This forum is dedicated to discussions on how to grow the sport of hang gliding. We will take a methodical approach to collect data and come up with implementable ideas on how to increase our numbers. This includes effective marketing, lead generation, site access issues, improving regulations, lack of instructors, lack of sites, etc

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By dayhead
Markdiederich wrote:just talk about it with people and remind them how long you've flown safely either they are struck w the bug or not.. you can lead to water ya know..

An English Professor was asked to use the word "horticulture" in a sentence.

She thought for a moment, and said "You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think".
I think this qualifies as a "Zombie" Thread, LOL

So to revive it, I'll just throw in my 2 cents. My idea is getting schools, instructors, and clubs to diversify and expand their presence on social media.

The thing I found difficult when I recently started was finding out 'how'; where do I go, who do I talk to, where are the instructors, what is required? In business, we would call all of these things 'Barriers to Entry'

I'm not claiming Stephen Hawking status here, but I was smart enough to go to the USHPA website and from there I found the San Diego Chapter and Crestline Soaring Society. Between those websites I was able to get most of the answers to the barriers listed above, then I went to monthly Chapter meetings to meet Pilots and got more questions answered, and ultimately that is how I found my instructor Dan DeWesse @ FlyCrestline

What I have noticed with various Instructors/Schools is that they DO have websites and FB pages (for the most part), but to make a bigger impact and grow the sport a greater effort has to be made and maintained to actually reach people. Its a bunch of work for sure, but a focused social media presence is how to reach the new generations of pilots.

One thing I am working on for my own personal use, and I am willing to share, is plotting all U.S. flying sites (launches, LZ's, school/business for free flight) on a Google Map/Google Earth dedicated map. This way I'll have a quick overview of everywhere I can fly and can plan my road trips. Eventually I want to a global map because I will be flying in other countries. This is a ton of work... going to various Chapter sites as referenced on the USHPA page and plotting the sites on Google Maps. Its going to take me awhile to finish this.... plus, I have the sneaking suspicion that someone is going to tell me this has already been done!
Anyway, if you give young people a map in the palm of their hand that shows them sites to fly that could be near them I think they would be more motivated to get started instead of being discouraged by lack of available information.

With the new financial burden, there are far less chapters than there use to be. If you limit your site search to chapters that will be a very short list!
> One thing I am working on ... is plotting all U.S. flying sites (launches, LZ's,
> school/business for free flight) on a Google Map/Google Earth dedicated map

You probably have seen these by now, they cover both HG/PG


You can add notes, document links, local contact info, etc. There are some HG only sites (ex. Yosemite). I've updated information on some of my local sites, to help visiting pilots, it's kind of like Wikipedia. And I believe you can Export a data file, to import to Google Earth, or just cut&paste the coordinates. The OZ Report had a *.kml file a while back, it was useful, but I suspect it's out of date by now, and these two websites seem to have the lead with user contributions to keep them fresh.

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