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Why there isn't more activity on these forums

Jul 9th 2013, 23:05

NS5B

Joined: Jul 3rd 2013, 02:45
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I believe that I will also use some of the "text" in the sample letter, and add some of my own suggestions. I only got into this hobby in 1988, but have been around family members since the late 50's. I joined the ARRL in 1988 once I got my novice license. Had been a member for 10 years or so...and realized the same problems then as we are seeing now. After sending emails to everyone that I could with suggestions...I was basically told that they would look into it. So when they sent me my last renewal in 2008...I sent them the card back with the message "...I will look into it..."

Besides the website overhaul, they also need to revise the breakdown of the membership fees. I stated that I wanted a membership so I could support the ARRL...but I didn't want the QST magazine, and suggested they offer another level of membership that was membership only...no QST. They said yes I could get one...but it was the digital version, and it would be the same full price as one WITH QST mailed. I tried in several emails after that to explain that I didn't want QST in any form or fashion...either printed copy, digital, or smoke signals...but I kept being told "we do have the digital version if you don't want it mailed", and in one reply...they said that was the way it was set up in the bylaws and couldn't be changed. Really? Seriously? I'm sure many on here have been on a board as a voting member from one time or another and know that it CAN be changed.

Well...that's the end of my .02. I hope things will change for the better and bring the ARRL into the future where everyone else is headed. Times change...if you don't change with it...you get left behind.

73's Steve

Jul 10th 2013, 03:55

9V1DB

Joined: Aug 10th 2011, 09:34
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Of the four emails I sent, I received one response directly and one by referral. One response effectively said the website had been updated recently (4 yrs ago) and it was very good. The other response was the opposite and effectively said it was poor and was still a work in progress. Go figure.......
Jul 11th 2013, 11:44

N4AAB

Joined: Jan 16th 2013, 01:39
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
There is better forum software, been around for years. As a new ham, I thought these forums were where I could go to get up to date info on licensing, contact other hams, find out information on radios, antennas, where the band plans are going with new demands on frequency allocation, etc.

Some of that I get here, but not much else.

I do get the division email letter, I find it useful.

This site could be better designed and be more useful. I find qrz.com and hamradioforum.net far more useful than this site.

73,
Jim/KF5VPK recent General class
Jul 12th 2013, 01:43

AA6E

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I'm not surprised that a good percentage (maybe a majority) of users think (quite honestly) that the ARRL site is fine. It's a very large site, and hams use it in many different ways. Not all of us are power users who count clicks and spend a lot of time hunting in the maze of twisty little passages. You can always try searching, when you can't think of the right menu to use.

As you probably know, information design for a big site is not easy. Implementing it on a tight budget with time constraints is not a job I'd care for. Just figuring out who your users are and how each kind of user will experience the site is not trivial.

Not to say that the site couldn't be better - the forums, for example. But it would take a lot of person-years to redesign and reimplement the whole site. Is that the best use of your dues? More likely, things will evolve incrementally for a while. I'd hope that a new forum system might be a possibility.

The web is important, but I wouldn't say it's why I'm a member of ARRL!

See you on the air. :-)

73 Martin AA6E
Jul 12th 2013, 03:36

9V1DB

Joined: Aug 10th 2011, 09:34
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I have to admit I do not use the ARRL website often but that is because it is difficult to locate the "needle in the haystack" and much easier to just Google search the whole net. I do appreciate the digital QST as it permits me to search and as a foreign ham, the mailing cost of the paper QST is cost prohibitive. The forum..... well I think we all agree that it needs help.

As for the "costs" of improving the website and/or forum, I suspect there are many hams with vast knowledge of websites and forums who would be glad to volunteer their time and expertise. I do not personally have that expertise but in my email letter to the ARRL officers, I volunteered to be a beta tester of any development effort. After all ARRL is supposed to be a non-profit organization and historically hams have always been willing and able to help out.

73, Dan
Jul 12th 2013, 16:41

AA6E

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
It might help if people would put forward specific problems they have finding stuff on the site. Is it about League-specific items (events, contests, QSL bureaus, etc.), about FCC regs, about technical info? Do you see some simple changes that would make things easier?

As a Lab volunteer, I have some ability to make changes on technology topics -- although even that is a rather complicated structure by now. Feel free to send me particulars off-line if you like.

We seem to be hijacking this thread -- sorry. It's meant to be about the Forums on the ARRL web. That's an area that is outside the Lab's domain. Let's start a new topic or continue off-line, if there are technology/Lab related issues.

73 Martin AA6E
aa6e@arrl.net
Jul 13th 2013, 03:30

9V1DB

Joined: Aug 10th 2011, 09:34
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Martin, you are correct that this thread is about the forum and that is my main concern/complaint. I mostly gave up using the website long ago except for necessary ARRL only related things.

As for the forum, I have problems with it from the time I call it up. Every other forum or membership site I use either logs me in immediately or at least "remembers" my login. In this forum's case one has to type in both the user ID and PW each time. I don't even have to do that on my bank login so cannot imagine why ARRL needs this for security.

73, Dan
Jul 13th 2013, 21:01

W0BTU

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I think Martin is a good man, meant well, and has the best of intentions; but I understand what you're saying.

Anyway, this subject has been discussed for several years and not a thing has changed. Rather than repeat myself again here, here is what several have said on this forum about this in years past (including myself and an another friendly ARRL staffer):

http://www.arrl.org/forum/topics/view/48
http://www.arrl.org/forum/topics/view/97
http://www.arrl.org/forum/topics/view/618

There have been discussions about this on the qrz.com forums. I have had phone conversations with an ARRL employee. There have been almost no replies from anyone connected with the ARRL except Martin and Ed. After hearing what I have heard in the past two or three years, it seems to me that people at the ARRL are somehow afraid of approaching the powers-that-be at the top with any type of suggestion for these changes. Maybe I'm wrong. (I hope I'm wrong.) It's a long story, that I'd rather not go into here.

If you search back through the threads here and look at the three links above, I think you'll find that I have posted more than anyone else about this subject, but several others have expressed similar hopes for improving this forum. But I have all but given up that anything at all on this web site will change anytime soon, as it seems there are rigid inflexible rules and attitudes, by-laws, and what one person described as "layers of bureaucratic red tape".

But maybe there's hope after all. :-)

73, Mike
www.w0btu.com
Jul 14th 2013, 01:45

W0BTU

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Quote by KG7DSH
... I would rather ARRL leadership just come out and say no changes will be made because (fill in the blank) as opposed to not addressing the issue.


I fully agree! I have been thinking the same thing for quite some time, but never really said it like you just did. The silence from the ARRL leadership about all this is just maddening (for lack of a better word).

73, Mike
www.w0btu.com
Jul 15th 2013, 13:48

N4AAB

Joined: Jan 16th 2013, 01:39
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
1) Most forum software I have used, as a user, shows me in my profile what posts I've made and if anyone has followed up. No searching necessary.

2) New Posts. No search needed, i just click on the 'Show New Posts' link at the top of the forum, all are listed in a date time sequence. 'New Posts' here always says nothing to find, even when there are new posts.
Jul 15th 2013, 17:25

W0BTU

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
This is what I do. It shows the latest posts.
http://www.arrl.org/forum/search/index/power:0/orderBy:LastPost.created

73, Mike
www.w0btu.com
Jul 15th 2013, 17:41

NS5B

Joined: Jul 3rd 2013, 02:45
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
You would think that since donations and "membership" dues are what keeps the ARRL running...that they would be more inclined to at least make SOME adjustments to accommodate the ops that send in their money each year and let them know by "actions" that they ARE interested in working out the issues with the website and the forum structure.

If the ARRL officers refuse to acknowledge the needs of the PAYING MEMBERS...or even attempt to look at the ever growing issues that are being sent my multitudes of users (and as stated above...for many years)...then maybe its time to REPLACE THEM with ones that can breath life back into this organization, and get the job done that they are responsible for.

I lost count of how many people that have stopped renewing their membership because of the above issues just in my area alone, and the fact they are being ignored...and their voices are silenced...and gone on deaf ears.

I know there are lots of things that go on behind the scenes that many are not aware of...and it does take a lot of resources to get these tasks completed...but when someone signs into the website...this is the "welcome sign" for all users, and if you spend the majority of time trying to find something...a lot of people will go somewhere else where they CAN find the information they need. And if they find it somewhere else...what incentive would anyone have to join or renew membership? You need to give them a reason to stay and look around...and make what they are looking for easier to find. This would increase new membership and retain more existing members...therefore, revenue will increase and help ARRL to grow and better carry out the goal that it was intended to fulfill.

Steve - NS5B








Jul 21st 2013, 06:36

9V1DB

Joined: Aug 10th 2011, 09:34
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I also sent 4 emails on 7 July and so far have received only two direct replies. The first said the website and forum was well done and did not need any revision. That person also indicated I should not contact him but rather my district ARRL director (hummm... so much for an "open door policy"). The second email was much more brief and simply said it would be forwarded to the people in charge of the website. Of course, I was not copied on that email and have hear nothing back from the "website" people. I will however, note that I did receive a rather nice and understanding email from a district director who agreed that the forum/website needed much work.

On a related subject, I wonder how much we pay this leadership not to do what the membership asks them?????
Jul 29th 2013, 02:19

KB0HAE

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
It is clear to me that the ARRL leadership is not as interested in changing to meet the needs and expectations of it's members as it is in some of the leadership's private agendas. ARRL no longer seems to respond to its members. I sent several emails (about issues with digital qst) that have not gotten a reply after 2 weeks or so. Also, letters on certain subjects (that do not fit with the leadership's agendas) are never printed in the corespondence column.

Its pretty sad and pathetic that ARRL no longer seems to care about what is best for it's members, nor whats best for Amateur radio. I will probably not be renewing my membership, as ARRL no longer represents my interests in Amareur Radio.
Jul 31st 2013, 10:34

N4AAB

Joined: Jan 16th 2013, 01:39
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
The malfunctioning of this forum software is obvious to anyone who uses it.

And no, I don't get my ham radio info from here. Would be a waste of my time.

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