The New ACBS Directory Is Here! The New ACBS Directory Is Here! Now Can I Have My Rainforest Back?
Oh god, here I go again. I might as well go run out on the beltway and just jump in front of traffic. But what needs to be said, needs to be said. I have no members or dues that need to be paid or sucked up to. All the ads are free, so if you want. I will take yours down if you don’t like this. Here goes. Gulp……Let me start by saying that the ACBS does many amazing things. Shows, lobbying, Insurance deals, and organization of the chaos of 8000 diverse folks that all have an opinion…… But….. I am stalling……….So……..Here……What in the heck is the ACBS thinking? There is this thing in over 80% of America’s homes. It’s called a computer, it does amazing things. You can play games on it, write letters, search for a Russian bride, and you can actually look folks up and talk to them. I even think the technology is available to access a directory on it…Now it may be a little cutting edge…for 1980…. but it can be done. It also would allow a user to search for other members faster, and post photos of there boats and comment. So.. ACBS.. Come on.. You can do it. It’s just a click away. Even the Amish have one… Let’s save those tree’s for..well… our boats!
Why not mail each member a CD with the info, no need for the the web and a CD cost about a penny.
Dang, thats even smarter. That way if the person wants they can print there own… on recycled paper. You can search on it as well. Hand them out at meeting. The advantage of the online one is that it can be updated and expanded. It would be the fun part of there web site..
Guys, one thing we don’t need in our landfills is 8,000 more CDs every year.
Guess what? The second the CDs are made they are in the process of becoming out of date. Not mention the cost of the CDs, the cost of the mailers and the postage. 8,000 CDs at a buck a piece? Plus mailing and packaging? This is a $15,000 annual expense to support (minimum), recurring every year. Online is the only way to go. It’s always current. It kills no trees. It costs nothing to mail.
And…and this is a big one…it’s searchable! There’s really no need for presenting the info in a predetermined sort. On the web (or in PDF on CD for that matter) you type in who , or what you’re looking for and search!
Guys, one thing we don’t need in our landfills is 8,000 more CDs every year. Guess what? The second the CDs are made they are in the process of becoming out of date. Not mention the cost of the CDs, the cost of the mailers and the postage. 8,000 CDs at 50-cents a piece? Plus mailing and packaging? This is a $10,000 annual expense to support, recurring every year.
Online is the only way to go. It’s always current. It kills no trees. It costs nothing to mail. And…and this is a big one…it’s searchable. There’s really no need for presenting the info in a predetermined sort. On the web (or in PDF on CD for that matter) you type in who , or what you’re looking for and search!
I love it. A bunch of fuel burning wood boat fanatics whining about a thick directory book killing trees.
Guess what? A lot of people over the age of 60 have a really, really hard time with computers, much less web based databases. How many of these books do you think were printed in relation to the number of phone books this year?
I know you’re web savvy, but you are being really naiive about the likelihood that even 60, much less 80 percent of the ACBS members are that with it when it comes to computers. I know, I’ve tried doing email surveys of members who own a boat like mine. These are not techies we’re dealing with.
I started this rant about the book/trees, and I still say cyber is the way to go!!!
That being said, can someone help this geezer post this comment….how do I do the Google account deal again?
John in Va.
I’m with the idea. My only fear is that we might be excluding the remaining 20% of those in our hobby who have no internet access, no computer, and spend their time in the shop. These crusty, old dudes are the “core” in our small community and are a valuable knowledge base. I love them just the way they are and I love the fact that they have no interest in our “newfangled” technology.
The smart thing to do would be to give us on option to select a hard copy at the time of dues collection. If we opt not to receive hard copy, then we could download a .pdf from the website or access an online database .
I bet we’d save some trees and keep everyone happy.
Let’s face it, it’s just a list of boats and owners, but it’s valuable. It could easily live in a searchable, updatable database.
I’d use it often, as I do the hard copy.
OK, so the real issue does not seem to be about saving trees.
But what the world does not need is more dead CDs. All a CD is a carrying medium for data. The web serves the exact same purpose without being expensive, out of date, and landfilled. Those who struggle with the web are certainly going to struggle with, “insert the CD into your CD drive, go to your CD drive — D:// find the file titled directory.pdf. Double click it. If the file does not open in Acrobat, you may need to download Acrobat Reader. Then right click on the…”
My point is, it is all about the willingness of those involved with such decisions to make the right choices then support them through a little education. It’s not all that tough. After all, you can send your members an Email with clickable links contained within. In other words, to access the online directory click here.”
A recent survey done by Fleishman Hillard a huge International PR firm stated, and I am loosely paraphrasing here… That the web is being used by older folks to gather information and the younger ones for entertainment.
The other thing is that regardless of age, Web usage is more of a psycographic issue over age or demographic issues. In non marketing terms. Its not about age or income, or lifestyle. Its about attitude and wiliness to try new things. I have seen countless times folks that hate the web, learn to love it. It’s just that younger folks see nothing new about it, and use it as entertainment. The main issue here is that the ACBS has a age problem…It’s not relevant to a younger crowd, and thus there is the appearance of a gender gap. Just like most churches. How do you maintain one group while attracting the next? The common error is to think that its the subject matter, Or money, or other things that it used to be. It’s not. It’s were and how one communicates. The online world is now and critical to the ACBS staying relevant. Heres a thought. Create the Directory online and print the next issue. Thats two years. Watch the membership migrate onto the online world and then get rid of the print version, and offer help to guide folks through the online process. They may actually like it. It may be the only reason for many to learn about the web. My guess is that any person that can tune a K triple carb motor can figure out how to click around on there computer..
I don’t think castigating the ACBS for appealing to a large component of its current membership is the right aproach, but neither is a steadfast dedication to an arguably obsolete and expensive platform. The key is as stated above – integrating a web-based alternative to the printed directory. This will prevent the feeling of being disenfranchised that is possible amongst an older or less tech-aware group while permitting choice amongst those who are either more eviro-concious or simply prefer a web-based solution. Neither is right or wrong – but nor are they mutualy exclusive approaches.
I am not particularly tech savvy, but I would not object to a web based directory. That said, I do also like the printed directory and am very comfortable with it.
It is certainly not about killing trees – environmental concerns are likely not paramount amongst the classic boat ownership base. The energy required to use, transport and maintain these ineffecient and grossly polluting old boats renders such a position untenable in any practical sense. But, the ACBS would be offending no one by offering a choice. However, I am not sure that having a web-based directory would increase their membership, anyore than not having it would decrease it.
Hold on, I am googleing “castigating” Paul you are right, its both ways for a while, but sooner or later we need to move on. Its not the paper. Its the usage. An online directory would be a thousand times better than a book.
One of the problems with scenarios such as this, is that there is usually a suggestion from the tech crowd to offer it both ways, and allow people to choose which one they want. Sounds logical right?
The problem is that in the printing world, higher quantity, means less cost per unit. So, looking at the ACBS directory challenge, cutting the print run of directories by 50%…lets say from 8,000 to 4,000 does not mean 50% cost. In fact, I would guess that the savings could be as little as 15-20%. So, you end up printing half as many directories for nearly as much cost, and absorbing the costs of developing an online system as well.
Since the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club has never had a printed directory of any sort (except a listing of members in the very early years) it was an easy executive decision to say “we are going to develop our directory online.” We have a few functionality things that we will be working on in 2009, but it is working pretty well.
For me, it works, because it is always as close as an internet connection, and with me, that is everywhere I go. Heck there’s even WiFi in the shop and the garage. I do agree with Chad Durren’s comments as well.
It’s a darn dilemma, and unfortunately, at times it is hard to forge ahead with the new, and maintain a classic approach as well. It can be done. It just takes human resources and development dollars, both of which are at a premium in a volunteer organization.
The second comment by Anonymous regarding mailing a CD needs to realize the postage for the CD would be much less costly than mailing the catalog. Making 8000 copies of the CD may be the costly item though. The old CD would be yet another typical land-fill, non recycled item in most cases.
I would be in favor of making hard copies an available option with the directory On-Line Accessible for those of us that are somewhat computer savy. My mother started using the internet on her 80th birthday and was hooked.
I’m 29 and love the phone book sized directory. It is the ONLY reason I pay ACBS Int. their $40. Otherwise I’d pay my local chapters their dues only, but I am forced to also pay the International dues. My two local chapters also print hard copies of their individual chapter membership (which I never use because I use the big book). An online search would not be any faster if you are looking to find similar boats.
I use the big book the most while working in the shop away from the computer (sawdust wreaks havoc on it).
Add that to the fact mentioned above that a very high percentage of the hobbies demographic can barely check email, much less search an on-line of CD PDF directory. Many of the guys in the hobby I respect most can’t even turn a computer on! No cell phone, etc.
Change isn’t always better.
My professional association’s directory went online 10 years ago despite the naysayers. Well it was a marvelopus success allowing people to search numerous ways. AND, it saved us an absolute bundle. No one would ever go back to the BIG THICK paper directory which would be out of date by the time it was printed anyways.
ACBS get with the times! Forget the nonsene and unsupported “prejudicial view” that people over 60 are not computer savvy. NONSENSE! For those adults who do not have a computer or internet access, you are missing the boat in som many ways.
On the other hand – I frequent the ACBS site very infrequently as there is no message board. When I use it it is for the calendar and link to chapters only. Imagine! All the classic boats sites are buzzing with activitiy on a dialy basis. I just have to tell you – I don’t get it.
STOP catering to the few who you think don’t have a computer. Join the 21st Century.
I agree with those like minded with this previous post and the woodyboater. Look what happened to encyclopedias that stayed in print versus encarta. Warren Buffet missed the boat on that one. My mom is 80 plus and does more with the web than I do. It would be easier to search for those minority non chris craft boat owners. I think it would attract a more diverse group of boaters.
When I entered into the wood boat hobby in the mid 90’s I started looking for a boat on the web and in magazine classifieds, I soon found out after visiting ACBS and CCABC web sites a few times their listings were only updated when a new magazine issue came out. I called the office of CCABC to confirm my suspicions and was told the reason for not updating the web when classifieds came in was it would not be fair to the older members who did not have computers,I found a lot of the boats listed in the quarterly magazine that were a good deal were gone by the time I received my copy, He then confirmed a few people paid for first class delivery so the could have access to the good deals if there were any. He thought that was fair?
I personnaly look through the directory when first received then put it on the shelf. It is such a waste for me.
While I am on my soapbox I do not like having to pay major dues to ACBS then to a local chapter as well to participate in the local shows, In my other hobbies as in old car events and motorcycle events you only pay when attending the events you choose to attend and not to the national club. I think they are too fat at the top which requires this extra money to sustain their budgets because of things such as the directory and having meetings at expensive resorts. Thank you woodyboater for this website, it is the best.
I would like to clarify a few things relative to the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club Trading Dock, as much has changed with the club in general including the Trading Dock in the past several years.
First, the Brass Bell classified ads (referred to as Trading Dock ads) are now entirely driven from their online counterpart. For about 3 years now, we have had an online site, http://www.tradingdock.org for the web distribution of such ads. The ads on this site, are, for the most part, user managed. When a http://www.tradingdock.org user places an online ad, their ad is viewable to the world the moment they click submit. The approach of having ads first appear in the club magazine The Brass Bell before they are seen online is long gone, and has been for nearly 3 years.
Through our http://www.tradingdock.org new site, and integration with The Brass Bell, the user places the ad, the user chooses how long the ad is to run, the user revises the ad over time, and the user decides when to expire the ad. Ads on the online tradingdock will automatically expire unless they are renewed. The longest renewal term is 90 days. This forces the ad poster to renew the ad at least four times per year to keep it online and in print. In doing so, we are presenting only “real” ads for things that are still available, not a bunch of 5 year old listings.
I would encourage anyone who is interested in the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club to give me a call. I would be happy to talk at length with you. There is much about this club that has changed over the last few years. The phone line is always open! 319.247.7207.
Just got my ACBS directory. I guess if it were online, someone could fix the mistakes. Having it in print means I’ll have to wait till next year and hope they get it right.
Well, as Ronald Reagan said in one of his campaign debates, “Here you go again”.
I am sure you must know that ACBS is and has been computerized for at least 15 years! The only consolation I will make to you is that our present software does not allow us to do everything on line that an organization of our size should have the capability of doing.
Unfortunately the software that would satisfy all our needs including the 57 chapters, you cannot go to office depot and just pull it off the shelf. Several of our board members have spent countless hours researching out software that would meet our present and future needs. It would appear to be a rather simple task with all the different software possibilities out there. They found relatively few that could provide everything we needed.
A little over a year ago they hit “pay dirt” and a software was found that could do it all. The company came with good references and we went for it. More time was spent as well as money and just as we were within weeks of going on line, the software company closed its doors.
What a disappointment! We are still computerized, but with older technology. On the bright side, we have two other promising possibilities. By the end of the summer, hopefully we will be up and running with new high technology software.
I am again disappointed in your over all impressions of ACBS’s ability to communicate with their members and probably think we only use a tin can and a string.
Also, I imagine there are more trees wasted producing the amount of junk mail we receive in a week that would be used to produce a lot of directories.
How important is the directory to the members? Two years ago we did a membership survey (electronically) and the directory came back as being one of the more important perks for belonging to the association. Hopefully next year we will offer to the membership the directory either in hard copy or electronically. My guess is that most members will elect to receive the hard copy. Interesting enough, only about 65% of our members have e-mail.
Also Matt, how many Amish do you know own a computer? The Amish I know do not own computers, phones or FAX machines. I believe they can only use these methods of communication if it is owned by non Amish.
How do I know this? I have draft horses (Percheron) and when I need parts for some of my horse drawn equipment, often times the only place I can obtain them is from the Amish. some of the Amish shops in the Midwest run adds in a couple draft horse publications. There will be an address listed but no phone, email, Web site or FAX numbers. I do know that there are some so called Amish companies that have Amish working for them, but are owned by non-Amish and therefore have computers.
Matt, I am just trying to keep you honest, but in the other hand, maybe the Amish in Virginia have computers.
The invitation is still open for our quarterly meeting in St. Michael’s in June. At that time maybe we can discuss a little more about the Amish and even about a few boats.
I am now trying to decide how best to send this to you…..Pony Express or telegraph. Possibly, I may have a neighbor that has one of those new fangle email machines!
Very well said Dick. You’re never going to please them all. I love my printed Directory. It’s like my Boat Bible. I have been collecting them and referring to them for the past 25 years. Pretty easy for me to go back and look up a particular boat with a directory in hand. With the directory on line would you be able to go back to 1990 to look up a person or a boat, I doubt it.
I’m all for keeping the printed Directory. It has my vote.