GWTW Forum

Kite Land Talk => Website Discussion => Topic started by: KiteLife on January 24, 2014, 02:03 PM

Title: The AKA and you...
Post by: KiteLife on January 24, 2014, 02:03 PM
Hi all,

Just thought I'd share this link around...

Please, please add your thoughts there - DO NOT waste them here, let's keep it all in one big room.

If you're not on Facebook, I understand... But, it does offer the largest audience (by far) and is a good place to start change. ;)

Speak your truth!

Title: Re: The AKA and you...
Post by: fidelio on January 24, 2014, 03:24 PM
the AKA should take appropriate input wherever it originates, including here. disregarding constructive feedback because it doesn't come through accepted channels is one of the problems of the AKA. its too insular.

thanks for the link but Steve does not make demands on my privacy or sell my data for profit to hold a discussion so if facebook use is a precondition for participation, i shall respectfully decline.

hopefully it goes well for you John and you receive benefit which aids in your guidance of the AKA.

Title: Re: The AKA and you...
Post by: thief on January 24, 2014, 04:51 PM
Sort of offensive implying that by saying our thoughts here in this forum is wasting them........

actually seems like you are just trying to snag all the members here......

Was this a way to get more interest in the AKA?

Title: Re: The AKA and you...
Post by: Jared on January 24, 2014, 04:56 PM
So much for my thoughts on the AKA...

Be nice if it was at least publicly viewable, for those of us who don't use Facebook.

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Title: Re: Re: The AKA and you...
Post by: DD on January 24, 2014, 05:13 PM
++1 on both above posts. John, I admire that your are trying to get discussions going but if your talking to your friends on facebook (which if you understand facebook, it may not be reaching all your friends like you think it is) are you preaching to the choir?
I'm only guessing but those 'here' are probably who you want to woo into or back into the aka.

Title: Re: The AKA and you...
Post by: rncembal on January 24, 2014, 05:48 PM
John was just posting notice that he had started a discussion on the FBook. His comment about wasting your time posting here was that you would not be part of that discussion. No judgment attached to the forum. Kind of like posting on a swap wanted post the the item was on eBay then seeing someone bid here. Wasted bid I do believe.

Title: Re: The AKA and you...
Post by: KiteLife on January 24, 2014, 09:44 PM
Hrm, probably could have chosen a better word than "waste"... I understand the easy interpretation - sorry about that!

Will try to address this more later, hands are full at the moment - read or don't read, just making it known. ;)

Title: Re: The AKA and you...
Post by: trigger on January 24, 2014, 10:57 PM
Not the first time the typed message was misunderstood...  :'(

Having spent some quality time with JB, I know that his one passion is kiting and its growth in all aspects. 

Every one of us is responsible for the success and longevity of this sport.  We are lucky to have an organization that helps represent us.... nothing is perfect, however the fact that they are seeking our  help/advice is honorable!

Title: Re: The AKA and you...
Post by: tpatter on January 24, 2014, 11:26 PM
I think the issues can be broken down like this:

- the focus has to be on recreation, fun, and involvement in flying (don't take yourself too seriously)
- it's too expensive for recreational competitors.  By the time you add up event fees, hotel, food, gas, etc, you have laid many hundreds per event (if you are flying to your destination, you will likely double these costs).   Figure out a way to get recreational people involved at very low cost.
- relax the rules. I see no reason why someone can't show up an hour before an event and register to participate if it's logistically possible.  This will get more people involved.
- I think the focus at every event should be to get people to fly kites and discover what we all enjoy, I think that goal will grow the base.

From my experience, I've been to many events including nationals and loved every minute of it.   I do think, however, that the protocol and rigor in putting on the event in an extremely professional and competitive way takes away from the sheer joy of flying for both competitors and observers.

I don't have the answers, but perhaps thinking more along the lines of putting on a show for the public would result in more buzz around what we do.  Things like demos and hot tricks draw ohhs and ahhhs from the cords for dual line, but we treat them as an aside.  Do them every day for events.

Some of the most fun I've ever had are at smaller festivals at a whidbey island, for example, where we are volunteering for lots of demos and just having fun flying together.   15 folks flying mystery ballets is just fun too watch. 

Anyhow, that's my 2 cents.

Title: Re: The AKA and you...
Post by: Jared on January 25, 2014, 11:52 AM
- relax the rules. I see no reason why someone can't show up an hour before an event and register to participate if it's logistically possible.  This will get more people involved.

I haven't seen John's post (no Facebook account means I can't even read it) but as someone who is involved in putting on 5 competitions per year, I'd like to address this point.

Firstly, we do allow novice competitors to register the day of the event, and we usually try to plan ahead to allow for a number of walk-ons.

That being said, there are a number of reasons we require pre-registration for non-novice competitors at Eastern League events.  Firstly, I've been involved both as a competitor and organizer at events that run with a variety of different levels of preparation beforehand.  I know John and other have raised the point before that competition takes people away from having fun at festivals, but a lack of prep work by the organizers is exactly how that happens.  When an event organizer has a cutoff date for preregistration, he or she knows ahead of time how many competitors, which means how many scoresheets need to be printed, who can be placed on which judging panels, and what low attendance events can be combined to save time. 

The events which I have been involved in that ran closest to their published schedules were the ones where the organizer sent out an email to all competitors 3-4 days before the event with their complete list of judging assignments and competition flight times.  Those events ran on schedule, competitors and judges turned up for their assignments and time wasn't lost hunting for them, and everyone got a chance to enjoy the festival as well as participate in the competition.

By contrast, events where the judging panels are not pre-set, the competitors are not pre-notified of their assignments, and the schedule is loosely held, lead to participants being "shackled" to the competition field for the duration of the event, or leads to them wandering off to "play," which in turn delays events or forces organizers to make substitutions to the panels, leading to a less enjoyable time for everyone involved.

Our goal is to get as many people participating as possible, but if we were to relax the organizational structure of competition, we would drive flyers away after their very first event, because the attitude would be "why should I sit around here and wait all day when I can be flying, socializing and having fun at the festival?"


If this has been a discussion point on the FB post, one of you can certainly feel free to copy and paste my response over there.

edit:  There's one other piece I forgot to mention here; there are people who do enjoy kite competition, and will pay the costs associated with traveling to events, etc.  But it's exceptionally difficult to find people who want to step up and run those competitions.  At present, the Eastern League has five events schedule for this year, and I'm taking a personal hand in organizing four of them.  Fortunately, three of those events have a strong local kite store involved that handles dealing with the city as far as permitting, securing the flying field, etc.  But even for events that have that level of local support, I have had difficulty finding even one other person to step up and take on the responsibility of coordinating that event (fundraising, collating registrations, planning a schedule, working with the chief judge to pick figures & set judging panels, keep the local sponsor happy).

Title: Re: The AKA and you...
Post by: John Lutter on January 26, 2014, 08:45 PM
Thanks for your comments Jared, I don't think that thread has been covered over on Facebook.

We will definitely be in contact with you for your expertise. Fair warning :)

Title: Re: The AKA and you...
Post by: Imafloater on January 27, 2014, 06:23 AM
Ok, let me start this by saying I am one of those that chose to let my AKA membership lapse (for a while).  I don't attend a lot of festivals, I don't compete and not really into the "tricky" stuff.  From that I suppose I could be described as a "recreational flyer".   From the AKA I would love to see more attention in the AKA magazine attention to the Recreation Flyer; maybe some information about new products, old classics, or different kinds of kites that might be interesting.  In speaking to many relatively new flyers I find many that don't even know about aspects such as indoor flying, fighters, show kites, etc.  As an education could we not include some information to bring these aspects to more flyers.  I'm trying to work more closely with my local kite club (Central Florida Kite Club) and would love to know what other clubs are doing to spread kiting in their communities.  There are clubs out there that are really "thinking outside the box", tell how to get to "outside of the box".  My current "hey I wanna " is to build a serious kite some information about how to get started would be great.  "Nough said.

I have to agree the the Eastern League that timing and planning are everything.  Having organized other types of events having people wait around to compete will KILL an event.  Not only does it frustrate competitors but people don't want to come back next year and word spreads that this competition "S***S".

This was going to be may 2 cents that sort of turned into 10 cents, basically AKA does what it does very well but could be doing others things much better.  Time to get off of this and go fly something.


John Barresi, props to you first time AKA even seriously asked my opinion.