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The Portland Hiking Meetup Group Message Board Odds and Ends › Merrell Newsletter

Merrell Newsletter

A former member
Post #: 2
OK Everyone, I'm new, and have yet to be able to make a hike. That being said, I think my opinion should be heard on this. This company is sponsoring us. That means that they are paying to have their name on our home page, and I don't think it was totally outrageous to send us an offer through our own newsletter. They did not harvest our emails, it was sent out through the groups meet-up system as a link. No violation of privacy or anything like that.
Claudio, first delete all the emails from those who did not have the courage of conviction to include their names in correspondence about this. Then, before revoking the sponsorship, ask the rest if they are willing to make a group donation to cover those expenses that the sponsorship would cover.
You're doing a great job of helping to provide us all with a great venue to enjoy favored activities, and I'd say some people need to relax and accept a few inconveniences (such as taking 2 seconds to hit a delete button) or step up and make the difference in group finances that giving up the sponsorship provides the group.
Sage McVahle
Jessica B.
Yacolt, WA
Post #: 63
I agree Sage and thank you for supporting Claudio in this. I think it would have helped if the sponsorship had been explained to the group before sending out the email (setting the context) but overall, I don't think Claudio did anything wrong. So many folks who join this group don't seem to consider that only the money of organizers and those who choose to give at meetings and only the time of organizers and asst. organizers goes into making this group work. Nothing else - no corporate sponsorship or federal grant and definitely no payroll. This is essentially a free service to everyone who uses it and kudos to Claudio for finding a way to pay for the site without asking all of you for money.

To all those folks who had a problem with the email, consider this: what have you done to make this group run? Have you contributed any money? Have you led any events? If not, then I don't think you have any right to berate Claudio for finding a way to keep this group going. And if you do either or both of those things, you definitely have the right to your opinion - but be nice!!
A former member
Post #: 4
I didn't mind the email.. I even read it.
And if you really are going to cancel the sponsor (I don't think you should)
I as well would donate towards the cause of keeping this site running.

Thanks for your efforts.
A former member
Post #: 48
I agree. It's good to have sponsors especially a company like Merrill that is fairly supportive of the outdoor ethic. I looked at their website and they have a section devoted to what they are doing to support conservation and other causes.

Groups like Portland Hiking can benefit from sponsors and it'd be hard to find a better fit than Merrill and other good outdoor gear companies.
A former member
Post #: 3
A former member
Post #: 3
Claudio - I was on of those that just did not care and left the newsletter alone. Big deal- if you do not want to read it delete it and move on! Sponsorship is important, jeez folks relax
Group Organizer
Hillsboro, OR
Post #: 32
I have to side with Claudio on this. I've been a member of this group almost since it's beginning, and have seen a lot of changes and growth in the membership. Claudio's done a great job keeping this group going and growing. It's not an easy task, and if you don't like some of his decisions, remember his intent is what's best for the group. There's always going to be a wide diversity of opinions and ideas of how things should be done ( as the hike leaders saw at our meeting in January). Sponsorship isn't a bad thing. But if you don't like it, don't make it personal toward Claudio. Everyone's welcome to express their opinion, but like Jessica said, "be nice".
Mark M
user 12445972
Vancouver, WA
Post #: 9
I agree with Sage. This website is not free. The organizers and hike leaders spend their own money to pay for it and volunteer their time. Getting an advertisement every now and then is no big deal. The delete is so easy to hit. This is life on the internet now. There is no free ride in life....
A former member
Post #: 172
I agree with having a sponsor. I have seen so many of my Meetup groups being abandoned by the organizers because when they ask for help to pay the site's dues (it's NOT free!), everybody or almost everybody turn their heads another way and pretend they didn't listen.

And we are talking about Merrell here! it's a very reputable brand.

There's 2756 members of this group at the time I'm writing this. If Claudio still has to pay himself for the site dues, then we need to pitch in.

To Claudio (and the rest of the organizers):
Congratulations for doing such a great job with this group.
Keep it coming.

user 6564426
Portland, OR
Post #: 148
I'm in the minority that would rather pay a couple bucks and year and not have advertising. I am so sick of corporations trying to build a brand through social media. I'm here to hike and socialize, not to head to a Merrell retailer near me, try on some stupid shoe and enter some stupid competition. My photo meetup group has an annual membership fee of $5 (easily paid on line) which far more than pays for the meetup fees. The cost of the web site is trivial when spread over the membership.

Now with that said, I'm a big fan of Claudio and all he has done for this group. I have no qualms with him running this group as he sees fit. I'm guessing that imposing a membership fee would be too hard to manage for a group of this size.

Off topic somewhat, I think Meetup sold out long ago when they started advertizing. I'm still bitter about their recent web redesign and their general incompetence. If I was a zillionaire I'd design a competing system that charged each member a modest flat fee each year and had no concept of sponsorship or advertizing. Sadly, I'd probably lose money because people like to get things for free.
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