THE CONTRACT BRIDGE FORUM IS GOING DIGITAL SOON!
John Grossmann, Western Conference Board Member (firstname.lastname@example.org) reports in the February 2018 edition of the Contract Bridge Forum, that ACBL District 17’s decision to uncouple from the Western Conference (WC) is proceeding as planned, despite the long historical association the District has enjoyed with the WC.
The monthly tabloid style newspaper is expensive to design, print and mail to the membership. By breaking from association with the WC, District 17 estimates they will “save” as much as $60,000 per year in administrative expenses. The leadership of the District has made the decision to go “Full Digital” for communications, not only due to cost savings, but in order to add flexibility and a new look to communications with the members of ACBL District 17. Going digital will allow the inclusion of video, sound, hot links, animation and many other advanced technological services.
The change to digital is expected to take effect in April of this year. It is the District’s plan to publish bi-monthly with educational columns, tournament results, promotional articles on upcoming events and tourney information much like the current Forum provides.
District members will be informed by eMail when the the switch to digital is complete and a Go Live! date is determined. In the months that the District will not publish, Becky Rogers has suggested that a short email be sent to the membership listing information on upcoming events.
The District will be using Nxtbook, the same digital vendor that ACBL uses for its online version of the Bulletin. Their technology, known as PageRaft software, utilizes the concept of ” responsible design” which will allow the digital output to size itself to fit the view-able space of the device you are using to access the content. So, if your are using a desktop with a large video screen all the way down to a hand-held mobile device, the content is expected to be readable. It is expected that the reading and viewing experience will be consistent with that of popular web-based sites such as CNN, ESPN and the NY Times.
The District 17 Board has made the decision to continue to provide three (3) STAC Games each year. These games have been and are expected to continue to be a major source of revenue for the District. If the District and the WC are unable to reach a revenue sharing agreement with the existing STAC format, the District plans to move forward with its own STAC Game solution. More information on this issue will be provided in the March 2018 issue of the Forum.
Concerns? For sure. Let’s start with email distribution. ACBL’s Pianola system reaches about 2/3 of its members. A top notch digital email base is essential to the delivery of a communications system of equal quality. Though not a new technology by any means, email is new to ACBL and there have been growing pains. Most of us are well aware that the daily deluge of unwanted and uninteresting emails plague all users. End users, the members, have become proficient at “Unsubscribing” to email. It’s your legal right to do so and email vendors are forced to take prompt action to remove you from their lists when properly requested, but the end result means your link to the ACBL is severed and you will very quickly be out of the information loop about issues you might otherwise care about.
The ACBL, District 17, Unit 388 and your Member Clubs hope you will login to your Member Account at www.ACBL.org and update your personal contact information so the transition to digital communications will be seamless for YOU!