Chairman's Message - March 2011
One of the strengths of the ICUFR in the early days was that members were in touch with each other on the Compuserve forum. It wasn't obligatory but it was more or less taken for granted. Over the years members have headed off in different directions and we no longer have a common meeting ground.
We may see each other on Facebook or LinkedIn, swap banter on the Friends and Fun forum or visit the web site to read the newsletter. But the common experience of new members is that they fill in the application form, get a 'Welcome' letter from the secretary, and then are left to their own devices. From time to time they get an email with links to the newsletter.
This is hardly the friendly, welcoming fellowship we think we are.
It is important that new members find themselves at once in touch with other members; able to see what is going on and able to contribute their thoughts, questions and enthusiasms. The easiest starting point must surely be our email discussion list. It doesn't have the learning curve of Facebook or the registration hurdle of our web forum. If new members prefer other means of communication it just takes one email to leave the list.
With the approval of the manager and current users of the mailing list, and the support of the ICUFR board, we will in future automatically add all new members to the mailing list. Instructions on how to opt out will be included in the 'Welcome' email from the list server.
To avoid the burden of being first in line for our next new member , we will automatically add new members who joined this month and last month. Those who joined the fellowship earlier are strongly encouraged to touch base with us by joining the discussion list, even if they later decide to opt out. There's an article in this month's newsletter which should help members to manage emails from the list.