Do we have a 'real' group here?

Alabama Reefkeeping Discussion - meetings and general chat

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Bkndsdl
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Do we have a 'real' group here?

Post by Bkndsdl » Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:12 pm

I know the MBRK members have meetings, but is there a real group or club, something that has dues, monthly meetings, get-togethers, fund raisers, a newsletter, so & sf around the Mobile Area? Is MBRK considered a club, or a forum only?

I would really like to be a member of a reef group, even if it's only a few members. I'd even be willing to start one if there isn't one.
-Mike
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Post by snoopdog » Sat Jul 15, 2006 5:09 pm

I have no idea what it is at this moment. Most original "club" members either no longer have tanks, interest in reefs, etc. There are no dues, very little meetings anymore, etc. I basically pay for the web site, domain registration, keep up the site maintenance, etc. I have no idea how many years, months, etc that I will keep it up since there is so little interest anymore in the website .
I wish I had more to tell you, or better news but the club itself has fizzled out. Meetings are pretty much non existant now and post are getting even more scarce. I myself do not post pictures of my tank anymore and really do not talk about it. At this point everyone has seen it, and all my questions have been answered in the past.
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Post by Jahdiel » Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:16 pm

I can only speak for myself, but I think our club took a nose dive when Katrina hit!
Last edited by Jahdiel on Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Kart Racer » Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:16 pm

With all the people you see at Rich's or B&B, you know the reef hobby isnt as dead in the area as the board is. If there was some way of letting people know about it, do you think that may get the interest back up? I would bet most dont know about it. Maybe not for meetings as I know myself I have never been to one because Saturday nights are race nights for me but maybe just getting info out to others or frag trading or selling. When I first found this board my tank was probably overstocked and then when I took that tank down, I posted it on here and sold every piece of livestock (fish and coral) in less than a week. Now that I have another reef, it is very rare to see people selling or even wanting to swap frags. Or did that mostly go on at the meetings?

Jeff

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Bkndsdl
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Post by Bkndsdl » Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:52 pm

Thanks, all, for your input.

Well, I can personally say that I've been SCREAMING for frag trading (just do a search for my posts), and I've gotten pretty good response. Sometimes it takes awhile, but I usually get plenty of responses. I even bought my latest tank on MBRK. I agree that there are plenty of people out there, but they probably don't know the 'group' exists. Everyone I come across that shows an interest, I send them to this site.

Kevin, I offer (again) a sincere 'Thank You' for keeping the website up; I used to do it for my R/C airplane club. When I didn't get any feedback on it for a full year, I handed it off to someone else. It is hard, very hard to do something for people when you feel you don't get any positive feedback, only negativity when something doesn't go right or doesn't post as soon as someone thought it should (not that you have had that happen, but I know sometimes it gets frustrating). I think, honestly, you should be compensated for your out-of-pocket expense, and a 'club' with dues would be able to handle that easily, IMO.

I have to add this, but please, don't take offense - I don't drink. I've heard that's about all that goes on at the get-togethers......I hope not, but I have to admit I'm hesitant about attending a get-together or even hosting one because of the possibility.

With all that being said - do you guys think there would be an interested, established member base for a formal club, with meetings and such? Maybe we could try to have a formal, informal meeting, maybe at a restaurant with a meeting room, and discuss the possibility? I'm game.
-Mike
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Buzz
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MBRK

Post by Buzz » Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:26 am

Mike,
Thanks for starting this thread. I too would love to have some kind of formal club. Not really really formal with officers and things. Or, maybe it needs to be like that. Anyway, being new in this hobby, I would love to meet everyone. The one thing I've learned about this hobby is you can usually get a different opinion from several people about any subject. Every local store has their pros and cons but the thing I've learned most is that the people involved with this hobby are usually very passionate. This is a good thing. We should all get together on a regular basis. As far as the drinking goes, I think the key word would be moderation. I don't think anyone would mind there being alcohol at the meeting as long as it’s not like a college party. (I miss those days, my body can't handle it anymore). My tank is about 4 1/2 months old now and the only information I’ve gotten has been from the Internet and a hand full of people.

Kevin,

I know we've never met but I really like coming to this site for local opinions and meeting local folks. I would be interested in sponsoring this site until we could get a club up and running. God knows I spend enough money on this hobby. I would love to help.

Buzz
Last edited by Buzz on Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Suziq21
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Post by Suziq21 » Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:30 am

The same thing was happening with the FL Panhandle reef club. I had heard that 'back in the day' folks from both PH and Mobile area would have group swaps or something to that effect. Don't know if that is true or not... It only takes one person to get things going again;p One person took it upon himself to kickstart the PH group and now we're having monthly meetings, frag swaps, and discussions coming up about having club dues and doing other things on behalf of the club. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to take anything away from this place. My point is sometimes just one person can make the difference in revitalizing a club:)
Personally, I live outside Pensacola so I'd like to participate in both clubs and would love to see meetings, frag swaps and whatever else between both groups. There are plently of people out there and I agree that they probably just don't know about these forums and clubs. I know there are some LFS owners and employees here.. Is it possible that flyers could be put up informing people of the club and/or forum?
Just my 0.02.
And Kevin-thanks for doing all you do with this forum! I have actually had more luck with buying and selling things on this forum than any other! Not to mention the advise, book review section and LFS info! Kudos to you!
Suzi

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Post by andy4499 » Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:06 pm

I agree, the club has been going down hill for a while now. We need something or someone to jumpstart everyone back into the hobby again. I have been to a lot of the meetings in the past and have even hosted one. They are a ton of fun and every one has a great time at them. I really miss the meetings and the post on the web site. So I would like to propose a meeting at my place in a few weeks in hopes to gain the peoples interest in the hobby again. I will start a new thread about this. If you would be interested in coming please post on the other thread.
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Post by Bkndsdl » Sun Jul 16, 2006 7:04 pm

Buzz and I have to be frank with all of you - we both belong to an RC airplane club; it is structured very effectively with officers and dues. The club has around 100 members; some don't even have planes, but they enjoy being a member of a club. We get together once a month. That sort of a group is what I was thinking about........I don't know if we need officers, but I think it would probably keep people motivated, and I think the member base would support the group better if there were 'officials' that they could talk to. I know it doesn't mean much, but when you tell someone you're an officer of a club, it tends to add more credibility to what you're saying about what you have to offer them, like help with their tanks and such. Also, if necessary, things like fundraisers and stuff would go alot smoother if we did.

Here's what I propose: We have a meeting to start a formal club; I know that Andy has offered to have a meeting at his house; maybe that could be when we start, if Andy doesn't mind. We can start off by voting on the club's name. We then decide what officer positions we want, if any, and 'elect' officers - Pres, VP, Secretary, Treasurer, maybe newsletter editor; basically whomever wants to volunteer, as their position will not be a paid position (although, it might be a good show of appreciation to 'comp' officer's dues, if we decide to have dues). We decide how often we want to meet and where. We don't even have to meet every month, maybe every two, but whatever we decide, we need to be able to make time in our schedule to attend, especially officers.

At the first meeting, we could decide whether or not we want to have dues right away; We may not need that right now, but if the club were to grow, I think we may need to have them, if only to support a newsletter. If we decide to have them, I think at first they probably need to be very, very low, like $10-15 a year or something, to just get things off the ground and not scare anyone off. They would pay for things like newsletter supplies and such (if we have a newsletter). My RC club has an actual bank account; If we decide to have dues, I think that would be the way to go, just so everyone who gives dues feels safe. The treasurer would report the group's financial transactions and balance at every meeting. I would assume the transactions would be very low; we wouldn't have to pay a lease like my RC club does.

Lastly, we could advertise a bit; I'm sure the local vendors wouldn't mind putting few flyers in their stores.

I'm just throwing things out here, guys......if you really are interested, throw out any ideas you have. I'm very motivated right now; I think this could really be something fun. If it only ends in monthly frag swaps, to me that's better than nothing!!
-Mike
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Post by Amyjoe » Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:09 am

I am going to try to be as tactful as possible here without sounding rude but all of this stuff has been discussed before- MBRK was decidely agreed upon to be an informal group due to no one wanting to be an official membership fees due type of club, and have to deal with the politics.

MBRK - the clubs name Mobile Bay Reef Keepers had been voted on at that time. So to be frank with you- All of the stuff being suggested has/had been suggested and tried before.

My husband and I have devoted his time and our money on this website. Almost NO one who started out the club is even in the hobby anymore or does not frequent this board due to having been burnt out and/or crashed out due to hurriances or personal life or what ever things have come. We had the LAST MBRK meeting we are going to host due to the lack of respect of our home, property and our time, we have tried to keep the interest in the club active but it hasn't happened and from history of reef club/meetings here in Mobile all of them have going the same way with increasing lack of interest and then peetering out. Of all of our "officials" there are only a few that even still have tanks.

Kevin is suppose to post later.
Wonder what it is going to take to get a bigger tank?????

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Post by Buzz » Mon Jul 17, 2006 8:03 am

So,

Does this mean you are totally giving up on the club? Maybe doing something a little different from last time is not such a bad thing. I have offered to sponsor this site until we can get a club reformed, so this shouldn't cost anyone but me anything for the time being. The reason I am in favor of some sort of dues is mainly to help cover some of the expenses like snacks/food at the meetings so everyone who has a meeting doesn't go broke.

I'm new to the saltwater hobby. I've wanted a tank for the past 10 years or so. I finally got into this hobby and its more addictive than I've ever imagined. Remember back when you first got started, how excited you were, the things that evolved with your tank, going around looking for the coolest coral you could find. Thats what I'm looking for. There are so many things we can do as a group. Is there someone who lost everything after the hurricanes? If we all pitch in......5 gal of water here, a piece of live rock, a frag here or there. Before you know it we could have someone back up and running at hardly any cost to anyone.

My point is not to make anyone mad with this post, not to change anything that is already working like the name of the club. Everyone around knows who MBRK is. To just try one more time to see if we can get this thing to work.


We had the LAST MBRK meeting we are going to host due to the lack of respect of our home, property and our time
One thing we are discussing is drinking in moderation instead of everyone coming to get totally hammered. Hopefully this will cut down on the property damage.

With respect,

Buzz
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Group flyers

Post by Buzz » Mon Jul 17, 2006 8:15 am

As Mike mentioned earlier, we also belong to a local RC Club. I remember the first time I went into the HobbyTown to look, they gave me a flyer about the local club. Before I even made a purchase, I visited the club and talked with alot of folks. If we do get this thing revived, we have to get some flyers going in the LFS's. I would'nt thing you would actually have to own a tank to come to a meeting but it sure might help get someone else hooked.

Buzz
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Post by snoopdog » Mon Jul 17, 2006 10:19 am

Having dues was something we never wanted to get into. During our initial meeting we coined a name and acronym, discussed dues, talked about roles, etc. Dues were not taken as this now makes you a profitable organization. Talking to other clubs it seemed taking in money made things much more complicated nothing I wanted to get into. Officers were not needed and really would have nothing to do, this is not Reefcentral nor did I ever want that to happen.

We have had roughly five meetings at our house and the last two had some type of damage. I will not go into specifics. One meeting we even had questionable drug use that several members witnessed. We have always opened up to new users and members but when they totally disregard your personal property that is were I draw the line. This is also why I quit hosting meetings and have not showed up to any. I have not said anything because it was not really anything positive to post about, so why post it.

I personally still have interest in the Reef and my tanks but it is not my primary concern at the moment. I have two growing teens that take time, have changed jobs 3 times since the club started. In that time our original members that have founded this club have dwindled to nothing. Most have either had total losses with Katrina, changed jobs, lost interest, moved, have families now and cannot afford there tanks. People come and go in this hobby as in all hobbies so I cannot expect people to stay around, it has been over 3 years now since the beginning.

If someone want to rekindle the club and give it a fresh start then by all means do it. I personally would like to see someone get it back running the way it was years ago. When January came this past year I was hesitant on renewing my contract for the year. Instead I lowered our space and traffic so I could prevent adding banners and popups, something I have never wanted with my sites. I will not be renewing this year so if someone wants to pay for the unused months that is fine just pm me. Our current rate is $7 a month and ends in January.
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Post by Melissakins » Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:04 am

Just my two cents:

I was at the first official meeting of MBRK 3 or 4 years ago and it was decided then and there the name - we all came up with it, that it would not be a For Profit organization, that our method of communication would be thru the website that Kevin has hosted the entire time and email. We were a lot smaller back then and all of us kind of recruited the people who became members over the years via word of mouth and "advertising" with the T-shirts we have sporting the name MBRK and the meaning behind the acronym.

to repeat what has already been said: we wanted to avoid the political BS that so many other Reef clubs have to keep it fun. Hence, no officers, no dues, etc. Because we're local and have an abundance of LFS's, we use word of mouth to spread the name and that hey, we have a website to use. Also, the people in the club offered to use their personal homes (even the LFS people offered their stores) to host meetings. Makes sense to have it at someone's home rather than a conference room in a restaurant. That way you get to see the person's tank and maybe learn something or see something they're willing to frag or trade. Not sure what you'd do with dues anyways as we're all pretty much local.

Since then, we've had a few hurricanes come in and wreak havoc on our tanks. No power = not good for tanks :) Gas prices the way they are = WAY not fun for powering generators. :)

Yes, I still have a tank and so does my husband. No I've not bought a single thing for it since I got my last cleaner shrimp. That was over a year ago.

I concur with Kevin and Amyjoes's statements....the hurricane's kinda destroyed people's desire to keep up with the tanks. Several of our friends lost show quality tanks from Katrina AND Ivan - specially the folks in Mississippi like Xster who doesn't even post anymore. Not saying that people who were hit hard by the hurricane's aren't keeping their tanks up or haven't started over, just that it's frustrating losing something you fought so hard for to start with. I do know for hurricane folks that we had people offer frags, supplies etc....gas cans, etc.

What would you do with dues? Just curious. or with the money you'd make with fund raisers?
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Brandon
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Post by Brandon » Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:44 am

1st off Summer is always a bit slow for reef stuff with a lot of us, lots to do outside, etc, it has always been more of a winter hobby for me.

Also confused on what would be done with "club funds" I can see the importance of maintaining a balance in something such as an RC club where there is a national affiliation, insurance, and field maintenance to consider, but with something as fluid as a reef club, I am not sure where the expenses would come from unless you wanted to advertise. The board expenses are cheap, I'll fund it or host it, just to keep it around. When you add the funds in you add in another level of complexity, ie: taxes, etc.

I am on the fence about the political issues, I for one believe a more formal structured meeting would be beneficial other than the usual 'party time atmosphere', but I have been in clubs before that were destroyed from becoming overly political. I mean who wants to sit through the 'reading of the minutes', and all that crap.

A lot of us 'old timers' have lost interest in posting , etc because the people we knew have all gone away, either their interest waned, they moved, or ivan, dennis, or katrina got them. and no offense to anyone but I have no idea who most of the people on the board are now. That is my own fault, but I have so many things on my own plate now I haven't spent a lot of time here myself.

Now with the mix of a lack of any formality in the meetings and most of us don't know each other, the meetings aren't as popular because they were just basically a party. And at this point they would be a party where no one knows anyone. I think at this point that if there is a goal or an agenda to the "meeting" then they would make more sense than a bunch of drunken strangers wrecking someone's house. But just not too political. I think you should avoid funds and a treasurer at this early point, but officers might not be a bad idea, someone to organize meetings that have an agenda, and there really is no reason you couldn't have meetings & partys both. I might want to hosts a "party"/ informal gather in the fall where we sit around on the deck and watch videos of "coral sea dreaming" and "deep blue sea" , that kind of stuff.. that would not take away from a "meeting" , it would be something outside of the "meeting".

Another thing..... The rude Avatars... I don't feel like they have any place here at all. They seem a little better suited for some warez-hacker-elite-script-kiddie-boards. I signed onto the board the other day and a rather religious coworker came over to ask me something.. I believe one of the nasty avatars was up, even though he didn't say anything. I'd really like to see them go away.


Just my 2 cents as usual, Brandon
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