The internet as we know it didn’t exist when I got my first editor’s job, at the late, lamented Architecture magazine. Today I recall that endeavor, for all its inherent stresses, as a stately experience: Our efforts were focused on a single monthly goal, producing a print magazine. End of story.
At Architect, it seems the only thing that happens on a monthly basis is the debut of a new publishing medium: Blink and there’s LinkedIn, and Facebook, and Twitter. There’s also our own website, architectmagazine.com. Each of these beasts demands at minimum a daily feeding of content. Meanwhile, the once-straightforward, golfing-for-dollars advertising business is going through a few changes of its own, which on the editorial side translates into stretched resources, human and otherwise.
Woe is me? Hardly. As the good people at GM can tell you, there’s nothing quite so stimulating as an industry in transition. In the past 12-plus months, the Architect crew has developed a completely new game plan, in which massive change and high-quality content are the only constants. In the process, we’ve come to love social networking, though I must confess that I routinely slip and say “twit” instead of “tweet”—I suppose it’s just my nature. We’ve also launched a digital edition of the magazine (effectively an online flip book of the print original); we’re in the process of rolling out a daily e-mail newsletter; and, best of all, we’ve totally rebuilt our website from the bottom up.
If you take the time to visit, you’ll notice the site looks totally different. But assuming we did our jobs right, it should also look hauntingly familiar. Pourquoi? Simple: The new and methinks vastly improved architectmagazine.com is the direct result of your feedback. Over a thousand of you took the time to participate in a survey and tell us just what you want from an architecture website’s content and design. Dozens more participated in focus group discussions, to help us brainstorm at the beginning of the process and then vet the final product. Our thanks to you all.
So what kinds of content did you ask for, and what, exactly, are you getting? For starters, lots and lots of big pictures of smart architecture—we’re including the projects we publish in print, naturally, but we’re also partnering with Esto, the leading architectural photography house, to host a growing gallery of their new and historic photographs.
But wait, there’s more! An events calendar, a job listings service, dozens of free continuing ed courses, video interviews with leading architects like Liz Diller and Gregg Pasquarelli, and our superstar bloggers: Aaron Betsky on art and design, Blaine Brownell on materials and products, Lance Hosey on sustainability, and Hannah McCann on the design workplace. Speaking of blogs, we’ll also be aggregating the latest posts from critical voices around the Web, as well as breaking news stories from dozens of top sources. In brief, there’s tons of cool content, and we update it frequently.
The look and feel of the site comes courtesy of Karen Brown and Ron Ryan of Brown?+?Ryan, the visionary (and remarkably patient) web designers who guided us through this process. Brown?+?Ryan arrived at the task with spot-on experience, having created sites for edgy New York design store Moss, leading textile manufacturer Maharam, The Nation magazine, and emerging architecture firm Workshop/APD.
In keeping with the theme of constant change, I can’t say that our work on the website is “done,” despite the fact that it officially launched in late August. Brown?+?Ryan would be dismayed if I failed to note that we’ve only just begun to adopt their design—there’s still fine-tuning to be done and lots of cool functionality to be added. There’s also new content in the works. I won’t tell you what it is—I don’t want to give the game away just yet—so you’ll just have to trust me that architectmagazine.com is worth repeat visits. We hope to surprise you—pleasantly—every time.
Please indulge me in recognizing a few of the many colleagues whose hard work and creativity have made the new website possible. In addition to Karen Brown and Ron Ryan of Brown?+?Ryan and the architects and designers who participated in our survey and focus groups, I’d like to applaud the following wonderful people: ever-cheerful online general manager Kim Heneghan; web guru/fashion plate Braulio Agnese and his tireless fellow editors, Katie Gerfen, Amanda Kolson Hurley, and Greig O’Brien; calming senior web producer Richard Stirba; third-party apps man Jeff Rule; chief designer Tom Scala and his tall right hand, Tim Hurt; graphic designers Aubrey Altmann and Marcy Ryan, whose promos rule; 21st century librarian Monica Fulvio; our tutors Maria Bishirjian, Alexi McDevitt, and Amy Wiersum; optimization master Erik Schulze; and the ultra-organized Sue Jasmin.
Who could forget our crack tech team? Jeremy Brown, Biser Cheshmedjiev, Mike Hansen, Kalyan Kadali, Suren Kokkenti, Venkat Machiraju, Priya Nalavade, Ramesh Polisetty, Glenn Stevens, Prakash Tallabattula, Dave Timmerman, Padmaja Satyavolu, and Joel Walters.
And last but not least, to our fearless corporate leaders—Andreas Schmidt, Jeff Craig, Russ Ellis, Pat Carroll, Peter Goldstone, and Frank Anton—thank you for your faith, support, and guidance.