Musings From Outside the Doctor’s Consulting Room

Buttons has had time recently to sit upon his stool outside the good Doctor’s consulting room and just think a bit. A few things come to mind and perhaps members will feel free to comment:

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.

5 Replies to “Musings From Outside the Doctor’s Consulting Room”

  1. Hi Buttons:

    I read your thoughtful posting , and I will think hard to see if I can contribute something positive to the discussion. One thing I will do right away: get some advice!

    My son and his mate are both software engineers, working in different fields of education, creating software used by multiple users over many platforms. In short: they are walking know-just-about-everything-folks when it comes to providing information electronically. I will ask them about any ideas for a relatively inexpensive, and user friendly way to do perform the email tasks you mentioned.

  2. I was recently listening to I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere Episode 58; Thankful for Sherlock where charter members Scott Monty and Burt Wolder give a shout out to the JHWS and The Watsonian and mention interviewing some founding members would make for an interesting show. Perhaps you could could connect to Scott and Burt to make that happen.

  3. Along with the I hear of Sherlock Everywhere podcast, there is also the Baker Street Babes podcast, which also conducts interviews and discusses Sherlockian interests. It may be worthwhile for you to contact them about an interview so that you can discuss The Watsonian and JHWS quiz challenges. There’s a new generation of Sherlockians out there to befriend and speaking with them on one of their biggest platforms would be a great way to do that.

    Also… I do not know the nature of Journals and whether tradition states that they must be available only in print and for a limited time, but perhaps as time goes on JHWS could consider kindle, epub or pdf versions available for purchase & download of older issues of The Watsonian. That way valuable essays would be accessible to future Sherlockian studies and the revenue generated from the purchase of digital versions can go straight into the printing of future issues of The Watsonian without incurring additional cost.

  4. Hi!

    I’m not sure of the general makeup of the group, and whether any are on Facebook, but creating a “closed” group might be an easy, free way to allow for more interaction among the group. It would also give an opportunity to link to official announcements that would be on the website. For an online group like this, it really is a good way to get some interaction going.

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