Saturday, October 27, 2007

E-Publishing and Associations that won't

Tried to hunt down electronic version of a brochure for a member this week. There wasn't one. Reason: Print brochures income source - if send electronic version won't buy print version. That's true - member didn't want print version - her client's in Asia and looking for info now. Result: Member has no ability to send PDF file to clients who need it. Some associations won't make electronic versions of their legal forms available because don't want to lose income from print versions.

Good e-publishing examples:
1. Just give file/link to document free. If the point of developing a brochure is to improve public info then how about making it easier.
2. Create e-synopsis to promote paid brand. Hotel in Europe gave us free daily synopsis/digest of NY Times (photocopied news that had clearly been emailed in a template on four pages -- a mini print newsletter from electronic version). Really liked the NY Times for doing that.
3. Allow purchasing limited electronic rights to a document to further distribute in limited manner. Like electronic forms as part of dues.
4. Provide paid subscriptions to get electronic version, such as Daily Racing Form with daily horse race information. Earlier this week spoke at facility with self-contained Daily Racing Form print terminal, so user could select race track, pay nominal fee, and get customized news created/printed.

Bad e-publishing example:
Not allowing any electronic version because want to force purchase of printed brochure or form.

Don't know how associations decide their print material profit outweighs serving members and their customers/clients working in a clearly wired world.

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