Welcome, for real this time

On behalf of the Steering Committee of SAA’s Records Management Roundtable, welcome to The Schedule. Our hope is to make this your one-stop shop (sort of, see below) for learning about what the RMRT is doing for you (and hopefully getting you all to contribute to the conversation). This blog has been a long time in the making, and I am very excited that we are getting it off the ground.

Now, we are about a decade behind on the blogosphere movement, but it’s New To Us (TM), so there are still probably a lot of questions that you all have about this. I’ll try to answer the obvious ones below; if you have others, please leave them in the comments.

Why a blog? Why now?

The Steering Committee has been trying to improve communications with the RMRT general membership for a while now, with varying levels of success. The survey we sent out in the wake of SAA 2012 in San Diego was one attempt at this, as is our new policy of posting the minutes of our monthly steering committee teleconferences. The newsletter and the listserv are also, of course, key elements in our communication strategy. Ultimately, though, all of those communication channels are not quite… right. The listserv seems a bit impersonal and inactive; the survey and meeting minutes are extremely one-sided; the newsletter is, by its very nature, non-timely.

What we want to do with the blog is open up a more organic conversation about what we’re up to and what we can share from the world of Records Management. We are planning to update this regularly and actively solicit guest posts or topics that our readers would like to see us write about. We’re encouraging commenting if you have something to add, or think we’re off base, or whatever. The point is to have a regular communications channel where the barrier to participation is relaxed, at least somewhat.

Does this mean the newsletter is going away? The microsite? The listserv?

In order: No, no, and we couldn’t even if we wanted to. Each of these existing communications tools is going to be sticking around, but the purpose of each will change somewhat:

  • The Microsite is going to be our document/information repository for the foreseeable future. Here you will be able to find our annual reports, our bylaws, information on our steering committee members, meeting minutes, and any publications we are putting out for review or use.
  • The Newsletter will be for our longform pieces, such as the chair’s year-in-review report or in-depth interviews or case studies. As implied by Lorette Weldon’s most recent call for submissions, we want people to think of this as a place to talk at length about their innovations in archives and records management– not quite the cachet of a scholarly journal, obviously, but works in progress and preliminary results, perhaps. Think Archival Outlook levels of discussion of theory and practice.
  • The Listserv will be for the day-to-day stuff that isn’t worth a whole blog post to write about– job ads, records management in the news, calls for endorsements, etc. Of course, if you just have a question for the membership or that you want to get a number of perspectives for, you’re welcome to keep using it that way– this is just referring to how the steering committee is going to use it going forward.

What is the schedule of The Schedule?

I see what you did there. Our current plan is to update at least once a week, with different members of the steering committee in a rotation to write about something in their particular bailiwick. You can find a preliminary schedule for the next month or so in our February meeting minutes. Of course, if something strikes our fancy when it’s not our turn to write, we won’t let our schedule stop us– this is just to keep us honest and avoid content deserts.

I’m doing something really cool with records management (or read a cool new records book, attended an interesting conference, etc.), but I don’t want to wait until the newsletter comes out. Can I write a guest post for the blog?

Of course! Please send us an email with your post idea– we’d love to hear from you!

Anything else I should know about this blog?

If you’re new to blogs, there are a couple of ways to follow it so you don’t have to keep refreshing the site for updates. Way #1 is to click the “Follow” button on the right there– you’ll get an email notification when there’s a new post. Way #2 is to input this URL into your Feed Reader of choice (I like Google Reader), and most readers will automatically extract the RSS feed from WordPress sites for you (which is good, since there’s no Feed URL in sight on this template).

Happy reading! I must now scurry off and complete my presentation for next Friday (see below for details).


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