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Vic2

CPS committee changes debate

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We've tried ignoring him but then we are accused of not responding - see the various comments about Steve ad nauseam.

Phil

Andy,

Ditto:

It seems the CPS Secretary thinks he's onto a good thing here.

Vic

Edited by Vic2

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These are reasons not excuses but I know that Paul has virtually no Internet prescence due to working away and and very often out of the country. Steve has had a number of issues too which I have no intention of elaborating on. Rest assured that he will state his case here when he has the time and stomach for it, though personally I wouldn't want to stick my head over the line to be drubbed by Mr Inzani.

Sigh! How can you question Paul as 'apparent' 'defacto' or any other term you want to use - vice chairman. He is not the vice chairman and while I think that we ought to have a vice-chairman's post, you can't suggest that Paul stands down from a post that he doesn't occupy! As for Steve, I expect I'll be accused of collusoin, jackbooted Stalinism or something simlar but I happen to think that he's done a pretty good job. Steve has a very hands-off approach which I know Vic could not handle but I think that this is exactly the way to handle the CPS management. Steve (and Paul) are often working behind the scenes takling problems and issues and just because they don't make themselves visble very often doesn't mean they aren't doing their jobs. For instance, most of the current members of the committee were recruited by Steve and Paul. Often it's not what you do but how you do it.

Also a general plea to remember that I'm speaking as myself here and not as a committee member and none of this is neccessarily CPS policy or even policy in the making.

Phil

In Steve's (all-too-frequent) absences from Committee meetings, it is Paul who chairs the meeting.

That makes him de facto Vice-Chairman, not just Chelsea Show Secretary and Library Officer.

(Btw, when was the last time anyone borrowed one of the CPS' books from Paul... Perhaps, it is because you couldn't get in touch with him?)

I'm sorry to hear Steve and Paul have issues doing their Committee roles.

I note, however, that the reasons for being unable to perform their functions changes over the years.

If Steve and Paul have issues with doing their CPS Committee functions, why don't they stand down from office, and not stand for re-election?

I reiterate: It is better to have a vacant Chairman's position, than have it occupied by someone who will not do the job. That paralyses decision-making by the Committee, as they are obliged to consult the Chairman of matters of importance, and the Chairman needs to be the figurehead and spokesman for the Society.

If there is no-one in Chairman's seat, another member of the Committee can stand in as necessary.

But not if there is someone occupying the post. Then, it has to be him (or her).

As for Steve's "hands-off" approach :smile:

It is extremely hands-off, isn't it? To the extent you wouldn't know he was doing anything at all. :yes:

And as for it being me who "could not handle" the Chairman's neglect, may I add that it was Phil Wilson who raised the motion criticising Chairman Steve Cottell's poor performance, seconded by Flick and then myself...? :D

If this "is exactly the way to handle the CPS management" as you claim, then the numerous criticisms which members have levelled at the CPS in recent years - and this thread - simply wouldn't exist.

I think you're just desperately trying to cover up for Steve and Paul's neglect and apathy again.

Unfortunately, the CPS Secretary has told another untruth:

Steve Cottell, CPS Chairman, will never state his case here.

I challenged him to do so some time ago. He didn't.

And he won't, however much the Trustees plead with him to do so.

When Phil and I served on the Committee, we left messages, emails, etc. literally begging for Steve to make a statement on CPUK on the Rick Bailey and Alan Haines affair. He would not even answer us. When Flick finally got through to him, at work, he told her that work was very hard at the moment, and he would do it when he had time. He never did anything. Ditto for the AGM date and venue crisis of that year. And for other urgent CPS matters requiring his attention.

I see no reason to suspect that Steve's attitude towards his Society responsibilities has changed.

I strongly suspect that he simply can't be bothered to perform his duties as Chairman.

So, please, vote Steve Cottell out of the Chairmanship, for the sake of the Society.

It's definitely not for my sake, judging by the personal abuse I'm receiving from the Committee.

After all, if you're stuck with neglectful Chairmanship for another year, it's no skin off my nose; I've not had to pay any money expecting service from the Society.

I reiterate: There are others interested in taking on the Chairman's position, but they are not going to stand against Steve and his mates, to be hated and personally vilified like myself.

There will probably be an interregnum until a new and better Chairman can be appointed.

There is no need to be scared of the dark: The Society has effectively operated without a Chairman for years now. The hiatus won't even be noticed.

As I've said several times before, there is nothing personal in this.

My concern is that the CPS desperately needs a good Chairman, and its fee-paying membership deserves far better treatment than it has endured from Steve Cottell and Paul McKeown.

There's been more than enough years of this, and it shows no signs of changing for the better.

Cheers,

Vic

Edited by Vic2

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Sorry - too many posts at once, but I'm due out to enjoy myself with friends :smile:

I'd like to take the opportunity to thank those people who've called and emailed, wishing me well and hoping that I don't give up the good fight.

I even got a 'Good Luck' card today!!

(No, it's not from my dear old Mum... :D)

It's nice to know that there are people out there who agree with my stand for improvement in the CPS, and for putting up with the personal attacks from Committee members who have no better way to discredit me and the truth.

Thanks, guys and gals - much appreciated! :yes:

I just wish you felt brave enough to stand up and be counted!! :wink:

Go well,

Vic :yes:

Edited by Vic2

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I'm far from an expert in Joomla, but I do know my PHP, and I'm pretty sure that if I tinkered with the site offline it would either fall down, or need to be done in a way that was more onerous than simply recoding from scratch.

If you have the skills to code a custom dynamic site from scratch. In my opinion you are far better to do that than use systems like Joomla as you have far more control and flexibility. It would take longer to set up but with the use of freely available snippets of code and free CSS templates not as long as it would have a few years ago. The benefits of having a slim uncomplex system that you are familiar with will soon start paying dividends.

A content management system is something that can be developed at a slower pace once the site is up and running.

Edited by mantrid

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If you have the skills to code a custom dynamic site from scratch. In my opinion you are far better to do that than use systems like Joomla as you have far more control and flexibility. It would take longer to set up but with the use of freely available snippets of code and free CSS templates not as long as it would have a few years ago. The benefits of having a slim uncomplex system that you are familiar with will soon start paying dividends.

A content management system is something that can be developed at a slower pace once the site is up and running.

I have the entire CPS site downloaded and working remotely on my laptop - even with internet connection disabled. This might be a good starting point, as presumably pretty much any page could be edited remotely and then re-uploaded. Content editing seems to be reasonably easy and does not appear to break any functionality. I'm not sure how the login stuff works, but presumably it's just a database?

Edited by mobile

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If you have the skills to code a custom dynamic site from scratch. In my opinion you are far better to do that than use systems like Joomla as you have far more control and flexibility. It would take longer to set up but with the use of freely available snippets of code and free CSS templates not as long as it would have a few years ago. The benefits of having a slim uncomplex system that you are familiar with will soon start paying dividends.

A content management system is something that can be developed at a slower pace once the site is up and running.

Completely agree there with a new site built from scratch.

Can you add a CMS as a bolt on, later then? The only issue I have with that is that until we get the CMS it's up to Darren to put the content up, which is more pressure on his shoulders.

Phil

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I have the entire CPS site downloaded and working remotely on my laptop - even with internet connection disabled. This might be a good starting point, as presumably pretty much any page could be edited remotely and then re-uploaded. Content editing seems to be reasonably easy and does not appear to break any functionality. I'm not sure how the login stuff works, but presumably it's just a database?

But presumably you don't have the code for the site unless you hacked into our server of course. :smile: Isn't this just a cached copy of the website?

If you think you can do it then let's get a testing site up and running. All this dynamic site stuff is beyond me so excuse my ignorance. I'm stuck in the realm of Dreamweaver and occasionally even notepad!

Phil

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But presumably you don't have the code for the site unless you hacked into our server of course. :smile: Isn't this just a cached copy of the website?

Yes, it is a cached copy of the entire site, all links, all images, all publicly available PDFs, etc. No, I did not hack the site.

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Welcome Darren :yes:

Having been on committees myself in the past and several years as Chairman, I do understand.

I know it's hard, but try not to take criticism of the web site personnally - it's been crap for years :smile:

It was a waste of time before Vic, to be honest I didn't see any improvement (as a viewer) during Vic's time - so hopefully, you can be the guy to start improvements we can all actually see.

Just as Dennis has improved membership.

When I first thought about joining the CPS, I contacted the membership person on their web site for joining details - I didn't (still don't) have a printer, so couldn't print a membership form, and wanted to know something else. The email I got back was very rude and abrupt and basically just said - look on the web site. So I thought B#**#cks to ya, and didn't join for several more years.

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Even then, having an updated site doesn't mean that it will get lots of hits. We've had the same thing with our running club website where we have a nice new spangly site with lots of up to date info on it, but still it's not visited much. Needs some thought...

Are you employing common SEO (Search engine optimization) stratagies?

such as

Key words in meta tags, optimum number of key words in text.

Key words in headings, title, and alt tags

navigation page (essentially all your links listed on one page)

Links to your site on other sites

Text linking if using flash navigation

submission to search engines

submit to open directory DMOZ

In forums put a link to your site as your signature. For the benefit of human and spiders/crawlers

create links on facebook etc

Theres others but they are the simplest to accomplish and most effective

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Are you employing common SEO (Search engine optimization) stratagies?

such as

Key words in meta tags, optimum number of key words in text.

Key words in headings, title, and alt tags

navigation page (essentially all your links listed on one page)

Links to your site on other sites

Text linking if using flash navigation

submission to search engines

submit to open directory DMOZ

In forums put a link to your site as your signature. For the benefit of human and spiders/crawlers

create links on facebook etc

Theres others but they are the simplest to accomplish and most effective

These simple strategies work well. Try searching for hydroculture in any of the major search engines and my website will likely either be the first hit or near the top. I use many of the above techniques.

Edited by mobile

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Completely agree there with a new site built from scratch.

Can you add a CMS as a bolt on, later then? The only issue I have with that is that until we get the CMS it's up to Darren to put the content up, which is more pressure on his shoulders.

Phil

Theres many aproaches to creating your own CMS. You can have code on your existing pages that recognizes a login by an admin and puts your text, data etc in text boxes rather than HTML text so that it can be edited.

Similar to my VFT survey which looks like its two pages,

one for viewing the results and one for entering your data. But if you notice the url in the address bar it doesnt change when you switch between the results and data entry pages as all the html and php is in the same file 'survey.php'.

Or for minimal interference to a live site it can be on completely separate pages, but still requiring a login

There are other approaches too such as using classes to code in an OOP rather than a procedural way to create separate modules. Slows your site down but very useful if you have a big corporate site where a whole team is working on it at the same time. Each work on individual modules and their separateness stops them from messing up each others code and functionality of the site

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These simple strategies work well. Try searching for hydroculture in any of the major search engines and my website will likely either be the first hit or near the top. I use many of the above techniques.

yes having a site about something unique or rare helps greatly. Not so if you peddle porn, viagra or double glazing

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Mantrid - I completely agree with the approach of coding up a site from scratch. I've no problem with this technically: my job currently involves building large-scale web apps, originally for in-house use, but the fact that the latest has taken off externally is the main reason I'm short on time.

This approach, particularly with regard to adding CMS-type functionality over time, would give us a site that did what was required of it, rather than the enormous raft of unnecessary options that need to be navigated to edit it currently.

I've done nothing with regards to SEO on the site due to its current format, and again, a new site could be semantically optimised from the ground up.

Phil W - The idea would be to build in the functions that we required, rather than bolting in a proprietary CMS, so that the system was tailor made to the website. Updating would be as easy as it could be, because the pages and options would be designed just so. And we could develop new features as we needed them. Also, I wouldn't find all the files inaccessible because Dennis has checked the out again ;-)

mobile - I'm still intrigued as to the format of the site you've downloaded, in particular the links, as they look to me like they use server-side URL remapping. But I'm only guessing, having never used that myself. I should maybe log in via FTP and get an angle on how this thing actually hangs together, although I'm not sure it would be the smartest use of my time: as you say, there's no database functionality, and that is something we really need, so we have to be running server-side code rather than static HTML.

Phil G - I appreciate the welcome and the words of encouragement. After a year in the post, I'm only just starting to get my head around what it requires; I've had little contact from the membership, but then if most of them have given up on the website already then that's no surprise. For the record, it was Dennis who secured my membership renewal too, taking the bother to really engage with me when I'd had problems with my initial membership. Furthermore, that's only one of the jobs he does :-)

In general - centralising the membership database into a MySQL format and building a site around that would make it a trivial matter to add a lot of the functionality that was being discussed earlier, such as automated renewal reminders, online voting systems etc. It would also give us the flexibility to add new features, tools and links in a way that we'd struggle to do currently. And I'm sure we could interface this with Dennis's database (although there's no way I'm going Access on the website!)

Just to be clear and above board here, I'm talking the talk, but in light of the recent complaints I have offered my resignation to the committee. As I said before, I have less time now than I ever expected, and I only stepped in for want of a better candidate. There seem to be a few people out there with the knowledge and inclination to make things better, so I'm hoping that someone will come forward to take my place. At risk of repeating what's been said before, members are encouraged to apply for all posts on the committee. If you don't like it, you can change it, it's your society, etc etc

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Just to be clear and above board here, I'm talking the talk, but in light of the recent complaints I have offered my resignation to the committee.

Very sorry to hear this, Darren. :smile:

You didn't get any complaints from me.

I know the amount which needs improving, and I didn't have long in post either.

It was all I could manage to keep the website updated with news, events and photos, let alone set about the removal of Joomla! (No disrespect to this open-source software - it was a good choice at the time - but it's not flexible enough for what the CPS now needs).

Thanks for standing up and trying,

Vic :smile:

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Just as Dennis has improved membership.

When I first thought about joining the CPS, I contacted the membership person on their web site for joining details - I didn't (still don't) have a printer, so couldn't print a membership form, and wanted to know something else. The email I got back was very rude and abrupt and basically just said - look on the web site. So I thought B#**#cks to ya, and didn't join for several more years.

Oh dear. That was probably me that replied back to you. A very late appology Phil and I agree, very rude. :smile:

Phil

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Are you employing common SEO (Search engine optimization) stratagies?

such as

Key words in meta tags, optimum number of key words in text.

Key words in headings, title, and alt tags

navigation page (essentially all your links listed on one page)

Links to your site on other sites

Text linking if using flash navigation

submission to search engines

submit to open directory DMOZ

In forums put a link to your site as your signature. For the benefit of human and spiders/crawlers

create links on facebook etc

Theres others but they are the simplest to accomplish and most effective

Probably though I only manage the site and hand all the hard stuff over to my webman. The site has moved on from being purely an information site to introduce the club to new runners to something like an information portal for existing members though obviously the first bit is important too. So I guess my point is that it doesn't matter how much search optimisation we do on it, if people know where the site is but don't bother to look there anyway it isn't going to get too many hits!

I was told that with Google one of the most important things is to keep the site updated regularly because the Google bots take this into account when listing searched sites. Presumably it means that you don't get that annoying thing where the top half dozen search results are bad or old links.

Phil

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The thing to get round with a combination of voting methods is how to make sure that a member doesn't vote postal and online. Online votes are anonymous so we can't actually check this.

I'm not sure that we can have voting via this forum anyway because of data protection implications.

Whatever, it needs careful thought because it's not that straightforward, or not to me anyway. Also, bear in mind that the poll here is hardly representative of the CPS members. So far there have been 23 votes out of a membership of about 400.

You do need to be careful there because while opinion has been quite vociferous it has come from a very tiny majority of the CPS membership.

Phil

Dear Phil and CPS members,

Andy's voting proposal makes it easy to overcome dual voting by post and online, and data protection concerns.

In the next mail- and email-shot, you simply ask the membership if they want to vote online or by post. Inform them that the online option requires them to join CPUK and they must email Andy and Dennis with their CPUK login ID and CPS membership number. (The email address is implicitly revealed). This email is taken as confirmation that the member wishes to vote online and not by post.

Those who haven't emailed Andy and Dennis are given postal votes.

Andy et al. create a new user group and closed forum with the scant details from the emails.

He starts an anonymous poll, with options agreed with the CPS.

I'm sure any member who is missed out by accident will inform the CPS!! :smile:

There you go - job done. :smile:

Everybody can only vote once, DP issues resolved, amount of work is minimised, and the majority can see the anonymous results online. Democracy in action.

Vic

P.S.

The straw poll is no less representative of the membership than the vote at the AGM.

P.P.S.

I'm willing to help with the work! :lol:

Edited by Vic2

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I might be a big fan of sundials. But I'm not a member of the British Sundial Society, and as a consequence, I tend not to tell them how I think they should organise their voting. If I did, and I kept going on about it, I imagine they'd get a little bit suspicious.

Just saying.

For what it's worth, my own position is that there should be a combination of online and postal voting. One could very easily write an application that stored votes anonymously whilst recording which members had or hadn't voted. The results could be returned after the deadline for all to see.

If needs be, £10 buys enough server space to run this. If people don't trust me, an independent and trustworthy admin such as Andy could be appointed to lock me out of the database until the results are in.

I see no reason why membership of this forum should be a prerequisite of voting, although I do appreciate the offer.

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I might be a big fan of sundials. But I'm not a member of the British Sundial Society, and as a consequence, I tend not to tell them how I think they should organise their voting. If I did, and I kept going on about it, I imagine they'd get a little bit suspicious.

Just saying.

For what it's worth, my own position is that there should be a combination of online and postal voting. One could very easily write an application that stored votes anonymously whilst recording which members had or hadn't voted. The results could be returned after the deadline for all to see.

If needs be, £10 buys enough server space to run this. If people don't trust me, an independent and trustworthy admin such as Andy could be appointed to lock me out of the database until the results are in.

I see no reason why membership of this forum should be a prerequisite of voting, although I do appreciate the offer.

Darren,

Sundials? I never knew!

One of my dim and distance dreams has been to get the membership database online. It makes sense because then members can log in and edit their own details and for those committee members who need access to the membership can log in to check and all records are instantly updated. It also helps considerably with data protection because there are no lists of members held by anyone so no data to go astray.

And of course with an online DB voting on line is presumably pretty easy to add on simply and securely. No adding bits of this or any other forum and no issues with data protection.

But before we do any of this we need to get someone to build a website with experience of dynamic sites and of course they need to be persuaded to join the committee. So best walk before we run eh?

Phil

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Sundials? I never knew!

One of my dim and distance dreams has been to get the membership database online. It makes sense because then members can log in and edit their own details and for those committee members who need access to the membership can log in to check and all records are instantly updated.

I don't think they have an online membership database either: http://www.sundialsoc.org.uk/ :smile:

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I might be a big fan of sundials. But I'm not a member of the British Sundial Society, and as a consequence, I tend not to tell them how I think they should organise their voting. If I did, and I kept going on about it, I imagine they'd get a little bit suspicious.

Just saying.

I see no reason why membership of this forum should be a prerequisite of voting, although I do appreciate the offer.

Seems you're attacking the messenger to avoid the message, Darren! :smile:

I've made a positive contribution, and all you can do is help the CPS Secretary to belittle and ignore it.

A quality contribution from the outgoing CPS Internet Officer. :nono:

Perhaps your enthusiasm for mocking me would have been better used keeping the CPS' front page up to date. (E.g. you continued to show the advert for Marcello Catalano's book on the front page - which I put there within minutes of Flick asking me to do so - and you kept it on display for months after the offer expired). Then maybe you wouldn't have felt it necessary to resign because of complaints about the site. :shock:

I have offered a valid and workable solution to the problems seen by Phil W. of CPS voting covering all of the membership.

It doesn't require any server space to be purchased.

(Which Darren won't be able to carry out, now he's resigned of course).

It has the cooperation of CPUK and its resources.

It addresses all the raised concerns required to move full membership voting from a pipe-dream to immediate reality.

The alternative is a open show of hands by 30-odd members at the AGM on Saturday.

I'd like to hear the Society's, the membership's and anyone else's sensible thoughts about my proposal for private voting by the whole of the CPS membership.

I think it'll work, with minimum delay, effort and outlay by the Society, thanks to Andy's kind offer.

Looking forward, etc.

Vic

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I simply made a point, Vic. Nothing personal.

You, on the other hand, made a deliberate ad hominem attack.

I won't be rising to it again.

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Vic, I'm definitely behind private voting. Without a shadow of a doubt I would use an online voting system. As I have mentioned before, it is very difficult for me to attend the AGM, both logistically and financially, but I would still like a say.

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