President’s Message: Getting on the Technology Bandwagon

I can whistle, sing, and hum. And after attending the International ITE meeting in Boston, I can now “tweet.”

I’m a “Gen-Xer,” the minority group between the generation who still handwrites letters and the generation who asks, “Do you have your phone?” when they want to know what time it is. I will admit that I had hoped that this era of SmartPhones and tablets would just be a fad. In fact, I made a bet with someone a couple of years ago. He argued that in 10 years, more people will be reading “books” in an electronic format than with a paper book. I clung tight to the opposite for a while, but now I’m beginning to see that I will probably lose that bet. It’s time I get on the Technology Bandwagon, because otherwise I’ll be left behind.

The District also needs to get on the Technology Bandwagon – your leadership understands that. We have formed a Communications Task Force to direct how the District will connect with its membership. We realize that people expect real-time communication these days – waiting for a paper newsletter to arrive in the mail is no longer acceptable for much of the information that we need to get out to our members. We need to be keeping our website state-of-the-art and current and yes, maybe we even need to be tweeting.

In the coming months, we will be putting out an RFP for “branding” the District. This will be another facet of our communications overhaul. We’re hoping that some of the talented graphics professionals that many of us work with will be able to help us identify ourselves in a way that can be used in all of our communications. The RFP will be announced in an edition of this monthly e-newsletter.

So for those of you like me, be encouraged: an older engineer can be taught new tricks. And for those of you who have never known anything but a world with e-mail, bloggers, and Skype: the District leadership is doing its best to keep up. But don’t be surprised if we sheepishly ask for some help.

Karen Aspelin

Karen Aspelin, PE, PTOE
Western District President