TAS Summer Seminar 2009 Announcement

The Atlas Society posted the following letter on its website announcing that they have canceled their summer seminar for this summer.

To members and friends of The Atlas Society: 
Many of you have said that the Summer Seminar is one of the most fulfilling experiences of your year. We at the Atlas Society sincerely acknowledge what a pleasure it is to host this event and connect with the vibrant individuals who make up our community. And so it isnâ??t without a touch of sorrow that we publicize the cancellation of the 2009 Summer Seminar.
This decision has come at the end of a long deliberation about how best to use our time, money, and staff expertise to spread the message of Open Objectivism, especially while we maintain our footing in this rocky economic environment. We have concluded that the internet is the most cost-effective method to deliver our product. Currently, our website attracts over 250,000 viewers every month, with a substantial portion from overseas: Europe, Latin America, India, and East Asia. This level of exposure is an enormously positive achievement for our organization.
However, the current TAS website is not adequate to sustain the further gains we believe are possible. To bring these gains to fruition, we need a radically redesigned website. This projectâ??the redesigning of our websiteâ??will be a major focus for 2009. While our existing site has a wealth of material on Objectivism, we need navigation tools that enable users to find what they want across the breadth of material and to the depth of their interests. We plan to add interactive features and make use of diverse media: audio, video, blogging, and email bulletins, as well as text.
The content of our website is where our staff expertise factors in. The staff of the Atlas Society will be called on for tasks such as selecting, editing, and organizing old materialâ??including hundreds of lectures from Seminars past; creating new material, both written and audio-visual; and structuring the site to make it appealing to intended users. These tasks require knowledge of Objectivism. At key points, the project will place heavy demands on the content creators on staff: David Kelley, Ed Hudgins, and Will Thomas.
Our content is also where you, our members, factor in. We deeply value the insight and commitment of the individuals in the Atlas Society. We implore you to refocus with us and accept our warm invitation to lend your ideas to our developing website, and to our publications, especially The New Individualist. To what topics would you like to see Objectivism applied? What questions do you have about the philosophy? What have we written in the past that youâ??ve found inspiring, helpful, challenging, or simply enjoyable reading?
As our website becomes more streamlined and accessible to a worldwide public, our goal is to gain more membersâ??smart and creative individuals like you. You have already helped to create the spirit of the Atlas Society by your support and your participation in our programs, events and in our literature. After all, the culture of our movement is determined not only by our staff, but also by our supporters. Your engagement will affect the impression we make and the audience we draw to our website. We are listening, and we want you to share your thoughts with us.
We hope you will share in our big-picture vision. With the successful completion of our website project in mind, we look forward to an invigorating Summer Seminar in 2010. The 20th anniversary of Open Objectivism will be an event to celebrate in style. We can’t wait to see you there.
Best regards,
David Kelley
P.S. To contact any of us or to offer support to The Atlas Society, e-mail tas@atlassociety.org or call 202-296-7263 (202 AYN RAND).