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Thread: Q8 - Disillusioned members

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Dorset ... of course!
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    99

    Default Q8 - Disillusioned members

    I've been geocaching just over a decade, and to the best of my recollection, I joined GAGB the day I made a geocaching account.

    For several years I visited the website reasonably often and took part in the odd discussion or two. However, I grew tired of discussions being dominated by the loud few and went elsewhere for information etc.

    Over the years, there has been a shift in popularity and a drift away from the Groundspeak UK forum, to the UK, Reviewers and Regional Forums on FB, I use some of those but am aware of many geocachers who wouldn't go near FB if their lives depended on it.

    The past couple of years I've seen these hustings dominated by single topic candidates, some of whom did absolutely nothing to further the cause they so ardently championed in the hustings, once they'd been elected.
    In fact one GAGB committee member came to a large event, and didn't speak to anyone beyond their table!

    Like many others, I was bemused when one candidate was elected with less than a handful of finds, promising big but delivering nothing.

    Nowadays I only bother to read Seeker and check the event calendar as I have become so disillusioned how the community has voted in the past couple of years, overlooking some brilliant candidates in the process.

    I am sure I'm not alone in feeling like GAGB is no longer relevant to me. In fact when I mentioned the elections to some local cachers recently their answer was GA what?

    So, I'd like to ask the candidates what plans they might have to re-engage with cachers of long standing like myself and to engage newer cachers who have never heard of the organisation at all?

    Thank you.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    687

    Default

    It's great that you read Seeker and check the events calendar, at present they are probably our best offerings and ones that I have personally spent a good deal of my time on.

    We have had some disappointing candidates voted on to the committee in the last couple of years. As a team we worked quickly to use the constitution to remove two members that contributed nothing and in doing so got our new chair in to the committee. We have discussed that the constitution allows somebody to be inactive for a bit too long and hopefully next year will allow us to make the changes to the constitution that we have not yet made.

    I don't believe we should do anything specific to re-engage those that have become disillusioned, I think that would be a waste of our time and if we were to chase a specific group it ought to be the dozens of new players that sign up every day.

    But I think, exactly the same as the Scottish question, our efforts need to be put in to improving our offer for all and making sure they know about it.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    105

    Default

    I'm sorry that you've become disillusioned with the association. As I've said before I really believe that the GAGB needs to improve their social profile and become recognised throughout the geocaching community. After all the association is supposed to be the body that represents us in the UK. At the two megas and the various events I have attended I don't recall seeing any members of the GAGB other than Adam who was running his magazine stall. In my case if I was on the GAGB comittee I would certainly make myself known to everyone and be spreading the word about the association and also, if I became elected one of the first things I would be putting to the committee is how can we improve our image, support cachers and as Richlay stated 'improving our offer for all'.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Coventry
    Posts
    220

    Default

    I think perhaps a way to address this is via social media.

    As we do various bit of work - updating GLAD, the shop, website etc there should be much more visibility of what goes on "behind the scenes". I am aware that I have not done enough of this within the committee this year - let alone to the membership.

    If we start letting people see what we are doing more - the awareness will hopefully follow.

    I got to a lot of business networking events - where we talk about KLT - Know - Like - Trust

    We need to be making ourselves know more to cachers, then they make like what they see and what we do - then hopefully they will be able to trust in the "body" of the GAGB more.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Isle of Man
    Posts
    224

    Default

    Mmmmm. I would thank Dorsetgal for asking this question and also for still being a member and engaging discussion in this way. I should point out that I really don't like forums and less so unregulated facebook groups. I would guess that it is reading some of the posts on these groups that have led, in part, to your disillusionment. There are many helpful posts but by far too many be people who just make comment or post just to spark a reaction in others. I agree also that some cachers would never use Facebook. So I would suggest that the GAGB FB group remains helpful and regulated whilst also mirroring the offerings on their forum (or vice versa).
    As far as not getting the right candidates is concerned - anyone can propose a candidate, once accepted though we cannot control how the ballot will go.

    As I said in an earlier question, the GAGB will never be relevant to everyone but certainly should be 'offered' to all new geocachers as a way to share experiences, good practice and all. The committee is a band of volunteers who are willing to give something back and I am sure there are some cachers of long standing who, if asked, would gladly give their time to help out too. Maybe that's how we might re-engage with some of our disillusioned membership?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Staffordshire
    Posts
    793

    Default

    One thing I have spotted here is that we need to have a more exciting mega table! I know we had one at Essex 'cos I brought tea to it!

    Therein lies the crux of my thinking though. If GAGB does some 'stuff' that excites - engages with outside media better, makes it easier to hold a CITO, becomes a trusted place, asks members what you'd like us to do - then we'll become a group that people support. We need to do the other stuff too, but if all we do is run a forum, shop, and database, we're not exactly going to make waves...

    Horses for courses though. Some people happily make things work, others love to help people or meet new people. Let's try to do all three, and then if we succeed and get GAGB into a good 'gear', maybe members will be more 'engaged'.
    Last edited by Antreid; 19th November 2015 at 11:01 AM.
    ~~~
    Ant, of Sharant

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Cotswolds
    Posts
    672

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    Sorry to hear this Dorsetgal. I can see where you're coming from, and to a lesser extent I have felt like this in the past.

    However, I am enthusiastic to re-engage cachers with the GAGB, and believe that it is largely possible to do so. Firstly, I believe the implementation of regular, roving events held by the community would help raise both involvement and awareness, as I've already said in response to Q2. I also agree with what others have raised here, with regards to social media and presence at Megas.

    I would also like to add a suggestion: perhaps we could run a survey of some sort and send it out to GAGB members to see what they think with regards to these problems. It could also highlight any other issues we haven't noticed, giving an opportunity for cachers to share their views. Knowing we want to hear their thoughts could make people feel more involved in the first instance, and acting upon them in the best way we can will demonstrate the great extent to which the GAGB can be influenced by UK cachers. Consequently, we could find ourselves running an organisation people feel is more representative for them.

    Clearly, the nature and structure of such a survey would require thought by the committee - and we'd need to expand on the concept above to know exactly what we and the UK caching community would gain from it.
    GAGB Committee Member
    2015-20

    Author of my Geocaching Blog ~ SUBSCRIBE.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    The Mendips, Somerset
    Posts
    2,769

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    Disillusioned members? .... Disillusioned Chairman comes to mind!

    This last year has been a particular struggle and with limited input/ideas from the some of the committee - normally each new committee year brings new ideas/enthusiasm. For me personally, I feel like I have been keeping the day to day things ticking along and checking other people have completed their tasks/promises rather than being able to focus on other things. In fact this past year I just feel like I have been nagging people to do things. I would have loved to have done more, but just couldn't.

    On the positive side, we did get the GAGB online shop and the first of the series of GAGB National Park coins launched (and second coin is close to having the design finalised)

    We have had a lot of new members this year (over 500) and each one of those is manually processed (due to the auto-process being disabled a few years ago due to spammers). Most of these have been processed by JackieC (with Rich or I helping occassionally) and each receives a welcome email with links etc.
    But as others said, apart from Seeker, we don't really have much for them. I have been wanting to offer a 'How to ...' or 'Tips' section in the forums/Seeker where we can point people to (when you see that question posted on facebook etc). However, we need people to write them. It doesn't have to be committee members, but until we start to build up some items then we won't receive content/help from members.

    As has been said in one of the other Q&A - even the GAGB annual weekend events were only hosted by 3 of the committee members (Sharon, Rich & myself) and one by a non-committee member. This was really disappointing as it was the one weekend that we were trying to get the GAGB name put out across the country. In the end I expect people just laughed at us. How can we promote it as 'annual weekend with events/icons all across the country' when we had only 4 events. If Groundspeak had given us a 'souvenir' for it - I expect there would have been alot more!

    I am hoping that the 2015/16 committee work as a team again (as we have on previous years) and communicate and progress ideas throughout the year and not just at a 2hr meeting every 4 to 6wks. I hope I am voted back onto the committee so that we can start to progress things and get the GAGB name back out there.

    I would also like to get more GAGB branded merchandise and get people buying from and therefore supporting and gettting the GAGB name out around the country. It is so nice when I find a cache that has a GAGB cache box label on it.
    GAGB member since 2005
    GAGB Committee member 2010 to 2016 (Chair 2012 to 2015)
    UK Mega Event Chairman 2009 (Weston-super-Mare)


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