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nceca on-line registration

updated sun 23 jan 05


Janet Kaiser on sat 22 jan 05

Carl certainly makes a very valid point. Nobody
has put a system into place simply to annoy,
tease, mystify, make a fool of anyone *on
purpose*. That is neither their intention nor
primary objective! They have done the best they
can... And it is also worth thinking about costs
when comparing small organisations to huge
corporations who have whole IT departments and/or
a massive budget to contract out to get their
heart's desire!

The small company, association, group or guild
have very limited resources all round, but they
still need to provide a secure environment for
on-line registration and payment. They cannot
afford to have some congenital idiot think it is
funny to book for 10,000 individuals as a hoax or
any of the other "jokes" that are technically
feasible these days. I imagine no one would think
it funny to find their credit card details had
been high-jacked because of an insecure system

Funny all this does not enter our thinking when
confronted with a slow or complicated web form,
nor do we recall that it was only months ago
on-line registration would have been impossible.
Now it is expected by everyone of every
organisation with whom they deal, yet
organisations have to provide the other 60% of
the population with a fully functional system
too. So just think what else is being deprived of
funding to provide an on-line service to the
minority. Many business and school accounts may
find on-line booking/ordering and payment
impossible, because their business accounts do
not provide credit/debit card facilities. Add
block bookings and you start to realise that an
individual is a very rare animal when it comes to
some situations.

How much hard cash has to be taken from other
areas to provide the facility for this minority,
even the least functional and basic service? In
the case of NCECA, think of that in terms of
workshops... I bet two or three workshops by top
makers/artists could be provided for the same
price. Just because people are no longer willing
or able to download a form, fill it out, enclose
a cheque, pop it into an envelope, stick on a
stamp and send by snail mail! I am waiting for
somebody to say they do not know where their
local post office/box is located or where to buy
postage stamps... It will happen one day, because
we are all becoming housebound and in the UK the
privatisation of the postal services means that
most post offices have closed already! Stamps?
Try Woolworths...

Furthermore, I think we are all getting very,
very spoiled and lazy in general when it comes to
communication of any kind. From general
information to keeping in touch privately. I was
only just thinking about it yesterday... when was
the last time I sat down and wrote a pen-to-paper
letter, card, greeting to a family member or
friend? OK annual Christmas mail, with that most
impersonal of mail the dreaded "round Robin"
excepted. Even if I send a card and letter, the
latter is typed and the only hand written part is
the signature. Typed address label to boot when
doing a mass mailing to everyone. How come I know
all about people I can contact by e-mail (some of
whom I have never met in my life and probably
never shall) including many in Clay Town but not
heard from many of those with no internet access
for many months, if not years. Even school
friends in contact for years by letter/card have
stopped mailing because e-mail has taken over
their lives too... They are also "talking" to
people in far off places more than the

OK some people are communicators and others are
not, some genuinely are interested in individuals
and will work hard to keep a relationship active,
but that does not make it any better... In an age
when communication is technically easier than
ever before, we are becoming poorer
communicators. I guess that is another way in
which technology is making our lives much poorer.

Janet Kaiser -- Rant over!! Now off to chat with
my neighbour before sitting down to supper at a
real table opposite Himself... Who will smile
when I talk about today's little rant! He it the
quiet, silent one, I am the noisy talker... Bet
nobody guessed that?! LOL! :o)

>Actually your experience with NCECA's online
registration hasn't been so
>different from my experience with similar
organizations (e.g., the local
>theatrical and music festivals). I figure they
just don't have the
>wherewithal to install a really slick
registration system.
8 Marine Crescent : Criccieth : GB-Wales LL52 0EA
Tel: ++44 (01766) 523122
Contact: Janet Kaiser: The International Potters

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