Rumor has it that the price of belonging to the Society for Technical Communication is going up next year. This bothers me because their services have decreased recently, yet the organization is nearly broke. While I sympathize with their plight and worry about the increase, I still have to ask whether $175/year is so much to pay.
Admittedly, this price is a lot to swallow all at once and a few folks have suggested that they let us pay dues monthly, but it's not nearly as bad as some think.
As a quick reminder of the benefits, here's a little list:
- Networking
- Monthly meetings
- Special Interest Groups
- Job bank
- Retail discounts
- Summit discount
- Webinar discounts
- Continuing education
- Leadership opportunities
- Mentors
- Practice & experience
- Publications
- Insurance
- Prestige
- Recognition
- Competitions
- Awards
I'm sure I left out a few things and not all of these will be useful to all members. But the point is made, so I'll move along.
Now, what else can you get for $175?
- 2 stroke 49cc engine/motor
- hamburger
- pewter pitcher
- bread machine
- 14 issues of Baseline
- sapphire & diamond ring
- Primacy HP, Michelin's Grand Touring Summer tire
- men's sterling silver engravable dog tag necklace
- under eye lightening treatement
- Dutch Windsor office chair
Of course if you are the government, $175 will get a a handful of office supplies. But my point here is that for this amount you could be getting something far less useful or valuable.
What's more, to put this into perspective, the cost of an STC membership is $14.58 per month, $3.37 per week, or $0.48 cents a day.
Others may disagree, but I'd consider it a good investment.

 


Comments

Sean
07/14/2009 06:28

Okay, I'll bite.

- Networking

LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Adobeforums, etc.

- Monthly meetings

Just do it. No need to wrap STC around it. This doesn't apply to SIGs, I guess.

- Special Interest Groups

No monthly meeting though. Plenty of specific online forums for free.

- Job bank

Is it that good? Checkout the job offerings....

- Retail discounts

Where? I've really never looked into or used these. Perhaps on tires? <grin>

- Summit discount

If you go to the conference. It's expensive.

- Webinar discounts

Online training for what? Not a bad thing, but tutorials can be found online.

- Continuing education

Same as Webinar or monthly meetings, perhaps a duplication? Anyway, continuing education in what regards? For a master's degree? Tool-specific?

- Leadership opportunities

You can volunteer to do more work and be treated shabbily by STC staff ... just sayin' ....

- Mentors

Happens at work anyway.

- Practice & experience

Happens at work anyway.

- Publications

Not a big fan. Intercom is okay, but I don't read it all. The other one is ... academic.

- Insurance

Not sure about this. Am full-time-employed and don't see a benefit here, in car, home, or medical ....

- Prestige

Not sure there is any. Is there? My coworkers and employer really don't care... they judge me on what I do not my STC membership.

- Recognition

For what and by whom? My employer judges me on what I do not my STC membership.

- Competitions

Sore spot with me. Have judged, it's a lot of work. Got unfairly dinged about an entry I made by a judge who clearly did not understand our trade.

- Awards

For what from whom? Is this a duplicate of Competitions or something else?

I do agree that in the big scheme of things, $175 or $200 is very, very little.

Cheers,

Sean

Reply
07/14/2009 06:51

you'd have a much stronger argument if you compared with membership in ACMSIGDOC or IEEE or ASTD. Also, some of the "benefits" are available outside of the STC, or not available at all to most members (Insurance, for example).

For $175 and more, I expect something concrete.

Reply
Sean Brierley
07/17/2009 10:22

I have to ask, is belonging to such a secretive group as the STC worthwhile?

For example, they pulled down the STCforums because--according to STC board minutes--it was taking too much staff time. Staff didn't post to the forums. Indeed, it seems too many questions about the STC were being posted and staff time was being wasted answering those questions. So shutting down communication was the result.

Take a look at the thread on the retirement of the forums. While all other threads are still linked and you are able to read them, the thread that discusses the demise of the forums has been unlinked so you cannot read what was posted.

See http://stcforum.org/index.php.

This society should pride itself on communication, transparency, and work for the good of its members, and not diminish or extinguish conversation and draw the curtains on transparency.

Just a (hopefully) provocative thought.

Sean

Reply
Sean
07/17/2009 12:32

And now the thread is live and I can get there -- I am pretty sure the problem was between my keyboard and the chair, though.

Still, thoughts on communication, transparency, and who works for whom?

Cheers,

Sean

Reply

Your comment will be posted after it is approved.


Leave a Reply