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Re: AIS: The truth is out there

This is a great idea
I would love to see the results
I'm a researcher and the information gardnered from this
would be a tremendous help not only to AIS but to the regions and local
-----Original Message-----
From: "Bobby Baxter - Wake Forest, NC"
Sent: Jan 27, 2005 8:47 AM
To: iris@hort.net
Subject: [iris] AIS: The truth is out there

1970's approximately 12,000 AIS members, 2005 approximately 6,000 AIS

These numbers really do not surprise me. People join plant societies
because of a common interest in a particular plant. However, people stay
with the society because of the people.

I could easily sit here for 5 minutes and list 20 different things that
to mind as to why AIS membership has been, and is, in decline. Then some
people will tell me how bitter I am, and I destructive I am. Nothing
be further from the truth. The truth is what many people are denying and
therefore things will continue to head downwards.

I would suggest for AIS to send a "simple" questioner to the last
AIS members that did not renew their membership with the society. It
include questions like, "What is the main reason you did not renew your
membership with AIS?" and "What do see as the biggest problem areas
the society that need attention?"

I would also send out another 500-1,000 questioners to current members
asking them what their greatest concerns are within AIS and what areas
see as problematic.

This would be a great investment for AIS to make, especially if AIS then
responded appropriately in the concerned areas. Every plant society has
own problems, however, denying they exist will lead the society in the
direction. The strong leader(s) are capable of accepting the problems and
then addressing them in a positive fashion.

If AIS did send out these questioners, I would also recommend sharing the
results with the entire society through the Iris Bulletin. Everyone is in
this together. AIS is not a secret society. If everyone knows the
problems, then they can work together for the betterment of the society
turn things around.

I will also post this message to the Happy Moose Gardening Forum (The
Societies category) at http://happymoose.com in the event some people
rather post anonymously or just want to share their thoughts with more

Bobby Baxter
Wake Forest, North Carolina

----- Original Message -----
From: "thomas silvers"
To: "iris-talk"
Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2005 7:41 AM
Subject: Re: [iris] Re: OT AIS membership (Join us!)

> Bill Burleson wrote
> ...Our membership [AIS] has declined from about 12,000
> in the 70's to below 6,000 now (both these numbers are
> from memory but are close)...
> ...Would you consider a membership in Old South Iris
> Society? We are AIS affiliated... Learn what Southern
> hospitality really means. Join us!...
> Smiles,
> Bill Burleson
> Bill,
> Wow! Those numbers are surprising (if not almost
> sickening). What has happened in the world of irises
> that the AIS has lost so many members? I can't imagine
> that even the coldest finger-pointers could blame this
> all on the leadership of the society. There must be
> something else going on. Is it maybe, that other
> plants and flowers have drawn people away? Or have
> irises become too fussy about growing conditions, that
> average folk won't bother? I'm just makin' guesses. I
> really don't want to hear any more negative stuff, but
> I'm curious if anyone has any ideas. Like maybe
> highest membership coinciding with some highpoint of
> the shift from diploid to tetraploid (or something
> like that).
> And thanks for asking. I would definitely like to join
> OSIS. I'll send you my address off-forum and look
> forward to the interaction (even if it's from afar).
> Sounds like a great bunch of people. I hope to get to
> meet some of you someday.
> Take care, Tom
> The all-new My Yahoo! - Get yours free!
> http://my.yahoo.com
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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Anita Moran
USDA Zone 6b

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