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Re: NFC: NFC domain name....Help wanted (LONG RESPONSE)
WARNING: I branch off into other ideas here besides what you were
soliciting, Robert. I branched into non-web ways to increase our
robert a rice wrote:
> We have been looking into getting a permanent domain name...NFC.org is
> taken by a Scandinavian company with the same initials so we will
> probably take nativefish.org
> details to follow.....
Sounds like a good name.
> In regards to setting up our own server. IF anyone out there can get us a
> free space at their University or someplace else I'll be willing to give
> it step by step go ahead...Sounds like a great next step.
Robert, before we go too far in this direction, I'd like to continue the
technobabble dialogue that has been going on the past week or two. Some
great ideas have been coming out of this and they may not require a
dedicated server at this point in time. A lot of the dialogue took
place in sunday night's NFC chat. So as not to pollute the regular chat
with technobabble, maybe it would be prudent for all interested parties
to meet in the chat room at another time to talk about the technical
direction of the NFC? I would especially like to hear more of the great
ideas from the current technical volunteers.
One of the things we've been talking about is a relational database for
record keeping of breeding attempts, collection trips, etc. For the
time being, this wouldn't have to be connected live to the internet and
in fact the care and feeding would be much easier during the ramp-up
phase if it were not on the internet but in someone's home. When it is
ready to move to a "live" setting it is easy enough to do that.
> Finally Id like some input on ways to increase our web presence. And some
> volunteers to implement some of these activities.
There are some great web sites out there dedicated to tropical fish, and
they are all hungry for articles, photographs, etc. I talked to the
webmaster at http://www.aquariacentral.com and he said he would be
interested in running NFC articles on his web site but once he saw the
NFC article collection he said he didn't want to duplicate the effort.
I think many of the tropical fish sites want articles to call their
own. If we can throw them a bone and write some original material to
submit to them (and then maybe link to their copy from our article
index), we are then in a better position to reach out to tropical
aquarists and increase awareness.
On the other end of the spectrum, I wonder if there is some way to reach
out to fishermen. What are the most active forums for game fishermen,
and would they be interested in reading about the importance of non-game
fish species with regards to their contribution to the stability of game
species populations? For all the years that I had been fishing, all the
non-game species were just "minnows" and served no other purpose than to
bait a hook. We need to somehow let game fishermen know how the
continued presence of these species not only serves to fatten up their
local game fish, but the other ways in which the non-game species
contribute to the ongoing health of the environment that the game fish
live in. I think in order to maintain their attention, though, we need
to constantly maintain focus on what non-game fish and habitat
conservation will do to preserve or enhance the local game fishing for
the reader. I tend to think more like an aquarist than a fisherman so I
am not sure what the best avenue is to reach this demographic. I have
sent a letter to my grandfather asking for names and numbers of people I
can contact who are involved with youth education at fishing camps and
such and if he can dig that information up I will follow up with those
contacts to see if they would be willing to use NFC materials or even
have an NFC guest speaker if anyone wants to volunteer for that.
I've been reading about the Adopt-A-Tank program and it sounds great.
I'd love to see that outreach program grow. If we are encouraging
schools to Adopt-A-Tank, then can we not also encourage NFC members to
Adopt-A-School and get something started there? Think about the
numbers. If one NFC member reaches out to one classroom in one school,
you have an immediate impact on one adult and 20 or more children. At
least a few of those children are going to go home and want mom and dad
to help them set up a tank of their own. And if the teacher recognizes
the educational value of the tank, you can bet that he/she will share
the value of the experience with their colleagues and possibly kick off
one or more new tanks in that school. One NFC member working with one
group of kids is like tossing a pebble into a pond and just watching the
ripples spread out across the pond.
When I was in high school, I was already keeping marine fish and corals
and noticed that most of my fellow students knew almost NOTHING about
sea life, and even thought that many popular aquarium invertibrates were
PLANTS. I talked to my science teacher and guidance counselor, and for
the next four years I ran a 55 gallon aquarium (that the science
department gladly paid for) as an independent study project that I got
credits for. For the most part I was independent but I had a faculty
advisor that encouraged me to find the answers to puzzling questions and
share my results through a bulletin board that hung over the tank. On
that bulletin board I would highlight one species with photographs and
an article, and cycle through new species every so often. The school
newspaper picked up on it quickly, and I was even asked by other science
teachers to dedicate a class period to talk to their students about
ocean life (using the tank as a visual hook). I know this tank inspired
several other students to set up their own tanks at home. All this from
*one* student that caught the bug and was willing to share it. Chances
are, every school has a student that would be equally zealous if we just
got them started.
But back to the web. Banner ads are CHEAP. Banner ads on aquarium
sites are likely VERY CHEAP. Do we have funds available to have some
banner ads running on the more popular fish sites? And do we have any
prolific writers that wouldn't mind firing off some introductory
articles about native fishes, targetted at the readers of these sites?
Robert, I noticed you have a continued presence in the aquarium
newsgroups, posting articles about natives and native fish conservancy.
BRAVO! This is a great way to keep our name out there, IMHO. What
might be nice is a new article, on the subject of mixing natives with
exotics in an aquarium. Might make a nice bridge for people who don't
have the resources to go whole-hog. For example, one question I hear a
lot is "What can I put with my oscar?" well why not a bluegill or a
green sunfish or something? This would IMO make a nice bridge to the
tropical fish folks on the internet.