The last few years have seen a decline in the numbers of some of the UK's oldest (and some might add respected) professional membership organisations. I think this is a trend that will not only continue, but exponentially shake the world of professional organisation membership for the future.
The cause? Technology and our ability to maximise our social capital by utilising this technology.
Unless, like some of the more enlightened membership organisations, these bodies are able to adapt to the imediacy of opportunity that exists within 'social media channelling', they will continue to witness a substantial drop in membership numbers.
So why? Part of the reason is that traditional membership organisations relied on traditional methods of communication and influence; monthly journals are being replaced by e-zines, market knowledge is public knowledge, membership 'benefits' don't seem to offer much 'benefit' anymore in a UK buying culture which has been shaped, after being savaged, by a global recession.
Where does it go from here? Well, as in the song, "Down to the lake, I fear"
The social media 'lake', that is.