Posted by Rear Admiral Daniel Lerner (Personnel Director) in STF Yearbook Discussion
Well, now that my unexpectedly extended LOA is now over, I can start the much-delayed discussion regarding the STF Yearbook. Yay! (I think…)
Bylaw provision (from PDICT): https://www.star-fleet.com/library/bookshelf/charters/charter-pd.html#idp140293028252000
STF Yearbook: https://www.star-fleet.com/pd/yearbook/main.php
There are two issues I am raising in this discussion:
1) Should STF - and the Personnel Department in particular - continue to actively maintain the STF Yearbook?
2) If not, what, if anything, should be done with the current yearbook content?
Issue #1: Should STF - and the Personnel Department in particular - continue to actively maintain the STF Yearbook?
To some extent, this issue is more about policy catching up to current practice…
The STF Yearbook was started as a way for members to share a photo of themselves with the rest of the club, and to be a repository of photos from various STF in-person events. At the time of the yearbook’s creation, there was no easy way for individuals to share photos on the web. You either needed your own web space, or join one of the few websites in existence at the time that allowed you to share post certain photos (which wasn’t easy or straightforward to do). The STF community, wanting to share photos with each other, created the yearbook as a means to do that.
Since then, the need for the yearbook has decreased, and related to that, the popularity of the yearbook has waned. Social media has revolutionized the internet, making it straightforward - and common - for people to share photos, etc. on the internet. Facebook in particular (which wasn’t available to non-university students when the yearbook started) has since become mainstream, and STF has embraced that by creating it’s own Facebook page under the administration of the Community & Marketing Manager (formerly the Marketing & Advertising Coordinator). Members who want to share photos with like-minded members can easily do so, in a way that is much easier than the yearbook, and was never contemplated when the yearbook was created.
The decline of the yearbook became very obvious after we moved from effWeBB to Drupal/Webbspace in 2008. One of the new features added our site at the time was the ability for members to post a photo of themselves directly to their profile page. While initially a popular feature on our website, interest died off, and those few that used the upload feature primarily did so to upload an avatar image rather than a photo. There was little interest in including a similar feature in Exodus in 2018, and the club has been quite content to not have photos of ourselves in our new profile pages.
Interest in the Yearbook has so significantly declined that a number of years ago the Personnel Department started taking no active steps to replace the Yearbook Coordinator after that person stepped down. When a new MOTD was required for the PDept in Exodus, an intentional decision was made to not include a link to the Yearbook, and the for the years leading up to that decision there were no requests to add photos to the yearbook.
I am also advised by TECH that the yearbook software is extermely out of date, and a major overhaul would be required if we chose to keep it.
However, the yearbook is still in our bylaws, and therefore it does need to be addressed.
I am proposing that that the PDict Bylaw be amended to remove the section titled “Yearbook” (as linked to at the top of this post).
1) Removing the yearbook would match the current practice given the lack of interest in it.
2) This would remove a web feature that is not popular with TECH and would remove any need for TECH to have to address the issues with the yearbook.
3) This would confirm that that the PDept does not have to spend the resources advertising such a feature, updating/maintaining such a feature, or finding volunteers for that work. Instead, the PDept can continue to put its resources or the real priorities and objectives of the department.
1) I guess there might still be some sentimental reason to allow people to still add to the yearbook??
2) What would we do with the current yearbook content (see Issue #2)?
Overall, I think there is an overall gain for the club - the PDept and TECH in particular - by removing any policy reason to keep a yearbook, and the cost in minimal to negligent given the lack of interest in the yearbook.
Issue #2: If the yearbook is removed, what should be done with the current content?
The yearbook has three categories of content:
1) Photos of current members
2) Photos of former members
3) Photos from STF in-person events
STF has had a very good track record of keeping a record of our history, and arguably at least some of the yearbook content would fall into that.
In addition, for sentimental reasons, we may want to keep photos of some of our former members - especially those who have since passed on who were instrumental in making the club what it is today.
But… from what I understand, there’s no great place for that. My first thought was the Library, but the Library isn’t really set up to store/archive images. We could arguably put them on our Facebook page, maybe.
And if it’s not the Library, we need to know who is responsible for going through the photos and storing them. The PDept? The CMM?
I am proposing that we find a way to archive in a way accessible to the membership the yearbook photos for our former members who have passed away and for our STF events.
I am not proposing we keep photos of current members - that’s what Facebook, etc. is for.
I am not proposing we keep photos of members who decided to leave the club for one reason or another. I’m not entirely sure what the benefit of that would be.
I am currently drawing a blank of the means this should be carried out though, and am interested to hear what others think.
Am I right that we should be trying to keep some of the yearbook’s content? Should we instead keep none of it? Or keep more of it?
What do we do with that stored content, and who should be responsible?
I agree with your proposal. There is some historical content that would be nice to have around for the future, but in the end the Yearbook has caused more problems over the last decade then good. Not to mention the fact that it hasn’t been updated in years.
For context, when I was PDir a long time ago, I think it was like 8 years ago now, I had a former member reach out as they wanted their picture removed. We had to go through a lot of hoops to do so, because no one had the login information for the software that runs the current Yearbook.
I think that the best place to archive the event images would be to Facebook. People can control their own tags there, and remove any tags if they are concerned about “outsiders” finding the picture. As for any images of former members who have passed away, I think those should remain archived until we can finish the discussion on if/where a memorial will be.
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