Introduction - New Member & Support Questions

introductions

(John Paul Latham) #1

Good afternoon All,

Hello to all I hope you are all well! This is my first post here and so I guess this is a little introduction from myself and a couple of questions. I hope this post isn’t too long and if miss-placed please advise the best area to post in…many thanks :slight_smile:

My background:

My name is JP, I am a uni motorsport graduate of 8 years, motorsport lecturer at college level 2-3 and motorsport technician. From my collective experiences I have been developing a concept and website to support the next generation of motorsport professionals in many ways, it’s a very exciting project! There is to date no other platform in place to support this growing industry.

My website:

I released the first website, Student Motorsport ).co.uk) a basic platform in 2011 to illustrate the things I have been doing to support young people and give a taste of what is to come in the future. The next website I have been developing with minimal support and some paid work due to lack of funding to date encapsulates all of the ‘.co.uk’ website and more.

My new website the ‘com’ is to be released in the coming days/weeks and includes new features with a membership system, account and profile with access to resources, projects and opportunities.

Who will it support:

Student Motorsport will support the next generation of automotive, motorsport and engineering students. I also intend to work with NEET people and school pupils to support the younger generation and underprivileged or those at risk. The site is essentially there to solve a handful of the inherent problems there are out the with students and young people studying motorsport and entering into the motorsport industry with limited support, experience and skills.

Next Steps:

I have progressed to the point in the company and website development and my personal journey that I really need to focus on securing funding and developing this into a viable business. I have gained massive interest through my activities in motorsport, teaching and through online marketing and social media. The first way I intend to monetise the site is through a 4 tier membership system or areas which are students, graduates, educators and professionals. I have already secured many of these to set the site going from live. I am also working collaboratively with a few institutions and professionals/organisations which will be working with me to support our members with resources, advice, events, workshops, experiences and recruitment and discounts and services through the site.

Questions:

  1. I am wondering where to check my terms and conditions or what I should have in place at this stage…who do you turn to for support in this area? A legal company, online websites or other professional bodies?

  2. I am looking to start funding support…does anyone have any advice on funding for a ‘good cause’ company (share by guarantee)?

  3. I would like to start looking for support or volunteers in social media management, forums, content and business development.

  4. What measures/strategy should I take to protect my idea/developments?

I look forward to hearing from anyone and welcoming any support and involvement.

Best wishes.

JP


Community T&C or guides - what to include
(Sarah Hawk) #2

Welcome JP, I love it when people jump right in – good on you.

There are university motorsport qualifications? Mind blown!

Our TOS are here – they are Creative Commons and I’ve edited them to work for us.

Let’s call @Steve_Combs in for his advice here.

This topic which talks about community sponsorship might be useful.

In my experience, the best volunteers come from within the existing community. I’d consider starting small and then building a volunteer team as you scale.

Probably another one for @Steve_Combs


(Nick Emmett) #3

Wow, welcome @jay_nation, it’s great to hear from you, as @HAWK says, it’s great to see new members just diving straight in!

Sounds like you’ve got a great project on your hands there.

@rebeccabraglio may be good to call in here, given the topic of her recent Members Spotlight feature

I would also echo @HAWK’s comment around starting small and then building as you progress and grow and your needs dictate that you need to. All too often Communities that start too big struggle and fade away. Get your core group of users established.

Keep us updated on your journey here, but as I said, it’s great to hear from you.


(John Paul Latham) #4

@Nick_Emmett, @HAWK many thanks for your respective replies, I appreciate you taking time to read my post and I am so pleased from the positive nature of your comments. I am almost ready to go live and start to build a small group of users that I hope wil grow to a well established community. I know I can’t possibly have the site totally solid at this stage and this project will never really be ‘finished’ it’s and ongoing vehicle or tool that I will modify pertaining to users feedback and so on…I know I can’t compensate for all eventualities but I want it to function well, be reliable and most importantly be suitable for the intended audience. I am hoping to gain some insight from this fantastic forum, I have been following Ricahed for some time now. One area in particular I need to focus on is on management of my community but a more pressing matter before I ‘go live’ is to check and finalise my user terms and conditions…do you guys have any advice in this or where I could ask? There is so much information and examples out there online, advice, free templates and so on its hard to know what is useful. Any input is appreciated.

JP (working from Crete for three weeks)


(Sarah Hawk) #5

@Steve_Combs is a lawyer and always offers great advice. What are your specific questions?


(John Paul Latham) #6

Good Morning @HAWK,

I suppose my specific questions are twofold:

  1. What terms on conditions should a membership based community website have in place to ensure it is abiding by the law, rules such as data protection and information handling and ensuring members are treated openly and honestly? (I have looked into registering with the ICO, but after completing an online questionnaire it suggested I did not need to register)

  2. Where (when I cover question 1) do I go to develop my terms and conditions for my site so that I can launch? Should I be using ‘free templates’ and develop them accordingly, and when more established pay for a legal company to create some?

I really appreciate everyone’s input here, I don’t expect the answers to be ‘given to me on a plate’ so to speak, but as noted in my earlier messages I have become confused by the information online and don’t really know when I can launch until this area is better covered.


(Sarah Hawk) #7

I believe that you’d be completely covered by the ones that I linked to earlier in the thread (they are the same ones that WordPress use and cover all bases generically) but I’m going to check in with a lawyer and get back to you.


(Richard Millington) #8

One thing we discovered when we hired a lawyer to go through everything we were doing is that many of the default platform vendors terms and conditions weren’t up to a high enough standard. This most commonly happens when asking members in the EU (with tight data regulations) to sign up to vendors based in the USA.

There are a lot of legal problems in this area at the moment especially in the EU that makes life difficult. For example, in some areas you can’t legally send an email to people that signed up to your community unless you explicitly stated that by signing up you were going to send them more emails.

I might bring in our lawyer at some point to do a webinar for us if there’s any interest there.


(Steve Combs) #9

Obviously a getting a lawyer is preferred (and this post isn’t legal advice). Regarding Privacy Policies and Terms for an EU site, I agree that [quote=“richard_millington, post:8, topic:3541”]
many of the default platform vendors terms and conditions [aren’t] up to a high enough standard.
[/quote]

If you are an EU based company, you should be referencing EU based companies for any good examples of website Privacy Policy and Terms.

I am not a EU lawyer but this site at https://termsfeed.com/blog/privacy-policies-europe/ looks like a decent starting point. They also have a Privacy Policy Generator. This site charges fees to get each of the custom clauses but would be cheaper than a lawyer to get to a starting point. Not sure how much they customize the clauses for each country, but they give a nice checklist of different activities you might want to cover.

Once you get a good starting point for standard Privacy Policy and Terms, you can add specific terms for a community site vs. a standard website. A key issue for the Terms is the license the site gets for contributions from the user to the operate the community. I think using a Creative Commons license for a site can get tricky if users are posting third-party content or any content that might be ok for reference but not for broad distribution by other users.

Also, for a community I think it’s important that a user can’t just request removal of all their content. You could provide an option in your Privacy Policy to anonymize the content if a user deletes their account. There may be other reasons a user could have their content removed “for legal reasons” so that’s a common provision.

For the license, I prefer terms such as:

All intellectual rights in content uploaded by user is reserved by the user or their licensors; provided, however, you grant the site a perpetual license and all rights necessary to offer the site and services to you and other users.

If you are operating a website that you might sell or transfer at any time, be sure to add a clause that allows transfer of data for a sale of business. Many sites make statements like “we will never sell your info.” That’s not an accurate statement if you ever sell your site.

Good look with the project!


(Rebecca Braglio) #10

Well, I’m an attorney (although I no longer practice and contracts was NOT my area of expertise for sure) - I would absolutely second @richard_millington note about the vendors. In addition - it’s important to know who is responsible for data breach/security and the like. Especially something you need to stay up-to-date with once any contracts are signed (and before any renewal as security is constantly changing).

I’d also be quite careful about what kind of attorney you go to - in my opinion, legal representation is like going to a doctor. You wouldn’t go to a foot doctor for brain surgery. Don’t go to a Trusts and Estates attorney for a contract involving digital property/ecommerce/etc. I’d also be wary of the general practitioner who wouldn’t be above purchasing a contract template form a legal source and charging you just to tailor it.


(John Paul Latham) #11

Good Evening @richard_millington,

I really appreciate you taking the time to get back to me…your time must be very limited. I would certainly be interested in a webinar in this area and other areas that would help me in the development of my community based website. Thank you for your input and comments throughout I have found your website, newsletters and resources extremely useful over the last couple of years.


(John Paul Latham) #12

Good Evening @HAWK,

Again thanks for your amazing input and advice…I have taken a look at the link you provided…the terms and conditions/use/privacy policy illustrated from you link are in fact FeverBee’s very own :slight_smile:
Ok so please excuse my lack of knowledge in this area etc…I assure you I do strive to be as professional and intelligent as possible! But after having a look around CC I am still a little confused how I use their site to create my own T&C and privacy policy? Or can I in fact look at the ones from here and edit accordingly adding in the suggestions from the other contributors from this thread?

I have been reading here, but the further I read the more confusing it all becomes…I am perhaps making this more difficult than it needs to be?

Thanks in advance, JP.


(Sarah Hawk) #13

Heh, all good. That’s what we’re here for. I have a complete lack of knowledge when it comes to Motorsport, so you’re one up on me.

Yes – this. I literally took WordPress’s one and edited it to suit us. As others mention above, this is a slightly naive approach and likely isn’t completely watertight, but we’ve been comfortable enough with it not to do anything else.

If you have budget for a lawyer, go down that road, but I’m not sure it needs to be something that should hold up your launch.


(Richard Millington) #14

Another part of this we haven’t talked much about is things like Cookies.

Technically, if you’re based in the USA and have visitors from Europe, you’re supposed to get each european visitor’s compliance to track them. In practice, it’s mostly enforced on organizations based in the EU to traffic in the EU.

If you’re visiting this site from the EU, at some point you will have agreed to accept cookies.


(Sarah Hawk) #15

We use Civic Cookie Control for that side of things. It works well.