All good points to consider. Regarding the details...I'm assuming you have some elevated status in Spond (a ride leader perhaps?). A standard user doesn't see any of that and Ride Leaders do in case they need to contact someone in an emergency.
I have some comments on the use of Spond and related issues. We do have an issue with members or former members meeting in different locations. As noted the Saturday morning Peak meet up is vital to maintaining a healthy club. I don't think we should let this fester.
As I think Chi suggested, why not open up the group sizes to say 50 and let the RRL sort the attendees on the day. We have always successfully managed this situation and should avoid going backwards due to a technocratic issue. The non Peak riders do consider this group size restriction to be an issue. By having the list of attendees, no matter how many, we have the data required for tracing. I don't see why this has to be 100% accurate leaving the Peak as the test and protect system will quickly be able to work out who went in which reformed group. I see the Spond app allows a photo to be taken, so the 2 RRLs could each take a pic of the actual group they take.
As mentioned, riders turning up on the day is a cause for concern. We need to be able to continue to accommodate riders arriving on the day looking for a ride. This would of course include new riders. We regularly have non members riding with our groups and I don't feel we should be putting up barriers to that. Falkirk club run their Thursday night chain gang for any riders that show up. This is great contribution to the cycling community and appreciated by many many cyclists.
Should all riders be encouraged to download the NHS app? This provides a technically better mechanism for tracing Covid issues. It will deal with the time constraints and distance issues between riders. And if these parameters change in the future our riders will simply pick the changes up.
Specifically regarding Spond
Can we configure Spond to display all SBC public groups? At the moment you need to be added to a group. However, you can't request to be in a group that you don't know exists. Seems to be a simple list of all public groups with an option to request membership would help.
How do members withdraw from a ride they've subscribed to? I'm guessing 'Declining'.
Should we have a Spond FAQ page?
Do we need to arrange a membership review of Spond ? What do members think of it? Pros and cons? Short comings?
And finally data privacy. I see via Spond I can see the full contact details for members including the home address and date of birth. This data is sufficient to profile the member. I don't feel this respects the memberships privacy. Surely the system should at most have a personal messaging mechanism that does not disclose any personal contact details (as per eBay and Strava). Our club has operated without this exposure of personal details for many years. I can see that the data is available via any group you join.
I feel disclosure of personal data should be with the individual's consent ie. if I want personal data about another member I should request their permission to see it. Looking the the Spond conditions they use the "easy to use" to excuse themselves from implementing an adequate and robust data privacy mechanism: "In order for Spond to be easy to use for creating groups and arrange events, you are searchable for other Spond users if they know your telephone number or e-mail. If they search you up, they will have access to your name, telephone number/email and picture if you have chosen to submit that."
This makes me wonder how seriously they take personal data security and how open to attack they are?
It is all well and good saying we all cycle and trust one another, but the details of almost 300 cyclists in a region might be enticing? It feels like an unnecessary risk that should not be the default configuration.
I'll stop waffling now.
The committee discussed Spond at our meeting tonight. The current guidance from Scottish Cycling and SportScotland is as follows:
"With the NHS Scotland Test & Protect system remaining in operation, all organisers of club, coaching and event activity should continue to record the attendance of those participating so that they can support contact tracers."
Since Spond is our mechanism for achieving this in a secure and GDPR compliant fashion we will have to continue using Spond for the time being. When the guidance changes we will review again. In the meantime there are some further changes to what we will be doing which move us closer to normality for the road section which the road reps will update the club on in due course.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Richard Barton, Andrew Scobie (Scoobs), Chi kong Cham, Douglas Telfer, James Tierney
Spond has been a useful tool to get group rides restarting during the pandemic, but I do think it is creating a barrier and in some cases putting people off rides, based on members I have spoken to.
Related to Nigel's point about deciding which ride to join when cycling down to the Peak (or even as the rides are being read out), some people just want to decide whether to ride at all on the day, weather being a factor, then decide which ride to do based on what appeals and how their legs are feeling. Without this flexibility, some people are put off altogether - you can see this by the numbers attending rides, certainly at the tempo / fast end.
I appreciate that it's helpful for ride leaders to get an idea of numbers in advance as well, I would assume this 'nice to have' rather than hugely important.
The following user(s) said Thank You: James Tierney, Fraser Purves
The guidance has always been based on the Scottish Cycling guidelines, so if those have changed then the group size number can change.
Depends on the ride leader's preference, if they are happy with a larger number then go for it, if they aren't then set a lower number
I won't be increasing the MTB rides unless a waiting list is generated on a particular ride as I don't think a large group works on MTB rides (and it encourages me to talk even more which is never a good thing!).
Agreeing with Sandy where current restrictions prevented ad-hoc re-organisation of duplicate events (accommodate >12 riders) according to rider preferences (fast/steady ride) as well as unintentionally limting member interaction (Sandy's silos) / participation (Nigel's point about perception; my experience has been the Club/ride leaders have accommodated extra group demand very well), I believe Spond use can adjust as Scotland emerges from lockdown from next week.
Spond's group capacity limit can be increased to a significant value (e.g. 40 as with the TTs) to eliminate waiting lists and ride leaders will once again be given freedom to split groups >16 appropriately as before with the requirement for contact tracing of outdoor interactions removed.
Spond offers many advantages to the Club/ride leaders. However, my point about visibility of our activities along with collection of significant personal information for guest ride participation still remains.
Rides come up at different times and have to make decision days in advance on which group to go with, under old system I could decide on the ride into Stirling which group to ride with now I have to know days in advance how I am going to feel on Saturday morning: also it appears to me some rides are full as soon as they are posted up ; I don’t mind being left behind on a ride but I do mind not getting the chance to be left behind - you did ask what I don’t like about Spond
Spond has certainly proven a useful tool in coping with the demands of covid restrictions and I acknowledge it has many advantages in the administration of events and coaching sessions. It does give a good idea in advance of 'demand' / turnout which might not otherwise be available. On the other hand, as covid restrictions lift, the necessity to create second duplicate events if an initial club ride is oversubscribed becomes a redundant administrative burden for both leader and attendees if it could informally reorganised on site as we did pre-covid.
My main concern is it may inadvertently contribute to a more fragmented club ( or at least more of a 'virtual' club) unless we move back to the main 'club run' on a Saturday, starting and finishing at the same place when covid restriction are lifted. The Peak meet-up is really the only regular place where all members can physically mingle and interact with others outside their usual riding group (even Corries is limited by space and times of arrival). I think there is more of a tendency to create 'silos' if everything is organised within apps.
We've spent the last 15 months leading enforced isolated lives. I think we need to make an active effort to come together again as a club.
My vote would be for again making the Forum the main common communication space.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Norrie Petrie, James Tierney
Very true...so we might end up with people complaining about too much communication rather than complaining about too little...
Absolutely agree that it is a balancing act - I'd flagged way back when Facebook was being discussed that it meant more places to update things (I was updating 4 online places, 2 Whatsapp groups and a text group for the rides I was organising - this hasn't really changed other than soon be growing to 6 online places, 2 Whatsapp groups and probably a text group), but not everyone uses the same channel, so it made sense to do the wee bit extra effort so more people got the message.
This is worth a chat in more detail as there are pros and cons to any solution, personally, I think it is good this is being raised as it helps get whatever the next solution to be the most benefit for most people.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Chi kong Cham
Richard, I understand the reasons for using it, and I already said I think it is great for organising rides.
But - it adds one more channel that we don't need for other communication and this will become problematic if we don't bring people back to the forum. And although Spond is great for organising rides, for some people that will be all they'll want out of the club, and so those people won't look at the forum again. So it will be more work for people who need to communicate with the members as they'll have yet another place they have to post in and monitor.
Just my view, but I dpn't think it is a mess, but it certainly isn't a single place to get the info. Members are using multiple ways of getting info - the website used to be seriously busy and everything got posted on it. Facebook got started and more people started using that than the website so things got posted on both places. Global pandemic hit and everyone stopped using the website and Facebook also quietened down.
Spond was introduced to manage the ride activities as a means of ensuring we were covid-compliant, this is still working, but as things start returning to normal, the other means of communication are also starting to get popular again - we just need to find a way to make sure it is all updated easily.
Which, I'm very much aware is very easy to say, but much harder to do...
The following user(s) said Thank You: James Tierney
One consideration is the loss of visibility of all the weekend rides SBC offers (routes, distances, effort) via this forum through the public website. SBC will want to regrow the membership through guest rides and capitalise on increased interest in cycling over the lockdown period which means increasing visibility of what we do and lowering barriers to access (e.g. current need to collect personal identifiable information by Spond for guest ride participation).
There is no denying that knowing numbers of participants in advance helps the ride leaders plan ahead/organise, particularly as the weather gets worse and towards winter. Gill did post summaries of rides earlier in the year which was duplicated effort but could be the way to achieve both goals.
The following user(s) said Thank You: David Lindsay
Committee will need to discuss this but, personally speaking, Spond seems to be working very well. It makes organising rides very easy and also gives a great way of knowing numbers. I'm happy to keep using it, but if it wasn't needed then we'd need to find another way to organise the rides.
I'm curious to know what isn't working for you with Spond to stop using it?