Professional Organizations?

I wonder what people think of writing organizations like SFWA, HWA, RWA, etc.?

Joining one hadn't even crossed my mind until recently, and even then I hesitated to apply because these organizations tend to be more for traditionally published authors. They are only now beginning to accommodate self-published authors and web fiction is a step beyond that, but I figure that if you want your voice heard it's probably better to do so from the inside. (There's also the whole prestige thing, and maybe connections to be made, though my networking skills are poor.)

Anyways, I was just wondering if people had thoughts on the matter since I don't think it's come up recently as a topic.

I actually just joined SFWA, although not so much for the organization itself. In terms of what these organization actually do, I'm still very uneducated, something I'm hoping to fix in the months ahead. The reason I joined was to be able to add it to whatever passes for a resume amongst authors. As I've been getting more into the convention scene, I've talked with other, wiser authors who explained that being associated with those sorts of organizations can open new doors to you, including helping you get in to the tougher conventions. While we all know such affiliations don't really prove whether or not a writer has merit, to some folks out there its the equivalent of check-mark, something to show you've met some level of accomplishment, even arbitrary ones. I'm sure being part of these orgs has other benefits, hopefully I can expand on some once I've learned more, but what got me to take the plunge was the idea of opening as many options as possible. Working with one company (Tantor) helped me in a lot of ways because of the weight they carry, so I'd say it's definitely worth exploring similar opportunities.

I believe the SFWA also provides members access to health insurance pools that will allow them to buy into a health insurance plan that is better than they would otherwise be able to afford on their own. A lot of professional organizations provide benefits like that.

Joining SFWA has been on my lists for a long while, I need to get the proper wordcount published though.

There are benefits and negatives, the SFWA for example has been plagued by gatekeepers for a while, with some hidden political agendas that just recently have started to be cleaned out, the focus back on writers as a whole.

I do think an organization like that for online serial writers would be useful, but like herding cats to organize and fund.

It always helps to keep the immortal words of Groucho Marx in mind: do not join a club that would accept Groucho Marx as a member.

In this, the SFWA of course qualifies, but I don't think the quotation is meant to be taken completely literally.

On a serious note, it wouldn't be as big or powerful as SFWA ect, but would any be interested in a Serial Writers of the Internet org?

I would be interested enough to check it out... dunno about signing up, but certainly worth looking into.