Has anyone else grown weary of the discussions on ASAE's four bazillion listserves? After about ten consecutive years as a subscriber to one or more of ASAE's listserves, to say the content has gotten tired and predictable would be an epic understatement. You know the drill on these lists:
- "Can anyone recommend a good restaurant for a board retreat in Omaha?"
- "Help, I need a new membership card vendor!"
- "Any strategic planning consultants you'd suggest?"
- "What's the average retention rate for the association industry?"
- "I have this sticky staffing situation..."
- "[profound social media topic du jour]"
- "[I'm a vendor replying to your message with a painfully obvious attempt to sell you and everyone else listening. And softly of course.]"
- ...and everyone's favorite: "A Friday question..." :-)
Therefore, a few weeks ago I tried to hack my ASAE listserve subscriptions into something less, shall we say, tedious. It was a good effort, but as is often the case, it turns out my hack was a complete and utter fail. Along the way, though, a strange thing happened. I barely noticed they were gone. I hardly miss those lists!
Always endeavoring to be a constructive critic, here are some of my ideas to improve the listserve experience:
- Upgrade the software. Lyris for DOS, while lightweight, is NOT feature rich. Upgrade the software. All kidding aside, the software must be a good five years old. Upgrade the software.
- Split the big lists into smaller groups. Not sure what that ideal number should be, but there's a reason that the early internet chat rooms filled up and spilled over into other rooms.
- Find a way to kill the out of office replies before they reach my digest. Probably achievable with an upgrade.
- Offer an RSS feed for each list. A secure one, if it must be so to protect the value of membership.
- Enforce the listserve rules. In particular...
- Banish from the list anyone who replies to the digest and leaves the full contents of the digest in the body of the reply for a week or maybe a month.
Tagged: Association Management; Associations; CAE; Certified Association Executive