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Promoting WCHA

Discussion in 'General WCHA Business' started by Norm Hein, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    Has this ("less frequent issues") actually been publicized to the members anywhere?

    MGC, Rob has given a pretty good review of the situation, but the short answers to your questions is No, Nothing, Not possible, and (to paraphrase Eight Ball) Unclear. I could be wrong, but if so, none of it has escaped the confines of the board room.
  2. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Thank you for a very thorough synopsis. As you know, volunteer organizations can be a bit like pot luck dinners. You never know what you are getting until you are there. Sometimes you end up with a half dozen macaroni salads, an equal number of tossed salads and crockpot de jour.
    The way to avoid that is planning and communication. Frankly, that is not evident here. Organizational leaderships first role must be centered there and if it isn't, well, crockpot hell.
    The boards work, the leaderships role is not evident in the WCHA. As a retired "insider" you have a better view of the workings than lay members do. Bensons engagement is quite clear and very prominent but beyond that...… You mention Annie Burke. What is her engagement? Noticeably you do not mention our current president.
    An organization that communicates in dribs and drabs without clearly communicated objectives, messaging centered around loss of membership and the need for money must work very hard at planning for it's future. Let's hope that is the case.
  3. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Annie Burke has been the glue holding this organization together financially for decades. She was first listed in the August, 1996 issue of the Wooden Canoe magazine as the Treasurer when her husband Geoffrey Burke was the Vice President. Annie added the Executive Director role in 2008 when she took over the financial aspects of coordinating the annual Assembly with Rob Stevens. A profile of her was published in the October, 2008 issue of the Wooden Canoe magazine. She is the person who answers the WCHA's phone and mail. I think it is safe to say that her level of engagement is high even though she doesn't follow this forum.

    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
  4. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Thank you Benson. It is obviously quite outrageous to question her role...but not without purpose.
    The WCHA board seems to be comfortably running the organization outside of the view of the membership and without engaging member participation.
    Case in point, the board felt strongly enough about the need for a new website that it drove the previous webmaster away. Do we need a new website? Is it a critical need for the survival of WCHA? What does the membership at large think about that. If you look at the traffic on the site in recent years it should be obvious that without the Old Town dating service you provide that new member engagement would slow to a crawl. So is it a priority to redesign it in order to offer canoe dating information?
    Why is it that we seem to be entirely comfortable that "the board" does not participate on this forum? Why isn't the forum used by the board to engage the membership? How is it possible that board members do not use the site to provide membership with a view into the roles they play and the work they are doing? This section of the forum is called WCHA General business. Where is there any regular contribution of WCHA business. Are there surveys, have there been poles conducted to solicit direction to support board decisions?
    When you are running a challenged organization a critical initiative must be to solicit input and buy-in from stake holders. Does anyone know what the general membership thinks that WCHA needs to do in the next years to deal with diminishing membership?
    The board meets via Skype meetings. Has anyone considered using webinars to meet with the membership? Why isn't there a quarterly webinar hosted by the president to update membership on board activities and to get membership input. These types on online meetings are an essential tool that is used to run other organizations and businesses but not employed here. Critical communication is a current shortcoming of the WCHA. It is such an easy thing to address.
    1905Gerrish and Dan Lindberg like this.
  5. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The WCHA's web site is now running the current version (7.69) of Drupal 7. Drupal 7 will cease to be supported in November, 2021. Therefore, we will need a new web site before the end of next year to keep getting updates which help keep the hackers out. Things change over time so it is not unusual to refresh a web site every few years. See for some details about how the WCHA's web site has evolved since the first one appeared in 1996. I believe that there is general agreement between the WCHA's board, Dan Miller, myself, and others that it is time to consider another update to the web site. However, there are some very difficult questions to be resolved about how sophisticated a web site does the organization really need, what can it afford, and how to best manage it all?

    I believe that a web site is critical to the survival of the WCHA. Most of our new members find out about the organization from the web site (and forums). We are fortunate that if you type "wooden canoe" into nearly all of the major search engines (,, and others) then a reference usually appears on the first few pages. This is how most people research things like old canoes today. I could be wrong about all of this but it doesn't seem likely.

    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
    pklonowski and mccloud like this.
  6. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

  7. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I believe that the new editor, Chris Eden, made the decisions about font sizes, page size, layout, etc. I forwarded your message to him yesterday and he responded saying that "There was a lot to fit into this issue" and that "the font size on all body copy is the same as the previous journal." Neither of us have seen the paper copy yet so we haven't been able to investigate this further.

  8. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Not true, I compared the last 2 issues side by side, the new is smaller and unreadable.
    This revised WC is a disaster, go back to the previous size and font.
    (and I'd get rid of all those glitzy categories, they are not needed, but that's just me.)

    on the edge

  9. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    Not seeing it but speculating on the issue... It may be that because the format is smaller. That would effectively reduce the size of the font if it was laid out for the original size of the magazine. This is a common pitfall with designing for print on a computer. I'm sure it wasn't intentional.

    I'm really impressed with how the organization is trying to improve participation and membership. We have a guy that spent a lot of time working on trying to make things better by trying to reduce the cost of producing the magazine while giving it a booster shot from a look and feel standpoint. I think our lives will go on and adjustments will be made. It's a shame that the new magazine is difficult to read for some but it's not the end of the world.

    I for one embrace the prospect of using less paper and postage for a more substantial product. Good on Chris for trying to make things better.
    Benson Gray likes this.
  10. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    It is if the goal is to increase membership.
    We are an aging population, how many do you suppose are wearing bifocal glasses?
    Those with them will not be able to read this mag.


  11. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    I think you're missing the point:
    It's one magazine issue. The next issue will probably have the correct sized font but maybe not the full-sized format. They probably didn't do it on purpose.
  12. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    I assume they knew what they were doing and what we see is what was intended.
    Unless a change is made, I expect the next one to look like the 1st.
  13. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    That would be pretty unusual...from my experience there are always proof galleys on a run when you have changed formatting. Every editor/printer I ever worked with provided one for approval before making the print run. Normally there is an approval hierarchy. Proofing is best done by several sets of eyes. Anyone that has ever done design, coding, editing, writing has experienced overlooking the obvious. We tend to spend so much time sweating the details that sometimes the little things are overlooked. But….maybe this follows a different script. I'm interested to see it.....
    Dan Miller likes this.
  14. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    Jesus, thanks for again proving no good deed goes unpunished. Maybe they can put it on audio book for you.
  15. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    I'll throw this out for consideration... using a calibrated digital caliper, a random capital "M" on page 6 of issue 216, December, 2019, appears to measure 0.104" tall. A random capital "M" on page 11 of issue 217, Winter 2020, measures 0.103" tall. Likewise, a pair of random lower case "o"s in the same two issues measures 0.073 and 0.074", respectively. The difference of 0.001" represents the resolution and repeatability of the measurement technique.

    That said, the difference in size of the journal overall is about 1.5" in height; the width is the same. The font in the new issue appears smaller to my eyes as well, but I believe the caliper. I know my eyes can deceive me!
    Andy Hutyera likes this.
  16. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    I'm not sure what Paul measured but, here are the two pages he referenced scanned at the same time and in 1 image.
    Without actually getting magnifying glass, it looks to my eye that the new is about 60-65% of the size of the old.

    WC Fonts.JPG
  17. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    Based on this display, i hope you have surrendered your drivers license.
  18. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I can confirm from PDF versions of these two documents contained in the archive at that there are differences as shown below. The paragraph from page 11 of issue 217 was set with a 10 point size of the "A Garamond Pro" font and a 1.20 point line spacing. The paragraph from page 6 of issue 216 was set with an 11 point size of the "Minion Pro" font and a 1.18 point line spacing. Chris will probably seek to address this concern in future issues.



    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
    monkitoucher likes this.
  19. JClearwater

    JClearwater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I wish all the problems in the world were so small that I needed bi-focals to see them.
  20. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Andre, what are you talking about??

    Clearwater - bi-focals are the reason this new print cannot be read. If you don't have them yet, consider yourself fortunate.

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