To assess the popularity/uptake of WhatsApp as a method of instant free communication for the Club, we launched the URYC Group on Whatsapp on 3 January 2019.
Members with smart phones who have shared their mobile number with other members are likely to receive an invite to join the group. If you are not already a Whatsapp user, download the App and then contact one of the administrators Marcus or Alex and let us know your mobile number.
Two Groups for URYC members
Following consultation we have set up two Whats App Groups:
- URYC Social Group
- URYC Alert Group.
Members can now choose their preference to:
- Remain on both
- Just get alerts from the Alert Group – emergencies, boat adrift in the river, reminder re work parties.
- Just get alerts from the Social Group – for all other matters. Broadcast messages to other members, the usual friendly exchanges where you want to include the wider membership.
#### You can simply mute alerts or turn off notifications from the group you don’t want to be disturbed by.
Why we set up WhatsApp for the Club
Mainly because its the easiest and most efficient means of contacting a large number of people instantly. And its free.
The Alert Group is intended for passing on urgent messages eg boat adrift in the river or invitations to join a day sail, impromptu cruise etc – ie strictly information about matters of club wide importance. Creation of the Social Group is to give members who are looking to quickly send a message of interest to the wider membership a means to do so. Say; a picture of a seal at Hullbridge or, a Club member receiving a prize after an open meeting. All good stuff, but not something you would leave a business meeting for to check your phone in case its an emergency.
Please be assured that if it is misused the administrators will remove access to those responsible. However, it is hoped by catering for social exchanges and for members who only want emergency alerts, the maximum number of Club members will sign up.
Setting up the initial single group was met with enthusiasm by a wide range of members – feedback was very positive.
Subsequently it has been identified that members who use WhatsApp fall into two categories.
- Many members use it for social messages (which is how most people use WhatsApp).
- However many members only signed up for urgent alerts and find the other messages disruptive which might cause them to drop out of the group or switch off alerts which defeats the purpose.
Therefore we have set up two groups and hope the maximum number of members join both groups. The Alert Group being the most critical for club communication purposes.
More detail about WhatsApp
Please check out this link for get an independent view of the advantages and disadvantages of WhatsApp.
If you don’t have a smart phone you will not be able to take part. Well over 90% of people in the UK under age 54 have Smart Phones, however this falls off to 51 percent for the 55 to 65 age group. So perhaps it’s simply not practical for everyone in terms of the mobile phones they choose to own (or not, as may be the case).
Equally, some members may prefer not to know and rely on email or a phone call if it concerns their boat. Rest assured, this more traditional communication will continue.