Author Topic: Calling all those who are or who remember their first visit to the website...  (Read 8609 times)

WebAdmin

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Hi All,

The main website review is underway, and and as part of that process I am asking for your experiences of the website.

I am NOT including the forum in this, just the website.

I don't want to give you a set of questions that tell me what I want to know, I need to know what you want to tell me - but if you need any encouragement: the sort of thing I generally envisage would be what you were looking for that first time, and what your first impressions were of the site; did you find what you were looking for?

Thank you,

Regards
Glenys

ps - I've stickied it here because more people are likely to see it here than on Feedback.  Also, I've hit the scary red button marked "announce" just to see what it does ;)
Lesley
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squarerigger

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I was looking to find local information about any branch near me and I also wanted to see how a branch might be formed.  I did not find a branch near me but I did find an e-mail address for the Secrteary and got a reply through the regular mail.  That was 12 years ago.... ;D

SR

DerekSmith

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Hi Glenys,

I cannot see what the scary red button did, but I do remember my first visits to the IGKT website.

The International Guild of Knot Tyers  -  I thought that I had hit pay-dirt.  I had never known of the existence of such a body and from the name thought that I would now find the Grail of knotting knowledge.

I went through the site again and again, hunting for the hidden knowledge and pages but ended with abject disappointment.  No library of knots, no history of knots, no lessons or tutorials, just a little static site - nicely constructed but not alive.  I later discovered this much reflected the Guild itself.

Perhaps I did not have full access because I was not a member, so I downloaded my application form (Note - no online membership joining or payment capability), filled it in and sent it off.. and waited... and waited...  No reply.

I phoned the Secretary who asked me to apply again which I did.  My money was acceptable and up rolled a copy of KM - a little gem.  No membership pack, no membership details, just the KM and a banked payment.

Then the worst shock - no hidden access, no hidden secrets, even the numerous books owned by the Guild were only available to be read at meetings and festivals.

The tired static website was all there was to the Guild apart from KM and the Forum.  A good website should be like a well organised library - loads of information that you can go back to again and again for reference or just to learn something new - a bit like ABOK - but no, the IGKT webite could be consumed in half an hour and had nothing worth making a revisit for.  Not even a hoard of vital links to interesting sites.

I regularly visit Roos site and Dave Roots Layhands site to remind myself of a structure or method, but there was no such value in the Guild site, so gave up visiting it.

Derek
« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 12:42:38 PM by DerekSmith »

Sweeney

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I joined the IGKT back in 1984 having seen an advert in the back of a paperback by Geoffrey Budworth. I had become interested in knotting only a couple of years earlier and attended some early meetings in London. Then we moved north and work intervened so when I took up my interest again a few years ago I had a look at the website and I have to agree with Derek. It was disappointing and I think reflected the attitude of Council members toward new tachnology as much as anything - something for consenting adults in private perhaps.  At the Council meeting yesterday we agreed for the first time a set of objectives to be delivered next year - this plan will be published on the website as soon as possible and includes this review (and setting up online payments).  Either we move forward or we fade away. This plan in itself is hardly going to improve the website but it's a start. We need to add our unique perspective and recognise that there are many websites giving knot details but that should not stop us from joining in and I think with the breadth of knowledge of our members, adding a level of authority. It will be hard work though and we need co-operation from members of the Guild and this forum so please pull no punches - let us know what you think and as important what you want from the site.

Barry

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« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 09:44:28 AM by Sweeney »

DerekSmith

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Barry,

Wonderful news.

Small steps are better than no steps and eminently preferable to grandiose plans that are never implemented.

All credit to the Council for making the move and starting the process.

Derek

WebAdmin

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Dear Lindsey, Derek and Barry

Thank you for answering the post, I have copied the replies down into a table on a word document so that I can summarise them into their briefest points, but retaining as far as possible your own wording.

I have also received some replies by email, to which I have individually replied.

One of the things I noticed in the information I'm picking up through my web-design studies is that a website must have the ability to adapt and grow built into it.  I hope that is something I'm doing as I begin constructing a draft site.

Regards

Glenys
Lesley
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sharky

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After Thought...When I received my membership packet it included a very nice letter and a price list of things I could buy. The problem is, that I have never seen any of these items...anywhere...I might order some if I knew what I was buying. Putting the knot charts on the web with the option to buy would be nice. Pictures and descriptions of the other items for sale would be nice as well. As it is, I would be ordering blind, hence, I do not order.
Sharky

Stilestrider

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Greetings!
I have just joined IGKT. I first viewed the website about 6 months ago after a search on the net. I attended my first branch meeting this week (Midland) which was very worthwhile. Good to see the forum here and I look forward to reading more posts.

As a slight aside to the topic, please note that the IGKT now has a fan page on the social network facebook with a link through to the website.

Ged

SpitfireTriple

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After reading Geoffrey Butterworth's ultimate book, I too have just joined IGKT - the forum part anyway.  About 2 hours ago, so I can still remember it as if it were yesterday.  Here's my first post

Things that surprised me:

Before making my first post, I searched for "Versa-Vice".  IGKT forum came up with one entry. One.  Okay, it's not the most well-known knot in the world but... this was a hint of things to come.  When I searched for "Versa-Vice" on the front page of IGKT, it came up with ... nothing.  No links at all.

Why is there not an easy-reference, complete encyclopedia of knots here?  I was expecting to find the equivalent of ABOK on-line, with colour pictures and clear descriptions.  Something along the lines of wiki - perhaps wiki increasingly fulfills that function?  I recognise that this sort of thing takes a lot of time, and often it involves volunteers doing things for the love of it rather than for money, so I must bite my lip.

I note that there are people creating things like Knotmaker and KnotTyer3D.  These things are marvellous.  Could they be integrated into the website?  I am also intrigued by the steps being taken by various people here to create a more rigorous nomenclature for knots.

Why is a subscription required to be a full member?  That is how things were ten years ago.  Every other forum of which I am a member is free.  They finance themselves through advertising.  Are there not enough suppliers of knotting books, ropes, etc to bring in a reasonable income?  Can anything be set up with Google?  Amazon?

Why is there still a newsletter, Knotting Matters?  I am guessing it goes out on paper, in an envelope?  I will allow, however, that if it serves as a summary of the best of recent developments in the knotting world (eg new knots, new test results, etc) then it serves a useful purpose. On any forum you care to mention, the problem is sometimes that you have to wade through a lot of guff and repetition to find the interesting gems.  NB, I am not criticising others here, I am one of the biggest producers of guff around!

All in all, I am grateful for the existence of IGKT, but feel it is almost Victorian in its outlook (good in some ways, not so good in others).  Having said that, the fact that you are asking for feedback is a very good sign for the future.

I hope I am not upsetting anyone here, but whilst it is good to remember the contributions of those who have gone before, I am not sure that the front page of a modern website should contain an immediate link to a list of previous members who have died.  This is not the sort of thing that will get "young people" (can hardly believe I've just used that phrase!) on board.  

Similarly, whilst it is good to have a list of objectives, does it need to be so stuffy?  A simple mission statement is best.   And do we need a list on the front page of the Honorary Membership Secretary, Honorary Treasurer etc?  I recognise that these roles need to filled, but listing them on the front page gives the feel of a pre-war golf club.

"IGKT.net" is a meaningful name - to those who already know it.  By all means keep the IGKT name, but consider buying a better website name.  I notice knotting.com  appears to be available.  It wouldn't be cheap of course.

IGKT had a huge head start in the race to dominate the online world of knots.  But it has trod water while other sites have grown to fill the void.  It has some good people on board however, and its name still commands authority, so could regain or strengthen its number one position.  But if it does not take action, other sites, such as wiki, or sub-forums of places like 24hourcampfire will put it permanently on the side-lines. Which would be a shame.  

There is plenty of knot information out there on the net.  Much of it however is unreliable.  And incorrect knots can kill.  There needs to be an authoritative source.  The world needs and wants an accessible (that rules out ABOK) authoritative source. IGKT should be it.

Andrew

PS I acknowledge that it's a lot easier to put forward all these ideas than it is to execute them. Especially when it comes to writing computer code.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 07:00:54 PM by SpitfireTriple »

WebAdmin

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Hi Andrew,

I want to go through your message properly and reply to the various points, but the school-run alarm has just gone, and we start the halfterm holiday in 20 minutes ;) so it may be another week before you get a complete answer.

ABOK Index: As you will have seen on other posts, there was indeed a project to re-index it.  I'm not sure how they were addressing the possibility of bringing that into a form the IGKT could use to help make access better across the web, because of copyright issues it may not be possible to put online in as full a format as you want.  The main reason the project foundered was because of volunteers losing heart and interest.  Please feel free to examine both the threads (it got split into a technical discussion under computing at http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=1305.15 and the original at http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=1006.0).  Then please feel even more free to join in the fun - I think Sweeney/Barry is co-ordinating at present, as Secretary.

(Oh, and I haven't yet been able to afford Ashley, nor to find him as a bargain in a second-hand book stall, either.  Plus I'm only just learning enough webstuff now to be able to design (not write) a new website - does that beat your loss of credibility?  :D )

Got to dash,
Regards

Glenys
Lesley
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Deacon

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Well, I figure I might as well start here since this is my very first visit.
Hope you don't mind an American novice joining.
Over the last few months I have been re-acquainting myself with knots and braiding.
I remember enjoying working with knots as a boy scout and I took a notion to getting back into practice.

squarerigger

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Welcome to the forum Deacon,

Good to have you in the fold as it were!

SR

didknot

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Glad to see I am not alone, this is also my first visit.  I was referred here
by Hooey.  He told me this was a great site with wonderful people willing
to help me learn how to braid rawhide.  I started out braiding wheat, moved on to
paracord and am now taking the step to rawhide.  I am an addict.  The home improvement stores
hate it when I leave their rope isle, lots of really cool knots.     ;D
Thanks to all who share their knowledge and love of this art.

Dan_Lehman

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(Oh, and I haven't yet been able to afford Ashley, nor to find him as a bargain in a second-hand book stall, either.

Wow, yes, ABOK is holding value quite well -- you should be looking on-line,
but Amazon.com (USA version) currently has as its cheapest Marketplace
(various independent sellers) used price of about $40 excluding the fixed
$4 (US-$) shipping fee.  New isn't all that much higher, considering.
(Highest used prices I see are in the 80s, 99, and one at $200 !  I must
wonder what those sellers are thinking, with new copies offered at $50+ ?!)
(And, to think, I got a fine $400+ -listed book for $0.07, cheaper than
a private person can USPS-Media-mail it ($4.06 total) ! )

But keep checking.

(-;

Isplice

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Hi Glenys
I have only just seen the web page for the first time tonight, 9.25pm Melbourne Australia time.
My first impressions are that there could be easier ways to join as indeed I believe I wish to, however I might wait until I can do it online.
Regards Tim