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Thread: Future of eScouts?

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glsg View Post
    Most of the scouters I know have heard of Escouts and many have visited at some time, either just browsing or looking for answers/information.

    But let’s see it from the point of view of a first-time visitor, say, a new Beaver leader who is most likely looking for a Beaver section forum:

    When they land on the home page, apart from Wayne’s message of thanks and a few examples of recent forum activity, there’s not much else of interest to them. Nothing about Beavers here.

    Look around. Ah, a Forum tab, click that. Can’t see anything about Beavers here. Look a little closer and half way down the page under the heading ‘Scouting Talk’ there it is in small print. Click this link and it takes them to page 1 of 45, all to do with Beavers. Now they’re getting somewhere.

    My point is (and I’m trying to be constructive here and not critical) the scouting section and adult support sub-forums have by far the most posts, so I would assume are the most visited, yet they can only be found half way down page two in small print. Mind you, I can think of other sites which are far more difficult to navigate.
    Last time I checked - in one of our leaders meetings - only a couple had heard of it and a handful 1st FB. In this district no one other than myself ever uses eScouts, 2 of us post on FB and 3 or 4 lurk there. I think there's a general view that it's slightly bizarre to discuss Scouts online other than looking for specifics.

    As for the Beavers forum - well your hypothetical new user would then spot that no one had posted for almost 3 weeks and might well assume that their query would go unanswered bring unaware of the new posts feature. To be slightly more abrupt, this looks like a hobby project by a team who have added every possible feature you might need for a group of many thousand rather than the current membership of a few 10's of active users.

    As a comparison I use, for work and hobby purposes, a forum for support of a microcontroller family which has well over 200000 members and hundreds of posts per day, which is considerably cleaner and has much less sub fora than here.

    I still feel a much cleaner, far reduced interface with the option for non-registered guest users, might considerably increase use. OTOH it may just be that no Scout forum will ever beat 1st FB for familiarity and activity and we'll continue here as a niche group.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Last time I checked - in one of our leaders meetings - only a couple had heard of it and a handful 1st FB. In this district no one other than myself ever uses eScouts, 2 of us post on FB and 3 or 4 lurk there. I think there's a general view that it's slightly bizarre to discuss Scouts online other than looking for specifics.
    I think that you are being generous.

    In my old district, apparently no-one ever used uk.rec.scouting nor Escouts, nor 1stFB ( though they do use a couple of closed Groups locally - but just a few posters and usually for notices) = yet, many moons ago, I accidentally sent a private message critical of my DC to UK.rec.scouting - which someone managed to remove for me within two hours. However, despite no-one using uk.rec.scouting, it was widely read by many in the District and half the County team... there are a lot of lurkers...

    Once, something I said was taken, and used out of context, to make a complaint to Safeguarding about me by an anonymous Leader - c'est la vie - the complaint was found to be invalid.

    However, in general, most people pay little heed to anything in Scouting outside their own Group, many only focus on their own section. Even on 1st FB the number of posters is actually only a fraction of those who have registered. Those who post tend to have a wider interest than some others ( that is of course a generalisation).
    Ewan Scott

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  3. #48
    Senior Member BREWBOY's Avatar
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    I have to disagree with previous posters,I don't find this forum elitist,as a relativly new leader I have found this site to be a wealth of help and knowledge,never have I felt my queries will be scoffed at,I have received nothing but help and knowledge from friends I hav'nt met yet.

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  5. #49
    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glsg View Post
    Most of the scouters I know have heard of Escouts and many have visited at some time, either just browsing or looking for answers/information.

    But let’s see it from the point of view of a first-time visitor, say, a new Beaver leader who is most likely looking for a Beaver section forum:

    When they land on the home page, apart from Wayne’s message of thanks and a few examples of recent forum activity, there’s not much else of interest to them. Nothing about Beavers here.

    Look around. Ah, a Forum tab, click that. Can’t see anything about Beavers here. Look a little closer and half way down the page under the heading ‘Scouting Talk’ there it is in small print. Click this link and it takes them to page 1 of 45, all to do with Beavers. Now they’re getting somewhere.

    My point is (and I’m trying to be constructive here and not critical) the scouting section and adult support sub-forums have by far the most posts, so I would assume are the most visited, yet they can only be found half way down page two in small print. Mind you, I can think of other sites which are far more difficult to navigate.
    I do think navigation could be improved for newcomers.

    Possibly something to make it easier to find the sectional subforums as these are the area a lot of "newbies" are initially looking for - could we have the section logos at the top (similar to Chris's wordpress themes) so a nice easy direct link to the sectional areas?

    There a lot of functions that are barely used. The groups are a brilliant idea, but rarely touched. The GSL group is very useful for discussions of matters that could not be discussed in the public forum, but actually things like "hall builders" group could easily be replaced with a "Halls and minibuses" subforum

    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves

  6. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by recneps View Post
    The groups are a brilliant idea, but rarely touched.
    Is 'a brilliant idea that nobody uses' still a brilliant idea, or just something that was worth trying once?
    John Russell
    ex-CSL now ACSL 1st Pinhoe Exeter Devon
    Cubs don't care how much you know, but they need to know how much you care.

  7. #51
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    I can add two things to the general list of ideas.

    1) I find it a bit odd that clicking the escouts logo takes me to the "forum" page, not the "home" page. I can see how that would come about, and it probably works for most. But that doesn't stop me finding it odd.

    2) The forums that work best for me tell me new posts since I last visited. In some cases that is a tag on the forum/threads with the number of unread posts. In other cases it's a "posts since you last visited" page. Ironically, the home page does this, but if I go away for a week, the list fills and I'm back to trolling the forum for unread posts.

    Tapatalk actually handles this for me with it's "timeline" tab.

  8. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark W View Post
    The groups I follow have gone quiet, even the GSL group is only a post every few days. I'd rather be here than 1fb though.
    How do I join the GSL group? Note the change in my signature as I am now the Acting GSL for my group.

    Thanks


    Jonathan

    GSL

    ex-Chairman
    49th Bournemouth (St. Katherines) Air Scouts
    NSRA YPS Tutor (Air Rifles)

  9. #53
    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
    Is 'a brilliant idea that nobody uses' still a brilliant idea, or just something that was worth trying once?
    Yes - because i think if the forum was more heavily used the groups would in turn really be a useful feature.

    As I said, the GSL Group has proved really useful when I have wanted to seek advice of other GSLs, without posting content on the main forum that I wouldn't want to be available for general consumption.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by not-so View Post
    How do I join the GSL group? Note the change in my signature as I am now the Acting GSL for my group.

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    You'll need to drop Don Tregartha a PM i believe

    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves

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  11. #54
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    Back to 1st FB - and I'm sure the same would apply here if there were a lot more posts - some of the posts and questions make me seriously doubt that we should asking these people to look after our children. In the past day - "What type footwear should I wear to build a school in Uganda" and "What shape should my Cub Pack form in grand howl". I just want to rudely respond "*** if you can't find an answer that, or work it out yourself, you shouldn't be going to Uganda or running a Cub Pack", and there's worse. Maybe that makes me a very bad Scouter, or very impatient, but I do expect a certain minimum level of initiative from leaders.

    It wouldn't surprise me to see a post like "One of my Cubs has fallen and I can see a bone sticking out of his arm - what you do in this situation, I think he's bleeding badly"!
    Last edited by Richard; 06-09-2016 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Bad Language Acronym

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Back to 1st FB - and I'm sure the same would apply here if there were a lot more posts - some of the posts and questions make me seriously doubt that we should asking these people to look after our children. In the past day - "What type footwear should I wear to build a school in Uganda" and "What shape should my Cub Pack form in grand howl". I just want to rudely respond "FFS if you can't find an answer that, or work it out yourself, you shouldn't be going to Uganda or running a Cub Pack", and there's worse. Maybe that makes me a very bad Scouter, or very impatient, but I do expect a certain minimum level of initiative from leaders.

    It wouldn't surprise me to see a post like "One of my Cubs has fallen and I can see a bone sticking out of his arm - what you do in this situation, I think he's bleeding badly"!
    I was going to put a thanks on that post but then I thought not.

    The same thoughts often run through my mind, but then I think of the calibre of some of the people I have met in Scouting - and this DOES come across as elitist and arrogant and patronising - I think, nope, these are actually good people doing what they can to help, they are possibly just not that clever. I look around and I see dinner ladies, warehouse operatives, cleaners - see, I told you it was arrogant and elitist and patronising - and they are probably doing their best and probably not used to having to think for themselves. Their local support structure is usually carp (or they would not be asking on 1stFB) and this is why they ask the seemingly daft questions.

    So, I sympathise with them (or patronise them if they feel that way).

    The ones that wind me up are the ones who say, I have read POR and the Factsheets and I can't find an answer on whether we can take Cubs Splurgedipping. Splurgedipping is of course not specifically prohibited by POR or any Factsheet, but elements of it as an activity touch on grey areas from other activities. The outcome of having asked the question is that they will be told that they cannot do it. Why would they even ask?

    We recently used the floor of the hall of a National Advisor as a sleep over on our way to Belgium. He cautiously suggested that there was only one hall, plus an office, and perhaps some Leaders might sleep on the kitchen floor. I said thanks, but we would be pragmatic about this, the girls would sleep at one side of the hall, the boys at the other, and the Leaders at the end of the hall with lots of space between. If it was an issue for him, we would put some tables or chairs out to make a demarcation line between the sleeping areas.

    The same advisor is constantly addressing the same questions on 1st FB, I think he was relieved at our pragmatic approach for a short stopover en route to our destination - it is the "why would you even ask that" type of question that sets me wondering.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





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  15. #56
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    Guilty as charged ! I'm certainly one of those who has been registered for sometime regularly goes in a reads things but very rarely actually comments or posts. That said I would rather be reading on here than on facebook. My main reason for not posting more is by the time I read the posts most things have been said. I do worry also that more often than not stuff comes across as very negative on here. But that is true of most forums -blogs etc in all areas of life the negative and bad stuff comes out far more than the positives. right off back to my usual voyeuristic day on Escouts lol.

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  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    I was going to put a thanks on that post but then I thought not.

    The same thoughts often run through my mind, but then I think of the calibre of some of the people I have met in Scouting - and this DOES come across as elitist and arrogant and patronising - I think, nope, these are actually good people doing what they can to help, they are possibly just not that clever. I look around and I see dinner ladies, warehouse operatives, cleaners - see, I told you it was arrogant and elitist and patronising - and they are probably doing their best and probably not used to having to think for themselves. Their local support structure is usually carp (or they would not be asking on 1stFB) and this is why they ask the seemingly daft questions.

    So, I sympathise with them (or patronise them if they feel that way).
    See that's the crux of the matter for me... It's easy to say "look at them over there, aint they fick?" The reality of the matter is in many cases it's a lack of experience, lack of confidence and the fear of doing the wrong thing that leads people into such questions. Surely it's better to have an environment that encourages the confidence and propogates the knowledge to enable people to answer those questions for themselves?

    I been following this forum since I returned to scouting, nearly 7 years ago. I only registered an account 3 years ago when I felt more comfortable in my skills and knowledge. Considering the average tenure of new leaders is less than 2 years, how much time does it give them to find us and feel confident enough in themselves to join in?


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    Quote Originally Posted by BeardySi View Post
    See that's the crux of the matter for me... It's easy to say "look at them over there, aint they fick?" The reality of the matter is in many cases it's a lack of experience, lack of confidence and the fear of doing the wrong thing that leads people into such questions. Surely it's better to have an environment that encourages the confidence and propogates the knowledge to enable people to answer those questions for themselves?

    I been following this forum since I returned to scouting, nearly 7 years ago. I only registered an account 3 years ago when I felt more comfortable in my skills and knowledge. Considering the average tenure of new leaders is less than 2 years, how much time does it give them to find us and feel confident enough in themselves to join in?


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    And that's why I felt a bit guilty about posting as I did = but honestly if there is such a lack of confidence in any leader that they have to ask such basic questions, or they'd be afraid of asking anything here, are they safe to run an evening - where any number of issues will arise?

    Second point - well if the only reason people don't post here is because they'd need 2 years to build confidence that would hardly explain why eS is much much quieter than it used to be, whilst 1st FB goes from strength to strength?

  20. #59
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    And that's why I felt a bit guilty about posting as I did = but honestly if there is such a lack of confidence in any leader that they have to ask such basic questions, or they'd be afraid of asking anything here, are they safe to run an evening - where any number of issues will arise?
    not too long after starting out as a Scouter I realised there was a lot of talk about support during training but the reality was that there was actually no support locally. Then I found uk.rec.scouting and I was one of those newbies. Everyone has to start somewhere. Way back in the dim and distant even Tarquin Merryweather had to make a start...
    Ewan Scott

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Way back in the dim and distant even Tarquin Merryweather had to make a start...
    and his first ever post was asking for a different name...

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