ROSNF Chair Chat – August 21

Fellow ROSNF members:

ROSNF now has 963 registered members and we still hope to reach 1,000 this month before filing our annual report to Rotary International.

Simone, the chair of the ROSNF Training Committee, is looking for volunteer members to help with 3 upcoming RI Webinars on social networking. If you are interested, join the training committee here:

Mary Kathryn, the chair of the Membership and Fellowship Committee, is looking for ways to promote fellowship among members using social networks. If you would like to get involved and help, join committee here:

Mel Powell , the chair of the ROSNF Public Relations Committee,is planning campaign to promote clubs creating Facebook pages for their clubs. The committee is also looking at setting up online service where members can order buttons like the ones sold at RI Convention booth in New Orleans. If you are interested in helping, join the committee here:

Gus Goh the chair of the ROSNF Convention Committee is preparing for the RI Convention in Bangkok where ROSNF will have booth in the House of Friendship. If you are interested in helping, join the committee here:

Don Higgins, the chair of the Programming & Application Committee, is currently developing the first ROSNF Facebook application called Global Club Directory. If you are interested in volunteering to help with development, documentation, testing, promotion, and/or administration and support of this application, join the committee here:

See the ROSNF Global Club Directory User Guide here:

Don Higgins

ROSNF Chair 2011-2012

Rotary eClub One

Rotary eClub One was chartered January 4, 2002, as Rotary’s first club with operations supported by electronic communications, phone, and Internet.

The mission of Rotary eClub One is to connect, inform, and inspire members and guests who are travel bound, place bound, or schedule bound and prevented from fulfilling traditional attendance requirements.

To assist the mission ,they  created “programs” (articles) and a makeup feature that attracts Rotarians from around the globe. They currently have an average of 405 unique visitors per day.

The makeup feature received official recognition Monday, June 14, 2004, when the Council on Legislation 2004 adopted the Rotary eClub One, D5450 proposed enactment to add “To allow attendance credit for a 30-minute interactive club website activity” to the list of makeup venues in the standard Rotary Club Constitution and Bylaws.

Their Facebook Page : Rotary eClub One

Link :!/eclubone?sk=info

Social Media Webinars

Rotary International is organising more webinars on social networking: 2 basic and 1 advanced.

They are currently calling for expressions of interest from Rotarians interested in being panelists. They preferably would like panelists who are able to participate in all 3 webinars.

Each webinar will last approximately 1 hour.

We have created Facebook events for each of the webinars so that you can be kept up to date with details such as when registrations open and who the successful panelists are, as well as be reminded about when they are coming up so you don’t miss the call:

[These are the start times in Chicago; CST is GMT-6]

ROSNF Chair Chat August 7

Fellow ROSNF members:

This week the ROSNF Facebook application under development was renamed to ROSNF Global Club Directory. The documentation for this application which includes link to the actual application and database schema is located here:

The original application required that each club have a group on Facebook. The new ROSNF GCD application has been updated to support Rotary Clubs, Rotaract Clubs, Interact Clubs, and Rotary E-Clubs where each club can have link to a Facebook page, Facebook group, or a website. Since ROSNF GCD is a Facebook application for Facebook users, it is preferred that each club have a Facebook page which club members and the global user community on Facebook can see and “like”. If you are looking for tips on how to create a Facebook page for your club, there are useful resources here:

In other news this week, ROSNF received notice and sample form to submit its annual report to RI which is due by October 1. Currently we have 944 registered members on and we hope to be over 1,000 when we are ready to file our report.
If you prefer the LinkedIn social network instead of Facebook, ROSNF invites you to join and participate in the ROSNF Group on LinkedIn. In addition, all members regardless of the social networks they use, are welcome to participate in the Member Lounge group here:

If you are looking for an opportunity to meet ROSNF members face to face, be sure you sign up for the RI Convention in Bangkok. ROSNF Board member Gus Goh has volunteered to chair the ROSNF Convention Committee this year and there will be a ROSNF booth in the House of Friendship in Bangkok where you can meet fellow ROSNF members and also buy a ROSNF “Like” button. If you are going to the convention, consider volunteering to help Gus by requesting to join the Convention Committee Group here:

Don Higgins
ROSNF Chair 2011-2012

Being in a Rotary eClub 2 – Across the room

A couple of days ago, my Rotarian Magazine began a transatlantic journey across the room where my club holds its meeting. It was an exciting meeting with an engaging speaker or should I say an attentive audience? Often I have sat through meetings without a verbal contribution, save the occasional ‘hi’ and ‘smiles’. I just sit there enjoying the conversation and thinking ‘should I say something’ or ‘what do I say’. Then there are those moments when I actively participate in meetings, move across the room and get to meet the wonderful everyday people who are my Club members.

Our last meeting provided such an opportunity. One of our members, Emmanuel, is passionate about stamps so the August edition really fired him up. He took us on journey through National Stamps that have carried the Rotary Logo at any point. All you needed to do was make a contribution and you will be rewarded with the story of Rotary stamps in your country (Rotary eClub One membership is drawn from across the world). You also get to see a picture of such stamps. So I made my occasional contribution, was rewarded with Rotary stamps from Nigeria and Niger.

By participating, I learned about Emmanuel’s passion and the work he does with children who are interested in stamp collection. I also got a few tips on how to start collecting without spending 🙂 and my magazine began its journey across the room.  That set me think about other members sitting across the room and my interactions with them. There is Dave, who devotes over 50% of his time to organizing RYLA programs and still manages to keep his job; Chris who happens to be the go-to person on matters relating to eClubs; Henry-never misses a meeting and lightens up the house; Carol our IPP, makes me feel I can (physically) see everyone in the room when she leads the meeting. There are so many other members with whom I have interacted with, just by crossing the room and others who I look forward to interacting with.

Being in a Rotary eClub is not rocket science, it is like being a member of any other Rotary club. Of course, there is the aspect of using technology to facilitate activities, extended meeting duration and the ease of maintaining membership requirement.  Anytime, I login to the Club House I consider myself to have taken a seat in the room. My first action is usually to look around and see who else is in the room, sitting beside me or across the room. The added plus is that I can bring myself up to speed on the agenda without disrupting the meeting; decide what my contributions will be and make same at my convenience. Hmm, at my convenience is not always a good thing though, as sometimes another member will have stepped up with same ideas I had wanted to share.

Being in a Rotary eClub will not provide an escape from Rotary membership requirements, however it may make it easier for you to fulfill them.

Building a Team

I learned a long time ago that you can not accomplish anything worth while alone.  Asking for help was a tough lesson to learn, but probably one of my most valuable.

A single zealot is akin to the guy dancing by himself at a concert.  He looks like a lunatic.  Then someone else comes over and starts dancing, and while you consider joining in, you still look at them oddly.  It’s not until the 3rd person shows up that it becomes a party.  Now, you are building a crowd, having fun and you don’t care what anyone else thinks.  More over, everyone else sees how much fun you are having.

This has been my approach to building a team and change within our district.  My pontificating on “what needs to change” makes me look like an outcast.  Getting several others to buy in early, share that belief and most importantly own it, makes it look like a … dare I say, a movement.  We have called our team the Rotary Revolution of 2012.

Granted – nothing happens over night, but the seed has been planted.   We have more energy, more enthusiasm, more excitement.

Now we have to plug the details in to make it all come together.

Training Committee

Hi everyone! I will be chairing the ROSNF Training Committee this year, and am raring to get this committee up and running.

Some of the existing members of the committee regularly post articles and tips on our Facebook page and here on, so I think that aspect is currently working well. Are there any aspects of social networking that you would like to see us provide resources for?

What I think we do need to improve is with our Social Network Champions project. Quite a number of ROSNF members have signed up to be Champions at a club, district or zone level, but we aren’t coordinating that in any way. A discussion group for Social Network Champions exists on but has hardly been utilized. I think first and foremost we need a volunteer to co-ordinate this project, to make sure that whatever resources Champions would like are addressed by ROSNF. For example, would it be beneficial to have a Facebook group for Social Network Champions to specifically discuss getting social media better adopted in their club / district / zone? Are there step-by-step guides or powerpoint presentations that we could be providing to assist with that?

What other training needs should we be addressing?

If you would like to assist with training or coordinating projects such as our Social Network Champions, please join the Training Committee group.

ROSNF Chair Chat July 31

Fellow ROSNF members:

In the last week we added over 20 new registered members. If we can keep this pace up we will easily achieve 1000 members by the end of August. One of the things I did this past week was contact my district fellowship committee chairman and tell him about ROSNF and what we do. I’m hoping to increase membership from my own district 6950 which has a Facebook page here:!/RotaryDistrict6950

I encourage everyone to contact their own district fellowship committee chairs and make them aware of ROSNF. And if you haven’t already, you can also help your district and club create Facebook pages to promote Rotary with club members and the public at large on Facebook.

This week I also posted a request for any members interested in helping to develop and maintain the first ROSNF Facebook application. I’m just getting started on the implementation of an existing Facebook Rotary hub built by Rotaractor Max Plischke back in 2008. The original application named open-club-directory has its open source PHP code and SQL database definition available to all here:

The target Facebook application under construction is here:

I hope to get the code updated to current Facebook and MySQL standards and up and running on Facebook in the coming weeks if all goes well. If there are some on this thread interested in helping, let me know. I view this as a proto-type of the proposed RI Rotary hub serving those on Facebook. I’m hopeful that this application will allow Rotarians and Rotaractors on Facebook to try it out and provide feedback on what works, what doesn’t, etc.

This first ROSNF Facebook application will allow users to add their Rotary profile information and then they can use this application to search for other Rotarians and Rotaractors who have chosen to share their Rotary profile information. The search can be on any field in the Rotary profile such as name, district, club, classification, position, projects, etc. When matches are found, the Facebook profile pictures, names, and profile links are displayed.

Once this application is up and running with minimum of changes, then phase 2 hopefully will consist of replacing user entry of district and club name with real time access to RI One Rotary database service in real time to allow user to select zone, district, and club from pull down menus and avoid all the issues with entering name of club. Thanks to Peter Markos and his RI staff, I have the information on how to make this change but I just have not gotten to that stage yet.

Again I’m still looking for any Rotarians or Rotaractors interested in helping and becoming Facebook application experts in the process learning PHP, SQL, and Facebook API’s.

Don Higgins

ROSNF Chair 2011-2012

On the Road to District Governor pt 3

Some of the biggest changes I am attempting to implement are:

1)  Combined DG visits.  It is somewhat impractical to assume every District Governor is going to be able to visit all 40 clubs (in my district) in a two month period to share his/her ideas and goal with.   In an effort to save time, I am hoping to do 10 or so combined events to speak to the membership across our geographic area.

2)  Rely on AG’s alot. Assistant Governors are completely underutilized in my district.  I have asked my AG’s (who I have already selected for 12-13) to visit each of their clubs’ board meetings in July 2012.  This will help us to assess the club’s needs and goals.  It will also help me to address those needs and goals in my multi-club presentations.

The AG’s are also being trained to be experts in a particular aspect of Rotary.  Whether it is foundation, grant applications, youth programs, administration, etc – each AG is becoming a specialist.  This allows the AG’s to rely on each other for information to help support their clubs better.

3)  Transparency – I am removing the veil that seems to hover around the DG.  I am active on the Social Networks, I talk to people about what is going on in the district, solicit opinions from every one and am rather loud. 🙂

4)  Team work:  I dislike the impression that the DG is the final vote is all things related to the district.  The AG’s and Committee Chairs have been, and will continue to be an intricate part of every decision that is made in moving the district forward.

5)  Get to the PE’s now:   The clubs are encouraged to write their club plan in March.  Visiting them in July to share what the district goals are makes no sense at all.  By involving myself with the 2012-2013 presidents now, I have the opportunity to find out what they need, how they see their club’s moving forward and make those the district goals.

Every meeting I go to, I ask two questions, “Are we doing this out of habit, or are we following a rule.”  If it’s out of habit, does it best serve our district, or is there a better way?

I’ve been changing a lot of habits.  I’ve ticked off a number of people.  I’m ok with that.