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Recreational Flying Survey


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Hi All


This site is about to have its 5th birthday. For the first few years it grew in an adhoc manner on what I thought you wanted and the site became the number 1 Australian recreational aviation website for all RAAus and recreational pilots. Then for a period of time we had to battle with some trouble makers trying to make the site their own bashing ground followed by the fall out of our actions in trying to keep the culture of the site a helpful and friendly one.


This year we have been experimenting in ways to find out what works with you all and what doesn't - how can we make this site exactly what you the users want whilst also maintaining the site objectives - always being free, free from commercial advertising and influence, enhancing pilot's safety, maintenance knowledge and enhancing the flying skills of recreational pilots in a friendly and helpful way.


The entire site is now at the crossroads in terms of defining the future direction for the next 5 years. I can do this by applying the results of the experimentation together with input from you - the most important component - your needs.


So I have created a survey - a very extensive survey - that I hope from the results give the site a more stabilised and exciting direction for the next 5 years.


If you have some time free I would like to ask you to complete the survey - because it is so comprehensive it will take 10 to 12 mins to complete but it will help you, other users and me so much on what you really want this site to provide for you.


There are 5 sections of the survey and if it won't let you go to the next section just check that you have answered all the questions in that section.


This survey is the most important user feedback that we have ever undertaken - your responses are not publicly viewable so you can be as candid as you like as it will most definitely help, and thank you for your help and support this year, I hope the site has helped you in some way which is what it is here for.


Survey: Now Removed



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Many of the responses so far have been absolutely fantastic and will help to provide an even better site for you all - some of the ideas that you are coming up with will definitely be implemented 011_clap.gif.c796ec930025ef6b94efb6b089d30b16.gif



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This site uses a main forum engine and then many different other applications are purchased and different licenses are paid for every year. The engine and applications undergo massive change from colour schemes right down to a lot of complicated code changes to bring it all together into what you see today.


Now the big problem is that the developers of the main form engine will in a few days time release a very major upgrade to their software. The changes they have made are extensive and are usually only done every few years. This means that almost every application that is currently here will not work with the forums so new versions will have to be purchased and an entire new site developed bringing every element together into a user friendly and highly resourceful site for all recreational pilots.


The new forum software I will say at this stage I do not like as I believe it will be complicated to use for many of our users without a massive rewrite being done that will take a lot of time and money. The first thing I will do is see how I can make it more user friendly and if I can apply what you have indicated you want in the survey. If not then we will need to find ways to upgrade this current site to the survey results.


Just note that we don't have to upgrade to it but if we do it will be right for you first and will be done as gently as possible - perhaps little bit at a time.


Thanks to all those that are responding to the survey - your ideas are really helping to set the future!



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Guest mike_perth

Certainly is a different look - I have to admit I will be taking our forum over to V4.0 but only as several of our members have seen the pre relase screenshots and like the look - but as you say not as easy as a 2 min switch over!


I dont like the thought of implementing the new software as I dont like the look of it I much prefer the current version.





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This site seem to work OK. Its a bit of fiddling to move from one latest post to the next but no biggy. If its a hassle and to change over and they want more money......."Tell em they're Dreamin"


Cheers, Qwerty



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No Pud - as I said I will only upgrade if any new features are worth it and it can be made in line with what you have all indicated you want in the survey - not upgrading just for the sake of it. I may implement some of the ideas from the survey over a period of time here first but keeping in mind those small changes will bring us to a more simpler and less of an impact of an eventual upgrade down the track. Things like making use of CFIs and Instructors, a new management team, streamlining the sections, adopting a more simplified navigation system - but all small changes just one at a time - hope that helps!


There are some other things that can be done before an upgrade like cosmetic with colours and header - but gradual - I will over Christmas nut out a plan and schedule which will help with the communication of changes without letting too much out of the bag for strategic reasons.


Boy will I be glad to see this blue go and replaced with another type of blue - I am sick of seeing it for the last few years 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif


Oh, one thing...everything will be on one web site content (except the News) and tools to be dedicated to Australia and New Zealand and the survey clearly spells out at 98% to NOT offer the site to the RAAus but stay independent - YOU have spoken :big_grin:


Qwerty - I have already paid the money - what...did you think I keep the Clear Prop income 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif - unfortunately to really evaluate the software you have to buy it first and it is inevitable that at some time in the future we will have to go to it for security reasons, support, functionality, 3rd party applications etc



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Thank You


I have closed the survey now after 77 respondents that have helped to provide their thoughts on the future direction of the site.


This survey has been so important in providing an outlook of your needs which will create the way forward. I know there wasn't that many that responded but when you add this to the results of the experimenting I have been doing with the site over the last 12 months, by gut feel derived from reading every post that gets made and by comments made in both PMs, the phone and in person, I believe they all add up to a general consensus.


So again thank you, those that provided their addresses in the last question will soon receive by mail a Recreational Flying Iron On Transfer (sorry that's all I can afford at the moment) and to those that just provided a compliment instead of an address I very much say thank you for those words.


The next step now is to keep you informed as each survey result is implemented so watch out for threads in this forum that will start with "Survey Result - ..." that will provide the information on what is being done as a result of the survey.


Thanks again!



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Thanks Ian


We really appreciate your effort.


What makes this site great is first the members, then the way the site / posts are managed.


Your task is no doubt a difficult and challenging one, so ultimately if the upgrade makes the site easier for you to manage and more secure then we may just have to put up with more changes, if that is the path that suits you best.


Sometimes delaying upgrades a number of versions can make the eventual necessary transition an even more complex task for both the implementers and users.


May or may not be the case here.



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If your on a good thing, stick with it. The present site works very well and I have heard it mebtioned in dispatches elsewhere as a target to aim for. It seems to me that software people are always bringing our new versions, just so they can keep an income stream going.



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