This Friday (28 February) marks the end of the road for RIBANet, when the self-help, closed-door internet forum for members is officially shut down
According to the RIBA, numbers had dwindled to less than 0.1 per cent of the RIBA’s membership. The institute also claimed that it was costing £500 per head to keep the service going for its 30 regular users.
The move has been criticised by RIBANet’s fans, who have branded the closure ‘a needlessly hasty piece of IT vandalism’.
However, RIBANet user William Sutherland of Lake District-based WS Architecture has already stepped in to fill the void. Bemused by the institute’s decision and as a demonstration of what was possible without huge financial support, the architect, ‘threw together a free forum in about four minutes’.
In less than three weeks the private, architect-only forum – at http://architecture.boardhost.com – already has 62 registered users.
Sutherland seemed laid-back about its future, adding: ‘We’ll continue to tweak how it works in whichever way the community would like.
‘There is no drive for members particularly. If architects like it and find it useful they will join, if not, they will go elsewhere.’