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Old May 31st   #1
mailman
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Hey, those of you who are just lookers and lurkers

If you look on the home page you will see that a lot more "guests" are reading HCS.com than members. Why don't you guys and gals just join? Nobody bites here, Samir keeps us all in line. I am not a "joiner",but I am here so more you you should be too.
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Old June 1st   #2
GsxJawsh
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I was a lurker for probably 2 or three years before i finally registered. there are plenty of people to talk to and help with your problems if needed.
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Old June 1st   #3
Samir
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I've always wondered this myself.

I think the technology barrier is a bit daunting at times as a lot of our visitors are older. Facebook has changed this a bit, and it's great to see people get on and register.

I think part of this is my fault as I haven't changed the default vbulletin welcome email to tell people about the introductions forum as well as many of our popular threads that anyone can add to. This has been on the todo list for years, but there never seems to be a free moment.

Any other ideas why people join but don't converse? I know you have to have a great topic, and that's also something I'm lacking in posting regularly. But there's only so much one man can do.
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Old June 1st   #4
mailman
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Samir, every time I am at a car show it never fails that someone mentions your name and what a great job you are doing for this site and the car culture community. Your hard work is well known and very much appreciated even if you are not told as much. I seldom post much either but I will use this post to say thanks.☺
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Old June 1st   #5
Samir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mailman View Post
Samir, every time I am at a car show it never fails that someone mentions your name and what a great job you are doing for this site and the car culture community. Your hard work is well known and very much appreciated even if you are not told as much. I seldom post much either but I will use this post to say thanks.☺
Thank you so much! It's the positive impact and the ability to do more that drives me to work as hard as I do, even in trying personal times like these. I've actually set up a thread for posts like this so I can read them all at once when I'm feeling blue:
http://www.huntsvillecarscene.com/showthread.php?t=5417

You mentioned that you seldom post. Any particular reason? Maybe your feedback will help us figure out how to get the guests online.
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Old June 1st   #6
LowBoost
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As a former affiliate sales and blogger, internet marketer, I can tell you that the bland vbulletin forum theme fails on its face, we should take up donations, commission an artist and have something that gives this site character.

You should try to limit your ad's even if the revenue is running the site. The sites subsections are a bit daunting, I would include a link to a themed html that includes these links to the other clubs but dont list them as subforums as it irrates a lot of new people when they leave one site when expecting to be in a subforum thus causing multi registration needs.

I would suggest a landing page with events, etc, a forum tab and then maybe like a readers' rides section or something we setup for car of the month or w/e.

I can donate a liscensed copy of comet chat to the site as well which will further entice folks to register as it has facebook style user to user chat AND chat room capability all in one.
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Old June 1st   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowBoost View Post
As a former affiliate sales and blogger, internet marketer, I can tell you that the bland vbulletin forum theme fails on its face, we should take up donations, commission an artist and have something that gives this site character.

You should try to limit your ad's even if the revenue is running the site. The sites subsections are a bit daunting, I would include a link to a themed html that includes these links to the other clubs but dont list them as subforums as it irrates a lot of new people when they leave one site when expecting to be in a subforum thus causing multi registration needs.

I would suggest a landing page with events, etc, a forum tab and then maybe like a readers' rides section or something we setup for car of the month or w/e.

I can donate a liscensed copy of comet chat to the site as well which will further entice folks to register as it has facebook style user to user chat AND chat room capability all in one.

I think that's part of the grand plan it just comes down to time and monies............both of which are hard to come by when your a one man show.
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Old June 1st   #8
mailman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samir View Post
You mentioned that you seldom post. Any particular reason? Maybe your feedback will help us figure out how to get the guests online.
My reason is that I am a hermit and never have much to say. I seldom talk either so my situation does not really relate much here, lol.
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Old June 1st   #9
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I think a lot of it is the limited area's of discussion. I mean there's only so much you can talk about with cars and the up coming events. I think a lot of people that have a tech related issue are going to go to a car specific site (i know that's where i go at least).

I know some of my favorite area's of other forums is the off topic stuff. I know your reasoning for not having one but simple putting it out there.
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Old June 1st   #10
Samir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowBoost View Post
As a former affiliate sales and blogger, internet marketer, I can tell you that the bland vbulletin forum theme fails on its face, we should take up donations, commission an artist and have something that gives this site character.

You should try to limit your ad's even if the revenue is running the site. The sites subsections are a bit daunting, I would include a link to a themed html that includes these links to the other clubs but dont list them as subforums as it irrates a lot of new people when they leave one site when expecting to be in a subforum thus causing multi registration needs.

I would suggest a landing page with events, etc, a forum tab and then maybe like a readers' rides section or something we setup for car of the month or w/e.

I can donate a liscensed copy of comet chat to the site as well which will further entice folks to register as it has facebook style user to user chat AND chat room capability all in one.
Thank you very much for the feedback. While I realize the default vb theme isn't that appealing, I've seen it still be successful on sites like www.ferrarichat.com as and www.clubcobra.com so it's not the sole factor for sure.

I'm definitely no graphics artist or UI designer so the layout here is pure function over form, and geared towards making things easy for me versus the user. I wouldn't mind paying a good, experienced vb designer, but they seem to be as rare as a D-flawless diamond. I've actually lost more money in trying to find one than I have invested in the software itself. I haven't given up hope, but I know that I need to talk to the experts who have already been here and know the right people.

I'd like to limit the ads, but they will ultimately pay the bills. The larger sites by autoguide.com and Internet Brands typically don't limit the number of ads or placement, typically covering everything above the fold. Not to say their design is the way I want to go, but they are both very profitable at what they do. Limiting ads while increasing engagement is what I'd like to do, and any suggestions to accomplish this are most welcome.

The site sub-sections do need a bit of re-work and updating since they've grown. The local forum links actually are for me more than anyone else, allowing me to check all the local forums without having to open 20 different sites. I can just go down the list to see what's going on. I can hide this from the public, but I think that would be a bit of a dis-service in the name of cleanliness. There is a way to declutter everything by not allowing vb to display the details in each forum category, but I'm not sure the extra user click is worth that. I could try that and see.

The current home page is a double-edged sword. It allows very quick access to almost everything at a glance, making it highly efficient to see what's going on. But the drawback is that there's also less need to click on anything. I could limit things down to just a few items on the homepage cleaning everything up, but then there's more clicks. The old rule used to be 3 clicks, but it seems that is more like 5 now?

Reader's rides and such are great ideas, but the implementation isn't so easy. I've yet to see one that doesn't take time out of an admin's day. I've written a script that will pull a random user of the month, but it doesn't work exactly how I want it, so I'm not using it at the moment. If this worked consistently like I want, having a 'user of the month' would be quite easy. Any php coders out there want to fix my algorithm?

I looked at comet chat, but I learned a long time ago that chat doesn't belong side-by-side with a forum. After all, the chatting should be posts on the forum. I personally didn't like comet chat's style add-on. It felt malicious and spyware-like even though it's obviously a legit product. I know I've been alarmed by these type of add-ons when I go to a site, and I haven't seen many discussion forums use something like this.

I truly appreciate the time you took to evaluate the site and post your findings. I don't have a background in any of this and am learning as I go. Hopefully you've got a better idea of some of the challenges that are preventing implementation of your suggestions. And I hope you've got some suggestions on how to overcome those challenges because unfortunately I don't.
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Old June 1st   #11
Samir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilZ View Post
I think a lot of it is the limited area's of discussion. I mean there's only so much you can talk about with cars and the up coming events. I think a lot of people that have a tech related issue are going to go to a car specific site (i know that's where i go at least).

I know some of my favorite area's of other forums is the off topic stuff. I know your reasoning for not having one but simple putting it out there.
I've realized that as well, and there's more on the drawing board that hasn't yet been implemented.

I'd really like to see a tech forum, but without existing content or some incentive to post (like a ASE tech replying every time), it's hard to build in a multi-demographic site. If you know of a way to get one off the ground though, I'm all for it.

Have we discussed an off topic forum? I don't ever recall that.
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