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Old 07-22-2008, 11:45 PM   #113
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nucleus of such a group??

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Originally Posted by maxandgeorgia View Post
This forum is evidence that a "global/cyber" group can operate with actual rallies and face-to-face encounters. We require no set organization, yet we can create a rally whenever and however we wish simply by putting out the word. No one takes offense that a rally is planned across the country from where one lives; everyone knows that if you choose to drive the distance, you are welcome. If you are in the area, stop by. The campfire is always lit and the welcome mat is always out. A virtual unit, or such a unit by any other name..., should operate the same way. All the talk, business, planning, whatever, would be done like we are doing here. Rallies would fit interest and regions. So...why not? Is it possible this forum could form the nucleus of such a group, those members who are so inclined? ~G
I am inclined to agree with your hypothesis about a "global/cyber" group. I think my wife and I are a bit of an anomaly in that we are not in any one geographic location for any great length of time. I think this is what appeals to us about being part of a group that is more oriented to a larger geographic region than the "normal" WBCCI units tend to be.

The history of the WBCCI is interesting and apealing as well. It is somewhat difficult for us to deal with the volume of WBCCI units that are out there. This is why we had such high hopes when we found the WBCCI web site. We were hoping that all of the information exchange about the trailers themselves as well as the social events would be available on the web site. It seems to me that that would be a piece part of membership that would be attractive and would definately be something that would be worth part of the price of admission into the club.

Given that all of this can be had here, for free, there is really not a lot of incentive for new Airstream owners like we are to get involved with the WBCCI. We have been really caught off guard by the WBCCI not utilizing the internet more than it does.

My inlaws are 75 and 82. The internet is a huge part of their lives; email especially. Neither of them worked in a job where the internet and/or computers were a huge influence; with the exception of word processing. Not all of their friends are on the internet but more than 95% are, as are the vast majority of the social groups they belong to and the people they do business with.

In reading about the WBCCI and the age issues being given as the reason the internet is not a bigger part of the WBCCI infastructure I find myself somewhat amazed. This does not give those of us who are new to Airsteam life a lot of warm fuzzy feelings. It seems to me a social club that has memebers spread over a geographic area as large as North America (to say nothing of the rest of the world) would be a prime candidate to take advatage of electronic communication. It comes as no surprise to me that the WBCCI is losing members, hence my comments earlier in this thread about the current structure of the club being part of the problem.

Any rate, it seems that there is a huge opportunity for some like minded folks to establish a new club that does not have all the "baggage" that the WBCCI brings with it. I cannot help but wonder what the folks at Airstream HQ think about all the political "stuff" that is going in the WBCCI; it certainly does not do anything to help them.

Jim
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:40 AM   #114
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You can't change the WBCCI if you are not a member. I believe that MAL's deserve the right to vote and should be on equal footing to those who belong to a location based unit, and eventually we know that will happen. Not as quickly as any one would want, but it will happen.

Originally I was quite surprised by the issues around the IBT. A year and a bit later I realize that for a buck and some change every week I get to belong to an organization that has incredible history behind it. I happened to luck into a unit that is based half a continent away (and for that matter in another country than I am at the moment) but because they are very much focused on use of the internet to communicate I am as up to date if not more so than if I lived in the same area. Communication is quick, newsy but good, and questions are answered quickly and completely. The folks I've met on line here who are members of WBCCI constantly reinforce that it isn't about the IBT or who gets to vote, it is all about the opportunity to meet people with very similar interests to mine when it comes to camping and in what kind of trailer. But yes, there are many issues with how the WBCCI is currently being guided, but as long as that is not getting in the way of my camping I'll let it slide. It won't take long before the right people with more current ideas are in place to facilitate the changes needed.

I'm typically not one to sit back and wait for change to happen through attrition but in this case I suspect that this is what is going to have to happen before the club changes. It is going to take a lot more "hurt" to the club and membership before this happens, but I want to be part of the solution when the time comes. That is the fun part. But again, you can't help create change if you are not a member, you are instead a spectator. Join WBCCI, forgo a coffee once a week, and with enough voices raising the issues on the WBCCI forums (and also praising the fun stuff that is happening) we could possibly make this happen much sooner than I think.

You folks are right, it needs to change, but that is only part of the equation. WBCCI events are still a wonderful way to meet great people, learn about our trailers, and go to places we typically wouldn't even have thought about going. Bolstered by the AirForums the two are, in my mind, inseparable and this forum is far more a part of Airstreaming than the WBCCI Forums just because Andy and friends saw what was needed and being very proactive he created an outstanding global network of e-campers.

Over the past I've probably commented on things that having later learned more about WBCCI I have come to realize that I was a bit over zealous in my responses. I know I've owed folks (like 2air and many many others) an apology for some of my responses and they have been kind enough to let me off the hook more than once. That just shows that we all understand the frustration on both sides and we all are shooting for the same end result, just some of us are young enough that we can ride this out till a younger crowd runs the IBT. Oops, was that my inner voice coming out? But this very forum proves that an internet based unit would not only be a success but also quickly help WBCCI rebound in membership.

The important thing is to hash out, probably here so people who are currently non WBCCI members can put in their two cents worth, what the virtual unit would look like and how it would be managed and from that create a model to present to the IBT of the future.

Rob - one comment on 2nd Life. I'm very leary of it. I have several friends who audit software and employees use of work systems for personal internet access during working hours and they say that many folks border on what could be considered addiction. When faced with having to refocus their attention on the work they are being paid to do versus living in their virtual world for some it is a very hard choice to make. So I've stayed clear of it. Maybe I have the wrong information and I certainly do NOT want to create a debate about the pros and cons of 2nd life or any equivalents - I'm just noting my own concerns.

Barry
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:45 AM   #115
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Maybe my thinking is too simplistic, but it seems to me that the AirForums already serves as a virtual Airstream club. It draws together WBCCI MAL's, Unit members and non-members to share information, plan rallies, etc. It could be considered a global unit, if you will. All that is needed is a section for WBCCI business/news/discussion and voting.
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:34 PM   #116
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I think a WBCCI 'World Unit' would be great and a big big plus for WBCCI... Who ever feels like an Airstreamer without any regional connection could be a member of this unit and we European Airstreamer could also be members of this world unit... Ralleys? No Problem, just say when and where. Unit Meetings - sure just say when and where (e.g. Skype Conferences or by Webcam) Meeting in person - sure if you are on this side of the big pond our house is open to you and a beer for you is always cold! I think a World Unit is something thats acts local, but thinks global! Way cool!!

BTW it is a very small world today... Just an example, I came to work this morning, here in Braunschweig, Germany and my boss told me that he bought some new alpine skis yesterday, which reminded me that I wanted to buy a new pair of skis as well... (Yes I know it is summer but winter will come fur sure!!) so, I went to the internet and googled for these skis and guess what - yes, I found them in... SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH!! It was 10 a.m. here and 1 a.m in Salt Lake and as I had some questions I used the chat button and talk to a very nice guy who helped me out with some answers. This little example should just show how smal this planet is and you can stay in contact without any problem and you can meet at any time, at any place you can emagine. I am very confidend that a 'world unit' would very well work!

Greets,

Bjoern
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:09 PM   #117
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Any news on the idea of a cyber unit?? Still in need of a founding member?? Count me in...

Greets,


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Old 11-12-2008, 09:37 PM   #118
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Hi Bjoern, gonna bump this post up.

Germany...Yes a cyber unit for you would definitely be nice to gather into. Probably nice for a lot of us to gather into.

Waiting to see the responses you get. One thought I had in leu of a cyber unit creation...or until it's built, why not choose one of the units that is highly visible on AirForums. 4 CU comes to mind. Also I think some units have their own closed forums here you might be able to join???
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:42 PM   #119
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Im all for a cyber-unit...I cant see HOW it would conflict with anything...Its not like my wife and I cant become members of an already existing unit...A cyber unit would allow us to communicate DAILYwith other members about anything and everything...something Im sure doesnt go on in most 'regular' units...(except what those others already do on the internet).... just my 2cents worth...
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:16 AM   #120
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You know, I keep on thinking about this. Maybe there's something that can be done. Here's the deal:

Most current units are named in two-part style, one part involving [geography] and the other the term "unit." So we get New Mexico Unit (that is [New Mexico] "Unit"), Four Corners Unit, Denver Unit, and so forth. And this is pretty much solid in the WBCCI constitution: "Unit" has to be combined with [geography].

Now, up until now I've continually tried to come up with some way to define [geography] in a different way while still combining it with "unit" (for example, [cyber] "unit"). And came up dry every time: Everything I could think of was almost certainly unacceptable for the WBCCI definition.

Maybe it's time to rethink. So rather than trying to come up with some combination with "unit," maybe it's time to stop thinking about "unit" at all.

The trick, I think, is to consider what other associations the WBCCI allows and what terminology is involved. What does seem clear is that the WBCCI allows [interest] "club" like [Amateur Radio] "Club" and [Classic Airstream] "Club" and [Vintage Airstream] "Club."

Ok, so how about [European Internet] "Club" or [North American Internet] "Club."

Of course, the WBCCI does impose a string on clubs: You have to belong to a Unit in order to belong to a Club. But there are several very low-cost clubs about that one could belong to.


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Old 11-14-2008, 09:39 AM   #121
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No doubt the forum Google search engine is spinning as a few folks get wound up with threads of the history of the idea and why historically it wouldn’t work. So before all the weary citations come in…

I believe Eubanks idea is a good one.
Let me ask this: What obstacle would be encountered in making this a reality AND before you hit reply be sure you offer at least one suggestion on how to overcome that obstacle.
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:31 AM   #122
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Lynn ~

Another difference between a "Club" and a "Unit", besides what you mentioned about having to be a member of a "Unit" (or MAL) in order to become a member of a "Club", is that members vote through their "Unit" - not their "Club". The "Club" does not have a delegate or cast votes as a body.

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Old 11-14-2008, 10:38 AM   #123
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I understand the need for a unit being associated with geography. Perhaps the definition of geography needs to be expanded. In this day and age, could 'cyber space' not be considered a geographic entity? If one is open to thinking abstractly, I don't see why not. So, 'WBCCI Cyber Unit' seems an appropriate name for the unit to me. You could expand upon it: 'WBCCI Cyber Unit - North America', 'WBCCI Cyber Unit - Europe', etc.
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:47 AM   #124
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Yes, Shari, that's absolutely right! "Club" members don't have a vote; that goes with "Unit" membership. (That really does show how geographically grounded we are. Not a criticism; just an observation and a convenient pun.)

As far as mere communication is concerned, is it really necessary to have a "club" (or a "unit") to do so? We already have both the WBCCI forum as well as this forum. The problem I would foresee in creating even more means of communication is fractionation: It's far too easy with the internet to create ever smaller communicative associations with very fluid memberships. (Just one peek at Yahoo Groups and the gazillions of communicative associations located there pretty much tells that story.)

I was, by the way, thinking that at least one new unit and a region would be warranted for folks in Europe (possibly elsewhere?). Wouldn't have a club-like term ("cyber" or "internet") associated with it, but, with growing numbers of Airstream owners in the UK, France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany (did I miss anybody?), at least one unit and region ought to be permitted, if those folks want it. The mere fact that Airstream Inc. is marketing in Europe and building EU-complaint units for Europe supports this.


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Old 11-14-2008, 11:44 AM   #125
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Quote:
why historically it wouldn’t work
how is "work" to be defined in this context? This is, I think, related to the question in the next post:
Quote:
Perhaps the definition of geography needs to be expanded. In this day and age, could 'cyber space' not be considered a geographic entity?
I think this is the critical question. For many in this discussion, it appears that the purpose of membership and, hence, the purpose of the club, is to "vote" and, in that context, geography can be defined by any communications capability.

If you think that the organization exists for purposes other than voting and politics, then you need to measure what will "work" and what a "definition of geography" should be against that reference.
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Old 11-14-2008, 12:44 PM   #126
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Taking up on Bryan's point, voting is part of the organization, of course, but more to the point, I think, is what we're about: We're about camping and traveling together with our Airstreams. And that does mean geography at some level, hence the notion of "unit."

So what's beyond camping and traveling with our Aistreams, and, consequently, beyond "unit" membership? Here you can run the gamut, whether it's interest in vintage Airstreams, interest in computers, interest in internet communications, or whatever. This is where we can talk about "clubs" rather than "units."

Further still, however, is that having WBCCI-sanctioned "clubs" may be more than folks really want just for mere communicative associations. Keep in mind that even "club" membership implies dues, organization, officers, perhaps a website or a newsletter, get-togethers (aka rallies), and whatever else the WBCCI may impose on "clubs."

If you do agree that even WBCCI-sanctioned "club" membership (and all that it imples) may be too much for people with possibly transitory communicative purposes, there is still an option, and this option doesn't require much from the WBCCI: Internet forums like this one (if the software is up to it) permit the formation of special subgroups that one may join or not, leave or stay in, still remain "separate" from the rest, pay no special dues (unless desired), have no officers (unless desired), have no rally requirement (unless desired), and so forth.


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