[AUUG-Talk]: AUUG Membership Lapse

Joel Sing joel at ionix.com.au
Fri Sep 15 03:23:57 EST 2006

Hi All,

I've been meaning to sit down and put these details on "paper" for sometime - 
the sudden flurry of activity on AUUG Talk finally prompted me to get it 
done. So, to the key reason for my email - what does AUUG membership provide 
that meets or exceeds the $125 cost of membership?

At the end of last year I let my membership lapse, simply because there is no 
cost value justification as far as I'm concerned. In the grand scheme of 
things $125 is not a lot of money, but it isn't worth it for what I get in 
return. Sure there's a list of "benefits" for being a member:


However, few of them are of use or of interest to me. I believe I was the one 
who suggested (several years ago!) that CDs be mailed out with the AUUGN. 
Back then it was of great benefit as most of us were on dialup and grabbing a 
ISO of <insert OS here> was too much to withstand! Nowdays most people have 
access to broadband and grabbing an ISO (or several ISOs) is simple, cheap 
and fast. Sending out DVDs is now longer a large benefit as I see it.

Discounted registration to conferences is probably the only real reason to 
justify membership, except I rarely pay for the conference as I usually 
present a paper or run a tutorial (or both). This nullifies the benefit 

An entry in the AUUG directory would be nice, except advertising to the 
converted is of little value. More business comes via other means, so I can 
readily do without this. Email addresses and secondary DNS are simply a waste 
of time - I've got multiple DNS servers and more email addresses than I care 
to poke a stick at.

As for the right to use the AUUG logo on business cards, I could however how 
many of the people receiving them know what AUUG is? AUUG's visibility and 
identify is not strong enough for me to warrant the inclusion of the AUUG 
logo on my cards. Personal blog space - why use AUUG over www.blogger.com?

AUUGN is another tragedy - in my opinion, it alone was enough to justify the 
membership cost. As for AUUGN archives, it's not current and therefore it's 
not pertinent to my professional needs (interesting yes, useful no).

Compare this to membership with IEEE (or pick another organisation). IEEE 
membership costs $170AUD and the base membership alone provides a huge 
collection of benefits:


The IEEE Spectrum magazine is brilliant (insightful, current and thought 
provoking), not to mention that IEEE is world recognised and high profile.

So to conclude, I don't mean to be a wet blanket or nit pick AUUG - it's 
simply that I believe there are many areas that need to be changed and 
improved if AUUG is going to remain relevant and around for the years to 

1. Membership Fees - These need to be lowered (as I put to the treasurer at 
the last AGM) or the benefits needs to be increased to match/exceed the 
value. AUUG is far better off with 100 members paying $50 each, instead of 20 
members paying $125 each. Even with 50 members paying $50 each (ie. the same 
revenue), the chances of AUUG growing are better given additional membership 
base. (I won't mention the letter that I received from AUUG suggesting that I 
could email my creditcard details for renewal!!!)

2. Profile/Image - AUUG's profile needs to be raised and marketed if its to be 
identified as being *THE* Organisation for Unix, Linux and Open Source 
Professionals. Who (outside of the AUUG member base) knows what AUUG is? How 
does the greater community (particulary the IT community) identify with AUUG? 
Out of interest, what forms of marketing is undertaken, other than mailouts 
to members?

3. Student Members - AUUG needs to be targeting student membership and driving 
this hard. Students are the ones who become the next wave of industry 
professionals and if they can identify with AUUG prior to moving into the 
industry, AUUG is better off. However, once again there needs to be real 
tangible benefits for being a member, otherwise it won't happen. This is 
where I started a number of years ago and I remained a member until this 

4. Communication - Previously AUUGN used to be the medium used to communicate 
with members. Since AUUGN has gone, as far as I'm aware very little 
communication is had with members other than conference notifications and the 
like. AUUG needs to keep in regular contact with members, something like a 
monthly or bi-monthly "newsletter" would be ideal - at least then you're 
aware that AUUG is still somewhat active.

There's probably more, however I'll leave it at that for now. I hope that AUUG 
changes and manages to pick up a pace that sees it continue for many years to 


             => Joel Sing | joel at ionix.com.au | 0419 577 603 <=

  "I am very easy to get along with, but I don't have time to waste being 
   nice to people who are being stupid." - Theo De Raadt

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