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MusingMuso

What Future Is There For The Iao And Local Associations?

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In my view the key feature that makes an association thrive is that it has members who are prepared to put a lot into running it. Anything else is secondary. Of course, an association with a large membership is more likely to have such members, and will thus tend to thrive.

 

Being in an organists' association is rather like going to the pub with your friends. Unless at least some of you are prepared to get up and go to the bar, none of you will get much out of it. Who would be to blame? All of you!

 

My experience of it is that it is always a very few who have to put in all the hard work because most of the membership isn't willing. I well remember at an AGM when I was President of our local Association (of which I'm no longer a member) almost begging the assembled company for somebody to volunteer to do some of the secretarial work as the Hon Sec wanted to stand down, having served a long time. Nobody was willing. It was just a few of us who put a lot into running it. The membership (mostly retired) just wanted to attend monthly meetings.

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My experience of it is that it is always a very few who have to put in all the hard work because most of the membership isn't willing. I well remember at an AGM when I was President of our local Association (of which I'm no longer a member) almost begging the assembled company for somebody to volunteer to do some of the secretarial work as the Hon Sec wanted to stand down, having served a long time. Nobody was willing. It was just a few of us who put a lot into running it. The membership (mostly retired) just wanted to attend monthly meetings.

 

Yep, it's hard work keeping an evening in a pub going if there's only one person willing to go to the bar.

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My experience of it is that it is always a very few who have to put in all the hard work because most of the membership isn't willing. I well remember at an AGM when I was President of our local Association (of which I'm no longer a member) almost begging the assembled company for somebody to volunteer to do some of the secretarial work as the Hon Sec wanted to stand down, having served a long time. Nobody was willing. It was just a few of us who put a lot into running it. The membership (mostly retired) just wanted to attend monthly meetings.

Exactly the same here. We have around 60 members, but only a third of these take any active interest. The other two thirds never come to meetings and never correspond, even when we ask them how we can best meet their needs. I wouldn't know them from Adam because I've never seen them. Goodness knows why they belong. Maybe they support us out of a sense of duty or obligation. Whatever it is, we're very grateful, because without their subscriptions we would not be viable.

 

I may well put something in our magazine asking whether we have any experts willing to redevelop our particularly naff website, but I reckon I know what the response will be. Zilch.

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I may well put something in our magazine asking whether we have any experts willing to redevelop our particularly naff website, but I reckon I know what the response will be. Zilch.

 

I've just taken a look at that website, Vox. Oh dear, I see what you mean! :lol::huh:

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This is an interesting topic. What events/activities and aims are the good associations doing? What are the key things that make up a good, healthy local association?

 

I'm also interested on the comments about local associations' websites, especially from my professional background as an IT Business Analyst. What do people find useful on these sites? Why would they go an visit them? I can think of a number of websites which don't look all that brilliant but I use them a lot and think they're great because of what I get from them.

 

I occasionally dally with the idea of setting up my local association with a website. What stops me is that while I could set them up with a very professional site, I'm terrible at keeping websites upto date!

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Guest Cynic
Given that our hosts do this for nothing, do we not think it appropriate to chip in to ensure the thing keeps going? What would be a reasonable sum? £3, £5?

 

 

I think all you would need to say is that if you won the lottery, you would invest in a Mander Organ.

I very likely would - mind you, I'd need a second barn to put it in.

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I think there is a most important future for the IAO & local associations, working hand-in-hand with other organisations

I do feel quite strongly about this and think we would do well to take a more considered view of what the IAO and local associations achieve, specifically & more generally - reaching those who for example cannot or do not wish to subscribe as a member of the RCO

 

It is my impression that there are more than a few associations that do a tremendous job, work hard at "outreach" - that realise there are benefits to be had from having a "presence" on the web ie having their own website - that cater for a wdie & differing constituency of members.

Yes, it isn't always easy when you are running a society with a group of volunteers -

Our Local Association will clock up its centenary later this year, and I am optimistic that we spend time thinking about how we can promote the organ and its music, not being content to plan the same format of events each year.

 

I do enjoy the 'chat and information gleaned from discussion groups like these, but we ought to remember that our own individual experience is but a very small slice of the "bigger picture"

 

Best Wishes

 

Philip Lowe

Oldham, Rochdale & Tameside Organists Association

 

 

Well put, from start to finish!

I entirely agree with everything here.

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I'm also interested on the comments about local associations' websites, especially from my professional background as an IT Business Analyst. What do people find useful on these sites? Why would they go an visit them? I can think of a number of websites which don't look all that brilliant but I use them a lot and think they're great because of what I get from them.

 

I occasionally dally with the idea of setting up my local association with a website. What stops me is that while I could set them up with a very professional site, I'm terrible at keeping websites upto date!

 

This is why a CMS is such a good idea - so that it can be set up to allow officers, etc., to update content easily, rather than run the risk of the destroying the style or appearance, or navigation, or structure of the site.

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This is why a CMS is such a good idea - so that it can be set up to allow officers, etc., to update content easily, rather than run the risk of the destroying the style or appearance, or navigation, or structure of the site.

Yes, I know... I would definately use a CMS for my association's website, it's just a question of getting around to it when I've got enough of an inclination to do it...

 

I also want to involve members on the design - do a design workshop to get their input into it one saturday morning. I would want them to feel it's their website.

 

Perhaps this should be my new year's resolution...

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Yes, I know... I would definately use a CMS for my association's website, it's just a question of getting around to it when I've got enough of an inclination to do it...

 

I also want to involve members on the design - do a design workshop to get their input into it one saturday morning. I would want them to feel it's their website.

 

Perhaps this should be my new year's resolution...

 

Just what I've just done with one of our regional chamber choirs - now the secretary and administrator update most of the content, and I just get involved when there needs to be a design tweak.

 

As you say, it's definitely the way to go.

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CMS - Church Music Society? :P

Or is it technology passing me by? :unsure:

 

Content Management System

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Content Management System

Thanks. I've spent the last half-hour trying to get my head around OpenSource and CMS. I'm not sure I'm any the wiser yet..... :unsure::P

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Thanks. I've spent the last half-hour trying to get my head around OpenSource and CMS. I'm not sure I'm any the wiser yet..... :unsure::P

 

Have a look at this www.wordsworthsingers.org.uk which is built using an OpenSource CMS.

 

The CMS is a software package which builds the webpages in realtime (the package is installed upon the server) according to rules specified by the designer, and using content supplied by the authorized users. All the various bits of the pages, design, template(s), content are held in a database.

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Have a look at this www.wordsworthsingers.org.uk which is built using an OpenSource CMS.

 

The CMS is a software package which builds the webpages in realtime (the package is installed upon the server) according to rules specified by the designer, and using content supplied by the authorized users. All the various bits of the pages, design, template(s), content are held in a database.

Thanks for this. I'm going to have a serious look into it, because it makes my website look decidedly amateurish by comparison!

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Guest Cynic
Thanks for this. I'm going to have a serious look into it, because it makes my website look decidely amateurish by comparison!

 

 

As a free alternative, you might like to look at piczo.

This website service is free, aimed at folks younger than us, but distinctly easy to use and to update.

I am moderately techno-phobic, so (for instance) I barely know some of the terms like HTML MPeg etc.

Even so, I have recently taken less than a hour to add a new page.

 

Yes it may be very cheap (FREE!!) and not look as flash as some of the sites we see, but it's friendly and, much more to the point, you don't need anyone else to back you up, enter material or update it for you. I don't know about you, but I am tired of finding things on the web about people or places that we have all heard of that were last updated in 2006. Think of a change, make a change... it's not really any more difficult than that. Piczo encourage you to use plenty of pictures (essential to an interesting site) and there are sites full of tips.

 

I won't enter details here, but anyone who doubts this advice or the effectiveness of this service, try my site. Details in my profile.

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There are many free (i.e. OpenSource) CMSes, to set the record straight, including the one used to build the site I mentioned. Also, as I said, content is added and modified by the organization's hon. sec., and its administrator, not by specialists.

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Whilst I don't necessarily want to resurrect this thread, I would like to point out that anyone who has made comments here about their local association, should consider those comments carefully, and decide whether or not they should be removed.

 

The comments I made have been printed and raised at our association's AGM, and following a letter sent to me, I have had little option but to resign my membership with immediate effect.

 

I only post this as a warning to others.

 

David

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Whilst I don't necessarily want to resurrect this thread, I would like to point out that anyone who has made comments here about their local association, should consider those comments carefully, and decide whether or not they should be removed.

 

The comments I made have been printed and raised at our association's AGM, and following a letter sent to me, I have had little option but to resign my membership with immediate effect.

 

I only post this as a warning to others.

 

David

Sorry to hear that, David.

 

At least I'm in the fortunate position of no longer being a member of an organists' association, which gives me a lot more spare time on Saturdays! :mellow:

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Well, I might regret my rather grumpy mode of expression, but I stand by what I said. If my association wish to raise it at the AGM it should at least make for a lively discussion and if they wish me to resign I will gladly do so. It would signal that they are not interested in broadening their tastes and, if that should be the case, I would have nothing further to contribute.

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Well, I might regret my rather grumpy mode of expression, but I stand by what I said. If my association wish to raise it at the AGM it should at least make for a lively discussion and if they wish me to resign I will gladly do so. It would signal that they are not interested in broadening their tastes and, if that should be the case, I would have nothing further to contribute.

Good on you. I'm afraid that in the end I just got so fed up with the correspondance, I decided it was easier just to remove them. I stand by what I said - OK, possibly worded quite strongly - but true.

 

David

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I stand by what I said - OK, possibly worded quite strongly - but true.

 

Pity you deleted it then, David! You could always put it back.

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I would hoope that opinions expressed here are honest and truthful and that those who post them should be willing to stand by them - or don't post!

 

It may be an obvious thing to say but this is a public forum, rather like "letters to the editor" which anyone may well take up: why fear it?

 

F-W.

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