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Quick clicks: Opening Day edition

For your sake, I hope right now you're sitting in a stadium somewhere with a hot dog and box of Cracker Jack, enjoying the return of America's pastime and not thinking about associations at all. (That's what I did last year.) But if you're hard at work for your association like normal today, here are a few important articles and blog posts from the past week to help you do that job a little bit better.

Web sharing. Google is getting into the social web-page-sharing game with its new "+1" button. You can't add the "+1" button to your web pages yet like a Facebook "Like" button or a Twitter "Retweet" button, but you'll be able to soon, and you can sign up to be notified when it's ready.

Member recruitment. David Patt, CAE, asks why member-get-a-member campaigns always feature incentives. The underlying question is, "If your members aren't recommending your association to others on their own, are you really that valuable to them?"

Membership models. Jamie Notter on The Common Thread blog sums up this week's association chat on Twitter (#assnchat) and asks, "Are You Still Collecting Dues?" The debate over paid membership rages on.

Staff meetings. Jeffrey Cufaude passes along an insight from a colleague: "Scheduling a meeting is not the same as planning one." He suggests a rating system for staff meetings. Makes sense. We ask members to rate our conferences, so why not ask colleagues to rate our staff meetings?

The Stars and Stripes. Does your association open meetings with the pledge of allegiance or the national anthem? Cindy Butts, CAE, tells some stories about problems associations run into involving the display of the American flag, and she offers six tips to avoid some of those common pitfalls.

Bacon (the email kind). Maddie Grant shares a great infographic about bacon, a term for spam that you sign up for, which describes a lot of email that associations send to their members. (Just like the real thing, "Some bacon is good, too much clogs your arteries.") She says she'd even pay an extra fee to get less bacon. Would you? (Would your members?)

Member communication. How can you know what innovations your members will find useful? Listening. Listening closely to your members about their challenges, hopes, fears, daily lives, and so on, says Eric Lanke, CAE.

And if you're a baseball fan, here are MLB.com's predictions for the 2011 season. Best of luck to whichever team you'll be root root rooting for this year!

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