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Thread: Future of eScouts?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    Guiders forum is even more segmented but seems v well used.



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    The Guiding forum (assume you mean Guiders.co.uk) is fairly quiet. The most active Guiding sites by far are the various closed Facebook groups. There are umpteen and people seem to gravitate to the ones that suit them. 1st Facebook Guides has hardly anything.

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  3. #17
    Frith
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    I read escouts but rarely post as enough of the replies on here are sufficiently unfriendly or confrontational that I would be wary of the kind of response I would get. The recent discussion over the use of a whistle is a case in point - I suspect the OP in that instance ended up wondering why he'd bothered.

    Also, it seems to me that fewer women are posting, and they are posting less frequently than in the past. Given that almost half the volunteers in scouting are female, that's a lot of people you're missing out on.

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  5. #18
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Prompted to write having suggested to a CSL lst week that she looks at eScouts rather than 1st FB to discuss a particular issue. She wasn't impressed - far too hard to navigate and too many sub forums and no one seems to be using it - many sub forums with no postings for days, weeks or months. So she didn't bother joining.
    as i mentioned, i just look at new posts rather than navigate through sub-forums. fine for me as a daily visitor but get's a little trickier if i've been away for a week or two. the site does need a bit of a tidy and it might help visitors if it was slimmed down and simplified a little.

    as for discussing an 'issue', i would always recommend escouts over 1st FB.

    1st FB is simply a message board; it is not a discussion forum. most of the posts to 1st FB are messages and have little need for discussion let alone comment. rarely nowadays do you see a post that can incite a discussion. looking at 1st FB right now i think that the post about 'rivarly' between wosm and non-wosm scouting would be the only one that would make a debate here and a couple of others, for example those seeking help on things such as gift aid, would also likely be seen on escouts. however, the vast majority of posts to 1st FB are plain simple messages and just don't need comment, let alone discussion.

    most people i guess treat 1st FB as a sort of shop, they pop-in for a few minutes, browse, pick up a notice or tip or two, and then leave. if you do look at threads on 1st FB where there has been real debate you often see that 50% of the posters post just for a bit of fun and the debate by the other 50% gets thrown about all over the place it's very hard to follow. people on 1st FB also have a very short attention span, if you post more than 2 or 3 sentences you'll soon be ignored. i admire the efforts of 1st FB's andy to educate them in the fine details of POR and/or NA, but i suspect that most people don't read his long posts on these issues, hence why he has to repeat himself so often!

    just occasionally on 1st FB you get the heated spat between people who claim to be 'traditional scouters' and those who say they are 'outcasts'. some fun to be had in these but seriously they're not debates but simply mud slinging episodes. people soon tire of someone posting that wosm only scouters are real scouters as well as those who say we uphold 'traditional' scouting because we still use garters and wear lemon-squeezers. one side always tries to outscore the other; every opportunity there is to 'make a point' they take it. (both sides are complete nutters!)

    but the two things about 1st FB that i do not like: it's very unfriendly and, frankly, at times it's boring. (congratulations on getting your woodbadge! i can now add you to the 2,734 others who have mentioned their award last month on 1st FB.)

    TM
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  6. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frith View Post
    I read escouts but rarely post as enough of the replies on here are sufficiently unfriendly or confrontational that I would be wary of the kind of response I would get. The recent discussion over the use of a whistle is a case in point - I suspect the OP in that instance ended up wondering why he'd bothered.

    Also, it seems to me that fewer women are posting, and they are posting less frequently than in the past. Given that almost half the volunteers in scouting are female, that's a lot of people you're missing out on.
    I used to post a lot, (I'm female in case my nick doesn't make that obvious) but after a while many of the same issues come around again, and unless there is something slightly different I can contribute, I don't post for the sake of posting. I guess also when I was scout leader I was running programmes every week, and could contribute games ideas etc, while now as GSL I do less of that...although I actually visit more sections.
    I do think its unfortunate when threads become confrontational, but sometimes I think its just people interpreting a comment more harshly then was intended..

  7. #20
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frith View Post
    I read escouts but rarely post as enough of the replies on here are sufficiently unfriendly or confrontational that I would be wary of the kind of response I would get.
    i am genuinely concerned you feel that way.

    i'm also sorry that you consider many of the posts here are unfriendly or confrontational. i would disagree: i think many posts here are friendly and helpful. however, there are many posts which are 'heated', not confrontational, and feathers do get ruffled in the heat of the debate. i acknowledge that the nature of these debates is not liked by some, however, many are tackling some really difficult issues and opinions do become polarised.

    (the debates on ukrs, the forerunner to escouts could become really fiery and run at four or five temperature notches above those on here. i recall a poster on there called GAGS used to get messages asking how much he'd like 'do over' his nemesis ewan scott after a heated explorer debate. those people and their messages were so wide of the mark and frankly risible! heated, yes; confrontational and strong in debate, yes; unfriendly, never.

    The recent discussion over the use of a whistle is a case in point - I suspect the OP in that instance ended up wondering why he'd bothered.
    i disagree. i do not think it's a case in point. there are two or three debates going on in that thread and a lot of thread drift. yes the OP must have ended up wondering what was going on as he had nothing to do with the whistle!

    the problem with disagreements on some issues is that without face to face, tone of voice, and body language to help, they can be read as unfriendly. would we learn more if we toned down our 'attacks', backed-off a bit, and used less aggressive language? no.

    (i can hear some here say: but wouldn't it help if you disagreed with a post to simply say 'you disagree but agreed to disagree' and leave it at that without getting into an argument? no one wishes to get into an argument but to just leave it, without any sort of debate; how would that be helpful?)

    i don't expect anyone ever to agree with me!

    Also, it seems to me that fewer women are posting, and they are posting less frequently than in the past. Given that almost half the volunteers in scouting are female, that's a lot of people you're missing out on.
    now on that point i do agree!



    cordially yours, TM
    going...going...still here...just

  8. #21
    Senior Member Matt Donnelly's Avatar
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    I had a spell of a year when i didn't visit escouts much at all. Probably when my tapatalk account seemed to play up and be more trouble than it was worth. Much better now though.

    I like that people can have critical debates on here and most of the time even the more firery ones calm down. Why? I think good honest debate is invaluable, and on more than a few occassions I have quite rightly had my wings clipped and I've changed my opinion as a result. That's very useful.

    I wonder if, whilst the main forum is quite broad and might need some pruning, part of the issue is how useful it is as an organisational tool rather than just a discussion forum. I'd love to be able to access the groups from tapatalk for instance because I normally read on the train with my phone rather than sat at a computer.

    With that said I'm conscious that I can rarely bring myself to write a vaguely lengthy reply on my phone because its awkward compared to doing so on a keyboard. Maybe some peoples habits have changed?

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  9. #22
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frith View Post
    I read escouts but rarely post as enough of the replies on here are sufficiently unfriendly or confrontational that I would be wary of the kind of response I would get. The recent discussion over the use of a whistle is a case in point - I suspect the OP in that instance ended up wondering why he'd bothered.

    Also, it seems to me that fewer women are posting, and they are posting less frequently than in the past. Given that almost half the volunteers in scouting are female, that's a lot of people you're missing out on.

    Ah, just join in. Tarquin and myself have verbally thrown bricks at each other, but in fact, I think he would agree that we are actually quite good friends.

    Pa Broon can take it. He has a thick skin from what I can see

    Most of us on Escouts today have been around for a while, some of us have been exchanging views robustly for about 15 years ( more in some cases) and we all roll with the punches.

    Want to see abuse? Try posting anything in the slightest contentious on 1st Facebook... watch the vitriole rise to the surface within half a dozen posts.
    Ewan Scott

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  11. #23
    Senior Member dasy2k1's Avatar
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    I use tapatalk to access escouts and so don't really care about the actual subforum unless I'm starting a new thread....
    Then again I have been here since uk.rec.scouting died a death, I'm on 1st FB too but the posts there seem to be 1 of...
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  13. #24
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    I am yet another lurker, and another user of tapatalk. I therefore don't see all the various subforums and the like but read the new posts most days and will sometimes read new threads with great interest and others just skim over.

    Occasionally I may contribute but more often find that I run out of time in my day to write anything, between a lively toddler, full time high hours job, scouting and other commitments it leaves little time to contribute. I however would very much miss the information and conversation that goes on if we were to lose the forum. More often i feel like a spectator watching a soap opera but sometimes feel I can add something or ask a question.

    I guess I just need to make the time, say hi, join in and be a part of the discussions that I enjoy reading.
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  15. #25
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    Also worth noting that looking in the last few weeks is looking at the traditional quiet time....

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  17. #26
    Senior Member Mallah's Avatar
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    Agree that the structure could do with a revamp, and maybe the UI could have a colour change etc. Not sure about identifying the number 'using' the forum and then deciding it 'isn't good enough' though.

    He who receives a good turn should never forget it; he who does one should never remember it.

  18. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frith View Post
    I read escouts but rarely post as enough of the replies on here are sufficiently unfriendly or confrontational that I would be wary of the kind of response I would get. The recent discussion over the use of a whistle is a case in point - I suspect the OP in that instance ended up wondering why he'd bothered.

    Also, it seems to me that fewer women are posting, and they are posting less frequently than in the past. Given that almost half the volunteers in scouting are female, that's a lot of people you're missing out on.
    This is an interesting comment because sometimes I think in the midst of the hurly burly, we forget that there will be people reading the posts but not commenting, and that what we're energetically typing out will be putting people off due to its confrontational or hectoring tone (even if its not in the least meant like that.)

    I also go straight the the 'Whats New?' tab in the first instance, the number of new posts between visits seems to be very low - I think new people probably are worried about posting initially - I know I was.

    This often happens with online forums though, there is a routine or cycle that occurs. It starts of well then builds into a vibrant community, then the more vocal people's posts become more prevalent and as already mentioned, it seems to become a little cliquey as the less prolific posters naturally drop out (because they don't feel empowered to speak any more or simply can't be bothered with the 'politics' that build...) The most annoying thing (and its unavoidable), is if people have specific questions, due to the size of the forum and the proliferation of threads all titled differently - the search function totally falls down. When someone comes on with a question, others jump on them for not using the search function.

    eScouts is still the best place to come for info though, however, sometimes plucking up the courage to ask is difficult - especially if you think instead of an answer, you're going to get a gazillion questions or assumptions fired back at you.

    You should still ask though, for the banter and for the real gems that always appear in the midst the fray.

  19. #28
    Escouts Founder Richard's Avatar
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    Hi folks

    Just to say the Team had a discussion on this subject last night.

    We are looking at making some changes, nothing too drastic, but through reading the comments on here, there are some good suggestions.

    We'll do a bit of work on this and let you know

  20. #29
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Hi folks

    Just to say the Team had a discussion on this subject last night.

    We are looking at making some changes, nothing too drastic, but through reading the comments on here, there are some good suggestions.

    We'll do a bit of work on this and let you know
    my first suggestion would be to put the forums on the front page

  21. #30
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    my first suggestion would be to put the forums on the front page

    Only really needs one forum.
    Ewan Scott

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