This is a brief article to let the readership know that the Unicode Consortium now offers lifetime memberships for individual members. My lifetime membership certificate is shown above.
Why would one want to become a lifetime member of Unicode? For starters, if your career involves Unicode, but if you’re self-employed or your company is not a member of the Unicode Consortium, it means that you can more closely participate in the development of the standard. Individual membership is $75 per year, and it is possible to get a 20% discount when paying for 10 years at once, meaning $600 instead of $750. The lifetime membership price is simply ten times the yearly rate without a discount, meaning $750. Becoming an individual member, whether lifetime or paid annually, also supports the consortium’s important work to encode scripts for digitally-disadvantaged languages.
Why would I become a lifetime member of Unicode? As Adobe’s primary representative to Unicode—and as its alternate representative before Eric Muller left Adobe just over three years ago—I had no motivation or reason to become an individual member, at least when paying on an annual basis. Adobe’s Full Member status was sufficient for my needs, at least in terms of engaging with the consortium. The lifetime membership option was a no-brainer for me, because it meant that even if I were to leave Adobe, I would still be an individual member of the consortium. Also, and perhaps more importantly, it’s one less thing to worry about.
For those who become new lifetime members, or upgrade their individual membership to lifetime, I raise my glass to you. Also, if you are involved in social media, I encourage you to use the #Unicode4Life hashtag. I even use this hashtag in my Twitter profile.