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- To: "'seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org'" <seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org>
- Subject: CEU's or paying for information?
- From: "Dennis S. Wish PE" <wish(--nospam--at)cyberg8t.com>
- Date: Sun, 19 Oct 1997 12:13:03 -0700
As I was responding to others in this thread, a though occured to me. We might consider the fact that we need continuing education credits at a cost for each unit because we do not make needed information readily accessible and for a reasonable fee. One problem that our industry faces is that information is a marketable commodity. You can not go the the AISC web page and read a techical report, you must pay to have it reproduced and sent to you.This is true of almost all other associations. Before you suggest that this is how they make money, most organizations clearly state that their nominal cost for the information is to offset printing and mailing costs. So why not simply make the information available on their web site for no cost? Has it happened? Not as yet if you search AISC, ACI, AITC, or LGSEA (although light gauge steel engineering assoc has begun to make tech sheets available as PDF files). This is counter-productive. The profession holds back information for a fee, which supports the concept of CEU's (which generally offers you a more reasonable fee for information based upon greater distribution). I have turned down dozens of seminars which were offered at a fee of $150.00 or more to cover the cost of the meeting room, speakers travel and expenses, and "profit" to the sponser to help cover operating costs for non-profit groups. I would have been happy to pay a lesser fee - say $25.00 to receive a tape and manual or view it via Internet. The fee would cover the needed income from the non-profit group to cover overhead costs to help the organization survive, but would not require a needless and expensive live "show". CEU's do promote this idea - available information at an affordable price. If it does not immediatly promote lower cost, competition for materials will force competition in prices the same as it has for software. It is understandable that information can not always be free - especially where the cost to create and distribute documentation is involved. Many technical references that are distributed for the cost of reproducation and shipping can be avoided by making it available over the Internet. Why is at that none of the organizations like AISC, ACI, AITC are not making journal available online? By identifying a need for continuing education we acknowledge that our profession is, for the majority, behind technology or at least not up to date. CEU's promote competition among vendors which will translate into lower cost materials and greater availability. Even more importance is that it will create greater accessibility to those who normally do not have the resources or means to obtain a proper education in code or methodology changes. Dennis Wish PE
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