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Author Topic: AKA RIP?  (Read 4333 times)
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fidelio
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« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2010, 12:22 AM »

i have donor fatigue.

it's my opinion spending $40 at my local kite shop, or here with steve, does more good for the industry than handing it to the aka. if i give it to them, they might make $4, it i give it to the aka it'll cost them $4.
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zippy8
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« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2010, 01:08 AM »

Some things are bigger than ourselves - they stand for ideas that we believe in. 

Democracy, freedom, education, motor cycle clubs, feed kitchens, the list goes on and on.

Socialism ?  Wink

Especially at the moment any organisation asking for your money needs to demonstrate some personal, tangible benefit to the donor. The AKA should be able to do this with their newsletter and 10% discount at "merchant members". If that isn't enough, even for the Lone Wolf Freestyler, then it's hard to imagine what else could be. How about a 10% score increase in the next round of VFGrin

Mike.
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Virtual Freestyle - ǝlʎʇsǝǝɹɟ lɐnʇɹıʌ
chilese
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« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2010, 01:30 AM »

I think I need about 50% to have a fighting chance Mike, but thanks for the offer.  Grin
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RobB
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« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2010, 02:07 AM »

I joined AKA for the Kiting magazine, only to find that it's 80% political garbage of the inner workings of the club. I want to read about the festivals that are too far away for me to travel, and what other members are doing with their kites. I continue to send my membership dues every year because it seems like the right thing to do. I'm part of the kiting community, so I should help to support it. But does the AKA represent the kiting community, or should I send my AKA dues here, and support what really keeps the kiting community together ?
~Rob.
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DWayne
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« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2010, 05:28 AM »

When I started flying sport kites I perused the AKA magazine, visited their web site & forum, and talked to a few of their officers. In the end I didn't see any reason to support them. Their demise is their own doing as far as I can tell.
I agree with Rob, I think I've gotten much more benefit from being a member of this forum than I can imagine I would have ever gotten from being an AKA member.

Denny


Maybe Steve should be running the AKA
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RonG
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« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2010, 06:22 AM »

I find it supremely ironic that a lively discussion of the AKA's future viability is going strong here, but not on AKA's KiteTalk forum (and everyone who's a member there saw Barbara's July report too).  Few discussions there (other than political infighting) generate much interest, and most die on the vine.  I pity the poor saps who post there looking for sport kite help.  Sometimes I do the kind thing and direct them here...sometimes not.

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mikenchico
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« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2010, 06:46 AM »

...what would happen if the AKA went away.... No? problem.

See David Gombergs post above

... the fact is that we need insurance. Most venues require $2 million. And that's what AKA offers sanctioned events.

Stand-alone policies are too friggin expensive for small events or clubs to purchase. The group policy remains essential to any kind of collective (I won't use the word "organized") kiting.

Unless we want to fly kites on our IPod applications instead of occasionally on a field with friends, we need the AKA.

dg

That insurance used to cover any member at any time while flying a kite, if you went to your local park and somebody happened into your flying space that you didn't notice and managed to hurt them in some way you were covered, if you kite got away and caused damage you were covered, that ended up being dropped years ago when the cost went above the membership dues but the cost of insurance for any event without the AKA option would keep some of the few events left from happening.

I would like to see the letter the AKA sent out asking for donations, I am not currently a member but have  considered re-activating my membership. If they are depending on only the few remaining members to help out they may not make it still.

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indigo_wolf
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« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2010, 07:05 AM »

I would like to see the letter the AKA sent out asking for donations, I am not currently a member but have  considered re-activating my membership. If they are depending on only the few remaining members to help out they may not make it still.

It is on the public side of the KiteTalk forum. In the Messages from the President section. The part you are referring to is actually the bulk of the message and begins about 1/3 of the way in, first post in the thread titled "Almost July news."

ATB,
Sam
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randyg
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« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2010, 07:13 AM »

I think I've gotten much more benefit from being a member of this forum than I can imagine I would have ever gotten from being an AKA member.
+1
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kiten00b
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« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2010, 08:01 AM »

Quote
political garbage
that's where the AKA lost me, after belonging for 14 years
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thief
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« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2010, 08:40 AM »

I think I've gotten much more benefit from being a member of this forum than I can imagine I would have ever gotten from being an AKA member.
+1
+1 as well.....
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rncembal
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« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2010, 09:08 AM »

Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.
Otto von Bismarck
The politics have always been there to a certain extent. When I first joined in the early 80's at festivals I would hear the rumblings about the Maryland Mafia running kiting. Without the benefit of the internet in today's model you could still be active and avoid the inner battles. I've scaled my involvement way back but not my support or enjoyment. Keep in mind this is a volunteer organization but dealing with real money and real issues not all of which they have control over. The AKA is no where near death. Worst case it will shrink to the dedicated few. Those of us that see the value in the pure joy that kites bring will always be members.
 40 bucks won't change my life, but one event where one person gets to find the magic is worth it to me. I can honestly say that without the AKA and those few I never would have discovered the greater world of kiting. Sure I had kites before but didn't know the community that existed.
I don't see how anyone is surprised that kiting magazine  is mostly about the AKA it always was. There were magazines that were more world travel, review ,plan oriented all went broke. Clue there? Phil has done well to bring more into kiting but he is limited by budgets and donated writings.
The plea for money at this time is to stablize the AKA the same happened 10 years ago.
+1 more
Rob
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Jared
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« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2010, 11:46 AM »

I find it supremely ironic that a lively discussion of the AKA's future viability is going strong here, but not on AKA's KiteTalk forum (and everyone who's a member there saw Barbara's July report too).  Few discussions there (other than political infighting) generate much interest, and most die on the vine.  I pity the poor saps who post there looking for sport kite help.  Sometimes I do the kind thing and direct them here...sometimes not.




It's cyclical, isn't it?  Very little discussion takes places on the AKA forum, so very few people visit it.  And because of the low turnout, there's a low volume of posts.

But if the AKA forum is meant to be a gathering place, then it needs to come out front and center.  A comparison, if I may:

If I want to visit Steve's forum, I do the following:

If I want to read the AKA forum, I do the following:
  • Type http://aka.kite.org/ into my address bar.
  • Look at the landing page
  • Hover my mouse over the small 'Table of Contents' link
  • Wait (depending on connection latency and browser general memory usage) for the menu to pop up
  • Find an equally small link for "KiteTalk Forum" and click on it
  • Read the forum

I should point out that I'd been an AKA member for 18 months before I got around to setting up my forum membership over there. 

Perhaps they're doing better with their AKA Facebook page, I wouldn't know; I'm not a Facebook user.

(edited to add) I have a bit of experience in building web applications for online communities.  One thing that stands out to me, the AKA doesn't seem to be doing anything to drive attention/visits to their forum.  Engagement is the key to success; in the AKA president's last email message to the membership, we were given:
  • A link to a Youtube video
  • A link to an ebay auction
  • A link to a page on the AKA's site about the banner raffle that simply reads: "The banner raffle continues. Tickets are only $5 and can be purchased at ..."

Each of those could have been and probably should have been links to posts on forum.  That way, you get both the external link AND a place to discuss it.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2010, 11:49 AM by Jared » Logged
indigo_wolf
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« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2010, 01:28 PM »

If I want to read the AKA forum, I do the following:
  • Type http://aka.kite.org/ into my address bar.
  • Look at the landing page
  • Hover my mouse over the small 'Table of Contents' link
  • Wait (depending on connection latency and browser general memory usage) for the menu to pop up
  • Find an equally small link for "KiteTalk Forum" and click on it
  • Read the forum

Perhaps they're doing better with their AKA Facebook page, I wouldn't know; I'm not a Facebook user.

(edited to add) I have a bit of experience in building web applications for online communities.  One thing that stands out to me, the AKA doesn't seem to be doing anything to drive attention/visits to their forum.  Engagement is the key to success; in the AKA president's last email message to the membership, we were given:
  • A link to a Youtube video
  • A link to an ebay auction
  • A link to a page on the AKA's site about the banner raffle that simply reads: "The banner raffle continues. Tickets are only $5 and can be purchased at ..."

Each of those could have been and probably should have been links to posts on forum.  That way, you get both the external link AND a place to discuss it.



The link to the KiteTalk forum is at the top level of the menu on the home page. 4th link from the left.

You can also get to it by typing: http://www.aka.kite.org/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl 

Or just bookmark/shortcut it.

Navigation isn't the reason for the wind whistling through the streets of the KiteTalk forum.  The website refresh to Joomla, probably won't have much impact on that.

For good or ill, the KiteTalk forum has had the unfortunate history of being a whipping post.  Large spikes in forum attendence has generally been for the same reasons that popcorn sales at public executions had a certain level of success at various times in history. However most people have a tolerance level for piss and bile (some higher than others).... and unfortunatel certain stigmas have a fairly healthy half-life.

Probably unfairly the former AKA webmaster was also tasked with being the moderator for a majority of the forum sections (Committee Chairs still moderated the sections directly applicable to them).  As moderation categorically didn't include <quote> playing den mother to a group of petulant children <unquote>....it doesn't take a lot of imagination to figure out what happened when threads went off the rails and into the fields.  Needless to say, in some cases,  men, women, children, livestock and the family dog Huh found themselves in harms way with little recourse but to retire to the nearest bomb shelter and burble quietly to themselves until the dust settled.  In a lot of cases, the wounds from those periodic firestorms generally never got tended to properly and have festered into long standing animosities that span many years and miles.  Anyone that believes that the AKA has exclusive right to that phenomena has forgotten some of the more pyrotechnic threads in the previous GWTW incarnation.

Traffic on the AKA Facebook page is leveling off. It has some more active weeks, but a spark is still missing.  That's not meant to be unkind,  That's the nature of FB.  Keeping the AKA FB could easily take up as much time as you would want to spend on it. It's a lot like the magazine in that it is content driven.  I am not sure if anyone ever caught on, but the absolute best responses on Facebook came from when instructional material was provided, event notices came in second depending on the popularity of the event, articles were hit or miss (although some off-the-beaten path stuff spiked the Bell Curve).  There was one week, where the majority of items were obituaries and death notices.

Engagement is the key to success;

Absifrickingtively no argument there. Unfortunately, that or a similar sentiments have been  greeted with the resounding symphony of an avalanche of pins dropping on the floor in the past.

I really was going to steer clear of this thread....sigh. Sad   

ATB,
Sam
« Last Edit: June 25, 2010, 01:31 PM by indigo_wolf » Logged
FlyingJoe
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« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2010, 04:28 PM »

My kite bag had been collecting dust for the last eight years or so. After dusting it off I surfed over to the AKA website to get my membership going again.

Until I realized that they no longer insured fliers who aren't in a group event or festival.

That did it for me. While I can appreciate the festivals, I've yet to attend one, but did enjoy knowing there was coverage for myself when flying.

Now that it's no longer available, there's no draw for me.

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