802 Web Site Debuts to Enthusiastic Reviews

Volume XCIX, No. 11December, 1999

Local 802’s new web site made its debut on Sept. 20 – and was an instant hit with members. In the next 10 days, 130 musicians logged on and filled out personal “profiles,” entitling them to use the members-only section on the web site, and ensuring that they will receive personal messages on issues they are particularly concerned about.

In October, 60 more members registered, and more than 2,000 “user sessions” on the web site were recorded. The figures for November were not yet available, as this issue went to press.

“People seem really happy with the web site,” said Jennifer Cronin, MIS Supervisor for Local 802. “I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback.”

That included a message from former President John Glasel, who oversaw the union’s first steps into computerization. “Just logged on to 802’s new site for the first time,” he wrote. “A beautiful job!” He noted that information in “the profile I had submitted only seconds before” was already incorporated in his directory listing.

David Elsila, who recently retired as editor of the United Auto Workers’ award-winning magazine, Solidarity, and is the father of organizer Mikael Elsila, said the web site “shows Local 802 as a union, as a professional association, and as a social movement. Congratulations to all who had a hand in producing it.”

802 member and trombone player Glen Daum wrote, “I think the web site is terrific. I updated some addresses into my database from your directory listings just last night. It’s a whole lot easier to copy and paste rather than typing it all over again!” Another member contacted Cronin to ask whether orchestra auditions could be included on the web site.

One major expansion that is now in the planning stages is a separate, but linked web site devoted to promoting and marketing live music in the New York area, designed to attract potential consumers of the services offered by Local 802 members and signatories. A plan and budget for the web site will be developed over the next few months.

For now, Cronin said, the focus will be on filling in a few missing pieces (the Broadway scales haven’t yet gone up, although virtually every other 802 scale is now available), and deciding which sections should be expanded. She emphasized that input from members about ways to make the web page more useful is very welcome.

As this article was written, 802’s home page carried a “scab alert,” warning musicians of efforts by the Atlanta Ballet to hire replacement workers; information about leafletting planned for Nov. 17 and 18 in support of the negotiations for a first contract for instructors in the New School’s Guitar Studies program; the text of a leaflet Broadway musicians are handing out at the Minskoff Theatre, warning the public that the music is poorly served by the undersized orchestra management has employed in “Saturday Night Fever;” and announcements of several public hearings on health care. The information changes weekly. Log on and check it out.