UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

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CJS
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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by CJS »

Dan O'Hagan wrote:Not true, as far as I know UKAR does not welcome unsolicited reviews and articles.

On occasion the staff may approach a trusted member who has the requisite writing and photographic skills to produce an article in-keeping with the site's high standards. In the past the likes of "st24" has contributed in this way, as have I.

To suggest UKAR accept submissions from just anybody is just not the case.


I must have misread the reply to my question then, which clearly stated (from Andy I think, or Tommy) that you didn't have to be a staff member to submit something for consideration. I suggested that the UKAR staff might consider, not accept, unsolicited reviews. The implication was that they might be for shows that UKAR were not able to cover themselves.

Fair enough to only "approach a trusted member who has the requisite writing and photographic skills" but how would the staff know who has these skills, particularly the writing skills, unless we (the royal we, I'm not implying I have them) are given the chance to submit them? Genuine question.

And why do they need the "requisite...photographic skills" to write an airshow review? It would be easy enough to add someone else's photos to a review.

Anyway, I'm not saying UKAR do do this (apart from the odd exception) but perhaps that it's something they could consider in the future, as a way of having reviews from more airshows throughout the season. It's an idea, nothing more or less than that, in response to what other have said about there being certain shows last season which have not had reviews.
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FarnboroJohn
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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by FarnboroJohn »

It seems to me that UKAR's staff might, in order to increase their review coverage, make use of pictures posted on UKAR after each show (normally no shortage to choose from) along with the comments on both the photo threads and the airshow section (normally no shortage of those either, and a full range of views expressed!) to create reviews of a wider range of shows than just the ones they manage to get to.

Or devise a standard survey questionnaire for UKAR members to fill out, with a freestyle comments section at the bottom...

Either of those would keep the level of editorial control that is apparently necessary, with the actual report drafting remaining in the hands of a staffer.

At the very least it would give us all something new to comment on!

John

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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by Weather Watcher »

From what has been written here it would seem that a number of people have a concern for UKAR and that some changes may be helpful in increasing the vitality of the site.

One concern is that social media has a much greater immediacy and is easier to use. One forum I use does have an email notification system so that if there is a post to a thread I have subscribed to, I get an email. I don't know if the software used here supports that function or not. With regards to having to use a hosting site perhaps a subscription model could be made available for those who wish to post photos directly onto UKAR. Free would be nice but I doubt that is viable. Please would a member of staff comment on the above. Thanks.

Other concerns seem to relate to editorial breadth and the tone of some of the posts, also the lack of response to new posters or to those who post infrequently. Like a number of others posting in this thread I rarely post photos here as the response is often limited. How these issues can be addressed I do not know.

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The Baron
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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by The Baron »

I'd be more than willing to put together a few paragraphs reviewing a show. My photos, though, probably aren't up to the quality required.
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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by cg_341 »

Weather Watcher wrote:One forum I use does have an email notification system so that if there is a post to a thread I have subscribed to, I get an email. I don't know if the software used here supports that function or not.

"Subscribe topic", bottom left.

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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by Weather Watcher »

Hampshire Aviation wrote:"Subscribe topic", bottom left.

Thanks - hadn't looked for it! I don't normally contribute to fast moving threads.

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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by UKTopgun »

We may be on to something with the idea that anyone's show review could at least be considered for publication on the site. It would make more people feel involved in what is, after all, their website.
The public's, that is. Got to be worth trying...
That is not to say that a poor piece would go up, it would need to be of a certain standard even if not attaining the lofty journalistic heights of Dan's musings...

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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by MicrolightDriver »

UKTopgun wrote:We may be on to something with the idea that anyone's show review could at least be considered for publication on the site. It would make more people feel involved in what is, after all, their website.
The public's, that is. Got to be worth trying...


Agree again! Why can't people have a go at expressing their views and then submit that for possible publication?

Staffers can look at it, discuss, give the contributor feedback, agree changes, or maybe even just think it's a damned good review and publish it for the benefit of the UKAR readership!

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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by DerekF »

There are many non-staff members who are perfectly capable of stringing a few paragraphs together - we have published authors and many who write professionally on the forum. Perhaps a list of shows could be published and if there are no staff members going then maybe non-staff members could volunteer to provide a review?

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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by TKK 140 »

DerekF wrote:There are many non-staff members who are perfectly capable of stringing a few paragraphs together - we have published authors and many who write professionally on the forum. Perhaps a list of shows could be published and if there are no staff members going then maybe non-staff members could volunteer to provide a review?


All very sensible, perhaps a formal suggestion to several staff members, via private message of course, by those prepared to offer assistance. That at least would give a wider airing.

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Tommy
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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by Tommy »

UKAR has had plenty of guest contributions from a number of non-staff members over the years. Indeed, for some members, a couple of decent reviews can lead, if there is a vacancy, to a permanent staff role should they wish. I think (memory is a bit rusty) PeterR, Andy, and Keith all produced some content for UKAR before "taking the red" (apologies - got Thrones box set for Christmas).

There was also the Talking Point feature which we got off the ground in 2014, but despite initial enthusiasm, no-one from the forum was confident enough to put themselves forward to discuss a topic of their choosing. That's still open to anyone, and I'd love to hear from anyone interested in doing something with it.

There's nothing stopping a PM to any staffer from someone who would like to produce something for the site. The worst we can do is say "no", but even if content isn't up to the standards we hold for ourselves, we'll do our best to provide as much constructive feedback as possible.

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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by boff180 »

Hello from Tenerife,

I've been reading this thread with interest whilst on my travels as I had started a similar thread in the staff area shortly before. Obviously what has been said in the staff area will not be repeated here.

I thought I'd just post my personal thoughts on some of the things posted.

Top 10
A question was asked as to why a specific item was chosen, a response was given, that's hardly defending the top 10. I'm not surprised that there have been so few posts this year as the forum membership had already started their own top moments of 2016 threads. I however agree that the article is being published late, that was caused by a variety of reasons but that's something for internal discussion. I do however believe the top 10 should remain as chosen by the staff team and not the membership. If the membership wanted a separate set of awards they could vote on then this could be looked at.

Controversy
I strongly disagree with any insinuation that UKAR articles should have a controversial element, that is Daily Mail gutter press style. It may have made certain articles "interesting" in the past but it should not be what UKAR is about and, if UKAR went down that route I would leave in a heartbeat as would many others suspect.

Lack of Content
I agree, this year has been a lean one. Why? It costs money to attend Airshows and we are all volunteers. If an airshow doesn't attract a staffer, it either means the ticket cost is high or, there is nothing interesting attending/the show is advance ticket only and attendance rests on the weather or, there is a bigger/better show that day or, there is something fundamentally wrong with the venue (eg. Duxford). We do not ask for special access at UK Airshows, we believe asking for press access (certain other websites quite literally beg for this - one poor bedroom website even obtained a RIAT press pass last year) gives an obliation that restricts the ability to criticise where necessary. It can also be that thanks to the weather.etc there may not be enough content, we don't write articles for articles sake - this happened more than once in 2016.

Future Content - Features
UKAR's remit has to expand in order for it to remain relevant in the coming years as the airshow industry is in apparent decline. I disagree that military exercises should be off limits to our articles, if the author/staff think people would be interested in reading the piece then the feature report should be written. That said any report should have an angle, I agree multiple repeated red flag articles saying "this was there and that was there" do no-one any good. I have a couple of ideas for feature reports in my head at the moment that I'm putting to staff on my return, those that think exercises shouldn't be covered will not be happy with them as these go a whole new direction, that's if they happen of course!

Social Media
This is somewhere that I am very reluctant to expand, and I know that brings me into conflict with fellow staffers. My personal opinion is that Facebook has been the great social leveller and that this has not been for the good. Where here we can easily control content, posters.etc, I have to be honest and say Facebook groups are predominantly (not all) occupied by idiots and people too lazy to go out and find information for themselves. They require far more moderation and monitoring than a forum and I honestly don't think we have the resource to do this.

Direct Posting of Images
The amount of bandwidth, physical space and cost required to do this is prohibitive.

Use of non-staff photos
This already happens, we just do it in private. We won't put out a call for images, we pick whose images we want. Part of a good article is excellent photography and the images we use that aren't staff need to be up to scratch. Some staffers are on the team for their writing ability, others for their photographic, others perform other tasks (Ie forum moderation). Not everyone has a good ability at everything.

Non-Staff Articles
Always welcome, it's how I started contributing to UKAR, I approached the staff team offering articles from a visit to the USA and they agreed. 12 months later I was offered a place on the team. I must clarify however that you must already have content online/available for us to review - both written and photographic. There is a standard to maintain and a "this happened and that happened" style article won't be accepted. We will also review the reason why you want to write an article for us. Not naming anyone but we were approached in the recent past by someone wanting to write an article on the Hawk T1 leaving service... Upon researching we found out the T1 was not leaving service for a few years and the individual involved had declared on social media they would try anything and everything in order to "blag" a back seat ride in a Hawk that year! Needless to say that offer was refused. That we will not support. End of the day, the worst we will say is no. Indeed, talking point was set up specifically for members to contribute content to the site and forums but after one article, no-one took us up on it!

Number of Forum Posts
There is only so much we can do about this, it is down to you as members to make threads and to comment on them. I do believe there are certain members that discourage replies either because they are easily offended, looking for any excuse to attack certain individuals or, are bullies. I think some posting attitudes do need to change from long term members in all honesty.

Rebrand
Hell no, there's already sites out there piggy backing off ours and GAR's success with similar names, UKAR is a well known brand in the airshow industry, it's also one of the oldest review websites.


That's my personal view on some things being discussed, it's not the UKAR official view in many instances but end of the day I'm also a member of the forum too in addition to being a staffer :hide:

Andy

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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by Weather Watcher »

by boff180

Hello from Tenerife,

I've been reading this thread with interest whilst on my travels as I had started a similar thread in the staff area shortly before. Obviously what has been said in the staff area will not be repeated here.

I thought I'd just post my personal thoughts on some of the things posted.


Thanks for the considered response. I thought I might make a few comments on some of what you have written.

Controversy
I strongly disagree with any insinuation that UKAR articles should have a controversial element, that is Daily Mail gutter press style. It may have made certain articles "interesting" in the past but it should not be what UKAR is about and, if UKAR went down that route I would leave in a heartbeat as would many others suspect.


I very strongly agree!

Future Content - Features
UKAR's remit has to expand in order for it to remain relevant in the coming years as the airshow industry is in apparent decline.


I agree - I would want the core content to be airshows and planes that display in the UK but other aviation topics should not be off limits.

Social Media
This is somewhere that I am very reluctant to expand


Whilst I would not advocate an UKAR facebook group, my experience of subscribing to this thread has not been very satisfactory i.e. 2 notifications since subscribing both several hours after posts have been made. Also in another forum I use the notification email contains the text of post causing the notification, not just a link to the thread. I think moving to such a system could improve the user experience.

Direct Posting of Images
The amount of bandwidth, physical space and cost required to do this is prohibitive.


I'm not surprised for a free option but could a paid for option be looked at for those who want the facility? Alternatively a direct posing option whereby the photos were only stored on the UKAR servers for a limited period of time. I don't know how many views old threads get.

Number of Forum Posts
There is only so much we can do about this


I understand, perhaps having a named moderator/guide for each board could help?

UKAR is a well known brand in the airshow industry, it's also one of the oldest review websites.


UKAR is well known but possibly not for the right things. I have several times at airshows been asked if I post my photos online and if I say that some times UKAR, on all occasions the response has been negative, with comments on the attitudes of some posters and all but one person saying that they have posted on UKAR in the past but don't do so now. Perhaps I stand in the wrong places.

I hope that staff will look at all the comments in this thread and implement some changes for the 2017 season. I also hope that members will give time to see how any changes work out before being overly negative about them.

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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by Elliott Marsh »

This quote (and most of the stuff in the Duxford airshows section of the forum)

...there is something fundamentally wrong with the venue (eg. Duxford)...


Plus this quote

There was also the Talking Point feature which we got off the ground in 2014, but despite initial enthusiasm, no-one from the forum was confident enough to put themselves forward to discuss a topic of their choosing. That's still open to anyone, and I'd love to hear from anyone interested in doing something with it.


Feel like the recipe for a decent discussion piece to me.

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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by fideaux »

Thread...
Re: RAF Tutor Display Pilot 2017 Announced

Thread says it all already.... Didn't take long... Here we go....

Bye, This used to be a good place with occasional oddities....
The future is elsewhere...

enough good people here post elsewhere as well. I'm off to civilisation. No more time wasting.

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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by Russ »

Bye! I'm sure your nine posts over the last nine years will be hugely missed. :whistle:

Regarding the Tutor thread, people are entitled to their opinions, whether they're deemed right or wrong. Everyone in the hobby has their own preferences on the type of aircraft/displays they like.

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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by Brevet Cable »

Have I missed something on the Tutor thread ?
I can only see a grand total of one post which some could look to be offended by ( the obligatory lunch/toilet break comment )....after all, when it comes to ST24's post the old saying applies : Many a true word is spoken in jest.

And that's a problem this forum shares with others -- people looking for something to be offended by.
You can also add those who continually insult & attempt to belittle others on here & ridiculous accusations of 'trolling' in an attempt to stifle others' opinions.
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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by TKK 140 »

Brevet Cable wrote:Have I missed something on the Tutor thread ?
I can only see a grand total of one post which some could look to be offended by ( the obligatory lunch/toilet break comment )....after all, when it comes to ST24's post the old saying applies : Many a true word is spoken in jest.

And that's a problem this forum shares with others -- people looking for something to be offended by.
You can also add those who continually insult & attempt to belittle others on here & ridiculous accusations of 'trolling' in an attempt to stifle others' opinions.



Surely encouragement for the act is needed in this case. I suppose it's hard to say later on "I told you so', if the opportunity for a cheap gag had been missed at this stage, inevitably followed by :rock:

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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by CJS »

fideaux wrote:Thread...
Re: RAF Tutor Display Pilot 2017 Announced

Thread says it all already.... Didn't take long... Here we go....

Bye, This used to be a good place with occasional oddities....
The future is elsewhere...

enough good people here post elsewhere as well. I'm off to civilisation. No more time wasting.


This is a brilliant post, you couldn't make it up. :clown: :dizzy: :dunno:
With just the slightest bit of finesse, I might have made a little less mess.

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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by Maisie »

I pop on here from time to time, but I've stopped posting now. You post up something rare and no one appreciates it, post up in Off-Topic and the thread goes bonkers... I'm not looking for comments on my threads, but I don't understand why an Aviation forum has more comments in "Deceased in 2016" than Aviation threads in the Aviation Section.... ?

Prime example, rare as anything... 900+ views, no comments.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75878

I've only just seen it myself, so I'm not one of them 900+ but I will leave a comment shortly.


Off Topic section

Deceased in 2017, already has 6 replies... Are dead people really that much more interesting than an Egyptian Mil...? And the 2016 thread, 19 pages.

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=75820


and that's why I'm not bothering any more, so no surprise it's quite Dan, not surprised at all.
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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by st24 »

Maisie wrote:I pop on here from time to time, but I've stopped posting now. You post up something rare and no one appreciates it, post up in Off-Topic and the thread goes bonkers... I'm not looking for comments on my threads, but I don't understand why an Aviation forum has more comments in "Deceased in 2016" than Aviation threads in the Aviation Section.... ?

Prime example, rare as anything... 900+ views, no comments.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75878

I've only just seen it myself, so I'm not one of them 900+ but I will leave a comment shortly.


Off Topic section

Deceased in 2017, already has 6 replies... Are dead people really that much more interesting than an Egyptian Mil...? And the 2016 thread, 19 pages.

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=75820


and that's why I'm not bothering any more, so no surprise it's quite Dan, not surprised at all.


But "famous" people are dying at a far higher rate than people taking pictures of Egyptian helicopters... Also perhaps the thread title doesn't immediately ring out "rare helicopter alert" (no offence to the OP - I too try to be artistic with thread titles..)
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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by AndyXH558 »

Would anyone like a feature on Meteor WS788 (Dixey) or a progress report every couple of months. A lot has happened since it was started last year.
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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by The Baron »

AndyXH558 wrote:Would anyone like a feature on Meteor WS788 (Dixey) or a progress report every couple of months. A lot has happened since it was started last year.


Definitely!
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Maisie
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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by Maisie »

st24 wrote:
Maisie wrote:I pop on here from time to time, but I've stopped posting now. You post up something rare and no one appreciates it, post up in Off-Topic and the thread goes bonkers... I'm not looking for comments on my threads, but I don't understand why an Aviation forum has more comments in "Deceased in 2016" than Aviation threads in the Aviation Section.... ?

Prime example, rare as anything... 900+ views, no comments.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=75878

I've only just seen it myself, so I'm not one of them 900+ but I will leave a comment shortly.


Off Topic section

Deceased in 2017, already has 6 replies... Are dead people really that much more interesting than an Egyptian Mil...? And the 2016 thread, 19 pages.

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=75820


and that's why I'm not bothering any more, so no surprise it's quite Dan, not surprised at all.


But "famous" people are dying at a far higher rate than people taking pictures of Egyptian helicopters... Also perhaps the thread title doesn't immediately ring out "rare helicopter alert" (no offence to the OP - I too try to be artistic with thread titles..)


The Egyptian helicopters still had 900+ views regardless of the title...?
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Re: UKAR in 2017: What For The Future?

Post by Brevet Cable »

To be honest, though, there's a difference between your average photo topic & a more normal discussion topic.
A photo topic often pretty much consists of responses along the lines of "cool pics, bro" ( which is something the Forum Rules advises against ) or occasionally blossoms with a flurry of posts recalling where people have seen that aircraft/team/deltic in the past.
A 'who's dead' topic, on the other hand, is something that by it's nature is constantly evolving as more people die.
There are plenty of normal ( non-photo ) topics on here which have had hundreds of views yet have only elicited one or two responses, and in some cases none.
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