The Early Years: Shifting into High Gear (2002-03)
Moving to a new website was a major focus of AUGI efforts in 2002. AUGI spent the first half of the year brainstorming ideas for expansion and met with Autodesk midyear to discuss possible expansion. AU 2002 planning began in June and progressed well with many new ideas. The first AUGI email blasts started going out, providing another way of connecting to members.
The AUGI Wish Lists starts to form and develop into a web-based process. Wishes are collected, reviewed, and pressed forward to have a Top Ten ready for AU.
ATP was going strong under the watchful eye of dave e-a. We have many classes in English and also French, Spanish, Portuguese and, by year end, Greek and German.
AUGIWorld magazine becomes an item of discussion internally with the board. Conversations between AUGI and marketing management firm Solidvapor begin to materialize. The initial issue of AUGIWorld is unveiled at AU2002. AUGI Top DAUG contest was also started at AU2002.
Difficulties begin to surface with the Guilds as more subscribers join. The load on the servers starts to show. This is addressed by expanding capacity.
2003 brought internationalization and an expansion of AUGI’s presence on the Internet. In an all-out effort to stimulate traffic to AUGI.com in 2003, the board of directors agreed to totally redesign the website based on member surveys and significant input from the usability team at Autodesk. Not only were the visual aspects and navigation dramatically improved, but content was expanded and enriched. In a controversial transition, but one felt by the board to be in the members’ best interests, the AUGI Guilds were replaced by dozens of Forums on the website.
In June John Clausen was invited to join Lynn Allen in making a presentation at Autodesk College to AUG-JP, the Autodesk user group of Japan. It was an honor and thrill of a lifetime to meet the AUG-JP members and directors and promote international cooperation. That spirit continued at Autodesk University in 2003, where we were able to have several AUG-JP officials join us on stage for a memorable closing ceremony.
AUGI had an incredible display on the exhibit floor at AU2003 and conducted several activities that engaged the attendees in participation. We had our second Top DAUG contest and the AUGI Quest, which followed the Monty Python theme of the main evening event.
Some noteworthy behind-the-scenes developments during 2003 were the creation of the product channel concepts, the establishment of the International Development coordinator position on the board of directors, and the complete overhaul of the AUGI Training Program (ATP).