Information Architects; was: Re: job title nomenclature on biz cards

Subject: Information Architects; was: Re: job title nomenclature on biz cards
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- oddpost -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2004 10:22:37 -0700 (PDT)

Some years ago now, it was realized that the body of knowledge an organization possesses is its most significant asset. How that knowledge is created, stored, and reused can represent a significant advantage.

Thus, content management systems have been created, for example, as well as other tools like XML-based databases.

The process of systematically studying the present, usually de facto, information lifecycle processes; planning what sort of eventual process might make good competitive sense; and dealing with issues of how and when to move between the two was originally the job of someone who was labeled an "information architect." As things have developed, Web content has become an increasingly important part of this pursuit.

While there are some tech writers who are very good at this work, there are many who are totally at sea on the topic.

That does not mean that there is not a definite need for true information architects, only that the specialty is still fairly new. I believe it is largely because "information technology" has largely left this part of the organization's needs unfulfilled...although quite often they both may come under the province of the office known as a "Chief Information Officer" of a corporation.

Unfortunately, we still have quite a few who don't understand that to an ever-increasing extent, for any organization to survive it must not only possess needed information, but it must be able to find and employ that information easily and quickly. Otherwise, it will lose out to more agile organizations who are more advanced in a truly knowledge-based economy.

As in most such new developments, this one too has not been accompanied by untrammelled success. In many cases, the tools are only now beginning to emerge that will increasingly empower organizations. In the technical documentation sphere, the movement to XML-based information represents one part of this change. As legacy documentation is increasingly being retired, organizations are adjusting to new demands and capabilities that structured information offers by implementing it in new work.


-----Original Message from written_by -at- juno -dot- com-----

> It's almost as bad as people calling themselves "information
> architects"
> (whatever the heck that is).

I wonder about the title "information architects" as well. We should feel
thankful that there are no Technical Information Architects on the list.
I suppose being a writer is just not enough these days.


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