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.
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....