Topics

RSGB Convention - Grow, Merge or Disband Your Club

Pete M0PSX
 

Hi all,

I wonder if anyone here attended the RSGB Convention this week, and in particular, the last session of the day, about clubs?

For those who didn't, here is an extract from my RSGB Convention 2019 Report


Probably the highlight of my weekend. Run by the ICQ Podcast team, this was a panel of two ICQ presenters, two RSGB Board members (Ian Shepherd and Kamal Singh), plus Richard G4JJP (author of a controversial article in the June 2019 Radcom suggesting a change to club structures)

ICQ Podcast’s “Gow, Merge or Disband your Club” session

To be honest, I’m still digesting the contents of this talk and reviewing four pages of copious notes taken. There’s a lot to be said about this session – far too much for this summary. A few of the points I underlined:

  • “Hubs not clubs”
  • “Club baggage”
  • “Hub” vs “Virtual clubs”
  • “Should the RSGB be a hub?”
  • To Google: “Disintermediation”, “centre set” “closed set” (bounded set?)
  • A mention for the “Brickworks” scheme (that didn’t launch at the Convention)
  • Some RSGB regional teams issue a “regional newsletter”
  • Top-down vs Bottom-up approach
  • Some interesting thoughts on youth access to amateur radio
  • Clear divisions between single stand-alone clubs, and those acting as “hubs” to a greater or lesser extent

It was great that the efforts of Essex Ham members was acknowledged, and it was very rewarding that both Richard and the ICQ team highlighted Essex Ham as positive examples of the hub model. Positive mentions too for CambHams and Suffolk RED. RSGB also acknowledged that virtual clubs are “starting to appear”

Any thoughts?

Pete M0PSX

RONALD WHITE
 

Only problem I can see if we all go virtual clubs with no clubs as they are now then any practical teaching needed or even people wishing to learn new aspects will have not a lot of places field days are good but not if weather is inclement  so clubs as they are do have a place.lights blue touch paper stands back with tin hat on 😊



Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

-------- Original message --------
From: Pete M0PSX <group@...>
Date: 14/10/2019 00:22 (GMT+00:00)
To: main@hamclubs.groups.io
Subject: [Ham Clubs] RSGB Convention - Grow, Merge or Disband Your Club

Hi all,

I wonder if anyone here attended the RSGB Convention this week, and in particular, the last session of the day, about clubs?

For those who didn't, here is an extract from my RSGB Convention 2019 Report


Probably the highlight of my weekend. Run by the ICQ Podcast team, this was a panel of two ICQ presenters, two RSGB Board members (Ian Shepherd and Kamal Singh), plus Richard G4JJP (author of a controversial article in the June 2019 Radcom suggesting a change to club structures)

ICQ Podcast’s “Gow, Merge or Disband your Club” session

To be honest, I’m still digesting the contents of this talk and reviewing four pages of copious notes taken. There’s a lot to be said about this session – far too much for this summary. A few of the points I underlined:

  • “Hubs not clubs”
  • “Club baggage”
  • “Hub” vs “Virtual clubs”
  • “Should the RSGB be a hub?”
  • To Google: “Disintermediation”, “centre set” “closed set” (bounded set?)
  • A mention for the “Brickworks” scheme (that didn’t launch at the Convention)
  • Some RSGB regional teams issue a “regional newsletter”
  • Top-down vs Bottom-up approach
  • Some interesting thoughts on youth access to amateur radio
  • Clear divisions between single stand-alone clubs, and those acting as “hubs” to a greater or lesser extent

It was great that the efforts of Essex Ham members was acknowledged, and it was very rewarding that both Richard and the ICQ team highlighted Essex Ham as positive examples of the hub model. Positive mentions too for CambHams and Suffolk RED. RSGB also acknowledged that virtual clubs are “starting to appear”

Any thoughts?

Pete M0PSX

Antony Watts
 

Check out my latest blog post at GanymedeHam.blogspot.com on this subject. In Banbury we did something about it, we call it club ZEST.

On 14 Oct 2019, at 12:35, RONALD WHITE via Groups.Io <ronald_white444=btinternet.com@groups.io> wrote:

Only problem I can see if we all go virtual clubs with no clubs as they are now then any practical teaching needed or even people wishing to learn new aspects will have not a lot of places field days are good but not if weather is inclement so clubs as they are do have a place.lights blue touch paper stands back with tin hat on 😊



Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

-------- Original message --------
From: Pete M0PSX <@essexham>
Date: 14/10/2019 00:22 (GMT+00:00)
To: main@hamclubs.groups.io
Subject: [Ham Clubs] RSGB Convention - Grow, Merge or Disband Your Club

Hi all,

I wonder if anyone here attended the RSGB Convention this week, and in particular, the last session of the day, about clubs?

For those who didn't, here is an extract from my RSGB Convention 2019 Report


Probably the highlight of my weekend. Run by the ICQ Podcast team, this was a panel of two ICQ presenters, two RSGB Board members (Ian Shepherd and Kamal Singh), plus Richard G4JJP (author of a controversial article in the June 2019 Radcom suggesting a change to club structures)

ICQ Podcast’s “Gow, Merge or Disband your Club” session
To be honest, I’m still digesting the contents of this talk and reviewing four pages of copious notes taken. There’s a lot to be said about this session – far too much for this summary. A few of the points I underlined:

• “Hubs not clubs”
• “Club baggage”
• “Hub” vs “Virtual clubs”
• “Should the RSGB be a hub?”
• To Google: “Disintermediation”, “centre set” “closed set” (bounded set?)
• A mention for the “Brickworks” scheme (that didn’t launch at the Convention)
• Some RSGB regional teams issue a “regional newsletter”
• Top-down vs Bottom-up approach
• Some interesting thoughts on youth access to amateur radio
• Clear divisions between single stand-alone clubs, and those acting as “hubs” to a greater or lesser extent
It was great that the efforts of Essex Ham members was acknowledged, and it was very rewarding that both Richard and the ICQ team highlighted Essex Ham as positive examples of the hub model. Positive mentions too for CambHams and Suffolk RED. RSGB also acknowledged that virtual clubs are “starting to appear”

Any thoughts?

Pete M0PSX

Pete M0PSX
 

Valid points, and these were discussed:

Training - Less that 40% of clubs offer training, and many of those that do, only do something once or twice a year. There's been talk of a simpler entry-level licence and online training & exams

Learning new skills - Some prefer watching YouTube than waiting a year for their local club to offer a talk on something.

Weather - If weather is inclemant, travelling to clubs may not be practical - so online / video works well. clun attendance often falls in winter months

Important to say that this is not all about virtual clubs - it's about being smarter. If a club is working well, everyone's happy and membership is growing - great. If not, working with a neighbouring club, or becoming part of a network, mnay not be a bad thing. For example, in Essex and Suffolk there have been very successful multi-club events - in some cases, where a club doesn;t have skills in a certain area, a neighbouring club might.

Pete

RICHARD THOMAS
 

Ronald, thanks for this.  One of the most difficult misunderstandings to counter about hub thinking has been that it proposes the closure or change of successful clubs.  In fact, it's the exact opposite. 

Successful clubs are the life-blood of Amateur Radio.  Hub thinking simply celebrates that success, and wants more people to be part of it. With a rapidly declining population of licensed Amateurs, in the next few years we will see a massive decline in the number of smaller clubs.  Larger successful clubs will continue, and consequently grow in importance.  And wider access to them will be by web connectivity - just as Essex Ham is demonstrating.

Hub thinking means that instead of being 'closed to non-members', or 'only open if you join the club and pay an annual subscription', these clubs could join with others to become resource hubs, providing teaching, training, expertise, hands-on operating with a fully operational station, etc. They could also associate with other organisations that use radio as part of their hobby - drones, app creation, radio astronomers, and so on.  They then become centres of shared expertise, experiment, and enthusiasm with radio as a core element.

A second myth is that hub thinking will deplete resources.  It's not true. If these encounters are monetised in even a small way, revenue is likely to grow.  For example, 15 people paying a £20 a year subscription = £300 a year.  300 visits from a wider individual pool paying £2 an encounter = £600 a year. Clubs that think and behave like hubs are likely to be even more successful.

It's easy to feel threatened by new thinking.  But stop and listen carefully;  it may be that you're dismissing something important.

Best
Richard


From: main@hamclubs.groups.io <main@hamclubs.groups.io> on behalf of RONALD WHITE via Groups.Io <ronald_white444@...>
Sent: 14 October 2019 12:35
To: main@hamclubs.groups.io <main@hamclubs.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Ham Clubs] RSGB Convention - Grow, Merge or Disband Your Club
 
Only problem I can see if we all go virtual clubs with no clubs as they are now then any practical teaching needed or even people wishing to learn new aspects will have not a lot of places field days are good but not if weather is inclement  so clubs as they are do have a place.lights blue touch paper stands back with tin hat on 😊



Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

-------- Original message --------
From: Pete M0PSX <group@...>
Date: 14/10/2019 00:22 (GMT+00:00)
To: main@hamclubs.groups.io
Subject: [Ham Clubs] RSGB Convention - Grow, Merge or Disband Your Club

Hi all,

I wonder if anyone here attended the RSGB Convention this week, and in particular, the last session of the day, about clubs?

For those who didn't, here is an extract from my RSGB Convention 2019 Report


Probably the highlight of my weekend. Run by the ICQ Podcast team, this was a panel of two ICQ presenters, two RSGB Board members (Ian Shepherd and Kamal Singh), plus Richard G4JJP (author of a controversial article in the June 2019 Radcom suggesting a change to club structures)

ICQ Podcast’s “Gow, Merge or Disband your Club” session

To be honest, I’m still digesting the contents of this talk and reviewing four pages of copious notes taken. There’s a lot to be said about this session – far too much for this summary. A few of the points I underlined:

  • “Hubs not clubs”
  • “Club baggage”
  • “Hub” vs “Virtual clubs”
  • “Should the RSGB be a hub?”
  • To Google: “Disintermediation”, “centre set” “closed set” (bounded set?)
  • A mention for the “Brickworks” scheme (that didn’t launch at the Convention)
  • Some RSGB regional teams issue a “regional newsletter”
  • Top-down vs Bottom-up approach
  • Some interesting thoughts on youth access to amateur radio
  • Clear divisions between single stand-alone clubs, and those acting as “hubs” to a greater or lesser extent

It was great that the efforts of Essex Ham members was acknowledged, and it was very rewarding that both Richard and the ICQ team highlighted Essex Ham as positive examples of the hub model. Positive mentions too for CambHams and Suffolk RED. RSGB also acknowledged that virtual clubs are “starting to appear”

Any thoughts?

Pete M0PSX

Antony Watts
 

Banbury Amateur Radio Society (BARS) is working to help with our ZEST program. See GanymedeHam.blogspot.com fo rmy activity there.

My feelig is that the RSGB MUSt be a centre for bringing club activities together. We shoul devote at least 2/3 of RadCom to this. What happening, links to club sites, actual tech articles.

Need to create a way for RSGB tohost software downloads.


Antony
M0IFA

On 14 Oct 2019, at 00:22, Pete M0PSX <@essexham> wrote:

Hi all,

I wonder if anyone here attended the RSGB Convention this week, and in particular, the last session of the day, about clubs?

For those who didn't, here is an extract from my RSGB Convention 2019 Report


Probably the highlight of my weekend. Run by the ICQ Podcast team, this was a panel of two ICQ presenters, two RSGB Board members (Ian Shepherd and Kamal Singh), plus Richard G4JJP (author of a controversial article in the June 2019 Radcom suggesting a change to club structures)

ICQ Podcast’s “Gow, Merge or Disband your Club” session
To be honest, I’m still digesting the contents of this talk and reviewing four pages of copious notes taken. There’s a lot to be said about this session – far too much for this summary. A few of the points I underlined:

• “Hubs not clubs”
• “Club baggage”
• “Hub” vs “Virtual clubs”
• “Should the RSGB be a hub?”
• To Google: “Disintermediation”, “centre set” “closed set” (bounded set?)
• A mention for the “Brickworks” scheme (that didn’t launch at the Convention)
• Some RSGB regional teams issue a “regional newsletter”
• Top-down vs Bottom-up approach
• Some interesting thoughts on youth access to amateur radio
• Clear divisions between single stand-alone clubs, and those acting as “hubs” to a greater or lesser extent
It was great that the efforts of Essex Ham members was acknowledged, and it was very rewarding that both Richard and the ICQ team highlighted Essex Ham as positive examples of the hub model. Positive mentions too for CambHams and Suffolk RED. RSGB also acknowledged that virtual clubs are “starting to appear”

Any thoughts?

Pete M0PSX

RONALD WHITE
 

Richard
I was not against it local clubs work together but I was trying to say was if we get rid of all the clubs as it said virtual clubs are a way to go we need a mixture of both all working g and linking together to act as one for the good of the hobby .I just did not explain myself clearly. 

Ron



Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

-------- Original message --------
From: RICHARD THOMAS <r.p.thomas@...>
Date: 14/10/2019 12:57 (GMT+00:00)
To: main@hamclubs.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Ham Clubs] RSGB Convention - Grow, Merge or Disband Your Club

Ronald, thanks for this.  One of the most difficult misunderstandings to counter about hub thinking has been that it proposes the closure or change of successful clubs.  In fact, it's the exact opposite. 

Successful clubs are the life-blood of Amateur Radio.  Hub thinking simply celebrates that success, and wants more people to be part of it. With a rapidly declining population of licensed Amateurs, in the next few years we will see a massive decline in the number of smaller clubs.  Larger successful clubs will continue, and consequently grow in importance.  And wider access to them will be by web connectivity - just as Essex Ham is demonstrating.

Hub thinking means that instead of being 'closed to non-members', or 'only open if you join the club and pay an annual subscription', these clubs could join with others to become resource hubs, providing teaching, training, expertise, hands-on operating with a fully operational station, etc. They could also associate with other organisations that use radio as part of their hobby - drones, app creation, radio astronomers, and so on.  They then become centres of shared expertise, experiment, and enthusiasm with radio as a core element.

A second myth is that hub thinking will deplete resources.  It's not true. If these encounters are monetised in even a small way, revenue is likely to grow.  For example, 15 people paying a £20 a year subscription = £300 a year.  300 visits from a wider individual pool paying £2 an encounter = £600 a year. Clubs that think and behave like hubs are likely to be even more successful.

It's easy to feel threatened by new thinking.  But stop and listen carefully;  it may be that you're dismissing something important.

Best
Richard


From: main@hamclubs.groups.io <main@hamclubs.groups.io> on behalf of RONALD WHITE via Groups.Io <ronald_white444@...>
Sent: 14 October 2019 12:35
To: main@hamclubs.groups.io <main@hamclubs.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Ham Clubs] RSGB Convention - Grow, Merge or Disband Your Club
 
Only problem I can see if we all go virtual clubs with no clubs as they are now then any practical teaching needed or even people wishing to learn new aspects will have not a lot of places field days are good but not if weather is inclement  so clubs as they are do have a place.lights blue touch paper stands back with tin hat on 😊



Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

-------- Original message --------
From: Pete M0PSX <group@...>
Date: 14/10/2019 00:22 (GMT+00:00)
To: main@hamclubs.groups.io
Subject: [Ham Clubs] RSGB Convention - Grow, Merge or Disband Your Club

Hi all,

I wonder if anyone here attended the RSGB Convention this week, and in particular, the last session of the day, about clubs?

For those who didn't, here is an extract from my RSGB Convention 2019 Report


Probably the highlight of my weekend. Run by the ICQ Podcast team, this was a panel of two ICQ presenters, two RSGB Board members (Ian Shepherd and Kamal Singh), plus Richard G4JJP (author of a controversial article in the June 2019 Radcom suggesting a change to club structures)

ICQ Podcast’s “Gow, Merge or Disband your Club” session

To be honest, I’m still digesting the contents of this talk and reviewing four pages of copious notes taken. There’s a lot to be said about this session – far too much for this summary. A few of the points I underlined:

  • “Hubs not clubs”
  • “Club baggage”
  • “Hub” vs “Virtual clubs”
  • “Should the RSGB be a hub?”
  • To Google: “Disintermediation”, “centre set” “closed set” (bounded set?)
  • A mention for the “Brickworks” scheme (that didn’t launch at the Convention)
  • Some RSGB regional teams issue a “regional newsletter”
  • Top-down vs Bottom-up approach
  • Some interesting thoughts on youth access to amateur radio
  • Clear divisions between single stand-alone clubs, and those acting as “hubs” to a greater or lesser extent

It was great that the efforts of Essex Ham members was acknowledged, and it was very rewarding that both Richard and the ICQ team highlighted Essex Ham as positive examples of the hub model. Positive mentions too for CambHams and Suffolk RED. RSGB also acknowledged that virtual clubs are “starting to appear”

Any thoughts?

Pete M0PSX

Allan Gallop
 

Some good points made by all in this thread, I'd like to add to virtual-clubs discussion as I got a lot of feedback to my letter published in Radcom some time ago and the work done by MX0MXO

By virtual-clubs it really has two meanings:
1. Existing clubs expanding out thier online presence to augment beyond just 'club night' and promote community and discussion. lots of clubs are already doing this with websites and social media but I think more is possible such as live streaming meetings / events / training, more nets etc and more of what could be considered hub ideology, wherein non-regular members can still be included in activities and the club. In my original arguments I laid out that by doing such 'virtual' things clubs should be able to co-opt content and activities, something we played with at Mx0 was teleconferencing talks to other clubs and virtual members

2. Purely virtual clubs, aka region 9000 (R9K), these could be social media groups or entities like Mx0mxo which hold no geographic preference and operate only online / on-air. most notably is speciality groups like qrp/disabled-hams/homebrew groups.

I think the virtual element is not well known / detailed, but as someone who has an illness that keeps me from attending club alot I do feel excluded sometimes, simple things like the online buildathon and digimode night went along way

If you look at the maker movement these points will be very familiar as this is how they operate currently, rather than defining walls, groups take every advantage available to them and work with each other. IMHO we should be working together and with non-radio groups such as hackerspaces / makers  / PiJams too as so many interests are shared, and getting more online content out there between us will only help. There is so much freely available technology to do this it's foolish not to use it

apologies for the rant, it's just a vision I have been trying to push for a long time