We have been launched just over a month and so I thought it was high time to let you all know about the response we've had so far. As of Sunday 7th October we have had 281 members join the Pitchcare website, this amounts to nearly ten new members per day since Saltex. The Statistics for the site make better reading as we have had 3140 unique user sessions amassing over 110,000 hits in the last seventeen days. People within the IT industry no longer count hits as a standard. On a site like Pitchcare one member can accrue 100-200 hits in a session by reading many different pages and clicking on banners or pictures. So user sessions become the vital statistic, this shows the number of people or to be more specific, how many times those people have logged on. I am encouraged by the initial use of the site and that the figures average ten sessions on the site per member.It would be fair to say that we have not been without a few teething problems, unfortunately as most of you are aware, computers and information technology are not infallible. First of all there was the Trojan root virus and then the Code red virus that resulted in us having to reformat our systems and install a small business server into the office (at not insignificant cost). There were some glitches on this website as well, with people getting stuck in the chat rooms (not physically) and the weather not updating itself twice daily. While our external design company are in the process of amending these problems, we would welcome the reporting of these or indeed any other faults that members come across. Please phone the office on +44 (0) 1902 824392 or via e-mail email@example.com.
We feel that the opportunities for our members to use the site to their advantage are not being maximised. So I felt that a quick summary of the different parts of the site may be of help to those of you that are unsure.
Without doubt I have had to learn and understand much about computers in a relatively short time so please do not be afraid to ask questions regarding PC problems. In fact due to some of the queries that we have had e-mailed back to us I have now installed a new message section on the Message board to do just that. With regards to the grass related parts of the message board, members can use it to post up questions about products or machines that they wish to know more about, or problems about disease, algae or pests that may be a problem. The message board is there as a medium for members to also answer other member problems. There is anonymity with regards to asking or answering the questions.
The chat room is functional and I have had conversations with many people over the last two weeks, but don't be shy, come and chat about your problems, experiences or the days events.
There has been much interest in the job room, and while we have some updated jobs in every week, members have the chance to send in their details to us at Pitchcare and we will post them up for prospective employers. This service is free for members.
Some members have already used the barter room, but if you are looking for a machine to buy or you have some old equipment lying around that you no longer have use for then put them in the barter room. It is easy to update and you may just find the bargain you are looking for or make a few quid by helping someone else locate their bargain. We have had a number of enquiries from manufacturers and suppliers about selling their products on line- please contact the office if you have a machine or product that you would like us to sell on your behalf.
We arranged both personal and commercial financial deals with Simon Hannam and Humberclyde Finance, so if you need independent financial advice then please ring Simon to see where you can improve your mortgage deal or investments etc. If you need to raise some finance to buy a new machine, put in a drainage or irrigation scheme or even extend the clubhouse, then contact John Westrope at Humberclyde. Both of these people are contactable in the Finance room.
We hope to expand our Health and Safety and Consultancy sections shortly with more good advice and stories. We are also in the process of setting up a dedicated phone line to our consultants to help with agronomy problems.
The weather section has met with a good response already, and I know that many members now use this service. The phone line that we set up is directly to the Duty forecasters with all the latest satellite images at their disposal. They are able to give accurate advice of the weather much more locally and compared to the existing alternatives represents excellent value for money. As a Groundsman myself, I had a limited choice for decisive information and this cost me about £1150 plus VAT per year. A service that I rarely used to its full potential. I know that if I had had this service at my disposal then, I would have saved around £800 per year.
As I write this editorial, the shop is nearing completion and we hope to publish the departments either Monday or Tuesday this week, while there is the convenience of buying on-line we welcome offline accounts as well, where we may be able to offer more favourable rates, please contact the office for details. Our prices include delivery to mainland England and Wales. We are currently negotiating deals with further suppliers to expand our services and product range.
All in all it has been a great start and there are many other possibilities opening up everyday. We hope to bring our members the latest news and Industry reviews and continue to improve this service. If you as a member feel that we need to improve our service, or that the site could be tailored better towards your needs please let us know by sending us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please continue to use the site to your advantage, I don't want to use the usual clichés but this site was designed by Groundsmen, for use by Groundsmen and is here to help us all learn, interact and do a better job. None of us stop learning and the sharing of information is the quickest way to resolve a problem.
All the best,