Hi Painters,     Sep 14, 2020

Over the last year or two I have been wondering about the usefulness of (ncpap.org) Plein Air Network. Our website renewal of $600 is coming up Oct 2020, so I wanted to get some feedback from our users. From what I can see, it seems that visible activity on our site has dwindled down significantly over the last few years.  e.g. views of paintings posted and visible interaction and Forum discussions among artists.  Also it seems that several of the groups on our Groups page are inactive.  

I would like to get your feedback and open some discussions.

Please take a minute to answer these questions.

1. What elements on (ncpap.org) are you using?

2. What do you not like about (ncpap.org)?

3. What changes would you see with (ncpap.org)?

4. What do you think if all of our activities were moved to a Facebook Group Page and (ncpap.org) network was closed down?

You can answer these Questions on this  Discussion Board below. Please label your answers 1,2,3,4.  

Your feedback is important to help me access our viability or to make changes that would improve our network's usability.

I believe there are many informal plein air groups that are active around the state that fly under the radar or e.g. not visible to our network.  Is that accurate?  Please share with me about your group, how you operate and if you are connecting with others thru our (ncpap.org) Network. Please send this information to my personal email at scottboyleart@gmail.com I will not share any info about your group, but I want to verify the accuracy of my assumption.  

Thanks,

Scott Boyle - admin

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1.  I love this website but have not used it as much as I used to but still use it to keep up with nearby events and offerings.

2.  I can't think of anything I don't like.  Certainly don't mind donating to keep it going. It does seem to be a lot of work for Scott and if that is a burden for him I don't like that. I don't know if Facebook might be less work?  I like that it is very professional looking and that it connects me with the area's artists and events.  Of course recently there have not been a lot of workshops because of covid.

3. Sorry can't think of anything.  

4.  I am not a Facebook fan so probably would not use it on Facebook.  

Thanks Sudy for the feedback!!   Scott

To tell you the truth, I only use ncpap if I have a non-travel vacation coming up, or some good weather is coming for the weekend, and I want to find out if anyone's painting near me. Which they usually aren't. So a Facebook group would do just as well for that.
Carol Strickland
Efland

Thank you Carol!

I have been a member for one year.  I received a notification that welcomed me to the group but I haven’t seen any further notifications.  I live in Norfolk, VA but am originally from Columbia, SC so I travel through and throughout NC on day trips as well as trips back and forth.  I always prefer to paint en plein air with a companion, for safety and social reasons.

1) see above

2) see above

3) More communication / paint outs.

4) I think a Facebook Group is ideal and easy but not everyone uses Facebook.

Thank You Gina!

#4. For me, and JMHO, Facebook is one stop shopping, I don't have to go to an individual site like this to see what's happening. I like everything kinda spoon fed, when you don't see it, you forget its there..

I can click and immediately go to :

Other Artists pages

Event Pages

Documents

Websites

Any link you can imagine.

You can set up event pages. You can make the group Private. You can set up questions that will weed out the trolls, you can set community standards, oh by the way....this is all free.  You can allow members to invite other artists to the group, the list goes on. 

until I see another social media platform with these functions, I am not going anywhere. For the record, facebook is the second largest social media platform after instagram. as I said, jmho.

Great! Thank you Linda Starr.   Scott

Scott et al,

A few other points to consider re: Facebook.

-For anyone who's been "banned," the way around it is to set up a new account with a different email address.

- FB now lets you form group video chats on demand. This means it's easy to have a video chat if we see a number of members on there at the same time. That said, we can also schedule them. What's mostly missing for me is the group critiques / comments that happen during a paint out. What if we could do the paintout and then have a video chat on FB in the afternoon or at another scheduled time? That would encourage people to post their work and bring back the social and personal development elements that are missing.
- As Linda pointed out, our group can be private, there can be gate questions that keep trolls out, there can be multiple administrators with different levels of abilities. This would alleviate all the burden falling onto just one person. 
- The Events calendar is key here -- it lets people show whether they're interested, if they're going, etc. This facilitates car pooling, deciding whether to go ahead or cancel, and because it can connect to your phone's calendar, complete with map/directions, it's very, very convenient.

- Albums can be set up for each paint out, each event, etc. or whatever categories we want to create.

- Easy to do polls and see where membership is on any question.

- Facebook isn't going anywhere folks. While many may wish otherwise, it's got too much momentum and money behind it. Even if it's ruled as a monopoly, that will take years in the courts, and still more years to divest. Think back to the Baby Bell break up for AT&T.

- Private groups are not bombarded by ads. In fact, in all of the private groups to which I belong, not a single ad has ever appeared.

- You have the ability to choose to follow or not follow various posts individually, or as a whole. Once you decide that, your personal feed will not get crowded with posts you're not interested in.

ALL of this is FREE.


OK, TMI for now.

Best,

Mary

You would also have to use a different name, which defeats the purpose. Considering the present hacking crisis, a private web site is far, far safer than a public platform like Facebook. If Chinese or Russian hackers are going to attack something, it's almost certain it wouldn't be NDPAP's web site. However, it is very possible and even likely they would attack Facebook. All the pros you mention for Facebook are equally doable, and in fact more easily customizable, using a WordPress site. I guess the question is, do you want a site that is one-size-fits-all and easily hacked; or do you want a site that is totally customizable for the group's needs and is also far more secure?

Thanks Waits for more ideas on this, I'll add it into the mix and we will talk later for sure!

Scott

Thank Mary, a lot of good information here!  Scott

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