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Mar 30, 2003: IA on their Minds

Nice to see information architecture receiving coverage in a couple sister fields.

The April 2003 issue of Intercom ("the magazine of the Society for Technical Communication") is running a cover story on IA by Mir Haynes. The title is "Information Architecture: You Do It, You Just Don't Know It". Some IAs grouse at this "everybody does it" angle, feeling it undermines the sense of IA as a true profession. Methinks it's great: if more people know about IA, more will realize--sooner or later--that it addresses problems that really are often sufficiently complex to require information architecture specialists.

Another article from a couple months back: Rusty Foster's piece titled "Understanding Information Architecture" in Online Journalism Review. So IA has made it onto the radars of journalists and technical communicators. Who else? Feel free to toss in some links to other fields' takes on IA below; maybe we can compile a nice little list...

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Comment: peterme (Mar 30, 2003)

Maybe I'm not reading the right sites or mailing lists, but who grouses about the "everybody does it" angle? I thought one of the few things the "IA Community" agreed on is that "IA happens," intentional or not.

Comment: jess (Mar 30, 2003)

Well - there's current kvetching on the IABitching page at the wiki.

http://www.iawiki.net/IaBitchings

Mostly of the 'those business analysts who say they do information architecture are a bunch of buzzword-compliant poseurs' variety.

Comment: Beth (Mar 30, 2003)

IA (like some other disciplines) is still struggling with its strategic versus tactical perspectives (a nicer way of saying big versus little...or maybe in IA's case, west coast versus polar bear). In particular, it seems that the folks in both experience design and usability (to a lesser exent information design) have been trying to stake some of the same strategic turf, which has led to at least some of the grousing.

Comment: Deb Seys (Mar 31, 2003)

Never mind all that, what about RF's comment that IA is a "preserve of the hipper-than-thou" !? Coming from a librarian dorkier-than-everyone-I-know background, I can dig this new image....

Comment: Lou (Apr 8, 2003)

Beth Mazur got the folks at STC to put Mir's article on the web; it's now available at:
http://www.stc.org/news/Info_Architects.asp

Enjoy; thanks Beth!

Comment: Lou (Apr 14, 2003)

...and Paula reminds me that she's introduced IA to the data management community via the Data Administration Newsletter: http://www.tdan.com/pubpers0110.htm

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