It's weird, I started a thread on the TSSC messageboard because they sent me a copy of the minutes of the Council of Membership (CoM) meeting. Now whether I should have had them or not I do not know but there was something in there that made me thing "What's that about?" The CoM have decided that traders who don't advertise in the Courier, the TSSC magazone, should be banned from advertising on the TSSC website. I thought that was a bit of a silly thing to do and so I started a discussion thread about it. All very adult and amicable. A few people joined in and all was well with the world. Until the thread disappeared. So I reconstructed it and put it back up, it was taken down again. So I put it back :-)
No one has explained why it gets taken down and I am now wondering what in it has provoked someone at TSSC HQ to watch for my posts and take them down - I think I'll publish it all here now
I said -
I've just read the Notes of the Council of membership meeting that dropped through my letterbox last week. Why have the COM decided that only traders who advertise in the Courier would be allowed to advertise on the Club website? This seems like a quantum leap backwards. Who are the COM aiming at with this weird ruling and why?
Stephen Weblin said -
This should be a club for the benefit of the members. Many people live in cyberland now - why are we as a club looking to restrict relevant advertisers from our website?
Andy Cook said -
I agree, Surely if a trader want's to advertise on the website only but is still prepared to pay for it then this is still a source of revenue for the club, by turning him away we are turning down revenue that we otherwise wouldn't receive at all. I'd have thought that the margin on web based advertising was really good as it must cost a lot less to add anadvert into the website than to arrange for printing in the Courier.
Another couple of car clubs that I belong to are totally internet beased are mainly funded purely through web advertising, in fact the membership is free unless you want to advertise stuff for sale or make a dontaion. Therefore it appears to me that going totally web based obviously works as a business model for a car club.
As I understand it most of our TSSC annual membership fee goe's on Courier printing and distribution costs so maybe the club need to consider whether sending out the Courier as a monthly magazine to all members is viable in the longer term. It may be more efficient to have an opting out option with a discount on memnership for those who opt out and then just have the Courier available on line to members who want to download it or read it on line. Just a thought..........
Ian Mulford said -
I have always thought that a magazine a month is a bit excessive especially as there's often pleas for more contributions to fill the pages. Most clubs I know of have quaterly magazines. Surely that would save a lot of money.
Tim Scrivens said -
I agree with most of the points on this thread, the direction that the CoM is/was heading was a main reason why I stepped down from being a Director.
I strongly believe that the TSSC should be a car club first and a business second, unfortunately at present the situation is reversed. Whilst it costs money to run the TSSC, I'm not convinced that revenue generating should be no.1 prority.
A degree of respect for some members of CoM mean that I cannot say too much about the ins and outs of decisions made at council level.
Claire Hill said -
I personally look forward to receiving the mag every month. Also for members who can't make it to meetings etc it is a way of keeping them in touch with what their area is doing. Would anybody advertise in the private ads if they knew it would take three months to get to fellow members? Surely this would just push even more onto ebay.
Mark Astley said -
I agree completely with Claires comments, however if it was a cost saving that would be required then why not reduce the glossy Courier down to bi-monthly or quarterly and pack it with good quality articles and for the intervening months print a low tech area news report compilation along with the small ads and camping/event ads and booking forms like we used to get a few years ago. Trade advertisers could still pay as before but maybe reduced rate for simple black/white ads.
I would miss my Courier every month though.
Tim Scrivens said -
Mark, again, a possible solution but not a viable one.
The Courier is created in an odd manner, it is created 'in-house' by an externally controlled and owned company, and cutting the number of issues of The Courier would only mean that the TSSC would have to find other things to fill the Courier production time with - so, as you can see, there will be a saving on print and mailing costs but still a couple of people to pay all year. I believe that there has been an agreement to produce the Courier in it's current form upto the next 5 years, so it's a no go, again as the money's already been spent.
I said -
"created in an odd manner" I think that describes the working of the whole club very well. "created 'in-house' by an externally controlled and owned company" isn't that a contradiction? The whole point of outsourcing something is to diverst yourself of the fixed costs associated with producing that something :-)
It would be really interesting to see the real accounts of the club, the ones published to keep the members happy don't really make a lot of sense and are generalised beyond being useful. I'm not an accountant nor do I run a business but just looking at things like cleaning costs I have to wonder, why is it so expensive?
I think that covers it all, we can carry on now.
What do you think? If you're a TSSC Member go onto the messageboard and ask what happened to the thread or just start your own, in fact why not post the whole lot and see how long it takes for your thread to be taken down.
A fellow TSSC member and Blogger originally alerted me to the removal of the thread and has mentioned it on his blog here
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