Contacting Model T clubs: Why so slow?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: Contacting Model T clubs: Why so slow?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 03:58 pm:

It happens often that somebody with a new Model T will ask on one of the forums or on Facebook about getting local help or advice. Usually somebody suggests contacting the nearest club. After looking at the chapter listings, I'm wondering why so many clubs list nothing but a snail mail address. No website, no phone, no email. A majority of the MTFCA clubs have at least a phone number and/or email, but a sizable minority don't. The MTFCI is worse, with a majority of chapters listing no modern contact at all.

I can understand people not wanting to get a lot of phone calls, but how hard is it to sign up for a free email account for club use? It's so simple even I could do it. Are there really that many clubs where everybody's firmly stuck in the last century?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 04:41 pm:

Steve,

Next think you know people will be recommending distributors....

Ok, I admit it was a poor attempted at humor. (And for those who wonder -- yes, my speedster has a distributor, but please don't tell anyone else.)

I believe it is mostly an issue of the club having someone with an account, who has some spare time and checks the account, and that also belongs to the club. I know for the MTFC South Carolina there is a link on the home page and they respond quickly.
I also know several people who don't do e-mail etc. They may have an account (the kids set one up for me) but they don't know and aren't interested in accessing it. And then there are lots of folks that do not want their e-mail or phone number posted so a web-crawler can snag it etc.

Perhaps this is something our club and/or one of us could help facilitate? If folks are hesitant to add their e-mail and phone number to a posting on the web Ė (I donít post other peopleís numbers without permission) then something similar to the Private Message (PM) Feature added to the chapter list might work. I.e. the person wanting to make the contact puts their e-mail and phone number in the PM and it is sent to the chapterís point of contact. Just a thought.

And possibly we could also have a link so folks could join the MTFCA with a $20 half-price introductory membership so we could link the request to a real address. [Yes, it could still be bogus -- but most of the criminals are not that interested in this much work]. And a lot of folks after receiving the "Vintage Ford" for a year would want to continue their subscription at the normal price.

But yes, there is room for improvement and I'm sure that some of the clubs would appreciate a better easier and more secure way of sharing who to contact.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 05:16 pm:

There are some people who don't use computers. Many are older folks who are content to drive in the slow lane. Give us a break. I do have a desktop computer, but wouldn't even have one except that the children gave it to us for a gift. Prior to that, I thought a computer would be nice to have to type up a letter and proofread it before printing it out and mailing it. I still have a lot of trouble ordering on line. I seem to either order twice or cancel the order.

Yes don't get on the back of club members. If you think the club should have a website, join the club and set one up.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 06:02 pm:

Its the differences in people how any club or organization will work. Some are gung ho and some or just plain lazy.
Here in Waco there are a few old car guys around but no club exists anymore. In the 60's and 70's the club was pretty active. But after that the interest in old cars is pretty much in hot rods and 50's-70's classic cars and cruisers.

As a guy told me a few years ago he wanted an old car which he could get out on the main highways without getting run over.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chad Marchees on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 06:45 pm:

I believe alot of it is the older crowd that isn't into computers. I amazed quite frankly of people in our own club that are slow to use or don't use computers at all---and some of them aren't that old IMO.

I am an in betweener as far as technology, I use a computer alot, use one at work everyday. I would be alright too if I didn't ever have one. But it sure makes contacting other people useful--and opened a great wealth of information that is out there.

Our newsletter goes out almost all by email, but there are a few that get it snail mail. Times are changing, maybe some of the clubs need an update.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Spaziano, Bellflower, CA. on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 06:52 pm:

Back in '99 when I became the head organizer (read complaint dept.) for the Long Beach Model T Club "Parts Exchange", I told the club that the only way I would do it was if the club let me set up a stand-alone answering service with the phone co. and paid for by the club.

After talking to the previous person that had the position and hearing the horror stories of using his home phone number on the fliers and ads then receiving calls at all hours of the night, I decided that I was happily married and wanted to stay that way. The club agreed and I took care of it.

It couldn't have been easier. They assigned us a phone number, I picked a password which I also gave to the club president to access the messages and for a nominal fee, we were in business.

As far as I know, the club still uses this service for the meet and the general club number year-round.

Just like Jim Rockford used to say, "Leave your name and number after the beep, I'll get back to ya'."


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Micheal Crowe on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 06:58 pm:

Steve, we don't have a web page let alone that our members are so in the upper age we are battling keeping the club together.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Mazza on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 08:30 pm:

I always wanted to possibly start a small chapter for Bekshire County Ma. But then how would I even find the people with model ts? I know that they are around, but almost none attend car shows or turn up here, how would one reach them? I would much rather actually hang out with model t people than type to them!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 08:44 pm:

Our web page with a link to Facebook.
http://www.rosecitymodeltclub.org/
We have been getting a few questions on our Facebook page that get directed to me and I try and help.
MarkG


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dick Lodge - St Louis MO on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 09:30 pm:

Very true that our age group tends to be less computer-savvy than younger people. Because of my self-employed work, I pretty much live at my computer. I often answer e-mails less than five minutes after I receive them. Most people don't. I can't count the number of times I have asked someone if he has e-mail and, when he says yes, I ask how often he checks it. The answer is often, "Once a week or so." My response is always, "Do you have a box in front of your house that someone drops letters into?" When they say that they do, I ask if they also check that once a week. "No, I check it every day." My response to that is, "Why do you think they call it e-mail?" (For pete's sake, you can check e-mail without even walking to the mailbox!)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Aldrich Orting Wa on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 09:38 pm:

Some folks are simply resistant to "change".

When I was 50 and laid off with little hope of getting re-hired I went to school and got a 2 year IT degree. Smartest thing I ever did. I am our local "Redneck Computer Geek" but retired now and just doing desk top help for friends. I do maintain out club website but it isn't anything special.

This old dog is glad he learned new tricks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey, Hayward Ca. on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 10:24 pm:

I deal a lot with two guys that don't do email.
One will send pictures by email but never writes anything.
The other looks up stuff on the computer but NEVER gives out his email and never checks it.
In both cases I think they are embarrassed of their poor punctuation and spelling.
It would be difficult for me to work on cars that I never see the owner of if we didn't use email.
I have had guys pay me by electronically depositing money into my checking account.
I like that, it's right now, I can't loose the check and I won't forget to go to the bank.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 10:40 pm:

"poor punctuation and spelling" I wonder how often I change a whole sentence because even spell check can't find the correct word! :-)
Tom the guy that owns the shop will not get on the computer and he's only 54. I told him today that if he ever did he would never get off.
In today's world to get new members the clubs really need some sort of electronic presents, even if it just an e-mail address that is checked more then once a week. Just having a PO box is no longer enough. Except for Christmas cards I mail and a few personal business letters and stuff I ship I use the PO very little.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Danial - Veneta OR US Earth Solar System on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 10:48 pm:

Steve, the nearest T club to me that I could find information for fits that category to a "T". SO, after getting the contact information for the local HCCA, I thought well what the heck, it's not a T club but it's the next best thing.

I emailed...no response. I called....no response. I emailed again...no response.

Gave up after that. I'm not going to beg to be in someone's club.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chris Paulsen - McPherson, KS on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 11:15 pm:

Steve, are you volunteering?

None of the three T clubs in Kansas have any online presence. The Flatlanders are growing, but I'd say we'd whole-heartedly welcome a website.

Mike Crowe already said they are battling to keep the club together.

I think the ECK T's are somewhere in between these two clubs.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Danial - Veneta OR US Earth Solar System on Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 11:59 pm:

Well, if they're "battling to keep their clubs together" then perhaps it's time to step into the 21st century, add at least one free email address to their contact info and start welcoming younger members.

When's the last time you heard of a 21 year old sending an actual snail mail>

jus' sayin'


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By JohnH on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 12:07 am:

It surprises me the number of Model T guys that don't use the internet. They have no idea what's going on in the T world unless it comes to them via printed club magazines, or gossip at club meetings. The amount of information for niche interests like this is just amazing. Most of what I've what I've done with my T is owed to this forum and the on line parts suppliers.
Quite frankly, if an organization doesn't have web presence, it's missing out on a lot of business. I wouldn't have joined the club I'm in if there had been no website for it - I wouldn't have known about it.
I know one guy who got ripped off by an ISP. Instead of changing to another, he decided never to have anything to do with the internet again.
How sad is that?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 12:20 am:

I am amazed at how many young people, in their fifties and even younger, refuse to take advantage of any current technology. Is some of it a waste of time and money? Undoubtedly. I don't text and I'll never send a tweet. But the convenience and immediacy of email are hard to beat.

I am Lester Strunk from Podunk and I just bought a Model T. I really don't know much about it. I don't even know for sure what year it is or how to drive it. But I am really stoked because it's such a neat old thing. So I go on the Model T Ford Club of Facebook (yes, there is such a thing), and I ask for information. A few of the guys there are able to help some, but somebody says I should really get into a local T club. Maybe they even post a link to one of the chapters pages. I'm in luck! There's a club with an address just over in the next county. But there's only a snail mail address that lists a P.O. box. So I write a letter. My letter sits in the P.O. box a day or two until somebody in the club checks the mail. That person sends it on to the the newsletter editor, who puts my inquiry into the next newsletter. Everybody gets it about a month after I posted my letter. Maybe after that somebody contacts me and tells me they just had the monthly meeting, but I'm invited to the next one. So it's going on two months before I even meet any of the local T people.

Meanwhile, my cousin Joe Blow from Kokomo has also bought a T. He winds up on that same page of chapter listings, but he finds that all the Indiana MTFCA clubs have email addresses. He sends an email inquiry from work and receives a reply from the club president that evening. The prez welcomes him and invites him to next week's meeting. He also forwards the email to old Windy Wiggins, who happens to also live in Kokomo, and who has been working on Model T's since Hector was a pup. Windy calls Joe on the phone, and they get together. Windy helps Joe figure out what he has, and goes over the car to see what it needs, and recommends the basic books, and talks up the forum. Joe gets on the forum and a week after bringing home his T he's on his way to becoming an old Model T hand.

Who is having the better Model T experience?

"If you think the club should have a website, join the club and set one up." Right. There are more than twenty MTFCA clubs that list only postal addresses. More than eighty (!!!) of the MTFCI clubs have only snail mail addresses. So I should join over 100 clubs from coast to coast and around the world and set up websites for them? I think not. I'm not suggesting every club should have a website. For those clubs who have somebody with the knowledge and the time to spare, that's fine. But I refuse to believe that all the presidents of those local clubs, or the secretaries, or whoever the contact people happen to be, can't do something as simple as setting up a free email account for their clubs. Even a computer-challenged old dummy like me could do that. I think most people who are capable of doing simple maintenance on a T could at least do that. And the few who can't could have their grandkids show them how. It ain't brain surgery.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Huson, Berthoud, Co. on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 01:47 am:

Steve Jeff:

I agree with you. I have people in my shop every day and when they ask me some question about something and I mention what is said in the Forum they don't know what I am talking about. It seems to me that they are missing out on a lot, even some of the better auctions are listed on the Forum.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren Henderson on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 06:33 am:

Steve, great tread! I'm going to mention it to our club(s) and volunteer to do the work.

Happy motoring,

Dr. Warren


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 11:19 am:

I just called our club's newsletter editor to ask about this. A few years ago, she was sending about half of our members the newsletter via email, and about half snail-mail. She says that now only about 10 or 12 of our 60 member families don't have email capability. That's quite a difference.

There are a few club folks who don't have any desire to use the internet, and that probably will remain the case. But in a club's makeup (even a Model T club) , there are lots of folks who are computer-literate. I think that for the clubs who don't have an online presence or even contact info, it's just a matter of reminding them that it needs to get done. Their club's listing on our MTFCA website is easily forgotten unless you're someone trying to contact them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 12:02 pm:

I learned to make web pages like this:

Find a page in the format I wanted.
Right click on the page.
View Page Source.

A window pops up with the source code for that page. I save that as a notepad file, then make changes I want. Most of the page is easy to figure out. When done, I would save it as .html then upload it to my new site.

A national club could host pages for the chapters.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush Portland Oregon on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 12:40 pm:

Because of having a set PO box we are lucky to get the mail picked up once a month. It's about a 20 mile drive for the current secretary to pick it up. The editor of our news letter, even more.
While people can contact us via Facebook I am going to suggest at the next meeting I attend that we add an email to our page.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Verne Shirk on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 04:02 pm:

We have an IT guy at work. I made the comment to him the other day, ďI wish the company would teach us how to solve the problems that come up with our computers now and thenĒ. His response was that if they did, we wouldnít need the IT department. I have things ďwrongĒ with my computer that I wish I could fix. Not knowing any more than I do about computers, and the fact I can screw something like that up pretty good (know this from past experience), I rely on them for about everything.

I am on a computer all day long working programs that I have been trained on. When something goes wrong, I call the IT department. Most of the time, it takes them a while to repair it. (I donít know if it was that bad of a problem or they just had a lot of problems to deal with.) I have not been trained on the Internet and listen to people complain about how their computer has a virus, or locked up, etc. I would hate to host a website that is hacking in to my subscriberís computers without me knowing how to fix it.

We have people in our club that get the newsletter sent to them via e-mail. Every so often they send me a note that they canít get the newsletter via e-mail anymore because something happened to their computer. I am guessing they have a problem but I donít know how to help them. I suppose their reasoning is, ďso what? Iíve lived 60+ years without the Internet just fineĒ. To them, the Internet isnít a big deal. The younger generation seems to know what to do to fix a problem, the older generation is clueless and donít really see the advantage in learning. I can sympathize with both groups.

I would like to have a website for the Flatland Tís Chapter but I just donít have the time or any idea of how to go about it. Maybe that would be a good seminar for one of the national club conventions, or something the National club could help the Chapters with? I look at some of these websites and think to myself that I wouldnít put that much personal info on a site (such as member names/locations/addresses/phone numbers/etc.)

A few of the groups I belong to seem to have a public page and a members only page. I kind of like that idea. Then each year, you give them a password. At the end of the year, you give them the new password when they pay their dues.

I guess the bottom line is, I have an idea of what Iíd like to do for a website, just not enough knowledge about how to go about it. Iím also not sure I have the time to keep it up-and-going.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Deichmann, Blistrup, Denmark on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 04:21 pm:

Please do not complain anymore that the young folks do not want to join our hobby!
Having an e-mail does not exclude the option for ol' farts to still send snail mail.
Setting up a website is not that simple (Steve
will probably protest, but...) you can get a long way with Facebook.
If you want the young folks join the hobby - you need to meet them where they are.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Semprez-Templeton, CA on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 04:51 pm:

Our local club is GUILTY as charged! I sent an email to our membership guy with the link to your post Steve. It will be interesting to see how the club leadership responds!

Here is what I sent:

I saw this current post at the MTFCA site under the topic:
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/466523.html?1406911252

Handling requests and sending out applications via snail mail makes no sense for any local club these days. Our club could post an email address to which potential members could request membership information, then we could respond with the application as an attachment on the return email and the potential member could send it right back to us. Funds could even be collected electronically with no need for a check to sit in the PO Box.

If all this this sounds too difficult, I will gladly have you add my email address to the club's membership info, then I will perform this function on the club's behalf (even credit card processing). Membership is a good thing, I think... but I know of at least one T owner who wanted to join our club, but gave up after mailing several requests to the PO Box without ever receiving a reply back!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 05:19 pm:

Since most clubs along with most public forums on the internet are staffed by volunteers who work for free ....

What should follow is self explanatory

It amazes me how many folks are of the belief they are somehow entitled to free advice 24 - 7- 365


Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 05:56 pm:

I think there's a tendency for some of us very mature individuals to conflate everything involving the use of computers and avoid all of it.

I'm not suggesting every local club should have a website. Far from it. That requires somebody who has the knowledge and the time to set it up and maintain it. You don't learn how to do it in just an hour or two. In fact, when I set up my first website fifteen years ago I started working on it about September 1 and finally got it working on Thanksgiving Day. I might have done it faster with somebody showing me how, but it still would have taken more than just a few hours.

Email is another story. Setting up and using a free email account is so easy that even the most doddering old wreck should be able to do it or have his grandkids show him how. There's no reason for any club officer not to have email or a phone unless he lives so far out in the boonies that he's beyond their reach. And there's no reason to use your own email address as long as accounts are available FREE for any person or club.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker on Friday, August 01, 2014 - 06:05 pm:

I run two local club web sites. I do it at no charge and get my (un)fair share of nonsense phone calls and emails as a result. Not complaining but I can see why others don't bother. However I had reason to email all the club editors listed on the MTFCA web site and I was surprised by the result.

1. Of the close to 100 local clubs, only 40 or so listed an email contact.
2. Of that number, several were no longer chapters of the MTFCA, having relinquished their charter....
3. Some email addresses were no longer valid

I can sympathize with the MTFCA webmaster, I know that getting info from chapters is tough. However I really think that in the interests of attracting a generation of computer savvy T owners, the lack of web site updates should be raised to a higher level but the MTFCA Board of Director.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Semprez-Templeton, CA on Saturday, August 02, 2014 - 02:17 pm:

Jim, what you say has merit, however, the holder of the club email needs to be nothing more than a traffic cop. If someone needs help, direct that person to the forum. If that person is not computer literate, and is a paid up club member, then the club members should feel some obligation to assist.

If someone want's to learn about the club, then send them an information/application attachment.

I just have a problem with gatekeepers, running a sanctioned chapter avoiding new member prospects like the plague, which to me is what a PO Box "screen" is all about. To my thinking, the worst case scenario is the chapter that degrades into a private social club, with an invitation only mentality.

To the latter I say, relinquish your ties to the National Club, and allow new blood to start a new local chapter.

Steve, I fully agree, with your website or email access idea. It takes about one minute to create a free gmail account, which can easily be monitored daily by a motivated club member. I also feel an active email account should be a prerequisite to becoming and continuing to be a MTFCA local chapter.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Saturday, August 02, 2014 - 04:10 pm:

I agree with Steve - The T community needs to make better use of the internet

I also agree with John S Templeton -CA - esp the third paragraph

I am 69 1/2 and use the internet often. When I got the T I searched for a local T club and found the Central NH club in the chapter section of MTFCA but the only info was a name, address, and email link. ( at least they had an email) I emailed them and got a reply a few days later telling about the meeting schedule with directions. The surprising thing is that the email address belongs to a former club president.

A bit off subject - Lately the club is attempting to distribute the monthly newsletter via email to save money. It is a good idea but unfortunately it shows up a few days before the meeting and sometimes the day of the meeting.

When I got the A I again searched for a Local club and found one in Mass and another in Maine. Both close by. They both have web sites with copies of past newsletters, lots of info, links to excellent resources, swap sections, and ongoing updates. Both A clubs seem to have a lot more going on with breakfast get togethers meetings, news of car shows, tours, technical sessions, and monthly meetings.

The difference between the T and A clubs is amazing.

On the surface the A guys seem to be more open to new people than the T guys. Maybe because of age but you would thing that the older folks would have more time.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Saturday, August 02, 2014 - 06:19 pm:

Well, after reading all this, I'm quite proud of our Arkansas Tin Lizzies club. On the MTFCA page listing member chapters, there is a snail-mail P.O. Box, but I know it is checked every business day. If you click on the contact person's name, his email comes up. If you click on the club's name, the club's website comes up. Good for us! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Semprez-Templeton, CA on Saturday, August 02, 2014 - 06:31 pm:

Here is a message I received today from our chapter:

/red{I believe the web site, CCCMTFC.org, has an application. As it normally takes about a day for mail to get to the P.O. we have had no complaints so far.

I have dial up (my problem) so Iam rather slow and I don't open this everyday. As we have to provide an e-mail address to the National I prefer to keep it simple.}

Oh well, I was wrong, and stand corrected.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dick Lodge - St Louis MO on Saturday, August 02, 2014 - 06:54 pm:

John, you posted this:

/red{I believe the web site, CCCMTFC.org, has an application. As it normally takes about a day for mail to get to the P.O. we have had no complaints so far.
I have dial up (my problem) so I am rather slow and I don't open this everyday. As we have to provide an e-mail address to the National I prefer to keep it simple.}

But I think you meant this:

I believe the web site, CCCMTFC.org, has an application. As it normally takes about a day for mail to get to the P.O. we have had no complaints so far.
I have dial up (my problem) so I am rather slow and I don't open this everyday. As we have to provide an e-mail address to the National I prefer to keep it simple.


It's a forward-slash/back-slash thing... :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Semprez-Templeton, CA on Sunday, August 03, 2014 - 06:27 pm:

Darn it Dick, I can't see any more and what I do see I can't comprehend!


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