What we need to be discussing

Wade Williams

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What we need to be discussing
« on: February 19, 2010, 04:17:43 pm »
Sorry to interrupt the discussion on politics, but it occurred to me while reading all the gnashing of teeth is that what we ought to be discussing is why we have trouble attracting *PILOTS* to VATSIM.

Looking at IVAO, they're consistently a few hundred users ahead of us (or more) during their respective peak time.

Why is that?

Because IVAO doesn't have difficult ATC certification processes and people don't mind just having a random person handing out something that somewhat approximates an ATC instruction?

Because IVAO doesn't have vast levels of bureaucracy and in-fighting?

Because IVAO has killer software?

Because IVAO has better documentation?

I honestly don't know the answer.

I've only seen their X-plane software, and I don't think its much different from ours.  From what I've read of their ATC client, it certainly seems like it's probably equal to VRC and behind Euroscope.

I do know they have some of the same difficulties retaining developers.  For a while there, their entire pilot client was in some question when some of the key people quit developing.

One thing I think that plays a big part is IVAO's concentration in Europe.  You get a lot of airplanes flying together in a relatively small area and you get a better traffic experience.  Additionally, the more concentrated the traffic, the more concentrated the ATC coverage.  While IVAO has 90% of their traffic concentrated in Europe, VATSIM has its traffic and controllers spread across both North America and Europe.

So what is it that attracts people to IVAO?  About the only thing I've heard is "a family feel."

Are there folks who have significant experience with IVAO that can comment?  What can we do to make VATSIM better and more attractive to pilots?
« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 09:03:22 pm by Wade Williams »

Robert Prescott

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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2010, 05:32:52 pm »
Quote from: Wade Williams
Sorry to interrupt the discussion on politics, but it occurred to me while reading all the gnashing of teeth is that what we ought to be discussing is why we have trouble attracting *PILOTS* to VATSIM.

So what is it that attracts people to IVAO?  About the only thing I've heard is "a family feel."

Wade you nailed it with "PILOTS", in my observations of IVAO vs VATSIM, IVAO has many more pilots than ATC, while on VATSIM we tend to have a larger presence of ATC. After being on this network for going on 5 years the biggest thing I have seen is the intimidation of pilots, not necessarily on purpose, but it does happen. Some ATC attempt to tutor pilots when needed and traffic permitting, others have been blatantly rude and obnoxious to the very people that make ATC possible on this network. While I have not flown on IVAO, I can speak to the pilot experience on our network specifically when he hears the guy providing ATC dress down other pilots.

IMHO ATC on VATSIM has taken precedent over pilots. We tend to forget that without the pilots we as controllers would have nothing to do. We can ask for a certain level of appropriate piloting knowledge, but pilots do not go through nearly as much training as ATC. Many pilots on this network learn by doing, so when one makes a mistake he may not know better and may be embarrassed to admit it.

We need to be much more Pilot friendly. As Andrew P. has said in the past we have to be customer service oriented, VATSIM to its ARTCC's and ARTCC's to the pilots who fly.
Robert Prescott

Kyle Gallagher

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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2010, 05:35:44 pm »
Quote from: Wade Williams
Because IVAO doesn't have difficult ATC certification processes and people don't mind just having a random person handing out something that somewhat approximates an ATC instruction?

Well, this point goes back to the age-old question of whether we should focus on quality or quantity. I personally am a Big fan of the long ATC training, because it leans heavily towards quality. My belief is that 1 very good Tower controller who knows how to push tin is MUCH better than 2 who got "free certs" after short lessons, and cannot handle event-traffic. Fact of the matter is, most hard-core, good pilots will be attrcted my quality much quicker than seeing controllers on who they know simply can't handle it. If I fly in to an event where it is mass chaos and the controllers can't handle it, do you think I want to fly-in next time? No. This is because quality will attract more better pilots over the long-run than just shoving new students right up to center and not being able to handle traffic.
Kyle Gallagher - C1

ZDC Controller

Timothy Boger

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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2010, 05:42:43 pm »
First question on my mind would be, where are you getting your information? I can't find IVAO stats anywhere on their website and the last time their ServInfo updated was 1/19.

In any case, yes, IVAO might beat us in Europe...but what about the rest of the world? From my limited knowledge of IVAO, the USA Division is far stronger in terms of controller+pilot numbers.

I suppose the best answer I could give you about IVAO's success in Europe is that it's busy...traffic is self-perpetuating if you know what I mean. They get more traffic because there's more traffic to fly around. This is similar to why FNO is so popular and why whenever an airport gets a blizzard they get slammed with traffic.  Anything for a higher risk of slamming virtual metal into other virtual metal, eh? Or in Denver's case, virtual metal into virtual ground  

Luke Kolin

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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2010, 06:13:58 pm »
Quote from: Timothy Boger
First question on my mind would be, where are you getting your information? I can't find IVAO stats anywhere on their website and the last time their ServInfo updated was 1/19.

Wrong IVAO.  try ivao.aero.

This is a great discussion. It's so rare to see VATSIM types discussing pilots.

Cheers!

Luke

Robert Prescott

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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2010, 06:32:45 pm »
Quote from: Timothy Boger
First question on my mind would be, where are you getting your information? I can't find IVAO stats anywhere on their website and the last time their ServInfo updated was 1/19.

IVAO-AERO hasa small app much like VATSpy and Servinfo. "Eye on IVAO". They consistently have 200-300 more clients connected than VATSIM.
Robert Prescott

Luke Kolin

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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2010, 06:34:26 pm »
Quote from: Robert Prescott
IMHO ATC on VATSIM has taken precedent over pilots. We tend to forget that without the pilots we as controllers would have nothing to do.

This.

Cheers!

Luke

Richard Jenkins

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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2010, 06:35:04 pm »
Quote from: Robert Prescott
IVAO-AERO hasa small app much like VATSpy and Servinfo. "Eye on IVAO". They consistently have 200-300 more clients connected than VATSIM.

Depends on time of day. Europe prime time? Yes, we lag behind. North and South America prime time they lag behind.

Richard Jenkins

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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2010, 07:10:00 pm »
IMO we don't produce enough controllers. We have this huge training apparatus and bureaucracy to support these kinds of promotions? Doesn't really seem efficient to me...but then that brings us to the quantity versus quality debate.

Code: [Select]
notepad    dateadded
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-N CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/20/10
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-N CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/20/10
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-N CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/20/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Student TO Student 2    2/20/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/19/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Student TO Student 2    2/19/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/19/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Controller TO Instructor    2/19/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/19/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Student 2 TO Senior Student    2/19/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Controller TO Senior Controller    2/18/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/18/10
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-N CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/18/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student 2    2/18/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Controller TO Instructor    2/17/10
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-N CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/17/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/17/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/17/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/17/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Student 2 TO Senior Student    2/17/10
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-N CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Senior Student TO Controller    2/17/10
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-N CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Student TO Student 2    2/17/10
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-N CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/17/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Student TO Student 2    2/16/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Student TO Student 2    2/16/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/16/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Student TO Student 2    2/16/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/16/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Senior Student TO Controller    2/16/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/16/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Senior Student TO Controller    2/16/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Student TO Student 2    2/16/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Student TO Student 2    2/15/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student 2    2/15/10
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-N CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Senior Student TO Controller    2/15/10
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-N CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/15/10
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-N CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Student 2 TO Senior Student    2/15/10
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-N CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Senior Student TO Controller    2/15/10
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-N CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Senior Controller TO Instructor    2/15/10
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-N CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/15/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Student 2 TO Senior Student    2/15/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Student 2 TO Senior Student    2/14/10
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-S CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/14/10
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-N CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/14/10
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-N CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/14/10
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-N CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Senior Student TO Controller    2/14/10
AUTOMATED PROCCESS OF USA-N CAUSED UPGRADE FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/14/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/14/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Senior Student TO Controller    2/13/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Senior Student TO Controller    2/13/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/13/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Student TO Student 2    2/13/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Pilot/Observer TO Student    2/13/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Student TO Student 2    2/13/10
AUTOMATIC NOTICE: UPGRADED FROM Instructor TO Senior Instructor    2/13/10


Yep, that's it for one week. A typical week. 56 promotions....25 new students for all of VATSIM. In the same week 814 people joined VATSIM.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 07:31:25 pm by Richard Jenkins »

Bryan Wollenberg

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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2010, 07:49:41 pm »
Quote from: Richard Jenkins
Yep, that's it for one week. A typical week. 56 promotions....25 new students for all of VATSIM. In the same week 814 people joined VATSIM.

But...814 people did not necessarily join VATSIM to become controllers.  It's apples to oranges.  What if only 5 of those people have any intention of controlling?  You can't really take a week anyway, as only the most ambitious people would pull off becoming a S1 within a week of joining the network.  Using the full 814, if say 2500 people joined to become controllers in a month and only 100 of them became S1's or higher by the end of the month, that would be a huge problem.

Would be great to see some stats on actual promotion statistics vs. number of controllers.  I have no doubt we're not promoting enough controllers, but it would be nice to see some stats pointing to why.
Bryan Wollenberg
Retired North America Regional Director

Luke Kolin

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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2010, 08:02:57 pm »
Quote from: Bryan Wollenberg
You can't really take a week anyway, as only the most ambitious people would pull off becoming a S1 within a week of joining the network.  Using the full 814, if say 2500 people joined to become controllers in a month and only 100 of them became S1's or higher by the end of the month, that would be a huge problem.

I think what Richard is suggesting is that if we have around 800 people join VATSIM in a given week, one would expect to have a higher number either become controllers or get promoted, folks who joined in weeks past. Based on the statistics I keep, controllers are at best 20% of the membership, and C1 or above is much lower.

[!--quoteo--][div class=\\\'quotetop\\\']QUOTE [/div][div class=\\\'quotemain\\\'][!--quotec--]I have no doubt we're not promoting enough controllers, but it would be nice to see some stats pointing to why.[/quote]

I suspect it boils down to the level of effort and commitment required versus the enjoyment one gets out of controlling a particular position. It may be worthwhile for hardcore ATC enthusiasts, but perhaps not to the VATSIM population at large. I wonder what our pilot numbers would be if we required people to take a test on SB (or FSINN!) before they could fly, and locked them out for a week if they failed the test.

Cheers!

Luke

Richard Jenkins

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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2010, 08:04:04 pm »
Quote from: Bryan Wollenberg
But...814 people did not necessarily join VATSIM to become controllers.  It's apples to oranges.  What if only 5 of those people have any intention of controlling?  You can't really take a week anyway, as only the most ambitious people would pull off becoming a S1 within a week of joining the network.  Using the full 814, if say 2500 people joined to become controllers in a month and only 100 of them became S1's or higher by the end of the month, that would be a huge problem.

Would be great to see some stats on actual promotion statistics vs. number of controllers.  I have no doubt we're not promoting enough controllers, but it would be nice to see some stats pointing to why.

Correct. It was meant to demonstarte the amount of energy and time we're spending on the controller side compared to the pilot side. We average 800-1000 new members every week and of those very few become controllers. Why? Have my ideas. It would be interesting to see how many students make it to C1.

Bryan, later tonight I'll work up some numbers. Do we want to see the number of new students that progressed to C1 or higher within the last year? Maybe put a 90 day lag in it?
« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 08:07:44 pm by Richard Jenkins »

Luke Kolin

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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2010, 08:11:01 pm »
Quote from: Richard Jenkins
Bryan, later tonight I'll work up some numbers. Do we want to see the number of new students that progressed to C1 or higher within the last year? Maybe put a 90 day lag in it?

I'd love to see numbers in that time frame, and compare them to what I see in the ServInfo feed.

Cheers!

Luke

Brian Pryor

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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2010, 08:36:40 pm »
Quote from: Wade Williams
Because IVAO has killer software?

Because IVAO has better documentation?

If it's charts and such that point is moot, as far as documentation on how to get up to speed and flying or controlling both sides have about the same from the searches i've found.

As has been pointed out, overall VATSIM I think has the most coverage outside of Europe.

If you do some research you'll find IVAO and now IVAO-Aero had and I imagine still have "drama" and "infighting" it's just not public. VATSIM hasn't had a meltdown yet with the CEO running away with the "keys" to the domain name for example hence the new 'Aero' side of things
Brian Pryor

Bryan Wollenberg

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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2010, 09:00:29 pm »
Quote from: Richard Jenkins
Bryan, later tonight I'll work up some numbers. Do we want to see the number of new students that progressed to C1 or higher within the last year? Maybe put a 90 day lag in it?

That would be great!  It would definitely be nice to see some hard core numbers to see what's going on.  



[!--quoteo(post=0:date=:name=Luke)--][div class=\\\'quotetop\\\']QUOTE (Luke)[/div][div class=\\\'quotemain\\\'][!--quotec--]I wonder what our pilot numbers would be if we required people to take a test on SB (or FSINN!) before they could fly, and locked them out for a week if they failed the test.[/quote]

While I have no doubt the testing and rigorous programs in some places are a factor, I'm honestly not sure we would see an overwhelming increase in controllers if we opened controlling up to everybody, without any knowledge or testing.  If you remember back to The Zone, where it was one big free-for-all, you definitely had people who wanted to be the controller, but far more people wanted to fly.  I have no doubt any cross-section of the population would show the same thing.  If you asked 100 people if they would rather fly a plane or sit behind a radar scope in a dark room all day, what do you think the answer is going to be?
Bryan Wollenberg
Retired North America Regional Director