How To Improve The PASS Connector

I saw this tweet this morning:




The Connector is the primary way PASS communicates with the membership, improving it in any way is certainly worth doing. I’m posting my ideas here because it’s noisy on Twitter and it’s a different channel, maybe some of you will see this and submit your own ideas.

I don’t know how it works now, but back in the day the main focus was getting someone on the Board to write something for each Connector. I think that’s important. It gives the Board a chance to share their ideas and accomplishments and plans, and it lets them connect with the members. Almost all of the remainder of the Connector was built by PASS HQ (it’s a template/formula after all), but it was definitely “owned” by marketing and at the time the emphasis was on driving sales of paid events more than anything else. That’s changed some, but still feels a bit true today. It’s tough to get the balance right and I think the formula needs to be written down to help drive balance and consistency (maybe it is already, I don’t know).

Here’s my list:

  • My longest running complaint about the Connector is that it only contains the lead-in for each piece, you have to click through to read the rest. I get that understanding how many emails are opened and which articles are read is interesting to marketing, but I think it reduces the number of articles that actually get read because people just want to read and go, not click through.
  • Next, I’d like to see every article written for the Connector posted as a separate blog post. That makes it searchable, but more importantly, it makes it possible to have a follow on discussion about every item via the comments section, with the added plus that it drives traffic to the PASS blog.
  • I’d like to see a ‘Message From the President’ each month. Anyone who puts in the time to make it to the top of the organization should have plenty to say and a fire in their belly for making PASS even better, giving them (requiring them!) to speak to the members once a month is a great way to put that voice to work.
  • I’d also like to see PDF versions of the complete Connector online. More than once we’ve had to go trawling through email archives from years past to figure out what was said or not, or when.
  • Tell more stories and more lessons learned about running the organization at all levels. That’s how we grow people, sharing good and bad ideas and experiences. We should have this in almost every issue.
  • I think it’s fair and important to advertise paid PASS events in the Connector, but sometimes it feels like that’s the reason the Connector exists. That may or may not be fair, but it’s worth evaluating. Ads or discussion of paid events should only get top billing a few times a year (though I’m ok with including banner/side bar ads on a regular basis, even those should get mixed up some).
  • Any new activity around governance should get a mention; by-law changes, minutes or budget published, etc.