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What is the role of a Class Association Website?

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JohnJack View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JohnJack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: What is the role of a Class Association Website?
    Posted: 13 Sep 17 at 9:19am
On a tangent of the Nationals attendance topic, and after standing down as a web admin for a class (after 4 years). Just what is the role of a class website.
Is it simply a page for information about the class, contacts, membership forms, events and entries or should it also be a news site with race reports and other articles?

A few examples
The Solo Class seem to be doing a great job producing tons of "media" videos, interviews on top of the usual brief write up, however not much of this features on their website, same goes with the GP class, loads of media on Facebook and a very good website from an information perspective, however not allot of "news" (in both cases there is some news that gets updated from time to time, however it is not at the forefront of the site)

With the Scorpion site, we tried to make it into a Class Magazine which is also an information Service, which was hard work at times trying to chase down race reports (they would be sent to Y&Y but not to the class to publish on their own site, though when sent to the class we would add an extra paragraph to the bottom about upcoming events before our site sent it on to Y&Y (thanks to Mark for working with us on this this))

So the question (maybe I should have asked this four years ago) What is the role of a Class Association Website, and how is it linked to the success of a class?
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KazRob View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote KazRob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 17 at 10:23am
It's possibly the shop front for whatever the class is. When I've moved classes it's certainly been the first stop to look for advice, what's for sale, contacts, browse the forums etc and generally get a feel for things but it's not necessarily everything. I bought a Solo last year and I found the for sale and forums useful but the website itself wasn't of any great note (but then it did help me sell it when I decided it wasn't the boat for me)
I suspect while FB and FB groups are taking over from website forums to an extent a class still needs that relatively static shop front that projects an active class.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote turnturtle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 17 at 10:42am
hopefully they will continue to provide a traditional sign posting function, and then in due course host the various media, reports and enhanced functionality (class calendar, classifieds etc) once the worm turns and folk start to really, really get hacked off with FacedataBook.

Edited by turnturtle - 13 Sep 17 at 10:43am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ColPrice2002 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 17 at 10:53am
The Class association should be more than just a shop front...
The Solo Class Association is active in keeping the class rules updates (it's a national Class, so that means working with the RYA), it also has  a training function, with coachies available. Apart from that, the Asssociation manages the national championships and a number of other events. (e.g. dinghy exhibitions).
there's also the magazine and other topics.

I think that there is a clear line between the Class association of the older classes, where they managed the rules, licenced builders/sailmakers and measurers, and the new SMOD dinghies, where the builder manages many of these functions (e.g. laser).

Cheers,

Colin 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote KazRob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 17 at 11:28am
I think you picked me up wrong Colin. The class website is the shop front most of us see of other classes when we go for a look but the class association is a whole lot more as you say 
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maxibuddah View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote maxibuddah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 17 at 12:15pm
Not only the shop front but also a repository for the technical stuff, advice and other things that can easily get lost in a Facebook group or page.

I would see Facebook add the natural replacement for the forum as it is faster moving due to its mobile ease of use, etc. It also is over less thing for the web admin to have to deal with regarding software updates and security too.

The website also used to home all of the media galleries but even that is replaced by Facebook these days of you want it. There is less management as other users can post to it without fuss. Certainly Facebook can replace most of the requirements of a website now. Some people don't like to use it though.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 17 at 2:19pm
The Class web page should have all the details relevant to the boat, technical spec, what it's like to sail, how you can get to try one, hints and tips as to tuning, details of upcoming events and reports on recent happenings and of course lists of 2nd hand boats for sale.

Lot's of this should be duplicated on facebook, but with more an element of chattyness, gee ups to go to events, discussions on bits and bobs and bimbling. Facebook can also be used to flog stuff, but there are those who get snooty about fb so you don't get to communicate with everyone, so both should be linked.


Not many classes have all this information or do all this well.
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craiggo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote craiggo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 17 at 4:38pm
For once I agree with iGRF.

The Grad association has had a difficult time lately with their web hosting and as a result their website has not been available to people using certain web providers. The number of people who are trying to get information along the lines of how to join the association or tuning guides, fitting out etc. Is suprisingly high and these individuals tend to be pretty disgruntled by the time they engage in chat on Facebook.

Facebook provides the ability to discuss these points but it seems that many still want the official repository to be a website.

Small classes especially can't afford to ditch websites yet it seems.
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getafix View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote getafix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 17 at 5:32pm
Priorities for class association websites

1. Entice owners to join and newcomers into the class
2. Provide info on how to buy/build/upgrade your boat in class
3. Entice class members to stay and participate in the running of the class and/or events

Its amazing how hard it is to find boats for sale or a list (up to date) of events on many CA websites.  The tech sheet stuff should be fire and forget in most cases, needing barely a tweak from day 1 to day 100.  It is also remarkably difficult in my past experience to be able to sign up for and pay to go to events in many cases.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 17 at 5:44pm
I can't join Facebook or similar sites, one of many thousands, class website essential.
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