The Future of the Forum.

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darlingberyl
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Post by darlingberyl » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:21 pm

The way I understand it, finances are not a major problem, perhaps David can correct me if I am wrong. The costs are covered by modest donations from people wishing to contribute. In all walks of life there are givers and takers, this is no different. The mention of costs in the email is purely to draw attention to the fact that if the forum is to continue beyond March 2018 there will be a need for further donations. Once again David please correct me etc. I do not however, like the idea of a two tier membership. It smacks of being elitist and we need more members, especially ones who take a more active participation.

For me the problem with the site is the lack of biking related content and the lack of interest in biking activities. I would not for one second propose a bike only forum but the biking nowadays is in such a minority on here I am ready to give it up. I, along with others, have tried in the past to stimulate some interest but get no response. That is the reason many people I am in contact with no longer take part. I understand that many people, for various reasons are not active. This is why all clubs need new blood. Perhaps we could have a campaign to attract new members?

In a nutshell, it is a Bike Forum. Or supposed to be. Not entirely bikes to the exclusion of everything else, but predominately so. If all I want to discuss is Brexit or Linky meters I can go on Anglo Miss-info.

I would love to see it back to where it was, here's hoping!!



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Post by wizzard » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:53 pm

darlingberyl wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:21 pm
In all walks of life there are givers and takers, this is no different.

For me the problem with the site is the lack of biking related content and the lack of interest in biking activities. I would not for one second propose a bike only forum but the biking nowadays is in such a minority on here I am ready to give it up. I, along with others, have tried in the past to stimulate some interest but get no response. That is the reason many people I am in contact with no longer take part. I understand that many people, for various reasons are not active. This is why all clubs need new blood. Perhaps we could have a campaign to attract new members?

In a nutshell, it is a Bike Forum. Or supposed to be. Not entirely bikes to the exclusion of everything else, but predominately so. If all I want to discuss is Brexit or Linky meters I can go on Anglo Miss-info.

I would love to see it back to where it was, here's hoping!!
Unfortunately , when the takers take over the forum for the own agendas, the givers get fed up and leave, which is why the forum has been struggling lately. The idea of the 2 tiers was to encourage new people who could join at no cost, or expectation of a donation, and get some "taster" access to bike related sections. If they wanted more, then a modest cost (it really wouldnt need to be much) would get them the upgrade. Its only a suggestion, as a possible soution to the forum's current problems, but I'm sure others will come up with different/better ideas.

As to your other comments - icon_thumbup icon_thumbup icon_thumbup - I couldnt agree more.
Any bike with three cylinders has one too many.....................

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Post by Cornishman » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:31 pm

Talking as a member of BCF not a member of the Admin I would hate the site to have any sort of subscription, it only needs a small donation by a reasonable number of members to survive financially. That way it will be more attractive to new members. What we need are members, new members and existing members who post. A site like ours survives by its members' contributions, not financial but written. I get pissed off by members who critise the club for not arranging enough meets and ride outs. That is not, in my opinion, the club's role; that needs to be done by the members themselves. Therein lies our problem, other sites provide more attractive options, FB is quick and convenient for short notice meets and clubs like Tourdregs offer touring and camping activities and do it very well. When I first joined BCF I was lucky there were quite a few get togethers posted locally to me and after going to a couple found that the other bikers I'd met were a good bunch of people. The members names on the forum quickly became real people I enjoyed spending time with. That just doesn't happen now. Even the, traditionally great, season opener at Motobreaks had to be cancelled due to an outbreak of apathy. A real shame as for me that got the biking year started. In my opinion we need more member to get involved more often, to push the agenda, to talk about bikes and biking first and life in a France second. Creating that position artificially will be very hard but if everyone who is reading the forum this week was to contribute regularly, even if it's just welcoming new members, we can hopefully turn BCF into the gem that do many of us want it to be. Forget the finance, consider how you can improve the best biking site for bikers who live in or travel to France. That won't happen if your only interest is criticising others for not doing more or if your main interest is scoring points off other people.

PS There are some great bike related posts on the forum this evening. That's how it should be.
Life can only be understood backwards but must be lived forwards. Seren Kierkegaard.

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Post by Dieselspanner » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:30 pm

Got the email.

For what my 6 eggs are worth..........

Contributions should be voluntary. If Wikipedia can ask for a one dollar donation once a year from all that use the site I see no reason for BCF not to.

It should be an open forum with no control / censorship on the subject of the posts / threads, within the already established bounds.

Any slagging off or 'cat fighting gets the offender (s) a warning and the post deleted, a second offence results in deleting, naming and shaming, the third, expulsion, with the reasons also published.

Any member should be at liberty to ignore any post / thread that is, in their opinion, boring, irrelevant or lacking in motorcycle related content.


It's perfectly possible to counter an argument without getting personal, I'd rather not share a forum with those who can't.


And I'm happy to cough for the banner ad. next year.

Finally, big thanks to all those in 'admin', in what ever capacity

Cheers All
Stef

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Post by Dragon » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:17 pm

Another one from Jess, .....

Hello Dragon,

I think that my reasons for not participating much were partially that not many people seemed within reach of me - but more because I was getting used to biking again. Now have 30,000 miles on my Vulcan S and able to travel much further to meet people for rides etc. Still keen on locals as well though. I would be happy to consider a small donation and to take a more active part in future if there was a plan.

Regards

Jess
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Post by Dragon » Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:21 am

And one from Geoff, ....(hardergm)
Hi

This is the first email that I've received about this topic, so glad that you have persisted.

Home is in Australia, but we try and get to France (and surrounds) a couple of times a year.

I've found the site useful as an information source to get on with, or around, the French bureaucracy such as registering my bike etc.

It was also useful in keeping up with the changes in the laws (or emphasis on particular "hot issues" for the flicks)

Just general living issues in France were also insightful - but usually didn't affect us since we only had a maison secondaire and we're subject to Schengen rules (unlike the majority of the members).

Meeting people and riding events were also great initially but really drifted-off in the last 12-18 months.

I must admit I got sick of "Lecky Meters" and the divisiveness of the Pro & Con Brexiteers - Whilst it didn't affect us (apart from the global impact on markets etc), initially it was interesting with the different points of view, but it quickly became toxic & divisive and I just skipped over the topics - but you could see the angst spill-over into the other areas of the forum.
It seemed that people just couldn't agree to disagree and move on

I certainly know of a number of previous members that have stated that they just left the forum because of this.


About the future - I'd continue to support the forum if it got back to its former focus and good spirited nature and hopefully more active riding, meet-ups and trips away.
I donated to the forum in its previous guise as well as it current form and would be prepared to do again if it got its old mojo back (see previous sentence)


Cheers
Geoff
We the willing, led by the unknown, are doing the impossible, for the ungrateful. we have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything ....................with nothing,

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Post by yorkie » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:04 am

Thanks to admin for all their previous work and their efforts to keep the site going. I enjoy reading the various posts and contributing. No probs with a donation from me.

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Post by SteveWalsh » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:04 am

I received email, A couple of times, found them in spam..... Anyway, I quite like the forum as it is, I dont mind a small subscription to help things along, I dont usually make it to any meets as I spend my working life driving through Europe and when I get home for a few days there is usually too much else needs doing...... But I do enjoy reading what you have all been up to, with bike and non bike stuff. I also understand there must be some rules, but I find most forums are over moderated, Everyone has a different view and opinion, and just because it doesn't please a few people, posts should not be deleted.
Thanks to Admin and mods for running BCF, Long may it continue
Steve

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Post by Frogger » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:12 am

Thank you for your email Dragon; I got the second one. By sending it you have encouraged me to make my second post here under the current format :)

When I originally joined some years ago I found the club to be a useful source of information for new expats with motorcycles and looked at it often and made some posts. That stage doesn't really last so these days I only pop in when in the mood, eyeball the posts, read the few that catch my eye and offski. The link is in my favourites :)

Given my low usage you will not be surprised if I say that I would not be prepared to pay for access, sorry :( However I accept that without traffic the club will surely die so in the future when I pop in I will try and post something as a thank you for keeping it going.

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Post by Lebowski » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:02 pm

Received the email on Sunday.

I rarely come on the forum and when I do it is only to look for info or ask a question, so that probably makes me pretty mercenary especially as I don’t contribute financially. However, for me, there is not much that interests me here. If I click on ‘new posts’ or look down the home page, there is often hardly any new content and what is there is either a topical discussion about something I can read on any number of other forums, or the same questions about registering a vehicle.

For me there are two main problems, existing members not contributing and not many new members. So if the existing ‘members’ aren’t contributing then they need to be encouraged to do so and perhaps more importantly, new members need to be found. Perhaps if everyone that is replying to this thread were to chime in for a month, perhaps things would start moving.

New members are hard to find but I would suggest vital to the long term success of the site. How to attract them? As far as I know BCFr has no Facebook page, no Twitter account, etc…. But having never tried to promote much in my life, I can imagine running any sort of social media ‘campaign’ would be pretty time consuming. Although perhaps there is someone on the site who does/did do such things

Perhaps also the layout of the site doesn’t help? In the Bike Chat section there are three sub sections that are pretty much the same, so if I wanted to start a thread on a problem regarding registering a bike, it could go in any one of those sections, maybe even in any of four. Some folks may not be that bothered about searching four sections to find something? In that same section there are five sub sections and another section below those for more discussion. It would appear that there are two ‘bike chat’ sections? Not a problem to some, but due to the structure of the site, to the infrequent visitor, it could look as if no one is discussing anything! If it appears that no one is chatting why would someone stay?

I see that folk are moaning about the lack of meet ups. Someone tried to arrange one near to us recently which I totally missed. I am sure I visited the site between the person posting it and the actual date, but I didn’t (couldn’t) find it. Firstly, at that time I hadn’t spotted the ‘new posts’ button in the top left menu. Secondly it was placed in the South Central sub section of the Rideouts section. The regions listed in the South Central and South West appear to me to be about face? So all in all, how would I have found it?

Sorry, this all sounds like a real attack on the site. It’s not meant to be, hopefully it’s constructive criticism. To run this site must be a huge task, all respect and thanks to whoever it is that does it, it truly must be a thankless task, especially when things aren’t as they once were.

As the site is at present I wouldn't pay a subscription, but if more people got involved and the site evolved, then I would gladly subscribe.

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