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Why does this forum draw such a weak response?

Discussion in 'Member Feedback' started by 109941, Aug 15, 2009.

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    Not to criticize other people's work, but the activity on this forum does seem weak. In comparison, the BMWMOA (motorcycle owners) forum appears to draw lots of readers and postings. Why, with a much larger membership, would the BMWCCA forum seem to generate relatively less interest? I have no answers, but I thought I would offer the observation.
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    Possibly because, in a sense, national club-level sponsored forums are a little late to the party. There have been other internet accessible message boards and forums around for ages long before national put some together, forming their own community and growing larger, for longer.

    These forums also might well reflect the typical participation level in the club. The active members that make everything happen in a chapter of any larger size might be 10% of the membership. And, only a small percentage of those active enthusiasts are probably inclined to get involved with internet message forums. I think the way things historically have been, is that the majority of club members don't do too much beyond receiving and reading the Roundels.

    I would suspect the 'MOA group are likely more involved with their vehicles due in part to the nature of the experience of owning and riding motorcycles, with that enthusiasm carrying over to a higher participation level from all members, across all levels of the organization, compared to 'CCA.

    On a motorcycle, everything is in-your-face and underneath you, and you can't afford the least lapse of concentration without extreme risk to life and limb. In a car you can cruise along in climate-controlled comfort, insulated from the elements, and blissfully ignorant of most of what's going on "out there", should one chooses to be that uninvolved.
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    Or that...
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    I'm in that 90% of the membership that doesn't do much for the club, but I've been a BMW car customer and owner since the day of the eta engines. In all honesty, my interests lead me to the Tech Talk, Jenny ????'s, and the Hack Mechanic columns. Do I do any repair or maintenance on my own cars? Not any more. However, these articles are something I can relate to as a current owner and former young guy with an atypical, fun car on a limited budget. The cars were, and still are, a low-impact hobby that I choose to use for my primary transportation.

    While that aspect of the club; focusing on various models and keeping them running, seems to match the structure of the forum.....someone like me should be happy. However, based on the lack of forum participation, that structure doesn't appear to be the best one for today's members. Perhaps, it might be helpful to solicit some input from younger members, in their late 20's or early 30's, to see what their interests are. In today's world, with 6-yrs of factory warranty (4-yrs regular plus 2-yrs extended upto 100K miles), maintenance and long-term ownership issues might not be of much interest to most owners.

    If that is the case, the forum and club should consider shifting focus to items which draws the participation of the membership, perhaps more social and image type events, like the Harley Davidson Owners Group has exploited to expand membership and sales. While that would have near zero interest to me, it might be of interest to majority of the current owners.
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    That's Jenny MORGAN - who is currently rebuilding my /7 RS gearbox. [Says it's a lot like an Isetta transmission.]
    A couple of things. The club has changed in the 24 years I've been a member. It seemed there were a lot more enthusiasts then. A lot of hands-on 2002, E3, E9, and E21 folks who were just facing the fact that fuel injection might not be the end of their DIY world. We even got used to the idea that the then-current cars, ending at the E28, were not so user-unfriendly. Each succeeding generation of new BMW has become more and more DIY-unfriendly. There are still a lot of old dogs like me who want to know our cars intimately and be able to work on them - thus explaining my E28. But the vast majority of the club is not like this any more.

    Additionally, I find this forum layout a bit forbidding. It tries to be all things to all club members and really, that does not make for a tight community. I am heavily involved in MyE28.com and it is easy to do that because we are dedicated to a single model and it is one that almost everyone there works on personally.

    The other drawback to this forum is that it's pretty new. It hasn't matured yet, so I see it getting better as time goes by and folks get more familiar with it and with one another. I find that it's easier to be involved here by using the search function for "New Posts" instead of looking only at the few forums where I fit easily. Had I not done that, I would not have seen this thread because I generally have no reason to read "Feedback".

    I am also a BMW MOA member you will see in that forum as "535is" (I probably ought to change that ...). It has been around longer and is somewhat less scattered, but there I restrict my reading to "Clubhouse", "Campfire", "New Members", "Midwest", and - obviously - "Airheads".

    My advice is to keep poking around. Every online forum is different and this one isn't so bad.

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