IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

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jalfrezi
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by jalfrezi »

FlyingMachinesTV wrote:So you need about £650.00 a year?


Once we've moved to the new server it will be about half that, but we'll need to run both servers in parallel for a time while we transfer the data to the new one.

frank
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by frank »

Mods/Staff
quick suggestion - can you start a locked thread with only you guys posting the progress of where you are - there are probably 3 or 4 key posts by staff that need to be copied into that. My concern is that as this thread grows (we are on page 7) we will miss an important update by you guys.
I totally missed the post on page 4 about the costs being published and only found it when someone asked the question on page 6.

Just a thought

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The Baron
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by The Baron »

frank wrote:Mods/Staff
quick suggestion - can you start a locked thread with only you guys posting the progress of where you are - there are probably 3 or 4 key posts by staff that need to be copied into that. My concern is that as this thread grows (we are on page 7) we will miss an important update by you guys.
I totally missed the post on page 4 about the costs being published and only found it when someone asked the question on page 6.

Just a thought


Good idea...
Loafer for Mr. Da Vinci.

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tommc
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by tommc »

It is good to hear about the positive responses regarding financing of UKAR.

However, it does not address the root issues, about the place of this sort of forum has in this day and age.

Most forums and groups live (and die) by the activity and participation of the people that use it. UKAR is no different, and it needs greater participation and interaction in order to thrive. 90% of the people in these type of groups/forums are only in it to get what information they can for themselves, and don't actively contribute (other than asking for information to help themselves). I am involved in numerous groups and forums and can vouch that this is generally the case. I don't know the precise numbers as far as UKAR is concerned, but I bet the overwhelming majority of members DO NOT regularly contribute in any meaningful way.

So, in 2018 it appears that UKAR in its current format is not the same force that it was a decade ago. What needs to change?

1. Much greater active participation and interaction by the members is necessary. This will drive the direction that UKAR needs to be, as the less popular topics/forums will naturally wither away. If only 10% of members post, and only 10% respond, then there is not really a vibrant and relevant exchange (apart from the headline hysterical topics).

2. Perhaps a more focussed and targeted set of forums (UK Airshow Review is a good niche market), rather than trying to cater for all things (there are plenty of other groups/forums that cover other topics).

3. Format. Forums just seem so 20th Century to me. They are clunky and are not conducive to fast and simple interaction.

4. Photos. A much simpler photo hosting solution would encourage people to post more (so helping point 1). The current method of linking to previously uploaded images is overly complicated and discourages people from creating photo posts due to the complexity (Upload pictures to host, get each individual image URL, copy/past URL info and accompanying text, create new forum post with all this info). A simple and quick photo upload solution (New post, upload image) would encourage more people to post easily and quickly).

Just my thoughts.....
Regards
TomMc

vulcan558
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by vulcan558 »

So if all goes to plan you are looking at say £300 a year.
So a joining fee per year of say £2.50 or the price of a cup of Coffe as they say on TV
To be honest is a the £300 is cheap for such a site.
Worth paying back the time passion Paul as put into the site for so many years.
Ive been on here since the very early days and
Have had some great times and the odx ban or 2 :clown:

But even while on a ban. Paul still let me join the group in the UKAR private encloser at the Kemble airshow.
Paul and is good wife still entertained the kids
My young son at the time loved there hospitality and kindness over the years in that marquee at kemble.

End of the day Paul as kept his baby of ukar going for 20plus years and now due to poor health he is seeing through no fault of his own is passion for this site and other things he does like Flying light aircraft etc being taken away from him just like is health can not be very good for someone.
Time Pauls efforts need rewarding back from all us takers.

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st24
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by st24 »

vulcan558 wrote:So if all goes to plan you are looking at say £300 a year.
So a joining fee per year of say £2.50 or the price of a cup of Coffe as they say on TV
To be honest is a the £300 is cheap for such a site.
Worth paying back the time passion Paul as put into the site for so many years.
I've been on here since the very early days and
Have had some great times and the odx ban or 2 :clown:

But even while on a ban. Paul still let me join the group in the UKAR private encloser at the Kemble airshow.
Paul and is good wife still entertained the kids
My young son at the time loved there hospitality and kindness over the years in that marquee at kemble.

End of the day Paul as kept his baby of UKAR going for 20plus years and now due to poor health he is seeing through no fault of his own is passion for this site and other things he does like Flying light aircraft etc being taken away from him just like is health can not be very good for someone.
Time Pauls efforts need rewarding back from all us takers.


Worth the entry fee alone just for Rich's post exemplified by the above!!
You caaan't trust the system... Maaan!

FarnboroJohn
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by FarnboroJohn »

tommc wrote:Most forums and groups live (and die) by the activity and participation of the people that use it. UKAR is no different, and it needs greater participation and interaction in order to thrive. 90% of the people in these type of groups/forums are only in it to get what information they can for themselves, and don't actively contribute (other than asking for information to help themselves). I am involved in numerous groups and forums and can vouch that this is generally the case. I don't know the precise numbers as far as UKAR is concerned, but I bet the overwhelming majority of members DO NOT regularly contribute in any meaningful way.

So, in 2018 it appears that UKAR in its current format is not the same force that it was a decade ago. What needs to change?

1. Much greater active participation and interaction by the members is necessary. This will drive the direction that UKAR needs to be, as the less popular topics/forums will naturally wither away. If only 10% of members post, and only 10% respond, then there is not really a vibrant and relevant exchange (apart from the headline hysterical topics).

2. Perhaps a more focussed and targeted set of forums (UK Airshow Review is a good niche market), rather than trying to cater for all things (there are plenty of other groups/forums that cover other topics).

3. Format. Forums just seem so 20th Century to me. They are clunky and are not conducive to fast and simple interaction.

4. Photos. A much simpler photo hosting solution would encourage people to post more (so helping point 1). The current method of linking to previously uploaded images is overly complicated and discourages people from creating photo posts due to the complexity (Upload pictures to host, get each individual image URL, copy/past URL info and accompanying text, create new forum post with all this info). A simple and quick photo upload solution (New post, upload image) would encourage more people to post easily and quickly).

Just my thoughts.....


You can't make people interact. Some people like to, some don't. On here, I suspect some interaction has been suppressed by high levels of criticism. Perhaps tolerance should be the growth area. Then more people might have the confidence to join in instead of lurking.

Perhaps some changes to the forum set are needed. In which case perhaps some of the current detractors should make positive recommendations for additions rather than just indicating the bits they don't like.

Perhaps forums are 20th Century. So are Spitfires. Both still work for me.... In particular, forums allow considered responses rather than shooting from the hip, which is an aspect of social media that I think is best avoided. Reacting quickly is very far from the be-all and end-all.

As a photographer who posts on Flickr I am perfectly happy with the present method of posting images, and flicking between two tabs to transfer each url takes no time at all. What I think discourages some (many?) from posting on here (and I don't post much myself for precisely this reason) is the very high standard of images in each post. I don't think we should change that to the any old rubbish available on social media: having to search through oceans of landfill to find a diamond will certainly put me off very quickly.

Just my thoughts.

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MicrolightDriver
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by MicrolightDriver »

I think it would be a pity if UKAR were to close down, and reading through the thread to date, that seems to be a common view

The tone has suffered a bit from some people adopting a 'negative by default' position over the last few years, but the forum remains a useful place to discuss things and get real 'user/enthusiast' information about our airshows and the wider aviation scene.

The costs being discussed don't seem overwhelming, and if the many comments regarding a willingness to contribute are genuine, I'd have thought an annual request for voluntary donations would generate enough income to cover things quite easily. As an incentive, perhaps any surplus from such activity which might accumulate over time, could be 'returned' to the donors by way of exclusive access to a private enclosure if and when funds allow?

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LN Strike Eagle
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by LN Strike Eagle »

I don't think we'd ever run at a surplus - if we were to take donations, we'd stop once the costs had been met for that year. Explorations into this is on-going.

On the subject of uploading photos, as has been stated several times already, the means to post directly to the forum will vastly increase the costs incurred. It's not a feasible option now on a server costing £55 a month - it certainly won't be on the new server. We're looking to cut costs, not increase them.
"You really are an oafish philistine at times!"

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boff180
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by boff180 »

Firstly, thank you for the suggestion that spelling and grammar standards are reviewed. That will be taken on board and discussed by staff privately.

Those standards are in place for a reason, other mediums are rife with poorly and lazily written posts (eg: saw a reply to the Facebook UKAR account saying "Blu Angels"), that sort of spelling just won't be accepted here - ever. Especially as most smart phones also have a spell checker function in their latest versions (iOS does this automatically, in addition to predictive text).

However, arguing over what that standard should be in this thread does no-one any favours and therefore all posts relating to said argument have been split from this thread and moved to the Off Topic section. Please feel free to continue your "discussion" there but, please keep it civil!

Thanks

Andy

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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by bernarde »

boff180 wrote:Firstly, thank you for the suggestion that spelling and grammar standards are reviewed. That will be taken on board and discussed by staff privately.

Those standards are in place for a reason, other mediums are rife with poorly and lazily written posts (eg: saw a reply to the Facebook UKAR account saying "Blu Angels"), that sort of spelling just won't be accepted here - ever. Especially as most smart phones also have a spell checker function in their latest versions (iOS does this automatically, in addition to predictive text).

However, arguing over what that standard should be in this thread does no-one any favours and therefore all posts relating to said argument have been split from this thread and moved to the Off Topic section. Please feel free to continue your "discussion" there but, please keep it civil!

Thanks

Andy


A little harsh, what about those who have a standard keyboard and suffer from dyslexia? Are you saying they are no longer accepted here?

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boff180
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by boff180 »

If you want to discuss the standards there is now a thread in off topic for that but to reiterate, that is what a spell checker is for. Nearly all browsers and phones now have it built in.

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Ewart
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by Ewart »

LN Strike Eagle wrote:I don't think we'd ever run at a surplus - if we were to take donations, we'd stop once the costs had been met for that year. Explorations into this is on-going.


This is such a great idea. Openess and transparency again from the staff.

Prevents any accusations of lining your own pockets.

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starbuck
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by starbuck »

Ewart wrote:
LN Strike Eagle wrote:I don't think we'd ever run at a surplus - if we were to take donations, we'd stop once the costs had been met for that year. Explorations into this is on-going.


This is such a great idea. Openess and transparency again from the staff.

Prevents any accusations of lining your own pockets.


Is it though? I may be overly cynical of the membership but won't you just create a situation where people won't contribute and wait until the threshold has been met and then enjoy all the same benefits as those who donated? Pretty much as is happening now really although less deliberately, the vast majority are enjoying the site without contributing to its upkeep. The ability to donate to the site has always been there but going by the comment above regarding what to do if there is a surplus as being a new problem to solve obviously tells it's own story

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Wissam24
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by Wissam24 »

I think we're loathe to reach a point where people can't contribute or take part in the forum without paying money. It's not what UKAR has traditionally been about, we don't provide the forum, articles or anything for monetary gain at all and I don't think it's what we want UKAR to become. So we need to look into how we can best meet this without forcing a membership or subscription service on people. I'm not ruling it out, but it's what we want to avoid
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jalfrezi
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by jalfrezi »

Hopefully we can get to a point where the running costs are covered by sponsors, this is what I'm hoping for, and I think there's a fairly good chance of this happening once we've moved to a new server.

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rockfordstone
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by rockfordstone »

tommc wrote:It is good to hear about the positive responses regarding financing of UKAR.

However, it does not address the root issues, about the place of this sort of forum has in this day and age.

Most forums and groups live (and die) by the activity and participation of the people that use it. UKAR is no different, and it needs greater participation and interaction in order to thrive. 90% of the people in these type of groups/forums are only in it to get what information they can for themselves, and don't actively contribute (other than asking for information to help themselves). I am involved in numerous groups and forums and can vouch that this is generally the case. I don't know the precise numbers as far as UKAR is concerned, but I bet the overwhelming majority of members DO NOT regularly contribute in any meaningful way.

So, in 2018 it appears that UKAR in its current format is not the same force that it was a decade ago. What needs to change?

1. Much greater active participation and interaction by the members is necessary. This will drive the direction that UKAR needs to be, as the less popular topics/forums will naturally wither away. If only 10% of members post, and only 10% respond, then there is not really a vibrant and relevant exchange (apart from the headline hysterical topics).

2. Perhaps a more focussed and targeted set of forums (UK Airshow Review is a good niche market), rather than trying to cater for all things (there are plenty of other groups/forums that cover other topics).

3. Format. Forums just seem so 20th Century to me. They are clunky and are not conducive to fast and simple interaction.

4. Photos. A much simpler photo hosting solution would encourage people to post more (so helping point 1). The current method of linking to previously uploaded images is overly complicated and discourages people from creating photo posts due to the complexity (Upload pictures to host, get each individual image URL, copy/past URL info and accompanying text, create new forum post with all this info). A simple and quick photo upload solution (New post, upload image) would encourage more people to post easily and quickly).

Just my thoughts.....


1 - people don't always want to interact, they like to read and absorb. i only contribute if i have something that is directly related, or interesting to say.

2 - i agree, the forum does seem to have a lot of extra sections which don't seem as relevant anymore.

3 - i disagree here. i am a member of a number of forums and they are still better than facebook groups where the algorithm where facebook decides what you should see. there are better for discussion in opinion

4 - the posting of photos is like it is because having hosting space to host the amount of pictures posted. the cost would be astronomical if the site itself had to host it. i use flickr and send the images to my website rather than pay big hosting fees. a lot of us are used to it.

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rockfordstone
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by rockfordstone »

starbuck wrote:
Ewart wrote:
LN Strike Eagle wrote:I don't think we'd ever run at a surplus - if we were to take donations, we'd stop once the costs had been met for that year. Explorations into this is on-going.


This is such a great idea. Openess and transparency again from the staff.

Prevents any accusations of lining your own pockets.


Is it though? I may be overly cynical of the membership but won't you just create a situation where people won't contribute and wait until the threshold has been met and then enjoy all the same benefits as those who donated? Pretty much as is happening now really although less deliberately, the vast majority are enjoying the site without contributing to its upkeep. The ability to donate to the site has always been there but going by the comment above regarding what to do if there is a surplus as being a new problem to solve obviously tells it's own story


there is that chance, but there are people who would be happy to contribute to keep the site open regardless of who else pays into it. i'd happily contribute in anyways i can be it financially or assisting as a mod etc and it wouldn't bother me if people were not.

it's a difficult situation for the mods and admin. i've run enough forums and sites over the years to know its impossible to please everyone. whatever they chose someone will find an issue with it.

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CJS
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by CJS »

Just been having a flick through the members list, as you do. There are 254 pages of registered members.

By pg. 4 you're down to those who have posted fewer than 1000 times
By pg. 22 to those who have posted fewer than 100 times.
By pg. 59 to those who have posted fewer than 10 times.
By pg. 101 to those with only 1 post.
By pg. 127 to those with no posts.

In other words half (roughly) of members have never posted.

I don't know the relevance (or irrelevance) of this, but I thought it was interesting!
With just the slightest bit of finesse, I might have made a little less mess.

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speedbird2639
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by speedbird2639 »

Given the fact once the new server is up and running and the old one decommissioned we are looking for around £10 p/w for running costs then sensibly priced ads are the obvious way to go. Other non-aviation forums I visit have Google ads on the forum with the option that if ads get on your nerves and you would rather see it ad free then you can pay a small subscription to remove them. I don't think everyone paying a subscription is necessarily the way to go - it may drive some people away and someone would have to be in charge of setting it up and collecting it etc which on a volunteer run site could be problematic.

If you search on 'UK aviation forums' on Google the first none paid for listing which appears is, unsurprisingly, UKAR. So its likely to be one of if not the first places someone getting into aviation for the first time will go on the net. I've no idea how much RIAT spend on promotion but it must be in the 10's if not 100's of 1000's of £ per annum. How much traffic/ ticket sales would it get them if it was 'UKAR in association with RIAT' at the top of the page? All they have to do is pick up the (surprisingly minimal) costs for running the site and they become the marquee name on header on the site. Stick a big flashing link to their tickets page - jobs a good 'un.

As it will only take 40 people prepared to chip in a tenner a year to keep UKAR going so from a financial point of view I'm sure it will be safe. I think the thing that is most likely to put people off the site is the hostile 'our way or the highway' attitude of some mods/ members, including but not limited to the grammar Nazi attitude and the application of moderation not necessarily for the good of the site but just because the poster posted something that a mod didn't agree with personally. Basically to sum it up succinctly - it comes across as the forum is a clique for the 'senior members' that others have to kowtow to. There are other options that weren't there 20 years ago and people won't wait about if they feel unwelcome for any reason.

I've enjoyed using UKAR over the years but I don't think there has ever been a piece of information I got from UKAR that I couldn't have got from somewhere else just as easily so if it fails it will be like when Woolworths went bust - a shame but there are other options now.

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iainpeden
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by iainpeden »

CJS wrote:Just been having a flick through the members list, as you do. There are 254 pages of registered members.

By pg. 4 you're down to those who have posted fewer than 1000 times
By pg. 22 to those who have posted fewer than 100 times.
By pg. 59 to those who have posted fewer than 10 times.
By pg. 101 to those with only 1 post.
By pg. 127 to those with no posts.

In other words half (roughly) of members have never posted.

I don't know the relevance (or irrelevance) of this, but I thought it was interesting!

Lies,damn lies and statistics - you'll be telling us you are working for Ofsted next.

Seriously though, UKAR is my goto site for information and I would be happy to donate £1 a month for the facility. Apologies if this point has been made, but I have been on holiday, if a membership scheme is developed the new GPDR regs would apply.
(Mark Twain: There are lies, there are damn lies and then there are statistics)

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Maccyd
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IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by Maccyd »

Keep up the good work guys, I too will be happy to contribute when the time arrives.

minnie the moocher
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IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by minnie the moocher »

Would just like to say a big Thank you to Paul, and all the very best to the UKAR staff. I have been visiting for quite a while but only been a member for maybe a couple of years when I felt the need to make a post. I don't say a lot but I do notice what is posted. Would miss the site if it were to disappear, would be happy to chip in a few quid if it helps. Have met some interesting people through the forums when I have been out and about. I am a flyer (more accurately a passenger) and this site covers much of the bits that interest me - just thought I would post something positive to balance the negative :smile:

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speedbird2639
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IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by speedbird2639 »

I for one would be interested to see a breakdown/ summary of the user traffic across the site. I know I never bother with any of the review and only look at the forum. What do other people do? Is it effectively a forum which has a little used section where staff post reviews or is it the reviews which get the majority of the traffic. Would be interesting to see the stats especially as this must have some influence over how the site is hosted going forwards.

elterwater
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Re: IMPORTANT - Future of UKAR

Post by elterwater »

Hello,
I'd just like to thank the team for all of their continuing efforts as one of the quiet majority who tends to read around specific airshow subforums which I will be attending. In reality that's likely to only be 1-2 shows a year with RIAT every 2-3 years :)

I follow similar principles to a previous poster in that I'll only post if I have something meaningful to contribute rather needlessly posting drivel. I wouldn't recommend becoming too focused on striving to drive "vibrant and active discussions" when I suspect the truth is that the community is formed of a small core of highly knowledgeable and seasoned experienced members coupled with a huge number of enthusiasts such as myself who are developing an interest in airshows but have not yet progressed to the point of committing to arrivals/departures days for example. I'm just someone who likes noisy planes and would like to keep developing his lens habit :)

Rather ironically, I don't tend to read the official site reviews for Airshows as I either a) was there and know what it was like or b) had no interest in going there for various reasons (too far geographically being the main one).

I'd be more than happy to contribute the equivalent cost of an official RIAT programme to the running costs for the site in future as I feel in its current form (unobtrusive ads and all), it's actually really good value for money.

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