Gauging Interest: Moving Forward......

Discussion in 'General Subaru Discussion' started by tangledupinblu, Mar 19, 2007.

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  1. tangledupinblu
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    tangledupinblu Event Coordinator Staff Member

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    Hello to all members and non-members! I have been involved with MNSubaru myself for about 6 months now. And in those six months I've met some great people, all sharing the same love for Subarus. Events really make owning these cars so much more enjoyable! Getting a chance to see each persons individuality through their cars and also a chance to make new friends. The best event (IMO) was the 2007 Ice Race without a doubt!;) I unfortunately couldn't make the second one. If you missed out, plan on going next year! Thanks again Rich to you and your family for hosting the event!

    The next benefit to being a member of this club is the savings!! You can find almost anything you need here in the forum for your ride! Not only that, but you get a 20% discount on new Subaru parts from the dealerships and 10% off labor costs!:eek3: To some people that is not a big deal, but I've definitely appreciated the savings that ALL dealers and vendors have provided! I'm sure that I've saved hundreds of $'s already in only half a year! <<That=more upgrade moneys!!

    **So here is the idea that has been tossed about a few times amongst a few of us to help with the growth of MNSubaru!**

    An annual fee of $50 dollars for active members. We believe it is a very small amount of money to those members that enjoy getting out and driving their cars and spending time attending events! I for one would be more than willing to fork up fiddy bucks to increase the size/quality of our future events with the club. If you love saving money through this forum, and enjoy spending time participating in club events...then PLEASE post up your opposition, support, or ideas in this matter to gauge an idea for the forum leaders as to where everyone stands on this topic!

    This has only been discussed between other members and myself...but if we are all on board, then I'm sure the Admins. would be willing to really get this thing going! Here's to a great year for MNSubaru in '07!:cheers2: Thanks ahead of time for the comments!----Josh
     
  2. vinhnumber13
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    vinhnumber13 New Member

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    I think charging the members to post would be a horrible idea! You should look into selling some advertising to make this thing grow. And if you ask me what I know about selling advertising online, that's what I do for a living! You could look into local custom shops, parts distributors, etc. From the amount of members, the volume of posts, etc. right now, the sponsors won't pay a lot now, but if you can find some idiot ones, I'm sure you could bring in 1k to 1.5k a month. However, if you start charging people to post on forum sites, this will surely die!! The only question is whether or not you have the time to find and sell sponsors on the site!
     
  3. badbennyb
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    badbennyb Has no title

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    first off I must say I hate the term "active member" and don't want to pay fifty bucks for that title. I understand that most clubs have fees and thats great but quite honestly I think we need at least one decent year of real events and overall group togetherness before we move on to the big leagues. I will say the year seems to be getting off to a positve start and I have high hopes for the coming car "season". And Josh thank you for your great attitude and corcern for making this a true club. I feel the same way you do as I'm sure many others do to but it may take baby steps to really work.
     
  4. curly2k3
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    curly2k3 Well-Known Member

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    i personally think paying would kill off a fair amount of the members, i would say sponsors
     
  5. wings_23
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    wings_23 New Member

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    I would have a hard time paying $ 50 dollars, how many of the people on here go to events and such. Maybe if it was a 1 time fee of $50 bucks I would maybe do that, but a yearly fee I think is crazy:eek3:. The events would have to be more than Firestone on Fridays and the occasional group run. I think we would lose alot of people and it would be the downfall of civilization as we know it:eek3:. Like it was said above why not charge shops, and dealers to advertise, they benefit from our business, that is brought to them through this site.
     
  6. AWDimprezaL
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    AWDimprezaL has more posts than you

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    Show me a reason to pay money and i'll do it, so far i havent seen anything that is worth $ badbenny has the right idea, have a full year of real events and see where it goes.
     
  7. Justin
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    Justin Well-Known Member

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    there are many other ways to make cash for a club...try those first.
     
  8. readymix
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    readymix ...Lest ye be trod upon... Staff Member

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    Sorry, this place fails. I'm definately not giving it 50 dollars. Last year we had a few events. Ice Races. Duluth Trip. Fall Fun Runs. That was it. You paid your own way at each. I discussed with Rich about the ice races, and we are working something out for that, but it wont require a yearly 50 dollar donation. I just think with the last 365, you're going to be hard pressed to even get the more senior members to throw down 50 bucks for anything.
     
  9. 6MTizzle
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    6MTizzle 2SLO

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    I doubt thats gonna work. I've been here a long time and unless there were some big changes I wouldn't even consider paying.
     
  10. silver03
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    silver03 Well-Known Member

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    $50 is pretty steep for a club forum. Cut in 1/2 or maybe $20 as an option might be a good place to start.
     
  11. prezawagon
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    prezawagon Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I've ever heard anybody talk about requiring a membership fee to access and post on the forums. I think we need to keep that free, otherwise you're right, it would pretty much kill the site. If there was a membership fee, it would probably be for additional benefits, maybe things like being able to vote for club officers, etc. If we had enough paying members, who knows, maybe we could afford insurance to have real events, track days, etc...

    * my views, not an official club statement...
     
  12. readymix
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    readymix ...Lest ye be trod upon... Staff Member

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    I think the problem with that is that the guys that go to most of these events are usually content to pay the event fee and have fun, and a good portion of the active members aren't going to want to have to pay 50 dollars to vote for club officers.
     
  13. bummpy
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    bummpy New Member

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    Bad idea. Who exactly is going to be responsible for the cash?

    How many members are there? 900?

    Let's say just a fraction of people sign up for this. 100? Maybe 50?

    That's $2500-5000. What are we going to do with that money?

    I've been here for about the same amount of time as you (~6-7 months). And already I've seen a bunch of pissing matches and b!tch fests. Understandable when you throw a bunch of different people with differing opinions into a virtual room and leave them to their devises.

    But we're a long way from the kind of formalized group that we would need to be to have that amount of cash on hand. We would need a board of directors, a treasurer, a CEO, and whatever. You can only imagine the kind of popularity contests that would ensue here when nominating those who are supposed to play those leadership roles.

    Like others have said, outside of the ice races, there hasn't really been anything very organized by way of events. Hanging out at firestone or whatever is well and good, but there isn't really a need to charge for that. Even the lacross trip is only going to cost time, gas, and a trip to the grocery store for burgers and dogs.

    I think the pay as you go system works just fine for the kinds of events that I've seen are going on. And I definately think the level of organization and maturity thus far represented has shown that we're a bit away from having a couple grand sitting around for who knows what someone ends up spending it on.

    Let's do this instead. Someone post up how much it costs to host the site, put up a paypal for it, and count it down as the server costs get paid for via voluntary donations. If people want this site to stay around, they'll put their money where their mouth is and throw $5-10 bucks at it to keep it here.
     
  14. readymix
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    readymix ...Lest ye be trod upon... Staff Member

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    Well said. And the little donations thing for site bills works great. I do it on t3hw00t and it pays all the hosting fees for the year. Plus, I give out 't3hw00t contributor' avatar badges for members that do donate. That way you can identify who is making the effort to keep the place alive.
     
  15. Chin
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    Chin Well-Known Member

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    HAHAHAHAHA! Not all of us are interested in events, especially if you are paying for ones you don't attend. If anyone requires paying to be part of 'the club', you are going to loose just about everything you have here except the OT crap that runs rampant. ....including some of the original members like myself.

    Why do people think that a club needs to be based on this site? Take it upon yourself to start a club and leave the board alone. I don't have any issue if you want to use the board as a communication tool or even just a place to post to each other, but trying to turn a message board into a club just makes no sense to me.

    Christian
    -already starting to loose interest in the site due to declining amount of actually useful information... :(
     
  16. bummpy
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    bummpy New Member

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    OIC

    The subie master has slayed the dragon eh?

    With that tude' you might as well leave and just post on nasioc if all your looking for is subaru information here.
     
  17. tangledupinblu
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    tangledupinblu Event Coordinator Staff Member

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    :eek3: Wow, a simple question. Just an idea that a few of us shared. You know what, delete this thread. I don't want to read any more of this stuff.
     
  18. Sogonerg
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    Sogonerg Anteater

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    ^Thanks Elliot...I'm just so scared to lose one of the original member (Chin) :roll: Please if you do lose interest in the Site, move on...
     
  19. Andrew
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    Andrew New Member

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    I love this site and thinks it's a great resource. I would rather pay an annual fee than have advertising on the site. Although, in order to feel comfortable with the fee, I would want to see a longer list of member benefits. Maybe some other shops in town would provide regular discounts.
     
  20. Sogonerg
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    Sogonerg Anteater

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    In a way this is good Josh, can't always read everything that is good and positive...This way we have ideas from members good or bad and we all can take it in as suggestions to improve the site/club...This is a good thread to have, but of course controlled and reviewed often to make sure it doesn't go out of hand...
     
  21. tangledupinblu
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    tangledupinblu Event Coordinator Staff Member

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    Agreed.
     
  22. silver03
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    silver03 Well-Known Member

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    Club WRX does a supporting member option...for $20 per year, I more than get my moneys worth. Maybe this sight does not have all of the technical information one might need, like someone posted earlier,"go to nasioc or clubwrx". But who cares, I have met some terrific people here and the local hookup is worth alot. My .02...again.
     
  23. mlgez
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    mlgez Well-Known Member

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    This is my personal opinion and not that of other mods or admins:

    I love the idea but am not sure that we are ready for that move yet. I would love to see the club grow to the point that we host events and have regular gatherings (other than FS) and have member benefits. To post here and use the board I do not think there should ever be a charge. I feel we need to do a lot of work before we are ready to make these kinds of moves.

    Again this is my opinion and not anyone elses involved with the board.
     
  24. ShortytheFirefighter
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    ShortytheFirefighter Pokemans. I has none. Staff Member

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    Christian has a very valid point, and I'm in agreement with him as well. I really don't think we have anything right now that merits any sort of annual fee, it doesn't matter if it gives us special election rights or not. There are many of us on here who are here for the social aspect of talking and hanging out, and as much as I love you guys I'm not paying 50 bucks to do the same thing I can do any other Friday/Saturday night by showing up at Firestone. If we have events that need to be paid for, the people who go will be able to foot the bill for it. When I can be shown a valid reason for dropping 20-50 bucks a year, I'll be the first to pay it. I just don't think we're anywhere close to that.
     
  25. WRX1
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    WRX1 _ Staff Member

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    Well, my .02 on the whole deal. This is my thoughts/opinions, these are not made on behalf of the site.

    I have seen tons of "well if more things would happen" statements, but they are usually never followed up by so good info. What would it take from the site/group/club before you would consider paying some kinda of dues?? I have been around since about Sept of '00, and this group has grown leaps and bounds since then. Yes there has been some tough times and alot of bs that has been slung in every angle. Steps are being made to move forward from that. There is alot of talk that this site isn't worth it. This site/group is made up from all the members. When people say the group isn't worth it, everyone is taking the hit. i can tell you that I have personally set up tons of events, and have had tons of events flop because of the hand raisers. If you want the group to grow and become something alot larger, we need more people to set up and hold events, plan events, get involved, and participate in the events that others are doing. I was the first subaru in Firestone, and it has grown into a good showing of the club. Yes, we can do alot more, but when people put events together other members of the club don't show.

    Now from the site of the site/MNSubaru.
    Well, some of you probably have seen us getting the cpu error from time to time. Hopefully that has been taken care up. We have upgraded our server since we are getting alot more traffic on the site. There are certain things that we could do to stay on a slower server, but that would entail taking away benifits that we are currently used to having. Saying that, our cost of the site to be up and running has gone up quite a bit. As to this point, the t-shirt/hoodie/sticker sales have covered all the costs of keeping this site up and running. if we continue to grow at the rate we are currently growing, we will need to come up with something else to help ofset the costs of the site. We are always open to accept donations to help keep the site up and running, and if anyone is interested in makeing any donations, please pm me.

    As for ads on the site, we like the site clean form all the vendor ads. Could we put up ads and make so more money? yep, but do you the end user want to look at these ads every time you jump onto the site (think nasioc).

    Russ
     
  26. readymix
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    readymix ...Lest ye be trod upon... Staff Member

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    On the subject of advertising. You have a few vendors here, why not have a banner ad at the top of the page? WRXF does it and it isn't intrusive at all. It takes in some revenue and it allows them to make banners custom to MNSubaru. And what vendor is going to give you a better discount because you paid the site some money? I think they would want a cut of that 50 dollars if they are going to be shelling out a better discount.

    Technical Resource? I agree with the "go to Nasioc" thing. This is a car club, not a resource site, there is a mods/maint section to ask questions of the locals and show off your mods, but there is a gigantic wealth of knowledge to be had at Nasioc. I hate that place, just like alot of people here, but you don't have to post there to get some good information. A simple search will usually yield the information you are looking for as most questions have been asked dozens of times there.

    This site is an extension of the club. It isn't THE club, but it is part of it. MNSubaru should be first and foremost a community based on our love for a particular brand of car that we have in common. This site is a place for people with a common interest to come together and have a community. Some people don't participate in events, but they do come here to discuss their interests in a car that they like, and to see what other Subaru enthusiasts are doing with their cars. To say that you can't base a car club on a forum is nonsense. 90% of the current club members know of the club due to the website. And as for the OT crap that runs rampant, what do you think we talk about when we all get together. You can talk about cars for so long, but I'd like to think the members of this club are a bit more multi-faceted than that. You gotta have something to talk about besides Subarus, how do you expect to make good friends if you talk about the same thing every time you meet up. Car clubs are social by nature. You join car clubs because you want to meet people with a common interest, and hopefully make some good friends that have a common interest.

    But I do agree with the thought that "Why should I pay 50 dollars to contribute to events that I may or may not attend?" I don't care much for auto-x and rally-x. It isn't my thing, so why would I pay 50 dollars to the club to help pay for auto-x and rally-x events that I have no intention of attending. Same goes for the hardcore auto-x guys, they often don't go on the fun cruises and club social gatherings, are they going to want to pay 50 dollars to pay for someone's hotdogs or hotel accomodations somewhere? Doubtful. You really tread on eggshells when you start charging people for membership into a car enthusiast club. Because alot of people have different interests and ideas as to what they car club means to them. For me it has always been where I meet new friends that have an interest in Subarus. It's a social gathering for me. For others it is something else. And the range is too broad and vague to be able to allocate funds to each person's interests properly.
     
  27. readymix
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    readymix ...Lest ye be trod upon... Staff Member

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    And I don't know how BlueHost works at all, but I know with my webhost, they have a thing setup that allows your site members to donate via PayPal and all funds collected are used for the site bills at the end of the year. This money is not accessable by the site owner AT ALL, the only thing it can ever be used for is paying hosting fees. It keeps the trust there for t3hw00t, they know that when they send me 20 bucks, it goes to pay for hosting and not lining my pockets. And to date, 75% of the hosting fees have been paid for by the members. T-shirts and hoodies and other schwag also helps alot, I don't make very much on my stuff, usually about $.50 - $1.00 per unit. But that all goes aside to pay for anything the site needs. This year is going to be a bit different in that the cost of goods went way down, so the profit margin will be a lot higher and thus will help pay site hosting fees and hopefully for other site related mayhem.

    I don't know what it would take for me to want to pay dues here. There would have to be a very detailed write up and break down for where each dollar of my 50 is spent. I'd want to know where my money is going and why.
     
  28. tangledupinblu
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    tangledupinblu Event Coordinator Staff Member

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    Most people are stressing the fact that "we don't have enough events!" Obviously! That was the real reason this thread was started. My curiosity is all that's in play here. Nobody is going to charge anyone anything! This is to see if there would be members willing and wanting to get the forum to the "club" status. AutoX, Rally, 1/4 mile days, bbq's,etc. More real events for those that want to be more involved. Sitting in front of the computer is fine. Anyway, make it involuntary donations, I don't care. Just something to generate funds for the forum for the future.

    This is ONLY a question to get an IDEA of where people stand. This is not a reality, and you do not need to get so upset and offended by the question.
     
  29. readymix
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    readymix ...Lest ye be trod upon... Staff Member

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    Who is upset or offended? I'm giving my opinions on the deal and am in no way heated. If MNSubaru decides tomorrow to start charging dues, I wont contribute because I see no point to do so. Quit getting all pissy about it, discussion and opinion is a good thing. In fact, a pat on the back for you for bringing up club unity when it should have been brought up back in 2004.
     
  30. Justin
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    Justin Well-Known Member

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    i'd like to see more seasonal big events. we alread have a few seasons covered....we need 1 or 2 more though. at least another one in spring time would be killer.

    jan/feb: orr ice races (organizer: rich)
    oct: duluth trip(organizer: justin)
    mid summer: lax trip(organizer: tangeledupinblue)

    who else is willing to put in the time for a couple more big events?? 4 total would be nice...5 would be awesome.

    and these big annual events have been wildly successful because we plan them out far in advance...and now that we are doing them annually people know what time frame the will likely happen the following year.
     
  31. tangledupinblu
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    tangledupinblu Event Coordinator Staff Member

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    Jason, my response was too all. I wasn't finger pointing at you. If so, I would have quoted ya!;)
     
  32. readymix
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    readymix ...Lest ye be trod upon... Staff Member

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    Haha, fair enough.
     
  33. tangledupinblu
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    tangledupinblu Event Coordinator Staff Member

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    I agree 100% Justin. 5 decent events a year would be nice!

    Hey Mixx...what about a track day at a 1/4 mile track!?
     
  34. ShortytheFirefighter
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    ShortytheFirefighter Pokemans. I has none. Staff Member

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    That's a ****ty response, especially since he's been here a lot longer than you have. If he feels that the site is going downhill, instead of saying "There's the door" why not actually look at what he's saying? I've been around since this was a Yahoo mailing list, and in some ways I think that things have gotten worse. Some of the older members on here are also very good resources of information on Subarus and just telling them to move on because you don't like that they criticized the site is not a good or constructive attitude.
     
  35. bummpy
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    bummpy New Member

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    As far as my original post, I wasn't really saying "move-on," I was saying "if all you're looking for is a message board that has subaru information, you came to the wrong place. There are better venues for such content (i.e. nasioc)."

    I signed up for nasioc first before coming here. But I soon realized that it was more useful to me as an archive of information I needed than it was a place to socialize and meet other subaru enthusiasts.

    I posted up on another thread that I was doing a brake install once the sun rose sunday morning. Esperunit called me up out of nowhere that morning and offered to help me install them (presumably after reading that post). It was sweet and you won't find that at nasioc. That's all I'm saying.
     
  36. Sogonerg
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    Sogonerg Anteater

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    Sorry Brian, nothing against u...but when someone can express how they feel I will too...I'm sure every member (old and new) has something to offer, but if they feel the need to leave, I'm not going to stop them...Whether they stay or leave life goes on...
     
  37. vinhnumber13
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    vinhnumber13 New Member

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    There are forum sites where people do pay to post on them. However, those sites are more than just a forum, it gives you resources, tools, etc. This site is essentially just a forum site. If you want to grow this thing, get more people signed up on the site, get them posting more actively, and get sponsors for the site. I'm not going to get into details on it because I would be giving away my trade secrets to the way I make a living... If you are interested in growing this thing, I would be willing to discuss a buy out of the site and I would have to change some admin stuff, but my company would take it over! So whoever owns this, we can talk partnership in it or a buy out option if you're truly interested in "growing" the club or are you interested in the money? Either way, I would be willing to donate some time to it, but it would involve my company taking control of the site as I won't reveal my trade secrets!! Also, we would split income after I recoup my expenses!
     
  38. readymix
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    readymix ...Lest ye be trod upon... Staff Member

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    Oh man, this is comedy gold. Hello, and welcome to MNSubaru. Cookies and refreshments are in the OT.
     
  39. WRX1
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    WRX1 _ Staff Member

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    You want to talk partnership, shoot me a pm.

    Russ
     
  40. mlgez
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    mlgez Well-Known Member

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    Well I could be wrong but I don't see that happening. As for events, I will have a BBQ at my place in May. It will be free and family friendly. It is not car related per say but I hope it to be a lot of car people hanging out and talking and having some good food. Think catering.

    Matt
     
  41. AWDimprezaL
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    AWDimprezaL has more posts than you

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    wtf why did jason's post get deleted... NVRMND
     
  42. mlgez
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    mlgez Well-Known Member

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    He deleted it himself.
     
  43. Dynapar
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    Dynapar Well-Known Member

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    Personally i think $50 is too much for a yearly fee. i know this was just a number thrown out there. but with any sort of fee invovled for membership you will lose a lot of members who are not very active. there a plenty of people you come on here maybe once every one or 2 months for some help or info or to find an event, but if they have to pay even $20 a year they may say screw it. as for myself if there is a membership fee i might not be able to afford it, depending on the yearly situation, which would blow hardcore!

    this topic has been brought about before at the business meetings, and well it has never really been answered. I feel that we should try other means of gathering funs for the club. we have sticker sales for which the money goes to the club directly. also it sounds like the t-shirt/hoodie $ is going to the club also. perhaps more merchandise with profits dedicated to the club would be worth looking into. or perhaps charge alittle more for these items ($15 instead of $10 for stickers)

    I really dislike having advertisers on websites, banners and graphics take time to load which can be agonizingly slow if you NEED to check a post for some info. i have had RS25 explode on me before while trying to check a post about ecu wiring which i was working on.

    for events and such is it truely necessary to get have a huge slush fund? so far everything seems to work fine if people pay their own way. it keeps things simple, for the most part. the only reason i can see a need for a large fund laying around is for some huge event (which would be cool) like renting a track for a day or getting insurance for a auto-x/rally-x. but frankly i dont think the club is big enough to hold any events of this size.

    my .02
     
  44. Speedemon
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    Speedemon Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't even pay $20
     
  45. Sogonerg
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    Sogonerg Anteater

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    thanks for your .02 evan...LOL short and sweet...buy Jasons rims BTW looks good...
     
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