• A J Barnfield
    213
    Internal communications are fragmented.

    I imagine that communications at band level, tower, peal, qp, social groups and so on, works ok, using whatever mechanisms suits the group. Well-functioning branches and districts are probably ok for their internal top down info.
    For top down information nationally/internationally the cascade system via guilds and associations probably works moderately well but any breaks in the chain leave some at the bottom arift.

    The CCCBR news letters is a helphere, going from top to bottom but there is no generalised system of going from bottom to top, or up to points inbetween.

    I think that the big weakness is the ability to get information from the bottom to move up. The RW has some function here. It has national/international distribution and publishes letters and articles from grass roots ringers. But the circulation is relatively small (which I find a great disappointment) We have FB, but only a few thousand are on the main groups and not many seem to post, unless the thread is about small fluffy animals. We have this forum but not may posters given the number of ringers about.

    A CMO would help but then there would have to be one and a significant number of members would have to join.

    Perhaps there is no ideal or solution here. Any nothing will work for those that are not interested in engaging. And perhaps we are stuck with fragmentation.

    Thoughts?
  • John Harrison
    184
    I think that the big weakness is the ability to get information from the bottom to move going from bottom to top, or up to points in betweenA J Barnfield
    Supporting infotrmation moving up seems relatively easy, assuming you mean form ringer to ringing master, chairman, secretary or whatever of the relevant tower branch or society (or the CC). All you need is a widely publicised (generic) email address for the relevant officer. We have those in all the bits of the jigsaw I'm involved with.
  • A J Barnfield
    213
    Fair point. How are we doing for horizontal communication? I imagine the librarians and steeplekeepers/maintenance have networks.; ART for teachers. Anything else have, or need, a bit of sideways liaison?
  • John de Overa
    238
    I imagine the librarians and steeplekeepers/maintenance have networksA J Barnfield

    There's a Facebook steeplekeepers group, which works quite well.
  • Jason Carter
    55
    We have a WhatsApp group in our band which everyone likes and there are probably messages exchanged on average 3 or 4 days per week. It might drive some mad, but it works well for us.

    We also have a WhatsApp group for "One More Ringer". It is request only i.e. you have to opt in. We have 22 members from across the branch so far and it is strictly for asking for ringing help. It works very well for weddings, and I am trying to increase its use for that one extra ringer that you might need on a practice night.

    I cant really decide whether the grassroots ringers that talks about don't want to communicate, or potentially worse, have so little awareness of the bigger picture that they don't even know anything exists if they did want to communicate up the chain. It is really down to how well educated ringers are by their teachers about the exercise as a whole.
  • A J Barnfield
    213
    I think there is probably a lack of awareness about the big picture.
  • John Harrison
    184
    We also have a WhatsApp group for "One More Ringer"Jason Carter

    In our branch have two email lists where towers can send requests for support to those who've agreed to receive them. One for wedding volunteers and one or quarter peal volunteers, in each case they only go to people ego are happy to receive such requests.
  • Peter Sotheran
    54
    First, I must be having a 'blank' day - remind what CMO stands for please.

    The fundamental issue is that there are too many platforms or communication channels. When email was the dominant channel Ringing Chat & Change Ringers met everyone's basic needs. Then Facebook appeared and the email traffic began to decline. Then individuals began to feel that their needs could be met better if they created What's App groups (and the like) and so the proliferation of local, secondary or specialist groups in a plethora of comm's channels took off leading to the fragmentation of the world of ringers. The result is a massive duplication of channels rendering it completely impossible to be certain that any message will reach all of its intended targets.

    I guess the only answer is to create yet one more channel that will attract/embrace everyone - or is that what this forum was intended to do??
  • Tristan Lockheart
    74
    For top down information nationally/internationally the cascade system via guilds and associations probably works moderately well but any breaks in the chain leave some at the bottom arift.A J Barnfield

    Yes, it is very much dependent on each of the guild/branch/tower officers sending the email down the chain. These days, simply passing it down directly to individual ringers from the association-level should be the default given the availability of tech and would be more reliable.

    The CCCBR news letters is a helphere, going from top to bottom but there is no generalised system of going from bottom to top, or up to points inbetween.A J Barnfield

    How do you subscribe to the newsletters? I get emails for them but cannot work out for the life of me how I managed that. If we could make them easily accessible, then they would be a nice informal way of passing information down from the top.

    Frankly, I don't know how we do it the other way round. You would hope that associations would make their officers easily contactable and approachable, and actively seek out feedback. The contact details for most of the CCCBR officials and workgroups are easily found on the website for the use of association officials and the general ringing community.

    quote="A J Barnfield;d215"]Perhaps there is no ideal or solution here. Any nothing will work for those that are not interested in engaging. And perhaps we are stuck with fragmentation.[/quote]
    I cant really decide whether the grassroots ringers that ↪A J Barnfield talks about don't want to communicate, or potentially worse, have so little awareness of the bigger picture that they don't even know anything exists if they did want to communicate up the chain. It is really down to how well educated ringers are by their teachers about the exercise as a whole.Jason Carter

    Yep, it is really up to us to get those under our leadership to take a wider interest in ringing - through taking them to district and association practices, tower grabs etc.

    First, I must be having a 'blank' day - remind what CMO stands for please.Peter Sotheran

    I think Mr Barnfield means DMO - Direct Membership Organisation. The idea that all ringers could be members of the Central Council directly, rather than via affiliated societies.
  • Tristan Lockheart
    74
    I guess the only answer is to create yet one more channel that will attract/embrace everyone - or is that what this forum was intended to do??Peter Sotheran

    This reminds me of this comic:

    standards.png
  • A J Barnfield
    213
    By CMO I meant a Central Membership Organisation. I think we are calling it a DMO (Direct) these days .

    Sorry. I need to mind my TLAs.
  • Stuart Palin
    7
    It is regrettable that groups such as this choose to keep their messages private as it means those not subscribed to the group (or even the platform) cannot benefit from the information therein. Computer based communication has a long history of lurkers.

    There is a role for private groups, but for generic topics it would seem more helpful to be open.
  • John de Overa
    238
    there's nothing to stop people subscribing, if they are interested.
  • John de Overa
    238
    it is very much dependent on each of the guild/branch/tower officers sending the email down the chainTristan Lockheart

    It's also dependent on ringers being in the local association, and subscribes to the emails. The majority of our ringers aren't, and I don't think that's uncommon.
  • John Harrison
    184
    I guess the only answer is to create yet one more channel that will attract/embrace everyone - or is that what thPeter Sotheran

    Yes
  • Stuart Palin
    7
    Some people particularly avoid subscribing to social media platforms (for a variety of reasons). As platforms proliferate (Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Signal, Telegram, TikTok, Reddit, Snapchat, ...) and move in and out of fashion (Usenet, MySpace) it exacerbates the challenges in having integrated communication, particularly when the platform is closed (either by design or by choice). My local District's Facebook page is open so I can at least view it (having bookmarked the page).

    Email based communication also has inclusivity issues, if you are not on the list you do not see the information unless there is an accessible archive somewhere.

    It can be useful to shield forums from the full glare of exposure to the WWW - but in choosing to limit access, either explicitly or by the choice of platform, it should be done after taking into account the negative effects the barriers being created will have on inclusivity.

    I think this forum has got it about right - read accessible to anyone using just a basic web-browser, participation after identification using limited personal data.
  • A J Barnfield
    213
    I agree that this forum has it about right. How many ringers are on this forum?
  • John Harrison
    184
    agreed the balance is about right, but it would be useful to know how many subscribers there are, and also how many signed up to the various categories. I wonder if it can be set to show any of those, so the information would be available without having to ask admin to dig it out.
  • Elaine Scott
    5
    Yes i agree the balance is about right, but unfortunately we havr the same ringers on here. How can we the others, or some of them, to know it exists and get them to at least read it?
  • John Harrison
    184
    we havr the same ringers on hereElaine Scott

    Same as what?
  • Admin
    4
    229 registered users as of now
  • A J Barnfield
    213
    Thank you. Disappointingly few, then.
  • John Harrison
    184
    obviously it will take a while to grow. It would be interesting to see the growth curve. One would hope that as more people join the rate would increase since more people know about it and can recommend others to join.
    At some point the growth rate will reduce as it reaches saturation, following the logistic curve. I wonder what the saturation rate for a forum like this is, I've the number of ringers interested in knowing about and possibly contributing to serious discussion. It won't be all of the 30k or 35k or whatever ringers but it ought to be a significant minority, at least thousands.
    The two Facebook groups have ~3k and ~5.5k members. That's not directly comparable since many probably use FB for other reasons and just added a ringing group as an extra. They host quite a bit of discussion, but I suspect that's 'because people are there already' rather than because it's a good discussion platform.
    ChangeRingers doesn't afia publish membership numbers but istr it was over 400 around 20 years ago, when there was far less e-communication generally. It's use has reduced in recent years as some discussion has been diverted to other platforms but I don't know whether it's membership has also shrunk. The email lists are a better comparator for the forums because the motive for joining are similar - at a least it is for the serious ones (change ringers, ringing theory, bell historians). I would exclude ringing chat which is probably more askin to FB than the Forums.
    ChangeRingers grew naturally as people found out about it because there was nothing else, but to the Forums has to compete on its merits against other platforms. Convincing people it's better shouldn't be too hard but the problem is changing people's habits. It's easier to stay where you are.
    229 Forum users must know a lot of non-users, so can they be mobilised to promote them?
  • Alan C
    49
    ↪A J Barnfield 229 registered users as of nowAdmin

    I wonder how many of the 229 registered users have ever posted?

    I've pointed Surrey Facebook users towards these forums a couple of times, but there hasn't been much apparent interest. Why that is I could only speculate. Perhaps another question for the survey? :smile:
  • John Harrison
    184
    wonder how many of the 229 registered users have ever posted?Alan C

    That's another good question. The information must be available because it tells me how many posts I've made (which isn't very useful).
  • A J Barnfield
    213
    A cricket fans' forum that I am on has a numbered list of members, date of registration, date of last post and number of posts.
  • Elaine Scott
    5
    The same ringers who are interested in all the other posts and communications. We do not need to talk to you or me as we already show an interest. How do we attract the others?
  • Simon Linford
    220
    The Editor was reluctant to see it promoted via the Ringing World because of the potential impact on the Letters page. So it is really for others to try and promote it to the members of their associations?
  • Alan C
    49
    The Editor was reluctant to see it promoted via the Ringing World because of the potential impact on the Letters page. So it is really for others to try and promote it to the members of their associations?Simon Linford

    If the Ringing World was smart, these would be the 'Ringing World Forums'. It's similar to any of the national newspapers refusing to go online because it would affect their printed circulations.
  • Jason Carter
    55

    The fundamental issue is that there are too many platforms or communication channels..(deleted)...and so the proliferation of local, secondary or specialist groups in a plethora of comm's channels took off leading to the fragmentation of the world of ringers. The result is a massive duplication of channels rendering it completely impossible to be certain that any message will reach all of its intended targets.

    I guess the only answer is to create yet one more channel that will attract/embrace everyone - or is that what this forum was intended to do??
    Peter Sotheran

    We have to move forward as technology progresses Peter, whilst at the same time maintaining older technology for as long as it is reasonably practicable. I would say email is in danger, as is facebook, and we need to start moving forward into WhatsApp and Instagram...
  • Peter Sotheran
    54
    >we need to start moving forward into WhatsApp and Instagram. - JASON<

    So which of these should I use to be sure that I can keep abreast of national & regional ringing topics? I'm afraid that from what I read in the press, both Whatsapp and rather more so, Instagram are badly tainted with inappropriate and pornographic material and I have no wish to become involved with either. Now that my 'Nigerian cousins' have stopped pestering me with details of the wealth allegedly awaiting me, I find emails quicker, safer and simpler to use.

    And remember we don't all enjoy the same level of broadband and mobile phone service. My PAYG phone usage is minimal (less than 20 phone calls and around 40-50 text messages this year; no data) as I, like many rural users, I don't have a reliable phone signal outdoors and an almost zero signal indoors. I have no intention of moving house in order to get a stronger signal so that I can keep abreast of what's going on in the outside world!
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