The Value of the Recorder and the CSEG Website
It is hard to be optimistic given the current situation. We’ve seen our friends and colleagues laid-off during this drastic fall in oil prices. This has led to a drop in our membership and many of the traditional advertisers and sponsors pulling out. The resulting drop in the funds has led us to make some difficult decisions about the services we offer our members. One of the mandates of the CSEG is to help our members communicate and keep in touch, which we facilitate via the RECORDER and the CSEG website.
The RECORDER and the CSEG website contain technical articles and articles of interest written by our members that are read by other members. It provides interviews of our members who share their experiences as a geophysicist. It provides a venue for communicating learning opportunities such as CSEG Luncheons and DoodleTrain, advertisement of awards honouring our members’ achievements, events our numerous volunteers are running, and opportunities to meet your fellow geophysicists such as Ski Spree, Doodlespiel and T-wave, to name but a few.
The CSEG website has slowly been evolving over the years with the addition of new content. For example, for those of you who missed Leon Thomsen’s Technical Luncheon talk in November (Geophysics in a Time of Cheap Oil), there is a link to webcast online. There are convention abstracts going back to 2001, where you can look up some of your favourite talks.
We have been looking at ways to reduce the costs of running the RECORDER without unduly impacting the quality of the publication. We have taken a look at trying to reduce cost per page, cost per edition, mailing costs, etc. We have even been considering looking at electronic ways of bringing this information to you. This is a departure from what has been done previously. But even the RECORDER has been slowly changing over the years. Due to the unfortunate circumstances in which we find ourselves, we may have to bring these changes about faster than we would like. One way of viewing our current situation is the Old Italian proverb “Siccome la casa brucia, riscaldiamoci.” It literally translates as “Since the house is on fire, let’s get warm.” Or you take it as making the most of a bad situation. So please keep that in mind when reading the following. One of the changes that we are considering is giving you the option of not receiving a printed copy of the RECORDER. This means in the future when you renew your CSEG membership, you may have the option to place a check mark in order to not receive a printed copy of the RECORDER. This was one of things we were considering earlier in the year when we sent out that survey about your reading habits on the print edition versus the online edition. In the mean time, we will continue to explore ways to keep bringing you the RECORDER during these strange economic times.
I have had the pleasure of visiting the Oil Museum of Canada out near Oil Springs, Ontario. It is near the site of North America’s first commercial oil well in 1858 and still has some of the original oil wells which are still producing. This discovery was the start of the oil boom that lasted through the 1860’s and 1870’s. According to the literature at the museum after the end of that oil boom the people involved moved on to new oil fields around the world. The reason why I mention it is to give us some perspective and remind us that while oil booms come and go, the people don’t just disappear. They find ways to keep going.
For example, back in the early 1990’s when I was discovering geophysics and entering the oil & gas industry it was starting to recover from the bust of the 1980’s. Many of the geologists and geophysicists I was working with endured those bad years before seeing the next recovery. The same thing can be said of the dip in 1999 before the boom in the early 2000’s.
During all these downturns before the following upturns, there have been companies going bankrupt, people moving on to new companies or even starting up new companies. Which reminds me, for those of you moving on to new companies, don’t be shy and please let us know so we can put a quick blurb about you in the Tracing the Industry section. For those of you starting up new companies and wanting to showcase your services or if you are an existing company and wanting to remind everybody that you are still around, the RECORDER has plenty of available ad space. Now with that shameless plug over, please enjoy the rest of the RECORDER.