First off, I apologize for not making my comments soon after this post appeared. Unfortunately for me I am traveling and have borrowed my daughter's computer to respond.
I am not speaking on behalf of the Executive Council but I am on the Executive Council and speaking my thoughts. Every year there will be some new form of communication that has instant response and is easier to use than previous forms. Currently we are seeing a lot of activity on the AOMCI Facebook page. It has advantages in some ways that may be better than using our discussion boards. I have no doubt that Instagram might well have other advantages. My concern comes from the financial standpoint in terms of maintaining a healthy organization that has an administration that oversees day to day activities, continues to publish a magazine and provides the necessary insurance that allows our activities to take place at public venues. Of course, that cannot be done for free. The attractiveness of the internet is users use it for free. Because it is free the numbers of "members" the Facebook page has is considerably higher than AOMCI's. If we factor in Instagram, there is then another magnet pulling people in that produces no revenue. At some point when our paid membership reaches a low number, we will cease our operation and there will be no home base for those interested in the hobby of old outboards. We already know that the Facebook site provides help and answers to questions without requiring a financial commitment and that satisfies people enough that they don't join the organization. While Facebook and Instagram may well create additional interest in the hobby, I don't see them creating membership in AOMCI. So far, Facebook hasn't caused a boost in membership.
Some might argue my point but let's take a look at the business world in its current state. Online merchandizing has had a huge effect on retail stores. Sears is closing many stores. With online merchandising if you have a problem with a product you have to jump through all kinds of hoops to get satisfaction. Prior to that, if you had a problem you simply visited the store, met with a sales person and got it taken care of.
If AOMCI ceases to exist due to people preferring free internet versus paid membership, the hobby will crash in terms of organized events and a base for knowledge. Organized events and chapter activities are what draw most of us into the hobby. I for one want more than simply a post on Facebook or a picture with captions.
Please don't take my comments as a negative towards Facebook and Instagram. They are wonderful tools for the hobby. But we have to keep the home base organization of AOMCI strong. Now, if you can tell me that your idea can generate paid memberships and how it would, my ears would be listening. I do need to say that use of any AOMCI name or logo is strictly forbidden without permission from the Executive Council. We would welcome your ideas if presented to us for discussion, but not on this board.