Friday, December 10, 2010

OpEd Links Broken for AUGI Forums

I realized last week that I've got over a thousand posts on this blog now since I started it at the end of 2004. Over these past years I've created a fair number of links to other sites. Seems like a good idea because I can just point readers to another spot easily. That is until that site either changes something, the information just goes away...or in the case of AUGI the forums, the domain name service (DNS) isn't pointing at the same server anymore. While AUGI sorts out the details of that situation my posts here have an untold number of broken links. When the forum data is migrated into AUGI at some point I have no illusion that my original URL's will still work. It would be wonderful if they do, or if even some of them do...

Long story short...if you click on a link that promises to take you to a AUGI forum post/'s more than likely to generate this message.

In fact any bookmarks or shortcuts you have created to get to certain parts of the AUGI site will generate the error too. I've received more than a few emails from people about their bookmarks and shortcuts not working anymore.

An aside, reading through the posts at AUGI the past few days I get the impression that members believe that AUGI has a very broad presence in the industry. Seems reasonable based on our combined involvement with AUGI but oddly enough in my travels during the last 6 years the one consistent thing about AUGI is how FEW people have actually heard of it. Stepping in a room of +/-10 architects/engineers about 40 weeks a year I've been surprised to find that at the most one or two are members and often none are. As for those who aren't members most of the time they haven't even heard of AUGI. Considering I do nothing but Revit and Navisworks consulting I've always expected people to be pretty aware of it. So as prolific as the Revit community has been at AUGI it is surprising to find how few are actually aware of it. What's my point? Just that we aren't nearly as famous as we think we are? 8-)

In a recent post Alan (blog: Revit Structure Learning Curve) mentions a survey completed by NBS (National Building Service in the UK) that suggests that about half the "industry" is aware of BIM. I wonder if the survey should be run asking about awareness of Revit instead? I'd be curious if more are aware of the product than of the concept. The reason I mention this is that it is like AUGI in a way, as hot or as relevant as something seems to me, there is always a group of people outside of it all. Unaware or even uninterested.

Even further off topic! I also read that Chris Zoog (founded the Revit forum at Zoogdesign which merged with AUGI in 2004) would be rolling over in his grave (regarding the forum data issue). Rumors of Mr. Zoog's death are greatly exaggerated. If he were dead perhaps he'd be rolling...many years we must wait for that. I for one would be very disappointed if the rumor were true!


iyyy69 said...

"So as prolific as the Revit community has been at AUGI it is surprising to find how few are actually aware of it. What's my point? Just that we aren't nearly as famous as we think we are?"

I find your use of the word "we" in the last sentence interesting... I don't know if it's intentional, or I'm just misunderstanding, but it seems to infer one of two things: 1) that anyone reading this blog considers themselves an AUGI insider, which is rather presumptuous. Admittedly, a couple weeks ago, I probably wouldn't have even noticed, but now, the last thing I think of AUGI is as a "we". Or 2) that you still think of yourself as an integral part of AUGI, as in "we at the AUGI organization". In which case, I have a few questions for you... no, j/k.

Steve said...

I'm not trying to be clever. Anyone reading this blog for awhile is probably also, at least, aware of AUGI.

I wrote "we" because AUGI is a collection of people, despite the current feelings in the forums. Not saying "we" would imply that I think "I" am AUGI...which isn't true, in my mind or reality.

Writing "they" didn't make as much sense to me because I consider myself part of AUGI, as a member for a little over ten years.

A lot of people contribute to AUGI. I am still involved in the organization's activities, the AAE eZine and in the Revit forums as an admin/mod. I'm no longer on the board. Am I integral? I'm a member and I contribute time and effort. Many do and if I stopped, someone would step in and pick up where I left off.

I can try to answer your questions but comments here aren't the best place for a conversation so how about email or even a telephone call? We can start with email?

archshrk said...

The folks over at AUGI forums (specifically the webmaster) needs to set up a 301 redirect so that any link to the old forums forwards to a real page. Whether that's the new forums the home page or a special page saying "we moved the forums - deal with it".

Its just bad SEO not to. Its bad for them and its even worse for all the people who, like you, have linked heavily to what is now a 404 page. And since you're on Blogger, you don't have an easy way to "fix" your broken links (afaik).

Steve said...

I was under the impression that is what the page that appears is doing. A formal page that is responding to the bad link. It provides the AUGI website tabs to use and an explanation that the forums that are reference are not available at this time.

Brian Myers said...

LOL That was well said/wrote Steve.

One thing I will say is that being on AUGI does provide a minor level of fame. When I posted the heaviest on AUGI I used the "Dilbert" icon and for a time was known as "Dilbert" there. Well I still get people coming up to me and shaking my hand (most recently at a BIMforum) and asking "you're Dilbert, right?" :-)

Anyway, you are also correct about AUGI and how many people don't know it... I train in offices a lot too, my numbers would be very close to yours in total people that don't even know what it is.

Unknown said...

Hi Steve,

Further to Alans blog post & the recent NBS survey run in the UK, I was totally shocked about the lack of understanding of BIM and even Revit. I have seen the full report and it makes disappointing reading. But consider this, I often get asked what I do for a living? Have you ever tried to explain to somebody you are a Revit / BIM specialist? To be honest these days I just say I am involved in IT for an architectural firm, its by far the easiest response and their eyes are less likely to glaze over. But the reality is, just because we are in the inner circle we assume others know about this stuff, how wrong we are. Also, to respond to your comment about AUGI. you are also correct, many people do not know it exists. As I tweeted a few days back, at the moment emotions are running high about the whole AUGI situation, but as time goes on and hopefully things are resolved, it will seem like a storm in a tea cup. Its a fact of life, some people really need to get a life, its not like somebody has died or something? :-) Some of the rants on the forums are shocking!!! Finally, Mr Zoog is very much alive and kicking as I saw him last week and we shared emails at the beginning of this week. :-)

archshrk said...

Steve, sorry I misunderstood. I haven't followed any old links to see what the landing page is so I was assuming from your description that it was a typical 404 page. I realize now that you never actually suggested that.