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Re: Seminar Library???

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In a message dated 6/11/99 11:32:07 AM Pacific Daylight Time, csh(--nospam--at)soha.com 
writes:

<< Although seminar proceedings do not account for a substantial part of 
seminar revenue, if one gets the proceeding for a nominal fee there is no 
need to attend the seminar and you lose susbstantial revenue that way. >>

Constantine, with all due respect, this is a very counter productive way to 
treat a profession where only a small minority of members attend seminars. 
When you consider the total number of professional engineers in the 
structural engineering community, 200 attendance still represents less than 
15% of SEAONC's total members.

If you have 400 in attendance - it still represents less than 30% of the 
total members and this is a much smaller percentage of the total number of 
licensed engineers in your area of the State of California.

Your statement, as I interpret it, indicates that SEAONC (or any other 
chapter that subscribes to this philosophy) intends to provide useful 
information but only to those who can either afford the cost or time to 
attend. All others, who benifit from a better understanding of the 
information to design safer buildings, will pay a premium or contend with 
misinterpretations of the code. The premium is a protection to insure 
physical participation at the seminar rather than the same level of 
understanding achieved at the engineers convience or in the privacy of his 
home or office.

I'm not trying to flame you here - but can't you see how your statement can 
easily be interpretated. Carrying if further one can understand that dues 
become unimportant as long as SEAONC (or any other chapter subscribing to 
this philosophy) can "gouge" the professional public.

My philosophy has been to provide a service to engineers which brings them 
into the 21st century and provides them with the tools that either should 
have been included in the cost of the code manuals that they need to buy or 
suplimented at a nominal fee.

I personally receive some compensation for my work with Online. I did not 
receive this compensation for six years - but the amount of time that I spend 
to put out an issue requires me to give up income in order to insure a 
publication schedule. If there were enough volunteers to carry this through, 
I would not need the compensations.

My point is that almost none of the committee members (none that I know of) 
provide their services for compensation. I don't think that the founding 
engineers of SEA came together to create revenue. I do believe that operating 
expenses were expected to come from dues and other sources of grants and 
charitable incomes. 

In the last few years most organizations have changed the basic idea of what 
a professional organization is to provide the community. The only thing that 
seems to be free to engineers these days is the SEAINT Listservice and this 
is protected by adament engineers like Shafat and I. 

Engineers are not an unlimited resource for income. There are too many 
organizations competing for our membership, too many seminars competing (and 
not enough with substance), too many professional gatherings and publication 
and journals - all available at a price.

When you pay $80.00 for a code, it should come with a commentary or it should 
be sold bundled. The software industry has set a poor example of selling 
softwares and manuals to operate their software at additional prices. 

Let's get one thing clear - I'm not trying to stop the sale or distribution 
of alternative documentation. But for every code published that requires a 
methodology - there must be an accompanying commentary or manual explaining 
the changes and clearly giving examples of how this works. I do not believe 
that the engineering community should have to pay more for this.

I was one of the engineers who checked the Steel problem in Volume II of the 
ICBO Seismic Example Manuals - without compensation. This is purely a profit 
venture.

Constantine, if the price of documentation or proceedings are 
disproportionally inflated to force physical attendence - then I would 
recommend that nobody attend the seminar out of respect for those who are not 
able for any number of reasons.

Respectfully,
Dennis S. Wish PE