When a Lawyer Designs Your Web Page

ASAE just posted the sign-up form for using their networking application for the Annual meeting in Boston this summer. This is a pretty cool little application from IntroNetworks that maps the social network of attendees, attempting to facilitate more contacts.

However. There is a rather unfriendly disclaimer posted above the join button, which includes this paragraph (emphasis added):

Attendee acknowledges through use of the System that ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership are not in the business of creating or managing online communities and it is the sole responsibility of the attendee to adhere to recommended terms of use provided by ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership.

Really? ASAE isn’t in the online community business? I don’t agree with that statement, so I guess I shouldn’t enter the network.

This is what happens when a lawyer, who is paid to play defense, is given too much sway over what goes onto your site. What a horrible message for any association to put in front their most committed and active members.

I would delete the entire statement and replace it with this: We are in the business of facilitating your member community. We welcome you to our network and encourage you to use it to maximize the value of your Annual meeting experience!

Update: Peter Hutchins from ASAE posted in the comments that they are working on updating the page and have removed the paragraph I mentioned as a first step. Thanks for listening and acting, Peter!

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3 thoughts on “When a Lawyer Designs Your Web Page

  1. Thanks David for bring this to our attention. You are correct in that we posted the legal statement without carefully reading what we were posting. ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership are definitely in the business of creating and managing communities both online and in person. We have already made changes to the page you are refereeing to making it more user friendly, but you can expect more changes to come until we have satisfied both the lawyers and the users.

  2. Zach, can you expand on that comment? Is it just intronetworks or the whole idea of social networking?

    I have to admit when I first used IntroNetworks for the Nashville meeting, it showed me mostly people I already knew! But, I may be an outlier with a lot of connections already.

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