Have the needs of knife collectors changed?

Many of us are members of different knife clubs and organizations- I am a dues-paying member in three myself. Knife organizations played a prominent role fostering our hobby for many years. They connected collectors, provided collectors a sense of belonging, provided news and organized knife shows, to name just a few examples of benefits offered to their membership.

There is an interesting editorial by Bruce Voyles in Knife Illustrated this month on the subject of knife organizations. It is entitled, “Are Knife Organizations Getting Left Behind?” and while he doesn’t delve too deeply into the subject, he does put it on the table for us to consider.

In it he recounts the history of how collector associations and clubs formed. Then he leads up to today and calls the leaders of these organizations to examine their mission and practices in order to appeal to today’s collectors.

And pertaining to these organizations meeting the needs of today’s collectors, he added-

“The future of knife organizations is only that of decline and eventual dissolution unless they discover some 21st-century relevance.”

*****

Now I must ask- “Did the needs of collectors change or were the organizations so busy working in the business of running the organization that they failed to work on the business- staying abreast of changes (technological advances/collector habits and lifestyles) that would benefit or negatively impact the organization?

Here is an interesting stat on this subject from a survey of the membership of iKnifeCollector.com, an online collector community.

member profiles- members of knife orgs

In case someone wants to scoff at this stat as skewed data because “only young people use the web and online collector communities, and they aren’t members of associations anyway,” well, the average age of the iKC membership is 39.55 years old and that’s close to about half life.

If that statement is true, on the other hand, and “young people aren’t members of knife organizations anyway,” there may be a clue for these orgs to get back on track, wouldn’t you say?

If  today’s organizations do attempt to appeal to this younger collector profile- some things are gonna have to change- that much I can say.

Stats can be interpreted differently. So in fairness, the above data either means the majority of today’s collectors don’t feel the need to join these orgs (for whatever reason) or the iKnifeCollector community has successfully reached the next generation of knife collectors who have yet to join the traditional knife organizations.

This brings us back to our original question- “Have the needs of knife collectors changed?”

What do you say?

The survey data represented in the chart is from iKC’s membership as of 9.02.09.

Advertisements

Knife Collecting, Knife Talk and the World Wide Web

In our recent post about knife forums- Knife Talk is Alive and Well – we pointed to the tremendous activity level of Knife Talk on the World Wide Web. It is interesting to see the sheer number of posts and replies posted on each knife forum.

You probably know CNJ started a Best Knife Forum of the Web poll that is running for the month of November. There is no doubt Knife Forums are the most popular knife “place” to go on the web.

Couple of interesting observations since we started the friendly contest. As of today, there have been almost 2000 over 3250 (11/11/08) 4500 (11/13/08 8:00 AM) 5664 (11/13/08 7:00 PM) site visits from the buzz at the various participating forums.  

forum de tous les couteaux

NeoCZen.org- Le petit affuté: forum de tous les couteaux

Something else happened too. We know the Web is worldwide and a French Knife Forum has joined in and started pounding the “Other” category. I felt it was only fair to add them to the list. Their name is NeoCZen.

Unfortunately, I only speak Southern, so you should have seen me trying to sign up as a member of their forum to let them know they were added to the list.

Google has Google Translator. I had to translate the instructions and “buttons” sentence by sentence. Then once I finally got registered I found the thread and posted “Votre forum a maintenant été ajouté à la liste. Mes excuses. Désolé pour ce désagrément, mais venir voter à nouveau, si vous le souhaitez. Bonne chance”

You know how funny it is to hear stories about words being translated and how they can have totally different meanings than are intended, well, hopefully I didn’t say something like- I like to eat dog or something stupid like that.

Published in: on November 10, 2008 at 10:43 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,

Knife Talk is Alive and Well

It is a beautiful autumn morning here in the heart of Dixie and as I think about important topics for collectors, I can’t help but focus on an interesting phenomenon taking place 24/7 among knife enthusiasts.

One of the very healthy by-products of the Word Wide Web is Knife Talk. While the Web brings us “together,” it is the sharing of ideas, debating topics, and meeting and getting to know other collectors that is really cool.

Hear the Buzz at the Knife Forums

Today, the best venue for Knife Talk on the Web is online Knife Forums. And if you take the “seeing the forest” perspective, there are a lot of healthy conversations going on. While I dare not attempt to illustrate the point by counting threads or topics, allow me to say- take my word for it. Knife Talk is alive and well.

If you are not a participant in a knife forum, allow me to encourage you to stick your head in and just listen. Don’t worry about whether or not you have to post, or reply. Far and away, the clear majority of folks simply read and that is just fine. 

Knife Forum Reviews

Coming up here on CNJ will be a review of knife forums. We will be looking at them from a bird’s-eye perspective- the number of members, the range of topics, the forum’s web-page ranking (overall popularity compared with other non-knife websites) and who each particular forum appeals to.

Published in: on October 25, 2008 at 9:32 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,