Notes from the new guy

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Notes from the new guy

Postby dbwilldo » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:31 pm

I know I'm the total new guy here. I have noticed a few things.

#1. The newsletter page on the website hasn't been updated since '08
#2. The links page on the website is full of dead links. The 3 DMC members that are linked up no longer have sites at those addresses, for example.
#3. Almost every section of the forum has at least 1 sticky topic that is more than a year old, no longer relevant or both.
#4. From what I can tell, the gallery hasn't been updated since 2008.
#5. The Facebook Group is hidden
#6. The entire membership capture process appears to be broken. I almost thought I was going to have to use morse code to communicate with the club and pay with chickens and goats.
#7. Not logged in to the message board, I have access to the complete message board memberlist, but not to all of the sections of the board.
#8. I haven't been able to find out who the club officers are or find a copy of the by-laws.
#9. BBCode doesn't work on this message board correctly and it appears this version of phpbb is outdated by almost 7 years.
#10. Finding out about new events is horrible. Usually it's because I've been lucky enough to stumble across someone else's mention of an event that I find out about it.

These are just observations. I'm guessing none of it is a very big deal since there appears to only be a dozen active members (in the Phoenix area) and I haven't seen anything happening to recruit new members or retain the current members.

Again, this is all just notes from the 'new' guy.

If I'm honest, this is one of the most user-unfriendly and unenthusiastic clubs I have ever run across. It's difficult to join. It's difficult to get on the message board. Facebook screwed up the group feature so that doesn't work very well any more, not that it matters because it's a hidden group anyway.

Some of you know that I'm a little more enthusiastic than most and my involvement with the MINI Community started back in '02 when I helped to start SCMM. I like being part of the MINI Community and I like my parts of the MINI Community to be kick ass!

I don't want to take over the club. I don't even want to sit on the board. I DO want to help out where ever I can. I can help with the website. I can help with the message board. I can help with suggestions. I can help with marketing and member retention. I can help out anywhere help is needed. Hell, I'd even suggest a run if I knew who to suggest it too.

I want to help. Who can I talk to about that?
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Response from an old guy

Postby SilverNewt » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:20 pm

From the old guy that used to be a major part of things...

I know I'm the total new guy here. I have noticed a few things.

#1. The newsletter page on the website hasn't been updated since '08

>>There has been a change over the last couple of years. There were no gigantic content-filled newsletters done for that period, now it is a calendar/newsletter that is going out bi-monthly, I agree that the page should be updated to link to those.

#2. The links page on the website is full of dead links. The 3 DMC members that are linked up no longer have sites at those addresses, for example.

>>There is current work being done to totally update and replace the DMC page

#3. Almost every section of the forum has at least 1 sticky topic that is more than a year old, no longer relevant or both.

>>I was never really in charge of anything forum related, I agree that theses things need attention

#4. From what I can tell, the gallery hasn't been updated since 2008.

>>Very few people used the gallery, it definitely is old and outdated

#5. The Facebook Group is hidden

>>This was by design to be members only, there is/was a fan page that was supposed to be kept updated and used for outreach to non-members

#6. The entire membership capture process appears to be broken. I almost thought I was going to have to use morse code to communicate with the club and pay with chickens and goats.

>>At the time, it was thrown together by people pitching in without much experience in these things. Yes it is kind of a pain to do the form and then do the Paypal. I do think this can be done better and hope that the new website/page will integrate this in a more seamless way.

#7. Not logged in to the message board, I have access to the complete message board memberlist, but not to all of the sections of the board.

>>I am not very message board savvy but I know that the different sections are set up to be Guest/Member/Chapter driven. I believe it goes like this: Guests see/can post in only General. Registered Users can see all and only post in General and Registered sections. Members can see/post in all sections.

#8. I haven't been able to find out who the club officers are or find a copy of the by-laws.

>>The board members and phone numbers are listed on every newsletter. There is a link to the by-laws from the Join page.

#9. BBCode doesn't work on this message board correctly and it appears this version of phpbb is outdated by almost 7 years.

>>Again, I have not had much to do with the technical side of this and agree that someone should be place in charge of keeping this code up to date. I know that in the last couplle of years the slow migration to Facebook has really affected the amount of posting. I probably have not been on the forum in 6 months at least.

#10. Finding out about new events is horrible. Usually it's because I've been lucky enough to stumble across someone else's mention of an event that I find out about it
.
>>Again, the Forum, FB DMC Members and DMC Fan pages should be updated along with the calendar function on the DMC main site. I don't know who is in charge of these things anymore. I personally would like to see a weekly email again.

These are just observations. I'm guessing none of it is a very big deal since there appears to only be a dozen active members (in the Phoenix area) and I haven't seen anything happening to recruit new members or retain the current members.

>>There are DMC cards that are available to all DMC members which allows us to tag other MINIs we see in our travels. I always have a few in my car. These are usually available from any board member or chapter chairperson. The car show and other social events are also helpful. When I was co-chair, I tried to choose locations in high-traffic areas where parking was able to be seen from the street. This was helpful in randomly bringing new people to us as well.

Again, this is all just notes from the 'new' guy.

If I'm honest, this is one of the most user-unfriendly and unenthusiastic clubs I have ever run across. It's difficult to join. It's difficult to get on the message board. Facebook screwed up the group feature so that doesn't work very well any more, not that it matters because it's a hidden group anyway.

>>I wish you would have seen us in our prime. I know that I have been lax in attendance and think I burned out a bit as I was a Chapter Co-Chair and Board Member for over 5 years combined. I was very hands on and OCD about a lot of things: Postings, Newsletters and weekly emails to keep everyone informed and excited were the way I chose to lead and the membership grew rapidly. I wish I could have continued but tiings have to change. I believe the newer people in charge are doing things to the best of their abilities and for whatever reason the some/many of the members are the type where nobody wants to be in charge yet everyone wants things to work. We could discuss this one ad infinitum... Suffice it to say that I enjoy 90% of the membership and respect those that choose to put themselves out there into leadership.

Some of you know that I'm a little more enthusiastic than most and my involvement with the MINI Community started back in '02 when I helped to start SCMM. I like being part of the MINI Community and I like my parts of the MINI Community to be kick ass!

>>I agree with you and hope you continue to speak up. I also hope that the current leadership asks for input and you give it, because you probably have a lot of great ideas.

I don't want to take over the club. I don't even want to sit on the board. I DO want to help out where ever I can. I can help with the website. I can help with the message board. I can help with suggestions. I can help with marketing and member retention. I can help out anywhere help is needed. Hell, I'd even suggest a run if I knew who to suggest it too.

I want to help. Who can I talk to about that?


Thanks for posting this DB and thanks for being a member of this great club aspiring to be even greater!

Happy Motoring,
-Scott Michalak
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Postby danjmcs » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:29 pm

DB brings up some new and old concerns that have been talked about at numerous meetings over the last couple of years but just haven't been acted upon or been completed projects, such a the upgrade of the website and integration with social media, etc. I can say it hasn't been from a lack of trying, effort or concern that things needed to be changed, fixed, upgraded.

On a personal note, since 2009 I've chosen to step away from a lot of direct involvement with planning of the club but have tried to help on the back-end of things where/when possible and with planning some events.

Unfortunately life has simply changed for myself and a lot of those core members from when we joined back in 2005 and so the club has become a little more fractured from my perspective. I still see the enthusiasm in the club, its just different. Some of that view is certainly because we dont attend EVERY event like we used too, so I know some of that has also been self-created.

Clubs change as the membership changes, simple as that.

Echoing Scotts post DB, thanks for bringing these things up, having a member give a fresh look is a good thing and is definitely welcomed.
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Postby dbwilldo » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:30 pm

Thanks Scotty & Dan.

I just want to help. I really don't care why it's broken or who broke it. I just want to help fix it. My largest concern is that I don't think anyone has any interest in fixing it. And that's cool too. I just wish I would have known that before I bothered to join.
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Postby SilverNewt » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:57 pm

dbwilldo wrote:Thanks Scotty & Dan.

I just want to help. I really don't care why it's broken or who broke it. I just want to help fix it. My largest concern is that I don't think anyone has any interest in fixing it. And that's cool too. I just wish I would have known that before I bothered to join.


I sincerely hope that what I highlighted is not true.

People, let's take DB up on his offer and soon!

-Scott
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Postby 66Cooper » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:58 pm

I think it is awesome that you want to help. I don't make it to Phoenix that often so I don't know what events you attend, but I would suggest you approach a DMC Board member or chapter officer and let them know what skills you have to offer. I know we always need more help and very few willing to actually follow through, you seem like you really want to help and could be a great asset. Even if you don't want to hold an office you could be on a committee (or be a committee).

If you aren't sure who to talk to up there, send me a PM and we can discuss your ideas and who to best approach.
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Postby dbwilldo » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:56 pm

Thanks Barney.

But, at least from the info that I can find, you are on the list of 'who I need to talk to about this' as being one of the club chairs.

Or is the information that I have not correct?

I really get the feeling that broken is the preferred method of operation for you guys. That's cool, like I said before. I'm just trying to help.

And I guess my reputation does not precede me. I'll have to work on that and check back to see if there is any interest at a later time.
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Postby 66Cooper » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:43 am

dbwilldo wrote:Thanks Barney.

But, at least from the info that I can find, you are on the list of 'who I need to talk to about this' as being one of the club chairs.

Or is the information that I have not correct?

I really get the feeling that broken is the preferred method of operation for you guys. That's cool, like I said before. I'm just trying to help.

And I guess my reputation does not precede me. I'll have to work on that and check back to see if there is any interest at a later time.


I hope my answers to you on Facebook were taken better than the one here. I just thought that you might like to have a person who was already working on some of the issues you brought up, and was also closer to you as I am in Tucson and not sure I could address all of your needs and specifics as there seemed to be more going on than I know about.

I am sorry if I didn't address your concerns in a way that you needed me to.

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Postby Gottoon » Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:29 pm

All great points DB... The forum was the place to get info back in the day. I barely remember going a day without visiting. Now I haven't been on here in forever. I pop in from time to time to to see whats up. We visit facebook and have discussions and the back end has fallen apart.

I don't live around the area anymore but I keep my membership active and I am willing and ready to donate any time I have to any project the board wishes to work on when it comes to.

As a very active member and a former chapter co-chair I would like to call on the board to start a project to correct the 'brokenness'. I think it needs to be an open committee and project that includes the membership. Not that I am poking at anyone but I know these things have been discussed and 'worked on' in the past. But things never seemed to make it to the membership about it. I also understand that the board was created so members don't have to 'deal' with the 'business'side of the club. But that business in this case effects how we as a group look and function. It was all about recruitment and getting our name out there from the beginning.

We are a great club and we should show it in everything we do so those doubters of us being the best have nothing to stand on.

Just the two cents from the 'remote' club member.

:)
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Postby Gottoon » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:10 pm

As a specific idea... Lets toss the tapatalk plugin on the forum!! Makes this a simple easy to manage mobile app accessible forum. Not a huge deal to install in the phpBB either. Yeah the app isn't free for the end user but there may be some great rewards to giving that level of mobile access.
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