No Such Thing As Information Architects: Responding To JJG 11 Months Later

I’m about to embark on a point-by-point rebuttal to Jesse James Garrett’s provocative closing plenary at last year’s Information Architecture Summit. Before I get down to business I’d like your help. I’m an ALA-certified librarian, so perhaps it is not surprising for you to learn that I’m not great at finding stuff on the Internet. I’ve done a lot of Googling since last April and I do not believe that I’ve found evidence that anybody’s yet taken up the gauntlet that Jessie threw down in Memphis last year. There were a lot of glad hands and OMG’s right after the event, but I’ve not been able to locate a systematic reply or rebuttal.

So, before I dig in, if you’ve written or seen a reply to Garrett’s plenary talk that a would-be raconteur should know about before climbing up on his soapbox… please send me your links.


19. February 2010 by dan
Categories: Information Architecture Design | Tags: , , , , | 4 comments

Comments (4)

  1. what about “Big rock, small rock, and chorizo sausage” by Andrea Resmini?

  2. Dan, there were a couple of REALLY long threads over at the IxDA… not sure they were taking up the gauntlet, exactly, but there were a few interesting thoughts amongst the craziness:

    (I just read through them a couple of days ago myself. Am pleased to see that you’re going to take your own stab at it.)

  3. Hi Dan. BTW, nice job on your “Explain IA” video.

    As far as Jesse’s plenary, I was at the Summit last year and was floored by JJG’s comments. I followed the blogosphere closely after Jesse’s remarks. The closest to a real response was Andrea Resmini’s – mentioned by the previous post.

    The silence from the IAI board deafening! Ok, Andrew Hinton mentioned disagreement in his Linkosophy presentation, but it was a single slide that stated, “I disagree…this stuff is still evolving”.

    While I can agree with that, it was not the comprehensive intellectual response the field of IA deserves. Andrew embedded his argument to Jesse’s speech within the context of his work on Linkosophy. However, I don’t think his point is strong or direct enough.

    Linkosophy 2

    After becoming frustrated with the lack of outcry, I wrote my own point-by-point rebuttal in response to Jesse’s speech. However, I’ve had to wait to publish because it cites my work on Organization Role Segmentation (ORS) which just so happens to go public this March. I plan on publishing my rebuttal essay shortly after I release an ORS overview.

    I’ll send you a link when it becomes available.

    Good luck with your response. I look forward to seeing your perspective.

  4. I’m sorry the board didn’t collectively with one voice or individually as community leaders take up @jjg’s gauntlet. I can’t speak for anyone else, but for myself I am somewhat burnt out on this micropositioning when I think the larger questions are being ignored.

    I am heartened by Dan’s enthusiastic championing of IA and I hope he take a role on the board and jaded four-year veterans such as myself roll off into emeritus status this coming fall.

    I’ve never stopped being an information architect and I do information architecture every day, when my title has been interaction designer, web strategist, information architect, user experience designer, director, product designer, and so on.

    The information layer interests me and I will always be drawn to work that involves understanding and explicating relationships and rules. I just personally can’t get worked up about what one founder type has to say about some of the memes a particular subculture has been working its way through.

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