Over the years our club has changed from as many as 50 members, to as few as a dozen. We've explored all facets of sci fi, including producing a R.I. public access cable tv show, 'Sci Fi Journal', which is going strong since 1996.
We're still around, but not all SF groups have been so fortunate. The Boston Star Trek Association is one example of a group that numbered over 100, but over time, just ran out of steam. A few of the former members still get together, and share 'war stories' via Facebook.
So what happened? Facebook and other internet sites, for one. It's easier for people around the globe to 'get together' via emails or MMO's or chat rooms, then it is to actually get your duff off the couch, get in the car, and travel to a meeting site.
Still, despite these challenges, SF fan clubs like the RISFC have to be imaginative and creative to keep the group organized and viable. Can it be done? Are Sci Fi organizations like ours still needed, when I can grab a controller and frag dozens of friends over a game of Halo on my XBox 360? Yup, I think they are. Just like emails don't totally convey the senders emotions or thoughts, face-to-face contact with fellow SF fans will always be needed; even more so as we advance our technology, and find ourselves disconnected, even with the smart phones practically jacked into our brains (can you say ShadowRun, boys and girls?).
So I'm looking forward to some real-life contact at the next RISFC meeting. If you live in the R.I. area, please join us.