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Author Topic: Need forWestern Region hot line  (Read 4780 times)
Mike Miller
Class Member
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Posts: 97


2007 Western Regions Gull Lke


« on: November 03, 2014, 12:33:08 PM »

As your new Western Region Rear Commodore, I question the need to maintain a telephone hot line for our region. With the DN Forum, iceboating.net, iceboat.org and Facebook groups, makes it hard to keep up to date info on all locations plus a voice message too. Seems everyone has a smart phone to keep up to date on where events are happening and posting ice reports. If they do not have a smart phone, I think they can just dial a friend or my number for the latest info.
For those in the Western Region give me your thoughts as a reply?
In Minnesota we will be making ice soon!
Only a month away from the Western Challenge, Dec 5-7 and 2014 Western Regions Dec 13-14.
Mike Miller
US 5369
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Mike DN5369
Scott Brown
Class Member
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Posts: 35


« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2014, 03:49:07 PM »

Kill the phone.  And the telegraph, fax machine and smoke signals as well.   Go Mike!

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DN 805
Class Member
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Posts: 266


« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2014, 08:34:04 PM »

I think the hotline is essential.     Once I'm on the road, my old fashion cell phone is the only way I can keep up-to-date on ice conditions and the possibility of an event being postponed or moved.   And I personally know dues paying members who have no internet access except through the public library.     

If Mike decides to substitute the hotline with his own phone, he'll be amazed at the number of calls that will come in, particularly in the  middle of the night.

A lower level of service to the members = fewer members.   I think it is important to use every means of communication that is available to make it as convenient as possible for those interested to get the information.



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Deb Whitehorse
ADMIN

Posts: 114



« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2014, 07:33:36 AM »

Keep the phone because internet access is not always reliable when the fleet is on the move. It's a fail safe.
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Scott Brown
Class Member
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Posts: 35


« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2014, 05:47:28 PM »

I respect the two opinions to keep the hotline, but the reality is the hotline is generally very out of date.  Last year I monitored communication for the NAs.  The hotline was 24-to 48 hours behind. 

For the very few that don't have a smart phone (my guess is it's less than 10), just call a friend who's plugged in instead of the hotline.  Problem solved.
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DN 805
Class Member
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Posts: 266


« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2014, 09:05:14 PM »

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.
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Geoff Sobering
Class Officer
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Posts: 458



WWW
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2014, 09:47:11 AM »

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).
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Man Why You Even Got to Do a Thing
KB [us5219]
Class Member
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Posts: 248



WWW
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2014, 08:40:24 AM »

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.
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Geoff Sobering
Class Officer
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Posts: 458



WWW
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2014, 11:14:58 AM »

FWIW, the WR hotline is Google Voice.
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Man Why You Even Got to Do a Thing
rlc
Class Member
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Posts: 6



« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2014, 11:54:02 AM »

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
US3433
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