GP14 Sailing Forums Forum Forum or Facebook feed?

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    • #5518
      Mike Senior

      Compared to a lot of forums the GP14 forum is extremely quiet. What are the views of people who have comment on here regularly about removing this forum and simply adding the GP Class Facebook feed ( in its place, where users will be able to comment.

      I realise that not everyone is signed up to Facebook, but it is really not that hard and you don’t have to go for the whole Facebook experience if you don’t want.

      Having the main website and the Facebook page better connected will ultimately drive more traffic to both sources and extend the marketing reach of the class.


    • #5524
      Oliver Shaw

      Agreed this forum is very quiet.


      However for some of us Facebook is a bete noir,  and I at least have long refused to have anything to do with it.    I know that I am in a minority there,  but I also know that I am not alone.




    • #5525
      Oliver Shaw

      As a further thought,  many  sailing forums seem to oscillate between long periods of quietness and similarly long periods of intense activity and heavy traffic.       This forum is currently desperately quiet,  but in the not too distant past it has also had its periods of intense activity and,  indeed  heated controversy.


      I have observed this with each of the forums (fora?) which I use;   GP14 Owners Online Community,  Privateer 20 Group,  Openboat,  and Small Sailboat Club.   Including this present forum that makes a total of five very different sailing forums,  all of them displaying the same characteristic.    It suggests to me that this may be perfectly normal.    It also raises the question whether a move to Facebook would change that pattern;   my guess is that it probably would not.



    • #5532
      Dale Knowles

      Hi Mike.  Happy New Year.  Hope you and the young family are well.

      I can certainly see the logic of your suggestion.  I do sometimes wonder whether we now have so many media (here, FB and Twitter),  that we’ve lost a focal point along the way.  Consolidating to the least number of media probably wouldn’t do any harm.

      Personally, I think the medium for discussion is not really the issue – it actually the content.  The fact is that the forum always dries up at this time of year when, let’s face it, most boats are in garages and sailing is not high up on most people’s agendas.

      I’m as guilty as the rest for not posting stuff so, given your prompt, what about these for discussion suggestions (happy to post as separate threads if need be):

      • Go faster tips from the top guys: eg. I’d love to see an article (a video would be even better) from Dobbo on his downwind technique (or perhaps he doesn’t want to reveal his trade secrets!).  Just another comment on this theme – I think the section from the ‘want to improve’ button on the home page should also have a link to the member’s library section which has all the tuning and racing tips.  Perhaps reminding people of this resource might prompt a bit of extra discussion.
      • Brixham: nothing critical here, just an observation.  A lot of effort is understandably going into promoting and planning Barbados – and righfully so.  Let’s not forget Brixham before that though.  The present home page banner has the event as the fourth item; the entry list only has two entries (I am certain there are more than this).  There is just a general feeling that this is a forgotten event at the moment which is a shame, particularly given the venue and also the fact that Barbados will be out of many people’s financial or practical means.  I stress that this is not a criticism of the people involved who are undoubtedly pulling their tripe out on other stuff.  Sometimes we just need another set of eyes to point these things out.

      Hope this helps.






    • #5534
      Oliver Shaw



      Some very fair points there,  and we largely share the same opinions about the cyclical fluctuation in traffic,  although my experience of other sailing forums is that the problem is not necessarily seasonal.   <span style=”line-height: 1.5em;”>Privateer 20 Group and GP14 Owners’ Online Community are both currently slightly in the doldrums,  despite having been very busy prior to the New Year.   </span><span style=”line-height: 1.5em;”>Small Sailboat Club is currently reasonably active,  but has previously had its quiet periods.    </span><span style=”line-height: 1.5em;”>Openboat is perhaps an exception,  being large enough to be very vigorous most of the time,  although even there I have felt at times that it was silent  –  but that may be a technical glitch with the web host,  as looking back I see several weeks’ worth of unread posts that seem to have appeared late!    </span>


      <span style=”color: #444444; font-family: Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;”>>  I do sometimes wonder whether we now have so many media (here, FB and Twitter),  that we’ve lost a focal point along the way.  </span>

      Perhaps,  but those of us who decline to have anything to do with Facebook also probably decline to have anything to do with Twitter.   I think that you are probably right in thinking that it is not the medium that is the issue with ourselves,  but if nonetheless the decision is to move to Facebook then so be it;   however if you do so you are unlikely to take me with you,  and I shall vote with my keel.



    • #5535
      Oliver Shaw

      One serious problem with this forum is the way in which posts seem to appear liberally laced with formatting commands,  for no apparent reason.   Webmaster please take note!!!


      (Thanks,  Hugh,  or Mike,  in anticipation.)




    • #5540
      Dale Knowles

      Maybe with ‘better integration’ we could pop forum updates on here into FB/Twitter in some way?  That way people would see the updates but come back here to actually post comments.  I can’t decide if that’s a clunky thing or not but it seems to hit the balance of improving visibility through the social stuff and keeping this platform for discussion.

      In terms of racing or tuning tips, blimey – I’d hate to think people thought the top guys are unwilling to share given the amount of good articles people like Ian and yourself have done for mainsail and the like!  Hopefully this thread in itself will garner some feedback on whether and how people would like that to work best.

      It’s a weird one really, you don’t often see people asking (save for one thread on upwind technique last year which had a flurry of activity around it (over 1,200 views on checking just now!)).  Yet when something is put together, such as an article in mainsail or a video on the site or indeed a question on the forum, I think people pour over it and discussion arises from that (either publicly or privately).  The implied logic of this would be for the good guys to churn out articles, but that obviously has limited lifetime and possibly enthusiasm from the authors if they don’t know what people really want to learn!

      Oh for a good discussion on the forum!

    • #5658

      I think it really does have to do with the time of year. During the summer things are always more active.

      Maybe I’ll start a downwind technique thread to go with my upwind one 🙂 It’s quite embarrassing that I’ve been trying to sail a GP like it was a Mirror for the last 8 years, and am only now starting to ask if there is a better way!

    • #5761
      Ann Penny

      ‘Top guys’ go faster articles please send me for Mainsail publication.

    • #10317

      I know it’s an old thread, but please don’t only move to FB. Whilst I am reluctantly on FB, I also dislike it for a host or reasons.  One of which is the fact that the search is pitiful and it is really hard to find any historical posts.

    • #10666
      Chris Hearn


      Yes, agree with the point about FB search abilities.
      And I hope to begin to provide some articles such as suggested in this thread – top tips or similar!
      Finally, also plan to split up the _very_ long page of Member info into shorter chunks, so that tuning etc. will exist on a separate page from the “drier” Association information.
      Chris (new webmaster!)

    • #5536
      Mike Senior

      Oliver – can you start a new thread or send me an email with details of how you are entering text into the forum? i.e. via the visual tab or text tab and whether you are drafting in an another program and then pasting? I’d like to be able to replicate the problem it to figure out how to fix it or explain what the procedures should be.

      Good points Dale. I think the website has to be the focal point, but different forms of media are here to stay, which means we need to be mindful of how best to communicate to people interested in GP14 sailing. Facebook and twitter have to be part of the strategy given how popular they are and easy to update remotely. The GP14 Facebook page managed by the association has 852 people (and rising) who will see posts and updates added to that page. Compared to other amateur classes we are among the most popular pages, which is surprising given content has only just started to be posted on a regular basis. The other benefit of utilising Facebook more is that it will widen the marketing reach of the class because people who are friends of people who “like” the GP14 class may at some point be tempted to “like” it also and then become part of the community and then visit the website for more content to see what the class has to offer. Utilising the website as the main source of communication limits us to just communicating to people who feel the need to go to the website in the first place.

      I expect the best way forward is just better integration with the website and social media platforms, whilst still retaining most of the functionality of the software built into the website.

      We discussed the other day about improving the homepage layout and I agree Brixham needs a bigger presence on the homepage. Will make some changes…

      With regards to asking specific racing or tuning questions, I would bet (just my thoughts) that some people are cautious about asking some questions on public forums for the risk of a – thinking their issue is a silly question, b – being a bit shy or c – thinking the top guys are unwilling to share their secrets. I think the latter is generally untrue but it is the perception that matters. I had a thought recently about adding a functionality called “Ask an Expert” on the site (potentially restricted for association members). The query would get sent to a panel of people related to that query. The results of which could be published as a thread on here or as a FAQ part of the site (names removed).


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