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Member to member contact

George Coles

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 31

Replies: 188

Posted: Wed 24th Jul 2019, 7:58am
Member to member contact

Bob, I wanted to contact another member on a matter not connected to the forum. Would a Private Messaging system let me do that?

As it was, I had to send a message to the Membership Secretary asking him to forward my message, which he kindly did. But the Membership Secretary (Frank) has so much to do, without acting as a post office!

Hence my suggestion. Our email addresses are in the system for those of us who want them to be, so can a link up be created? Is it possible? Will it cost? I don't know: I'm just trying to find some way of openning up lines of communication again.

George C
4373
 

Replies To This Post

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 33

Replies: 397

Posted: Wed 24th Jul 2019, 8:31am

If it is from one Member to another it will do. The usual method is click on the name shown and a drop down asks if you want to P.M. that person, and provides a box to do so. It would be blocked out from non-members and casual observers. The Member contacted then obviously has the choice to reply via the P.M. system or direct from his own email. I think it a total nonsense that we have to contact the Mem. Sec. before we can contact another Member. Relying on a third party is far too time wasting and possibly doubtful. The whole ethos of this Society was to bring Members into contact with one another, not keep them apart!
 

frankcooper

Joined: 9-08-09

Topics: 14

Replies: 136

Posted: Wed 24th Jul 2019, 9:04am

Afraid the government introduced Data Protection laws and we have to comply.
 

franksidebottom

Joined: 1-01-95

Topics: 4

Replies: 57

Posted: Wed 24th Jul 2019, 9:46am

The implication of the above statement is a 'red herring'.
Data Protection rules do not prohibit an organisation having a Private Messaging system within its website - usually via a forum like this one. Our situation is that if we incorporate a PM system, members using the forum and its associated PM system would have to be Society members and must log in, much as we do now to post here. This therefore means private and consensual contact, which is not prohibited under law.

As XZ has often stated (somewhat emphatically) it should be a relatively simple thing to incorporate. Contact between members can only then be generated by and for those willing to send/receive such messages. This by definition does not contravene the 'government' rules.

There must be much that members wish to discuss with one another which at times they would prefer to remain 'private' - which is why forums (forae) have this facility in the first place. Yes, other Societies and groups have been running PMs for years without difficulty.

The above simply underlines XZ's statements that we as a Society are missing out on member-to-member contact in a viable modern-day way. It behoves our Committee to spare no effort to bring us back into the 21st Century and establish a PM system. If it can't be done practically or economically with the present system we should look elsewhere - I'm sure we would not have to look far to find a suitable alternative!
 

George Coles

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 31

Replies: 188

Posted: Wed 24th Jul 2019, 12:28pm

Thanks for putting me right, Frank.

So we all use FaceBook instead? Just needs a Society page, and away we go?

How does one PM someone on FaceBook if that person hasn't posted on a thread? Sorry, innocent question. I'm not really up to speed on Fb.

George C
4373
 

franksidebottom

Joined: 1-01-95

Topics: 4

Replies: 57

Posted: Wed 24th Jul 2019, 1:14pm

George,

We (the Society) could indeed create an 'official' F/B account, with all its attendant idiosyncrasies (I understand there is already an independent F/B group having interest in our specific gauge).
From a personal standpoint I have so far avoided using the F/B medium, so regret I could not comment as to how we might benefit from it.
As stated above, plenty of other groups have a PM facility and so should we - set up as a simple in-house PM system as part of our forum and website.

Frank S (as distinct from C).

 

frankcooper

Joined: 9-08-09

Topics: 14

Replies: 136

Posted: Wed 24th Jul 2019, 1:22pm

At the last Board meeting we agreed to consider a Facebook page for 7qtr Society. Like everything else it wil take time to set up with the limited numbers of board members we have.

 

Railrose

Joined: 25-06-07

Topics: 4

Replies: 56

Posted: Wed 24th Jul 2019, 1:39pm

I'm strongly opposed to Facebook. While we as a society are under ever more scrutiny about data protection Fb is selling your data and behavioural logs to whoever want to pay for it, without clearly telling its users (and paying taxes). In the mean time they have a powerful thought police forcing their users to keep a left leaning anti-white opinion.

In the good old days societies had printed members lists circulating among members, so we could easily get in contact. Nowadys there's e-mail, I can understand not publishing adresses anymore for security reasons, but sharing e-mail adresses (with consent) shouldn't be too difficult.

Alternatively, a PM system as proposed by Frank S would solve the problem
 

franksidebottom

Joined: 1-01-95

Topics: 4

Replies: 57

Posted: Wed 24th Jul 2019, 2:19pm

Thanks for endorsing my above post, Rosie, but I hasten to add that I am rather 'late in the game' in making such comment, as the matter of Private Messaging for members has been raised by others over some time (not necessarily on this forum).
Also thanks for your views regarding F/B (and for that matter, similar facilities), which only serve to support my preference to avoid using that medium. If we (the Society) were to adopt the F/B route we would very likely see well-intentioned discussion descend into disarray (as seen elsewhere on F/B) - this aspect alone should be enough caution to guide us to adopt a more satisfactory solution for our Society.

I do appreciate that any changes mean extra work for the Committee, with its limited personnel - perhaps there is a knowledgable member who can assist with these matters further in a practical way.
 

George Coles

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 31

Replies: 188

Posted: Wed 24th Jul 2019, 2:27pm

So, all we need is an "Address Book" which is only accessible to signed in members. Name, email address, and (usefully) a guide to whereabouts (East Midlands, or Northamptonshire, or such-like.) Only those who want to be on the list, and be contactable. Would that qualify as 'Private and Concensual'?

George C
4373
 

George Coles

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 31

Replies: 188

Posted: Wed 24th Jul 2019, 2:33pm

I agree that we do not need a Society Fb page. There are enough conflicting pages already, including one specifically 7 1/4" gauge. If the Society feels it needs a Fb presence, post on the above mentioned page, which will serve to publicise the Society as I doubt that all on that page are Society members.

George C
4373
 

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 33

Replies: 397

Posted: Wed 24th Jul 2019, 2:36pm

A past Society Committee made the long considered decision NOT to start a F/B page for mainly the very reason that there was already one out there which would make it pointless. The existing F/B is frequented by all 7 1/4" types, not just our members. I would suggest that that horse has long since bolted.

I ask the Webmaster to please move this thread/discussion into the Members only section.

Regardless of Frank C's objection, a P.M. system is just about the only thing that would work without divulging personal information on line. NO data is shared, unless agreed between the parties, and then only OUTSIDE the Website and no longer within the Society jurisdiction. Ergo NO DATA PROTECTION ACT!

I would add my own distaste of F/B, too much snooping by who knows whom.
 

MartynRedfearn

Joined: 1-01-94

Topics: 28

Replies: 231

Posted: Wed 24th Jul 2019, 3:22pm

I know some have issues with Facebook, but the Society really did miss the boat. The 7 1/4” Group has over 4,500 world wide, yes not all are active in the hobby but many are.

I joined this Society to learn from others and meet like minded people, now I can also do that within Facebook, be it via a dedicated 7 1/4” group, Minimal Group or Backyard Railroads. All these offer the same as the Society with the exception of a magazine and the work the Society does for such things as safety and boilers.

For example the Minimal Group have had at least three Gatherings this year. I check these forums daily but often nothing is added for a week or more. On Facebook it is unusual for me not to post on one of the groups or my own pages (all 7 1/4” related) three or four times a week. I also read the 7 1/4” groups very regularly. When Brian Biggs built his Dash 9ish someone in the 7 1/4” Group in the states spotted it was missing Ditch Lights. He immediately offered to measure the originals and I got a full diagram.

Look also at the younger end of our hobby, they expect a presence on Facebook. My home club’s Facebook page is liked mostly by women between 25 and 35 ie those with children.
 

franksidebottom

Joined: 1-01-95

Topics: 4

Replies: 57

Posted: Thu 25th Jul 2019, 4:12pm

My (plus others' as above) concerns to avoid the F/B medium seems to now be vindicated, with the current news that F/B has been fined an astronomical sum over infringement of privacy and security matters.
I am indeed glad therefore, that our Society did not take the F/B route, thus protecting its members from being exposed to all sorts of unwanted and (at the very least) unnecessary media exploitation.
For the future it's unlikely that any media-oriented operation which makes $/£billions would change its ways so drastically as to lose that income except for just enough to appease the governing bodies in the short term.
 

frankcooper

Joined: 9-08-09

Topics: 14

Replies: 136

Posted: Thu 25th Jul 2019, 6:18pm

The board will discuss the matter again at our next meting. as suggested.
 

MartynRedfearn

Joined: 1-01-94

Topics: 28

Replies: 231

Posted: Thu 25th Jul 2019, 6:20pm

All I can say Frank is that is a poor excuse for not keeping up with the move to social media. Nothing on a Facebook site would be the club's as it is the individual who puts his or her information within Facebook. I my case the minimum.

However it is still one of the best mediums to achieve coverage about our hobby.
 

Peter Beevers

Joined: 9-10-01

Topics: 6

Replies: 188

Posted: Thu 25th Jul 2019, 7:50pm

An interesting discussion, for sure. Before I start let me lay my cards on the table: I have been an IT professional for my entire working life, so I do have some idea of what I'm talking about.

So, the starting point of this thread was a DM system, which stems from the fact that the previous online membership facility was withdrawn as
a result of GDPR.

Firstly, let's look at GDPR. GDPR is a regulation to protect YOU against your personal data misuse, although many organisations are simply using
that as an excuse for inaction. Personal Data is anything that identifies you, either directly (e.g. your name, or a photo with you in it) or indirectly (e.g. your National Insurance number). No one can, in any context, use your personal data in ways you have not consented to. And there's the nub - you have to consent to its use. It does not STOP that use, it just means YOU are in control. Therefore, if, next January, each member downloads, prints and signs a form with their membership renewal to the effect that data as previously selected to be displayed on the old membership search function can be used in that function under GDPR, then that would be fine, and it could be used again. Indeed, I have not yet had a statement from the society telling me what personal data of mine it holds, how it secures it, and who I should write to to check it is correct (all of which is required by GDPR).

So, GDPR does NOT stop us sharing personal data, it just means we have to consent to it up front (and have the right to correct and/or remove it) - and the old system allowed us to show or not show that data as we wish.

Now, a DM system: within the existing website that would be a challenge to set up. A simple, open system where anyone could contact anyone would definately be against GDPR: my name is my personal information and I haven't been asked if it's OK to use it like this. So, the only option would be an opt-in DM system - but that would require significant effort. Personally, I don't see it as being worth it - the previously mentioned data opt-in would be far easier and more flexible.

Now, there has also been a lot of talk about Facebook and the society's lack of presence therein. This is a very interesting can of worms, which
beings the worst out in the privacy and other luddites. However, the issue isn't Facebook or not to Facebook - it's much deeper than that -
it is keeping up with technology or not keeping up with technology.

What do I mean by that? Well, a large proportion of the membership don't even use the website: to them the internet is a wild place where all manner of wierdos hang out just waiting to steal your money. As those of you who read this will know, that's tosh: but what function are we looking to fulfil here? Is this about informing all the membership (in which case, even the grotty old website has failed) or is this about keeping up with life in general? The underlying problem is that the pace of change on the internet is rapid - so websites (something that were the latest thing just a few years ago) are now old hat and rarely used as a marketing tool any more. Facebook, Instagram and others have a far greater market penetration today - but they won't last forever, and something new will come along and take their place soon. So the argument shouldn't be 'to Facebook or not to Facebook' (and not just because that boat has long since sailed) but it should be 'do we want to keep up or not??'.

So, to sum up: DM isn't needed because a simple membership-wide opt-in could reinstate the search facility. And do we want to keep up with the
Jonses or do we want to remain in the dark ages? I have my own answer to that, but it's not my choice (and, before you ask, I'm not offering to make it mine either!!).
 

George Coles

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 31

Replies: 188

Posted: Thu 25th Jul 2019, 8:27pm

Peter, thank you for your clear explanation of GDPR. I would certainly opt in. I commented earlier on GDPR being misunderstood and used as an excuse to do nothing, but my comment seems to have been removed. 'Nuff said.

George C
4373
 

johnnicholson

Joined: 1-01-77

Topics: 17

Replies: 95

Posted: Fri 26th Jul 2019, 9:15am

Peter, has taken the time to give a well thought out appraisal of the current situation. One of the issues is that the Committee should ask the membership what they want and I think a well constructed Facebook page with the correct safeguards where you have to join and be approved whilst the sit is tightly monitored would be the way to go. Most of the big Societies have official and unofficial Facebook pages which are well monitored and a fund of information. For instance on the Ravenglass and Eskdale there is Rat Track which covers the day to day goings on and even tells how the lineside is being maintained.

We need an official page because at the moment the website is good as an archive but is not current. I look at this site for updates maybe once a day but I look at Facebook updates possibly twice a day.

As for GDPR it is fairly easy because if the Society is going to need to store basic information such as name, address and contact details. Now if someone objects to this then I cannot understand how they can be a member as the magazine etc has nowhere to be sent. This act is to stop underhand firms harvesting information and large groups selling your personal information. So I think we ought to clearly show members what information is retained (i.e. name, address, telephone No. and or email) and make the acceptance of GDPR a condition of membership.
 

George Coles

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 31

Replies: 188

Posted: Fri 26th Jul 2019, 10:52am

John, I fear we are straying from my original topic. All I want is a simple means of communicating between members. An "opt-in" address book would provide that facility, and, if I have read Peter's comments correctly, be completely legal.

"Progress reports" on a Fb page soon disappear as they drift down the page. But on a web-site, such items can become part of an accessible archive; readily available for reference long after they were first posted.

I do use Fb, and visit it several times each day. Many of the groups/pages are educational, and many other fall into the "I'm eating a Mars Bar" triviality zone, not telling us why or how the job was done.
How often one visits Fb or this forum is down to choice, and level of interest.

George C
4373
 

ThomasKremers

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 6

Replies: 13

Posted: Fri 26th Jul 2019, 11:04am

I paid for membership purely for the member to member contact and the fact you list a benefit as having a member contact list somewhere (maybe it was in old info). I'm trying to do some research. There is already a facebook group called backyard railroading with 11,000 members, far dwarfing this publication. A member to member chat would allow me to communicate with folks without exposing their PI (personal information) beyond username (not even first and last). Maybe you just give people an option to change their username when you turn member chat (PM) back on
 

frankcooper

Joined: 9-08-09

Topics: 14

Replies: 136

Posted: Fri 26th Jul 2019, 1:54pm

Thomas - I have already explained that I cannot put you int ouch as the member concerned lapsed his membership 2 years ago and we no longer have his details - if he was still a member then I could pass on a message which I do when requested.
 

ThomasKremers

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 6

Replies: 13

Posted: Sun 28th Jul 2019, 11:33am

Frank,I appreciated your checking on that one member but he's not the only one I'm trying to track down. I'm just saying if you turned on Private Messaging, I wouldn't have to mail you for help in my research.
 

Bill

Joined: 22-05-03

Topics: 21

Replies: 49

Posted: Sun 28th Jul 2019, 11:57am

I WAS able to look through the list for new members addressed not to far from. Then invite them to our railway which would have been a society thing to do. Unable to now
 

George Coles

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 31

Replies: 188

Posted: Sun 28th Jul 2019, 5:35pm

Bill, indeed that WAS one of the benefits of having a PRIVATE (i.e. accessible only by signed in members) address book.

Of course, you can (and I hope you do) post your invitation in the events listings. You can always select 'Members only'. You would be surprised how far members will travel to run on a different railway.

George C
4373
 

Railrose

Joined: 25-06-07

Topics: 4

Replies: 56

Posted: Wed 31st Jul 2019, 8:46pm

Apart from a PM option, another feature of Fb is the sharing of (moving) pictures and enjoying the comments. If an extra forum category is created, 'Member's Threads', each of us can create a personal topic for all to see. There won't be hundreds posting but it certainly will boost website visits and (hopefully) membership. Just using an existing functionality in a different way, so no big IT works necessary, maybe a little extra server space. Fb an the like are of no use from then on.

Already I can create a topic in the 'Miscellaneous' category, a bit like what happened when George C wanted to enquire about my Minimal Gauge Running video. An extra category probably would be a nice way for members to update on running projects, with a little more interaction, and keep the Gallery for the best pictures. Right now you have to go to YouTube for comments on the videos but that doesn't work for pictures. In the Gallery the info space is too limited. It should not withold from writing for The News, as not everybody is on enternet - and nothing beats the satisfaction of seeing a well written article in print.

Rosie
Apart from a PM option, another feature of Fb is the sharing of (moving) pictures and enjoying the comments. If an extra forum category is created, 'Member's Threads', each of us can create a personal topic for all to see. There won't be hundreds posting but it certainly will boost website visits and (hopefully) membership. Just using an existing functionality in a different way, so no big IT works necessary, maybe a little extra server space. Fb an the like are of no use from then on.

Already I can create a topic in the 'Miscellaneous' category, a bit like what happened when George C wanted to enquire about my Minimal Gauge Running video. An extra category probably would be a nice way for members to update on running projects, with a little more interaction, and keep the Gallery for the best pictures. Right now you have to go to YouTube for comments on the videos but that doesn't work for pictures. In the Gallery the info space is too limited. It should not withold from writing for The News, as not everybody is on enternet - and nothing beats the satisfaction of seeing a well written article in print.

Rosie
 
 
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