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Old 05-01-2012, 04:46 PM   #1
Fraubear
 
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1968 17' Caravel
Noblesville , Indiana
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How To Improve WBCCI Technology Use

We all know that WBCCI could make better use of technology to improve communication and offer more services. The Electronic Communications Committee is trying to move the club into the 21st Century while accommodating members who are fine with "things as they are." We know we can do both, but we've never done a survey to ask for specific suggestions from members.

In lieu of a formal survey, how about posting your wish-list for where you want the club to go, technologically? Think big, positive and well into the future.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

CB
WBCCI Electronic Communications Committee

"There's no limit to what you can get done if you don't care who gets credit."
- Anonymous
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:13 PM   #2
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I would like to see.....

1. the ability to use PayPal or some form of epayment for everything WBCCI. Store, Rally Fees, Caravan Fees, Dues, etc.

2. Blue Beret in ePub format with a library of all past issues. It would be useful in .mobi format as well for the Kindle folks.

3. A secure database with membership information. This could substitute for the annual directory.

4. All of the WBCCI documents Blue Book etc., available online.

5. Depending on the result of the new/amended constitution online voting and surveys.

6. Regular email updates from the WBCCI International leadership.

7. While the Airforums are great, I think the WBCCI should have a forum of some nature.

8. Online tracking of Caravans in progress for those of us who wish to virtually participate.

Thank you all for your work on this project.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:04 PM   #3
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Hi, Aviator,

I mostly agree with you. A couple of comments,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviator View Post
3. A secure database with membership information. This could substitute for the annual directory.
I agree this would be nice--and would be always up to date, but I would still like an annual paper directory. Even if you have directory access on your smartphone or whatever, you won't always have internet coverage out in the boonies.

Quote:
4. All of the WBCCI documents Blue Book etc., available online.
Blue Book and several other documents are already available online,

http://www.wbcci.org/index.cfm?pageSRC=General_Info

Quote:
6. Regular email updates from the WBCCI International leadership.
Several past presidents have sent out monthly email newsletters. The present one does not, but future ones might. This is essentially up to the IP.

Quote:
7. While the Airforums are great, I think the WBCCI should have a forum of some nature.
I'm afraid this will have to wait till the lawsuit by the host of the last WBCCI forum is settled.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f318...als-89375.html

Quote:
8. Online tracking of Caravans in progress for those of us who wish to virtually participate.
That is a neat idea! Would depend on someone on each caravan being willing to do it. (We usually put together caravan diaries on our very successful unit caravans. However distribution is restricted to the caravanners and trusted friends. Our motto: What happens on the caravan stays on the caravan!)

And I add my thanks to the Electronic Communications Committee--you're doing a great job!
.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:17 PM   #4
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In the spirit of the WBCCI finding it's roots and being the adventure vacation club for Airstreamers as it was intended to be, i suggest breaking the Unit and/or micro caravans into a separate section.

regarding shopping carts for dues...nightmare! the necessary accounting will add more work for all involved - mainly HQ personnel and Unit treasurers. accepting online payments for the wbcci store and national caravans makes total sense.

forum...i think from a marketing perspective - it's bodes well to continue with club conversation here. why re-invent the wheel. honestly i never went to the previous wbcci forum. by the way - doesn't it suck that that schmuck who started that old wbcci forum is suing everyone and his mother??? i will probably be added to his list now that i have disparaged his name even though i don't know what his name is.

best thing the new wbcci site can do is be slick, hip, and happening. according to my girlfriend - that is what most newbie airstreamers like in a website. never mind that a site navigates well and has all the info one will be looking for. she thinks it has to be hot as well. have some kind of photo forum.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:54 PM   #5
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Electronic update

The new website is complete. We will be giving a presentation of it to the EC next week at Jackson Center. It should go live shortly after that.

We have helped a fair number of Units get their websites started within the last five months. We have updated the operating system for the unit websites and doubled their available free storage allocations. The caravan websites use the same OS and now have additional capability as well.

There now is a webmaster "list" to assist unit webmasters with their questions.

The law suit is not holding us back on the websites but the inclusion of a forum is problematic. We do not have the capability to prevent flaming and bad impression of the club experienced the last time we had one. We do not want to repeat the bad experience and even with better moderators we can not guarantee a good experience. The outside commercial airstream reseller, who operated the "club" forum actually hosted on his site, is suing WBCCI for canceling his contract to run the Forum section of the site. He is suing others for slander.

We have developed a News & Views "Constant Contact" type e-mail newsletter. We have sent out two so far. Having a Presidential monthly newsletter is the option of the current president. Our next president has just changed, due to Don Clark's resignation. I am not aware whether the new one is proposing one.

Paying the first year's dues on line will be included in the new website. We have not integrated ordering and payment for club merchandise in the new website yet. Paying unit dues on line is not likely, due to many units are small and not modern enough to handle that.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:31 PM   #6
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I am not suggesting total replacement of the paper directory. However, I have about 2500 documents on my iPad at this time. They include both pleasure reading and offline reference material. A copy of the directory which I could easily search would be nice to have.

The Blue Book is indeed online as well as several other documents, but I had to convert them to make them most useful in an iPad format. I would like to see the major portable devices supported without members needing to convert documents on their own as I believe it would aid greater acceptance of an electronic version.

Dues.....Is it truly that difficult for JC to accept my epayment of dues and remit the correct amount to my unit?

As to the forum, Airforums has truly and completely filled the void left when the WBCCI Forum permanently went offline.

I realize the International Officers choose how much and how often they communicate directly with the members. I have truly appreciated the email I have received, and simply would like to see it continue at whatever level they feel comfortable with. I would also like to see the Blue Beret pushed out as a file attached to the electronic notice I currently receive simply because it would save the steps I need to take to then download a copy to my iPad. Consistent file names would also help.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
I agree this would be nice--and would be always up to date, but I would still like an annual paper directory. Even if you have directory access on your smartphone or whatever, you won't always have internet coverage out in the boonies.
Maybe in addition to a downloadable e-version of the members directory it could be uploaded to a publisher that prints per book on demand like lulu Self Publishing, Book Printing and Publishing Online - Lulu for those interested in purchasing a copy. However I do think the bond paper directory is a member benefit that should continue to be provided in the cost of dues. A discount of dues in exchange for opting out of the mailed paper directory could be considered.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:51 AM   #8
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dues , forums and BB

It would seem that to pay international and unit dues online would not be that difficult.

Under the current system the unit collects dues and submits them to the international.

The system needs to be reversed with a drop down list of units. Select your unit and submit the proper amount via paypal or whatever.
At some point JC sends the units a check, instead of the other way round.
Maybe I am missing something here??

I would still like to see a WBCCI forum, but perhaps it needs to be limited to
members only, without a public area as some discussions can get heated and sometimes need to be. Beyond the area of personal attacks I hate to see any censorship..

The BB in .mobi would be nice , however my low end kindle will read a .PDF so I assume the better models will also? At least it is online in a downloadable format, although not always in a timely manner.

I would like to see an electronic directory to supplement the paper one.

I think the new committee is doing a great job.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:17 AM   #9
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One small problem would be folks who belong to a main unit and one or more others as affiliates. (Come to think of it, I don't know how that's handled now.)

Lynn

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickDavis View Post
...The system needs to be reversed with a drop down list of units. Select your unit and submit the proper amount via paypal or whatever.
At some point JC sends the units a check, instead of the other way round.
Maybe I am missing something here??
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:35 AM   #10
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The least costly way is the simplest. Each unit handles their own dues. Volunteer treasurers collect dues vs more paid HQ employees to accomplish the function. We already pay $200,000 for HQ employees in salaries and benefits. That is a $33 of your $65 dues. We would also lose the personal contact of the unit treasurers to the members. Our unit lost a number of members last year when our long term treasurer died and members missed that personal phone call from her asking them to renew their dues.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:39 AM   #11
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Lynn,

Associate member dues are paid directly to the unit.

Bill

Quote:
Originally Posted by eubank View Post
One small problem would be folks who belong to a main unit and one or more others as affiliates. (Come to think of it, I don't know how that's handled now.)

Lynn
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:16 AM   #12
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Ah, ok. So I guess what Rick is proposing is that an amount be paid to JC, then part of that redistributed to one or more units. Not quite as easy to implement when more than one unit is involved. Nor not that easy since unit dues vary pretty widely.

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Old 05-02-2012, 11:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickDavis View Post
It would seem that to pay international and unit dues online would not be that difficult. Under the current system the unit collects dues and submits them to the international. The system needs to be reversed with a drop down list of units. Select your unit and submit the proper amount via paypal or whatever. At some point JC sends the units a check, instead of the other way round. Maybe I am missing something here??
This is precisely what the ECC envisions. You're correct in that collecting national and unit dues on-line is not difficult to do technologically. It's just a shopping cart with more than one product to buy. Given other technology changes being proposed, this would not increase the workload at headquarters at all, but rather alter it. The database does the bulk of the work.

One very important thing to note is that on-line membership and renewals would be an OPTION, and not a requirement. Those units / treasurers who are happy with the current system of collecting national and unit dues could maintain that system. No problem. The money would just flow in two directions and the personal connection would not be lost.

Dwight was correct. The ECC is meeting with the Executive Committee this Friday to discuss precisely those changes already mentioned.

Thank you to all for your suggestions. Please keep them coming. This discussion is very helpful.

CB
WBCCI Electronic Communications Committee
ecc@wbcci.net
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:04 PM   #14
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The collection of dues at the unit level appears to me to be one more example of the inefficient way we do so many things.
We are using 100 plus people to do what could probably handled by one if it was done electronically.

It is similiar to using the chain of command to go from International president to region president to unit prez to members to distribute info when it could be done by constant contact.
While it might put a bit more work on HQ if a volunteer couldn't handle it the people at JC do seem to be able to get things done efficiently.
Right now someone is having to send out receipt books, membership card forms etc to 100 plus units. Pay dues online and print out the card, which I have never needed anyway.
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