Jump to content
  • Welcome to Recreational Flying!
    A compelling community experience for all aviators
    Intuitive, Social, Engaging...Registration is FREE.
    Register Log in
Admin

Upsetting statistic

Recommended Posts

Ian,

 

It's an all too common story when it comes to forums these day - as the older members give up on the hobby which a forum is based around, they're not being replaced by younger members because it's so much easier to just post a question on Facebook, even if it has been asked a million times before, rather than join and search a forum that's overflowing with knowledge.

 

From my late teenage years, I took over ownership of a large model-specific automotive forum, which was also IPS based. I kept it alive for about 7 years following the ownership change, but I took the wheel right as Facebook introduced their Groups feature, and it slowly went downhill from there.
It was only a few years ago that I finally gave up on it. It was overdue for its passing.

 

Fortunately, I recently volunteered to take over the technical running of another, larger automotive forum (on vBulletin this time around), which is showing no signs of slowing down. However, I'm under no illusions that it will eventually suffer the same fate.

 

It's just the way that the world is going - the newer generations don't have the attention span for a forum. All you can do is try to keep the existing member base interested.

 

Cheers,

Ben

Edited by Deceiver
  • Informative 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, APenNameAndThatA said:

What is IPS? What difference did it make? Scuse my ignorance. 

Many years ago the main forum site software that was used was by a company called vBulletin. In recent years vBulletin has dramatically declined and now the front 2 runners are Xenforo, the site software we switched to from vBulletin nealy 10 years ago, and the other is IPS (Invision Power Services) which is the main forum software we are using today. However along with IPS we also use many different 3rd party applications on the site that are developed to work with IPS. Each solution (i.e. vBulletin, Xenforo (XF) and Invision (IPS)) has their own idiosyncrasies, features within each component and user functions.

 

Xenforo is very much forum centric with a Gallery and Downloads sections as well whilst IPS is a total site solution with not only Forums, Gallery and Downloads but also Groups, Blogs, Events and the ability to create many other different sections.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ian, I would like to think of useful suggestions but finding it hard. In our aero club the few RAA members might check this site occasionally but with one exception the GA pilots don't. When I mention things I have learned here they are news to most people. So making it more GA friendly might help, but I don't know how to do that. Perhaps just a small proportion of pilots spend time on screens anyway. We have about 150 members and 60 planes but I know of only three who post here.

 

I don't think the resources section is an attraction. If I need a manual or specific model information I just Google it.

 

I am also on a motorcycle site based in the USA. Members promptly give advice on problems and membership is large. With aircraft there isnt the same need for advice as everything is strictly regulated and people are not improvising and modifying. Having said that, I am also in EAA and find their workshop suggestions very useful for non-aviation work at home.

 

An additional thought.... I live in the country and find that people I mix with share the same conservative views. They would mostly vote Lib and don't accept the global warming nonsense. Same with the pilots who I know and other social groups I am in. But on this site the weight seems to be labor/green which might deter a lot of people. I dont think you can ban political and social bias, in fact I enjoy debating, but perhaps a lot of conservatives like me would not stick around.

Edited by pmccarthy
Addition
  • Informative 2
  • Winner 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

During the change from Xenforo to IPS, back to Xenforo then finally to IPS all for valid reasons may be why some people moved away. I preferred Xenforo and that seemed to be the view of a lot of people. Now we have been using IPS for some time with the mods made etc, I now think it is better or maybe I've got used to it. Some people struggle with change and having to reset preferences etc may be a bit of a problem for them.

 

I've had a facebook account for about as long as it has been around. The original concept was great, keeping in touch with friends and family and the old system I used before that called "Old Friends" closed down. Now it has become huge and unwieldy with ever more features and setting up security (after numerous problems had to be fixed and holes repaired) is beyond many people but they don't care and use it. The biggest problem though is trolls and Zuckerbergs crew don't care. Personally I find facebook ridiculously complex with so many options, twists and turns I just can't be bothered with it. I have the security for my page screwed down and all notifications about anything turned off. There is so much rubbish there but it is a free way of getting noticed and advertising without having to create your own web page. As for clubs and interest groups open or closed it does not have the same look, feel or simplicity of a forum like this.

 

Facebook though has gained so many users that it has surpassed that critical mass where it is now ubiquitous. Younger people though are leaving in droves I think because their attention span is now down to about 15 seconds, hence the popularity of Snapchat & Tik-Tok. I searched recreational Aviation on facebook & it brought up RAA & a few other things but nothing to want to make me join the group or post anything.

 

facebook sucks but it's what the great unwashed have gotten used to and know how to use, sort of.

  • Informative 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, pmccarthy said:

Ian, I would like to think of useful suggestions but finding it hard. In our aero club the few RAA members might check this site occasionally but with one exception the GA pilots don't. When I mention things I have learned here they are news to most people. So making it more GA friendly might help, but I don't know how to do that. Perhaps just a small proportion of pilots spend time on screens anyway. We have about 150 members and 60 planes but I know of only three who post here.

 

I don't think the resources section is an attraction. If I need a manual or specific model information I just Google it.

 

I am also on a motorcycle site based in the USA. Members promptly give advice on problems and membership is large. With aircraft there isnt the same need for advice as everything is strictly regulated and people are not improvising and modifying. Having said that, I am also in EAA and find their workshop suggestions very useful for non-aviation work at home.

 

An additional thought.... I live in the country and find that people I mix with share the same conservative views. They would mostly vote Lib and don't accept the global warming nonsense. Same with the pilots who I know and other social groups I am in. But on this site the weight seems to be labor/green which might deter a lot of people. I dont think you can ban political and social bias, in fact I enjoy debating, but perhaps a lot of conservatives like me would not stick around.

Hello....

 

I agree with some of this post  respectfully disagree with other parts.

 

I would wholeheartedly support  the proposition of drawing in more GA aviators, and at anyrate I feel the old distinctions are becoming increasingly blurred. But there aren't a whole lot of serious recreational GA enthusiasts either.  I am transitioning from RAA to  the GA camp myself  with my aircraft registration.

 

The part I disagree agree with is that political biases affect participation in the site.  First i don't wholly agree with the assertion that the site is dominated by left of centre politics and outlooks. I think our age is a much more significant determinant than anything else.  Most of us are upward of 50 and so probably have tendency to be more conservative in some aspects of our worldview.  Simultaneously,   being a flyer suggests forum users have an innate  sense of adventure combined  intellectual capacity to manage aircraft flight systems and pass necessary examinations.  They also have the recklessness (stupidity?) and bloody mindedness to throw cash an increasingly expensive hobby. Many would suggest that's  evidence for poor judgement.  🤣

 

I think those attributes of forum users are more likely to skew political outlook than the regions we come from.  However, its worth noting that forums like this can be really useful for people outside of major cities or regional towns. I live remote, own an aircraft that i operate from home and dont have a flying club environment to fall back on for guidance and advice. So  for me,  Recreational Flying is incredibly valuable!

 

Cheers

 

Alan 

  • Like 1
  • Informative 1
  • Winner 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part of the problem is the falling off of the "old school"  Ra Aus members and pilots   Fewer and fewer are building their own aircraft, Rag and tube and old style aircraft are becvoming thin on the ghround and the inquisitive, self learning mindset these aircraft encouraged are slowly disappearing.   People want instant wisdom now, want all the info handed to them.   Society is encouraging instant gratification so I see the general audience of this site aging. Many of the younger, and not so young pilots are buying pre built plastic fantastics and becoming GA wannabe's.  (shoot me ).   The schools are moving to upmarket new mini GA type aircraft.   Clubs around Oz are possibly experiencing the same thing with the average age of members increasing.  I dont know what needs to be done.    Just my view.

  • Like 1
  • Agree 3
  • Informative 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 You want it  Buy It, is the go today. With the cost and BS  it's not what it was, say 20 years ago and seriously,  bang for buck does it rate well? You don't have to spend a fortune to have fun in many other things, and flying is not that social unless you have a good club environment . I'm and addict having spent years involved with aviation and probably incurable, but realistically I might have to work on it. Nev

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're drifting off a bit here.  If the RAA membership claim of 12,000 is correct, then recreational flyers are at an all time HIGH, and that growth from my memory which could be in error is from 8,000 around 2010. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, turboplanner said:

RAA membership claim of 12,000 ... from 8,000 around 2010. 

 

 

 

That might go hand in hand with the dramatic increase of airline pilots being employed since 2010?

 

Are those airline Pilots the increase in membership? Are they actually flying light aircraft, or just interested in all facets of flying? Has PPruNe forum increased in membership in the same period? Will Robin arrive in time to save Batman from the Riddler?

 

 

Edited by bexrbetter
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, bexrbetter said:

 

That might go hand in hand with the dramatic increase of airline pilots being employed since 2010?

 

Are those airline Pilots the increase in membership? Are they actually flying light aircraft, or just interested in all facets of flying? Has PPruNe forum increased in membership in the same period? Will Robin arrive in time to save Batman from the Riddler?

 

 

pp has withered on the vine with just a small crew of regulars.

 

 

Edited by turboplanner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good God, I'd forgotten all about that song. The Statler Bros were a favourite of mine, about 45 or 46 years ago! I think I've still got a cassette of them somewhere!

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

     Software be darned.   For me, it is the incessant tweaking, "improvements" and unsolicited changes that keep appearing on my desktop that turns me away. At my age, technology remains a steep learning curve - it doesn't take much to turn a minute or two online into a frustrating two or three hours at the keyboard.

 

     My mornings (every morning) used to begin with a few moments with RF - just checking in with the regulars and seeing what's new. It just doesn't seem that simple anymore.

     I was a dedicated member of  Recreational Flying since beginning my pilot training in 2009 at age 62. This site was my companion, my workshop manual, my advisor, my shoulder to cry on, the place where I've made friends, borrowed tools, bought parts, received gifts    -    and more;   so much more.    The Savannah I began building in 2010 is a by-product of this site - even the decision to buy a Savannah kit versus the other options available to me was the result of research done on RF.

     I still visit from time to time, and still rely on the counsel of the regulars and enjoy the updates and collegiality of those with whom I've interacted, but, it is more complicated to do this now.

     And I do this from the other side of the world - 

     "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

     All the very best;   and by the way, "THANK YOU".

 

     CanadaDan

     

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In support of Dan's comment on technology, I only use the “what’s new” button to navigate, and read pretty much anything except the posts about models. Usually don’t watch videos as I get more than enough on YouTube feed. So all the little windows and navigation features are wasted on me. The “ What’s New” feature in WhatsUpAustralia hasn’t worked since the site was reinstated and I have had to work hard to continue there, will probably stop checking it. Hope all this commentary is helpful and don’t intend to be negative.

  • Informative 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Dan's making a very important point.

We can't stop software changes and the changes to this site as I recall were enforced by software supply coming to an end.

For people like Dan, a dedicated and visible How To or Instruction section is a must. 15 or 20 minutes there and people like Dan can be up to date with the requirements to set up the latest version. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, pmccarthy said:

The “ What’s New” feature in WhatsUpAustralia hasn’t worked since the site was reinstated and I have had to work hard to continue there, will probably stop checking it.

I'm with PMc here. I log in to the two sites at least three times a day and find the absence of that feature disappointing.

 

But don't get too upset about the activity on site. I just had a look at a USA motorcycle site I am a member of. There haven't been any new posts in the section I follow since 28 November. Admittedly most of the members are from the Northern Hemisphere and have put their bikes into storage for the winter, but a lot must still be tinkering in their workshops getting ready for their next summer, so questions must arise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I haven't fixed the Whats New on WUA as I am still working on importing the site back into a Off Topic section here

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, old man emu said:

But don't get too upset about the activity on site. I just had a look at a USA motorcycle site I am a member of. There haven't been any new posts in the section I follow since 28 November. 

That prompted me to check the the Corvette forum at corvette.com.

496 posts showing "today" before the counter software comes to an end.

 

Threads like:

911 4S vs C8, 

Would you trade your C7 to C8 if performance was the same as C7, 

A 1,000 hp Corvette, 

Dubai Corvette Ambulance (Photo Source: corvette.com), 

 

So plenty of action there with the site layout they have.

If you have, say a C5 or C7 Corvette, with 1 click you can identify all posts for that model. Very handy if you're looking for a how to, or how far an assembly comes apart, or how to get your plugs out of an aluminium head.

wdCorvetteAmbulance.JPG

Edited by turboplanner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The same malaise has infected the BFDU facebook site which is supposed to be all about off airport aircraft enthusiasts only  but has now got jewellery and anything else not related to the original intent of the site, its loyalty to the work done by Tim and his crew that keeps me interested in it Ian.

Ps in regards to it programers and their systems. I think the problem stems from the drop in used car values forcing many salesmen to change careers eh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Admin said:

Sorry I haven't fixed the Whats New on WUA as I am still working on importing the site back into a Off Topic section here

As long as it's on your To Do list, we'll wait.

 

2 hours ago, Hargraves said:

but has now got jewelry and anything else not related to the original intent of the site

I trust the Moderators here are like me and jump on spam as soon as possible. I especially despise those posts advertising false official documents. I don't want a Senior ATPL licence for 1000 rupee.  (when we see it we do.   If one doesn't get it another does in time......mod)

Edited by robinsm
additional comment
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a relative newby to the site:

 

1.  I found it by accident and originally thought it was US based due to the web address and nearly did not join.

 

2.  I swap between mediums depending on what I am on.  Laptop, this site, iPad, it will be FB.  Its not the site, its just the convenience.  The email reminder is great and that is what normally brings me to the site

  • Like 1
  • Informative 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PaulMilo2 said:

I found it by accident

Didn't the other pilots at Mangalore talk about this site?

 

If you are happy with the content, camaraderie etc, why not put the word around amongst those who don't know about it? That's one big way to increase activity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TBH, we all seem to fly at different times, although Brian Ham has set up an email list, so I'm happy to share on that.  Cheers

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later for your post to be seen If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...