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How Useful is This

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Adam Blundell View Drop Down
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    Posted: June 23 2003 at 10:01am

This new topic may be better titled as "How do we make this more useful" but we'll leave it like this. What I am interested in is knowing just how useful this message forum is.  Now I know about 3 or 4 of you who will undoubtedly reply to this saying something like "the WMAS has really helped me out and this forum has been a great place for me to get help".  That's great, moving along....

I was speaking to a friend who runs an aquarium club like ours in the San Antonio area (www.maast.org ).  They haven't been around nearly as long as us, don't have nearly as many members, and their website is way below our quality.  Their message forum went online in October, 4 months after ours.  However, they have 251 users compared to our 157.  They have 9735 posts compared to our 4703.  Addmittedly most of those members they have aren't creating posts, but still it is a lot of activity.  We now average over 30 posts per day, but they have averaged 25 posts since day one.  And as food for thought, out of our 4703 posts, if you add up the posts by our top ten users you get 2426 posts.  So really, half of our posts come from ten people.  I'll bet (but didn't calculate) that 90% of our posts come from 20 people. 

Anyway, the long and short of this post was to see why we don't have more people using this forum, and how we can change that.....

Adam

Next Meeting: Garage Sale
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twflint View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote twflint Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 10:16am

This is a great site, I have it up when I am at work.  Like you were saying though, there is a core group of 10 or 15 people that post 95% of the topics.  We have alot of people that come to meetings that I have never seen post here.  Very possible that not everyone has access to the internet, or even know about the forums.

I also read reefcentral.com and Nano-reef.com daily. 

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Jake Pehrson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jake Pehrson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 10:24am

I agree with twflint, they have a great web site.  I wonder how many members they have.  South Texas has a lot more people then Salt Lake and its surrounding areas. 

Jake Pehrson

Murray

coralplanet.com

:)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rfoote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 10:40am
Adam - Maybe a meeting dedicated to the forums use and functionality might not be a bad idea.  However, who knows it might be the same 10 to 15 of us posting all the time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mdawson8931 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 11:35am
The site is invaluable to me. My guess is that some folk just dont have a computer or access to the net. I would also wager there are alot of people in the background just reading and not posting. With the knowledge available, we need to change that.
Mike
Layton, Ut.
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John Fletcher View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Fletcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 11:36am

I enjoy this forum very much.  What is the core group of members in San Antonio.  Could it be that they have a better population of reef tank hobbyist, then we do.  I know that there are a hand full in Utah county.

John Fletcher

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John Fletcher View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Fletcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 1:12pm

One more thing.  I went to there site.  San Antonio has Sea World.  That in it's self is a huge help.  They have huge supporters like, Dr, Mac and Sons and 10 other big named sites.  I think that makes a big difference.

John Fletcher
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(Tank of the Month for May 2003)Taking a little break...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jfinch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 1:47pm

You can lead a horse to water...

I think this size board is great!  Reefcentral is usually too overwelming and I've never been to nano-reef.  I've been to three WMAS meetings and Adam's talked about the web site at each one... if the other club members aren't interested, then I guess they're not interested.  I'm at a loss as to how to pump up enthusiasm.  Personally, I'm here more for the friendships I've made (and might make) then the help, although I do learn new things all the time.  Without this forum, I'd be the guy in the back of the meeting slipping in and out without saying hi to anyone.

(just doing my part to up the post count )

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote twflint Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 2:07pm

Whats the possibility of switch the BB over to PHPBB 2 like they have at that MAAST site?  Seems pretty nice with the ability to add pics to posts.

I didnt do a whole lot of reading at www.phpbb.com but it seems it is free of charge.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jake Pehrson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 2:15pm
phpbb is free.  The new version of Web Wiz Forums has the ability to post pictures like phpbb. 
Jake Pehrson

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coralplanet.com

:)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote quixmartin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 3:43pm

Hi, My name is Chris Martin, and this is the first time that I have ever posted anything to a forum or BB.  This forumhas been a great help to me in getting unbiased info just from reading the posts from people that are actually doing what I want to do (set up a reef tank).  I have been reading this message board for the last 4 months, and I just registered a few days ago.  In my opinion, it isn't the quantity of participants that make this a great  service, but the quality of the info that I have found here.  Keep up the good work!

Chris Martin.

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John Fletcher View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Fletcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 3:50pm

This is what I think Adam wanted to hear, Thank you for posting.  How did you find out this site and the fourm.

 

And a real big WELCOME to you Chris Martin!

John Fletcher
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote quixmartin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 4:12pm
Oops, I guess I goofed.  The forum is apart of the Message Board.  I have been reading the Message board,  not just the forum.   Anyway, I live in West Valley and I was doing a seach for reef aquariums in this area, and WMAS came up.  The first thing I looked at was the Sea Star, and truthfully, I was dissapointed that there aren't more issues.  How often do you put it out?  But then I found this board, and now this is the first place that I look to find current answers to my questions.  Thanks.
Chris & Celeste Martin
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 4:48pm
So we now have the ability to post pics w/o having to put them on a web page? (I tried to drag a pic of Rob's pond.......). Teach me how!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mdawson8931 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 5:22pm
I'm with quixmartin, The Sea Star issues are awsome. We need to reinstitute the news letter. just my .02
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 5:46pm

Well, Slaveboy (me), likes this site very much.  Jake has warned me that he will shut it off from 11-8 everyday if I don't start doing some work.

I know that the Boston aquarium club has big sponsors.  I would recommend going to their site and checking it out.  Althought I do not know what the link is anymore. 

I am getting the impression that in other cities, the aquarium clubs are liked more by the LFS than here.  I know that from speaking to LFS owners, not many stores like our club.  Most LFS owners feel that the club members want better discounts and they beat up the stores by comparing things to the internet.  I admit that I have been frustrated about being compared to internet pricing, but I am not going to sell things without making money on them.  When I am at work, I get frustrated when someone has purchased a pump from the internet and wants me to give advise on how to install it.  Our knowledge is worth something and I need to help those who are going to help me put food on my table.  I will say that I love this club.  WMAS has helped TPF get off the ground more than I can say.  We have not had any advertising besides the club and word of mouth.  Sorry for getting a little off the topic.

This board has been very useful to me.  I have seen others do things that I would not ever have thought of.  I have been able to meet people and make many friends.  Many of my friends are not into aquariums and this forum helps me find more NERDS like me.  I have learned many DYI things also on this forum as well.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jfinch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 6:11pm

How come local stores can't sell things at internet pricing?  Do the internet stores not have real "brick and morter" and a lower overhead?  Is it the shear volume that an internet store has that allows them to have lower profit margins?  Is it that internet stores have cut out the middle man distributor?  Or something completely different?  I always try to spend my money locally, but if the price difference is big...

I think Marcus is right about the club's preception among LFS owners.  I don't know about the members wanting discounts, but I've talked to many owners about WMAS and many scoff at the club (and this message board in particular... actually the whole internet - esspecially reefcentral).  One wasn't even aware that the club existed and didn't seem to care.  I think that most of the lfs owners are very knowlegable people and this place would be much better off with their participation.

just my $0.02

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 6:17pm
I can only assume that internet companies have smaller mark-up because they don't have as much overhead as LFS.  Maybe they buy in huge quantities.  I don't know that full details, this is only an assumption.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 8:10pm

Okay I'll jump back in for a few moments....

Seastar---- the great thing about the seastar is that for years we sent it out monthly!!!  But then, we got the email list and there went the seastar.  No need to send out a monthly mailing to remind members, we have email.  And as for the articles, why write articles when we can post topics here by the dozens daily.  Well, there is still great purpose in the seastars and that is why the club now has (I guess this is as good of a time as any to announce) our new seastar editor.  It is Cortney, aka Gonzo.  He will be incharge of gathering articles, editing, and producing the final newsletter.  More info on this is to come....

Regarding website participation---  to compare us to Southern Texas again, we have far more club members, and far more people attending our meetings.  They simply have more people who use their online forum.  That is the difference I'm trying to understand.  I hope that clarifies a few things. 

Local stores--- I think most clubs do not get along with local stores.  Just today I had an online meeting with some MASNA members who are trying to determine ways to build better relationships.  Those clubs who do have good relationships do for one reason (that I know of).  That is that the stores realize how big of a market the clubs are.  I don't think many of our stores realize how big we are, and that my emails go out to over 300 people.  If stores knew how many people were out there, how many were checking in on mail order items, and how much fish nerds talk to each other, they would cater to us in an effort to get that business.  And, lucky for us, some do

Adam

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Keither Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 23 2003 at 8:31pm

Adam,

I'm brand new today thanx to pistonfister recommendations and help.  On the topic of member sand postings by them, maybe they have more out of towner's using the Forum than we do?  Looking over the postings, I am eager to come to the next meetings and filters knowledge from the lot of you for getting started, but these forums are a great place, I have seen, to get down the lingo, get familiar with everything.  Thanx for having them.

David

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