Re: [Harp-L] Re: my 2 cents on the SPAH thing

Great point Greg....put together with your examples, a compelling argument.

See you in May (barring anymore flight fiascos.....I'm going to drive this
year !)

Paul Marconi

On Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 1:25 PM, Greg Heumann <greg@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I'm fairly new to SPAH, being a member for about 5 years now. From where I
> sit - SPAH was created as a sort of uber-organization to local harmonica
> clubs which became very popular in the heydey of the harmonica bands of the
> 40's and 50's. But today the local harmonica club is on the endangered
> species list. Newer players are more geographically dispersed and physical
> clubs are less likely to grow or form for a variety of reasons. But the
> Internet has changed everything. It is extremely successful at forming
> communities of folks with common interest, no matter how geographically
> dispersed. As a vendor, I couldn't possibly have a business without the
> Internet that lets me reach harmonica players world wide.
> I think we all have to realize that the fundamental basis of SPAH, the
> local harmonica club, is going away. The Internet however creates
> communities because anyone can participate, no matter where they are
> located. In order to survive, SPAH MUST embrace the Internet as its PRIMARY
> means of communicating AND delivering value. With all of the wonderful
> people, good will, pro level talent and relationships we have there is no
> reason that SPAH shouldn't be the Number One resource for harp players all
> over the world.
> Let me give you an example of SPAH vs the Internet as it is today. I can
> run the "referring site" report on to see how people who
> come to my site found out about me - i.e., where the link was that they
> clicked to get to me. In the most recent reporting period, 62,769 clicks
> came from Adam Gussow's "Modern Blues Harmonica" forum - a popular
> harmonica discussion forum. That's about 10 times MORE than I get from
> Google. You know how many came from the SPAH web site in the same period?
> 153. That's where SPAH's web site is today - nowhere. Why? Because it
> doesn't add value other than to tell us where the next SPAH is. It doesn't
> give us a reason to go there. (I'm overstating to make a point here -
> significant efforts have been made over the last year to improve the SPAH
> web site.) The SPAH web site COULD be the center of SPAH, a FANTASTIC
> resource.
> Why, for example, does SPAH not have a web-based discussion forum? It
> should be THE forum of choice for harp players world wide.  The mail list
> form of information sharing of HARP-L is ARCHAIC - several generations old
> in terms of available technology for virtually bringing people together.
> Why doesn't SPAH have a major presence on Facebook? I got 8x the number of
> clicks to my site from my OWN Facebook page than I do from the SPAH website
> with all of its members.
> SPAH presumably has (or certainly can get) rights to the wonderful photos,
> videos, instructional materials and presentations, lecture notes, etc -
> from every SPAH convention. Think of the value of having an archive of
> those available online. Not just from the 6 sessions I attended, not from a
> single SPAH, but from EVERY SPAH convention?
> SPAH has the ACTIVE participation of top level pro players from every
> genre. These are busy people who cannot afford to take the time to
> participate in a standard web forum format. But SPAH could publish
> interviews, have "Charlie's Tips" and "Stan's Stories" and a host of other
> great articles that no other harmonica-related site can compete with.
> There ARE other harmonica forums on the web. And they're gathering users.
> Each has its unique focus and set of features. But for general discussion
> SPAH should be the place. And it can be funded by advertising of vendors
> like me, who sorely need all the help we can get to reach a geographically
> diverse community.
> Soapbox Off.
> /Greg

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