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Membership Directory

Discussion in 'Member Feedback' started by johnh, Nov 8, 2010.

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    • Member

    johnh

    Post Count: 60
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    Some of us are wondering about this yellow post card from Harris Connect.
    This outfit is putting together a "membership directory?"
    I suppose they'll charge us, make money, and provide a bit of the proceeds to the club?

    Did members ask for this? Or did Harris solicit the business?

    Feels to me like we're being taken advantage of by a commercial interest.

    Perhaps I'm just an old cynic.

    wracerx guest

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    Directory dud

    I agree. Assuming the postcard relates to gathering information for the yearbook described in the November online newsletter, the postcard is premature. There should have been an article in Roundel describing the purpose and scope of the book, the cost and delivery date of the book, and the effort to have members donate content. I have less interest in this yearbook than I had in my high school yearbook. Which was about zero.

    Because we have no information, I will assume that the book will cost money. Why does the Club need the money? This is a non-profit car club, not a money-making business.

    Greg Johnson
    Tarheel chapter
    • Member

    floydarogers

    Post Count: 321
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    Privacy

    I'm worried about the privacy aspects. No-one should be sending me info, no-one should have access to what kind of car I have, etc.

    ForcedInduction guest

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    I tossed mine.
    • Member

    woodym3

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    I wonder if a member can opt out on having any of their information in the directory. The Friends of BMW is good because it is all voluntary and serves a good purpose. A membership directory? Right now, I don't think so.
    • Member
    • Staff

    executive director

    Post Count: 125
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    Memory/Picture Book

    All,

    Let me try to respond to everyone questions. You should have received an e mail from us regarding this project before you got the postcard mailing from Harris. Unfortunately, the mailing got dropped ahead of schedule.

    This project came about as an offshoot of the history that was put together during the 40th anniversary of the club. Many members requested an opportunity to be able to submit photos and personal accounts of their experiences in the Club and with their cars.

    With 70,000+ members it is impossible for us to accomplish that thru Roundel alone and we cannot absorb the cost of printing and distributing a special publication. Harris Connect is one of the oldest and most respected producers of alumni and association publications. I have personally worked with them on projects for other association that I have worked for. Their reputation, like ours, is their stock in trade. Your personal information is protected by contractual obligation and by their excellent track record.

    To clarify a point of confusion this is not a directory in the sense that your personal contact information will be published and made available. Other than the thoughts, memories and photo's that you wish to share the only other information printed would be your name, city and cars.

    The only way you will be included in this publication is if you elect to be included. Take it from the guy who is up at 1:00AM responding to you that I know how seriously you value your privacy, I value mine as well, and I would not put you at risk.

    Yes, there is a cost for this book, as I said above it is not something that the Club could absorb on its own. We did not feel it was right to ask those who might not be interested to share in that cost. If you want to purchase one you may. If you do not want to that is fine also, as there are no expectations for you to do so.

    Lastly, whenever you have questions and concerns please feel free to call or e mail me directly. I respond to everyone and always welcome the chance to speak with you and know what your feelings are about anything that we are doing or not doing. Just in case you don't have the number handy its 864-250-0022 and my e mail is frank_patek@bmwcca.org

    Frank
    • Member

    woodym3

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    Thanks for the reply Frank. Yeah, too bad your email hadn't gone out before the post card. It all makes more sense now. It seems to me something other than "2011 Membership Directory" would be more descriptive. By the way, I still haven't received any email about this publication.
    • Member

    NASADeac

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    Frank,

    Like Woodym3, I appreciate your response. It is unfortunate we were not notified in advance. Like many others, I assumed this was someone trying to sell me something so I tossed both of the postcards we received. I suspect the number of people willing to respond and purchase a copy of the directory might be greater if they could respond by mail. No one likes calling a toll-free number when they are relatively certain the person on the other end is going to be trying to sell something.
    • Member
    • Staff

    executive director

    Post Count: 125
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    Woody,

    The plan was that only a certain number of e mails and postcards would be sent at a time and they should have coincided with each other. Your e mail should arrive this week, but sadly that is now after you have already received your postcard.

    Frank

    wracerx guest

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    Try again?

    Frank,

    Part of the problem for me was that the postcard had the phone number. It seemed like a scam, and did not seem to be the ideal input source for photos. And calling it a Directory is a misnomer.

    Maybe you and Harris should regroup on this- put something online and in the next Roundel describing the intended product, its price, and delivery date. Stop the card mailing for now. Re-word the card to reflect what it is really for. Make a plea for material, and mention that we will receive postcards about it as well. Then judge response to see if this will break even, or have enough content to make it worthwhile. A CCA history book sounds interesting. A Directory, not.

    The price point should be discussed somewhere. Yearbooks are expensive. What will members pay for this? $20? $60? $100? I don't know, but there is certainly a limit. Of course, if you mention the cost of the book, and it is higher than most will be interested in, they might not send material. Hmmm.

    I hope the Club has not spent any money up front on this.

    Greg
    • Member
    • Staff

    executive director

    Post Count: 125
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    Greg,

    Your points are well taken and right on the mark. I have asked Harris to put a hold on things this morning while we do just what you suggest.

    I would say great minds think alike...but you might feel insulted. ;-)

    Frank

    wracerx guest

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    Frank,

    Glad you are listening. Hopefully you and Harris can get this interesting project back on track. It would be fun to have a way to look at old names and cars and people and places from the early club days, perhaps through to the present. But at least the early days. But it had better be large font for the old folks!

    Greg

    wracerx guest

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    Help the chapters on this

    Frank,

    As I am the Membership Chair for Tarheel, and therefore my name is on chapter member's cards as the person to go to for help, I just received a call from an irate member about the postcards. Same issues: privacy, selling CCA member info to a company that wants to sell us a book, very disappointed in club, unexpected partnership with a commercial company, etc.

    Please get something on the website, and in an email, to Membership to keep this from being more of an issue than it should be.

    Thanks,

    Greg
    • Member
    • Staff

    executive director

    Post Count: 125
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    It will go out today!
    • Member

    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Can I sign yer yearbook?

    Um. . . yes and no. It's like putting on an event, or publishing a magazine: We are not out to make a profit, but we're not going to be around for long if everything we do loses money, either. We've already raised the dues; a few profitable ventures would keep us from having to raise them again, I think.

    But most of the membership benefits I've seen the boss drag in are just that: benefits of membership. Roundel is one of those, of course (at least for most members), but I also try to take advantage of various discounts and such when I can. I'm kind of interested in the picture-book project because of my fear that we lose so much of our collective memory as the years pass; for years I've had an old picture of the Roundel staff that I got from Yale Rachlin, and the funny thing is, there's at least one guy in the picture that nobody seemed to know: not Chamberlain, not Roemer, not Rachlin himself.

    That's why we have Joseph Chamberlain writing a column: to keep us in touch with our roots. Otherwise, pretty soon nobody will know who Parker Spooner was, or Michel Potheau, or even Yale Rachlin. Some years ago I won the Charlie Sutey Award at Oktoberfest. . . but nobody could tell me who he was, or why his name was on the trophy for the longest distance driven to Oktoberfest.

    I'm maundering again. Must be the notion of yearbooks! A friend of mine had a rubber stamp made during his senior year in high school: In shaky handwriting, it said To a swell kid with a wonderful personality. When he was asked to sign a yearbook by one of the in crowd, THWACK! They got an intimate, personal response.

    wracerx guest

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    Yearbook curmudgeons unite!

    Satch- I get that the Club should come up with things that serve the interests of the members, and it usually costs and sometimes might even make money. And none of us want the dues raised. Perhaps the history/memory/yearbook project is one that will work. Hopefully it will overcome its shaky start. I also enjoy the ramblings of Bearded Joe, and the references to Club members of days gone by. I understand the issue- I have too many Army photos of old pals that I can no longer identify. That concept was impossible to envision at the time- everything was too real, too immediate, too important to be forgotten.

    Seems like the problem is that members were blindsided by the postcard, which mis-represented the whole concept of the book and who was behind it. Prepping the audience might have helped, but that is water under the bridge. Some of us (me) have such bad memories of yearbooks that the association of that word with the Club ruined the idea. Hopefully the forthcoming email will clear things up, and get people excited about contributing to something that will capture faces, names, cars, and places that we thought we could never forget. And not include our high school photo with the name spelled incorrectly.
    • Member

    BMRDRVR

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    I have to be one of the few who is wondering what the big dust-up is all about. We've had a large, prominent notice about "The Harris Project" (sounds ominous, eh?) on the CCA home page for quite some time now. I've been waiting for my postcard and didn't shudder a bit when it arrived this week. I guess if you don't visit the website you would have been taken by surprise.
    • Member

    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Paranoia is the only logical reaction

    For me, it was those damned black helicopters hovering overhead as I pulled the ominous postcard from my mailbox. . . . :eek:

    :eek:

    :eek:
    • Member

    az3579

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    Those 'choppers weren't made by the company I work at, were they? :D
    • Member

    Zeichen311

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    Perhaps not but I bet they belong to The Company.... ;)
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