Message board for leaders and members wanting to coordinate an activity
Would be great to have a space where leaders could put up an activity idea and find out if other leaders might be interested in joining up for key swaps, car camps, etc. Leaders could ask for anyone's recent experience with a particular trail or trailhead. On the same space, members could put up a trip that they'd like to do and see if they can interest a leader in doing it; barring that, to find other members who might like to do it privately.
The idea of creating a member forum was identified as part of our Vision 2022 strategic planning process, and did not rise above the line for investment in this strategic plan (as voted on in our town hall conversations and online ranking survey). We would love to create better social functionality within our website. Having folks use unmoderated Facebook, etc. pages does create fracturing within the community and does not always best represent The Mountaineers. Creating an online place for people to build community and connect with one another remains on our list of long-term plans. Building the platform for this type of social interaction is quite expensive (we’ve looked into it) and would require at least one additional staff person to moderate and manage. When we have enough resources available, we will make this a priority. Likely in the coming 3-5 years.
Michael Everett commented
We already have a forum site that works in Tacoma Sea Kayaking for at least 5 years. We use a Yahoo groups domain, and open participation to anyone in any chapter interested in kayaking. It didn't cost anything to set up, and requires almost no maintenance. "Moderators" accept applicants, and participants can opt out of the email server if they wish or remove themselves from the list at any time. We can store trip photos, documents, and send out notices of upcoming paddles/clinics so someone doesn't need to go looking for info on the Mounties site. If we wanted a site only for leaders, it would be easy enough to set one up.
Ronald Jones commented
At one time I believed a clubwide forum was a great idea and something we really needed. The OMSK Committee began using a google group in 2005. And I used to express to club leadership back then that we needed a clubwide forum.
After managing the google group for the past 13 years and being part of many other forums and social sites, I’m now of the opinion that it may notbethe magic bullet I once thought it was. And that I think most would believe it to be.
It’s been my experience, in every forum, social site and list serve that I’ve belonged to, that it slwYs comes down to the same “10” people actually creating content and following discussions. 20 is an arbitrary number. My point is that it always comes down to a few. The thought that the entire Mountaineers Sea Kayak community will magically subscribe and participate is, in my opinion, not realistic.
Specific forums might work, but those too. Will only be populated by the most passionate.
Frankly, I don’t have time to engage in yet another forum. I suspect many others feel the same. People engage in their favorites, whether that be email, FB, Twitter, various forums.
Case in point. I subscribed to both Slack and Basecamp. And what I see is a select few engaged with the majority on the sidelines. No way to tell if those on the sides even look at the information. I think the same would happen with a club sponsored forum on the Mountaineers website.
The base camp worked good for the summit because it was a project limited in scope and time. So maybe the same for a club version.
I don’t even go to the Mountaineers site to look for trips. At least not frequently. It’s too combrrsome. If anything, we first need a way to subscribe to trips so we know when’s new one has been posted.
And I don’t agree with the comment about encouraging private trips via a club forum. That will only exacerbate that issue, where people meet in the club and go off and do their own thing. Just let that happen on its own without wncotlraging it. You can’t stop it. OMSK actually does not allow adhoc trips via our group because we want those trips posted to the web for all. And it becomes much harder to regulate non-leaders from leading under the umbrella of the Mountaineers.
What I see working the best for communication across branches is for chairs to regularly communicate and the summit. Maybe a 6 month check in, not quite summit would help build community and keep folkscin the loop. True community is built in person much more effectively than virtually.
Just my nickels worth of comments.
Bill Coady commented
I concur with most of the comments going back to 2015 in this discussion. I think we need a method. Would be nice to be within the actual Mountaineers.org website rather than a separate application (like BaseCamp, Slack, etc.).
Charlie Michel commented
We do not have one cross branch means of communicating with our fellow kayakers. We all have our individual silos.
John Green commented
The ability to communicate cross branches for community wide issues, clinics, seminars and programs is lacking. Having a message board or similar would help overcome this problem.
Becca Polglase commented
This idea has come up in climbing and sea kayaking. As we move more towards cross-branch activities, and more and more information thrown at people, we need a way to have channels that people can opt into. For example, a PDW channel for kayakers across all branches, or a Leadership Development channel for cross-branch discussions. Here's one example that could be easy to implement: https://www.websitetoolbox.com/forum/features#custom
colin corbin commented
Provide a newsfeed similar to popular social sites like Strava or Facebook that let you see what fellow members have been up to., post pictures, trip reports, etc.
Also provide the ability for people to connect and coordinate 'private climbs' and other activities
Right now there are Facebook pages associated with each branch that don't appear to be Mountaineers-moderated. They are private groups that serve as a surrogate for the Mountaineers site because the site does not provide social capabilities.
The impact of this is that it drives people away from the club's site, fractures the membership and encourages cliques, and forces people into using social sites like Facebook in order to fully participate. Basically it creates a 'shadow club' that is not managed by the Mountaineers.
Editorially, there may be discomfort with the idea of the club providing social capabilities because it encourages private climbs versus open club climbs. My POV is that most Mountaineers participate in private climbs anyway - there's a place for both open and private climbs. Ultimately climbing and connecting fellow members should be the priority. By encouraging interaction on the Mountaineers site, I believe you will increase interaction and opportunities for everyone, and as an organization we'll collectively have better insight into the activities and needs of our members.
David Geeraerts commented
The Mountaineers needs a discourse instance [https://www.discourse.org/].
I work at Evergreen State College and we use it as the "forum" engine for "Greener Commons".
Shawn Awan commented
Add: Message board associated with an event for coordinating carpooling and Q&A (like they have in Meetup.Com)
Andrea Corage Baden commented
a bulletin board to link up with activity partners (climbing, hiking), sell gear etc
Michael Everett commented
The Tacoma Kayak group uses a Yahoo users group (firstname.lastname@example.org) to promote upcoming training and paddling events. The system works, but it only reaches those people who have requested access to it. It would be better if the system worked for the entire Mountaineers kayaking community within our own system.
Chris Williams commented
From the 2/7/15 Sea Kayak Summit. Create more platforms than the "Shared activity resources" folder on the website to facilitate more dialogue and communication among people with common activity interests. For example, the climbers, kayakers, scramblers, snowshoers, trail runners, etc. etc. could each have a forum to discuss things in.