Jordan Addresses Concerns From Nudists About AANR
My last article Bill Schroer Goes on the Record About Being Fired by AANR sparked up a wonderful discussion and lively yet positive debate (YAY!!!). In the comments section, there were a number of points brought up by a few different people that I thought should be addressed all together in a new article. So now that the dust has settled a bit, I will address these additional concerns here one by one.
First, just to get it out of the way… Many have mentioned the lack of AANR participation in my coverage of this issue. I just wanted to let everyone know that yes, I did email with Beverly but she turned down my offer to be interviewed “on the record.”
I would have gotten Tom Mulhall of Terra Cotta Inn involved (he was the PR chair of AANR and was always willing to at least offer a statement) but found out that he was no longer their PR person (not even sure who is tasked with that these days).
So after approaching a few others, I was left with no official AANR voice which was sad, but not surprising. The problem was that AANR had issued a gag order and instructed their people not to comment.
Now, here are some of the main points / issues that people brought up.
Since I am no longer an AANR member, some people had said that I don’t have a right to talk about this issue.
While I am not an AANR member anymore, I do have the right to make my voice heard. Just like I have the right have an opinion about the NRA, I see no reason why this same logic would not apply in a field that I am very active in.
Some had said that I am just out to get AANR.
For the record, I am not anti anything. Not even AANR! AANR, in its previous cycle, has had many wonderful accomplishments. I just wish I could say the same about today’s AANR. But when they do, I will be the first (I hope) to point those out!
I do, however, have strong ideological issues with the way AANR is being run, managed and promoted as well as certain policies they enforce (not to mention the ones they choose to ignore). I am on the record for disagreeing with their forced membership policies, with the fact that they don’t force 100% AANR clubs adhere to 100% of AANR’s morals / ethics (as AANR present them), the fact that they are inconsistent with the way they treat clubs and so forth.
For those of you who are claiming that I am out to get AANR I would just like to say that if you would have read my coverage of the Bill Schroer issue, you would have seen that I spent a ton of time researching, keeping an open mind and doing my very best to pass along the facts as best I could. All this without any official help from AANR (though not for a lack of trying).
Why even bring up the AANR issue?
Since AANR themselves did not care to address or inform their members on the particulars, I only sought to find out what happened. Many YNA’ers are also AANR members and I for one, feel it is important for us and them to know what AANR is doing.
I chose to share those findings on our website because I am in favor of transparency. Aside from any issues you may have with me personally, if you did not like the issues in the article then you can take up your concerns with AANR – stop shooting the messenger and start focusing on the real issues!
Some said that I / YNA have not tried to help AANR.
For those of you who called me out for not supporting AANR let me just point out a few facts:
- For the last three to four years, I have been trying to get AANR to do a positive piece about their accomplishments and future goals.
- I have offered to help them with their online issues. The areas I felt I could really impact their organization would be the facets that pertain to AANR and the internet. It is no big secret that AANR has problems in communication, PR, marketing, online reputation, social networking and membership outreach. YNA also has a broader reach and I thought I could help AANR strengthen their base and even grow it.
- While I thought AANR would be happy to get any help they can, the responses I have gotten from them were less than enthusiastic. A few times they mocked my offer, other times they just said they appreciated the offer and would keep it in mind. I also, on a number of occasions, had to email them a few times just to get someone to email me back (an ongoing issue of theirs).
For those of you who may not know, the internet is where I thrive. I have worked along side companies such as google, yahoo and bing and even beta test their products when they ask me to. So when I offered to help AANR, I was a bit befuddled by their response. In the “real world” I could charge anywhere from $100 – $500 an hour for my opinion and yet, AANR saw no value in me or my opinion. So I just stopped offering.
And additionally: ‘YNA just uses AANR and AANR Clubs, but offers nothing in return.’
We have generated good money for different clubs and have never asked for anything in return. We also signed up a number of our members to AANR. During one of our summer gatherings we even had Jim from Juniper Woods (the president of AANR East at the time) give a talk about why he believes people should support AANR. We do what we can, when we can.
We offer nudist clubs to advertise on our site, yet very few see the value is spending the $60 / month. I find this odd because we have a highly targeted audience and if we were to charge $0.03 per click, we would be making a ton more money! If this were any other industry, we would be making a ton of money just from ad revenues (and we would never be charging such a minute amount).
We are currently helping one club develop a new website for a fraction of what it should cost and we do so happily. They see the value and we want them to succeed!
‘YNA just gripes but offers no help to the nudist community.’
Resorts and clubs are complaining about the decline in memberships and day visits yet they don’t seem to be willing to invest in growing their following.
If you ask me, the biggest culprits for why Naturism / Nudism is declining in the U.S. are the resorts and clubs. Many are not promoting their business and others are going about it in the most back-ass-wards way possible.
While they do have legitimate reasons for concern, they are not willing to pay for the time and work we do. A person’s time has value, especially if they are doing something for someone else. If nudist clubs are not willing to invest in the radically reduced prices we offer, then why should we help? Yes, we would be sad to see them go but we do need to eat.
And a side note about Nudism and the Internet:
I will keep hammering this message until people start to change their approach.
The internet is the cheapest and most effective way to grow any following. If you lack the skills or know-how then hire someone or ask us for help (and please don’t expect us to work for free – that would not be fair to anyone. Especially since many resorts still charge us their day fees even when we go just to write about them or even when we have events and generate a few thousand dollars for them while making pretty much nothing for ourselves).
So with that in mind, I am just saying that if organizations, naturist clubs and nudist resorts don’t start changing their approach, they will not survive. While they may lash out at X or Y, they really have no one to blame but themselves.
I hope I was able to articulate myself and address the biggest concerns that came about from the Bill Schroer/ AANR issue. That said, please comment and let me know if I missed anything.
This article about was published by Young Naturists and Young Nudists America YNA