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A recent posting on TECHWR-L touted membership in the Boston-area
Freelance Editorial Association (FLEA).
This message is a contrary view from a *former* member.
I've highlighted the "former" part because -- at least based on my
experience -- this is NOT a worthwhile organization for techwriters
to join. Or for *writers* of any stripe.
Unless the membership has changed radically, this is a group
composed almost exclusively of indexers. I was one of the few writers
or editors in the group when I belonged a couple years ago and I
found almost no value in being part of a distinct minority.
I also declined to renew my FLEA membership because, frankly, the
yellow pages mentioned in this posting is a rip-off and even
Other organizations I've belonged to (specifically the excellent
Washington [DC] Independent Writers [WIW]) do not charge members for
a copy what is essentially a membership directory with paid ads from
members and sponsors. More importantly, unlike FLEA, WIW *gives* the
directory to companies that are likely to hire its members. In my
opinion, this Boston organization is actually hurting its members by
Not only that, but, at least while I was a member of the Freelance
Editorial Association, the major benefit of this organization was
free to all -- monthly get-togethers in several areas of
Massachusetts. These so-called "schmooze sessions" allow like-minded
freelancers to gather for a drink, a buy-your-own dinner and some
informal networking. Not only are (were) these free, they're open to
all, member or not. [And I have a major kvetch here: schmooze is a
verb, not a noun! Would a writer or editor let this one go by??]
At the very least, therefore, anyone interested in this organization
really needs to attend one of these informal sessions first. Then
they can decide whether there's any benefit to techwriters in forking
over dues to this organization.
DISCLAIMER: Despite the company e-mail address from which I
write this, this is solely my opinion. I'm only posting from here
because I am not subscribed from my personal e-mail address: mailto:rdanca -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com
Richard A. Danca User Interface Engineering mailto:richard -dot- danca -at- uie -dot- com 800 Turnpike St., Suite 101
978-975-4343 978-975-5353 (fax) North Andover, MA 01845 http://www.uie.com USA
Send me your postal address and I'll
send you a free copy of our newsletter, Eye For Design