The Croton Society - is it folding?

Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by RonDEZone7a, Dec 21, 2011.

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  1. RonDEZone7a

    RonDEZone7a Active Member

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    Wilmington, Delaware
    This might be old news - and maybe I missed some posts about this - but is the Croton Society folding? I found an old e-mail from Connie that said it was because no one wanted to work for the society anymore. Just wondering... esp. if there is an update?
     
  2. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    Merry Christmas Ron,

    Yes, unfortunately in the short term the Society is no more. There is a plan however, to resuscitate it. 2012 will be a big year for the new Society. Keep posted as this forum is alive and well and will be the lifeblood of the new organization.

    Ray
     
  3. RonDEZone7a

    RonDEZone7a Active Member

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    Wilmington, Delaware
    Ray,

    That's a good idea to center the Croton Society around this forum - and possibly expand these web pages into more of a full-service club web site. Keep it more electronic and paperless and it will be easier.

    For paying dues, I'd suggest that we set up the Society so we can pay via PayPal - it's fast an easy. I find myself renewing my clubs much more consistently and on-time if they offer PayPal.

    I am also a member of the Southeastern Palm Society and they have a nice web site and dues payment facility that might be good to emulate: http://www.sepalms.org/ Although they still have a paper newsletter, with their web site they are essentially set up to go paperless if they ever want to. It would be a small leap to just post their newsletters as PDFs and send a reminder e-mail out once a month to let members know the next newsletter is ready for viewing.
     
  4. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    I have done a lot of research in this area, as I have been trying to get the Palm Society of SoCal to upgrade their site, and offer an electronic world wide membership and version of their Journal for several years. The Rose Society has a great template, that I have been studying. It contains a great page turning online publication technique that is indexed and searchable for researching, a trial membership to a members only area, (to allow people a peek at the publication and any other "goodies" the Society has to offer), and instructional videos of the standard things everyone wants to know like trimming, grafting, etc.

    I am willing to help you guys set it up. In fact, most of the work is already done. However, the hard part is finding people willing to do the membership, and to write articles and contribute. If you are charging dues, you must offer something in return. Staying local in Florida is great for meetings and exchanging plants, etc. - but to attract more international attention, a good publication and tools for growers worldwide is probably a good idea.
     
  5. Crotonologist

    Crotonologist Active Member

    Messages:
    761
    Location:
    southern Louisiana USDA 9a
    I joined the old Croton Society primarily for the carrot they dangled in front of me:
    Crotons of The World by Dr. Frank Brown for $20....
    I was getting ready to buy the book anyway, for about twice that price or more, when I stumbled across the Croton Society offer, so I figured why not get The Book plus a Society membership with nice newsletters for about the same price as The Book by itself elsewhere....

    But without nice printed newsletters, and I already have the book, I wouldn't have much reason to pay dues again to a society...
    This forum already provides more interaction and more info than the Society did, especially as I was not able to attend meetings and auctions out of state, so I like the idea of the forum being the core of any new society. I don't know if I would be willing to pay dues just to access the forum though....
    I really think we should keep the forum free and open to all, or we may find it harder to attract new participants...
    Just my 2 cents.
     
  6. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    I agree, the Forum needs to stay open, free, and fun. Because the more active the participation, and the more info added - the more people "stumble" across it on the internet. What most of these smaller Society Sites have failed to realize is that a site for their little "niche" will never get the Search Engine recognition to generate any traffic. That is why I have tried to get these smaller societies to come to Palmpedia - to generate more traffic, more buzz, higher Google rankings, so more people will find their way here and then see what we have to offer. It's like a restaurant with a line out the door - it makes you want to see what they are cooking.

    So the Forum should stay open and available, and then if you have something to offer Croton people that they are willing to pay for, then fine. Perhaps merchandise, a yearly calendar, a newsletter, videos, access to cuttings/seeds, and perhaps even the Wiki Encyclopedia if it became a valuable comprehensive resource.
     
  7. Crotonologist

    Crotonologist Active Member

    Messages:
    761
    Location:
    southern Louisiana USDA 9a
    BTW Dean, I think you have done a fantastic job with Palmpedia, and smaller societies that are not taking you up on your offer are simply missing the boat IMO.
    Thanks for everything you do .
    Best regards,
    Peyton
     
  8. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Thanks a lot Peyton.
     
  9. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,952
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    The newly reformed "Society" would never charge for access to the forum in my opinion. It would be detracting to the promotion and dissemination of information for these fantastic plants. Further, I do not believe Dean aka Palmpedia would permit such to occur here.

    Dues and fundraisers will probably continue to support "a Society". How much will the dues be is undetermined so far. There are some costs involved, setting up a 501(3)c corporation and filing the proper documents and financials annually. Any remaining funds should go to assisting & supporting the establishment and maintenance of collections available to the public. Theses plants are not as prevalent in many public gardens as they should be.

    Just my opinion. ;)
     
  10. fawnridge

    fawnridge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,439
    Location:
    Western Boca Raton
    I agree with Moose - no charge for this forum, ever. As far as dues go, I'm not paying dues unless there's a reason to pay them. If we, as some form of digital society, want to invest in a calendar or some other merchandise and sell it online via PayPal or some other modality, that's all well and good, but who's going to front the expense and what do we do with any profits? To collect dues for that expense is not an option.

    Our best bet is a Croton meeting, a gathering of collectors and their friends. Meetings are a standalone event. If someone wants to have a meeting and they are willing to cover the costs, then those meetings should also have plant sales where enough of the profits go to reimburse the host for those costs. To simply put money into a bank account with no plan for its use and no accountability to the donors is not something we should restart.

    Our meetings are open to the public. Anyone interested in Crotons can attend, assuming they know about it. We can get more folks to attend and to utilize this website with the mass of free publicity that's out there. All of the newspapers I've ever read in Florida have, at least once a month, a list of garden and museum events - no cost for the listing. Our meetings should be included. There's an email list of several hundred names floating around that Connie has sent over the last few months. It's not that tough to do a bulk email to that list, informing those folks about our meetings.

    The goal of this whole thing is spread the species and keep the rare varieties alive. The more folks we have doing just that, the closer we come to our goal. The cheaper it costs to make those folks interested, the better our chances of gaining converts and collectors.

    "Croton Society"? Okay, that's nice that we've got a name and probably a secret handshake, but that plan has already failed once. Why try it again?
     
  11. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    I think you guys should consider the idea of a once or twice a year sale/auction of some of the rarer cultivars that are not usually available. The classified section I set up has the capabilities of running auctions and/or just listing plants in a nicely organized and well presented manner.

    There may be many people around the globe that would pay for smaller easily mailed air layers or even cuttings. I could envision that a well publicized 'event' could eventually grow into something lucrative for the society and its mission. To promote participation and provide incentive, the sale price could even be split between the Society and the grower.

    I will continue to encourage catering to and pushing for things that will encourage a broader "membership." After seeing some of the knock out cultivars that were posted not to long ago from Indonesia, I am of the opinion that there is more upside to an international presence than I originally thought.
     
  12. RonDEZone7a

    RonDEZone7a Active Member

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    Wilmington, Delaware
    I agree with the idea of Croton Society plant sales, once or twice a year - in fact sales could be the main reason for keeping the Society around.

    A sale is a great way to bring in the "general public" and generate new interest in crotons. New people will be more apt to come to croton "sale" than a society "meeting". At the sale, the society can be there too, promoting interest in the various croton cultivars, offering a handout with this website's URL on it etc - but something labled as a "sale" will draw the most people and achieve the goal of getting more people to grow crotons.

    I am a member of the Delaware Native Plant Society and we have a similar annual plant sale every year. Along with many members, I grow and donate native plants to the sale. In the case of DNPS, the profits go back to the organization. But real goal is to get more people growing native Delaware plants and the sale does that. In the case of the Croton Society, what to do with the profits from the sale could be optional. If we are no longer a dues collecting organization, then the sales profits can go back to the growers / members - but some minimal costs may be required to maintain this web site so a sale could cover those. The goal here is just to generate more interest in crotons and make people aware of this website.

    The other good thing about a sale is it would encourage members to propagate crotons, which is fun and in turn, generates more interest. Plant sales also often generate excess plants. These could be donated by the Society to local public gardens. The Society could generate more interest by providing printed labels of the variety, perhaps with this URL on the back of it.

    Obviously, the main face-to-face sales would have to take place in Florida. But individual members could organize smaller sales elsewhere, like in Hawaii or internationally. And there could also be an internet-based sale for small cuttings, sent via the mail, that could be much wider than Florida.
     
  13. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    I don't know that much about air layering, but I was thinking, that if possible, smaller air layers could be made with the intent being to sell via an internet sale before they were transferred to soil. Such an air layer would be more viable (so more valuable) than cuttings, and could be sent in a smaller package that weighed much less - thus making it more attractive to purchase at an online sale.
     
  14. Jerry@TreeZoo

    Jerry@TreeZoo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,628
    You could produce a "Shopping Network" type live internet show with a live interactive auction. You could do an EBay type production where you have dozens of air layered cultivars in an online auction with pics and short videos showcasing each of them. Bidding could take a day or a week. The soil-less air-layers could be shipped most places and if the goal was to promote more crotons, then the profits of the sale might cover shipping. Society chapters could be almost anywhere and the videos could make "stars" out of the local presenters and help make a far flung society more cohesive.
     
  15. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Plus Jerry, if you split the profits with the grower (half to the "Chapter" and half to the grower) then more growers would want to make cuttings/air layers for the sales, as they could possibly make some easy money.

    However, the logistics and technology necessary for a "live" internet auction do not exist. And because of the different time zone problem, real live auctions on the web do not really exist. They are all more like an eBay type, were you can schedule your bid. But videos to present and show the full grown plant and the "stars" are certainly possible.
     
  16. Jerry@TreeZoo

    Jerry@TreeZoo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,628
    I see live streaming of events all the time. Wouldn't that work? All you would need to make it interactive is someone there manning a laptop with either chatroom bids or PM bids.

    "Plus Jerry, if you split the profits with the grower (half to the "Chapter" and half to the grower) then more growers would want to make cuttings/air layers for the sales, as they could possibly make some easy money."

    Exactamundo Kemo Sabe.
     
  17. Jeff Searle

    Jeff Searle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,754
    Location:
    South Florida, USA
    Without worrying too much on cuttings,airlayers, seedlings, sports, ebay, time zones, bla,bla,bla, can't 4 or 5 people just step up and get this thing off and running? Forget the plants now, that's the easier piece of the puzzle to figure out later. What we need now is some bodies to pull this society together.
     
  18. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    All you guys need is some officers/directors. You don't even need officers, just a small group to vote on what to do, and handle any money. I'm not sure how to handle the non-profit side of things, but there must be an easy way for small organizations.

    Jerry, I though you were talking about video streaming. If you want to use the chatroom, it's already live. If you want to do auctions or listings, the Classifieds are already to use as well - it just needs a little testing. Just let me know if any one is interested. But I think it is going to be hard to get enough people together and online all at the same time. I would suggest trying a plain auction or sale first. Then if there is enough interest, then you could try working out the logistics of a live event. But I'll help with whatever you guys are interested in.
     

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