[NAFEX] electronic and membership discussion

Claude Sweet hortventures at cox.net
Sat Feb 16 17:22:20 EST 2008

Every organization has people who are deeply involved and others that 
are sort of interested bystanders who may lack the resources, time, and 
energy to actively pursue the purpose of the organization. Of course 
there are many who fall somewhere in between.

Age does have of lot to do with limiting active participation in an 
organization as people just starting their careers and families tend to 
have limited financial resources and may not own property to plant trees 
which require considerable land and many years to see ones efforts 
produce a crop.  Such is not the problem with someone who grows African 
Violets and can have a thriving hobby indoors in a downtown apartment.  
The cost of land also varies widely across of country and parcel sizes 
in LaJolla, CA are very small compared to those of track homes in 
Midwest, Eastern, and Southern states.

The issue of getting experienced members to write about their 
experiences before they die is a common problem and on many occasions I 
have seen years of horticultural experience and plant material lost 
because the children have no interest in maintaining the plants . Upon 
death the property is bulldozed and the plant material carted off to the 
dump because the owner didn't make provisions to insure the reults of 
growing their plants for many years were not preserved and funds 
provided for their transfer and maintenance to a site previously arrange 
while the owner was alive.

The analysis of how to increase the membership in an organization who 
are actively involved and a marketing analysis to expand the circulation 
of a group's publication are not necessarily the same.

I propose an analysis that would have membership fees based upon the 
services provided. For example, X dollars to be full voting member with 
specific benefits such as placing orders for a seed fund or scion wood 

There are two costs of providing publications - the production of the 
materials and the distribution of the publications to the members.  AThe 
basic membership would include electronic distribution via pdf files 
either by e-mail and/or by posting the files to a server.

The cost of printing a hard copy and mailing it would be an optional 
extra fee that would cover the services provided to members choosing 
that option.  Archiving the publications on CDs and on a web site would 
be extra services that could be provided for a small per use fee or 
purchase of the CDs.

The CRFG regularly used a printer and purchased extra copies that 
required expensive storage space and exsomeone to mail out issues and 
truck them to annual meetings for sale. Back issues were offered for the 
cost of the year's membership plus mailing and handling fees.  They 
choose to describe the publications as a membership service to avoid 
charging sales tax - its an IRS thing relating to the publications being 
a member service as opposed to offering the publications for sale on a 
news stand or subscription basis.

For the record I prefer to follow the KISS principle - Keep It Simple 
Stupid for web sites.

I am surprised that NAFEX has not encourage the development of regional 
and local chapters, especially where clusters of members exist around 
universities and colleges. Working with researchers also opens the 
possibilities to interest young people who are interested in pursuing 
careers in horticulture.

Hope this explanation helps to clarify my thoughts on why I support the 
electronic communication as a means of attracting more people around the 
world who find the WWW to be the best way to network with other 
individuals - language being the last remaining barrier, but translating 
software is becoming much better.  Thankfully so many people do speak 
and write very well in English as their second language.

Claude Sweet
 San Diego, CA

mangodance wrote:

>Claude, I'm not sure I follow.  My statements below were meant to 
>illustrate the requirements of the audience we need to reach.  To that 
>end, the needless fluff that happens on a number of sites is 
>unnecessary.  Many of these gadets are often vanities for code writers' 
>prowess as they serve little to no real function.  Most are forced...in 
>that I mean you have to suffer through them through no action on your 
>own other than having landed on a site.  Access to content is not 
>enhanced.  I want to be clear and note that I'm not advocating giving up 
>all tools and becoming luddites.  I'm not limiting the discussion to the 
>simple matter of online distribution of Pomona either.  I'm also not 
>suggesting there is any difference between memberships if someone 
>decides to choose one distribution form over another.  They would simply 
>be choices on MAY make.
>I agree this is not age-related.
>I do not understand where you are getting anything about putting 
>organizational goals and objectives on hold.  Please inform.  I thought 
>I'd said how we were moving according to plan.  I also don't understand 
>the "alarmist warnings that the changes may cause some people to not 
>renew" aspect.  I'd be happy to explain what I meant.  I'm just not sure 
>where that comes from just yet.  Can you give me a bit of detail?
>Claude Sweet wrote:
>>All that is necessary is to list the requirement of having a minimum 
>>connection speed, hardware, and software  that the user should have to 
>>utilize the electronic membership.
>>Logic would assume that individuals who LACK the necessary requirements 
>>would not pay for the electronic membership.
>>There will always be people who do not want to become part of the 
>>computer age and others that have a comfort zone with technology that 
>>they will not change. This is not necessarily age related.
>>Putting an organizations goals and objectives on hold because of 
>>alarmist warnings that the changes may cause some people to not renew 
>>has been used as a reason to prevent increases in membership dues for as 
>>long as I can remember.
>>Claude Sweet
>>San Diego, CA
>>Jwlehman at aol.com wrote:
>>>In a message dated 2/15/2008 7:18:38 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
>>>bmn at iglou.com writes:
>>>>This is paramount.  Web stats and surveys show that while many folks
>>>>have broadband, the majority do not.  Add to that that most rural areas
>>>>are on dialup or have shared slow service and it is clear than bandwidth
>>>>hog websites might be pretty, but they quickly cut off most of their
>>>>intended market.  We'll be going for easily maneuvered content
>>>>primarily.  We'll make other stuff available for folks who have
>>>>broadband and those who don't mind waiting, bu there will definately be
>>>>no splash pages, few java applications, no animations, etc.
>>>>Additionally, it should work a simply as possible due to software issues
>>>>as well.  While many of us do have newer software packages (me
>>>>included), many of us do not like the resource hogs newer software
>>>>versions have become (me included) and for no real good reason.  I'm not
>>>>a person who favors bells and whistles when they don't make sense and
>>>>detract from site usability.
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