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FerrariChat.com Community Improvement Plan...

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by rob lay, Feb 9, 2004.

  1. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Social Subscribed Miami 2018 Owner

    Dec 1, 2000
    50,952
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    I know some have been frustrated by our "growing" pains and are concerned with the overall quality of the community. Please rest assured that I am aware of the problems and I am trying to resolve them. The following is my plan in the works and I would like your feedback. Thanks.

    Phase 1 (Complete by February 29th): Moderation

    - Increase number of moderators from three.
    - Make sure posts are in appropriate forum.
    - Delete any inappropriate threads and posts.
    - Zero tolerance with inappropriate user behaviors (will be defined so it’s very clear). We’ll even put temp bans on long-time users if we have to. The crap has got to stop, doesn’t mater who posts it.

    Phase 2a (Complete by March 28th): Value Added

    - Implement “Consultants” program so we have official recognition of the Subject Matter Experts in various areas from technical to history.
    - Add more literary content to the monthly newsletter. Articles submitted by users.
    - Better system of handling non-forum resources, like the technical articles.
    - First stages of an online complete Ferrari registry.
    - Online store selling FerrariChat.com branded merchandise.

    Phase 2b (Complete by March 28th): User Community Quality Insurance and Scalability

    Implementation of various user groups with aim of a higher quality community experience.

    Moderators – Those users that have demonstrated a level head and the technical skills to moderate users and threads.

    - Full user permissions.
    - Additional moderator permissions.
    - No subscription fee.

    Consultants – Those users that have demonstrated an expert knowledge in an area that is beneficial to our community. They also have the willingness to help and contribute to the positive karma of the site.

    - Full user permissions.
    - Listing on consultants page.
    - Dedicated web page on FerrariChat.com for commercial contact information and to capture any information for reference.
    - No subscription fee.

    Free User Group – New users getting familiar with the site or older users that don’t require the additional permissions of the subscribed user groups.

    - Limited user permissions.
    - No subscription fee.

    Subscribed User Group – Quality user base that pays a yearly subscription to obtain full permissions. These are the users that value the FerrariChat.com community and wish to preserve it’s quality and ability to add value.

    - Full user permissions.
    - $15 a year

    Depending on the growth and quality of the site, possible future changes may include removing more permissions from the Free User Group and also creating private forums.

    One reason I wanted to bring up my plan now, is so that we can start getting feedback and making the RIGHT adjustments. However, the above is based on hundreds of threads that have taken place over the past year. Most of the above was the result of feedback and ideas generated by the user community.

    What I need help with is what functionality should be limited in the Free group? They need at least read only to see if they like the board or not. However, if they have full post ability, will that really help the quality of the board?

    FREE User Group Permissions…

    - Read only access everywhere. (This is a given!)
    - No post ability vs. limited post ability (# a day or select forums)?
    - No avatar?
    - No profile?
    - No PM's?
    - No attachment/image post?

    What other permissions should be controlled?

    Feedback welcome, just stay away from the “it sucks” only type comments. You know I don’t like that very much. :) Be descriptive in your feedback please.

    Thanks,
    rob
     
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  3. 96impalaSS

    96impalaSS F1 Rookie

    Dec 8, 2003
    3,504
    Hell
    Full Name:
    Chris
    I like the FerrariChat.com merchandise idea. Id buy it.
     
  4. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    44,694
    Texas!
    Great job Rob! It looks like a plan to me. Thanks, from a sample size of one, for all your work.

    But I just have one question. With all the money that you are making from F-Chat, how come you didn't buy a 360 challenge car instead that junker? :)

    DrTax
     
  5. whart

    whart F1 Veteran
    Honorary

    Dec 5, 2001
    6,485
    Grandview NY
    Full Name:
    Herr Prof.
    Rob, you have obviously put some thought into this, and i hope others, with considerable "chat" experience in other fora will weigh in. My initial resistance to a subscriber based board was that it limited the opportunity for new users to get the full benefit, but if theirs is a "read only" and "limited post" function, perhaps that solves the problem. The only real impediment i could intially identify is that, for the price of $15, anybody can still flame away. Perhaps they should meet a minimum posting requirement, too, so that their mettle can be tested. In saying this, i realize that it puts you and your "staff" in the position of judging content. However, that's apparently what alot of people want you to do. To be sure, you will have to take on the job of toning down pure spitefulness and obnoxiousness, while giving a pass to those whose posts, while thorny, are still of some value. I have no problem with contentious posters, or even provocative ones, so long as something substantive is gained by the process. Name calling, alone, is not too stimulating after a while, and that's what, i think, alot of people are reacting to. Those are the easy ones. Allen, too, while provocative, does actually contribute, so his is an easy case too. But, there may be alot of middle ground that is neither hate speech nor of any real substance, and those- that vast middle of mediocrity, is the stuff that we should be loath to censor, even if it seems worthless. Like this post, perhaps.... You get the idea. Its a tough call, but it seems like alot of nonsense will continue without it. I will be interested to see how this comes out. Regards, Bill.
     
  6. Teenferrarifan

    Teenferrarifan F1 Rookie

    Feb 21, 2003
    3,019
    Media, PA
    Full Name:
    Erik
    Rob nice plan I like everything you mentioned. The only complaint I have is that non subscribers should be able to have a profile. This gives them a place to list their email address so they can get involved with local events, and in turn it might cause them to subscribe when they otherwise wouldn't have. Also, it is a way for a user to contact them without post an attention so and so thread. I like the subscription idea and even though I am a highschool almost college student you have to be crazy to say you can't swing $15. It is the same price of a CD and you get to use it 360+ days a year not just 16 tracks. I have gotten way more then $15 out of f-chat and don't mind giving back in the least. Just my .02 cents worth.
    Erik
     
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  8. ty (360mode)

    ty (360mode) Formula Junior

    Sep 25, 2002
    807
    Houston
    Full Name:
    Tim
    glad you're implementing the fee, i really think it will eliminate many of the issues.

    HOWEVER, re trolls, i just don't understand why people can't ignore the trolls and their threads????? i'm amazed how many people complain about "x" but continue to engage in "conversation" with "x".

    regardless, great job keeping your patience and continuing to work on improvements!
     
  9. nberry

    nberry Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    714
    No one would argue that lately the board has degenerated somewhat. My feeling is you do need to be more vigilant with respect to personal attacks and flame wars. More moderators would be welcome so long as they do not become censors of opinions regardless of the negativity toward Ferrari.

    I would not be too bent out of shape if a post is in the wrong forum i.e. technical as opposed to general.

    Stay with what has made your site successful. Many of the proposals you list strike me as someone using an axe to trim a rose. Implement nothing radical and change, if any, should be gradual.
     
  10. MikeZ_NJ

    MikeZ_NJ Formula 3

    Dec 10, 2002
    1,533
    Southern NJ
    Full Name:
    Mike Z.
    Great ideas, Rob.

    One question just popped into my head though - with the hierarchy that you specified below, what will be the difference between someone stumbling onto the site for the first time (a guest) and someone in the "free user" group?

    IMO, for the free user group, just strip the posting ability (or minimize posting ability), but leave the rest. That way, there is still an incentive to register as a user. Otherwise, most of the people viewing the site post-change will either be paid subscribers or guests, with nothing in between.

    I, too, am willing to subscribe and buy merchandise.
     
  11. FerrariFrank1

    FerrariFrank1 F1 Rookie

    Aug 15, 2003
    3,887
    Chicago-Phoenix-L.A.
    Full Name:
    Frank
    Well,one thing that I noticed is that most of the "Flamers" never put in any information in the "Public Profile" making it seem easier,(to them) to get away with their antics. Makes them feel "Anonymous". And,being able to keep starting up new username accounts to continue their actions. I think that if someone puts in Verifiable info into their profile,then,perhaps,more,or,easier "Priveleges". Or just make it mandatory. Just my .02cents.
     
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  13. SefacHotRodder

    SefacHotRodder F1 World Champ

    Dec 20, 2003
    10,918
    NJ
    Full Name:
    Chris
    there's a monthly newsletter?
     
  14. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 30, 2003
    16,011
    Savannah
    Full Name:
    I NEED A JOB
    ideas,
    new users can have read only access but MUST fill out a profile to post or PM.( number limited by moderators or Rob Lay) we dont want to discourage new users no matter if they are fcar owners or not. by having a profile they will be able to show where they are and what they have or like, and perhaps meet up with other members and share rides or go to meets.
    also a full use short term option, with the caveat that " troll behavour" will get you banned. more moderators would be a great idea. t shirts, coffee mugs, REGIONAL fchat calenders, regional patches or FCHAT name tags would be super cool. its taken me 30 minutes just to get this typed with the phone ringing off the hook. more ideas later i hope. thanks for all the hard work Rob and for giving us " wanna be" non owners a place here in your community. michael
     
  15. sparta49

    sparta49 F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Mar 3, 2001
    7,794
    LA
    Full Name:
    Frank
    Looks like a plan to me :)
     
  16. aawil

    aawil Formula 3

    Aug 10, 2002
    1,279
    NJ
    Full Name:
    Aaron
    I think the quality of the board will certainly go up after we go to a subscription format.I have a feeling people who just want to clown around and annoy people will probably not waste the $15 bucks to do it.There are plenty other free boards around.I like the merchadise idea as well.
     
  17. KMS

    KMS Formula Junior
    BANNED

    Dec 22, 2003
    257
    Looks good to me.
     
  18. flashman

    flashman Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 5, 2004
    479
    Star Valley, Arizona
    Full Name:
    William Rappaport
    I absolutely agree with red81308! If people post on this site, they should be responsible enough to have verifiable information, especially if we go ahead with a Ferrari Registry. The way that some of these "Flamers" jump in and out of legitimate threads and contribute nothing but discent is not appropriate, and certainly not welcomed by most. My .02cents also.
    WilliamR
     
  19. FerrariFrank1

    FerrariFrank1 F1 Rookie

    Aug 15, 2003
    3,887
    Chicago-Phoenix-L.A.
    Full Name:
    Frank
    Thanks for that,Flashman. Also,yes Rob. FChat merchandise would be VERY cool. I'd be glad-and proud-to display your site on a T-Shirt,or Hat,all around Chicago and the surrounding 'Burbs.
     
  20. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Social Subscribed Miami 2018 Owner

    Dec 1, 2000
    50,952
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    LOL Dale, you're doing my taxes this year, you know how much money I've lost! :)
     
  21. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Social Subscribed Miami 2018 Owner

    Dec 1, 2000
    50,952
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    Oops, thanks for reminding me. There is also a Guest Usergroup, I think they can basically only read the threads (without seeing pics like today). The FREE Usergroup would have more permissions, so that there is incentive to register.
     
  22. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Social Subscribed Miami 2018 Owner

    Dec 1, 2000
    50,952
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
  23. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Social Subscribed Miami 2018 Owner

    Dec 1, 2000
    50,952
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    Keep the feedback coming. Some good ideas have been brought up, that's why I share everything openly.

    I agree now that a profile should be available to all registered users.
     
  24. Dave Radu

    Dave Radu Karting

    Nov 20, 2003
    132
    San Jose, Ca
    Full Name:
    Dave Radu
    Rob, I agree with your changes. This site was very helpful in the purchase of my 360 on Jan. 26, 04. I made new friends and purchased the car from a fellow f-chatter. Without this site none of that would have been possible. Now with all the flames I've stopped reading as much and reply very little.
    I really hope the changes make a difference. You've done a great job keep it up.

    Buy the way how did the duck hunting end up for you this year. Did any of my suggestions help?

    Dave
     
  25. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Social Subscribed Miami 2018 Owner

    Dec 1, 2000
    50,952
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    Last time I went hunting this year we didn't have hardly any ducks flying, much less decoying. Your advice made much sense and I even discussed it with my hunting budies. There's a range close to where I work and I hope to shoot some trap this summer to become a better shot. Thanks!
     
  26. mike550

    mike550 Formula Junior

    Aug 20, 2003
    859
    California - LA & SF
    Full Name:
    Mike G
    Rob - you have done a great job with this site. However, it is my opinion that trolls have recently degraded the quality of the site. I realize that people have different opinions and that variety is good, both sides of the story - etc. However, when trolls hijack every thread with incessant Lambo is better posts and 308s are sh!tbombs, etc. it gets tiresome and detracts from the site quality. Yes we can encourage members / sponsors to ignore them - but generally this does not work and their posts turnoff potential new members and sponsors. Ignoring the trolls does not work on any forum. The only way to fix a troll problem is to ban them - period.

    We have 2 or 3 members that are trolls and everyone knows who they are.

    One troll Mako99 has several hundred posts half of which desecrate most Ferrari models - the very models that our members have and our sponsors provide support for. The other half of his posts are dedicated to Allan's ego. In addition Mako uses invective language which makes this Forum offensive to many members (members families) and sponsors. If anyone does not believe we have trolls - search messages by author - type in Mako99. Read the posts - this is a classic text book troll.

    Another troll - AllanLambo is a known troll on over half a dozen forums. Why he feels the need to post 90% of his lambo dribble here on the Ferrari forum has never been answered. To top it off he makes racist comments on this Forum. Occassionally he will reform and post a few meaningful posts - but he quickly slips back into his "Look at me I have a Lambo and it is better car than your Ferrari cr@p."

    I have gone on record here before - I would gladly pay to belong to a Ferrari owner / enthusiast forum. I will not pay or frequent a site that is ruined by trolls. I believe you do need to take the steps you mentioned to return the quality to this site. You have lost some valuable contributors lately. I know it is no big deal to anyone - especially our trolls, but I am one more member that will leave this forum unless the content quality returns to its pre-troll levels.

    Finally, from the first straw poll almost half our responding members want these trolls banned - yet that is ok with you. You are losing members by keeping the trolls. You would not lose nearly as many members (if any) by banning the trolls.

    Would your position be any different if almost half the sponsors wanted the trolls banned? When it hits you in the wallet vis a vis sponsors or members that do not pay for a troll ridden site you may rethink your level of troll tolerance.

    My hat is off to you for creating this great Forum and putting in all the hard work you do. Don't let a few idiots ruin it.
     
  27. Dave Radu

    Dave Radu Karting

    Nov 20, 2003
    132
    San Jose, Ca
    Full Name:
    Dave Radu
    Mike550,

    Very well said. Thank you for speaking up. I whole heartly agree.
     
  28. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Social Subscribed Miami 2018 Owner

    Dec 1, 2000
    50,952
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    Mike, I agree mostly. However, from my end sometimes the flaming of the flamers appears just as destructive.

    What's better? one flame or a flame war of 50 posts?

    I wish it was neither and if I can figure out how to do that I will. However, the long drawn out battles lately is what's bringing the board down. Not one individual "308 sucks" or "Ferraris suck" post.
     

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