Association vindication — and what are you doing this weekend?


Part One: I may actually know what I’m talking about, says NPR (sort of)

I was pretty excited to come across a new story from NPR, which basically asks: Now that we have social media, do we still need associations? This is great because I asked the same question in my blog for the IMC 619 Emerging Media class last fall, so it’s nice to know that I was on to something!

The association industry is a pretty obscure place to spend your career unless you work in Washington, DC, which is where I got my start, but the basic idea behind associations is that they bring together individuals and organizations around a common interest or cause. In other words, associations were the way to be social before there was social media.

It worked something like this:

The Librarians' Association, in the days before Flickr

Many industries are trying to figure out the impact of social media, and the IMC program has two classes (619 and 641) devoted to the topic, but associations are unique in that they might actually be replaced by social media. After all, if you can connect instantly with your peers in a Facebook group for free OR pay dues to an association that mails you a quarterly newsletter, which would you choose?

Part Two: What will you be talking about at INTEGRATE 2011?

The good news for associations is that most of them hold conferences. And, since people still love to get together for face-to-face conversations, they’ll still attend a conference even when many of their daily interactions can take place online.

That’s exactly why so many of us will be in Morgantown this weekend for the WVU IMC Integrate Conference. It’s a great bonus opportunity for learning and networking, even though it’s entirely possible to thrive in the IMC program without ever leaving your desk.

No matter whether you’ll be in Morgantown or not this weekend, remember that we’ll be live blogging Friday afternoon and all-day Saturday with the latest from the conference. Check back to find out who’s talking and what they’re saying, and don’t miss my extra-special, on-site, investigative report: Barry Rides the PRT to Find Out if it Really Has Eyes and Talks

Hope to see you if you’re there and to read your comments even if you’re not!

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2 Responses to “Association vindication — and what are you doing this weekend?”

  1. Joelle Ennis Says:

    Great post Barry! I’ll see in this weekend!

    • Barry Says:

      Thanks Joelle. Just 24 hours ’til we hit the road for Morgantown! From DC, that is. We flew in from Seattle last Thursday.

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