Author Topic: AUK FINANCES AND WEBSITE PROJECT was: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT  (Read 29500 times)

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #375 on: September 26, 2018, 10:27:18 am »
Compete with Strava? I hadn’t realised Strava has an AUK section.

Besides, if I am going I to give my details to an organisation, I’ll do it to an organisation I’m a member of, not one that wants my details to make money from.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #376 on: September 26, 2018, 10:37:34 am »
Fair enough. I rarely read the AUK forum. The implication is that the Board rejected advice from IT professionals, then?

I offered (via email) and was told that if my view was that we should "pause and review" (but it was unfairly interpreted as canning everything done so far) that they would "have genuine difficulty in passing your application to work on the IT Refresh team to the IT Refresh managers".

I need to do a bit more reading up on the history of it all via the minutes/reports but given what has recently come out I'll almost certainly be withdrawing my offer of help if they continue with the plan to piss away lots of money unnecessarily doing things, IMHO, in the wrong order.

I also suspect there's a fair bit of this going on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_cost#Loss_aversion_and_the_sunk_cost_fallacy

What I expect/hope will happen is that the possibility of pissing away all of this money will get all of the people that probably wanted to volunteer last time but didn't bother (just like me), or did but fell away as the enormity of it dawned on them, and galvanise them into really doing something this time. If that happens then I'll throw my hat back into the ring.

The projected costs of the project may be enormous but my greater concern is the ongoing maintenance fees that CF1 were scheduled to charge, these annual chargers were more than the current annual surplus of AUK. (From what I've read, happy to be proven wrong.)

In my mind the minimal viable product of this work should have been the shoring up of the existing website/backend so that it is not running on legacy software, not reliant on FF so much, can be more easily maintained, and then slowly rewrite chunks of it in situ to make it more easily extensible and maintainable for the upcoming improvements required in both membership and event planning. None of this needed outside contractors.

Once that it would be considerably easier to get a prettier front end slapped on the front of it, which may be easier to do with outside contractors but considerably cheaper as the interface/infrastructure required to do it would already be in place.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #377 on: September 26, 2018, 10:41:08 am »
Quote
FF; if my sources are correct why are we interfacing to the existing database? why can't we sunset it and migrate the important historical data over?

Because there’s no event database in the new code, or event admin (for organisers), or event entry (for riders), or event results. It’s just a pretty-but-dumb website that pulls calendar and perm listings from the AUKweb database.

(How you spend £100+k to get so little is a mystery, but that particular ship has sailed)

It doesn’t seem to be proposed for any of the future phases either. So £340,000 later we’ll still be 100% dependent on AUKweb.

NB I’d love to be wrong about this, but I’ve posted it several times and no one’s corrected me yet...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #378 on: September 26, 2018, 10:53:51 am »
I think the important point is where the desired functionality diverges at a fundamental level from an off-the-shelf CMS / e-commerce platform, which is where you need someone to do clever databasey things, rather than just tweaking the front-end for the type of products on offer.  That's probably *handwaves* somewhere around the validation and results stage, I suppose.

It's ironic that that bespoke backend stuff, the 'hard part' is actually the thing that is least needed, imho.
What's the actual point of AUK maintaining lists of past results? As a record of rides done it is never, ever going to be able to compete with strava, so why bother trying?

ACP maintains lists of BRM finishers so it's not necessary for PBP qualification purposes.

A new website might be necessary to facilitate entries but a cheap generic ecommerce site would be suitable for that - it seems most of the money is going on the 'need' for it to be bespoke, but to try to replicate functionality that is already provided by Strava, but which is never going to be as good as Strava.

The 'getting people through the door' side of the functionality is what is going to enable AUK to keep making money, but it's the other part that is costing the money to do.
I thought the actual point of AUK maintaining actual lists of actual past results was that actual people are actually interested in them. They actually date back actual decades before actual Strava was actually invented. Even for rides happening this actual year, not all, actually probably not most, will actually be on actual Strava. And Strava can actually disappear or change its actual access rules at any actual moment. I believe there was actually a similar actual problem with an actual commercial mapping service actually relied for a time to verify actual distances. So if AUK wants to maintain records of events, actual Strava is actually fuck all actual fucking use. Plus, what Jaded said.

If on the other hand you were to ask what were the point of maintaining such records, you might have had a point.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #379 on: September 26, 2018, 10:56:17 am »
Compete with Strava? I hadn’t realised Strava has an AUK section.

It doesn't (or shouldn't) need an AUK 'section'.
In terms of what functionality it provides to fulfill the purpose of listing and reviewing the past rides that I, and others have done, Strava offers me details, statistics, including a map and even 'flyby' map in which you can watch your progress on the map compared to others that did the same ride. You always see others that have done the same audax.
The AUK website offers .... a single line of text.

The sort of wider point is - does AUK deserve its apparent monopoly on Audax/long distance rides in the UK?
Organisers are effectively franchisees and they are doing the hard work but paying a chunk of what they get to AUK.
I don't organise but if I did I would take the view that if that chunk is a very small amount (in absolute pound note terms) then it is worth it for the entry system/front end but if I'm paying more purely to maintain a page that shows a simple list from a database then I would probably take the view that that tips the balance of the benefits of the franchise not being worth the fee.

Has AUK even got a monopoly - does it even own the copyright to the word 'Audax'?
Could someone set up a rival organisation, just build (or buy off the shelf)  a simple front end that has no results system, but offers organisers an entry system and third party insurance, to allow organisers to run rides that they could call Audaxes, for a lower fee than AUK charges.
I'm sort of wondering why that hasn't happened, but my guess at the answer is that AUK's results system in fact is its USP which makes its franchise model saleable, but the only reason for that is simple inertia, rather than merit.

Quote
Besides, if I am going I to give my details to an organisation, I’ll do it to an organisation I’m a member of, not one that wants my details to make money from.

You might, but as an argument it's a red herring because most people aren't that anal.
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #380 on: September 26, 2018, 10:59:48 am »
Beyond all that, once the database - which is required for managing the records associated with current events - is established, the cost of maintaining the historical record is something approaching 'nothing'.

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #381 on: September 26, 2018, 11:01:29 am »
Has AUK even got a monopoly - does it even own the copyright to the word 'Audax'?

AUK has an agreement with ACP for organising BRM rides in the UK, you're not going to get that with any other organisation, whatever it calls itself, so if you want to qualify in this country to ride PBP, you're stuck with 'us'.
“That slope may look insignificant, but it's going to be my destiny" - Fitzcarraldo

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #382 on: September 26, 2018, 11:05:40 am »
Fair enough. I rarely read the AUK forum. The implication is that the Board rejected advice from IT professionals, then?
Not even acknowledged

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #383 on: September 26, 2018, 11:14:21 am »
With so many computer experts clearly around, I look forward to the AUK IT Director role being hotly contested this year, ideally by people experienced in managing large, volunteer-led projects as that appears to be what is being called for.
“That slope may look insignificant, but it's going to be my destiny" - Fitzcarraldo

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #384 on: September 26, 2018, 11:17:30 am »

I thought the actual point of AUK maintaining actual lists of actual past results was that actual people are actually interested in them. They actually date back actual decades before actual Strava was actually invented. Even for rides happening this actual year, not all, actually probably not most, will actually be on actual Strava. And Strava can actually disappear or change its actual access rules at any actual moment. I believe there was actually a similar actual problem with an actual commercial mapping service actually relied for a time to verify actual distances. So if AUK wants to maintain records of events, actual Strava is actually fuck all actual fucking use. Plus, what Jaded said.

If on the other hand you were to ask what were the point of maintaining such records, you might have had a point.

I don't really know why, or to who, it's particularly interesting to be able to find out whether Ernest Higgins rode the Midlands Mesh Perm in 1986. Is the ability to find out things like that really the best thing AUK's got going for it?  :-\  (over a hypothetical slimmed-down rival that is)

Has AUK even got a monopoly - does it even own the copyright to the word 'Audax'?

AUK has an agreement with ACP for organising BRM rides in the UK, you're not going to get that with any other organisation, whatever it calls itself, so if you want to qualify in this country to ride PBP, you're stuck with 'us'.


Which is a good point, but (at least) 3/4 of all rides aren't PBP qualifiers. Even assuming a hypothetical rival takes no trade at all in PBP year, then by definition 75% of the market is open.
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

j_a_m_e_s_

  • Prisoner 17091
    • AUK results
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #385 on: September 26, 2018, 11:19:44 am »

AUK has an agreement with ACP for organising BRM rides in the UK, you're not going to get that with any other organisation, whatever it calls itself, so if you want to qualify in this country to ride PBP, you're stuck with 'us'.

[Dons tinfoil hat.....]


So if the HMS AUK goes down, where does that leave riders for next year?

Is this the reason the numbers have been hiked so quickly and without consult to the membership? To ensure we are not insolvent before PBP? We'd have another four years it were to happen after next summer.
Rule 77

Martin

  • Give me bas relief
    • WWW
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #386 on: September 26, 2018, 11:25:02 am »
Quote
FF; if my sources are correct why are we interfacing to the existing database? why can't we sunset it and migrate the important historical data over?

Because there’s no event database in the new code, or event admin (for organisers), or event entry (for riders), or event results. It’s just a pretty-but-dumb website that pulls calendar and perm listings from the AUKweb database.

(How you spend £100+k to get so little is a mystery, but that particular ship has sailed)

It doesn’t seem to be proposed for any of the future phases either. So £340,000 later we’ll still be 100% dependent on AUKweb.

NB I’d love to be wrong about this, but I’ve posted it several times and no one’s corrected me yet...

or Event Planner? (it's what organisers use to build events; almost entirely self service)

Well that's just pants, I thought the whole idea was to replace the obsolete platform the existing database sat on, not just to provide a snazzy front end into it

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #387 on: September 26, 2018, 11:36:45 am »

I thought the actual point of AUK maintaining actual lists of actual past results was that actual people are actually interested in them. They actually date back actual decades before actual Strava was actually invented. Even for rides happening this actual year, not all, actually probably not most, will actually be on actual Strava. And Strava can actually disappear or change its actual access rules at any actual moment. I believe there was actually a similar actual problem with an actual commercial mapping service actually relied for a time to verify actual distances. So if AUK wants to maintain records of events, actual Strava is actually fuck all actual fucking use. Plus, what Jaded said.

If on the other hand you were to ask what were the point of maintaining such records, you might have had a point.

I don't really know why, or to who, it's particularly interesting to be able to find out whether Ernest Higgins rode the Midlands Mesh Perm in 1986. Is the ability to find out things like that really the best thing AUK's got going for it?  :-\  (over a hypothetical slimmed-down rival that is)
Presumably to Ernest Higgins and others who rode the Midlands Mesh Perm in and around 1986.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #388 on: September 26, 2018, 11:39:22 am »
AUK has an agreement with ACP for organising BRM rides in the UK, you're not going to get that with any other organisation, whatever it calls itself, so if you want to qualify in this country to ride PBP, you're stuck with 'us'.

Which is a good point, but (at least) 3/4 of all rides aren't PBP qualifiers. Even assuming a hypothetical rival takes no trade at all in PBP year, then by definition 75% of the market is open.

This is actually something that I just cannot get my head round with AUK. From what I can tell AUK is the only Audax/Randonneurring club the organises rides of 200km or longer that aren't run as BRM.

At the weekend I joined a 200k BRM in Denmark, this ride will be recognised by ACP, and by inference every other Audax club. It will count towards an attempt at a RRtY from Randonneurs.nl, it's even recognised by AUK if I should decide to claim RRtY from them instead.

However, if I had done a 200k BR in .UK on Saturday, it would be recognised by... AUK.

Part of what I love about Audaxing is the rich history, and the shard goals. The Danes welcomed me, we road together, we shared a great ride. It was all playing by the same rules.

But the Brits? Why?!? why reinvent the fscking wheel? What is it about AUK that makes you so special?

It's mentioned that ¾ of rides in .UK aren't PBP qualifiers, assuming that's talking about all rides of 200km or greater, 100% of Dutch rides are PBP qualifiers. 100% of Belgian, of German, of Danish.

What is it that makes the UK so fscking special?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #389 on: September 26, 2018, 11:45:58 am »
Several national organisations run non-BRM brevets alongside BRMs. Randonneurs USA and Audax Oz are the biggest ones after AUK.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #390 on: September 26, 2018, 11:47:16 am »
Several national organisations run non-BRM brevets alongside BRMs. Randonneurs USA and Audax Oz are the biggest ones after AUK.

Any European orgs?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #391 on: September 26, 2018, 11:51:07 am »
But the Brits? Why?!? why reinvent the fscking wheel? What is it about AUK that makes you so special?

Because years ago ACP asked AUK not to register all their rides as BRM as they were doing far more than any other country and the validation admin was swamping ACP. So AUK created BRs for non-PBP qualifiers and validated them themselves.

Now the BRM validation is a lot slicker and more automated it might be worth asking ACP if AUK can up the number of rides it validates as BRM. If they agree to it then AUK can aim to have all its BR rides go back to BRM where feasible (some BR rides do not fit within BRM guidelines although that can easily be ignored with a Gallic shrug).

One for AUK's ACP delegate I guess. Posting on here won't get you anything, I'd try creating a thread on the official AUK forum or contacting the ACP delegate directly (details on the AUK site).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #392 on: September 26, 2018, 11:51:37 am »
A couple of European orgs and groups organise non-BRMs, not many. ACP is one of them.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #393 on: September 26, 2018, 11:54:01 am »

I thought the actual point of AUK maintaining actual lists of actual past results was that actual people are actually interested in them. They actually date back actual decades before actual Strava was actually invented. Even for rides happening this actual year, not all, actually probably not most, will actually be on actual Strava. And Strava can actually disappear or change its actual access rules at any actual moment. I believe there was actually a similar actual problem with an actual commercial mapping service actually relied for a time to verify actual distances. So if AUK wants to maintain records of events, actual Strava is actually fuck all actual fucking use. Plus, what Jaded said.

If on the other hand you were to ask what were the point of maintaining such records, you might have had a point.

I don't really know why, or to who, it's particularly interesting to be able to find out whether Ernest Higgins rode the Midlands Mesh Perm in 1986. Is the ability to find out things like that really the best thing AUK's got going for it?  :-\  (over a hypothetical slimmed-down rival that is)
Presumably to Ernest Higgins and others who rode the Midlands Mesh Perm in and around 1986.

Indeed. I like to look back at my historical results from time to time as I know many others want to look back at theirs.

I completely get that some may never want to look at their historical results.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #394 on: September 26, 2018, 11:55:50 am »
"What is it that makes the UK so fscking special? "

Hard to know where to start, really!

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #395 on: September 26, 2018, 11:57:59 am »
With so many computer experts clearly around, I look forward to the AUK IT Director role being hotly contested this year, ideally by people experienced in managing large, volunteer-led projects as that appears to be what is being called for.

Will the new IT director be able to cancel this project? Who on earth would want to inherit this poison chalice if they can't get out of whatever contract was agreed?
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #396 on: September 26, 2018, 12:06:39 pm »
It's mentioned that ¾ of rides in .UK aren't PBP qualifiers, assuming that's talking about all rides of 200km or greater, 100% of Dutch rides are PBP qualifiers. 100% of Belgian, of German, of Danish.

No they're not. What you possibly mean is 100% of rides in a PBP year are PBP qualifiers. You can't qualify for PBP outside of a PBP year.

"PBP qualifier" is a subset of "BRM ride", the two are not synonymous.

(I'm assuming these countries do organise rides in non-PBP years instead of completely hibernating in which case I stand corrected.)
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #397 on: September 26, 2018, 12:10:02 pm »
And one more thing, on the AUK forum, the Club Sec has provided an interesting reply to a post from Manotea about the board's powers.  Might be worth a read - I don't know the truth of it but it must help focus debate.

Interested AUK members can find out more here

Sadly, it does require the ability to read and to follow detailed arguments...

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #398 on: September 26, 2018, 12:28:21 pm »


But the Brits? Why?!? why reinvent the fscking wheel? What is it about AUK that makes you so special?

It's mentioned that ¾ of rides in .UK aren't PBP qualifiers, assuming that's talking about all rides of 200km or greater, 100% of Dutch rides are PBP qualifiers. 100% of Belgian, of German, of Danish.

What is it that makes the UK so fscking special?

J

Historically:  at the request of ACP who didn't, in pre-computer days, want so much work from AUK, especially between PBP years.

Special?  AUK was the first 'foreign' affiliate, and for a long time the biggest.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #399 on: September 26, 2018, 12:31:23 pm »
"What is it that makes the UK so fscking special? "

Hard to know where to start, really!

Janteloven



But the Brits? Why?!? why reinvent the fscking wheel? What is it about AUK that makes you so special?

It's mentioned that ¾ of rides in .UK aren't PBP qualifiers, assuming that's talking about all rides of 200km or greater, 100% of Dutch rides are PBP qualifiers. 100% of Belgian, of German, of Danish.

What is it that makes the UK so fscking special?

J

Historically:  at the request of ACP who didn't, in pre-computer days, want so much work from AUK, especially between PBP years.

Special?  AUK was the first 'foreign' affiliate, and for a long time the biggest.

Right, things have changed, lets stop pissing around as special creatures and play the same as everyone else?

Just cos you're first at something doesn't mean you're doing it right...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/