MICMNGT – The Tangible Intangibles

For some reason, it seems like every session is either echoing what I’m trying to do to my career or giving answers to questions that have been trying to figure out. Like this one. It’s timing, really, because I was just updating my resume so that it would indicate my “Executive Profile”. In line with that, I had just decided that instead of pursuing a career in the academe later, when I’m old and decrepit and aching to leave a legacy, I should begin doing that NOW. But I was thinking, what would I teach?

At first, I was trying to figure out how to do flash files again, so that I could create an interactive CD version of my online portfolio. The Flash software being used now, however, is almost an entirely different program from what I had used before. (I remember that I used to be so disgruntled by Macromedia Fireworks in the early 2000s because whenever they’d upgrade, I would always end up tearing my hair out figuring where the old tools had been relocated.) Imagine, the last time I handled Flash was in 2002, when action scripting didn’t exist and I knew exactly how to do shape tweening even with my eyes closed. Now, I felt…stumped.

After asking my sister (an MMA student at CSB) a few questions and realizing I wasn’t getting anywhere, I gave up. I told Ogie (an old friend who recommended that I teach at CSB) that no, I don’t think I could teach multimedia arts because I don’t want my students to have a weak foundation that’s caused by a teacher who doesn’t know what the heck she’s doing. The fields I am more familiar with are ecommerce, systems analysis and design, and marketing solutions. I may have been a web designer before but I have already evolved into something else. That’s what I should teach.

Ok, now I mentioned the word “evolve”. I looked at my resume and saw that I had been through so many jobs and they all had different titles.

  1. Virtual Community Leader
  2. Virtual Community Liaison
  3. Account Officer (Marketing)
  4. Web Designer
  5. Web Developer
  6. Systems Analyst
  7. Gameplay Specialist

I may have had different jobs and positions in my entire 8 years of working, but what is it exactly that binds all those jobs together despite the differences? I searched a myriad of websites about a particular job that described exactly what I did. I even found diagrams and proposals before I found something that told me, “Oh, my gawd! This is me! This is what I do!” I figured it out: (1) they’re all related to the net (*roll eyes* obviously) and (2) no matter where you put me, I manage to make use of my two degrees: IT and human relations.

This is what I came up with: INFORMATION ARCHITECT

No matter how many paradigm shifts I had been through, those two are constant. Much like the square that Sir Jerald asked us to modify in the classroom exercise. You may have changed the locations of the two points, but the figure still followed the basic rules that define a square.

Hay, it’s just a bit amusing, though. Every time Sir Jerald would turn the page, a bullet point hits a mark that cements my stand on that discussion.

Another issue with that paradigm thingy: My cousin, Firesenshi, protested that I am not an information architect because that’s her. Information architects, according to her definition, only work at the front end, while I work and connect both ends. I didn’t bother addressing her issue with that because discussing it is just too silly (much like her and my brother’s vehement disapproval of my taking up my masteral studies). But see, I was actually thinking about that silly discussion when the class was taking place because everything was addressed by that session about Paradigm Challenges.

Information architecture is a fairly new type of field. But like all other field, it evolves. In fact, it is said that information architects are the evolved web developers. Hm.

The simplest analogy I could think of is this: secretaries used to be experts in typewriting. Are they still using typewriters now? Furthermore, secretaries now have a number of skills that secretaries of the olden days do not have. These days, you can’t tell me that information architects should only be this and this and not that. Because lately, I don’t see information architects that are experts only on the front-end. As far as I am concerned I know where to draw information and how to make good use of information, coming up with ideas, concepts and solutions based on the information drawn. If I have additional skills that go beyond the scope of the job description, then they’re supposed to be considered pluses and not flaws.

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