Watch this space

IAslash partner, the IA Institute, cherishes this resource and wishes to see it come back to life. Therefore, in my capacity as Institute director charged with web and technical initiatives, I have volunteered to undertake a rejuvenation of this site.

Over the next few weeks we will be cleaning up the aggregator subscriptions (retiring some venerable but defunct newsfeeds and adding some fresh new exciting ones) and working on developing a regular posting schedule.

Our goal is to enable you to rely on IAslash as a useful and informative filter and source of interesting news from the realm of IA and the related disciplines and practices of user experience (UX), interaction design (IxD), product management, design management, social web design, and internetworked business and entrepreneurship.

Information Architecture Institute: Question of the Week

Hello, Information Architecture fans.

To share the insights gleaned from years of deep dives into Information Architecture and the various User Experience areas of practice, every two weeks we will pose a question to the Information Architecture Institute's member mailing list, collect the responses, then summarize the key discussion points right here on

Look for the first summary in the next couple days.

IAI Annual Report 2004-2005 Has Been Released

View the IAI 2004-2005 Annual Report at:

IA Event in Italy

Luca Rosetti and Emanuele Quintarelli have gotten together to organize an Italian IA Summit (Italian only) - looks like a good follow on to the EuroIA conference where not a lot of Latin countries were represented.

Roundtable: KM collaboration with outside counsel

On October 18, Julie Mazza, formerly Manager of Law Firm Partnering at DuPont and now Director of Legal Expense Control at Citigroup, will share her experiences in an informal roundtable at the offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges in New York. Space is limited. For details, see ndtable25.htm

In the early 1990's, DuPont began to look for ways to reduce its legal costs and leverage the know-how of its legal suppliers, especially outside counsel. The company created a new way of working that shifts the focus from processing lawsuits to resolving the corporate client's business problems.

The result was the DuPont Legal Model, which includes strategic partnering, early case assessment, use of technology, alternative fee arrangements, and strategic budgeting. Information technology is used for electronic invoicing, integrated case management, electronic research (discovery), and document imaging. DuPont's cost savings are in the range of $ 8 million to $ 12 million per year. This is knowledge management in action with measurable results.

This event will be of special interest to legal information practitioners in both corporate legal departments and law firms. Others will benefit by learning more about a professional services collaboration model that successfully combines technology, strategy, fees and incentives, and training.

See also our article, "Managing knowledge in law firms: is it really different?"

Remember that this is not a training session. It's a discussion forum for experienced practitioners.

The roundtable will be offered in both face-to-face and teleconference format. The cost for face-to-face attendees is $600 for members of the Society of Knowledge Base Publishers ($850 for nonmembers). The cost for teleconference attendees is $700 (members), $950 (nonmembers)

IA in Chile

Congratulations to Javier Velasco and everyone else who created the IA Chile site! (Spanish only, but gorgeous even if you have to muddle through the content via Google Translate).

The Information Architecture Institute is public

The Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture has renamed to simply The Information Architecture Institute. Sometimes, simpler is better, especially when we're promoting IA to people outside the user experience community. Congratulations to all who worked on this, especially James Spahr and Michael Angeles...much appreciated. There's still a few hiccups getting the domain moved over, etc., but I'm really pleased with having a simpler brand to carry IA forward.

New Knowledge Base Editor's Digest

The Knowledge Base Editor's Digest is a free new monthly alert about information productivity and integration in:

  • print, Web, and database publishing processes
  • tabular data and textual information
  • internal and external business intelligence
  • content consumption and production
  • enterprise, workgroup, and personal knowledge management

Articles often present a unique or even contrarian perspective that will appeal to people who need to think beyond their professional and functional boundaries. Navigation and access tools include an A - Z index, site search, and RSS news feed.

The Digest contains annotated links to articles and Web sites, many of which are available on the public Web. New items are added monthly and cover a wide range of editorial, research, management, and technical topics.

Victor Lombardi starts consulting

Smart cookie Victor Lombardi is going solo as a consultant. If your organization is looking for design management thinking, talking with Victor would be an excellent idea.

The Future of Information Architecture, A Retreat

Christina Wodtke and friends (including yours truly) are organizing a retreat to discuss the future of information architecture.

At a glance:

  • Oct. 1-3
  • At Asilomar, in Pacific Grove, CA
  • No cost beyond travel and lodging
  • Only 40 spots, so discussion stays personal.

It’s a great opportunity to mix with other IAs and look at the future of the practice. Hope to see you there.

Interaction Design Group soft launch

It’s a summer of soft launches as the Interaction Design Group launches their new site. The IxDG (I’m not sure what the x is for, except to say it’s not info design) is modeled along similar lines to AIfIA. Props to those involved, though I think there’s some wheel reinvention going on - with tools, job board, and resource library being carbon copies of AIfIA initiatives.

The duplicate intitiatives (and the spread of UX related organizations in general) point to the fact that we’ll hit organizational fatigue in the UX space and need some consolidation. Right now we have a lot of groups doing some similar things (AIfIA, ASIS&T, UPA, CHI, STC, AIGA ED, HFES, IxDG, possibly some InfoDesign group in the near future…). Picking a professional organization to join or initiative to volunteer for requires travelling a crowded, even claustrophobic, space for the UX practitioner who crosses boundaries between interaction design, IA, info design, etc.

My personal preference is for more interdisciplinary work like UXnet, so I get benefits across the orgs even if I only belong to one or two. And I’m also biased to favor the younger organizations like IxDG and AIfIA - while they don’t have as much infrastructure, they are tailored to today’s practitioner.

UXnet gets off the ground

A few UX peeps got invited by Lou Rosenfeld in late 2001 to chat about a bigger picture for something - at the time, the something was That group, with unofficial but senior representatives from UPA, CHI, AIGA ED, STC, ASIS&T had lots of conversations about cooperation, direction, reservations, and didn’t get that far with the effort. Which was fine, since many of that initial advisory council aren’t IAs. Two things were spawned from that group - what would become AIfIA, and a smaller group that continued the UX umbrella/network theme.

Today, UXnet has a public soft launch. Congratulations to all involved! It’s not the same world that the project started in, with AIfIA, Clement Mok’s American Design Council, and other cross disciplinary initiatives like Stanford’s D-school happening or lists like [experiencedesign]. But there’s still plenty of work to be done, and as long as user experience has specialties like IA and interaction design, then UXnet or something similar will be invaluable.

Information Architecture Seminars with Steve Krug and Louis Rosenfeld

There is still a possibility to attend one of the Information Architetcture seminars with Steve Krug and Louis Rosenfeld held in Washingthon, DC and Seattle. Louis is talking about enterprise IA and Krug about usability problems and “how to make low-cost/no-cost testing an everyday part of your company’s design process”. More details at

AIfIA opens the IA Library

The Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture (AIfIA) is pleased to announce the opening of the Information Architecture Library, an international collection of the best articles, books, blogs, guides, reports, and other resources related to the field of information architecture.

The IA Library was developed by Joanna Markel and Jeff Tang, two graduate students at the University of Michigan’s School of Information. Chiara Fox, Austin Govella, and Peter Morville provided support and served as mentors.

“Jeff and Joanna designed and built a fully-functional user interface and content management system for the Library. That’s quite an accomplishment for a single-semester independent study project!” says AIfIA’s president, Peter Morville.

The IA Library’s collection is still very much under development. We are adding new resources, particularly in languages other than English, to create a more well-rounded collection. In addition, AIfIA is actively seeking a volunteer Library Director to oversee the continued development of this important public service.

If you are interested in volunteering to help with the IA Library, or if you know of a resource we should include, please send your suggestion to

To explore the Information Architecture Library go to:

iaslash upgrade

We just moved iaslash to a new and hopefully semi-permanent webhost and have just upgraded to Drupal 4.4.0. Overall, the server is much more responsive than our last. Thanks to Shane, Austin, et. al for the setting up the new AIfIA web servers.

If you find bugs, please add them in the comments for this page or contact us directly. Thanks!

Issues to be aware of
* Email notification is working once again … sort of. We lost it during our migration to ibiblio, so you may get one big notification email today. There is one problem in the way the module is sending out the URLs in the body of the mail, however, so we’re waiting for Drupal to offer a bug fix/patch. Thanks to Livia for pointing out the bug.

  • The page displaying all of the taxonomy terms for browsing by subject, person, etc. is not yet installed. We’re waiting for an update to that module. You will see a link for it appear in the global nav when it becomes available.
  • Your user profile avatar may have been lost. Please upload your 85px x 85px image again if you wish.


IA Summit 2004 - Austin, TX Feb. 27-29

The 2004 Information Architecture Summit is accepting online registration - early bird rates last until January 24th.

The program is coming together with outstanding speakers - it's hard to pick which sessions to go to.

The pre-conference workshops on the 27th offer a range of options too. For IAs involved in content management, AIFIA is sponsoring a workshop on errr... Content Management for IAs with a roomful of incredibly smart CM people who will share their insights - from the Content Management Bible's Bob Boiko to Managing Enterprise Content's Ann Rockley and lots of others.

iaslash password re-set requirement

The updated the Drupal system running is now using a different form of password encryption which will require a one time change from registered users. You will only have to do this once for the lifetime of your account. If you faked or removed your email address you will not be able to retrieve a temporary password. In these cases, you will need to create a new account or contact us to re-establish your account with a valid email address. We're sorry for the inconvenience.

Here's what to do to re-set your password:

1) Go to:
2) Enter either a) your username or email address.
3) Retrieve the temporary system-generated password from your email address.
4) Return to and enter your username and temporary password.
5) You can now modify your password to one of your choosing by accessing "Edit user information" link at

Thank you. If you encounter problems or have questions, please contact me.

iaslash is back

After a few weeks of struggling to get our domain released from a very bad registrar, iaslash is finally back up again. We’re now being hosted by ibiblio. Thank you ibiblio! We are also running the current version of Drupal (4.3.0). A few announcements regarding the Drupal upgrade:

  • Email alerts are suspended temporarily. Drupal is still re-coding this module. Sorry.
  • The XML feed has a new URL: Please change your readers/aggregators accordingly.
  • URL format for entries have been changed to be more search engine friendly. Old URLs that looked like now look like

If you need further assistance, feel free to contact us.

Enhanching the softer side of IAs

Great article on the soft skills we need as IAs to win/influence folks with whom we work with.

Soft Skills for Information Architecture by our very own Jeff Lash over at Digital Web.

A little play on an axiom that stuck out for me and I know will help me get through the requirements and design process:

Grant me the strength to improve the features that I can
Accept the features that I cannot
And give me the wisdom to know the difference

Breaking New Ground - the 2004 IA Summit Call for Papers

The IA Summit looms closer with today's call for papers:
Some of us in the IA field are solidifying the IA foundation, digging deeper, while others are pushing the boundaries working with other fields and platforms. In both cases, we are breaking new ground. The ASIS&T IA Summit 2004 is seeking submissions from information architecture practitioners and researchers that support this theme. If you are developing the IA practice in your organisation by documenting methods, applying IA principles to new platforms and devices like interactive TV or handheld devices, using techniques from related disciplines in your day-to day work or researching the latest ways to connect people and content, we want to hear from you.

Paper deadline is October 31, poster deadline is December 5th. And oh yeah - the Summit itself is February 27-29th 2004, in Austin, Texas. Hope to see you there :)

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