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I Have A Question For Everyone (re AKA)


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#81 Kitelife

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 11:31 AM

AKA is looking at bringing the online raffles back, was a hot topic at the convention business meeting. :)

John Barresi

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#82 Kitelife

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 08:23 PM

Hallelujah, the first place AKA needs to look is the communication pipeline, value vs cost (to members) and quality of available media.

John Barresi

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#83 MsPrez

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 06:45 AM

Hi Barbara,
I am not sure if we met before? In any case, much of the brain storming that has been going seems to be moving in a direction that (IMHO) the AKA may need to rethink its whole approach on how it uses media to connect to the people on the planet. All media is in a state of flux, form how its made, used, and delivered.

if you want, we could talk on the phone about it. To much for me to type and express online.

Thanks B)


Thanks for the offer of help. I think we have been at the same kite events, like MIKE or the convention, both several years ago. You were busy filming, and I was busy elsewhere.
How about we plan on a chat in early november? That will give me a chance to get past the first board of directors meeting and catch my breath. If you would pm me with the best time and number to contact you, that would be great.
Barbara

#84 AldenMiler

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 07:15 AM

I would suggest that advertising in Kiting be sold to hotels/vendors/restraraunts near regularly held kite festivals. Such as the Oceanic in Wildwood.

-Alden
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#85 REVflyer

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 04:47 AM

why buy advertising for such a narrow marketplace (kiters) and for a once-a-year event?,.. not an easy sell that's for sure!

#86 AldenMiler

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 04:52 AM

why buy advertising for such a narrow marketplace (kiters) and for a once-a-year event?,.. not an easy sell that's for sure!



I agree it wouldn't be an easy sell but any that are sold would help.
"Don't go in there!" RC

#87 MsPrez

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 06:13 AM

I agree it wouldn't be an easy sell but any that are sold would help.


This suggestion will be passed on to the Kiting editor who is in charge of selling ads. By the way, there is a promo in place now. Normally a 3 x 3 ad is $150. However, if your event gets AKA sanctioning, the price drops to $100. The next issue of Kiting is being put together right now.
If you have an event that will take place between 12/15 and 4/1, it would be worth your time to quick throw an ad together and get some targeted publicity for your event.
For events occuring after 3/15/2010, the winter issue will close on 1/15.
Think about putting in an ad or two. Earlier this week I heard from an organzier in Beulah ND who is organizing a new event on May 1 & 2, 2010. He has convinced his local chamber of commerce to sponsor the event and is placing 2 ads to publicize. This is the kind of excitement that encourages me to believe there is a future for organzied kiting in general and the AKA in specific.
Barbara

#88 Kitelife

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 08:48 AM

I'd suggest looking at offering ad opportunities in the AKAGN (convention) program, to businesses around the convention... AKAGN is our one of best opportunities (as an organization) to solicit funds and support... Right now, the mantra seems to put in squarely on the backs of the paying membership each year instead of looking outside the AKA.

That, and changing the tone at AKA... Last 2-3 years it's been "we need to make/find more members", but very little specific focus on making new KITEFLIERS, who if brought in right, will naturally create more memberships that are based on endearment instead of cold-pitching kites and membership to people who are even kitefliers yet.

John Barresi

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#89 Kitelife

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 09:18 AM

Also, I can't imagine festival ads in Kiting would carry much end-value (to be honest)...

Most everyone who reads Kiting magazine is already tapped into the event calendars, so what do the festivals really have to gain?

Really, got to focus on benefit-rich services that members can get their hands on day-to-day, not just at events... That's what is missing now, there's very little tangible benefit for the average kitefliers day in and day out.

That's where the online resources become very useful, being able to access the entire Kiting collection any day of the week, as well as videos of 1-2 workshops from each annual convention (not all - "giving it away" - just enough to be of use and stimulate).

As was discussed during the annual business meeting, make ALL paper membership stuff (ballots, Kiting, etc) available through email or the web site... Like on our electric bill, "would you like to go paperless?", it fits well with the green movement too.

As for a member downloading some Kiting issues and sharing them around to non-members... SO WHAT?

They'll get exposed to a side of the organization they may have never seen, either you'll excite them more as kitefliers (which is the AKA's responsibility, member or not), and possibly endear them to actually sign up... As the ONLY full time online-based archive business owner here, I've got to tell you, unauthorized sharing in an industry/pastime like ours is meaningless compared to opening the floodgates and broadcasting KITES freely again... That's what endears people... Right now, the AKA is closed-fisted in my eyes, gotta give something to get something in public outreach.

If it comes down to it, if the AKA is really afraid of people stealing the media (still ridiculous), there are web systems available that will allow you to host an archive of PDFs as an "online magazine", viewable only online, that can't actually be downloaded, just viewed on the web site (i.e. regular return visitors).

Also, while the AKA web site is RICH with information, it's damned near impossible to find for the average web user... Too much drilling down through menus, all pages come up as aka.kite.org so you lose your place in the web site every time you hit the back button... That, and the search engines aren't able to index the pages as thoroughly, making them less available to people simply searching for kite information online... That, and the look needs to be cleaned up, made just a *little* more media-rich and user friendly.

Search for "kite" on Google (no AKA on the first page)
Search for "kites" on Google (no AKA on the first page)
Search for "kite club" on Google (no AKA on the first page)

So, NOT A SINGLE first page ranking under the three terms that should very well exemplify the AKA???

Especially not under KITE CLUB?? What???

Had to go to this one before I found the AKA...

Search for "kite flying" on Google (ranked approx #5 on first page)

I'm a web guy by trade, and to be honest, I don't use the AKA site for much for the very reasons I stated above... I'd be in there every day, on the forums, etc, if I could just get the site to navigate and flow better for me.

A Rev club with Insurance,Rev members Only,discounts,News,a mag,would be the way togo for my 2peneth.

You mean like http://www.revguild.org ?
Insurance (at club events) - check!
Primarily Rev members, but a few converts - check!
15% discount with sponsoring vendor - check!
News via forum and here - check!
No politics - check!
AKA affiliated - check!


More rambling later. ;)

John Barresi

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(found in a fortune cookie - possibly an Einstein quote)

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#90 Kitelife

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 09:29 AM

Also interesting to note, the AKA doesn't currently come up in the first FIVE pages under "kite magazine" on Google... I stopped looking after five pages, may be worse than that.

Some of what I'm seeing here is...

One, most of the protagonists don't feel the like the AKA does anything of value for them.
Two, the AKA broadcasts to members often talks about needing more members (self-defeating).
Three, the AKA isn't taking active steps to make themselves better known using today's tools.

John Barresi

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President - American Kitefliers Association

"We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails."
(found in a fortune cookie - possibly an Einstein quote)

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#91 oparadis

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 02:56 PM

Ok so I was going down this road too and thought that I would have company with at least John B. Just did not want to type so damn much.
Any who as I posted before on this topic, AKA needs to catch up with the rest of the world.
@John, AMEN brother! Amen!

To add on, many of the great kite people are leaving the earth and we are missing the chance to interview them on kites and the lives they lived with kites.
I could see full kite making instruction online. I can see full recorded coverage of some of the biggest and even small intriguing kite festivals around the globe.
What would it cost ? Not sure, but I can tell you a few short years ago we could not even consider it. And now (like any other websites) if you can produce traffic you can get sponsors. WEB = global

John is dead on about pirating. LOL we should pray people want kiting info so bad they would steal it!! On this point a a rap artist named 50 Cent said when his new album came out a few years ago " get my music anyway you can, down load, copy it, what ever " . Why? Because he gets paid more for the concerts, sponsors, and being put on merchandise etc... the music media is the path not the destination.
Likewise spread kiting with the new tools and options. Its hard to be passive when everyone is trying to get our attention 24/7.
Ever watch the show "Overhaulin"?

@John REVGILD huh? Insurance? 15% off? What took me so long to sign up? Link please.
Peace
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#92 Kitelife

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 04:26 PM

RevGuild is at http://www.revguild.org

To second Kurtis' comments about web costs, to be honest, it's DIRT CHEAP to host massive quanities of media, even the bandwidth is cheap these days... Cost is NOT the issue, the problem is the hesitation, fear of changing the paradigm.

I'm here to tell you as a successful creator and manager of several separate online KITE-SPECIFIC communities and media archives, you can't lose, it's win-win... Key is not to look at it as replacing anything, blend and add, support both sides of the family... Digital an print, and the funny thing is, one will boost the other.

Take that to the bank.

John Barresi

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(found in a fortune cookie - possibly an Einstein quote)

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#93 RevJB

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 09:16 PM

... very little specific focus on making new KITEFLIERS, who if brought in right, will naturally create more memberships that are based on endearment instead of cold-pitching kites and membership to people who are even kitefliers yet.

I agree. Most fliers get their information from forums like this one, Revolution, IKE, or something similar. Kite stores and festivals are typically the first interaction with a new flier. Why not give incentives to stores to sign-up new members. IF AKA retention rates are high (if not, that's a separate issue) why not give new members a reduced rate for the first year. The real incremental cost for a member would be very low if the magazine was offered online to them. Challenge stores to signup the most members in a month in prime season and award them with an online ad or something else that has very little incremental cost to AKA and value to the store. Do something similar for festivals. Count the number of new members within four weeks of a festival that were referred by the festival and give the winner a refund on their insurance or dues. Maybe AKA buys a ton of kid kite kits and a large quantity goes to the winner. Purchased in large quantities by AKA they could be very cheap.

Ok, really crazy: Offer a small commission to kite stores to sell memberships. Keeps it top of mind at the store.

I would also like to see junior memberships for kids (not family add ons, which is great). With an online magazine, real membership costs become lower and kids could afford their own membership.

...Insurance: Last year the AKA spent $24,000 on insurance. Fees paid by local clubs covered only $6000 of that cost. Many beaches and parks will not permit an organized event to be held without insurance. The choice is to pay $150 to the AKA, or to attempt to find private insurance at a much higher cost. If you have homeowners or renters insurance, you have paid for individual liability insurance that will cover you anytime. It is no longer available to the AKA at any price...

I never knew this about AKA paying 3/4 of insurance costs. More people need to know festivals may only be possible because of AKA. Might encourage a few more to sign-up. Maybe an announcement about AKA insurance and membership at festivals would help. AKA could provide the script.

John
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#94 Kitelife

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 09:33 PM

It may be time for the AKA to start accepting sponsorship from manufacturers and retailers a well... Give placement in the mag, web site, AKAGN program, etc... You ultimately have the same mission, albeit different end-games.

John Barresi

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#95 MtnFlyer

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 10:48 AM

Yes, as is my whole family.

Great idea about the space on the forum, Ben.
Bob

#96 Mike

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 12:13 PM

Yup, the AKA website is in serious need of a makeover. For the HTML inclined, that means getting rid of the frames would be a big start.

I often hear about how a sizable portion of the AKA membership doesn't even have an email address and that's why less is done via the web or email. Maybe the thinking is backward. If the AKA had a better web outreach there might be a lot more web-savvy members, and perhaps younger members at that. (No offense, I recently became eligible for an AARP card myself, but I think we need more younger members--a lot more)

The IKE club is free and offers an internet presence with event news about festivals in the midwest, video, photos, kite help, club flies, a forum, and is open to fliers of all kinds. We also show up on the first page of a google search for a kite club. The website and wiki is run with the help of a couple volunteers and costs very little to run.

If IKE can do it with a small amount of effort and even smaller outlay of cash, there's no reason why the AKA site shouldn't be at the top of the google rankings and the first place web searchers go for info on kites, kite clubs and kite vendors.

I agree with earlier posters. I think better use of the web should be a priority for attracting membership.
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#97 oparadis

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 01:10 PM

If the AKA had a better web outreach there might be a lot more web-savvy members, and perhaps younger members at that. (No offense, I recently became eligible for an AARP card myself, but I think we need more younger members--a lot more)


Uh Oh ....... he said "young people" ......... now that's an OLD can of worms...
Peace
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#98 Mike

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 02:51 PM

If the AKA had a better web outreach there might be a lot more web-savvy members, and perhaps younger members at that. (No offense, I recently became eligible for an AARP card myself, but I think we need more younger members--a lot more)


Uh Oh ....... he said "young people" ......... now that's an OLD can of worms...


Ha Ha, I actually said youngER people. I meant folks who aren't AARP members.
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#99 oparadis

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 03:47 PM

Ha Ha, I actually said youngER people. I meant folks who aren't AARP members.


yea I know but I could not help myself.... ;-)
Peace
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#100 Jeepster

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 03:52 PM

... No offense, I recently became eligible for an AARP card myself ...


I didn't know they offered junior memberships!!! Wow, how neat!!!




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