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I'm a huge fan of the ACA. I'm a member as well. Actually, I think I need to renew my membership this month...

This site promotes the ACA and believes in its goals.

I wouldn't say the ACA would need to "overhaul" in order to grow. It would need to make some changes.

I expect that the ACA will continue to be the great organization it has been. I also expect that it will keep the same steady size in membership that it has had for years, around 1,200, I believe. Being a larger organization does not make you any better. :)

I like Mr. Firemouth's spirit. Forget this site's almost 40,000 members, it has had over 140,000 visitors in just a single month. This being said, it's only the smallest sliver of this group that are members of the ACA. Think about it. Take 1% of 140,000 and you get a number larger than the current ACA membership. So if the ACA can appeal enough to 1% of the cichlid hobby that it would fork over $25 each, it would grow.

I think that the ACA could grow and keep its current mission if it was better at touting its benefits and accomplishments. Getting someone to join because the ACA has "helped the hobby" is probably not going to be very effective.

Want one example?

If I go to the ACA website and I click on the link "Benefits of Membership, it takes me to this page: http://www.cichlid.org/Membership_Benefits.html . I'm sorry, but that page doesn't do a good job touting the benefits of ACA membership. The ACA is so much more and better than this page. This page does not get me excited about joining the ACA. This is just an example. But what do you think?

I hope no one at the ACA is insulted by me answering Lisachromis' question. I'm not a critic. :)
 

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While I agree with the goals of the ACA in principal, in practice the ACA is more of a small, elitist clique than a welcoming, inclusive organization. While this generalization does not apply to all members (myself included, I hope :), I think it's a pretty fair representation of the tone of the organizational as a whole.

That's why the number of people who are willing to pay the nominal amount to join the ACA is much, much smaller than the number interested enough in cichlids to register for this site. And the number of registered users / visitors to this site is a very, very small percentage of people who actually keep cichlids. And what is the median age of ACA membership?

The future of cichlid-keeping and conservation isn't in a handful of uber-aquarists arguing about who's got the rarest fish...but in engaging less experienced ones (and the general public) in appreciating cichlids and becoming better aquarists.

I also agree with the above poster (Eric) that the benefits of participation in the ACA need to be greater and better communicated. The magazine is great. How about special discounts on other stuff...just for members? How about outreach to LFS and chains?
 

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You didn't give people a choice to vote for " I know about the ACA, but choose to not buy a membership".

I live in Canada. Not only do I have to pay more for a membership than a fellow american, but none of the conventions are ever held in Canada. They don't sponsor any shows in Canada, so basically I'm paying for a membership that gives me access to a forum that has much less activity than many other free online forums and my dollars are used for functions that never occur outside the USA. No thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You didn't give people a choice to vote for " I know about the ACA, but choose to not buy a membership".

I live in Canada. Not only do I have to pay more for a membership than a fellow American, but none of the conventions are ever held in Canada. They don't sponsor any shows in Canada, so basically I'm paying for a membership that gives me access to a forum that has much less activity than many other free online forums and my dollars are used for functions that never occur outside the USA. No thanks.
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Thanks for your post Northshore!
I really want to address this.
The ACA funds grants in research and conservation that helps cichlid research and conservation globally. That impacts all of us.(Canada too :D )
The ACA also has the Buntbarsche Bulletin publication that has a ton of info on the species you/we keep and lists the efforts of the ACA and the news of fish in the wild.

I know you could Google the info, but you wouldn't be supporting an organization that is trying to advocate cichlids. The forum may be slow at the ACA but that is because members need to participate more. Log on and change the future of that forum with me. :thumb:

I understand your point being Canadian, however IMO the ACA is as much about it's members as it is about being an organization. IN other words, we all get out of it what we collectively put into it. I am going to spend my time upto the 2008 convention trying to promote change. Change in the way people view the ACA, change in the forum traffic there, and change in perceptions of what this hobby is. I plan to do it by communicating with people just like you and get your honest opinions.

Every cichlid owner obviously won't find that the ACA is for them. However, It would be nice. :lol:
 
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