Brian's Waste of Time

Thu, 09 Nov 2006

ACM Membership Renewal Disappointment

So I got an email from the nice folks at the ACM. The email had a magic phrase, "lifetime memberships available." Cool, since I have happily been a member of the ACM for quite a few years, mostly for access to the ACM Portal, I was actually excited to consider this. Well, I expected expensive, but the lifetime membership is running at about $4000. Oh well. So I switch back to the normal and notice it is up to $200 (including access to the portal). So I think about it, and realize that I read only about half a dozen papers a year off the ACM portal anymore. That amounts to ~$33 a paper. I can get abstracts for free, and bike five minutes to Stanford's library from work. Why do I only read half a dozen papers a year from the ACM Portal now? Because it is easy to find the research I am interested in online for free between publications posting their articles and researchers posting their articles.

So, basically, my ACM membership amounts to a charitable donation at this point. I like the ACM, despite the value from the professional membership being access to mostly worthless online classes and a few out of date, very introductory level, books. There are other tech related charities I would prefer to give my money to, so, sadly, the ACM has priced themselves out of what I am willing to continue paying. This saddens me.

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