Core IDSA?

February 9th, 2007, 1:40 pm

josht
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I'll go out on a limb and suggest that I may not be the only one that is upset with how the IDSA is run when compared to other profession orientated organizations. Not only are we expected to pay heavy dues for membership, we are also expected to pay heavy entry fees into various IDSA events (National Convention being the most expensive). On top of that, the IDSA website offers nothing extraordinary and certainly nothing worth $300/year. Possibly the most positive experience IDSA provides is through their local chapters. But still, that is dependant on how well that individual chapter is run.

Now, going really far out on that limb, like most designers I log into Core77 because it offers a frequently updated blog, well participated (and run) forum, and lots of other information that applies to our profession.

So to cut it short (sorry), what would everyone's reaction be to a core-run IDSA that would rival the current one? (hypothetical scenario obviously)

February 9th, 2007, 2:24 pm

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Dan Lewis
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I was a memeber of the American Institutue of Architects (AIA) for 20 years in addition to being a member of the IDSA -- they are all the same. The AIA has maybe 20 times the number of members as the IDSA and the membership requirments are munch more onerous and its more costly and yet they are the same.

February 9th, 2007, 3:12 pm

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one-word-plastics
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I dumped my IDSA membership last year after 20 years. My company has always paid my dues and last year they asked what we were getting for the $300. I didn't have a good answer so we collectively decided to cancel my membership.

The networking I had hoped to enjoy by belonging to IDSA has been provided by logging into the CORE site. It's a lot cheaper too.

Maybe IDSA should start selling advertising on their web site or take on a sponsor ("The Microsoft - IDSA Conference"?) to help reduce the cost of membership!!
"Life is pretty simple: you do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.”
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February 9th, 2007, 5:39 pm

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jon_winebrenner
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I wonder what your expectations of an organization like IDSA would be. You have mentioned forums, and blog, etc. But what else would you want/expect for your $300.

My understanding of these kinds of organizations is more lobbying power. Don't understimate IDSA, they have put a lot of work into promoting the industry and bringing it to the public light more than most any individual could possibly achieve.

Getting front page exposure on BusinessWeek comes from lobbying and networking that our $300/yr helped make happen. This stuff doesn't happen overnight and requires a lot of work.

Rather than suggest that Core take over IDSA, it would be my suggestion to the Core77 group (if they don't already) to talk with IDSA to get a tighter integration.

I agree with you that IDSA should have a brand that incorporates elements of Core77 (forums, portfolio engine, etc). Could they work together and could IDSA invest in Core, etc.?

The other obvious statement is that if you are unhappy with IDSA, what can you give back? Talk to them and volunteer to start a discussion board, or a portfolio database, or????

I tend to find that a $1000 investment for the networking that is achievable through the organization is worth it if you use it correctly. But you have to be active. If you expect to pay $300 and have a torrent of contacts and other stuff come to you, I tend to think you have the wrong idea of what an organization like this is for.

February 9th, 2007, 6:22 pm

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cg
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ip_wirelessly wrote:Getting front page exposure on BusinessWeek comes from lobbying and networking that our $300/yr helped make happen. This stuff doesn't happen overnight and requires a lot of work.
Agreed. But that, and your other points WERE TRUE.

BusinessWeek doesn't need lobbying anymore--today they profit from it: http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/

Today, you're as likely to see Core contributing to BusinessWeek than you are IDSA. And even if the IDEA awards went away, another design organization would quickly fill the void.

I can't help but think of Geoffrey Moore's "Crossing the Chasm." I think design did cross the chasm in the last few years, and by definition, that means design is being consumed by a group with totally different needs. IDSA will need to re-invent to survive.

February 9th, 2007, 7:12 pm

josht
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I agree, you get out what you put in. That being said, I'm not a member anymore and I still pay to attend seminars. I just couldn't see the benefit of becoming a member when I can pay a little bit more to enjoy the same benefits. All it seemed to me was that I was having to pay upfront so I could get a discount later on. If I never went to any events because I was busy that year, I was out of luck.
Also, along the same lines of getting out what you put in, core77 offers a wide range of tools for me to utilize so that it's much easier and enjoyable to actively participate in the design community. As mentioned above, an online forum, free portfolio database, more job postings, current design news, etc. are all offered by core free of charge. Therefore, it's hard for me to understand why my $300 cannot be used to integrate a similar setup on the IDSA website.
I don't think that I should be paying that much money a month so that I can volunteer to "give back". As I understand it, IDSA is a for-profit organization (please correct me if I'm wrong), and given that, for me to voluntarily give them my money and time in exchange for their lobbying power and a free magazine 4 times a year just doesn't make sense...

February 10th, 2007, 3:03 am

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jon_winebrenner
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Don't get me wrong, my comments were not (necesssarily) defending IDSA. More than anything, pointing out that the membership fee isn't necessarily going towards nothing. It is serving a purpose. One that, as a designer, you have to gauge whether or not it makes sense or not to be supporting a lobbying group.

Without a group like IDSA, there is no power to lobby governments to provide tax credits to designers (not that they exist, but it would be an entity like IDSA to lobby for such thing).

There is no doubt that IDSA, like any other organization, must change with the times. If you simply pull out, without contributing, even an email to the board, you aren't helping out. At the very least, leave with a parting shot letting them know WHY you have left. What the could have done to retain your membership.

For me, I simply couldn't afford it for the past couple of years. Now, I am seriously reconsidering joining.

February 10th, 2007, 2:47 pm

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I go back and forth on it. I think it would be cool if the IDSA scaled back their website, since it is uneccesary, and just paid core77 to run the online bits and the cooler events. I doubt they have the ability to build a better portfolio/job site or run a better blog, or design firm directory, or school directory (with links to portfolios)....

The local chapters mentioned above are run by volunteers on a shoe string budget (they get about $20 per member from national per year). Being involved with CT chapter, and having friends that dedicate their time here in Oregon, I can tell you it is largely thankless and like pushing a rope most days. It only works in rare cases and not on a consistant level in those locations. I have a lot of respect for the people that try to get their local chapters running, it is a lot of effort, and a real pain in the but, but it is also where the most tangabile member benefits are.

I'm not sure what the IDSA focuses its time on (it can't be Innovation magazine, or the Perspectives newsletter, that is for sure) but I hope they spend it on research and promoting the feild (not just promoting Tucker V). A large scale education platform geared toward CEOs on why their organization should have a VP or at least Director of Design that runs an independant internal design group, that does NOT report to marketing or engineering, would be worth the dues.

.... and trying to get people to put IDSA after their name only hurts the cause...

February 12th, 2007, 3:14 pm

daaphearthrob
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i generally agree with the sentiments in this thread. the one thing i would add is that my disinterest in IDSA started in college. it was boring and really only useful for occassional free pizza.

i understand that local chapters are run on very tight if not non existant budgets. but first impressions go along way. i think it might be in the IDSA's best interest to devote some attention to university and local chapters.

it might help create a good first impression on young designers so they aren't jaded and disinterested by the time they get out of school.

February 12th, 2007, 3:38 pm

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I think the problem with most professional organizations is they cater to a stereotype of each profession. In the case of industrial designers, I've met button-downed designers as well as more bohemian types. I think organizations seeking to attract creative types need to lean towards the "open collar" end of the spectrum.

Just look at the two web sites (IDSA & Core77). Judging by the look-n-feel and content, the IDSA site looks like a division of Microsoft. On the other hand Core77 feels more like a bunch of beer drinking designers telling tales out of school. Now who do you want to hang out with?

People gravitate towards their comfort zone. That's why I'm here and my company has an extra $300 in their coffers.

Just one man's opinion.
"Life is pretty simple: you do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.”
—Leonardo da Vinci

February 12th, 2007, 10:08 pm

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paulH
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Comparing IDSA and Core is like comparing Ricky Gervais to Borat. They serve a similar functions but in completely different ways. I happen to like both.

Core is great for staying in touch, and for quick street-level information and of course blogging.

IDSA is for me a different kind of networking. Yes, it's institutional, and has the usual burocratic issues any non profit organization has. (note NON profit, josht). But the local and national events provide for a deeper form or networking and pier-discussion, which I find a lot more rewarding. The virtulality of the blog keeps discussions and 'friendships' at a very shallow level.

Being a member of the IDSA has helped both me and my company. Personal connections that I've made through attending (or running) IDSA events have indirectly lead to projects, collaborations, and I've been able to discuss and begin long-term strategies based upon conversations and help I've had from piers.

Both IDSA and Core are only as much value as you put into it. -Sorry for the cliche, but it's true.

However, the IDSA does have a lot of issues to sort out. It's not an easy beast to tame though: They operate at a wide range of levels -local chapters, specialist sections (see them at the Housewares and CES), student chapters, district conferences, and the national conference. They also represent US design internationally, they run awards, scholarships, publish books, a foundation, hold summit-like ideation sessions, etc, etc.

As far as I know, no other country has an independent ID organization that is as effective as the IDSA (Even in Germany where ID is more established, the VDID is a poor comparison.)

Core 77 is also pioneering new ground and is extremely effective at what it does. But it provides a whole different type of interaction -quicker and 'less stodgy' but shallower.

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Last edited by paulH on February 14th, 2007, 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

February 12th, 2007, 10:35 pm

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daaphearthrob wrote:i generally agree with the sentiments in this thread. the one thing i would add is that my disinterest in IDSA started in college. it was boring and really only useful for occassional free pizza.

i understand that local chapters are run on very tight if not non existant budgets. but first impressions go along way. i think it might be in the IDSA's best interest to devote some attention to university and local chapters.

it might help create a good first impression on young designers so they aren't jaded and disinterested by the time they get out of school.
word up...

there were a few events that i remember favorably, but generally from a students point-of-view, there was not much interest or obvious value to attending meetings. so now even though i have an idsa membership; i have little interest in using it nor do i know what i could do with it if i did...
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February 13th, 2007, 9:18 am

josht
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"now even though i have an idsa membership; i have little interest in using it nor do i know what i could do with it if i did..."

Maybe this is the problem?? I always hear about how great IDSA is "as long as you put effort in". But honestly, aside from attending meetings, paying my dues, paying to get into shows, etc., I have no clue how or what else I could do to "put back in". So I'm left with confusion as to why I just paid money for something I could've gotten without a membership. Maybe this is something IDSA should look into educating their members about??
I also like the point of Core77 and IDSA teaming up. Granted it'd be quite the pairing of personalities, but I think both could benefit greatly from each other's expertise and boost the design community at the same time.

February 13th, 2007, 10:37 am

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jon_winebrenner
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But honestly, aside from attending meetings, paying my dues, paying to get into shows, etc., I have no clue how or what else I could do to "put back in".
What more do you want? So far, I have heard IDSA needs forums, and blogs and maybe meetings with pizza? PaulH put it extremely well. IDSA, or any other organization is NOT about instant gratification. I want this, I want that, and I want it now. I want to SEE where my money is going.

C'mon. There's a point where if you decide that all of the "bureaucratic crap" that PaulH refers to is all too institutional, than by all means I agree that IDSA is not for you.

Maybe the long and short of it is that IDSA is for the entrepreneurial minded designers. Those that are running businesses. Those that are trying to sell their wares. Those that aren't just thinking about how to spend the next paycheque.

If you want more out of IDSA and PaulH's contribution to this discussion doesn't make you drool with anticipation thinking the next function I go to is going to land that next big job/opportunity, then I don't get what you are complaining about.

Simply put......What, specifically, do you want from IDSA? Formalize your ideas/thoughts. Send an email to the board and see if you get a reaction. Go to the next function and corner the people in charge and let them know you want more, and state how and why.

If you are wondering what more you can do, email the board and tell them you are needing more from IDSA, but don't know what you can do. I am sure they could find something for you to contribute towards.

CG Said:
BusinessWeek doesn't need lobbying anymore--today they profit from it: http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/
Methinks lobbying doesn't stop with Business week.

idsa vs core77

February 13th, 2007, 10:58 am

ksylv
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Idsa vs core77

idsa website is very dull and the information is stall
core 77 always updating info..
core 77 better at finding contact information
idsa & chapters are better at live events and networking with people
core77 has a greater disconnect between designer and design companies
core77 is great at connecting designer with designer with forum and portfolio

they both have their strength and weakness in my eyes...
it would be interesting for them to merge into this big mess ....
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