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The new forum is awful, and not just because it is...
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Your welcome and I appreciate what the staff and the volunteers do. I don't have any site savvy, or I'd lend a hand. I'm just glad there's still a specific forum for skywagon's and their owners no matter how bad or good it is. I think the Bombardiers would be happy it's still going the way it is. 


.. tailwinds
 

God Bless You!

 

I am 52 years old and I find it hard to keep up! That’s why I like to keep KAI as original to its 1957 configuration as possible right down to the Push Start Button!

 

My recent addition of the Garmin Aera 560 with Weather capability took me a long time to figure out. Worse, I fly in the bush and it turns out that the Garmin Aera 560 is not the best GPS for a bush pilot without a lot of reconfiguration. They use the simple ground maps that come with the $19.95 outback GPS hand held devices they sell. It is not a proper GPS for a bush pilot in my view. I spent hours with Garmin Techs getting the configuration right.

 

And you know what – I still do not like it as much as I liked my simple Garmin Pilot III! Go figure. I used that puppy for over ten years until the internal batter died and I lost all of my favorite fishing spots in Northern Quebec! Man, was I pissed. This one spot my Uncle caught this fish at a lake too small to land on. We had to land at the big lake and then walk a mile down to the small lake alone a creek. 36 lbs caught on a 6 lbs line after 40 minutes.

 

 

Change is never easy.  

 

Arnold Villeneuve

613-833-0984

 

Information without ownership is volatile or pointless and should not be the burden of a corporate document management system. Tobias Lekman

 

From: mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com [mailto:mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com]
Sent: December-12-14 12:27 AM
To: Website Suggestion Box
Subject: re: The new forum is awful, and not just because it is different <<$119858436465$>>

 

I don't think it's awful, but it's getting harder to teach this old dog new tricks. 

I don't like change. But I learn and adapt. That's what pilot's do. 


.. tailwinds

 

I don't think it's awful, but it's getting harder to teach this old dog new tricks. 

I don't like change. But I learn and adapt. That's what pilot's do. 

.. tailwinds
 

Steve

 

I’ve been in the IM/IT business long enough and have delivered enough systems to know not to take any criticism personally. There is a real trade-off between wanting a Cadillac, needing a Chev, and being able to afford a Honda! We must be thoughtful of how membership funds are spent.   

 

At this point we are not even using 10% of the capabilities that the Club Express platform provides. We are just now getting to implement the online Club Store six months in. Membership renewals are now pouring in and I know in talking to the administrative people in the club that the Club Express membership renewal processing system saves a lot of time and effort.

 

With a 500 page Administrator manual and a 170 page User guide it takes time for people to even begin to learn how best to take advantage of a new solution. I do not personally believe we purchased the wrong solution. In fact, I believe quite the opposite Steve. We did our due diligence and research in order to find the best available option at the time six months ago. Club Express was the result. At $2.88 per member per year I personally believe that the club is getting more than fair value for our money. Many of the Club’s Directors that are involved in IM/IT do so as well. As I said, if someone can find a better solution I am fully open to considering their findings. At some point a decision had to be made so that the club could move forward.  

 

Now, is Club Express perfect? No. But it is better than anything else I found that is dedicated to servicing clubs like ours. Can it be improved? Always. Are we doing that now? Yes, and we have been since we started with Club Express and they have been very accommodating. In fact they have asked us for input about changes they want to make to improve the service. I have already explained all of the reasons that led up to the selection of Club Express and will not waste people time again rehashing those facts. We did not make the wrong decision Steve. We picked the best club membership communication and management platform that was available on the market at a price the club could afford.

 

Moving forward we will continue to make changes once we have learned enough to master all of the features and functions that the current platform provides. In several cases Members have complained about a function they did not think exists but when Club Express support got involved the Members saw that the function was indeed there and easy to use once they took the time to learn a little bit about how the platform works.    

 

We will continue to work at making the information more accessible in an easier manner. That goes without saying. First however, we need to learn the new tool we have selected, and then, once properly informed of how the system works we will be in a better position to make critical functional requirement change requests based on sound knowledge and experience. That is my goal as I know all club Members will benefit from that.

 

Doing surveys as Richard has suggested will be part of that. But I also do not want Members to go away with the impression that things can change overnight. Club Express has been developing and providing services for clubs like ours for over a decade. They have developed a platform for more than three thousand clubs. We are not their first rodeo. So before I start rushing in and asking them to change this that or the other thing I want to make darn sure that I am using their solution properly. And that takes time Steve. Change is never easy for humans. It is hard to go from a system you are used to using that you grew with other a ten year period and all of a sudden be introduced to a new system. And it may in fact be that the new system is not bad at all but just new, and when you work with it a little bit it is no longer new. It is not that it was ever a bad system that did not meet its requirements but rather it was just new to you.

 

I appreciate your comments. I agree with them in that we can always improve things. But until you are in the thick of the situation, read all of the manuals, and understand through much practice how the system works and can be configured to make it easier for the Club’s Members it is a little difficult to simply state that their platform, a platform that was specifically developed to meet the needs of clubs like ours, is not serving our needs.

 

We are looking for a Web Site Advisory Committee. Mike Perkins is on it. Richard Putnam is not on it. I would very much welcome your participation as well on this committee. Please let me know if you are interested in participating.

 

Arnold Villeneuve

613-833-0984

 

Information without ownership is volatile or pointless and should not be the burden of a corporate document management system. Tobias Lekman

 

From: mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com [mailto:mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com]
Sent: December-09-14 7:16 PM
To: Website Suggestion Box
Subject: re: The new forum is awful, and not just because it is different <<$119744958501$>>

 

Hi ArnoldV,  

 

Please don't take my comments personally, it was not meant as a judgment of you or the time you or anyone else invested in developing the new site. Of course that is appreciated.

 

Decisions for tool selection are often made on a set criteria that was valid at the time the decision was made, but then new data and/or experiences render the previous decision data invalid. I am not suggesting anyone made a mistake, I am suggesting that it could be better based on what we know now.

 

My comments were meant to be a critique of the forum tool itself. I fully expected comments from active members would be positive about the forum as it is - that is why they are active. Others who do not like the forum tool will simply stop using the forum, or look for information other places first. I would be disappointed to see that happen, but I personally think that's what is at risk. 

 

At this point I don't think it is really about asking people to put up or shut up, it is about considering the possibility that the wrong tool may have been chosen, and how to improve the overall experience including usability of the forums. There was a lot of emotion and politics going on at the time the change was made. I was not involved in that and do not have a bias one way or another about who wins the war of words.

 

The information on the site is what's most valuable. Considering how to grow and improve access to that information should be the primary motivation.   

 

Thanks,

Steve

 

Hi ArnoldV,  

 
Please don't take my comments personally, it was not meant as a judgment of you or the time you or anyone else invested in developing the new site. Of course that is appreciated.
 
Decisions for tool selection are often made on a set criteria that was valid at the time the decision was made, but then new data and/or experiences render the previous decision data invalid. I am not suggesting anyone made a mistake, I am suggesting that it could be better based on what we know now.
 
My comments were meant to be a critique of the forum tool itself. I fully expected comments from active members would be positive about the forum as it is - that is why they are active. Others who do not like the forum tool will simply stop using the forum, or look for information other places first. I would be disappointed to see that happen, but I personally think that's what is at risk. 
 
At this point I don't think it is really about asking people to put up or shut up, it is about considering the possibility that the wrong tool may have been chosen, and how to improve the overall experience including usability of the forums. There was a lot of emotion and politics going on at the time the change was made. I was not involved in that and do not have a bias one way or another about who wins the war of words.
 
The information on the site is what's most valuable. Considering how to grow and improve access to that information should be the primary motivation.   
 
Thanks,
Steve
 

Great post David. I love humour. It is what makes us different from the rest of the animal kingdom.

 

And then there is this guy:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnaldus_de_Villa_Nova

 

He is evidently the father of the theory behind the Madness of Crowds chronicled by Charles Mackay.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_Popular_Delusions_and_the_Madness_of_Crowds

 

Not sure if that is in my family lineage but I am certainly in a special crowd now!  

 

He was apparently a physician and prophet during medieval times!

 

http://www.illinoismedieval.org/ems/vol4/daly.html

 

You never know who you are dealing with these days!

 

Arnold Villeneuve

613-833-0984

 

Information without ownership is volatile or pointless and should not be the burden of a corporate document management system. Tobias Lekman

 

From: mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com [mailto:mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com]
Sent: December-08-14 10:15 PM
To: Website Suggestion Box
Subject: re: The new forum is awful, and not just because it is different <<$119703712816$>>

 

 

What I hate about the new website....

 

1.  I can't spell Arnolds last name without looking

2.  I had to set a new bookmark :)

 

What I like about the new website...

 

1. Somebody named Arnold Vilanova..( see above) is dedicating their personal time for the entertainment of all of us

2. I don't get yelled at everytime I try to post a picture or ask a dumb question...which I guarantee I will

3. Policing of content relegated to board versus single content manager

4. Reading about Skywagons is the most enjoyable part of my day

 

I am on multiple websites daily from motorcycles, boats, airplanes, etc.  About every 4-5 years the sites change radically.  At first there is a lot of hating it followed shortly thereafter by "best site ever"  I put nothing in and I sure get a lot out of those sites as well as this one.  Things change and we all know as humans change is something we generally hate...TRSA, ARSA, Class A-G...Never thought I would relearn that. Position and hold to line up and wait...still haven't mastered that, but I'm trying.

 

I haven't mastered this new site, but just like most things....I haven't read the instructions.

 

My ask.....keep the airplane and travel topics alive.  You guys on the big iron and george use to send us delightful messages on the fun you get to have versus us occasional guys.  I sure miss those stories.

 

Tailwinds and cheap fuel.

 

Cheers,

David

N551DS

KIWS

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Arnold Villeneuve (Arnold.Villeneuve@rogers.com) <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com>
To: Website Suggestion Box <WebsiteSuggestionBox@skywagons.org>
Sent: Sat, Dec 6, 2014 10:27 pm
Subject: re: The new forum is awful, and not just because it is different <<$119602813819$>>

We welcome your opinion and view of the new web site forums. 

 

Moreover we welcome your willingness to volunteer to make the website better. Please let us know how you would like to invest your time and effort volunteering to do so. 

 

I stand by my recommendation to the club that Club Express is and remains our best approach to a modern club membership management and communication platform. 

 

If you personally feel that I have failed in my recommendation to the club I would be willing to step asside and let you take offer responsibility for the web site. 

 

But I will not agree with your comment that we should cut our losses. In that regard, while I respect your opinion, I believe you are simply wrong. With all do respect. 

 

If you would like to step up to the plate and invest time and effort to make things better we sincerely welcome your willingness to do so. 

Arnold Villeneuve

613 833 0984

 


On Dec 6, 2014, at 9:22 PM, "Steven Murray  <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com> wrote:

I think it is time to acknowledge the new website format is not working, particularly the forums. Granted, the previous website and forums were not the most modern and were feeling old, but they were usable. Now that we are several months into the change, I still find the new forum format difficult to use at best, and completely uninviting. It is not just one thing, it is all pretty poor in terms of usability - the font, the overall format, wasted screen space, to much scrolling, the help gadget, the difficulty using search, no link for last 7 day updates, background colors, etc. 

 

Below are some other forums I occasionally visit, and they are all better and easier to use in every way. I know it takes a lot work to switch, but I think any of the forum tools used below are far better.   

 

 

 

 

Sometimes it is just better to admit a change didn't work as expected, cut your losses, and move to something different. In my opinion, that is where we are at with our forum.

 
 
What I hate about the new website....
 
1.  I can't spell Arnolds last name without looking
2.  I had to set a new bookmark :)
 
What I like about the new website...
 
1. Somebody named Arnold Vilanova..( see above) is dedicating their personal time for the entertainment of all of us
2. I don't get yelled at everytime I try to post a picture or ask a dumb question...which I guarantee I will
3. Policing of content relegated to board versus single content manager
4. Reading about Skywagons is the most enjoyable part of my day
 
I am on multiple websites daily from motorcycles, boats, airplanes, etc.  About every 4-5 years the sites change radically.  At first there is a lot of hating it followed shortly thereafter by "best site ever"  I put nothing in and I sure get a lot out of those sites as well as this one.  Things change and we all know as humans change is something we generally hate...TRSA, ARSA, Class A-G...Never thought I would relearn that. Position and hold to line up and wait...still haven't mastered that, but I'm trying.
 
I haven't mastered this new site, but just like most things....I haven't read the instructions.
 
My ask.....keep the airplane and travel topics alive.  You guys on the big iron and george use to send us delightful messages on the fun you get to have versus us occasional guys.  I sure miss those stories.
 
Tailwinds and cheap fuel.
 
Cheers,
David
N551DS
KIWS
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Arnold Villeneuve (Arnold.Villeneuve@rogers.com) <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com>
To: Website Suggestion Box <WebsiteSuggestionBox@skywagons.org>
Sent: Sat, Dec 6, 2014 10:27 pm
Subject: re: The new forum is awful, and not just because it is different <<$119602813819$>>

We welcome your opinion and view of the new web site forums. 
Moreover we welcome your willingness to volunteer to make the website better. Please let us know how you would like to invest your time and effort volunteering to do so. 
I stand by my recommendation to the club that Club Express is and remains our best approach to a modern club membership management and communication platform. 
If you personally feel that I have failed in my recommendation to the club I would be willing to step asside and let you take offer responsibility for the web site. 
But I will not agree with your comment that we should cut our losses. In that regard, while I respect your opinion, I believe you are simply wrong. With all do respect. 
If you would like to step up to the plate and invest time and effort to make things better we sincerely welcome your willingness to do so. 

Arnold Villeneuve
613 833 0984
On Dec 6, 2014, at 9:22 PM, "Steven Murray <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com> wrote:

I think it is time to acknowledge the new website format is not working, particularly the forums. Granted, the previous website and forums were not the most modern and were feeling old, but they were usable. Now that we are several months into the change, I still find the new forum format difficult to use at best, and completely uninviting. It is not just one thing, it is all pretty poor in terms of usability - the font, the overall format, wasted screen space, to much scrolling, the help gadget, the difficulty using search, no link for last 7 day updates, background colors, etc. 
 
Below are some other forums I occasionally visit, and they are all better and easier to use in every way. I know it takes a lot work to switch, but I think any of the forum tools used below are far better.   
 
 
 
 
Sometimes it is just better to admit a change didn't work as expected, cut your losses, and move to something different. In my opinion, that is where we are at with our forum.
 

You are very welcome. Please remember that I’m just here to help you guys.

 

The Club Express Administrator manual is the place to go to learn about all of the back office stuff like Money and Club Store, etc.

 

And yes, you are correct that you were the one and only one that stepped forward to assist with managing the web site. We exchanged a few emails. I was so busy this past few months getting this altogether that I simply forgot. Please accept my apologies. So to that end I would like to see if you would take over responsibility for the Discussion Forums, with the Club President’s approval of course.

 

If you are interested please review Chapters 8 and 27 of the Club Express Administrator Manual and Chapters 4 and 8 in the Club Express User Guide. Then, let’s have a phone call and get you set up as the Supreme Discussion Forum Moderator. Then as you see things you think can be improved, which they always can be, we will work together to submit recommendations to Club Express.  They have always been open to suggestions as it helps them improve their service.

 

And again, thank you all for you passion about the club and the services we are trying to provide for you.

 

Arnold Villeneuve

613-833-0984

 

Information without ownership is volatile or pointless and should not be the burden of a corporate document management system. Tobias Lekman

 

From: mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com [mailto:mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com]
Sent: December-08-14 1:45 PM
To: Website Suggestion Box
Subject: re: The new forum is awful, and not just because it is different <<$11966994672$>>

 

Arnold,

What a great reply.  Thank you so much for providing all that background.  You explained some things that were not at all transparent earlier this year.   That must have taken a while to compose, for which I thank you for your time.

One thing I look forward to is understanding more how Club Express will help in the "back office" set of services and procedures.  I have not read all the material in the Club Express web site yet, but I will try to absorb it in the near future.

I'm glad that you feel the club has made a good investment. 

I would like to correct one thing that you said, and that is that "NO one" has volunteered to help with the web site.  That is not true.  I called the club president and also talked to the NW regional director (Al Hewitt), as well as Steve Goebel (the current president) in March of this year, and offered suggestions and help.  I wrote privately to you on July 29th and offered my services saying that I had worked in IT for many years and would be especially interested in being a "tester" of the new web site.  You never responded to that offer, so on August 5th, I wrote to you again and brought my offer of help to your attention, saying, "... last week I emailed an offer to you directly, and volunteered to help. Since I never heard back from you, ... I will give it one more shot... if you need some help, please state what your needs are, and I will contribute to the best of my ability."

Perhaps you were pretty busy at that time, and didn't see those emails, but they were sent directly to you.   Please do not consider this as a criticism, merely a "correction" of facts, because I think you are doing a tremendous job as Web Master. 

It is my intention to never criticize, without also offering some positive suggestion as well.  In my last email about the club's website, I said that I personally liked the old site better, but I could see why others might like the new site better.  In order to understand the consensus of the club, I suggested that it would be a good idea to do a survey.  This would be chance to see if the new site was suiting the members needs, and hopefully would be a basis for making any changes or requesting new features from Club Express.

It was Steve Murray's comments that prompted me to suggest the survey, because when people are given a means to provide feedback, you can sometimes get golden nuggets of information, even from what might seem like a lot of negativity.  I appreciate the fact that you were already planning a survey regarding the web site.

Thank you Arnold for all your work.

Rick (Richard) Putnam

PS,  I respectfully decline your proposal wherein you offered to give me permissions to create "club satisfaction surveys" since that does not seem appropriate.   However, if you need a Forum moderator for the Forum, "Website Problems and Suggestions", sign me up.

 
Arnold,
What a great reply.  Thank you so much for providing all that background.  You explained some things that were not at all transparent earlier this year.   That must have taken a while to compose, for which I thank you for your time.

One thing I look forward to is understanding more how Club Express will help in the "back office" set of services and procedures.  I have not read all the material in the Club Express web site yet, but I will try to absorb it in the near future.

I'm glad that you feel the club has made a good investment. 

I would like to correct one thing that you said, and that is that "NO one" has volunteered to help with the web site.  That is not true.  I called the club president and also talked to the NW regional director (Al Hewitt), as well as Steve Goebel (the current president) in March of this year, and offered suggestions and help.  I wrote privately to you on July 29th and offered my services saying that I had worked in IT for many years and would be especially interested in being a "tester" of the new web site.  You never responded to that offer, so on August 5th, I wrote to you again and brought my offer of help to your attention, saying, "... last week I emailed an offer to you directly, and volunteered to help. Since I never heard back from you, ... I will give it one more shot... if you need some help, please state what your needs are, and I will contribute to the best of my ability."

Perhaps you were pretty busy at that time, and didn't see those emails, but they were sent directly to you.   Please do not consider this as a criticism, merely a "correction" of facts, because I think you are doing a tremendous job as Web Master. 
It is my intention to never criticize, without also offering some positive suggestion as well.  In my last email about the club's website, I said that I personally liked the old site better, but I could see why others might like the new site better.  In order to understand the consensus of the club, I suggested that it would be a good idea to do a survey.  This would be chance to see if the new site was suiting the members needs, and hopefully would be a basis for making any changes or requesting new features from Club Express.

It was Steve Murray's comments that prompted me to suggest the survey, because when people are given a means to provide feedback, you can sometimes get golden nuggets of information, even from what might seem like a lot of negativity.  I appreciate the fact that you were already planning a survey regarding the web site.

Thank you Arnold for all your work.

Rick (Richard) Putnam
PS,  I respectfully decline your proposal wherein you offered to give me permissions to create "club satisfaction surveys" since that does not seem appropriate.   However, if you need a Forum moderator for the Forum, "Website Problems and Suggestions", sign me up.
 
No. None of the forums are Moderated. Every members has full rights to post their view. If some goes to far it is up to the board of directors to address the matter. I am just the web guy. 

Arnold Villeneuve
613 833 0984


On Dec 7, 2014, at 11:54 PM, "Raymond Aalgaard (Raymond.aalgaard@gmail.com)" <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com> wrote:

Different subject question Arnold do you see the posts before the posted to site?
Ray

On Dec 7, 2014 8:13 PM, "Arnold Villeneuve (Arnold.Villeneuve@rogers.com)" <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com> wrote:
View/reply online       Reply to forum at WebsiteSuggestionBox@skywagons.org

Hello Richard et All

 

This is a long email. I would appreciate it very much that if you are a club member and you really want to know what is going on that you will take the time to read through the entire email so that you are fully informed.

 

Firstly, Richard I appreciate your passion for the club and the new web site. Positive contributions and suggestions are always appreciated. The website is now almost six months old. Yes there were some migration issues that took time and effort to resolve but anyone that is in the information technology and information management environment knows that these are normal events. When you are an organization with lots of money you can take lots of time and people to plan for every eventuality. When you are a small non-profit club that relies a lot on volunteers you do what you can with what you have. But we did get through the migration and we are now just starting to take advantage of the Club Express platform, and I mean just.

 

As a backgrounder, and this was explained last spring, I only came on the scene after Rob Duncan had notified all of the members that the club’s Board of Directors had decided to change its web site provider. For the record I told the club’s Board of Directors that I personally thought Rob Duncan had done a good job over the years. But the Board of Directors had made the decision, a decision by the way that I had no part in, and I volunteered to assist with the transition to a new web site and membership management platform.  

 

In the spring I reviewed several dozen web site hosting platforms. I was looking for more than just a web site. I wanted to find a platform that would support a modern interactive website and discussions forums but I also wanted to find a system that would help manage membership and all of the back office stuff that goes with managing a club. Even a small club of 1,000 people takes a lot of time and effort. With Steve as the newly indoctrinated Club President he now has a very good idea of just how much effort is involved to keep the club running smoothly. If anyone is curious please ask him. I think you will be surprised at how much time and effort is involved especially in the area of accountable and transparent financial management to maintain the club. I certainly was.   

 

There are many web site hosting providers out there like Go Daddy that will give you a generic web site for $1 per day. But that is a very generic web site. Rob built up the Club’s web site over a 10 year period that saw a lot of customization over the years. A $1 per month Go Daddy would not have come close and as a volunteer I do not have hundreds of hours to spend customizing a web site. Furthermore the Go Daddy solution did not provide a component for managing a club’s membership and back office administrative functions.   

 

Through my research I found three potential web site hosting providers that “claimed” to service club’s like ours. One vender never returned my emails or voice mails. The other vendor worked with me to build a prototype to show the Club’s Board of Directors. It was very rudimentary and despite the vendors claims of supporting club’s like ours their web site hosting services turned out to be very generic and similar to Go Daddy like web site hosting solutions. In addition I found out that their support “person” only worked three days per week and he actually quit the week after I started dealing with the vendor. The owner had to step in to help me and I quickly found out that this was only a part time effort for him.  

 

I also worked with Club Express to create a prototype. They have several full time support staff, a full time programmer developer, and three working founder / executives members who own the company and work at it every day. A prototype was quickly built and even customized a little to look more like our own Club design. If any club member as any questions they can directly email Club Express for an explanation without having to go through me first. That is one of the great things about Club Express – they are nonpartisan and they do not own one of our airplanes. They are here to provide services to clubs like ours regardless of whether it is airplanes or motorcycles.

 

I presented a report to the Club’s Board of Directors with my findings and recommended Club Express for many reasons:

 

-        Solid company with full time dedicated support staff

-        Solid customer base with many clubs being much larger than ours

-        Specific solution designed for club’s like ours that require a membership communication (web site and forums and emails) and management (administration back office and finance) platform

-        Depth of documentation about the services and functions provided by the Club Express platform, some of which we are only starting to setup like the Club Store

 

Several members of the Club’s Board of Directors have IT/IM backgrounds and they were provided with all of the information. The Club’s Board of Directors made the decision to move forward with Club Express. For the record, I have no financial interest in Club Express, I do not make a commission in any way on any services the Club pays Club Express for, nor do I receive any money in any way from Club Express as a result of the Club’s decision to move forward with them. I am a 100% volunteer at this and donate my time and expenses to the Club.

 

Now, wrt the features and functions that Club Express provides to them I will say that there are some that I do not like and there are some that I do like. But overall, when evaluating the options I remain of the opinion that Club Express provides our club with the best overall and most affordable club membership communication and management platform. In that regard there was a lot more things to like about the club specific services that Club Express provides than there against it by a significant margin and then some. In other words, I could find no other vendor that was so dedicated to providing these kinds of services for a club like ours. I also wanted to be sure that we selected a vendor that had depth and longevity so that we do not have to go through a migration for a long time to come. We have more important things to do like fly our airplanes. Again, Club Express addressed my concerns here by a long margin.

 

Since the initial migration our club has had many interactions with the principles and support staff at Club Express. They have pretty much done everything we asked for in a very reasonable manner. Their support staff have been excellent and go above and beyond even answering questions after normal business hours. They were instrumental in making the migration of disparate sets of membership and photo and forum data that was based on very old database environments possible and did so at an extremely reasonable price. When we asked them to recreate the Membership Map they responded immediately and are currently working on the task, something which I hope will be done by the end of the month. When we needed assistance with setting up the 2015 Annual Conference on their platform as new users Geoffrey of the support team actually did the data entry and set it up for Walter Congdon and I since were still so new to the platform. If you want some feedback on the Club Express customer support lever just ask Walter. When Jim Densmore and I were trying to figure out how to work with Discussion Forums the support team responded quickly and helped us learn how to use the system better. When another Board of Director member was having issues with his password they called him personally. Again and again and again the people at Club Express have demonstrated to me that we made the right decision.

 

Anyone in the information technology and information management business knows that one of the greatest yardsticks of a good system is the level and detail of its documentation. For those of you who have not seen this documentation please refer to the following links:

 

Who is Club Express:

 

http://www.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=0&module_id=110493

 

Who are Club Express Customers:

 

http://www.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=0&module_id=110511   (by the way, this is just a sample – Club Express has over three thousand clubs as customers)

 

Club Express Platform Administrator Manual:

 

http://s3.amazonaws.com/ClubExpressDocument/ClubExpress_Administrator_Manual_v6.4.pdf   Over 500 pages long!

 

Club Express Platform User Guide:

 

http://s3.amazonaws.com/ClubExpressDocument/ClubExpress_User_Manual_v6.4.pdf    Over 170 pages long!

 

All of Club Express Platform Features and Functions Related Documentation:

 

http://www.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=0&module_id=110495

 

Club Express even provides a very specific web site and membership management platform retirement homes (Aging In Place Villages):

 

http://s3.amazonaws.com/ClubExpressDocument/ClubExpress_Village_Special_Features_Manual.pdf

 

Now to Richard’s specific email and request.

 

“In addition, Arnold has expressed the idea that Club Express provides some better ways to "manage" the club, compared to the old web site.  Arnold hasn't exactly detailed those out, so it is hard to know how to figure those into the value proposition.”   

 

As explained above all of the research and information I produced during my investigation to find a Club membership communication and management platform was provides to the club’s Board of Directors. The club’s Board of Directors made the decision to move forward base on the options and recommendations I was requested to provide to them. I believe the above email information provides a lot of background that may help the club’s membership understand the process that was used to evaluate a new web site and membership management platform. All information has been provided to the club’s membership through past global emails and via individual responses. I aim to be totally transparent in all areas of volunteering that I do for the club. The features of the Club Express Platform, and the costs associated with it, are right here for all to see.

 

To view a document, click the link; to save it locally, right-click and select "Save Target As..."

What is ClubExpress - PDF (240 KB)
What is ClubExpress - Features Matrix - PDF (460 KB)
What is ClubExpress - Features Matrix - Excel (112 KB)
What is ClubExpress - Features for Multi-tier Clubs - PDF (370 KB)
What is ClubExpress - Pricing - PDF (270 KB)

If after reading the Features Matrix anyone can find another vendor that is specifically dedicated to clubs like ours and offers a greater range of services at less costs you can be sure I will be the first one to promote the idea of migrating to a new platform. However, after spending a month researching this I remain of the view that we made the right decision at the time based on the available information we had and the time line we were faced with.

 

Again to Richard’s questions:

 

“Perhaps this would be a good time to know if the overall membership is satisfied with the new web site. I propose that Arnold create a few survey questions to check this out.  In fact, he, as a supplier of a major component of the Skywagons club (the Web Master),should consider doing a survey every year, to regularly check to see how the members feel about this part of the club.”

 

I agree entirely with the request and it was already in the works. However, I am waiting until we complete the implementation of the Club Store and other tweaks before doing so. And when it is done the questions and approach the survey should take will be submitted to and approved for approval by the club’s Board of Directors. One needs to understand that I do not make any decisions where the membership communication and management platform is concerned. I provide the Board of Directors with a list of options based on their stated required, if asked I make a recommendation, and then I act on their direction. That’s how I roll, roll.

 

Again, back to Richard’s questions:

 

“I hope the move to Club Express is worth it to the overall club membership, because we are definitely paying more for it.  I believe that Club Express charges monthly, what the Airbase1 site cost annually.”
 

As I mentioned earlier I was not involved in the decision to move to a new web site platform. As such I have no idea what the previous web site was costing so I cannot compare. I also was not involved in the decision so I do not know what the metrics or reasons were for making it. Once it was done I simply stepped in to volunteer to help the club move forward which I believe we have done successfully, and much to Rob Duncan’s credit with his full support and significant effort to help us do so. I do know that we (I) did a lot of research to find out what vendors provided services specific to club’s like our in the area of membership communication and management. Club Express is the result of what I found and in terms of overall value for money I believe we are getting a great deal. From the Club Express web site on Pricing. We pay 24¢ per member per month. That’s $2.88 per member per year.        

 

ClubExpress Fits Your Budget

Affordable ClubExpress fees are based on the number of active members in your club or association.

These fees include all modules and advanced functionality – we don’t charge extra for the good stuff!

Low Monthly Fees Only 40¢ per member per month (for clubs up to 100 members.)

For clubs with 101 – 250 members, the fee is 36¢ / member / month.

For clubs with 251 – 500 members, the fee is 30¢ / member / month.

For clubs with 501 – 1000 members, the fee is 24¢ / member / month.

For clubs with 1001 – 1500 members, the fee is 20¢ / member / month.

 

When you have read through the entire Club Express Administrator and User Guide manuals I believe strongly the only conclusion you will come to is that we are getting more than fair value for our money. When you look at what the Club Express administration back office functions provided alone in order to help the club’s volunteers manage the club business on behalf of its members we are getting fair value for our money. Our accounting firm has reviewed the membership management and financial management aspects of what Club Express does for us and they have concluded that it makes their job easier since the platform is Quicken integrated and compatible.

 

I provide all of the above information to Richard and to all club members so that everyone has all of the information I am aware of so that they can review it and make informed decisions and come to their own conclusions as to “did we do the right thing” and “are we getting value for money”. Full transparency, outside of what the club’s Board of Directors should decide, is important to me personally. I have nothing to gain by investing hundreds of volunteer hours in this effort other than the time it takes me away from my business and my family. I have asked several times for other club members to come forward and volunteer to assist me to make the Club Express a better membership communication and management platform. No other members have seriously come forward to accept the challenge and responsibility to managing things like specific areas of interest Discussion Forums. No one.    

 

The main objective I had in getting involved in helping the club and the club’s Board of Directors in moving to a new membership communication and management platforms is that we would create an environment that supported membership involvement and participation, an environment that was not controlled by one central member but rather directed and supported by a group of club volunteers that are passionate about the club’s objectives and mission and willing to invest their time and effort in it. I have asked several times for club members to come forward and support the club’s efforts and the initiatives the Board of Directors the club has put forward. Once the decision to move forward with a new club web site platform I asked for other members to come forward an assist me.

 

No one, and I mean no one, has come forward from within this club to really try to participate in making the new web site a better service for our members. I have asked in a global email for members to volunteer to take on responsibility as topic specific Discussion Forums. No none has stepped forward. I have made Board of Directors the Forum Moderators of their own region Discussion Forums not because they requested it but because it was the right thing to do. But no club member volunteered to become a Discussion Forum Member to be Forum Moderator of any of the many ones we have in our club.

 

I am one person. I am a volunteer. I am not paid for what I do to help the club. Please remember that Richard when you fire of your requests and suggestions.

 

Here is what I propose. I propose that I give Richard the appropriate permissions on the club’s web site to be able to create “club satisfaction surveys” such that he can establish for the entire club the information he wants to find out about.

 

Back to Richard’s questions:

 

“Perhaps this would be a good time to know if the overall membership is satisfied with the new web site. I propose that Arnold create a few survey questions to check this out.  In fact, he, as a supplier of a major component of the Skywagons club (the Web Master),should consider doing a survey every year, to regularly check to see how the members feel about this part of the club.”

 

Again Richard I am not a “supplier of a major component of the Skywagons club (the Web Master)” solution. I am just a volunteer that has spent a lot of time trying to help the club find the right membership communication and management platform to move forward with since the Board of Directors made the decision to move to a new club platform.

 

In closing one of my major objectives in assisting the club in moving forward in this area of club communication and administration was to ensure that no internal club member had control of the platform. My personal opinion is that this became a major issue between Rob Duncan and the Board of Directors in the end and that is what precipitated the decision to change the situation. In moving forward I wanted to ensure that a new arm’s length approach was put in place that volunteers were put in charge of where the club’s online business went next. And I have done that. The club is no longer dependent on any club member as the club was previously with Rob Duncan’s environment. Again, I want to remind you that I liked the services that Rob Duncan was providing. The club’s Board of Directors made the decision to move forward to a non member dependent membership communication and management platform that did not involve a member running the club’s web site and that decision was made and we are where we are today.

 

Just so you know, my datacenter currently hosts the Delta Airlines, KLM, and Air France disaster recovery and business continuity planning hosted web sites. I could have very easily provided the club with free web site hosting services. But that approach would not have served the club in the long run. Instead we needed an independent membership communication and management platform that was member independent and that is one of the main objectives I addressed. The club needs to be independent of club member activity. Rob Duncan was and is a great and loyal member of this great club. He has done a great job providing web sites for clubs like ours. But he is a member of this club and as such there is a conflict of interest when it comes to the business of the club. I believe this is one of the main reasons for the recent change.

 

Richard: I think when and if you take the time to go back and look at all the information provided above that you will have a change of heart. Is our Club Express platform perfect and does it do all of the things the old Rob Duncan web site used to provide? No. For every one of you Richard coming forward saying you do not like this or that about the new web site I also have an equal number of people saying that they did not like this or that about the old Rob Duncan web site and in fact that they like the new web site as it is. But everyone needs to remember that the public facing web site is only a small part of the larger membership management requirement that helps our administration back office volunteers do what they do much easier.

 

The Discussion Forums, my associate member Richard, is just one of many larger questions the club’s Board of Directors asked when they considered the solution we are currently using. So I ask you to do the following things:

 

-        Read through the Club Express features and functions evaluation process as I did initially when I was investigating them

-        Read through the Club Express Administration Manual

-        Read through the Club Express User Guide

-        Read through all of the Club Express customer list and contact at least ten of those customer of your personal choice to determine if we are blowing smoke up your way

 

In closing Richard I personally appreciate your passion for the club and it’s new web site. I see your input and criticism and suggestions as positive. I think ALL OF US will agree that our major goal is to make the web site a great place for club members to come together and share our passion for these airplanes.

 

If you want to volunteer to become an active and participating member of the club’s website site I sincerely welcome you actual and active involvement. I could certainly use your help.     

 

Richard, which Discussion Forum would you like to volunteer to become the Moderator of going forward?

 

Arnold Villeneuve

613-833-0984

 

Information without ownership is volatile or pointless and should not be the burden of a corporate document management system. Tobias Lekman

 

From: mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com [mailto:mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com]
Sent: December-07-14 5:00 AM
To: Website Suggestion Box
Subject: re: The new forum is awful, and not just because it is different <<$119607085203$>>

 

It would be good  to know how many people agree with each of the two quite opposing opinions just expressed. 

 

Personally, I thought that the old site was more efficient and provided better utility.  But I'm an engineer, and "form follows function"... so I liked the functionality of Rob Duncan's "Airbase1" web site.  It did everything I needed and suited me just fine.  I'm guessing that some folks like the prettier (more modern?) site as provided by Club Express.  Different solutions for different people. 

 

In addition, Arnold has expressed the idea that Club Express provides some better ways to "manage" the club, compared to the old web site.  Arnold hasn't exactly detailed those out, so it is hard to know how to figure those into the value proposition.  I hope the move to Club Express is worth it to the overall club membership, because we are definitely paying more for it.  I believe that Club Express charges monthly, what the Airbase1 site cost annually.

Perhaps this would be a good time to know if the overall membership is satisfied with the new web site. I propose that Arnold create a few survey questions to check this out.  In fact, he, as a supplier of a major component of the Skywagons club (the Web Master),should consider doing a survey every year, to regularly check to see how the members feel about this part of the club.

 

Different subject question Arnold do you see the posts before the posted to site?
Ray

On Dec 7, 2014 8:13 PM, "Arnold Villeneuve (Arnold.Villeneuve@rogers.com)" <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com> wrote:
View/reply online       Reply to forum at WebsiteSuggestionBox@skywagons.org

Hello Richard et All

 

This is a long email. I would appreciate it very much that if you are a club member and you really want to know what is going on that you will take the time to read through the entire email so that you are fully informed.

 

Firstly, Richard I appreciate your passion for the club and the new web site. Positive contributions and suggestions are always appreciated. The website is now almost six months old. Yes there were some migration issues that took time and effort to resolve but anyone that is in the information technology and information management environment knows that these are normal events. When you are an organization with lots of money you can take lots of time and people to plan for every eventuality. When you are a small non-profit club that relies a lot on volunteers you do what you can with what you have. But we did get through the migration and we are now just starting to take advantage of the Club Express platform, and I mean just.

 

As a backgrounder, and this was explained last spring, I only came on the scene after Rob Duncan had notified all of the members that the club’s Board of Directors had decided to change its web site provider. For the record I told the club’s Board of Directors that I personally thought Rob Duncan had done a good job over the years. But the Board of Directors had made the decision, a decision by the way that I had no part in, and I volunteered to assist with the transition to a new web site and membership management platform.  

 

In the spring I reviewed several dozen web site hosting platforms. I was looking for more than just a web site. I wanted to find a platform that would support a modern interactive website and discussions forums but I also wanted to find a system that would help manage membership and all of the back office stuff that goes with managing a club. Even a small club of 1,000 people takes a lot of time and effort. With Steve as the newly indoctrinated Club President he now has a very good idea of just how much effort is involved to keep the club running smoothly. If anyone is curious please ask him. I think you will be surprised at how much time and effort is involved especially in the area of accountable and transparent financial management to maintain the club. I certainly was.   

 

There are many web site hosting providers out there like Go Daddy that will give you a generic web site for $1 per day. But that is a very generic web site. Rob built up the Club’s web site over a 10 year period that saw a lot of customization over the years. A $1 per month Go Daddy would not have come close and as a volunteer I do not have hundreds of hours to spend customizing a web site. Furthermore the Go Daddy solution did not provide a component for managing a club’s membership and back office administrative functions.   

 

Through my research I found three potential web site hosting providers that “claimed” to service club’s like ours. One vender never returned my emails or voice mails. The other vendor worked with me to build a prototype to show the Club’s Board of Directors. It was very rudimentary and despite the vendors claims of supporting club’s like ours their web site hosting services turned out to be very generic and similar to Go Daddy like web site hosting solutions. In addition I found out that their support “person” only worked three days per week and he actually quit the week after I started dealing with the vendor. The owner had to step in to help me and I quickly found out that this was only a part time effort for him.  

 

I also worked with Club Express to create a prototype. They have several full time support staff, a full time programmer developer, and three working founder / executives members who own the company and work at it every day. A prototype was quickly built and even customized a little to look more like our own Club design. If any club member as any questions they can directly email Club Express for an explanation without having to go through me first. That is one of the great things about Club Express – they are nonpartisan and they do not own one of our airplanes. They are here to provide services to clubs like ours regardless of whether it is airplanes or motorcycles.

 

I presented a report to the Club’s Board of Directors with my findings and recommended Club Express for many reasons:

 

-        Solid company with full time dedicated support staff

-        Solid customer base with many clubs being much larger than ours

-        Specific solution designed for club’s like ours that require a membership communication (web site and forums and emails) and management (administration back office and finance) platform

-        Depth of documentation about the services and functions provided by the Club Express platform, some of which we are only starting to setup like the Club Store

 

Several members of the Club’s Board of Directors have IT/IM backgrounds and they were provided with all of the information. The Club’s Board of Directors made the decision to move forward with Club Express. For the record, I have no financial interest in Club Express, I do not make a commission in any way on any services the Club pays Club Express for, nor do I receive any money in any way from Club Express as a result of the Club’s decision to move forward with them. I am a 100% volunteer at this and donate my time and expenses to the Club.

 

Now, wrt the features and functions that Club Express provides to them I will say that there are some that I do not like and there are some that I do like. But overall, when evaluating the options I remain of the opinion that Club Express provides our club with the best overall and most affordable club membership communication and management platform. In that regard there was a lot more things to like about the club specific services that Club Express provides than there against it by a significant margin and then some. In other words, I could find no other vendor that was so dedicated to providing these kinds of services for a club like ours. I also wanted to be sure that we selected a vendor that had depth and longevity so that we do not have to go through a migration for a long time to come. We have more important things to do like fly our airplanes. Again, Club Express addressed my concerns here by a long margin.

 

Since the initial migration our club has had many interactions with the principles and support staff at Club Express. They have pretty much done everything we asked for in a very reasonable manner. Their support staff have been excellent and go above and beyond even answering questions after normal business hours. They were instrumental in making the migration of disparate sets of membership and photo and forum data that was based on very old database environments possible and did so at an extremely reasonable price. When we asked them to recreate the Membership Map they responded immediately and are currently working on the task, something which I hope will be done by the end of the month. When we needed assistance with setting up the 2015 Annual Conference on their platform as new users Geoffrey of the support team actually did the data entry and set it up for Walter Congdon and I since were still so new to the platform. If you want some feedback on the Club Express customer support lever just ask Walter. When Jim Densmore and I were trying to figure out how to work with Discussion Forums the support team responded quickly and helped us learn how to use the system better. When another Board of Director member was having issues with his password they called him personally. Again and again and again the people at Club Express have demonstrated to me that we made the right decision.

 

Anyone in the information technology and information management business knows that one of the greatest yardsticks of a good system is the level and detail of its documentation. For those of you who have not seen this documentation please refer to the following links:

 

Who is Club Express:

 

http://www.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=0&module_id=110493

 

Who are Club Express Customers:

 

http://www.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=0&module_id=110511   (by the way, this is just a sample – Club Express has over three thousand clubs as customers)

 

Club Express Platform Administrator Manual:

 

http://s3.amazonaws.com/ClubExpressDocument/ClubExpress_Administrator_Manual_v6.4.pdf   Over 500 pages long!

 

Club Express Platform User Guide:

 

http://s3.amazonaws.com/ClubExpressDocument/ClubExpress_User_Manual_v6.4.pdf    Over 170 pages long!

 

All of Club Express Platform Features and Functions Related Documentation:

 

http://www.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=0&module_id=110495

 

Club Express even provides a very specific web site and membership management platform retirement homes (Aging In Place Villages):

 

http://s3.amazonaws.com/ClubExpressDocument/ClubExpress_Village_Special_Features_Manual.pdf

 

Now to Richard’s specific email and request.

 

“In addition, Arnold has expressed the idea that Club Express provides some better ways to "manage" the club, compared to the old web site.  Arnold hasn't exactly detailed those out, so it is hard to know how to figure those into the value proposition.”   

 

As explained above all of the research and information I produced during my investigation to find a Club membership communication and management platform was provides to the club’s Board of Directors. The club’s Board of Directors made the decision to move forward base on the options and recommendations I was requested to provide to them. I believe the above email information provides a lot of background that may help the club’s membership understand the process that was used to evaluate a new web site and membership management platform. All information has been provided to the club’s membership through past global emails and via individual responses. I aim to be totally transparent in all areas of volunteering that I do for the club. The features of the Club Express Platform, and the costs associated with it, are right here for all to see.

 

To view a document, click the link; to save it locally, right-click and select "Save Target As..."

What is ClubExpress - PDF (240 KB)
What is ClubExpress - Features Matrix - PDF (460 KB)
What is ClubExpress - Features Matrix - Excel (112 KB)
What is ClubExpress - Features for Multi-tier Clubs - PDF (370 KB)
What is ClubExpress - Pricing - PDF (270 KB)

If after reading the Features Matrix anyone can find another vendor that is specifically dedicated to clubs like ours and offers a greater range of services at less costs you can be sure I will be the first one to promote the idea of migrating to a new platform. However, after spending a month researching this I remain of the view that we made the right decision at the time based on the available information we had and the time line we were faced with.

 

Again to Richard’s questions:

 

“Perhaps this would be a good time to know if the overall membership is satisfied with the new web site. I propose that Arnold create a few survey questions to check this out.  In fact, he, as a supplier of a major component of the Skywagons club (the Web Master),should consider doing a survey every year, to regularly check to see how the members feel about this part of the club.”

 

I agree entirely with the request and it was already in the works. However, I am waiting until we complete the implementation of the Club Store and other tweaks before doing so. And when it is done the questions and approach the survey should take will be submitted to and approved for approval by the club’s Board of Directors. One needs to understand that I do not make any decisions where the membership communication and management platform is concerned. I provide the Board of Directors with a list of options based on their stated required, if asked I make a recommendation, and then I act on their direction. That’s how I roll, roll.

 

Again, back to Richard’s questions:

 

“I hope the move to Club Express is worth it to the overall club membership, because we are definitely paying more for it.  I believe that Club Express charges monthly, what the Airbase1 site cost annually.”
 

As I mentioned earlier I was not involved in the decision to move to a new web site platform. As such I have no idea what the previous web site was costing so I cannot compare. I also was not involved in the decision so I do not know what the metrics or reasons were for making it. Once it was done I simply stepped in to volunteer to help the club move forward which I believe we have done successfully, and much to Rob Duncan’s credit with his full support and significant effort to help us do so. I do know that we (I) did a lot of research to find out what vendors provided services specific to club’s like our in the area of membership communication and management. Club Express is the result of what I found and in terms of overall value for money I believe we are getting a great deal. From the Club Express web site on Pricing. We pay 24¢ per member per month. That’s $2.88 per member per year.        

 

ClubExpress Fits Your Budget

Affordable ClubExpress fees are based on the number of active members in your club or association.

These fees include all modules and advanced functionality – we don’t charge extra for the good stuff!

Low Monthly Fees Only 40¢ per member per month (for clubs up to 100 members.)

For clubs with 101 – 250 members, the fee is 36¢ / member / month.

For clubs with 251 – 500 members, the fee is 30¢ / member / month.

For clubs with 501 – 1000 members, the fee is 24¢ / member / month.

For clubs with 1001 – 1500 members, the fee is 20¢ / member / month.

 

When you have read through the entire Club Express Administrator and User Guide manuals I believe strongly the only conclusion you will come to is that we are getting more than fair value for our money. When you look at what the Club Express administration back office functions provided alone in order to help the club’s volunteers manage the club business on behalf of its members we are getting fair value for our money. Our accounting firm has reviewed the membership management and financial management aspects of what Club Express does for us and they have concluded that it makes their job easier since the platform is Quicken integrated and compatible.

 

I provide all of the above information to Richard and to all club members so that everyone has all of the information I am aware of so that they can review it and make informed decisions and come to their own conclusions as to “did we do the right thing” and “are we getting value for money”. Full transparency, outside of what the club’s Board of Directors should decide, is important to me personally. I have nothing to gain by investing hundreds of volunteer hours in this effort other than the time it takes me away from my business and my family. I have asked several times for other club members to come forward and volunteer to assist me to make the Club Express a better membership communication and management platform. No other members have seriously come forward to accept the challenge and responsibility to managing things like specific areas of interest Discussion Forums. No one.    

 

The main objective I had in getting involved in helping the club and the club’s Board of Directors in moving to a new membership communication and management platforms is that we would create an environment that supported membership involvement and participation, an environment that was not controlled by one central member but rather directed and supported by a group of club volunteers that are passionate about the club’s objectives and mission and willing to invest their time and effort in it. I have asked several times for club members to come forward and support the club’s efforts and the initiatives the Board of Directors the club has put forward. Once the decision to move forward with a new club web site platform I asked for other members to come forward an assist me.

 

No one, and I mean no one, has come forward from within this club to really try to participate in making the new web site a better service for our members. I have asked in a global email for members to volunteer to take on responsibility as topic specific Discussion Forums. No none has stepped forward. I have made Board of Directors the Forum Moderators of their own region Discussion Forums not because they requested it but because it was the right thing to do. But no club member volunteered to become a Discussion Forum Member to be Forum Moderator of any of the many ones we have in our club.

 

I am one person. I am a volunteer. I am not paid for what I do to help the club. Please remember that Richard when you fire of your requests and suggestions.

 

Here is what I propose. I propose that I give Richard the appropriate permissions on the club’s web site to be able to create “club satisfaction surveys” such that he can establish for the entire club the information he wants to find out about.

 

Back to Richard’s questions:

 

“Perhaps this would be a good time to know if the overall membership is satisfied with the new web site. I propose that Arnold create a few survey questions to check this out.  In fact, he, as a supplier of a major component of the Skywagons club (the Web Master),should consider doing a survey every year, to regularly check to see how the members feel about this part of the club.”

 

Again Richard I am not a “supplier of a major component of the Skywagons club (the Web Master)” solution. I am just a volunteer that has spent a lot of time trying to help the club find the right membership communication and management platform to move forward with since the Board of Directors made the decision to move to a new club platform.

 

In closing one of my major objectives in assisting the club in moving forward in this area of club communication and administration was to ensure that no internal club member had control of the platform. My personal opinion is that this became a major issue between Rob Duncan and the Board of Directors in the end and that is what precipitated the decision to change the situation. In moving forward I wanted to ensure that a new arm’s length approach was put in place that volunteers were put in charge of where the club’s online business went next. And I have done that. The club is no longer dependent on any club member as the club was previously with Rob Duncan’s environment. Again, I want to remind you that I liked the services that Rob Duncan was providing. The club’s Board of Directors made the decision to move forward to a non member dependent membership communication and management platform that did not involve a member running the club’s web site and that decision was made and we are where we are today.

 

Just so you know, my datacenter currently hosts the Delta Airlines, KLM, and Air France disaster recovery and business continuity planning hosted web sites. I could have very easily provided the club with free web site hosting services. But that approach would not have served the club in the long run. Instead we needed an independent membership communication and management platform that was member independent and that is one of the main objectives I addressed. The club needs to be independent of club member activity. Rob Duncan was and is a great and loyal member of this great club. He has done a great job providing web sites for clubs like ours. But he is a member of this club and as such there is a conflict of interest when it comes to the business of the club. I believe this is one of the main reasons for the recent change.

 

Richard: I think when and if you take the time to go back and look at all the information provided above that you will have a change of heart. Is our Club Express platform perfect and does it do all of the things the old Rob Duncan web site used to provide? No. For every one of you Richard coming forward saying you do not like this or that about the new web site I also have an equal number of people saying that they did not like this or that about the old Rob Duncan web site and in fact that they like the new web site as it is. But everyone needs to remember that the public facing web site is only a small part of the larger membership management requirement that helps our administration back office volunteers do what they do much easier.

 

The Discussion Forums, my associate member Richard, is just one of many larger questions the club’s Board of Directors asked when they considered the solution we are currently using. So I ask you to do the following things:

 

-        Read through the Club Express features and functions evaluation process as I did initially when I was investigating them

-        Read through the Club Express Administration Manual

-        Read through the Club Express User Guide

-        Read through all of the Club Express customer list and contact at least ten of those customer of your personal choice to determine if we are blowing smoke up your way

 

In closing Richard I personally appreciate your passion for the club and it’s new web site. I see your input and criticism and suggestions as positive. I think ALL OF US will agree that our major goal is to make the web site a great place for club members to come together and share our passion for these airplanes.

 

If you want to volunteer to become an active and participating member of the club’s website site I sincerely welcome you actual and active involvement. I could certainly use your help.     

 

Richard, which Discussion Forum would you like to volunteer to become the Moderator of going forward?

 

Arnold Villeneuve

613-833-0984

 

Information without ownership is volatile or pointless and should not be the burden of a corporate document management system. Tobias Lekman

 

From: mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com [mailto:mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com]
Sent: December-07-14 5:00 AM
To: Website Suggestion Box
Subject: re: The new forum is awful, and not just because it is different <<$119607085203$>>

 

It would be good  to know how many people agree with each of the two quite opposing opinions just expressed. 

 

Personally, I thought that the old site was more efficient and provided better utility.  But I'm an engineer, and "form follows function"... so I liked the functionality of Rob Duncan's "Airbase1" web site.  It did everything I needed and suited me just fine.  I'm guessing that some folks like the prettier (more modern?) site as provided by Club Express.  Different solutions for different people. 

 

In addition, Arnold has expressed the idea that Club Express provides some better ways to "manage" the club, compared to the old web site.  Arnold hasn't exactly detailed those out, so it is hard to know how to figure those into the value proposition.  I hope the move to Club Express is worth it to the overall club membership, because we are definitely paying more for it.  I believe that Club Express charges monthly, what the Airbase1 site cost annually.

Perhaps this would be a good time to know if the overall membership is satisfied with the new web site. I propose that Arnold create a few survey questions to check this out.  In fact, he, as a supplier of a major component of the Skywagons club (the Web Master),should consider doing a survey every year, to regularly check to see how the members feel about this part of the club.

 

Hello Richard et All

 

This is a long email. I would appreciate it very much that if you are a club member and you really want to know what is going on that you will take the time to read through the entire email so that you are fully informed.

 

Firstly, Richard I appreciate your passion for the club and the new web site. Positive contributions and suggestions are always appreciated. The website is now almost six months old. Yes there were some migration issues that took time and effort to resolve but anyone that is in the information technology and information management environment knows that these are normal events. When you are an organization with lots of money you can take lots of time and people to plan for every eventuality. When you are a small non-profit club that relies a lot on volunteers you do what you can with what you have. But we did get through the migration and we are now just starting to take advantage of the Club Express platform, and I mean just.

 

As a backgrounder, and this was explained last spring, I only came on the scene after Rob Duncan had notified all of the members that the club’s Board of Directors had decided to change its web site provider. For the record I told the club’s Board of Directors that I personally thought Rob Duncan had done a good job over the years. But the Board of Directors had made the decision, a decision by the way that I had no part in, and I volunteered to assist with the transition to a new web site and membership management platform.  

 

In the spring I reviewed several dozen web site hosting platforms. I was looking for more than just a web site. I wanted to find a platform that would support a modern interactive website and discussions forums but I also wanted to find a system that would help manage membership and all of the back office stuff that goes with managing a club. Even a small club of 1,000 people takes a lot of time and effort. With Steve as the newly indoctrinated Club President he now has a very good idea of just how much effort is involved to keep the club running smoothly. If anyone is curious please ask him. I think you will be surprised at how much time and effort is involved especially in the area of accountable and transparent financial management to maintain the club. I certainly was.   

 

There are many web site hosting providers out there like Go Daddy that will give you a generic web site for $1 per day. But that is a very generic web site. Rob built up the Club’s web site over a 10 year period that saw a lot of customization over the years. A $1 per month Go Daddy would not have come close and as a volunteer I do not have hundreds of hours to spend customizing a web site. Furthermore the Go Daddy solution did not provide a component for managing a club’s membership and back office administrative functions.   

 

Through my research I found three potential web site hosting providers that “claimed” to service club’s like ours. One vender never returned my emails or voice mails. The other vendor worked with me to build a prototype to show the Club’s Board of Directors. It was very rudimentary and despite the vendors claims of supporting club’s like ours their web site hosting services turned out to be very generic and similar to Go Daddy like web site hosting solutions. In addition I found out that their support “person” only worked three days per week and he actually quit the week after I started dealing with the vendor. The owner had to step in to help me and I quickly found out that this was only a part time effort for him.  

 

I also worked with Club Express to create a prototype. They have several full time support staff, a full time programmer developer, and three working founder / executives members who own the company and work at it every day. A prototype was quickly built and even customized a little to look more like our own Club design. If any club member as any questions they can directly email Club Express for an explanation without having to go through me first. That is one of the great things about Club Express – they are nonpartisan and they do not own one of our airplanes. They are here to provide services to clubs like ours regardless of whether it is airplanes or motorcycles.

 

I presented a report to the Club’s Board of Directors with my findings and recommended Club Express for many reasons:

 

-        Solid company with full time dedicated support staff

-        Solid customer base with many clubs being much larger than ours

-        Specific solution designed for club’s like ours that require a membership communication (web site and forums and emails) and management (administration back office and finance) platform

-        Depth of documentation about the services and functions provided by the Club Express platform, some of which we are only starting to setup like the Club Store

 

Several members of the Club’s Board of Directors have IT/IM backgrounds and they were provided with all of the information. The Club’s Board of Directors made the decision to move forward with Club Express. For the record, I have no financial interest in Club Express, I do not make a commission in any way on any services the Club pays Club Express for, nor do I receive any money in any way from Club Express as a result of the Club’s decision to move forward with them. I am a 100% volunteer at this and donate my time and expenses to the Club.

 

Now, wrt the features and functions that Club Express provides to them I will say that there are some that I do not like and there are some that I do like. But overall, when evaluating the options I remain of the opinion that Club Express provides our club with the best overall and most affordable club membership communication and management platform. In that regard there was a lot more things to like about the club specific services that Club Express provides than there against it by a significant margin and then some. In other words, I could find no other vendor that was so dedicated to providing these kinds of services for a club like ours. I also wanted to be sure that we selected a vendor that had depth and longevity so that we do not have to go through a migration for a long time to come. We have more important things to do like fly our airplanes. Again, Club Express addressed my concerns here by a long margin.

 

Since the initial migration our club has had many interactions with the principles and support staff at Club Express. They have pretty much done everything we asked for in a very reasonable manner. Their support staff have been excellent and go above and beyond even answering questions after normal business hours. They were instrumental in making the migration of disparate sets of membership and photo and forum data that was based on very old database environments possible and did so at an extremely reasonable price. When we asked them to recreate the Membership Map they responded immediately and are currently working on the task, something which I hope will be done by the end of the month. When we needed assistance with setting up the 2015 Annual Conference on their platform as new users Geoffrey of the support team actually did the data entry and set it up for Walter Congdon and I since were still so new to the platform. If you want some feedback on the Club Express customer support lever just ask Walter. When Jim Densmore and I were trying to figure out how to work with Discussion Forums the support team responded quickly and helped us learn how to use the system better. When another Board of Director member was having issues with his password they called him personally. Again and again and again the people at Club Express have demonstrated to me that we made the right decision.

 

Anyone in the information technology and information management business knows that one of the greatest yardsticks of a good system is the level and detail of its documentation. For those of you who have not seen this documentation please refer to the following links:

 

Who is Club Express:

 

http://www.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=0&module_id=110493

 

Who are Club Express Customers:

 

http://www.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=0&module_id=110511   (by the way, this is just a sample – Club Express has over three thousand clubs as customers)

 

Club Express Platform Administrator Manual:

 

http://s3.amazonaws.com/ClubExpressDocument/ClubExpress_Administrator_Manual_v6.4.pdf   Over 500 pages long!

 

Club Express Platform User Guide:

 

http://s3.amazonaws.com/ClubExpressDocument/ClubExpress_User_Manual_v6.4.pdf    Over 170 pages long!

 

All of Club Express Platform Features and Functions Related Documentation:

 

http://www.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=0&module_id=110495

 

Club Express even provides a very specific web site and membership management platform retirement homes (Aging In Place Villages):

 

http://s3.amazonaws.com/ClubExpressDocument/ClubExpress_Village_Special_Features_Manual.pdf

 

Now to Richard’s specific email and request.

 

“In addition, Arnold has expressed the idea that Club Express provides some better ways to "manage" the club, compared to the old web site.  Arnold hasn't exactly detailed those out, so it is hard to know how to figure those into the value proposition.”   

 

As explained above all of the research and information I produced during my investigation to find a Club membership communication and management platform was provides to the club’s Board of Directors. The club’s Board of Directors made the decision to move forward base on the options and recommendations I was requested to provide to them. I believe the above email information provides a lot of background that may help the club’s membership understand the process that was used to evaluate a new web site and membership management platform. All information has been provided to the club’s membership through past global emails and via individual responses. I aim to be totally transparent in all areas of volunteering that I do for the club. The features of the Club Express Platform, and the costs associated with it, are right here for all to see.

 

To view a document, click the link; to save it locally, right-click and select "Save Target As..."

What is ClubExpress - PDF (240 KB)
What is ClubExpress - Features Matrix - PDF (460 KB)
What is ClubExpress - Features Matrix - Excel (112 KB)
What is ClubExpress - Features for Multi-tier Clubs - PDF (370 KB)
What is ClubExpress - Pricing - PDF (270 KB)

If after reading the Features Matrix anyone can find another vendor that is specifically dedicated to clubs like ours and offers a greater range of services at less costs you can be sure I will be the first one to promote the idea of migrating to a new platform. However, after spending a month researching this I remain of the view that we made the right decision at the time based on the available information we had and the time line we were faced with.

 

Again to Richard’s questions:

 

“Perhaps this would be a good time to know if the overall membership is satisfied with the new web site. I propose that Arnold create a few survey questions to check this out.  In fact, he, as a supplier of a major component of the Skywagons club (the Web Master),should consider doing a survey every year, to regularly check to see how the members feel about this part of the club.”

 

I agree entirely with the request and it was already in the works. However, I am waiting until we complete the implementation of the Club Store and other tweaks before doing so. And when it is done the questions and approach the survey should take will be submitted to and approved for approval by the club’s Board of Directors. One needs to understand that I do not make any decisions where the membership communication and management platform is concerned. I provide the Board of Directors with a list of options based on their stated required, if asked I make a recommendation, and then I act on their direction. That’s how I roll, roll.

 

Again, back to Richard’s questions:

 

“I hope the move to Club Express is worth it to the overall club membership, because we are definitely paying more for it.  I believe that Club Express charges monthly, what the Airbase1 site cost annually.”
 

As I mentioned earlier I was not involved in the decision to move to a new web site platform. As such I have no idea what the previous web site was costing so I cannot compare. I also was not involved in the decision so I do not know what the metrics or reasons were for making it. Once it was done I simply stepped in to volunteer to help the club move forward which I believe we have done successfully, and much to Rob Duncan’s credit with his full support and significant effort to help us do so. I do know that we (I) did a lot of research to find out what vendors provided services specific to club’s like our in the area of membership communication and management. Club Express is the result of what I found and in terms of overall value for money I believe we are getting a great deal. From the Club Express web site on Pricing. We pay 24¢ per member per month. That’s $2.88 per member per year.        

 

ClubExpress Fits Your Budget

Affordable ClubExpress fees are based on the number of active members in your club or association.

These fees include all modules and advanced functionality – we don’t charge extra for the good stuff!

Low Monthly Fees Only 40¢ per member per month (for clubs up to 100 members.)

For clubs with 101 – 250 members, the fee is 36¢ / member / month.

For clubs with 251 – 500 members, the fee is 30¢ / member / month.

For clubs with 501 – 1000 members, the fee is 24¢ / member / month.

For clubs with 1001 – 1500 members, the fee is 20¢ / member / month.

 

When you have read through the entire Club Express Administrator and User Guide manuals I believe strongly the only conclusion you will come to is that we are getting more than fair value for our money. When you look at what the Club Express administration back office functions provided alone in order to help the club’s volunteers manage the club business on behalf of its members we are getting fair value for our money. Our accounting firm has reviewed the membership management and financial management aspects of what Club Express does for us and they have concluded that it makes their job easier since the platform is Quicken integrated and compatible.

 

I provide all of the above information to Richard and to all club members so that everyone has all of the information I am aware of so that they can review it and make informed decisions and come to their own conclusions as to “did we do the right thing” and “are we getting value for money”. Full transparency, outside of what the club’s Board of Directors should decide, is important to me personally. I have nothing to gain by investing hundreds of volunteer hours in this effort other than the time it takes me away from my business and my family. I have asked several times for other club members to come forward and volunteer to assist me to make the Club Express a better membership communication and management platform. No other members have seriously come forward to accept the challenge and responsibility to managing things like specific areas of interest Discussion Forums. No one.    

 

The main objective I had in getting involved in helping the club and the club’s Board of Directors in moving to a new membership communication and management platforms is that we would create an environment that supported membership involvement and participation, an environment that was not controlled by one central member but rather directed and supported by a group of club volunteers that are passionate about the club’s objectives and mission and willing to invest their time and effort in it. I have asked several times for club members to come forward and support the club’s efforts and the initiatives the Board of Directors the club has put forward. Once the decision to move forward with a new club web site platform I asked for other members to come forward an assist me.

 

No one, and I mean no one, has come forward from within this club to really try to participate in making the new web site a better service for our members. I have asked in a global email for members to volunteer to take on responsibility as topic specific Discussion Forums. No none has stepped forward. I have made Board of Directors the Forum Moderators of their own region Discussion Forums not because they requested it but because it was the right thing to do. But no club member volunteered to become a Discussion Forum Member to be Forum Moderator of any of the many ones we have in our club.

 

I am one person. I am a volunteer. I am not paid for what I do to help the club. Please remember that Richard when you fire of your requests and suggestions.

 

Here is what I propose. I propose that I give Richard the appropriate permissions on the club’s web site to be able to create “club satisfaction surveys” such that he can establish for the entire club the information he wants to find out about.

 

Back to Richard’s questions:

 

“Perhaps this would be a good time to know if the overall membership is satisfied with the new web site. I propose that Arnold create a few survey questions to check this out.  In fact, he, as a supplier of a major component of the Skywagons club (the Web Master),should consider doing a survey every year, to regularly check to see how the members feel about this part of the club.”

 

Again Richard I am not a “supplier of a major component of the Skywagons club (the Web Master)” solution. I am just a volunteer that has spent a lot of time trying to help the club find the right membership communication and management platform to move forward with since the Board of Directors made the decision to move to a new club platform.

 

In closing one of my major objectives in assisting the club in moving forward in this area of club communication and administration was to ensure that no internal club member had control of the platform. My personal opinion is that this became a major issue between Rob Duncan and the Board of Directors in the end and that is what precipitated the decision to change the situation. In moving forward I wanted to ensure that a new arm’s length approach was put in place that volunteers were put in charge of where the club’s online business went next. And I have done that. The club is no longer dependent on any club member as the club was previously with Rob Duncan’s environment. Again, I want to remind you that I liked the services that Rob Duncan was providing. The club’s Board of Directors made the decision to move forward to a non member dependent membership communication and management platform that did not involve a member running the club’s web site and that decision was made and we are where we are today.

 

Just so you know, my datacenter currently hosts the Delta Airlines, KLM, and Air France disaster recovery and business continuity planning hosted web sites. I could have very easily provided the club with free web site hosting services. But that approach would not have served the club in the long run. Instead we needed an independent membership communication and management platform that was member independent and that is one of the main objectives I addressed. The club needs to be independent of club member activity. Rob Duncan was and is a great and loyal member of this great club. He has done a great job providing web sites for clubs like ours. But he is a member of this club and as such there is a conflict of interest when it comes to the business of the club. I believe this is one of the main reasons for the recent change.

 

Richard: I think when and if you take the time to go back and look at all the information provided above that you will have a change of heart. Is our Club Express platform perfect and does it do all of the things the old Rob Duncan web site used to provide? No. For every one of you Richard coming forward saying you do not like this or that about the new web site I also have an equal number of people saying that they did not like this or that about the old Rob Duncan web site and in fact that they like the new web site as it is. But everyone needs to remember that the public facing web site is only a small part of the larger membership management requirement that helps our administration back office volunteers do what they do much easier.

 

The Discussion Forums, my associate member Richard, is just one of many larger questions the club’s Board of Directors asked when they considered the solution we are currently using. So I ask you to do the following things:

 

-        Read through the Club Express features and functions evaluation process as I did initially when I was investigating them

-        Read through the Club Express Administration Manual

-        Read through the Club Express User Guide

-        Read through all of the Club Express customer list and contact at least ten of those customer of your personal choice to determine if we are blowing smoke up your way

 

In closing Richard I personally appreciate your passion for the club and it’s new web site. I see your input and criticism and suggestions as positive. I think ALL OF US will agree that our major goal is to make the web site a great place for club members to come together and share our passion for these airplanes.

 

If you want to volunteer to become an active and participating member of the club’s website site I sincerely welcome you actual and active involvement. I could certainly use your help.     

 

Richard, which Discussion Forum would you like to volunteer to become the Moderator of going forward?

 

Arnold Villeneuve

613-833-0984

 

Information without ownership is volatile or pointless and should not be the burden of a corporate document management system. Tobias Lekman

 

From: mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com [mailto:mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com]
Sent: December-07-14 5:00 AM
To: Website Suggestion Box
Subject: re: The new forum is awful, and not just because it is different <<$119607085203$>>

 

It would be good  to know how many people agree with each of the two quite opposing opinions just expressed. 

 

Personally, I thought that the old site was more efficient and provided better utility.  But I'm an engineer, and "form follows function"... so I liked the functionality of Rob Duncan's "Airbase1" web site.  It did everything I needed and suited me just fine.  I'm guessing that some folks like the prettier (more modern?) site as provided by Club Express.  Different solutions for different people. 

 

In addition, Arnold has expressed the idea that Club Express provides some better ways to "manage" the club, compared to the old web site.  Arnold hasn't exactly detailed those out, so it is hard to know how to figure those into the value proposition.  I hope the move to Club Express is worth it to the overall club membership, because we are definitely paying more for it.  I believe that Club Express charges monthly, what the Airbase1 site cost annually.

Perhaps this would be a good time to know if the overall membership is satisfied with the new web site. I propose that Arnold create a few survey questions to check this out.  In fact, he, as a supplier of a major component of the Skywagons club (the Web Master),should consider doing a survey every year, to regularly check to see how the members feel about this part of the club.

 
I hate  disagree with all the nay sayers, but I'm truly enjoying this new format and find it much easier for me to navigate in.

Mike McCrae
N1669
KSEE
 

I will put up a survey.

 

Arnold Villeneuve

613-833-0984

 

Information without ownership is volatile or pointless and should not be the burden of a corporate document management system. Tobias Lekman

 

From: mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com [mailto:mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com]
Sent: December-07-14 5:00 AM
To: Website Suggestion Box
Subject: re: The new forum is awful, and not just because it is different <<$119607085203$>>

 

It would be good  to know how many people agree with each of the two quite opposing opinions just expressed. 

 

Personally, I thought that the old site was more efficient and provided better utility.  But I'm an engineer, and "form follows function"... so I liked the functionality of Rob Duncan's "Airbase1" web site.  It did everything I needed and suited me just fine.  I'm guessing that some folks like the prettier (more modern?) site as provided by Club Express.  Different solutions for different people. 

 

In addition, Arnold has expressed the idea that Club Express provides some better ways to "manage" the club, compared to the old web site.  Arnold hasn't exactly detailed those out, so it is hard to know how to figure those into the value proposition.  I hope the move to Club Express is worth it to the overall club membership, because we are definitely paying more for it.  I believe that Club Express charges monthly, what the Airbase1 site cost annually.

Perhaps this would be a good time to know if the overall membership is satisfied with the new web site. I propose that Arnold create a few survey questions to check this out.  In fact, he, as a supplier of a major component of the Skywagons club (the Web Master),should consider doing a survey every year, to regularly check to see how the members feel about this part of the club.

 
It would be good  to know how many people agree with each of the two quite opposing opinions just expressed. 
 
Personally, I thought that the old site was more efficient and provided better utility.  But I'm an engineer, and "form follows function"... so I liked the functionality of Rob Duncan's "Airbase1" web site.  It did everything I needed and suited me just fine.  I'm guessing that some folks like the prettier (more modern?) site as provided by Club Express.  Different solutions for different people. 
 
In addition, Arnold has expressed the idea that Club Express provides some better ways to "manage" the club, compared to the old web site.  Arnold hasn't exactly detailed those out, so it is hard to know how to figure those into the value proposition.  I hope the move to Club Express is worth it to the overall club membership, because we are definitely paying more for it.  I believe that Club Express charges monthly, what the Airbase1 site cost annually.

Perhaps this would be a good time to know if the overall membership is satisfied with the new web site. I propose that Arnold create a few survey questions to check this out.  In fact, he, as a supplier of a major component of the Skywagons club (the Web Master),should consider doing a survey every year, to regularly check to see how the members feel about this part of the club.
 
We welcome your opinion and view of the new web site forums. 
Moreover we welcome your willingness to volunteer to make the website better. Please let us know how you would like to invest your time and effort volunteering to do so. 
I stand by my recommendation to the club that Club Express is and remains our best approach to a modern club membership management and communication platform. 
If you personally feel that I have failed in my recommendation to the club I would be willing to step asside and let you take offer responsibility for the web site. 
But I will not agree with your comment that we should cut our losses. In that regard, while I respect your opinion, I believe you are simply wrong. With all do respect. 
If you would like to step up to the plate and invest time and effort to make things better we sincerely welcome your willingness to do so. 

Arnold Villeneuve
613 833 0984
On Dec 6, 2014, at 9:22 PM, "Steven Murray  <mailer@mail2.clubexpress.com> wrote:

I think it is time to acknowledge the new website format is not working, particularly the forums. Granted, the previous website and forums were not the most modern and were feeling old, but they were usable. Now that we are several months into the change, I still find the new forum format difficult to use at best, and completely uninviting. It is not just one thing, it is all pretty poor in terms of usability - the font, the overall format, wasted screen space, to much scrolling, the help gadget, the difficulty using search, no link for last 7 day updates, background colors, etc. 

 

Below are some other forums I occasionally visit, and they are all better and easier to use in every way. I know it takes a lot work to switch, but I think any of the forum tools used below are far better.   

http://www.cessnaowner.org/memforums.html

 

http://www.pilotsofamerica.com/forum/index.php

 

http://www.supercub.org/forum/

 

http://www.seaplanes.org/forum/

 
Sometimes it is just better to admit a change didn't work as expected, cut your losses, and move to something different. In my opinion, that is where we are at with our forum.
 

Sorry but I disagree . I check this and other forums daily and find it very easy to navigate. Just my option . Randy Long   Longs Aircraft Service. N1802  Almost a 180

Quoted Text

I think it is time to acknowledge the new website format is not working, particularly the forums. Granted, the previous website and forums were not the most modern and were feeling old, but they were usable. Now that we are several months into the change, I still find the new forum format difficult to use at best, and completely uninviting. It is not just one thing, it is all pretty poor in terms of usability - the font, the overall format, wasted screen space, to much scrolling, the help gadget, the difficulty using search, no link for last 7 day updates, background colors, etc. 

 

Below are some other forums I occasionally visit, and they are all better and easier to use in every way. I know it takes a lot work to switch, but I think any of the forum tools used below are far better.   

http://www.cessnaowner.org/memforums.html

 

http://www.pilotsofamerica.com/forum/index.php

 

http://www.supercub.org/forum/

 

http://www.seaplanes.org/forum/

 
Sometimes it is just better to admit a change didn't work as expected, cut your losses, and move to something different. In my opinion, that is where we are at with our forum.

 

I think it is time to acknowledge the new website format is not working, particularly the forums. Granted, the previous website and forums were not the most modern and were feeling old, but they were usable. Now that we are several months into the change, I still find the new forum format difficult to use at best, and completely uninviting. It is not just one thing, it is all pretty poor in terms of usability - the font, the overall format, wasted screen space, to much scrolling, the help gadget, the difficulty using search, no link for last 7 day updates, background colors, etc. 

 

Below are some other forums I occasionally visit, and they are all better and easier to use in every way. I know it takes a lot work to switch, but I think any of the forum tools used below are far better.   

http://www.cessnaowner.org/memforums.html

 

http://www.pilotsofamerica.com/forum/index.php

 

http://www.supercub.org/forum/

 

http://www.seaplanes.org/forum/

 
Sometimes it is just better to admit a change didn't work as expected, cut your losses, and move to something different. In my opinion, that is where we are at with our forum.
 
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