September 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm #58900
Any idea when the club business forum will be accepting threads? I have a couple of questions I would be interested in posting there.September 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm #62251
Ok what types of question do you have.
BMW RA Chatered Club CoordinatorSeptember 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm #62252
I had a few questions about the RA and thought that perahps would be better discussed in a members only area. I felt that discussion there might be a bit more frank than open forum and also even though the forum does not see much traffic, so maybe it does not matter, I was thinking that discussion of some club issues might be construed as airing dirty laundry etc. if posted in open forum.
I just recently noticed the club business forum, maybe it has been there forever and I just noticed but I saw it and thought it was a good venue for discussion.September 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm #62255
You can always PM me the question? If I know the answer to question I will answer it. Now if I do not kown it I will forward the question to someone else. But the question will get answered and will get back to you. You are correct the club business section has been there for long time I have even asked about it and was told that it was under construction. What I have been told is the forum is going to be updated in the up coming months.September 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm #62258
Not sure what you mean. Club Business is the description line for the members-only area. You probably don’t see the contents of that if your account isn’t flagged as an RA member, and there isn’t a real tie-in yet between the membership database and the forum member list. Basically that functionality isn’t there, except in cases where I happen to know someone is an RA member. After all, RA membership isn’t required to simply use the forum.
So… until we can get a real system in place, it’s a bit hodge-podge.
EDIT: I’ve been working on the membership tie-in. If you’re an RA member, the best thing to do is to make sure that your RA membership number is correct in your forum profile. Ideally your email address is also the same as the one you have on file with the RA, but anything (location, name, etc) that links you to that membership number is helpful.September 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm #62261
Thanks for the replies guys. Anton I am a member and have my # somewhere but it sounds like if I post there nobody or very few will read it anyway until the website catches up. That is sort of the basis of one of my questions. When will the website catch up? Another is about club business, events, and what is going on at the board level. From my point of view the RA has always been a little slim on noting what is actually going on with the club, current policies, and direction. Most clubs provide this info in the form of some kind of news letter or in our case the OTL, the club magazine or newsletter whichever label you prefer. In reading the lastest article in OTL about what the current editors want it to be it appears that any club news, club direction, or activities are not part of the new program. The magazine does not even mention any affliation with the RA on the front cover anymore. (yes I guess we should know that but still it is the club publication). So will the website step up and present this type of info? Are there any plans for a “message from the board” section here? It would not need to be a section one could respond in just a regular update of what is going on and where things are headed. Also I used to enjoy the Chartered club section that is no longer presented in OTL and I note that there has been brief discussion on the MOA forum that they are going include similar content in one of their columns and fill this void in their magazine. Why give that up to another club? If it is not to be presented in the OTL maybe try it somewhere here? Perhaps there is no interest but maybe worth a shot. Its pretty quiet here.September 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm #62262
As the Chartered Club person, I am taking a stab at this you are talking about column CLUB Stuff, that was put together by Irv Warden. I know that I have request several times to Chartered clubs to send the RA their monthly news letters. I can only say that I have only 3 clubs that have sent me club news letters in which I have passed on to the editor of the OTL. The RA is going to take a more proactive postion not only for the club but for its members and RA Chartered Clubs. Many of the new ideas are being work on and some are already in the works. An example of this is trying to reach out to are Chartered Clubs by working with them, giving them information. About the OTL I think Wil has done a very good job in taking of the editor job. As for that other club you talk about let them, there not the RA.September 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm #62265
Now that I’ve updated the member status of the users with a valid/current membership, I’m going to move this into the Club Business section per the original request. I’ll do it later on today, so if you don’t see the forums under “Members-only” let me know. Then I’ll try to take a bit of time to make a response of my own.September 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm #62266
FWIW I’m not on the Board any more and my main volunteer efforts with the RA involve the website. Bob Wood and I are the webmeisters. In the 5 years I’ve been involved the site has migrated from being static content to some dynamic content and there is obviously a lot more we can do.
IMO the website suffers from a lack of vision and a lack of overall interest, in each case on the part of the various boards and other volunteers including myself. For simplicity, I’ll use the singular ‘board’ here to mean the current and past Boards of Trustees. Webmaster is not a board position but both Bob and I have spent years on the board also.
The board has wanted the site to do something for the club, but they don’t know what or how to achieve it. Historically, most board members have not had much involvement with the website at all. For instance, yesterday I was asked to post some information which had already been on the site for nearly two weeks. Relatively few board members have posted much on the forum and some of them have never signed up. I’ve given up being frustrated when rally-related questions here aren’t answered because “If someone really wanted to know they wouldn’t ask on the forum; they’d call us.” BTW please understand that I’m not lumping all board members and volunteers together.
One recurring request (going back at least two boards now) is to get better search engine rank. The truth is, Google is a pretty smart outfit and not giving us a high rank is exactly what their goal is. Giving high rank to sites with little content would diminish their value. So now we talk about content, and what do we have? Some of my tech articles that I’ve posted, the rallymap, the annual rally sub-websites (this year was the worst ever for content), the forum that most people just won’t use, and the racing blog which is actually the shining star of our content creation but it isn’t of interest to everyone. Oh, and some sample content from OTL but many of those are the tech articles I mentioned before. There is a cool little thing on the OTL page where you can read the past editorials and see the covers.
The bottom line is that content creation happens when someone is motivated to do it themselves (like Will’s racing blog, my occasional tech, and some development of interactive OTL content that Will and I will be working on) but we have not succeeded in establishing a regular pipeline of broad-spectrum content to the site. The rallymap is a great resource but it is largely driven by motivated rallymasters who want to publicize their events. I’m sure I’m missing a few things but scanning down the website menu, it doesn’t get much better.
Really addressing it is a big issue. The MOA and other organizations with a media arm have spent a lot of time and money figuring out how to best distribute their content and protect the value of membership. The website and OTL are only two media outlets; we haven’t even talked about a Twitter feed or a real presence on Facebook. To a large degree this grows out of the RA’s core mission, meaning whatever distinguishes the RA from other clubs. What’s the best way to BE the RA? I think that is for the most part a big unknown right now. There are many different ways to simplify the publication of content (blogs, CMS, etc) but they all need SOME degree of willingness to participate and of course a guiding vision.
A regular ‘Message from the Board’ would be welcome, I think. Even if it were just in OTL. I have to say in the two terms I was on the board there was never much inclination to communicate club business to the membership – it was considered behind-the-scenes stuff. Some stuff really does have a confidential nature, like negotiations with the ICC over the use of the roundel, but some stuff is just club stuff, and we’re all in the club.
Speaking of Club Stuff, last time I asked Irv he was still sending it in. Is this no longer the case? You’re not the only one who misses it.September 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm #62267
Anton thanks for the thoughtful reply. It appears to me that the RA is at a crossroads and which direction it is to take is a bit unclear at this point. I agree that some board business is “closed door” and needs to be but some information about club business and direction articulated somewhere would be welcome IMO. Unfortuantely from your desciption of how things work that seems unlikely. Again IMO from what I see of late in the OTL it probaly won’t be there. The magazine appears to be moving to just a BMW motorcyle magazine as opposed to a club organ. The last issue has no mention of the RA on the front cover, no logo no nothing. There is mention on the back cover but almost as an afterthought. The only real club info that I see and I may have missed something is the rally map. So as for a venue for club info that would leave the the website at least for now. Not for lack of trying on your part the site is pretty dead. As the discussion of old bikes and ownership articles are described as “snoozers” in the latest OTL is there room here on the site for different forums divided by types of BMW bikes? k bikes, R bikes and so on? I read through the Motorcycle Talk section and very few if any of the tech type questions are answered. Do you think there would be any more responses if the questions could be presented in a model specific forum? I would think that the RA memebership has some knowhow out there. Would it be worth experimenting with a new section or two. I don’t know what is involved in creating a new section and I am sure there is more to it than I imagine but are the resourses available for that? For all the racing/S1000RR focus in the OTL I would think that there would be a S1000RR section. I asked about the fitting of rev limiters on the S1000RR in the motorcycle talk section back in March and have yet to see a response. Not that I am still looking for one, I waited a day or so then searched for S1000RR found a couple of boards that had extensive discussion of this matter. I have a recently aquired K75S and would love to have a place to ask some questions about that here. Not that there is not plenty of info out there on the web it just would be nice to gather some here. I really enjoy the tech stuff and appreciate your efforts to provide it.
Vetbmwrider while I appreciate your comment about the other club I just wonder if it is good club business on the RAs part to give up or rather give away readers or market share (ie members)? If the RA has members to spare no problem but IMO holding on the to members you have and then adding to that number might be a better strategy. Then again if no one is mailing newsletters there is a bit of disconnect. I just hate to see opportunity handed to competitiors.September 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm #62309
How can I change my name from using my last name(muetzelburg) to brewmeister? Asking the moderator please.September 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm #62459
Irv is no longer doing club stuff for the OTL. His witt will be missed. Now the clubs should e-mail there club newsletters to Will Guyan at [email]firstname.lastname@example.org[/email] or I’m sure if you mail a hard copy to the RA Office it will get to Will. Good luck as you will no doubt but your own spin on the club stuff section. :thumbSeptember 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm #62485
[QUOTE=Beemer-me-up »] Good luck as you will no doubt but your own spin on the club stuff section. :thumb[/QUOTE]
If the above comment is directed to me I will have a hard time putting my own spin on material that is not included in the magazine. I am just a little curious why a “club newletter” has no club business or at least club news included in it.September 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm #62488
What??? Sorry I’m missing something here.September 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm #62492
Is that supposed to read “you Will, no doubt” meaning the editor or “you will no doubt” (as written). Who are you saying will put their own spin on the club stuff? Who is the “you” in the as written version?
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