Need forWestern Region hot line

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DN 805:
No system works effectively if the individual given the responsibility for communications is asleep at the swtich.   Problems in the recent past were not the fault of the  instrument used.   More likely operator neglect.

When Bob Dill and Bob Schumacher chaired the Gold Cup, the answering machine message was updated at 45 minute intervals over a span of several days prior to and during the championship.    Sometimes the updated message merely confirmed no change in plans.   But the message always gave the caller the time and date and the new, or repeated, message. 

It is the same old story.   Don't accept the responsibility if you're not prepared to do the work!   

Being a regatta chair person is a dirty job, but someone has to do it.   Thanks to those who roll up their sleeves.

Geoff Sobering:
It is much easier/safer to call the hotline when you're driving along than to stop and check the website.

I think we should keep the hotline and update it simply with a very brief status after every official update on the website.
That would allow someone to quickly know if it was necessary to pull over and check the website or call someone for more information.

I was the "hotline updater" for the 2011 Worlds and it was a major effort to keep complete information on the hotline (for example, a minor change to the status required re-recording the entire hotel information and directions).

KB [us5219]:
Central Region turned off their hotline at the end of last season.  It was expensive and cumbersome to use. 

Here is the good news:  There are a lot of FREE apps out there with FREE phone numbers with which you can set up custom greetings. 
I am testing one out with Google Voice right now.  (810) 328-3660   (810-FAT-DN60)

A few things that I would really love for a hotline.  Maybe one line where you dial "0" for Class announcements/Gold Cup info, "1" for Western, "2" for Central, "3" for Mountain, "4" for Eastern, "5" for Canada.  of course, we can just have our Regional Commodores maintain their own... and maybe that's what will happen this year.

AND here is a big one for the administrators:  TEXT to VOICE for recorded greetings.  There is nothing worse than getting 3-4 minutes into your recording and make a mistake.  or worse yet have people call you with an update or correction and now you have to re-record.  AAARGH!  Text to voice will be easier to understand, and quicker and easier to update.  I just haven't found a way to utilize such a feature on a recorded greeting yet.  I hope maybe someone knows of something, but so far Google Voice doesn't have it that I can see.

Geoff Sobering:
FWIW, the WR hotline is Google Voice.

Please keep the hotline for regatta updates when people are traveling.  Using the internet means that when you travel alone you must stop to use it, and you must find a spot where the phone coverage is good or wifi is available.  Weekend ice reports should be on this forum so that a hotline maintenance person doesn't need to spend a lot of time updating various local conditions.  Putting weekend ice reports and pre-regatta information on sites other than this one is detrimental to participation unless you are trying to keep your sailing site a secret.  Putting information on sites in addition to this one is fine, but it should be here first. 

After a regatta has started, web updates are great.  No more hunting around for the bulletin board that isn't in the hotel where you are staying.  While we are traveling the hotline needs to working.

R. Cummins


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