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Membership benefits for newbies
Sorry about the length, but I got carried away. As they say "two heads are
better than one, even if one is a sheep's head." Happy to be the sheep!
>I think everyone has different reasons for supporting the AKA. I know
>that my number 1 reason for supporting them is not the BNL.
Indeed, for me the number one benefit is actually this list and things like
it. I joined killitalk to have a community of people with similar
interests to bug when I run into difficulties and joined the AKA to support
that community. I probably would have joined without the BNL and JAKA
(which I've not been a member long enough to receive).
I recall having filled out a survey on what my reasons for joining were
when I joined. Does anyone know the results of that survey off hand?
>* An online forum (maybe?)<
Absolutely. One of the most important aspects of the internet (it's
founding mission no less) is to bring together a geographically diffuse
community. As far as I can tell from the electronic roster I am the only
AKA member in the 812 area code. Being able to discuss fish with people
from all over makes me feel quite a bit better about keeping fish
(including those killies!) Furthermore, if it's a civil space like this
one it can attract new members from the lurkers. I think it'd be key that
existing fora are integrated, so that killitalk posts go to the online
forum, but perhaps not vice versa.
I think there is a real danger in having single functions split
across different services. For example, why does the killitrader exist
separately from the FEL? Presumably, folks wanted a list with a faster
turnaround time. Could this feature be integrated into the existing FEL?
Sure, if people could post directly to the website. Perhaps it's because
of the limitation of listing on the FEL to members? Maybe the online FEL
could be more of a realtime system where people can post their adds, but
none AKA members are on their honor to pay a small cut of the fish sale
when they're sold? The BNL could then carry a monthly synopsis (i.e. the
same list minus those items that had been sold). Yes, that'd be "biased"
against non-electronicized members, but so is the current system. If there
is a function that's important to the community that the AKA isn't meeting
an effort should be made to figure out if the AKA can do it, and then do it
>* online auction such as ebay or any of the other thousands of auctions
>out there. Fish stuff only and AKA gets the standard cut as other fish
not a bad idea, although we might not have a big enough population to make
that really fly. There are a couple of fish stuff only auction sites
around, perhaps we could hook up with one of those. Perhaps the AKA could
make a deal where one site is the "AKA sanctioned" site and then collect a
piece of the sites cut on the auctions by members as a referral fee. Also,
if we have AKA people milling around the larger fish community you'll start
to attract the notice of people like me who have been keeping fish for a
little while but have gotten a little less than interested in the dozen or
so commonly available species from the LFS.
Also, another killifish strength is that they're cheap! I've not found any
mail order source for more interesting freshwater fish that doesn't have a
$100 minimum and $40 in shipping fees. Not many grad students can handle
that! Expose the broader fish community to the fact that one can find
challenging fish that are gorgeous, ecologically fascinating and pretty
available with a community of fellow keepers who are quite serious about it
and I think a *huge* number of people will join on. I know that that can
be a mixed blessing for the organization/community, particularly if a large
number of people flood in who aren't going to keep track of location codes
(for example), but if were concerned about falling membership, there are
some easy places to get newbies excited about killies.
That having been said I think the single biggest question is what's the
ideal size and mission of the organization. during the thread about
whether an effort should be made to get killies into fishstores there was
clearly a split. Anyway, back to work!
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