ECF Yearbook – proposal to change the format

Proposal — to replace the old-style printed Yearbook with a combination of an online resource and a new, slimmer, full-colour Yearbook, to consist of the ‘articles and events’ section (middle third) of the old version

Printed Yearbook vs Online Archive (PY vs OA)

is as accurate as it can be within the limitations of the CUs, Counties, Leagues etc. sending their correct information to us either by email or letter in the October-December period of the year. Any errors that occur, either through non-return of the details form or pilot error, then remain incorrect for the whole year. In addition, if any of the details change from January onwards, the PY is then rendered even more incorrect.
OA is as accurate as it can be from day to day, and can be amended to be more so, rather than less so, as the year progresses. Information is in one place, and once it’s right, and we all agree it’s right, it’s set in (virtual) stone

The OA is in full colour all the time (see * regarding the NYB)
Cost constraints mean that the PY is printed in black and white except for the covers *

Ease of use / manpower and costs involved
The PY is a handy A4-sized book, and is as easy as any other book to use. The PY is published digitally and delivered to the ECF office on a pallet to be redistributed by post. In terms of manpower it represents the webmaster’s involvement intermittently from October to mid-January each year (all done on the PC) and two to three days of intensive envelope stuffing and transporting the mail to the post office in sacks. Postage is approximately £1.70 per yearbook (2017) and £5.15 for each set of four sent to organisations.
The OA is online, and as such is inaccessible to those members and interested parties who have no access to the internet – they exist, although their number is dwindling. There are no publication costs, and once created (this is already underway – note this is a work in progress, and the input of ECF members and all other interested parties is crucial for its ongoing accuracy and success) the maintenance effort, spread over the year, is far less e.g. one email after the Sussex County AGM and the SCCA details can be changed that day, and are accurate until Sussex’s next email; one telephone call from the CEO and the board members’ details are all corrected; and so on. The OA will also give links to the various third-party websites, rather than the morass of indigestible data currently to be found in the third part the yearbook. Needless to say, the envelope stuffing and postal costs will go down **

* This would not be the case if the proposed smaller Yearbook (NYB) replaces the older model. This we should hope to print in full colour, and it will be all the more appealing because of it

** Again, if the new model yearbook is adopted, these costs will not disappear entirely, but the NYB will be a similar or smaller price to print, cheaper to purchase and cheaper to send through the post, as well as quicker to compile and prepare. It can also be made available as a downloadable PDF for a reduced price

Here is a PDF mock-up using the data from the 2017 Yearbook – where reports and articles are absent, lorem ipsum text is used as a place holder — and feedback is encouraged, using this link. A short article covering this proposal and repeating the necessary links will be included in the July newsletter

— Andrew Walker / ECF