Forums, Tours and Opening Up Events to All
The one where we re-build the forums, create new tours, and invite the community to start staging their own events.
Rebuilding the Discord Forums
The discussion channels at Discord underwent a huge re-structuring this week - first converting them into forums, and then merging many of the forums into “one forum to rule them all”.
There’s a bit of a back story here. Discord didn’t used to have forum functionality at all - it apeared earlier this year. The only option available previously was text channels - where anything posted appeared in chronological order - which is fine, until more than one conversation is happening at once.
The natural answer was therefore to create multiple text channels - so people could post in relevant subject-related channels. Except they didn’t - many people tended to post (quite accidentally most of the time) in whichever channel they were in when a thought occurred to them. This wouldn’t be a problem if you could move posts in Discord. You cannot.
The new forum functionality promises to solve a lot of this by guiding users to think in terms of subject related discussions - and if each subject being talked about is separate within the same forum, we no longer need multiple channels.
TLDR (too long, didn’t read) - all of the resources channels have gone - we now have “One general discussion channel to rule them all”.
So. What channels do we have now in Discord?
General - for dicussions about anything and everything vaguely sim/flight related. You can tag and follow discussions, and filter and search them quickly and easily.
Introductions - a place for you to introduce yourself to the community, and tell them a little bit about yourself - who you are, what you do, how you got into aviation, and what your interests are in the sim.
Support - if your simulator isn’t working, ask the community for help! We’re a helpful lot, and somebody else has probably seen the same problem you’re having.
Invitations - if you’re going flying today for an hour, why not invite others along? Start a thread and tell people where, when and what you’re flying (and which voice channel you’ll be in).
Events - details of upcoming events are listed in the Events channel. Anybody can now create events - there’s a pinned message at the top of the channel guiding you through everything you need to know to run successful events of your own design.
Screenshots - while you’re flying, if you see something interesting, beautiful, or humorous, why not screenshot it, and upload to the screenshots channel?
Videos - if you record a video yourself, or find a video online that you think the rest of the community might be interested in, post it in the videos channel. We all love procrastinating with a good aviation video, right?
This Week’s Group Flight
Created by David Beckett (he of famous pylon collecting escapades). Full flight details and flight plans can be found in Discord.
A Tour of the Los Angeles Area
Sunday 27th November at 8PM GMT / 2000UTC
KLAX Los Angeles - Departure
KLGB Long Beach - Touch & Go
KSNA John Wayne County Airport - Touch & Go
F70 French Valley - Touch & Go
KPSP Palm Springs - Touch & Go
KSBD San Bernardino - Touch & Go
KONT Ontario Int - Touch & Go
KSLI Los Alamitos - Destination
A flight plan is available in the Discord events forum.
This flight is Approx. 187 miles / 301 Km
Any aircraft capable of 120 knots or more in cruise to complete the flight in a timely manner.
Viking Royal Mail Express Service Historic Tour
Re-creating one of the routes followed by the fleet of British Airways Lockheed Electras in the late 1930s, the Viking Royal Mail Express visits England, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Sweden - and back again. In real life this tour was completed with 20 minute stops at each airfield en-route. Can you do it in a day?
Visit the tour here:
Stepping back from creating Events
After two years creating endless group flight events all over the world, I'm taking a step back, and encouraging you all to create group flight events going forwards. Events can be whenever and wherever you want. In an ideal world you will arrange events throughout the week at times and dates of your choosing that suit you. We’ve always known the “Sunday Night Group Flight” doesn’t suit everybody. This is your chance.
I've written up guidance in a pinned post at the top of the events forum in Discord - and copied it below - that walks you through what I have done in the past.
A few people have asked about the difference between invitations and events . I think the easiest way to think about it is as follows:
Invitations are for right now - e.g. "let's go to the pub"
Events are for the future - e.g. "let's organise a party for Saturday night"
The only pre-requisite to create events is multi-factor-authentication on your Discord account. You can't create events (at the top of the left margin of Discord) if you haven't configured it - the form will error at the final step.
It goes without saying that the more you market an event, the more people will turn up. Feel free to advertise events anywhere and everywhere - completely up to you. If you don't market an event, nobody will turn up - simple as that.
A Guide to Creating Events
In order to arrange events for the community, you just need to be a member of the Discord server - anybody can create events. You can create events of any duration, anywhere in the world, at any start time - it's totally up to you. Remember you have to market the event though.
The basic steps required to arrange an event are as follows:
Create the Event in Discord
Click the "Events" link at the top of the left margin in Discord - this will show you a list of upcoming events (if there are any), and a button to create a new event - click it. Important note - you will need multi factor authentication configured on your Discord account to create events.
The "Create Event" form takes you through a number of questions:
Where is your event? - choose "Voice Channel", then choose the "events" voice channel from the drop-down that appears.
What's your event about? - give your event a title, a date and time (local to you), a description, and a cover image. Notice that you can only have 1000 characters in the description - so see the section below about also creating a discussion in the #events forum. You can find nice cover images at pexels.com.
Create Event - finally, the form previews your event - click the "Create Event" button if you're happy with it. Note - if you do not have two-factor authentication configured on your Discord account, creating the event will fail.
Create a Thread in the #events Channel
When you created the event (above), you were only allowed 1000 characters to describe your event - you probably wanted a lot more, and might like to also upload images, or flight-plan files.To do so, create a thread in the events channel:
Create a topic in the Events channel - click on the "events" channel in the left margin of Discord, and start a new discussion. The new discussion needs a title and a first message - title it the same as your event, and fill in the first message with the full written details about your flight. Example event text is given below - feel free to copy and amend in Notepad before copying and pasting into your discussion as the first message.
Upload Files (optional) - within the new thread, add as many extra files as you wish - this could be images, flight plan files, or whatever else is useful to your event.
Market Your Event
Just because the event is there doesn't mean people will necessarily see it. Feel free to tell others both here and elsewhere about the flight.
Host Your Event
In good time before the start-time of your event, go and hang out in the voice chat channel you specified in the event notes, and welcome people as they arrive - from here on in, you're the host - it's your show.
Please keep the "family friendly" rule foremost in your mind throughout your event.
Example Text for an Event
Example title for an event:
Exploring the Los Navados Moutains
Example discussion title for an event:
2022-08-28 1900Z Exploring the Los Navados Moutains
Example text for an event:
On Sunday 28th August 2022 at 1900 UTC, we will host a group flight exploring the Los Nevados mountains in Colombia - departing from Satiago Vila, and finishing at El Eden. **When** Sunday 28th August 2022, 1900 UTC / 2000 BST **Flight Plan** There is no flightplan to download - just the notes below. Feel free to use navigation solutions at your disposal to make a plan, follow the notes, or follow the pack! - SKGI Santiago Vila - departure - SKIB Perales - touch and go - SKGK Pajonales Airport - touch and go - SKQU Mariquita - full stop - 5 minute break - SKMZ La Nubia - touch and go - SKPE Matecana - touch and go - SKGO Santa Ana - touch and go - SKAR El Eden - destination Approx. 169nm **Suggested Aircraft** Any aircraft capable of 120 knots or more in cruise to complete the flight in a timely manner (we try to keep flights under 2 hours). **Voice Communications** To talk to fellow pilots during the flight, visit the VirtualFlight.Online discord server: https://bit.ly/virtualflightonlinediscordserver If you've never used Discord before, find out more here: https://codex.virtualflight.online/community/discord **Multiplayer Network** If you want to see other aircraft within Microsoft Flight Simulator, make sure the following are configured: 1. You must have Multiplayer data switched on 2. You must select "All Players" in flight conditions 3. Choose the "SOUTH EAST ASIA" mutiplayer server If you would like to see other aircraft within LittleNavMap while en-route, check out the Transmitter app - available for free from: https://virtualflight.online/transmitter **Rules / Guidelines** - If joining the Discord server for voice communications during the flight, conversation must remain family friendly, respectful, and not stray into any subjects that might offend such as adult jokes, politics, religion, racism, or hate-speech. - Try to stay with the group! If the group is becoming stretched, loop back and join the rear of the group. - Try to stay online until everybody has landed at the final airfield.
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