New life

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webberg
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New life

Post by webberg »

Please forgive the presumption below and apologies in advance if this offends.

I've not been a regular rower in recent years and as I tend to post only when I have some metres to offer, not a regular poster either.

I have however been discussing various issues outside the forum with present and former members and there seems to be a general feeling that some energy or passion has slipped away from the forums and perhaps the team.

Clearly the team is not in the first throes of life when there were a large(ish) number of active posters, a new team to get into the C2 and other challenges and learning about the various characters in the team.

Even then however many members of the team were not posting and I suspect have not posted ever since they joined the team.

There is no fault or shame in not having done so, although the rest of us have perhaps lost the opportunity to learn something.

In the early days of the team there were also a number of internally generated events and challenges that allowed for the participation of all, regardless of ability or metres posted. Many of us fondly recall the global relays.

All of that seems to to have faded and as the team matures, we are perhaps in phase of comfortable complacency.

There are however things we can do to reactivate the energy within the team, if we choose to do so.

The "Sanctuary" has some interesting threads testing knowledge of music, films etc but perhaps we need some rowing related stuff that we can all do.

Here's an idea (that will need some IT tech to achieve).

The people on the metreboard at at a given date (1st September?) are allocated into 10 teams.

We have circa 230 members on that board, so 23 people to a team. This can be a random allocation or perhaps a more structured one.

As of that start date we select the mean or average number of metres per member. (At the time of writing this the person in the middle of the table is Gregor who actually inducted me into the team - kismet) He has done circa 67k metres.

Alternatively the average metres are 155k. (AVm)

We can fix the number of metres each team member has at the start of each challenge period (I'm thinking quarterly). (STm)

As a piece is rowed, that member contributes the new metres (NEWm) x AVm/STm.

So somebody with starting metres of say 2000 who adds 1000 in the challenge, gets 1000 x 155000/2000 = 77,500m.

Somebody with starting metres of 1,000,000 who adds 1000, gets 1000 X 155000/1000000 = 155.

This should result in some close results?

We could do the same with times over certain distances.

Clearly needs some tech input.

Discuss.
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Re: New life

Post by plummy »

Jon T's our man for techy stuff (or Tako as he often helps out with suggestions/advice) so it might ride on his willingness to throw his brain matter behind it.

As for the suggestion, I think it has some merit as something new and inventive but still based around meterboard chuggers just having to chug a bit more at no particular pace.
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Re: New life

Post by webberg »

You are correct Plummy that in the version I sketched it was very much about putting more metres on the board.

It does however reward those who are starting from a low base (like me) over those who put out 10k/15k a day.

My theory is that those who have fewer metres need more encouragement and incentive.

You could do the same with timed pieces but the base data is more difficult to get to.

I'm thinking of a scoring system not unlike heptathlon but with additional rewards for those with a PB over the average for the piece to encourage participation.

Like I said a much more involved data set.
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Re: New life

Post by webberg »

Part of the debate here is about

"What is the point or purpose of the club?"

It was decided - or at least mutually accepted - that there would be no minimum distance or time requirements for members wishing to join. Equally we agreed/accepted that whilst we would encourage each other to participate in challenges and celebrate success in those, it was not a necessary condition of membership.

Many of us are never going to challenge at the top end of any ranking piece or achieve 10m metres a year. (Chapeau to those who can and do).

Ultimately however we all recognise that rowing has health and welfare benefits and in very crude terms, the more you do (sensibly), the better.

Most of us are therefore metreboard chuggers. I'm proud to be one such.

In my mind the metreboard is the single most innovative and unique attribute of the club and for me, tracking my progress up or down that board is important. It's always the place I go after I've posted a new log entry.

Creating a new challenge based on that metreboard is a way to encourage more participation and involvement. It should be relatively easy to do (he says having never written a line of code in his life), be very visible and the teams would change every quarter/month as we choose.
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Re: New life

Post by Jill »

Thank you Grahame.

I cannot pretend to fully understand you suggestions but probably because I am a " Woodentop ' and my cognitive skills can at times be somewhat limited.

When it comes to rowing or more to the point, the necessary enthusiasm, for the last 6 weeks, I have been well out of the loop due to suffering from an old, non-rowing related knee injury ( which thankfully is now better ) followed by a nasty tummy bug which has laid me low for the last fortnight. Cue the violins. :-({|=

However, when I am feeling more like my old self, I will hopefully be able to take up part of your suggestions, although I shall have to eschew any sort of long distances or sprinting because I should hate to ' do my knee in ' again.

I will now sound like a cracked old gramophone record when I say that rowing turned my life around and helped me return to a normal healthy weight, which after 8 years is still a normal healthy weight.

Thank you again for your enthusiasm in trying to motivate those of us who need motivating.
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Re: New life

Post by JonT »

I've been sat in the background here, watching to see what reaction Graham's (is that how you spell it?) suggestion received. As some of you will have seen, I started a similar thread a while back on the "members only" part of the forum. I agree that "some energy and passion" has been lost in the group, and we had a good conversation about the many reasons that may be causing this. I miss the forum of old, and regrettably I was nota member when it was at its peak.

But I have to say I am sceptical that the suggested competition will increase participation and interaction. I realise that I am being a naysayer here, but there are already a lot of competitions requiring interaction and teamwork (meterborad, ctc, irl, various c2 challenges etc). There are various levels of participation inthese, and some chatter and discussion amongst a small number of members. I'm not sure the new proposal will make a meaningful difference.

Having said that, if there are enough people who respond here and tell me how keen they are and how wrong I am then I am more than happy to have a look at the proposal, which I think is very clever by the way, and work out how to build the competition page. Don't be fooled though, the idea is relatively simple at first inspection, but the meterboard is a combination of a complex set of databases that do not resemble the relatively simple user interface, and more than 10,000 lines of PHP code. This makes extracting the data quite tough, and then there is the small matter of presenting it in a nice and neat way. We would also have to think about how we do team selection.

So, long story short, I'm willing to have a go, but have my doubts that it will fix the problem. Happy to discuss more.

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New life

Post by Tako »

Thanks for the engagement and trying to get more life in here. As stated in other threads here in the forum, I share your frustration and concerns. Without JonT we wouldn’t even be having this discussion as he is basically the one keeping this forum running. Big thanks for that JonT as I couldn’t do it.

I just had a look at the Meterboard and of the 227 names on the list about 27 have the Free Spirits logo/icon. That indicates a little how many have actually logged into the forum and looked at the Meterboard at the same time. I know not everyone knows about it nor the webpage. Also I had to grab my PC and remember the procedure to get mine as I normally use the Tapatalk app and phone. There are plenty in here that don’t have the icon, and I even just failed to find a very friendly person here on the board at all….

So I think when dividing the names into groups most won’t even know about it hence not participate actively and hence those that do will carry a lot of dead weight in their teams (or did I miss something?). As pointed out above we already have plenty of competitions where we see limited activity (percentage joining the team challenges is lower than what I would expect). So as it also won’t be easy to implement I am afraid that it won’t fly.

Your proposal made me however think and come up with the following thoughts that I had sometimes before so let me throw them in:
It looks like we have a lot of “silent”-members in the team because they either don’t know they are still affiliated etc, they only use the Meterboard, don’t bother to remove the affiliation, don’t feel the need to be actively involved hence chose the FS, only want a team to be able to join the team challenges….

Not sure how one can get in touch with them but I haven’t seen any mail from our captain (reminder to sign up for team challenges) for years.

So what about trying the following:
- trying to find a new captain that has time/drive/energy/meters to be more active/visible using the channels that C2 provides towards team members: information, request to be a bit more engaged, find out why they join?
- block the Meterboard for those that are not in the forum, I remember there is a view that only shows those with the FS icon, hence could be just a question of changing URL or file names (JonT?) and add a message that shows people how to get on it again
- ask Concept2 to rename the team and we start a new with the oldName to remove those that aren’t active or as someone suspects are a troll/script

Anyway just thoughts. I returned to the FS because I had the pleasure to meet some of you in person and hence feel connected. Also as I couldn’t fulfil the requirements of the other team anymore because the CTC, IRL… do not fit into my strict training schedule so I cannot do it each month with full throttle as I have done many years. Using my rest days for it has only resulted in injury.

Again, appreciate the discussion and also hope there will be more life in here ….
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Re: New life

Post by Carole S »

A while ago I was approached by an ex Free Spirit who has moved to the Diamonds asking me to join them where they apparently have a thriving Facebook group and members email system, but I wasnt able to view either of those without properly joining, which at that time I didnt wish to do
But Im an official pensioner now and its tempting to.join them, however after over 10 years away and rejoining here last year I still feel a loyalty to remain here for now in the hope that any new measures will encourage us all to join together
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Re: New life

Post by Tako »

Hi Carole
I fully understand your thoughts.
Rod Chinn is doing a big job to keep that team lively. They will even have a physical come together soon.
However, I also learned that members must do the CTC, that’s why they plaster half the CTC table, but that would be a no no for me.
/Tako
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Re: New life

Post by JonT »

Tako wrote: Sat Jul 23, 2022 7:00 am Without JonT we wouldn’t even be having this discussion as he is basically the one keeping this forum running. Big thanks for that JonT ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage as I couldn’t do it.
That's nice of you to say but of course there are others who help out with Lifetime Meters, Welcome to New Members, the C2CTC league tables and the very active forum moderators who block all of the nonsense posts that are submitted to the forum and blocked by the mods before the post appears. Its a team effort, like most things
Tako wrote: Sat Jul 23, 2022 7:00 am I just had a look at the Meterboard and of the 227 names on the list about 27 have the Free Spirits logo/icon. That indicates a little how many have actually logged into the forum and looked at the Meterboard at the same time. I know not everyone knows about it nor the webpage. Also I had to grab my PC and remember the procedure to get mine as I normally use the Tapatalk app and phone. There are plenty in here that don’t have the icon, and I even just failed to find a very friendly person here on the board at all….Image
I'd forgotten about this feature. As you say, it is a pretty low percentage of people affiliated who are actually participating in the group.
Tako wrote: Sat Jul 23, 2022 7:00 am So what about trying the following:
- trying to find a new captain that has time/drive/energy/meters to be more active/visible using the channels that C2 provides towards team members: information, request to be a bit more engaged, find out why they join?
- block the Meterboard for those that are not in the forum, I remember there is a view that only shows those with the FS icon, hence could be just a question of changing URL or file names (JonT?) and add a message that shows people how to get on it again
- ask Concept2 to rename the team and we start a new with the oldName to remove those that aren’t active or as someone suspects are a troll/script
I agree we are captainless now in reality. I'm not sure what, if any, facilities C2 provide to captains in terms of communication. I suspect the answer is none, and that other means are required for a captain to communicate with the team. In reality, if we wanted to progress this way we would need a new, active captain and a way to communicate with members, probably using email. There is a way for a Forum Administrator (i.e. me) to send mass emails to all forum users, or to a subset of users within a group. The problem here is we have 1200 registered forum users, the vast majority of whom are inactive, and some may not have flagged that they will accept emails. Unless you are a forum admin there is no other way of doing this.

In terms of blocking the meterboard: I personally don't mind if people want to register on the meterboard and just use it as they see fit. Blocking it feels a bit draconian. Plus, as it is currently written the meterboard can be viewed by anyone i.e. there is no check to see if you have a forum account (whether it is active or not). I think there is a way to look at cookies (if you haven't blocked them) to see if you are a forum user, but I'm not sure that would be totally reliable.

My view on all of this is that we just plough on. Keep active as an active member. Support those who participate even if it is a simple "well done" post, and accept the fact that things are pretty quiet around here.

But as I said earlier. I am happy to look into building Graham's proposed event if there is enough real interest.
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Re: New life

Post by duffyoz »

While I am regular rower with a rowing program I pay for, I manage the CTC events but not always at full throttle. They just don't fit into the 12month plan. I am not motivated at all by the concept challenges such as rowing max metres in a specific month but will usually join any team challenge along those lines as I am rowing anyway.

Freespirits were one of the first forums I found when I started this erging business and people were very helpful. I've stayed because of that and have friends here in Aus who are members of other teams. I always wondered how so many people on the metreboard didn't seem to be forum/club members - that always seemed weird. If you wanted to know your metres then wouldn't you just look at the concept2 log. I enjoy the nonathlon.

As for another challenge as suggested near the beginning of this thread - I think I would have to see a more mapped out product. I just don't know if I could or would do any other competitions, friendly or not. I don't enjoy odd events that seem more WOD like. This occurs in many of the online competitions and it would seem like there is almost a continual list of events one could enter if they wanted to. Most do not get a mention in these forum but there are a lot out there. In some ways I guess I'm a little selfish with my erg work - working towards a podium finish at WRICH either in 2023 or more likely in 2025 (I'll be 60 then :shock: ).

I am not a regular forum contributor but run hot and cold, depending on the busy-ness of life. The support I have received has been awesome. The amount of work that goes on in the background to keep things like Free Spirits is huge and largely unrecognised. So take a bow ladies and gentlemen, well done, and please keep it up.


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Re: New life

Post by webberg »

Thanks all for the above.

I'm at work so just a quick acknowledgement for now.

The original idea for the inter team event was to allocate all those who have posted some distance this season to be placed into a team - without exception.

Some who post rows but do not visit the forum etc will therefore be contributing "blind".

If they wish to not participate, then we will need a positive note saying so.

We change the teams every three months. And reset the weighting calculation.

More later in the week.
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Re: New life

Post by spidermac »

Just throwing in my own tuppence worth. I was on the forum from 2008 - 2015 when the board was vey active with multiple posts most days. This was great for motivation & often very good feedback on your training & supportive on those days when it didn`t go so well !! Also very interesting to see what other peole were doing & trace their progress - often giving you ideas for your own training. Participation in the last few years has been low & a bit disappointing in terms of people posting their regular training, not sure why. People obviously are quite busy, give up ( I did for 4-5 years), maybe think others aren`t interested. There are obviously people posting frequently on CTC, meterboard, nonathlon but not on the training ( ex pete plan thread). I was at one point the only one posting on this thread & even the few who were posting - Iain ( where r u?), Me Bee, JonT don`t seem to post since I had to have an illness related break. I also look in on the concept 2 board UK & there are several posts a day where people are very supportive & motivate each other. It would be great if people would post here as much. ANyway moan over. Finally many thanks to Jont, Plummy, Thomas & all the others who enable the site to keep going much appreciated!! Keep cranking everyone.
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Re: New life

Post by cyparis35 »

Hello there,

here are some thoughts from a new member:
I joined the Free Spirits group because of this forum - i realy like the friendly and open minded athmoshere here. And also very supportive to anyone, from beginners like to me to realy advanced rowers (sometimes its a little frustrating some guys sooo fast…)

But in general there a persons (like me) who are using the internet in a more passive way and also have job and familiy so they are not realy willing or able to be so active.

Anyway i realy enjoy being a part of the Free Spirits comunity.

Kind regards
Michael
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