Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Publications Committee Update

Brantley Hightower
TSA Publications Committee, Chair

May was a busy month at the TSA office. In addition to hosting the Design Awards jury on May 21, TSA hosted the Publications Committee on May 14. The committee met to discuss the future of Texas Architect magazine. Sitting in on the bimonthly meetings to discuss Texas Architect and CheckSet is always a pleasure since it allows other committee members and myself the opportunity to hear about all of the quality work the Society is doing as an organization, as well as to see and talk about all the truly amazing design work that is being produced by the TSA membership. Sitting in on the Design Awards jury made me realize just how many outstanding projects are out there, and I truly wish we had more space in the magazine to feature them all.
At any rate, the May Publications Committee meeting was unique because it was a strategic planning session to discuss the future of TSA publications. We came to the meeting not looking to radically change anything about the magazine, but rather to develop strategies to subtly improve internal mechanisms that will allow the continued publication of the best architecture the state has to offer.
The committee members feel strongly that there will always be a place for a well-produced, high-quality print publication. That said, we also realize that increasing our Web presence is a necessary part of any long-range strategic plan. To that end, we also met with members of the New Media Committee, who came to the table with considerable excitement about the potential of TSA's social media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter feeds, and the blog. These outlets are excellent mechanisms for the quick dispersion of news and rapidly changing situations. This is an area where Texas Architect is at a disadvantage because of the long lead-time between published issues. That said, there is some "cachet" associated with the magazine because of its quality and the scarcity with which it is published. While I definitely feel there is room for overlap and look forward to developing those links, it also seems worthwhile to recognize the differences and allow each media type to do what it is they do best.
But we also want to know what you, the readers, think. 
Later this year, Texas Architect subscribers will receive an invitation to participate in an online survey about the magazine. This survey is an opportunity for us to hear from the entirety of the readership and to gain a better understanding of what our readers want. We encourage and look forward to your participation.

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