[NAFEX] Membership

William C. Garthright billg at inebraska.com
Sun Feb 10 13:25:11 EST 2008

> How many other folks would join NAFEX if they stumbled/Googled into the archives like I did?

That's how I joined, too. However, the archived postings strip off the 
bottom of the emails, so there's no obvious way - I should say no 
really, really easy way - to sign up to the list from them, or even to 
visit the NAFEX home page. Obviously, an interested person can do a 
search for 'NAFEX,' and that's what I did,... eventually. But I'll be 
honest, it took me a year to get around to it. For people like me, these 
things need to be falling-off-a-log easy, or we procrastinate (and 
sometimes never get around to it at all).

And it's odd, but there's an 'unsubscribe' address which is prominent on 
the archived postings, but no 'subscribe' address. And no link to the 
NAFEX home page, either. Not everyone is as lazy as me, but the easier 
you make it, the more subscribers - and members - you'll get. Oddly 
enough, even the NAFEX list information page - 
http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/NAFEX - doesn't say anything 
about joining NAFEX, the organization, or even have a link to the NAFEX 
homepage. [My web browser is unavailable to me to check these things 
right now, but they were this way the last time I looked.]

I know it's been noted before that potential members who would join 
casually like this might not be 'worth' much to the group, and that may 
be so. I'm certainly a newbie at fruit growing. But I was astonished to 
read that the NAFEX membership is HALF what it used to be! If you really 
want to increase membership, you'll make it as easy as possible. Anyone 
who googles about fruit is likely to encounter NAFEX archives, but 
they'll encounter a LOT of other web pages, too. You need a one-button 
click to subscribe to this list, and also a link directly to the home 
page. Once you get subscribers here, you need a monthly reminder to join 
NAFEX, with a link directly to an on-line form, complete with credit 
card (or at least PayPal) payment options. The easier it is, the more 
members you'll get.

You CAN increase membership, if that's what you really want. That means 
making it falling-off-a-log easy to join this email list and NAFEX 
itself (and just as easy to renew a membership, with targeted 
reminders). Yes, you might get more members who end up not renewing or 
who are much more casual about fruit, but you can't get them to renew if 
they don't join in the first place. And even people with a casual 
interest may become hooked on fruit (I think that's happened to me). But 
if you prefer to be more of an elite organization, that's your decision, 
too. A smaller group of professionals and really serious fruit hobbyists 
might be what you want. In that case, a declining membership won't 
bother you, since it just means you're getting more serious all the time.

Lincoln, NE

PS. I should note that I've NEVER been made to feel unwelcome here, 
despite having asked plenty of stupid questions, I'm sure. That's one of 
the things I like about the group, and I don't mean to imply otherwise. 
I'm just saying that a declining membership might not be a problem for 
you, depending on how you see NAFEX. But if it IS, then there are 
definitely things that could be done.

I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, 
I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx

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