Continued Good Will -

Discussion in 'Announcements, How do I, Feedback' started by Sully, May 27, 2018.

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Is the forum "alliance" a good thing and is MA being negatively impacted

  1. Yes - I think the changes are good for both MA and NAM

    10 vote(s)
    76.9%
  2. No - This change will have a long term negative impact to MA and NAM

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Neutral - don't think this will change the community that much

    3 vote(s)
    23.1%
  4. Yes - I think this is good for MA

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. No - I think this will impact MA negatively

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Sully

    Sully Administrator
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    All,

    I wanted to follow up regarding the post (The end of a long war) that was made earlier this week regarding some of the changes on NAM. https://www.motoringalliance.com/threads/the-end-of-a-long-war.30643/

    Since that post we are seeing members from both MA and NAM move across sites. I personally think this is a great thing. The Mini Enthusiast community overall is somewhat small. Especially those who are working on, tuning and modifying their own vehicles. @Whine not Walnuts did a follow up post which I think does a good job of addressing the goals of these changes: https://www.northamericanmotoring.com/forums/site-feedback/327796-good-idea-or-bad-idea.html
    • Sharing information about the cars we are passionate about.
    • Moving away from the "old" days where forums tended to compete with each other.
    • Expanding the options enthusiast have to share, discuss and present information about their passion.
    Ultimately, there are questions many have and should ask regarding this change. For example, one member asked on NAM (you will see this in the link above):

    "While posts discussing other forums may be appropriate and allowed at times, directing new members to another forum without a unique reason implies that this forum is inadequate. IT IS NOT.
    If we send away our new members, what will we become. "


    Whine not Walnuts - response:
    "NAM remains the largest MINI Cooper Forum in the world and if you checked post numbers out, NAM dwarfs all other forum sites combined. What can be more unique than being the largest MINI Cooper Forum in the world? IMO helping the MINI community out regardless of model, year built or internet community the person belongs to.

    NAM only exists because of the great members that post here and I cannot thank the member that asked the question enough."

    I agree with his response, NAM is the largest and forums are communities. In my history with cars and as a forum member across multiple brands I tend to go to many sites to find information and participate. Each has its own culture, rules and advantages. This provides diversity. There is good information on other forums we regularly link to combined with good members on each site. Go forth and explore. For me this is a fun time having both communities working together to share information and better the overall Mini community.

    If you go over to NAM as a new member, I suggest when you do your introduction state you came from MA similar to the way members coming here state they are from NAM. Also, as you are reading through content on each site if its relevant, feel free to link to it.

    That said, this is my opinion. I would be interested in understanding yours so I also started a poll.. As always @MCS02 and I really appreciate any constructive feedback.. I look forward to seeing the poll results.

    For the poll, I was trying to create answers as I don't think there is just one. So allowing multiple choices. If you think I could phrase the questions or answer better let me know.
     
  2. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    I think it will and has been good for both Fourms because can get to know people and share information.

    Also since Facebook has Donald Bram and his LXM and that group is just the oddest MINI group. All Donald Bram wants to do is create “His” perfect utopia of MINI followers and ban all other people and vendors that do not agree with him or give him free parts.

    We don’t need groups like LXM on web fourms. If LXM members want to come and posts on forums that’s fine but don’t expect to be treated special because you are an LXM member. We do not have a Facebook Nazi and real Fellon running the website Fourms.

    This is not a personal attack it is the truth. Read the link below about his arrest.

    http://www.recordonline.com/article/20020920/news/309209993
     
  3. minirab

    minirab Well-Known Member

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    A real angel.
     
  4. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Ok Lets stay on topic. I really don't care about what goes on on Facebook. Lets fix what we can, MA/NAM relations.
    Obviously I think this is good for both also. Like Dave said it broadens our friendships and information. I know some feel like both forums are sending people to the other sight. One poster compared it to going to a dealer and the sales person sending you to the completion. In a way this may be true, but we are not competing with NAM and they are not competing with us. This is an effort to end that. I have been posting over on NAM and so has @Dave, @Goldsmithy, @Sully and several of our other members. Thats good but I am sure this will stay your home forum like NAM will stay their home forum.
    This is a big effort and several people have spent a lot of time to get us this far. I will just ask that everyone to stay focused on the positive. I know someone will say something that will ruffle someones feathers, when it happens lets try and let it go. I know Sully doesn't mind me saying for both of us we are committed to make MA a better place.
     
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  5. Sully

    Sully Administrator
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    Couldn’t agree more and well said. Let’s stay on topic. Would enjoy hearing any feedback on the recent NAM and MA discussion. Let’s stay away from bashing other forums, social media etc.
     
  6. Redbeard

    Redbeard JCW: because fast is fun!
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    I honestly still haven't gone over to NAM. On my phone it's a sea of ads and adwords and very difficult to navigate via mobile.

    I'll try to log on via my laptop tonight.
     
  7. Dave

    Dave New Member

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    #wrongdave
     
  8. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
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    I always thought that the banning of other websites was silly. Back when I used to frequent NAM, I'd try to post links to my how-to articles that I kept on MA, so I could help other people get information and enjoy their cars, but they would stop it due to commercial reasons. For this reason (heaven forbid we help people), it's a good thing.

    I was the OP of what was, at one time, one of the largest actual discussion threads on NAM (by post count)... a detailing thread that was originally a collaboration/collection of information from 3 of the more prolific detailing posters there. I had a huge detailing process/product instruction sheet that took me a week's worth of lunch hours to product and it was commented/updated/edited by several people. Once NAM got a detailing product sponsor, my thread was un-stickied and moved down the page, being replaced by one from the paid sponsor, touting their products.

    I found that NAM performance threads became nasty places full of confirmation-bias and light on fact (perhaps pre-dating our political environment by several years). I go back to check out the for-sale forums now, but have no interest in what they are 'selling' on the rest of the site. The job of a company is to make money. The point of a web forum, to me, is to help the users. IMHO, NAM wrote the textbook on how these two goals conflict and how NOT to reconcile them. They are the WalMart of web forums. You might be excited when WalMart comes to your town because you can get a cheap TV even cheaper... just don't be surprised when all of your local businesses die a few years later and leave your downtown area a shell of what it once was.
     
  9. Dave.0

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    ^^^^^ well said
     
  10. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    @agranger I know exactly what you mean. MA will always have different rules or I should say less rules because it is owned by Sully not a corporation. Wine not Walnuts is trying to change what he can but he does have to work in the constraints of IB. I am not sure what that will mean so he can address that if need be. There is a section of town that they are revitalizing, it has a several artisan shops. I really like shopping there just like I like to get produce from local farmers,(no I am not a hippy I am very conservative :D) but I also use Walmart some.

    I guess that is the way I look at MA and NAM. I hope what we are doing helps users on both forums have a better experience.
     
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  11. GokartPilot

    GokartPilot Well-Known Member

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    Not having a whole lot to contribute I spent a lot of reading when I first joined NAM in 09, I spent more time on my local MINI club site though. I would agree that things could get pretty combative at times and it wasn't really what I was looking for. I spent more time reading through the garbage to get to the useful information than what it is worth. I tripped across M/A a few years later and have been pretty happy with the site all in all. There have been times when things got a little heated here, but for the most part IMO this is probably one of the most knowledgeable MINI forums. It always seems like someone here has previously had the same problem that someone is currently having and totally willing to help out. Definitely a great way to keep these cars on the road!

    I check out the How To Articles as well as the Market Place from time to time. I will say this about the NAM Market Place, they do move some parts. I always just miss a part that would be nice to get a hold of.
     
  12. Whine not Walnuts

    Whine not Walnuts Active Member

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    There is NAM and then there is Internet Brands. Something I posted over there is: NAM is owned by Internet Brands (IB), a multi-billion dollar company that owns over 130 different auto/marine/rv/motorcycle forums. IB purchased NAM in 2008 with Motoring Alliance being created in 2009. From older posts it appears that a "little guy vs the big bad corporation thing" was an underlying theme. I too would have thought the same thing and even after becoming a Moderator here little over a year ago, I continued to think something similar, that "IB called all the shots." Why would a big company allow a bunch of volunteers with no stake in the "business" run the thing? Simple, because they realized that services provided by volunteers that do so because they really care are hard to duplicate even when paying somebody. Yes, IB keeps the servers going but the Members run the place. This was very evident when IB asked for the second time that the Forum open up the Off Topic area to politics and religion. I started a poll type thread and it was evident that the members here did not want this change. So much for IB calling the shots.

    NAM doesn't sell anything rather Internet Brands (IB) sells the right for others that either sell parts or services to advertise. Some of those that advertise also participate in threads by offering insight or noting their services but compared to the overall forum, those postings are few. I am not able to read Private Messages but as the Admin I can see anything that was ever posted including all the subforums and both the Moderator's and Administrator' Lounges. There is nothing that I have ever seen where IB told anybody that they had to something. The basic rules are 1.) George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words and perhaps a few others are not allowed. 2.) Politics and Religion are left outside, and, 3.) You do not bash/flame anybody. These rules were put in place by the guy that founded the site back in 2002 long before IB. Now, if you want to disagree or say a part did not work, be my guest. No issues with saying Dinan, one of those that pay to advertise, has some poor customer services and some of their stuff does not work.


    I have gotten some negative comments about what I have tried to do over there and its OK as I learned a long time ago that if you go through life trying to please everybody, you only end up frustrated.

    I only hope that MA Members realize what they have, stop talking to themselves and instead start making some posts here.




     
  13. Sully

    Sully Administrator
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    Well said - I learned a lot from you the last few weeks.. and really do think this will be better for the overall community. Thanks again for all the help!! :D
     
  14. Whine not Walnuts

    Whine not Walnuts Active Member

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    First, I can make your detail thread a sticky, just let me know.

    Now on your last paragraph, I don't know when you last took a good look but IMO it cannot have been in the last 1 1/2 years since I became a Moderator over there.
    Next on "The point of a web forum, to me, is to help the users. IMHO, NAM wrote the textbook on how these two goals conflict and how NOT to reconcile them. They are the WalMart of web forums." I really get a chuckle out of this as I have said a couple of times here in both posts and conversations that IB does not call the shots, the NAM members do. I also am of the opinion that when Nathan started MA he was doing so as a business to make some money. I am assuming that Sully is not doing this as a charity, if he is, God Bless the man. MA has a modern platform that cost money to use. It has to store the information some place that is not free, at least from what I know.

    This is all being done to help the person that owns or likes to talk about a MINI in a forum type atmosphere. If not one member from MA posts anything over at NAM it is not going to make any difference to IB. NAM will be better for it as the more perspectives one can hear a more informed decision may be made. Most importantly, if MA members make posts over there and make sure that the MA link is in their signature, MA might just get some more people to visit this place and possibly join. In the "forum" business it is well know that of all those visit/view, only 1% will take the time to join AND make a post.

    While at MOTD, something I heard from two different people was something similar to; Motoring Alliance has the same six guys doing nothing other than complaining about something. Just as there are those here that think NAM is the Walmart of forums, there are those out there that believe the six guys comments.

    Just something to think about.
     
  15. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    There has been a lot of water under the bridge. I feel as though we have brokered a uneasy peace. Things have changed here and at NAM. We just need time to get to know each other again. Both sides are trying to right the wrongs of the passed.
    I believe part of this proses is venting and getting out what ever you feel needs to be changed. This will help both sides fix the problems.
     
  16. Whine not Walnuts

    Whine not Walnuts Active Member

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    I know of two messages from IB relative to the MA/NAM split thing, one was made at the time that the then Admin of NAM sent Nathan a message on why the links to MA were being edited out and the other is from our current contact when I asked him to lift the ban. His response was, and I quote: "I think censoring other websites is petty and foolish."

    On a truce, there is no truce needed as we are just two groups that enjoy talking about a MINI in a forum setting. The only major difference is one has much newer type forum platform. Hint, its the forum with only two words in the title . . . . .
     
  17. Sully

    Sully Administrator
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    #17 Sully, Jun 6, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
    ***If you want the summary of this long-winded post - skip to the end.. otherwise sit down, grab a beer as its a long one....***

    It's a funny, position I'm at in for this discussion. Before we get into that a little history about me.. Been a car (or anything with an engine guy) my whole life. However prior to MA the only exposure I had to Mini's was trying to figure out a way to buy a classic and restore it with with a 20 year debt ridden fresh out of college and still racing motorcycles budget. A few years later my brother picked up a Gen 1 S about the same time I sold my tuned Corrado VR6. I really liked the S, however the same reason I sold the Corrado prevented me from buying a MINI.. work and trying to start a family.

    Some 20 years later (and quite a few project cars later), I was asked by the previous owner to look at MA since I was a car guy with a technology background. He was concerned he didn't have the time to manage it and make the changes it needed. As I started looking at the site and getting to know some of the folks I started working on the site under the previous owners member name Sully. Frankly, I had ideas but no background in forum platforms, technology or community management. I had always been a member of forums... never a moderator or admin. I was able to meet many of you directly and spend way to many late nights talking about history, changes, ideas, etc we can make. I then went and test drove a 06 black on black R53. Loved it. But didn't get the deal done in time and missed that opportunity. That drive and the passion of the members I met is what drove me to take this on.... thinking/hoping I could somehow help in some way.

    So what the hell does this have to do with this specific thread? Why do I say its a funny position I'm in? Simple...
    • I wasn't here during the NAM / MA incident. (I've heard a lot of perspectives etc)
    • Like @Whine not Walnuts said, it cost money to host, bandwidth, platforms etc. I believe I'm the only "person" that has financial skin in the game. Many have tons of time investment in both sites.
    With that on the table, personally I have the most to "lose" from a financial standpoint. However I don't mind. If I did, I wouldn't have taken this on as MA was not profitable when I took it over. It was when Nathan had it. I did it because I liked the folks I met, I like hot hatch's, the brand and learning... maybe some day it will break even. Since profitability is not my primary concern at this point it allows us the opportunity to do things other forums typically would not. For example, we now have some young engineers/small parts suppliers who are walking us through the full design build process of a part. Most forums wouldn't allow this without "advertising" budget. I if they are going to add value to the community.. primarily through build threads (which personally I love).

    OK - you still lost? What does this have to do with NAM and MA?
    When I picked up MA, I asked the question, why is NAM blocking our links? We don't block theirs. I received multiple versions of that story... most passionate about it. I would then ask, do you think they will stop blocking so the both communities can share information? In almost all cases I was told IB wouldn't allow it so I moved on.

    Come MOTD, @Goldsmithy and @Whine not Walnuts spent some time together discussing it. I didn't know that was happening. Then I met @Whine not Walnuts and we chatted for a few minutes. A few days later, @Whine not Walnuts started private conversation on MA us from MOTD. Then the impossible happened, members were "unbanned", MA can be referenced and members on NAM can put links to MA in their signature.

    In the end, I've learned the following:
    1) Something happened previously on NAM and MA. All involved will have perspective and opinions.
    2) Things change and it appears IB is allowing @Whine not Walnuts to manage the site. Was it always this way, who really knows unless they were a moderator or administrator there at that time. More importantly, does it still matter? **edit** - More importantly the administrators can have a huge impact on the overall culture of the forum.. **end edit**
    3) I suck at writing short points...

    So thats my verbose way of saying - everyone will and should have an opinion. From my perspective things appear to be different now... However the only "facts" are, the block is now removed, people are un-banned and we are seeing members jump between sites. To me that is good.

    As always, love the feedback, ideas and suggestions... keep it coming.
     
  18. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    I think I just read War and Peace!:D

    Well said, the back ground is good to know. @Sully this is a busy time of life for you, with the family and work. Now you through in this forum. Your are nuts! Thanks for the late nights you have spent trying to improve the sight.
     
  19. Sully

    Sully Administrator
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    Lol - and yours! Your deadheading and I’m moonlighting.

    Can’t wait to get the new market up and finish organizing post change. Maybe I can break some of the models out again which will help with the prefix issue.. :)
     
  20. vetsvette

    vetsvette MINI Alliance Ambassador

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    Whew! That was a long one. A good read though, and reinforces my impression that M/A has the right man at the helm. :Thumbsup:
     
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