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LouiseBeale - n/a
24-Apr-06, 10:03 PM
I would like to propose that this forum to be members only please, i.e. anybody can view it, but only members can post on it.



Advantages:

1)We can then be sure that we all have the common interests of the club at heart.

2)We can be sure that we know exactly who everybody is, no one can hide behind pseudonyms.

3)All participants would be paying towards the upkeep of the site.

[4) members might renew on time, rather than making me have to send out multiple renewal notices... http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_biggrin.gif ]



Disadvantages:

Can't think of any....

srn4 - n/a
24-Apr-06, 10:38 PM
I agree with a member only post system but vieweing to the general public should also be allowed; so long as there is somewhere for Jo-Random to ask questions about what they have seen the "members" descussing...From experience there is nothing more annoying than reading a forum and wanting to ask a question only to descover that you must be a member to post http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_evil.gif



And on a different note: when can those of us too lazy to write a cheque pay online? http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

tonybroad - n/a
25-Apr-06, 07:55 AM
Hi Louise



disadvantages:



this forum was of great benefit and motivation to me when i started to look into making a craft (well before i became a member)



my biggest concern is a new person thinking of joining / owning a craft won't be able to ask the questions newcomers ask which may dissuade them, they would also perceive us as a 'closed shop'



i'm happy to pay my membership and pay for this board for newcomers to access it - it costs no more whether people are members or not



the forum is well run and moderated (thanks to Andy & now Jamie)and any inappropriate postings are always dealt with promptly



also, it's yet another thing for someone to monitor, manage, amend, update, police and it's hard enough to get volunteers



with great respect



Tony

jar2 - n/a
25-Apr-06, 08:32 AM
Louise,



The answer to the concerns raised above may be to just change the way the forums are setup at present. The General forum could be available to non-members and the other forums made members only.



If we have members only formus I would expect (or insist!) that the any club committee meeting minutes are fully published (or even hold the meeting in a read-only club forum) in an attempt to directly involve ordinary members in the running of the club. In addition, I would also expect that nominations and appointments to committees are made by polling the entire club membership via the forum (just like this poll) - or is that too democratic http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_smile.gif



As has been amply demonstrated, the forums are an excellent way to communicate - they should be fully exploited to make the club run better.

LouiseBeale - n/a
25-Apr-06, 09:01 AM
Just out of interest the US club forum is a members only forum for posting, and any body seriously interested in hovercraft pays their membership fee to get the benefits of asking the members questions.



I don't agree with using the forums to officially poll the membership on club matters part. The way a democracy works is to elect a body to make the decisions. The more people you have involved in the decisions the longer it takes to make a decision and then nothing ever gets done. If anybody wants to be more involved in the running of the club they can stand for a committee, or even just bother to vote for the committee members, proxy votes are available.



I have included a poll on this post for my own interest, and if the poll agrees with me then I will take a proposal to the relevant committee and follow the formal channels of communication.



Regarding Tonys points, they are fair enough, but I really would like to find a way of stopping the sort of "negative mud slinging and general nastiness" (to quote another member who emailed me privately!) that is going on on parts of this bulletin board at present. In this particular case my suggestion would have avoided it.



Regarding online membership payment, we have to research the correct membership based shop software to use which is not as simple a task at it would appear to be. A couple of us have been spending time on this over the last 2 years, however other jobs have higher priorities I'm afraid.

Russ Pullen - n/a
25-Apr-06, 09:52 AM
I think thats an excellent idea - i vote for a closed forum for club matters.



As you say lou, if folks want to be involved in club discussions, then they should pay their money to join. I have no problem with having the club support open forums for new enthusiasts to ask questions etc, but club discussions should be kept behind close doors.

jar2 - n/a
25-Apr-06, 12:50 PM
Louise,

<table border="0" align="center" width="90%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td class="SmallText">Quote:</td></tr><tr><td class="quote">
The way a democracy works is to elect a body to make the decisions
</td></tr></table>

I would have to disagreee with that statement - electing people to make decisions for the voters is just a logistical solution to the problem of allowing everyone a vote. This is the 21st century - there is no longer any logical reason why every member cannot vote on every issue (if it can be managed by the TV industry surely it can't be beyond the HCGB?).



On the subject of proxy votes - I (and probably a lot of others) was completley unaware that there was such a system in the club (otherwise I would have used it!). In fact, the AGM literature specifies that only members present at the AGM can cast a vote.

<table border="0" align="center" width="90%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td class="SmallText">Quote:</td></tr><tr><td class="quote">
A ballot will take place at the AGM...... and is carried out by members at the meeting.


</td></tr></table>

Please tell me how the proxy system works for council and committee voting.

LouiseBeale - n/a
25-Apr-06, 05:55 PM
I cannot agree, John. I could spend the next week explaining myself further, but I do not feel that it would be constructive.



As for proxy votes, valid only for the AGM, all you have to do is contact the HCGB Secretary, plenty in advance, who will send you a form, which effectively gives another attending member your vote.

Paul Fitz - n/a
25-Apr-06, 06:16 PM
Louise, I have to agree with Tony regarding the complete availability of this Forum to non-members. I think it is important that the "General Discussions" takes place in the open and that the 'lurkers' who read the forum can join in when they feel ready to do so. Many of the posters to this forum started that way.



Your comment re: the HCA forum is a good reason for maintaining an open forum. The idea of having to pay for access to a forum that may or may not provide accurate or appropriate answers to questions will put many off. Like many others, I look at the HCA forums infrequently because I feel it slightly pointless if you cannot truly take part. Look at the HCGB forum members list and count the number of overseas guests (including some HCA members) who have joined our forum, I think this speaks for itself.



I do take your point however about the 'negative' aspects of the forum which occasionally crop up. A separate members only forum (read and write) would be useful. The moderators should have the power to delete posts or threads, move threads to the members only forum or lock out posters who abuse the system.

jon_curtis - n/a
25-Apr-06, 07:33 PM
cant you just vote by post?

BIGRACING - n/a
27-Apr-06, 03:26 AM
I also agree with Tony and his points. BTW, the statement about the US-HCA forum to be for members only is not entirely true. Same as the UK one, this forum is open to everyone. Only a very small part of it has a member discussion & documents section for Member-Only related activities. The document section includes available re-prints of certain Howernews articles, our bi-monthly club magazine. The discussion section has topics on things like Racing Class Rule Changes. Things that only members would be interested in anyway. The rest is open to the world, and that's the way it should be.



I consider myself an active member in both forums, and I very much enjoy the wealth of information that’s being shared among the people with this very special activity we have. Sure there are some issues that crop-up once in a great while. I think every large group has a few special-interest people. (...btw, I like how the UK forum has a racing and a cruising section)



There shouldn’t be anything that can’t be resolved peacefully by these great moderators we have. I also think they doing an awesome job in letting everyone know what's going on with the various types of racing before and during each season. The forum is the central place where everyone comes together. It should invite more people to become part of it, and not seclude them from behind closed doors.



HCGB Member #5554

GavinParson - n/a
27-Apr-06, 05:23 AM
Whilst early enquiries from newcomers can be dealt with on the forum, it becomes tedious when they carry on asking advice on every nut bolt and washer on here. We have technical advisers to deal with such queries directly. Furthermore the responses they may get on the forum may be contradictory and very often that advice comes from equally new craft builders who really have insufficent experience to offer advice.



Such queries ought to be dealt only by the experience members (scrutineers etc). Unfortunately most of them do not respond to requests for advice on the forum as it is not regarded as the official means of communication within the club.



And yes, there is a place for a members only forum.

lazza - n/a
27-Apr-06, 07:50 AM
It was a blessing as a first time builder to have a forum where there is so much experiance and knowledge available. The questions i had during my build i struggled to find over the net and it helped me alot to be able to get feedback and answers from "the experianced" people here. I read the forum here almost religously every day and it doesnt take to long in my opinion to work out who has the knowledge and who is replying just to get "user status" on the forum http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_razz.gif. I tend to lurk more than i reply mainly because i don't have enough hovercraft building experiance to confidently lead people in the right direction so i find it more benificial to sit back , read and learn unless its a question in my field of knowledge.



For people like me that live in another country and have no hovercraft club or even enthusiasts close by i would personally like to see at least the "general" section stay open to the public to ask and read questions without having to pay to become a member of a club that i will never be able to participate in unless i was to mount a 300litre fuel tank to my craft and attempt to cross the ocean http://hovercraft.org.uk/images/icons/smiley_icons/icon_biggrin.gif My craft wouldnt of turned out the same if places like here didn't exist.



My opinion and thoughts