Member Survey 2013
This page documents the background, reports, analysis, and responses to the survey of PCUG members run in Feb-Mar 2013.
A total of 346 responses were received. A summary report with the statistics for the all the multi-choice questions, is available in the members area. A summary of the key points from these, and of the commonly raised issues in the free-text responses, is given below. Details of the background to the survey are provided at the bottom of this page. The committee's responses to the survey results are shown next.
Response to Survey
Having reviewed the survey reports and suggestions, the committee has noted the following:
- note widely expressed desire to retain PCUG email/web (as we intend)
- agree with view that group should embrace wider range of platforms - need to make our branding indicate this, add training courses & SIGs to address
- will look at "kick-starting" Android & iOS SIGs by hosting visiting presenters from peer clubs in Sydney
- will look at cooperating with groups such as HAGSOC on presenting genealogy courses
- will look at suggestion for some training courses in basic social media (eg Facebook, Twitter, & Blogs) use
- need to better advertise & promote existing & future SIGs
- note that given the clear older demographic of the group, that we need to address their needs, and that trying to attract a significantly younger membership is likely to be problematic, even disasterous
The PCUG main committee has formally noted these response items at its May 2013 meeting, and is listing them in the minutes of that meeting as action items, so that progress will be monitored.
Responses are still being reviewed, and we welcome suggestions for further response items the group should consider.
- a number of opportunities have been identified, but need volunteers to make them happen
- need to encourage those who indicated they are willing to volunteer, but not already, to make themselves known
- need to emphasize that SIG coordinators don't need to be experts on the topic, just willing to make meetings happen
- for group to have a future need more users doing the helping!
PCUG Members Survey Summary
- membership is valued by a significant majority, and recommeded by many
- likely to lose ~38% is close TIP, high, but not as high as feared
- 61% of membership is over 65, essentially no younger members
- ~30% have used centre / courses / SIGs in mid-term, fewer currently; ~35% have never used these; ~30% may use in future
- only 16% likely/will volunteer, need these people to get in touch
- see very mixed opinions about the future of the group
- many indicated they wanted to retain PCUG email/web (as we intend)
- many suggested we embrace a wider range of platforms and open-systems, esp smartphones & tablets; possibly even to point of changing name
- mixed opinions suggesting that we need to attract younger members for the continued health of the group BUT others warned this was seen to be very problematic, even disasterous for other groups in similar circumstances
- some suggest scaling down services, dropping centre, TIP etc; others would like to see more services at centre, perhaps help with systems
- several noted we need to stay community-focused as "users helping users"
- several noted they would like a regular newsletter (editor needed!); others commented that given ease of finding info on web, this was no longer so important
- some suggested we should offer more training esp for older users, others noted that ACT libraries are funded to provide such services, so why are we?
- courses suggested: smartphone (likely android & iOS separate), digital photography & photo editing, networking, adv excel, adv access, Win8, linux, genealogy
- SIGs suggested: smartphone (likely android & iOS separate), social media, linux (we already have a linux SIG!)
Take Home Message: there are a range of things members would like us to do, but unless more volunteers step forward to help do such, they wont happen and the group wont have a future!
This background was included in all-member emails sent on 20 Feb & 2 Mar 2013.
The PCUG has reached a turning point in its operations. Many of the original reasons it was formed over 25 years ago have changed, due to technology advances and changes to the computer knowledge and experience of our members and potential members.
Furthermore with the gradual rollout of the NBN (National Broadband Network) throughout the local area and greater ISP competition, the PCUG's own TIP will most likely cease being a viable concern as an ISP, and become redundant. On that, please note that we intend to provide at least a year's warning of major changes to TIP's status. We also intend to continue to provide PCUG email addresses and member web areas as currently, but on an external host. It is the Internet access aspect of TIP that will likely not remain viable.
Hence it is time to evaluate a future direction for PCUG. We need your involvement to make it happen. The alternatives are simple - to do something and have a chance of continuing to operate, or do nothing - and die. Our declining membership and TIP usage has already created some years of annual financial deficits. This means the group will likely be unable to continue in its current form as early as the end of FY 2015/16. The changing ISP / TIP situation is likely to exacerbate this in future years. Also lack of volunteers is leading to difficulties in maintaining membership services, such as having meetings, training courses and similar activities.
For the group to continue into the future we must either significantly reduce operating costs and services or source alternative funding to replace what will be lost through the eventual closure of TIP. To do this, the group needs to more clearly identify what its aims and goals are, how best to meet the needs of its membership and to maximize the use of its resources.
One possible solution under investigation by the group is to make greater use of our training facilities - by making them commercially available.
We must also accept that our membership is aging, and look at ways to attract younger generations.
The PCUG can only continue through the active involvement of its members and volunteers.