Jump to content


CJF077

Future of Site - Discussion

Recommended Posts

Hi Guys,

 

I know it has been a long time since i have posted on the site, and been active. However it is good to see the site going with so much passion, and enthusiasm and the member base change from first time owners (such as myself with the XR6 Turbo back in 2002) to generations of owners, who absolutely love the car, the brand and everything in between. It still gives me goosebumps hearing the sound of a XR6 Turbo or a Typhoon (yes i had one too) howling past me on the street. 

 

The reason for our post is simple. We have been around since 2002 with over 1.4 million posts, 59,000 topics, and 60,000 members the site has been here from the start. It is good even to log in on a Friday night at 8pm to find over 100 guests and many members (some from the beginning) still active and enjoying the site for its value.

 

The site has always been paid for via its advertising base, and generous member donations, but with the invention of facebook, instagram and others unfortunately communities like ours are a dying breed. Whilst facebook allows the instant gratification of being able to comment, it doesnt allow the depth and knowledge to be shared time and time again, and kept sort of like a story book for people to have a look at months or years later. It actually gave me goosebumps to look at photos this evening of my first XR6 Turbo ever purchased. I loved that car, and I loved the community that I created around it, and more so the great people I met sharing the passion I shared.

 

Today we are at a point where the advertising revenue the site is generating monthly is barely covering the costs of the site. It does not leave us any wiggle room to pay for upgrades, addons, license renewals, or even offer things like the good old site stickers, hats, or tshirts. We actually haven't done that in years due to not making enough money to just cover the costs to keep the site going.

 

Whilst advertising on the site is relatively cheap for an advertiser $150 per month with a forum and rotating banner, they find facebook, and other methods more appealing, when sites like ours give them the much targeted market that they require.

 

The point of this post is to open up conversation for what potentially the next steps are for the site. I have spoken to the mod team, and some recommendations are as follows:

 

1. An advertiser drive - through methods such as the community, talk to workshops, repairers, upgrade workshops, to re-invest in the community that in some cases kick started their business. 

2. A change in structure to the donating members, and potentially a patreon model - This would give the members that use the site having the ability to tip in a nominal monthly amount - the ability to help with keeping the community afloat. Possible associated benefits if there exists a demand/desire (to be decided - add free tier, gallery size, prestigious titles, input into the direction forward of the community etc).

 

However as this community was created by you... And you as members enjoy the benefits I am keen and open to discuss the situation, and what you suggest as the way forward..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've found the search bar incredibly helpful over my time here and while it might take a while to dissect information from a search output, it would take many times longer to find the details blindly.

 

As a suggestion, I think that a monthly, forum wide, search bar subscription wouldn't be unreasonable. Of course it could be scaled for a yearly amount and could be on a per month basis.

 

If you wanted to search for something then an amount such as $1.50 to $5 could enable unlimited searches for a 30 day period. If you didn't need to search for the next month then you wouldn't pay, you would still have full access, minus the search function, to the forum however. $10 per year for unlimited searches is a very fair amount, given the amount of specific information here.

 

I frequently use the search bar to help new members and also to help myself. Perhaps a point based system based upon successful search recommendations could be instated to provide free search facilities to contributing members, based upon their thread/comment recommendations from their own use of the search bar and/or relevant experience of the forum. It would give some incentive to help other members, although the dollar value suggested is quite low. Most of us aren't here for the money though.

 

In this vein perhaps a sub-forum search fee, as detailed above, could be used. If you want a 500rwkw car then you could just pay to search the specifics of the 500rwkw sub-forum. No need to pay extra for the 300 and 400 subforums. This would be a smaller amount but that's the general gist of what I'm getting at.

 

Anyhow, that's what I thought of just now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, arronm said:

Surely frequent users can afford $20-$50 a year. Seems plenty of CASH spent on cars....

 

I know I would be happy to put in a $5 or $10/month Patreon style pledge.

 

Wouldn't even notice it.

 

Am pretty sure it'd end up working out more in the end than the amounts I'd put in via an occasional donation, be far more reliable for the forum to budget around but would be far less noticeable from my end.

 

13 minutes ago, Puffwagon said:

As a suggestion, I think that a monthly, forum wide, search bar subscription wouldn't be unreasonable. Of course it could be scaled for a yearly amount and could be on a per month basis.

 

I think what makes the forum work so well for so long has been the accessibility, ease of use and the community itself.

 

I wouldn't really like to see anything put in place that limits that functionality in any way.

 

Lol - a fee for anyone asking a question that is easily found by using the search should be the way we go :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah limitations will stop people from interacting as much, yet they come by the thousands and leave without so much as a thank you in a lot of cases.

Perhaps an option for a donation after a length of time might be more suitable. If it's needed then an occasional nag screen won't be the end of the world.

 

It's gotta be said, a lot of people leave with a sour taste in their mouth and if that is addressed then we might see an uptake of contributing members.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A pay gate on search queries could be a way to go, but I can't help but think it would push people away, even if you make it as "incentive based" as you possibly can... :idunno:

 

Patreon is the way go to, I reckon. I suggested it to Chris. If we get 20-100 people paying a small amount per month, we could easily float this site ourselves.

 

Once advertisers are not necessary anymore, financially, we can then open up the rules on comments, language etc, imho.

 

The more "open" we are to member contributions (as bogan or areshole-ish it can possibly get), then it will invite people back from bookface because that's why a lot of people left in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, k31th said:

A pay gate on search queries could be a way to go, but I can't help but think it would push people away, even if you make it as "incentive based" as you possibly can... :idunno:

 

I knew it'd be a long shot but maybe something can be pulled from it. It doesn't matter if nothing is though. It was only a suggestion.

 

6 minutes ago, k31th said:

I think open communication with how money is going in and out of patreon is the way to go. Suggestions from us on how to save money based on the current hosting situation and costs involved. Once advertisers are not necessary anymore, financially, we can then open up the rules on comments, language etc, imho.

 

Most folks don't know what it takes to run a site so I don't think "transparency" would help.

 

I'm happy to contribute any reasonable amount, as suggested. Lets think about what needs to happen to make others feel the same way.

 

Imo if you open the forum up to every degenerate comment that'll inevitably come, as it has, it'll fall on it's face.

 

My 2c bro's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Appreciate your input, Nath (and anybody else who contributes), most definitely :) just throwing around my thoughts in relation to your thoughts, with that first quoted sentence.

 

You're right that transparency in a complete sense may not be necessary due to the knowledge required to understand it, but I think a profit/loss bottom line and optional-reading follow-on discussion of details within the situation, would be a good way to ensure you're trusted by the community to head in a direction that everybody (most people) agree with.

 

With regard to degenerates, we already get a few every now and then and we can easily moderate them when we feel they've gone too far. What I'm really pushing towards is that the fact that the most "fun" things that we do with our cars are all topics that are disallowed, for the most part, on this forum, not necessarily the type of personalities, in particular.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, k31th said:

What I'm really pushing towards is that the fact that the most "fun" things that we do with our cars are all topics that are disallowed

 

Only any illegal stuff.

 

This thread is not the place for that discussion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you're right that this isn't the place for that discussion... just keep it in mind that it might be a way to attact people to contribute more to this forum and not feel "restricted" in what they're contributing with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saw this in the feedback / contact us form too:

 

Quote

Hi, I really like your site. I would just like to make a small suggestion. Your always going to have bills and the only part of your page that sucks, is your shop. Why not set it up so members can sell ford parts on it and charge say a item? Shouldn't be to hard to do like a donation. And will fix your shop as well as give us more to look at.

Regards 

Graeme

 

Might be an idea to implement this again. I am sure we had it in the past, but it didnt work for some reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m amazed the site is still running, but I guess the popularity of the XRT keeps attracting new, younger people... it would be a shame to let it die..

 

Where’s my member number gone?! I was in the low hundreds!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5-6 years ago I was a massive fan of this site. Went to a few organized meets and cruises and learnt plenty from some knowledgeable people. But with the increasing ease of use of social media (facebook) I just hated coming back here to use the clunky interface (mainly the tapatalk app), piss poor search functions and image hosting site pictures.

Just my 2 sheckles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanna say that this site, over the last 12 months that I’ve had my g6e turbo, has been a huge help and benifit in getting my car where I wanted it to be. Always find keiths and others opinions very helpful and if it wasnt for this site, id be up sh*ts creek. Or more then likely wouldnt of bought a ford turbo. This site actually encouraged me to purchase, and after seeing all the useful info on it, I finally purchased my first turbo. Knowing that the help was there if I ever needed it. Have only recently donated, but if I am ever needed to chuck in more on a monthly basis, id be glad to. So many people scroll through this site just to get info and tips, like myself, surely its not a big ask of peeps to throw you guys a donation here and there to show a thanks back.!! Anyhow just wanted to say thanks again for the great site and I hope it sticks around!!! CHEERS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the promblem isn’t just FB but there’s just so many xr6 turbo “pages” now. We have this one, forced Ford forum, and I know there’s at least a couple of others. Maybe the way forward Is to try to get all these Aussie based Falcon groups united as one and make it a Patreon type deal where “user pays”? I know on forced ford forums there is a wealth of ford OEM manuals etc which anyone can access free of charge-then they too have advertisers as well-seems the way forward could well be to create one big group out of all the XR groups-just my worthless 10c :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really enjoyed using this forum while working on my fg xr6 ute. Just looking for quarter mile times mostly. 

 

I have just been deciding myself if I should hand over a FB group to anyone who wants to take over admin. It's a regional dirt bike group. No fees but posts are ride information. I've given up riding but I know the feeling of "what to do now". 

Ultimately it's a fee that will keep you afloat just like a sports club or religious group... They all need money to survive. 

 

The difficulty will be how do you charge. I've been a member of many forums and without trade knowledge as a auto trade tutor half the stuff I read in many forums is questionable and opinions... I don't know if new commers will pay for opinions. Know matter how right they are or are not. (Speak in general about forums). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, fordboy1981 said:

Where’s my member number gone?! I was in the low hundreds!

The URL of your profile has the number. 477 is yours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been a member here for 5 years

I ditched Facebook about 4 years ago due to sick of crap content and endless adds

I use this site as I did Facebook, mainly for social media because I know that the people here at least have the same interest in cars as me

I have used the wealth of information on a few occasions, but for me, this is a social media site

my wife calls it CarBook :yes:

I also use a motorcycle forum and a couple of computer forums (all totally free for all content)

 

As far as a pay as you go system, I don't think that would work, people want this sort of thing for free

I haven't donated cos I don't feel I need to

I did run my own website a few years back for about 5 years straight and footed the bill for everything between myself and a co-author before I handed the site over completely to him

I think making people pay would turn away a lot of punters

just my 2 cents :original:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't use Fb, twitter or any other site like that and never will. Sites such as this and FF have a library of information for car nuts who wish to perform their own maintenance and enquire about mods, parts interchangeability between models etc that in my opinion, is of great value and it would be a shame to lose access to that information should the site become unsustainable. As such, I have no problem with "thread mines" or whatever else some wish to call the renewing of historical information for whilst it may be old information to some, for others just getting into these cars it will all be new information and very useful.

 

I do not have an issue with paying an annual subscription of say $30 as the $$ saved from reading what others have tried and had work or not, and the ability to ask questions of those whos opinions are acknowledged as being accurate or supported by facts is worth every $.

 

Perhaps if deemed necessary,  casual browsing could stay free (would maybe encourage more use of the search function) with an option to purchase a sub of a month, 3 months, 6 months or a year at obviously different rates for full access?

 

Whatever the outcome, I do hope the site remains.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bloodycrashboy said:

I've been a member here for 5 years

As far as a pay as you go system, I don't think that would work, people want this sort of thing for free

I haven't donated cos I don't feel I need to

I think making people pay would turn away a lot of punters

just my 2 cents :original:

If we all had this attitude there would be NO forum....

 

GO ROSSI....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, arronm said:

If we all had this attitude there would be NO forum....

 

GO ROSSI....

He has a point more than an attitude I think. The members who regularly use this forum for all manner of info will likely be happy to pay. A visitor who may seldom use the information will be scared off by fees. The info had value but it was gifted for free so moving forward admin will have to be cleaver... we've all started completing a competition form until the point you realise they are gathering info to market you crap you don't want to buy?  That's about the time a quit entering info in competitions. Fees will have a similar effect for new commers sadly.

Edited by Surfez

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Donation Box

    Please donate to support the community.
    We appreciate all donations!


FordXR6Turbo.com Powered by Invision Community

×