Forum or email?

Andy Sparrow

Active member
At the meeting last night it was proposed that the club set up it's own forum and that this could be used for organising trips rather than the google-groups email list.  It is intended that this forum, on Ukcaving, be discontinued.  Personally I am not really a supporter of this idea and this is why...

1.  We already have a forum. Here I am using it!  We moderate it ourselves and keep it 'troll' free.

2.  I like the public profile the club has here and the occasional constructive and useful posts we get from non-members.

3.  Personally I think that all trips and activities need to be communicated and planned through a single channel of communication.  Not everybody is able or inclined to log into a forum, but emails should always get through.  It will end up with some members using the forum and others using the email list and there will be inevitable complaints that 'nobody told me'.

4.  Forums do have there uses - like being able to discuss this without clogging up our inboxes!


New member
It was also proposed that this would be discussed at the next AGM.
Apart from Trip reports (which there is a separate trip report section available to anybody) our club section is not used that much. If we had our own forum we would not have to put up with people putting their comments on our threads who are not even in our club!
As for the people not receiving information for trips then they will have to pull their finger out and look at the website. I know of quite a few members (including some very dear to me) who do not bother checking their emails from one week to the next so emails cannot always be relyed on.

Roger W said:
What you say sounds very sensible, Andy.

Unless, of course, your club wants to hold secret discussions on its forum that it doesn't want the wider caving community to know about...

And yes Roger. You probably know very well that there are times when clubs wish to discuss things in private before letting the wider community know about it.

So I think the AGM is the place for us to discuss this. Thanks.  (y)


New member
This discussion is the perfect example of why the Club could benefit from a private forum to go alongside its public forum and mailing list.

I'd like to discuss it but not on the mailing list for reason 4 given above. On the other hand I don't really want to discuss a club matter in public, as Roger noted, so probably best to leave it for the AGM.

Andy Sparrow

Active member
What is so wrong with discussing this here?  There is nothing sensitive or private about it - it's hardly 'dirty washing in public'.  In fact 'forum versus mailing list' is a subject which many users of this forum outside of our club will have valid experience of and points to make.  I do not think these valid points should be deleted just because they are not members of our club.  Making this a subject for discussion at the AGM does not in any way prohibit preliminary discussion here.

I am making a very deliberate point by raising the issue here - that the club already has a forum which can be used if there is a will and a need in the club for a forum.

Forums are like nuclear reactions - they need critical mass to work.  A club of 40 members is just not large enough to sustain a forum.  If you look back at the Cheddar CC forum here you will see a reasonable level of activity when it was new and something of a novelty, winding down to almost nothing in the last couple of years, apart from the online logbook.  Once a forum loses momentum people don't bother to visit it and there is a downward spiral of activity.  Such a low-level usage forum is not an effective way of communicating to club members.  This is especially true when trying to organise caving trips that often have only 24 hours notice.

Please can we stick to email for advertising events, trips, important club info as I work from different sites on various different computers that are not always mine.  :)

I can pick up email from most but some web sites & chat rooms get blocked.  :-\

e.g ( Folk dancing is obviously very subversive but they haven't clicked onto the 'underworld' yet.      ::)

Also at work checking emails is perfectly okay but checking  a chat room is defiantly a 'no go'.  :spank:



Just to say - that I think you can arrange a 'private' forum on this site.

Have a word with bubba - it probably just involves providing a list of  UKc User names to him


Andy Sparrow said:
Forums are like nuclear reactions - they need critical mass to work. 
This is very true. It takes a lot of time and effort to create a forum that doesn't just fizzle out after a few months.

SamT said:
Just to say - that I think you can arrange a 'private' forum on this site.
This is also true. Currently on the Eldon have this but there's no reason why others can't do as well. Of course I would always be able to read everything but nobody else would. I realise that may not be an acceptable level of security, just saying really.