Author Topic: Forum Use  (Read 9590 times)

Offline StevenTuck

  • Posts: 568
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  • Name: Steven M. Tuck
Forum Use
« on: September 10, 2012, 05:58:42 AM »
It is my opinion forum access should be limited to 6 months for new users. Within that 6 month period they should be able to make a decision to join the club. If they do not join the club then their access should be terminated.

Forums are the future of any club. Free forum access with no time limit for new users is not an incentive to join the club. Our goal is to increase our membership not provide free services for those who will never join. The membership fee is certainly not a large amount therefore this can not be the reason for not joining. The reason for many would be why join when they can access the forum for free.

The forum should be a way for "MEMBERS" to exchange ideas and help one another in our goal of perserving the Cadillac / La Salle heritage.

1962 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
http://bit.ly/1NfPNHE
Car Show Signs and Car Photo Books
http://carshowsigns.net/

Offline Bill Podany #19567

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Re: Forum Use
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2012, 04:56:36 PM »
I completely agree with Steven Tuck's point of view; in fact, I favor no usage on the forum unless one is a member of the CLC
1941 60 Special Fleetwood
1955 Eldorado

Offline STDog

  • CLC#24051
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  • Thomas Dodd
Re: Forum Use
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2012, 10:49:40 PM »
Great way to turn off potential members.
It took me a few years before I decided to join.

I've not visited the forum much recently because of the "name rule" and the way non-members are being treated.
I'm not a lifetime member yet, so keep it up.
I've got plenty of other ways to spend my time and money.

Offline Mike Josephic CLC #3877

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Re: Forum Use
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2012, 12:39:36 AM »
I have to admit that the previous poster "ST" has a valid point.

We should take the view to use the Forum as a "marketing tool" to
attract new members.  Perhaps after they participate for 6 months or
more, we could E-Mail them a polite reminder that they could benefit
EVEN MORE by becoming a Club member, receiving the "Self Starter", etc.

Being a former "Marketing Guy" that would be my recommendation.
Let's use this as a positive OPPORTUNITY to bring new members in!

But to just cut them off and say "GOODBYE" -- that's not the way to
grow membership.

Mike
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 01:53:26 PM by Mike Josephic CLC #3877 »
1955 Cadillac Eldorado
1973 Cadillac Eldorado
1995 Cadillac Seville
2004 Escalade
CLCMRC Museum Benefactor #38
Past: VP International Affiliates, Museum Board Director, President / Director Pittsburgh Region

Offline StevenTuck

  • Posts: 568
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  • Name: Steven M. Tuck
Re: Forum Use
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2012, 04:26:58 AM »
The name of the forum is: CADILLAC & LASALLE CLUB DISCUSSION FORUM. It isn't a Cadillac Forum or some other forum, it is the CADILLAC & LASALLE CLUB DISCUSSION FORUM. As such being the club forum one should be a club member, otherwise rename it and disassociate it with the club. Then it can be free to everyone to enjoy and use the benefits of those on the site.
1962 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
http://bit.ly/1NfPNHE
Car Show Signs and Car Photo Books
http://carshowsigns.net/

Offline Davidrubin

  • 1969 Fleetwood Eldorado
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  • Name: Dave Rubin
Re: Forum Use
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2012, 10:12:29 AM »
Hi All, my personal opinion is that we have nothing to gain and a lot to lose by excluding non-members from the Forum.  A move like that will only alienate those who are on the fence about joining.  By reserving the Forum for club members it will lose content and make it less than what it is today.  It also creates the perception the club members are a bunch of snobs, which is certainly not true.

You cannot force someone to join any club, and some people are simply not club-joiners.  But they might have a great deal of valuable information to share.

I am happy knowing the CLC is providing a service to all enthusiasts of Cadillac built vehicles, and helping to keep more of these cars on the road, for club members and non-members alike to drive and enjoy.

I encourage more discussion on this, thanks.

Dave Rubin, Information Technology VP
Cadillac and LaSalle Club



Offline StevenTuck

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  • Name: Steven M. Tuck
Re: Forum Use
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2012, 03:11:37 AM »
Dave,

You go out to eat one night and someone you don't even know comes over and sits down at your table. That person proceeds to take food off your plate and others sitting at your table. You say to yourself, "Hey we paid for this food and this person is sitting at our table, eating our food." I think you would not like it and would ask that person to leave.

The CLC members are sitting at the forum table. We have paid for our membership and here comes someone we don't know sitting at our table to partake.

Next time you go out to eat, let anyone come and sit at your table and eat. They like food just like you do.

I think that if you are upfront with the forum use guidelines, it shouldn't be an issue. There certainly can be a marketing thrust to the guidelines where the prospective forum user can be given the benefits of membership beyond the forum. Maybe give a discount coupon on the first year membership or even a free issue of the Self-Starter for signing up on the forum. It is innately human to take something free.

This goes back to what I stated earlier. Many don't become members because they are getting what they want for nothing on the forum. You have to give them an incentive to join.
1962 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
http://bit.ly/1NfPNHE
Car Show Signs and Car Photo Books
http://carshowsigns.net/

Offline Davidrubin

  • 1969 Fleetwood Eldorado
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  • Name: Dave Rubin
Re: Forum Use
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2012, 09:03:02 AM »
I appreciate your analogy, but let me give you another one:  You are stuck on the side of the road.  Someone comes up and has the exact part or knowledge you need.  Do you decline his help, just because he is not in your club?

I encourage more discussion on this topic.
Thanks
Dave

Offline Guidematic

  • CLC# 19186
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  • Name: M. Jones
Re: Forum Use
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2012, 09:59:26 AM »

 Anolgies aside, and Steven's is not an appropriate one. I have my opinion.

 I originaly came to this forum when I got my fist computor back in 1999. It was one of the first sites I actually checked out. The forum was very differant then. I was able to contribute to the forum in a positive way, and I gained a lot of benefit from it as well. Part of which was being able to foster many friendships which I value today. I did not join the CLC for a few years after that. Aside from the very excellent SS, there was no benefit for me to do so, living in an area that has no CLC activity whatsoever.

 I really enjoyed the forum, and that is what prompted me to join. If there had been anything that put constraints on me at that time, like limited time access, I would have not likely joined. And not received the benefits I did.

 I side with Mike on this. To be used as a marketing tool to attract members to the fold. Many folk post here and give benefit to the board and club in general. Yes, some come here just looking for information, and once they get it they are gone. But many more are long time contributors that have much to offer.

 To shut down the board to these people would be a huge mistake. This board is the only contact many have with the CLC and they should not be shut out. You would lose these potential members forever.

 As an aside, I still very much oppose the name rule. I left the board for many years because of it and only came back because of a change in circumstances within the CLC. I still have hope it will be repealed, however it's still a very dim, albeit slightly brighter, light at the end of the tunnel.

 Mike
1970 Fleetwood Brougham 68169
1985 Eldorado Coupe 6EL57
1988 Eldorado Biarritz 6EL57
1990 Brougham d'Elegance 6DW69
1994 Fleetwood Brougham 6DW69

Offline StevenTuck

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Re: Forum Use
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2012, 02:47:50 PM »
I never said anyone should be shut out. New forum users are welcome to use the forum for a period of time and then join. The period of time is something that can be hashed out. They do need to be given incentives to join. How long do you think a business would survive if it gave away its services, not very long. This club will not survive beyond ourselves if we give it away.

Even Mike admitted he had no incentive to join. Through the internet he was able to do exactly what most members did before the internet. That is why we must look at the forum as a means of growing our membership, especially with those who may never do anything but use the forum.

Another consideration is the cost of the forum to the club. I cannot imagine the forum is totally free to the club.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 03:00:03 PM by StevenTuck »
1962 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
http://bit.ly/1NfPNHE
Car Show Signs and Car Photo Books
http://carshowsigns.net/

Offline STDog

  • CLC#24051
  • Posts: 188
  • Thomas Dodd
Re: Forum Use
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2012, 05:38:54 PM »
How long do you think a business would survive if it gave away its services, not very long. This club will not survive beyond ourselves if we give it away.

Many businesses give away something in an effort to convince you to buy their full product or other products. For example, Avast! and AVG give away anti-virus software for non-commercial use. It's doesn't have all the bells and whistles (like spyware detection or ID theft protection) as the commercial products but all the basics are there and fully work. The hope is that you buy the commercial package for the extra features and/or for commercial uses (think small businesses).

Both have been around for over 10 years and are doing just fine against the likes of Symantec (Norton) and McAffe.

Quote
Another consideration is the cost of the forum to the club. I cannot imagine the forum is totally free to the club.

I don't know what the CLC pays, but I do know that solutions exist are very low costs.
A forum could be hosted for less than $100/year.

Offline Chris Conklin

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Re: Forum Use
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2012, 05:41:13 PM »
I am perusing the Constitution of the Club as I write this. A few things occur to me...

(1) The Articles of the Constitution may need to address the use of technology by the Club and it's members. Particularly the use of Club owned and Club administered technology.
(2) Do we need to address fund raising and/or membership drives in the Constitution? I'm guessing "no" since we are a non-profit membership corporation. To me, that infers membership is completely voluntary and it should not be coerced.
(3) Section 2 of the Constitution titled "Purposes" is, in my mind, the mission statement of the Club. As Steven pointed out, we have non-members here, so I'll quote Article 1 Section 2...

"The purposes for which the Club is founded are: to develop, publish and exchange information pertaining to Cadillacs and LaSalles; to encourage the maintenance, preservation and restoration of Cadillacs and LaSalles; to maintain reference materials and other historical information relating to Cadillacs and LaSalles; and to promote fellowship among the Club members."

It appears to me that this Forum helps to accomplish and further all of these purposes quite well. Okay... maybe not the fellowship aspect so much... sometimes... I'm only half-joking. I am still a little surprised at how divisive the name issue became. I believe it was brought up in this thread a couple times and that was not the issue initially focused on here. Anyway, I digress.

Notice the Purpose is to "promote fellowship" and not to "promote membership".

Do we promote membership? Of course. Are there avenues to do so? Of course (the CLC booth at BJ auctions being one). Is the Forum one of the avenues? Yes and no. Judging by how well it furthers the Purposes of the Club, the Forum is great advertising for the Club and it may compel people to join. Not everybody that visits will join, but we welcome them and put our best foot forward to further our Purpose. Not everybody that visits an Apple store will buy a Mac, but Apple is the most valuable Company in the world today.

A final thought; You can go out and buy and restore and maintain any Cadillac and LaSalle you want without this Club or this Forum. And you can do it quite well without this Club or this Forum. I would be willing to bet there are more than a few award winning Cadillacs and LaSalles out there owned by non-members. Then what is the benefit of becoming a member? It is us (as in "We have met the enemy..." ;)). Can we compel membership by limiting exposure to the unique asset that is this Club? I don't think so.
Chris Conklin

Offline Bill Ingler #7799

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Re: Forum Use
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2012, 06:21:54 PM »
There is an old saying " If it is not broke then don`t try to fix it" The Cadillac/LaSalle club is not broken, the Cadillac/LaSalle forum is not broken so why are some trying to say if we don`t limit the use of this forum to club members, the club will die. Some posters would want you to believe the club will fail unless we kick out all the non members from using this forum. Ask the officers of this club what it costs to run the forum and what it would cost if the forum were available to only members of the club. I bet the answer would be it would cost more to limit the forum to club members. Who would be responsible for kicking off non members and then if the club required a user ID and pass word,who among the members would want that wonderful job of keeping everyone happy who required a new used ID and password. Or the person who lost their password and reqired help. Ask your self how many times have you had to get your password reset to use a web site?
 
The club is not going to fail because of lost revenue from those who get booted from the forum or those who decide not to be members of the club to use the forum. The club leadership was smart to include all years of Cadillacs and not just include certain cars
and only certain years like some clubs.

One poster says he has not visited the club much because of the name rule. To that poster or any others that are worrying about identity theft because of using their name on this forum, you might be interested in the latest method of stealing one`s identity. It is called a portable pocket card reader. Say you are standing in line at a store or just walking around looking at goods in that store. A person walks past you and then out to their car. Takes a small card reader out of their pocket, downloads your name and card number as well as the digital 3 number code on the back of your card. Yes this is being done and yes it can read all cards in your walet with a buried digital chip. You are now at their will as to charging what they want to your card. A buried digital number in your credit card and you are worried about using your name on this forum.

I hope that we continue to allow the free passing of info to all Cadillac owners. There are a lot of posters who are members as well as non members who give freely of their time regardless if that person asking a question is or is not a member. Lets keep it that way.    Bill Ingler
 

Offline STDog

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  • Thomas Dodd
Re: Forum Use
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2012, 06:34:23 PM »
I bet the answer would be it would cost more to limit the forum to club members.

Not really, unless the moderators are paid for their time. Just another step when signing up. Submit number, admin verifies it, then approves.

The real headache would be locking/deleting accounts when membership expires (with some grace period?) That would require notification that the membership had lapsed for the specified time.

Quote
You are now at their will as to charging what they want to your card. A buried digital number in your credit card and you are worried about using your name on this forum.

Well there are lots of attach vectors. Everything from bank employees to waiters stealing the info, and even ATM machine hack to steal info. So, do you just not use cards at all?

But, like most threats, you control where/when you can. Locking the door at home doesn't stop someone from breaking a window, or even busting the door off the hinges. So, do you just leave the door unlocked then?

Offline Guidematic

  • CLC# 19186
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  • Name: M. Jones
Re: Forum Use
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2012, 11:02:24 PM »

 In a nutshell, this whole idea is not feasible, nor is it desireable. The net effect would be detrimental to the club as a whole.

 Over the years I have seen many changes to this board. Many people have come and gone. Good people and bad. There are many more people on this board now than in the early years, the format has changed greatly. And there always people that have had their own ideas as to what will make the board better. Some actually work, others really are another element of control. This idea, I see it as the latter.

 I also said that this board IS the CLC to many people. Most of them outside the US. That includes me. If I were coerced to join the CLC to continue my access, I simply would not join. $65/yr to access the board is crazy. I joined because of the comraderie I felt from the people I met here over a longer period of time, and to be a part of a great club. I continue to pay my dues on that basis.

 I suspect that I am not alone in this situation.

 As Chris noted, The CLC is to foster membership. The discussion board is a great way to do it. The cost is very minimal, and the benefit is great. The CLC would be at great loss if it was limited in access, be it in any form that may take effect.

 Mike
1970 Fleetwood Brougham 68169
1985 Eldorado Coupe 6EL57
1988 Eldorado Biarritz 6EL57
1990 Brougham d'Elegance 6DW69
1994 Fleetwood Brougham 6DW69

Offline Glen

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Re: Forum Use
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2012, 12:26:46 AM »
Sorry Steven but your analogy is not correct.  Food is a physical commodity that when shared leaves less for you.  Knowledge can be shared with an infinite number of people and you have lost nothing.  Those that you have shared with have gained all that you have shared.   

Also I doubt the cost of running this forum is based on the number of members.  The web hosting service I use has an unlimited disc space and unlimited data transfer (traffic) plan for $37 a month without any regard to the number of people that use it. 

One last point.  As Chris points out the club’s purpose is “…. to develop, publish and exchange information pertaining to Cadillacs and LaSalles;……”  I read that is all Cadillacs and LaSalles not just member’s cars.  Look at it this way, the car that a non member fixes with the information from this forum today maybe the car you buy tomorrow. 

Glen Houlton CLC #727 
CLCMRC benefactor #104

Offline David Greenburg

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Re: Forum Use
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2012, 02:02:19 AM »
While it may be true, if you look at it that way, that non-members get to "eat for free" at the the buffet of knowledge on the forum, we should also keep in mind that if non-members were barred from posting, we would lose the benefit of those non-members who contribute rather than consume knowledge, and we would also lose the benefit of seeing non-member postings concerning cars and parts for sale or wanted.  I think there is much more to be lost, rather than gained, by restricting access.
David Greenburg
'60 Eldorado Seville
'61 Fleetwood Sixty Special

Offline StevenTuck

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Re: Forum Use
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2012, 05:24:47 AM »
Let's do another analogy since no one seems to feel mine was a good one. Today let's say the forum users makes up 30% of total CLC members. Everyone uses the forum for free.

10 years in the future the shift has expanded. Now the forum users make up 70% of total CLC members. Everyone still uses the forum for free.

Someone in their great wisdom must have determined that there had to be a minimum fee to belong to the CLC. They determined this because there were costs involved. I guess 10 years in the future using the example above the CLC will become basically free.

I joined the CLC 11 years ago when there was no forum. I joined because of my passion for  Cadillacs and to glean information from all those who knew more than I. The forum now has expanded the benefits for me and other CLC members. I was happy to pay the nominal fee each year for all benefits of the club. I could see the value and it was the least I could do for all the great knowledge available to me. I just feel that if someone can buy a Cadillac in any shape or form they certainly can afford to pay $35 to join the club.

A disturbing pattern I have begun to notice with the onset of the internet is the lack of common courtesy. A few times, certainly not every time, people I have helped with pictures and information didn't even say "Thank you." They got what they wanted and went on their way. I have noticed this more today than in the past when there wasn't an internet. I guess with some users of the forum, they get what they want and go on their way. Me personally, I would feel an ethical obligation to all those out there willing to share their ideas to join the club.

I understand and respect everyone's perspective. The discussion continues.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2012, 05:51:42 AM by StevenTuck »
1962 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
http://bit.ly/1NfPNHE
Car Show Signs and Car Photo Books
http://carshowsigns.net/

Offline STDog

  • CLC#24051
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  • Thomas Dodd
Re: Forum Use
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2012, 07:33:12 AM »
Let's do another analogy since no one seems to feel mine was a good one. Today let's say the forum users makes up 30% of total CLC members. Everyone uses the forum for free.

10 years in the future the shift has expanded. Now the forum users make up 70% of total CLC members. Everyone still uses the forum for free.

That would likely be due to expanded use of the forum by CLC members, a minority of who use it now.

Quote
A disturbing pattern I have begun to notice with the onset of the internet is the lack of common courtesy. A few times, certainly not every time, people I have helped with pictures and information didn't even say "Thank you." They got what they wanted and went on their way. I have noticed this more today than in the past when there wasn't an internet. I guess with some users of the forum, they get what they want and go on their way. Me personally, I would feel an ethical obligation to all those out there willing to share their ideas to join the club.

That's a general problem in society, exacerbated by the anonymity of the internet.

You see it in all areas, not just here. Community support on a myriad of products is made possible by the internet. Help is seldom acknowledged let alone returned. From cell phones to cars to guitar amplifiers, I've seen the same situation.
80% of the people that ask for help never even bother to report that the issue was resolved, let alone offer thanks.

Less than 5% stick around and offer help to others.

That includes this forum, be they CLC members or not.


Offline Art Director

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Re: Forum Use
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2012, 09:49:11 AM »
Sorry to be so obvious, but to drill home a point: The CLC pays for the Internet bandwidth so this forum can exist. Members pay dues to the CLC, so members indirectly pay to use this site. Nonmembers, then, are free riders, but I agree with some of you that it should be open and inviting so those folks will eventually join the CLC and help pay for this privilege. If our club had no members, there would be no forum.

What bugs me are folks on here who have a CLC membership number listed next to their name, yet are not listed in the International Membership Directory, so therefore, they have "left the club" and no longer pay dues. If you're no longer a CLC member, don't use a member number.
Tim Coy
CLC Southwestern Regions Vice President
Art Director—The Self-Starter, International Membership Directory
Life member—Rocky Mountain Region
CLCMRC Benefactor #102

1963 6329 Six-Window Sedan de Ville
1972 Fleetwood Brougham—RIP
1988 Sedan de Ville—RIP
2001 Eldorado ESC—RIP
2003 DeVille DTS