Do we need this forum?

Chat about MX-5s, the life and the universe.

Re: Do we need this forum?

Postby iainf » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:51 am

DrewN wrote:Re Iain Fleming's comment that the forum has had it's day.
I must disagree. I personally do not like Facebook and I am sure there are are fair number out there who will agree with me (although there will probably be plenty who disagree with me).
The regular users of the Scottish website appreciate what it has to offer. The website allows a single point of information and ability for members (and non members) to sign up for events, not just a forum facility.
The forum is a useful addition that is included in the overall cost of maintaining the website.
Discussions are ongoing as to the future of our loal website and how it is funded. I for one would like it to continue.
We are still waiting for the launch of the new national website and will reserve judgement on whether this could make the Scottish website redundant until it is available.


Drew the traffic on here speaks otherwise.
What do you mean how its funded?
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Re: Do we need this forum?

Postby IanH » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:10 pm

Iain, I'm talking to Roger and Ian J and the Scottish AC's about how the domain and hosting fees are managed.
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Re: Do we need this forum?

Postby Scott_J » Wed May 03, 2017 10:45 pm

Forums are unfortunately a vicious circle of decline. I used to log in a lot but as fewer new posts log in less often. FB has upsides and many downsides .
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Re: Do we need this forum?

Postby drumtochty » Thu May 04, 2017 9:19 am

As a matter of interest how are the numbers of paid up MX5 club members holding up in Scotland since say 2005.

I notice the members list on the website is well out of date.

At the Pitlochry Spring Rally in May 2013 there were loads of English members turning up say well over 200.

At al the other main OC meetings I guess at most 10 Scottish members turn up.

I have never gone down south for one of the big meetings.
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Re: Do we need this forum?

Postby IanH » Thu May 04, 2017 12:26 pm

I can't do historical, however current overall membership in Scotland is 286 memberships.

I feel this is down on say 10 years ago though don't have the data to prove it.

The 286 is split with roughly 60% in Central belt and the remainder scattered through the interesting bits :lol:
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Re: Do we need this forum?

Postby drumtochty » Thu May 04, 2017 3:14 pm

So keeping up much better than I guessed
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Re: Do we need this forum?

Postby mgrays » Thu May 04, 2017 4:58 pm

5M Scots in 65M UK population = 7.7%
286 Scots means 3700 UK members.
So seems fair .. and getting more than 10% of the Scots out in one place i.e. 30 max would be a likely number as most members seem to be "passive", and 200 UK members is only 5% which again is fair. All comes from the fact we are a small in numbers in Scotland (but 30% of the area :-) )

I was member 3002 I think .. lapsed now about 4-5 years due to the poor method of paying the subscription i.e. no Direct Debit at the time whereas other subscription have been going for +25 years because they managed to set up Direct Debit. I would even sign up again if I got my number back. I went down to 4 annual Nationals at one time which were interesting enough as a single car guy and let me meet faces behind the forum. Not sure I would drag someone else down to one especially and the last couple tied up with other things like going around Europe.
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Re: Do we need this forum?

Postby IanH » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:26 am

Just a wee update, fees are due on 7th November to maintain this site for another two years. If we can agree a funding method then this site will continue and I'll look to update a few elements over the winter, minor updates only, it works pretty well for what it does.
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Re: Do we need this forum?

Postby drumtochty » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:53 pm

IanH wrote: it works pretty well for what it does.


Agreed
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Re: Do we need this forum?

Postby chillax » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:24 pm

Know this is an old topic so please don't shoot me down in flames! Lol
As the owner of two forums (both car based) I feel I can contribute to this topic quite well. One of my forums/clubs has been on the go for over 10 years now, and as it's for a one make/one model (Honda Civic 5 door and Aerodeck from 1995 - 2000) it's a bit like this site.
Started out on a free forum/free web host, which we quickly outgrew. Bought a domain, then a server hosting package and developed the forum over the years. Our first platform was the very same as here (Phpbb) which was great to start with but did have limitations regarding customising the site. I had to learn a lot of coding! But it was still limited in regards to apps that other forums had, especially the fact bulletin board and IP board were all mobile/tablet friendly.
So as the forum was still busy, we decided to convert to IPBoard forum software. It was a massive job, and obviously had risks that we could loose all data during the conversion. Luckily, it went smoothly. Member count then grew due to members being able to use it via their phones etc. It gave a whole new forum experience, with features similar to facepuke such as "likes", "mentions" etc.
Sadly, as someone has already said, FB has ruined things! The forum is a lot quieter now than it's ever been. We did have a FB group which was meant to compliment the forum and bring users from FB to the forum. Unfortunately, it did nothing but cause a devide! Facebook die-hards wouldn't use the forum, and demanded more from the group.
What we did find is this. Facebook is great for the original purpose it was designed for, which is for family and friends sharing pics and keeping in touch. As a platform to run a car club, it is flawed on so many levels. It doesn't have any structure, there's no way to organise posts, which makes trying to find the post you read earlier hard, time consuming and a pain! You have to scroll through tons of irrelevant and random posts of crap to find just that one post you wanted to find from earlier.
And that's the next problem. The crap people post! We had FB members offering advice who had no idea what they were talking about, and had to put a stop to it when someone offered advice which would have been a danger to life! So we took the decision to shut down our FB group. Best thing we ever did!

Forums may be quieter now due to FB, but forums won't disappear completely. For a club to function successfully online, it needs a forum. Forums are easily managed so things like bullying or hate posts are rare. Forums offer genuine tech advice, from members who are usually more knowledgeable than any FB user who has probably never even sat next to the cousin of the grandad who's uncle was a mechanic let alone have genuine mechanical experience themselves! Forums are a community, Facebook is an un-policed and unsecure playground for kids an keyboard warriors. Only a few folk are genuine.
Cost wise, yes, forums cost money, where as FB is a free for all. But it's only a matter of time before they eventually start charging people to use it.
Forums can be run cheaply if you get the right server host. One of mine (unlimited web hosting UK) is uk based (important!), and the cost is £3 odds a month for the hosting. The domain costs at most £20 a year. The only thing that commands high costs is the forum software (IPB is expensive) but using Phpbb there shouldn't be any costs.

So I'm all in favour of this great forum continuing! Forums are where it's at! Admin, If you need any help or advice let me know.

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