Re: The STC and me
I think Karen's discussing an *optional*, online-pubs-only membership.
However, publications made up less than 17% of expenses in 2003, so going
paperless still wouldn't save that much.
I think that if it were an "optional" thing, it would be phrased something like this:
"One possibility under discussion is to allow members to receive STC publications online, rather than printed."
The way the original is written, I infer that what's being considered in an STC option, not a user option.
You speak of printing, Chuck (from PDF?), but a proper layout for online
viewing might be sufficient for the "e-members." On the other hand, there
might be additional personnel costs involved in creating a proper layout for
online viewing. PDF is cheaper.
Many people prefer materials in different ways, for their own reasons. I get a few newsletters electronically. Many, I prefer to get as plain text.
Magazines, I don't. For example, I tried Zinio. (I even tried to get hired there). But reading layout on a computer screen wasn't optimal for me, especially as magazine-style content I read in many places, in many ways, most of which aren't conducive to computers.
Of course, the ideals of separating content from presentation should mean that there might be startup costs involved, but once that's accomplished, there shoudl be no significant ongoing production costs to producing content suitable for viewing in different online environments.
Part of STC's reorg efforts are to bring the membership fees into
line with how the members *use* STC. One of the options, an online
distribution of the publications, will help decrease the tremendous
expense of mailing the periodicals, especially to members outside
North America. For folks who don't go to chapter meetings, for
whatever reason, a "non-participating" membership may be of value.
I would say that, for me, if STC resorted to distributing its main publications only online, its value would go down, way down. Even if I duplex printed, the size and weight of the result would be larger and heavier to take with me and read.
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