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I Have A Question For Everyone (re AKA)

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1. Nope

2. Australia is just to far away. Local clubs here offer similar discounts and idea's. I am here for the wonderful information that I can find about rev flying

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Ben,

You've asked a great question ... part of which I've asked myself repeatedly since I started flying kites a little over a year ago.

I have not joined the A.K.A.. The honest answer is that guilt is the only reason I can currently think of to join. Kiting and kiting folks have brought me a ton of enjoyment since I started flying. The family has shared flying tips, building tips, kites, food, shade, etc. ... I really should step up and contribute by joining.

However, nowhere is A.K.A. really pushed or sold. I've never received a sales pitch from my flying friends, local club, merchants or kite manufacturers. With no sales pitch, there's no rush to change the status quo!

Regards,

Tom

PS ... Ben, if I find myself staked out in the sun with no food or water at the next club fly, it's your fault!!!

First of all, I'm a member and so is my daughter and we're paid up for the next 3 years.

I used to push membership pretty hard to all new IKE members, but I find it hard to do now. So Jeepster got off easy. :P

-Magazine

Most of the time, I just spend 5 minutes skimming the magazine and I'm done. But that's just me. I do pass around or give away copies of the magazine.

-Convention

It's scheduled both during the school year and during the week rather than over a long holiday weekend.

That means I've never been able to take my daughter. It would have been a great fun, but she's always been excluded.

Since it's scheduled during the week means that my adult friends, in addition to paying convention & hotel fees, also have to take off a full week of work--that's too expensive for most all of them.

-10% discount

I find that most dealers will give you 10% off just by asking. You don't have to be an AKA member.

-AKA Clubs

IKE is a registered AKA club, and we used to get the insurance, but we don't really need it and I stopped paying for it.

Other than a listing in the AKA magazine, the AKA doesn't provide much for the club. We have 215 registered members and I don't think any of them found us through the AKA.

So you guys tell me (and Ben)--how do I sell the AKA to IKE members?

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First of all, thanks much to Ben for posting this question and thanks to all of you for replying.As of Thursday, I will be the next president of the AKA.

My husband, Alex, and I have been proud AKA members since 1977. It was our local club for over 10 years, and is still first in our hearts. He spent much of convention week teaching the food vendor to fly a Rev during the guy's breaks.

The comments have been interesting to read.

The AKA cannot please everyone, and do everything. To kick off the discussion, some notes.

Insurance: Last year the AKA spent $24,000 on insurance. Fees paid by local clubs covered only $6000 of that cost. Many beaches and parks will not permit an organized event to be held without insurance. The choice is to pay $150 to the AKA, or to attempt to find private insurance at a much higher cost. If you have homeowners or renters insurance, you have paid for individual liability insurance that will cover you anytime. It is no longer available to the AKA at any price.

Magazine: One of the best benefits of membership. The new issues still come in the mail. Last year we added one older issue to the members only section of the website. This year we plan to add one old issue every quarter until all past issues are on line.

In the next issue, look for a centerfold. Hmm, wonder what the editor will do with that? As to the international flyers, we know that you no longer have kite magazines regularly published. The AKA will attempt to fill some of that void. The editor has proposed adding an 8 page insert to be mailed to international members with the winter issue of Kiting. The only requirement is to sell enough ads to pay for it. Please contact the editor for complete rate schedules.

Convention: Location and time of year are regularly debated. Should it be held in the summer when more students could attend? Perhaps, but then you pay much higher hotel room rates, and rental on meeting space. Hot summer days often mean no wind. In my area, which is Minnesota, there is a festival every weekend in June, most weekends in July, every weekend in August, and 3 of 4 in September.

International: Actually, the international region, that is everything outside of the US and it's territories, is the only region that has grown over the last 5 years. Next year, the region 13 director, Linda Sanders of Australia, will take over as chair of the membership committee. We already have plans in place to do outreach to non-members instead of waiting for them to return to the AKA website.

Why join? Why join any professional organization? The AKA is a community of kiters that accepts absolutely every kiter, and every style of kite flying and building there is. We are not specialized, we are universal. Your dues allow festivals all over the world to happen. Your dues help support the website where event organizers find manuals to help them get started. Your dues allow the 50 page Kites in the Classroom to be available for free download to anyone. Your dues keep the AKA events calendar on line for no charge listing of events. Your dues allow the regional directors to send mail to every member in the region and publicize events for no charge to the organizers. Your dues earn you a 10% discount from member merchants. Just one member merchant reported that last year they gave over $24,000 in discounts to AKA members. Your dues allow member merchants to be listed in Kiting and on the website for no charge. Your dues allow affliated clubs to be listed in Kiting and on the website for no charge. Your dues support National Kite Month events and the NKM website.

Other kite organizations have come and gone, the AKA has been around for a long time. This was our 32nd convention. With your help and support, we'll be around at least another 32.

Thanks for reading a super long post.

See you on the field

Barbara

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First of all, thanks much to Ben for posting this question and thanks to all of you for replying.As of Thursday, I will be the next president of the AKA.

snip...

Congratulations on your election as AKA President.

Welcome to the Revolution Forum. I am one of the forum administrators with almost 20 years experience flying the Revolution kite.

For the 14 years proceeding this year I was a member of the AKA counterpart STACK, which is primarily in Europe.

I am now back in the USA, the majority of the time.

For a short period I was a member of both AKA and STACK, however I gave up the AKA membership while in Europe due to the higher membership fees for Europe.

The higher fee was to cover the postage costs for Europe. I asked for a PDF version to reduce the yearly fee, however this was not considered acceptable at the time.

In my signature you can see a few of my accomplishments within STACK.

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First of all, thanks much to Ben for posting this question and thanks to all of you for replying.As of Thursday, I will be the next president of the AKA.

Barbara

Congrats on the election, I hope you can grab the handles and pilot this organization back to the heights of the past.

Let me know if, when, and how I can help.

Edited by kiteking

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Congratulations on your election as AKA President.

Welcome to the Revolution Forum. I am one of the forum administrators with almost 20 years experience flying the Revolution kite.

The higher fee was to cover the postage costs for Europe. I asked for a PDF version to reduce the yearly fee, however this was not considered acceptable at the time.

Thanks for the welcome.

One of our first tasks is to re-evaluate the magazine. Right now, the exchange rate is tipped in the favor of non-US members. Issues first travel en masse to various countries, then individual issues are separated and mailed to keep costs low.

Most people just want the magazine and don't care how it is delivered. The rest are divided into 2 pretty much equal groups with strong, make that really strong, opinions on both sides. One side says; "Print only or I drop the membership." The other side says; "On-line, or I don't join." Right now the AKA can't make everyone happy. As technology evolves and new programs become available, that will change.

For those of you who make forum visits a regular part of life, it is difficult to comprehend how many people do not regularly use a computer. About 15% of AKA members don't even list an email address. In addition, there is a substantial group that does not have access at home, only thru work, thus limiting what they can receive.

Fewer than 10% of AKA members have even signed up for the AKA kite talk forum. Not all of the directors have signed up for the forum, and of those that are registered, few regularly post. In the last year, the treasurer, Jon Burkhardt, posted only once. You'll probably hear more from Cliff Quinn this next year.

There is no magic wand to change that. Calm, reasoned discussions, with allowances made for occasional foot-in-mouth, will gradually bring others out of the lurk zone.

Barbara

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Thanks for the welcome.

One of our first tasks is to re-evaluate the magazine. Right now, the exchange rate is tipped in the favor of non-US members. Issues first travel en masse to various countries, then individual issues are separated and mailed to keep costs low.

Most people just want the magazine and don't care how it is delivered. The rest are divided into 2 pretty much equal groups with strong, make that really strong, opinions on both sides. One side says; "Print only or I drop the membership." The other side says; "On-line, or I don't join." Right now the AKA can't make everyone happy. As technology evolves and new programs become available, that will change.

For those of you who make forum visits a regular part of life, it is difficult to comprehend how many people do not regularly use a computer. About 15% of AKA members don't even list an email address. In addition, there is a substantial group that does not have access at home, only thru work, thus limiting what they can receive.

Fewer than 10% of AKA members have even signed up for the AKA kite talk forum. Not all of the directors have signed up for the forum, and of those that are registered, few regularly post. In the last year, the treasurer, Jon Burkhardt, posted only once. You'll probably hear more from Cliff Quinn this next year.

There is no magic wand to change that. Calm, reasoned discussions, with allowances made for occasional foot-in-mouth, will gradually bring others out of the lurk zone.

Barbara

Due to the costs of producing the magazine, how about offering an online version but then having an additional option of say....$10.00 per year extra (or less or whatever) for a printed copy to be delivered to those members who prefer the printed version over the online one? That way you can satisfy both parties while still being able to afford to print the hard copy. I for one love the printed copy and rarely view online magazines. I enjoy being able to sit back and read through each page without all the other distractions of the computer. Plus I don't have to scroll up and down to see the whole article. The magazine is also awesome to give to other people once I am done with it as it gives them something to take home and view or share with their friends who have no idea to what kiting is or are aware that the could spend their surfing time viewing kites instead of playing solitaire or sorting through spam.

Just a thought....

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Ben

This is just how I feel but.. I love this forum and my Rev family. I would prefer that we not bring the AKA and all it's drama to our happy, positive and loving forum.

If I want to see whats going on in the AKA I go to their forum.

Sherri

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I would prefer that we not bring the AKA and all it's drama to our happy, positive and loving forum.

One of the reasons I am no longer a member of the AKA amongst other things.

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I would prefer that we not bring the AKA and all it's drama to our happy, positive and loving forum.

If I want to see whats going on in the AKA I go to their forum.

Sherri

I see no reason the AKA could not have a separate topic heading, that way you can read if you want and ignore it if that is your pleasure.

Personally I would like to be able to access more information w/o having to log into another site. There is already cross posting between sites so I don't see a big difference.

Just my thoughts

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As many of you know I am a regional director for the A.K.A. and as such I have a question that I would like answered by all the

members of this forum.

1. Are you a member of the A.K.A.?

2. If you are not please tell me why?

Just saw this thread! Been out playing on the beach at Long Beach's OSOW :)

1. YES!

And as of this coming Thursday, I will be your Region 10 Director. :)

So many great reasons to be part of another extended family! :)

Ben, I agree with adding an AKA section here.

Yes, there will be cross postings. But in case we don't all hop around and visit the other forums, the message(s) could found and read here too.

Theresa

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Congratulations Theresa

Hi Ben

Although from the UK I have been a member of the AKA for the last few years

I enjoy reading the magazine and like seeing what's happening on that side of the pond

An online downloadable PDF version would be good for international members if required

A section on the Rev forum would not bother me either way, but it would be a shame to

upset what is possibly the friendliest kite forum on the net, if drama and conflicts would

get introduced.

Just my opinion though

Dave

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I joined about 4 years ago. It started with the great folks over at Elmers here in Portland giving me an extra AKA magazine, when I was in buying a kite.

I always look forward to the magazine.

For me, I will continue my membership to support the association.

The AKA when at events, are not big at pushing membership. Pushy sales people come to my mind if they did.

For all of us who attended WSIKF, it could not be such a well run, enjoyable event without them.

For the drama part of this. ( Sorry T if this does not come over right)

For the region 10 rep, there were 2 people nominated.

Our very own "Winderful" Theresa from the Kite Shoppe was 1.

Well, there was a tie with 70 something votes each, and then 1 person who could have been a tiebreaker, doing a write in ballot with another name. Talk about ongoning supense.

Good Luck on the re-vote T !!

And Thanks to Ben and Amy as ongoing reps here on the west coast in their regions.

Ken

Thanks Ken! :)

No re-vote.......Marjorie and I talked and she said go for it :) :)

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We will have a spot for the AKA, we will not have any drama so please don't worry about that, if I see a problem in the future you

all know me I'll shut it down and kick it in the :kid_cussing: but for now I want us to have a place and an ear that is hard wired

to the AKA in case we as a group need answers..... Also being that we are a huge group perhaps we can lend some ideas to the

AKA, I have to tell you I believe in the new leadership we have there and think with the Families help we can get things back on

track... As we know I have taken on many tasks for different groups and this is just another but if for one second things get out of

hand I'll pull there spot.... Ben

post-35-1255514313_thumb.jpg

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Due to the costs of producing the magazine, how about offering an online version but then having an additional option of say....$10.00 per year extra (or less or whatever) for a printed copy to be delivered to those members who prefer the printed version over the online one? That way you can satisfy both parties while still being able to afford to print the hard copy. I for one love the printed copy and rarely view online magazines. I enjoy being able to sit back and read through each page without all the other distractions of the computer. Plus I don't have to scroll up and down to see the whole article. The magazine is also awesome to give to other people once I am done with it as it gives them something to take home and view or share with their friends who have no idea to what kiting is or are aware that the could spend their surfing time viewing kites instead of playing solitaire or sorting through spam.

Just a thought....

All thoughts appreciated. This idea will be discussed later in the year. We have some really pressing concerns to tackle first. For a complete evaluation, the editor will be asked as to the cost differences, and the webmaster will be asked to investigate the software to make it a magazine experience and to guarantee the security of access. Let us put out some fires and come back to this.

Barbara

PS Welcome Theresa! See you on the board mail tomorrow.

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Due to the costs of producing the magazine, how about offering an online version but then having an additional option of say....$10.00 per year extra (or less or whatever) for a printed copy to be delivered to those members who prefer the printed version over the online one? That way you can satisfy both parties while still being able to afford to print the hard copy. I for one love the printed copy and rarely view online magazines. I enjoy being able to sit back and read through each page without all the other distractions of the computer. Plus I don't have to scroll up and down to see the whole article. The magazine is also awesome to give to other people once I am done with it as it gives them something to take home and view or share with their friends who have no idea to what kiting is or are aware that the could spend their surfing time viewing kites instead of playing solitaire or sorting through spam.

Just a thought....

I was thinking about this particular idea. When one designs printed pieces it is usually no trouble to produce an electronic version of it (PDF). How about offering 2 options for membership: A $20/25 Membership with access to download the magazine PDF. or a $40 Membership with the magazine being mailed to your door. Also! I would offer printed back issues for sale. That way if people prefer a certain issue (or their friends are featured in an article), they can purchase it. I think having a lower membership rate option would certainly attract more people to join. Less of a financial drain for those watching their pennies and a more palatable rate for people (young and old) just starting to get their feet wet in the kiting world.

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