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maptalk - standing the test of time

Show Profile  nick Posted: 1 October 2014, 6:11 AM  
Thanks Michael
I enjoy reading the fb upates and I agree with you about the community effect. Is there a reason you don't/can't do it under the ONZ banner?

Show Profile  pcbrent Posted: 2 October 2014, 7:26 PM  
Thanks Nick for effectively stopping what was actually a worthwhile topic for discussion on the forum. Ps it will be lovely to have you back in the country.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 2 October 2014, 8:11 PM  
Even if you are a PC, righteous muppet.

Show Profile  nick Posted: 3 October 2014, 2:15 AM  
Bullshit, Brent. Theres is plenty to discuss here if you're interested in the topic. I note that you haven't engaged with the actual arguments yet. Care to contribute to this discussion you find so worthwhile?

At least Jamie has offered some argument, albeit loaded with unnecessary invective AND without really responding to the various counter arguments presented. In fact, I think it was after the counter arguments that Jamie kinda spat the dummy and got nasty.

The problem is you guys think you own maptalk. Well, its 2014 and there are other kids in this sandpit so you're gonna have to grow the fuck up. Stop being a bunch of babies.

At this point I'm not inclined to stop calling bullshit on comments that are personal insults and (to borrow a phrase) destructive criticism dressed up as "straight talk". IMO this is corrosive towards community and volunteerism. But, I will at least think about it.

Show Profile  pcbrent Posted: 3 October 2014, 6:42 AM  
The sooner you get back the better Nick, I don't think you're getting enough sunlight or something.

My opinion on the actual topic is not dissimilar to yours and if anyone is interested is as follows:
I think the ONZ website is great, ticks a lot of the boxes and just what the NZ orienteering community has been screaming out for for years, finally we have somewhere to go to find up to date selection announcements, official news, camps etc.

From what I can gather as part of the development the NZO community was consulted and everything that was was asked for has been delivered. I flatted with Erin for a while and I know she would have spent countless hours getting this sorted, she is a doer not just a talker, NZO needs more people like her.

Personally I don't engage in the forums on the NZO website, it all seems way to official and under the control of NZOrienteering. I periodically check them, but seem to be doing so less and less as there is hardly ever any changes.

Maptalk on the other hand is as lively as ever, this topic in itself is up to 4 pages long and the mind boggles at the information contained in the mapping topic. I think part of maptalks success is that it is independent ie not under the control of the federation, instead it's under the control of an individual who values free speech.

If I'm looking up events Maptalk is the first place I go then NZO. It just seems dumb to have two independant event listings with different clubs listing their events on different locations (although this is not dissimilar to many other sports). The idea of the two websites talking to each other so they have the same listings is a good one, it would be great to see this happen (hint).

In short I think the NZO website could do without the discussion forum, leave that up to Maptalk, Attackpoint and social media. This would also declutter the main page. Keep the event listing, but have it communicating with Maptalk.

What gets my back up about this topic is that a valid point has been raised by Jamie (in his normal thought provoking manner), I don't think it is destructive to raise a point or opinion in a topic so the community can discuss it. I do not agree that this is "corrosive" or "destructive" to volunteerism (very big emotive words). In fact I think discussion around these topics are healthy for our sport and I do not like to see people put off from contributing.

Nick, I do think that your style of engaging which at times amounts to personal insults puts some people off contributing to a worthwhile topic. Fortunately it doesn't put me off.



Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 3 October 2014, 2:17 PM  
These are the comments I made before this thread got personal.

“I wonder if onz can pull the plug on its sites events and discussion modules. Fessing up to balls ups is a virtue."

"If NZOF had any respect they would have just used the Maptalk events feed and stayed away from having a forum, and then provided everything else we needed for an orienteering website. They didn't and they have ended up with a lemon."

I stand by my comments. I think their truth is self evident.

Besides my deliberately outrageous comment to Nick, I think it was others that brought down the tone of the discussion because of their inability to speak straight/ accept failure. What goes on here isn't "sniping" this is the one forum we have in New Zealand orienteering for any sort of critique.

I would also note that no one has provided any real argument why the ONZ website is not in fact a lemon.

New Zealand orienteering has been hollowed out from the inside over the last 5-10 years, this has been characterised by increased "service" to schools and beginners on pre-existing map assets,and the gradual rundown of passionate and skilled members.

Clubs hanging on by a thread, and often not engaging with orienteering at a regional level include: Hamilton, Rotorua, Taranaki, Red Kiwis, Hutt Vallley, Marlborough,Dunedin, Southland.

ONZ (and I criticise the entity, because I don't think the individuals are to blame). Has done nothing to address this. We (I'll use we instead of it) are focused on schools, nz teams, and on collecting levys, what else does ONZ actually do now? A couple of recent strategic plans have come to nothing.

Nick, ONZ is not poorly resourced for a sport our size, it is currently sitting on $160k, and it takes a big chunk of club income which could well be better spent by the clubs.

ONZ stripped back its communication tools, including the magazine and failed to invest in a timely fashion in our website, or social media presence. This led to a breakdown in communication within the orienteering community and the development of clubs as silos, the decreasing of actually telling our good stories, the decreasing in sharing lessons/best practice,the decreasing in encouraging people to travel to other parts of the country for orienteering.

We then, inadvertently took aim at the one thing that was working in New Zealand Orienteering...Maptalk...and are in the process of dismantling that.

Of all the work that could have been done, we duplicated something that was working.

My solution. Stop the levy's, disestablish ONZ, see what we actually miss and start again.

The Emperor has no clothes...and whether or not Erin/Roger etc made a nice shell this is evidenced by what is actually on the website.

Show Profile  nick Posted: 3 October 2014, 2:46 PM  
Now THAT is a good post.

I agree that its healthy for people to feel free to offer an argument. I simply hope that people can do it without tearing each other down. I'm all for having a discussion, but you know, play the ball, not the man... etc.

I try to only insult people who have already chucked a few stones - by way of reminder that its not much fun getting hit. If people think I over-step the mark, or don't live up to my own standards, I'll take that onboard. Also, I'll re-assess where I stand on this: what is best for orienteering - a 'free-for-all' or a disciplined discussion on the arguments. Both risk driving away posters, but only one risks driving away volunteers. Anyway - I'll think about it - its probably better in another thread.

Lastly, there have been some excellent contributions in this thread that are directly on point, and it would be a pity to overlook that. The general consensus seems to be that (a) ONZ should be the central events database providing feeds to maptalk and whichever other sites may desire it, and (b) the forums should stay at maptalk. I think I'd like to ONZ strip the news/blogs/forums&chats back to just: "blog" or maybe "news". So there is still a place for the official announcements, JWOC updates, President's blog... but its all under one banner - but much simpler to use, IMO. I'd also really like to see mcroxford's good work happening under an ONZ banner - its really positive work that would do alot to enliven ONZ's site.

Show Profile  nick Posted: 3 October 2014, 2:54 PM  
Oh, Jamie beat me to it.

Interesting comments Jamie. Might take some digesting.

Just for the sake of clarity, how do Matt Ogden & Lizzie Ingham & Tim Robertson & Nick Hahn fit into your analysis? What about the competition at junior levels which must be at or near record levels? Alot of people might say things are going well?

Also, I'd like everyone to be aware of this :
http://www.orienteering.org.nz/groups/onz-website-users/forum/topic/orienteeringnz-website-suggestions-and-feature-requests/

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 3 October 2014, 3:10 PM  
A change in the tone of the discussion. Praps the influence of a famous birthday yesterday. No I wasn't thinking of Groucho Marx:-))

Show Profile  nick Posted: 3 October 2014, 3:11 PM  
OK... arguments as to why the ONZ website is not in fact a lemon:

1. Its live (finally) & it looks pro
2. It presents an attractive and accessible face to newcomers to the sport
3. It links users to all the O clubs in NZ
4. It contains all the official gumpf an NSO needs to make available in an easy to use format
5. It provides an effective national events database
6. It provides more comms & social media functionality than we (currently) know what to do with.
7. Simon has posted two excellent articles
8. The project as whole (or should we call a "rescue mission"?) is evidence of the capability of our community.
9. The fact that the news/blog/forum part is not perfect doesn't justify writing off the entire thing as a failure.

Hows that?


Show Profile  nick Posted: 3 October 2014, 6:33 PM  
There is alot in your post Jamie, good stuff to thrash out, but I'm gonna stick to the website stuff here:

"ONZ stripped back its communication tools, including the magazine and failed to invest in a timely fashion in our website, or social media presence. This led to a breakdown in communication within the orienteering community and the development of clubs as silos, the decreasing of actually telling our good stories, the decreasing in sharing lessons/best practice,the decreasing in encouraging people to travel to other parts of the country for orienteering"

OK, lets accept for arguments sake that those outcomes are real and there is causation not just correlation... Everyone remembers that the website project was a debacle for a looong time. But don't hang those decisions or delays or outcomes on the people that eventually dug the project out of the mire and made something happen. Surely thats unfair?

Also, now that we have a website that can fill all those empty spaces, shouldn't we embrace it? Why are we not? You may say because its a lemon, I may say because we're just too old fashioned and don't want to change, or because haven't figured it out yet, or because we're busy with our juniors, or because our juniors are all too busy on fb anyway... point being there is more than one plausible explanation.

"We then, inadvertently took aim at the one thing that was working in New Zealand Orienteering...Maptalk...and are in the process of dismantling that... ...The Emperor has no clothes...and whether or not Erin/Roger etc made a nice shell this is evidenced by what is actually on the website"

I don't know. You might just as easily attack facebook and complain that the juniors who congregate there are duplicating the "one thing that works" in orienteering. Times change, especially in the internets. Its conceivable that Erin/Roger etc were trying to future-proof ONZ's site by doing more than what maptalk can do.

Show Profile  rob.g Posted: 3 October 2014, 7:18 PM  
Wow, lots of stirup here, but good to hear what people think

My biggest complaint with ONZ website is that the important things like the events calendar and news are really hard to find, and I think the calendar, especially, should stand out, especially if it is going to be the place to find it.
Saying that I don't think it was a big effort to have events on both sites, and for sure Maptalk must stay for discussions. Lots happening in Australia this week, but I don't see any news, except on Maptalk.

Show Profile  onemanfanclub Posted: 3 October 2014, 7:44 PM  
...and facebook, although (in this case as you'd expect) the updates have been coming mostly through 'unofficial' channels.

In a roundabout way, this leads me to a probably off-topic observation, I've noticed the organisations using Facebook and the like truly effectively are ones that predominantly keep the news stories on their website but post headlines and a link on the networking sites.

Show Profile  Dwayne Posted: 4 October 2014, 9:41 AM  
Ok Rob - I'll bite. There are two easy ways to get to the event listing from the front page of the ONZ website.
1. Pick the middle menu option from the top of the page next to the logo. The menu option is labelled "Events".
2. Click the big button in the middle of the page labelled "Find An Event". It sits between "Get Started" and "Find a Club".

btw - Finding news can be done in the same fashion.

Methinks people who are complaining that the site is hard to navigate haven't actually tried to use it.


Show Profile  Greg Posted: 4 October 2014, 10:49 AM  
If people are complaining that the site it hard to navigate, then it is hard to navigate - for them. Not everyone in our community was born or developed in an age of computers and internet use and things that may be obvious to someone who know how to look might not be obvious to others that expect an entry form in the post with their magazine.


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