[Talk] AUUG'S Declining Membership

david.newall at auug.org.au david.newall at auug.org.au
Sat Jul 27 02:35:39 EST 2002


I intended to not participate further in this discussion, however since it
appears that I have caused offence I'll take the opportunity to respond.

Greg 'groggy' Lehey <Greg.Lehey at auug.org.au> wrote:
> I can't see that this work fits in a normal definition of "secretary".

I didn't mean secretary as typist, but as executive assistant.  The work
that you described is the sort of work that a private secretary to
an executive, or indeed to a board, might do.  The title, "business
manager," doesn't necessarily put people in mind of the sorts of things
the role entails.  The position works to the direction of the executive,
and has little discretionary power.  On reflection I wish I had said
"fancy shmancy term for executive assistant."

> I also don't see what relevance this statement has here.

The relevance is to prompt discussion on the role, and whether we can
afford it.  I had to start somewhere.  I am sincerely sorry if I have
caused offense through my clumsy language.

>> Better yet, put AUUGN on the web (make it be our web)
> Well, no, we have plenty of other things to put on the web, as you as
> webmaster must know.

I disagree.  AUUGN is our newsletter.  Anything worthy of being on our
web should be in AUUGN; and by extension, the printed copy and the web
should be equivalent.

> If you mean "put AUUGN up on the web in addition to the printed form",
> we're doing that already.

Apparently we have February and April, 1995; and March and June 2001,
therefore I disagree, again.  However, yes, I did mean in addition to,
with the added possibility as an elected alternative to, the printed form.

> When reviewing this message, I told you (from the minutes of the
> Novmber 2001 board meeting) that each meeting costs between $3,000 and
> $3,500, which is rather less than you made of it.

I don't think $15,000 is rather less than $12,000 - $14,000.  I think
it's a reasonable round value for the discussion.  Certainly it's much
more accurate than the other round value, namely $10,000.  Which ever
way you figure it, it's a big chunk of our annual subscriptions.

>> Presumably most of this is travel expenses.
> All of it.  Board members end up out of pocket on each occasion.
> Again, you should know this.

No it's not.  Last time I attended there was an entirely reasonable
lunch provided.  A trivial amount, but therefore travel is less than
all of it.  I don't know what other costs there are, but I do recall
the odd long distance telephone call at previous meetings.  Mind you,
"all of it" does rather suit my argument better than the true figure! :-)

> Note that this issue is not really relevant to declining membership.

We've just had a discussion on LUGs, to which I did make passing
reference.  People are not joining AUUG, and in some cases are not
renewing, because they perceive us as bad value.  They say that LUGs
are free.  I think we could almost (but not quite) do everything that
we already do, sans printed AUUGN, for no membership fee, without
significantly changing our financial position.  Everything I said is
relevant to declining membership.



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