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New INS Members Benefit - Online journals are here...

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AFNetsuke
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Location: Central California coast, USA

Postby AFNetsuke » Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:51 am

Vlad, I clearly remember 2009 when you, Stan, and I pointed out the importance to the INS of a presence in the electronic world. I think my Board reports at the following two conventions echoed that. A good number of our new memberships now come via our website introduction. Admittedly, we have plodded along for quite some time trying to solve problems of website providers to avoid pay per pageview on the Forum, better and cheaper ways of communicating with membership, establishing on-line payments, enhanced home page, its reorganization, addition of features like the FAQ section (thanks to your work), Glossary, revolving netsuke gallery, etc. Some exciting changes have been made thanks to a handful of folks like you. My preference in discussing the business issues of the INS would be via phone conversations with members and in a members-only area on our WildApricot platform at Netsuke.org if and when we can launch a forum there. However, I will ask you a couple of questions about how to assess the impact of offering electronic memberships.

But let me preface by saying that it is my feeling that a large number of our members value the printed Journals and would not like to give them up. The number who would prefer electronic-only delivery seems small, at least among convention-goers, but a fair number of members are unable to attend conventions and may convert to electronic. A fairly large number of people would like to have both paper and electronic. But at what cost? You need to understand that to produce the Journal there are fixed expenses for the production (including the editor) that eat most of the budget whether we print 100 or 1000 copies. If the bulk of expense for paper doesn't go away with the introduction of electronic-only membership at reduced dues the production fails. I've had this same discussion with a collectors organization of 3000 members. They can send out a similar sized journal quarterly for only $35 per year (they also have an Editor who works for free). Economy of scale. But they won't let the paper go in order to go electronic for fear that too many people would opt out of paper and they would not be able to continue the current low dues structure (based on surveys taken at national meetings that are well attended). I might also mention that they have released all their over one year old back journals electronically to the general public for free. They hope it will build the collector base.

How many current INS members do you think would drop our $125/yr dues in favor of just a cheaper subscription for the electronic version?
How could we possibly do a survey to find how many non-members would pay maybe $50/yr for the electronic journals only? Would that exclude them from convention attendance or some other valuable membership activity? Or would you propose both electronic Journals and all other benefits minus the paper? Poling current members could be done to see how many would convert. If we put a questionaire in the next Journal how many will be returned? What would the postage cost or would we expect them to give response via the website (cheap but how many will)?
What if we did start electronic membership and it doesn't generate enough revenue? Who bails us out of bankruptcy?
Alan

borat
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Postby borat » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:25 am

Bluntly,  if you cannot afford $200 for an annual INS membership, you really shouldn't be collecting netsuke, should you?

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Tama
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Postby Tama » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:45 am

My two cents if it matters. Me personally, love nothing better than curling up in my favorite chair with my dog or cat (sometimes both) and a hardcopy book. Sitting at the computer is fine for reading and responding to threads, but for reading a journal is not a comfortable place to sit and after a while bothers my eyes. As of now I am not a paying member (thanks for reveling my Christmas gift Mike, like I wouldn't read what he wrote!) and do not feel $125.00 for membership is too much to ask. I feel as Mike does that asking for a donation or fee for reading past journals is certainly understandable.

Yes the articles printed in the journal are a labor of love by the author and written with the intent of sharing knowledge, but realistically there is no free lunch. The society has to be self supporting and any endowments made are gravy. Bottom line, the journals must be cost effective which ever form they take or evolve into without raising or lowering the membership fee.

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Vlad
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Postby Vlad » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:54 am

Alan, I think we both know and hear the same over the past few years, and I, for one, not only love the paper copies and have bought them all for the past 32 years, but I also have serious doubts about the authors, who do it completely for free, being as eager to write for an electronic Journal, as they were for a published one.

But do we really need to choose? A believe, we are talking about how to increase the INS revenue, in which case, if successful, we will have even more chances to continue with the hard copy. If successful...

This is exactly why I was against offering the electronic Journal for free in the first place.

The main question is not what we, or some others may like, but what we as an organization may be able to afford in our current situation.

For example, I do fully appreciate the value of the non-profit status, but only if significant donations keep coming. But are they?..

Agree, things like this better be discussed in a special place on this site, if in existence. I just don't feel like we my afford to play an "ostrich game" much longer.

"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

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LUBlub
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Postby LUBlub » Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:46 am


the synthesis is the best way to understand how things are:

a) the electronic Journal is an important element that is added to the services offered by 'INS, but do not substitute the paper bulletin, and this is the reason why there are catalogs and books of all kinds that invade the world, I don't imagine any important physical book on the art of netsuke (ex..MCI) in electronic format ...

b) borat has anticipated my thought and belief: collecting netsuke is expensive at any level and individual budget, and who decides to do so is well aware and knows its possibility, and then to pay as I'm ready to pay 250 usd per year, 0.68 cents a day , is a very modest figure considering the volume of knowledge or experience that you can only acquire in the forum every day ... including the huge photographic material that you should not have to pay, like visiting a museum to see netsukes in one showcase and at distance...

c) dozens of times I wrote that we collectors are the real great heritage and a source of great profits for the auction houses, see only their exorbitant commissions, and then the INS should negotiate a special agreement with the largest houses auction reducing the commission for RM's of INS and in this way increase the benefits and interest for new potential members, ... this is my proposal.


d) also suggest that for every download electronic Journal will pay usd 10,. for RM's and usd 20 for everyone else, via PayPal, immediately .... because if you wish to build up a library of any kind you have to pay, whether physical or electronic.

e) it is true that we are a organization "not profit" but as I wrote someone has to pay the bills, ....profit not mean charity.


Excellence in netsuke art don't need signature or pedigree, or age, only quality, aesthetics, beauty.

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AFNetsuke
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Location: Central California coast, USA

Postby AFNetsuke » Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:03 am

Bluntly, if you cannot afford $200 for an annual INS membership, you really shouldn't be collecting netsuke, should you?

Borat, I think maybe you've hit the nail on the head. A similar statement might be made for holding conventions in a cheap facility in a nondescript city with no other amenities (which would work for regional meetings but not for international where the specialist dealers show up and an auction and exhibits are usually hosted).
Alan

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Nio
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Location: Australia

Postby Nio » Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:08 am

I agree with Luigi.

Kick up the membership fee to reflect true cost and give us new members access to the old journals electronically for a modest fee on top.

Our game has a high degree of feel, touch and holding in hands lets keep it that way with the Journals

Happy Xmas all and thank you to the the regular contributors we are learning all the time even though we do not participate a lot.

Cheers
Bill
Nio " I never learn anything from listening to myself "

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Vlad
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Postby Vlad » Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:11 am

Fantastic! So now, when everybody agrees with borat and Luigi, what do we do next? I mean, not just someone else, but us, all of us here...Image Any action items, anyone?
"Man sieht nur, was man weiß" - "One sees only what one knows". Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

carlomagno
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Location: Chile

Postby carlomagno » Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:47 am

I think Luigi is right, higher annual fees and a. download fee for each issue would be fair but also BOD should increase advertisement fees and request higher contributions from auction houses.

By the way, we are just few regular posters so if the BOD accept this proposal it would be necessary to alert in advance all members of INS via email or letter
Nec spe nec metu

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LUBlub
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Location: Europe

Postby LUBlub » Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:13 am

This is in my opinion the pragmatic and concrete actions as proposals if the BOD consider positive for the INS financial and in the common interest, ...yes, here we are a small number of RM's posting but I believe we are considering the general interest of all others...about the annual fee of us 200 (no less that that) may be and probably someone consider the figure out of his own financial budget but with absolute respect here we are talking about the general interest how to help the future survival of INS and consequently our own interest, and not the individual situations...as we reported to collect netsukes is not cheap at all and each one, adult persons, we know our limits...and download fee for each issue (PayPal) would be fair and absolutely logical.

Carlomagno....but also BOD should increase advertisement fees and request higher contributions from auction houses.(payPal)

I believe will be fair and necessary...auction houses have a lot of financial resources and most important is their interest to contribute and preserve the mission and educational service of INS increasing the potential number of buyers of netsuke...INS is the only one institution in the world with a very high profile and contents in terms of knowledge, experience, experts (specialists) and number of important dealers and collectors...(how many we are?, but sufficient to buy the vast majority of the pcs, during or after auction...)

So, for us collectors and RM's of INS the auction houses must consider to reduce their commission to 15%, a very fair figure.

By the way, we are just few regular posters so if the BOD accept this proposal it would be necessary to alert in advance all members of INS via email or letter

Yes, agree.
Image









Excellence in netsuke art don't need signature or pedigree, or age, only quality, aesthetics, beauty.


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