“… that the rate of subscriptions to our mailing lists had been declining for a long time, as was the rate of people signing up to be new members and using the site and our services.”
So subscriptions are NOT decreasing, they are either increasing or flat, only the RATE of subscriptions is decreasing. Post the data and let it speak for itself. Don’t treat us like idiots. Statistics may not be perceived as an exciting subject but that does not mean that we can not read a table or understand the meaning represented by an S-curve.
“…the $5 [fee] inhibits Rhizome from keeping pace with the net.”
Why must Rhizome.org
grow at a similar rate as the net? Do other communities share the same goal?
“ Our hope is that our current constituents will benefit from a more open system - one that allows the organization to broaden its base of
participants - not just paying participants, but anyone who is interested in knowing more about new media art and utilizing Rhizome as a resource. “
You use the term “constituents” but you don’t treat us as such. If you represent the community, you are obligated to involve that community in major policy changes before implementing them.
“…..Rachel Greene watched the declining figures over a long period
of time and they were what prompted her to develop the change in membership - which Francis, Kevin and I worked very hard to implement.”
You know as well as I do, that it does not matter if you work hard at something. If you were a musician in a symphony, and you can’t perform the notes required for the piece, should the conductor let you continue because you worked “very hard” and other symphony members liked your effort? Should the group let you continue regardless that the critics will state the obvious in their review and in turn hurt everyone who is involved with the performance? The fact you have worked very hard does not give you the legitimacy to implement the changes you want to make. If you remove yourself from this line thinking you will understand how dangerous your behavior is. You are changing the very fabric of this community.
“On that note, we would be happy to share any upcoming changes - significant or not so - with you for debate.”
Please don’t make this about me; I don’t want to spend my time in an on going debate. What has transpired compels me to speak up and ask you to clearly state what the problem is and to provide the data that support your findings and justifiy your actions. You will to need to explain these changes to the organizations Rhizome receives funding from, why not do the same for the rest of us?
Lauren Cornell wrote:
> Hi Chris,
> What I meant by that statement was that the rate of subscriptions to
> mailing lists had been declining for a long time, as was the rate of
> people signing up to be new members and using the site and our
> So, while it may not necessarily be a sink or swim moment, the urgency
> make a change that would spur Rhizome's long-term growth was very
> As Rhizome is very active, perhaps its hard to see those statistics on
> front end. Rachel Greene watched the declining figures over a long
> of time and they were what prompted her to develop the change in
> membership - which Francis, Kevin and I worked very hard to implement.
> Our hope is that our current constituents will benefit from a more
> system - one that allows the organization to broaden its base of
> participants - not just paying participants, but anyone who is
> in knowing more about new media art and utilizing Rhizome as a
> Another factor in the change, which was mentioned in the individual
> letters to Members, is that the $5 inhibits Rhizome from keeping pace
> the net. Removing the $5 will hopefully allow us to make other changes
> that will keep us evolving. On that note, we would be happy to share
> upcoming changes - significant or not so - with you for debate.
> I hope that provides a satisfactory answer to your question.
> > Dear Lauren,
> > You state:
> > “… having reviewed Rhizome's usage and subscription statistics,
> > concluded that our membership policy was stifling wide-scale
> > in our online programs. We have rethought and restructured our
> > policy to make Rhizome more inclusive, relevant, and open.�?
> > You have not clearly stated what the problem is, nor provided data
> > support your findings. What is “wide-scale participation�?.
> > Implementing radical change before the community has the chance to
> > the problem (as yet to be defined) is not inclusive, open or
> > participation. If this is an emergency and the only remedy is a 500%
> > increase in the membership fee you need to explain your case better.
> > Sincerely,
> > Chris Read
> > Lauren Cornell wrote:
> >> Hi,
> >> I am pleased to announce the launch of our new membership policy.
> >> Every
> >> individual Member should be receiving a dedicated email about this
> >> shortly,
> >> but I would also like to bring attention to the new policy on the
> >> to
> >> get your thoughts and feedback.
> >> This change was prompted by a reconsideration of our current
> >> membership
> >> system. When we enacted a $5 membership requirement in January
> >> we
> >> thought that such a policy would balance our need for a stable
> >> source with our mission to serve new media arts communities around
> >> world. However, having reviewed Rhizome's usage and subscription
> >> statistics,
> >> we concluded that our membership policy was stifling wide-scale
> >> participation in our online programs. We have rethought and
> >> restructured our
> >> membership policy to make Rhizome more inclusive, relevant, and
> >> Under our new policy, anyone, regardless of whether they have
> >> to
> >> Rhizome or not, will be able to post or access Rhizome content from
> >> the last
> >> year simply by signing up. It�s completely free to sign up - all
> >> have to
> >> do is register an email address and password.
> >> Artworks and texts that are *more than one year old* will reside in
> >> the
> >> Rhizome Archives. Only Rhizome Members will be able to access the
> >> Archives.
> >> Members will also be able to maintain a Member Page in the
> >> Directory, create Member-Curated Exhibits, and use special features
> >> such as
> >> Advanced Search. In the coming months, we will roll out innovative
> >> features
> >> to keep our membership program dynamic and worthwhile.
> >> All current Members will retain their membership status under the
> >> policy. When your membership expires, you will still be able to
> >> subscribe
> >> to Rhizome lists and browse the site. But, in order to retain
> >> benefits, you will be asked to renew your membership at an annual
> >> level of
> >> $25. I hope you will consider continuing your membership at this
> >> level.
> >> Rhizome is just as reliant on our base of Members for financial
> >> support now
> >> as ever before.
> >> In announcing our new membership, I would also like to acknowledge
> >> vision and work of the Rhizome staff, Francis Hwang, Kevin McGarry
> >> particularly former Executive Director Rachel Greene, who initiated
> >> and
> >> developed the plans for this new policy.
> >> We feel confident that everyone involved with Rhizome will benefit
> >> from our
> >> expanded availability, and we hope you agree.
> >> Thanks for reading this, and thank you for sticking with us as we
> >> to
> >> find the best system to support our programs and organization.
> >> Yours,
> >> Lauren Cornell
> >> Executive Director
> >> Rhizome.org
> >> + + +
> >> Rhizome.org
is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. For U.S.
> >> taxpayers,
> >> contributions to Rhizome are tax-deductible, minus the value of any
> >> goods or
> >> services received, to the extent allowed by law.
> >> --
> >> Lauren Cornell
> >> Executive Director, Rhizome.org
> >> New Museum of Contemporary Art
> >> 210 Eleventh Ave, NYC, NY 10001
> >> tel. 212.219.1222 X 208
> >> fax. 212.431.5328
> >> ema. firstname.lastname@example.org
> > +
> > -> post: email@example.com
> > -> questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > -> subscribe/unsubscribe:
> > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org
web site is open to non-members
> > +
> > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> > Membership Agreement available online at