Sully - glad to have you back on the board. Thanks for the kind words, but wait till you see the incredible stuff people have been contributing! I'm gonna need to take some time off the day job just to catch up. Breathtaking images from the Margaree, hand built driftboats from the Deschutes River Oregon, more true artisans and their skillful crafts - not to mention our own grassroots writers guild for members to join. Although a little quiet right now the two-handed rod project is going strong and we should get our hands on the blanks soon.
And the best is yet to come - Bob Veverka's fly pattern articles, building and testing new rods WE designed and built, discounted hard-to-find and/or clearance merchandise, engaging directly with fly equipment companies for testing and demos, and of course conclaves. Who knows where this will go? It all depends on how far members take it.
It will be important to understand more and more how to engage members and provide returns for their contributions to the Forum. This is where sponsorship comes in. For right now, I think everyone understands that it's the donated contribution of our members that brings things forward. It sure is bringing things forward right now! (THANKS!) I'm deep in the red too, believe me - but I believe that judging by the two weeks we've been 'on the air' that there's a big potential for the Forum and it's members to have some fun and get something back for it. A key next step will be to bring in commercial sponsors, but I hope we never resort to quivering animations and banner mania. I'd prefer to ask a company to purchase a fine art piece or a hand machined reel (from one of our artisans) and donate it to our fund-raising auction (for instance) in exchange for our dedicated appreciation, approval and advertising value.
We can always offer member discounts for great stuff and use the proceeds to compensate contributors or pay for things that make the Forum better for the members.
But I digress, the point is there is so much potential here and the possibilities grow every day. To be honest, I am a bit overwhelmed by family life, the day job, and my passion for this site at the moment. Hopefully we can all pull together and make a place on the web that we can call ours, and we can be damn proud of!
Thanks to all and I look forward to what we might achieve!