Daniel Morrison

The ACM doesn't get it.

I was a member of the ACM in college, which was great for papers and research. They want me to join again, but i can’t find a reason to.

As a member of ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, you will have access to a host of career-enhancing benefits including:

  • Over 2,200 free online course titles from SkillSoft

Not interested.

  • More than 1,100 free online books, including a large selection from Safari® featuring O’Reilly and many others

Slightly interested, but reading books online is tiresome, and I buy ones I really want.

  • Access to ACM’s new highly targeted Career & Job Center

Not interested.

  • ACM’s flagship magazine “Communications of the ACM

Would be cool, but I probably wouldn’t take the time to read it.

  • Full access to “Queue” magazine online, plus access to Queuecasts, downloadable discussions with technology experts

This is already free, and I already get the print edition (also free).

  • “TechNews” and “CareerNews” email digests

Not interested.

  • ACM’s monthly electronic newsletter “MemberNet”

Not interested.

  • The ACM Guide to Computing Literature with over one million bibliographic citations

Not interested.

  • The option to subscribe to the full ACM Digital Library with unlimited access to all ACM journals, magazines, proceedings, and newsletters

Yes! This is actually appealing. There are a ton of papers both new and old that interest me. Unfortunately, it is an additional $100. Not interested.

  • The opportunity to share your knowledge by participating in ACM’s MentorNet One-on-One partnership program

Not interested.

  • A free “acm.org” email forwarding address with high-quality Postini spam filtering

Not interested.

Sorry ACM, I think its time to simplify your offerings and try to add value instead of just adding benifits.

Join ACM today and you will receive a Free ACM Flip-Top World Calculator!

Well in that case, sign me up!

Shitty calculator that nobody wants.


  1. Jeremy Carbaugh — December 11, 2007

    I had a membership up until a few months ago, but I let it lapse for the exact same reasons. I was most disappointed in “Communications of the ACM.” The majority of articles were about either IT management or outsourcing … two things that have absolutely no relevance to my interests or career.

    Is IEEE any better? I would really like to be a member of a relevant organization of software developers, computer scientists, and electrical engineers.

  2. Brian Ryckbost — December 11, 2007

    I’m still getting daily TechNews emails, but I noticed the other day that my membership has lapsed and they want me to renew my membership. Is it work the $20 or so that a student-account could get me?

  3. Daniel Morrison — December 12, 2007

    Jeremy: Too bad that “Communications” isn’t worthwhile. I get “Queue” for free, but have the same complaint.

    Brian: for $20, maybe. The version with the Digital Library is $42 for students so if you have any papers to write, it might be worth it…

    Really, I wish the Digital Library was available for free, for everyone, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

  4. Mark — July 28, 2008

    Brian: Make sure that your school doesn’t already have access to the digital library… most schools do.

  5. Tom Anderson — June 06, 2015

    Wow, ACM has fooled me! I wish I had read your blog in 2007! It’s now 2015 and the value has eroded a bit. In 2009 when I joined, they promised “lifelong email forwarding”.

    Trusting them, I used the address for all important academic matters, such as listing it on at least a dozen papers. Now, ACM has changed its policy and email is not lifelong anymore, it’s only for members. If we don’t keep paying dues each and every year, the email address is just an empty tube that doesn’t even return a daemon error!