You may think I’m talking Shakespeare, but I’m really referring to tournaments here in the South! A common question these days is, “Will the SN survive”? Is it to be, or not to be? No one is certain, but it does continue surprisingly well. Yes, it’s glory days certainly seem to be in it’s past but why does the question as to it’s survival continue?
It’s directors, of late, have leaned more towards ineptness than actual leadership. Good leadership is the most important factor for the survival of any organization. After leadership, communication is the next most critical lifeline. The SN scores poorly in regards to both these aspects. Don’t get me wrong. I am not against the Southern Nationals. I’ve worked diligently to assist in it’s survival. It’s been around for many years and I’ve enjoyed playing, hosting, and directing it’s sanctioned events. It’s a wonderful organization of volunteers promoting disc golf here in the South. It needs to continue. It’s time to begin communications to insure this happens!
To me, it just doesn’t seem to be structured properly to survive in today’s ever changing “give it to me now”, instant gratification culture. It’s Board should embrace and acknowledge the web’s importance in the advertising of tournaments, talking smack, the points race, and viewing results online as critical aspects of the SN’s past success and it’s future. Without these aspects online, it likely would not even exist today. The SN is approaching a crossroads that could bear significant influence on it’s future, even it’s very existence.
As many of you know, I along with past SN player, Kary Rogers, have been performing the recent grunt work to get the SN domain obtained and transferred from it’s creator, Brian Moon. The SN Board had lost contact with Brian as he ventured on to other interests. He had become partially “off the grid” in regards to SN disc golf and maintaining the web site. Thus, the SN’s desire of obtaining “rights” to the site and gain its control to keep it updated. Over a period of many months, I was able to make contact and obtain the server files. Brian graciously offered them as property of the SN and worked with us to make the transfer in January, 2015.
Kary worked wonders on the code and the site was transferred with little down time or noticeable changes. Quite a feat for code written fifteen years ago. The next step was to tweak the site and introduce up-to-date code and new pages per the requests of the SN community. Tupelo Disc Golf Leagues, in fact, was created as a demo area to test and review possibilities for new SN pages and features.
However, anytime a complete site is transferred to another server, issues are likely to occur. Although all seemingly went fine, we’re now observing that the old code of the forum creates excessive page executions and overburdens the server. Much of this is due to massive amounts of hits from spam bots and search engines, but the old code and huge size of the forum database is the main culprit. Our ISP has quotas in place and the end of the month outages of the site are due to exceeding these quotes.
What do you think? Take this brief poll and express your opinion.
The SN desperately needs a new site both in terms of the tournament database, informative pages, and a cutting edge forum. However, such a site does not magically appears without expenses. Customized code, plus time is involved. Neither of these requirement come cheap. The SN does not deserve a cheap site either.
The original basis of the Southern Nationals is it is a “Player’s Series” run by the players on a volunteer basis. All proceeds generated via it’s tournaments are supposedly be returned as payouts at it’s various championships. Yes, it’s a great premise, but it does have it’s challenges. These challenges turn into faults over time, and faults normally lead to failure. Therefore, in this authors opinion, the SN needs to adapt and change in order to survive.
Check back for part II of this topic as I’ll explain, in my opinion, needed changes for the SN to survive and thrive.