Celebrating the Fourth Anniversary of the
Discussion Group Listís Launching

December 1, 2008

Today we celebrate the FOURTH ANNIVERSARY of the launching of this discussion group on December 1, 2004.

It was a tough decision back then, but one that was necessary -- and I had some very good advisors:  Dick King, Skip Meisch, and Hobie Davidson.  We worked over the phone and by e-mail for hours, for weeks, until we got it right and everyone was satisfied; then I put it online. Who knew then that it could grow to what it has become?  We weren't sure I wasn't making a mistake; wasting my time and money to get it up and running.  But we all agreed that it was needed and worth a try.  I am all that remains from among them.

You can read more about its genesis at the links below if you want, so I don't need to belabor the details of its history.

First Anniversary Celebration
Second Anniversary Celebration
Third Anniversary Celebration

As I stated back then and continue to in the introductory page for signing up:

"This list is intended for and dedicated to that Catalina 22 sailing community across the country and around the world.  Itís a place to meet and discuss mutual interests in our boats and exchange ideas concerning their restoration, maintenance, improvement and seamanship.  Here we freely discuss all aspects of owning and sailing our boats, and continue our camaraderie."

Going forward into its fifth year, I think we've kept that spirit alive.

What would this celebration be without the statistics? So they follow. (Yes Dick King up There, I'm still obsessive/compulsive, buddy, and always will be!)

As list owner/adminstrator since the beginning, I feel that I should go through this exercise each year to determine where we are and where we're going -- evaluate whether it's worth putting in my time and effort.  It tells me if others find it of sufficient value for me to continue keeping it going.  My conclusions will be found at the end.

Welcome to Year Five of this discussion group, and may many more follow.

My special thanks to Kerry Miller for taking over administrative duties for me while I was away on my extended-extended rain-drenched cruise up to Casco Bay last summer; for keeping this discussion group going smoothly in my absence.

(Data compiled as of Nov. 30, 2008)

List Service Providers over four years (going into Year 5):
Channel1.com;  Meganet.net;  currently, Mystery.com

Total new applicants vetted, processed, and subscribed --

First year:  315
Second year:  177
Third year:  122
Fourth year (2008):  84
# applicants vetted, processed, and subscribed (4 years):  698

# of active member-subscribers, end of Year-1:  221
# of active member-subscribers, end of Year-2:  251
# of active member-subscribers, end of Year-3:  268
# of active member-subscribers, end of Year-4:  288

Total List Traffic (individual messages) --

Over 43,000 messages have passed through this list since it was launched:  I've archived them all since the trial-runs in 2004.

2004:  255 (first month -> 2005)
2005:  12,106
2006: 10,989
2007:  10,077
2008:  9,978 (as of 11/30)
Average messages per week, 2008:  207
Projected 2008 Total:  10,763

Current countries represented --

Australia:  4
Canada:  11
Chile:  1
Denmark:  1
France:  1
Great Britain:  1
USA:  268

Countries once represented, members since unsubscribed --

Australia:  [6]
Canada:  [10]
Germany:  [1]
Great Britain:  [2]
Netherlands:  [1]
Scotland:  [1]
South Africa:  [2]
Sweden:  [1]
Switzerland:  [1]
USA:  [386]


First List Sponsor:  January 1, 2005

Individual List Sponsors to-date:  126  (of 698 subcribed over 4 years)

Number of individual contributions (from the above 126):  194

Contributions 2005:  62  -  (from 58 individual Sponsors)
Contributions 2006:  53  -  (from 47 individual Sponsors)
Contributions 2007:  46  -  (from 35 individual Sponsors)
Contributions 2008:  33  -  (from 33 individual Sponsors)

$ Amt. increase/decrease (2007->2008):  [-30%]
# Contributions increase/decrease (2007-2008):  [-13]
Individual Sponsors increase/decrease (2007->2008):  [-7]

NOTE:  In previous years some Sponsors contributed more than once.

List Sponsors vs. current member-subscribers -- 2006:  19%
List Sponsors vs. current member-subscribers -- 2007:  13%
List Sponsors vs. current member-subscribers -- 2008:  11.5%

Last year on this anniversary date, in my celebration announcement I listed the ten most recent List Sponsors. Through their generosity and interest, Sponsors help me keep this discussion group going with their voluntary contributions.  This year, with the number down to only 33 of them, below is all of this year's List Sponsors:

Bayard Gross - "Baby Blue" - 1/9/2008
Robert 'Wes' Iiames - "Miss Spent Youth" - 1/13/2008
Bob Sparks - "Petite" -  1/16/2008
Marc Robertson - (none yet) - 1/21/2008
Jon Larson - "Cat's Paw" - 1/22/2008
Stephen Dailey - "Reminisce"- 1/25/2008
Jason Mercer - (none yet) - 1/29/2008
Robert Wilson - "Los Milagros" - 1/29/2008
Paul Hellings - "Dolly" - 2/3/2008
Jon Hubertz - "IV Play" - 2/7/2008
Kent S. Kokko - "Surprise" - 2/7/2008
Rich Fox - "SeDepecher" - 2/9/2008
Wayne Manske - "Nauticat" - 2/10/2008
Chip Embrey - "Rainy Day" - 2/12/2008
Ken Maynard - "Boy N Sea II" - 2/14/2008
Jimmy Lotufo - "Olde Bourbon - just add water" - 2/16/2008
Thom Thysell - "Sandpiper" - 2/19/2008
Greg Nelson - "SOBB TOO" - 2/22/2008
Glenn Warner - "Goblin" - 3/11/2008
Miles Ashley - "Dragonass" - 3/12/2008
Pete Skalski - "Liberty Pass" - 5/12/2008
David Landry - "Ni Modo Oho" - 5/16/2008
Thomas Jay Holz - "CjAndeai" - 6/18/2008
Robert Bemben - "Jib Dance" - 6/28/2008
Chris Butler - (none yet) - 6/30/2008
Juan Prieto - "Day Dream" - 7/13/2008
Bob Rayner - "Pooh" - 8/20/2008
Bob Miller - "Miller Lite" - 8/21/2008
Rick Miller - "Gotta Fly" - 8/22/2008
Barry Cammack - "Lone Star" - 8/29/2008
Robert Borelli - "Thar be Little Dragons" - 9/22/2008
Steven Morgan - (none yet) - 9/26/2008
Jon Golliher - "Happy Daze" - 10/18/2008

My thanks to those 33 member-subscribers who sent a contribution during the past year to help carry the burden of keeping this list alive, and to the others who've contributed in past years to bring all of us this far.

Conclusion:  As usual at this time when I put all these statistics together each year, I can't help but wonder:  Do only 11.5% of the 287 current subscribers feel that this discussion group offers some value to them -- down from 13 percent last year?  Do the other 254 really feel it has zero worth?  It's discouraging to find this trend sliding steadily downhill instead of rising.

During its fourth year, this discussion group grew from 268 active subscribers in 2007 to 288, a net increase of 20 member-subscribers. During 2008, and despite the net growth -- with eighty-four new members signing on while sixty-four dropped off -- voluntary contributions declined from 46 (from 35 individuals) down to 33 (from 33 individuals) -- an all-time low; only about half of the number of back in 2005.  This trend is disheartening, and inevitably unsustainable.

Let's hope enough of us will keep this list going through 2009.  A couple of weeks ago I paid the $200 bill to Mystery for another year's service, so that's pretty much assured so long as the interest remains -- both yours and mine.  If we get that far, then we can hope for another year after that, perhaps.

Personally, I find this discussion group of great value, as I'm sure many if not all do.  Contributions come in various forms, and the information, experience, and advice available here for the asking is priceless (not to mention some of the great deals and outright gifts that enrich one another which are offered regularly).  I'd be lost without my daily fix, and know many others feel the same.  (Frankly, I could live with being only a subscriber, not list administrator; I must be getting old!)  Let those of us who find value in these friendly exchanges and trove of advice keep our fingers crossed for the future!

So today we celebrate -- our C22 Discussion Group is still here and working; it's made it through four uninterrupted years of providing service to the Catalina 22 sailing community and a connection among friends and fellow sailors, and without a single security breach!

We've now crossed into Year Five . . . let's see what it brings and hope for the best!