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Old 09-30-2012, 09:54 PM   #43
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But, of course, the January issue of the Blue Beret with the membership directory is NOT online.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:11 AM   #44
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Whether to make the club database available on line has been considered and the majority of the members and leaders rejected it at this time for security reasons.
A majority of the members rejected it? That's news to me! I don't recall that issue coming up for a vote since I joined. Was it at one of the meetings/rallies I missed due to work?

For those who are worried about security, a paper-and-ink directory isn't terribly secure, either. Once it's published, you have no control over who reads it or copies information from it, only over who it's mailed to.

I belong to professional societies that maintain online membership directories (such as Construction Specifications Institute, combined personal and corporate membership about 60,000) with perfectly adequate security. No reason why WBCCI couldn't do the same.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:56 AM   #45
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"A majority of the members rejected it? That's news to me! I don't recall that issue coming up for a vote since I joined. Was it at one of the meetings/rallies I missed due to work?"

I think this is one of the many issues with a hierarchical club. The data that is collected is just from the leaderships (down to unit presidents) who "represent" the members. There is no actual survey of the membership. Or at least not that I am aware of in the 3 years I have been a member.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:46 AM   #46
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Just because it was rejected does not mean it was wrong. I find I can use the paper version anywhere even if cellphone or wifi is not available. It is kind of like the GPS-map debate. I find for my purposes that a GPS is about fifty percent user friendly where an up to date paper map has never let me down. Of course I plan my trips ahead of time so I do not need an electronic device to drive for me. Old school I guess. Jim
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:48 AM   #47
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I don't think digital media and printed media are meant to be an either/or decision. They can coexist. Obviously, printed directories and maps will be more useful when networks are down or inaccessible. Similarly, digital media will be very handy when the directory or map is back in the Airstream and your smartphone is in your pocket.

Some people embrace a digital lifestyle, others don't. I'm one who does.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:51 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by dwightdi
The club magazine(Blue Beret) has been on line for over a year. You can review it on your smart phone or Tablet or you can download it as a PDF if you want to view it or print it differently.

Whether to make the club database available on line has been considered and the majority of the members and leaders rejected it at this time for security reasons.

International membership dues can now be paid on line via PayPal. We are currently Beta testing online payment of unit dues. Since Paypal has a flat minimum rate and many units only charge $1 to $5 for their dues, the Paypal charge for handling the transaction is a much higher percentage of the local dues. To be fair to all members, we will have to add the paypal charges as a connivance fee to those members that use it or give a discount to members who pay cash. This does make more work for the volunteer treasurers.
What were the security issues that were different for online versus printed media?
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:01 AM   #49
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It is kind of like the GPS-map debate. I find for my purposes that a GPS is about fifty percent user friendly where an up to date paper map has never let me down.
For trip planning, I use a map in the comfort of my living room, but I drive with the GPS on because I can listen to it giving me directions. That's a whole lot safer than a solo driver fiddling with a paper map while behind the wheel. The advent of GPS certainly did not put Rand McNally out of business; it's a matter of personal choice which to use, or to use both.

For the WBCCI Directory, the biggest problem I see with the paper-copy directory is that it can be out-of-date even before it's printed, since new members join year-round, including during the interval between when it's sent to the printers and when it's released to the members. You won't find me in the current directory because it was published before I joined, for example.

I don't think the paper version should be scrapped, any more than the paper-copy Yellow Pages or Rand-McNally Road Atlas should be scrapped. But for those of us who have laptops, tablet computers, or smartphones, it sure would be nice if the electronic option was there.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:05 AM   #50
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What were the security issues that were different for online versus printed media?
It's essentially similar to "security through obscurity." In order to get the information in the paper copy into a usable form (for bulk usage) one would have to scan the whole directory and run it through OCR software, etc. With an online data source, if someone manages to hack it they could pull out clean, structured data that was ready to go right into another database.

Whether or not someone would be interested in stealing a few thousand trailer aficionados is questionable, but spammers and scammers love to have good data from which to do their dastardly work. I see the reason it needs to be well-secured, but I don't think there's a good reason not to make it available online.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:18 AM   #51
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Sale of databases

There are a community of hackers who make their living by selling structured databases to scammers. Making a digital version of the directory available to them only makes their job easier.

Since many of the members, for security reasons, no longer put their numbers on their trailers, I see very limited value to electronically posting the directory online, so it will be accessible by smart phone. I think the leaders were correct in rejecting the idea.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:45 AM   #52
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Since many of the members, for security reasons, no longer put their numbers on their trailers, I see very limited value to electronically posting the directory online, so it will be accessible by smart phone.
If they don't put their numbers on their trailers, you can't look them up in the hard-copy directory either, so that's not an argument against an electronic version, that's an argument against ANY version of the directory. There's an idea! Let's do away with the directory altogether, and go back to old-fashioned word-of-mouth!

A person who wants to steal your identity can get as much information from your trailer's and tow vehicle's license plates as they ever could from an online directory. In fact, a few years ago, I did just that, because I kept seeing the same car everywhere I went, and it spooked me. Copied down the license plate number, then went to the DMV and paid a few bucks for a duplicate registration. Turned out to be an ex-girlfriend's father.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:21 PM   #53
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Keeping your information to yourself

We do have some members who do not want their information published in the hard copy directory and therefore do not pay their dues till after January 1st when the hard copy goes to press. You still have not stated what benefit you will gain by using your smart phone vs carrying the hard copy directory around like I do.

We had members complain the first time we published the Blue Beret on line because it had a page which listed their names. We now blank out those pages. We have to honor the wishes of the members. We do not publish the members land or cell phone numbers in the hard copy, for the same reason.

PS: I do not think I would lie to or pay the DMV, under false pretenses, to obtain the name of a person owning a specific license number. That is the police's job.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:42 PM   #54
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PS: I do not think I would lie to or pay the DMV, under false pretenses, to obtain the name of a person owning a specific license number. That is the police's job.
Not familiar with the sorry state of law enforcement in New Orleans in those days, I see. That was also back in the days that when my vehicle was stolen, I had to go out and repossess it myself at gunpoint because the police couldn't be troubled to look for it. Things have gotten better since then.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:17 PM   #55
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You still have not stated what benefit you will gain by using your smart phone vs carrying the hard copy directory around like I do.
I believe the benefit is not carrying the hard copy directory around like you do.

In an email to me you asked me about the data in the directory that would be "of greater use" to me if available on my smartphone. I think it's wrong to see this as an issue of greater use. Instead, please see it as an issue of identical use. What information do you find useful in the printed directory? Why wouldn't that same information be useful to someone on a smartphone? Just because you don't see the need for something doesn't mean the need does not exist. For the record, I'm not a WBCCI member and I've never seen what the directory looks like or what information it contains. But that doesn't mean I can't see the need for it in printed and digital formats.


So far in this thread some great suggestions and benefits have been stated for a digital directory:
  • different sort options available -- increases the cost for a printed directory but not for a digital one
  • real-time updates of new members who don't join "in time" for the printed directory
  • search "nearby" for courtesy parking
  • no damaged covers!
And a couple of my own:
  • optional integration with FaceBook as a means of contacting a member (remember, FaceBook and email are also likey on the smartphone)
  • "Rallies I'll be Attending" section where members can let other members know what rallies they'll be at
The data collected of members might need to be restructured. To address security issues, the WBCCI members who have their numbers on their Airsteams can "opt out" of physical address information in a digital version. Instead, those members might want to offer another means of contact such as FaceBook or email.

In a way, I think it's a shame that people aren't putting their WBCCI numbers on their Airstreams -- I think it's an important part of the charm and culture of the organization. I understand the reasons for not doing so. But to me, it's another indication of the directory not adapting to present day needs. When the directory began (I presume), snail mail and phone numbers were the means of communication. That's certainly not the case today. Maybe it's time to get the numbers back on the Airstreams and adapt the data collection to mitigate the security issues.

A digital version of the directory is absolutely do-able. It just has to be done correctly. And if you don't see it as useful, then you don't have to use it.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:50 PM   #56
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In an earlier post one commented that there would be a cost to create a digital version of the data contained in the Directory. That just demonstrates that individual has not heard of word possessing. He may think that the Directory is still type set with lead type and hand pressed per page. The source is digital Does he really think the gals in Jackson Center are sitting around a table with a 5,000 card index file?

As for security there are several options.
Make it password accessible to members only.
Allow members to determine what if any information is released to the digital version.

If cost is a consideration each directory not printed is a saving.

Months ago I opted out of receiving the BB. What little useful information it has I can access online.

Your complete medical records are now online and if hacking is a threat that is the issue you should be concerned about, not who is driving down the road in 12156
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