Membership Suggestion

Rob_Davis

[I moved this from the "I owe some people a drink" topic since it really starts a new train of thought.]

Stormtrack has reasserted its role for active storm chasers, but I've noticed that the status of non-chasers is not very clear. We are not going to dip a strainer into the userlist to weed out non-chasers based on credentials. That will be done on new applications (and to what extent is still in debate).
In the spirit of offering constructive suggestions and solutions rather than focusing solely on problems, allow me to throw this out for consideration:

How about a "sponsor" system for newbies? Like, if a current member who is an established and experienced chaser were to know a promising newbie who has already done the book work and seems to be well on track for going active in the coming season, could that member vouch for the newbie, allowing him to join the board?

Seems like this system would offer several real benefits to the community, among them:

1. It takes a burden off of administration to spend a lot of time checking new applicants out.

2. It establishes a somewhat concrete entrance criteria.

3. It allows a limited, yet quality flow of new life into the community.

4. It gives current members a personal stake in the quality and success of the forum.

Today's newbie is tomorrow's veteran. I would expect Nick to understand that better than most. By allowing veteran members to identify potential new blood and Elmer them into the community, we can positively affect the future of the community.

For a parallel analogy of what we are dealing with here, one need look no farther than Ham radio. Ham radio was (and arguably still is) dying. With the advent of the computer age, radio communications has become passe and unable to pique the interest of the current generation. Certainly not enough for them to do all the studying and learning necessary to legally join the community. Consequently, it was quite literally dying. Ham radio was at the very same crossroads as us a few years back.

How Ham handled that dilemma is the interesting part of the story. They responded by drastically dropping the membership requirements for the community. Did it breathe new life into the hobby? Absolutely. But did it breathe new quality into the hobby? Absolutely not.

I believe that illustrates that Tim is absolutely on the right track by strengthening the entrance criteria for the community. That is the best way available to improve quality. But it also illustrates that you have to look forward and anticipate where the next generation is going to come from to avoid stagnation. I believe that a sponsorship system for new members would address both of those dilemmas effectively.

Comment?
 
Dec 12, 2003
118
0
0
45
Conway, AR
www.onthefront.ws
[I moved this from the "I owe some people a drink" topic since it really starts a new train of thought.]

Stormtrack has reasserted its role for active storm chasers, but I've noticed that the status of non-chasers is not very clear. We are not going to dip a strainer into the userlist to weed out non-chasers based on credentials. That will be done on new applications (and to what extent is still in debate).
In the spirit of offering constructive suggestions and solutions rather than focusing solely on problems, allow me to throw this out for consideration:

How about a "sponsor" system for newbies? Like, if a current member who is an established and experienced chaser were to know a promising newbie who has already done the book work and seems to be well on track for going active in the coming season, could that member vouch for the newbie, allowing him to join the board?

Seems like this system would offer several real benefits to the community, among them:

1. It takes a burden off of administration to spend a lot of time checking new applicants out.

2. It establishes a somewhat concrete entrance criteria.

3. It allows a limited, yet quality flow of new life into the community.

4. It gives current members a personal stake in the quality and success of the forum.

Today's newbie is tomorrow's veteran. I would expect Nick to understand that better than most. By allowing veteran members to identify potential new blood and Elmer them into the community, we can positively affect the future of the community.

For a parallel analogy of what we are dealing with here, one need look no farther than Ham radio. Ham radio was (and arguably still is) dying. With the advent of the computer age, radio communications has become passe and unable to pique the interest of the current generation. Certainly not enough for them to do all the studying and learning necessary to legally join the community. Consequently, it was quite literally dying. Ham radio was at the very same crossroads as us a few years back.

How Ham handled that dilemma is the interesting part of the story. They responded by drastically dropping the membership requirements for the community. Did it breathe new life into the hobby? Absolutely. But did it breathe new quality into the hobby? Absolutely not.

I believe that illustrates that Tim is absolutely on the right track by strengthening the entrance criteria for the community. That is the best way available to improve quality. But it also illustrates that you have to look forward and anticipate where the next generation is going to come from to avoid stagnation. I believe that a sponsorship system for new members would address both of those dilemmas effectively.

Comment?
Personally, I like this idea, and this is similar to the criteria used on many private forums, including the former ST private forum. However, I can still see this being taken by some as being elitist. A few seem to be dead-set against anything that allows this board to focus on serving chasers, which, as far as I know, was the original intent of Storm Track.

Jason
 

jaybarnsmith

Perhaps instead of having a said mentor the entire community should branch out and help the new people? There are already some people like David D. and Mike H. who post all sorts of helpful information. But then theres the other side who thinks they are too good to help for example Nick G. and Bryce S.

Of course this is all rather pointless. Its really up to Tim V. if he wants to exclusively serve the hardcore met. folks or if he would rather allow everyone to take advantage of this wonderful place.
 
Apr 16, 2004
1,613
12
11
Austin, Tx
www.TornadoXtreme.com
How about a "sponsor" system for newbies?
I'd say this is a start, and one option; however there will always be those that are serious but don't know anyone. You will still need some application to be submitted for them to keep it fair IMO. Folks would have to work out what requirements would be on the app.
 
Sep 17, 2004
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Bangladesh
Doesn't seem like such a bad idea. I think there would still need to be a set criteria that way its fair across the board. But I wouldn't mind seeing something like this if it was done right.
 
Jun 19, 2005
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New Mexico
I like the sponsor idea. Just remember there are a few of us who are interested and participate in chasing but do not study meteorology or choose a weather related career . For example me, I study astrophysics and have no ability at my school to study the weather because my school does not offer it. Yet I am interested and partake in chasing partly because of other hobbies, but yes also because of astrophysics. There are plenty of ways as astronomers and astrophysicists to be interested in weather which would lead to a natural extension of wanting to view more of weather. For example turbulence in the air can affect "seeing" of the sky, along with thermal variations. Plus you have to make forecast on whether you can use your telescope. That last one should maybe hint at how then maybe you would want to test that forecasting “skill“. This was not how I became interested but it is just an example of how other largely non weather related skills and jobs could lead to chasing. So just a word to every one you don’t have to be a chaser AND study meteorology or atmospheric science. I also keep remembering every one loud and clearly saying this is a hobby and you can’t make a profit. That is where I currently like to keep chasing, as my hobby.

P.S. Intresting side note is how physicists have helped with a large part of weather understanding.
 
Dec 18, 2003
4,138
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11
Lubbock, TX
daviddrummond.com
That's not a bad idea. I think maybe those that sponsor should also be taking an active role in the chasing education of the one being sponsored though, and not just sponsor them because they chat a lot on IM or something like that.
 

Douglas Mitchell

1. Accept anyone with a genuine interest in storms

2. Weed out your abusers with more aggressive modding.

3. Quit placing blame on "non-chasers" for "old" ST's problems.

4. Recognize drama created by "chasers" was real reason for ST restructuring.

5. Have a couple drinks.
 

Rob_Davis

Well I have to say, Doug, your suggestions sound a lot better as laid out above than they did when they were part of a hostile rant in the other thread. You have some good points, indeed. Don't let them get lost in the rhetoric. :wink:
 

Geoff Boyle

1. Accept anyone with a genuine interest in storms

2. Weed out your abusers with more aggressive modding.

3. Quit placing blame on "non-chasers" for "old" ST's problems.

4. Recognize drama created by "chasers" was real reason for ST restructuring.

5. Have a couple drinks.
Amen! :wink:
 

Lisa Post

EF0
May 13, 2005
17
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Sioux City, IA
I've been reading through a lot of the things being posted over the past few days, and here's my two cents, if it is worth anything...
No, I am not a die-hard, experienced chaser like a lot of the people on this forum, and no I have not posted on here very often. There are a couple of reasons for this...one, I am learning, and I learn by reading what the more experienced chasers have to say. I very much appreciate Stormtrack, and all the knowledge to be gained here. Two, even though I don't post a lot myself, I have been active on this board for awhile now, reading through it every day during the active season. I too have seen the drama that has gone on, and I choose not to participate in that kind of thing.
I guess I am just worried that everybody is going to blame us "newbies" for all that has gone on, and I just wanted to make sure people know that there are some "newbies" out here who haven't added to the issues...I think a lot of the newer people on here are often afraid to post their thoughts and forecasts for fear of being harshly criticized or ridiculed by people...I've seen it done on here several times.
I love the concept of this place, and I feel it should be open to new chasers...I can say from experience that I have learned more about chasing from this site than from anywhere else on the net, and I would hate to be kicked out just because I am not as experienced as other people...I also like the idea of the mentor-type system for newer people, but that will only work if there are experienced chasers willing to take on that task...fresh blood and new ideas are essential to any hobby, and I hope that the crew here can understand that...
Anyway, just my 2 cents...
 
Apr 16, 2004
1,613
12
11
Austin, Tx
www.TornadoXtreme.com
Originally posted by Lisa Post+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Lisa Post)</div>
No, I am not a die-hard, experienced chaser like a lot of the people on this forum, and no I have not posted on here very often. There are a couple of reasons for this...one, I am learning, and I learn by reading what the more experienced chasers have to say.
[/b]
How do you really know WHO is experienced though and who the newbie is??

<!--QuoteBegin-Lisa Post


I guess I am just worried that everybody is going to blame us \"newbies\" for all that has gone on, and I just wanted to make sure people know that there are some \"newbies\" out here who haven't added to the issues...I think a lot of the newer people on here are often afraid to post their thoughts and forecasts for fear of being harshly criticized or ridiculed by people...I've seen it done on here several times.
This gives me an idea...wouldn't it be great if you could tell some of the qualifications of who you are chatting with? Consider something like an Ebay rating system where each individual has a score, or some type of color coded letter or number that shows a level of expertise.

At first I thought this would be impossible to determine, but you could determine it to some degree by the applicant or member filling out a questionaire of their background, whether they are a chaser, number of tornadoes or storms, chased, education level, number of years chasing, chase alone, etc, etc.

This rating could also allow access to different parts of the forum, who can post, etc, etc. In other words everyone will no longer just be anonymous. Think of how well this does for Ebay where you otherwise would be traded with complete unknowns.