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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 3:27 pm

aaron
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The story of my disenchantment with the IDSA is typical and boring. 50% of it is probably based on the perception that the organizations award/speaker selection system is rigged and the other 50% is based on disappointment with the conferences. I could get into specific details and name names, probably even irritate a bunch of people but from your previous posts it seems like you have heard it ALL before.

So I am clear about the catalyst question: there appears to me to be a pretty direct link between the review panel and the selected case studies.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 3:30 pm

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rkuchinsky
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I just had a thought. Since IDSA is to represent all designers, and there are issues where people have maybe heard bad things so are not tempted to join, or don't know about all the cool stuff you do, what about some sort of free trial membership, esp. for students.

I would think if every ID student could become a member for free, you could have a chance to get them hooked (assuming the good things you do are actually done). Even for professionals, maybe a limited free membership drive would encourage more people to become aware, involved and happy IDSA members. Maybe conferences are not included at the free membership, but online access to things or other more limited events?

Just a thought.

R

Also, warren, you seem to be really trivializing core in your posts. Id don't see why you are so antagonistic about "just a forum post" or "hiding behind avatars". I don't think anyone here is hiding. The bigger issue (though maybe your and Michelle's posts indicate a shift), is that core is already a community by and for designers. We do represent designers and there is a healthy dialog here. Again, instead of hiding from it and having your own discussions on your website, why not use core to reach out and continue the discussion. You've got a potential membership base right here and these should be the people you dialog with, not the people already involved with IDSA at your website if you are looking to grow and change. You need to appeal to the non-members, not the members if you hope to turn things around. After all, the current members must be somewhat happy with the status quo if they are members - better to find new ideas from those that aren't members!
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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 3:43 pm

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warrenginn
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aaron wrote:The story of my disenchantment with the IDSA is typical and boring. 50% of it is probably based on the perception that the organizations award/speaker selection system is rigged and the other 50% is based on disappointment with the conferences. I could get into specific details and name names, probably even irritate a bunch of people but from your previous posts it seems like you have heard it ALL before.

So I am clear about the catalyst question: there appears to me to be a pretty direct link between the review panel and the selected case studies.
Thanks for the response Aaron. I'd be willing to clear up a few issues, if for no other purpose than for clarity. You can e-mail directly if you'd like: warrenginn at gmail do com. By all means-- get specific in your email I would really like to hear it. You've got the ear of a board member...

I don't believe the perception of the IDEA awards being rigged is an accurate depiction of what happens in the judging process. I was part of a committee that reviewed this process and we improved the process, but I really don't think any of the judges who take a ton of time out of their schedules to participate would say that it was "rigged". I don't think any of them would stand for it if someone tried to "rig" it, even if someone tried... Maybe the IDEA awards is a subject for a different thread.

With respect to the speaker selection, I assume that you're referring to the District and National conferences, but I'm not sure what "rigged" implies in this sense. Have you wanted to speak at an event and not been selected? Or did you think the speakers weren't what you would have wanted? I'm not sure how to respond, but I am open to hear anything you have to say on that.

Yes, I think I understand what you're asking regarding Catalyst and so I don't misspeak on the matter, I've asked Clive to respond.

Thanks again,

w
Warren Ginn, FIDSA
GinnDesign, LLC
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Assistant Professor of the Practice, Industrial Design
NC State University
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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 4:03 pm

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PackageID
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warrenginn wrote: So, you want to discuss IDSA face-to-face? Then come out to the Southern and Western District conferences--I'll be at both. In fact, there will be someone representing the board at all the District conferences. We're all ears....

w

I will gladly give you a face-to-face meeting and like mentioned before would love to see a "Town Hall" meeting. I am in NJ and have no plans to go south or west for a district. The issue is I have no idea where we go to express our views so I do it here. Implying that we are hiding on the internet is not true. I have said before that most of us know each other, and we go to your conferences to hang out. This site not only allows us to discuss small and large design issues but it also allows students and new grads to come on a get an honest critiques on their work and career advice. I don't really see them going to IDSA. Why is that? So to say that core is very limited and is not a community is completely false!!

I am sorry to say, but you guys have become just a conference. I see the potential and I continue to renew my dues, one because work pays for it, an two because I see the benefit it could have if the organization was put together properly.

Warren you speak of special interest groups. Do you have a Packaging and Branding group? If so I have not seen it. And what do these groups do?

Edit

I would imaging that most of this info you are giving us is new to most of us. I had no idea of the historical archive that were being put together or any of the other things that the membership dues were going towards. From the great movie Cool Hand Luke "What we've got here is...failure to communicate!"
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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 4:08 pm

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Mr-914
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Warren, Michelle, Marco: Big hand of a applause for you all.

Warren: The reason that I like the boards (and twitter, facebook, whatever) is the instant nature of it. We were complaining and in 3-5 days, we've had intelligent and informed responses. I've been in IDSA for eight years, but learned more about what it does and how it works in five days. I know that reflects on me (than again, I am a 6 hour drive from my chapter...). However, it also reflects on IDSA.

IDSA: Something I'd like to see is a twitter running updates on some of this new stuff. Maybe links to new interviews in the history chapter, responses to questions or research in the materials and process section, event news. Hell, there should be something compelling everyday.

Also, I would recommend to build on the naturally coalesced Core boards as an asset.

ex-IDSA members: I've heard two things consistently from ex-IDSA members. The first is the lack of knowledge about what IDSA actually does. The second is the lack of initiative in other members. I think that has come up on these boards a lot, just not explained in so few words.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 4:12 pm

aaron
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I hope that the info I provided was helpful. it sounds like it was not. I read from your post that you are certain my perceptions are wrong. Maybe they are but I can tell you that a lot of former members share similar perceptions. I'll hold further comment/judgement and just look forward to hearing from Clive.

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 5:00 pm

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warrenginn
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rkuchinsky wrote:I just had a thought. Since IDSA is to represent all designers, and there are issues where people have maybe heard bad things so are not tempted to join, or don't know about all the cool stuff you do, what about some sort of free trial membership, esp. for students.

I would think if every ID student could become a member for free, you could have a chance to get them hooked (assuming the good things you do are actually done). Even for professionals, maybe a limited free membership drive would encourage more people to become aware, involved and happy IDSA members. Maybe conferences are not included at the free membership, but online access to things or other more limited events?

Just a thought.

R

Also, warren, you seem to be really trivializing core in your posts. Id don't see why you are so antagonistic about "just a forum post" or "hiding behind avatars". I don't think anyone here is hiding. The bigger issue (though maybe your and Michelle's posts indicate a shift), is that core is already a community by and for designers. We do represent designers and there is a healthy dialog here. Again, instead of hiding from it and having your own discussions on your website, why not use core to reach out and continue the discussion. You've got a potential membership base right here and these should be the people you dialog with, not the people already involved with IDSA at your website if you are looking to grow and change. You need to appeal to the non-members, not the members if you hope to turn things around. After all, the current members must be somewhat happy with the status quo if they are members - better to find new ideas from those that aren't members!
Some good thoughts Richard. We are doing more to reach out to the students who really have the most to gain from IDSA. I was just talking to a student last week at NC State (my alma mater) and she was talking about how worried she was that she wouldn't have a summer job in design. I asked her if she had reached out to the IDSA community (she's the student chapter president), and she told me that she didn't think she was supposed to be "bugging" the professionals she had met through her involvement in IDSA. I was surprised by her answer, but not really... I remember when I was coming out of school and had that "I'm not worthy" mentality towards engaging professionals thinking that I wasn't welcome or that I didn't have the right to...

But nothing could be further from the truth. I told her that this was what I was expecting her to do: use her network to find a job. I explained to her that in a year's time (she's a junior), all those professionals out there will become colleagues. That seem to stun her a bit. The point is: We have done a terrible job explaining to students what IDSA is and how to use it to propel your career. With all due respect to all the design instructors out there, we have done a grave disservice to them by not explicitly telling them how to plug themselves into the design community and how, if leveraged properly, an IDSA membership CAN help your career. We just have to explain it better... and deliver on that promise.

So we are looking for ways to more officially plug students into IDSA and I like your idea of a trial membership. It's a real "put your money where you mouth is" type of thing. I think once we get our mess straightened out, I'd really like to look into that.

Lastly, I don't mean to trivialize Core77. Heck I love Core. I check into the site daily and I've been a Moderator for years (sometimes I moderate more than others). But I am a huge fan of what Stu and the gang have done and I take nothing away from that. However, I still maintain that websites alone do not constitute the kind of community we as industrial designers want and need--okay I'll just speak for myself--what I need.

My comment about "hiding behind you avatars" is directed at those (no you) who use the quasi-anonymity of posting online to be unprofessional, counterproductive and let's face it, rude. If you want to get nasty, let's do it in person and look me in the eye when you do it. What they seem to forget is that IDSA, like all professional organizations, is run by people. Some are getting paid, but most (like me) do it because we feel it's important and valuable--not as a replacement for Core77 but as (I hope) a complimentary addition to Core and all the other online resources.

Many years ago IDSA had the opportunity to have Core77 actually be the online presence of IDSA and we blew it. Period. We should have had the vision to see what Core had the potential to be and what IDSA couldn't create on its own (just look how the job listings in the back of Design Perspectives dried up as Coroflot flourished). Now we find ourselves in a time where Core77 is an enormous resource and online community. But it still doesn't take the place of the physical community of Districts and Chapters that IDSA represents. Core's mission isn't necessarily to drive and improve the curricula of our design schools or advocate for our professional in the business community. Core77 is a business, and damn fine one at that. For right now, IDSA is positioning itself to be that voice and advocate, but it isn't (or shouldn't try to replace Core77).

We know all too well that the community of Core77 members are a fantastic resource for IDSA. But obviously we need to understand what we can offer to them that they're not currently getting for free through Core. It's a tough question to be sure....

w
Warren Ginn, FIDSA
GinnDesign, LLC
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Assistant Professor of the Practice, Industrial Design
NC State University
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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 5:11 pm

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Hey - I also am not sure of exactly how Ravi picked the Catalyst reviewers - or whether or not they all review every Catalyst entry. I wanted to reach out to Ravi today to ask, but I've been tied up all afternoon. I'll try to get in touch with him and with Clive in the next day or so. There's clearly overlap between Sam Farber and the OXO Case Study and Chuck Jones and the Whirlpool Case Study. IMO, that doesn't in any way make the case studies less valid, however. If anything, I feel like it ensures a certain clarity to them by providing a direct review of the accuracy by the people involved in developing those programs. An ongoing challenge with collecting good, quality case studies is the reluctance companies have to really tell an accurate story about the impact of the product/service on their bottom-line. Nobody ever wants to say or do something that might reveal internal secrets (good or bad). So, it's always hard to get legitimate data. I don't know all of the people on the panel, but I do know Ravi, Tim, Chuck, Ken, Steve, Bob, Sam, Lorraine, Helen and Bob. These are top-notch professionals with very impressive backgrounds. They are also individuals of character with strong morals and high integrity. My personal and professional dealings with them have all been first class.

As for the IDEA process, I'm a juror this year. It's the second time I've served on the jury. The first time was in 2000. In the first round of the process, I reviewed over 130 entries with two different partners. I spent well over 24 hours of my time doing this. I've been on e-mail and Skype with my jury partners. It's serious business. Everyone treats it with the utmost respect. It's not rigged. It's not fixed in anyway. It's time-consuming and laborious and every juror strives to be fair, honest and accurate.

For Twitter - IDSA can be found @IDSA. It's a fairly active account too. Additionally, several of the Chapters, Student Chapters and Sections also maintain Twitter accounts. You've just got to look for them. I'll speak with Clive to see if we can assemble a master list for the website.

Like Warren, I'm generally quite accessible too - and I'm happy to talk to any of you about IDSA, your concerns, your interests, my involvement, etc. Feel free to reach out to me. I'm michelle [at] echoviz [dot] com. I'm on Twitter/AIM/Skype too - MicBerryman.

Michelle Berryman, IDSA
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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 5:17 pm

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warrenginn
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PackageID wrote:
warrenginn wrote: So, you want to discuss IDSA face-to-face? Then come out to the Southern and Western District conferences--I'll be at both. In fact, there will be someone representing the board at all the District conferences. We're all ears....

w

I will gladly give you a face-to-face meeting and like mentioned before would love to see a "Town Hall" meeting. I am in NJ and have no plans to go south or west for a district. The issue is I have no idea where we go to express our views so I do it here. Implying that we are hiding on the internet is not true. I have said before that most of us know each other, and we go to your conferences to hang out. This site not only allows us to discuss small and large design issues but it also allows students and new grads to come on a get an honest critiques on their work and career advice. I don't really see them going to IDSA. Why is that? So to say that core is very limited and is not a community is completely false!!

I am sorry to say, but you guys have become just a conference. I see the potential and I continue to renew my dues, one because work pays for it, an two because I see the benefit it could have if the organization was put together properly.

Warren you speak of special interest groups. Do you have a Packaging and Branding group? If so I have not seen it. And what do these groups do?

Edit

I would imaging that most of this info you are giving us is new to most of us. I had no idea of the historical archive that were being put together or any of the other things that the membership dues were going towards. From the great movie Cool Hand Luke "What we've got here is...failure to communicate!"
Funny thing is, we're actually on the same page with this... It's just that it's a different type of community. You said it yourself: You hang out with your friends from Core at conferences... and IDSA (amongst others) is providing those events... And the local IDSA Chapter events... In other words, there is a physical embodiment to your networking and that's where IDSA can play its part. However, I'd like IDSA to be more than just a collection of conferences...

Yes, you can get online critiques of your portfolio on Core77 and Coroflot, but what about the face-to-face portfolio reviews what we organize around the country. I'm sure a lot of students and young designers really appreciate that as well. There's nothing wrong with the online review, but what about that physical interaction?

To be honest, one of the reasons they don't come to IDSA is that we haven't made it as easy as it is on Core. And we haven't adequately reached out to the students (see my post to Richard in thsi thread).

By the way, the Town Hall Meeting is something I'd like to do more often, We tried to do one in Miami--with disastrous results (nobody knew what it was, when it was or what it was for). But that's going to change. As for the Northeastern District conference, I'm sure there will be members of the board there available for discussion. I hope you'll consider going.

On the Packaging and Branding Section idea: I did have somebody approach me regarding a Point of Purchase Section and I wanted to add packaging to that, but a separate Section for packaging and branding could be interesting. I see these Sections as good connection points to AIGA because of the crossover with graphics. Same goes with Exhibit Design (now called Communicative Environments). It's a matter of collecting at least 20 interested folks and deciding what we can do to help them out. I'll look into it. Thanks.

w
Warren Ginn, FIDSA
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Assistant Professor of the Practice, Industrial Design
NC State University
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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 5:24 pm

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Mr-914 wrote:Warren, Michelle, Marco: Big hand of a applause for you all.

Warren: The reason that I like the boards (and twitter, facebook, whatever) is the instant nature of it. We were complaining and in 3-5 days, we've had intelligent and informed responses. I've been in IDSA for eight years, but learned more about what it does and how it works in five days. I know that reflects on me (than again, I am a 6 hour drive from my chapter...). However, it also reflects on IDSA.

IDSA: Something I'd like to see is a twitter running updates on some of this new stuff. Maybe links to new interviews in the history chapter, responses to questions or research in the materials and process section, event news. Hell, there should be something compelling everyday.

Also, I would recommend to build on the naturally coalesced Core boards as an asset.

ex-IDSA members: I've heard two things consistently from ex-IDSA members. The first is the lack of knowledge about what IDSA actually does. The second is the lack of initiative in other members. I think that has come up on these boards a lot, just not explained in so few words.
Yup, couldn't agree more. I've been wanting an open discussion board on IDSA for years... I knew (and expected) there would be some harsh criticisms, but that's a good thing... It would be immediate (like this is) and we would have the kind of feedback we should have had all along... It all goes towards my attitude of openness and transparency... What's happened has happened and there's no need to deny or ignore it, but it's time to move on and we can't do that without knowing what people want...

I'd also like there to be a "IDSA Membership Manual" of sorts. I've had a number of folks tell me the same thing: they didn't know how the organization worked or how to take advantage of its services... Clearly that has to be addressed...

w
Warren Ginn, FIDSA
GinnDesign, LLC
http://www.ginndesign.com

Assistant Professor of the Practice, Industrial Design
NC State University
http://design.ncsu.edu/people/warren-ginn-fidsa

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 5:32 pm

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warrenginn
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aaron wrote:I hope that the info I provided was helpful. it sounds like it was not. I read from your post that you are certain my perceptions are wrong. Maybe they are but I can tell you that a lot of former members share similar perceptions. I'll hold further comment/judgement and just look forward to hearing from Clive.
No, it was very helpful. All I was saying was that your perception (let's face it, everything's about perception) isn't what's actually going on. However, if you're convinced that somehow IDEA is or was rigged, I'm not sure there's anything I can do to change your mind. But we're willing to try. Are you familiar with the judging procedures?

Also, to be clear: The IDEA awards are separate from Catalyst. So if your beef with IDEA or with Catalyst? If it's with Catalyst, your right: Clive needs to address this. You can also refer to Michelle's post which I think is very helpful.

I hope this helps and I apologize if I offended you with my remarks.

w
Warren Ginn, FIDSA
GinnDesign, LLC
http://www.ginndesign.com

Assistant Professor of the Practice, Industrial Design
NC State University
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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 5:47 pm

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some good dialog here. it's a start.

One thing I think that may be one of the biggest difficulties logistics-wise is the perception of IDSA as a walled garden. People don't know what the benefits are until they join, but that is preventing them from joining in the first place. A new website may help, but I think the realization should be to better integrate into the existing tools that people are already using.

sorry if I sound like a broken record here.... core77 first off should be a big focus. It's open, has a great sense of professionalism and is helpful for everyone from students to professionals. Core may not currently be the advocate for the industry that IDSA is, but how about instead working with core moreso to make a joint advocacy? It could be as easy as starting a IDSA forum on the boards (sure that wouldn't be too hard to set up) to discuss issues, events, etc. IDSA could even hold semi-regular portfolio reviews for all that are an extension of the real world reviews with key guests, etc.

IDSA could easily have a button made on coroflot such that you could identify yourself as a member and/or even search for IDSA specific portfolios.

LinkedIn is another opportunity, given a big focus is networking.

As IDSA has partnered with Business Week for the IDEA awards, I think more thinking in this type of terms would be beneficial. The key is having NON-MEMBERS see IDSA and the value it brings, and wanting more, thus creating new members. Currently, the feel I think is too much, "join and trust us, it's good".

The approach should be the crack dealer way of thinking. First sample is free until you are hooked, then you need to pay for the "good" stuff to get more.

It wouldn't be that hard or expensive even to do so. For example, what about a IDEAlite competition that is free to enter, or even more simple, like the 1HDC. It's gets out the brand and doesn't even need a prize, recognition could do it. How about online webinars, talks or podcasts? I know I'd for sure subscribe to a weekly or monthly podcast about design from IDSA and it might give me perspective into the organization or ideas it works towards.

Just some ideas. I'm in Canada so don't think I even can be an IDSA member, right? (EDIT - just looked it up and found I can! who knew?!). At least you guys are miles ahead of what we have in Canada... ACID, or ACIDO (Ontario) which lists 2006 events as the most recent!



R
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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 6:14 pm

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I like the webinars/podcast idea. I'm thinking TED - they're everywhere now. I have "non-designer" friends emailing me about TED podcasts pertaining to design, etc... IDSA should be owning this!

Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 6:18 pm

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madhero wrote:I like the webinars/podcast idea. I'm thinking TED - they're everywhere now. I have "non-designer" friends emailing me about TED podcasts pertaining to design, etc... IDSA should be owning this!
just don't charge $20,000 to attend a conference like TED does and it's all good!

R

PS. Free video of the conferences like TED does could also be a great idea. Makes people see what they are missing and want to join/come out for the next ones!
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Re: Discussion about the IDSA

March 9th, 2010, 6:38 pm

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Greenman
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rkuchinsky wrote: I don't see why you are so antagonistic about "just a forum post" or "hiding behind avatars". I don't think anyone here is hiding.
I am, but then, it's not because I use anonymity to trash talk and be a jerk or to avoid getting too involved. One of the greatest things about the internet was how it afforded people anonymity, unfortunately a lot of people used this to be dicks, I know some of them, and they are dicks. I prefer the anonymity for other reasons...

I'm not an IDSA member, but I've been to a few events since graduation. I was a student member and even a Student Merit Award winner and an IDSA competition award winner. None of this really helped me land a job, and to be quite honest I was schluffed off as a student member at events because of my Alma mater. So after graduation I schluffed off the IDSA and made my own way. I never expected the IDSA to get me a job, but I did expect to be treated as a designer of equal interest in the organization. So strike one I'd say the air of elitism, even on the student level, went beyond friendly competition and was a big turn off. No big deal, i've attended a few events since then and i've enjoyed them overall.

In regards to IDSA not embracing Core77 in the earlier days I would say that that's right on. If IDSA represents design, and design represents the latest, hotest trends, then my expectation is that this organization would take full advantage of, if not lead in new ways of social networking for designers. True, there's no substitute for face-to-face marketing, but if that only occurs a few times a year with a hefty price tag then you need to fill the gaps in between with some really compelling social networking opportunities, and it is expected that those opportunities that are online should be absolutely, completely free. Event's like Yo mentioned could have a cover like any other bar/club to pay for themselves?

I work for an organization that has at least 100 designers worldwide, it's very difficult to get them all to come to our central location for training even once a year, it also costs them to come out for the training. So, we put together an internal Ning site and now we've all gotten to see more of each other's work and get to know what levels people are at so we can focus on certain aspects of our training. The bottom line, it's free, and has increased communication by bounds.

Personally I would love to see a melding of the online presence of Core77, Coroflot, and IDSA into more of a social networking environment like Ning, Linkdin, Facebook, et al. It would make it much easier to get the word out about events, share work, and increase design awareness.

Just my anonymous(?) 2 cents.
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