Sunday, December 5, 2010

Disappointing a Community

I was going to hold off saying anything about the AUGI fiasco, but I decided to say just a few words (ok, it’s gonna be more than a few).

First off, to all those that have emailed and to those that will: I know as much as you do on the state of affairs. No, I was not warned either that something was going to happen and that the forums would start from scratch. I am as disappointed as you are at the current situation which has resulted in years of valuable volunteer contributions disappear from the “internets”. I think they will eventually re-surface but I cannot say that it will be housed in the same familiar location we have all come to expect. I have referenced several AUGI threads in this blog and have also promoted membership on the sidebar. Sadly as of a few minutes ago, I took that off because a) the links are no longer working and b) I feel betrayed too.

The most disappointing factor for me personally is that as “AUGI Revit Community Chair”, you would think that the Board would have at least communicated about this potential problem with certain community leaders/organizers, right? Wrong, that’s just not the case. AUGI Members think “hey, your face and email address are up there, so you must be in the loop!”. Unfortunately that’s not the case. To simply update that page, I had to rely on someone else to make the final button push to publish the page and as of now, I have no access to modify it in the new site. So apart from that page, my comments on the forums were my contribution as “Chair”, which was nothing different than that of other members. I was just lucky enough to be nominated by other members a few years back based on my forum activity when a transition was taking place (and for that, I’m very grateful). Oh, and I was (am?) also Tips & Tricks forum manager, so trust me, I know something about being bummed due to investing time in organizing a few of the golden nuggets, which at this moment, seem to be lost forever.

Truth be told, I care mostly about the advancement of Revit because I believe in it as a concept and as a product. I am part of a community of users, and whether they decide to hang out at some location or another, it’s purely irrelevant to me. I hope something can be worked out soon and would love to see AUGI re-established as the user community we loved. I don’t care much about who’s fault it is, as probably the mistakes leading to the current fiasco originated even before my first post! For the benefit of those interested in understanding some of the underlying issues, I quoted some posts in this document. They also helped me to better understand the situation.

Back in August 2005, knowing there had to be a better alternative to Architectural Desktop, I started looking at 3D software that could be used to design and document buildings at my former employer (this was a project of my own choosing for a corporate program I was in). The choice was between ArchiCad and Revit (Bentley Architecture was a joke in my opinion and the demo we were given was horrendous and looked like a repackaged ADT, which we were trying to get away from). Revit immediately struck a chord with me and the awesome support I received from some notable AUGI members really helped me to draw my conclusions about Revit. I was very lucky to attend AU that year for the first time and managed to meet a few forum regulars. Since then, I felt inspired to grow my knowledge and give back some of it to the same community that was such a valuable part of my success on the first Revit projects. Those projects were painful experiences and I’m sure you too can relate. But the AUGI membership’s contributions were absolutely key and I know for a fact that they are just as crucial to you. I would like to thank everyone for being so unselfish in sharing their thoughts and knowledge. Over the last years I have felt like I was part of one very large firm that extended further than the walls of the office that surrounded me. At this point there’s not much we can do except wait and see how this story develops. Eventually our passion for Revit will prevail and I’m sure the big Revit gang will gather again to keep sharing and spreading their knowledge. The venue is uncertain at this point but I hope the community stays together. We were the ones that created the value in the AUGI forums. We ARE the value.



Unknown said...

My heart goes out to all those, including yourself, who have contributed so much of their time and experience. And I wonder if this could be the bomb that starts another revolution or if this whole thing will blow over and we'll continue the same traditions. I'm sure some bright minds have ideas on what they would do if they could start from scratch. ??????????

DJSnook said...

Thanks for posting this; was finding the whole AUGI cut off thing a little strange. On a technical note, the content can still be accessed to an extent on Google by hitting 'cached' after the search, although how long that will be remains to be seen

iyyy69 said...

Thanks for sharing! Let us know which forum you end up "hanging out" at.

Elmo said...

I for one am extremely disappointed in the way Augi was simply just changed without prior notice. Oh well.

Dave Baldacchino said...

Given that we don't know all the details, I'm ready to give the Board the benefit of the doubt and hang in tight for the time being. Personally, I don't need the old data and hope that it will eventually be available. The new site needs a lot of work and I hope we can get to something that most are happy with so we can resume helping each other once again. I look forward to improving our wish list process for sure and I think we can achieve that with the new site.

ENG said...

Revit is a big major waste of time ! All the " EXPERTS" from REVIT should not ship such crappy products and claiming to save time and money.

Dave Baldacchino said...

ENG, stay on subject please. I almost marked your post as spam. If you want to state your opinion about Revit, post it in more relevant articles. This one is about AUGI, and the Revit community is only one part of that.

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