There Won’t Be a 2011 NSS Members Manual and Here’s Why

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There Won’t Be a 2011 NSS Members Manual and Here’s Why

Postby merecaver » May 8, 2011 8:34 pm

The NSS Executive Committee decided at its recent meeting (late February in San Diego) to go back to the former publish-before-Convention schedule and not to publish a Members Manual at all in 2011. This should save close to $20,000. This decision should not cause too much grief on the part of the members because the 2010 Members Manual was published in late October 2010 and the 2012 issue will come out in the first half of 2012.

I am aiming for publication in April or May 2012. This means there will be a gap of 18 months between Members Manuals. This is not too bad when you consider that we’ll be saving nearly $20,000 this year. I approved this decision and am glad to have had a part in it and the monetary savings.

—Meredith Hall Weberg
NSS Members Manual Editor
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Re: There Won’t Be a 2011 NSS Members Manual and Here’s Why

Postby batrotter » May 8, 2011 8:43 pm

I say do away with publishing a Members Manual, totally. Convert it all to online(internet) and save the money from here on out.
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Re: There Won’t Be a 2011 NSS Members Manual and Here’s Why

Postby trogman » May 9, 2011 6:37 am

batrotter wrote:I say do away with publishing a Members Manual, totally. Convert it all to online(internet) and save the money from here on out.


I like to keep a paper copy of the Members Manual in my vehicles so that if I need to locate an NSS member while out on the road, I have all the contact info right there handy. While there are a lot of things that could be converted to strictly digital form, I don't know if this should be one of them. I guess I could print one out if I needed it, though...

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Re: There Won’t Be a 2011 NSS Members Manual and Here’s Why

Postby Phil Winkler » May 9, 2011 7:32 am

I think putting it online would be a definite security problem. I'd bet it would get hijacked in a few days. Names, addresses, phone#, email addresses. A spammer would love to have such a targeted list.
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Re: There Won’t Be a 2011 NSS Members Manual and Here’s Why

Postby LukeM » May 9, 2011 7:38 am

You can always print what you have available electronically.
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Re: There Won’t Be a 2011 NSS Members Manual and Here’s Why

Postby Wm Shrewsbury » May 9, 2011 8:26 am

From the BOG manual:

84-817 Electronic Publishing of the Members Manual 4-4-09:18
The Members Manual shall not be published electronically.

This was done to protect our membership database from being used by mass marketers and spammers.
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Re: There Won’t Be a 2011 NSS Members Manual and Here’s Why

Postby MUD » May 9, 2011 9:06 am

:clap: Thank you William! I really like that you actually communicate with the membership. I believe with you steering and some new blood/thinking on the BOG pulling those oars, the NSS ship just may get back on course and keep from sinking! :big grin:

I really hope so as it would be nice to be a proud member once again. :waving:
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Re: There Won’t Be a 2011 NSS Members Manual and Here’s Why

Postby tncaver » May 9, 2011 10:06 am

Cavemud wrote::clap: Thank you William! I really like that you actually communicate with the membership. I believe with you steering and some new blood/thinking on the BOG pulling those oars, the NSS ship just may get back on course and keep from sinking! :big grin:

I really hope so as it would be nice to be a proud member once again. :waving:


Ditto. If the US Government and big business can't protect their secrets and data, then why would the NSS think they could do so?
I prefer to stick with a paper member's manual for that reason. Although I no longer have an official vote.

BTW, having a paper copy of the members manual can be very useful when traveling to other states or caving areas. Not only for finding
someone to cave with, but also in the case of a vehicle breakdown. A fellow caver could come to your rescue if you have the manual in your
car with their phone numbers.
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Re: There Won’t Be a 2011 NSS Members Manual and Here’s Why

Postby Crockett » May 9, 2011 12:26 pm

Wm Shrewsbury wrote:From the BOG manual:

84-817 Electronic Publishing of the Members Manual 4-4-09:18
The Members Manual shall not be published electronically.

This was done to protect our membership database from being used by mass marketers and spammers.
:cavechat:
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Wasn't that adopted AFTER somebody scanned the entire membership manual one afternoon and spammed the whole membership with the offer of, the horror, speleology classes?

Seems like an unnecessary, ineffective and costly "protection" to me, but those manuals sure are nice and handy.
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Re: There Won’t Be a 2011 NSS Members Manual and Here’s Why

Postby Wm Shrewsbury » May 9, 2011 1:37 pm

Actually, scanning would still need to be parsed into data and that not only takes time but more effort than most would undertake. It could still be done, of course, but most spammers don't want to spend any time when there's so much easily available elsewhere.

The incident you are remembering was typed in by students for a staff member (who was an NSS member) as part of a program offering by Western Kentucky University. Once they were notified that our material was copyrighted and that they should cease and desist the staff member deleted the database of the sections they had typed in. If any organization has a desire to offer something to NSS members, be it services, goods, or otherwise we have a means to do selective marketing. They do not receive the database but instead we send it out for them. We have done this for regional caving events, for example. Our bookstore also does this about 3-4 times a year to let members know of new books and merchandise, and sales.

Programs to crack password protected PDF's are all over the web so that option has been ruled out as well. Paper is a hassle to work with and offers the best protection at the moment. As others have said, being able to pull out that manual and give someone a call is very handy. I purchase a couple of extra copies every year to have them handy.
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Re: There Won’t Be a 2011 NSS Members Manual and Here’s Why

Postby Crockett » May 9, 2011 2:54 pm

Wm. your response is astute and informative as usual. The right decision has been made.
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Re: There Won’t Be a 2011 NSS Members Manual and Here’s Why

Postby Scott McCrea » May 9, 2011 3:21 pm

I'll miss the new manual but it is worth the wait.

If you want a digital version, take digital photos of the pages for the areas you cave in and store them in your camera or other device-thingy.
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Re: There Won’t Be a 2011 NSS Members Manual and Here’s Why

Postby wyandottecaver » May 9, 2011 4:51 pm

They store my bank account information online.....just sayin. Then again, given the incompetence we observe in so many other areas of the NSS maybe we should all convert to aliases anyway :big grin:

In any event, rather than an online version, I do think we should offer the option of electronic versions to members. Thus, instead of printing and mailing me a big book, they could email me a PDF file. Several newsletters already do this. You have the option to not get a printed copy, thus saving the group money. Of course, it's just gonna be pissed away for a paid Executive Director and a multi-million dollar converted bank anyway...so heck print away :doh:
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Re: There Won’t Be a 2011 NSS Members Manual and Here’s Why

Postby Phil Winkler » May 9, 2011 6:03 pm

Banks spend a great deal of money to support online banking. A lot of money. Should the NSS divert such funds to save $20k per year? I think not.
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Re: There Won’t Be a 2011 NSS Members Manual and Here’s Why

Postby tncaver » May 9, 2011 6:09 pm

Phil Winkler wrote:Banks spend a great deal of money to support online banking. A lot of money. Should the NSS divert such funds to save $20k per year? I think not.


I think it should be an option for NSS members to be able to access the members manual online if they want to (ONLY IF impenetrable security measures are in place).
Otherwise, paper only.
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