The development and history of ROTI
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 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.
ROTI was a social network long before Facebook and Twitter!
Since 1998, ROTI is present in every Rotary International Convention where members meet one another at the ROTI booth. Currently, ROTI has more than 2000 members in about 105 countries and territories.