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Poll: Should the forum have public access

No, keep it all private
3 15%
Yes, open some areas to public access
11 55%
Yes, open it all, but only members can post
4 20%
Yes, open it all, anyone can post.
2 10%
Total number of voters: 10 ( Gran Finale, Christopher Capp, Mark Windsor-Hampton ) See more
Only registered users can participate to this poll

TOPIC: Keeping the forum private (or not !)

Keeping the forum private (or not !) 13 years 9 months ago #5720

Although we are a 'thriving' little community of X'ers, there are definitely some bigger clubs / societies / groups out there (specifically on the net).

My view is that the UK Owners Club should be the biggest and best place for X1/9 owners - there should be no deliberating about where to go for advice, meets or just a friendly chat.

So, with this in mind, and just for my own personal deliberation, do you think we should open the doors to the forum .. either partially (by having some sections "public" and some sections for "members only") or completely ?

How would this affect the forum ? Would it be inundated with idiots who post rubbish ? How would we control this ? Which sections would we keep "private" (events, technical advice ?).

Anyone fancy a debate on whether this will drum up interest in our club ?

(ps if I've missed any options in the poll then I'll happily add more)

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Keeping the forum private (or not !) 13 years 9 months ago #5721

I'm actually working on something now that is a half-way house to what you're suggesting Chris. I hope to make the Classified forum open to non-members on a read-only basis in the next week or so. Any non-members who wish to respond to an advert will be able to mail the original poster via the website (without exposing the poster's email address).

The code I'm writing is quite flexible and could be expanded to allow a similar facility for any of the other forums.

I think we need to be careful though as the forum is actually a great benefit of joining the club and we don't want to erode the value of the membership fee.

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Keeping the forum private (or not !) 13 years 9 months ago #5722

  • mark220475
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To be honest I only join the club so early before getting her on the road, for the technical advice, so lets not loss that side of things. But what’s £20 now days to join? (I think it was that?) eight pints of beer?
Have an idea
You could sign up for say ten days free. But no postings. So that way you get to have a good look around, and then after that if you would like to join the club you can, if not so be it. Then that way anyone can see what the club is like.

Mark

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Keeping the forum private (or not !) 13 years 9 months ago #5724

Nice one Neil - sounds like a great system.

Mark - I like your idea about a trial period without being able to post, although you'd have to stop people re-registering so they have a continuous trial period !

I must say, I only got my backside into gear and joined the club as quickly as I did because I wanted access to the forum, so it seems to draw people in. I just think there should be something that the public can use and interact with so that they then think "hey, if I want access to the whole forum I'm going to have to join the club".

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Keeping the forum private (or not !) 13 years 9 months ago #5725

  • Bruce R
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I also joined the Club as soon as possible after aquiring 'Burt' so I could access the various meets and Forum as I remember how useful the ideas and information was in the Club Magazine when I last had a Exx (before the days of WWW). Having ready access to some experienced Exx owner/maintainers has been worth every penny of the membership, and I have another good reason to go to North Wales!!

I agree that perhaps allowing sight (but not posting) of the adverts would be useful.

Is it possible to configure the system so visitors could also see the forum subject titles but not able to open the discussion unless a member?

Is there perhaps an option of having a separate forum area where non-members or potential-members could post comments/questions; you do run the risk of the Forum being overun with total rubbish (that said Raymanboy has been entertaining !!).

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Keeping the forum private (or not !) 13 years 9 months ago #5739

  • paulx19car
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:idea:

I like that Idea.... non members should be able to view our chat but not join in.... I think most our our idle banter and stories of small succeses will encourage people to join.... like you said it is only £20.00 that they will probably save on first years insurance anyway

:roll:

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Keeping the forum private (or not !) 13 years 9 months ago #5742

  • johnv
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I know about put up or shut up ... but the only part of this site that works is the forum .. the rest is unuseable .. why have it?

Drive the whole site from the forum, and decide who you want to see what with/without membership

so another poll ... who ever looks at anything other than the forum? where is your bookmark?

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Keeping the forum private (or not !) 13 years 9 months ago #5747

Valid point John. I checked back to the main homepage before posting and I have to admit that there's not much there to draw in a new member (in my opinion).

An advert for the 2005 annual event and the car of the month .. what more can you need ?!

And yes, my bookmark is the forum, not the homepage ...

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Keeping the forum private (or not !) 13 years 9 months ago #5752

I agree, the only really dynamic part of the site is the forum so there's not a lot else to draw people in. I've toyed with the idea of introducing a "Breaking News" section that would be updated by ROs and Committee Members. This would at least provide a reason to return to the site other than the forum but it would depend on people updating it. Francis wasn't sure people would and you might just end up with a couple of items that were 6 months old on the home page; not a great advert for the club. What do you think? Would people use it? People could draw attention to updates on regional or national events or any other club goings-on.

Once I have the read-only forums sorted, I hope to bring in a new Survey, perhaps allowing members to upload pictures of their cars to create a mini home-page / blog for each car. Any ideas are welcome, and that applies to the whole site. If people aren't happy, or find it unusable, drop me an email with your ideas. While I don't have the time to redevelop the whole thing from scratch, I'm sure we can make it more dynamic with a bit of tinkering.

Back on the subject of forums, there are a few technical constraints that people should be aware of. The current forum has to be either available to members only or the general public; there is no way to split it up between the two. If we wanted to make some categories avalable, we would need to set up a whole new forum, a bit like the old public classified forum, and people would need to set up their userids again. We would then need to decide what categories to offer. I'm not sure whether a category and all its data could be exported from the existing forum and into a new public forum, but it sounds a bit tricky to me. We might therefore have to create a series of new categories that might overlap with the existing ones.

The read-only functionality I'm working on is separate to this as it runs independently of the main forum code, so we can make as many forum sections as you like available on a read-only basis very soon if people think it's a good idea.

Anway, enough waffle, time to go back to work. Keep the great ideas rolling in...

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Last edit: by Neil Ottaway.

Keeping the forum private (or not !) 13 years 9 months ago #5753

Neil - you da man :D Sounds like you really know what you're doing (!) and that you've got some good ideas. I love the idea of members being able to create their own little 'homepage' with details and pictures of their car.

Thanks for everything you're doing.

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Keeping the forum private (or not !) 13 years 9 months ago #5757

  • X1/nige
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I echo that Chris,this forum is the life blood for alot of us! Let's not underestimate the time & work put in (for free) by Neil & Francis-Thanks.
I think the more pics & info about the memberships cars the better.

Cheers,

Nige

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Keeping the forum private (or not !) 13 years 9 months ago #5758

  • paulx19car
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:shock:
Yup me too..... sounds like a great idea to have a sort 'homepage' for each member...

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Keeping the forum private (or not !) 13 years 9 months ago #5765

  • p.c.m
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NEIL AND CHRIS THIS IS SOME THING WHICH NEDDS TO BE TALKED ABOUT AT COMMITTEE LEVEL

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Keeping the forum private (or not !) 13 years 9 months ago #5768

Hmmm, sorry but I disagree Paul - it needs to be DECIDED at committee level, but there's no harm in TALKING about it and getting people's views.

In my opinion :shock:

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Keeping the forum private (or not !) 13 years 9 months ago #5771

  • p.c.m
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I AM NOT SAYING YOU CAN`T TALK ABOUT IT BUT THE COMMITTEE NEED TO MAKE THE FINALE DECISION

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