From over the ditch
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Hi to one and all. Firstly may I say I think this site is a pretty good place for information and ideas, but sadly there seems to be so little use of the forums and noticeboards, and as for finding tramping partners it seems near impossible. As a Pomm now living in Australia it isn't easy, to say the least, to join a NZ tramping club due to the conditions placed on new members having to complete so many trips prior to being allowed to apply for membership. As a consequence I have tried a few sites like this to see if there are any likely tramping chums out there, but unfortunately it appears that not many people actually read the notices or the forums (or they simply aren't interested in joining up....another possibility perhaps!) Why not tramp with friends from Oz? Again it is difficult to find people who have both the time and the money to make the trips over to NZ. Anyway, I thought I might take the opportunity to put it out there for interests sake and see what happens. If past experience is anything to go by, then nothing will, and this message will disappear into the ether like so many before!
Hi, The forums are currently tucked out of site, meaning many visitors probably don't even know they are here. I will be addressing that very soon. I think it might be better to throw away the noticeboard and just encourage people to use the forum, Hmm what do you think?
Not sure really. I like the notice board but feel the forums are under used. I would love to see more participation given there are quite a few members (how many actually?). Personally I would just like to see more activity in the chatting department, but that's just me I guess. Good luck and I look forward to the results.
Norm: I agree with you that this site could be more utilised and I am glad to see that Matthew plans to give the forums more prominance. I would also like to be prompted by email when a new message arrives in a thread that I have participated in. There is also the issue that I find is that most Kiwi trampers are luddites. I have not yet found a Kiwi tramping forum that works particulaly well. Infact this one is about as good as it gets. By contrast I keep an eye on some of the Aussie Bushwalking yahoo groups and they seem quite active, especially in West Australia. I am suprised that you find Tramping Clubs hard to get into. The two clubs that I belong to welcome new members and while there is a requirement to do trips to join, that hardly seems difficult as going on trips is what being in a Tramping Club is all about. Also i think you will find that most clubs are flexible. The occasional Aussie who turns up at a meeting or goes on the odd trip would probably be welcomed and noone would expect him to join up. The only occasion when I can recall anyone in our club was given a hurry up was one character who kept comming on trips and comming to meetings for a year or two never bothered to join and hence pay a sub. But he was a Kiwi, not an Aussie. I also recognise that coming along to a Tramping Club can be very difficult because there is a high degree of camaraderie and this seems daunting to the outsider. However this camaraderie develops on trips and the best place to become part of it.. is on trips.
I think you are of course quite right to say that the best way to feel at home in a tramping club is to go on their tramps, and believe me if I lived in NZ I would certainly be out at every opportunity, but unfortunately being in Oz makes it a little difficult to say the least. As for just coming along occasionally, well I would certainly love to, but again I can only get over every so often and this can be at very short notice, so making plans that I know I will be able to keep to, thus not letting anyone down, is also a little difficult. There are quite a few clubs here in Oz and yes, they can be quite active, however to be perfectly honest there is nothing over here that I find very interesting. I should add that I do have an almost pathalogical fear of most things that creep and crawl, and this is THE country for them, and nearly all can kill just by looking at you, so NZ does have an added appeal in that direction, not to mention the mountains, which, sadly, are somewhat lacking here in good old flatland. As for this site? I agree that it is probably as good as it gets when it comes to participation. I too belong to a couple of other sites and their forums are just as infrequently used as here, in most cases even less. I would love to see this site become more active and one way of acheiving this is of course to contribute, which I hope I have done here.
PS: I also agree that a link to advise that a post has been posted or answered would be a great idea too.
I've just been making some substantial changes to the core of this site. Now that's done, I can focus on improving the interface some more. I am planning on adding a notification system that I hope will do what you want. Actually, it's running behind the scenes at the moment, it's just not sending any messages. Testing, testing.... In the meantime, you can subscribe to RSS feeds, and you can incorporate these into your iGoogle home page if you use that. This is how I keep up with the forums. There's a lot to do here and I can't do it all at once, but I'm working on it. ;-)
I'm sure that you are, and I'm sure that it will work a treat when it's up and running. Personally I know nothing about how all this stuff works. Push button and computer comes on, push button again and it goes off. What happens inbetween is all Greek to me. I take my hat off to all you nerds (apologies of this is an offensive term). Long may you poke about in the back rooms, making it easier for people like me to push on and off buttons and marvel at what happens next. Look forward to seeing the results.
Norm: I loved your post... What the hell are you doing living in Aus.. I think it is time you moved. I think they must be paying you too much to stay over there, :-)
Thanks for the message. As for moving over to NZ, well, if "she who must be obeyed" could be persuaded I would be over on a shot, but sadly my nearest and dearest isn't willing to make the change, yet, but I'm working on it (daily). But I do ask myself the same question every time I think of the differences between this desert with the occasional bump on the horizon and NZ with it's amazing landscape and big pointy bits with snow on.............better stop, tears are welling up.........well maybe not quite but I'm sure you get the picture? Paying me too much? I'll just have a word with my boss I'm sure he'll agree with you, but I never would!!!!
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