What are we doing right as a Society and what are we doing wrong? Or, perhaps, it is better to ask: What could we do better or more of in order to serve our members to stimulate more participation and momentum?
We have more members submitting papers and articles than perhaps other print journals in the Sherlockian world, and that is an amazing thing in this world of “digital everything.” How do we take that positive fact and build upon it? How do we encourage articles and papers from young student Watsonians?
We have a core group of unbeatable Quiz Mavens who participate every week. And we have equal interest in the annual Treasure Hunt. But, are we creating quizzes that stimulate the imagination and further our interest in the Canon? How do we expand the participation to more members and non-members alike?
Our email communications met with disaster when our last member-wide email sent out caused half the members to accidently “unsubscribe.” In order to gain better control, we will need to use a better email service provider, but that is costly. If Buttons sent each member a personal email every other month, it would take about 150 hours a year to do so. An email every now and then that covers important information–sent to all members at one time–is needed. Not everyone looks at the website every day or two, but an email once a month might be welcomed. Thoughts?
And a last thought concerns membership. You will read more about this in the forthcoming issue of The Watsonian, but the fact is we need to recruit about 40% new members every year to remain at a size where we can afford to continue doing the things we are doing (journals, monographs, writing prizes, International Treasure Hunt, comprehensive website, postage, etc.). As always, the best ideas come from the members of any organization, so feel free to comment with your ideas and observations.
Thanks. Now, it is just time for a pie . . . a pint or two overage last evening.