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Common scca.com regional web sites?

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JimR View Drop Down
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    Posted: February.01.2012 at 9:03am

So my region runs its web site with a clumsy, limited, and difficult-to-administer web content manager and underutilized, stone-aged forum software. The person who knows most of the configuration and the person who registered the domain name are both long gone.

Has the National office considered offering a common web presence that regions could use and have common training? My limited web skills are 15 years obsolete, and most of the region's steady volunteers aren't any better.

Instead of a million www.whateverregionscca.coms of varying quality, maybe members and potential entrants could go to a simpler scca.com/whateverregion?

Maybe each region could have a slick, common design with some easy ways to personalize the imagery or colors for the region in question. If a big region with a slick web site so chooses, they could just redirect to their site. For the small regions, we could have something that looks contemporary. It doesn't seem like the server overhead would be extremely high if most of the content is just varying text and a few pictures.

Then someone who is at the National office could browse every region occasionally. "Hey, I noticed your schedule is still from last year. Do you have what you need to update it?" Newbies directed to scca.com could click on their slice of the USA map and be taken right to the most relevant information that captures today's micro-attention space.

If the SCCA partners with brake pad and automobile manufacturers, couldn't it partner with some Internet gurus to make it happen?

Just thinking out loud.

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rjohnson999 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rjohnson999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February.01.2012 at 9:26am
I don't know.  Going from one stone-aged forum software to another hardly seems worth it.
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JimR View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February.01.2012 at 9:57am

I don't know what our region's annual bill for domain registration and web hosting is, but it seems like we could get more for the money by pooling resources and consolidating talent in one turn-key thing.

If the SCCA can't do it, there has to be some enterprising gearhead out there to build a modestly-priced service for keeping a whole bunch of regions' websites modern and attractive.



Edited by JimR
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FlaggerBob View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FlaggerBob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February.17.2012 at 1:42pm
I just decided to take a peek at this forum and am glad I did.  I've looked at many region's websites, some are crap and some are truly wonderful.  Oftentimes the complaint will be "we're a volunteer organization" meaning nobody wants to step forward and do a job.  Also, a region may lack $$$ to hire a professional service to create a crackerjack website.  National, I believe, has the $$$ and likely also the  expertise to do something along the lines of what you suggest.  There will always be a nay-sayer to try to dampen the thought, but the idea has merit.  Hopefully national pays attention to these forums and might take up the thought.
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rjohnson999 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rjohnson999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February.17.2012 at 6:00pm
Clearly, you don't use the SCCA website.  If that's an example of having the money and expertise I can understand why no one is pushing this idea.

Originally posted by FlaggerBob FlaggerBob wrote:

I just decided to take a peek at this forum and am glad I did.  I've looked at many region's websites, some are crap and some are truly wonderful.  Oftentimes the complaint will be "we're a volunteer organization" meaning nobody wants to step forward and do a job.  Also, a region may lack $$$ to hire a professional service to create a crackerjack website.  National, I believe, has the $$$ and likely also the  expertise to do something along the lines of what you suggest.  There will always be a nay-sayer to try to dampen the thought, but the idea has merit.  Hopefully national pays attention to these forums and might take up the thought.
NOT Roger Johnson. Not any of them.
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JimR View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February.28.2012 at 11:58am

SCCA.com is visually busy, but it looks better than many regions' home pages. I wouldn't expect regional content to necessarily have to look or function like the front page, anyway.

Soooo...process flow: first, our board figures out a date for a certain event. Site aqusition issues make time of the essence, now we need to tell everyone. Then what?

Facebook happens instantly, since it offers turnkey administration ability to X number of people and pushes content as soon as you press the enter key.

The region's forums can happen as soon as someone can type up a post.

The regional website gets updated once the lone person who's wife is six months pregnant, crews for another guy, and already does a ton of work behind the scenes has the time to navigate our draconian content manager and get it online. For an overtaxed core of volunteers not always technically versed, publishing on the world wide web is unneccessarily costly and complicated.

We just need to hang a shingle on the web - affordably - where people get timely info without getting turned off by the dated design. There's no reason why the club can't internally support itself for modest costs.

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rjohnson999 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rjohnson999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February.28.2012 at 9:45pm
Afraid you're quite wrong about the club internally supporting itself for modest costs.  Every member of the club staff is overworked and there's a lot that isn't getting done as a result.  Adding to their workload will either make things worse or cost money the club doesn't have.

This tendency to try to dump things off on the National office is a complete misreading of the SCCA history, structure and operations.  In short, do it yourself or come up with the funding for National to do it.
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JimR View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March.05.2012 at 10:16am

Insufficient national office staffing to run web operations is a compelling reason not to tackle such a project. What isn't: how it relates to the traditions of a club that started 50 years before most of its members had even seen the internet.

The lifeblood of the club is grassroots-level organization at the regional level, and in this age online presence is critical to attracting and maintaining participants. No one joins or pays dues in a vacuum, nor do they care about club structure or tradition if the local region's web site looks like Geocities circa 1997, updated circa 2003. Those of us at the regional level bust a lot of hump to make things happen, and babysitting a website is tough priority for overworked regional volunteers.

We have SCCA group rates on hotels and rental cars, and major ties to companies like Volkswagen, Tire Rack, and MotorsportsReg. Certainly a major entity like the SCCA could broker with a third party to give requesting regions the web design and function they need at a better level of cost and effort than if dozens of regions tried to reinvent the wheel on their own with no common quality, content maintainability, or design language.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rjohnson999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March.05.2012 at 8:44pm
Thereby proving the validity of my statement about not understanding the club's history.  What you're suggesting crosses a boundary that has proven to be much higher than you seem capable of grasping.  Despite a direct endorsement, the club hasn't settled on a single Club Racing registration system as an example. 

Individual regions want to make their own decisions about how they spend their money.  Why?  Because in many cases someone in the local region is doing it for free, is the one getting paid or there's a long standing prior relationship.  Topeka could make the best deal on the planet for web hosting, development and content management and you wouldn't get 20% of the regions to go along with it and it wouldn't be the Jumbo and Large regions where the membership numbers are.


Originally posted by JimR JimR wrote:

Insufficient national office staffing to run web operations is a compelling reason not to tackle such a project. What isn't: how it relates to the traditions of a club that started 50 years before most of its members had even seen the internet.

The lifeblood of the club is grassroots-level organization at the regional level, and in this age online presence is critical to attracting and maintaining participants. No one joins or pays dues in a vacuum, nor do they care about club structure or tradition if the local region's web site looks like Geocities circa 1997, updated circa 2003. Those of us at the regional level bust a lot of hump to make things happen, and babysitting a website is tough priority for overworked regional volunteers.

We have SCCA group rates on hotels and rental cars, and major ties to companies like Volkswagen, Tire Rack, and MotorsportsReg. Certainly a major entity like the SCCA could broker with a third party to give requesting regions the web design and function they need at a better level of cost and effort than if dozens of regions tried to reinvent the wheel on their own with no common quality, content maintainability, or design language.

NOT Roger Johnson. Not any of them.
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JimR View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March.06.2012 at 10:13am

A 20% region take rate would be excellent, and a sizable cash flow for an enterprise in whatever form it would take, with national blessing or not. There's no reason why we can't strive for excellent based on past performance.

I've been a SCCA member since people really used the web for anything, and it's always been an area needing more focus. It's the year 2012, and some of us are still stuck figuring out how to get a date posted on a local web site in a timely manner. This discussion shouldn't even have to happen.

Our region is small (probably 70 people, including those on family memberships) and every iteration of our web site has been created and maintained by someone who is no longer active in the club. Four, possibly five web "gurus" in the last decade. Turnover like that acts against continuity.

We don't have a free or low-cost handshake with a service provider or web designer. No one in our region does that. We pay domain and hosting fees out of our treasury, and have to muddle through everything ourselves to hang our shingle on the web. I'm sure the guy stuck updating things now would love to make it less hands-on. I know the rest of the board and regional volunteers think the same way. We would be delighted to spend the same amount for more and better.

If big regions have a honey formula that works and want to keep on trucking, more power to them. They don't serve our population or provide our resources, though. We still have to provide our geographical area the same compelling experience (published, safe, fun, legally-sanctioned, well-organized, etc.), but with a fraction of the people. Prospective members have a minimum expectation when they get directed towards our region's web site via scca.com.

I'm betting that at least one in five regions has a similar experience with overstretched volunteers trying to keep an online presence, and would be open to pooling money and talent to achive a more desirable result.

Does anyone have an idea other than "keep sucking, don't bother?"

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rjohnson999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March.06.2012 at 9:40pm
That last line could only come from someone who has extremely limited comprehension of the things that motivate SCCA members.It's the Sports CAR Club of America, not the Sports Internet Club of America.
NOT Roger Johnson. Not any of them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nelson Muntz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March.07.2012 at 5:11am
"keep sucking, don't bother"... now that's funny right there, I don't care who you are!!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March.07.2012 at 3:04pm

Originally posted by rjohnson999 rjohnson999 wrote:

That last line could only come from someone who has extremely limited comprehension of the things that motivate SCCA members.It's the Sports CAR Club of America, not the Sports Internet Club of America.

Are you seriously suggesting that a participation-based club with success rooted in attracting and maintaining members ignore its image and content in the most relevant and commonly used medium of communication in the first world?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rjohnson999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March.07.2012 at 11:03pm
I'm suggesting that your ideas are grandiose and unattached to reality.

Originally posted by JimR JimR wrote:

Originally posted by rjohnson999 rjohnson999 wrote:

That last line could only come from someone who has extremely limited comprehension of the things that motivate SCCA members.It's the Sports CAR Club of America, not the Sports Internet Club of America.

Are you seriously suggesting that a participation-based club with success rooted in attracting and maintaining members ignore its image and content in the most relevant and commonly used medium of communication in the first world?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rallygoddess Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October.22.2012 at 9:32pm
JimR, are you still out there? I believe your suggestion is still a valid one! I know that our Region questioned this as well. I shall hope to get notification that you are still out there....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gary p Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October.23.2012 at 6:06am
A common web template that regions can opt to use?  Seems like a great idea to me, and consistent with common franchise business practice.  I believe there would be interest from many regions.  Unfortunately the best opportunity to implement it was when the National website was reworked.  Next time SCCA puts the contract for the National website up for bid this should be a part of the request for proposal. 


Edited by gary p - October.23.2012 at 6:51am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FlaggerBob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October.23.2012 at 11:30am
I get a kick out of Johnson.  Never seems to think anybody has a good idea and does not put forward any suggestions on how to accomplish anything.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rjohnson999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October.23.2012 at 8:04pm
I get a kick out of people who can't deal with disagreement.  The world isn't centered around you, sport.

Originally posted by FlaggerBob FlaggerBob wrote:

I get a kick out of Johnson.  Never seems to think anybody has a good idea and does not put forward any suggestions on how to accomplish anything.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bullitt2954 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October.23.2012 at 9:59pm
Originally posted by rjohnson999 rjohnson999 wrote:

I get a kick out of people who can't deal with disagreement.  The world isn't centered around you, sport.

Originally posted by FlaggerBob FlaggerBob wrote:

I get a kick out of Johnson.  Never seems to think anybody has a good idea and does not put forward any suggestions on how to accomplish anything.
 
So, what is your Solution to this Problem, then? No facetiousness here at all - I really would like to hear your input on this, so long as it varies from the input you've already bestowed us.
 
 
 
 


Edited by Bullitt2954 - October.23.2012 at 10:00pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rjohnson999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October.23.2012 at 10:57pm
SCCA is a club of clubs.  It's not a cash register on every corner franchise burger joint.  If it were a business everyone involved would be getting paid.   Beyond a very small national staff and a handful of region office managers, no one is getting paid for what goes into the club.

Clubs function on the backs of volunteers.  In place of money they do it for love and take pride in being able to do it they way they want.  You want to offer a web template?  Have a ball.  Just don't expect most of the jumbo and large regions to give up what they've already got.  As for the small regions, there needs to be fewer of them.  They're a drain on the rest of the club and are the root cause of most of the conflict between regions.

[QUOTE=Bullitt2954]So, what is your Solution to this Problem, then? No facetiousness here at all - I really would like to hear your input on this, so long as it varies from the input you've already bestowed us.QUOTE]
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