Changes to how WCC communicates
A small working group met in June to discuss WCC’s online presence. Our website has been out of date for some time now, and while Cognoscenti is a good communication tool, we could be following the example of some of our fellow borough groups and getting more active and engaged with other local cyclists online. In line with the relaunch of the LCC website, we looked at some of the online tools available to us, including the LCC forum, Facebook, Twitter, our own website, the existing WCC-Streets blog and yahoo email groups.
NEW LCC WEBSITE http://lcc.org.uk/boroughs/wandsworth
This has been completely revamped and is looking very good – do browse it if you haven’t yet. WCC have a dedicated page there with our basic details, which also shows on the right-hand side other Wandsworth-linked events, discussions and blogs. If our discussions are showing as lively and active on this page, new members looking us up will find a welcoming community of cyclists, rather than an out-of-date website and impenetrable email list.
BOROUGH FORUM http://lcc.org.uk/boroughs/wandsworth/forum
This is where we propose to start more WCC chat and discussions, instead of using the email group. We’ve started a few threads to show what the site can do. The general idea we have for using the forum is that if you are sending a post to the email group, please also post it on the forum (cut & paste works best via a plain text editor – it didn’t like the post I copied directly from yahoo). If you would like to reply to a post you see on the email group, rather than reply to the email, please go onto the forum and reply there. It will take a while for everyone to get used to the new system, but the site and comments will be open to new members and we should meet new Wandsworth cyclists this way.
To post on the forum, you need to sign up on the LCC site, but once you’ve done this, you can stay logged in and don’t need to keep entering your details. Also, when you go to ‘My Dashboard’ on the site, you will get a digest of all the Wandsworth related articles, which is handy.
At the moment, although threads can be deleted, the title remains, so it looks a bit odd. We have sent off several queries to LCC about technical glitches, and Gerhard and Mike are working through a big list of queries with Tim, the site developer. There is a place on the main forum to log bugs (http://lcc.org.uk/pages/feedback) so you are encouraged to experiment and ask pertinent questions so that we can get the site running smoothly.
There are also other forums which are more London-wide, so there is plenty to engage with: http://lcc.org.uk/pages/forum
EMAIL GROUP http://www.wandsworthcyclists.org.uk/mailingList.shtml
We felt that the yahoo email group, while good at engaging many of those signed up to it, and useful for sharing information, is a ‘closed loop’ and isn’t accessible to those who don’t want to sign up to it. Also, by being a private group, it is not going to attract anyone who looks us up online as they can’t see what we’re actively discussing at the moment. We propose to use it for circulating information only, and to encourage discussions about local issues to move to the forum on the LCC website. We would also duplicate the information shared by email there too, with a view to eventually phasing out use of this list. This will take some practice till we get used to the new system!
Richmond Cycling Campaign have a very active and well-though-out Twitter feed thanks to one of their members (@RichmondCycling). Kingston also have a presence on Twitter (@KingstonCycling), so if you’re an active tweeter and would like to share WCC-related things, then do get in touch. Irena is keen to run a WCC twitter feed too, so will probably set this up soon.
We also decided that we would make a WCC page on Facebook which gives our basic details and directs members to our other online presences, unless members would really like and use a Facebook page. We thought that our time would be better spent in switching to the LCC forum for our active online presence though.
This is a very useful resource, but lots of it is now out of date as we have not had a volunteer to update it regularly over the last few years. There will be a separate email sent about this.
WCC STREETS BLOG http://www.wcc-streets.blogspot.com/
This has been being run by Mike as a way of sending out the consultations we’re involved with. It’s not currently very active and we might be better off posting future consultations on the LCC forum for comment.
We invite your comments on all our ideas and the suggested move to using the forum on the LCC site. If you could post these on the forum, as a test of its user-friendliness and how a discussion there works for us as a group, we think that would be a useful trial! We can also discuss over drinks at the Nightingale on Tuesday!
We look forward to hearing from you all soon.
Bryony, Ian, Jonathan & Irena