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Thread: Future of eScouts?

  1. #1
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    Future of eScouts?

    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.

    From my POV, I have enjoyed eScouts for quite a few eyars and look here most days during coffee breaks and happy to read and engage in the debates. BUT - it's beginning to die I think. I was a member of a specialist forum which used to have 400+ online of an evening, when I left it had around 50, replaced as it happens by an App which had many more users and far more debate, so that's where people went. Like this forum towards the end it had a handful of posts a day, most of which were from a small number of users (sound familiar ? - this place looks like a private conversation between two particularly famed contributors on occasion). After I left it staggered on for another year or so, but seems to have finally closed.

    I'd hate to see eScouts go that way, but 1st FB is where it's happening. I can't imagine that Tim Kidd would want to continue Wayne's special relationship with the users here as its very small audience in comparison with the leadership population.

    Suggestion - if welcome - slash and burn, go down to 4 or 5 sub forums at most and make it much more accessible to casual browsers so they can see what's happening, allow guest contributions without logging in to encourage debate. But then maybe it's possible that people like this being a very small community chatting amongst themselves - I have a Scouting Whatsapp group which is lively in debate and only involves some 30 of us, however it does seem a lot of resource invested in eScouts to support a small community.

  2. #2
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    I only found out about escouts "by accident" a couple of years ago when Wayne referred to discussions about a union. As a union rep I thought I had better have a look and discovered escouts.

    I suspect that many Leaders have no idea that it exists. i am not sure how we can remedy this - although I do now push it at module one sessions.

  3. #3
    Escouts Team Bloory's Avatar
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    We've had half conversations about this before and it probably is time to look at the way forward with our regular posters, lapsed posters and people who have never joined.
    Jonathan Bloor
    Escouts Team
    Group Scout Leader - 4th Ashby de la Zouch

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  5. #4
    Escouts Team & System Dev Magician's Avatar
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    It's perhaps worth nothing that we have a huge number of people who read without ever posting. Converting those folks would be key to increasing the number of active posters.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

  6. #5
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Guiders forum is even more segmented but seems v well used.



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  7. #6
    Member Cl1v3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magician View Post
    It's perhaps worth nothing that we have a huge number of people who read without ever posting. Converting those folks would be key to increasing the number of active posters.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
    I confess that I am one of those people and I usually log in to read the posts at least once a day. I find a lot of the discussion/argument really interesting and often useful but if I have nothing to add I don't see the point of repeating what others have said. Perhaps I am wrong in not commenting and maybe it might help if I just posted an "I agree" statement?

    Cheers,
    Clive
    Clive Laidler
    AGSL 1st Towcester Scout Group

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    FWIW I don't pay attention to subforums at all, I read the whole thing using the "new posts" feature.

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    BigBadBaloo (03-09-2016),johnL (02-01-2019),johnmcmahon (02-11-2016),Keith at 2M (02-01-2019),nevynxxx (05-09-2016),not-so (04-09-2016),paulxb (05-09-2016),pa_broon74 (05-09-2016),Richard paintin (03-02-2017),RisingStar (02-01-2019),shiftypete (05-09-2016),SteveF (03-09-2016)

  11. #8
    Senior Member roger-uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    FWIW I don't pay attention to subforums at all, I read the whole thing using the "new posts" feature.
    I do the same just have to remind yourself what forum your in so you don't post out of context and even then sometimes I do
    Roger Woods
    Assistant Group Scout Leader,
    1st Sawley (All Saints) , Long Eaton

    NSRA Air Rifle instructor
    GNAS Archery Instructor
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  13. #9
    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger-uk View Post
    I do the same just have to remind yourself what forum your in so you don't post out of context and even then sometimes I do
    i do the same too but i prefer to use morgan blue aquaproof grease for the bottom bracket and headset on my bike (as i've just done so this afternoon).



    TM
    going...going...still here...just

  14. #10
    Man in a daft hat Hatman's Avatar
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    I read Escouts most days and I have found all sorts of useful things on here. I am a member of 1st Facebook but I have turned off the feed because there is so much of it, much of which is dross. I only post on here if I feel that I have something useful to contribute to the discussion. I never use the Forums view and just use the Recent Posts bit on the home page.
    I agree that there are far too many sub-forums. This (and the long list of rules) puts me off creating new topics as I never know where is acceptable to put it.
    I have never found Escouts to be a very friendly place and I still feel like an outsider posting into a minority world. It is just about the only Scouting place I feel this way. However the usefulness of the Forum outweighs this and I am always happy to have a go.
    I am a member of several forums dealing with different topics and all have suffered from declining traffic in recent times. I don't think Escouts is any different. I never read long threads (life is too short) and I have never even opened the thread that just keeps going as this is totally pointless. I would rather be on Compass than read that.
    Of course, all Forums have regular posters and people who just restate the same entrenched position on any topic. This is normal and Escouts is no exception.

    On the whole, I find this to be a useful and balanced Forum where you can get surprisingly accurate advice and information. I am sure many more read it than post on it and I hope it continues. It could do with a refresh and a reduction in sub-forums but these are just details.

    Thanks to all the contributors.

    Nigel
    Norfolk Broads
    ABSL 1st Hoveton and Wroxham Sea Scouts
    www.hovetonandwroxhamscouts.org.uk

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  16. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    FWIW I don't pay attention to subforums at all, I read the whole thing using the "new posts" feature.
    Ditto - but to a new user that's not obvious - and what's the point of those dozens of forums if they're never used

  17. #12
    Senior Moments Penny E's Avatar
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    I've not been around for a while, but I just happened to drop in to see if anyone was thanking Wayne for his time and efforts on here over the years.

    My immediate reaction to this thread is that a new female reader/leader looking at the forum would decide rapidly that is a bit on the bloke-ish side. I wouldn't go as far as to suggest that it is "sexist", but I would certainly say that is the most male-dominated arena in my Scouting experience. No obvious solutions to that but, gentlemen, please do try to make the ladies welcome. (With or without stilettos. )

    I also agree that the forum front page is very fragmented and could do with a little pruning. Even I occasionally struggle to know where to put a new thread.
    Akela, 1st Tylers Hill

    Yes, those are my legs - and my hiking boots too!

  18. #13
    Yes, I've got the T-shirt Sparkgap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Ditto - but to a new user that's not obvious - and what's the point of those dozens of forums if they're never used
    Likewise. A bit of a tidy up needed?
    I have (I think) about 4 f/b accounts but hardly ever use them, and only drop in to have a look at a couple of friends' f/b pages. I think I've made 2 postings in the past 6 months if that! I prefer Escouts as you can usually get a decent answer rather than the free-for-all which is f/b and as for trying to find a topic/subject on f/b....
    Andy
    SL 1st Wellington
    www.wellingtonscouts.org

  19. #14
    GSL/ESL(YL)/TA Mark W's Avatar
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    I lurk, look several times a day at new posts. Contribute occasionally. Feel slightly concerned at the ratio of "compass is awful" and "scouting is grim" posts compared to upbeat celebrations posts and those answering queries with wisdom. In short, to newbies there's more whinge than wayhay. 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.
    If it was easy, it wouldn't be so much fun...
    GSL 1st Aylburton & Lydney, TA, ESL(YL), District Campsite Warden & webmanager .....only 1 hour a week, they said (not pointing out that was what was left)

  20. #15
    Senior Member Shaun's Avatar
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    I read, if the subject interests me and occasionally comment, but using tapatalk, I never notice all the sub forums.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Shaun

    SL
    Hanging Heaton Scout Group

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