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Old 11-29-2020, 07:30 PM   #1
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RCA for Decline of Hobby


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Hi All,

When handling a problem or issue, it's always best to look for the root case, before applying a solution. Ya ya it sounds like common sense, but in reality it's harder than it looks. After looking at the "Decline of Hobby Thread", it seems like a whole lot of Good Solutions, but to what problem?

RCA = Root Cause Analysis

So here's something fun to do, let's all put our collective brains together and brainstorm on what we see as the potential causes of the decline of the hobby. Once that's all done, I'll compile it and we can categorize the issues under 3 or 4 basic categories that we can decide upon based on the outcomes.

Here's an example:

Challenges to newcomers
Intimidating to newcomers: Self explanatory, when a newcomer arrives, it's nerve wracking to find out information(percieved)
Percieved High Complexity:
Percieved Cost of entry
Ego - (example: want to fly warbirds first)

Challenges to retention:
Atmosphere
Cliques
Cost
New Interests

Feel free to add and discuss
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Old 11-29-2020, 09:06 PM   #2
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Re: RCA for Decline of Hobby

There's been a paradigm shift in the amount of time and effort that people are willing to invest these in any pursuit.

I'm not sure how to best put it into words but goes along the lines of "It's not worth the hassle." "I need to see instant gratification". "Laziness"

RC is not the only pursuit in this predicament. Here are a couple of others that come to mind:

- amateur radio
- fixing things: pay somebody or throw it away.

The "it's a journey not a destination" mindset is DEAD.

There is no yearning to learn or know things any more. The "nanny cloud" is replacing acquired knowledge.

Anything you need to know you can just look up on the Internet.
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Old 11-29-2020, 10:43 PM   #3
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Root Causes

"Spare time"

- 1960 - 1990's, TV, watch show at specific time at a TV location.
Now watch anything, anytime, anyplace. No time to ever be bored and dream of what it would be like to fly.

There has been a decline in pretty much every hobby, I would say that people all have cell phones and intrenet tv. To top it off those devices and services cost real money, more than most hobbies. I think on average people work more, spend more, are in deeper dept, work away from the house, "not farmers". I believe that when most people get time together they want to go out with friends and family and do something simple. Eg, eat out, hike, camp, go for a drive.

If you think about it, when I was a kid, no intrenet, I would have been bored os, I would be busy building/fixing/ or out with friends tonight. Fast forward, now I'm on RRC trying to figure out why people don't fly RC.

Spare time
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Old 11-29-2020, 10:58 PM   #4
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Re: RCA for Decline of Hobby

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlier View Post
Root Causes

"Spare time"

- 1960 - 1990's, TV, watch show at specific time at a TV location.
Now watch anything, anytime, anyplace. No time to ever be bored and dream of what it would be like to fly.

There has been a decline in pretty much every hobby, I would say that people all have cell phones and intrenet tv. To top it off those devices and services cost real money, more than most hobbies. I think on average people work more, spend more, are in deeper dept, work away from the house, "not farmers". I believe that when most people get time together they want to go out with friends and family and do something simple. Eg, eat out, hike, camp, go for a drive.

If you think about it, when I was a kid, no intrenet, I would have been bored os, I would be busy building/fixing/ or out with friends tonight. Fast forward, now I'm on RRC trying to figure out why people don't fly RC.

Spare time
Not quite true. Plastic model building is at, or near, an all time high at the moment.
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Old 11-30-2020, 12:29 AM   #5
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Re: RCA for Decline of Hobby

Simply ,the hobby is unknown to the majority of the population , how can you expect it to grow when it's such a well kept secret . Secondly there are very few in the population that would have an interest even if exposed , for this reason we need to have a greater reach to find the ones that do have interest . Joe granted all the factors you've shown apply to most every person you will come across ,and that's the way it's always been . The fact of the matter is the R/C modeler is and always will be a rare find but if they do find the hobby, few of those factors matter . The problem is we are not finding those potential R/C modelers , you don't make modelers ,you discover you are a modeler by seeing it .. I must say this is a great time to appeal to people because many are now looking for something new and if exposed may discover there passion for modeling . Could any business stay alive with the limited advertising that the R/C hobby has .. One could say there is lots of R/C advertising but that advertising is targeted for people already in the hobby, selling to the sold, we need to advertise in a big way to the general public ... ..
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Old 11-30-2020, 07:38 AM   #6
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Re: RCA for Decline of Hobby

So this kid gets a $300 electric airplane for Christmas. Now he it wants to fly it. In our world we would want him to come to the local MAAC field and join.
So the kid has to join MAAC which $10 for a Junior. Club membership fees that could be $50. Not to bad so far. Then he has to get one of his parents to drive him to the field as it is way out there. Next the club instructor wants to teach him how to fly. That kid might get one flight on his airplane while at the field and most of that flight the instructor is showing the kid how to fly. This is the best case scenario.
Do you really think that kid is going to come back? Not likely as he has spent the day waiting and now the parent is pissed because they could have been doing something else and really regretting buying that airplane for that kid.

that happens more often that we realize. Kids don’t want to build they want to fly. The only reason we built airplanes was because that was the only way we could get something to fly.

Drones are hugely popular, they are cheap , easy to fly and more importantly they don’t have to be built.

If we opened are brains to drones and allowed them in your club as well as FPV drone racing I am betting the club would grow. We also have to remember these guys don’t want to be members of MAAC or pay expensive club fees. They just want to fly and have fun. Here is the the kicker. Maybe a couple of these kids will see our airplanes fly and wonder “hey that looks like fun”.
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Old 11-30-2020, 09:38 AM   #7
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Re: RCA for Decline of Hobby

How about , sponsor a pilot program , kind of like a big brother program for newcomers . Current pilots could sign up with MAAC (or some data base that we might be able to create). New pilots could then connected with someone on the inside willing to show them the ropes ...Of course we would then need to advertise to the outside world that we actually exist LOL.. This may also help with many older pilots that feel there skill may not be up to todays standards and are considering dropping out , pilots could partner with them and make sure they still manage to get some safe air time .. cheers
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Old 11-30-2020, 09:52 AM   #8
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Re: RCA for Decline of Hobby

One thing that hasn't changed - people just want to have fun. For newcomers, both young and old, they just want to fly. We should be trying our best to make that happen. They don't need an expensive model, MAAC or a club membership to get started. All they really need is a flying buddy. An experienced modeller who remembers the thrill of when they got started in the hobby. A modeller willing to go the extra mile and to give up some of their own flying season to mentor and guide a newbie. A person that is willing to build and maintain a trainer in their personal fleet just for that purpose. Someone willing to trade a few emails and texts with the interested party to arrange meet ups at the field.

Clubs should strive to have something, anything, for an interested person ready to fly at the field all the time. Doesn't matter what it is. It could be a foamy trainer, a drone even a small electric control line model. Doesn't matter what they flew - the new person got in the air and had some fun. They bring the spark, we just have to fan the flames.

BTW - who watches TV anymore? If you were going to spend money to find newcomers, Facebook or Youtube advertising might be a better bet.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:11 AM   #9
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Re: RCA for Decline of Hobby

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Dart View Post
One thing that hasn't changed - people just want to have fun. For newcomers, both young and old, they just want to fly. We should be trying our best to make that happen. They don't need an expensive model, MAAC or a club membership to get started. All they really need is a flying buddy. An experienced modeller who remembers the thrill of when they got started in the hobby. A modeller willing to go the extra mile and to give up some of their own flying season to mentor and guide a newbie. A person that is willing to build and maintain a trainer in their personal fleet just for that purpose. Someone willing to trade a few emails and texts with the interested party to arrange meet ups at the field.

Clubs should strive to have something, anything, for an interested person ready to fly at the field all the time. Doesn't matter what it is. It could be a foamy trainer, a drone even a small electric control line model. Doesn't matter what they flew - the new person got in the air and had some fun. They bring the spark, we just have to fan the flames.

BTW - who watches TV anymore? If you were going to spend money to find newcomers, Facebook or Youtube advertising might be a better bet.
Totally agree with your points Paul but this assumes newcomers know where to look to find a R/C modeler to help them, and that assumes they have even heard of the hobby .. However we approach this we need to reach people in a big way to make any difference.. We also need a simply way for them to connect with the hobby when we do reach them ...
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:37 AM   #10
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Re: RCA for Decline of Hobby

The allure of flight is not the same for young people today. When we (most of us) 60 year old plus were growing up we were stopping our bicycles as kids to watch planes going overhead. Flight was still young and we were all fascinated by airplanes. But flight now it has become so common the young people don't even think of it.

I have mentioned before while loading up my van to go flying I have bunches of kids walk by, 8 to 15 year olds, on the way home from school, not one will give me or my planes a second look. I will lean a little electric funtana against the van so they all can see it. Not one has ever stopped to come over and ask questions. But I have had 50 year old plus stop their cars to have a look and ask questions.

This year I am happy to say I got a 24 year old guy into the hobby! How? by running a problem gas motor in my driveway to get it set up. He lives down the road from me and heard my motor running. Came over and we talked, for a long while. Told him about our club which he had never heard of! Long story short he joined, got MAAC, bought used planes and flew with me and it sound like next year his wife will be joining as well. Also a uncle of his is very interested.
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