American Numismatic AssociationOn Friday, I received a notice to renew my American Numismatic Association membership by the end of this month. Even though a few people wrote to me after the election saying that they would not renew their membership, I believe that the ANA is still a good organization worth of the support of every numismatist regardless of age, experience, and collecting interest. My only question is whether to change to the basic level to save trees.

Members renewing at the Basic level can read The Numismatist online or via my computer or the iPad app. I stopped using the iPad app for a while after having problems. The app was updated and seems to be working fine now. I think I would prefer to read it on my iPad than the paper version. It is more portable. However, if the program could be converted to work with Apple’s Newsstand, the ANA may be able to find a new revenue stream by selling individual issues.

After the election I received a lot of complaints about the the ANA and how it operates. In many cases, I agree with the assessments but I also see where there are changes coming and all of the changes are for the better!

First and foremost, the ANA is being dragged into the technology of the 21st century. In a move started by former Executive Director Jeff Shevlin, the ANA has engaged Amos Digita, the technology arm of Amos Press, the publisher of Coin World. Anyone who has seen the positive evolution of the Coin World website and has read Coin World Next online can see examples of their work. Working with Amos Digital is a very positive step for the ANA.

Between Amos Digital, the commitment of the ANA staff involved, and the Technology Committee (which I am a member) the future to better the ANA’s technology is looking very good!

Technology alone is not going to make the ANA a better organization but the technology will provide a platform to make the ANA more responsive to its members. Technology can help with virtual clubs, education, and to bring the information out to the members. Technology can enhance shows and deliver some of the content to the members who may not be able to attend the shows.

However, technology is only an enhancer—a tool to make the ANA better for you. The problem is that those of us who are putting the tool together may not know what will make the ANA a better organization for you. What do you want to see from the ANA? How can the technology be used to make your experiences better?

Although I have some ideas, I am a systems guy. I put together systems to do what my customers want. And even though I know what I want as a member, it is only my opinion.

As a member of the ANA Technology Committee I want your opinion. What do you want from this tool? How can the ANA use these tools to make your experience as a member the ANA better? I am handing you a blank sheet of virtual paper (the comment section, below). Let me and my fellow Tech Committee members know how we can use this tool to better serve the membership.

Medal image courtesy of Wikipedia.

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