I own and run a discussion forum with over 30,000 members. Why has ABC decided to maintain a private web presence? I don't get it. The club ought to be making it as open as possible and letting the world see what we're up to. I firmly believe that being secluded keeps membership and member involvement low. I know I rarely post in this forum due to its low activity.
Some of us prefer quality over quantity. I have been a member of national organizations and state and local affiliates of those organizations. It seems that when anything gets over a certain size the organization seems to swallow up the subject. This organization supports the subject. The available technical expertise is among the best of any organization I have been a member of. ABC seems well focused on the subject which is of interest to a small segment of society. It's not for everybody. That is why I joined.
While I too value quality, I would argue that providing it has little to do with privacy, or a closed group. An open group draws from a much wider base of experience and keeps the "know-it-alls" from dominating discussion. With active proper moderation, an open forum will provide both quality and quantity, and promote what it is we love.
The group's Facebook page is more active than this forum, yet it is not user friendly for discussion. Posts quickly get shoved down to oblivion and forget trying to update a post one made a month or two before. Image size restrictions on FB don't help when a photo is needed for technical purposes.
Anyone on the Internet can see all the forum posts. But if they want to post themselves, they need to be a member.
Just like the tech articles: Anyone can see a short teaser, enough to get a sense of what the article is about, but they need to be a member to read the rest of it.
The intent is to show that there's enough here just on the web site to justify spending a measly twenty-five bux to join the club. Add in all the real world benefits like the dAIRectory, Barley Therapies, Rendezvous, and Tech Days, which really represent the heart of the club, and a real hold-it-in-your-hands magazine, and it's probably one of the best bargains any frugal Airhead will ever come across.
Restricting two way participation to members only also keeps the trolls, time wasters, and Internet spammers to a minimum, improving the overall member experience online. And it greatly reduces the load on the moderators.
I think the biggest hurdle we face with respect to the Forum is the rather poorly executed software we're using. It's a Joomla module, and the most popular of the ones we've been able to find, but lags, duplicate posts, and a somewhat difficult to understand user interface put a lot of people off. If you can offer suggestions for something better, we'd be all ears.
Bottom line here is that the web site is just an enhancement to ABC membership, and NOT an end unto itself. We'd prefer to have participants on the web site that believe in most of the ABC Canons, and demonstrate that by actually joining up and participating in real life events. The camaraderie at the events is what the ABC is really about, not some cyberspace abstraction designed to maximize click counts.
Some of us prefer quality over quantity. This organization supports the subject. The available technical expertise is among the best of any organization I have been a member of.
I joined this Club specifically to gain some of that expertise. I enjoy reading Oak's monthly articles, but I tend to be more of an on-line, help me right now guy. Sadly now, Oak has passed. Scott adds his 2 cents, of course. But still, I'm straining my eyes to find all this expertise.
I owned an R60/6 back in the 80's. My "new" R100RT has been with me ~26 months. If I'm one of the "experts" you're referring to, then this Club is in trouble !!
[color=blue]Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!
Wobbly you and 8053 helped me decide what bike to get. You said R100RS and RT were basically the same bike. 8053 gave some info on a K handlebar that when cut off a little at both ends would work on an RS and afford a more upright position.
You guys made up my mind to get either one and modify as needed. I had debated this for over a year. Thanks a lot. Everyone has at least one tidbit of info that someone can find useful. I had debated this for over a year.
I will never give up my 77 Yamaha XS 650 bar hopper but that thing will beat you to death on a long ride. Liked the R100RS when it first came out but very expensive and did not fit my crotch rocket addiction at the time. Airhead is the perfect touring bike for me. Gold Wings and other behemoths are more tractor/trailer rig. Everyone has at least one tidbit of info that someone can find useful. Just got my first Airmail today and will read it right now.
Everyone has at least one tidbit of info that someone can find useful. Just got my first Airmail today and will read it right now.
Now the Airmail magazine IS a first class effort. I always enjoy that !
[color=blue]Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!
Bret, thank you for joining the ABC. I think Scott has it exactly right. Wobbly is a pro mechanic and, in spite of his Mea Culpa, is a valuable contributor here.
Lately, there is an initiative to branch out to social media being circulated amongst the Airmarshals. I agree that it is a worthwhile effort. I am not a "social media" kind of cat. However, I have been allowed to recruit IL members who are savvy, to contribute and handle the effort for me/us. I hope that this effort takes hold. If it does, the kind of access you are describing is on it's way. I know that we, the ABC, can not live in the past. I just want the club to be the best it can be. I could prattle on about this topic for hours, but I will not do that. If anyone wants to talk this over, my e-mail and fone number are published in every copy of Airmail.