Question: I should just point out that the RSIA does not yet have a web site.
Comment 1: I’d like to expand on this a bit. The RSI Association does not yet have its own website. There is a lot of pressure on the RSIA to provide services, and not much money and not enough volunteers to do it all. Things like putting up a website get a lower priority — correctly, in my view — than things like running the helpline and sending out the information pack. A few years ago I offered to put up an “RSIA page” on the RSI-UK site, as a kind of stopgap until the RSIA was able to put up its own website. Unfortunately, that is still the only presence the RSI Association has online. And yet the RSI Association ought to have its own website. The RSIA is the principal organisation representing RSI sufferers (both online and offline) in the UK. People naturally search for the RSIA on the web, and come up with RSI-UK instead, and mistakenly assume that it is the RSIA site.
This is confusing for everybody, and generates a lot of unnecessary work for me in responding to emails from people who think they are emailing the RSIA. And it doesn’t really help anyone. I think maybe it would be better to remove the RSI Association page from the RSI-UK website altogether. Does anyone have any opinions about this? Would it be better to end the confusion, and stop trying to have an “RSIA page” on the RSI-UK site? (Please say yes!) PS If any generous and knowledgeable person wants to offer to help the RSI Association to set up their website, the RSIA email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I expect they would be very grateful, and it would certainly be very worthwhile. The RSIA is a fountain of info about RSI in the UK, it would be great if some of it could be made available online. They have registered a domain (rsi.org.uk) so all that is needed (!) is to put up the content!
Comment 2: We’ve already offered free web space on the same basis as for RSI-UK. I don’t currently have a contact at RSIA but if they’d like to discuss it, please feel free to call.
Comment 3: From the user’s point of view (always a good one to start with in my view) the two organisations (or whatever they are) should be merged so that they *are* the same. Why is there any need to have more organisations? Basically, the pages of RSI-UK (whatever that is – I was confused too) would I am sure be a *good start* for the RSI Association. I’m sure they have plenty of things to do, but they shouldn’t ignore the internet way of doing things either. Perhaps they should be persuaded to skip a month’s newsletter and devote the time to creating/adopting/updating a web presence. This is like building a path instead of sign saying don’t walk on the grass. But anyway, keep the existing pointer page. How else are net users going to find out about the RSI Assn?? Are there any RSIA staff on this list? Why not?
Comment 4: I’m not sure that RSI-UK is an organisation, as it doesn’t have any formal structure. The reason it’s not part of the RSI Association is just because it never has been. I just started the mailing list because I had RSI and at that time (1994) there wasn’t any online forum in the UK for talking about RSI. (Except for Richard Donkin’s CIX forum, which I couldn’t get to, not being on CIX) I did write to the RSI Association, to tell them I had started the mailing list, but they weren’t interested in online communication at that time. Not many mainstream organisations were, outside the universities. The web was still not much more than a bunch of text pages at CERN. No one foresaw that it would develop in the way it has done.
RSI-UK is this mailing list and the website. Web space, and hosting for both list and website, most kindly provided by Grahame. Richard looks after the list nowadays, the Committee help with advice. Content for the website contributed by myself and many other people. In other words it’s a co-operative self-help endeavour. I suspect the RSI Association would want to do things their own way. They have a wealth of information, I know. One reason I want to remove the existing page, is so that it would be quite clear that at present, the RSI Association does NOT have a website. That might be a bit of an incentive to get one created. I didn’t mean I was going to remove the contact details. I’ll just put up a page ABOUT the RSI Association, in the same format as the other pages on the RSI-UK site, so that it’s clear it’s part of RSI-UK rather than the official site for the RSI Association. I don’t think there are many paid staff, apart from the Director. Volunteers staff the helpline, as far as I know. Offers of help would be very welcome, I have no doubt. email@example.com
Comment 5: I’m still stunned. It appears that there is, The RSI Association, an organisation with apparently no website or online presence, which is pretty bizarre these days in any case but particularly as RSI sufferers tend to be heavy computer users. And there is also a bunch of content which doesn’t belong to any particular organisation, that seems to have the same general goals as the RSI Association. Why not merge the two?
Comment 6: Correction. I have just had an email from Andrew Chadwick, the Director of the RSIA (in response to my email to him telling him that I was proposing to take down the page on the RSIA site). Andrew says that he has uploaded a page so now the RSI Association does have its own website. I will remove the other page from the RSI-UK site. Andrew also says that he is in the process of appointing an Information Manager, who will be responsible for setting up a full website. Andrew also says thanks for mentioning the above, and help has been offered as a result.
Comment 7: Sorry, forgot to give the URL. http://www.rsi.org.uk
Comment 8: True, but then it’s not very well described by the existing:
RSI-UK is non-commercial, unfunded, and not-for-profit. First-class hosting is generously provided free of charge by Loud-n-Clear Ltd, to whom our thanks. RSI-UK is not connected to the RSI Association. Contact information for the RSIA can be found here. Everyone with RSI should consider joining the RSIA, which represents the interests of all RSI sufferers in the UK, both online and offline.
This says more about what it isn’t than what it is. I’m still not sure
– who RSI-UK is
– what the mission is
If it’s just a FAQ-container “organisation” then that should be stated, so as not to get peoples hopes up unduly. I don’t want to get into a major scrap about this. I really appreciate that a whole bunch of people have put time and resources into dissemination of info to date. But I’d really like to see it go further, and I see it as a real missed opportunity that the main, “official” support group for RSI in this country has only today put up a (1) page! Otherwise it’s still in the newsletter age. In essence I was proposing that the RSI Assn should be providing the sort of basic info, on the web, that RSI-UK does. One way would be for that content to be donated wholesale (appropriately credited of course). Again, I was approaching this from a user’s perspective – who doesn’t know or care about the mechanics or history. I feel particularly strongly about this since other parts of the web seem to be retracting somewhat. For example, there was once a site (pages and pages of editorial, with heaps of *REVIEWED* links) devoted to RSI on the otherwise excellent about.com, but now it’s no longer live. Anyone else remember that?
Comment 9: Perhaps. To me it seems obvious that it’s a self-help website with associated mailing list. But if you don’t think it’s clear enough, why not draft an alternative and post it to the list for people to comment on? I thought I had covered that pretty fully in my previous message.
– Grahame provides web space and hosting for the mailing list and website. Loud-n-Clear also provide the mailing list archive, which I forgot to mention before.
– Richard is list owner for the mailing list
– I am webmaster for the website.
– The Committee helps with advice. I’m not quite sure who’s on the Committee at the moment. Richard, could you tell us?
– Many people have contributed content, to both the mailing list and the website. What do you mean, “what the mission is”? There was no forum for discussing RSI in the UK, I started one, other people joined in and helped. People seem to find it useful, and as far as I’m concerned that’s sufficient. Others of those associated with RSI-UK may have a different view, if so no doubt they will voice it. You’re expressing the opinion that I should put a statement on the website stating that RSI-UK is ‘just a FAQ-container “organisation”‘?
I don’t think that’s a good idea. I don’t even know what a “FAQ-container “organisation” is. I also don’t know what you mean about “getting peoples hopes up unduly”. In what way do you feel that the website, or the mailing list, gets anyone’s hopes up unduly? Anybody else agrees, and if so can someone please explain more fully so that I can understand what the difficulty is? You’re right there, many people have put a LOT of time and effort and resources into it, and still are doing. You’ll need to direct that comment to the RSI Association, if you want a response to it. Maybe you should have a good think about what help you can offer them, before you tell them what you think is wrong. I think you’ve misread the situation entirely. The problem that has been holding up the RSI Association from having a website of its own is certainly not any shortage of material. I doubt very much if the RSIA would be at all interested in taking over the RSI-UK website wholesale, and even if they were, each and every person who has contributed to the site would have to be contacted and asked for permission. I can’t really see why the RSIA would want to do that, when they already have more information about RSI than they could realistically hope to include on their website. Sometimes it’s better to interest oneself at least slightly in understanding the history of a situation, before proposing changes. I do. I would guess that more than likely, the volunteer who used to maintain that part of about.com decided s/he could no longer do it and no one else came forward to take on the work. Running services for free does take up a lot of time and effort — eventually people get “burned out” and move on to other things. Why not volunteer to revive the site? I’m sure many people would appreciate it.
Comment 10: Even though I use the internet frequently myself both at work and home I’d just like to say that it’s nice to know that not everyone has resorted to computerised information – after all for most of us it’s the use of PC’s that’s caused us problems in the first place! What is important is that this organisation does provide valuable information (even if it isn’t via a website)
Comment 11: Some people with RSI always loathed computers, were forced to use them at work, got RSI, and now the last thing they would ever, ever do is to voluntarily touch a computer. Some don’t have access at home, and may be out of work because of RSI, or maybe they aren’t allowed or don’t want to risk using their office computer to look for info about RSI. Some just would rather ask questions of a human being, especially when just diagnosed and in a bit of a state of shock. The chap who started the RSI Association was quite technophobic himself, I believe. I can’t remember his name at the moment — anyone else? He didn’t suffer from RSI himself but met some people who did and was so horrified by what he learned about their injuries, that he set up the RSI Association singlehandedly and devoted himself to it full time. And the information the RSI Association can provide is indeed valuable, since they are the recognized national “spokes body” for RSI. Consultants with an interest in RSI talk to the RSI Association about it, for instance. MPs listen to them — well, as much as MPs listen to anybody. And they hold an annual conference with speakers on various aspects of RSI, and they keep the help line running. Tel 0800 018 5012 to join, or volunteer, or ask for information about RSI. 11 – 5, Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
Comment 12: Maybe you should leave the address of the RSIA and a phone number, but not put an email address on the page. It is good for people to know the existence of the RSIA – I hadn’t heard of it until I found that page!
Comment 13: Apologies for misleading people with the website business but it was by emailing the RSIA at the address you list below that I was able to gain a list of doctors in Birmingham.
Comment 14: Not misleading at all, it served as a spur to get some of the confusion sorted out. Yes, the RSIA can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The contact details for the RSIA will indeed still be available on the RSI-UK website.