@associationinc - Deciding your role is to aggregate other people's value is like George Costanza wearing sweatpants. "You're telling the world, 'I give up.'"
@cardcat - Interesting comment about aggregating. Don't you think it is a viable option for a small association who can't afford it?
@associationinc - Nothng wrong with aggregating content as long as you don't perceive it to be your value proposition. There's no real future in it.
@cardcat - Don't think it is THE value proposition, but I think it could be A value to members, a big value.
@associationinc - A big value is something you offer that nobody else can or that u can do better. Aggregating content is easy, there4 unsustainable.
@cardcat - True, it isn't sustainable. But I almost think if you don't act as an aggregator, you risk folks going somewhere else.
@associationinc - And if you don't do your members' taxes, you risk folks going to H&R Block. :) ... Like I said, nothing wrong with it.
@cardcat - Ok, ok. Now you are just getting carried away ;) Yes, nothing wrong with it, but not a long term value prop. Agreed.
That got me thinking more about value in general. Wikipedia talks about value proposition primarily in terms of Benefits and Costs. And many would define value strictly in terms of Benefits and Costs. However, I want to bring up one other word that is key: Expectations.
There is an expected value in a transaction. You expect that Benefits > Costs or you wouldn't do it in the first place. You expect certain benefits for your costs. Although anyone can aggregate data then distribute it, association members tend to expect their association to be the place to go for information (the bigger value proposition). Therefore, you may need to aggregate to meet those expectations. And if someone else aggregates the same info, chances are you are still going to be preferred because of the other things you are doing and your reputation as an industry representative.
If you don't do it, then you may not be filling members' biggest need and expectation, which risks them walking away from the other values that you offer, simply because of convenience. It is why a lot of people go to Walmart. I may have better selection and quality somewhere else, and maybe even price, but at least I can do it in one stop. The question you have to ask yourself is, do you want your association to be Walmart?
**For the record, I am not saying being Walmart is good or bad. It's just one of the many options out there.