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Thread: Where is warwickshire on line going?

  1. #1
    cathidaw
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    Unhappy Where is warwickshire on line going?

    I have been a member since 2006 and have enjoyed being one. I liked the smallness and friendliness of it and the lack of mindless blogs But now I am concerned. Sadly Mari has now left.I believe because of the lack of inspiration. And she often inspired me to write. It has become dull over the last year.! !
    The only evidence of members is the section 'words', which to say the least is not a reason to have a site like this.
    We had discussions at one time, and amusing letters , poetry' and felt we knew each other. Now 'new thread' brings no replies.
    Perhaps mine are boring, but someone out there must have something to say.
    I am sorry the way things have fizzled out.
    I shall still wave my little WOL flag but would like to know how many real members we have, and although I am loyal I don't want to flog a dead horse forever.
    How to get more members, any ideas out there. Or better still how to keep the ones we have. Maybe a few leaflets passed around or ads in shop doorways? ? ? ?
    Last edited by cathidaw; 20-03-2012 at 10:28 PM.

  2. #2
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    Cathidaw- I agree with what you say but I really have missed something. I didn't know Mari had left- when was that? Sad but maybe she'll look in at a later date.

  3. #3
    cathidaw
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    Gladys,
    Mari e.mailed me to tell how she felt,but will look in from time to time...Ihope so.
    I'll start off with a poem . I enjoy writing poems for fun, mostly it's doggeral or in this case 'catteral.


    We had a cat named Pancho who came in from the rain,
    One night it was, she looked around and made it her domain.
    For nineteen years she ruled us all including thirteen rabbits.
    A gorgeous dainty tortoise shell- with very nasty habits.
    A thief she was , so devious, all food we had to hide,
    Undaunted she just went next door and sneaked herself inside.
    A pack of ham she gobbled up and custards on a plate.
    Suddenly she heard a noise, it was the garden gate
    Silently she came back home and lay down on her mat.
    Neighbour scratched her head surprised, but didn’t blame the cat.
    Until the day when she was spied and chased out of the door
    A pound of sausage trailing and dropped down on my floor.
    Neighbour was not happy , an understatement that
    He swore that if it came again he’d shoot the blasted cat.
    Peace reigned awhile til Pancho had three kittens in their shed
    And some months later had four more , upon same neighbour’s bed.
    We then moved house and things were fine, for a while at least.
    She ate the neighbours guinea pigs, a gory, royal feast
    On moving day the hiding cat got stuck inside a drain.
    The firemen tried to tempt her out but it was all in vain
    Slabs were lifted, garden trashed but she went further in.
    We stopped for tea. When we came out, she sat there on the bin.
    Nineteen years in cat years, one thirty three in ours
    Pancho our little character, sleeps safe beneath the flowers.
    Last edited by cathidaw; 24-03-2012 at 01:34 AM.

  4. #4
    Mari
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    Love your poem Cathi. You should get them published. Is there a local literary society you can join?
    I just peeped in through force of habit. It's nice to keep in touch.
    Last edited by Mari; 28-03-2012 at 06:25 AM.

  5. #5
    cathidaw
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    I belong to a writing class which keeps me interested Sometimes I need a kick which starts me off again.
    Glad to 'see' you again.
    My best friend died last year . She always said 'see you on the phone tonight'. Wasn't really funny but idiots that we were, we rolled with laughter every time.

  6. #6
    Mari
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    Quote Originally Posted by cathidaw View Post
    I belong to a writing class which keeps me interested Sometimes I need a kick which starts me off again.
    Glad to 'see' you again.
    My best friend died last year . She always said 'see you on the phone tonight'. Wasn't really funny but idiots that we were, we rolled with laughter every time.

    I guess you must really miss your friend.
    Pleased to hear you belong to a writing class, is that Stratford?

  7. #7
    cathidaw
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    No . In Bulkington near Bedworth
    The tutor 'tuted' at university and local college until the costs went upto ridiculous levels.She hires a room here.this is my third year.

  8. #8
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    Hi all,

    I don't know where to begin in apologising for my absence. My life has become so busy, and being detached from home really makes it difficult to find any meaningful news about Warwickshire.

    The original vision for this site was to give people in Warwickshire a voice. I've always felt that Stratford Council was just a network of rich people who thrived in back-door policies, and basically used the town and its resident as a giant cash cow. I've never felt that they had Stratford residents best interest at heart, and were only interested in how they can milk us and even more so, how they could milk the tourists. I thought that creating a online voice for the people of Stratford would be a powerful tool in making our town the way WE want it. I imaged the rest of Warwickshire were similarly cursed, and wanted to give them a voice too.

    For a long time, I've tried promoting this site in a variety of different ways, but nothing has really worked, and this site has never turned into what I hoped, it's failed to motivate people in the way I'd envisioned it would, for whatever reason.

    It has however, kept a small community of people together, and that has been enough for me to justify the costs of keeping it open. My biggest apology is to Shizara and Mari, they deserve my support and I haven't been here to give it, but they have kept this site going and I don't blame them for giving up on WO, as I've not been there for them.

    In final, I don't know what to do now. It would be easier to close the site and draw a line under it for good, but I'm still reluctant to do that. For now I'm happy to leave the site in limbo as it is until I decide to either find the time/money to move the site in a new direction, or simply close it before it fades out completely.
    --==Forum Admin Will==--
    Your Friendly Forum Admin. - Contact me.

  9. #9
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    This is so sad - is there no way of raising the public awareness of the site to promote its useful connectedness to knowing what's on in and what affects the community and surrounding areas? Has an approach to the Council been made to perhaps unit a common interest? Using the site may actually benefit the Council and vice versa. It gives a voice in real time to the people of Warwickshire. I think back to a member who posted his sad lonely tale of despair as a disabled person living alone and as such was cut off. He was through this site able to attempt to reach out through this community. I think WARKsOL may have helped him a little or at least may have shown people were listening to him at a time when he felt no one was there to hear. Maybe the site could be promoted at places like the Citizens Advice Bureaus, Doctors Surgerys, local newspapers which may agree to post an advertisment. I know this requires a lot of team effort and perhaps some small cost in flyers but I am just posing ideas.

  10. #10
    cathidaw
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    If the site has helped just one person,that's good enough for me.
    However we do need more interested people. It doesn't always have to be about Warwickshire as it has proved over the years. I feel we owe it to Will and Shizara and Mari etc, not to let it fade away. Worth a try. I dont do much in the way of helping out with this site, not clever enough. but I've usually got something to say- too much sometimes I've been told.
    I feel that if the councils were involved it would alter . No reason why they cant join in though. Be on our our level for a change.
    I mentioned making posters and putting them around. I could make some and place in the libraries. The Arena being a good place.
    I do voluntary work at a community centre every week and they would allow me to put some up. I'll stck one in my car.
    Any ideas of what to say apart from the obvious would be helpful.. Then I'll design some next week. and spread them around. I'll also have a word with the local papers, tho' I don't hold much hope there..--afraid of competition .. they should buck their ideas up.
    (Has anyone noticed what a rag the Coventry Telegraph is lately? Can't you tell it's part of the Mirror Group !)
    We had someone from Nuneaton who has great issues with the council 'drop in'. He wrote a very long piece. some weeks ago --there were replies, one from me too but that was it

    nothin' else, not a dicky bird.
    I think I'll get on to him. He used his own name and so shouldn't mind. what do you think.
    Perhaps he'd spread the word.
    Last edited by cathidaw; 18-04-2012 at 05:28 PM. Reason: wish I could spell !!

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Shizara's Avatar
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    cathidaw, it is people like you that have something to say that keep this forum alive. We need to get our soapboxes out and speak up. So, don't stop.

    I think that some selective advertising would be a good thing. Forums have their place in the world just as 'drop in' centres do. I would be inclined to not be too wordy when advertising as a few well worded statements are more likely to get some interest. Even for older members of the community who have a computer or access to a computer. It would help them become more familiar with today's technology to the extent that they wish to.

    I will have some time on Friday to think up some thoughts, mind you, I probably think up too many thoughts sometimes :-P
    Cool

  12. #12
    rebbonk
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    If I may make a suggestion....?

    There are over 160 registered members to this site. When were they sent an email reminding them of the site's existence? I have always found that a very simply worded email just letting people know that you're still here will generate traffic.

    You might also want to add a twitter "tweet" function to the posts. That way if anyone sees a particularly interesting post and they have a twitter account, it rapidly gets out into the public arena.

    Will's inital thoughts on setting the site up are laudable, and I think that you'll find his views on Stratford Council are pretty well held about almost any council anywhere in the country. However, for monitoring and exposing "questionable" council decisions perhaps a blog (like order, order) would be a better medium?

    Incidentally, controversial posts will always drive traffic to a site, but that requires very strong and regular moderation. It is extremely difficult to get the right moderators as it's a thankless and very time consuming task. (BTW, a quick note of thanks to the mods on this site for keeping things spam free and flowing.)

    Just a few words from an old f*rt

  13. #13
    cathidaw
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    thanks everyone for the comments. I'm away for 2 days with no access(almost like being without a limb) so back on Monday or depending how late---Sunday.
    Think up some bright ideas whilst I've gone.

  14. #14
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    Cathidaw, I think the car sticker idea is a good one. In an attempt to widen the arena could some be made professionally? ( I know cost is an issue) Then the local Councils' circular could contain them for dissemination around the borough. This is the same as the adverts local agencies add in to such circulars as they are posted through doors. Most go in the bin but some do get a look in. How about asking the local radio station(s) to put the word out too? Just a thought. I'm not there so doing things like practical mail drops isn't going to be any good to you. All I can do is make suggestions and hope they are not stupid and impractical.

  15. #15
    rebbonk
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    Slight aside, I notice the site is attracting bidau spiders. These gobble bandwith and slow the site down. This afternoon the site was particularly slow; users won't wait they expect instant access.

  16. #16
    Mari
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebbonk View Post
    Slight aside, I notice the site is attracting bidau spiders. These gobble bandwith and slow the site down. This afternoon the site was particularly slow; users won't wait they expect instant access.
    Yes, we also get a lot of spam from China and India, like I suggested a while back, I think Will should stop traffic coming from these places. Just now, I have banned
    cardozosula, a spammer from India. They give stupid links to games or some other site to make out they are legitimate. They keep coming back with a different IP address. They don't fool me!
    That decision is down to Will I'm afraid. Personally, I don't want this site to close , because it is quite unique and has a lot of potential. But if Will is going to be away long term, then perhaps it's time to close until such time when Will comes back when he plans take the site in different direction.

    That's my tuppence worth anyway.
    Last edited by Mari; 20-04-2012 at 12:59 PM.

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