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Old 01-25-2006, 04:21 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streamer23
Total membership as per the 2006 Directory is 6913 members ,down from 7504 members last year.
To me,the numbers clearly show change is needed.There are some units that are growing.What are they doing right?To me,this is far more than just a name change issue.Why are so many new members not renewing?What is being done to find out why?How can the WBCCI website be improved?
Regarding "how can the WBCCI website be improved",

I suggest the National WBCCI web site make directory space available to each of the Units so they could create their local web sites. Some of the units have found miscellaneous independant space and have created unit sites on their own. These often lack consistancy of navigation, may lack basic content and may not be linked to the National WBCCI web site.

Regarding the more general question "how can the WBCCI be improved",

I think changes need to start within the local units and should focus on what things are important to the members.

Areas that might be especially important to a new member are meeting other Airstreamers and learning the "how do I do this or that Airstream chore"

Long term members may turn into a social group that may or may not involve using Airstreams, i.e. luncheons or card parties, etc.

Things that may be important to members of any duration are scenic and interesting caravans/rallies and having fun!
If the unit is not doing interesting and fun things, don't be surprised if members drift away and do the things they like on their own.
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Old 01-25-2006, 04:32 PM   #30
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WBCCI Web Sites

It is a nice idea, but. I maintain all the web sites for Region 7. Recently the Minnesota President asked if I would agree to maintain the web site for another year. I told her yes, unless she had someone in mind that had the software to do it. The software is expensive to buy and update. It also doesn't always work with other software that is used on different web sites. Most people don't realize the expense involved.

In other words, the National would have to supply software and training to anyone that would like to do this. I really wouldn't care, as it is a lot of work and I have other sites to maintain. It would however be a large undertaking.

I also think that if someone local isn't prodding folks for the info to put on the site, nothing would get done.
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Old 01-25-2006, 05:10 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streamer23
Total membership as per the 2006 Directory is 6913 members ,down from 7504 members last year.
Great to see someone post some actual numbers. Just supports what a number of us have said for a few years now and I couldn't agree more with Streamer23's post.

In addition, posts #15, #16 and #17 also shed some additional info on how a club could loose 591 members in one year.

'Nuff said.
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Old 01-25-2006, 05:15 PM   #32
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volume licensing software

Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperhawk
It is a nice idea, but. I maintain all the web sites for Region 7. Recently the Minnesota President asked if I would agree to maintain the web site for another year. I told her yes, unless she had someone in mind that had the software to do it. The software is expensive to buy and update. It also doesn't always work with other software that is used on different web sites. Most people don't realize the expense involved.

In other words, the National would have to supply software and training to anyone that would like to do this. I really wouldn't care, as it is a lot of work and I have other sites to maintain. It would however be a large undertaking.

I also think that if someone local isn't prodding folks for the info to put on the site, nothing would get done.
That is an excellent point. I would like my membership money going towards the creation and maintaintence of web sites rather than flags and what not.
There is no reason why specific software cannot be written with a user friendly interface for WBCCI. It's that important and reasonable.
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Old 01-25-2006, 05:44 PM   #33
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WBCCI Unit Web Pages

Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperhawk
In other words, the National would have to supply software and training to anyone that would like to do this.
I also think that if someone local isn't prodding folks for the info to put on the site, nothing would get done.
I would not expect National to provide software or training. All I am suggesting is that they provide directory space for the Units to have their web pages and photos. If National wanted some consistancy in the Unit pages, they could provide a logo or banner or suggest a color scheme or a page layout. They could even make a page template available.
If a Unit has 50-100 members then the chances are someone in the Unit will know how to create and maintain their web page. I and another person do it for New Mexico Unit 69. (Our unit is less than 60 members and we have at least 2 who are html literate).
If the webmaster is active in the Unit, he/she will already know what needs to be put on the page and/or updated.
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Old 01-25-2006, 06:05 PM   #34
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there is inexpensive software

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstream25
I would not expect National to provide software or training. All I am suggesting is that they provide directory space for the Units to have their web pages and photos. If National wanted some consistancy in the Unit pages, they could provide a logo or banner or suggest a color scheme or a page layout. They could even make a page template available.
If a Unit has 50-100 members then the chances are someone in the Unit will know how to create and maintain their web page. I and another person do it for New Mexico Unit 69. (Our unit is less than 60 members and we have at least 2 who are html literate).
If the webmaster is active in the Unit, he/she will already know what needs to be put on the page and/or updated.
that doesn't require learning html, sure it isn't as customizable and yes you need to redo your page rather than add and delete, but some info is better than no info. I just don't want there to be a "good" reason in the way of our moving ahead with connectivity.

Of course the space should be provided, space is so inexpensive, even free. But you can't link up to a site if we don't have web masters. With all the many many jobs, designations, and offices surely we can squeeze in this role.

I bet the new teen queen could even do it for us.
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Old 01-25-2006, 06:51 PM   #35
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When I took over the web site for our local unit, I essentially inherited a hodge podge of software, which was all copied. I promptly went out and bought on my own nickel some web creation software and enrolled in a community college class in how to use it. I'm still learning and struggling. Obviously we webmasters have all levels of training, skills, time, and software, so standardization is somewhat difficult. I did take the wall paper from the previous design of the WBCCI site to try to conform. The new site has changed so I am somewhat out of step there.

One thing that those of you who are webmasters for your region or local unit should know. Andy is providing free space on his server as long as you provide an Airstreamfourms.com link on your site. I know a few of us have moved here and we greatly appreciate Andy's generosity in hosting us.

Those of you interested, please contact Andy via a private message.

Regards,

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Old 01-26-2006, 08:53 AM   #36
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The WBCCI website has been a concern of mine for some time.I'm glad this thread is getting some feedback regarding this issue.It seems to be the general consensus that WBCCI has some improving to do in this area.How many times have you heard that potential members are having a hard time just gathering basic info on the club.The info is out there,it just needs to be more easily accessible.

My question is..What procedure has to be followed to address this "opportunity" that WBCCI has to increase awareness?I must admit,I am a little vague on how to proceed.
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Old 01-26-2006, 09:26 AM   #37
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I seem to recall when Jack asked WBCCI for the survey results, or something along those lines in a .pdf format, they told him they would send him a CD for something like $20. I think his next comment was why not put it on the website, but don't quote me on that.

As of today, unless I missed it, the survey results are still not on the WBCCI website and I may be wrong, but I don't think many folks paid the $20 for the CD.
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Old 01-26-2006, 11:18 AM   #38
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Oh Yea???

From WBCCI's web site...

Quote:
If you own any trailer or motorhome manufactured by Airstream, Inc., WBCCI offers you fun and exciting opportunities to enjoy your Airstream and the RV Lifestyle. Whether you are traveling with your children or have retired to travel the world, you can do it best in the oldest and finest RV association, the Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI).
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Old 01-26-2006, 11:24 AM   #39
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WBCCI Web Site

The WBCCI regions web sites could be a piece of WIKI structure. That is something that anybody and everybody can contribute to. Want an example??? go to wikipedia.org.
This is an online repository encyclopedia (glad I learned to spell encyclopedia from public TV as a kid, remember the song???).
Anybody can contribute and edit others contributions. it is self policing in that if one person creates bad information on the wiki, somebody else can will correct it. It is a beautiful system and best of all it is free - that's right, free. The software is freely available on the web and requires only minutes to set up on WBCCI's server.

A system like this requires little to no knowledge on how to use. If you can write an email message, you can contribute to a wiki.

The principal reason that the WBCCI's web infrastructure sucks so bad is that they rely on a 3rd party organization to maintain the content for the site. They need to form a web team comprised of WBCCI members who can maintain that content, structure, etc... that would help.
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Old 01-26-2006, 11:30 AM   #40
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We have 5 WBCCI sites that we are hosting for free and 3 more that just inquired and are moving over. So if you have site for your chapter and want FREE hosting, just send me a PM. Of course a link back to the forums is required.
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Old 01-26-2006, 11:48 AM   #41
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How about a cheap shameless plug for which sites? That is a very generous offer. It is amazing to see how a community like this can do so much good for the organization as a whole without being asked. People stepping up to the plate to make WBCCI better without being asked.... That is how the positive changes in WBCCI will come about.
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Old 01-26-2006, 12:11 PM   #42
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Quote:
The software is expensive to buy and update. It also doesn't always work with other software that is used on different web sites. Most people don't realize the expense involved.
You can do things other ways! If you can learn to do word processing with style sheets, you can use the composer in the free Mozilla suite or even OpenOffice to create web pages that will do the job. A simple free open source FTP program is all you need to get them online.

If that doesn't ring your chimes, you can use what is called a CMS. Again, there are free and open source versions and these are often supplied with hosting plans.

And, as Andy R points out, hosting isn't an issue for the small sites.

What this tells me is that things like a web site are more a matter of people. Learning a bit, planning a bit, and keeping an eye on the goals and purpose of the effort.

This is why the WBCCI effort is so frustrating. It goes to the point that WBCCI caravans is a completely different site and not well linked or found from the WBCCI site. It goes to the complete blindness about file formats, document management, indexing, filing, completeness, and so on. This isn't rocket science. Its not even geek. Get a good secretary's handbook at the bookstore and put that as a basic competency requirement.

To me, the web site is an indicator of more fundamental problems. There
has to be incentive to find out about things, to look at what exists and for what could be improved. There is a tremendous attraction towards the surface artifacts (such as name) while the fundamentals below the surface are out of sight and out of mind.

Mike's numbers are another indicator.

The question is whether the organization as a whole will use them effectively to create change and progress.
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