Information brokers who rely on Dialog as a primary resource faced a particular challenge in the new pricing structure announced last month and introduced this June. As entrepreneurs who market online searching skills without the security blanket of institutional employment, many small SOHO (Small Office Home Office) information brokers resisted committing themselves to paying a $75 month ($900 a year) minimum, regardless of whether that month's business would cover the charges.
The Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP), the trade association for information brokers, now has worked out an agreement with The Dialog Corporation to eliminate the charge for all its regular and associate members. AIIP has set elimination of minimums as one of the basic tenets of its vendor liaison arrangements for years. The new agreement with Dialog extends a longstanding elimination of monthly minimums to the new $75 a month fee.
Announcing the waiver, AIIP's president, Alex Kramer, stated that in continuing to honor the existing AIIP-Dialog Vendor Partner Deal, "Dialog recognizes that AIIP is a unique group of people, an association unlike others, and is categorizing us independently from all other associations. This waiver is unique ... and exemplifies the valued relationship that we at AIIP and Dialog have known all along." Kramer also applauded Dialog's flexibility, saying, "AIIP is very pleased with the outcome of our negotiations with Dialog. Many of our members consider Dialog as a reference tool just like a dictionary or computer, icons to the information business. AIIP considers that Dialog's gesture is giving us the same valued status as recognizing us as an icon to the information business."
According to Mark Goldstein, AIIP's Interindustry Liaison Committee chair, Dialog extended the offer to associate members defined by AIIP as "any individual who supports the objectives of AIIP and accepts its code of ethics" on a probationary status. The privilege is not "assignable," according to Goldstein. Any use of the exempt passwords for other than information brokerage business could result in termination of membership.
Regular member benefits for AIIP's Dialog users include the following:
- $100 (34 percent) discount off the $295 start-up fee for new U.S. customers of Dialog, plus a waiver of the Dialog annual service fee
- 10 percent discount off the bottom line of every month's Dialog bill (excluding telecom charges and taxes)
- Free Dialindex searching (Dialog) and Dialog ONTAP training files
- One free copy of Dialog Sourcebook
- 30 percent discount on Dialog UPDATE Conference
- Vouchers for attendance at two Dialog training seminars annually
Associate AIIP membership benefits with Dialog also include the following:
- $88.50 (30 percent) discount off the $295 start-up fee for new U.S. customers of Dialog, plus up to $100 credit during the first full month of usage (in addition to new customer offers)
- 30 percent discount on all publications and manuals
- 30 percent discount on all Dialog training and on Dialog UPDATE Conference
Regular membership in AIIP costs $175 a year; associate membership costs $95. The Association has posted its full membership qualifications on its Web site (http://www.aiip.org/mem_qual.html).