If everyone can do something, it is no longer rare enough to pay for, even if it is vital.This relates to what Maggie McGary's been writing recently about getting paid for blogging, and the recent story of the HuffPo blogger/citizen journalist who quit because they wouldn't pay her (which Maggie also references/links). It also relates to previous conversations that have taken place in the association blogosphere on crowdsourcing and the concept of "free."
Chapter 3, pg. 79
Associations have long served as sources of authoritative information for our professions and industries, and as sources of connection among our members and other audiences. In fact, that's pretty much the "there" in our there. The Internet provides lots of information - for free - and while large amounts of it are, frankly, crap, there's enough good stuff out there that we can hardly claim to own that space any more. And social media makes it easy for people to connect. None of this is news.
And information and connection are, indeed, vital to our members, otherwise they would never have joined in the first place.
But if they can get that all for free, what do we bring to the party? "Tradition" is not an acceptable answer. Neither is "support us for the overall good of the industry/profession!"
Whadda ya got?