Hopefully in the past few weeks you have had the opportunity to visit the IAMSE web site and have seen some of the changes that have taken place. The new website has been under development since late last spring when the Technology Task Force, Chaired by Peter Anderson gathered and made several recommendations regarding site navigation, design, color and use of animation. This task force also looked at ways to streamline the information offered, making navigation quicker and easier. This resulted in the reduction of several hundred pages without eliminating any content.
The launch of the new design is only Part I with many more web related changes to come. The next phase of re-design will specifically address the membership directory. In the coming weeks we will be switching to a web-based membership directory database that will allow for ease-of-use as well as the ability for members to directly update their profile online. This new system will also allow for additional information to be stored with a member profile such as a picture or areas of expertise. It is our goal that the new searchable membership database will be online by the end of January, 2005. Along with the new membership directory, keep your eyes open for other services as well, such as the IAMSE listserv, allowing for online networking between colleagues.
Also within the next couple of weeks a second technology based application will be setup to support the various Committee and Board Member activities. A private “intranet” that allows for file sharing, task scheduling and project management will be implemented. This web-based tool will greatly enhance the communications capabilities of the Board and Committees. This communications tool will greatly aid in the manuscript review process for JIAMSE and the review of abstract submissions for and annual IAMSE meeting.
The last phase of the website re-launch will probably have the greatest impact. This involves the creation of a web-based Resource Bank. In the past the IAMSE membership has requested the development of a resource bank that contained a wide variety of items from Case Studies to Exam Banks to listings of available resources on a wide variety of topics. One of the challenges has always been “how to present” this information in a useable format. At the very least, the content must be searchable. The Technology Task Force is currently looking at the various types of resources that could be stored as well as ways to “categorize” the content. Once this guideline has been established and content reviewed, an online Resource Bank will be launched. This new resource will allow the visitor to search by keyword or resource type, based on a category. Files of various types can be stored and downloaded by the visitor. A system will also be developed that will allow for IAMSE members to offer contributions of content to the library. It is our hope that the “Resource xChange Session” at the upcoming July meeting in Los Angeles (July 16-19, http://www.iamse.org/conf/conf9/index.htm) will provide meaningful content as well.
As with any website the work is never completed! This current version is the 3rd generation of many more websites to come. If you would like to assist in the continual development of the website and the resources it has to offer, please contact Pete Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself (email@example.com) with your ideas and suggestions.