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Postby Troyk » Sun Feb 03, 2008 6:53 pm

Activity_Dept, the idea of a newsletter may not be to bad. When suggested at fist I was a bit sceptical, but if it is emailed to all members, it may bring some back to the fold. So to speak.

Does not have to be long. Maybe a few of us can put some snippets together to make one.
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Postby Ozzycamperboy » Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:30 pm

We need a more prominent link to the forum on the main page. At the moment, you have to be pretty much looking for it to find it. It's doesn't really stand out.

Also, I haven't been checking the main page that often so I'm happy to stand corrected, but the content doesn't seem to change too often. If you Google camping, where at the top. Thats pretty damn good. But we need content to get people to actually hang around and spend some time on the site. Maybe once a month a new review featured on the front page somewhere? Doesn't always have to be parks or locations. Could be camping products too, another way to attract sponsors.
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Updates

Postby Activity_Dept » Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:36 am

Yes a more prominent link is a good and easy fix, a newsletter is something we likely should do. I can send it out to about 3,000 emails so maybe we can bring a few back in. Yes Ozzy I know there is a lot I could do on the homepage, content etc. basically I ran out of steam I did update it monthly for the first two years but got slack.

But some news feeds and maybe a blog type display would keep it more active. So:

1) Update forum (software & structure).
2) Start on newsletter.
3) Modify homepage to inc. news and blog feeds.

I can handle the forum update and will make some inquiries on getting a designer to update the homepage. A newsletter will need some volunteers nudge, nudge wink, wink. Any willing and able bodies out there??

Troy maybe Qld?
Ozzy maybe NSW?
Derick cooking?
Ponga NZ?

4 or 5 more and we could have something?
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Postby Komodo » Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:57 am

Can I just suggest if you are doing a newsletter dont send it any more regularly than quaterly even once every 6 months would be better (ie one around october/november (get people excited about going away over summer and get them to come to "camping.com.au" for tips and advice etc) and one around april/may (similar but more orientated around winter camping and "big trip" type camping as winter camping isnt as popular generally)

Activity_dept I think you wil find that once you have a large "active" member base you will get offers from businesses wanting to coem up with sponsorship / advertising. this is when you can hit them up for side bar banner ads etc.

Keep up the good work guys!
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Re: Updates

Postby GypsyLady » Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:10 pm

Activity_Dept wrote:Yes a more prominent link is a good and easy fix, a newsletter is something we likely should do. I can send it out to about 3,000 emails so maybe we can bring a few back in. Yes Ozzy I know there is a lot I could do on the homepage, content etc. basically I ran out of steam I did update it monthly for the first two years but got slack.

1) Update forum (software & structure).
2) Start on newsletter.
3) Modify homepage to inc. news and blog feeds.



I personally think items 1 and 3 should take priority.
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Re: Updates

Postby Troyk » Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:48 pm

Activity_Dept wrote:Any willing and able bodies out there??

Troy maybe Qld?
Ozzy maybe NSW?
Derick cooking?
Ponga NZ?

4 or 5 more and we could have something?
:+ :+


Happy to help.

Maybe we can link the newsletter back to some of the posts, like park review, gear guide discussion or technical chatter. Having a spotlight on products may get in the sponsors.

Again just suggestions. :grin:
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Suggestions

Postby Activity_Dept » Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:35 pm

Suggestions are always good Troy and appreciated. I will get a tech in here over the next week or so and see how we can put something together.

Yes gypsylady I think logistically 1 and 3 will be the first to get underway. Putting content together for newsletters does take time and energy but I hope to get the forum updated in the next few weeks the home page may take a little longer.
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Re: Suggestions

Postby GypsyLady » Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:30 am

Activity_Dept wrote:Yes gypsylady I think logistically 1 and 3 will be the first to get underway. Putting content together for newsletters does take time and energy but I hope to get the forum updated in the next few weeks the home page may take a little longer.


Thanks admin
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Re: Feedback

Postby will_deness » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:25 pm

Activity_Dept wrote:I am surprised that we do not have any parks or commercial suppliers looking to promotion their wares.

Do they even know we exist? Maybe if we emailed parks and distributors and requested their newsletter's and promos it would give the camping shop section a real boost and create a bit of buzz to the site. I would be happy to contribute by helping to compile the relevant email addresses probably starting with the park associations first, eg big4 and top tourist etc.
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Postby Komodo » Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:08 pm

Im pretty sure Park victoria have newsletters. But I dont know it they are state wide or park specific or region specific. It would be nice even if we linked to their PDF of the newsletter - or even if they allowed us to reproduce it electronically to host it locally (the parksweb site isnt exactly the fastest site in the west)

What about the parks like Big4? do they release newsletters? I think when Kel and I looked to becoming members they said something about newsletters (we were going to join when we were in WA as the big 4's parks onsite facilities were often better than some of the motels in certain areas)
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Postby will_deness » Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:31 pm

Komodo wrote:What about the parks like Big4? do they release newsletters?

I have no idea tbh, big4 and top tourists were just off the top of my head examples. I think my point wasIf we let them know we are here , what they do then is up to them.
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Forum Layout

Postby Activity_Dept » Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:23 pm

OK firstly here is a general layout of my wish list for the forum.

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pdAMjTynAYCqgECeqoqAmZA

Now I know your going to say its confusing and too many options.

Well feel free to rationalize but keep in mind what we want here is to attract this information and in a reusable format so we can draw on it for the website. So it needs to be categorized accordingly and even though some of the threads rarely get used hopefully if they are there they will slowly start to be used, if I exclude them people may just skip using them all together.

But give me your ideas, now I have not put any fancy names to them yet just the general title classification to keep it simple to start. So lets just get your feedback on the classifications first.

OK thank you all for your input remember this page gets updated every time someone changes it so if it gets any nasty or silly comments its not necessarily me :grin: ...
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Supporters

Postby Activity_Dept » Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:53 pm

In terms of support from the large park groups; believe me they know we are here but remember they all have their own forums, newsletters and members. To support us I assume they believe would only dilute their message and that I guess is fair enough.

I believe our support it terms of commercial groups will come from the National and Council parks, independents and hopefully shops like Anaconda, manufacturers like Jayco, Coleman etc. It will take time for the park groups and associations to see the benefits.

I believe our point of difference is that because we are independent, we provide unbiased information about all camping grounds; equipment etc. and that we are a site created for and by ‘the camping community’. So we hope to be the voice (lobby group) of the outdoor community not the voice of the industry.

In saying that we do not want to be considered on the other side of the fence from the parks, associations and industry bodies obviously we need their support and offer ours in terms of community feedback and promotions ‘we are still number one in the search engines under what we stand for ‘Camping’. Our objective is to service an area of the market not currently looked after by them i.e. you/us the happy campers.

So this is our direction, and we at Camping will attempt to provide the infrastructure (site) that can facilitate this and indeed grow the numbers to where we actually do have a say and some positive influence. But ultimately it is up to you to get involved and this is where we need the support to get the word out at a grass roots level (word of mouth). So if you can think of ways to grow the numbers with friends and relatives, email invitations to join, links in other forums, think of relevant news worthy posts to syndicate and publish etc. this is where we will build our numbers and gain some recognition and exposure for what we represent.

I will do some further work on a mission statement and put more focus on defining specific goals etc. and I hope you consider what you would like the site to be because I do believe the direction it is taking as an outdoor community group has the scope to grow and be a better representative of this community. But we need the support, ideas and volunteers to build the numbers and interest in the site.

OK there is my speech and as Komodo says I will get off my soapbox now.

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Re: Supporters

Postby Komodo » Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:42 pm

Sounds good.
As you say this site is the number 1 result when you google Australia "camping"

Look forward to seeing the mission statement.

Looks like the site has a lot of people who are prepared to help you to get this going well. Its a funny thing with forums once they actually start rolling its hard to stop them - looks like we are in for some great time ahead with a growing community.
I do love this site as opposed to many other camping / 4x4 based forums as it is "unbiased" so to speak in that it is not affiliated with any brands etc.

Activity_Dept wrote: OK there is my speech and as Komodo says I will get off my soapbox now.


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Re: Supporters

Postby Troyk » Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:18 pm

Komodo wrote:As you say this site is the number 1 result when you google Australia "camping"


I think to have an easy portal from Google is a real strength
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