Administrative / Plan / 10
Retailer Participation
Two types of membership entities are planned. In addition to individual LEGO enthusiasts, retail stores and virtual storefronts will be allowed to join LUGNET as a separate entity type. On their member homepages, they can list relevant information such as location and directions, telephone number, store hours, product line coverage, news about sales or promotions, words about how they differ from other stores, and so forth. In the Community Map, retailers will show up as a different type of house or building. Retailers are welcome
     Membership of retailers will be limited of course to those who do carry LEGO products, but will not be limited to those who carry only LEGO products, and will not be denied to those who have no online presence. Although it would be nice if every retailer took orders online, a great deal of value can be added to the community with any sort of participatory retailer list, since LEGO enthusiasts like to shop around and learn about sales in their areas. It is expected that retailers who join this online community will have a decided competitive edge in their area, since, from their point of view, their participation in community serves them as a form of targeted marketing. But participation is more than just placing a cyber-business card online. Good retailers will interact with the community in meaningful ways and will establish trust and loyalty in the community. Plus, members can share their retail experiences using community message boards, retailer guestbooks, and specially-designed opinion polls. All of this will, hopefully, allow smaller, family-run toy stores to continue selling LEGO products instead of continually being squeezed out by large-volume department stores and mega-toy superstores. And are encouraged to participate
     This is a good place to state that LUGNET will not become overrun with banner ads from retailers. As a site by fans for fans, most banner ads will in fact come from fans themselves who wish to spread the word about their own sites, similar to the manner in which Cool LEGO Site of the Week currently handles banner ads from fans. In any case, the display of banner ads will be an individual choice. Whether the default is on or off remains to be decided, but any viewer will be able to shut them off if they so choose. Banner ads can be turned off

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