[plug] PLUG News round-up (long)

James Bromberger james at rcpt.to
Mon May 16 16:43:33 WST 2011

On 16/05/2011 3:31 PM, home at oranges.id.au wrote:
> On 14 May 2011 14:25, Haydon Knight <nodyah at gmail.com> wrote:
>> You say that only 44/370 members have coughed up the $10 annual fee.  That's
>> 12%.  Have you considered an alternative way to doubling revenue would,
>> rather than doubling the annual fee, be to increase the number of members
>> coughing up to 88/370 (24% - still a very small percentage)?
> Agreed. I don't mind a $20 fee in the least, but charging more people
> a $10 fee is better (:
We have tried to balance this choice between head count growth and fee
increase for some time, but in retrospect, the lack of any increase for
close to 15 years made the $10 look even more ridiculous.  I've played
with the RBA Inflation calculator on their site, and $10 from around '93
would be $15.76 today. Think of the $20 as round of the inflation to the
nearest $10! ;) Working the other way, the $10 from today is only worth
about $6 back in 1993.

PLUG is desperate to double membership - indeed, since January we
(almost) have! Great news! We only had around 26 financial members just
before the AGM. 

Note that most IT/Tech organisations/bodies charge far, far more (by
orders of magnitude) per year. SAGE-Au: $110/year. ACS: $320.  So does
one get $20 worth of value out of PLUG? Do you read or contribute to
messages that help you in your job/study/hobby/enjoyment? Do you come to
meetings and hear interesting content?

We've also considered the reaction of some people NOT renewing
membership from this change; versus the difference PLUG will be able to
make with it. As I stated at the May meeting, our annual membership
incoming equates to around $30 per month. We've been investigating using
community halls if we had to - they are around $50/month for an evening
of 2+ hours for non-profit groups - not that we're planning on doing
this, but right now a plan like this is not a sustainable fall back
should we not find locations to host PLUG events for free.

PLUG's operational expenses as an incorporated organisation continue to
be small, but they are index/inflation linked and do increase over time.

>> Perhaps one way might be to have an easily-accessible 'donate' or 'pay dues'
>> page on the plug website that takes members to paypal or somewhere where
>> they can pay their money in an single-step/easy/internety way.  Right now it
>> is actually a multi-step non-automated hassle to pay the membership fee -
>> perhaps it is this hassle that is preventing greater numbers coughing up.
> I'm lazy. I don't happen to visit the PLUG website. I don't expect I
> will any time soon. I read my email regularly. If I receive an
> automated message every year saying "click her to pay your dues" or
> "here's the details to send money", I'll probably do it. I'm glad
> there's some action on tidying up the process.
We are (/Harry is/) looking at hacking Mailman to add a footer to
mailing list messages to advertise if the sender is a /current/ PLUG
member. It won't change/reject/requeue email messages, but it could add
some visbility. We're also looking at getting a quick-and-dirty way for
people to see their current status (and expiry date). We do have/did
have scripts that would email you automatically, but they broken, and
were in the process of being fixed up when "we" (I) ran into some
postgress issues (upgrade) last week - hope to have this functioning
again shortly. If anyone else here has experience with working with
Mailman internals, please contact me/Harry and offer some help!

> I've said a variant of this a few times over the years. I think I last
> paid my dues in 2007 or so, maybe 2005. I'm really not fussed, but if
> you want my cash, prompt me with info I can use (:

Indeed, I think we're agreed that the mailing list is the main point of
contact, so we're looking at what works with that! :)

I think the main point to express is: PLUG is trying to do more; PLUG
needs your support. PLUG will do what you want. Please get involved;
ideas,  time organise events, activities, projects, or as often,
contribute on the mailing list; this is our /local/ community, and the
committee, the active members who are helping run things, and I are
trying very hard to bring you interesting and "fun" Linux and Open
Source related events (fun by a techies interpretation, probably not my
wife's interpretation!).

Jason N (deputy treasurer) is also looking at PayPal - so far it looks
like 74 cents of a $20 transaction would be taken in Paypal's fees (but
that is likely to go up over time as everything does). So clearly a
direct deposit (or cash at a meeting) is still preferable, but we can
add additional ways to contribute. It may be some time until this is
available as their set up for Non-profit orgs can be cumbersome.

Thanks Greg, Haydon and everyone else for your feedback; keep it coming.


/Mobile:/ +61 422 166 708, /Email:/ james_AT_rcpt.to
PLUG President 2011: http//www.plug.org.au
Perth.pm Organiser 2011: http://perth.pm.org
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