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

Michael Paddon michael at paddon.org
Tue Dec 7 10:51:32 EST 2004

David Newall writes:
> 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?

I think that it would be a rare case to not renew due to AUUGN going soft copy
(although there may be a "straw that breaks the camel's back" effect).

However, the real issue is the total perceived benefit versus the cost and 
effort required to maintain membership. Not receiving a hard copy journal 
will almost certainly devalue the perceived benefit unless something 
replaces it. And a soft copy of the same old AUUGN doesn't cut the mustard.

In fact, I am a proponent of ditching the old AUUGN. We should have done it 
years ago. Clever use of the net can help us rekindle our community. Why 
have articles published once a month...? Why not every week? Every day? Make it easy 
for members to publish short and long items. Make it easy for members to 
read and comment and interact. Readers of /. know the sort of thing, but 
I'm *not* suggesting a clone... rather something tuned to AUUG's zeitgeist.

More brainstorming: wouldn't it be cool if there were a place to post 
geek questions, and where it was easy for any member to answer. And other 
memebers to criticise the answer :-) Email lists used to be the answwer. 
They aren't any more. Something wiki like is less ephemeral and uses the 
technology better.

Losing hard copy AUUGN is a great opportunity and a fraught risk. It 
encourages us to make the leap... to retune how we interact as an 
association and potentially build great information assets that will 
attract new members. It also forces us to face the cold fact: it's time to 
change or to die.

So kudos to the AUUG Board for having the cajones to make the change. 
Please follow through.


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