Your suggestions for improving BUCPOWER.COM and the Bucs UK
It was former chairman of ICI, John Harvey Jones, who said "If you're standing still, then you're going backwards", advice I have often referred to over the last two decades, especially when it comes to running the Bucs UK and now BUCPOWER.COM. In the four years since the site was launched, new ideas and developments have constantly been part of the process and long may it continue.
Especially when many of the ideas and suggestions come from you. The annual club questionnaire/voting form always has space for comments on what else we could do and some of the ideas from the 2005 edition were the best we have ever received.
Mick Dogherty asked about club membership cards. Phil and I were talking about this earlier this week and we are going to put together a proper colour membership card for everyone in the club. Phil also has plans for new 2006 merchandise and when this is available, we will update the pictures and options from that part of the site.
Paul Davison would like to see either Bucs or Bucs UK car stickers and Stuart Fletcher inquired about club mugs and pens. Mugs are easy to get hold of for an organisation such as the Bucs UK but there is one drawback - how do you post them out to everyone? But on the pens and stickers front, we are looking into both of these options as we did do Bucs UK pens back in the 1990s with membership.
Some we can do
Cliff Lloyd would like to see a link to all competitions on the front page (done for the past month) and Nick Scott suggested on-line polls. The latter I can do via the message board but not on the front page itself. Score prediction polls were also the suggestion of Steve Reeder and we have incorporated that this week for the Super Bowl.
From across the Atlantic came an interesting pair of ideas - Luke Moseby suggested adding NFL honours and Pro Bowl appearance details to the profile page (excellent idea and it's on my list of things to do next) and Jackson Tucker would like to see more about the 2006 draft. On this, I tend to start getting interested in the draft around 10 days before the event like the rest of the Tampa press do. Any earlier and you start becoming like Mel Kiper - yugh!
Many people would like video clips to be available along with game DVDs although I think I answered the position on that one in my annual review of 2005. Paul Greenfield and Paul Frost both suggested an extension of the fantasy league for a more general-type of competition and I have a couple of ideas for the 2006 season along those lines.
A few easy ones now that are already in place. David Brown would like a site map (how about the list of options on the front page?), Gary Sutton would like some Buc wallpapers (front page, multimedia section) and Ian Stevenson suggested debates with other NFL fans (go to NFLUK.com and log on to their message board). Gary Woollard also suggested a page for our club members to swop and buy merchandise (how about our own message board?)
Some we can't do
A few that we cannot accommodate included Mark Howes asking for a player to write a column for the site (Scott Smith can't even get a player to do that for the Bucs' own site!) and Mark Caress would like a search engine built on to BUCPOWER.COM (err, no idea - how about take a look round all the options from the front page?). Tony Stern would like to be able to buy Buccaneer merchandise through our site (why not just log on to the Bucs' site and do it there?).
A number of people wanted to see more articles written by club members. Well that one is out of my hands and in yours, but Phil and I did note that at least four of the people who suggested this have never contributed a single piece to the club magazine or website at any time.
Graham Coates made an interesting comment about the front page being "too busy". This is something that I am consciously aware of, but have to counter with the sheer number of options that we have available for people to view. The change in style of the front page has made it easier for me to present information and I will endeavour over the next few months to experiment with styles until I can find one that suits both content and appearance.
Paul Beakhouse is looking forward to more club meetings (not sure if Gary Botteley is ready for another hammering on the golf course quite yet!) but a pre-season event and meal is definitely on the cards. We had a club event in Manchester last week that was detailed on the message board, and this is definitely the place for anyone in the club to arrange something in their own area.
And then the most stupid comment of all-time
And then there was the Bucs UK member who complained (and he was being serious) that "the site is not updated enough". I could re-print Phil's comment when I told him this but it was firstly unprintable, secondly physically impossible, and finally probably illegal to boot. There are now 5,840 picture images on this site and 4,295 different screens. In the past month alone, I have updated or added 1,015 new screens. Just because the front page only changes daily, does not mean things are not happening behind. But in all the years I have been running the Bucs UK, this one comment alone definitely takes the prize for being the most totally inane. Like, this is a hobby to me - I've got a full-time job, family and play nearly 200 rounds of golf a year - just because this guy doesn't have a life, the rest of us do!