I have just sent this message to all members:

Dear All

I have always believed that this concept could have a great future. Claire Seaman who has also been very active in trying to get it going has the same belief.

This Ning site which was to be the basis of UKFBA with other activity developing from it is currently too inactive.

There is very little interchange on the site, which is due mostly I think to having too few members and too little visibility.

What it needs I think is a new start on LinkedIn which has great visibility, maybe continuing this site as a resource.

This needs someone with the time and motivation to organise it all and it also needs someone or some people to pay the annual fees for this site of £169 which Lorna Collins originally paid and I have recently paid. These will shortly be up for renewal.

Regrettably I do not have the time to try to make it work and really do not want to pay alone.
I have tried to find someone else to run it and have spoken to a number of people but in no case has this been successful.

Is there someone else or some organisation who would be prepared to take it over?

Is there someone or some organisation who would be prepared to take over the fees?

Let's start a dialogue going on the site to try to solve this problem but if we do not get a solution quite soon then I will close the site before the annual renewal date.

Many thanks indeed for all your interest in the past and I sincerely hope that a solution will materialise with your help.


Peter Thornton

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Comment by Peter N Thornton on April 26, 2012 at 18:17

Yes, the conversation is on tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m.. I sent an e-mail to everybody on 17th April and have just sent it again having ascertained via Doodle that the 27th would be the best date. I hope that everybody else received it.

I hope to talk to you all in the morning. Nobody has sent their Skype address to me so I would appreciate receiving these.


Comment by Mike Pretious on April 26, 2012 at 17:46

Hi Peter. I hope all is well with you. Is the proposed Skype conversation early tomorrow still happening? Neither Claire Seaman or I have heard anything from you since my last comment here well over a week ago. We are happy to participate, but it would be more sensible to do this at a time when others are also available and can join in. I do appreciate - and it is the same with us at QMU - that for those in academia this is a very busy time. Please let us know, as if there is merit in postponing the conversation our schedules may change! I will try emailing this to you as well. Mike

Comment by Mike Pretious on April 16, 2012 at 18:46

I've indicated my availability for a potential Skype conversation in the next couple of weeks via Peter's 'Doodle' message. Mike.

Comment by Peter N Thornton on April 16, 2012 at 17:35

I will join you in on the Skype call via the phone number that you gave - 01952 815322. Will this be satisfactory? Peter

Comment by Caroline Stanford-Billington on April 16, 2012 at 16:00

Unfortunately I don't think we have Skype available here.

Comment by Peter N Thornton on April 12, 2012 at 15:18

To all those who have commented on this post and offered to help.

Is it possible for us all to get together now on a Skype conference and agree a way forward for the UKFBA? If so if I can have everyone's e-mail address then I can send a 'doodle' message to all asking each to nominate a suitable time. If you wish send me an e-mail message so that I can collect your addresses that way.



Peter Thornton

Comment by Peter N Thornton on April 1, 2012 at 8:57


Many thanks for your comments, your commitment is very welcome.

I think that you are quite right that sufficient traffic is not attracted to this type of site although I don't see why it should be less attractive than a normal website but certainly I agree that a social media platform should be more successful.

I think that a lot more traffic could be attracted to this site if SEO was attended to which it never has been.

I take your point about LinkedIn and it has been my view for some time that a LinkedIn site could be used for attracting traffic as the site itself certainly seems to do that but still have it linked to this existing site for more serious discussion and for access to a large database of helpful information to all parties involved with family business. The problem about this is that this level of subscription to Ning does not include the provision of database facilities which the next level (Pro) does. That costs £399 per year as opposed to £169. That level also includes many other facilities which would enable the site to be much more interesting and attractive.

My own plan and those of the others involved has been for some time to use this site to build membership online, involving all other family business organisations, on a subscription free and non commercial basis until it reaches the stage where individual local physical branches could be formed.

It will be an organisation that links all parties involved in family business for the purpose of mutual assistance and advice and thus help the success of all parties.

I agree with you about the development of the Facebook site which is freely and easily available to all whereas LinkedIn, although large is a much more limited membership. Facebook could be used to link through to this existing website which at the higher subscription level could become really useful.

We shouldn't abandon the idea of a LinkedIn site though but it depends on having enough people available to make the best of it, again whilst keeping this as the 'base site'.

I am delighted that now people are coming forward with offers of help. In my opinion what is needed is firstly, someone, some organisation or groupings to first of all pay this higher level of subscription. Secondly it needs people who are motivated to make this idea work to share the burden of really developing this site the Facebook site (taking your suggestion) and maybe a LinkedIn site. This would take time and determination but I am sure that it would be worthwhile.

I have suggested that we should wait a couple of weeks for further interest and offers of help to develop and then have a Skype conference to agree the way forward. I hope that you would be able to join in with this.

Comment by Mike Pretious on March 31, 2012 at 17:36

I've been meaning to add a comment since Peter's email to members.

I'm not as heavily engaged with family business as my colleague Claire Seaman is at QMU, but would certainly be willing to assist with site maintenance and development of the organisation where I can.

I think a big issue is whether you can attract traffic to this type of site, as opposed to a formal website or a more frequently used social media platform. It depends on what one is trying to promote or develop, which I think in the case of UKFBA requires some thought.

Personally, I'd like to see the Facebook side of UKFBA developed, as this can be linked to easily by all of us who use that site for personal connections. I appreciate that it is less formal, but that has some advantages. I've reservations about just migrating contacts and discussion to LinkedIn, which to me is more about developing career networks than anything else, which may not suit UKFBA members.

However, do please keep me and the Scottish connection in the loop in terms of moving things forward.



Comment by Peter N Thornton on March 30, 2012 at 16:42

I hope that you two could make it, that would be a great start

Comment by Caroline Stanford-Billington on March 30, 2012 at 16:29

I will be in Norfolk on holiday the week after next and could probably find time for a short meeting with Louise if she is available. I could take a detour on Tuesday 10 April (a.m.) or meet Thursday evening (12 April) or possible Friday a.m. (13 April).

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