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A happy medium

My first reaction on being passed a new book about the use of the internet in construction was 'A book - how quaint - shouldn't it be online?' But having taken a closer look, the author appears to have made the right decision.

Conversely, I have been exploring an adjudication website this week that puts across the data in a far better way than I could imagine on paper.

It's all about choosing the right medium.

Sometimes you can't find the information you need on the web; sometimes one or other medium is simply more comfortable to use.

Communication and design with the internet - a guide for architects, planners and building professionals by Jonathan Cohen - starts from first principles - getting connected. Common sense dictates that it would be a waste of time putting that kind of advice on the web - if you could access it, you wouldn't need it.

A quick skim through the pages reveals interesting and wide ranging coverage, with discussion of everything from use of the technical data available online to how to expand your practice by using the internet. It also helps with what technology to use for your site.

Tackling a different subject in a different format is www. adjudication. co. uk which promotes use of adjudication to resolve disputes. Again, it's the right medium for the job. There are answers to common queries, information on latest rulings, legislation and so on. It is clearly put together by people who know what they are talking about. In its own way, it is also quick to skim to find the right information, clearly set out. Information is presented in the kind of detail I like to read online - not too much to start with, but with click throughs to full texts where appropriate.

Here at NCE we'll be making our own set of choices about the right format for the right piece of information this week.

The Comprehensive Spending Review and 10 year Transport Plan are due out any moment, and magazine and web teams are working together to harness both media so that you can follow the story right from the start. Breaking news will of course be put up immedidately on the website, with the analysis, reaction and summaries that you would expect appearing later, in the magazine.

But it is not only news that we are interested in. NCE clearly wouldn't have the space to reprint background information that might be relevant. This is no problem for the website. Once the review is out, I for one will be keen to re-read submissions from organisations like the ICE, to see whose views won through.

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