ISA does it again...

July 21, 2006
On May 31, a bad thing happened to me. My ISA membership expired and had to be renewed. The reason that this was a bad thing was not what you'd expect. The reason this was a bad thing was that three years ago, when I was re-upping my membership, I again signed up for the all-you-can-use $25 per year standards program that I had tried very hard to get adopted when I was on the Executive Board. See, I figured that the way to get people to use ISA standards was to make them easily and inexpensive...
On May 31, a bad thing happened to me. My ISA membership expired and had to be renewed. The reason that this was a bad thing was not what you'd expect. The reason this was a bad thing was that three years ago, when I was re-upping my membership, I again signed up for the all-you-can-use $25 per year standards program that I had tried very hard to get adopted when I was on the Executive Board. See, I figured that the way to get people to use ISA standards was to make them easily and inexpensively available to members. Also a significant member benefit, in my humble opinion, because non-members would have to pay full boat. Of course, the very nice and highly intelligent people who have been running ISA decided that once again, the good old members would keep on paying in without ANY tangible benefits at all, and they dropped the program. (I think you get one free standard if you pay for three years at once, now, or something like that...it was such a worthless benefit that I didn't pay attention.) I just got an email from ISA offering me a 1 year CD subscription to the ISA standards at a member price of $1345.00. Talk about sticker shock. My member price had gone from $25 a year to $1345!! Well, even when I was consulting I didn't use ISA standards $1345 a year worth. I don't think very many people or companies do. I guess ISA, realizing that they aren't making money on their albatross of a trade show, are now going after their members' pockets in a big way again. Can ANYBODY show me what the ISA value proposition is??? Steve Mackay at IDC gives better value for training, and he's global. There are better magazines. The trade show is for vendors, not end users who belong to ISA. It took Shari Worthington and I more than a decade to get a single marketing and sales training put together and sponsored by ISA, so even vendor members don't get perceived value. ISA's certification programs are, at least at present, a dream. If ISA stopped making standards tomorrow, we could all go straight to IEC standards, pretty much without a hiccup. I have given a whole lot of my life to ISA-- and I'm not sure I, or my fellow volunteers, ever did any good. Just remember, ISA leadership, to turn out the lights and distribute the money when you're the last person out the door.

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