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Re: Bulletin changes

Actually, I hadn't noticed the Editors question.  I don't read the business stuff. 
  Our recent discussions on boosting AIS membership had me thinking along similar lines.  Basically, the only 'perk' that I know of from AIS membership is the Bulletin, so is the bulletin enough in and of itself to encourage/sustain membership.  I've known people to maintain memberships in horse breed organizations just so they could get a magazine, so couldn't/shouldn't the Bulletin be the focus? Rather than downgrading the Bulletin due to budget/membership concerns maybe it should be reworked.
  I always look forward to the Bulletin, but when I get it I pretty much just look at the pictures and then put it away.  I find all the business stuff absolutely meaningless since I don't have anything really to do with it.  Occasionally I find an article that is interesting (like the spread on flats a while back <vbg>), but some of the recent articles (like the ones about red genetics) have been monstrously tiresome.  And in this bulletin there was an entire page of seedling pictures which appears to have morphed out of the spine... no article that I could see a clear connection to.  Really frustrating.
  Could we do say... since Bruce and the Presidents letter's touched on the membership numbers issue, more of a forum type discussion?  Or could there be a kid's activity page in every issue? or maybe at least the April issue.  Could we just publish the story of a hybridizer.. but maybe not one anyone's ever heard of, maybe just like an open mike nite type concept, you write it we'll publish it.  The same with a grower...  "I like Dusky Challenger best right next to McKellars Grove.,.. but  I tried it next to Silverado anyway...."  or whatever... it might make AIS more relateable to 'backyard' gardeners.
  Anyway, I suppose getting the business stuff on cheaper paper is all fine and good, but if you're bleeding memberships.... well, the perks gotta be worth the dues.
  Robt R Pries <rpries@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
  In your AIS bulletin, The Editor has done a very
brave thing. He has asked for your opinion. After the
list of judges he notes that there is a suggestion to
remove such business from the bulletin. To elaborate,
many societies have a supplement that comes with their
bulletin that contains business of the society. It is
printed on less expensive paper and allows them to
have more of the interesting articles in their
journals while the business items are presented in a
less expensive format. The editor is asking for your
response to this idea. I would like to see an open
discussion here also. My guess is that new and
potential members are really not interested in this
information and that it detracts from the journal such
that they dont renew. The numbers of new members we
get each year is astounding, but we seem to be loosing
almost all within the first year. While the Bulletin
is attractive to old-timers, I suspect it turns off
many new members by the amount of organizational stuff
that they have little interest in. While it has been
suggested that these things could be moved to the
website, I believe simply providing and organizational
supplement could solve the problem, it could provide
even more for our members, and help to us improve our
product so that more people would continue as members.
Unfortunately it is very hard to survey the huge
numbers that quit after a year. 

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