IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Discuss all things 'aviation' that do not fit into a more appropriate forum
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Southendnick
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by Southendnick »

I know only too well the costs of running a website, and would be happy for a subscription fee for UKAR say £5 per year,

I only ever use the forum, the other parts I don't use so perhaps have a basic members where only the forum is available for £5 per year and a Executive Membership where a bit more is paid and access to the hole site is available.


Delete any non-used members, don't tell them just do it, if they want to post they have to rejoin when they do or a new member joins make it part of the agreement that if they fail to post for six months they get deleted.
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Weather Watcher
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by Weather Watcher »

Firstly I'd like to wish all the volunteer staff well in their efforts to maintain UKAR.

Presuming there is access to analytical tools I suggest a detailed look at the traffic on the site and before deleting too much in the way of content/accounts, consider that the greater the traffic the greater the opportunity to sell advertising.
If it is decided to go down some form of crowdfunding or subscription route, as has been said earlier in this thread, please be upfront about the costs.

As far as raising money is concerned, considering people who access the site are geographically diverse, I'm not sure an event would be particularly helpful. However many (most?) on this site would value privileged access. If this could be offered either as an auction or as a prize it may prove to be a good way of raising money.

Personally I find it a little worrying that so few have posted on this thread so far.

AndrewW
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by AndrewW »

I have chipped in and I would miss UKAR. Let's find a way to keep it going. It would help to know the ballpark running costs. Another website I manage costs almost nothing to run (£12 per year domain name registration, £60 per year hosting cost), i guess it's also traffic dependent.

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Brevet Cable
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by Brevet Cable »

DanO's suggestion of 'quiz nights'......it doesn't have to be a physical one, it can be done online, which is something other forums have done in the past.
It could be done as a live topic ( so non- participants can also view it ) or it could be done via PMs
Similarly, they could either be for teams or individuals.
Granted you run the risk of 'Googlefuing', but that would be down to personal integrity.
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bhjordan
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by bhjordan »

UKAR would be sorely missed, I tend to come here daily to catch up on going ons if not to actually post myself. I'd be happy to pay a small annual fee to access the site (thinking along the lines of the £5 a year that Threshold charge for their database access), again like most have already said, if you do go this route please be fully transparent with the costs of hosting the site etc.

Again like most, I tend to access only some of the forums (aviation waffle, UK airshow events, photos in the main), and in fact hadn't noticed this post until it was moved into Aviation waffle. Probably 50-60% of the site I personally never look at, such as the general forums, trips or the modelling (I do make models myself but tend to just follow/post in social media groups, or dedicated modelling sites/forums). Is it worth doing a poll for people to vote for the sections they actually use or don't use ?

I use a lot of social media these days (I blame my kids), but always come here to sense check what I've read, or to follow a adult discussion by knowledgeable people that social media groups tend to remove if the posters point of view doesn't match that of the admins.

Hopefully a solution can be found, and UKAR can continue for many years to come
All the gear and no idea....

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trebleone
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by trebleone »

I think that the options of (i) a cull of inactive members and (ii) seeking sponsorship, should be mutually exclusive, as any potential sponsor is more likely to get on board a going concern with a large membership, where they can see the possibility of significant advertising exposure. On the other hand, a slimmed-down UKAR, with only a small fraction of the current membership number would be a far less attractive proposition in terms of sponsorship.

So, dump the archive of old posts, yes, remove some of the less relevant forum sections (e.g. General Forums and Aircraft Modelling), yes, but before taking the irreversible step of deleting members, work out the figures and weigh up whether the savings are sufficient to offset a reduced sponsorship potential.

Also, rather than the hassle of trying to negotiate sponsorship deals, would it not be more straightforward to simply sell advertising space? Could sufficient revenue be raised from advertising to fund UKAR?

5944
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by 5944 »

One forum I visit has a donate button on the side of the page, with a running total for how much has been donated that month. I think it's £60 a month that is required to run the site, but that does include hosting of images as well, and it never fails to achieve it. No reason why UKAR should be anywhere near that amount. I certainly wouldn't go down the route of two-tier membership.

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phreakf4
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by phreakf4 »

I find it interesting that some are suggesting axing what they describe as "less relevant" sections of the forum, citing such as "Off Topic" and "General Photography" when both of these have generated more posts than any other section apart from "Aviation Waffle" or "Modern Military Photography" thus indicating that they are more popular than is generally realised.
nothing is confirmed at a show until its u/c hits the tarmac or it is running in for its display.....

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tankbuster81
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by tankbuster81 »

phreakf4 wrote:I find it interesting that some are suggesting axing what they describe as "less relevant" sections of the forum, citing such as "Off Topic" and "General Photography" when both of these have generated more posts than any other section apart from "Aviation Waffle" or "Modern Military Photography" thus indicating that they are more popular than is generally realised.


Agreed! Maybe have a re-vamp of topics, based on some kind of poll? I've donated in the past, and agree the site needs some more life and vigor injected into it, even the humour has diminished a great deal over the years.
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Brevet Cable
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by Brevet Cable »

trebleone wrote:I think that the options of (i) a cull of inactive members and (ii) seeking sponsorship, should be mutually exclusive, as any potential sponsor is more likely to get on board a going concern with a large membership, where they can see the possibility of significant advertising exposure. On the other hand, a slimmed-down UKAR, with only a small fraction of the current membership number would be a far less attractive proposition in terms of sponsorship.

But would any potential sponsor(s) just look and say "Brilliant, you've got almost 13,000 forum members" or would they be more sensible, do a bit of digging & say "Well you've got almost 13,000 members, but we notice that 95% of them have never posted on there & a lot of them haven't visited the site for years"?
Besides, it's not so much about how many people are registered, it's more about how many people visit the forum, and I'm sure the admins can provide figures for that which would appeal to potential sponsors....take right now, for example, it's a Sunday afternoon outside of the main airshow season, yet there are still about 300 people showing as viewing the forum.
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CH2
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by CH2 »

As what I said back in 2017 UKAR is a product of the media and like all products it has a cycle. It's past plateau and is now in decline. UKAR failed to reinvent itself, it will carry (s long as peope are prepared to fund it) on but as a shadow of it's former self, that's not meant to be personnel it's just the way things go and even FB will probably suffer a similar fate.

In the early 2004-5 onward (and a little before, remember GP's Airscene) saw the boom in DSLR photography, that has now lost the wow factor. DLSR stills won't be enough for many very soon and only highly-stabilised ultra HD 360 photography will do.

It was in some cases a forum of personalities and egos, why bother feeding them and I think one in particular did enough for me to simply vote with my keyboard.

Life moves on.

But to add, thank you to the original "Big Cheese", you did a superb job.
Cheers,

Chris

BillRamsey
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by BillRamsey »

Go on, restore the 558 thread! You know you want to and it would get your readership back! :yahoo:

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Tommy
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by Tommy »

The '558 thread was one of the things most often cited anecdotally as a reason for people to not visit this place anymore! :grin:

There's some heartwarming stuff in this thread, some very tough but true and fair comments, and some practical suggestions.

I think we should be fair on the "it's all social media these days" (paraphrasing) element, though:

UKAR's social media is pretty on point, I feel. Our Facebook page could do with some work, but UKAR's Twitter is pretty decent. There aren't many enthusiasts' sites of this nature that has the following and the traffic that UKAR has on Twitter, and our Instagram isn't a slouch, either. Just in terms of numbers, we're leagues ahead of most. That's not chest-beating or anything. UKAR's social media policy has always been to be inclusive, and we aren't afraid of plugging, say, Aero Resource or whatever. We don't see people as "competitors". However, just looking at the numbers, UKAR's social media is very healthy indeed.

The issue is that there aren't many ways to "reinvent" a forum, though. Sure, we could make a Facebook group, but those things are the best of the worst situations. I can't think of (m)any public and open Facebook groups related to airshows or modern military stuff that aren't either really moronic, look like the vast majority of posts are written by seven year olds, really cliquey, or have "Superzoomaircraftafterburnerpix Photography" just plugging their own Facebook page all the time. Or all at once. There are some notable exceptions; the COAP one was/is good, and Threshold's seems pretty good, too.

But none that feel like they really lend themselves to be a direct replacement for UKAR. A Facebook group doesn't really "feel" very UKAR. And Facebook feels like it's on the way out, anyway.

Forums themselves are outdated, but I still enjoy using them. I've been begging the rest of the staff to set up a UKAR Facebook page to act as a replacement, or alternative, to an outdated forum, but each time it's been pushed back, and tbf I can see why, but it would have been something at least. So I get the "reinvent" thing, but there's "reinventing" for the sake of it, and I'd rather we set and end date and turned off the lights with our heads held high rather than dilute ourselves into yet another Facebook group just for the sake of staying relevant.

With social media, I feel like the UKAR "brand" is as strong as ever, the problem has been that there is no real way of translating the forum into the modern world. If there was, we'd have done it, as we have with the website - we've been working on making sure that stays relevant for years. It would be easy to cut the forum entirely and just stick with the website, like VAE, or GAR (notwistanding "the HanGAR" or whatever it was), but the discussion, however heated, however eye-rolling was what made UKAR UKAR.

And you can't make posts like this one on Facebook. Lest you have what looks like one long receipt on your screen and a tonne of wasted space...

BillRamsey
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by BillRamsey »

To quote Falstaff from Shakespeare - ‘ have we not iron here?’ It’s a Tudor play on words if you aren’t sure.

RAF4EVER
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by RAF4EVER »

What happens if a member isn`t on Social Media?,or does not want to use Social Media?,there must be a few.

chipmunk22
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by chipmunk22 »

I would be very happy to pay a subscription.
I only look at `Aviation Waffle`,which is full of good info.

I do not take part in `Facegram` Instatwit` or any of that rubbish.
Please do not alienate us older ones,by going the way of a lot of other formerly good things :sad:

chipmunk22
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by chipmunk22 »

Just an observation --
Nearly 6000 views,and only 64 replies !!

Presumably the other 5000 don`t give a damn if UKAR lives or dies :confused:

FarnboroJohn
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by FarnboroJohn »

chipmunk22 wrote:Just an observation --
Nearly 6000 views,and only 64 replies !!

Presumably the other 5000 don`t give a damn if UKAR lives or dies :confused:


Or they think the points are being made on here by others and refrain from mere repetition. If posts had like/dislike buttons, we'd know by now.

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LN Strike Eagle
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by LN Strike Eagle »

It's been said many times before, but the forum is open to non-registered users. The majority of views on this, or any other topic, will come from people who don't have an account.
"You really are an oafish philistine at times!"

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BDL
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by BDL »

UKAR is too valuable a resource to lose, quite simple.

We may have Twitter, Faceache, Instagram etc but this forum has proven very helpful for me, getting advice and filling my lunch hours drooling over some of the pictures submitted.

Willing to help. Dave

Ken Shabby
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by Ken Shabby »

I'd be very sad if UKAR disappeared. I've always found it to be very helpful and enjoy the forum. I still believe that forums have a place in the on-line world, if only to provide an outlet for those who struggle to express their opinions in no more than 180 characters or for those whose emotional hinterland most usually occupies the space between 'like' and 'dislike'.

I do think the threads needs some pruning (no pun intended) so the forum reflects the site's air show 'remit' a bit more. Some of the more specialist threads are better served elsewhere, and it doesn't help the vibrancy of the site if there are too many forum areas where new posts only appear once in a blue moon. Although I don't get to air shows anymore, I still enjoy reading the first hand accounts from those attending shows.

I'd seriously consider a monthly donation but would want to understand a bit more about what the site costs to run. I wouldn't want my contribution to be next to worthless, but then again I don't want to be paying for everything!
Ken

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Nwalch
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by Nwalch »

steveb23 wrote:I too would miss UKAR.

My opinion is the site should re-focus on what it’s best at, airshow reviews and discussion. To this end, it could probably lose about half of the different forums to concentrate the discussion, and increase activity.

Photography stuff could continue through an affiliated Facebook group, providing both the bandwidth, storage and simplicity for posting.


I think that's a great idea. I tend to use Facebook to look at aviation photos but UKAR for all the news and info on shows etc.

Crowdsourcing in some format is perhaps the way to go.

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Tmyers123
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by Tmyers123 »

I’m not sure it’s a great idea making an FB page for photography. Firstly, there are members that are here purely for the aviation photography, whether it is posting the images or viewing them, and taking away the photography side would likely lose active users, which is the last thing UKAR wants, if these new sponsors are to be attained.

Another reason would just be that it is on social media, instead of UKAR itself. Not only would it not have the same feeling of community, but there are a multitude of member who have a profound hatred for anything to do with what they call Faceache, Twatter and Instagran (really?) which would, as has been mentioned earlier, alienate the members who don’t use social media.

frank
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by frank »

LN Strike Eagle wrote:It's been said many times before, but the forum is open to non-registered users. The majority of views on this, or any other topic, will come from people who don't have an account.



and your point is what …
Unregistered viewers don't post and wont contribute so I don't understand what you are trying to say unfortunately

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LN Strike Eagle
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by LN Strike Eagle »

frank wrote:
LN Strike Eagle wrote:It's been said many times before, but the forum is open to non-registered users. The majority of views on this, or any other topic, will come from people who don't have an account.



and your point is what …
Unregistered viewers don't post and wont contribute so I don't understand what you are trying to say unfortunately

Read the posts above it regarding views/replies and it should all become very apparent...
"You really are an oafish philistine at times!"

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