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Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Falling or Flying
Many of these problems could be classed under the heading - better and more modern communications. From all the different sources I have, I understand that some on the Board still do not use email as a principal means of communication. In this day of cell phones, instant messaging, emails, text messaging, high gasoline prices, it astonishes me that people can't grasp just how important immediate communication can be in this rapidly changing world. I don't see how anything productive comes from having to mail out agendas, or to pick them up by driving to a central locations. I don't see how timely issues can be put on meeting agendas when communication is limited in this way. This was an issue Martha Sartain complained about, and was one of the reasons that Greg Scott volunteered to redo the OPRI web site. From my observations over the past year or so, not many of these things have changed dramatically. Few of us use OPRI as an information source. It's information is "so yesterday" by the time it gets posted on the OPRI website. And this is the point I don't get. OPRI is often the last to communicate this information to its members. Why shouldn't it be out front? You can't do this living in the 19th century. Queen Victoria's mail system and Henry Ford's transportation system no longer cut it. We're all living in Tim Berners-Lee's world and we expect and seek information instantaneously. OPRI needs to move way forward on this front if it expects to sustain itself over the next 10 - 15 years or longer.
I'm willing to cut the new Board some slack, give it time to get its act together, and start acting like it is in the latter part of the 20th century. There is no excuse for not modernizing this end of the organization. A majority of the Board *must* grasp this. Hopefully they can gently nudge the others on the Board to the modern world The new Board *must* emphasize that they want to connect with newer retirees by starting to act like they understand the wants and needs of more recent retirees. Most of us are willing to wait - a little while - to see whether the new board is falling or flying. Hopefully, we'll see some flying. We don't need any more falling. The other side is too sophisticated to afford us the luxury of terminal anachronism.
Note added later today: I actually had occasion to want to email OPRI today. I discovered that there is no email contact on their web site. I *can* email their lobbyist, but why is OPRI paying a lobbying firm to handle email? This is what I mean by an organization that just isn't nimble, that just isn't with it, and that actively seems to be trying to disengage with its own membership. They've got to try a whole lot harder than they're doing. A post office box and a lobbyist email address just aren't sufficient these days. Worse still, the lobbyist email address is a dead letter box. My emails just bounce back. Thus, except by sending snail mail, there seems to be no way to contact OPRI. This sucks.