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July 11, 2003: Where Have All the IAs Gone?

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  • Louis Rosenfeld
    July 11, 2003: Where Have All the IAs Gone? I have a theory, and I wonder if it can be proven. I ve talked with a lot of people who feel that there are fewer
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 11, 2003
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      July 11, 2003: Where Have All the IAs Gone?


      I have a theory, and I wonder if it can be proven.

      I've talked with a lot of people who feel that there are fewer information
      architects today than there were during the dot com peak. And in terms of
      visibility outside the field, that perception is quite understandable.

      Back in 2000 and early 2001, there were scads of design firms and agencies
      with the budget to prime their publicity pumps. Naturally this benefited
      the information architects who worked for those companies, who, like their
      colleagues, received some attention in the industry media. And back in
      those days there still was budget to attend plenty of conferences.

      I think that information architects back then were primarily outside
      consultants. We hadn't been around long enough to be recognized much inside
      bricks and mortar environments, much less gainfully employed in those
      settings. I'm a big fan of the 80/20 rule, and I'll bet that 80% of
      information architects worked for agencies back then.

      During the ensuing long march, I think that ratio has flipped. Something
      like 80% of us are in-house, and 20% are, uh, "out house".

      Which is great, if you ask me. It means that information architects have
      been recognized as important and valuable enough to have at least one around
      full-time and permanent. The flip side is that perhaps we're not as visible
      at conferences and in industry media, so it feels like there are fewer of us
      around.

      My theory is that there are at least as many of us now as there were two or
      three years ago, maybe more. It's just that we're quietly working away in
      drab cubelands devoid of the Nerf basketballs, cappuccino machines, and
      other trappings of the cool agencies where we used to punch in.

      What do you think: has there been a mass migration of information
      architects in-house? Are there more, fewer, or the same number of IA
      positions now than there were in early 2001? And how might we prove or
      disprove any of these theories--is there a way do to a reasonable census of
      information architects and the places they work?


      BLOUG PERMALINK & COMMENTS
      http://louisrosenfeld.com/home/bloug_archive/000188.html

      LINK MENTIONED
      My take on the 80/20 rule ::
      http://louisrosenfeld.com/home/bloug_archive/000122.html
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