I think both have their place and actually both perform different but equally valid roles.
I see this website as being the authoritative source for club information (contact details, club records, calendar etc) and I see the Facebook group as being a great place to get simple messages out to a wide audience as quickly as possible.
The big advantage this site has is that it is a lot easier to find information because it is more structured. For instance, if I want to look up who won the Guardian Cup in 1982 it's fairly easy to do that here but would be hopeless on Facebook which is really just a collective stream of consciousness with anything more than a few days old disappearing into obscurity.
However because it is so popular, Facebook is the ideal mechanism for getting fairly transient stuff that is relevant today but won't be tomorrow out to the widest possible user base as quickly as possible.
The stuff Ady is proposing to improve access to the facebook posting from within this site for the benefit of those who don't use FB seems like a good compromise to me.
So, in summary, this site is the best place to record important stuff that we want to be in full control of and want to be certain that we can always retrieve if we need to. Facebook is great for the endless stream of trivia that helps us to generally stay in touch with the day to day activities of the club.
By the way, big thanks to Ady for all the work you put in on this site, I know just how much of a time commitment it can take to keep a site like this up and running!
Well said Mr Malkin 🙂
You make a lot of sense in your post Steve. I'm particularly interested in the idea of gaining access to facebook feeds through the club website. With respect to your comments about Ady, I agree unreservedly - we're very lucky to have him!
I also concur most heartily that Ady is a Godsend and a treasure.
Seriously it is very easy to forget about the few that do the majority of work so thank you Ady.
Why don't you like face book Jed?
Andy, thanks for asking me this question. I worry now because if I really ‘go to town' on my heart felt feelings about Facebook, I am surely going to upset some avid facebook users. With this thought in mind, let me say that I do recognize the value it has to many people and for some, it can be a lifeline. The idea of it just doesn't suit me.
I have two main gripes about facebook:
1. I have always enjoyed a good ‘one to one’ conversation. It’s one of life’s pleasures for me. It’s that magical connection between two humans who engage in a mental game. A game which can enlighten, entertain and inspire those involved. For most people, those really gripping and meaningful conversations happen only rarely. Sparking off a lively conversation is relatively easy but developing it and keeping it going requires skill. Unfortunately, most people just don’t listen to each other. They’re just waiting until it’s their turn. Well, that’s where facebook comes in. You can tell the entire world all about yourself and what you think without having to listen to anyone at all.
2. My other main concern about facebook is its ability to cause anguish and ruin lives. You may feel comfortable with your privacy settings, the details you provide about yourself and the ‘friends’ you make but you have no control over what others post about you. This has had some rather nasty consequences.
I do feel that facebook has its uses. It is great for announcing things but it’s no substitute for our forum. The WVCC forum used to be great. We've had some superb discussions over the years so I say let’s revive it and promote it to more members. We need to encourage more people to post on the forum and get involved.
Thanks for the reply Jed.
You're welcome Andy. You'll notice I've made a few amendments. I was perhaps a little over zealous to start with and I apologize for that. The majority of internet users worldwide can't all be wrong so it's probably me and my cynical and jaded outlook on life!!
Jed, I probably took about an hour to come up with what I wrote! I'd write, delete, write, delete.... One bit was about all the derogatory words you used, I can't really agree with any of them, face book is what you make of it, have you ever registered an account? If not, I think you should, there's a whole world out there! Plus, I could see a 'tales of the Quest' face book page going viral 😉
Andy, regarding the words I used (in my original post), I still believe they apply; you can't deny that facebook can be very addictive and I'm sure you'll agree that much of the content is often about mundane things. I'm sure you're right when you say 'it's what you make it' . A few years ago, I'm sure I'd have relished the idea but my outlook has changed. These days, I'd far rather have a good old one to one chat. In fact, talking about how my outlook has changed, about 10 years ago I remember doing a collection of audio podcasts about cycling - they were never distributed but I did enjoy doing them.
I did register with facebook about 8 or so years ago but stayed only a short while. I'll never say never Andy but I would definitely need convincing that anyone would be interested in my adventures in the Quest.
....................................."I'll never say never Andy" ............
Well, 'never' is exactly what I said in my original post on this subject so you are definitely making progress on me!!.
I'm with Jed on the value of a good old face to face conversation. I check the forum maybe once or twice a day to see if there is anything interesting to share or to put up some content of my own that people may find interesting or gain entertainment from. However I think written words can be taken the wrong way and this often leads to mis-understandings. Facebook is very much a spur of the moment medium and can cause lot's of issues, not least of which is the amount of time that people spend on it rather than having meaningful face to face conversations with individuals (as opposed to a very wide and largely uncontrolled audience). I still think Facebook is de-valuing the website but maybe I'm just a dinosaur. I think the website should be providing information to members, advertising our club to potential new members and relaying stories that may be of interest to fellow cyclists. Facebook is fine for idle chit chat if that is what you like but I see no need for it on the web-site.
However we live in a democracy so I'm happy to go with the consensus but it doesn't change my view.
Reading your post cheered me up Dave, thanks.
Hi Dinosaur Dave
Thanks for your 2 pennies. Well said. Obviously people can post on whatever site they like but social media sites are transitory and come in and out of fashion and even the behemoth that is Facebook will fade away (anyone still use Bebo or MySpace?) Whereas the club's own website should remain the core of our online presence. A permanent record.
...and so the challenge is, ladies and gentlemen, if you want more content on the web site, get it on there. Anyone who has useful stuff needs to contact me, and I'll ensure that they have blog author access to the main site. If you have an article, story (watch this space for Graham's illustrated LEJOG diary soon), technical tips, trip reports etc - they can be on there, almost as quickly as Facebook. All websites require content, and content has to be created by people. Step up to the challenge and let's see what you can pen.