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James Bounds
(@11108)
Eminent Member

Has Airheads ever done any ad's in MOA magazine?
would MOA run a free ad for us ? If the cost were not to bad if we ran some ads it might be possible to gain some membership .

Quote
Posted : 11/04/2016 14:14
john stirling
(@arni)
Trusted Member

I'm sort of a newish member. No one knows my name or history. I "joined' recently. I did not get a current copy of the AirMail, I got the next one to come out. I did not get the Dairdirectory I signed up for. I did not get a sticker. No one even said hello. When I review the tech forum for a huge number of pages back I see 1.3 guys answering all the questions. Few people asking, fewer answering. prudish over moderation. I am not a child and do not expect to be in the company of them, or of puritans. A lot of the tech material isn't the highest caliber. Even snowbum has his site up still and refers to it constantly in the tech material he has here. Why would I encourage a friend to spend $30 when more can be gotten for free elsewhere?

I bought a bike recently and it has an ABC sticker on the rear bumper. Aside from the fact I loathe the logo, I am ashamed of it. Not good. Doesn't bode well for me spending $30 next year.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 07/31/2020 08:47
James Bounds
(@11108)
Eminent Member

I agree but funding is low and it is the only airhead magazine/group. It seems the low number of members mean low numbers of responses . I have to admit I am not much of a responder

ReplyQuote
Posted : 07/31/2020 10:23
Scot Marburger
(@8166)
Member Moderator

I'm sort of a newish member. No one knows my name or history. I "joined' recently. I did not get a current copy of the AirMail, I got the next one to come out. I did not get the Dairdirectory I signed up for. I did not get a sticker. No one even said hello. When I review the tech forum for a huge number of pages back I see 1.3 guys answering all the questions. Few people asking, fewer answering. prudish over moderation. I am not a child and do not expect to be in the company of them, or of puritans. A lot of the tech material isn't the highest caliber. Even snowbum has his site up still and refers to it constantly in the tech material he has here. Why would I encourage a friend to spend $30 when more can be gotten for free elsewhere?

I bought a bike recently and it has an ABC sticker on the rear bumper. Aside from the fact I loathe the logo, I am ashamed of it. Not good. Doesn't bode well for me spending $30 next year.

Wow, lots of criticism, but pretty thin in the way of helpful suggestions.

But to address your concerns:

Contact membership@airheads.org for a copy of the dAIRectory. In the mean time, feel free to use the online version linked under the AirLore tab at the top of every page here.

They can probably fix you up with that back issue you "missed", if you ask nicely.

I don't think a sticker is part of the deal, but maybe they're available from the AirStore. You'll find a link under the AirBazaar tab in the menu at the top of the page.

We suffered a huge blow when Oak passed. His technical expertise ensured that only the best info of the time made it into print. But as the years pass, his old articles in Airmail are becoming dated and don't necessarily reflect today's best practices. Some are now just down right wrong, so we agree there. The biggest impact, at least in my opinion, is that the ABC now has no widely recognized technical expert actively participating in either Airmail or here on the web site. Without vetting, the technical info posted here or in Airmail is no better than what is available on the internet for free. FWIW, I tried to put together a "technical committee" several years ago that would review member contributions and generate authoritative technical "how to" articles, but not one single "expert" I asked was willing to join. Most said they just didn't have time, some were afraid of giving away trade secrets.

Now, as far as the moderation here in the forums. There have been a few threads that went sideways, but in comparison to any other forum out there, I think we're doing a good job of keeping the conversations on target, polite, and constructive. If you disagree, feel free to contact either or both of us offline with examples of how things could have been handled differently. We're just volunteers here, trying to do the best we can with what we've got. If you have something to offer, maybe along the lines of the "technical committee" mentioned above, or even a desire to participate as moderator in one or more Topics, we're all ears and could use the help.

Scot

ReplyQuote
Posted : 07/31/2020 16:44
john stirling
(@arni)
Trusted Member

I agree Scot, I am very critical. it is my worst faults (aside from being grouchy on Wednesdays and a weakness for fine scotch). But critical thinking is also one of my greatest strengths. Good ideas do not spring full fledged from the brow of a swan. But criticism does not have to yield negative results, it can reveal the positive too.

To increase membership the club has to be willing to change things. Change is tough. Toes can get stepped on, feelings can get hurt, egos bruised. But if the same ol' same ol' things are done then the same ol' same ol' results will be obtained. Increasing membership is a big change so big things must be changed. Incremental changes will be appreciated, but they won't draw flies like honey.

The most obvious way to draw members is take what the club has that is strong and make it stronger. Tech days are strong and I have made one suggestion back channel to make them stronger. I have another but I'll see where the first one goes first. I have heard a bunch of people say they like the magazine. I have not studied the copy I have to see how it could be made stronger.

I found the club sticker in the store. They are club advertising. Give one to every first time member. The store was unfriendly. Suggest going to the Aerostitch site and looking at their store. They use the same catalog w/ classes format, but you can find stuff, fast. They also repeat entries across classes, hey, it's free to do and you get more exposure for that hoodie.

Change the club slogan. Simple by choice? Sure about that "choice" part? "simple' is short for "simpleton", that is, an idiot. I stuffed the two words in Google and they turn up in the bible. Very old usage and not a complimentary one. Maybe the club would attract more members if it was "Distinguished Gentleman by Choice"? Anyway, that's the idea.

change the logo. The engine and wrenches is working but putting Willys portrait of a grinning idiot on top does not. It reinforces the "we stupid" theme" Lose the guy with the sunglasses and keep the motor.

I am not a member of the cult of Oak. Oak was a bully. (there, I said it in church). He drove me away from the list and I think he alienated many others too. But he taught me something important: there is nothing one guru type knows that others do not. This has stood the test of time. The last time I was fiddling with a CV and found something I thought nobody knew about I wrote Bob Fleischer to tell him about it. Turns out he knew, but had never bothered to write it up. All that said, I do not think Oak is becoming irrelevant. The airheads are dead. They are No Longer Made. What there is to know about them is known. It is just a matter of who has the knowledge. More and more people are coming online with web pages and videos with what they know. Snowbum, Boxer2Valve, Duane Ausherman, Anton Lagaudier, et. al. have a lot out there. So ABC has to bring something new, either in content or better, organization, to the table. I think a technical committee is an iffy idea. Snowbum has done a massive compendium. I hear a lot of complaints that it is too much to read and waaaay too much to sift through to get an answer to a problem. And it is not written in a troubleshooting format for the most part. I have my own website with some documentation and after Britt Runyon ripped it off, hacked it up, converted it to an image that couldn't be searched and then presented it in the MOA forums as his own work (and got his head handed to him a couple of ways) I haven't invested work in my site. I know that stuff and don't need anyone else to know if I know or not.

I strongly advise anyone to Go to the ADVrider.com airheads subforum (Olds cool>airheads) and look around. 173,323 threads and 446,766 posts as of now. Forum started sept. 2003. Forum software a touch buggy but good features: PMs, easy to upload pictures and GPS tracks to the site, the ability to add a poll and tag to a thread persistent logon rather than the ABC CJ.. 2 practicing mechanics in Airheads that don't post too much but are a fountain of wisdom and a few specialty mechanics (like an instruments guy).There is the usual bad info, questionable judgement, myths, superstitions. But there are so many people contributing and so much knowledge spread around that any one with a question or issue will get a wealth of decent info to work with.

Then there is the rest of the site. The camping subforums stuffed with what-is-the-best-tent threads and lookee my big-survival-knife threads.. Long discussions on luggage and lights and tires and on and on and on. There are regional forums where people organize their own get togethers and discuss if the passes are open yet. It just doesn't stop. And it is run on donations and volunteers and some ads I have yet to see for some reason.. Ask not what software beats what ya got, go look at what they use.

ABC cannot compete with this. No thundering guru can compete with the distributed knowledge found elsewhere.

So that leaves psychology and culture. I have noticed on ADV and elsewhere that the ABC crowd is rather attached to their membership numbers. As in the way a teenage girl is rather attached to her cell phone. I see them in signature lines on ADV and IBMWR. So what is with this? I don't know my number but I feel I should have it tattooed on my Johnson when I figure it out. The cannons try to outline culture, as do the forum mods. I am pleased to see some of the BS has been taken out of the canons. The hypocrisy in them was a turn off. But if people join an organization for identity, consider what identity is being offered. A recent-ish ADV poll thread revealed the airhead crowd is quite old, 60+ years. Having someone who is in their 40's show up is unusual. And signature lines reveal stables of bikes. the 1200GS is popular. This bunch is old enough to be set in their ways and is well heeled. None of the poverty riders of old. they have expensive modern machines to ride and know who they are.

Barley therapies offer nothing to me. I don't drink and ride. Alcohol and socializing is not therapy, the sound of my motor is therapy. The DAIRectory reveals 4 people within 15 miles of me. Including myself that is a good group to go for a ride. But there are no day rides on the calendar. Some "campouts" (camping for me does not involve a campground) is all. So how about some designated ride captains that host a day ride or two a month in their area? A calendar stuffed with rides might be attractive.

J.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/01/2020 09:32
Scot Marburger
(@8166)
Member Moderator

A lot of us like things the way they are, J., and don't necessarily agree that the club needs more members. The Canons pretty well convey the spirit and meaning of what it is to be an Airhead, and we've already had a few rows with folks that wanted to go in some other direction. As far as I can tell from looking at the membership numbers, we're still hovering around the 3000 mark, and the treasury is healthy enough to continue publishing Airmail and hosting AirCentrals at the big rallies. There is no cost to the club associated with hosting tech days or Rendezvous; those are individually funded. And the twenty or thirty bux a month fee for hosting the ABC website isn't gonna break the bank, either.

But you did hit on the elephant in the room, in that the members are getting up there in years and won't be able to ride forever. If younger folks aren't attracted to the current configuration of the club as outlined in the Canons, then we'll see a drop off in the numbers. As far as I can tell, though, that isn't happening. I'm not seeing a flood of thirty and forty somethings at the events I attend, but there are more than a few. So it's not all doom and gloom when it comes to maintaining the numbers.

FWIW, membership numbers are assigned sequentially when you join the club. So theoretically, the lower your number, the longer you've been a member. However, if you let your membership expire for any length of time, then come back and sign up again, you'll get the next higher unused membership number. That's why new guy's numbers are in the tens of thousands now. You can in most cases drop a line to the membership team and reclaim your old numbers, and as long as our records can link you back to that number, they're happy to do it. I suppose there's some prestige in having a low membership number, but to me it's just a number. And because your member 10345 sure as heck doesn't mean there are that many Airheads, either.

i agree that Barley Therapies as a stand alone event are not for me. I love a good adult beverage, but only after the stands are down for the day. That wasn't always the case. In the '80s the Norton Owner's Club in the SF Bay Area was quite active, and they held their monthly meetings at local bars. Lots of pints were consumed at those meetings, and the ride home was something a more prudent person would have forgone.

I also agree that there is much more content available at ADV and the plethora of FB groups that have ties to the airhead bikes, but for me it's too much like looking for a needle in a haystack to find it. Some of the denizens of such places tend not to be the same folks I'd care to share a campfire with, being argumentative, officious, and down right rude at times. The camaraderie at real world ABC events is what keeps me coming back, long after I've abandoned going to the big rallies, and even rides with more than a friend or two. In this age of online anonymity and the accompanying "screw your buddy" mentality, the prevailing atmosphere at real world ABC events is invigorating and refreshing. It's hard to find that kind of experience anywhere else.

FWIW,, the SoCal members were hosting Sunday Breakfast Rides for a few years, but like most things, the few guys that were organizing them got tired of doing it and the practice was abandoned. I don't think it ever caught on in the rest of the country, though, just like Barley Therapies aren't that wide spread, either.

It will be interesting to see how all this plays out. We almost lost the ABC as we now know it a few years ago when trouble took over the Board of Directors. Once the dust settled, I worked with several other members to suggest some bylaw changes that would have made that kind of skullduggery much more difficult to implement. The BoD had no interest in our suggestions, and has yet to tackle the fundamental weaknesses that were leveraged the last time.

At the end of the day, the ABC is basically a ride'n'camp club that worked together to keep our bikes and our heads healthy. But folks these days don't seem to value the ride'n'camp thing as much, and the big rallies are also having attendance problems. I don't want to see the ABC turn into a club that is solely focused on a monthly newsletter and a website, but a great number of younger types these days are cyberspace based and are not looking for real world experiences. If that's the future, I'm content to let them have it to themselves, but I hope there are still Rendezvous for as long as I can keep my bikes on the road and have enough health to ride to them.

$.02, and probably not worth even that...

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/01/2020 15:17
Eric Morales
(@emoralesr45)
Active Member

Scott,

I just joined this group as of this morning. I'm in my 30's and I can tell you there's a ton of young guys who love old bikes and want to learn on how to maintain them. We (younger folks) sometimes don't know all the tricks and look at the older guys to help us out. Unfortunately, the age gap and "set in your ways" mentality kind of pushes us away from reaching out because you make it seem exclusive. Not saying you specifically sir just saying in general. Also, Arni mentioned, with YouTube Chanels and free online forums we get our information thru those sources, but sometimes you said it best you ask a simple question and you get 30-40 jerk answers. Its not the best method and sometimes it's difficult to decipher who's giving you accurate information. Also having a local guy that can assist is good when you do require an over the shoulder assist. I can tell you I've built jet engines for 20 years and even now there's always someone there to give it a once over with you and share that tacit knowledge. I'm out in Oklahoma and so far only one person has reached out to help me and I thank him for doing so. You also said it very clearly that a lot of these younger guys are cyberspace based...very true! I have this issue with my guys (I'm in the Air Force) all the time, but you'd be surprised at what they can accomplish with technology systems. The problem is the buy-in and sense of purpose. If you can find that you'd have a ton of new and younger folks here. Not saying you need number, you really don't, but you do need younger riders. I do appreciate you guys keeping this going. Now.. who do I talk to about getting my Prospect cut and bike sticker? Ha Ha! Thanks again sir.
V/R
Eric

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/02/2020 15:51
john stirling
(@arni)
Trusted Member

Ericc,

When I spoke of "set in our ways" I was speaking of us as individuals, not as a group. Ride long enough and you will develop your style of riding. Wrench long enough and you will develop your style of wrenching. In this sense you become set in your ways. If you are in the air force ( a friends hubby is an AF colonel) you become set in the AF ways. That is why they give you clothing called a "uniform".

I do see younger riders in the fold. A lot of them are poseurs. They are hacking barn finds into cafe bikes and brats and scramblers. They saw one on Bike Exif and they have to have their own. They take a very long legged touring bike and make it fit for little more than Starbucks runs. They need something basic enough that it can be wrenched on with a minimum of knowledge and most importantly, can be wired with an M-unit. Fine, whatever. I remember when the K bikes first came out and suddenly not all BMW riders were People Like Us. It was a blow to identity and things got a bit ugly here and there.

But at any rate there are exceptions to everything (except the AF way of doing things:). If it is not desirable to increase membership then the matter of how to do it is moot. Perhaps the better question would be how to increase participation, particularly in the forums.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/04/2020 07:44
Scot Marburger
(@8166)
Member Moderator

A lot of this boils down to the Canons. They convey a set of values, and behaviors that spring from those values. Jan's idea was to codify how he felt about his airhead, put that out there, and see of others felt and behaved the same way. If there were enough of them, maybe he could form a club. There were and and he did.

Now here we are, some thirty or so years down the road, and a lot has changed. But the Canons are still the same, and a lot of us still feel and behave the same toward our old airheads. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Much of the difficulty we've experienced in the past could have been avoided if those that didn't agree with the Canons had bowed out of the club or not joined to begin with. The same still holds true today.

I'm not sure if this counts as "stuck in your ways", which in my mind has a lot of negative connotations. The Canons attempt to create an environment where airhead motorcycles can be maintained and enjoyed by like minded people. If people are not of like mind, there's going to be conflict instead of enjoyment. If you don't like the ABC the way it is, go start your own club. But don't join the ABC with the idea that you're going to change it into something it was never intended to be.

Read the Canons. They're right there on the home page of this website, and on the back page of every issue of Airmail. If you like what you read, you'll be happy interacting with fellow club members and will enjoy the content of Airmail and this website. You'll be welcomed with open arms, no matter how old you are, what gender you are, what race or nationality you are. Try to ride the horse in a direction it's not going, though, and neither you nor the horse are gonna be happy.

$.02, and strictly my own personal opinion.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/04/2020 16:03
Eric Morales
(@emoralesr45)
Active Member

Arni,

I'm thinking we are both on the same page with "Set in our ways". I don't mean to generalize the group. I'm saying as individuals. Yes, I agreed that numbers are not a factor as you have them. From a military (Air Force) perspective, the one common thing is change. We are always evolving and we (Supervisors) adapt to news guys and what they can bring to the table.It's a give and take. I'm very open about trying new methods as when I was a young airman the response of "we've always done it like this" didn't sit right with me. It kills development of ideas and doesn't support growth of people. (Theres my side rant on the AF) LOL.

As for young people and poseurs... yes there's some of it everywhere. The same can be said of guys taking a 32 Ford and converting it to a hot rod or rat rod. I'm sure people in those days thought it was tasteless but now have a major following. Some look amazing you must admit though. Now, my 2 cents on bikes. If the bike is beat up, rusted and can be saved by converting it to a cafe racer...do it. I rather see it on the road than just not getting any attention or scrapped. Personally, I can't come to terms with doing it on my current bike. Its too original to mess with and I like the old look of Terra. That's her name after its color Terracotta =). Now, if I find a bike with a bent frame, or missing an engine, and I'll need to purchase one the originality is gone. I would covert it to a cafe bike. Thats just me though.

To increase participation within the group... thats difficult. Just looking at posts you see that several of them have a good amount of views but no response. Some could be returning viewers so we have to take that into consideration. Could we consider showing who's viewed the posts and then pose them the question? Almost like a notification to the viewer of "hey the post you viewed has now asked you to respond". They don't have to answer but it creates that trigger of attempting a response. Almost like a formal sit down conversation with a professor in which they would direct the question to a student. This is just a brainstorming idea...what's your thoughts? Thank you for the response.
V/R
Eric

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/04/2020 16:40
Scot Marburger
(@8166)
Member Moderator

To your last point about being notified when a post is replied to.

When you reply to a post, just below the text entry field is a checkbox, the legend for which is: Check this box to be notified of replies to this topic.

Click the checkbox and you'll automatically get an email whenever anyone posts to the topic again.

I believe a significant majority of ABC members are not that computer literate, and have trouble just typing, let alone figuring out forums and other online activities most younger people take for granted. So it doesn't surprise me that there isn't as much activity on this forum as there is on others.

Add to that the requirement that you be a member in good standing in order to post, and you begin to understand the low online participation rate. But you'll also appreciate the almost total lack of drama and misinformation in these topics, again because people tend to join the club because they share common values and behaviors.

Joining the club also costs MONEY, and is in direct opposition to the "information must be free" types. Yeah, I know, $0.082/day is a lot of money to some people.

As far as hacking up an airhead to make it into a tracker, cafe, whatever. One of the Canons makes riding airheads and camping a core value for the ABC. Where are you going to put your tent, sleeping bag, and spare clothes on a cafe bike? Yeah, back in the old days, I'd pile crap on the pillion seat and bungee it on, but it often spoiled the handling and there was no guarantee it would still be there when I got to my destination. Thanks goodness BMWs had decent saddlebags, right from the factory, and fairly good racks for the bigger stuff. Camping and airheads go together like peanut butter and jelly.

I've had guys show up with tracker/cafe conversions at my tech days, some done well, some that wouldn't even run. It's a personal matter of taste, but for me, also of function. All of my airheads are highly modified, but those modifications work to enhance what they were designed to do. I don't see that for the cafe/bobber/tracker set, as it seems to be all about image and looks. TKC 80s for the street? You've never tried to corner or brake hard in a corner when riding a pair. Again, it's a trend that seems to go against the Canons, and create friction with those that don't share those ride'n'camp values.

More $0.02

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/04/2020 17:19
Eric Morales
(@emoralesr45)
Active Member

Hey Scot,

Yes sir I know the person who posted receives a notification. I'm referring to those who only view and don't post a thing after the initial post. More for a conversation stater idea is to get participation as Arni mentioned. To be honest with you, as you pointed out, I don't want drama. If I need help I would hope I get solid, drama free or maybe somer slight ball busting responses. That I don't mind.

About the cafe racer/tracker, etc comment...Just as you pointed out you'll never be able to carry all the stuff for a camping trip. Those bikes are cool to me for local drives maybe such as in a city environment or going up and down PCH1. Id never use it for anything else. Thats another reason my R45 will remain original because I would like to join in a bike camp out. I think thats a great time! I just need to find some bags for it and possible a rear seat back rest. The back seat is more for the Mrs sake. Do you know of anyone selling one that would work?

Also please know I'm not here to try and change any canons or anything. I just saw the conversation and thought maybe I could share from my perspective as a new person what I read in the comments following from the original post. Thanks for the reply sir.

V/R
Eric

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/04/2020 17:50

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