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Topic: Local IBM Ring Newsletters
Message: Posted by: Andre Hagen (Oct 28, 2007 03:14PM)
For 10 years I composed, printed and mailed Newsletters for the local IBM Ring. After I decided it was time to pass this on, an abbreviated newsletter went out for a time.

Now it appears the Ring has decided not to send a Newsletter, but to use a web page for information. (I'm not sure all members are even able to access the internet.)

My friend, Tony Dunn (Art Editor of the Linking Ring) agrees with me that membership and attendance suffer without a printed and mailed newsletter.

Also, local dues are supposed to be used (at least in our Ring) to cover the cost of printing and stamps.

I would be interested in the thoughts, pro and con, of other members of the IBM. Do you think a printed newsletter is important?

Thanks in advance for your comments and opinions!

Message: Posted by: mrunge (Oct 28, 2007 03:24PM)
A few years ago, I used to print and mail one for our club. Now I just email it out. Everyone today seems to have, or have access to, an email account and it has worked well for us. Plus the digital version is easier to store and retrieve later if needed.

Mark. :online:
Message: Posted by: Andre Hagen (Oct 28, 2007 03:40PM)

No complaints from the membership?

Message: Posted by: drwilson (Oct 28, 2007 05:44PM)
I am the Secretary of I.B.M. Ring 362 in Bangor, Maine. I compose, print and mail our newsletter every month. We have a very comprehensive website, and we send out a lot of email to our members, but we have a few members who either don't have email or who don't pay much attention to it because they get too much spam. I have heard that spouses and friends look at out newsletter as it comes out.

Our newsletter has unique content that is not on our website. I think that email, the website, and the newsletter serve different purposes.


Message: Posted by: Andre Hagen (Oct 28, 2007 06:23PM)

Our newsletter has unique content that is not on our website. I think that email, the website, and the newsletter serve different purposes.


I am in total agreement. Any other comments?
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Oct 28, 2007 07:05PM)
Nope...no complaints from anyone at all.

Message: Posted by: Woofledust (Oct 28, 2007 07:45PM)
I compose a newsletter using MS Word and print copies for those who do not have a computer or who prefer a paper version. I then convert it to an Adobe file (.pdf) for attachment to an email.

I let the membership decide which they prefer. Over the last couple of years it has been running about 50% paper and 50% email. Everyone's happy and we still save some mailing costs.

Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Oct 28, 2007 08:48PM)
Our Ring #199 sends out an email newsletter each month with the information duplicated on the website "News" page. No complaints that I've heard. With postage as high as it is this is the best use of Ring funds, in my opinion. I'm sure that if a member requested a "hard copy" via the mail due to not having an email account, though, it would be available.
Message: Posted by: Steve Hart (Oct 28, 2007 11:48PM)
A Ring Newsletter is very important in keep all of its members informed.

Having both an on-line and a printed version is wise.

If your Ring is concerned about cutting cost back then posting your Newsletter within your Website and then mailing out copies to those members who do not have access to the Internet is the perfect option.

Meanwhile it is not fair to those who do not have Internet access and leave them with out a resource.

I know of Rings that do not have a Newsletter and they suffer because of it.

I think is it is smart to find someone within your Ring who can take pride and producing such a value service. I have seen some Ring Newsletters that very impressive.

Steve Hart
Member of the I.B.M. President's Advisory Committee
Message: Posted by: Andre Hagen (Oct 29, 2007 08:29AM)
So far it appears that a combination of email and printed (mailed) versions is the viable option. I appreciate your input. I will put this to the membership at the next meeting.

Thanks to all.

Message: Posted by: Dredz (Oct 29, 2007 11:25AM)
Ring 334 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina sends out Newsletter to all of our members.

We also post it on the web [url=http://www.ring334.com/forums/index.php]Ring 334.com[/url]

I am the web master and I find there are more people reading the copy they got in the mail more than the ones posted on the Ring web site.
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Oct 29, 2007 11:33AM)
I recently took over the chores for S.A.M. Assembly 9. I send a paper newsletter out to every member, but have asked that folks who prefer the newsletter via email let me know so that I can save a bit of money. So far I've received only a few messages from folks asking for email versions. I think that many folks prefer to read these things on paper rather than online.
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Oct 29, 2007 09:34PM)
We have a few members with a lot of bandwidth who get our newsletter as a PDF sent via email. It is way too large for anyone using dialup access. We can't post it on our website for the same reason.

If you are wondering what it looks like, and have a lot of bandwidth, ask me for a copy of a recent issue via email.


Message: Posted by: Michael Taggert (Oct 30, 2007 06:33PM)
Ring 50 went from a total printed news letter to just a few printed letters with the rest of the folks getting theirs electronicaly. in order to entice people to come over to the electronic side, we add several bonuses that are not a part of our paper news letter. we also have the printed copy available at meetings. we have a large membership and the postage was getting out of hand. we now spend a small amount and it works. I also recieve e news letters from several other rings and assemblies in the area that helpskeep us all abreast of what is going on in our area.
This is important to keeping our membership vibrant and aactive.
Message: Posted by: Andre Hagen (Nov 1, 2007 04:44PM)
On 2007-10-30 19:33, Michael Taggert wrote:
In order to entice people to come over to the electronic side, we add several bonuses that are not a part of our paper news letter.

I can't imagine that this would sit well with members who are not on the web. I don't think having a computer should be a requirement for (full) membership in the local ring.

Message: Posted by: Gordyboy (Nov 1, 2007 05:34PM)
Ring92 (Vancouver, BC, Canada) posts the newsletter on the website, emails it to everyone who has signed up for email distribution, and mails a paper copy to anyone who has not signed up for email distribution. The paper copy that's mailed out is black and white, the copy that's emailed and posted on the website is color so that members can either view it on their computer in color or print it in color if they have a color printer.

This appears to be working well for us.
Message: Posted by: Colonel Clark (Nov 2, 2007 11:29AM)
Ring 55 in Phoenix also sends out our monthly "The LOTA" to the majority of our members via email in pdf format. Those members that opt for a black & white mailed copy are charged and extra $12 per year to cover printing and postage costs. Life members receive the printed copy free. The newsletter is also posted on our website at http://www.Ring55.org, and is archived for at least a year.
Message: Posted by: Michael Taggert (Nov 2, 2007 03:23PM)
Frankly many people now are reading the online newsletter versions at most of the clubs I know. The population around here is very tech savy so we have members who get the newsletter on their handhelds and other electronic devices. we get news bulletins out the same way. this keeps every one up to date and of we need a quick response we generally get it with a few key strokes.
even though I may be a traditionalist at heart, getting the news electronically is the way to go. we do make accomodations for those that do not want to get the news Via the internet but in our case there is only a few in the ring that get a printed copy.
Message: Posted by: Mike Gorman (Nov 20, 2007 11:15PM)
Raleigh NC Ring 199 has two emails each month and also posts all information on it's website (www.magician.org/member/raleigh). Those communications have helped our club grow substantially over the past few years. Constant, updated communication is essential, and the internet fits the bill.

Only one or two of our members don't have a computer, but can access one at the library or work or school. You may also have an email address and look up your mail at those locations. The flexiblilty of putting photos and keeping news fresh during the month adds to the interest, and also brings in new members who have seen our website!

The money we save by not printing any notices, we spend on lectures and events for the club.

Mike Gorman
Message: Posted by: Larry Bean (Nov 28, 2007 09:12PM)
IBM Ring 75 uses both printed and e-mail newsletters. The truth is that some of our members don't check their e-mail that often (some only once a month if that often -some don't have e-mail) and the snail mail (paper) version forces them to at least see it. Some like the paper version better anyway. We do give our membership a choice - if they want only the e-mail version we do save the postage for them.
Message: Posted by: JohntheMagician (Dec 17, 2007 10:13AM)
Being the WebMaster for my local Ring / Assembly I have to say that email is a much easier and cheaper way to go. I send out weekly reminders of whats happening as opposed to one written newsletter at the beginning of each month that can get lost. I can update information on the fly, and get a pretty good turn out to events. Even our oldest member, whos IBM Card is done on a stone tablet, Just kidding Jim, has access to eamil. Everyone else has embraced it and are happy that they get up to date information several times a month.

I'll always prefer electronic format, saves money, saves time and saves trees:)