Author Topic: AUK FINANCES AND WEBSITE PROJECT was: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT  (Read 30018 times)

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #100 on: August 20, 2018, 10:00:52 pm »
Quote
So basically what you're saying is you're happy for AUK to be just a place for old white men, while the rest of us should either have to fight up hill, or just bugger off?

No, not at all, I just believe there is no need to legislate such, if it happens, it happens.

Personally, I am happy to be white and male and wouldn't want to be anything different. I refuse to apologise for being so. Attempting to eliminate white men is faddish trend driven by the exigency of a trumped up outrage.

Reading the Telegraph today and seeing 'white, male' Oxford professors being asked to quit at age 67 to 'allow for diversity', is an abhorrent, objectionable and downright immoral move.

But I love you anyway in spite of your comment, that is assuming you are a girl, if you are a bloke then all bets and offers are rescinded.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #101 on: August 20, 2018, 11:17:57 pm »
With all these IT experts, its going to be easy to resolve.   :D

 :thumbsup:

I wonder if some people might be missing the point about the purpose of the AUK website. It's rather more than a means of attracting new members or an archive of historical rides. A lot of the comments seem to focus on matters related to presentation rather than function.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #102 on: August 20, 2018, 11:18:41 pm »
How telling that an old white man regards lobbying for the sport to be more inclusive to people outside of his narrow demographic as an odious threat "to eliminate white men". It isn't that far removed from American neo Nazis and their "white genocide" bollocks. The self-victimisation of the gammon, in the face of his own dominance of the sport and society in general, is just the most irritating thing.



You fit in with this lot and their pub bore braying.
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Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #103 on: August 20, 2018, 11:44:01 pm »
I think this is veering off-topic.

Weren't we talking about AUK's unenviable IT predicament?

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #104 on: August 20, 2018, 11:44:57 pm »
I’d be interested in seeing research that shows that minorities will take up activities if websites are better.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #105 on: August 20, 2018, 11:47:16 pm »
I think this is veering off-topic.

Weren't we talking about AUK's unenviable IT predicament?

Yes. That veered in "well why does anything need to change I like it how it is", and now just a few posts ago we reached "diversity and inclusion is code for anti white."

You can't let rancid trash like that go in 2018. It is vile.
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barakta

  • Bastard lovechild of Yomiko Readman and Johnny 5
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #106 on: August 20, 2018, 11:58:30 pm »
Yes. That veered in "well why does anything need to change I like it how it is", and now just a few posts ago we reached "diversity and inclusion is code for anti white."

You can't let rancid trash like that go in 2018. It is vile.

*applause* Thank you for your take-down of that nonsense, it often doesn't feel safe for people like me (who tick too many diversity boxes) to do so.


Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #107 on: August 21, 2018, 12:04:50 am »
With all these IT experts, its going to be easy to resolve.   :D

I'd love to help but I don't have enough free time to do anything meaningful.

(And AUK wouldn't be able to afford me if they really wanted to buy my time...)
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #108 on: August 21, 2018, 12:13:36 am »
Well said QG. 

It's amazing how many voluntary organisations expect people to just know stuff, either through some psychic power or else by being a member of the old boys club.  It can be incredibly frustrating trying to get some people to make their public portal self-explanatory, consistent and providing sufficient verifiable information for a newcomer with no other prior knowledge to get to the start line. 


FifeingEejit

  • Not Small just Far Away at the back
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #109 on: August 21, 2018, 01:25:59 am »

I don't think a new website is the solution to this problem, it needs a wholesale attitude reset, but I think there's a lot a new website could do to help make things more accessible:

- Maps of routes on all ride pages
- GPX of all events
- None of this A, B, C, D, G, X, H, K code thingy, but maybe nice simple icons...
- Easy way to search based on a map.
- Ability to sign up without needing SAE's, a cheque book, telegrams, or carrier pigeons.

I don't care how the site looks, I actually like the retro appearance of the current site, but I can see features that are worth adding, and knowing that there is spaghetti under the hood, then it becomes a point where you have to build a new site.

What's often forgotten is that an IT system is there to support the business process;
If you can't fall back to paper then you've got a problem

The website is outdated, but it sounds like the real problem is supporting the business process is becoming increasingly time consuming.

But you've hit the nail on the head for attractiveness; appropriate advertising and keeping things simple for people to understand is the crux of it really.

On the point of GPX and the routesheet codes;
I don't really care about a GPX or not, but I'm more than happy to spend the time working out a route in RWGPS and Street View based on control information.

and you live in the land that gave motorsport "Tulip" diagrams as a simple for of navigation instruction.


A bit easier to carry 100 miles worth of them in a clip board than a back pocket though.


As someone who works in IT this situation seems all too familiar; I could tell about the patient safety critical systems I work on and what's happened because of their failures in the past, and the one that's creaking so badly that my warnings about it 4 years ago means we're on the edge of it being switched off for security reasons along with the work flow in every ward in the boards hospitals but but...

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #110 on: August 21, 2018, 05:56:08 am »
Has anyone mentioned the CTT  site?

It's improved dramatically over the last few years. It has maps, courses and so forth. Most organising happens online. It was an analogue culture up until  3-4 years ago. I can't imagine  TT's being organised any other way now, indeed the sport would have quietly declined without it.

whosatthewheel

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #111 on: August 21, 2018, 06:52:06 am »


Yes. That veered in "well why does anything need to change I like it how it is", and now just a few posts ago we reached "diversity and inclusion is code for anti white."

You can't let rancid trash like that go in 2018. It is vile.

I think you are mounting your own crusade out of nothing.
The reality is that cycling is not a very diverse sport, at any level. I can name one black French track cyclist and there was one black PRO rider in the peloton last year.
You go at the start of any sportive in the country and you see a demographic of white men in their 30-40s.

AUK stands out for a higher average age, but I don't think female participation is lower than any other branch of cycling and ethnic minorities are under represented, just as they are in any other branch of the sport.

Filling a website with selected images, showing a diversity that simply isn't there would be misleading at best.
I don't think AUK is the body that should lead the way to change things... British Cycling and the various cycling campaigns have a bigger role to play.
Audax is very niche, you get into it from other branches... in other words you need to be a rather accomplished bicycle rider before you start considering long distance, which probably explains the higher average age. If the diverse base isn't there, I don't think there is a diverse hidden market for AUK to tap into or pretending to champion

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #112 on: August 21, 2018, 07:48:12 am »
Rubbish I only bought a bike in April and cracked my first 300 a few weeks ago. This is just bizarre. You're the one with the crusade here, a completely misplaced rant against inclusion.
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whosatthewheel

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #113 on: August 21, 2018, 07:56:18 am »
Rubbish I only bought a bike in April and cracked my first 300 a few weeks ago. This is just bizarre. You're the one with the crusade here, a completely misplaced rant against inclusion.

With your attitude you won't get much of a conversation going... you are the one ranting and your attitude is incredibly arrogant
You could at the very least show a bit of respect for folks who have been in the organisation for many years and maybe have a more balanced perspective of how things work and why things are the way they are.

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #114 on: August 21, 2018, 08:02:27 am »
I think this is veering off-topic.

Weren't we talking about AUK's unenviable IT predicament?

Yes. That veered in "well why does anything need to change I like it how it is", and now just a few posts ago we reached "diversity and inclusion is code for anti white."

You can't let rancid trash like that go in 2018. It is vile.

Reading the preceding posts more carefully... you're right.

Has anyone mentioned the CTT  site?

It's improved dramatically over the last few years. It has maps, courses and so forth. Most organising happens online. It was an analogue culture up until  3-4 years ago. I can't imagine  TT's being organised any other way now, indeed the sport would have quietly declined without it.

That's exactly what I was just thinking.  They had much the same mentality as some people in AUK: if you know how it works, there's no problem; if you don't know how it works, then you should.

Thankfully that seems to be changing with CTT, but it's slow.  When I last did a TT, I had to send off a cheque in an envelope, to some address that wasn't available to me because I hadn't paid for the hard-copy annual handbook.  I'm sure to some people this was "quirky", but to me it's just unthinkable, and literally stopped me from doing events.  It sends the message that newcomers aren't welcome, and that way lies stagnation.

Someone earlier mentioned that it's not just important to have a stream of new members, but also a stream of new organisers.  Without these people, AUK will die, and it's precarious and arrogant to assume that things will continue the way they have for the last four decades just because.  We need to eliminate as many barriers to this stream as possible.

Things change, and an accessible and welcoming web presence is much more important now than it was in, err, 1976.

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #115 on: August 21, 2018, 08:38:02 am »
I'll start showing respect when you stop ranting about "diversity is a plot to eliminate white men", which is racist white supremacist garbage. Respect is something you earn.

He hasn't said that so to put it in quotes is rather disingenuous.

Back on topic...

Does anyone know what the scope of stage 1 was? If it was, for example:

  • making the site https & the db secure and encypted so we're GDPR compliant
  • removing the need for regular maintenance work by various volunteers just to keep it running
  • an improved ui just as a symptom of it being on a new architecture

Then all this arguing about whether people prefer the old UI, or the new one that's been posted, or a different new one, is almost entirely irrelevant. It's already been established that the UI wasn't where most of the cost was anyway, people are just using this as an excuse to grind their particular axe.

As an aside - if membership were to go up in the order that would be required to fund stages 2 & 3 safely (£10-£15 more?) I don't think I'd renew, I'd just buy temp membership.

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #116 on: August 21, 2018, 09:01:43 am »
  • making the site https & the db secure and encypted so we're GDPR compliant
  • removing the need for regular maintenance work by various volunteers just to keep it running
  • an improved ui just as a symptom of it being on a new architecture

It appears to be item 3 only, and then only for a subset of public pages. Item 2 requires the full the £340,000 (at least) with the approach that’s been chosen.

(The most recent board pack doesn’t include a definition of what exactly was meant to be in phase 1 - so I’m extrapolating from what isn’t)

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #117 on: August 21, 2018, 09:07:00 am »
I think you are confusing my posts with someone else's... go back, read carefully what I said and what others said and then maybe you should do the decent thing and apologise

You started braying on about "eliminating white men" on this exact page. Don't try and gaslight me with your garbage. I have nothing to apologise for.

That was Charlie Polecat - a different poster right at the top of the page. Suggest you apologise as whosatthewheel calmly tried to explain that to you.

Yes I have this wrong. Sorry. I apologise.
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jiberjaber

  • ... Fancy Pants \o/ ...
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Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #118 on: August 21, 2018, 09:07:57 am »
  • making the site https & the db secure and encypted so we're GDPR compliant
  • removing the need for regular maintenance work by various volunteers just to keep it running
  • an improved ui just as a symptom of it being on a new architecture

It appears to be item 3 only, and then only for a subset of public pages. Item 2 requires the full the £340,000 (at least) with the approach that’s been chosen.

(The most recent board pack doesn’t include a definition of what exactly was meant to be in phase 1 - so I’m extrapolating from what isn’t)

It's probably in a previous board pack I would suspect - though which one might be a manual inspection job to find out.
Regards,

Joergen

BeMoreMike

  • Tries often, fails frequently.
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #119 on: August 21, 2018, 09:22:11 am »
Good grief this thread has lost the plot...can the person who has the biggest issue with apparent lack of diversity & inclusion please start a new thread on that subject, where those that have the most to say about it can feel free to rage and others add their own thoughts and views ?


Anyway, back on the subject of AUK's apparent crisis; when I first joined I hated the website, but soon learnt how it worked, and now see it as functional, it does what it needs to do, but obviously needs to be improved (backend more than front).
Shiny pictures and easy to use links might be nice, but shouldn't be the priority.

Many people have mentioned a member ballot trying to find a way through this crisis. I'm guessing if it was a binary question of "Stop the project now?" or "Continue with extra budget funded by increase subscription / event fees ?", then I honestly don't now how i'd vote.

I do know I definitely wouldn't support any increase in membership without seeing a substantial, almost punitive increase in the temporary membership charge. I'd suggest increasing it to £6.00 immediately, then continue to raise it every year.
I could only see this bringing benefits to the organization, it would increase fulltime membership, but still allow people to try an Audax before committing. It might also reduce the amount of riders who see Audax as a cheap sportive and block places on the more popular events with no interest in completing brevet cards or gaining points.

What other revenue streams could be open to AUK ?. If we do get a flashy new web site then what about selling advertising on there. I realise it's a small targeted audience, but it could at least offset some of the running costs.

I've only been a member for a  couple of years, but wish i'd found Audax a decade ago. If I was now reading reports of possible insolvency and was seeing all the funds AUK have built up and i'd contributed to over many years being squandered on a project that might fail then i'd be mightily upset and p1ssed off and want to know who was responsible for this apparent shambles.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #120 on: August 21, 2018, 09:35:31 am »
What does AUK do?
What does it need to do that to a reasonable standard?
Can it afford it on the current membership and fee structure?

Pretty pictures are only essential on the front page. Further in the website you just end up with more stuff that someone has to remember to do.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

j_a_m_e_s_

  • Prisoner 17091
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Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #121 on: August 21, 2018, 09:48:26 am »
very much like gears, pretty pictures are superfluous to most endeavours.
Rule 77

frankly frankie

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Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #122 on: August 21, 2018, 10:33:49 am »
Personally whever I land on a front page with shiny pictures, I click quickly away.  :sick:

I do know I definitely wouldn't support any increase in membership without seeing a substantial, almost punitive increase in the temporary membership charge. I'd suggest increasing it to £6.00 immediately, then continue to raise it every year.c

That would be totally wrong - AUK does not want to discourage non-member riders, does not really need to convert non-members into members.  Non-member temp fees are an incredibly important source of income for AUK, for that reason alone we wouldn't want to turn them away.  A 50% rise to £3 might be reasonable.

  • making the site https & the db secure and encypted so we're GDPR compliant
  • removing the need for regular maintenance work by various volunteers just to keep it running
  • an improved ui just as a symptom of it being on a new architecture
It appears to be item 3 only, and then only for a subset of public pages. Item 2 requires the full the £340,000 (at least) with the approach that’s been chosen.

Unfortunately item 3 is incorrect though - the 'improved' UI will just constitute a lick of paint, at this stage.

Item 2 is a total myth - aukweb is very mature and therefore very low-maintenance, and increasing throughput makes next to no difference to that.  The various volunteers who access the admin parts of the site are accessing features that are enormously time-saving and labour-saving to them - compared with, say, them doing the same work on the desktop. 
What does take time is facilitating new features when they are requested - for example, if the AGM in its wisdom decides on a new annual award, the Brevet 12345.  That would be work.  Or if the membership fees change - that would be work.

Item 1 the public site is fully https and has been for a while - its just that for reasons I can't explain, the http version hasn't yet been disabled.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #123 on: August 21, 2018, 10:42:29 am »
Personally whever I land on a front page with shiny pictures, I click quickly away.  :sick:

I do know I definitely wouldn't support any increase in membership without seeing a substantial, almost punitive increase in the temporary membership charge. I'd suggest increasing it to £6.00 immediately, then continue to raise it every year.c

That would be totally wrong - AUK does not want to discourage non-member riders, does not really need to convert non-members into members.  Non-member temp fees are an incredibly important source of income for AUK, for that reason alone we wouldn't want to turn them away.  A 50% rise to £3 might be reasonable.

  • making the site https & the db secure and encypted so we're GDPR compliant
  • removing the need for regular maintenance work by various volunteers just to keep it running
  • an improved ui just as a symptom of it being on a new architecture
It appears to be item 3 only, and then only for a subset of public pages. Item 2 requires the full the £340,000 (at least) with the approach that’s been chosen.

Unfortunately item 3 is incorrect though - the 'improved' UI will just constitute a lick of paint, at this stage.

Item 2 is a total myth - aukweb is very mature and therefore very low-maintenance, and increasing throughput makes next to no difference to that.  The various volunteers who access the admin parts of the site are accessing features that are enormously time-saving and labour-saving to them - compared with, say, them doing the same work on the desktop. 
What does take time is facilitating new features when they are requested - for example, if the AGM in its wisdom decides on a new annual award, the Brevet 12345.  That would be work.  Or if the membership fees change - that would be work.

Item 1 the public site is fully https and has been for a while - its just that for reasons I can't explain, the http version hasn't yet been disabled.

Interesting, from what I read on this thread and the one over on the AUK forum, there was some significant admin going on behind the scenes that we were trying to mitigate.

Anyway, don't take my points as me saying 'this is phase 1' - my point was we (or at least most people posting here) don't know what was meant to be in phase 1 really.

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #124 on: August 21, 2018, 11:09:20 am »
I've been a member of a number of organisations which have succumbed to 'folies de grandeur'. Some have been in the conservation field.

An activity becomes fashionable, and a national body, with regional roots, feels it should reflect that growth. The membership contains ambitious young professionals, who identify inertia in the governance, focusing on surpluses. The younger members take control, and initiate a prestige project. The prestige project drains the coffers, and there's a financial crisis. The young Turks retire with their fingers burnt, and someone from the old guard is left carrying the can.

Where the organisation has regional roots, largely autonomous groups local groups continue the work. Those groups often mirror the political problems at the centre, but not all at the same time, so the whole system is relatively stable.

The central group seeks to address its financial problems by applying for lottery grants or the like. Those grants tend to carry duties to promote diversity, or address disadvantage. That tends to give rise to a demand for images of unlikely participants, to indicate progress towards those goals.

The current fashion in this type of social outreach through community groups is 'Men in Sheds'. https://www.ageuk.org.uk/services/in-your-area/men-in-sheds/ Such initiatives have identified retired and unemployed older men as a group in need of activities which provide companionship and exercise.

The current Cycle magazine from the rebranded CTC features a group of this type in the Glasgow area. It may have occurred to Cycling UK that they've got a membership which conforms to the criteria for funding, without needing to recruit from a more diverse base.

AUK is in a position to deliver a kind of outreach work for older men, as that's what it does already. It would require bit of creative work on a lottery bid, probably promoting phase 2 and 3 of the IT contract as needed to enhance social functions. Cycling UK are probably going down that route already though.

The alternative is to rely on the regional roots of long distance cycling, and to coordinate central functions through another platform. Sites such as YACF might do that, as an extension of current activity.

Another possibility is being subsumed by Cycling UK, as OCD was by AUK. Audax could be marketed as the home of cussed hardriders.

AUK's membership profile is an advantage in the current climate, not a disadvantage. I'd see the main problem being that funding opportunities might create more 'folies de grandeur'.

In the 1980s I was unemployed, and found salvation in the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. That organisation had a local grassroots function, but the centre advertised more adventurous 'working holidays' in remote areas. The feel of long Audaxes recalled the rigours and camaraderie of those 'Tasks' as they were called. BTCV rebranded itself as TCV, and now the National Trust is the group providing residential working holidays in remote areas. The activity continues, but not where it originally did. There are also expensive quasi-commercial equivalents.