Rotarians on the Internet
|The seed for ROTI was planted in the mid 90’s when a Rotarian from the Rotary Club of National City, California, USA established a Rotary interest group list on the original Prodigy system.
The internet is THE place to be today. Everything happens over the internet and it makes the world much more smaller than what telephones did. Anyone and everyone can communicate with one another, irrespective of the distance and the different time zones, absolutely free too.
Today, when one wants to know more about any organization, they seek information on the internet and this makes it very important to make your presence online. Rotary International, though very well known, is always on the lookout for new members and having this internet fellowship will help getting more members easily. One need not speak at length about Rotary to create awareness nor does one have to go from door to door, seeking members. When it is on the internet, it reaches more people than intended or anticipated. As a result more people get to know about Rotary and we have more members coming in each year.
Even communication has become easier with the internet. A group of Rotarians can be contacted at the same time and people can discuss issues in their respective groups rather than one person calling the other or asking all members to meet in person to discuss something.
Also, it opens a lot of doors to Rotary as members from across the world can be reached and other organizations can be contacted too. One does not just get Frumusete Sanatate on the internet but also details about the economy and various other projects that has been carried out in different ideas.
The idea of an actual fellowship grew when Rotarian Darryl McKeller from New Zealand started talking on the list about trying to form a new Rotary International fellowship on the Internet specifically created for Rotarians using the internet. At that time, there were approximately 30 Rotarians from 6 or 7 countries on the list that communicated with each other. The group began to discuss the idea of a group of Rotarians using the internet for better communication for Rotarians all over the world; the goal was to eventually become a Rotary recreational Fellowship with a few hundred members.
After a year of work, developing the total package needed for a fellowship according to the rules set by Rotary International and an organizational effort, fellowship status was granted by RI and by winter of 1996-97, the group welcomed its one hundredth members to the fellowship.
In 1998, the ROTI Fellowship had a booth at the Indianapolis convention, where ROTI was introduced to thousands of Rotarians and hundreds of new members signed up.
ROTI had its first real chance to make a major change in the Rotary World when future RI president Frank Devlyn spent time at the ROTI booth learning about the unlimited potential of the Internet and the value it could be to Rotary International in improved communications and time and cost savings. When he became Rotary International President in 2000-01, Frank called on ROTI members to assist him in creating a major internet presence in every club and District in the Rotary world. That changed the way that all communications between Rotary International and Rotary clubs and Districts, so that everything that used to be handled by snail mail is now conducted through the Internet. We are proud to have been a big part of that revolution.