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Reasons For Lack Of Activity - Perceptions & Opinions

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Reasons For Lack Of Activity - Perceptions & Opinions

Unread postby jjbaker » Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:04 am

Howdy Guys,

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...

:cheers:
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Re: Reasons For Lack Of Activity - Perceptions & Opinions

Unread postby KlausNW » Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:05 pm

This is my take on inactivity:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilot_certification_in_the_United_States

Number of active pilots

As of the end of 2013, in the US, there were an estimated 617,128 active certificated pilots.[19] This number has been declining gradually over the past several decades, down from a high of over 827,000 pilots in 1980. There were 702,659 in 1990 and 625,581 in 2000. The numbers include:

120,285 student pilots (128,663 in 1990 and 93,064 in 2000)
238 recreational pilots (87 in 1990 and 340 in 2000)
4,824 sport pilots (did not exist until 2005)
180,214 private pilots (299,111 in 1990 and 251,561 in 2000)
108,206 commercial pilots (149,666 in 1990 and 121,858 in 2000)
149,824 airline transport pilots (107,732 in 1990 and 141,596 in 2000)
20,381 glider-only pilots (9,567 in 1990 and 7,775 in 2000)
20,381 rotorcraft-(helicopter)-only pilots (7,833 in 1990 and 9,387 in 2000)
591,912 male pilots end of 2013
25,216 female pilots end of 2013

These numbers are based on the highest certifications held by individual pilots.

The numbers also include:

98,842 certificated flight instructors (CFIs) (63,775 in 1990 and 80,931 in 2000)
307,120 pilots overall who held instrument ratings (297,073 in 1990 and 311,944 in 2000)

An active pilot is defined as one who holds both a pilot certificate and a valid medical certificate, for certifications that require a medical certificate.


Airports have fences with limited access. The FAA, TSA and any other government agency you can think of has made Aviation mysterious and distant. Potential pilots are viewing from the outside and looking through the barb wire fences with the dream of flying. They think of us as a secret handshake club, anything they might say is stupid and ignorant.

The other reason they don't converse, Hollywood and TV news media is giving everyone very inaccurate information. I listen to story after story everyday talking about aircraft "falling out of the sky". Many people have the dream of flying but our anti-prosper drug promoting government takes the ambitious people and pushes them back.

Sorry for getting political Jason but we can't be Politically Correct and get to the root of the problem.

P.S. The actual number of pilots that solo at least one hour per year is more like 200,000 in the U.S.. I can't find the article that I read that in but I believe it.
Klaus Marx - Piper Pacer Pilot
Juneau, AK & Wenatchee, WA . . . . . . Click on Link Bar to view the 'non-profit' group.
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Re: Reasons For Lack Of Activity - Perceptions & Opinions

Unread postby gear » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:06 pm

Speaking of feedback from members,...... Jason and I have been corresponding a bit over the past few days. I wouldn't really call it feedback, but rather a few back and forths on the trials and tribulations of the forum. It started with me posting for the first time in a long time. I got a nice "welcome back" note from Jason which was welcomed. I explained how I was busy this summer and that I was sorry that I haven't been around the site more. I happened to mention some observations about the forum, nothing new to Jason, just the usual - low member input, the same members contributing all the time (which is appreciated), etc. etc. Definately wasn't complaining, nor am I as passionate about the inactivity issue as Jason is. Fact is, he is right. We all join this forum for some reason or another. The thing I think most of us have in common is that we love and are fascinated with seaplane flying. Some of us are pilots, some of us want to be. Some of us are knowledgeable on the subject, some of us not as much. Some of us are outgoing and want to contribute, a lot of us are not. I come to the forum to learn anything I can about my favorite hobby and when I think about it, the thing I look for most I guess is activity - something new to read. It doesn't necessarily need to be something totally useful and applicable to me, but rather anything. I prefer seaplane or aviation related topics, and I avoid political stuff but anything is worth reading. I know when I first joined these types of forum sites years ago I was really nervous to post. I was afraid of looking foolish and I was afraid that I had nothing meaningful to add. This isn't the case with anyone who joins this forum and that has the same passion as the rest of us - pilot or not, plane owner or not - as long as you have an interest in seaplanes. If a new member joined and posted "hey, I'm new to this forum and don't know anything about seaplanes but want to lean more", you would see some helpful and insightful responses from someone that knows. It's the Internet, so sometimes you might get someone with a less than positive response, but who cares.

I think we need to take Jason's words to heart and show the appreciation he deserves for the efforts he puts into this site day in and day out. There are two ways to contribute - one is to do it financially if you so desire. This site costs money to keep it going - internet fees, servers, etc.. $10 or $100 it doesn't matter, it all helps although this isn't mandatory. I've chosen a few times to donate because I felt it was the least I could do given what I get back from it and it seems very small in comparison to what Jason puts into it. He didn't ask me to do this financial pitch, and I hope he's not upset and me expressing my thoughts on this. The second way to support the site is to post and use the site. I don't think anyone needs to be desperate for topics - there are plenty of things to talk about. A good one for new comers is why you joined the site and what floats your boat in the sea plane world. I know experienced guys will love to chime in on that. Inactivity on the site isn't the recipe for longevity of the forum. Keep in mind - if you see a topic that doesn't interest you, but if you have something meaningful to add, then chime in. You might be looking for something one day and that same reader may not have any interest in your topic but hopefully he or she will return the favor and help out with some input. I know I for one would really miss this site if it wasn't around and I'm going to try and do a better job of giving back to Jason for his efforts by doing one simple thing - contributing to the forum in the way it was intended. Activity breeds more activity and it becomes a snoball effect. Let's all do our part.

(And yes - I was a little nervous too writing and posting this)

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Re: Reasons For Lack Of Activity - Perceptions & Opinions

Unread postby cubdriver2 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:04 pm

It amazes me we don't have more pictures posted. Everyone has a camera on them every waking hour but nobody shares what they see.

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Re: Reasons For Lack Of Activity - Perceptions & Opinions

Unread postby BGH » Fri Aug 21, 2015 2:05 am

I support this site,but my crazed work ethic keeps me so busy that some days I have to choose between many projects requiring my time.I do try to keep I touch with Jason personally,especially when he pings me to see if I' m still alive.
I may not post much but I do try to visit often & always find something interesting to read.
On another note I' m headed your way gear.

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Re: Reasons For Lack Of Activity - Perceptions & Opinions

Unread postby jjbaker » Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:26 am

Garth, talking with you was a trigger to dig out other reasons I have heard for peeps inactivity, the list is not complete. I appreciate my members and I appreciate the back and forth, banter and funky emails that often happen. I do follow up on occasion when I see a member again after a long time. Its good to see you posting and its good to read that some people are nervous about posting stuff. In some environments this is dangerous, but not on this forum. None of our guys are lynch-mob style people looking to talk down to anyone. This is not my doing or "control" its just not a behavior that became a problem here. Often I wish people were a bit more "honest" and give an open microphone session. If activity here increases, consequently some new characters will come into the group and change its dynamics. Our guys are fully capable of venting and speaking in very clear terms when something bugs them. Just check my email. Haha! What matters is to keep talking, rather than taking the ball and going home.

Some people I am in contact with off the forum, Daryl and I are connected way beyond the forum, same with Bob, used to be the same with Glenn and Tim when he was still around, definitely John Staber, Brian, Dave, probably some others I can't list if I want to write shorter posts... Keith and I communicate almost weekly, Bruce Hinds, Walter Windus. Some of the members on my other forums I have on my "Facehook. When I send emails to larger than life characters, I usually CC some people just for proof that I am not asleep at the wheel. Just because I am 5.000 miles away doesn't mean I don't know what's going down. I try to communicate tactfully and I try to write good advocacy letters. I try really to keep everything I do transparent so that I can stand up when someone sends me a "Look what you did, dumbo" email. This is rare, but if it happens I am ready to explain my reasons for doing stuff this way or any other way.

I also make sure to never appear on pictures, so people don't see the Citation and the brand-new 12 bedroom mansion you guys just bought me. Same with the properties in Spain and in the Bahamas. I have a big plastic bag over my head (mouth cut-out) when I am out slurping oysters or throwing $1000 dollar bills around like M&M's. But Psssst! Don't tell anyone.

cubdriver2 wrote:It amazes me we don't have more pictures posted. Everyone has a camera on them every waking hour but nobody shares what they see.

Glenn


It amazes me too. We had member p32r2002 pop in during Oshkosh. One sentence, quite some news about PK (especially for people who knew and liked Alton, I basically was stationed in Lincoln, ME for quite a while) but unfortunately no pictures or further involvement. Haven't seen him since. We have people who will be in Greenville so it would be easy to meet up and do a group shot of peeps even if just to put a face to a username. Anything that shows that some people are connected beyond an anonymous userprofile on some forum and their "accidental visits". Taking pics, uploading them to Photobucket.com or elsewhere is easy. It would be much better for us, peeps love pictures.

I've done everything a person can humanly do to keep our political section usable and open for people. Topics don't show in active topics, just to avoid the thin skinned from peeing themselves. The question is at what point do I stop appeasing people who are LOOKING TO BE OFFENDED, who literally search this board for stuff to complain about or use as a reason for not posting. I am not a politically correct person by nature, I simply bite my tongue more often than not, because things I write usually get used AGAINST me and then people don't renew their membership. When you run a site, everything you say is constantly on the chopping block. Maybe its about the discussion board owner who shouldn't have an opinion? Silence in exchange for popularity and money.

What irks me is the superficial "Oh yeah, I'll definitely post" I usually get when verifying members. Talk the talk, but don't forget to walk the walk, too.
I wish I could share some of the amazing stories told to me (the person with the least time to focus and read stuff) via email. "I am a 6,000 hour float pilot flying the biggest damn cow on floats you've ever seen!" As if it was some sort of qualifier to be a member here. "I'm also a member of the SPA". I usually tell people to introduce themselves or post what they've just written to me here. No joy. These 6,000 hours don't impress me and the SPA membership don't float my skiff - what I'd like to know is: "Do you have a pulse and what can you contribute to the content of this forum?" What could you share that makes the next guy pull the trigger and finally post a question or participate on a topic? Will you stick around and help or just read once a year?

Other reasons I see for the decline is increased popularity of Facebook. I mean, every dog in some shed now has a "Self-promotion Narcissism Profile" where they can share, like, and type meaningless crap with the use of their smart phone. Picture? Boom. Post. 100 Likes two hours later. Some of these peeps have 3000+ "friends" and like 500+ pages. Funny: NOBODY ever posts questions, its all "Oh Wow, Sweet, Sexy Mommy, Good For You and Awww" stuff. Facebook throttles EVERYTHING so only 15% of a forums Facebook fans ever get to see new posts. Most of your friends don't see your timeline updates, either. If what you post is "inconvenient" to Facebooks Review Robots, more of your posts get throttled. Example: When I post that Facebook is pushing me to pay for posts, 10 of my 250+ likers get to see it. When I post a senseless link to some senseless video, 100+ will see it. Intelligent system. Put a lid on it if its exposing Facebook for its abusive way of doing business and reward numb and dumb stuff that keeps people entertained and free of thought.

If I ran this site the same way, people would need to pay $5.00 for each post, otherwise their post would never reach more than maybe 5 people. You'd go online here and see one new topic, but that's it. Aerobaticsforum.com died because its too much effort for aerobatic pilots (traditionally cool peeps, very concerned about being IN) to write more than one line or push "Like". Nigel Hopkins just lost a wing and a motor and parachuted safely. Superstar on Facebook, but not a single word about what caused the fatal failure elsewhere.

Fact is, we're facing an uphill battle with discussion board verticals and we can't compete with the simplicity and numbness of Facebook, Twitter, Google + or anything out there unless we have a strong user-base that connects and shows face to each other. Our verticals have been here for decades and they will (hopefully) be here when someone in Silicon Valley decides to dominate the world and charge for every little thing you do on your Facebook. Facebook is a hurting pimple on the ass of planet earth. When its gone or gets taken out by some diaper wearing cyber terrorist, billions of pictures, stories and people will be looking for the next best thing - all but some of this content is gone. Verticals may have starved by then, so now is the time to get these "old school people" to share their knowledge and network beyond this fast-lived stuff. Some associations have relocated their WHOLE web presence to Facebook - most of the "hype" happens there. I find that scary and sad at the same time. We have young adults with social anxiety disorders, stuffed full of meds, depressed like dogs, but ABSOLUTE superstars on Facebook. We have kids who cut their wrists when the "wrong" person unfriends them!!!

Thanks for reading all of this, or part of it. At the end of the day, this forum deserves to be here, we owe nobody an apology nor do we need anyone's blessing or approval. We need members who will take the effort and put information out and we need readers to sign up and say beep. Reader feedback is much more important than people think.

I'll send free decals until the cows come home to new supporters who help me to run this site without loosing my shirt. I have enough decals sitting here to cover 32% of our membership and I know how to get more! Go ahead, try to kill me. :lol:

As you can tell, I think a lot about things and some of this stuff is downright depressing. Please don't think that I am upset because people can't post everyday. All I am trying to accomplish is get a larger part of our audience and membership to take some ownership in this website. It will allow some of our "tireless warriors" to take a breather and see that people do care.

Thanks for taking the effort and thanks for the patronage and support.
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Re: Reasons For Lack Of Activity - Perceptions & Opinions

Unread postby BGH » Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:09 am

When you finish the certification of the Citation on amphibs, may I borrow it Jason?

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Re: Reasons For Lack Of Activity - Perceptions & Opinions

Unread postby gear » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:31 am

BGH wrote:On another note I' m headed your way gear.

Daryl

Daryl - if you want - pm me the details and if possible, we can meet for a coffee if it works for both of us

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Re: Reasons For Lack Of Activity - Perceptions & Opinions

Unread postby KlausNW » Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:52 am

I found an article that helps to explain the non-posting members.

They have been sending the post to Jason to post via a message in a bottle...

World’s oldest message in a bottle ever found finally washes up after 108 years

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/worlds-oldest-message-in-a-bottle-ever-found-finally-washes-up-after-108-years-10464887.html

The world’s oldest message in a bottle to ever be found is believed to have been recovered - after 108 years at sea.

Marianne Winkler, a retired postal worker, was on holiday when she spotted the unusual bottle floating by the German island of Amrum.

She told local paper the Amrum News the clear glass bottle had a note inside bearing only the words: “Break the bottle.”

“My husband, Horst, carefully tried to get the message out of the bottle, but there was no chance, so we had to do as it said," she said.

When the couple unfurled the note inside, they found a message in English, German and Dutch. It asked the finder to fill in some information on where and when they had found the bottle, before returning it to the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth. It said whoever did so would be rewarded with one shilling.
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