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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3190
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:12 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I have noticed the lack of familiar faces posting here on the boards over the past year and a half. Sure some folks move along and perhaps lose interest in participating in the discussions here. But I find myself wondering if the forums have themselves lost much of the relevance they once held.

My question is:

How should a board member address a member who has expressed disenchantment with the forums? Would it be appropriate to discourage them from further reading of the forums?
 
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lone_gunman
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-04-12
Posts: 1928
Location: The Grassy Knoll, WI

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:30 pm Reply with quote Back to top

This depends a lot on the person who has expressed the disinterest.

Regarding the issue of relevance: We, the individuals who read/post here, determine whether it is relevant to ourselves. I mostly read and sometimes post on here, because this is where some of my friends are hanging out. Members have expressed quite a bit of pride regarding the fact that we have an active forum where someone can post and have a response the same day. I know this wasn't exactly your question, but I felt it should be remarked on.

Now to your question: I wouldn't necessarily discourage them from further reading, but I would remind them that the forums are not compulsory. We are a group of people that share a hobby/sport/addiction/what-have-you, so this should be fun. You don't have to read the forums all day every day...take a break...go caching...if you have concerns, bring them up...we'll be here if you want/need us. If you choose to sign off for a little while you will be missed, but if/when you come back we'll be here with open arms.

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There is no point in driving yourself mad trying to stop yourself going mad. You might just as well give in and save your sanity for later.

What\'s life? Life\'s easy. A quirk of matter. Nature\'s way of keeping meat fresh 
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Averith
WGA Board Member
WGA Board Member



Joined: 2006-10-23
Posts: 930
Location: Sheboygan, WI

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:25 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Lostby7 wrote:
I have noticed the lack of familiar faces posting here on the boards over the past year and a half. Sure some folks move along and perhaps lose interest in participating in the discussions here. But I find myself wondering if the forums have themselves lost much of the relevance they once held.

My question is:

How should a board member address a member who has expressed disenchantment with the forums? Would it be appropriate to discourage them from further reading of the forums?


Thank you for the question.

The forums for the WGA (like any other form of communication) are only as relevant as we make them. I would want to ask the member what it is specifically about the forums that has them feeling disenchanted. Is it a lack of interesting content? Is it something that has been said in the forums that the member finds offensive?

The forums will only be as good as the people who post to them. I know at times some of the topics may seem silly or foolish but one must keep in mind that those topics reflect the interests of the people who are members of the WGA.

If some one is not getting what they want out of the forums I would not discourage them from reading them. I would encourage them to post more and try to find ways to guide the discussion on the forums into a more interesting and fulfilling conversation. Posting thoughtful and interesting topics in the forums will encourage more people to post making the forums better for everyone.

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The post above is purely the opinion of the poster and is no way connected to the opinions of the WGA Board.

Bushwhacking Unnecessarily Since 2006!! 
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JimandLinda
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-08-14
Posts: 5341
Location: Rosendale WI

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:28 pm Reply with quote Back to top

An interesting preface to your question, regarding " lack of familiar faces"!

I think many of us that have read the Forums for the last few years remember a few "biting remarks" in some of the posted topics. There are as many emotional responses to topics as there are practical, both good and not so good. That's what the Forums are for.

To answer your questions:

First, I would like to address the member face-to-face, if possible, to listen to their exact issue(s). I realize there is alot of technology available to avoid this, but that can actually be the problem. The Forums ARE technology based, and sometimes members feel safer/braver posting things they would be uncomfortable saying to your face. After listening to the member, I would not rush to solve the problem, but seek a bit more info on the issue(s). I would then form an opinion and share it with the member and let them decide for themselves how they wanted to proceed.

I would not discourage anyone from reading the WGA Forums. I recall being called out on the floor for a comment I made last summer on one of the topics. After apologizing for ruffling some feathers, I received a retraction and the explanation was that the member hadn't visited the Forums in several monthes, and was a little behind in the info. Enough said.

The Forums are for information, opinions, and comments. When used for that, they are an effective means for members to share and communicate over a large geographic area.
 
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uws22
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-07-20
Posts: 526
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:48 am Reply with quote Back to top

Depends on who you consider regulars. I see a lot of faces on here that are contributing regularly that weren't around when I first joined back in 2007. Yes, there are some names that many would recognize who no longer frequent the boards, but I don't see it as a bad thing. It happens. I have some message boards that I still frequent from back in the 90's, but there are some I tend to only read and don't really post on. I'm not upset with anything, I either just think of it less or have prioritized differently.

The internet is a transient beast, people come and go. Traffic overall doesn't seem to have decreased, and I think our overall traffic number and registration is more important than specific individuals.

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Curly Girls
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-05-05
Posts: 497
Location: Fox Valley/Appleton area

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:08 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I think I have noticed a lack of familiar faces logging caches too! I guess it depends on who you consider familiar. There are a number of newer people logging caches that seem to be quite familiar (in name) to me now that were not all so familiar even six months ago.

Everything changes and everyone changes. My caching is not what it was when I first started nor is my involvement in the forums. I do like to give the forums a read to see if there is anything interesting, just like I like to read the Post Crescent online (when time permits) to see what comments people have. I am also on FaceBook. I am not a big commenter, but at times I do. It depends on my mood and if I find something interesting or if I can help answer something I feel knowledgeable about.

I can be a little shy, and I can be a little outspoken, if I want to. I think it depends on the individual if they should be personally approached or privately messaged concerning their disenchantment. Yes, it could discourage further participation, so it really would be dependent on the specific individual and if one of the board members is someone they would feel comfortable opening up too. I also think that if a member has an issue, they certainly would be encouraged to approach a board member and address any specific concerns or ideas.
 
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Team Black-Cat
WGA Webmaster
WGA Webmaster



Joined: 2007-09-13
Posts: 6082
Location: Somewhere in Central WI

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:38 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Have the forums lost relevance? Only to someone that may already have become disenchanted with geocaching in general. Would it be appropriate to discourage them from further reading of the forums? Absolutly not, but it would be appropriate to remind them that reading the forums is entirely optional.

The forums haven't changed. The same stuff keeps coming up that has been coming up for years.
There are different people. That would seem normal. Like any hobby, there is some turn-over. Most new cachers won't stick around more that 1 or two years. Some will stick around for 4 or 5 years. A very small percent of geocachers will be around much more than that. That is certainly going to be reflected in the names that show up in the forums.

Now, if a member expressed disenchantment with something that the board has or hasn't done, then I would try to work things out.

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labrat_wr
WGA Vice-President
WGA Vice-President



Joined: 2007-05-19
Posts: 6045
Location: The Wildside

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:31 pm Reply with quote Back to top

[/quote]My question is:

How should a board member address a member who has expressed disenchantment with the forums? Would it be appropriate to discourage them from further reading of the forums?[/quote]

Disenchantment can come from so many sources, it would need to be determined what that source was in order to address the issue.
If it seems that the same issues crop up in the forums from time to time, one needs to understand that geocaching has a revolving door and there are new folks coming in all the time. Many of the issues the "cadre" or "veterans" seem to have hashed over many times, but are new to these people and while it may irritate some to see the issue brought up again, the new folks deserve a civil explaination. The BOD has been a little more strict on policing the forums as they partain to the Terms of Use policy in the past couple years so as to put out the flames early before things get out of hand. Sometimes they do spread like wildfires, only being put out after someone has been hurt by what was posted. These incidents are unfortunate.

What everyone needs to remember is that everyone is entitled to their opinions and there are those who's opinions are presented louder than others.
the WGA has one of the more civil forums out there. Let's all just get along.

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All forum posts are the thoughts and opinions of the poster and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of the WGA Board of Directors 
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