The Future of the Forum.

paul85
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Post by paul85 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:35 pm

Got your mail yesterday Dragon.
Hi to all I joined way back whilst still living in UK. The site was a mine of info on all things and I used it to it full extent. That continued for a couple of years after I moved to France in 2011.
Since then I am a regular visitor but hardly ever post or join sorties as the members are always a long way off for a cup of coffee meet up. There must be many members who are becoming affected by AGE, dare I say, who have just dropped out, as well as those that the forum no longer suits as previous mails.
Thinking about new blood, I am not sure, but perhaps we are no longer seeing the influx to France of so many ex pats, given the "B" situation, compared to 2000 onward.
I ride out with local French riders that I have got to know over the last six years.
Once a year I take off to meet friends that come over to France /Belgium.
so I have done Vendee to Honfleur, Vendee to Bruxelles, Vendee to Mont St Michel they have come down to Vendee and we have gone off around Vendee Charente, Deux Sevres etc. We even went to see Rastafarian donkeys, totally non bike related.( Baudet de Poitou for specialists or nit pickers! lol.
Thanks to the people that saved the site and continue the good work today icon_thanks . I will continue to visit and contribute, if that were required. Good health and safe riding to you all, that still have bikes. kneedown icon_thumbup



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usil
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Post by usil » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:09 pm

Thanks for the email Dragon. I have read the posts and agree with many of their reasons for why the forum is struggling. In my situation, I live in the US and come to France every summer for a month or two to visit friends that I have made because of this forum. I can say that everything I have come to learn on what I need to know about bike riding in France has come from you guys. I owe this forum and it’s kind members a lot. But what has happened to them has also happened to me. The first time I came over I spent 6 months enjoying France and it’s many sites. The next year I spend three months. After that it became a shorter time period and now for the past few years I average about 5 to 6 weeks. My British friends live in Montbray so I rent a gite near there now spend most of my time there. I used to do long trips but I am content to just stay in the Normandy region and putter around the countryside which is my favorite.

On a personal note, in the summer of 2016, one of my friends had a TIA (mini-stroke) and he was in the hospital when I arrived. Luckily, he survived and had no deficiencies and is doing fine. He just has to watch his life style closely from now on. Near the end of my stay my other friend Roy, had a heart attack while we were putting up the fait tent. Everybody on site had left and we were wrapping up. He started looking white and clutching his chest. I sat him down and then ran off to find somebody to help. I dragged a guy off a tractor riding down the road near the tent site an thank God the village had an ambulance. After they got him in he arrested and they worked on him on the way to the hospital. They put a shunt in him and he survived but with a permanently weakened heart. So, no long rides from him anymore or any exertion. Long story short – it sucks getting old.

This summer was my 8th summer to come over to France. I am seriously thinking about not coming over next summer and maybe even selling my Honda NT700 which has served me well. I am sorry but I no longer participate like I did to the forum. I guess I am saying like a lot of others that time and circumstances change. This forum was more than a bike forum. It was a place where good friends could come and share their bike and life experiences. All have a common bond and our love of France and bike riding was and is an important part of our lives. If many no longer do this then the value shifts to a younger group. It’s not fair to a few who financially support this forum with their money and time so it is only right that all are asked to pony up a few quid to help keep it going. If there is not enough to keep it going from the old timers then the new blood needs to step up if they value the service. If the new blood don’t step up then perhaps it is time to fold shop. We all have our memories of this forum. Good times.

Please keep me in the loop for what happens with donations. Once you ask, keep us in the loop on how much you still need. I guess that is the only way to see if it will continue to be supported. Even though I have never met most of you, I love you guys and cherish the time I had on this forum. I wish all of you the best and envy that you can continue to enjoy France every day.

icon_thanks
Last edited by usil on Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dragon
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Post by Dragon » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:31 pm

Lebowski wrote:
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.
Thanks for your input, here is our Facebook page if you want to have a gander, icon_thumbup https://www.facebook.com/groups/1109086 ... 4/members/
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 Lebowski » Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:56 pm

Thanks very much, I've asked to join the group.

Thanks also for all you do here

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Post by ChrisD » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:09 pm

I've been away 24 hours and was amazed at the responses in that short time, plenty to chew on but the overriding impression is that the forum definitely has a future so thanks to all. There is a bit of polarisation but I'm sure we can accomodate it. Don't rush us (all 3 of us) as there is a lot to assimilate but being biker Borg we wil get there. Merci buckeroo as the french cowboy said. icon_fran
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Post by larroquer » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:54 am

Thanks for your email Dragon. Anything I say has to be taken in the context of someone who has not logged in for a while. That is almost entirely due to the problems in these forums caused by Brexit which has effectively destroyed the capacity for rational political discussion between consenting ex-pats in my experience. Any discussion on the subject quickly reverts to name-calling and adolescent exchanges. Never seen so many keyboard ninjas. So, any pointer for the future for me is that whatever else is discussed, the UK's divorce from EU should be banned - unless it's a technical question about stuff like licences and insurance.

The other thing I tire of is discussion which contains racial or religious hatred. I was banned from a FB biker group recently for pointing out to its founder that his Islamophobic rants came dangerously close to offences under the Racial and Religious hatred Act of 2006. If the forum is hosted in UK this is something the admins will need to be wary of.

When I was a regular logger-in I enjoyed the generality of the discussions on many topics, not just bike stuff. I learned a lot from the people on the forum and hope they got something from my occasional posts. It was a disappointment that very few people were co-located in Lot et Garonne. Like others have said, I don't expect BCF to organise stuff, merely to provide a forum where individuals can get on with it but we do need some 'critical mass' of membership in localities to make the 'club' active in biking terms. Maybe the group can have a presence on one or two of the many general biker rallies that the French bikers organise around the country - I stumbled across one in Bayonne in June that looked a lot of fun.

As for payment, I don't mind paying. As I get older I realise the wisdom of those who say people don't appreciate stuff that comes for free. Although it goes against the grain I've found it to be generally true.

So in summary, I don't think the original aims of the group were that far wrong and I'd certainly look forward to logging in if I could be assured of rational discussion on varied topics if it were devoid of personal abuse. Unfortunately in the world of social media where harassment is rife, some keyboard warriors seem to feel able to say in the written media what they would be reluctant to say in person because it would earn them a sharp smack on the nose.

Good luck whatever you decide.

Cheers

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Post by 2cvandy » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:23 pm

larroquer wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:54 am
That is almost entirely due to the problems in these forums caused by Brexit which has effectively destroyed the capacity for rational political discussion between consenting ex-pats in my experience. Any discussion on the subject quickly reverts to name-calling and adolescent exchanges. Never seen so many keyboard ninjas. So, any pointer for the future for me is that whatever else is discussed, the UK's divorce from EU should be banned - unless it's a technical question about stuff like licences and insurance.
I can't say I'd be happy to see any subject banned from discussion, especially the one subject that has the potential to affect all of us living in France adversely.
But this does raise the question of what can be done about adolescent exchanges,,,,,,,,,,, whatever the subject.
It's more fun to ride a slow bike fast than ride a fast bike slow,,,,,,,,,,,,,, icon_moped

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Post by ChrisD » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:35 pm

2cvandy wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:23 pm
I can't say I'd be happy to see any subject banned from discussion, especially the one subject that has the potential to affect all of us living in France adversely.
But this does raise the question of what can be done about adolescent exchanges,,,,,,,,,,, whatever the subject.
All being considered, we won't be making any hasty decisions. We also have the option to poll members should we need to.
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FrancisBarnett
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Post by FrancisBarnett » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:08 pm

I just found an email from Dragon :- "Testing testing by the Dragon for Mitch"
And to contact admin.
Uhhhh?
Brexit is like watching your library being burnt down by people who never learned to read.

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Post by Dragon » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:21 am

FrancisBarnett wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:08 pm
I just found an email from Dragon :- "Testing testing by the Dragon for Mitch"
And to contact admin.
Uhhhh?
Strange how you ended up with it FB, i think i sent it ages ago when Mitch our main admin across the pond went missing for a few months, weird how it arrived in your email though, cheers for letting me know, icon_thumbup
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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