Info access for non-STC members? Yes.

Subject: Info access for non-STC members? Yes.
From: Leif Wennerberg <leif -at- KUDONET -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 13:20:07 -0800

A contribution to the discussion of how (much) to exclude non-STC members
from STC information:

I am currently looking at a career change, having been recently laid off
from scientific research. The info I get from STC, which started for me on
the web, has been helpful in my effort to convert to tech comm. Perhaps it
is needless to say that the STC members I have dealt with have also been
helpful. But at this point I cannot afford to join.

Why will I join when I can afford it?
1) Costs for meetings and seminars, which currently limit my
activities, would go down.
2) Professional affiliation seems to be universally acknowledged as an
indication of serious involvement in a field.
3) The organization wouldn't survive without financial support, and it
is worth supporting. The more widely the STC's entire range of
activities are known, the clearer the value of the organization

I understand the concern for diluting the value of membership through
making information universally available, but I think a policy that tends
towards a "pull up the ladder" mentality is harmful, in the long run, to
the vitality of any organization whose intent is to facilitate professional
development. Of course there should be some benefits to membership, but
the ones listed above seem adequate.

It might be useful to consider the web presence of ACM SIGDOC. While their
info might be of less directly practical use, so the issues aren't exactly
the same, they seem to be ahead of STC in terms of info on the web.

Leif Wennerberg
Santa Clara, CA

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