On occasion I do get feedback from members and new members on their use of the website.
While every new member is verified and asked to at least post an introduction this common courtesy is rarely afforded.
With the number of stories I hear about "planned seaplane ratings" and X thousand hour seaplane pilots in here, we should see 100x the activity we see.
Many wonder what makes a person sign up for a discussion board they have no intention to post in; and many more wonder about "Single Topic" minds who come here to graze information from people who bend over backwards in trying to help them, but never once share any sort of information themselves. Its those same people who stay painfully uninvolved beyond their own questions. I wasn't aware that showing some personality is of such great difficulty to seaplane people. Others do fly-ins or organize get-together style events - yet we can't even get a group of people to commit meeting up at Greenville, the countries, if not the worlds - most important seaplane event...
For the last 5 years and 4 months I have worked hard to provide an open-minded and helpful website for seaplane pilots.
I have tried every single angle and approach to get people more involved and communicating - with seemingly limited success.
Despite having been left stranded professionally, personally and financially on many occasions, I still take time to deal with peeps.
On no other website do members have more influence in determining the course of a website than here. I afford maximum personal freedom to each member, do not censor or otherwise apply political correctness doctrines or try to tell people what to think. Nobody wants a collection of old boy club style people. There are enough cliques and cults out there, which make newcomers lives difficult and sometimes embarrassing.
I do not differentiate between supporting members and those who do not see a value in having this website.
Here's a list of reasons I am given for peoples lack of activity:
- Topic derailments and discussion of unrelated matters.
- No response, no useful response, no timely response.
- Misuse of the software, lack of practice posting & disuse of our active topics feature.
- Short one-liner responses to topics that deserve (and experience) better coverage and effort on other websites who have nothing to do with seaplanes.
- Too many political topics nobody cares to read on a seaplane site.
Topic derailments and idle chit chat are caused by BORED members who have been trying to get new people to post here for half a decade.
Don't complain to me about people not staying on topic if there is a 5% chance for a thank you or seeing the member again.
This forum is as good as EACH MEMBER makes it. Its really all you, I am just the clown who keeps the software going.
We experience enough political stonewalling and competition from other sites to not need a single new inactive member.
Use the tools or loose the tools. And if you wonder why I post this, try to imagine how many people I talk to on every given day and how many stories I am told about why someone decided to sign up here.
A post from new members isn't asked too much, neither is it asking too much to get people to use their login to post a few times a week.
If you find not much worth commenting about - ask yourself WHY you joined this forum in the first place. I am sure you didn't do it for me, I derive no superstar status here, nor do I enjoy any financial benefits from running this site. If you signed up because someone invited you here, ask yourself why you did that, knowing that you would never post anyways, be that for political reasons or anything. If you were invited here, chances are someone would value your input here. Why would someone fail this site by default, without even giving anyone a chance to screw up??
If you sign up here for the future, just in case you may decide to post a question or two some day, skip the registration. Instead, sign up when you're ready to jump in here and actually be a member of a discussion board that exists for no other purpose, than to network and exchange information on seaplane flying. This site requires more effort than pushing a meaningless "Like" button on Facebook and so does every discussion board out there.
For the longest time I have wondered if its me doing something wrong, but that doesn't match the "good job, keep working" comments I see.
Please think about your level of involvement here and how much better things could be if we had just 10% of the members logging in and posting once a day. It works elsewhere, and I am puzzled to bits about why it shouldn't be possible on this forum...