Author: Cornish, Rick

Ed Baker’s idea gets legs

Several years ago, when the CBA suffered its SuperGrass financial disaster, Association members came up with many and varied ideas for generating revenue to restore our fiscal house. We implemented many of the schemes and, happily, our reverses are back where they should be.

One idea not implemented came from our friend Ed Baker. Why not, he suggested, create ‘levels’ of CBA membership? The lowest level, that of twenty bucks per year, would remain the same, but we could have graduated higher levels…..e.g., silver, bronze, gold, etc….and this would allow members with greater means to support the Association more generously. After some though the board of directors chose not to take this approach; there was some concern that it could lead to a stratified bluegrass community. Something no one wanted to see.

But for a few of us, the general principle of providing a way for members who COULD pay a little more to do so seemed like a pretty good idea. Now, after six years or so, Ed’s idea has gotten legs.

Introducing the WELCOME CONTINUED PAGE SPONSORHSIP TILE PROGRAM. Great, you’re thinking to yourself, yet another way for the CBA to grab my money. But wait, hear me out.

Our CBA web site has, in the past eleven years, become an important part of who the California Bluegrass Association is. Each week we have several thousand distinct visitors to the site….and up to 9,500 ‘hits’ per day. We use the site to entertain, inform, advertise and, most importantly, to share with one another. Over the years the cost of maintaining has increase, (like everything else) and the way we pay these costs, (mostly .net programming costs) is to sell sponsorship tiles. You see them on our Message Board, (look up), the California Band page, the Online Calendar page and the Photo Gallery page. To learn how the sponsorship tile program works, visit

Well, beginning soon, we’re going to sell 16 tiles on the Welcome Continue page. This is the page Welcome column readers go to when they finish reading the first part of the day’s column and click on ‘Continue’. Because virtually EVERYONE reads the Welcome column everyday, this page receives a great deal of traffic. The sponsorships will work like those of other pages, but whereas tile buyers up to this point have been generally bluegrass venues, bands, recording studios and the like, we’re focusing the Welcome Continue tiles on CBA members. Have a look at to get an idea of what we’re talking about.

So, what would CBA member tiles be about? Here are just a few ideas:

--Ad for your business e.g., your electrical contracting company)

--Ad for your wanna-be business (e.g., Whiskey Creek Frame Company)

--Promo for your local jam

--Support for your team (e.g., Go Giants, Sharks, Dodgers, Lakers, Niners, etc.)

--Support for you favorite non-profit (e.g., Humane Society, Bee Keepers Society)

--A public pronouncement of love for you spouse, dog, pet snake

--A tribute to your favorite bluegrass band or American Idle contestant

And on and on and on.

Seventy-five bucks for 12 months and you can change the tile graphic as often as you like and link it to wherever you like. Think of it….you, the common man, or woman or kid….an actual CBA sponsor. For only seventy-five smackers. It’s a way for you to get your message out, whatever that might be, while ensuring that our CBA web site flourishes.

So, there you have it. Ed Baker’s idea was to offer to those members of the Association who can afford it a chance to contribute a little bit more than the $20/$25 annual membership. The Welcome Continue Page Sponsorship Tile program will accomplish that AND give the above-and-beyond contributors a chance to sound off.

To become the first on your block to reserve a Welcome Continued Page sponsorship tile, just email me at There are only 16 slots and when they’re gone, they’re gone.

What do you think, Ed, can we sign you up? What do you think, Ed, can we sign you up? You'll be a charter member of the WCST Program.

Posted:  5/28/2011

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