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"Free" Information?

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Bill Polhemus wrote:

>>Roger, I agree with this assessment. Though I entered the profession only in
the early 80s, it does seem to me that "free" information is harder to come
by.

I'm not suggesting writing your congressman or having Clinton propose the
"Free Engineering Data Accessibility Act," but I do have to wonder why such
industry groups no longer think it worthwhile to disseminate such
information freely.

I remember when you could get a free AISC Manual from your friendly
neighborhood steel fabricator, just a few years back. Now, nothing doing.

Seems like the cost of such literature, when put up against the benefits of
promoting your products, is miniscule, but perhaps I don't have the whole
story.

We've got members of such organizations present. Perhaps they can give us
the point of view from their side.<<

Bill,

I think that the focu$$ of the organizations has changed from how to better 
promote their product/material to what the bottom line is.

While the indirect approach, getting people to use your product/material, 
would be more beneficial to the industry, it would require more expenditures 
to provide the information without charging for it.  Of course, with industry 
associations, such as PCA, it would require the member companies to pay a 
larger fee, which, particularly in bad times, they don't want to do.

By charging for the information, it becomes revenue, which can be measured 
directly, even if it does not result in greater use of the product/material.

But, as you said, let's hear from representatives of the organizations that 
are present on the list.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona