There comes a time when you realize what you are doing is not working. The Chainlink is not working in its current format and I need to acknowledge this and do something to make a good, solid, supportive change.
So here's my proposal:
Dear Fellow Chainlinkers,
Do you have knowledge and opinions you'd like to share? Topics can include but not be limited to:
- equity and advocacy
- youth in cycling
- women in cycling
- bike camping
I don't collect revenue from the site so this will be a community of articles, shared for others to read and learn. I'd also be looking for people interested in helping edit and publish.
- Amateur photographers
- Limited promotion of events (until we get the all-clear for covid)
- Recommended routes and rides (can include bike camping, other cities and rides outside of the Midwest)
- still support a racing and riding team
- gear recommendations
- other bike-related resources
I'd like to move away from the forum. I feel strongly we've come to a cross-roads and with so many people hiding behind a fake name, it promotes less awesome behavior and opinions of the anonymous.
I'd also like to look past just Chicago and expand to the U.S.
Please share your ideas, thoughts etc. in the comments. I'd like to hear from you on what you'd like to see in the future of The Chainlink. Also, if you want to be a part of building it, let me know. Thank you!
It has been an interesting run. Sharing thoughts and finding people to ride with. Curious to see what's next.
The goal of any reorganization should be to make The Chainlink into a “ one-stop resource for connecting cyclists to share information on bikes, routes, rides, and events”
Sorry, I'm late to this thread as I haven't been reading the Forum for a while. It will be sad to lose the Forum, although it is true I probably only posted a dozen or so times in the years I've been reading this site. However, the only thing I read on this site is the Forum. I have loved the Forum. For a start, what is special about it in my view is precisely that it is for Chicago only bikers. I would not be as interested in the site if it was open to the entire country. Obviously, there are topics salient to bikers everywhere, but I liked the local feel of the Forum. It was part of a Chicago community, which will be lost if it is open to people everywhere. I do understand that you feel the site has not been meeting certain needs, although I don't understand which, however from my perspective it has met all my needs - I ask a question, and I get back some helpful or supportive answers, even if I'm not participating often. There were lots of Forum questions only relevant to Chicago like about Divvy, or Critical Mass, or how to get from A to B, or about some local news, or where to buy this or that in Chicago, or places to visit by bike in Chicago, or some new ordinance, or the progress in the laying down of bike lanes in Chicago, and so on. I liked the fact that the site promoted a Chicago cycle community, that is what made it cool for me. I'll be sad if this Forum goes. The need for change is itself an interesting question. Some change takes years, decades, even centuries. It is an organic process, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. As far as I'm concerned, I see nothing broken about the Forum. But I know you are discussing the site as a whole, and you seem to feel the Forum is just a small less critical aspect of the whole site, whereas I have never even visited this site except to visit the Forum, so I may be a weird one.
While the forum IS the way I probably most engage with The Chainlink, I have only met a few folks in real space on bikes -- specifically, the one time I joined bobweiser on one of those 12 Steps rides down to 3Floyds. This is not an indictment of The Chainlink -- it's as much about me (a bit of a lone wolf) and where I am in life as it is about the social dynamics of this community. Repeating myself, I feel Yasmeen has moderated the forum (a truly thankless job) sensitively and with a light touch for the most part (said with a tip of the helmet.)
Given the more pressing and immediate matters that demand my attention, I have no great insights or suggestions as to how to build a better, stronger ChainLink. To be honest, it is a struggle for me to not be overwhelmed with visions of apocalypse currently. If only this was me being a drama queen! But the palpable smell of Rome burning (or is that just the West Coast?) makes it difficult for me to focus any attention on such fine grain matters as how to re-imagine a social media site.
Float, float, float on...
I'd be sad to see the forum go but I totally understand and wish you and the site the best for the future. I don't feel like a biking expert but I am a published writer and would not rule out writing articles of interest. I think there should be a safety section which could include advice, the science of safety, local organizations promoting safety, best practices for safety, etc