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Joining and posting pleas for help.


Magnet
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Since this section sees little activity,I thought I would wake it up and possibly raise  a topic which might cause some controversy - so apologies in advance if it offends, but hopefully it will allow views to be aired.
The forum appears to be experiencing an increasing number of ‘members’ joining the forum, to seek help via. their first post, and again simply saying it as it is, then some disappear without any acknowledgement or even feedback, never to return to contribute towards helping others at some point in the future. 
Steve Q generously welcomes new members who join simply to advise the forum of their interest in Audi, and without wishing to appear patronising, I think Steve’s welcoming attitude is to be applauded, as is the the time taken by some of the new members who don’t immediately want anything, other than joining a like minded community. 
I just ask- where does this welcoming attitude become taken for granted, and folks just join to seek a free - of charge, and future exchange - consultation? 
I believe some forums exercise a procedure, whereby new members must make a number of posts before say, advertising, and even requesting help, based on ensuring a participation, rather than a simple ‘I’m joining to pick your brains free of charge’. 
Just a thought - If new members wish to post a plea for help at a stage where they haven’t posted x number of earlier participating posts, then should they join and post a plea only as paid ‘Supporting members’? 
Apologies if any of this offends, or is considered non-welcoming, and indeed if any of the above is not shared by others. 
As usual - Kind regards,

Gareth. 

 

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Personally I'd be against having to pay to join to ask a question - I wouldn't have joined had that been a prerequisite.

The nature of good forums I am a member of is that there tends to be a lot of experience built into the membership and - if you're new to a vehicle, or to a particular problem with a vehicle - it allows you to get advice free of charge.

I always acknowledge advice I receive and make a point of posting follow-up news on how the solution works (or doesn't), but I recognise that some posters don't do this and just post and run. I think this is the nature of the internet, and I don't think it has changed suddenly.

If you follow the path of 'subscribe before you get advice' - before you know how good or bad that advice is - then you'll see posts dwindle as you'll have thrown the baby out with the bathwater...

Others will feel differently, I'm sure...

Mike 🙂

 

ETA - I found this forum very welcoming and the advice (especially on my flywheel replacement) first rate.

Edited by gsmdo
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I do fully appreciate where you're coming from Gareth, I've been speaking to Trevor about what we can do to retain members etc. My post can be found in our moderators section. 

I love helping others and setting up the shows but find it deflating when we get a low turn out for the shows. It's frustrating when you see fellow Audi clubs with large turnouts and we can only get a handful. This has got worse since COVID as we used to have good numbers prior. This includes loosing some regular members due to them joining other clubs or doing other activities. 

I think most people don't realise the level of investment the admin/moderators team make. You with your vast knowledge and in my case I research the topics once members ask a question which takes time. Plus updating the news section & Motorsport sections as well as the how to guides. I just wish we'd be able to increase our regular members base. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, gsmdo said:

Personally I'd be against having to pay to join to ask a question - I wouldn't have joined had that been a prerequisite.

The nature of good forums I am a member of is that there tends to be a lot of experience built into the membership and - if you're new to a vehicle, or to a particular problem with a vehicle - it allows you to get advice free of charge.

I always acknowledge advice I receive and make a point of posting follow-up news on how the solution works (or doesn't), but I recognise that some posters don't do this and just post and run. I think this is the nature of the internet, and I don't think it has changed suddenly.

If you follow the path of 'subscribe before you get advice' - before you know how good or bad that advice is - then you'll see posts dwindle as you'll have thrown the baby out with the bathwater...

Others will feel differently, I'm sure...

Mike 🙂

 

ETA - I found this forum very welcoming and the advice (especially on my flywheel replacement) first rate.

Glad you found the forum welcoming 🙂 and thank you for your comments on this. Are there any ideas/suggestions you have from things youve seen on other forums?

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59 minutes ago, Steve Q said:

Glad you found the forum welcoming 🙂 and thank you for your comments on this. Are there any ideas/suggestions you have from things youve seen on other forums?

Well, reading your comment above, I wonder if you have an accurate idea of what your membership is looking for?

I like driving my Audi, but I have no interest in motorsport, nor, I'm afraid, in attending club meetings. I joined the forum to learn more about my car and - who knows, in time - be able to give advice to others.

The couple of motorcycle forums I frequent have free sign-up, but often have areas you can only access if you pay subs (often the free chat 'virtual pub' areas). As I mentioned earlier, I wouldn't start paying subs without knowing what level of knowledge was here on the forum, and how committed people were to helping members out. I could have posted my DM flywheel question and only got tumbleweed - unlike the excellent response I did get - you don't know until you ask and I think it's unlikely people will pay to find out...

I think requiring people to pay subs before they can advetise is quite reasonable (although the For Sale section should be available to all, as it's in everyone's interest for it to be open). Perhaps restricting PMs (DMs?) to subscribers might work?

I expect to be here for a while. I've received great information and been made to feel welcome, but I didn't and don't want to be a member of a club in meatspace.

What is your ideal club member like? Do you think you are attracting them? I have a feeling I'm not the type you're hoping to attract...

Mike🙂

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1 hour ago, gsmdo said:

Well, reading your comment above, I wonder if you have an accurate idea of what your membership is looking for?

I like driving my Audi, but I have no interest in motorsport, nor, I'm afraid, in attending club meetings. I joined the forum to learn more about my car and - who knows, in time - be able to give advice to others.

The couple of motorcycle forums I frequent have free sign-up, but often have areas you can only access if you pay subs (often the free chat 'virtual pub' areas). As I mentioned earlier, I wouldn't start paying subs without knowing what level of knowledge was here on the forum, and how committed people were to helping members out. I could have posted my DM flywheel question and only got tumbleweed - unlike the excellent response I did get - you don't know until you ask and I think it's unlikely people will pay to find out...

I think requiring people to pay subs before they can advetise is quite reasonable (although the For Sale section should be available to all, as it's in everyone's interest for it to be open). Perhaps restricting PMs (DMs?) to subscribers might work?

I expect to be here for a while. I've received great information and been made to feel welcome, but I didn't and don't want to be a member of a club in meatspace.

What is your ideal club member like? Do you think you are attracting them? I have a feeling I'm not the type you're hoping to attract...

Mike🙂

Thanks for your feedback. I personally don't feel a paid membership is the way to go. For me all I want is to have members who visit and contribute on the forum, Facebook or face to face at car shows regularly.  

The fact you're on here daily regularly is good enough for me 😊 as you say we're all different and I personally like going to the shows for the social aspect, seeing new places and the cars.  

I do enjoy helping people when they have questions or issues which is no different to my day to day job really

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Hello Mike and Steve,

Well at least the post has given an opportunity to air the topic of  the benefit to the club/ forum of the membership of the first-post-for-help-and-run member, and perhaps I should make it clear that I simply ask the question about paying to be become a supporter if the first post is going to be a plea for free help - I don’t suggest it should happen, and doubt whether I would support such a proposal - I simply raise the topic. 
Your question Mike - ‘ …..I wonder if you ( take it that’s me?) have an accurate idea of what your membership is looking for? 
My honest answer would be I don’t know, but what I do know is that member’s requirements are highly likely to be very much diverse - as demonstrated by Steve’s wish to have face to face contact, and your own Mike ( as the only other one to take the time to post a response) being of an opposite requirement. 
It remains a good question, and perhaps that question should be included in the member’s profile at the time of registering. 
 

I just wonder if an analysis was carried out of the number of new members joining and posting, say over the last year, and assess what % return to the forum and have further involvement in any capacity. 
 

This post inevitably will indicate an air of pessimism, but I just wonder if the first post, free advice, and run posters, appreciate that the forum administration cannot run as a automatic cost free facility - folks at the helm no doubt have to work hard to maintain the service we enjoy for nothing. 

Sometimes a simple please and thank you will be an adequate price to pay, and it would be nice if that could somehow be encouraged - via. the Forum Rules? 


I really hope that simply raising this topic will be seen as a constructive move, and follow-up posts in relation to advice offered will be on the increase, and first time posters will return and participate - either face to face to support Steve’s efforts, or simply to offer their experiences to others. 
Kind regards,

Gareth. 

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Hi Gareth,

I'm afraid that any forum will have a proportion of posts where advice is given and nothing is heard from the OP again. I know how frustrating that can be if you've spent some effort diagnosing a fault for them and giving your advice - with no follow up. It's also a pain, because if someone has a similar problem and does a search, there's no information as to whether the diagnosis and advice were correct.

For this reason - and because my Mum taught me to be polite 😃 - I always thank the individual(s) involved and post a follow up to the initial post.

Regrettably, human nature means you'll - for a variety of reasons - have members who take without giving closure. Good luck with solving that one... 😆

Cheers,

Mike

 

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hi lads

its an interesting topic youve raised and everyone has a different opinion,i personally find the forum very helpful and friendly and have gotten good advice in the past,i also see people come on here and get good advice but dont ever come back or offer a thank you,i guess theres a bit of that in all forums.

on a personal level im here in eire so cant attend any shows but i definitely would if the journey was shorter and i dont offer much advice as i wouldnt have a lot of knowledge on some models,but i really do enjoy logging in and reading all the posts so keep it going and we can hope people will appreciate how valuable a tool that this forum is.greg 

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47 minutes ago, coupe4 said:

hi lads

its an interesting topic youve raised and everyone has a different opinion,i personally find the forum very helpful and friendly and have gotten good advice in the past,i also see people come on here and get good advice but dont ever come back or offer a thank you,i guess theres a bit of that in all forums.

on a personal level im here in eire so cant attend any shows but i definitely would if the journey was shorter and i dont offer much advice as i wouldnt have a lot of knowledge on some models,but i really do enjoy logging in and reading all the posts so keep it going and we can hope people will appreciate how valuable a tool that this forum is.greg 

Thank you for your input Gregg, it's lovely to know that you find the forum useful and enjoy logging on. If and when I get to do the wild Atlantic way we'll have to have a meet up 🙂

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2 hours ago, Magnet said:

Hello Mike and Steve,

Well at least the post has given an opportunity to air the topic of  the benefit to the club/ forum of the membership of the first-post-for-help-and-run member, and perhaps I should make it clear that I simply ask the question about paying to be become a supporter if the first post is going to be a plea for free help - I don’t suggest it should happen, and doubt whether I would support such a proposal - I simply raise the topic. 
Your question Mike - ‘ …..I wonder if you ( take it that’s me?) have an accurate idea of what your membership is looking for? 
My honest answer would be I don’t know, but what I do know is that member’s requirements are highly likely to be very much diverse - as demonstrated by Steve’s wish to have face to face contact, and your own Mike ( as the only other one to take the time to post a response) being of an opposite requirement. 
It remains a good question, and perhaps that question should be included in the member’s profile at the time of registering. 
 

I just wonder if an analysis was carried out of the number of new members joining and posting, say over the last year, and assess what % return to the forum and have further involvement in any capacity. 
 

This post inevitably will indicate an air of pessimism, but I just wonder if the first post, free advice, and run posters, appreciate that the forum administration cannot run as a automatic cost free facility - folks at the helm no doubt have to work hard to maintain the service we enjoy for nothing. 

Sometimes a simple please and thank you will be an adequate price to pay, and it would be nice if that could somehow be encouraged - via. the Forum Rules? 


I really hope that simply raising this topic will be seen as a constructive move, and follow-up posts in relation to advice offered will be on the increase, and first time posters will return and participate - either face to face to support Steve’s efforts, or simply to offer their experiences to others. 
Kind regards,

Gareth. 

I believe premium membership is a subscription service on here and the reason why it's all free is due to advertising. I'm glad you raised this Gareth as I'd been having similar thoughts. At least it's not just me. 

2 hours ago, gsmdo said:

Hi Gareth,

I'm afraid that any forum will have a proportion of posts where advice is given and nothing is heard from the OP again. I know how frustrating that can be if you've spent some effort diagnosing a fault for them and giving your advice - with no follow up. It's also a pain, because if someone has a similar problem and does a search, there's no information as to whether the diagnosis and advice were correct.

For this reason - and because my Mum taught me to be polite 😃 - I always thank the individual(s) involved and post a follow up to the initial post.

Regrettably, human nature means you'll - for a variety of reasons - have members who take without giving closure. Good luck with solving that one... 😆

Cheers,

Mike

 

I do agree that all forums will have this same issue of people ghosting. As I say, for me I just wish we could attract the same following as other clubs such as AOCUK & club Audi for example. Though the latter is a paid members only club. 

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yes steve your very welcome here anytime and we could definitely meet up and im sure we'd have a good old chat over a pint or 2!

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1 hour ago, coupe4 said:

yes steve your very welcome here anytime and we could definitely meet up and im sure we'd have a good old chat over a pint or 2!

Now that sounds my kind of meet up! Where abouts in Ireland are you? 

I'll be visiting northern Ireland later this year. 

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Hi all,

Very valid points made in the above posts and myself, Gareth and Steve have been discussing this issue to try to come up with a working solution.
It does seem to be an issue with this site predominantly, as I am on several other forums and this site does have many more un-responded posts (by the original poster).

The issue is not easily resolved as would be difficult to get the OP to reply to their post if they do not wish to.
However, we are actively looking to find a software 'plug in' to encourage members to reply to their own posts.

Another feature we have is the 'Established Member' group promotion which has been active in the system for sometime now, albeit the original post number for promotion was set to 100 posts. We have now lowered it to 40 posts to qualify to be promoted to this group.
The benefit of this group is that much like Premium Members get to see less advertising, Established Members see slightly less and also we can set other functions to benefit this member group.

My thoughts are if we could get a plug in and run it in conjunction with the group promotion then it could see more responses from members in the forums.
Also, as mentioned in this thread, we can enhance the Member Profile on sign up with a requirement to complete more information about their vehicle and interests in the group, e.g. events participation, specific interests, etc.

Thanks for all your suggestions so far and will keep a close eye on this topic to see what else we can come up with to resolve this issue.

Cheers,  Trevor (Admin)

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Many thanks indeed Trevor,

It’s interesting to hear that this is being actively looked into behind the scenes, and without labouring the negative side of it, I do think anything which can encourage new posters to become more proactive, from the point of registering, to posting, and to react and follow up to advice given, would be a great step ahead. 
  I guess we are into an era of ‘text message’ approach to question asking where posters dismiss any attempts at pleases or thank you s, and simply adopt the briefest of ‘I want, you know, you help me’ -  and perhaps that’s the way it’s going to be for many. 

My suggestions ( in tandem with what you already have in mind):- 

Amend the Forum Rules to include words to the effect of ‘ please provide follow up on advice given…’

Have a mandatory tick box to agree to Forum Rules before registering. ( Yes, I appreciate horses-to-water, but at worse, it isn’t a retrograde step.) 

Can the system automatically e-Mail, alert first time posters, say after a week, if they do not respond? Again, better than nothing -? 
If that system is practical, is there any benefit in extending it to all posters who cut and run?  

Above all, forums should be a means of following alerted problems from point of asking to confirmed resolution, so members joining can search and hopefully find the possible causes. 
Let’s hope that raising and discussing this topic can only be beneficial - I’m confident it will be. 
Kind regards,

Gareth. 

 

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26 minutes ago, Magnet said:

My suggestions ( in tandem with what you already have in mind):- 

Amend the Forum Rules to include words to the effect of ‘ please provide follow up on advice given…’

Have a mandatory tick box to agree to Forum Rules before registering. ( Yes, I appreciate horses-to-water, but at worse, it isn’t a retrograde step.) 

Can the system automatically e-Mail, alert first time posters, say after a week, if they do not respond? Again, better than nothing -? 
If that system is practical, is there any benefit in extending it to all posters who cut and run?  

Thanks for your valid suggestions Gareth, we should be able to implement most of the above points.
A short while ago we implemented the mandatory Registration for all members to view the forums rather than just peruse the content without contributing to posts. However, this may have inadvertently lead to new members posting and not responding once they have their answer

Certainly I think the above recommendations could lead to cutting back on the unresponsive posters along with some other potential measures to combat this problem.

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On 5/10/2022 at 1:04 PM, gsmdo said:

Well, reading your comment above, I wonder if you have an accurate idea of what your membership is looking for?

I like driving my Audi, but I have no interest in motorsport, nor, I'm afraid, in attending club meetings. I joined the forum to learn more about my car and - who knows, in time - be able to give advice to others.

The couple of motorcycle forums I frequent have free sign-up, but often have areas you can only access if you pay subs (often the free chat 'virtual pub' areas). As I mentioned earlier, I wouldn't start paying subs without knowing what level of knowledge was here on the forum, and how committed people were to helping members out. I could have posted my DM flywheel question and only got tumbleweed - unlike the excellent response I did get - you don't know until you ask and I think it's unlikely people will pay to find out...

I think requiring people to pay subs before they can advetise is quite reasonable (although the For Sale section should be available to all, as it's in everyone's interest for it to be open). Perhaps restricting PMs (DMs?) to subscribers might work?

I expect to be here for a while. I've received great information and been made to feel welcome, but I didn't and don't want to be a member of a club in meatspace.

What is your ideal club member like? Do you think you are attracting them? I have a feeling I'm not the type you're hoping to attract...

Mike🙂

Hi Mike don't take any of this personally, its not aimed at people like yourself who have observed the proprieties and answered and said thank you, I can see what Gareth is driving at along with the others that try to answer a problem, 90% of the information that is given is at best thin and devoid of any real substance, the information you have given is good and you even reply to the requests for further information, Gareth and co are trying to get around the one post wonders who can't be bothered to reply TO ANY SUGGESTIONS OR REQUESTS, they have no preconceptions of what the ideal member is and I think the previous posts just reflect what has changed in the world and not singling out anyone in particular who is already a proactive member, the bottom line is if you attract answers for your problem at least have the decency to reply, otherwise it becomes an exercise in futility and I can honestly see why a lot of first time problem posts remain unanswered, more often than not we are on a hiding to nothing, I personally get a great deal of satisfaction from trying to help solve problems and especially when it all goes the posters way, it has nothing to do with personalities its just plain old helping each other.

Steve.

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Well Steve, your mention of decency to respond, sums it up in a couple of words. It doesn’t add any on-cost to the already free! - and welcoming- service, yet some must think that attribute is an unnecessary skill to acquire these days. 

I find myself thinking ‘nice car, pity you didn’t order it with the optional manners pack!’ , but there again, I’m old fashioned - well old anyway! 


It’s interesting to hear that you too get a well deserved satisfaction from helping others, and that Steve Q does as well. That’s great, now we have at least three guaranteed, and I sure a few others too. 
Keep enjoying that Steve. There must be very few forums which can benefit from such experience gained from almost galaxial mileage usage, and the necessary problem solving which goes with it - and all to try to earn a living. 
Many thanks again and kind regards,

Gareth. 

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On 5/10/2022 at 11:14 PM, Steve Q said:

Now that sounds my kind of meet up! Where abouts in Ireland are you? 

I'll be visiting northern Ireland later this year. 

im down south steve in clare [wild atlantic way!]your welcome anytime

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1 hour ago, coupe4 said:

im down south steve in clare [wild atlantic way!]your welcome anytime

Nice one! I'll see if I can make it work once I've booked the trip 😊

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I have been into cars and car clubs for way too many years. I started out in a car club as there was no Internet (well it had only just started) I was the chairman of a club and we all complained about the members leaving to join these new forum things.... then we joined them too, then it all happened again people started to disappear over to that face ache page and the forum that was once so busy you couldn't keep up with the posts is luck to get 10 post  a day, it's as some would say progress, personally I loved the old pub meets, meet up before shows, travelling in convoy ..... yes with cb radios. I feel old.

Oh it's my second post, don't know how long I will be here I've heard there's yet another technical advancement coming. 

Thank you all (in advance) for your advice which I dare say I will need.

Tony

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6 hours ago, Tony Barnes said:

I have been into cars and car clubs for way too many years. I started out in a car club as there was no Internet (well it had only just started) I was the chairman of a club and we all complained about the members leaving to join these new forum things.... then we joined them too, then it all happened again people started to disappear over to that face ache page and the forum that was once so busy you couldn't keep up with the posts is luck to get 10 post  a day, it's as some would say progress, personally I loved the old pub meets, meet up before shows, travelling in convoy ..... yes with cb radios. I feel old.

Oh it's my second post, don't know how long I will be here I've heard there's yet another technical advancement coming. 

Thank you all (in advance) for your advice which I dare say I will need.

Tony

Thank you for your input. Do you mind if I ask what club that is? At least it's not just out club then. 

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12 minutes ago, Steve Q said:

Thank you for your input. Do you mind if I ask what club that is? At least it's not just out club then. 

I used to be the chairman of the Ford Cortina mk2 owners club, still have a classic car no longer got mk2 Cortina's I have a 1964 Ford Consul Classic.

Screenshot_20220519-151422_Instagram.jpg

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6 hours ago, Tony Barnes said:

I used to be the chairman of the Ford Cortina mk2 owners club, still have a classic car no longer got mk2 Cortina's I have a 1964 Ford Consul Classic.

Screenshot_20220519-151422_Instagram.jpg

Now that's a stunner! I do love my British classics my grandparents had Vauxhall victors, ford Thames vans etc. 

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