Membership Services & Technology

September-October 2011

Stan Dodd, 33°
Associate Director of Membership Services

We used to have lodges that met only on full moons so the horses could find their way in the dark. That has changed to high powered cars and trucks and lodges meeting every night of the week. We connected to our neighbors by walking down the road to see them face to face and to enjoy long conversations on the front porch. Now our “front porch” allows us to speak to the entire world. Technology continues to reshape our lives, and Membership Services is doing its best to keep pace with this ever-changing landscape. We started with the Internet and emails, and then moved to social networks like MySpace and Facebook. Our cell phones have turned into smart phones, and our personal computers into iPads and tablets.

Supreme Council Membership Services has embraced this technology in several ways to better serve Scottish Rite Masons. First we launched our own social network with the Freemason Network. The Freemason Network has grown to over 10,000 members and is enjoying continued success connecting Masons from around the world. In addition, the Freemason Network offers men looking for the light of Freemasonry the opportunity to request more information about joining the Fraternity and the Scottish Rite.

If you didn’t have the time or money to attend August’s Biennial Session, technology gave you Internet video streaming live for the 2011 opening ceremonies! We even know of one brother who hosted a party for his Masonic brothers so they could watch the opening!

You can now pay your dues online as we have activated the secure link dues.scottishrite.org. This will allow you the ease of paying dues on your schedule and the technology of secure sites provides you the comfort of knowing your information is safe. Or if you want to update your personal information, you can go to update.scottishrite.org. There is no need to call your Valley Secretary (he has enough other items to worry about). Just go to the site, put in your name and birth date, and you’re in to your personal file. It is that easy.

Technology is constantly affecting the way we live and work. Companies have always looked for ways to promote their goods and services. We have used billboards, newspapers and television for years. Now we use expanded television channels and the Internet. Are you looking for the latest opportunity to share your services with the tech savvy? Then look no further than the image below known as a QR code—you may have started seeing them on advertisements and your local grocery store.  If you have a smart phone and an application (known as an app) you can scan the QR code, and it will take you straight to a specific page on the Freemason Network. If you don’t have a QR code reader on your smart phone, you can get one by going to www.FreemasonNetwork.org/qr where we’ve added QR Code readers apps for iPhones, Android or Blackberry phones.  After you download them to your phone, you can scan any QR Code’s information with the app, whether it be a web site link or a phone number. As usual, not all technology has the bugs worked out, so be forewarned. The QR code might work great with iPhones and Android phones but not so well with Blackberries. Try this and let us know how it works.

While you are trying this, someone somewhere is coming out with something newer for us to use. We can’t say if it will have a use for us in Membership Services, but we will continue to keep up with the latest technology if it applies.