George Six
George Six

George D. Six
Rotary club connections in the digital age

September 26, 2017

A generation ago, civic service clubs met for meetings and fellowship at a convenient restaurant on main street. And they drew their membership from professionals within convenient walking distances.

But main streets have changed. Putnam Rotary today includes a core membership of rising professionals who transfer jobs frequently in their climb up the career ladder. They work in Huntington, in Charleston, and in offices scattered from Dunbar to Barboursville in between.

Active participation in weekly luncheon meetings is not so convenient. From Charleston offices, attendance requires up to three hours -- an hour for lunch, and two hours for travel out to Teays Valley and back.

Putnam Rotarians in 2004 suggested the growing technology in digital communication as a way to overcome the problems of distance.

Within a matter of months, the clubs in southern West Virginia (RI District 7550) had subscribed to a membership database sponsored by Rotary International.

By 2013 Putnam's George Six was recognized with a special award for maintaining the district web site.

Today Rotarian Six brought Putnam club members up to date on usage of its special web site on the internet.

The site is called DACdb, an acronym for District And Club data base. And through this state-of-the-art software in cyberspace, Rotarians have ready access to contact information for any other club member -- in the area, in southern West Virginia, or anywhere in the world that Rotarians have subscribed to the database communication tool.

Two years ago, a major outing for the local club, the 5K Run/Walk, was organized and carried out almost entirely through the DACdb web site. The chair for the event had been unable to attend planning meetings due to time and distance restraints.

And, assisted by DACdb, Putnam's Chet Marshall, once marketed 200 tickets for the club's charity lottery from a hospital bed in Houston's MD Anderson Center.

As George Six explained today, every club member in southern West Virginia is enrolled in DACdb. A computer mouse click on the name or email entry for a member opens a message form ready for immediate transmission through cyberspace.

Phone numbers and "snail mail" addresses are also posted. The Putnam club has included a portrait of each member, for benefit of those unable to attend the weekly luncheon meetings.

Birth dates, anniversary dates, club induction dates, jobs, spouse names, children's names -- in fact, more info than nearly anybody would ever want to know -- may appear on DACdb. And each member has the ability to edit their personal page at any time.

Profiles for other Rotarians may be found by entering a local club roster, or a given name, or even part of a name. (A search for "George" returns names of seven Rotarians in southern West Virginia.)

A calendar of activities is available. Club statistics -- attendance, for example -- may be viewed.

The site, protected by individual passwords for members, is a means for connecting to over a million fellow club members in some 34,000 local clubs around the world.

And it's especially useful for the Putnam club where attendance at the weekly meetings runs about half of the active membership.

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