[amsat-bb] Keep Amateur Radio in Space

Jeff Davis ke9v at mac.com
Fri Nov 25 16:12:35 UTC 2016

Congratulations to AMSAT on it’s recent successful Symposium!

While looking through the slide presentation, I noticed the comment about the AMSAT Journal being a “major membership benefit”. I agree that the value of the publication is high, but it's much more than simply a member benefit.

The AMSAT Journal should be available to anyone who wants it, with or without membership — as a digital download subscription for $20-$25 a year. The opportunity to find 5000 space enthusiasts willing to invest that amount in a highly specialized publication seems considerably better than finding 3400 new full paying members - at least over the next 12 months. 

Publishing the Journal electronically would save ALL of the current printing and distribution costs and potentially add enough subscribers who aren't members today to shore up the expected shortfall in 2017.

And those who subscribe become prime candidates to eventually become full-freight members. 

Besides, there must be some who have been members in the past who, for whatever reason, can no longer afford to renew their membership. What good does it do us to cut them off from all contact with the organization? Why make it all or none? If they can’t afford full-membership or don’t see the value at full-price — why not at least keep them engaged for half price — by sending them bits instead of  atoms?

New membership should always include the excellent ‘Getting Started With Amateur Satellites’ book since it provides the basic framework for good amateur practice on the satellites. It’s value is also high and could become the ‘major membership benefit’ — in addition to a digital subscription to the Journal.

“Keeping Amateur Radio in Space” is a BIG mission that will require new members, new income streams, and new ideas to figure out how to accomplish it, and it occurs to me that while this won’t be at all “easy”, at least this part of the adventure isn’t rocket science. :-)

73, Jeff KE9V
AMSAT #28350  

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