Six Strategic Projects for SIGCHI
The SIGCHI Executive Committee (EC) is focusing its efforts on six strategic projects. Areas where we either know we need to improve or where we feel we can make big advances to benefit both our field and our membership. I invite your thoughts on these items.
The CHI ConferenceAs many of you know, this is a trying time for conferences, both in general attendance and in finances. We are delighted that CHI2004 in Vienna is off to a strong start. In addition to supporting them in creating an outstanding conference, the EC and Conference Management Committee (CMC) are working to restructure future CHI Conferences to provide greater financial stability, while giving the conference chairs more flexibility to innovate and enhance the attendee experience. This effort will be tied to a broader examination of the larger portfolio of conferences we sponsor to understand how they can collectively best serve our membership and the field of HCI.
2. Membership Communications We are starting a new effort to redesign our communication venues. The SIGCHI E-Bulletin will be a hybrid e-mail and web newsletter focused on getting information about important issues to the membership before decisions are made. We will use space in interactions magazine to recap important decisions and better publicize events. The SIGCHI web site is undergoing continuing redesign to help members find the content they want. We are also working to make CHIplace a permanent and integrated forum for discussion of issues of interest to SIGCHI members and the HCI community.
3. Volunteers We are developing a comprehensive volunteer program to: catalog available opportunities, collect information from prospective volunteers, match people to open positions, and follow up with every SIGCHI volunteer. Among our goals for this program are: better systems for managing volunteering, better recognition of their efforts, and better development of future leaders by offering paths that progress through diverse volunteering experiences.
4. Publications We are undertaking a review of several open publication issues to ensure that SIGCHI-published content continues to be valued as high-quality, topical, and useful. Following the changes in the SIGCHI Bulletin, we will be working with ACM on a regular review of interactions magazine--a benefit received by all SIGCHI members--to assess how well it meets the goals of our membership. Our publications board will also be examining the challenging issues of publishability and archival quality in conference publications. They will also assess the success of the CHI Letters series brand and the other ACM-sponsored experiments in this area.
5. Local Chapters The SIGCHI EC recognizes that we need closer relationships with our local chapters around the world. In addition to developing a Council of Chapters to directly address chapter issues within SIGCHI, we are exploring ways of better serving chapter members, and helping chapters contribute their expertise and energy to broader SIGCHI goals.
6. Financial Prudence We are in a financially difficult time for SIGCHI. Each activity we undertake requires a careful evaluation of the costs involved and the benefits to our organization and our membership. We are already spending very conservatively, and will continue to implement plans to restore a balance to SIGCHI that will permit us to undertake larger investments in the future. Two quick notes I'd like to add. First, please recognize that this targeted list does not represent everything SIGCHI does; we will continue to maintain other efforts while we address these problems. And second, I want to publicly convey how excited I am to work with the officers you've just elected. You have given Mary and me a wonderful slate of people with which to address these issues. We're also grateful that so many of the unelected candidates have offered their ongoing help as well, and we will be enlisting their efforts, along with those of other volunteers, to help keep our organization, publications, conferences, and finances strong.