[AUUG-Talk]: AUUG Membership Lapse
joel at ionix.com.au
Fri Sep 15 03:23:57 EST 2006
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
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
More information about the Talk