Latest News: Find out what's been happening Read more

Latest News: Mending Our Mountains Read more



Discussion Forum - Web-site development - How much did this web site cost? (and was it worth it...)


Posted: Mon 19th Jun 2006, 12:39
Joined: 1986
I cannot say I noticed this thread before but I thought I would bring it up to the top with a couple of points

Firstly has the original poster had the answer to his question re costs (I saw £8K set up but I am unsure of running costs)

Secondly to Matt re comparisons with the FRA (of which I am also a member). FRA is a much better site, active, vibrant, informative. There is no reason why this cannot be the same. To do so you need a better bulletin board than this one and to make free/open access. However on the point of the diary of events, the FRA does not make their calender available to anyone, you need to subscribe to the FRA to get the paper copy.

Someone else made the point re full user names and date of joining. I do wonder what the idea was behind that and whether (conciously or not) the originator of that idea was a long-standing member and took pride in his joining date. It does imply a bit of seniority, although I must admit I have seen no evidence of that, just a gut feel.

I am not afraid to put my name forward but most forums allow an alias to be used if you wish and there are a lot of merits about that.

For instance if I had done a local group walk on Saturday and an issue had come up that was quite generic, speed, length of breaks whatever and I wanted to raise that issue on this forum then anyone reading that message would be able to guess which group I was with and the post becomes critical whereas the intention was to promote discussion.

Enough from me

PS I recced a walk with the West Yorks sec on Saturday and have nothing to complain about bar the fact that he is much to slow a walker for me. Only joking Mr Ward but I think I am safe on here with a low traffic forum.
Posted: Thu 9th Feb 2006, 11:58
Joined: 2006
Hi everyone

Firstly I am a new member, thought i would give it a try having thought about it ever since you had a stand at the outdoor show two years ago.

Are there any member profiles ?

Why is there not a general forum for everyday chat ? Somewhere where new members like myself can introduce themselves !

I agree the feel & look of the forums is not good, being on several others they are more lively, but then is this because everyone in this group are busy walking & not sitting in front of a Pc.

I could understand the age thing & not being Pc literate if we were the Ramblers but I undersatnd that this group has a much lower average age !
Author: Garfield & Helen Southall
Posted: Thu 5th Jan 2006, 21:47
Joined: 1991
Local Group: Merseystride
I appreciate the concern raised about the delays in collecting subs caused by a problem with Direct Debits but Reg's figures are way too high since only a small number of people were affected - 247 to be precise. Nevertheless, we are still sorry the problem occurred.
Author: Garfield & Helen Southall
Posted: Thu 5th Jan 2006, 21:37
Joined: 1991
Local Group: Merseystride
I set these forum topics when the site was launched and would be very happy to have some suggestions for new ones - I'll post this request elesewhere as well. As for the cost of the web-site this is in fact a misleading discussion, since there are a lot of facilities that are not visible to members and are used by committee or local groups reps. Similarly, we have yet to introduce some features to the general membership which I've not had chance to release. I should add, though, that the few negative comments I've had here should be offset by the, literally, dozens of ones of praise.
Author: Ian Koszalinski
Posted: Wed 4th Jan 2006, 14:01
Joined: 2004
Local Group: High Peak
if you are worried about the LDWA not getting your money because of the problems of direct debit then pay by debit/visa card
Author: Janet Chapman
Posted: Tue 3rd Jan 2006, 21:53
Joined: 1984
Local Group: Surrey
We are told the web-site cost £8000, but how much has it cost the LDWA to own the site. There has been nearly one years delay in collecting Direct Debits, interest on some £35000 at say 4% is £1400. Repeated Direct Debit mailing, four times I think, for 3500 members at say 30p makes another £4200. No membership renewal reminders, which in the past recovered some 300 members, another £3000 or so. And so it goes on making the true cost of the web-site well in excess of £16000 (not the £8000 we are told)
Author: Janet Chapman
Posted: Tue 3rd Jan 2006, 21:52
Joined: 1984
Local Group: Surrey
Julie, far be it from me to curtail any discussion of the wider issues you introduce but, I would suggest, not in the topic 'How much did this web site cost? (and was it worth it...)' of the 'Web-site development' section of the forum.
Posted: Fri 16th Dec 2005, 23:23
Joined: 1982
Julie. Thank you for your answers on this page but is it not time that we had an input from other members of the national committee, maybe Garfield could find a few minutes to tap in some words of wisdom. As for me: The wife and are off to see Lord of the Dance at Blackpool on Saturday and on Sunday I will be in my old Haunts of upper Geltsdale no dobt getting wet trying to cross New Water.
Author: Matthew Hand
Posted: Fri 16th Dec 2005, 10:05
Joined: 2001
Local Group: Mid Wales
That's a very honest reply Julie. I don't think members particularly want to knock the ldwa, but if they are unhappy with anything in the organisation then the website is the obvious place to air and discuss views (for those with access), it is no different than on one of my fishing club sites, which is also a members only site (membership about 7,000 and probably same age range)but far more lively than this - and it includes a great deal of criticism of "the committeee" !!!

Perhaps before setting up the site we could have had a simple questionaire enclosed in one of the Striders, to give an overview of what members wanted and expected? But that is history now, we have what we have - but doesn't mean it can't change for the better in the future.

If you want 'wet underfoot' come up to the Reservoir Roundabout' in the new year - it's probably the last one after 40 years of sterling effort from Nev Tandy. Matt.
Author: Julie Welch
Posted: Fri 16th Dec 2005, 8:58
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
Geoff, I couldn't agree more, and I can't see that changing it would take a lot of doing.
Author: Julie Welch
Posted: Fri 16th Dec 2005, 8:56
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
David, I think that's called Sod's Law. Anyway, I'm hoping for a completely dry Christmas because the Stansted Stagger is on Jan 2 - very fine event with an excellent route description but when the weather's wet conditions underfoot are made extra interesting by Essex mud. The clay soil clings to soles adds what feels like an extra 2 kilos to each foot.
Author: Geoff Saunders
Posted: Fri 16th Dec 2005, 0:41
Joined: 1972
Local Group: Merseystride
Could it be, Julie, that the site is too structured? The section headings ("Events", "LDWA ideas", "Web-site development", "Local Groups") hardly invite members' experiences or chit-chat do they? Try adding a fifth, general, heading and see what that brings in. Or do away with pre-ordained headings altogether and let members put their own headings on new threads.
Posted: Thu 15th Dec 2005, 23:24
Joined: 1982
Julie. For the first time that I can remember I have a job where I am able to get both a Saturday and Sunday off work together and ever since I got the job (same firm as I have worked for, for 32 years different job) the weather up here has been bloody awful apart from the days that I could not get out walking due to family comitments, when it wass great.
Posted: Thu 15th Dec 2005, 21:52
Joined: 1981
I agree with Antony. The last web site cost nothing and offered in many cases more than the new one. The only addition I see is the members forum and a shambolic future events page. What has happened to the hill walkers register details or am I looking in the wrong place?
Author: Julie Welch
Posted: Thu 15th Dec 2005, 20:49
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
Matt, I'm hardly likely to say No since I was a committee member at the time it was commissioned! But I'm certainly making use of it and I enjoy posting to the forum though, as I've said before, I find certain elements of the format slightly oppressive and wish it had a more light-hearted feel and lots more banter and ordinary chat, instead of people going on and on about what's wrong with the LDWA. No one seems to talk about what's going on in the wider world - for example, I would have been very interested to hear if walkers have encountered adverse air quality around south-east England after the Buncefield explosion. People had plenty to say on another forum I post to but as far as I know there hasn't been a single comment here. Did everyone just stay indoors?
Author: Matthew Hand
Posted: Thu 15th Dec 2005, 20:24
Joined: 2001
Local Group: Mid Wales
Do you consider it worth it Julie? Matt.
Author: Julie Welch
Posted: Thu 15th Dec 2005, 16:13
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
In fact, the website cost £8,000, as was reported at last year's AGM.
Posted: Thu 15th Dec 2005, 15:15
Joined: 2005
I also agree with the last few posts. I did not realise the website was costing so much - the exact figures would definitely be interesting. It seems to me that the only thing on the website that could not be put together in an afternoon (or indeed is different frome the old site) are the forum and shop. The forum has not added too much value so unless the shop is making some money its difficult to see how the cost could be justified.
Author: Matthew Hand
Posted: Tue 13th Dec 2005, 17:18
Joined: 2001
Local Group: Mid Wales
I feel that an ldwa website is a good idea - I believe this one is a wasted opportunity.
At our AGM a few days ago there was a question as to whether members (with computer access) could access the website, several hands went up who were still being denied access due to 'password problems'. Basically they then give up trying. I have also been thrown off a couple of times and had to re-apply for passwords. I believe we also had a years free membership to the ldwa due to being unable to take our direct debit - no complaints there as the club clearly has plenty of money to spare !!
Must say I had not the remotest idea what a website costs, but reading the above post has got me seriously thinking. Matt.
Author: Antony Blatchford
Posted: Tue 13th Dec 2005, 14:10
Joined: 2019
Local Group: Lakeland
I couldn't agree more with the last 2 comments. The web-site is not user friendly, and doesn't appear to generate much response from the majority of LDWA members (how many postings to the message board are from the familiar few?. If this is the best the LDWA can do it is no suprise that we fail to attract new blood into the organisation. Incidentally, when I first joined Strider used to publish membership numbers - why has this ceased?
Posted: Mon 12th Dec 2005, 23:05
Joined: 1982
Reg: You are right the site has cost too much and we are not getting enough full answers (or any) from the web master. The site has not dome what it was supposed to do do or anything near it and I do think the web master has had more than enough time to get his act in order.
Author: Janet Chapman
Posted: Mon 12th Dec 2005, 22:08
Joined: 1984
Local Group: Surrey
Please note. This posting and the previous one were posted by Reg Chapman NOT Janet Chapman which appeared due to the name on the family membership
Author: Janet Chapman
Posted: Mon 12th Dec 2005, 22:04
Joined: 1984
Local Group: Surrey
I would like to return to the original topic of these posting "How much did this web site cost? (and was it worth it...)" - well I can't actually tell you about the cost, I wish I could, I have tried to find out, but all to no avail.<p>

I submitted a series of written question to our chairman, requesting the answers be presented at this years AGM - these included:<p>
"Will you please explain the reasons behind the decision to have the Website rewritten by a commercial organisation, when the current Webmaster had proposed most of the additional service to the Committee, requested any further ideas or suggestions, wanted to implement it for FREE, and in fact had a new site half complete."<p>
"Following the request for tenders to produce a new Website, will you please state the selection criteria used when awarding the contract to MKH Computer Services Ltd., exactly what they are contracted to provide and their initial and annual charges.<p>

Note: The answer to this question should be given, while being fully aware that at least one other tender was submitted with ALL possible requirements marked as compliant at an initial cost of £2570 and no annual charges."<p>

"Will you please state the total cost incurred to date in the production of the new Website, the anticipated cost to completion and the expected annual maintenance costs."<p>

And as you may have guessed no answers were forthcoming - what can be said is that the initial proposal put to the Committee stated "The cost of setting up a system as discussed could be £15-£25,000 with an annual figure of £500-£1,500."<p>

Was it worth it? What do you think? £25, 000 + cost. A complete and utter shambles with the Membership data base causing countless lost members, enormous postage cost and lost interest on late subscription payment. A Website that is nothing special and still only implements a fraction of the tender requirements. And last of all a rise in membership fees from £10 to £13. So do you think it was worth it?<p>

Ex Webmaster
Author: Ian Koszalinski
Posted: Mon 28th Nov 2005, 13:16
Joined: 2004
Local Group: High Peak
oops didn't realise there was another page i was replying to julie 22nd november
Author: Ian Koszalinski
Posted: Mon 28th Nov 2005, 13:10
Joined: 2004
Local Group: High Peak
the layout of the forum is rather austere and formal and doesn't lend it's self to joviality, it's a bit like being sent to the headmasters study.
I did expect more banter on the forum especially after the weekend when people have been out walking, catching up with the people they had met on the walks, but i don't think the layout provides this
Posted: Sat 26th Nov 2005, 21:26
Joined: 1982
Sorry if I seem to be replying to this site too much but bad weather kept me at home today. One of the first L D W A walks I did as a thirty year old in the seventys was from Manchester Uni. It went right round the out skirts of the town but aslso through or near Moss side. It was also one of the first night walks I did, as it did not start, if I remember correctly till 20:00hrs. There were a lot of relatively young people on that one and I belive it was organised by the students them selves. Maybe maybe Manchester or another Uni could put another challenge of this sort Garfield how about getting your students involved.
Author: Matthew Hand
Posted: Sat 26th Nov 2005, 15:46
Joined: 2001
Local Group: Mid Wales
"PedanticNorman" - now that would be a good name to use on the website !!! Have to say that our local group could do with any type of new members, we are not in a position to be fussy. I see your point David, I took you to mean that ONLY long time ldwa members knew what they were doing etc. which of course is not true. I do think the organisation is desperate for new and younger blood and this should be encouraged in any way possible (hence the change to the forum site idea). There are a lot of young walkers out there, and they just don't seem to know about us. If they do turn up at an event on their own, the avarage start registration hall resembles a 'Darby & Joan club' these days. But if they could contact others through the forums before their first event, they could have company (and possibly with other younger walkers) on that initial challenge walk. Another little idea I had, Universities have walking clubs, how about organising an annual "University Challenge" weekend. Run by ldwa, but for their benefit (camping ground, pub next door)? Matt.
Posted: Sat 26th Nov 2005, 14:55
Joined: 1982
Yes Julie you are right there is room for both and we do need new ideas and views and the LDWA has been far more tolerant than groups like the R A in this respect but lets not forget the good old views and ideas, as well as adapting the good new ones to suit us.
Author: Julie Welch
Posted: Sat 26th Nov 2005, 13:28
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
Surely there's room for both. Someone new to the LDWA may be able to look at it clear-sightedly and have some fresh ideas.
Posted: Fri 25th Nov 2005, 23:05
Joined: 1982
Matt the point I was trying to make, is that it is important to know who is speaking. A person may be the finest Fell or long distance runner in the country and have vast experiance of the the fells and dales and should be listened too but that person may be a new comer to the L D W A and know nothing of the working practises or traditions of the organisation.
Author: Norman C Corrin
Posted: Fri 25th Nov 2005, 15:50
Joined: 1981
Local Group: Beds, Bucks and Northants
But if they have never heard of us, how would they be able to join in the forum? For such a measly fee if they can't be bothered to join are they really the people we want to recruit anyway?
Author: Matthew Hand
Posted: Fri 25th Nov 2005, 10:17
Joined: 2001
Local Group: Mid Wales
But on the topic, I have to take David up on his comment that seems to imply one should judge a members knowledge and expertise by the length of time he has been with the organisation. I think not. I do believe that an open forum would be to the long term advantage of the ldwa membership, that nicknames can be used if posters wish - but correct details should be in a profile that may be looked at ( I also post as 'molehill and 'mountaintortoise' on other sites) if people want to know who you are. I am just amazed every year by the amount of walkers, runners etc. that I meet who have not the remotest idea who or what the LDWA is, they have never heard of them. Yet when we get a website the most important area - that of dialogue - is a closed shop.
Author: Matthew Hand
Posted: Fri 25th Nov 2005, 10:02
Joined: 2001
Local Group: Mid Wales
This is almost a full blown conversation for the ldwa site !!! Anyway, I have the day off work, there's heavy snow outside, the sun has just come out and mid Wales is in it's full stunning scenic glory. Guess what I am going to do now ???? See you all. Matt.
Author: Fiona Cameron
Posted: Thu 24th Nov 2005, 8:12
Joined: 2003
Local Group: Surrey
I wonder if there is some compromise?

I lurk on the Runners World forums, which are available to view by anyone. To post you have to register. If you subscribe to the mag then there are extra articles on the website that are available to subscribers only. The Cycling+ forums operate on a similar basis. Whilst I haven't taken out a subscription to either magazine, I might as well as I usually buy them each month.

Would it be worth having the forums open to view, but requiring registration to post. If it costs nothing then it might encourage some activity and feedback from non LDWA members and give members an opportunity to persuade them to join. It might also provide us with some info on potential members for some direct marketing.

Perhaps Groups could then be asked to add a note on their event info pointing out that the website forums are available for feedback and comments, so that non-members are encouraged to come and visit.
Author: Geoff Saunders
Posted: Thu 24th Nov 2005, 0:05
Joined: 1972
Local Group: Merseystride
Surely, the main factor is this:
The LDWA doesn't organise challenge events or put on social walks. Its local groups do. Other organisations do. But the LDWA doesn't.
What the LDWA does do is provide a directory of all these activities collated for easy reference. So anyone looking for a walking opportunity on, say, 10th December doesn't have to plough through the websites of 40 different local groups and those of goodness knows how many other providers to find something. It's all there under the LDWA.
Most event organisers welcome open publicity because it brings in more revenue - just look at the local groups' websites. But the LDWA gets its income from members' subscriptions, not from entry fees. If it made its directory service open to all, there would be less incentive for people to join. Therefore, fewer members, less income and a poorer LDWA.
Author: Julie Welch
Posted: Wed 23rd Nov 2005, 20:16
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
Yes, I was talking out of my hat. I guess what I should have said is that the membership fee subsidises the whole LDWA package including Strider and this website. But I still think that if people want to know about events longer term then it's fair to expect them to join.
Author: Merrian Lancaster
Posted: Wed 23rd Nov 2005, 17:25
Joined: 1996
Local Group: Beds, Bucks and Northants
Following on from Julie's comment from Fri 18th Nov 2005, 15:53... "Events cost groups money to put on, more than is clawed back in entry fees - why should members subsidise people who are too stingy to shell out what is a very modest joining fee?" I thought that events were self-financing and generally non-members paid more to enter, so maybe that's an argument for allowing open access to the Events diary. What part of my joining fee subsidises events?
Posted: Tue 22nd Nov 2005, 23:11
Joined: 1982
Julie why is it too much info. If you are going to listen to some one with a real proposistion you want to know how long they have been with the organisation, so you can judge how valid their arguments and knowledge are. As for Nick names at work I am known by most as "Cushie". This was alright till the wife called me from home and the person who answered did not know what my proper name was and told the wife that there was no D Hammond working here. Luckly I have an understanding wife who asked to speak to some one else and with even more luck that person did know my proper name. So we must be careful how we abreviate our names.
Author: Julie Welch
Posted: Tue 22nd Nov 2005, 17:30
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
Nice one, Norm. Yes, I like that idea.
Author: Norman C Corrin
Posted: Tue 22nd Nov 2005, 16:09
Joined: 1981
Local Group: Beds, Bucks and Northants
How would mails from Norman C, Julie W or Merrian L sound?
After a few drinks would it be Merry L? (sorry Merrian couldn't resist it!)
Author: Julie Welch
Posted: Tue 22nd Nov 2005, 13:54
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
My point is that at the moment there isn't the kind of relaxed atmosphere about the forum which encourages people to be open, honest, friendly etc, and it could be because before you read a post you get the poster's full name (often their middle name as well), their Group and their year of joining. Too much information?
Author: Norman C Corrin
Posted: Tue 22nd Nov 2005, 11:09
Joined: 1981
Local Group: Beds, Bucks and Northants
Dave, totally agree with your last point on that. An open, honest, friendly and humorous chat is what we want.
Posted: Mon 21st Nov 2005, 22:46
Joined: 1982
Please do not let this site degenerate in to trivial flame war's as some walking sites have done. Yes let us have a bit of banter and leg pulling but let us know who is getting at who (and why)So keep full names and not get down to nick names.
Author: Julie Welch
Posted: Mon 21st Nov 2005, 18:57
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
It might make it a bit less formal if people didn't have to post under their full names, joining date and Group. You get a sort of feeling at the moment that you shouldn't post anything casual or chatty - you can only be earnest or have some sort of Big Idea. I subscribe to an e-group called UKRunning and most people post under their own names but it's much more open to jokes/trivial posts/I-did-a-ten-miler-at-the-weekend etc.
Author: Matthew Hand
Posted: Mon 21st Nov 2005, 17:40
Joined: 2001
Local Group: Mid Wales
Have to say I don't like anonymous posting, believing that if you have something to say - you should be brave enough to say it (or shut up about it). No problem with using other names to post, so long as your public profile shows your correct name etc. I took this up on the FRA site in the early days - sort of mixed reception - some agreed and others not.

There were certainly a few teething problems over the initial 6 months as some people 'fell out' and a bit of minor 'name calling' (mainly fairly juvenile stuff) but it all soon settled down, without the moderators needed much. Now most posters know who the others are, or find out if they need to.

One way or another, being an open site has drawn people in, and slowly after weeks of reading the site they eventually pluck up courage to ask a question or for help; and they receive it. Matt
Author: Merrian Lancaster
Posted: Mon 21st Nov 2005, 17:12
Joined: 1996
Local Group: Beds, Bucks and Northants
I've just taken a look at the FRA forum and it looks like most people use a pseudonym. Do you think people would be more likely to post items on the LDWA forum if they didn't have to use their own name?
Author: Julie Welch
Posted: Sun 20th Nov 2005, 11:40
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
Not just knackered fell runners but people like me - decrepit marathon runners.
One thing that we could (should?) have on the Home Page is an F.A.Qs link to click on to - what it needs is someone to put together the most Frequently Asked.
Author: Matthew Hand
Posted: Sat 19th Nov 2005, 21:43
Joined: 2001
Local Group: Mid Wales
Julie, I have been a fell runner attending ldwa events for many years, purely because of the pleasure I got from those events I joined the ldwa, believing that I should put something back into the organisation. In the meantime my wife Jane has also taken up walking and become a member ( also a treasurer of our local group). My feelings lay strongly towards more openess and access to ldwa information being the way forward. Certainly there are many who will initially take advantage of the "calender", but ultimately those who are serious and honest about their sport will join the ldwa. If they don't, they are probably no great loss.

I might add, that as I become more and more "crocked" over the years, so my running would be better interpreted as walking !!

Knackered fell runners - we are the ldws's future. Matthew.
Author: Julie Welch
Posted: Fri 18th Nov 2005, 15:53
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
Better get all your fell-running mates to come round and liven the place up a bit. We'll alert the firefighters in case it gets out of hand. Seriously, I think you have a point about the forum being open to the public, though someone's probably got a counter-argument. But I don't agree about having a full Events Diary open to all-comers. Events cost groups money to put on, more than is clawed back in entry fees - why should members subsidise people who are too stingy to shell out what is a very modest joining fee?
Author: Matthew Hand
Posted: Fri 18th Nov 2005, 10:19
Joined: 2001
Local Group: Mid Wales
I have just looked in for the first time in many weeks (possibly months) the reason for this being that the site seems to be 'stagnant' with regards to discussion (arguments, points of view, advice, questions etc.). To me this looks like either members all know everything anyway and are totally introverted, or are the most boring people in the world.
I am mainly a fell runner, the FRA site has been up and running a similar length of time, it has grown from humble beginings into a very well used forum, with all manner of posts and good healthy arguments (and some total drivel, but we are all human) on a daily basis. There are also a good number of newcommers to the sport receiving advice and encouragement from members of the FRA, and taking the sport up - young ones too !!
So what is the difference in the sites?
The FRA forum site is open to everyone, and not just 'members only', in my opinion this has had only positive results for the sport as a whole. Restricting access to the forums and event lists, is an excellent way of sticking our heads in the sand and keeping a cosy little elite association, that is hard to access by potential newcomers who just may be interested in distance walking. Perhaps that is the way members want it?
Currently, I don't see much point in the forums, nobody seems to have much to say do they ? Matt.
Author: Julie Welch
Posted: Tue 4th Oct 2005, 21:58
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
Yes, the News Items bit on the home page is my responsibility - but I do need people out there to send stories in. Doesn't have to be hold-the-front-page stuff. And if John Davis of East Yorks LDWA gets to read this, thanks for the contributions.
Author: Chris Chorley
Posted: Tue 4th Oct 2005, 21:33
Joined: 1982
Local Group: Norfolk & Suffolk
I think you'll find that Julie posts the news items and Pat Ryan puts up the future events without having to go through anyone else (I may be wrong though...). I also hear that Garfield hasn't been able to give the time he would like for personal reasons.
Author: Julie Welch
Posted: Tue 4th Oct 2005, 21:15
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
Simon, I may have given you the wrong impression with my last post - I'm certainly not webmaster, I just look after Strider magazine, and have no say in webular matters. But on the whole I think this website works well - especially if members like you carry on posting, and encouraging debate.
Posted: Tue 4th Oct 2005, 21:08
Joined: 2003
Aha, there is life... as a volunteer webmaster myself I know only too well the pressures of trying to fit in paid work with voluntary work, my comments are not based upon the level of committment of those running the site, just that the way it is set up hinders the very way of getting things going - getting others involved. Whilst I don't have to deal with emails from 7000 members, I do have lots of new postings and news items nearly every day. Do I deal with them all - no chance, I've got a team of "moderators" with limited permissions to approve pending news stories every time they visit the site. Is this hard to set up? No, there are several Free Content Management systems out there - phpNuke, PostNuke, Mambo, Joomla etc. etc. all designed for just this sort of process, all with active developer communities, (many with inbuilt or 3rd party modules available for Shops and Subscriptions) and all FREE... and if the worse comes to the worse with whoever's building your site using one of these systems, there's lots of others waiting to help without having to learn how to use someone elses customised system.

Simple things like have an email notification of replies to my original posting all encourage debate and contribution. Worried about things getting out of hand? have moderators..

I'm not making the comments to be provocative, it just seems such a wasted opportunity to not promote a wider involvment of LDWA Members in the day to day running of the organisation as a whole and through it's public face, the website. Like it or not, the internet is or very soon will be your primary interface with existing or potential members - why not make it a pleasant welcoming and inclusive face?

Simon Finch
Author: Julie Welch
Posted: Sat 24th Sep 2005, 12:06
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
If you look at Simon's original post, he says that his running club has some 200 members. The LDWA now has close to 7000. I'm sorry if anyone is frustrated by emails going unanswered but one way or another 7000 members, plus enquiries from the general public, charity event organisers, would-be advertisers etc etc generate a lot of email traffic. As Strider editor I try and respond as quickly as I can, even if it's just by redirecting stuff to the right recipient, but I do have a day job, and a family, to fit it in around.
Author: Geoff Crowder
Posted: Fri 23rd Sep 2005, 11:25
Joined: 2002
Local Group: South Manchester
Simon: we're wasting our time mate. See my post in the topic below (Anybody Home) - no replies to that either, or any of the emails I mentioned in it. At one time we were keen to offer our help in the site development, but not after what happened with our first contribution.
Regards
Author: Julie Welch
Posted: Fri 23rd Sep 2005, 7:37
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
Simon, we are, as Chris says, all volunteers, just putting in as much time as we can to fit in with the day job and (with luck) getting some walking/running in as well! The National Committee people are very open to exploring new ideas/welcoming new faces - maybe you might like to offer your talents in some way?
Author: Chris Chorley
Posted: Thu 22nd Sep 2005, 18:36
Joined: 1982
Local Group: Norfolk & Suffolk
How much? I could guess, but I don't think it was unreasonable ;-)
Was it worth it? Yes. It works, I'd have the odd comment, but I don't think it's worth complaining about.
The posting to the forums seems to have dropped off recently, but that could be due to the better weather, holidays, and maybe members are actually walking instead of sitting in front of a computer...
Remember the LDWA are all volunteers...
Posted: Thu 22nd Sep 2005, 16:50
Joined: 2003
Don't 'spose anyone knows how much of our Membership fees have been spent on the site? This info should be available in the accounts but I'd be interested to know before then...

After re-visiting the site some time after my first look, I see it's pretty much lifeless - very few updates, little/no response in the forum etc. etc. My running Club has under 200 Members and we're getting stuff posted all of the time - and don't say that hardly any LDWA members are young enough to use a PC - rubbish!

I think it all about accessibility and the User Interface - or rather the poor standard of the implementation of these features.. it's 2005, surely we can do better than this?

I await a reply to counter these points (not holding my breath though...)

This website uses cookies

To comply with EU Directives we are informing you that our website uses cookies for services such as memberships and Google Analytics.

Your data is completely safe and we do not record any personally identifiable information.

Please click the button to acknowledge and approve our use of cookies during your visit.

Learn more about the Cookie Law