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Sponsorships of the Grumble

Discussion in 'Grumble Archive pre 2004 Topics' started by framer, Nov 11, 1999.

  1. framer

    framer Guest

    I would like to open discussions about using sponsors to fund the cost of The Grumble. Sponsorships would allow a lot of new things to be added. I would love to run a couple of ads in trade publications and let the rest of the framers know about this board. I would also like to hold framing contests online and offer prizes to the winners to help build The Design Forum. We could have a Grumbler party at a trade show with sponsors picking up the tab.

    All the above cost money. The basic cost to run just this board is about $300.00 per year. If we do birthday cards this year it might pay the basic costs. The real question is do the members want this board to grow or stay the way it is.

    The way I would sell sponsorships is to design a new graphic banner to replace the one currently at the top of each forum with one that shows the sponsor name with a link to their web sight and also the forum name.

    Each forum would have a different sponser and different pricing as to popularity. All money collected will be reported online and spent for the enhancement or promotion of The Picture Framers Grumble.


    Now what do you all want to do?

    Your turn.
    Sponsor Wanted
  2. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    As always Framer I'm in complete agreement with the way you administer this forum,GO FOR IT.
    I have always tried to enciurage other framers to join the Grumble.We can only benefit from the increased membership.
    I also believe that the other activities may encourage some non-members to participate.
  3. JOHNG

    JOHNG Guest

    Framer I'm all for it. Great thinking on your part, But I feel that if you are going to put so much into it you should also start collecting a sallery from these sponsors. Can you post your new adress so that we can send you those birthday cards.
  4. JPete

    JPete <span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><

    I trust your judgement. As long as the format remains somewhat the same......the more activity the better.

    I really do not like flashing ads. Others are fine.

    Maybe sponsors outside of the industry would work. e.g. ftd I don't think the industry really would like to sponsor without some control.

    Give us an address and see what happens.

    [This message has been edited by JPete (edited 11-12-1999).]
  5. Cathie Simmons

    Cathie Simmons Guest

    I'll echo everything about framer: how can you fault what he's done so far. I also am cautious about advertising, however. The internet is beginning to resemble Noland Road (that's a local horror story street with so many stores, ads, banners, signs, etc., that you literally can't read any of them.) But, that said, I just want the Grumble to stay with us, and anything to accomplish that I'm for.

    Dang, I slipped my settings again. Never thought I'd be labeling cookies as annoying.
  6. Scarfinger

    Scarfinger Guest

    I have gained much from the grumble and would be glad to contribute towards its continuation. I would like to see it remain a resource by and for framers without suppliers getting involved. Perhaps the sponsorship could come from within.
  7. Le

    Le CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I am happy with things the way they are, but I think it would be more interesting for you to expand the concept to the masses. I rely on your judgement. Please leave your new address on this string. Happy Birthday!
  8. Mitch

    Mitch <span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><

    Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow.
  9. TheFrameGuy

    TheFrameGuy Guest

    Here's something that should be known before considering soliciting for advertisers. It is felt in the supplier side of the industry that The Grumble is not a good thing. On this forum, framer's are allowed to speak their minds without being edited. The suppliers don't like that, as a framer could bad talk them here. If press releases about The Grumble were sent into the trade magazines, I would bet they would not get published because of how the magazines advertisers feel about The Grumble.

    The Grumble is a good thing and advertisers would just force The Grumble to change into one of those other edited picture framing message boards.
  10. ChrisW

    ChrisW CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    A good supplier who looks after their customers shouldn't have much to fear. In fact having someone post a nasti-gram seems like an opportunity for the supplier to make ammends. Also, any advertizer who doesn't like what goes on in a forum like this is free to not advertize. Framer should NOT be out of pocket for running this excellent forum. I have a hard enough time keeping up on my web site as well as running a business. Any extra he should reap as his rewards.
  11. Mel

    Mel MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Framer: Is the post office at your old address still forwarding your mail? Or will you post a new address? Being involved in a few other forums, I feel strongly that being obligated to no advertisers frees us from perceived or actual conflicts of interest on this one. Although I appreciate any source of information, this board is, without doubt, the easiest to read, post to, and search.
  12. James Miller

    James Miller Guest

    The funding issue is a sticky one. I, for one, appreciate all you've done to create and maintain this forum, and I would like to see it continue.

    Corporate sponsorship might work. The point about sponsors not liking to be bashed is valid. It's as though we're biting the hands that feed us.

    But on the other hand, how often does that happen? The so-called "edited" forums I have seen really are not...anything goes, until the administrator comes down on the perpetrator after-the-fact. Some sponsors are still wary of *anything* related to internet -- just not comfortable with the idea. That will change in time, especially if sponsors can see tangible benefits.

    I don't mean to fire up anyone, but I believe a modest annual membership fee would be reasonable. That might inhibit a few occasional contributors, but we hard-core Grumblers would still be here, mean and nasty as ever...Grrrrrrrrr(not).

    James Miller,PPFA-CPF; PPFA Certification Board Member; FACTS/GAFP Committee Member
  13. MerpsMom

    MerpsMom <span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><

    I will pony up gladly.

    Perhaps a birthday is close?

    [This message has been edited by MerpsMom (edited 11-15-1999).]
  14. Scarfinger

    Scarfinger Guest

    I felt this one should move back to the top. Framer needs support in running the Grumble and we need more ideas about how this should be accomplished. Please put in your 2 bits worth. Or maybe your 2 bits.
  15. Mel

    Mel MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I'd love to put in my two bits if I only knew where to send it. Or have I missed an address along the way?

    Happy Thanksgiving, all.

  16. Scarfinger

    Scarfinger Guest

    How about trying the grass roots method of support. I will be glad to send the first dollars. Where do I send it? And how much? How many Grumblers are there? How much money is needed each year? A new membership catagory - paid member? Publish those paid up?
  17. JPete

    JPete <span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><

    I've been giving this some thought. Framer suggested he didn't think private support would generate enough revenue. He's not given us any more to go on.
    There are over 400 registered on the grumble. Now if you are willing to send (no pledges, actually do it)a Christmas card with a gift in it send me an e-mail mpeterson@basec.net stating you are a grumbler and how much you have ready to mail.
    I may be taking a risk on receiving more e-mail than I want but if it's a complete bomb I'll let you know that also. Then at least we will know how many are willing to put up and solve that part of this issue. How about by Dec. 10th for the cut off date.

    [This message has been edited by JPete (edited 11-25-1999).]

    [This message has been edited by JPete (edited 11-25-1999).]

    [This message has been edited by JPete (edited 11-25-1999).]
  18. framer

    framer Guest

    I've been giving a lot of thought to the direction that I want the board to take. The cost of running the board is minor. What I was trying to get at was funds for the future promotion for the board. Run ads in trade magazines, sponsor get together at trade shows, and increase the membership by a factor of 10 to get noticed as a force within the industry. That kind of money can only come from the outside. I don't want any member to feel that they need to contribute money. I also don't want the members to feel harassed by me into giving. I’m amazed to the number of you that want to contribute, I thank you all; however, lets keep in mind the big picture.

    If you think I’m nuts for thinking this way tell me. But we have a small chance to be heard and make a difference in the near future if we want it.


    Happy Turkey Day
  19. Alan Sturgess

    Alan Sturgess CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I fully agree with Mr. McKay the Grumble owner/moderator that the site needs a boost to up the participation and get more flow of information through the Grumble.

    I think that right now it would be an expensive mistake to take out “commercial” ads in frame industry publications to promote the Grumble. When the time comes to perhaps do this, then you would be wise to trade site ads for free ads in the magazines.

    I think that you need, in the lexicon of corporate business today, to create a “Mission Statement”. Companies spend thousand of dollars and hundreds of hours working on and putting Mission Statements down on paper. What do you, the moderator, want to see the Grumble accomplish?
    Get out the story book cards and get your “users” to put their wants and needs up of the “board”.
    Individuals, companies and organizations need goals and objectives. The Grumble is no different.

    Perhaps you need to question your “users to find out what they want and rank the importance of their requests and/or desires. Then perhaps, you the moderator, will have a better idea where you want the Grumble to go and grow. You can’t grow the Grumble without a plan.

    My suggestions to promote the Grumble are as follows:

    1. Tie in with some wholesalers to promote the Grumble. As a wholesaler I send monthly mailing to about 800 customers. I would be willing to put in a one page flyer in my monthly mailing promoting the Grumble and give the benefits of participating. I would also be willing to put a note in my monthly fax flyer that goes out to about 200 customers. I am sure there are a number of regional suppliers like ourselves who would be willing to promote the site. Five or six good regional suppliers should get your mailing in to at least four to five thousand serious frame shops.

    2. Each current Grumble user should go out of their way to promote the Grumble and sign up new users through word of mouth. There are groups like the Evergreen Picture Frame group in the Pacific North West as well as numerous regional PPFA chapters that could be used to promote the Grumble. Imagine the growth if each current user just brought in one or two more users. Just like the best new customers you get are by word of mouth, and the same is for the Grumble. It needs a good “word of mouth” promotion campaign by current satisfied “customers.”

    3. Ask through a posting on the Grumble who the best reps are who call on them and in particular ones whom they know are Internet promoters. Get these reps to hand out sheets telling what the Grumble can do. There is nothing like one on one salesmanship to promote a product or a service. I would estimate that 10 good reps could easily bring you in a couple of hundred new users in a very short time. My observations from calling on customers and talking to them about the Grumble is that a lot framers who have net connections do not know about the Grumble.

    4. I know I will probably get a lot of flack but I think that the Grumble needs a name change. I think that the negative connotation about the “Grumble” or bitch factor outweigh the advantages of the name. I think that the name should give the feeling that this is the number one site to come to learn about framing, from framers, with framers. The name should give a feeling that this is where to come to bring your level of education and knowledge to the next higher level. There is definitely a feeling in the industry that the Grumble is a site for the malcontents and “fringe” element of the farming industry. Perhaps this feeling is changing.

    The name needs to give the impression around the WORLD that this is the prime site for frame knowledge and help with framing problems no matter where you live. Grumble really does not tell you the depth of knowledge that can be obtained from and through the site.

    5. The Grumble needs to bring in participants from all over the world. There are some regulars that I see posting here from the real wide world, but they are few and far between. The Grumble could be the one forum that framers from all over the world head to when they want to find out the answer. The only other one that is currently doing this is the PPFA Hitchhikers forum. The Hitchhikers form will have trouble gaining a strong world wide participation due to the high cost of joining the PPFA and the prime focus of the PPFA in the USA. The Grumble could be the one that directs the focus of framers all over the world when it comes to a knowledgeable framer’s forum. Input from outside of North America is needed to find out how the Grumble could be promoted in other countries.

    I would like to know the current breakdown of Grumble participants by:

    Country i.e. USA, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Wales, Ireland etc.

    State, Province and City

    This information might help give a better idea how wide the current coverage of the Grumble is.

    I must say that the Owner of this site has as much right to make money and earn a satisfactory wage or profit from running the site and providing a valuable service of the industry as I do from offering and selling products to my customers.. Why is it wrong to make a profit?????? Is not one of the tenants of capitalism to earn profits? You have to remember you get what you pay for. If no one is paying for the Grumble you will only get what you can with volunteer labour. If someone ( i.e. advertisers) is paying for it, you should be able to get much more for your time and effort put into the forums. A little profit could go a long way.

    Alan Sturgess Vancouver Canada eh
  20. Bruce McElhaney

    Bruce McElhaney Guest

    I agree with Alan, espically with the Gumble name change. Being a new member, I almost passed up the grumble because I thought it was strictly a "Bitch" board. I believe it is more useful as a "information exchange" board. The grumble name is not only inappropriate, but misleading . . .

    Bruce McElhaney
    Livonia, MI
  21. JOHNG

    JOHNG Guest

    I agree with Alan, and the name change How about "The Framers Bench". Just an Idea!!!
  22. calley

    calley CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I find it interesting that you are looking for corporate sponsors to aid with The Grumble. Isn't this the exact group of people who are not allowed access to the specific Picture Framer Trade Only forum?
  23. BUDDY

    BUDDY PFG, Picture Framing God

    Hi everyone ;
    We've been on a cruise for a week so please excuse any lack of information on my part.

    The point you bring up is a good one for several reasons:first you are probably correct if what you are saying is that framing related sponsors might be reluctant to sponsor a site that could bad mouth them .However they might get points for being confident enough to sponsor it anyway knowing that what they do won't meet with any negative Grumbles that they can't defend in public .Second :you are pointing out exactly why the TOF was formed,so we could speak without fear of repriseals. That plus haveing to put up with Grumblers that don't mind Grumbling as long as no one can contact them directly and hold them accountable for their comments. The latter brings up two sub topics: first do we really care if a supplier knows what we think about them if we are telling the truth as we know it and aren't we all big enough to admitt in public when we are wrong?
    By the way what did you say your e-maill address was or is there some other way to contact you personally?

    [This message has been edited by BUDDY (edited 11-29-1999).]
  24. JPete

    JPete <span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><

    The TOF was started as a place where everyone divulged their true identity and set up some guide lines. It is a place for framers to speak openly without obnoxious intrusions. A place to discuss legal ramifications and maybe just grumble a little without the whole world looking in. As far as suppliers, corporate etc. all of that has taken place in open forum.

    Buddy I like your directness. [​IMG]

    P. S. I dislike name changes but I'm easy going and I'll stick around with or without.

    [This message has been edited by JPete (edited 11-29-1999).]
  25. framer

    framer Guest

    Let us ease into it. I want to get a monthly framing contest going in the Frame Design Forum. I am going to talk with a few manufactures and see if I can get a small commitment in the form of prizes. If any members can also give me a lead in somewhere please do. We can see how this works and looks on the Frame Design forum.

    The other question should be would any of you compete in an online framing contest?
  26. JPete

    JPete <span style="color: red"><b><i>Charter Member</i><

    Hmmmmmmmm....on line contest! Easing in is nice.
    Framer are you willing to accept ourChristmas cards during the transition? Is the address at your website correct?
Sponsor Wanted

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