I joined an alley, as much to have a group to hold myself accountable to. I then joined MACA and WCA. In each case, I'm interested in helping keep those organizations around: I want it to be as easy for other folks to enter the craft and sustain it forward as it's been for me. The scary clown phenomenon can be most effectively battled if there's a thriving community of true clowns, sharing tradecraft with each other and growing the practice overall. I've debated joining COIA, as well: the reason I joined WCA, frankly, was to allow me to vote to support a clown who I respected who was running for office. I haven't had the same reason in COIA as yet, and since I'm still in the 'not-yet-earning money', I'm attempting to make smart choices as to where I direct funds. Magazines vs. online: the magazines don't wow me, but the websites are really not amazing... I say that as a person whose day job is software development. That said, though, I'm not joining the organizations to get their publications, but more to support their mission. Instead of a charitable contribution to NPR to help spread news, mine was effectively a charitable contribution to help spread clowning. I do honestly enjoy seeing the ads in the magazines: they're exposing me to suppliers I might or might not have otherwise stumbled upon, many of whom have some really neat stuff! Since I haven't seen ads up on the websites as yet, I'll put forward that advantage to a newbie-ish clown..