Electronic Substitution in the New Economy

February 10, 2009
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Arlene Radasky, in a comment on my last blog post about why I don’t want a Kindle, wrote about the pitfalls of lugging books in a suitcase when listening on an iPod is lighter and easier. In particular, I call attention to two sentences where she alludes to self-publication:
I decided to self publish my book, […]


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Substituting the King

Arlene Radasky, in a comment on my last blog post about why I don’t want a Kindle, wrote about the pitfalls of lugging books in a suitcase when listening on an iPod is lighter and easier. In particular, I call attention to two sentences where she alludes to self-publication:

I decided to self publish my book, after giving it away, free in many forms online, because my husband wanted to ‘have on on our shelf’. So it sells for $20.99 on Amazon for the paperback and around $7 dollars for the Kindle download.

Whether or not you believe the world entered a recession, the fact remains that times are tough and money ain’t what it used to be. Why spend $21 for a tactile book when one-third of the price can be had for an electronic download? Who says money doesn’t talk?

But that’s a book, you say to yourself. How can electronic substitution help me? you ask.

I point you to the United States Chamber of Commerce…

If you are a small business wanting an advocate on Capitol Hill, why spend $500 and up for an annual membership for companies of two or more employees? In this economy, let alone in any economy where a business has computers and the internet at the ready, wouldn’t you spring for a $125 e-membership?

E-Membership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Many organizations differentiate between traditional and electronic membership rates, including the American Management Association and the National Science Teachers Association to the Delaware Art Museum.

If you belong to either a national or local association–or a museum–do you have the option of an electronic substituted rate?

I applaud a blurb in the local newspaper about the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry offering college students a $25 annual membership–which I think is great news and helps streamline college kids into the local economy–but I question why the association can’t emulate its national cousin by offering e-membership rates in addition to its current membership model of $325 and up.

With full disclosure that I am a member of the Newburyport Chamber’s Resident Advisory Committee, I wonder if the board thinks it is not cosmopolitan enough to oblige e-rates? Or is the technology not up to date in the form of internet opportunities to offer its members?

Clearly, the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce didn’t wake up one day and decide to offer e-rates, but they likely either reacted to numerous requests or out of awareness that the times were changing.  I wonder what the board of the Newburyport Chamber thinks. I wonder what all local Chambers think.

Photo credit: adobemac


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