Recently I announced the cessation of publication of a weekly email newsletter (called the WeekEnder since 2004) to members of the Surfside Homeowners Association in Ocean Park, WA. I indicated at that time I would be starting an alternative newsletter, to be sent via email, placed on a web site, or converted to a blog. Since then, I have studied the blogging environment and feel it is the appropriate format. This, then is the first in a series of blog messages. I expect this will be a learning experience for me as well as my readers, of whom about a hundred have signed up already to receive the next version of my Weekender.
I started the WeekEnder in December, 2004 and have published it (with a few exceptions) weekly ever since (usually on Sunday evenings) to give all members an update on activities in Surfside on a weekly basis. Members were invited to sign up for this free subscription, recognizing that considerably less than 100 % of SHOA members have regular access to email, and that, of those who do, not everyone would want to have such a message sent to them regularly (some might consider it SPAM). Prior to that, the only widespread communication to all members (other than the notices of the Annual Meeting and Budget mailings) was the quarterly SHOAndTell newsletter. In addition, the WeekEnder has been added to the SHOA web site. The Newsletter is a “push” communication (that is, we send it to all SHOA members), the Web site is a “pull” (that is, a member must take an affirmative action to access it), and the WeekEnder is a hybrid of the two (members who want it must sign up, but we do not send it to everyone for whom we have an email address (about 600 of our 2000 members)).
The WeekEnder has always sought contributions from members, and has published hundreds of such contributions); guidelines for contributors have been published regularly. Most recently, the Board has adopted the WeekEnder guidelines as its own, with minimal changes. This was welcomed by me as an expression that the Board shared my view of communicating as well and as often as possible with the members.
The Weekender is Board-controlled now, in that the President makes regular contributions, Board actions at every Board meeting are reported, and miscellaneous news from staff and committees, who work under Board direction, are regularly included. Over the past 3 years, the Weekender has received more positive comments from members than all other SHOA activities combined. I want to personally thank all of you who responded to the WeekEnder. If you like it, and would like to continue receiving it (or something like it), please let the Board know.
All Board members, Committees, and staff members have always been invited to contribute material for the Weekender (subject only to minimal limitations pertaining to good taste, etc., contained in a set of WeekEnder Guidelines for Contributors), and contributions were always welcome and all of them have been published.
I will soon begin publishing my own email letter, web site, or blog, focusing on SHOA activities, including commentary, but with a much heavier emphasis on management topics, including management philosophy, and will send it to anyone who wishes to receive it (but you must contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up). The e-mailing list will be private and not provided to anyone, and you may remove yourself simply by asking. If you are interested in learning more about topics like leadership, customer satisfaction management, strategic planning, business process improvement, human resource management, issue analysis, information management, performance measurement, and more than 30 other management topics, please sign up.
Note: This last paragraph of the above announcement of June 4 has been slightly overtaken by my desire to convert to a blog format.
Ken Karch, PE