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Old 06-20-2009, 10:34 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by 65GT View Post

As for exclusiveness -- that's what clubs are -- exclusive. You have to meet the ownership requirements, and in order to take advantage of the 130 Unit's organizing and facilitating efforts you need to be a member. 6600 members is nothing to sneeze at, neither is more than 500 rallies a year. Membership has its privileges, and I for one, am very happy to be a member.

More than 125 Airstreams at the Region 4 Rally (West Virginia), and 100 Airstreams at Region 2 in Niagara Falls, on the very same weekend speaks to the strength of the WBCCI. Not too shabby for both events to be held on the very same weekend within five hundred miles of each other.


Roger is painfully aware (it shows) of the current leadership (or lack thereof) challenges within the club. Unfortunately that frustration and mis-direction all exists at the top. How long can it possibly go on for? How long indeed!

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Just a couple of thoughts here to clarify... and then I'll be on my way...

When I joined WBCCI it had more than 10,000 members... in 1998. There are more Airstreams on the road today than ever before in the history of the company... yet WBCCI membership has fallen 40% in ten years.

There are a few individual units that are doing very well with membership, but it's not because of the national leadership; it's the unit leadership that's working.

And last, remember that this is a club that has has had leadership that fought to exclude Airstream owners for years, starting with the painted Argosy trailers back in the early '70s. Every new owner of a different 'class' of Airstream has had to do battle with the club leadership to belong. That's the kind of exclusivity I'm talking about; an institutional exclusivity that ends up killing an organization. If it was really about caravanning in Airstream products, then they all should have been welcomed with open arms.

In fact, with the historical perspective of nearly thirty years now, it was about silver trailer snobbery... and that, with it's attendant hurt feelings, (among other things) has caused the precipitous drop in membership. Look at the recent motorhome squabbles as an example. Who cares, really? If it's an Airstream product, and the owner pays the dues and contributes, does it really matter whether it's silver aluminum? They're a contributing member!

I'm not complaining, mind you; I'm just sharing my observations. I enjoyed being a member; I just realized several years ago that being a member carried no privileges I was interested in exercizing.

And, since I'm not a member, I really don't have a dog in this fight so I'll leave you back to your regularly scheduled thread.

Roger
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:46 AM   #16
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I bet Pee Wee has some sage insight on this situation. Sure hope he chimes in soon. It was his Mother that was our first president.
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:06 PM   #17
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Guys, I'm sorry... I don't mean to hijack the thread... it's about where hosting services should appropriately reside; not another "what's wrong with the club thread"...

So, I appologize for taking this astray, and let's return to Buttercup's original issue.

Roger
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Old 06-20-2009, 01:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eubank View Post
I guess I'm just totally confused. In your initial message, you wrote about hosting ("the newly created forums ...is going to be hosted on a site that is not owned or operated by the WBCCI"). Now you're talking about domains (URLs) and not hosting?

Lynn
Lynn, the hosting part - where the files that we look at on the web, is actually not expensive at all, Places like GoDaddy for example, can cost about $225 per year and the domain name (wbcci.org or wbcciforums.org in my case) cost $35 per or less if you buy it for muntiple years. So for maybe $250.00 per year - and utilizing volunteer efforts of web savvy members, the WBCCI gets a web site that it can be proud of. Wbcci saves $3000 per year.
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Old 06-20-2009, 02:58 PM   #19
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Lynn, the hosting part - where the files that we look at on the web, is actually not expensive at all, Places like GoDaddy for example, can cost about $225 per year and the domain name (wbcci.org or wbcciforums.org in my case) cost $35 per or less if you buy it for muntiple years. So for maybe $250.00 per year - and utilizing volunteer efforts of web savvy members, the WBCCI gets a web site that it can be proud of. Wbcci saves $3000 per year.
$225/year for what amount of traffic? I run three relatively small websites within my one account, and that's something like $180/year. But a website like WBCCI is very likely to draw a lot more visitors than my sites do, and thus will cost more.

I'm not a huge fan of having members volunteer to run websites. They tend to be hit or miss - if the volunteer is motivated and has the time and skills, it's great; but, inevitably, the volunteer has a personal issue or something and gets distracted, and the site falls into disrepair, emails go unanswered, etc., all of which reflects poorly on the club when a potential new member swings by.

I see this all the time with roller skating rink websites - the owner gets all enthusiastic about websites, creates one, posts it online... then forgets about it. Pretty soon, half the links are dead, and that page with the schedule that he never got around to making is STILL returning a 404 (not found) error 3 years later... then they forget to renew the domain name, and a porn site shows up seconds later.

I'd rather pay someone to maintain the thing.
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Old 06-20-2009, 04:21 PM   #20
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Lynn, the hosting part - where the files that we look at on the web, is actually not expensive at all, Places like GoDaddy for example, can cost about $225 per year and the domain name (wbcci.org or wbcciforums.org in my case) cost $35 per or less if you buy it for muntiple years. So for maybe $250.00 per year - and utilizing volunteer efforts of web savvy members, the WBCCI gets a web site that it can be proud of. Wbcci saves $3000 per year.
Sooooo ... where's the beef on hosting? I guess I'm just dense, but I just don't see the issue.


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Old 06-20-2009, 04:24 PM   #21
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BTW, I would be careful with low-cost places like GoDaddy. For example, I use a fairly robust script for webforms, and the script requires at least PHP 5.1, which was released in 2005. A low-cost GoDaddy account includes PHP, but it's a much older version.

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Old 06-20-2009, 05:19 PM   #22
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Well, sites with thousands of visitors like Airforums have dedicated servers and I am betting Andy does that. It is the most expensive but the best.
Vintage-Airstream.com is in fact hosted on GoDaddy, I am guessing whatever is the cheapest shared or Virtual Dedicated Server.

I use Hostgator and a business reseller account because, quite frankly, we actually do websites for paying clients and donate to several non-profit entities like the Death Valley Natural History Assn. This allows me to give each of my clients their own space, control panel, email,etc. They get to manage it or if they want, or if needed I can do it. So, this arangement gives each of my clients their own space separate from everything else. The Death Valley site has hundreds of visitors a day. and is up 99.9+. SaveWally is all there, etc... Overall, that system works nice. I pay more than a VDS/Shared account buy way less than a dedicated server.

One thing about volonteerism and successful sites - having one person does lead to fatigue. But a site like AirForums, where there are a dozen or more volunteers, the fatague factor goes way down and the site thrives. With the WBCCI, I believe that if the web savvy members volonteered and maintained little sections here and there, it could be a success. It just needs to be properly overseen by a steering committee.

This is so doable for the club, and wild give a bunch of members a sense of purpose. It is a win-win for all.

The BEEF on hosting, Lynn, is that the WBCCI is subletting the new forums to a commercial vendor who currently is not a member of WBCCI (but was at one time) and doing that in exchange for cooperative links and I am guessing, eventual ad revenue sharing or something along those lines - who knows, as far as anyboky knows, there is nothing in place should the Vintage-Airstream.com/WBCCI partnership sour or fail. It directs a dedicated Airstream audience towards his site where they might just discover he has a trailer for sale. It departs from being an intimate part of the WBCCI.org or WBCCI.net family of sites, where it could/should have been hosted anyway. It leads people to not be 100% sure of where they are and takes away from the WBCCI identity. Heck, WBCCI could have had a real savings if they went with a Yahoo groups forum, or even a Ning site. It is a step down for WBCCI, not a step up.
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:12 PM   #23
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I think the important issue is for anyone starting a forum is that they keep control of the data so they can move it if they need to. I think AIR Forums has probably been on 5-6 servers over the years. If it's hosted on a free account from a member, a commercial vendor (who is also a member) or their own hosting account, owning/having control of the data and being able to move it (as needed) is critical.

The issue with hosting with someone else is that you could potentially loose control of the data if they fail to pay the bill. What would happen if the person died and the bills were no longer paid. It's best to make sure you always have access to your data just like you would with your paper files. Would you outsource the bookkeeping, records management (paperwork), etc? It's very possible to do so but most companies choose to keep ownership of their own books and files in house for security reasons. The same goes for your digital assets.
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:00 PM   #24
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Thanks Andy - I really hope Charlie see's your post. While my gift to WBCCI may not be as good as hosting directly on WBCCI.org - it is better than hosting on a 3rd party's web site as is the case right now.

WBCCI needs to wrestle WBCCI.org and the contents from OTS and get it on their own. But they feel that they can't so they have kind of land locked themselves into the situation they are in now. Your sagetious advice should be headed at the highest levels in WBCCI.
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:08 AM   #25
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Well it seems the new WBCCI forum was announced today. It looks like the site is now on subdomain (forum.wbcci.org) but it's still on the commercial vendor's server. That means all the data being posted is probably under full control of the commercial party that was offering to host the site before:

IP of forum.wbcci.org: 97.107.134.8
IP of vintage-airstream.com: 97.107.137.167

I sure hope the WBCCI knows what they are doing, I'd hate to see them in a situation in the future where they can't get to their own data. As with most things in life it's easy to get along when there are no disruptive issues at hand but what could happen years down the road? If this 3rd party is unable to pay the hosting bills or the relationship sours, will the investment in shared knowledge be given back to the club? Hopefully they have a legal agreement to address this and it's a moot issue.
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Old 07-08-2009, 03:27 AM   #26
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Actually, if you just browse to that IP address, you will get the Vintage-airstream.com blog. That and the rest of Greg's sites are being hosted out of linode.com hosting, not WBCCI servers.
The WBCCI membership has been deceived at a minimum. This is not much more than an alias - a redirect if you will. It is definitely not WBCCI's web site - their IP address is 64.9.209.28.
I also hope there is some sort of contractual agreement between Greg Gibson and WBCCI - I sure would not want to see what happened to Region 3 happen to the WBCCI!!!!!
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:54 AM   #27
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Received a message referring to new forums at forums.wbcci.org and when googled returns to old forum site with no way to go to new one. zz
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:11 AM   #28
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Here's a link to the forum home page, for what it's worth. This worked a minute ago.

WBCCI Airstream Forum

Was sort of amused to see an ad for Good Sam Club on the WBCCI forum home page. Suppose they're trying to tell us something?
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