SND 2010: First quarter update

Dear members,

We’ve had a busy and exciting first quarter. This is an update of where we’re at — and what we expect to tackle next.

Much of this information is in the board meeting minutes posted last week. But, we thought it might also be helpful to provide a bulleted rundown.

As always, we need input and help from you to make these initiatives successful. Here’s where we’re at so far this year:

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Publications/Communication:

  • Launched a new SND.org for no cost to SND. Increased traffic to the website more than 100% in page views since January 2009. Next, we will start tackling database issues associated with SND.org.
  • Set up a network of columnists and expert contributors from around the world to contribute to our publications and training efforts.
  • Re-aligned our site content to reflect the growing importance of multi-platform storytelling. We are raising the volume of our voice in the industry by creating fresh, relevant content that is being linked to by numerous high-traffic sites.
  • Appointed a new Print Publications Director: Suzette Moyer
  • Appointed a new Online Publications Director: Tyson Evans
  • Taking a hard look at our publications, assessing what’s working and what could be better. Suzette is leading the efforts to create a Design magazine themed “Connections” in the late summer.
  • At the end of the year, we hope to provide something completely new and unique. We will create a magazine with a high value to members. We hope to present a rich snapshot of accomplishments and issues in our industry. We are considering combining the release of the publication with a symposium – perhaps in several different cities.
  • Using Twitter and Facebook more to raise awareness of events and content of interest to members.
  • Discussing what member-only content we can provide on our site. If you have ideas or want to contribute video tutorials, please let us know.
  • Identifying advertising and sponsorship opportunities in online and print publications
  • Executive Director Stephen Komives will be sending regular updates to members highlighting content of interest and training opportunities.
  • Mauricio Gutierrez will lead an effort to organize our archives of competition-winning pages. These pages can then be more of a resource for members
  • ——-

    The Foundation:

  • Appointed a new Foundation President: Denise Reagan
  • Denise announced an SNDF calendar project, which will be available in September. Past President Deborah Withey is leading the project. Calendars are being offered for $20 a piece, and people can “buy-a-day” for $10 as well. The Calendar has been announced on the Web site and the first orders have been taken.
  • Denise is working on another SNDF fundraiser – a karaoke event for the summer. She is still identifying cities and coordinators. The goal is to hold the event in 30 cities over the course of a week in June, realizing $1000 in proceeds per city. For city coordinators the task involves just picking a karaoke spot and a date, and then getting the word out.
  • Training grants, made possible by the Gannett Foundation, were applied toward the Web Design Boot Camp in Dallas. More than a dozen such grants, which paid full tuition for the event, were given out to applicants.
  • More grants and scholarships for students available.
  • Stephen has been hard at work identifying more potential sources of grant money. This money would be used to provide more free training to members.
  • The foundation is also making plans for an ambitious silent auction at the Denver workshop.
  • ——-

    Training:

  • Appointed a new Training Director: Chris Courtney
  • Chris and others have been working with Regional Directors to set up a variety of training and networking events, including:
  • March 7-12: Malofiej Information Graphics Summit, Show Don’t Tell and competition were held in Pamplona, Spain.

    March 23: Denise Reagan presented two Webinar training sessions looking at winning formulas from the Best of News Design competition

    April 7 & 8: SND partnered with Salum International Resources, Inc. to offer SND members 50% discounts to presentations by Richard Saul Wurman in Charlotte.

    April 29: SND is partnering with We Media to offer a $120 discount to an iPad symposium: Tabula Rasa NYC.

    May 11-14: Lily Lu has organized an Information Graphics training event in Xi’an, China. Jeff Goertzen and Juan Velasco will be the featured speakers.

    May 13: Milwaukee meet-up to coincide with Bucketworks

    May 19 & 21: We will be hosting two one-day workshops in Milan and Rome — the first SND events to be held in Italy.

    June 15: Meet-up in Indianapolis

    July 17: Meet-up in Chicago

    Late July: Norma Ramirez is organizing an SND workshop in El Salvador.

    Sept. 23 & 25: SND Denver, featuring a condensed Web Design Boot Camp. The Workshop program is looking fantastic. Hats off to Damon Cain and Jeff Goertzen. We had a chance to tour the hotel and facilities last week and were all very impressed. It promises to be a great event.

    Sept. 30 – Oct. 2: SND/Scandinavia has been rescheduled due to travel complications associated with Iceland’s volcanic eruption.

    NOTE: There are also a number of other events being discussed that should firm up soon.

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    Leadership:

    In addition to the appointments named above:

  • Appointed a new Region 4 Director: Mauricio Gutierrez
  • Seeking two new regional directors for Canada, volunteers and nominations are welcome
  • Stephen and I will be leading a large membership drive in the coming months. To help us, we’re seeking a volunteer who will drive a campaign to reach out to former and new members. We have started to assemble a team and are looking for a team leader who can help with hands-on design and writing work. We seek a creative, high-energy person who has a strong desire to help us broaden our membership base. This position does not require attending board meetings. We expect the work to be most intense over the summer. Please let us know if you’re interested.
  • We are starting a large initiative to provide a more streamlined board, while increasing leadership and involvement at the city, state/province level. Soon, we’ll be putting out a call for coordinators to help us with these efforts. If you are willing to lead local and regional efforts, we want to hear from you. The goal will be to provide even more local training and networking opportunities. International Director, Hans-Peter Janisch, put forth a plan to reorganize the regional representation of the board. As a result, we outlined a number of next steps to ensure an effective outcome. See the Spring board meeting minutes for more details.
  • ——-

    The competitions:

  • This year’s Best of News Design competition received more than 10,000 entries and included magazine categories for the first time. Searchable database of winners was posted.
  • We are examining every detail of the competitions. Our goal is to create a competition structure that more accurately reflects and recognizes the work we are all currently doing. We are seeking input on what you love about the competitions – and what should be changed. Talks are underway with Marshall Matlock, Syracuse University, and others about how we can improve our contests.
  • ——-
    If you are interested in volunteering for any of the efforts mentioned above, please email us at: volunteers@snd.org, or reach out to one of the officers. We have started to assemble a large network of active volunteers. Thanks so much for your contributions. The success, value and future of SND depends upon your generous efforts.

    Here’s to a great 2010,

    Kris