Whither the Chairman?

Members Forum Miscellaneous Coffee Lounge Whither the Chairman?

  • This topic has 29 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated 9 months, 2 weeks ago by William Wyatt-Millington.
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    • #245720
      Paul Willis
      Participant

        I have been musing on the “Thoughts from the Chair” by Bill in the latest Newsletter.

        Bill asks “…the Forum on the EMGS website.  This is not being well used and I need to understand why. …  Any thoughts or ideas from the membership are always appreciated.”.

        The suggestion from this member is for him to simply try it.  First hand experience will inform him far more than a dozen emails.  Bill is a member of the EMGS and can post here, and I assume that a fair number of the Board members are as well.

        If they posted on here, they would have some idea of the challenges.  If they don’t post, well, that says it all…

        For what it’s worth, a Scalefour Society member made a similar challenge on that Forum last year:

        (Member name redacted) wrote:I think the Comittee is too far removed from the membership. I think that every member of the committee should be on this forum so as to see what the membership is thinking.

        (Reply, by a non-Committee member)

        The committee: viewtopic.php?f=65&t=1860#p14427
        President – Tony Williams memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=400
        Chairman – John Chambers memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=463
        Deputy Chairman – Danny Cockling memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=54
        General Secretary – Mike Ainsworth memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=862
        Treasurer – Chris Mitton memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=254
        Membership Secretary – Steve Carter memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=304
        Trade Officer (Stores) – Jeremy Suter memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=403
        Committee Member – Terry Bendall memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=189
        Committee Member – James Dickie memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=131
        Committee Member – Jeremy Good memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=735

        Seems that they all are if I have included all of them on the list. It would be a good idea to actually do some research (which requires effort) before you make such requests.”

        Bill is also a longstanding member of the Scalefour Society and is welcome to post over there as well 🙂   Then he can compare and contrast the ease of use of the two forums.  If any other EMGS member would like to do that, the Scalefour Guest Book is open to all, if you would like to ask questions.

        Hint: I know which one is approximately ten times easier to use, just because of the choice of software…

        Best,

        Paul

      • #245724
        Norwesterner
        Participant

          Hi Paul,

          As a committee member I am reading your post, so proving we do look at the Forum.  I’m not a regular contributor like yourself, and the question does still remain, why aren’t members using the EM Forum as much as Scalefour society members apparently use theirs?

          All things need to evolve, but it is only through people using the site and feeding back their (constructive) comments that it’s usability or otherwise will improve.  My understanding is that the software is a widely-used, industry-standard product, so I’d suggest is not likely per se to be an issue.  I know everyone has their ‘pet products’ or ‘pet hates’ with software (I’m no exception!), but being a small fish in a big internet pond, we use what is readily available.

          One thing we would like to draw upon is the expertise in the membership in developing and maintaining the website and specifically the Forum.  Would you be wishing to put yourself forward to help in this regard?

          Cheers,

          Paul

        • #245725
          Paul Willis
          Participant

            Hi Paul,

            Of course I’d be happy to help.

            One comment on what you say above. Reading is a *lot* easier than posting here. Yet again, I did lose my first copy of the message I posted in the Track topic. Fortunately I have learned to <CTRL+C> every time before hitting the Submit button, so it was just a waste of a couple of minutes re-formatting it and trying again. I have some suspicions on why in IT terms it is happening, but I won’t speculate.

            If some of the Board are reading, why don’t they feel motivated to post content?

            Best,
            Paul

          • #245727
            Norwesterner
            Participant

              Hi Paul,

              Many thanks for your offer of help, and I’ll pass it on to others on the committee.  I anticipate we will be in touch again shortly!

              Certainly losing your messages before hitting Submit is annoying and needs investigation.

              I can’t speak for the rest of the Board, and their motivation, but the Forum is predominantly here for the members to use between themselves.  I suspect board members are like most other members, who probably read it rather more than they write on it!

              Cheers

              Paul

            • #245729
              Trade Officer
              Keymaster

                I thought I would put my 2 pennies in here having been partially responsible for the introduction of the website and forum as is. The reasons for the choices have been explained many times both on the forum in the Newsletter. I also believe that it is more than the forum that is lacking use.

                However, having said that, the forum is not perfect and there are issues with it. Over the last couple of years I have attempted to improve it from suggestions made by members. I also started looking at other forum offerings as changing the app may improve matters. There were a couple of hurdles:

                1. It would need it’s own server
                2. It would need to integrate tightly with wordpress to avoid having to log in twice. That integration would be another 3rd party app

                So I came to the conclusion that there are 3 choices

                1. Choose a good forum app and build the web site around it
                2. Find a forum app that plays nicely with wordpress
                3. Improve what we have

                At this point I realised that I was neglecting my role as Trade Officer and so had to back off. I had a choice of becoming the full time web admin and stepping down from being the Trade Officer or remain as Trade Officer

                Paul (Willis) a question.

                What is your “speculative” reason for the non posting issue. Steve Young had a similar problem that, working with him I managed to pin it down to the spam filters (not connected to the forum software directly) objecting to some characters generated when copy and pasting from Word. A common problem affecting other professional apps.

                Having spent most of my working life in IT problem management, “speculative” suggestions often lead to concrete solutions. It may be that the filters don’t play nicely with the forum but without more than one  example of repeatable data it is difficult to raise an issue with the supplier as there may be other issues with the filters or the forum itself

                One final thought. The web site is more than the forum. My vision for the web site was always a repository of information. The forum does provide useful information as well as a way for members to share thoughts and so does need using and improving. Other parts of the web are woefully neglected and devoid of content. Again despite numerous asks for content e.g. the section Member’s Resources that was requested by several members but to date nothing

                Sorry it is such a long post but I feel this has gone on long enough. It does need more than the board. Your thoughts about the lack of board activity may or may not be correct but it also needs a small number of non board members to step up and work through what needs doing. Despite asking in the past no one has volunteered

                John

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                • #245743
                  Paul Willis
                  Participant

                    I thought I would put my 2 pennies in here having been partially responsible for the introduction of the website and forum as is. The reasons for the choices have been explained many times both on the forum in the Newsletter. I also believe that it is more than the forum that is lacking use.

                    However, having said that, the forum is not perfect and there are issues with it. Over the last couple of years I have attempted to improve it from suggestions made by members. I also started looking at other forum offerings as changing the app may improve matters. There were a couple of hurdles:

                    1. It would need it’s own server

                    I’m not a techy person (much) but is that really the case?  AFAIK, the Scalefour website and Forum are hosted in the same place.  I did know the name of the provider, but it eludes me at the moment.  One of the big hosting companies, anyway.

                    2. It would need to integrate tightly with wordpress to avoid having to log in twice. That integration would be another 3rd party app

                     

                    The Scalefour solution of the phpBB forum is totally integrated with the website.  There’s no need to log in separately to the Forum and (say) the Stores for members only, or the archive of newsletters.  I know that the main website is not WordPress based because I have admin rights and can tweak the HTML if push comes to shove (although there are more proficient people to do that than me).  The new website will be WordPress based though, and a fundamental is single sign-on.

                    And not one that kicks you out after a fortnight of inactivity, like this one does.

                    At this point I realised that I was neglecting my role as Trade Officer and so had to back off. I had a choice of becoming the full time web admin and stepping down from being the Trade Officer or remain as Trade Officer

                    Completely understandable, and speaks to the need to draw more deeply into the EMGS membership for the resources to maintain and grow a forward-looking platform for the Society.

                    Paul (Willis) a question.

                    What is your “speculative” reason for the non posting issue. Steve Young had a similar problem that, working with him I managed to pin it down to the spam filters (not connected to the forum software directly) objecting to some characters generated when copy and pasting from Word. A common problem affecting other professional apps.

                    Having spent most of my working life in IT problem management, “speculative” suggestions often lead to concrete solutions. It may be that the filters don’t play nicely with the forum but without more than one  example of repeatable data it is difficult to raise an issue with the supplier as there may be other issues with the filters or the forum itself

                    My speculation is that the implementation doesn’t seem to carry the logged in status properly from one place/page/status to another very well.  That may be down to cookies, or something more fundamental.  BTW, I don’t run any cookie blocker or anything like that.  Every month or two I do run a purge through Opera as my preferred browser, and live with the temporary inconvenience of establishing the necessary ones from my password safe.

                    This inconsistency of status would explain why the list of recent posts in the RHS column doesn’t match what you see when you go into individual topics.  The column on the right seems more “random” than “latest”, to be honest.

                    I run a pretty “clean” environment, W11, fully patched at least a couple of times a week for the security updates, no bloatware as it’s on a 32Gb Lenovo business-spec laptop, and I only keep what I need.  So I’m fairly confident that whatever issues I have lie within the EMGS website, and not my own environment.  Or put it another way, I don’t have the same challenges posting on any other forum, whether that is phpBB, Vuckle, XenForu, RMWeb, whatever.

                     

                    One final thought. The web site is more than the forum. My vision for the web site was always a repository of information. The forum does provide useful information as well as a way for members to share thoughts and so does need using and improving. Other parts of the web are woefully neglected and devoid of content. Again despite numerous asks for content e.g. the section Member’s Resources that was requested by several members but to date nothing

                    There is a certain element of “build it and they will come”.  There needs to be content to draw more content.  I was one of the first posters on this forum – for a while the person with the highest number of posts – but when there is nothing else being added, then the visits become more infrequent.

                    I looked at the Gallery earlier this evening.  No EMGS shows since Spring 2021?  That is what a visitor would think…

                    Sorry it is such a long post but I feel this has gone on long enough. It does need more than the board. Your thoughts about the lack of board activity may or may not be correct but it also needs a small number of non board members to step up and work through what needs doing. Despite asking in the past no one has volunteered

                    I do disagree about the participation of the Board.  Not because their modelling should be on show, but because unless they participate in the sort of activities that members do, their experiences and knowledge will only ever be abstract.  “To understand, walk in another man’s shoes”…

                    Best,

                    Paul <hitting CTRL+C before posting as usual>

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                     

                • #245733
                  Stuart Firth
                  Participant

                    I have to say I find the forum easy to use and never suffer from glitches or problems. It’s also better structured than the S4 one which has so many different areas that you’re bound to miss much of what might interest you. As to the Chairman’s question, I still don’t have an answer – are EM modellers more old fashioned in their habits than P4 ones? Are they all just getting on with it and building models? Be good to see the results of your efforts though, ladies and gents…

                    • #245737
                      Paul Willis
                      Participant
                        On Stuart Firth said

                        I have to say I find the forum easy to use and never suffer from glitches or problems. It’s also better structured than the S4 one which has so many different areas that you’re bound to miss much of what might interest you.

                         

                        Each to their own, or the world would be a boring place.

                        This is one very useful function that the EMGS function is missing:

                        Unread posts page

                        Both Western Thunder and RMWeb have the same thing as well.

                        To see unread content on the EMGS forum you have to go down each leg of the trousers.

                        And no, using the column on the right hand side of the home page isn’t the answer as I’ve found that inconsistent and/or not up to date.

                         

                        Best,

                        Paul

                         

                         

                        • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by Paul Willis.
                    • #245742
                      Bob Allison
                      Participant

                        Well, I know that at least one ordinary member has volunteered to help with the website and forum and is waiting to hear back from Chairman Bill about the arrangements for moving that forward.  Paul W makes a second one.

                        I agree with John that the problem, whatever it is, extends beyond the forum, and that the limited content in parts of the website is disappointing. The Board members alone cannot make for a lively and useful website, but I do feel that they can, and should, take the lead. Posting minutes of Board meetings and AGM’s, badgering the area group coordinators to post their monthly reports on the web and not just in the newsletter  – there is much that can be done to increase interest in the website for very limited extra effort.

                        An interesting suggestion I’ve heard from a fellow member is that the large number of data sheets published by the society may lead some members to think that there is nothing more to learn from the forum. I don’t for one minute think the forum is redundant, but I can see how some people may think like that.

                        Regards,

                        Bob

                         

                      • #245809
                        asjharris
                        Participant

                          As a new member, I’d like to offer two reasons why the forum isn’t well used.

                          1. If the numbers using the forum are very low, uptake will be low, how many members are using the forum v total numbers of members? It’s always going to be only be a low percentage of members using the forum, so if we are only talking 50 members using the forum, that’s always going to be a low posting rate. Figures need to be compiled compared to other forums. It’s not possible to simply say it’s the software, the answer lies in comparing numbers with other forums first off.

                          2. We are busy posting elsewhere! Western Thunder for example.

                          I don’t think the software is the problem particularly, no software is perfect and nor is the user of it!

                          Tony Harris

                          • This reply was modified 10 months ago by asjharris.
                        • #245811
                          Paul Tomlinson
                          Participant

                            I think Tony H. (above) makes two valid points. There will probably only be a small proportion of the membership likely to contribute – in the Gauge 0 Guild I would estimate that only about 5% of members post on their forum with any frequency. We do compare poorly, however, with Paul W’s Scalefour Society, which does have an established and well-supported forum. Does adopting P4/S4 require a greater modelling input, which might generate a greater thirst for guidance?

                            I think Tony’s second point hits the nail on the head. A number of established EM modellers will have already created a presence and following on other forums – there may not be much incentive to replicate their output on here as well? Like Tony, I have only (re)joined the EMGS relatively recently, so might be more inclined to visit here than the old hands.

                            To encourage greater uptake, I’d like to see more product-based content (what’s available from the Trade) and lots of photos from EMGS events. An extension to the printed Newsletter with no space constraints and the ability to interact. Cheers.

                          • #245812
                            Paul Willis
                            Participant
                              On asjharris said

                              As a new member, I’d like to offer two reasons why the forum isn’t well used.

                              1. If the numbers using the forum are very low, uptake will be low, how many members are using the forum v total numbers of members? It’s always going to be only be a low percentage of members using the forum, so if we are only talking 50 members using the forum, that’s always going to be a low posting rate. Figures need to be compiled compared to other forums. It’s not possible to simply say it’s the software, the answer lies in comparing numbers with other forums first off.

                              I can’t crunch the numbers for the EMGS forum, as I don’t see a way of obtaining the data.

                              But crunching the numbers for the Scalefour Society, since the Forum was launched there have been a total of 1,452 users registered to use it.  And of those 547 users have posted at least once.  So that is something over a third that have said “something”.

                              There have been a total number of posts of 93,096.  Or an average of 170 posts per user.  Of course, some of them like me post far more than average.  And the total number is in part because the Scalefour Forum was launched several years before the EMGS one.

                              2. We are busy posting elsewhere! Western Thunder for example.

                              I don’t think the software is the problem particularly, no software is perfect and nor is the user of it!

                              Tony Harris

                              And that is also a very valid point.  And some societies like 2FS and S Scale have their own areas on third party forums that act as gathering points for modellers, rendering the existence of, and need for, a society forum moot.

                              It’s really about what the EMGS and its members want from this facility.  And that genuinely isn’t a question I can answer.  From a purely personal perspective, I’m happy to post here to help members out.  But I wouldn’t post here (or on RMWeb after the Great Photo Debacle) if I wanted to document my modelling because I find the software unreliable.

                              Rather than just Bill and his editorial, and PaulS and his response here, are there other views that Board members have as to the purpose of this little corner of the internet?

                              Best,

                              Paul

                               

                            • #245824
                              Trade Officer
                              Keymaster

                                I have looked at the numbers around use of the EMGS forum

                                Since the forum started in 2016 (I believe) there have been 242 topics started and 994 replies to those topics (1236 posts)
                                There have been 137 unique posters of the above
                                Since 2016 we have had ~ 1700 unique users. We average ~1500+ users per year and some of the earlier users are no longer users

                                So based on 1500 users:
                                <1 post per user
                                ~176 posts a year
                                ~10% of the users have  ‘said something’

                                I think the above figures tell their own story. Why the low usage? I have no idea.

                                In terms of what I believe the purpose of the forum is:
                                It is part of the whole content of the web site in providing advice and guidance (e.g. complementing the Technical Papers,Track standards etc etc)
                                Enables members to share what they are doing
                                It enables members to get in touch with other members

                                The last (2?), however, has probably been taken over by the EM Facebook group run by one the Area Groups. This also allows non EMGS members to participate in chat about building in EM. I don’t use Facebook so I don’t have detailed knowledge of use etc

                                Anyway that is my two penn’orth for what it is worth

                                 

                                John

                              • #245837
                                Michael Bolton
                                Participant

                                  “We are busy posting elsewhere! Western Thunder for example”.

                                  What I do notice is that some people who do post on WT also duplicate their posts to RMweb etc and vice versa. Great to get the EM message out there but it isn’t done to the EMGS forum which might generate interest and replies and would be a logical place for EM modelling, presumably because of the lack of viewers/replies?

                                  Surely just as easy to post here as elsewhere with a cut and paste?

                                  • This reply was modified 10 months ago by Michael Bolton.
                                • #245839
                                  Bob Allison
                                  Participant

                                    … great to get the EM message out there but it isn’t done to the EMGS forum which would be a logical place for EM modelling, presumably because of the lack of viewers/replies?

                                    Surely just as easy to post here as elsewhere with a cut and paste?

                                    Completely agree.  It’s a shame that members are posting to other fora but not our own.  Perfectly justifiable a few years back when this forum didn’t allow pictures to be posted, but less so now.  Similarly, it would be really good if the Area Group that is running the EM Facebook group could persuade the contributors to post here instead.  Not everyone is happy to use Facebook.

                                    If there are particular reasons for using other fora rather than our own, then please let the society know (via this thread) and maybe something could be done about it.  We already know that Paul W finds our forum unreliable – is that a widespread problem?

                                    Regards,

                                    Bob

                                  • #245841
                                    Stuart Firth
                                    Participant

                                      I agree that the Facebook users are, doubtless unintentionally having a negative impact on the forum. I did post a complete loco build on this but it didn’t feel like anyone was reading it. For this reason I wouldn’t abandon rmweb for the emgs forum, but am happy to post what I do here as well – I just wish others would too! No reliability issues from my point of view.

                                    • #245842
                                      Paul Willis
                                      Participant
                                        On Bob Allison said
                                        Similarly, it would be really good if the Area Group that is running the EM Facebook group could persuade the contributors to post here instead.  Not everyone is happy to use Facebook.

                                        Hi Bob,

                                        Mention of Area Groups also reminds me of another source of interesting material – Area Groups.

                                        Rather than just restricting their updates to the back of the Newsletter, could the AGOs be encouraged to post here about their activities?  Make it more of an active commentary than a historical report.  Many of the Scalefour Society groups are active posters.  The East Midlands AG not only meets weekly, but posts a short update weekly as well.

                                        Not only would this create a bit of conversation and content, but it could lead to more members being attracted to attend in person as well.  Just a thought.

                                        Best,

                                        Paul

                                         

                                      • #245848
                                        Bob Allison
                                        Participant
                                          On Paul Willis said

                                          Rather than just restricting their updates to the back of the Newsletter, could the AGOs be encouraged to post here about their activities?

                                          Paul – absolutely!  It was one of the suggestions I made in response to the Chairman’s request for feedback.  I was rather hoping members of the Board would do the encouraging!

                                          And just so folks understand that I’m not all waffle and good intentions, the railway room in our new home is now almost habitable and I plan to document the construction of my new layout on the Forum. That’s a first for me, driven mainly by the need to get some new content here.

                                          Regards

                                          Bob

                                        • #245951
                                          William Wyatt-Millington
                                          Participant

                                            I am not going to defend myself, but I will say that I only use Forums if I have a technical problem: this is true whether it is an engineering problem I have at work or I need to clarify how to do something in the modelling word. I do not just trawl through forums just for the sake of it I do not have enough time in the day to do that.

                                            I have had a discussion with Frank Davies about the use of forums and I know he posts on RMWeb about the work he is doing on locomotives and Clayton. One outcome of that discussion is the question about the number of people who have access to a forum. Forums outside the EMGS umbrella are usually in the public domain and have a far wider audience then the EMGS forum.

                                            The unceasing comment I get from other Board members is the demographics of the society and the view that a majority of members are not totally computer literate. I am not sure that that is a true representation of the facts. However one thing that is true is that less than 50% of members have ever logged onto the website.

                                            The bottom line is that we do need to look at the website and tweak as necessary but we do need to keep the costs under control. I would like to think that this would be sorted by January when I step down as Chairman but I rather expect it will not. As I said in the Newsletter ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink’

                                            Bill Wyatt-Millington

                                          • #245952
                                            Paul Willis
                                            Participant

                                              The unceasing comment I get from other Board members is the demographics of the society and the view that a majority of members are not totally computer literate. I am not sure that that is a true representation of the facts. However one thing that is true is that less than 50% of members have ever logged onto the website.

                                              Hi Bill,

                                              I very rarely make direct comparisons with other societies, as in my personal view it simply isn’t fair.  But I will make an exception here, because it is an important strategic point for the whole of the Board.

                                              I had not long been co-opted onto the Scalefour Society Committee, so around 2009 or 2010.  We were discussing the Scalefour Society’s approach to its website, forum, and so on, and there were some people who even then (bearing in mind that the internet had already been in existence for some twenty years at that point) who didn’t see any value to it.

                                              It was the then-Chairman Jim Summers, who was aged around 71 at the time, who cut the discussion short by just saying “The future of the Society is on the internet.  That’s where our new members will come from.”  And so it has been the case.

                                              And when the more died-in-the-wool members of the Committee said what about those who didn’t use the internet, Jim’s retort was something along the lines of “Well, how do they book holidays, stay in touch with friends, and find things out?“.

                                              The moral is to look to the future, and not to the past…

                                              Best,

                                              Paul

                                              • #245955
                                                Paul Tomlinson
                                                Participant

                                                  Paul, I have to agree with your post above, and your final point regarding looking to the future – in order to ensure the survival and (we hope) growth of the Society.

                                                  Foremost in my mind at the moment is last weekend’s ExpoEM Summer in Wakefield. The show sounded great, and was rewarded with a decent turnout – but EMGS members were outnumbered (almost) 2:1 by non-members… I’m more used to these percentages being reversed, so as well as being pleased with the success, I am somewhat concerned by the adverse ratio and am left looking for reasons why…

                                                  Then as someone with a keen interest in what went on, I’m left disappointed that most of the feedback about the show has been obtained from external sites (as has been commented-upon by a couple of members elsewhere on the forum). If we are made to wait until October’s Newsletter, a lot of the “buzz” will have disappeared, and a lot of the “thunder” stolen. Bill the Chairman in the last Newsletter did express concern about the lack of member interest in the website and the forum – surely this is an example of one way to help rectify that situation? A couple of photos and a bit of chat from Pete Hill about his lovely “County”, for example? If we can get members enthusing about EMGS events on here rather than elsewhere, it might help increase overall online participation.

                                                  Cheers,

                                                  Paul

                                              • #246011
                                                Nigel Burbidge
                                                Participant

                                                  I guess I have to put my hands up and admit to being guilty as charged to posting quite regularly on WT, rather than here or RMweb.  Why?  I do find WT to be very easy to use and to post photos with no real limit to size.  It is easy to show appreciation of another person’s post by just adding a like (and that is quite an easy way for a poster to gauge reactions to their posts) and there just seem to be a sufficient number of people chipping in to help others out.  I find it much more friendly and modelling oriented than RMweb, which (with honourable exceptions such as Stuart) often seems to be populated by collectors rather than modellers.  I find the size limit a restriction here and, if I were to try to analyse it, suspect that might be a part of my reason to post on WT rather than here.  Or maybe, it’s just already hit that level of critical mass?

                                                  Nigel

                                                  • #246012
                                                    Michael Bolton
                                                    Participant

                                                      I suppose the answer is that on this forum is a section titled

                                                      “Links To Member’s Other Web Contributions”

                                                      yet nothing has ever been posted in it?

                                                  • #246016
                                                    Nigel Burbidge
                                                    Participant

                                                      Thus shamed I have just now tried to go into that part of the forum to post a link but sadly have signally failed because I can’t work out how to create a post there.  There doesn’t seem to be a form for creating any text or other input.  Any offers of help gratefully received.

                                                      Nigel

                                                    • #246017
                                                      Trade Officer
                                                      Keymaster

                                                        Hands up time.

                                                        I forgot to open it when I created it. By default new sub forums are created as closed

                                                         

                                                        Should be OK now

                                                         

                                                        John

                                                      • #246021
                                                        Nigel Burbidge
                                                        Participant

                                                          OK, broken the duck on that sub forum and posted a link to my thread on WT…

                                                          Nigel

                                                        • #246024
                                                          Dai Davies
                                                          Participant

                                                            Coming back to Paul Tomlinson’s comments about posting photos on our website: yes, I don’t understand how we can have layout photos from the show on other websites, but not ours! Our gallery shows that such photos were posted last in 2021—this does not paint a good picture for people visiting the site for the first time, or even for repeat visits!

                                                            Paul also made a comment about the show visitors being 2:1 in favour of non-members. From this I deduce that the non-members find out about the show from avenues other than our website. Btw, I am glad to see so many non-members attend the show: I just wish our website was more realtime to help keep them.

                                                             

                                                             

                                                            • #246032
                                                              Paul Tomlinson
                                                              Participant

                                                                Cheers, Dai. I went to Scalefour Crewe in early June, which was poorly attended – possibly due to the rail strike that weekend, or an aversion to travelling down the M62(!). Perhaps northern Scalefour members took the opportunity to stock up at ExpoEM Wakefield instead? MRJ No.297 was a good’un so I bought it – there was an excellent 2-page spread on our show, which can only have helped attendance.

                                                            • #246232
                                                              Duncan McGowan
                                                              Participant

                                                                At significant risk of being booted out of the Society, I have been unable to think of anything other than the entire website user experience which, if I’m brutally honest, is not optimal.

                                                                For example, I am often basically locked out and find the website totally unresponsive. I would say that this happens probably half the time, and I’ve tried different browsers with the same results. The image below shows the sort of error I get, with the developer console open. It seems to be a WordPress plugin issue.

                                                                When this happens, I usually just give up and do something else. But there is a debate here about forum usage. I’ve railed before about the general “look and feel” of the plugin used but I can live with this if the site, including the forum, is responsive (ie, doesn’t lag or freeze too often) and usable. Sadly, it often isn’t.

                                                                It may be that others just give up too. Could this be part of the problem?

                                                                Also, just a general suggestion, but could we have a members-only area where we can post messages about glitches we’ve found in the website or suggestions for improvements?

                                                                D.

                                                                • This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by Duncan McGowan.
                                                              • #246236
                                                                William Wyatt-Millington
                                                                Participant

                                                                  Duncan, please note that a new thread has been added to the Forum “Society Matters” sub-thread “Chairman’s Chat”. The first item on te thread is the website and the need to look at it afresh.

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