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Site News: It's time to stop the decline
#1
Dear Squad,

It's no surprise that EJ8Squad.com has been in a decline for sometime now. Ask any one of the OG's "How it was "back in the day?" and they will tell you that this site was a busy place at one time. However, that is not the case now. There has been numerous discussions with past and present Moderators as to what the reasons and how to repair the decline in traffic. I won't list the reasons here as some of them are listed below in the conversation I had with Kallar68 today.

This is your site. Every person who visits EJ8squad, whether you are a member who posts daily, a member who posts every few weeks, a lurker Lurking , or a member who hasn't visited in years; this is your site!

How can we as a community rejuvenate the Squad?

Below is the discussion that I had with Kallar68. Please take a few minutes to read it and reply with your thoughts.

Sincerely,

Jeremy

Quote:Kallar68
Yeah. All its got to do is run chrome and Evernote. Anything else is a plus. I just bought a keyboard folio case for it.

Gimmezell
Evernote?, jot down some ideas on how to get the forums more active.

Kallar68
lol

Gimmezell
No lol'ing was intended. I'm dead serious. Ha

Kallar68
We aren't doing anything different than we were before to attract members. I don't see forums being used as much anymore with the emergence of other social media outlets.

Gimmezell
Where's your faith in the forum man?

Kallar68
I'm just saying, it's all riding on if people WANT to post an contribute. I've noticed we have way more lurkers and non registered users than active members. Look at all the recent intro threads. Most say they lurked and read and are now finally deciding to join

Gimmezell
I wonder what finally made them move on from lurking and join? It's answers to that type of question I'm interested in.

Gimmezell
No doubt social media has had an effect on us.

Kallar68
Seems like they're waiting until they feel their car is presentable to join. That was my reasoning. I lurked until my car was painted

Gimmezell
Hmm interesting.

Kallar68
I had my car about a year before I joined. Lurked for a couple months

Gimmezell
I personally don't want that type of mentality but I can see how one would think that. Especially, when someone posts and they don't post pics everyone replies with "post pics".

Kallar68
Lol I'm guilty of that. But I mean seriously I don't want just a description.

Gimmezell
If I were thinking of signing up I probably would be slightly intimidated by all the other coupes and sedans that I probably would lurk too.

Kallar68
Hence why I think they're waiting until their cars are more than just stock. They feel like they have nothing to show

Gimmezell
However, I would notice that the forum isn't like your typical forum where people can be just plain dicks. I would still want to contribute even if I had a stock vehicle.

Kallar68
Different people have different expectations

Gimmezell
The Squad as it stands now, what is it? Donte's Facebook thread the other week about brotherhood, others that say it's their extended family, that's what I believe it is. Yes, at its heart is the Civic but in the end I would like the forum to be known as a place where people can hang out and not be disrespected at a drop of a hat. That's my two cents.

Kallar68
I agree. But we're also contributing to the problem right now. We met on the forum, built a relationship, and now carry all communication away from it....

Gimmezell
Touche.... Such as this text, Facebook, etc....

Kallar68
Exactly, but it's also a catch 22. If we delete the fb and ig accounts then they'll just post elsewhere. At least with their presence there's at least a chance they'll visit the site.

Gimmezell
Agreed I don't want to delete any postings in the Facebook group.

Kallar68
Maybe we should ask donte to handle social media "advertising" he can use fb, ig, twitter to announce the stages of rotm, popular threads of the week, and random feature cars?

Kallar68
Also maybe this conversation should be an open thread publicly visible.
Romans 3:23
English Standard Version (ESV)

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
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#2
I will do as much advertising as I can being my current situation. I am on FB, IG Tumblr, Cardomain and other places where I'm allowed to advertise. As for the decline, yes I agree that it's social media. More or less FB but we need to find a way to get people here and to see the family that we all see. I love this forum and I'm on here multiple time throughout the day, may it be on my phone or on my CPU.
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#3
Quote:Kallar68
I agree. But we're also contributing to the problem right now. We met on the forum, built a relationship, and now carry all communication away from it....

Gimmezell
Touche.... Such as this text

I think this has something to do with OG's not contributing like they used to. I noticed this when I joined the site that everybody seemed to be a pretty tight knit group, which is great. Chatting on facebook, texting and different other things outside of this website. And I think that's awesome. But, other than contributing on the forum, how does one join that tight knit group? Could there be a sense of folks feeling left out from the "cool kids." Whether that be a feeling of left out due to not having a nice enough car or they see the tight knit group as a put off and something they can't join. Just throwing out opinions here. I could be way off base. But I want to see this site thrive because I have learned a lot on here and the OG's have always been pretty cool even if I may have a checkered past.

I also think forums in general are on the decline. Why? Social media is a contributor. I think it's more fatigue from the internet in general. There's so much crap out there to do online now that people don't have time to BS around on forums anymore. It is amazing to think back to say 2010 or so when life was simple with just Facebook and baby Twitter that many people weren't using. Now you have those which have exploded since as well as instagram, pintrest and whatever other stuff is out there not too mention snapchat, kik, and all those apps that allow people to communicate. Idk, the climate of the internet has changed sooo much in the last few years and I think forums have paid the price. Between the bad wrap they get and all this other stuff, I think fatigue plays a role in it.

And what I'm about to say may not be well received, but every forum I've been on has made me wonder this. A moderator, by definition is someone who facilitates discussion, who guides a conversation. Be that in creating new topics to discuss or keep the flow on something going, that's what I see them as. Every forum I've been a part of a moderator has just been a rule enforcer that is also a contributor. I'm not saying all discussion should be dictated by the moderators, but I do think they should be active and contributing frequently. Not calling anybody out, I'm not saying anybody is doing a bad job. I think the moderation staff here has been one of the best I've seen and lately Jeremy has done a good job on posting articles trying to get people to talk. Getting people to talk, as of late, has proven difficult. I haven't been as active as of late just due to the fact not much goes on here anymore. I hope that changes and I hope we see an influx of new members and contributors.
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#4
I agree with a lot of what Excalibur has stated. Especially the part about social media. As a kid, social media is by far more appealing than a forum. With social media growing I can definitely see a fall in forums. I find myself on social media until I need a technical question answered and when that problem arises, I Google it and click the first link. Hence I'm a 'lurker'. I think the problem comes from having a forum targeted at a very specific group of people, as time goes by it's going to dwindle due to loss in actual owners and when people have all there technical questioned answered somewhere else (Honda-Tech IE). From here the forum turns into a fairly small group of "friends" per say, that are enthusiast. I know my dad used to be very big into a Pontiac (model specific) forum and they died out fairly fast. Solution? They turned it into a forum based on not one car but quite a few others in the same genre.

Secondly, I believe that a lot of the traffic flow loss is due to the proliferation of smartphones as the user base of the internet. Forums are best when you're at your computer with your keyboard, otherwise they're a great hassle to post/keep up in. Smartphone + social media = snap pic, share, witty comment, done.

It used to be forums were the breaking point for new exciting projects, build threads, updates, etc. Now a lot of that (with the younger group) is done through smartphone and often via social media. Forums will still exist, but their content is changing.

***Increase Flow?
- Broaden the spectrum of the forum. Let new members in.
- E-mail marketing (discussed)
- Push social Media, hard. ***

I'm really not sure what direction forums are headed but it couldn't hurt to throw yourself out there and try new things in it's current state.
- Show me the scientific breakthroughs due to evolution.
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#5
Thank you for your replies. I agree with a lot of what has been said as well.

The tight knit group that we have on here is what makes us and breaks us at the same time. On one hand it's what makes the Squad the Squad. That family feel, the mutual respect, etc. Which I'm sure does intimidate potential members. Like you said Will, folks might feel left out of the "cool kids" group. But we all know that if they will be accepted. Who cares if a car might not clean or is in rough shape. It's their car and they enjoy it.

Will, you bring up an excellent question of what is a moderator. I've been guilty of not posting for a long stretch of time but I'm trying to turn that around by posting articles that I think will spark interest. As the old saying goes

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

A moderator can post 42 articles a day but can't force anyone to reply with their opinion and or Twocents.

I do feel that Moderators should be more than someone who enforces the rules. They also should facilitate a good discussion as well. Excellent observation Will.

Cory, the fact that this forum is specific to a particular make and model of vehicle certainly limits the potential audience. This has been brought up numerous times. We have made small steps in encompassing others but it's still limited. I've purchased a few domain names that are more "generic" but have yet to really do anything with them.

Marketing, I've never done any marketing. Marketing costs money which and this forums doesn't even make enough per month to buy a cappuccino. Not that I'm a cappuccino but you get the idea. This site has always relied of word-of-mouth for its marketing. I might be open to do some type of free marketing.

My Twocents

EJ8squad isn't just a forum about cars, it's a place where someone can safely post a question and not get flamed for asking a question that we all have asked ourselves at some point. It's a place where a person can ask for help if they are in a personal funk. It's a place where a person can ask for prayer. It's a place where someone can get support while going through cemo treatment. It's a place where someone can be there for that person who just lost a loved one. It's a place where a person can get support when they loose their job after 15 yeas. It's a place where, even though we may never meet, feel that we have a brother on the other end of the Interwebs. It's a place where we simply care how the other person is doing on the other end of the screen. It just happens that we all were into cars in some way or another. Life is tough and it's good to know you have someone to have your back.

I want to take the forum more in the direction that I described above. Not entirely but I feel we should embrace what makes the Squad the Squad. No, I'm not saying we would do away with the automotive bond that brings us all together.

I hope that makes sense.
Romans 3:23
English Standard Version (ESV)

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
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#6
I completely agree. If your main goal is increased traffic, then that's an option. Although, I love this forum for the exact reasons you listed. Now as far as cash for marketing, that's understandable. Marketing can get stupid expensive but quite a few people start by E-mail. There's tons of free services that allow up to 5,000 recipients. I havn't been here long enough to know what the place was like when it was crowded but I think it'd be great to have it that way again!
- Show me the scientific breakthroughs due to evolution.
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#7
I understand the benefit of E-mail marketing but as of right now I don't know what the content of the potential E-mail/newsletter would contain.
Romans 3:23
English Standard Version (ESV)

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
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#8
I was just talking about the traffic with Cerasoli. I think our biggest problem is getting new members active. Once they become active, the squad is for life. Problem is most of these new members are a generation which have never used a forum other than to look up a tech article. If we can push that posting on the squad is as easy as posting on ig without all the negativity I think we'd be golden.

I started the squads instagram account back up today and got us up to 125 followers in a couple of hours. I'm hoping by following and spreading word through instagram may respark an interest. At the very least we're getting knowledge of the forum out to people who didn't even know it existed.
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#9
I miss the traffic! There was always something happening on the board. I find myself lurking sometimes just see if anything new has been posted such as ROTM nom or members photos. I just recently made my way back to the squad due to just missing the atmosphere that the squad provides. Like stated above the internet has changed in so many ways. The forum is old school compared to social media. Hopefully we some new squad members that want the same experience that we enjoyed so much when the board was boomin.
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#10
We are dealing with the same thing locally. Social media makes it a lot easier to post pictures and updates that a forum is now considered "too time consuming." I myself am guilty of throwing a picture or two update on FB/IG instead of posting on the forum. Go look at my build thread and that is proof enough of my last update.

Additionally, I have had a few other local car groups pop-up locally using Social Media as their "hang-out"/forum that it's hard to redirect traffic. Local events and also the type of people you attract as members to your forum has always dictated the ebb and flow of how a forum grows and operates.

Maybe a few changes occasionally will shake things up. Maybe one month, for ROTM, change it up and make the requirement be 50 or LESS posts to allow nominations for a newbie to have a chance at winning. Or maybe every quarter or year have a "Rookie of the Year" Ride to coincide with the ROTY nominations to help bring in the new guys.

I had another idea in mind but I just blanked. If I remember what it was I'll post up.
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