[ASC-list] Where's ASC headed? Was science or persuasion

Regan Forrest regan at reganforrest.com
Fri Nov 15 00:03:35 UTC 2013


<<Part of the reason discussions may move off list is its settings.
Unless you hit "reply all", it just goes to the person you're responding
to. I'm re-sending this as it originally went as just a reply to Jess>>

I'll weigh in as a lurker. Besides being Scope editor for a period in
2007-2008, I've been a less-than-active ASC member. (It's tangential to
where my career has headed but I keep my membership to keep my hand in.)

However, given my experience in other membership bodies, Jess hits the
nail on the head in my opinion: things consistently run out of steam
because of lack of (voluntary) resources. 

We perennially suffer from a
lack of critical mass in Australia - comparable organisations charging
comparable fees in bigger ponds such as the US and UK can afford to have
more paid staff because of economies of scale. Given the size of the
membership base in Australia, organisations such as ASC would probably
need to charge something closer to 10x the current amount to make much
of a difference to staffing resources. 

Volunteers also come and go. In
my experience, you can get an energetic core of people together and
things can go well for maybe 2-3 years, but then the group burns out.
Again because of a small membership base, there's not always the people
willing and able to step into replace them. 

I don't know what the
solution is, and some people are arguing the whole membership model is
broken anyway http://www.smsonline.net.au/pages/membership-is-dead.html

My point is, we need to be realistic about the context we are
working in, and the tyrannies of scale and distance we work under here
in Australia. 


Regan Forrest 

regan at reganforrest.com

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