The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

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ellis rowell
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby ellis rowell » 17 Sep 2009, 10:48am

Simon L6 wrote:
George Riches wrote:If you are going to send a bulk emailing to everyone in CTC in your area, I'd advise you to clearly include in the messages how a person can remove their address from the mailing list.
I've been doing it for three years without a problem - and I've used blind copies from the word go.

What's striking is the large number of responses saying 'thankyou for getting in touch'. Perhaps they think it's part of the service they pay for. Which it is.


Yes Simon you doing it right, but most people on the internet do not understand the difference between Carbon Copy and Blind Carbon Copy. I have been Organiser for a computer group for 21 years now, I am surprised at the lack of knowledge among computer users. It's rather like cyclists, there are the club members and the others. The others tend not to obey traffic laws,whilst in the main, club members do. Perhaps we should have a "Computer" heading on here so that members can give tips to other members. However, there is a tendency for a large minority of members to have an "anti-computer" attitude.

thirdcrank
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby thirdcrank » 17 Sep 2009, 11:33am

The BCC thing is very important and not always understood, even in commercial organisations. Sending stuff out CC to an entire mailing list is just not on. OTOH, the membership list of a club or similar is a legitimate means of promoting the aims of the organisation - often not much point in joining if you never make contact with fellow members and local branches cannot contact you. Obviously that has to be done with simple opt in / opt out arrangements but we are not talking about being bombarded with spam or junk mail - it's routine communication with members of a bona fide organisation.

I value data protection very highy, but it is often used as an excuse for idleness or not understanding the issues.

glueman
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby glueman » 17 Sep 2009, 4:57pm

ellis rowell wrote:there are the club members and the others. The others tend not to obey traffic laws

I'll borrow that brush to paint my ceiling when you've finished with it.

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Si
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby Si » 18 Sep 2009, 9:31am

glueman wrote:
ellis rowell wrote:there are the club members and the others. The others tend not to obey traffic laws

I'll borrow that brush to paint my ceiling when you've finished with it.


Yes, having recently had to twice take emergency action to avoid an on coming CTC ride on the wrong side of the road....I'll take the brush after glueman :wink: .

MikeL
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby MikeL » 18 Sep 2009, 9:57am

George Riches wrote:Also ensure that no-one can find the other addresses on the mailing list by just examining one message (putting everyone as BC rather than TO or CC is an easy way to prevent the problem).


BCC: is an abomination :)

It means that mail is arriving for you without your name on it anywhere, usually addressed to "undisclosed recipient". In my case any such gets automatically filtered to the bit bucket, just like paper mail through the letter box 'addressed' to "the occupant".

Much better to use a script or some bulk email software that generates a proper To: field for each recipient.

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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby George Riches » 18 Sep 2009, 10:42am

MikeL wrote:BCC: is an abomination :)

It means that mail is arriving for you without your name on it anywhere, usually addressed to "undisclosed recipient". In my case any such gets automatically filtered to the bit bucket, just like paper mail through the letter box 'addressed' to "the occupant".

Much better to use a script or some bulk email software that generates a proper To: field for each recipient.

But many people are not familiar with scripting and have yet to see a reason to buy bulk email software. Is binning mail if the addresses is not in the TO or CC field commonplace? How would that anti-spam device cope with forwarding? Just checking for "undisclosed recipient" is not much defence; the sender could use one of victims as the TO: address. Also can't spammers use scripts or bulk emailing software?

I do suspect that many spam filters are pretty poor when it comes to "false positives". I divert my incoming mail though google-mail; I have confidence in their approach as it is based on examining incoming emails to thousands of users. There's an analogue with what happens to broken glass placed on the carriageway compared to when it is placed on a cycle track.

Some paper mail through the letter box 'addressed' to "the occupant" contains important information. For example that tomorrow the water company will be turning the water supply off for a specified period to fix a leak. Also councils use that mode of address when they ask a householder to cut back a hedge or similar. The Mailing Preference Service is good for drastically curtailing postal spam.

MikeL
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby MikeL » 18 Sep 2009, 11:22am

George Riches wrote:But many people are not familiar with scripting and have yet to see a reason to buy bulk email software.

Here you are:

Code: Select all

#!/bin/bash
IFS=$'\n'
for i in $(cat addresslist.txt);do
        mutt -s "subject" $'\047'${i}$'\047' < mailbody.txt
done


How would that anti-spam device cope with forwarding?

Forwarding uses To: with the correct address

Just checking for "undisclosed recipient" is not much defence; the sender could use one of victims as the TO: address. Also can't spammers use scripts or bulk emailing software?


The point is that each email only has one address in it: the address of the recipient in the To: field. The others are empty,

There's an analogue with what happens to broken glass placed on the carriageway compared to when it is placed on a cycle track.

Yay! :D We're not going OT! Well done.

Some paper mail through the letter box 'addressed' to "the occupant" contains important information. For example that tomorrow the water company will be turning the water supply off for a specified period to fix a leak. Also councils use that mode of address when they ask a householder to cut back a hedge or similar.


I think it's a matter of common politeness. If they want to contact me (and they do know who I am through the register) then they should address me by name. Also, it has no legal force if they do not IMO.

The Mailing Preference Service is good for drastically curtailing postal spam.


I filled in the post office form telling them not to send unaddressed mail to me. It works up to a point, but needs regular irate phone calls to the sorting office asking them to explain why they have ignored it (again).

George Riches
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby George Riches » 18 Sep 2009, 12:02pm

MikeL wrote:
George Riches wrote:But many people are not familiar with scripting and have yet to see a reason to buy bulk email software.

Here you are:

Code: Select all

#!/bin/bash
IFS=$'\n'
for i in $(cat addresslist.txt);do
        mutt -s "subject" $'\047'${i}$'\047' < mailbody.txt
done


That's all linux (?) to me. I'm clueless about the application programming interfaces of mailing systems.

MikeL wrote:
George Riches wrote:Just checking for "undisclosed recipient" is not much defence; the sender could use one of victims as the TO: address. Also can't spammers use scripts or bulk emailing software?
The point is that each email only has one address in it: the address of the recipient in the To: field. The others are empty.

So the real defence is that it has forced the sender to send one mail per address?

Surely some spammers put a fake email address (or an address of one of their victims) in the TO: field. It's easy to circumvent an incoming mail filter which only checks for "undisclosed recipient"!

MikeL wrote:
George Riches wrote:Some paper mail through the letter box 'addressed' to "the occupant" contains important information. For example that tomorrow the water company will be turning the water supply off for a specified period to fix a leak. Also councils use that mode of address when they ask a householder to cut back a hedge or similar.

I think it's a matter of common politeness. If they want to contact me (and they do know who I am through the register) then they should address me by name. Also, it has no legal force if they do not IMO.

Not enough legal force for a summons, but enough for a notification of water supply disruption?

JT
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby JT » 13 Oct 2009, 4:40pm

1/ What would you like to see the CTC HO doing for the DAs/Sections/Member Groups that it doesn't currently do, such that they could be improved?

Firstly, the main CTC website could be a lot more useful than it is - It is very poorly organised and has too many documents that are in Word format. The main home page (and Newsnet) should promote the activities of Member Groups.

National Office should provide hosting and a themed content management system for Member Groups - this is neither difficult nor expensive. For example, it is frankly ridiculous that member groups are paying to register domain names when sub-domains or directories could be used. Take my group, for instance, rather than registering cpeterborough.org.uk, ctc.org.uk/peterborough could have been used or peterborough.ctc.org.uk. This would also stop the local group webmaster having to know about search engine optimisation to get their site high up in search results (or not). Fortunately, I do.

I would like to see council members and key staff using these forums to answer questions and be generally helpful. Not everyone is able to phone National Office during office hours - some of us work. And in my experience they seldom reply to emails - not even the Press Officer.

2/ What would you like to see the CTC HO doing to the DAs/Sections/Member Groups that it doesn't currently do, such that they could be improved?

Simplify and modernise the structure. Impose (and enforce) some minimum standards.

3/ What would you like to see it stop doing that you think might be hindering DAs/Sections/Member Groups ?

Stop some of these half-buttocked "campaigns" that amount to little more than a few press releases. Safety in numbers - a nice PDF, Stop Smidsy - well intentioned but again, where's the level of activity that will make this register in the conciousness of the driving public?

What is CTC doing to actually increase membership levels? The CTC will not be the representative organisation that the media or government turn to if they have no members. Look at the photographs of CTC events in Cycle, look at how old everyone is (generally). If we're not careful, British Cycling are going to nab everyone under 40 with the help of Sky while CTC trundles on with commitees, AGM's and treasurers, etc.

Finally, I'd like to see the Membership Service insourced as the current poor level of service is reducing the membership if anecdotal evidence is to be believed.

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Si
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby Si » 13 Oct 2009, 4:55pm

The main home page (and Newsnet) should promote the activities of Member Groups......



Yep, this is/was one of Simon L's causes, and a good idea it was too. Alas, I think that he was a little frustrated in his efforts.

Karen Sutton
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby Karen Sutton » 13 Oct 2009, 10:31pm

Si wrote:
The main home page (and Newsnet) should promote the activities of Member Groups......



Yep, this is/was one of Simon L's causes, and a good idea it was too. Alas, I think that he was a little frustrated in his efforts.


I'll second this. I too fought for Local Groups during my time on Council. We occasionally hear that Groups are going to get more support from National Office and Council. We get asked questions like those above. Answers are given. But nothing happens.

In my opinion too much emphasis is placed on the Campaigning and Charity work. If CTC the Charity and CTC the club merge, as is desired by some, then I would like to see the funding/support for Groups (such as it is) and funding from Membership subscriptions to be ring fenced for the benefit of Members. If the slush fund from grants and so on drops/dries up then the Charity Trustees will be wanting to draw funds from the Club (that is Membership, Groups etc). to fund their schemes and Campaigns.

thirdcrank
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby thirdcrank » 13 Oct 2009, 11:19pm

I cannot really speak about national campaigns but a lot of the Right to Ride stuff at local level is done by the same people who are active in the DA's or whatever they are now called. During my time as a CRN rep and then briefly doing RtoR I never bothered to claim anything for expenses and all I ever sought from Godalming, as it then was, was a supply of CTC letterhead which made the countless letters (with my stamps on) look a bit more impressive. Of course, a lot of the local campaigners are the people who bang their heads against the official brick wall.

George Riches
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby George Riches » 14 Oct 2009, 12:38pm

Well I'm going donate all of next Saturday to the first right To ride conference and all of Sunday leading my member group's ride.

Only a small proportion of the CTC members are active in member groups.

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Simon L6
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby Simon L6 » 14 Oct 2009, 2:09pm

George Riches wrote:Well I'm going donate all of next Saturday to the first right To ride conference and all of Sunday leading my member group's ride.
great stuff
George Riches wrote:Only a small proportion of the CTC members are active in member groups.
what makes you say that? My impression is that a substantial number take part in DA rides, events and socials

Karen Sutton
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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby Karen Sutton » 14 Oct 2009, 2:11pm

I recall a reasonably recent (within the last 5 years) CTC Member survey in which 24% of the members said that Member Groups were one of their reasons for joining. This indicates that although only a small percentage are active Member Group riders the Groups are still an important part of CTC.

Edited to add: This was a shock to the Management who were adamant at the time that Member Groups were unimportant and Council time should not be wasted in supporting/discussing them..