22 August 2008

ASAE AM Conversation 2: Starts with "S," Rhymes with "Urvey"

No offense to BMart, but I found the Membership Section Council meeting largely a waste of a day that I could've been out enjoying the gorgeous San Diego weather. It was an awful lot of talk with very little talk of what are we actually going to DO?

And the thing is, it's not a factor of Ben, DJ, or the MSC crowd. I think it's a factor of the entire standing committee system. ASAE has started asking for ad hoc volunteers. Most committees have not done a particularly good job of using them, us included. And that's a real shame. Because standing committees mostly deal in inertia. I can't say for certain whether ad hoc volunteers will do any better. But at least they won't deal with: "Well, we're here whether we need to be or not. Now what?"

Also to my MSC cohorts: surveys are lovely, but perhaps we shouldn't propose a "major membership survey" unless we have questions that actually merit a "major membership survey." It smacks of a solution in need of a problem. And it has application to my continuing theme of social media technologies. If I had a dollar for every time I heard an organization talking about starting a blog (or a wiki, or a socnet, or twittering, etc.) because they thought they should - not because they had something vital to say - I would've been able to stay in lovely San Diego and send for the spouse & cats to join me. Start with the what, start with the content, start with the message, start with what you need to say, start with the data you need to gather. Then figure out how you're going to get there.

On the up side, the Association Social Technologies survey executive summary is out. The full version will be out in October. Check it out.

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