A week later, I posted mostly in support of the eloquent thoughts of my friend Karen Schneider.
I've had a number of other communications since then, on Twitter (some private messages), and via "good old-fashioned" email.
Yesterday, the LITA Blog had an official response to what happened. (I counted six  tweets which refer to that response. More may have happened I only searched "LITA Board.")
I found the LITA board letter interesting, and the charge to the committee (oops, task force) which includes "monetizing" events very interesting. My personal take (as a non-LITA member) is that if you want to monetize events, the events to try that with are programs -- not Board meetings. It will be rare to find someone willing to *PAY* for a stream of a Board meeting. For a program, many people may pay a modest fee. If the cost to produce, send, and collect the money is low enough, it could be a source of revenue for the organization. I am guessing that there would be lots of youth services folks who would pay a small fee to watch the Monday morning book awards ceremony at Midwinter every year. The key question (and I served on the ALA EB, including on Finance and Audit, and have been on divisional Finance Committees) is whether the cost to recover the cost of collecting is enough. (There *is* a cost to collect registration fees.)
Somehow or other, I had missed this very good post from Bohyun Kim which raises some of the very same issues that I mention above about the likelihood of programs being a better revenue generator.
I am going to go back to several things that Karen Schneider points out more eloquently than I could:
- the Open Meeting policy has obviously been OBT (Overcome By Technology);
- it is happening any way [links at the bottom of Meredith Farkas' post];
- OBT lawbreaking appears to be key to fiduciary health;
- allowing for the impact of a very bad economy, the “streamers” are doing better overall than the “meetwares;”
- however counterintuitive to the people who count nickels, the more you open your proceedings, the healthier your organization;
- as as rule, ALA committees tend to get focused on the idea that something needs to be made available to the entire association, BY the association, in a uniform manner.