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What should we do with the Voyageurs forum?

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On 8/1/2018 at 9:37 PM, socceronly said:

I'll be back on this when I am in Vancouver.  On the computer for a whole week there. 

Right now I am working as fast as possible on my Unabomber shack in the woods while I have time. 

What's the take aways/plan of action? 

What's the existing setup for those who are unaware?

Seems like a dictatorship where one man ultimately makes the decisions based on the feedback of the people. 

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1 hour ago, Jahinho Guerro said:

What's the take aways/plan of action? 

What's the existing setup for those who are unaware?

Seems like a dictatorship where one man ultimately makes the decisions based on the feedback of the people. 

There aren't a lot of decisions to make.  If there is one to be made, like a shirt design or in this case what to do about the forum, I talk to people.  I can't see how it should be seen as a dictatorship when this very thread is seeking feedback from people and no rash decision is being made.

I think a lot of the framework content we see on sites we take for granted.  We don't realize how difficult it is to write some of that stuff.  Since we are primarily a forum, rightly or wrongly, we have eschewed many of the standard things you see, privacy statements, mission statements, statement of purpose, rules, about us, store policies, contact us ect.....   That stuff is hard to write in a satisfying way that suits the nature and purpose of the organization because that purpose itself is not clearly defined. 

My recent conversations with other national team and club supporters groups makes me thankful we did not rush, and again make a rash decision, about jumping into non profit status.  Non profit side of things can be a political nightmare as is evident from many SGs across  Canada and the US.    Two other national team supporters groups I know of are private companies with non profit affiliates that do charity work and involve a lot of hinky accounting ( which I have no interest in).

This isn't the post I wanted to talk about this stuff in, but I think people feel nothing is happening and that is not true. 

To put people's mind at rest, the forum is staying put.  It was never in danger of being annihilated. It's the site that will change and all the things built around it is the quick answer. 

Solving the shipping problem is a huge step forward.  Membership is now back on the table and that makes a lot of things possible. 

It will shift from   Forum > Organization   to   Organization > Forum

 

 

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2 hours ago, socceronly said:

There aren't a lot of decisions to make.  If there is one to be made, like a shirt design or in this case what to do about the forum, I talk to people.  I can't see how it should be seen as a dictatorship when this very thread is seeking feedback from people and no rash decision is being made......... (shortened the quote)

 

I think you have partially misunderstood my main question or maybe its vice versa.  

However, I'll first say that I truly do appreciate all the work you do for the Voyageurs I can only imagine all the fine details and the more than meets the eye stuff that goes on.

I was never one to suggest to blow it up and start a new.  I used dictatorship for your very same answer that "you talk to people" and make decisions ultimately based on that. But like I asked before, what is the existing setup for those who are unaware, or what the process is for recognizing those specific (if they are) people you pose the important questions to in seeking tangible feedback. It can't be so simple as to what you have done with this thread.

I was under the impression that the Voyaguers was an organization (whether it is for or non-profit) that has a legitimate structure. Meaning that there is Membership leader, Home/Away Ticket organizer, Graphic Designers, Forum Moderators, etc. etc. However the more I dive into these questions I realize that all these hats fall under one person, and I think that's a hindrance as to where this group needs to grow too. 

I do realize that some opinions/feedbacks/suggestions can be valuable or even pointless, and if you're not aware you can end up with a list of "things" that can continue to pile up, and listening to those "things" can you leave you crushed if they fall.........but I also do realize that you can't do it all. I hope you hear my heart. 

Like many, I'm here to help and talk..... but mostly execute!

 

 

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We are an organization, just not currently a legally existing one.  Everything has been ad hoc as there is nothing regular about Canadian soccer.   Cities can go years between games and travel in our own country is prohibitively expensive.   All of this makes the chapter/LOC/brigade type concept go stale really fast.  What could you really offer?

All of that has changed.  We will now have regular games at home and abroad. We will be involved in major tournaments up to and including the World Cup.

We will focus on being more of an organization you can join, improve the content side of the site, and keep the forum as a feature.   Being and organization you join means membership with tangible benefits.  

Examples include and definitely not limited to

  • Using our ticketing system vs TM.  $17 vs $27 for a TM ticket.  Plus all the benefits of me doing the tickets manually.
  • Discounts on merchandise, our own and 3rd party sites
  • Access to events that will actually require access. (not pre game parties)

I am not convinced by the non profit status yet.  I was close, but I think something else might be better.  What is needed are the assets such as name, domains, inventory ect... all be transferred to another legal entity rather than be in my name directly.  

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Jahinho Guerro said:

What's the take aways/plan of action? 

What's the existing setup for those who are unaware?

Seems like a dictatorship where one man ultimately makes the decisions based on the feedback of the people. 

More like enlighten despotism, in my humble kowtowing opinion. 

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Thought I'd chime in as a new user and my experience in the last week.

I have known about this site for years, but signed up to the forum to get more info and chat on the CPL, MLS and MNT, which you really can't get on mainstream media sites. And also to find out about getting tix to MNT and WNT games.

Reading through the posts, the most annoying part is the off topic stuff. When you are reading a thread about the management of the Whitecaps and it becomes a discussion about restaurants...ugh.

Banter is good, even when it gets under my skin. Yes, I live in Vancouver, and yes I can be snobbish about it. But you should be snobbish about where you live. That sort of stuff is fine. Cut out the nasty stuff (note: to date, I have seen no truly nasty stuff).

I found a most interesting post about immigration. Nothing to do with soccer, I know, but it was more civil and intellectual than anything I find on the CBC site.

Which brings me to the point about image. The CBC allows posts and the nonsense that gets posted is truly disheartening. I know, I know...don't read the comments. Sometimes I can't help myself.  The point is that most news outlets don't seem to worry about their image based on what people post. I don't think you should either. Just week out the evil and the irrelevant.

Lastly, to the team that manages this forum, THANK YOU. I know how hard and at times thankless it is. Those who use this forum properly are very appreciative.

 

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Posted (edited)
On August 11, 2018 at 10:02 AM, BCM said:

If you want to limit the trolls (and, perhaps, growth), charge a nominal fee. I'm always disappointed to see how few donors there are (although I'm not sure that's even a feature anymore, it should be) - especially among those that have thousands of posts. Allow viewing rights to all (some onlookers will see what's on offer and join), but posting rights to those who pay. Maybe $25 a year, nothing to dissuade most people. If there's a regular that really can't afford it, I'll pay for them.

I have to disagree.  25$ per year is nothing but If i am going to pay for something like posting on this site, then i have to know what that money is being used for.  If i knew that it cost X amount of dollars per year to keep this forum up and running and that there are approximately Y amount of users and that the 25$ multiplied by Y more or less equals to X, then I will pay.  By posting, you and I are contributing to the life of the forum and community and that in itself can be monetized, so I wont pay if it just goes into someone's pocket or if it goes to initiatives that i dont agree with.

And by initiviates that i dont agree with, i am not referring to things like tifos and banners stuff.   I amd referring to money going to entities and organizations or initiatives that already benefit from our interests.   Money should not go to support private sector entities like the CPL.  Its up to them to sell to us the value of their product and its not up to us do do promotion for them; we are not on their payroll.  Equally, it should not go in support of the CSA, its up to them to sell us on the value of thier product and if i pay for ticket to an National team match, then i al already done my part. 

As far as the CPL.  If we were in a situation like the dark ages of professional soccer in canada (ie.; from 1985 -2007) where there was no top flight professional soccer in canada, then i MIGHT  be slightly more inclined to do my minimal part.  But thats not the case anymore,  we now have three well supported clubs with as strong an ownership that offer jobs and good opportunities to canadian players, so why should i contribute to the competition who is seemingly not going to offer as good an opportunity.  

 

Edited by Free kick

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10 hours ago, Free kick said:

I have to disagree.  25$ per year is nothing but If i am going to pay for something like posting on this site, then i have to know what that money is being used for.  If i knew that it cost X amount of dollars per year to keep this forum up and running and that there are approximately Y amount of users and that the 25$ multiplied by Y more or less equals to X, then I will pay.  By posting, you and I are contributing to the life of the forum and community and that in itself can be monetized, so I wont pay if it just goes into someone's pocket or if it goes to initiatives that i dont agree with.

And by initiviates that i dont agree with, i am not referring to things like tifos and banners stuff.   I amd referring to money going to entities and organizations or initiatives that already benefit from our interests.   Money should not go to support private sector entities like the CPL.  Its up to them to sell to us the value of their product and its not up to us do do promotion for them; we are not on their payroll.  Equally, it should not go in support of the CSA, its up to them to sell us on the value of thier product and if i pay for ticket to an National team match, then i al already done my part. 

As far as the CPL.  If we were in a situation like the dark ages of professional soccer in canada (ie.; from 1985 -2007) where there was no top flight professional soccer in canada, then i MIGHT  be slightly more inclined to do my minimal part.  But thats not the case anymore,  we now have three well supported clubs with as strong an ownership that offer jobs and good opportunities to canadian players, so why should i contribute to the competition who is seemingly not going to offer as good an opportunity.  

 

Fair point, @Free kick

 Would have to work out where the money goes, and make it transparent. Operating costs seem to be the logical place, and charities another option. The latter would even help the visibility and image of the V's.

My suggestion was simply in response to those who believe the site is being swamped with trolls, and that the trolls frequently switch accounts. Having a small fee may stop that, especially if the trolls still live in their mommy's basement.

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Posted (edited)

There are couple of features that I think could be nice additions to the forum:

1. A dedicated area that shows a schedule of the upcoming games for teams that Canadians are playing on in tier 1 leagues. Additionally if possible some way to show if they are starting/subbed in. 

2. A dedicated area for a player ranking index/power ranking.

Maybe these could be added on the side of the MNT forum page?

 

Edited by mpg_29

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On 8/24/2018 at 9:19 PM, Free kick said:

I have to disagree.  25$ per year is nothing but If i am going to pay for something like posting on this site, then i have to know what that money is being used for.  If i knew that it cost X amount of dollars per year to keep this forum up and running and that there are approximately Y amount of users and that the 25$ multiplied by Y more or less equals to X, then I will pay.  By posting, you and I are contributing to the life of the forum and community and that in itself can be monetized, so I wont pay if it just goes into someone's pocket or if it goes to initiatives that i dont agree with.

And by initiviates that i dont agree with, i am not referring to things like tifos and banners stuff.   I amd referring to money going to entities and organizations or initiatives that already benefit from our interests.   Money should not go to support private sector entities like the CPL.  Its up to them to sell to us the value of their product and its not up to us do do promotion for them; we are not on their payroll.  Equally, it should not go in support of the CSA, its up to them to sell us on the value of thier product and if i pay for ticket to an National team match, then i al already done my part. 

As far as the CPL.  If we were in a situation like the dark ages of professional soccer in canada (ie.; from 1985 -2007) where there was no top flight professional soccer in canada, then i MIGHT  be slightly more inclined to do my minimal part.  But thats not the case anymore,  we now have three well supported clubs with as strong an ownership that offer jobs and good opportunities to canadian players, so why should i contribute to the competition who is seemingly not going to offer as good an opportunity.  

 

 

Not sure how anything we do would put money into the pockets of the CanPL or Canada Soccer directly.  The sale of the Support Local Soccer shirts raised money for the CanPL supporters groups.  We still have some of that left. and will use it closer to the league starting.   The start of a new league in a country is pretty darn rare and I think warrants from us some kind of support or response to help it as much as we can. 

Accounting & public financials.  Aubrey will be helping set this up.  Financials will be public. 

The question is financials of what. 

 There are four primary concerns that need to be addressed.

1. Being able to transfer all of 'this' to someone else to run in the future. That means the assets and agreements are no longer in my name. 

2. Financially separating me from the sums of money that move through in ticket sales

3. Liability is not clear, and no one has been able to answer this question.  If some idiot burns a hole in your skull with a flare they snuck into a section (for the purpose of this question I'll use I) I manage and I sell tickets for... what could happen to me?  

4. Covering expenses

1,2,3 are covered by incorporation.  4 is covered by transparency gaining the trust of people to commit financially.

The type of incorporation needs to be decided.   

I have great trepidation wrt to a non profit.    Too many soccer clubs, supporters groups and other organizations devolve into politics that just leads to people burning out.  The more I looked into it, the more I dreaded the thought of it. 

I do not want to burn out on politics. I want this to stay focused on a singular mission of building the best possible support for our national teams and expend every ounce of energy I have until the final whistle blows at World Cup 2026 doing it.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 7/14/2018 at 5:16 PM, Bison44 said:

I hope the forum stays.  I can see that it isnt really a part of the purpose/mandate of the Voyaguers and their message.  But from a guy living in rural manitoba who has to almost no soccer watching friends, this site has been an god send.  Where else can you find so many knowledgeable people with similar interests.  I dont live and die with Man city, Barcelona etc and Neymar/Ronaldo/Messi are not my heroes.  Having this forum focusing on CDN content in whatever league it is in, and informing us about youth teams/players, upcmong matches and the burgeoning CPL all in one place is exactly what I love about the site.  Forums like this are part of the grassroots interest and appeal that needs to keep growing along with all the other more tangable  aspects of the game. 

Praise Allah!

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On 7/14/2018 at 3:16 PM, Bison44 said:

I hope the forum stays.  I can see that it isnt really a part of the purpose/mandate of the Voyaguers and their message.  But from a guy living in rural manitoba who has to almost no soccer watching friends, this site has been an god send.  Where else can you find so many knowledgeable people with similar interests.  I dont live and die with Man city, Barcelona etc and Neymar/Ronaldo/Messi are not my heroes.  Having this forum focusing on CDN content in whatever league it is in, and informing us about youth teams/players, upcmong matches and the burgeoning CPL all in one place is exactly what I love about the site.  Forums like this are part of the grassroots interest and appeal that needs to keep growing along with all the other more tangable  aspects of the game.  

The tone and vitriol of parts of the forum can turn people off, but other than moderating content a bit more and banning the real GOOBERS that are trying to derail rational discussion I dont know how you can control it.  There will always be a**holes who actively try to sh*t disturb things.  And I am surprised at how many posters (grown men) who admit that they do it knowingly.  We can all clean up our act a bit so as not to turn people off the forum.  

haha you just described my exact situation, Rural Manitoba.. I was lucky to have a neighbour my age that shared an interest in soccer but this place is really where I get to share my passion with other who care as much. 

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45 minutes ago, socceronly said:

Seriously? 

Reddit does not hold a candle to a proper forum. 

I think eyeballs are what matters. Forums aren't getting em. We'd get way more there than here. 

I think a pilot project of building a presence there would go a long away. 

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Just now, Califax said:

I think eyeballs are what matters. Forums aren't getting em. We'd get way more there than here. 

I think a pilot project of building a presence there would go a long away. 

I don't disagree with that. 

I'll PM you.

 

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I've been a member on this forum for about 15 years and while I read threads regularly, I don't post very often. Still, I remember what it was like to find this community. I was so happy to find a place where there were people like me who actually knew the names of our players and watched every game. I didn't know that existed. Since then, I've been able to meet up with many of you for WCQ games, friendlies and GC games in several countries, not to mention viewing parties here in Vancouver.

This space is important to me and I wouldn't be opposed to dealing with the occasional pop-up ad or paying a yearly fee. If I'm willing to wake up in the middle of the night to stream a friendly from a dodgy website against a country I need an atlas to locate, I'm more than willing to chip in financially. To the degree that anyone might view this group as exclusive, I don't think a yearly donation would worsen that. 

I've realized that every online forum has its share of vitriol and "characters" if you'll pardon the euphemism. Moderating is time consuming I'm sure, on top of work and family. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between "passionate" and "idiotic". 

I'm not informed enough to have a solution, just wanted to say that for those responsible for the upkeep of this site, your work is appreciated. 

 

 

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I really appreciate this forum. I'm on this site daily. It offers a hard-core canadian-centric perspective that I don't find elsewhere. I find info and links to info, knowledgeable discussion, comments, and considered opinions that I can't get enough of. (Annoying at times to wade thru some unnecessarily personalized mean stuff. But so be it.)

The dedication and hard-work of the Voyageurs and those behind this site who, quietly, tirelessly, and often thankless-ly, keep it going and work to improve it, is not lost on me. I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and thanks.

 

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