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bkHunt74
07-14-2012, 06:20 AM
I have only been a member for a few months but have noticed a lack of participation on the PMASI forums. There are several good post and several fun post. I have noticed people are viewing the post but not giving much in the way of support/help. PMASI as a group, from what I have seen, has a lot of knowledge that can be shared via the forum only if the members try and help each other.

So my question is:
How can we increase the use of OUR forum?
How can we get our sponsers that do not update any of their forum to update more ofter?
How can we get more sponsers to advertise on our forum?

I am sorry if I am overstepping any lines. I have attended a few meeting and met some good people. I just would think we need to support our forums as we do the others.


Brian

hsae
07-14-2012, 08:15 AM
I think Brian has a point here.
I noticed that on the PMASI club site @ reefcentral is sometimes more activity than at our own site. I am always puzzled with that.

big dog
07-14-2012, 10:09 AM
Attempts have been made. The board holds the key and only board members can be admins and mods. Good Luck!

SALTWATERSANCTUARY
07-14-2012, 02:24 PM
Hey guys...sorry for the lack of updates on our forum (Saltwater Sanctuary) as we have been busy with the construction of the new shop the last few months. I have posted an updated thread detailing our progress and some new construction pictures so far of the new setup. Please feel free to post in our forum with any questions or thoughts you may have.

Thanks,
Saltwater Sanctuary

jerpa
07-14-2012, 02:55 PM
I think the activity on the forum falls more on the members than the board. The club hosts and manages the forum but it's up to us to use it. I assume the RC forum sees more activity just because of the huge amount of traffic on there. It seems we have the sponsorship of most of the local stores that have any sort of saltwater support. In order to entice larger companies I'm sure the traffic would need to increase. Basically I'm saying that although it may be the clubs job to provide a suitable environment for discussion, planning of get togethers, buying/trading/selling etc. it is really the members that make the club. JMO.

AHDOnline
07-14-2012, 03:25 PM
+1 Jerpa

If you look around even at reefcentral its all slow in our area, getting group participation has always been hard and several years ago we attempted a few promotions and it always ends up being the same 5-6 people participate. The summertime always makes this worse.

We do have 25 sponsors between local and online, and as you can tell only one major sponsor takes advantage of the online forum and a few stores do participate from time to time. A lot of the stores are small and do not have time to constantly post. We though about enacting rules to keep the sponsor forums active but a lot of stores support the club so much offline its more benefit to us to keep them listed even though posts are low.

PMASI has surveyed the membership a few times on what they want of the forums and the response is very minimal to non existent so making changes just to change didn't work out for us a lot of times. We have tried the forum setup in several different formats over the past 5 or so years and ended up with a similar result.

We are open to ideas and suggestions, and to touch on the above post we had a short conversation in the past that didn't materialize. The Board is made up solely of volunteers, people come and go, focus changes.

If you have certain ideas by all means post them and we would be more than happy to discuss them.

If you look at the numbers people are on the forums.

While all moderators are currently Board members, there is very little to no restrictions on any ability to post content, start posts or try to get people posting. The forums were originally for members only but last year we opened them up to everyone that wanted to registerd on the site due to the low amount of traffic. This did double our visitor stats.

bkHunt74
07-14-2012, 04:43 PM
I agree that the success of the forums does fall on the members. I started this thread in hopes of encouraging the people who only come and view to respond to post. The knowledge and experience in the club is vast and close at our finger tips.

I also agree that we have some great local sponsors but many have just not participated or promoted their products for many months. I am not saying that they must update every week but once a month or two send out a few words saying if they are having a large shippment, sale or event. Maybe just a friendly phone call or two might encourage them to put up a thread. I have supported almost all of the small stores that are our sponsors and will continue to do so.

Again it is up to the membership to support the forums and make them a success or failure. I am just hoping that we can get a little more people to add some comments since we see that they are viewing the threads.

Brian

jerpa
07-14-2012, 05:30 PM
Maybe just a friendly phone call or two might encourage them to put up a thread. I have supported almost all of the small stores that are our sponsors and will continue to do so.

Mentioning you heard about them on the forum would encourage them to promote here more. Perhaps we could ask them to hang a flyer about the club as well or inform people starting up tanks about it. I would imagine having access to a club with the knowledge we have available increases their chances of success. This would benefit the sponsor as well.

I agree with the second part as well. I have no problem paying a bit more to support the area stores. I want them to be around when I need something but they can't survive off emergency sales alone.

I know mention has been made in the past about having more discussion oriented meetings and while I understand where that comes from I think the presentations are quite valuable. Several members go out to eat regularly after the meeting and that is when a lot more discussion takes place. This does not need to be relegated to after the meeting only. I'm fairly confident the club would be fine with member organized get togethers. Obviously everybody is busy these days but if you want to meet up and talk fish start a thread. I've heard that desire expressed by enough members that I'm sure you could get a small group together. If your setting up a tank or making a major change to your system you could post here for help, even if you don't NEED it.

AHDOnline
07-14-2012, 06:55 PM
As far as the stores go we (BOD) are designing advertising to put in the stores to solicit members and show store support. Hopefully this will be done soon.

A lot of the stores are really supportive of PMASI. Anytime we need items for meetings, or mega raffle we can usually just make a few phone calls and get what we need.

Making sure the stores know pmasi supports them is important from a customers standpoint also, and as Jeremy says even if its a little more money sometimes or a few minutes further its important to have them there.

If there are club events you want us to have, again we just need suggestions and people to speak up. We have no problems discussing any ideas or trips you might want. Also don't be afraid to startup a topic for an event and run with it. If you want PMASI support or help just let us know and we will do our best.

Keep the ideas and conversations going..

Thanks
Dave

stevenhoffman
07-14-2012, 10:27 PM
I am a new member and rather quiet on the forums. However, I actively browse and read threads. Brian's questions illicit well thought and insightful responses which have been an enormous help to my aquarium.

Thanks to everyone that posts here, and I will attempt to be more active on the PMASI forum.

BeanAnimal
07-22-2012, 10:06 PM
Attempts have been made. The board holds the key and only board members can be admins and mods. Good Luck!

Speaking for myself, comments like this are more than a little bothersome. You are clearly attempting to portray the "board" as heavy handed and unfair. In fact, in the history of this forum, we have only ever had an issue with one individual.

Speaking as a board member, I am sorry that you find yourself at odds with the board, but we have tried to be fair and kind regarding your situation. To be honest our patience has warn out due to unnesecary remarks such as you made above.

We, the "board" work very hard to provide a friendly and open environment where our members and guests can participate in open, unmoderated discussions. We try to ensure that there is a tremendous value in return for the small $24 annual membership fee and are constantly working to add value to what is already offered:


High profile speakers almost monthly
Discounts at sponsoring stores
Access to a large library of reef related books
free travel to regional frag swaps, sometimes including a meal
Behind the scenes access to the zoo
An open invitation to have dinner with the board and the guest speaker after the meetings
followship with numerous experienced local reefers
Subsidized T-shirts and other club branded items
A monthly raffle, often with items WE PURCHASE to raffle away (often at a loss)
Monthly MEMBERS ONLY raffle for a gift card, and sometimes somewhat expensive pump, light, etc.
An annual picnic for club members
in-home help when people ask for it
A year end MEGA raffle with numerous high profile, high cost items, some purchased by the club to give away
An annual frag workshop where we spend hundreds of dollars on coral to raffle away.


And LASTLY:

An open forum where members of non commerical nature can buy/sell, and members and non members alike can participate in open discussions with each other and business who follow the guidlines and sponsor the club.

We welcome your continued participation in our forums and our club, but will not tolerate any further attempts at inciting trouble or portraying us as unfair or unkind.

-Bill

TomNeely
07-24-2012, 12:29 PM
Well stated Bill, I agree 100%.

bkHunt74
07-25-2012, 02:08 PM
I think we have gotten away from my original post and have made it personel attacks from both sides.

So far this thread has had 188 views - 11 post - by 8 members out of ??? members - 1 sponsor(whos store is not even open yet).

Thus far nobody has came up with any suggentions, ideas, constructive opionions on how to get members to use our forums and not just view then log off.

I suggest to entice our sponsors to maybe offer some specials to PMASI members that people post some comments/photos of thier recent purchases. I think that our positive words/photos could go a long way.

Maybe the club could sponsor a "thread of the month" award with a small prize for the best thread/most replied to thread/best photo. Something to encourage people to share their knowledge.

Maybe their could be an open (civil) discussion at the monthly meeting to get ideas after the main speaker. I will not be able to attend the next few meetings due to my work schedule rotation and meeting days.

Another idea just came into my head. Take the meetings on the road!! Contact the LFS to see if they would be willing to host a meeting in their store once or twice a year. This could benefit both the club and LFS. Store would get some sales from club members and PMASI would be seen in public and may get a new member or two. Maybe a member or two, who has a large enough home/garage could host a meeting and show off their system or get some advice how to make it better. This could possibly save the club some money on hall rental fees.

Again sorry if I have overstepped any lines but I have enjoyed my few months in the club and would like to encourage the membership to utilize the assets.


Thanks
Brian

AHDOnline
07-25-2012, 02:26 PM
To be honest this topic comes up quite frequently and gets beat up and nothing comes of it. So most people have just accepted the fact that it is just a forum of little use.

As I mentioned previously we have tried to get sponsors to post, we have given many (25) access to post freely in the sponsors forums and only 1 takes advantage of it. Some stores don't have anyone dedicated or with time to post on the forums either. We will in turn just make announcements at the meetings.

At every meeting we always ask the members for input, ideas, road trips, etc. So if anyone ever has any ideas they are free to state them openly. If you don't want to any of us BOD members are readily available so pull us aside, or use email.

We tried contests once got one reply from a board member, I am open to trying them again but to reiterate it takes more than the BOD posting to get people involved.

Moving meetings was also discussed a few times, and even presented at a meeting. The biggest issue with this is logistics. Getting the word out, making sure everyone knows whats going on, and where its going to be. In the past we only had two stores willing to offer up space (might have more now), and while we always use to meet at a local store and several of our club members complained for numerous reasons so we went back to the Hotel for both consistency and space (We have outgrown most places). We polled 100 members over a year ago to move the meetings and over 60% said they would not attend if not in Monroeville so that's why we are were we are now.

The original plan of the website sponsors was to have sponsors donate items to use to promote the site. Gift cards/ products etc. The problem is as the economy sours sponsors donate less and to make our mega raffle worth while most all donations head there and then appear regularly at the meetings for the monthly raffles.

By no means am I shooting down any of your suggestions and I know you are newer to the club so you are not aware of the history or attempts made, so don't take it as any discouragement.

AHDOnline
07-25-2012, 02:43 PM
To go back on one thing I said.

When we polled members 60% said they would rather is stay in Monroeville. Not that they would not attend.