Reply To: The Forum

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Duncan McGowan

    Hi John

    Being an old timer myself it hadn’t occurred to me that there might be a collective aversion to using the website, let alone the forum. Which is odd, as other forums (fora?) seem to target the same sort of demographic while being very lively.

    I mentioned the software because (and this is just my opinion) it seems so basic when compared to other platforms. You only have to look at RMWeb (apart from the crazy advertising) and Scalefour to see what I mean.

    I have had access issues to the site. Yesterday it was very slow and then, for almost a day, I had no access (“Server Not Found”), which I suspect is a dodgy DNS record on the provider’s server.

    As for suggestions, I’m not sure. The site itself, to me, doesn’t seem finished – for example, there is barely any news and none at all in the Area Group section, which is entirely empty – but this doesn’t explain the 66% of members who have never logged on. I don’t know how to solve that problem, other than doing some digital marketing (which I know nothing about!).

    I think, if I were pressed, I would suggest streamlining the website and removing everything that is not finished (the EMGS Modelling Resources section for example) or little used (eg, the forum!) so it is easy and pleasant to use. I would update the Store so that;

    • each product has a description and a good size photo (many have neither). Some products are completely baffling to me (eg, a pack of 12 Brilliants – Red)!;
    • there is a note against out-of-stock items so we know the status of the product;
    • find another courier, as Evri is the same disaster as Hermes was!

    I would also do this – IMO the Society Newsletter is seriously good and far better than your everyday “newsletter”. In fact I value this most about being a member. Would it be possible to index it, so members can find articles of interest via the website which, at least for me, would be a serious help (as well as entertaining). There are some little gems buried deep in these publications, such as Keith Smart’s conversion of a Class 17 in the January 2010 edition, and which aren’t separate Manual Pages. It might take a while to do but I think it might be very useful and might also encourage more visitors.

    With sincere apologies for blathering on for so long…