Give me money

Press for sound.
Music courtesy of Lucy in the Web.

When I read the emailed eLearning E-Clips in my inbox this morning, the Iseley Brothers started singing...make that shrieking...

    The best things in life are free, you can give them to the birds and the bees.

    I need money (That's what I want)
    That's what I want.
    That's what I wa-a-a-ant
    That's what I want.

Here's what turned on my internal radio:

    Yes, it's true... The eLearning Guild must now start charging annual membership fees for Guild Members who want unlimited access to all services and benefits of the Guild. We are also now offering you the opportunity to join or renew as a free Guild Associate which will provide limited access to select services and benefits. Renew as a Guild Member before March 1, 2003 and you will pay only $79 USD and you'll have uninterrupted access to all services and benefits through March 31, 2004.

I can understand where they're coming from. David Holcombe and Heidi Fisk opened the eLearning Guild website just under a year ago. They've created a killer website, a great online journal, and some very productive events. More than 6,000 have joined. Kudos!

Too bad about the timing, though. These are eerie times for any venture, especially a new one. Discretionary corporate spending is the tightest since the Depression. Travel restrictions and travel hassles have decimated conference attendance. Most eLearning vendors are hanging on by a thread (if they're still with us.) The future is uncertain. We may go to war any minute. Wall Street is in turmoil. The Big 4 may become the Litte 3.

Did I sign up to become a paying member of eLearning Guild? You bet. It's a no-brainer. For the cost of a couple of books, I get the Journal, research results, lower conference fees, a network, and more. I'm not shilling for David and Heidi. I like them both, but I'm a straight shooter. I'm also selfish. I want eLearning Guild to prosper. I encourage you to sign up. (Do it before the end of this month and you get $20 off the regular annual fee.)

We're all familiar with Maslow's hierarchy:

What we're seeing with this rite of passage for eLearning Guild is an expression of what I call The Hierarchy of Corporate Needs.

Posted by Jay Cross at February 9, 2003 10:48 AM | TrackBack

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