Post by Rick Rhinehart on Aug 17, 2005 20:07:30 GMT -5
I don't know if the technology exists, but perhaps the Society might consider some sort of linked discussion board that includes different levels linked to regional and state caver discussion boards. In my home state of Colorado, we've had our own Board since January of this year, and I'm sure that other states and regions also maintain their own boards.
Often, state and regional boards contain interesting discussions that don't make it to the national board. Plus, a state or regional board may be less intimidating to potential posters.
If the technology is available, a Society board with national discussion threads and links to state and regional boards would best serve cavers, plus allow quick connections between the various boards.
Post by Scott McCrea on Aug 17, 2005 21:49:57 GMT -5
snip...If the technology is available, a Society board with national discussion threads and links to state and regional boards would best serve cavers, plus allow quick connections between the various boards.
I think that's a great idea Rick. Perhaps we can start another thread where people can post links to the Forums, Boards, etc that they know of. Then we get the NSS DB running again we can set it up.
Here are a few suggestions to improve the NSS DB that I believe may be beneficial.
Back up the NSS Discussion Board database at regular intervals. Purchase appropriate software (if needed) to enable the IT Committee be able to accomplish the task of backing up of the NSS Discussion Board database at regular intervals.
Instigate a plan for communication between the Information Technologies Committee, BOG, OVP, and The NSS Discussion Board Subcommittee .
Implement steps toward NSS strategic planning for the NSS Discussion Board. Allow the NSS Discussion Board Moderators and Administrator to participate in the strategic planning process.
Encourage all the NSS Leaders to actively participate in the Discussion Board. It is a valuable method of communication of information to the membership as well as educational information for the public community.
Put into action an NSS Discussion Board Archives Committee to record and protect the NSS Discussion Board Archives.
Add a NSS Discussion Board banner or other appropriate feature to each NSS News for the promotion of the NSS Discussion Board as a resource for the caving community.
Have as a board feature a "spell check" on the next NSS Discussion Board. Please
Last Edit: May 3, 2006 10:16:27 GMT -5 by L Roebuck
Florida has several Yahoo discussion boards, incl the Florida Speleological Society, Florida Cavers, and Florida Cave Survey. All require registration similar to the NSS discussion board/forum. Likewise Tag-Net.
Therefore, I'm not sure Richard's idea will work, at least re FL boards and Tag-net. Pity, too, as I think we all benefit from cross-pollination. Maybe they're available in read-only mode?
I'm not exactly sure why we Florida cavers are so danged cloistered, but I can assure you that most of our moderators are quite adamant about this.
I found out the hard way that if you leave a yahoo discussion board open to all, it will no doubt recieve an onslaught of spam. Some of the spam is very nasty indeed so having to register actually helps to buffer the members of the group from much unsolicited spam.
Post by Rick Rhinehart on Aug 18, 2005 22:24:42 GMT -5
The Colorado Cave Discussion Board does allow guests to view the content, but you have to register to post topics, reply, private message other members, etc.
Our webmaster, Tom Dawson, set up the site to use phpBB forum software, which provides a professional format and many user-friendly features. The software is apparently a free download; I highly recommend it to other discussion board webmasters.
Regarding my suggestion to have a super-board with links to all ongoing discussions about caving, maybe a temporary solution would be for the NSS to set up a special links page listing all the boards by state, region or topic (such as cave diving). Additional communication and discussion among cavers nationally and worldwide helps build a stronger, more knowledgeable community.
Post by Scott McCrea on Aug 19, 2005 9:51:06 GMT -5
Here's another thing I'm noticing that is important to running a successful DB: Communication.
Timely communication between the members and the mods/admin/execs that make decisions that affect the DB. Things spread very, very quickly with DB's and the internet. If communication is not efficient, rumors and speculation run wild. Just check out the "NSS website down" thread in this category for an excellent example.
I believe that a team of administrators/decision makers, that know what's happening, is the best solution. That way when one or more is off caving or just off line, there is always someone that can clarify and answer questions, before things get out of hand. A single person should not have the ability to pull the plug on a popular benefit to the members.
Post by Cindy Heazlit on Aug 19, 2005 12:43:51 GMT -5
If the NSS were to continue its DB, I would suggest that they might consider hiring a part time IT person. With more and more business being conducted via the web, it makes sense to have someone dedicated to the job. Not to say that some volunteers aren't dedicated - just that with volunteers it can be more uneven on the work that gets done. A paid person is a greater guarantee that the needed work does indeed get done.
1. Archive and protect the old DB's and any new DB's. Place the same priority on them as the NSS does the Library.
I think that this is very important. If the NSS does not feel that they have the resources for this then I would suggest that the NSS should not host a Discussion Forum.
I belong to another Forum that I believe uses the same software as the NSS Forum was most recently using. When this Forum suffered a disk crash it was back in less than 24 hours and posts that had been made as recently as a few hours before the crash had been restored.
Last Edit: Aug 20, 2005 21:38:02 GMT -5 by dcampen