CoM Meeting

CoM Meeting on the 7th July?
Where and when?
I was planning on going to Festival of 1000 Bikes.
I’ve signed up to the email list through the web site twice and will do again after this post but so far nowt happens, just me or how many others?

Hi Colin, the CoM meeting has been mooted via the CoM email list, perhaps Steve could help you get sorted if you are not receiving the CoM emails.
The meeting will be at Graham Stoppani’s, I’ll forward the email to you.
Club’s email list seems to be working ok, I’ve posted the D UK press releases on there, and Fred has been posting events ok too …

I’m sure the email list is working Ok, its just the joining of it via the web site that doesn’t seem to happen, hopefully just me and not loads of others that have just given up and gone away.

It was done via CoM e mail Colin, needs sorting and is on the agenda

[size=150]Sorry I won’t be able to make com meet on the 7th, just too far for me, with the price of fuel and time! (How about setting up Skype)

Regarding the forum. I vote it stays for members only but needs to be easier to access from home page of website.

I agree with Jilly, we should organise events to be at earlier in the year and we should have stand at 1000 bikes.

Let me know if anything needs to be done regarding branches.

I will do a short report for branch Co-ordinator and email it later this week.

Regards Guy[/size]

yes, I agree with Guy about Skype - I’m already set up on that (‘desmolady’ - should anyone want to contact me via skype), and have been for a couple of years (if not longer!) it’s ideal for free chat and conference chat

[size=150]We could all be at a com meet then.

Just another thought on the Website and Forum, is there a way we can change and moderate our own sections, ie branches. I could up date branches myself then. Save webmaster time.[/size]

Yes, we should be at 1,000 bikes, I am at con then with Northampton and Nene Valley branches Sunday, I will try to get somebody.

I do not think it is possible as the current website is not web based, if it was we could do what you say. Let’s see what turns out from meet.

Martyn, please could you clarify ‘I will try to get somebody’ … do you mean you need to find someone who’s going to the Festival of 1000 bikes? Or someone to represent the CoM / DOC GB there?

Somebody to organise a stand for next year. A bit late for this year but if you know anybody going, I know DSC have a stand this year. Maybe because Ducati UK are there also this year, by the time we found out it was too late, nobody came forward as organiser, on the list to find someone …

Thank you, Martyn :wink:
I doubt whether there will be the same high profile Ducati personalities at the Festival of 1000 bikes next year, but we ought to have something in place / set up should this sort of event happen again, it’s no good relying on local branches to set up stands, especially at short notice. (I seem to remember that we were told about the event much earlier this year? I could be wrong … :astonished: )

I’ll be going on there on Sunday, we can discuss it on Sat.

Yes, we were asked if we wanted to pay for space there, it was talked about but unfortunately nobody came forward to organise the stand, great news Colin, have you got some flyers to give to the Ducati truck guys ??

I am hoping to go to Mallory to sus the job out for next year. However there are several other things on this weekend, the Northants/Nene Valley/ Mid Anglia meet up on Sunday and a CoM meeting at Grahams? when? also the weather forecast looks pants so it may have to be a trip in the van any way.


Please find below my input to the meeting on the 7th July. Sorry I cannot attend in person but only just got back home after a couple of business trips and the Assen TT. As long as I have 6 weeks notice and no other clash I would normally be able to attend.

I have added my input to the COM meeting below. I know I am new to the committee so please feel free to ignore any suggestions that may be made due to lack of knowledge.


This is going well and I am now doing all website & email related activities. Spaggy will be informing me about how the DOC Shop works so I can also take this over. Spaggy can give a more detailed handover summary at the COM meeting.

Webmaster Related Suggestions

I would like to create an online survey open to members only to understand what they do and do not like about the website/forum/shop and what they would like to see changed, added or removed.

I already have a few ideas to improve navigation slightly and would like to take this along with feedback from the survey of members to create a framework of a new site and publish it as a “beta” site. We can all review, provide feedback and then agree a final version. [I am also going to pinch a few of the many good things that Spaggy did and use them on my VMCC IoM website :wink: - is probably gonna cost me a beer or 2 or 3 or… ].

I think we should review moving the main site to a more commercial hosting environment.

Other Suggestions/Questions

Colin raised a valid question to me – why do we have a COM email list if we do things via the COM section on the forum? I was also confused a little by this. Can we agree to focus on using 1 or the other to minimise the need to monitor 2 different places?

Is there any chance of getting a club stand in my “Italian Tent” at VMCC Festival of Jurby? We had a Benelli one last year and it got a lot of interest. The Festival had over 14,500 visitors last year.

Can we consider investigating the use of a teleconference facility for COM meetings for those that are unable to attend in person? I do 90% of my work “virtually” and it can work really well. All we need is a speaker phone at the location and a teleconference account.

Can we plan our COM meetings well in advance – maybe at the beginning of each year (links with the idea of planning event attendance). We should then create a Forum entry for each one in the COM area.

Since we add the issues of Desmo to the website anyway why not offer members the chance to opt out of receiving a hard copy but rather an email with a link to the online version. This would save printing and postage costs and this approach is already used successfully within the VMCC IoM Section. The TT Marshall Association has gone 1 step further and only makes it’s newsletter available this way. It is worth making it available online a few days before the hard copy is posted as this will encourage some to adopt this approach

Inputs to Agenda Items

4b – I firmly believe that the forum should remain closed due to previous experience with open ones. The website is the face of the club not the forum. However I do think we need to make it more accessible to members from the website as it takes a lot of clicks to get to it from the home page.

Additionally I believe we should do more to promote its use within the club. We need to do things to get people there in the first place. I have a couple of suggestions below but I am sure others can think of more.

  • Maybe we can have monthly quiz (with a small prize) that is hosted on it
  • Instead of emailing things via the club email list why not add them to the forum and email a link

I am not a lover of Facebook but understand that others love it and it can be a valuable tool for clubs like ours. However I do not think we should be replicating the website on Facebook but rather using it to direct people to the website. I cannot see a link from the website to our Facebook site either so if somebody gives me the URL of our Facebook site I will add it.

4c – I normally take my tablet pc with me when I go on holiday as I have another website to maintain as well so should not be an issue for me.

4e – I agree that having a plan at the start of the year would be a good idea. We should also create an entry in the forum for each one and use it to keep members informed.

I will read this out for you Steve, we do try to get a few meets in advance but as the racing calendar is not out then it means some are moved, will try to sort next few out this Sat, good news about fewer clicks to get to the forum, the more busier the better. Facebook shows everybody that the club exists, I post regularly and direct people to the website and say we are more than a page. It is monitored and as this is open there is no need to open the forum, as we have all said.

The Beta test will be good also, some great ideas already, hope to see you soon

I’ll take this opportunity to answer/comment on a few of the points raised by Steve.

I had a talk to Keith recently re moving the site to a commercial host, and it is something he wouldn’t really have a problem with. As he winds down his business in preparation for retirement, it may become onerous for him to continue hosting on his servers, which are free to us, and he also pays the domain registration fees for us as a bonus.
As far as alternatives are concerned, Steve will have his ideas, but we already have the domain on 1&1, which is currently used for the forum and shop, plus we have on, which we currently only use for email.
There is also space on’s package for another forum, which we could use if we wanted to produce an “open to the public” version completely seperate from the “closed to members” current site.
There is also the old forum, still held on 1&1’s servers, but full of fraudulent spambot I/D’s which could be removed to clean it up, but that’s a job I found too time-consuming, so just locked it to new posts.

Re the email vs Forum debate. As Jilly has commented, some prefer the email option, whereas the forum is a bit more flexible. I set up the COM section on the forum for this sort of debate, with the email list intended more as a secondary option, but it seems to have gained traction by itself, and the fact that it is probably used more than the forum (though I stand to be corrected on that) seems to indicate that it is still the more favoured option. Horses for course really, and two are better than none.

I looked at setting up a “teleconferencing” system a few years ago, using Skype. I think it would be a good idea, but would have to be done using docgb email addresses for login. The problem back then was that several COM members wouldn’t use the docgb email addresses due to the spam problem we had, but that has been pretty much eliminated now, and pretty much everyone except Paul uses them, so may be worth a try again. The other significant issue was with technology and equipment, and I will warn Steve now that he will need to hold a few hands to get people through setting it up.

Desmo on the website has up to now been a “historical” project, with the original agreement being that the webmaster would be provided with a copy of Desmo electronically (it never happened) and that it would be uploaded to the memberzone two issues behind the current one. The principle being that members pay for a mag, and some still don’t use the net, so all should have their printed copy well before it appeared electronically.

Firmly in agreement on keeping the Forum “in house” for members only, but see comments above. Perhaps if I’d written an article or two for Desmo now and again it would be used more. As for making access easier, I have avoided placing a link to it on the open site as that would be counter-productive in making it accessible to non-members too, as once you’ve found it, there is no barrier to logging on. The only way to avoid this (I think) is to have the link within the memberzone, so that access is limited to club members who get their memberzone password from Desmo, and in theory they need to renew membership in order to keep the password up to date and maintain access. That’s why the link on the home page is effectively the same as the MemberZone navi link. From the MemberZone opening page there is a Forum link right at the top of the navigation list, which then gives two choices, which are the current version (open) and the old one (locked) so from the DOCGB home page, there is a maximum of 4 clicks (MemberZone, -plus password OK box-, Forum, Current version) which I have just done in around five seconds. Smarter users will just have saved the direct connection in their “favorites”, but I never recommend this outside of the COM as it makes it easier for lapsed members to continue to use it.

As I don’t subscribe to Facetube or Twatter etc, I have had absolutely nothing to do with that medium. It was set up by Gavin Scott-Brooker (ex-PRO) without any reference to me or how it could be effectively tied in to other docgb media, so has pretty much taken on a life of its own, now monitored by Martyn. There are links to it from the website - Links and Club News pages.

Finally, with regard to Guy’s comment. As is the case with branch reps, who are made de-facto moderators for their branch sub-forum, there is no barrier to making (for instance) Guy a moderator for the Branches section overall. User permissions can be set to allow this. However, a word of warning, when Ains was moderating as back-up to me, he did create several sub-forums which didn’t have any counterpart on the website (like the 1098 and Hypermotard focus groups). Although there is little to evidence it, the two elements were intended to be complimentary, with an organiser/moderator for each group rather than just a free for all. So some communication needs to take place with the webmaster and a third party who will oversee the group or it’s pretty pointless. A more serious issue is an understanding of the “permissions” applicable to each forum and sub-forum as Ains’s new ones were left wide open to bot crawlers and hence spam and unwanted viewers/contributors, which is something the forum is currently buttoned up well against, so you won;t find any of our forum discussions on a Google search. In the end I decided that it was best to do it myself, but Steve may have other ideas.

Hope this helps. I will keep my I/D on the COM list for the forum for a while longer in case I need to contribute anything useful, but expect to remove myself from the COM list on the forum and COM email list about the end of July.


While I do believe we should keep the forum for members only as far as adding comments why should we not make it open to all website visitors to read, excluding the COM section of course?

If non members read it they may get inspired to join so they can contribute.


Yes, that’s a good idea, show them what they are missing