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 Association of Online Professionals
Information and Membership Application

Thank you for your interest in the Association of Online Professionals. As our industry grows, it is critical that professionals such as ourselves join together to promote our common interests and defend ourselves from unwarranted regulation and legislation.

AOP was created by leading members of our industry to support the individuals, online systems and companies that comprise the industry. While we are a young organization, we have substantial support behind our Association. And this support reaches far beyond our own borders, with organizing efforts underway for affiliate AOP organizations in Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

Together, we are building an industry where professionals can practice their craft without undue interference. An industry with room for individuals and systems to grow and prosper. And an industry where our members can grow professionally and profit from their efforts.

But we can't do it without you.

Regardless of the environment in which you work – from a BBS or online system to the Internet to companies that provide products and services to online systems – you are an online professional. And we need your support. We need your voice with ours when we fight for fair legislation. We need your ideas and efforts to define and deliver services. We need your financial support, through your dues, to staff and fund these efforts.

The dues you pay – far lower than for most professional associations – will be returned to you in the form of a better environment in which to manage your system or business. And it will be returned to you more directly in the form of services, information, discounts and support not easily available to you anywhere else.

It is our goal and our commitment to deliver to you a set of services worth more than what you pay in dues. More importantly, it is our goal to help create the credibility, public support and respect that system operators deserve.

We look forward to having you as a member of the Association of Online Professionals. If we may provide you with further information or answer questions, please don't hesitate to call AOP in our headquarters near Washington, DC.

          Association of Online Professionals
                        Fact Sheet

The Assocation of Online Professionals (AOP) is a non-profit service and support organization that exists to foster and promote the growth of individuals, organizations and companies that operate, consult with and support electronic communications and information services worldwide.

Association: Section 501©(6) professional

			association, tax-exempt

Founded: 1994 Staff Contact: David P. McClure

			Executive Director

Classes of Membership: Individual


Special Interest Groups: System Operator

			Industry Marketing
			Public Policy

Board of Directors:

Dennis C. Hayes		Hayes Microcomputer (Chairman)
Steve Klingler		Clark Development (Vice Chairman)
Adam A. Strack		US Robotics (Treasurer)
Tony McClenny		World Data Network (Secretary)
Doug Clemons		Rockwell International
Dan Linton		Software Creations
Bob Mahoney		Exec-PC
Carson Hanrahan		Traders Connection
Kathy Lane		Harman Interactive

Contact: Association of Online Professionals

			6010 Burdon Court, Suite 302
			Alexandria, VA   22315  
			Voice:   (703) 924-9692
			Fax:	 (703) 924-9594 
 				70631,266 on CIS
				Go AOP on AOL
			BBS:     (404) 592-0255   
			Fidonet: 1:133/1501 
     Association of Online Professionals 
             6010 Burdon Court, Suite 302
               Alexandria, VA   22315  
                    (703) 924-9692 

In California, self-styled consumer advocates are lobbying legislators to regulate the BBS industry. Among the proposed regulations is a requirement for every BBS with customers in the state to establish a business address and buy a business license for California. . .

The state of Pennsylvania has adopted new tax laws that will apply sales and use taxes for connect time, downloads and services from online services and BBS systems. At least 25 other states are expected follow suit in the months ahead. . .

Congress, working to forge a National Information Infrastructure, is lobbied daily by powerful and well funded cable and television companies to make interactive TV the format for NII. . .

Proposed revisions to the U.S. copyright law under consideration right now would make SysOps responsible forcollection of royalties and safeguarding of copyrighted material on their systems. In part, the content providers are seeking to make SysOps financially liable for copyrighted materials of any kind that find their way into electronic distribution. . .

The news media portray BBS systems as a population of pornographers and software thieves. And they question whether families and kids are "safe" online. . .

If the online services industry is to survive and thrive, we must work together to bring power and respect to the industry and its members. SysOps, companies and other professionals with an interest in the industry must work together to protect our interests and promote the growth of our industry.

The job of promoting an industry and providing services to its professionals falls to an industry trade and professional association. Where no single SysOp, and no single company, has the resources to do what needs to be done on its own, and association – with thousands of members each contributing a little to the effort – can. The Association of Online Professionals is your association, committed to these goals. AOP was formed to create and provide opportunities to professionals in the online industry. Opportunities for interaction with other online professionals. Opportunities for growth, career advancement, entrepreneurship and business referrals.

But AOP is more than this. It's your voice in Washington and at the state level. It's valuable information, discounts on essential products and services, and member support designed to make your life easier.

The Association of Online Professionals is a non-profit trade association founded in 1994 to promote the interests of the professionals who plan, manage and provide services to the online telecommunications industry. Though in its first year, AOP has already gained the support of major companies in the industry, key system operators and other interested professionals throughout the country.

AOP is your association. We've made a strong start, and will be working actively through the fall to build a set of services that can provide real value to our SysOp members.

Classes of Membership

AOP has two classes of members:

Individual members are individuals who manage or operate systems that include BBS systems, nodes of the Internet, nodes on message networks, remote access computers and other systems. And they are the professionals actively involved in the industry who do not manage systems. These include service providers, educators, law enforcement officers, government employees and others who share our commitment to the growth of the online community. These members receive the full range of AOP services for an annual dues of $95.

Corporate members include the companies that provide hardware, software, access services (including major online systems) and other direct services or support for system operators. Corporate members pay a dues fee on a sliding scale based on gross annual sales, and receive up to five individual memberships, access to industry research data, access to members, and a role in industry promotion and public policy initiatives.

Participation in Association Special Interest Groups:

AOP operates and supports special interest groups (SIGs) and committees that work cooperatively to the betterment of the industry. Members are invited and encouraged to participate in these programs. They include, but are not limited to:

1) A SysOp SIG that will set priorities for projects and guide the AOP staff in providing services to system operator members. This SIG also oversees such critical projects as the Standards Committee (which manages the AOP Code of Professional Standards) and the Awards Committee.

2) An Industry Marketing SIG to develop and implement joint marketing programs to members and consumers. This is the primary working group for consultants, service providers and small companies.

3) A Public Policy SIG to coordinate legislative and regulatory responses at the International, Federal and State levels in support of member interests.

4) A Hobbyist/Non-Profit SIG that will set priorities for projects and guide the AOP staff in providing services to system operators who operate non-profit or hobby online systems.

5) An Education SIG that will establish and strengthen the use of online systems for education and reference. This SIG will also manage the AOP Certification Program for online professionals.

6) A Media SIG for members who report on or cover online communications, including editors of online 'zines and newsletters.

Members are encouraged to be active in one or more SIGs, both to ensure that their voices are heard in the Association and to help further the goals of the Association. New SIGs will be added if a sufficient number of members request them.

Member Services

Service to members is the reason AOP exists, and its single goal for the years ahead. These services are defined and planned by our members based on their needs, and implemented on their behalf by the Association's staff.

Services for members include:

– Opportunities for interaction with other professionals,

 including seminars, conferences and regional events. 

– A voice in Washington, and in your state capitol, working to

 protect your interests. 

– Professional advisory services for legal, business management,

 marketing and accounting issues. 

– Career development, education and accreditation services for


– Referrals for Bulletin Boards. Referrals to consultants. And a

 job-search bank for professionals seeking new opportunities. 

– Discounts on essential products and services.

– Industry-wide promotional programs to foster the growth of the

 online community, including  media relations, joint marketing 
 and public education. 

– Association publications that include membership directory,

 resource guide, online systems legal guide and more.

– A members-only BBS system for communication and information

 vital to online operations and management. 

– A monthly newsletter, legislative alerts and other timely news.

– Accurate industry and marketing information available only to


– And the opportunity be take an active role in the growth and

 evolution of the world's fastest-growing and most vital 

AOP is the international association for online professionals. It's your professional association, created and managed to serve your needs and interests.

AOP is well-organized and planned. It is staffed by experts in the online industry and in association management. It's backed by leading BBS systems, online services, companies and consultants across the country. All it needs now is the participation of professionals like you.

To join AOP, simply complete the enclosed membership application and return it with your check or money order for your first year's dues. You may also join by check or credit card either by telephone (703-924-9693) or on the AOP BBS.

                    Application For 

Individual Membership

Name: _ Company: _ Address: _ City: _ State: _ Zip: Country: _ Phone: _ Fax: E-Mail: _ Type of Company, BBS or Online System: _ Public BBS _ Private/Corporate BBS _ Internet Site _ Online Services Forum _ Public Library _ Consulting Firm _ E-Mail Provider _ Academic Institution _ Law Firm _ Media/Publisher _ Internet Provider _ Computer Hardware/Software _ Marketing Firm _ Network Consultant Other (specify):

For our records, please provide information regarding the online or BBS system you manage, if applicable. If the system has multiple telephone lines or nodes, note the first or primary contact telephone number. For the Internet or other addressable systems, provide the complete e-mail address. For content, list the type of materials carried on the system (e.g., adult-oriented, research, general public info, etc.):

Name of System: _ Main Access Telephone #: _ Modem Type/Baud Rate: _ General Content: _


Instructions for Membership Application:

Please complete all information on the reverse side of this page. The information will be used for the AOP Membership Directory and for our files. When completed, mail this document along with a check or money order for dues to:

Director of Member Services

Association of Online Professionals     
      6010 Burdon Court, Suite 302
      Alexandria, VA   22315  
      Voice:   (703) 924-9692 
      Fax:     (703) 924-9594  

Payment is also accepted by Visa or Mastercard. Enter the information below and mail or fax this document to AOP:

Name of Cardholder:_ Visa MasterCard Expiration Date _ Card Number: _ Signature:

For faster application, call AOP with your credit card or check information.

Dues for individual professionals is a flat fee of $95. Dues must accompany the membership application.

This dues payment is not deductible as a charitable contribution. However, for most members this fee is deductible as a business expense. Please note that 20 percent of member dues will be used for lobbying expenses on behalf of the members. Membership is for a one-year period. Membership is not transferrable or refundable.

AOP has a wide variety of committees and special interest groups in which you may choose to become active. Please indicate your interest:

_ Public Policy SIG _ Media SIG _ Education SIG _ Hobbyist/Non-Profit SIG _ SysOp SIG _ Industry Marketing SIG

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