Is something wrong at Valley...

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EK Sydney
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by EK Sydney »

I went for a paddle yesterday with Cheri & Turner, the Greenland rolling gurus. Lovely people, pretty much UK weather, although the water was 19 degrees, and a few beers afterwards. Video here -
Bugger, have I posted this on the right thread....? OK how do I delete it....?

MarineMammal
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by MarineMammal »

Fast Pat wrote:As is, as other users have pointed out, your registration on the site yesterday and fixation with this thread.
Wow. Way to make new posters on this site feel welcome... accusations and paranoia. You sure hate to see it.

Well, I guess there are real Valley fans, and then there are the 'fanboi' variety. I'll continue to count myself among the former, and feel bad for the later.

...

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Oarsome
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by Oarsome »

Fast Pat wrote:
MarineMammal wrote: Curiouser and curiouser.

...
As is, as other users have pointed out, your registration on the site yesterday and fixation with this thread.
Yes, nothing like paranoid conspiracy theories to back up one's point.
MMMM Fruit Pastles.....
Yes, if all else fail, do as the site admin does and try to derail the thread. But then again, that is par for the course by now.

MarineMammal
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by MarineMammal »

I guess I just don't get it... Valley is a wonderful company with a great product. Their site just needs work.

Why be so thin-skinned and brittle over the fact? Why not... and here's the barking mad idea... just FIX it, and be a great kayak company that ALSO has a great website?

Or is advocating something that logical part of the covert plot too?


Note to flamers/conspiracy theorists: Pls tell me which rival company I allegedly work for, and if I should twirl my mustache nefariously in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.

...

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by No Kayak »

Kayaks'N'Beer wrote:So the deal is - There's something wrong at Valley, right? The reason we know this is they have a crap website that never gets updated. Well I'm sorry but I just dont get it. The web is a mighty fine marketing tool, granted but it's only one of a long list of mighty fine marketing tools available and, especially when dealing with items such as sea kayaks, it aint the be all end all. Maybe if some of the - yuo must haz internets - contingent spent a bit more time on the water, trying out boats and the like, instead of with their noses in a browser, trying to experience an outdoor pusuit, from the comfort of their armchair, via youtube and the like, they'd get why people who actually kayak don't believe that having a crap website is the end of the world for a kayak manufacturer.

As I said already, sure it's a missed opportunity but it's not really a big deal. Instead of trawling the web looking at manufacturer sites, why not try buying some Kayaking DVD's and watching them. After a couple you'll start to notice a trend - "sponsored by valley ... werner ... reed chillcheater ... etc" Now that's marketing that gets noticed. If I was in Valley's shoes I prolly wouldn't be too bothered about the website either.
Your post above, and some of the others, appear to suggest manufacturers and retailers must make a choice of doing one thing at the expense of the other; if you want to make a good boat, you can't afford to market it; If you want to research kayaks on a manufacturer's website, you haven't got time to paddle them, and so on.

Then there's the second mistake, that any criticism levelled at a manufacturer is purely destructive and intended to do harm.

Frankly, there isn't any evidence from the posts on here that support either point of view.

What isn't in doubt is that Valley do not do a good job of marketing their boats to the wider public. There is no supportable argument that says it is in Valley's interests to have marketing material that is incomplete or out of date in the way it is. That is not just the website, but promotional material as a whole. It is not an unjustified sleight on the reputation of Valley or a statement of untruth to point out what is a simple and easy to substantiate fact.

Secondly, there is nothing in real life to say a small company producing a retailed product to a Worldwide audience must make a choice between keeping an existing website populated with up to date information at the expense of some other, vital business process. To say otherwise would be speaking from a position of ignorance, either purposely imposed or otherwise.

And finally, the ultra-defensiveness. That's wrong on many counts. None of the critical comments on here have been from people wishing Valley any harm. If you read the posts properly, they're from people who wish them to do better. If any of the people being critical here were doing so for gain at Valley's expense, they would certainly have far better ways and places to do so. The only thing this thread is going to do is drive traffic to Valley's website and increase interest in their products. If you type "something wrong at Valley" on Google, this thread is number one. For someone trying to harm Valley, contributing to this thread would be a pretty stupid way to go about it.

My position and I expect I speak for the others who've been critical too, is that Valley is a brand with outstanding heritage that has produced some seminal designs and efforts. It would be not just a shame, but a travesty, if the hard work done by others and now Pete and Jason, was undone by failing to properly remain with the times and shout properly about the outstanding products they produce. Just having a good product is not enough- mediocre product by companies who understand how to promote their product will allow those companies to steal positions in the market place.

You could argue all day whether Valley would be happy or not for that to happen- it would only add strength to the idea that manufacturers who wish to pay for their hobby will be eaten up by people who want to make money.

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Kayaks'N'Beer
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by Kayaks'N'Beer »

Yeah I hear ya and, for the record, I'm not a Valley faboi, or even a fan - never owned a Valley boat, never found one I particularly liked. Thing is I can think of a lot of reason they don't put much effort into their site. Maybe they did back at the start and never got ROI. Maybe a door to door linkfarm peddlar stung them for a fat wad of cash and ended up getting them banned from the very engines he promised to SEO them right to the top of. Maybe they got sold an "easy to update" CMS that no one could quite get their heads around (not every one is tech savvy)

I'm pretty sure the reason a lot of people are taking offence to this thread is the title - "Is something wrong at Valley..." It's a bit alarmist and implies something a lot more important than "Valleys website sucks" or "Valley's staff carpark has potholes"

Truth of the matter is that some companies have bought into the www revolution and some either haven't or are late starters. What's also true is that (for a lot of companies) buying into or not buying into the internet revolution really doesn't affect business much either way.

Could Valley be doing with a better website? - Probably

Do I consider that there's something wrong at Valley because of this? - get real

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PhilAyr
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by PhilAyr »

Round and round and round in circles. I really am becoming dizzy and very tired of this thread.

Bring on the trains and the midget gem sweet thingies. Personally I like my jelly babies. I take them everywhere !

Phil

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by No Kayak »

The thread started (in 2009) because Valley's domain failed. From memory there was an issue with the host or whoever had been responsible for the website.

By the beginning of 2010, they had the new (current) website. Pete from Valley was happy to contribute to this thread to explain it would take a few weeks to bring it fully up to date and, seeming it is a CMS based site, it would be kept fully up to date and all the features would soon be working.

See what Valley said in January 2010, below (my bolds):
orton1966 wrote:Yes, Happy New Year from all at Valley.
The New Website is going live latter today (11/01/2010), I know for many including ourselves, this has been too long in coming but at last here we are. Whilst the site will now be live we are still in the process of populating some areas, so if you find a page isn’t working or something is factually incorrect please come back in a few days, when hopefully things will have changed.

So what’s new! Generally the intension is that this website will be more dynamic with information beyond a mere electronic catalogue. There is a news section where we will be posting the latest Valley and also general sea-kayak related stories. On a more personal level we are going to be incorporating some Blog entries from our friends active in the planning fraternity. Additionally we are adding some downloadable items, including a copy of the original Nordkapp Expedition report, from 1975, in sea kayaking terms this is a historic document with feedback that directly led to the finalisation of the Nordkapp design.

So for now enjoy the site but please appreciate certain content will be added and edited over the next couple of weeks, the aim being to have all areas populated and functional by the end of January. On a final note, anyone with images that might be good for the gallery section, these would be very much appreciated. Also if you spot an image, on our site, that you feel should be credited to yourself or that you feel should not be on our site please contact us and we’ll respect your wishes
Two years later- there hasn't been a news item in more than a year. Not all the products are on there. There are significant mistakes in details of the products. Not all areas of the site are working. No 'blogging' is going on.

That's what people are frustrated over- the hard work of creating a new site has been done, the whole thing is ready to roll yet, two years later, nothing is being done. Even ardent fans of Valley probably find it annoying to learn of new models and developments through accidentally seen links to videos on arbitrary internet sites, yet no news through Valley at all. Even Valley dealers remain unsure exactly what layups are offered or what they entail. Just dead basic stuff that any company should be doing as a matter of course.

There's nothing more sinister in it than that.

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by M-J-B »

More than anything else this thread seems to be about paranoia and intolerance towards healthy criticism. It also seems obvious that the actual message is of lesser importance and attacking the messenger is more rewarding to some. Something tells me those "midget gems" some people found lying around actually weren't midget gems at all but rather some nasty pills with obvious side effects...

I totally understand that some people consider a website (be it good or bad) a total non-issue but the fact is that there are many who believe the opposite. Generally only a few bother to comment at all on a website and when asked for an opinion many fans give positive feedback just to be polite. The fact that there are people who find good websites very useful and speak up about it should set the record straight for the naysayers regardless of their personal opinion. There is no logical reason to deny it. Nobody has claimed that a webiste is paramount to anything and anybody but it can make life a lot easier.

Personally I could criticise and comment on many websites but there are only a few I care enough about to bother. I can't say much about e.g. the Dagger website as I know next to nothing about their products nor am I interested in them, I can not tell if the info they put out is outdated, false or insufficient. Many manufacturers have products I am (or have been) interested in but websites that tell me next to nothing about them. I have mostly quite easily found the info I need thru other sources, or (while searching) stumbled upon a similar product from a different manufacturer who provides all the info I need. Not hard to quess which type of manufacturer I prefer... but for some reasons I feel reluctant to abandoning Valley. Valley is one of few manufacturers who have product designs I really like but who fails to provide reliable updated information thru any channel. A "Sponsored by Valley" logo on a DVD or a full page advertisement with a photo but no other content does nothing for me.

Next: " Is something wrong with my midget gem..." or "Is something wrong at UKRGB..."? :-P

PS. My waterproof Android is not paranoid but allows me to comment silly threads also while kayaking.

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by Kayaks'N'Beer »

CMS is one of those things that really seperates the http://www.men from the http://www.boys. The sales guy makes it sound so simple and, if you're like me, then it is but, for the techno-clueless, it's the most daunting freaky thing they ever came across and so they follow the "simple" instructions and screw it up completely. Then they have to follow the complicated instructions to restore the site and that works but already they're freaked out. Doesn't take much to put a technophobe off for life. Don't believe me? Have a look around at the number of Joomla and Wordpress sites for current businesses that haven't had a single update since they launched or tailed off shortly thereafter.

Going by orton1966's quote (pretty much regurgitating the standard sales pitch the guy who did his site gave him, if I'm not mistaken) I'm guessing that this would go a long way to explaining what happened with Valley.

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by M-J-B »

Kayaks'N'Beer wrote:Don't believe me?
Couldn't agree with you more.
Kayaks'N'Beer wrote:Going by orton1966's quote (pretty much regurgitating the standard sales pitch the guy who did his site gave him, if I'm not mistaken) I'm guessing that this would go a long way to explaining what happened with Valley.
Perhaps... and perhaps they have also developed a fobia against printed brochures...

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by Kayaks'N'Beer »

Wait, they don't do old fashioned marketing either? Okay so maybe the problem isn't - they need a website. Maybe they need a marketing dept?

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by M-J-B »

Kayaks'N'Beer wrote:Wait, they don't do old fashioned marketing either? Okay so maybe the problem isn't - they need a website. Maybe they need a marketing dept?
That is the case in my experience but YMMV. The latest Valley catalogue I have seen was from 2007 and I visit the nearest Valley dealer a few times every year, sometimes only to chat. Could be there are newer but they seem hard to come by and I do not know who is to blame, Valley or the retail organisation. Brand marketing is seen here and there in magazines and DVDs but details are lacking as is product knowledge at the retailers. Retailers seem to have opinions but I want facts. The space in Valley advertisements could be used a lot more effectively in my opinion, without making the ads cluttered. I suspect this is not a problem in all market areas, but I do believe the web would be a very cost effective way of spreading the info. Expos and other happenings where kayaks are available for trial is always nice but Valley has been quite poorly represented at such happenings over here (I believe the opposite is true for UK).Of course I could always pick up the phone an call Valley whenever I'm interested in some details but I would expect they would end up spending too much of their valuable time on the phone if every end user or potential customer always called them directly. Also, getting the info about what's new might trigger the "need" to buy a new kayak but I can't imagine calling them just to ask what's new.

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by sleepybubble »

PhilAyr wrote:Round and round and round in circles. I really am becoming dizzy and very tired of this thread.

Bring on the trains and the midget gem sweet thingies. Personally I like my jelly babies. I take them everywhere !

Phil
I'd pass you mine, but I bit all the heads off in angst.

Image

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by No Kayak »

Are you one of the Usual Suspects?

Image

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Oarsome
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by Oarsome »

sleepybubble wrote: I'd pass you mine, but I bit all the heads off in angst.
I read somewhere that women who have had children are more likely to bite the head off, than women who hasn't had children or men.

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by Graham T »

at last interesting social debate, I just looked up these sweets because I did not know what they were shame this didn't get posted sooner

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by rockhopper »

Hurray and in the nick of time as this patch of paint I had been watching is almost dry!!

Rog.

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by sleepybubble »

Oarsome wrote:
sleepybubble wrote: I'd pass you mine, but I bit all the heads off in angst.
I read somewhere that women who have had children are more likely to bite the head off, than women who hasn't had children or men.
Now I'd like to see a reference to that fascinating piece of research and just quite who funded it.

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Oarsome
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by Oarsome »

sleepybubble wrote:
Oarsome wrote:
sleepybubble wrote: I'd pass you mine, but I bit all the heads off in angst.
I read somewhere that women who have had children are more likely to bite the head off, than women who hasn't had children or men.
Now I'd like to see a reference to that fascinating piece of research and just quite who funded it.
I can't remember where I read it, and a search for jelly bears, jelly babies, and gummy bears made me realise there are just too many words for the same thing.

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by rockall »

Chas C wrote:
I do not know who you are - I see you only joined in the last day and have only contributed to this posting, are you trolling ?.
Cue the UK Rivers Guidebook Forum Chief of Secret Police..."may I see your passport, sir?"....."is that a canoe in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?".....

I think this thread has run its course. Valley may wish to take on board some of the reasoned arguments or they may not - nobody is telling Valley what to do, but we are voicing a concern that some people have. It's been a debate, passionate at times, nowt wrong with that. And despite the trivial attempts at derailment and the malicious fatuousness of some postings, perhaps a point has been made.

But frankly the amount of slur, sniping and sniding aimed at those putting forward quite reasonable and constructive criticism (is there something wrong with constructive criticism?) leaves a bad taste in my mouth, a loss of respect for certain individuals, and the overall feeling that this is a closed shop, a masonic lodge, an inner circle, to whom the outsider is only welcome as long as they tow the line. Unwritten rules - we only talk about what WE want to talk about, don't bash our 'friends'. A boys club. Hardly a single cogent argument has come from the nay-sayers in this thread.

It doesn't matter massively, the discussion only concerned one of the pre-eminent names of British canoeing and kayaking that has probably launched more of us into the sport or the water than any other manufacturer. Not a big deal, really. As Chas says, it's not something to care about.

So, is something wrong at Valley?.... well, maybe not an awful lot, at least not that can't be put right. But there's definitely something wrong here.

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by PhilAyr »

Image

JB likes to go with me on my paddle adventures. (Please forgive me Douglas).

Phil

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by tpage »

PhilAyr wrote:Image

JB likes to go with me on my paddle adventures. (Please forgive me Douglas).

Phil
Brilliant Phil!

branwell
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by branwell »

I think this thread was a cunning ploy instigated by Valley to get people to look at their website :)

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by ian the badger »

Has anyone tried to explain to an Italian what a Jelly Baby is?

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by M-J-B »

branwell wrote:I think this thread was a cunning ploy instigated by Valley to get people to look at their website :)
Next they launch a competition where the winner is the one who first locates all the errors on their website?

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Image
Brilliant jelly baby and touche Phil!! :o)

(At least this is a Valley!)

Douglas

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by No Kayak »

I hope that photo isn't from the Solway some time around 1988...

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PhilAyr
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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by PhilAyr »

Douglas Wilcox wrote:Image
Brilliant jelly baby and touche Phil!! :o)

(At least this is a Valley!)

Douglas
.... and if I'm not mistaken it's an Etain. Well done Douglas ! I'm sure the boys at Valley could use this to update their website, although I'm not too sure about the model, and that dry-suit looks vaguely familiar :-)

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Re: Is something wrong at Valley...

Post by M-J-B »

http://www.valleyseakayaks.com/ has replied "Access denied." for a while now... are we to expect something new and beautiful or is it just business as usual? (I notice Valley is on Facebook but no status update there regarding their website.)

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