[NAFEX] Membership, focus, journals, etc...the face of NAFEX
scott at cs.jhu.edu
Thu Feb 14 10:57:43 EST 2008
Heres my take on the membership issues.
1) The board should be free. If you look at the "competition" in this
arena you will find GardenWeb and Daves Garden. GardenWeb is far more
popular because you don't have to pay to see posts or the archives. I
post mainly there because it was the first fruit forum I found on the
web, and it has the most readers. Their arrangement is paying members
don't have to see all the annoying ads. Personally I was drawn to
NAFEX membership by finding this list when searching on various topics
brought up posts in the archives. Several other people have already
stated the same thing. So if the archives were closed, what seems
like the major source for new members is closed as well.
2) I like the idea of an electronic membership at a level cheaper by
the cost saved for printing and mailing Pomonas. CRFG offers a
similar arrangement. For people in real financial need I don't think
it is worth making a membership level for them. One way some
organizations do is to allow anyone to petition for a membership fee
waiver based on financial need; I support that idea.
3) This mailing list needs to be upgraded to a more modern bboard.
Bboards can be designed with low overhead so modem users don't get
frustrated. One organization similar to NAFEX is seed savers. They
just launched a forum and I think it is a good example of what NAFEX
could do: http://seedsavers.forumco.com/ Notice that you need not be
an SSE member to join, and you don't even need to create an account to
search the archives. That board is new and has little traffic up to
now, but I think a NAFEX board would start with lots of traffic due to
all the people already on-board with this list.
4) There should be some recognition of members on a bboard. Some
forums have members-only areas. I would say the best idea is to
identify NAFEX members vs non-members beside their posts. There are
several commercial bboards that make their money this way -- people
become members because they want to become part of the club they
notice other people have joined. One such site I frequent is
pizzamaking.com (a great resource for making your own pizza by the
way). You will see around one-fourth of the posts are by paying
members; payment there gives you absolutely nothing extra besides
some stars beside your posts that you are a paying member - no
magazine, no annual meeting, no nothing. But even with that, one-
fourth of the people are paying $25 per year. I expect a NAFEX bboard
would do a lot better than half. Another idea is to have a scion
exchange forum with access for members only, another reason to entice
people to join. The BYFG group in Pennsylvania has an active scion
exchange between members.
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