daily routine and start thinking big time (is that Extra-Large IA, as opposed to Big IA?). Bob Boiko and PeterMo's talks also inspired me to think about how I can be a better Change Agent in my own organization. That's the title I really want!

Great job by the program committee. Thanks for your hard work. I look forward to next year.

Comment: Gene (Mar 24, 2002)

Matt Jones's presentation was a highlight for me as well. Let's hear it for Interference Architecture.

Seriously, though, it's exciting to see so much effort going into improving search. My heart sinks every time one of my usability test subjects mouses over to the search box, because I know that despite my best efforts, that person will likely fail to find what they're looking for. If only Matt would publish some numbers showing the (cough) ROI of all that good work.

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