Carl Purinton did this in the 1930s with his "Wandering Locomotive Books".....books that passed from "live steam brother, to live steam brother" and these builders (they were all referred to as "brothers" back then) entered photos, notes, their location, comments about their projects, etc. and then passed it on to the next person, who entered all of HIS information. It was like a website registry of people and their locomotives, but the people back then had no concept of "internet" of course. But those books provided for THEM back then, what the internet is able to provide for us today.
In the 1930s and 40s these books went via mail, auto, (and probably rail in some cases), from Maine to California and back, probably Hawaii, and all across Canada. The only cost Mr. Purinton charged was the cost of more paper and supplies, etc. And I suspect each individal contributor paid the postage to send it to the next "brother", or, carried it in person via auto (or rail) when he was going to another club, or area of the country, during his vacation, hobby, or business travels and in order to give it to someone else while on the trip.
For example, if I had the book this month, and was taking my family to Florida by rail next month, I would bring it with me and drop it off at the home of another "live steam brother" who lived near where I was staying in Florida. Or if I was driving to Florida and not taking the train, I might drop it off at the home of a "live steam brother" while going through the Baltimore area.
Mr. Purinton said that he had SO MANY contacts from "the books", and his personal correspondences, that he could drive across the country and never be more than a few miles, or a few towns, away from someone he had written to in the past, or who was "in the book". Amazing. No computers to do that, either. Just paper and postage stamps.
I was sad to see the BLS (Brotherhood of Live Steamers) in the USA come to an end, but, like Keith says, almost nobody was joining, plus I suspect that most "active" members (on the roster) were probably, in actuality, inactive or deceased; and the internet largely made the service the BLS was meant to provide obsolete anyway.
I don't know for sure, but I bet Keith, as the BLS East Coast Secretary in the 1990s, had virtually no "sign ups" from the 1980s and 1990s but had a full "active" roster of mostly inactive or deceased people who had been faithful members since the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.