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Old 07-12-2005, 01:15 AM   #1
Phil Edwards
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What do you want the AGA to be?


Why did you join?

What is/are the reason(s) you will or will not renew your membership?

If you're not a member, what do you want that would cause you do join?

If someone posts something that you agree with, please let us know, even if it's just a quote and "me too!". The more people who give us information the better it is. Each opinion adds weight to each issue/desire.

Thank you,
Phil
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Old 07-12-2005, 01:27 AM   #2
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I joined for the combined benefits of the discount on your materials that you sell on the web, along with your magazine.

But I think it is important to note, you're asking two questions:

1) What do you want AGA to be?
2) Why did you join?

I just answered the second question. If you are asking the first question, I believe the AGA can best serve the community by establishing and publishing standards and best practices in the aquatic gardening community. Also to serve as a focal point for representing to vendors those changes the community needs them to make in their product lines to best serve this community.
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Old 07-12-2005, 03:52 AM   #3
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I joined the AGA for a couple of reasons.

I joined the AGA to help support the hobby in general, to receive TAG and to purchase some of the books available through the AGA.

I will renew my membership.

What do I want the AGA to be? That is a tough one.

I believe the AGA could be more of a "clearing house" of information.

Take a look at the website. Under the "Featured Articles" section there are only eight articles. One of them is an obituary of sorts, one is a book review, there are contest results from 1997 and a list. Each one well written, no doubt, but lacking. The rest of the website is book/DVD/T-shirt sales, photos of people who attended the conventions and some links. The website doesn't offer very much. Far to little for the prestigious position the AGA holds. TAG is a nice little publication, but AGA needs to offer more to hobbyists.

I'd like to see more information on the website. A lot of the info you might find in the FAQs section of this and a lot of other planted aquarium forums should be articles available from the AGA. DIY CO2 reactor plans, how to set up a pressurized CO2 system, things like that. They need to be on the AGA website. The AGA needs to be the place to turn to for basic information.

TAG is a nice little publication. Great photos and nice articles. Understanding production costs, it would be nice to see the magazine expanded even further. I'd gladly pay a higher membership fee to receive a bigger issue of TAG, or receive it more frequently.

I do have some more ideas for you and the AGA, Phil. Let me know if you are interested.

Mike
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Old 07-12-2005, 06:48 AM   #4
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I checked into sponsoring the AGA a couple of years ago but your sponsorship rates were so high that I just couldn't justify expending that kind of operating capital on just one sponsorship. I'd love to help you guys out but it's just too costly.
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Old 07-12-2005, 10:34 AM   #5
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What's the AGA?

What's TAG?
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:33 AM   #6
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Del must be talking about advertising in TAG, and I agree, the rate is much to high for the number of people it reaches. Big companies like Seachem can afford to drop a few hundred bucks just to make them look supportive, but little guys have to spend money for advertising that will earn a return. The big magazines reach thousands of people.

I would like to see the AGA, (Aquatic Gardeners Association) reach out more to the general public and take a more active role in promoting the hobby and educating the public. Open the convention to non members or hold public seminars. Be more of a trade organization, (no I do not mean trade as in trading plants) than a buddy club.

TAG is The Aquatic Gardener, the magazine put out by the group which is the primary thing you get by becoming a member of the AGA.
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Old 07-12-2005, 12:11 PM   #7
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Sorry for the second post, but I forgot to mention something important IMO...

The annual Aquascaping Contest does a great deal to promote the hobby, and is a great service and tradition that AGA should really continue.
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Old 07-12-2005, 03:11 PM   #8
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I enjoy and use the AGA website, but never had the urge to join because I'm not much of an aquascaper. I just like to grow weeds and keep fish. Most of my planted tanks are "severely" overgrown. AGA seems to be angled more towards the artists of this hobby, and I'm the farmer type. I like to know the "what's", "how's", and "why's". The "where's" just don't seem to interest me.

A great resource, but it just ain't my bag, baby. Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 07-12-2005, 06:48 PM   #9
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I was a member last year, but didn't renew this year. All there was to it to me was support of the hobby and TAG. AGA needs to step out of the past a little, become more vital. Mike made some excellent observations.
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Old 07-13-2005, 05:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert H
Del must be talking about advertising in TAG, and I agree, the rate is much to high for the number of people it reaches. Big companies like Seachem can afford to drop a few hundred bucks just to make them look supportive, but little guys have to spend money for advertising that will earn a return. The big magazines reach thousands of people.
Wow, I was quoted $600 or $1200 in products for their auctions. That's equates to several months of advertising with 1/4 page ads in some mag like TFH. It's just not cost effective to advertise with the AGA as it stands now.

I do support their efforts but would like to see the organization offer a lot more for the beginners to the aquatic plant hobby than just pictures of their events.
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Old 07-13-2005, 11:50 AM   #11
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When it comes to supporting the hobby, the small vendors do more "hands on" than the big boys any day.

All in all my membership in the AGA gave me a few copies of TAG that in reality provided nothing but a few articles of general interest and the impression that it's really just focused on bringing Amano's philosophy to the US as opposed to helping the US hobby develop it's own direction.
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Old 07-13-2005, 04:35 PM   #12
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Why join the AGA when "Planted Tank" answers all my questions free?
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Old 07-13-2005, 06:34 PM   #13
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Well, Phil, you asked an important question, and I think there's a consensus here.
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Old 07-13-2005, 07:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypancistrus
What's the AGA?

What's TAG?
My guess is they're discussing the Aquatic Gardeners Association
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Old 07-13-2005, 10:16 PM   #15
Phil Edwards
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Every opinion helps whether a member or not. We need to know what it will take for us to satisfy our current members as well as make it worth the general public's time, money, and effort to join.

Each opinion posted is important even if it's just an "I agree with X". The more people we get feedback from the better idea the information is. If one person says "I think X isn't worth it, but I would join for Y" that's nice. But if 20 or 30 people say it then it will have a lot more weight behind it.

Please, continue to share your feelings with us.

Thanks,
Phil
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