Freestyle Players Association
What's Up with Forum On-Line
By Larry Imperiale
It was always a welcome site in my mailbox - The FPA Forum! So why would I propose eliminating it? How could this be better for the sport? For those of you that attended the FPA Meeting in Hawaii, you know some of my reasoning. But for everyone's benefit, I wanted to do my best to articulate my thoughts.
1. Things have changed. For the majority of us with web access, and thanks to Tommy Leitner's hard work on frisbee.com, we already know results, tournament schedules, and the like. Most of the Forum is old news to many of us. I barely read the last Forum because I had already read most of it on-line. We need to take advantage of efficiencies like the Internet to continue to improve our communication within the sport.
In addition, there are fewer FPA members than in the past. While my hope is that we can change this in the near future, the reality is that we have very few people that get the Forum. With such a small circulation, it's difficult to justify the huge amount of effort that goes into producing it. No question we'd do a Forum if there were thousands of people to send it to.
2.Resources are limited. As you know, the Forum and everything else we do within the FPA is done on a volunteer basis. With many thanks, we have relied on Gina, Bill Wright, Caroline, Skippy, and many others to produce the Forum in the past. Most of these past issues were phenomenal! But you can only do this for so long before you get burned out. And with limited resources within the FPA, I'd rather use these volunteer's efforts in a way that will make a bigger difference in the sport.
3.Focus on content. Now that we are not burdened with production issues, we can focus more on Forum content. My hope is we get better articles and improve the player's feedback loop by being on-line. Over time, we will continue to improve the Forum On-Line to make it a really quality on-line publication. And now that it's easy to produce, we should be able to get at least 4-5 issues out annually.
I know this is a radical change, but change is needed to make this sport better. I understand not everyone has web access, but every year that goes by, this will become less and less of an issue. And we'll still send it out to those that don't have Internet access. So they'll still get the Forum, it just won't be as pretty, but will probably have more content. Members who get the Forum in the mail will have higher membership fees since we have to do extra work to get it to them (and no, you can't get a hard copy if you have web access, since this defeats the purpose of using Forum volunteers for more productive projects within the FPA).
I hope this explains the change. Please feel free to e-mail me your comments, and I'll either respond individually or post them on Random Jams.