RR Forums Administrator
Post Number: 81
|Posted on Monday, 21 December, 2009 - 00:37: |
The Australian RR Forums were originally created solely for exchange of information regarding Rolls-Royce and Bentley.
It seems that the forums are now a victim of their own popularity. They appear to have become something of a community for like-minded individuals, for whom a common interest in RR&B is merely the starting point. This is obviously a fine thing but it is important that we not reduce the forums' usefulness by reducing the 'signal-to-noise' ratio. Without the focus on RR&B subject matter we become just another chat-room, which would be horrible to behold.
If this community spirit is inevitable, in order to properly distinguish chat from information perhaps it's time for an unrestricted topic section dedicated to non-RR&B topics?
Let's hear what you think.
Post Number: 1206
|Posted on Monday, 21 December, 2009 - 07:43: |
Some 53 years ago in this country, a few owners of old Rolls-Royce cars got together to exchange information and experiences on their aged icons of another era. In typical Australian style they had barbecues in the bush complete with flys, 26 oz bottles of beer. Sausages were sandwiched in wire grills and cooked on a smoky fire from an upturned kerosene tin with ventilation holes punched into the bottom.
I wasn’t there but I have heard the accounts and seen the pictures. Blokes with collarless shirts and braces, in baggy pants wearing an old felt hat, chewing their snags and sauce jammed between a couple of pieces bread hacked off a loaf. There they stood, in the smoke to keep the flies away, swapping much needed ideas on how to keep those old battle wagons on the road.
Those were the good old days. Nowadays we have pristine machines, nuclear age barbecues, oysters and Moet champagne. The average attendee at the myriad of functions the Club seems to generate regards their car as an accessory that gives them access to a social group that are pleasant to be with. In short the cars have become secondary to the original purpose for creating the Club.
Our Forum has grown out of this community, originally out of sheer desperation to get advice on our cars, not to swap recipes on pate de fois gras. Behind the scenes our administrator and moderators have fought off incredible vandals whose sole aim is to destroy the facility. This effort which is quite voluntary, has preserved the Forum and its original intent.
Allowing open season on topics of interest can be the thin wedge edge. Of course contributors will share associated interests and experiences, but beware of drifting off the course for which this Forum was created lest it degenerates into a digital social chutney of convivial chat!
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Monday, 21 December, 2009 - 08:45: |
For the last 2 years i have watched this site with great interest and have very much enjoyed the articles and believe they of great importance to RR owners.
Over the last 2 years i have thought many times about taking a more active role in this forum. A bit like joining the RR club which i have had the form on my desk for about 2 yrs.
The reason to why i havent in the past is a feeling of mixed emotion to which i can not really put into suitable words.
At the fear of being called a "johnny come lately" I think it is important that organisations constantly review their way forward whilst always respecting the traditions and intent.
Maybe there is a happy medium here, by having a seperate discussion area it gives people the opportunity to discuss general RRs issues and share with like minded others the wonderful experiences we have with our cars.
It is important for the future that this site be retained for future RR lovers but at the same time must be somewhat flexible to encourage new interest by the younger generations
Please accept these comments in the positive manner they are intended
Post Number: 66
|Posted on Monday, 21 December, 2009 - 08:59: |
I would support an open topic area. Yes, we are a car club and that is important as a priority but we are also a community that shares these cars and a range of other interests.
It does not matter if one has been a member for many years or only a few days: each person is important and has a significant role to play in the community that arises from our shared interests.
It is not so long ago that I joined the RROCA(NSW Branch) and I experienced a wonderful sense of welcome and acceptance by the Club members - so much so in fact, that the Club has become something akin to an extended family. If an off-topic area will also extend our friedships and interestes then I say let us do it.
Post Number: 4
|Posted on Monday, 21 December, 2009 - 09:06: |
I agree totally
Post Number: 925
|Posted on Monday, 21 December, 2009 - 13:12: |
MEA CULPA - I promise to not do this again but it was irresistible ..... . Consider me suitably admonished.
We are a community who share a common interest in R-R/B vehicles and also other pursuits in life. There is a place for a moderated general discussion section where members may express their interest in other activities and interests which may be shared by other members and which might result in firm friendships developing in a similar manner to those friendships that have resulted from face-to-face meetings at Club events around the world. The only difference being that we meet by electronic communication and facilities for the same interaction would achieve the same beneficial outcome in the long-term.
I request some rules excluding the basic inappropriate topics such as religion, politics, sex, race etc. The same rules should also be about encouraging members to provide some information about themselves that may interest other members.
Post Number: 8
|Posted on Monday, 21 December, 2009 - 14:45: |
The only concern I would have in adding a section for non RR topics is that it may become an administrative nightmare....It may become a haven for nonsense and vulgar jokes and facless criticism,.I've seen it become part of another forum for a sporting club I am part of and the administrator was over burdened with its management, deciding what language was appropriate etc and eventually resigned and the site has failed to carry on with its original intented purpose. Unfortunatley there have been precedents set in other countries where saying something about someone (whether or not at this stage it is even an offensive remark) has meant to courts asking the site administrator to hand over records and face the threat of penalties or imprisonment (if it turns out to be malicious). Although in Australia there are only limited cases, electronic mediums are coming under closer scrutiny and I would not want this fine forum to have its attention to RR topics threatened. Dont get me wrong I like the idea of a different section; as there are many of you with a great deal of experiences and interesting stories but the sites over all survival should be kept at the for front and at the first sign of trouble the "open" section should be closed.
Post Number: 5
|Posted on Monday, 21 December, 2009 - 16:08: |
These are excellent points, must admit i did not think about the legal side or the amount of time the admin. people may have to dedicate.
I am no IT expert but I am sure there could be some electronic rules set up so any untolerable behaviour is captured. Maybe there is a "report" button where such behaviour could be reported then reviewed, with the culprit expelled from the site.
Seems such a great opportunity to be able to share RR experiences and would be a great shame if the negatives outweighed the positives
Post Number: 9
|Posted on Monday, 21 December, 2009 - 17:33: |
Yes there are certainly many ways one can manage these sort of things but its the time to do so, I would rather give priority to RR&B. There was a recent case in Canada where a social group were order to hand over all sorts of records, based on a disgruntled members complaint. Im not sure of the outcome but I cant imgine it was a pleasant experience with the added publicity associated with it.(and for ever more cited as a precedent case)
Another thought is putting link to the facebook site or other online social web host for non RR&B but of interest to those "like minded". Do we (RR&B)have a facebook page?
Post Number: 6
|Posted on Monday, 21 December, 2009 - 17:52: |
That is an excellent suggestion and would solve alot of potential problems
Post Number: 926
|Posted on Monday, 21 December, 2009 - 18:43: |
I have NO interest in Facebook whatsoever and would not use it - I don't have enough time with my "fraudband" connection not responding fast enough for my existing internet usage.
This is the price we pay to live in regions outside the capital cities in Australia.
Post Number: 2
|Posted on Monday, 21 December, 2009 - 18:50: |
I used to be a member of a Triumph club which also had an excellent on-line forum, which was mainly used for swapping technical information.
However, they also had a subsection for all non-Triumph related subjects. This quickly got out of hand, as people voiced (sometimes extreme) opinions on politices, social issues, etc...
This caused a lot of annoyance and misbehaviour and generally the whole purpose of the forum, which was to help each other solve technical issues, got lost somewhere along the road.
I think this illustrates the need of very strict behaviour rules, should you decide to go ahead with it.
(Message edited by benoitLeus on 21 December 2009)
Post Number: 96
|Posted on Monday, 21 December, 2009 - 22:11: |
My understanding of the purpose of this forum is that it provides technical information and operational advice to enable us to keep our cars on the road.
It does this very well through a comprehensive technical library and the willingness of members to give advice, in particular the small group of Grand Masters though many others contribute in their area of expertise.
While it is true that most forum members have interests outside our cars these are generally well catered for by a host of chat rooms.
The problem with having an unrestricted topic section is that it will encourage differences of opinion in non-RR&B subjects and will also attract people whose objective is to disrupt the forum.
Maybe for those whose interest is in owning a car rather than maintaining it we could have a social members forum.
Post Number: 2041
|Posted on Monday, 21 December, 2009 - 22:45: |
Oh dear. At least my driverless Dubai Metro contribution mentioned a Driverless Bentley. Does not Audi aka Bentley aka VW aka Porsche aka any Italian misfit tacked on have a driverless racing car ? Let's mix dud thermostats and dried-out cucumber sandwiches with flat Bollinger and a little refresher when the Forum becomes stale with rusted bolts and spent accumulators ??
Post Number: 2042
|Posted on Monday, 21 December, 2009 - 22:49: |
Post Number: 22
|Posted on Monday, 21 December, 2009 - 23:27: |
Maybe rather than a completely open section, there could be a general engineering/mechanical section that may not directly relate to RR/B.
It seems many people have their interest (obsession) with these cars due to an appreciation of the engineering that went into them. And as Richard has inferred, these may be applied in the future…
Although this again may add some overhead to the administration of the site, it may be better than a completely open forum allowing arguments over opinion.
Posted From: 184.108.40.206
|Posted on Monday, 21 December, 2009 - 19:34: |
Personally I would think that if there is sufficient demand for a non-R-R/B section then this should be established totally separately from the current website.
At present the Forum has a world wide reputation for factually based and authoritative information which has taken many years to build up. The proposed site would take us outside our area of expertise and may well open up areas which are merely opinion. How would this be moderated without the risk of being accused of censorship?
The site is linked to the RROC()A) and through the Club to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and Bentley Motors who permit our use of a variety of publications and trade marks. I would not like anything to happen which might embarass either company by association with a website which carried any items of a questionable nature.
If users wish to establish a social chatroom then my view is that it should be totally separate, and not in any way part of the forum.
(Message approved by david_gore)
Post Number: 113
|Posted on Tuesday, 22 December, 2009 - 16:12: |
I am an offender of moving off topic, usually with subtle slanders :-) I try hard to moderate myself though.
I'm against this forum having something that might appear to be open for anything. My reasoning is that the Moderator/s will burn out.
Post Number: 67
|Posted on Tuesday, 22 December, 2009 - 20:12: |
I note the following:
The RROC forum has a section called "Strictly Social."
The RREC forum has a section called "General - General message board for social chat amongst members."
The Mercedes-Benz Club of NSW has a section called "Social Chitchat."
To date they seem not to have torn themselves apart with angst and flat humour...
Are we doing all we can to involve members and encourage the growth of the forum, I wonder?
Post Number: 1207
|Posted on Tuesday, 22 December, 2009 - 23:22: |
Brian/ with the utmost respect, the initiatives of the Clubs you mention are not in my opinion relevant. This forum which has been going for many years, has in the past ten years had contributors, moderators and even the creator (admin - not JC) been subjected to the most vitriolic abuse which even extended to members of their families. The solution was clearly to shut it down but to those involved's credit they withstood these threats and we lived on.
Some 5 years ago an excellent site in Europe simply succumbed because of similar onslaughts. In my opinion it was a 'better' site at the time than this one because it seemed to attract so much diverse discussion of our cars operating under extraordinary conditions! The owner of the site apologised and said he simply did not have the time to monitor, adjudicate, read and 'censor' the traffic. In some ways this was to our advantage as many of those contributors shifted their accounts to our site.
Even now there are three highly experienced mechanics who have deserted us because they often found themselves defending what they had recommended or advised.
In essence please do not let this Forum degenerate in purpose as have most if not all the Branches. You must notice that the average member is far more interested in the social side of the Club than it's original objective - to preserve the cars. Two years ago my mate and I spent over $10,000 on a very happy overlander to the Barossa for the Federal Rally. I had carted all sorts of material with me to share with reportedly 68 participants in Technical sessions. Three (3) people turned up!! There were no apologies, enquiries or regrets (other than my own). Our publications are heavily weighted towards functions, events and personalities. A glimmer of hope is that at least one Branch runs regular get togethers with the cars and works on them.
So, here we have an institution, our Forum owned and operated by a Club member and supported by a small coterie of sympathetic members who actually know something more about the cars than whether the Spirit delivered to the Nizam of Hyderabad was indeed trimmed in Vaumal or Connollys! Of course we find interesting that Richard is going to move Sydney around on his trains but let's not get into otherwise social chit chat lest the last bastion for the preservation of our cars is destroyed!
Post Number: 10
|Posted on Wednesday, 23 December, 2009 - 12:36: |
I totally agree with you Bill. Wouldn't it be great to live in a world where a site could exist where people could share good stories and post interesting items for people to see and comment on without being vilified, abused and sued. (and im not suggesting members would intentionally but its a matter of how messages are received and interpreted)
As a very new member I see this site as one of my best tools/sources of information in my research for a RR or B car....any threat to its convenors by managing any issues that make them question their commitment to its survival raises my concerns.
If moderators are prepared to give it a go then i'm all for it.
Can I ask Bill if you do roadshows? I particularly enjoy reading your imput and articles and would be in the front row of any work shop you facilitate in Queensland, It's a much better place to live surely?
Regards and smiles
Brian...from -"better one day perfect the next"
PS (lets see if that last line creates any controversy !)
Post Number: 114
|Posted on Thursday, 24 December, 2009 - 18:34: |
There is a very popular Aussie I.T. forum with thousands of contributors. It has survived 10 years due to the diverse I.T. interests and a backlog of willing recruits to become Moderators.
We are not nearly as large for obvious reasons. Preservation of current Mods is paramount for this forum (IMHO)
They (the I.T. forum) have employed one trick with regards to "general discussion threads" which have nothing to do with I.T. Those threads become available to members after X amount of posts. There is still a turnover of moderators.