Tag Archives: web 2.0

Bushwalking 2.0 | Some Social Media Websites to Grow your Club

Once you have a social media plan to grow your bushwalking Club membership you may be wanting some ideas to help you implement it. Here are a few social media websites to help you get your message out to prospective members.


This website allows you to send short text messages (tweets) to other users. As mentioned in an earlier post,  it is a good idea to monitor what others are saying about you and other local bushwalking clubs so you can modify your focus if needed. Including the ability to “tweet” directly from your website allows visitors to tell others about your website and creates a snow ball effect. Tweets can attract traffic to your website and may appear in search engines.


 A club Facebook page is a great way to promote your “brand” and allow “friends” to send messages and post news to your “wall”. Many bushwalking Clubs already have a FB presence and if you were really keen you could place an advert. You can add share buttons to your website to allow visitors to promote your web page via FB


This is an ideal place to post photos and video from Club walks, which can then be used to promote your website, via links. They can be made publicly available or if you want kept private for only Club members. Flickr has limited value as a direct promotional tool but does help your Google ranking.

PS You could use the comments and ranking facility built into the site to administer your Club photo competitions.


YouTube is a video sharing website to which you can upload small video clips taken by your member’s smartphones or cameras. What better way is there to show what a fun Club you have than to post clips from bushwalks and other activities? Links in the video description can very effectively link back to your website. Videos rank highly in search engines.


digg is a social news site where you can place items, of news value to the bushwalking community, which can then be linked by other bushwalking sites and blogs. News items rate highly in search engines and can lift your prominence quickly if widely distributed.

StumbleUpon and Reddit

These are social news sites where web pages can be  shared and found by potential new members.


This is a social bookmarking site where you can share your bookmarks which might be of interest to other bushwalkers, instead of hiding them away in your website. If your bookmark list is comprehensive and has lots of keywords to help searching, you may attract lots of visitors. Have a link from your home page to your Club’s bookmarks on delicious.

For example: oz.bushwalkingskills bookmarks



Acknowledgement: Some of the descriptions were developed from The CMO’s Guide to the Social Landscape (2011) pdf

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Bushwalking 2.0 | A Social Media Plan to Grow your Club.

Social media are familiar to everyone and can help your Club collaborate, share, welcome, energise, update, compete, promote, plan, collate, produce, discuss, record, and present, using well known web 2.0 interactive tools such as Twitter, blogs, Skype, IM, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, wikis and forums.

Web 2.0 tools can help you collaborate with other Club members to develop new resources, share the work load, make new members feel welcome, update guides and policies, run competitions, promote your Club to the public, plan events, collate, edit and distribute digital newsletters, promote discussion, and record events, skills and presentations.

Your members are probably already talking about your Club using social media. There are tools available to check what your target audience are saying about you: Google Alerts, Twitter Search, Technorati are but a few.

What are they saying? Is it positive or negative or simply non-existent? Do they have misconceptions? Do you want to capitalise on the opportunities available to promote your Club to new members?

The first step to grow your Club is to devise a social media plan, keeping in mind your goals and probably limited resources.

Some questions to be answered:

  • What are you trying to achieve?
  • What do you want to change?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What sort of relationships would you like to form?
  • How would you like to change your relationship with your target audience?
  • What resources (time, people, money) are available to implement your plan and maintain it?
  • What have you already tried and how successful was it?
  • How do you intend to promote the changes?
  • How will you know if it is working?

NB It is critical that everyone in your Club hierarchy is supportive and part of the development of this plan. 

Read more about using social media and web 2.0 tools

Some of the ideas here have been adapted from the Museum 2.0 How to develop a small scale social media plan and the Museum Social Media Strategic Planning Worksheet

  Creative Commons LicenseThis article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Bushwalking 2.0 Pt 3 | Goodbye Newsletter

Has the Club newsletter had its day? Do you struggle to find an editor for your club publications? Is there a better model for publishing today with the advent of web 2.0 tools? Should those who are prepared to receive a digital newsletter receive a membership discount?

The typical Club newsletter is published monthly or quarterly and contains articles contributed by a small number of writers and edited by the Editor or perhaps a small editorial panel. Usually the Editor has struggled to get sufficient articles by the deadline and has probably had to personally seek new contributors and “hound” those who have promised regular contributions. Quality articles rarely arrive on the editor’s desk without some begging or “arm twisting” having occurred.

The production and distribution of the Club newsletter can be both labour intensive and expensive, especially if it has to be posted to a few hundred members. More progressive Clubs will have already diversified and will be encouraging members to opt to receive their newsletter by email as a pdf. Some clubs only have their newsletter for download from the Club website, usually from a members-only section, but if they could see the promotional value of the newsletter, it would be there for anyone to download.

Producing a pdf is the first, but most important stage of going digital. It reveals a commitment to part with tradition at the cost of losing a few die-hards who want to live in the past. If you really want a quick transition from paper to digital, discount the membership fee, by an amount which reflects the cost savings, for those who are prepared to download their copies of the newsletter. The real costs include postage, envelopes, database maintenance, printing, collating, “stuffing”, sorting by postcode and posting.

Of course web 2.0 tools are designed to be interactive and collaborative, perfect for the job of efficiently editing a newsletter. Even better, with the correct selection of the web tool, you can facilitate concurrent editing of contributions by the panel or if you are really adventuresome, open up the process to anyone in the Club to both contribute and edit. They can edit as little as they want or as much, knowing that the “real” Editor can reverse any changes made if needed, reverting to any previous version with a click of a button.

The other benefit is that the process is transparent, so that members can see how the current edition is progressing and contribute if they feel or see a need. The final version has only been published when the Editor digitally locks the pages and exports the finished file as a pdf.

Suitable tools for this  publication model include wikis, online documents with user-contributed content that can be edited by any authorised person, Google docs shared in the Cloud and even some versions of Adobe Acrobat. All of these alternatives avoid the need to sequentially pass a partially edited document from one person to another.

Of course if you are going to fully benefit from web 2.0 tools, why convert your publication into a pdf at all, just leave your wiki online with the finished pages locked and an invitation to everyone to start on the next edition.

More articles in this series

Pt2: Is your Club Ageing?
Pt1 Pt1 Re-energising your Club

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Bushwalking 2.0 Pt 2 | Is your Club Ageing?

Does your Club have fewer members than it once had? Is your club ageing? Do you have fewer younger members than you once had? Is the proportion of younger members changing?

Many organisations are finding that their membership is dropping.

It could be due to a change in the way the community values membership. It could be because other commitments have reduced the amount of time individuals have to give community service or to be involved in Club activities. It could be because the traditional structure of Clubs does not meet the needs of younger members familiar with social networking and the ability to contribute on an equal basis without the traditional club structure.

There is no doubt that many community groups are finding that not only is their membership dropping but that it seems to be ageing. Committee members are being recycled with little new blood and where there are younger members taking positions of responsibility, they often only do so for a short period. A valuable exercise would be to find out why your younger members are not volunteering for positions of Office and especially why those who have experienced a short term on your Committee have not continued.

Another valuable exercise would be to look over your Clubs membership records to determine how the age profile is changing. Is the proportion of younger members really decreasing or are there just fewer of them because your membership is dropping? Is there also a decrease in the duration of membership, with younger members staying for shorter durations than they once did? Should we expect a decrease in the proportion of younger members to match the changing age profile of the population as a whole?

Whatever the cause, addressing this problem should be high on the agenda of any Club. Without tackling the ageing problem few Clubs can survive, as older members retire and are not replaced by younger and as the Committee workload falls on the same “old” people.

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Planning a Bushwalk | Using Dropbox and Google to Share and Store Information

Want to share a map or form with those who need it but not send it to everyone in your bushwalk group? Do you have a spreadsheet you want to share? Want to send a questionnaire or “survey” to your hiking group? Want to set up a group calendar, so you can see  when is the best time to plan a hike? Want to share your photos or video clips after the walk?

In Planning a Bushwalk | Using the Web to Share and Store Information Pt 1,  I discussed how the Web allowed us to share information so that only the latest version was available and easily accessible to everyone with a need-to-know. This post (Part 2) will help you to access specific websites and web tools which will help you to achieve these aims.

Want to share a map or pdf with those who need it but not send it to everyone in your group? One way is to upload it to the web “cloud” where it can be easily accessed based on need and is available 24/7 without your intervention.  Both Google and Dropbox and possibly others, with which I am not familiar, offer this free service but for a limited amount.


One such website where it is possible to do this is Dropbox, one of the  easiest ways to store, sync, and, share files online and which is available free for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Mobile. Watch the video about Dropbox. Dropbox offers free startup accounts with storage of 2GB, but larger accounts have a monthly fee eg 50Gb cost $99/year. By installing the Dropbox software on your computer or mobile, any file you add to your Dropbox, a folder on your desktop, becomes almost instantly available on any other of your computers, including mobiles, which has Dropbox installed or via a web interface if you don’t have access to one of your computers.

While I am embarrassed to admit I have succumbed to this Dropbox ploy, everyone joining Dropbox gets a 2GB account for free, but if you click this link both you and I will get an extra 250MB for free on our Dropbox accounts because of this referral!

There are mobile phone apps available for iPhone, iPad, Android, or Blackberry, although any phone with a web browser can always access the Dropbox website. Get access to critical files, such as booking confirmations, passport scans, drivers licence copies, route plans, emergency contact lists when on your bushwalk or while at local base, wherever you have a 3G service or wifi.

Now you can share the contents of your public folder for your latest bushwalk with your mates even if they are using a different operating system to you. It’s as simple as sending them an email, with the  link to the file.

Check out my Dropbox public folder, which contains the file How to use the Public folder in Dropbox.

It is easy top access your Dropbox from your iPhone using apps such as Dropbox by Dropbox.

Google also offers “cloud” computing with the ability to save files for access from any computer, much like Dropbox. In Google however, the files can use templates provided by Google Docs which at this time include the following formats:

  • Document
  • Presentation
  • Spreadsheet
  • Drawing
  • Form
  • Folder

or can be uploaded in an existing format eg Microsoft Office and become part of your Google list in a public folder, just like Dropbox. This is explained in more detail in the Google Docs Blog below:

“Instead of emailing files to yourself, which is particularly difficult with large files, you can upload to Google Docs any file up to 250 MB. You’ll have 1 GB of free storage for files you don’t convert into one of the Google Docs formats (i.e. Google documents, spreadsheets, and presentations), and if you need more space, you can buy additional storage for $0.25 per GB per year. This makes it easy to backup more of your key files online, from large graphics and raw photos to unedited home videos taken on your smartphone. You might even be able to replace the USB drive you reserved for those files that are too big to send over email.

Combined with shared folders, you can store, organize, and collaborate on files more easily using Google Docs. For example, if you are in a club or PTA working on large graphic files for posters or a newsletter, you can upload them to a shared folder for collaborators to view, download, and print.

You can also search for document files you’ve uploaded or that have been shared with you just like you do with your Google documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and PDFs. And you’ll be able to view many common document file types with the Google Docs viewer.” (From Google Docs Blog)

A single Google account is much more versatile than Dropbox because it also offers you access to all of the following dedicated Google web applications:

It is easy top access your Google Docs from your iPhone using apps such as GoDocs for iPad/iPhone by Lightroom

In my next post (Pt 3) I will explain how to use these Google app and Docs.

For more info check out my other posts:
Web 2.0

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Planning a Bushwalk | Using the Web to Share and Store Information Pt 1

How can bushwalkers share information? How can shared information be kept up-to-date?  Have you ever tried to set up an emergency and personal contacts list for a multi-day hike? Tried to get consensus on a route plan? Wanted to share maps, trip intention forms, routes or other documents?

In a recent post, Searching for Bushwalking Information on the Web | Search Engines and Social Bookmarking , I suggested that a free Google account was a good way to to find information using web tools such as Google Alerts and that the social bookmarking site Delicious was in some ways better than a web search using Google or one of the other alternatives. These are both web tools and the second is designated a web 2.0 tool as it involves a high level of interactivity and sharing of information.

One way, of course, is to have everyone email you their emergency and personal contacts and then circulate a master list by email.  This works to some extent, but you can spend a lot of time resending the master contact list every time someone changes a phone number or their NOK! How do you know  that everyone has updated the master contact list and given the correct list to everyone who needs a copy?

One way is to place your list in the “cloud” eg Google Docs so that only one list exists and this is always the latest. You can give those in your group read/write access and they can update their own details as required. Then you just give people who need a copy a web link to the master list or if you must,  print the only copy immediately before your departure. If you are separated from your luggage and have a smart phone or access to an internet cafe where you can browse the web, then this list is immediately available. Your Club’s Safety Officer will always have up-to-date access, too.

If you have a consensus leader, then your route plan will be a joint effort. Each change will of course necessitate sending out a revised version and before long you will have so many versions no one will know which is the latest unless of course you are highly organised and use version control. Why not have just one version in Google Docs and keep this version current?

Want to share maps or other documents then use one of the web storage sites where essential docs can be uploaded by one person and then downloaded by everyone in the group who needs a copy. Of course, you could simply send a copy to everyone in the group by email, which is how we used to do it. However, files sizes for maps and pdfs are often huge, making this method largely unworkable for most walker’s mail systems.

Part 2 of this posting will give specific examples of websites and web 2.0 tools which you can try.

For more info check out my other posts:
Web 2.0

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Searching for Bushwalking Information on the Web | Search Engines and Social Bookmarking

How can I find information about bushwalking / tramping / hiking? Has anyone else already bookmarked suitable sources (social bookmarking)? How can I effectively search the web (internet)?

In my last post Bushwalking Trip Plan | Routeburn Track, New Zealand | Pt 1 , I set out some general questions which had to be first answered before beginning detailed planning and suggested that there were four good places to start  for this sort of general information. This post discusses generic skills, using search engines and social bookmarking, for finding information about bushwalking on the web, using the Routeburn Track in New Zealand as an exemplar.

Search Engines

Well, the easiest way is to search the internet and what better way is there to do this than using a search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing, the three most commonly used. The problem with this method is that the links found by these search engines may not necessarily be the best for you. For example Google ranks its links based on a complex algorithm which cannot directly take into account the accuracy of the information or the relevance to you personally. Its rankings are based upon keywords, recency, frequency of updates, quality and number of links to and from the site, number of visitors and other criteria which are secret.

All three of these search engines allow an option to only search pages for Australia. This might seem a sensible way to filter the number of links found  for a search of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia or Otway Ranges in Victoria, but in fact this is not a good idea. Some of my best sources of information have been blogs by overseas visitors. Obviously for a search about the Routeburn track in NZ, this would not be wise either.

Google Alerts

Rather than continuously search the Web for new information, set up a Google Alert which will send an email to you as it happens, once a day , or once a week , with links to all the articles on the web that have appeared on the topic of your choice.

To do so, you will first need a free Google account, which will also provide you with a free Google Mail account and access to the whole range of valuable free Google products eg Blogger, Docs, and Website. If you set up a Google Mail account first, you can use this new email address as the contact point for all your other Google products and therefore an added level of privacy and security.

Social Bookmarking

To make it more likely that you will find relevant bookmarks,  check one of the free social bookmarking websites such as Delicious.

Delicious is a web 2.0 social bookmaking site which allows the public to search for information, based on the tags (keywords) which have been assigned to the URLs (web addresses) by Delicious members who have bookmarked them. As the site is the work of many people with an interest in your topic, the number of people who have bookmarked a site is a good indication of the potential value of the site and provides an alternative and, I would argue, better idea of ranking than that provided by a search engine.  Those who have bookmarked a site will be bushwalkers/trampers/hikers like you, with similar needs and interests.

Although these will be public pages, you will  be able to select just the bookmarks I (username=oz.bushwalkingskills) have made or those of other bushwalkers you value, by adding us to your Delicious Network, but to do this you need first to become a free Delicious member. Fortunately you don’t need to wait for me to add my URls, as others have already added their “Routeburn” bookmarks to the public pages. By searching Delicious, you will be able to see who has contributed each bookmark on the Routeburn track and add significant  contributors to your subscribe list filter or to your network.

Searching Delicious for the tags “Routeburn Track” brings up 62 public results (as of 13/1/2011) in the Everybody’s (public) category. It also shows the other tags which have been used for a particular URL, so you can add these and filter the results if you wish. Interestingly it gives a graphical time scale showing when the bookmarks were added and for the Routeburn the most URLs added was in March 2008.

If you want, you can subscribe to all URLs with the tag “Routeburn” which will aggregate all URLs on the web with the tag “Routeburn” and bring them to your subscriptions page as they are added. Additionally you can subscribe to only the Routeburn tags by a particular user eg oz.bushwalkingskills, if you wish to narrow down the list. To do this however, you will need to join Delicious which is free.

To find out more about Delicious:

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Tackling an Ageing and Falling Club Membership Part 3

Using Some Web 2.0 Technologies to Improve and Retain Club Members (Part 3)

Blogs (online diaries like this)

Do you want your Association/Club’s web page to be easily found in a Google search by potential new members?

 One of the best ways is to have new content appearing on your website regularly and what could be easier for your webmaster than having a member’s blog. Even better, good content will encourage others to link to your blog, positioning your website even higher in web searches. The more “followers” your blog has the better so offer the opportunity for people to choose to get automatic updates when you add to your blog.

Do you want greater ownership and participation from your members?

A blog encourages interaction between members and it is this interaction that is more important than the content itself in retaining members. Younger members are familiar with and welcome this high level of interaction that is missing from most conventional club websites. Your club leaders should take the opportunity to browse you club blog and to interact with new members

It is possible have contributions and comments automatically ranked and use this as a guide to what is popular and to respond and provide more of the same.

Why have a boring website that no one reads?

Sharing Photos and Videos.

Improve Club spirit by encouraging members to add photos and videos to your gallery. Organise an annual club photo and/or video competition using free web 2.0 photo sharing sites such as Flickr,  Picassa and YouTube. Don’t just upload members photos to your gallery, but ask them to comment and rate the photos posted. Offer prizes for the best in a variety of categories, using online voting.

Improve Participation by Improving Communication

Do you struggle to get “new blood” on your Committee? Have you thought about running Committee meetings online for those who can’t make it due to other commitments? How can members be reminded of Club events in a way that can’t easily be ignored?

 There are many programs around which allow you to chat with others and  to share good quality video and audio free of charge.

SMS is universal – nearly everyone has a mobile phone; it’s instant – messages are normally delivered in 10 seconds or less; and it’s reacted to by most people, more so than letters, emails or phone calls.

Why not try some of the ideas above? 

Don’t expect  to see a rapid uptake as it takes time for inhibitions to be overcome and for web 2.0 technologies to be accepted by those who are only familiar with the old paper copy or fax. Many people are happy to read a blog but feel embarrassed about commenting.

“Seed” your blog  by asking Committee members to regularly contribute until momentum takes hold.

Other posts in this series can be found by clicking on the membership tag on the right of this page
Post Options
Tackling an Ageing and Falling Club Membership Part 2
Tackling an Ageing and Falling Club Membership Part 1
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Tackling an Ageing and Falling Club Membership Part 2

Why should Clubs use web 2.0 technologies?
The key advantage of using web 2.0 technologies (social networking sites, blogs, wikis) is that they are interactive, with members communicating directly with each other, often in real-time. 
Does your Club funnel communications via your club office bearers or web master, who can sometimes inadvertently act as filter or even worse as a censor? Filters can often slow down communications and act as a disincentive to be involved in Club business.
Members using web 2.0 feel ownership of their communications. They feel empowered. Web 2.0 content is member generated and ideas are shared before being informally reviewed by others via the comments below each post. No longer is the Committee the sole custodian of the “club wisdom”.
Younger club members are likely to feel more at home in an organisation where a hierarchical structure does not inhibit their communication with each other. Before joining, they can immerse themselves in the club culture via the club’s website and decide whether they will feel at home and welcome.

Other articles in this series:

Useful Web 2.0 technologies
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