Prologue: ‘Cometh the Beast’

It started with a group of friends, a noble cause – share knowledge, do good, meet, grow the discipline. It was all so simple, so good.

It grew – boards, committees, staff, operations – oh how it kept on growing. We needed money, dues came, journals, books, conferences, quarterly meetings – we never imagined how much it would cost.

It kept growing, the same pattern again and again. A website, a journal, a conference and dues. And it grew. We added our specialties – databases, accreditations – and it grew. We were unstoppable.

We no longer needed to do anything new – a website, a journal, a conference and dues – a website, a journal, a conference and dues – a website, a journal, a conference and dues. We were excellent, processes refined, money flowing in.

And then cometh the beast… the internet came and preyed on us with its free information, resources and tools  – our friends could eat for free from the beast, and now they expected more from us – value for their money. Now they could meet online, they could publish and share knowledge – they didn’t need to be our friends anymore.

We were frightened  – we were losing friends, losing money – but we only knew  – a website, a journal, a conference and dues – a website, a journal, a conference and dues.

We tried to repurpose, tried to sell to industry, deliver online – surely everyone wanted our knowledge. But the beast kept coming, and our friends kept leaving. Now it takes all our time and strength just to stay ahead of the beast.

All we have now is what we know, who we know and the gravitas of who we are. But all we know how to do is: a website, a journal, a conference and dues – a website, a journal, a conference and dues, a website, a journal, a conference and dues – a website, a journal, a conference and dues!

Please – help us – we so want to do more good, but the beast keeps coming.