When the count didn't come out right
it was discovered they were the wrong labels and had to all be
redone. The Troubadour apologizes to the Bush League
organizers and anyone else for any inconvenience this may have
But there's a bigger difficulty for the publication, money.
The 'free' issues are paid for with membership dues and advertising but
the cost to produce issues has been rising faster. This has
caused a gradual reduction in the number of issues published per year
from 6 to 4.
And then another blow, because Pioneer District membership dues are not
paid directly to the Pioneer District but through the Barbershop
Harmony Society, the United States Postal Service decided to pull the
Troubadour's temporary non-profit discounted 2nd Class mailing
What to do? Most districts have gone to using the internet to
distribute publications online while reducing or eliminating entirely
their printed publications. The Pioneer District leadership
has expressed a desire to have printed publications available for
non-internet users and for those who simply enjoy reading off paper and
keeping their Troubadour library collection current. Copies
of the Troubadour have
Up With The Troub?
(click image for website)
by Editor Michael Bairbeau
Did you see the Troubadour print issue Aug/Sep '07 with the Bush League
competition invitation as the front page headline? Did you
notice it was after the competition had already been held and wondered,
'what's up with that'? And what about the decline in the
number of issues per year? I know I sure was puzzled so my
first job as the new Troubadour editor was to get up to speed on the
wonderful world of subscription publishing.
Our previous Editor Joe Serwach and Marketing PR guy Rick Anderson have
been a big help explaining it all. First thing I learned is
that there's some great people who volunteer a lot of their time doing
a demanding job to get the Troubadour out and deserve a tip from our
collective straw hats.
As to the Bush League question there was a snafu with the membership
mailing labels received from the Barbershop Harmony Society that go
onto the printed copies.
been available online for some time as pdf files
thanks to District Webmaster Steve Sutherland but those online copies
were only available when the printed versions were completed and ready
So, we're going to reverse the process. We're putting out a
monthly online publication not constrained by mailing costs or the
volume of articles and then, pending the results of the District's
Troubadour survey, consolidate those top stories for a printed
quarterly or triannual version. It's possible the printed
publications will no longer be free and will have a subscription fee
for those who want to continue receiving them. The price will
be kept at a minimum, offset with advertising both in print and online
and membership dues. The details are still pending, as some
surveys have not been returned yet. The next printed
publication will probably include details for continuing the
Okay, so it's both exciting and disconcerting. We all liked
getting that familiar Troubadour issue in the mail as part of the
membership and not have to worry about it. But we have
delayed this change for as long as possible and need to adapt like
other Districts have in order for the Troubadour to survive and
UPDATE Aug 16, 2008
*'To reiterate update since the online article, we are currently submitting monthly Troubadour issues online, eTroubs, which are then consolidated into biannual editions for the print Troubadour publication sent to all members and paid by member dues and ads'.
Survey results from Rick Anderson.
1. Would an electronic newsletter serve your needs? Yes, 69%. No, 31%.
2. Would you be willing to pay more to the district for a printed newsletter? Yes, 7%. No, 93%.
3. Do you have internet access? Yes, 74%. No, 26%.
4. Do you have an e-mail account? Yes, 74%. No, 26%.
Additionally Pioneer has 1736 members 2008. 462 of them, or 26.6%, didn't list an e-mail addresses.