In a fit of temporary insanity, I decided that I wanted to rejoin the ACM.
I was a member of the ACM in the 80s and 90s, and it was neat to get SigPlan notices and so forth. Then I noticed that the SigGraph proceedings always sucked, and that every other article in the Communications of the ACM seemed to be about a different oppressed minority in computer science, or some Ada mumbledy barf, or how to teach programming to pre-med students. Finally I had a couple boxes of journals in the basement that weren’t as fun to read or as timeless or even as nice-smelling as the equivalent number of National Geographics, and I let my membership lapse. Didn’t miss it. I could get OOPSLA proceedings from a bookstore, if it looked good enough (…when there were decent technical bookstores in Silly Valley, don’t get me started).
And I’m still not a member. At $99 a year, I don’t want to pay for it. I’d rather just go to the corporate library and browse, thanks. I guess if I didn’t work for a large corporation that the $198/year for the online ACM library access would be attractive, but that two hundred clams is a lot of money for not much bang.
Wired is $10/year, and more fun. And you can get a lot of good papers on the net without having to join a society.