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FerrariChat.com Members Only Rossa Corsa Forum...

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by rob lay, Dec 31, 2003.

?

FerrariChat.com Members Only Rossa Corsa Forum requirements?

  1. Own a Ferrari.

  2. User for at least one year.

  3. Voted on by current members.

  4. $15 a year.

  5. Approved by Rob.

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    1,271
    Switzerland (NW)
    What is the problem with the current forum anyway ?
    Unless I am being an "unaware troll" myself (not too sure what the objective definition is), I have not seen too much crap on this forum, mostly respectful point of views and valuable advice or information.

    And when there is crap, just refrain from the urge of responding or commenting ... ignorance is probably the best vaccine against stupidity or offense.

    I agree that restricting access to owners is a self-defeating measure: as many pointed out, owners were initially ... non-owners, possibly seeking advice. Cannot be verified anyway, unless you request membership at owners.ferrari.com where they check your VINs ...
    The forum on owners.ferrari.com may actually be a good lesson for what NOT to do: restricted access, complex and cumbersome navigation, few use it.

    I value all the work done by Rob, but to me it's either advertising or a yearly fee, not both.
     
  2. Jet-X

    Jet-X F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 2, 2003
    5,614
    Orange County
    Full Name:
    Brian
    Rob, I think dividing the site would be bad from many different angles.

    One, your site is successful already - don't drive people from not joining or participating by splitting it. Second, I don't want to have to visit yet another section of the forum. I think the way it's set up now works great.

    BTW - anyone that thinks a membership fee will eliminate the trolls will be in for a rude awakening.

    If it's trolls Rob is concerned with, there are other ways to deal with this without setting up another forum. Don't punish current users.
     
  3. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    3,603
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Not membership fee alone... that will get rid of most, but not all.
    But membership fee along with a moderator that warns N times and then kicks out offending trolls... that will do the trick... but ONLY because there's a membership fee. I've never seen a troll willing to pay over and over to keep trolling. Maybe a Lambo owner... don't have Lambo-owning trolls on most sites.

    On a free site, the ONLY way to eliminate trolls is starvation... that is, absolutely nobody responds... everyone ignores them... and on a large site, that is proven to be impossible. A moderator has very little power... UNLESS they work 24x7 reading every post and deleting all troll-ish ones. But that's a really nasty job to have and deserves to be a paid job... big time.


    So, EITHER you cap membership OR you charge a fee OR you accept the trolls.

    The trolling isn't too bad now, but its getting worse... and will continue to increase exponentially. The ignore feature is working for me right now... but in the not too distant future, I am going to be very much in favor of a fee for the privilege of posting!
     
  4. ferraridriver

    ferraridriver F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Aug 8, 2002
    3,629
    Bay Area Calif.
    Full Name:
    Dave
    How about any one of the above criteria?
    I would also include invitation by a member
     
  5. Jet-X

    Jet-X F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 2, 2003
    5,614
    Orange County
    Full Name:
    Brian
    Nope, I've witnessed it as well. A fee will cut your "troll" population, but it doesn't eliminate it, nor does it come close. Additionally, if someone that isn't a "troll" posts something no one likes, then suddenly he becomes a "troll" as well.

    The only way to cut off trolls (from my experience running a forum) is to:

    • Have more than 1 moderator. No one likes to cede control like this, but no 1 moderator can watch every post on every forum 24/7. Each forum would have an appropriate moderator or 2. In the General Discussion, I'd advise 2-3 moderators, each in different time zones.
    • Make it harder to join. Paying is only part of the 'harder' part. But rather than do blanket authorizations, the moderator(s) have to verify information before access is given. No disrespect to Hotmail or AOL users, but that's where a large part of trolling came from on my site. So we started reviewing all requests to join, and have cut our troll population to zero - all with no membership costs. Black listing emails and accounts cut down as it is.
    • Invoke stiff rules. If you violate them, you're booted plain and simple.

    Again, having gone through the process, it's worked great for me. Of course my site isn't anywhere near as large, however with a little work, you can avoid punishing others.

    Additionally, I've seen large sites go to pay sites, and watched as the discussions in the pay section became fewer and further between because most people went to other gathering sites that didn't charge or had "engaging" conversations by so called "trolls". I don't like trolls, but enough people on this site do like the trolls, because they respond to them.
     
  6. Jet-X

    Jet-X F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 2, 2003
    5,614
    Orange County
    Full Name:
    Brian
    I had to respond once more.....

    I'm going to (no offense Allan) use Allanlambo as an example. 90% of his posts are inflammatory towards other FChat users based on the responses, including Rob's. However, he still a)has access and b)hasn't been kicked off (that I'm aware of - if he has previously, I apologize).

    So if the rules can't be abided by now, why go to a pay site. Isn't Allan by far the one person everyone fights with the most, yet he's the one that would happily fork over a measly $15 to keep everyone agitated?

    And I want to emphasize my point (like it or not) - Fchat users like trolls, because everyone continually responds to them.
     
  7. marcos

    marcos Formula 3

    Dec 30, 2003
    1,204
    Zuid-Holland - Nethe
    Full Name:
    Marc den D.
    Hello Rob,

    I'm new here, and to be true I don't feel welcome anymore by al the remarks I read. But I have an opinion:

    I don't own a Ferrari because I can't afford one, yet! So if that’s the criterion to get in? I'll have to go, or to fake an ownership… ...I couldn’t, but many would! Isn’t it fun that people with a Ferrari and people without a Ferrari can share thoughts?

    If I have to be a user for at least one year… …I would be long gone. Why? Because I end up chatting with the “Trolls” (Are they really so ugly to get that name?)! And believe me, that’s not why I’m here. I’m here to learn more about Ferrari and share my knowledge with others. Am I a “Troll” now?

    Why would other members vote for me? They don’t know me… …they probably think I’m a “Troll” the first time they meet me? The question is: are new members welcome?

    $15 a year... …is this a “porn” site or something? Isn’t it a government’s job to steel our money by collecting taxes!?? Count me out if so!

    I think a administrator always have to keep his eyes on what happens on his site… …if people are complaining about a member, the admin has to step in. But you are going to get busy if you want to check and screen all new members… …and somebody might just write a good thing and not be true or write the wrong but mean the good?

    I really think there’s no reason to change (at this point). People will find the people they like. Others will just fade away…
    …and I hope I can meet the people with the same interests as me, Ferrari.

    Greets,
    Marc
     
  8. flyingboa

    flyingboa Formula 3

    Nov 27, 2003
    1,551
    Italy/India
    Full Name:
    Eugenio
    Having been a member for far less than one year, please do not use this criterion as possible deciding one...
    When I was deciding weather to buy s 328 or not, this site was invaluable, so I have to say (changing my previous idea) that ownership should go in room 101.
    Fee payment: if necessary, no problem, I will do it because it is great value for money. I have looked for suggestions 3 times and 2 sorted problems out of 3 were just great!
    Rob decision: he is the ruler, I trust his judgment so that is a good way for me.
    Forum members decision: OK only for those cases when Rob decides that way.
    Ciao

    Eugenio
     
  9. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    3,603
    Dallas, TX, USA
    If Rob kicked him off now, he'd just come back as LamboDude or FCarsAreSlow or whatever... and then the site's ignore feature would be useless... I'd be ignoring AllanLambo but he'd be posting as someone else. I'd rather Rob leave him as-is, that way all his posts vanish (at least for me). Kicking people off is nearly useless as long as membership is unrestricted and free.

    Now, make it a pay site, then you can kick him off... after being kicked off half a dozen times, those $15 fees (that he's having to pay with different credit cards or PayPal accounts to avoid being identified as being on the blacklist) will become too painful. Done... AllanLambo will stick to all the free sites.


    And, yes, I will agree that with an army of diligent moderators that keep scaling up with the size of your membership, you can do it without fees. But it is sooooo much easier to just charge a moderate fee. If the site is high value (like Fchat is), then you won't lose too many members. For some sites a fee would be death... for Fchat, given the posters we want to keep active here, I think a $15/year fee (or $50 for 5 years) would be a great solution.
     
  10. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Oct 3, 2002
    45,108
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    Andreas
    Looking at the vote results I have to bow my head to Rob's genius:

    He managed to sell the $15 fee. Had the poll been "Do you agree with a $ 15 fee for access? Yes or No", imagine what the result would have been.

    But by putting a bigger threat out there (owners only forum), he made us all scramble and agree to the $ 15 fee.

    Brilliant Rob, simply brilliant! You should become a politician.

    :)

    PS: All in good spirit. The site deserves the fee. No problemo with me. I was just noticing how we all changed our minds compared to earlier threads about introducing a fee or not.
     
  11. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
    2,722
    Little Rock
    Full Name:
    David Jones
    Rob, I have no problem with a members only area.
    Set it up for Ferrari owners only, and charge a Fee...
    That way you have an exclusive area for those folks that feel they need this type of forum.
    It could be yet another service you can offer, with the possibility of earning a little more income to offset your time.

    Would I submit copies of my Ferraris titles and pay the $15 bucks to join that forum?
    No, I'm a tight ass... But there are people that would.
    My primary reason for visiting Ferrari Chat is for the technical knowledge.
    Sure sometimes I get caught up in the drama of some stupid off topic thread that some 15 year old poser started,
    but I come here for the wrench turning info.
    As long as the other forums stay the same, with no fees involved,
    I say go for it!
    An owners only section would be great... after all "everyone" would still be able to access all the other forums just like they do now.
    If you charged a membership fee for the board in general,
    I think it would be a disaster.
    People like myself would just migrate to one of the other boards out there that are free for the tech sections.
    But then again I may very well be wrong.... Only one way to find out.
     
  12. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Owner Miami 2018

    Dec 1, 2000
    50,042
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    LOL - much has been discussed since I was last on 24 hours ago. :)

    I read through all the new posts, but I apologize if I don't address each one.

    - I never intended this to turn into a subscription discussion. I was so beaten down when we went through it a couple months ago. Since then I've actually decided not to do full subscriptions. Having levels as long as the first level is completely free is a possibility.
    - I agree that we shouldn't divide the board up. I'll add as many regional forums as we have active regional areas. However, any other new forums have a risk of making the board harder to navigate, more complex, and diluting the other forums. A members only or Rossa Corsa private forum would definitely have give and takes, I'm still not sure if the gives are worth it. That's what we're still discussing - not subscriptions. :)
    - It's true, there's no 100% way to eliminate trolls. You can't block IP's as they'll get another one. You can't ban an account, because they'll get another one. I know every other board out there has heavy moderation, since the beginning I've believed that light moderation and just community peer pressure creates a better overall environment than ticking off the trolls with a sledge hammer. We still have trolls and flames and such, but in comparison with almost every other forum out there I think we have the best environment. I think my moderation philosophy has something to do with that.
    - Just imagine for a second what the F-T community would be like with 3,000 users and JRV in charge. :) I know that just made several of you chuckle a little. The internet has trolls everywhere, but I think the nature of the users and how the admin runs the board can have a little positive impact. An internet community will have 1-10% trolling for example. There are hundreds of things I can do to help it keep closer to the 1%, but 0% is impossible. From the other perspective I think if the majority of users respect each other and conduct themselves in a proper way, then that feeds off itself for new and fringe users to also behave. Dealing with that 1%, if you can't handle that, then don't get on the internet. Jim S. has a new baby and is busy with new businesses, he shouldn't be on the internet if it upsets him so much.

    OK, so help me out here. We don't want to divide the forums up, there's no way to get rid of trolling 100%, and there's no way to have black & white rules and make everyone happy.

    In the short term, is there anything that can be done to improve the community? Keep everything as is?

    Also, FerrariChat.com is now larger and more active than it was with the old software. Growth of the site has never slowed down in it's 3 years. Although there are other automotive sites out there that have more traffic, you have to remember how small the Ferrari community is. FerrariChat.com has many multiples the traffic of all other Ferrari sites (even the official sites), except some of the F1 fan sites.

    Also2, about 60% of users are owners.
     
  13. Jet-X

    Jet-X F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 2, 2003
    5,614
    Orange County
    Full Name:
    Brian
    I think leaving it as-is will be the wisest decision. It works well now, let's not fix it if it ain't broken.

    On second thought...one suggestion: allow linking of images from other websites so we don't have to stay within the 640x640 rule, or have to post 10 messages to post 10 pictures.
     
  14. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Owner Miami 2018

    Dec 1, 2000
    50,042
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    Again, I do this because FC is around forever, pictures on other servers aren't, many are gone a week later. If we keep everything local then there will never be the ugly Red X's in our threads and can always be viewed.
     
  15. El Wayne

    El Wayne Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Owner

    Aug 1, 2002
    17,960
    San Marino, CA
    Full Name:
    L. Wayne Ausbrooks
    Rob, even though I was one of the first to agree that this was a good idea, after reading everyone else's thoughts, I've since changed my mind. It will only create a cross-posting nightmare and, unless it is divided into individual sections (General, Technical, Vintage, etc.), it'll really be pretty useless anyway. If it was divided into that many areas, though, it would be like running two separate boards. Forget it.

    I have to agree that growth has brought in A LOT of trolls and MUCH bickering. I would suggest more moderation. A quick scan of the "General Ferrari Discussion" area reveals several threads that belong in "Off-Topic." I've also come across several threads (mostly in OT) that should have been deleted as soon as they began. I know you've been opposed to using too heavy a hand in the past, but I think that this thing has grown so large that it requires stronger moderation, something that you cannot expect to accomplish on your own. I enjoyed helping out before but, as you know, I can no longer afford to spend the same amount of time here as I used to. Still, I think that three or four vollunteers could certainly help keep things tidier.

    Just a thought.
     
  16. JOEV

    JOEV F1 Rookie

    Aug 6, 2003
    2,657
    London, ON, Canada
    Full Name:
    Joe
    Rob,

    There has been so much good feedback in this thread, that I just want to add my $0.02 to a couple of recurring themes.

    Owners-only Section: This would be an over-reaction to the issue of trolls and will create an artificial and unecessary division between members (full disclosure: I am currently a non-owner). There are many non-owner members that have a burning passion for Ferrari and in the case of Wayne, an encyclopedic knowledge of all things Ferrari. If someone gets his/her FCar in a week or a year, they haven't changed as a person, so why create an "inner sanctum" for owners only?

    If the issue is wanting to see if the poster has credibility on the subject he is posting about - that's easy enought to ascertain. No need for a "velvet rope" for FChat members.

    Lurk for free / Pay to Participate: This sounds great in theory and it will dissuade the casual, hit-and-run trolls, but $15/year is such an insignificant amount of money that it's hardly a barrier to entry to someone that wants in. What is the proper price point/how much is enough, when does it become too much? I don't know.

    More Moderators: You can't be watching 24/7 and the truly inane and moronic posts like the recent "penis size" and "sexual position" threads should be deleted instantly. That is not a violation of free speech - it is simply maintaining the standards of the forum (which we need to sign). Without doubt, ignoring a troll is the best punishment (witness how Green was begging and grovelling when he realized that no one could see his posts), but with 3000+ members, someone will eventually take the bait and play the troll's game.

    Obviously, care will be needed in case a moderator goes over board. After all, "Off-topic" is off-topic, but we don't care about penises (penii?). There are a lot of members that I can think of that would be very popular and capable moderators.

    Voting People In: Bad idea. Just a popularity contest that has nothing to do with the person being voted upon. Same with the one year minimum idea - how is this relevant to a passion for FCars? Why not 6 months - why not 18? Like voting, too arbitrary.

    So for me, I'll gladly pay to participate and I welcome additional moderators. I would love to see this a troll-free zone that still allowed people to state unpopular opinions. I would be pretty bummed out if there was an owners-only section, but that's just my $0.02.

    Joe
     
  17. Jet-X

    Jet-X F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 2, 2003
    5,614
    Orange County
    Full Name:
    Brian
    Fair enough, and I have noticed that trend...
     
  18. JaguarXJ6

    JaguarXJ6 F1 Veteran

    Feb 12, 2003
    5,427
    Black Hawk, CO
    Full Name:
    Sunny
    I think Wayne is right, a stronger or more moderator presence would help eliminate a lot of the problems that spawned this thread in the first place. Its a far easier and less intrusive way to improve the board without major changes that has already been proven useful in the past.

    Sunny
     
  19. Tyler

    Tyler F1 Rookie

    Dec 19, 2001
    4,274
    dusty old farm town
    Full Name:
    Tyler

    Agree 100%

    I know several on on this site who drift in and out of F-car ownership. Would be a silly requirement.

    I think that division would make things too complicated(redundant threads).

    NO PROBLEM PAYING A FEE TO BE HERE.

    While having people vote a person in, or "vouch" for a new member would have it's advantages(like a country club), it would exclude new and potentially wonderful members.

    In the end I think a fee is good idea. As an ancillary measure there are a great deal of folks who just need to "toughen up". Learn to ignore the impulse to respond to trolls.
     
  20. Wayne 962

    Wayne 962 Formula Junior

    Nov 27, 2003
    434
    Hmm, I thought I would add some input on this topic, and hopefully help share some wisdom. I've been running the Pelican Parts Forums for almost 5-6 years now (arguably the largest Porsche forum out there). I've learned a few things by watching other forums come and go, and watching the growth of ours.

    - Pay forums don't work. You need to recruit people, and the only way to do that is to get new members. Maybe something like "your first 100 posts are free" or pay to search the archives would work, but limiting membership hurts the forum growth. See www.dtmpower.net for lessons in that.

    - Elitist forums are also a silly idea. Ferrari people are categorized as too elitist (sometimes "snobby") to begin with. The exclusive forums will add a touch of that to this forum, which I think strives to break those stereotypes. I think the reason this forum is popular is because it is open to all.

    - Moderators need to do a good job of moving OT posts to an OT forum. No exceptions - OT is like graffiti. Once one person does it and gets away with it, others will soon follow and the quality of posts will deteriorate. We hardly delete anything on Pelican - we just move it to the OT forum if it's OT.

    - More specialized forums. Too much stuff is jumbled together. Make an 8-cylinder or 12-cylinder forum so that you don't have to filter through other posts when you're looking for tech info, etc. You will find that people will bond better when there are more people who own the same car. I would love to see a 308-specific tech forum - in fact, some people have asked me set one up on Pelican because there isn't one here (I haven't done it yet, but I've been thinking about it).

    - vBulletin is great software. The email notification feature is great, and keeps people engaged in the board. Also signatures on Pelican are great as well, identifying people with their cars.

    These are just some of my ideas based on several years of experience doing this...

    -Wayne

    101 Projects for Your BMW 3-Series Coming 2004...
    101 Projects for Your Porsche 911... Available Now!
    How to Rebuild & Modify Porsche 911 Engines Now Available!!!
     
  21. ralessi

    ralessi Formula 3

    May 26, 2002
    1,093
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    Rikk
    I too think more moderation would be better... I think that this is a great community, but I am not sure how much of that is because of a light hand in moderation. I agree that moderators should remove all threads that are even the slightest bit controversial or anything of that nature, but rather the threads that should not be there in the first place, as a few other posts have mentioned. It is pretty easy (I think) to see which threads belong and which threads do not.

    Also, I do not think that it is a problem to ban names or IP's/email addresses. They are going to have to register and re-register and their threads/names will constantly be deleted. How hard is it for one mod to click a few buttons and get rid of the new name? How hard is it for this troll to keep re-registering in order to cause trouble?
     
  22. ralessi

    ralessi Formula 3

    May 26, 2002
    1,093
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    Rikk
    Also, I think the best way to improve the forum is to advertise it more to owners/users that will be able to contribute, and also to keep fine-tuning the software. I know you are doing both of these things. Real names and multiple pictures are coming - this is a step in the right direction. Having the best forum and the best community and environment will be helpful in attracting more quality members and sponsors.
     
  23. Wayne 962

    Wayne 962 Formula Junior

    Nov 27, 2003
    434
    Oh, and on the subject of sponsors, it's a tough sell. I sponsor a number of forums for DriveWerks, and I'll be frank - they don't work very well for bringing in business (as far as I can tell). The click-to-impression ratio is dismall, and you can get about 50-100 people total clicking on your banner each month (3 per day). At current rates, this makes advertising very expensive in general. What brings it back is the ability to manage the campaign and offer deals and coupons to members. The trouble is, that takes a lot of time and effort, and thus increases your costs as well. It's really a tough sell.

    I'm not recommending blanket removal of posts - these should be moved to an OT forum. There should also be no complaining about the OT forum - it's anything goes in there.

    I've offered to help Rob with some of the problems here (like multiple image posting)...

    -Wayne
     
  24. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Owner Miami 2018

    Dec 1, 2000
    50,042
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    I remember you saying this and I'm ready. This is the #1 thing users and I want to fix. Thanks.
     
  25. owsi

    owsi Karting

    Dec 7, 2003
    160
    Maryland
    Full Name:
    Matt
    As a very new user, been reading for a month or so, post #1, I hope my perspective might be enlightening. I am not currently a Ferrari owner, although I hope to be eventually. I came to this site because it offers a great deal of information and enthusiasm for all things Ferrari. The number one myth I dispell among friends and family is that Ferrari people are a bunch of rich snobs. Someone who was interested in F-cars but who carried this common misconception might be chased away from this site by any or all of the qualifiers for membership. If they had come here looking for info on purchasing a pre-owned F-car their entire experience could easily be bad. I mean really, who would guess that a higher milage car is often better than a low? Letting everybody lurk would help this somewhat, but not with questions from new or inexperienced folks. There is a lot of info here, but I am sure there are questions that you wouldn't find the answer to without asking. I know the poll is about adding a special section and leaving what is in place, but I figure that the only section of the site worth reading before too long would be the Rossa Corsa section. So, IMHO, I wouldn't want to see it change.
     

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