[AUUG-Talk]: Printed AUUGN: Value or not?

David Newall david.newall at auug.org.au
Mon Dec 6 15:31:50 EST 2004

I recently explained to some colleagues that AUUGN will no longer be
printed in hard copy because, "it's a budget issue; AUUGN costs too much
for what it represents, and there are better ways for members to obtain
that value."   Their responses surprised me.  One said:

          "I think you're missing the difference between actual value
        and perceived value.  People like to get things like AUUGN, even
        if they can get the equivalent online, as it represents
        something tangible for their membership.  Without it, there's a
        risk that people would perceive their membership as not much
        more than a license to have a warm fuzzy."

Another said:

          "Personally? I like it. I realise that the majority of
        articles are lifted (with permission) from elsewhere, but it was
        good for helping me to keep up-to-date with the world of AUUG. I
        often miss meetings due to other commitments. It also had a few
        cool technical articles.
          "I'm no longer an individual member of AUUG - Martin offered
        to organise my membership and I can't afford to maintain my
        membership given that AUUGN was the only benefit that I see. I'm
        not often able to attend the AUUG conferences ... and rarely
        make it to meetings (which I gather are just social gatherings
        these days). This may be a similar situation to the AUUGN
        advocates I mentioned in my last mail."

I have argued for AUUGN to go 'soft' for a couple of years, as regular
readers of this list will recall, so of course I agree with the
decision; yet these comments worry me.  I would hate us to lose members
and our identity over what is, after all, a rather small amount in AUUG

I have a question: Would any of you, or do you know of anybody, who
would fail to renew membership because AUUGN was no longer printed?

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