IA Local Groups Initiative Proposal

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Created by: Jason Pryslak, Jin Kim, Lou Rosenfeld

Date: November 12, 2003

Initiative Overview

The Local Groups Initiative will promote and assist the coordination of and participation in local groups with interest in information architecture.

While this initiative intends to benefit both the Institute members and non-members, there may be some resources that are only available to the members.

Initiative Goals

  1. Help build the field of IA by creating opportunities for information architects to network in person in a local group setting.
  2. Increase the global participation in, and awareness of, IA local groups.
  3. Educate, empower and encourage anyone interested in starting a local group
  4. Model examples of successful groups by interviewing the leaders of those groups.
  5. Define the relationship between the Institute and local groups

Functional Requirements

Phase One:

The initial requirements involve collecting and posting information about:

  • Existing local groups
  • How to begin local groups
  • Ideas for local group events
  • IA Institute benefits offered to local groups
  • Upcoming event information

A local groups section within the IA Institute web site will be defined and developed.

We expect this phase to be complete by the second quarter 2004.

Phase Two:

The scope and objectives of the second phase will be determined by feedback and usage of the phase one local groups information and would be expected to begin by the third quarter 2004.

Technical Requirements

Phase One:

This release of the local groups area will be entered into MT driven web pages hosted within a "localgroups" folder on the Institute's web site. The information will be manually entered into the existing templates. Some forms may be created in order to allow information to be collected on the site and emailed. There will be no database driven functionality at this point.

Phase Two:


Outline of Initiative Phases, Timelines & Milestone Targets

  1. Research (Target Completion Date: First Quarter 2004)
    1. Collect and organize existing local group information
    2. Interview existing local group leaders
    3. Collect and develop the how-tos and the case studies
  2. Define local groups section structure and content on the Institute's website. (Target Completion Date: Second Quarter 2004)
  3. Post information to the local groups section on Institute's website. (Target Completion Date: Second Quarter 2004)
  4. Continued maintenance of local groups section. (Ongoing)
  5. Define Phase Two.

Why is this initiative needed?

Many people have expressed interest in beginning a local group and many of those same people have said that they don’t know where to begin. The initial barrier of fear or doubt that may exist for potential group leaders will be overcome by defining what a local group is; by providing resources to develop local groups; and by modeling from other successful local groups.

What is the relationship between F2Fs and Local Groups?

The local groups in the area of the F2Fs can handle the publicity and/or coordination of F2Fs.

An example scenario:

A conference is being held in Portland and someone wishes to coordinate a F2F before the conference. That person could visit the local groups section of the Institute's site and access contact information for local group leaders in the Portland area who can then spread the word to their local groups.

Why should the IA Institute sponsor it?

Specifically, cultivating and encouraging local groups will provide AIfIA with a more defined local presence. Generally, as with the F2F initiative, it is not only a means for AIfIA to grow, but also a means to grow IA.

What is your approach for this initiative?

The main approach is to build a resource that allows anyone interested in meeting peers, with a common interest in IA, to find existing local groups or the means to start their own. The Initiative will follow a phased approach that will provide a static foundation that can accommodate additional, more automated, features in the future.

Throughout the process, we will seek support and advice from those who are experienced in local groups to strengthen the usefulness/usability of the initiative. By being inclusive, we also hope to gain buy-ins from the IA community.

Finally, we will publicize completion of each component of this initiative to the AIfIA membership as well as other IA related venues to increase the awareness.

What are the activities required to make this initiative successful?

  1. The creation of a local groups mailing list. (already done)
  2. Collection and organization of content.
  3. Finalization of content by a volunteer who can provide a unified voice for the content.
  4. Coordination by Translation Initiative volunteers to translate the content.
  5. Coordination with Web Operations team to develop the site. (already have volunteers)
  6. Coordination of the maintenance of the site. (already have volunteers)
  7. Creating and collecting information from user surveys and feedback

What technology resources will be required?

  1. The existing MT technology that the AIfIA site is based upon and the aMember database that includes current member information.
  2. Wiki area.
  3. Possible use of SurveyMonkey? survey tool.
  4. The creation of email lists for individual local groups.
  5. The occasional use of the AIfIA conference calling account.

What volunteer resources will be required? How many? Skills?

  1. A volunteer to collect the "how-to" and case study content. (already have volunteer)
  2. A volunteer to collect and organize the existing local groups information. (already have volunteer)
  3. A volunteer with copy writing abilities to give the content collected – through interviews and research – a common voice that keeps in mind the global audience.
  4. Translation Initiative volunteers to translate the content once it is finalized for the initial launch.
  5. Volunteers to develop the local groups area of the site. (already have volunteers)

Are their any potential team members you have in mind?

Jason Pryslak has volunteered to collect the "how-to" and case study content, as well as to organize and develop the phase one version of the web site. Jin Kim has volunteered to collect and organize existing local groups information and assist in the development of the site.

Who will help to review the progress of the initiative? Jason Pryslak and Jin Kim have agreed to co-lead the initiative under the guidance of Lou Rosenfeld.

Last edited 13 May 2010 by whysel