Letter from the President - 2011 August

Greetings and Salutations, AUGI member!

Or are you? When was the last time you checked? Well, you are an AUGI member if you are getting this letter via the AUGI Bulletin email blast for AUGI HotNews. But your membership is more than just an email address. AUGI has two primary missions: one, to foster peer-to-peer communication in order to provide support for one another. The other is to be the voice back to Autodesk—and the industry at large, for that matter.

That is best done with the proper voice, so knowing who you are and where you are is very important. The new AUGI Wish List system, which will enter testing in August, is a prime example of the voice back to Autodesk. But others are more subtle, such as surveys about the technology you use. That we do via email blasts, sure, but we do it in a very targeted fashion. If we don’t know you work in the manufacturing industry or that you use Maya or that you live in Venice, Florida, versus Venice, Italy—well, then your voice isn’t going to count. If you want to be heard, make sure we know what it is you do and what you use and where you live by visiting the membership profile zone at: {page_1}account/.

Last month I talked about how the AUGI Board is meeting in San Rafael, CA, USA, at Autodesk HQ. Well as of this writing it hasn’t happened yet—that meeting will be held August 4, 2011—after the deadline to pen this letter. I’ll have to expand on the results of that meeting in my September 2011 “LFTP” article.

But there is a lot happening on the Community front! What is a community, you ask? Simply put, it’s a subset of AUGI itself. AUGI is the binding organization that connects all Autodesk users together. But we should and do divide up into like-minded areas—just look at the structure of the forums, for example. The first level of distinction is obvious: language. Inasmuch as we would love Google Translate to work seamlessly, it really doesn’t do a great job. It may be enough to get the point across, but someone is always left with the feeling that something doesn’t read quite right.

So to begin, we are supporting and expanding our sections of the website that deal with language and we encourage you to get involved. If you would prefer to communicate with fellow members in a specific language that we don’t currently support, then let me know. I know there is a lot of capacity in the Spanish, French, and Portuguese areas of the membership—we can grow and could use your help.

The next level is product, program, software, tool, widget, etc. The thing you use. Years ago, we began developing product communities such as AutoCAD and Revit, but in recent years they had fallen asleep from a lack of control. Well, that is no longer the case. I am very busy looking around at the leaders in the AUGI membership to help restart and grow our product communities. As roles are filled, those areas will then begin to have growth and will control their own destiny.

Let me briefly describe how a product community is structured. Each community will be managed by a Technical Advisory Council (the TAC). The TAC consists of the leaders in each given zone of the community. For example, the AUGIWORLD Content Manager for a given product is a member of the TAC. The TAC will consist of anywhere from 3 to 17 individuals, each doing something different in the product community. Some TAC positions are managers, meaning they have others they work with, while other positions are editors. Editors are responsible for a single channel, such as a Gallery zone of renderings. Then, within the TAC is an appointed Director who will help fill zones with leaders and communicate with the Board the needs and desires of the TAC.

The whole point here is if you love a certain Autodesk product, would you like to help others come to know your favorite product better? If so, contact me. And stay up-to-date at {page_2}.

Now on to the topics of events. In early August is SIGGRAPH 2011 to be held in Vancouver, Canada. I went to this conference years ago and it was something to be seen! Amazing technology and the creativity that exists just about oozes out of the walls (and I’m sure someone could animate that). If you are going, you are lucky! If you are not going, perhaps one of the other events will be near you. Visit the AUGI home page to catch up on events in the AUGI world. If you know of an event that is not listed, drop me a note to get it added to the listing.

As for AUGI CAD Camp 2011, a number of the events have been rescheduled for later in the year and a few cancelled. The next round of events is due to begin in 2011 September. Check to see if there is one near you and GO!

And with that I will close. As I have mentioned, if you want to get involved, just contact me at

Until next month, see you in the community!

David Harrington

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