It’s been more than a year since kingdom newsletter began to be distributed electronically. Many people have adopted them enthusiastically, but it’s still a challenge for some. While the option to receive a printed newsletter remains available, it is seen as prohibitively expensive, or simply not a good value for their dollars by some members.
The cost of a sustaining membership currently stands at $45 per year. Adding a printed copy of the kingdom newsletter will raise that an additional $35, bringing the total to $80 per year. Predictably many people have decided the electronic newsletter is sufficient.
The July publication statistics report, made available to the Kingdom Chroniclers, shows just under 1200 individual downloads for the East, as compared to a total of approximately 400 paper copies still being sent out.
However, confusion remains among the populace regarding subscriptions. The change to electronic newsletters was widely publicized in the months prior to their debut, as people with existing paper subscriptions were urged to voluntarily discontinue the paper delivery. This naturally represented a cost-saving for the Society at a financially troubled time. No good statistics have been published regarding how many members chose to do that right away, as compared to the number whose existing memberships have subsequently expired, and who have now renewed under the new terms.
The on-line membership form explains clearly that the subscription included with a Sustaining Membership is electronic, and is obtained by visiting the newsletter download site (http://enewsletter.sca.org/), but the paper renewal form is far less clear.
There are also monthly emails that remind subscribers when a new issue is available, but members who renew by mail rather than on-line may never have provided their email address to Membership Services. Or the emails may be falling prey to a zealous spam filter.
There appear to be a substantial number of gentles who have paid for their membership, and who sit grumbling as the weeks pass and they receive nothing in their mailboxes, physical or electronic. To assist those gentles, the Gazette staff thought it would be useful to provide a reminder about how to get your newsletters.
You’ll start by visiting the newsletter web site: http://enewsletter.sca.org
There you’ll be greeted with a login screen. You’ll need your membership number and password. (The initial password is the word “start”, all lower case. It is recommended that you change the password to something more secure the first time you use the site.)
Once you’ve provided that you’ll see a screen with a list of all the publications available. This is a veritable treasure trove, as you can access not only the Pikestaff, but the newsletters of all the Kingdoms, and the Board of Directors meeting minutes. Click on the name of the Kingdom or other publication you want, and on the next screen you’ll see all the newsletters for that Kingdom, all the way back to the first electronic issues in March of 2012.
If you have difficulty accessing the site, there are a couple of things that may be wrong.
- Did you purchase an Associate membership, rather than a Sustaining membership? If so, you don’t have access to the publications.
- Is your membership part of a family membership group? Only the Sustaining member’s membership number works for access to the site.
However, if you paid your $45 for a sustaining membership, or your $56 for an international membership, and can’t access the site, your next step should be to contact Membership Services to check the status of your membership: You can find all the contact information on the SCA web site: http://www.sca.org/members/MbrSvcsStaff.html They will be able to help you get access to the newsletters.