Came over to check out this MFA site. 

I enjoy reading the motherboard aka MFA at Yahoo Groups. It is how I keep up with my old friends in Minnesota.  I think the key word there is "old".  I say let the dinosaurs post where they are comfortable.  They are the ones missing out by not joining over here.

In the meantime, please direct me to the fun forums and the smack talk. 

I'll start.  Here is the 10 day forecast for my zipcode:

http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/Rancho+Cucamonga+CA+91730

Merry Holidays to all.

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The MFA Motherboard works fine for many so it makes sense to keep it around. 

The Ning site was a great step in the right direction with a huge upside potential. It's up to the Minnesota disc golf community to see how productive it can be.  Just like the Floater it needs content from people who care about disc sports.  Please promote your events, leagues, etc. at this website.

Todd in Mesa, AZ for the winter

http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/Mesa+AZ+85201

I agree 100% that the NING site is the future of communication for MFA members.  I think we've all hit a few points as to why, but the biggest issue with the MFA groups site is simply conversion.  Too many users on that site continue to rely in it for communication, whether it be due to technical reason (unable to access ning @ work) or simply they are too complacent with it to change.  The only way to get users to migrate is simply to shut down the MFA egroup, or at least let it run only as read-only mode where messages from NING are copied to that site.  It would be interesting to see if BOD would be willing to do that (and CK to since he's moderator of the site).

Todd can tell me if my memory is hazy on this one, but I think one of the main reasons I suggested a site such as this was to have MFA discussions that can be:

- Filtered.  Not every member needs to receive every message about someone posting that their band is playing this Friday night up in St. Cloud, or that someone lost a disc in Apple Valley, or that I need someone to help me find so-and-so's phone number.

- Searchable/Archived.  Maybe the Motherboard easily does this as well, but I want to be able to type "anhyzer" or "Fairmont" into the search field of the forums and have it bring up posts/threads containing that information in about two seconds.  1000-times easier than remembering a discussion on the motherboard occurred over the Summer, logging in to Yahoo!, and going back through hundreds of posts (and thousands of lines of content) to try and find what I am looking for.

- Analytics.  Getting those discussions on to this website is a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Want the Forums here to work?  Use them.  Want them to fail?  Chat over on the Motherboard.  It will succeed or fail as people want it to.  That said, I've always wanted to incorporate sponsors/advertisers into this site as a member to make it at *least* pay for itself (if not fund a couple of additional outreach programs).  Tasteful, relevant ads...that don't ever command more than 10-15% of the screen real estate.  Also, ads that are relevant to disc sports.  And if we want advertisers to pay enough to cover our site costs and fund a few additional programs, we need to show traffic.  Members, unique visitors, page views, impressions, etc.  And the easiest way to do that?  You guessed it...get people to tell folks their band is playing on Friday night in St. Cloud (or that they lost a disc in Apple Valley, or that they need so-and-so's phone number) here instead.  :-)

I'd also like to get as many clubs/leagues out there forming groups and pages on this site as we possibly can...as it gets general MFA content in front of their noses more often, gives them more concrete incentive to pay an annual membership fee, and helps our analytics.  People don't want "big brother" telling them how to do their thing (any more than the MFA wants the PDGA to order it around).  But if we gave most of the reigns to page creation, look/style, member controls, etc. to each club/league (for their specific content and section of the site), it could drive a lot of new traffic here.  And get more people spilling into the general forums.  Which helps on the three fronts I mentioned above.

I think CK would be willing to do what the BOD asks him to do.

Muddy said:

I agree 100% that the NING site is the future of communication for MFA members.  I think we've all hit a few points as to why, but the biggest issue with the MFA groups site is simply conversion.  Too many users on that site continue to rely in it for communication, whether it be due to technical reason (unable to access ning @ work) or simply they are too complacent with it to change.  The only way to get users to migrate is simply to shut down the MFA egroup, or at least let it run only as read-only mode where messages from NING are copied to that site.  It would be interesting to see if BOD would be willing to do that (and CK to since he's moderator of the site).

Hey Mike!

I won't name names...but a couple Board members in the past couple of years suggested that folks do that very thing (ask Chuck to suspend the Motherboard so that we could try and...what's a "P.C." way of putting it..."strongly encourage" folks to move their chatter over here).  However, I told those couple of people not to do it.  As again, "forcing" anyone to do anything is just going to eventually lead to an "Arab Spring" around Minnesota disc sports.  More than we've already experienced the past 4-5 years as it is!  i.e. There's a reason there is an MFA site and a second site specific to South Zone that is nearly as large!  ;-)

I don't personally want anyone to be forced to do anything!  If a few dozen die-hards want to thumb their noses at the website and continue chattering on the motherboard, let them.  What will help change things for the better, however, is if people who are "neutral" on the Forum vs. Motherboard issue (or the people who might actually prefer a Forum solution) begin moving most of their chatter over here.  Let participation and traffic/chatter on the Motherboard begin to shrink of "natural causes."  Don't force or even ask Chuck to shut 'er down...as that will send a strong negative message that will just encourage people to "fight the power" and complain about "tha man."  ;-)

My $0.02, anyway.  Maybe I was wrong to tell those couple Board members to not pursue the issue with Chuck back in 2009-2010?!  But I'd rather not "force" people who prefer the Motherboard to do anything.  Just let the Motherboard slowly become a more-lonely place to chat...

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and Dave, from the land of frozen mosquitoes, year-round Leinie's Berry Weiss and consummate snowbirds.

I'd say Derek summarized it quite well why we went with the Ning website. This was the highlight of my 2 years as President --- having a more relavent/productive/sensible MFA website that didn't take 100s of hours by a few select people to maintain it.

I agree with Derek about, "I'd rather not "force" people who prefer the Motherboard to do anything.  Just let the Motherboard slowly become a more-lonely place to chat.."  From what I read, it's the only site that people in Hammer's predicament can access.  If Chuck and others find it useful --- that's good enough for me to keep it going.

Let's continue to encourage others to post at the MFA website and set the example ourselves by posting about events, misc chatter.  Just like the Floater... we need content by people being active with this website.  It's going to be a lot bigger some day. 

I think Derek outlined a reasonable policy when it comes to advertisements.  I encourage Derek to write up a MFA website advertisement policy statement and run it by the EB and I betcha they will endorse it.  It can be tweaked as time goes on as the MFA runs into various advertisement issues.  I know MFA President Jake Shramm is receptive to the idea but he wanted to see something in writing.

I like both MFA online and MFA Ning and use both. They each have their benefits and drawbacks depending on your point of view.
 
To my knowledge, there's no broadcast capability on Ning that allows you to send a message to all members unless perhaps you are a Ning admin. Since I and some others try to post messages with broad enough interest to most MFA-O members, this appears to be lacking in Ning? Of course, some members don't want to see every post when issued so the summary option is available on MFA-O.
 
While Ning does a superior job for organizing topic discussions, I dislike the fact that I get an email when a new post is added to a topic I'm following that email doesn't actually contain the new post message. Not only do I have to go to the Ning site to see the new message, but I can't just respond to the post simply by replying to the email like we can do very simply with our MFA-O Yahoo messages. It seems easier to have a dialog with thread message sequence retention on MFA-O even though the thread then isn't retained by topic once completed.
 
I haven't found where the course maps are available in a folder on Ning? Is this possible or do you have to have the document linked in some other location and track it down? Still think some aspects of the Ning schedule are clunky in comparison to the schedule our MFA scheduler used to prepare and update.
 
The one thing that I'm not sure can be overcome with any Ning or standalone website is the sense that the MFA-online Yahoo group is open for everyone to see what's going on in Minnesota without being a member. We have people from all over the country as Yahoo MFA-O members to see what we're up to. I don't think those same people feel as comfortable linking into the "official" MFA Ning site. Even though you and I know it has few barriers to join and participate, I still think there's a psychological difference between the two options where the Yahoo group has broader appeal and apparent accessibility than MFA Ning.

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