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Android Users - Coming Soon! - Migrating from aCar 4.8 to 5.0

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Old 08-20-2013, 12:24 PM   #1
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So, I have some interesting news for you all and need your advice. Last fall we acquired Fuelly, a fuel logging website. In the 9 months since we have moved the site onto our servers and have been busy designing a system that will allow us to evolve and expand the Fuelly product (smart phone apps, vehicle total cost of ownership, expanded maintenance schedule management, and even how ODBII data can be collected and made useful. Our plan for Fuelly is to make sure we have the right foundation in place so we can quickly iterate and let the product evolve based on customer feedback and feature usage data.

One of the features we wanted to upgrade on Fuelly was the forums. The Fuelly forums have been very helpful as a customer service tool but the software is home grown and lacks a bunch of "normal" forum features. Our plan is to use vBulletin for now and that's why I'm here to talk to our Gas Savers members.

Since peaking in 2007, the volume of posting on Gas Savers has dropped 94%. We're down to a couple hundred posts per month but we seem to be pretty stable at this level. One idea would be to merge and for Gas Savers to become the Fuelly's Gas Savers Forum. This would grow our user base from 4,500 members to over 155,000 members. If integrated properly, I could see the forums seeing a 10x increase in posting levels within a year or two. Essentially it could give Gas Savers a boost, an active community is a lot more fun to hang out at then an inactive one.

I discussed this idea with the Gas Savers team and we all pretty much agreed that it sounded interesting but also risked changing the ambiance around here since the influx of Fuelly users would set the tone. That being said we were all pretty much in agreement that it might be the best solution for both sites.

Now it's time to hear from the members. How would you feel about Gas Savers becoming the official "Fuelly Gas Savers Forum" which would be located on Fuelly.com. The gas logs would be moved to the Fuelly log system and and we would function as one happy community.

So what's your take on the idea of merging?
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:25 PM   #2
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Thanks for making the announcement. I've already discussed with you my thoughts, but I'm just glad this is public now. I know the members must have gotten tired of me saying that something cool is coming, but I can't say yet....
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:34 PM   #3
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i like the idea. the current fuelly members need to be made aware of our "new" or most recent moderators/owners/managers...meaning that when they(fuelly members) read the archives, they understand that the radical techniques(like EOC) are no longer necessarily practiced or supported. disclaimers and "perform at your own risk" type of statements should be in order...
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:45 PM   #4
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We might need to do some searching and "soft deleting" of some topic that would have no relevance moving forward. I'm sure there will be other cleanup tasks needed to align things for a perfect fit.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:35 PM   #5
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What I'm most curious about is the logs: if the two sites joined I'd have double entries, with the fuelly log containing more useful data (being able to use metric units).
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:05 AM   #6
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I actually joined this site (and stayed) because of the fact it was smaller. I will say that over the past 2 years or so that it has slowed to a crawl with new topics and information.

I don't really know how I feel about merging the two sites. I guess there would be advantages but I think in some ways we would be losing some of our identity. many of us have been on here for years and been loyal to this site alone (maybe I speak for myself).

I realize that the traffic on this site has significantly decreased and maybe this is the only way to "save" this site and keep it running. I am sure there are financial goals for this site and it is probably fully funded by advertizing which depends heavily on members and site visits.

I just don't know how I feel about this.
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_r View Post
We might need to do some searching and "soft deleting" of some topic that would have no relevance moving forward. I'm sure there will be other cleanup tasks needed to align things for a perfect fit.
We have talked about cleanup jobs like that in the past, such as a time when we adjusted forums and sub-forums. We all had great intentions but it's a stunningly large volume of tedious drudgery that never got done. Additionally, I'm not sure if hiding those topics does a service to anyone, although it would reduce the drama. The content is still relevant.

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I actually joined this site (and stayed) because of the fact it was smaller.
Good point. That, and the culture here at the time, was the reason that I chose this site over others.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:23 AM   #8
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If you look at forum topics both here at at fuelly you see some overlap in topics but not a lot. At fuelly there are more discussions about current models of car and fuel and maintenance related topics. I think that some of that has to do with the "forum" layout at Fuelly being fairly random and without the structure we have. This is a great failing of the current fuelly set up.

If merged, we might want to add a new category for fuelly support issues (using the interface) and then seeing how those members use the forum. We could add more forums and sub forums as needed to meet member needs. Regarding content removal, I'm a fan of letting old info simply age off the page and don't see a lot to be gained by heavy edits.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:33 AM   #9
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I think it would be a pretty good fit... Most Fuelly users, although they may not admit it, are concerned about mileage. They're certainly concerned enough to track their mileage. They may not be as experienced or as knowledgeable as our members here, but I'm sure we can win over many, if not all of them.

The reason I joined this site as opposed to others was when I first came here I was driving a V8 pickup truck as my daily driver. Folks here were willing to help me do as well as possible with that vehicle. Other fuel economy forums had the attitude that if you weren't driving a Geo Metro, Civic VX, or a Prius, then you pretty much didn't count, and got flamed. This willingness of our membership to work with any type of vehicle that someone may own is pretty unique to this site.

It may take some of our members getting used to the higher volume of posts, and influx of n00bs again, but I feel that most everyone here will get used to it rather quickly, and help assimilate our new members into our growing community.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:17 PM   #10
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What I'm most curious about is the logs: if the two sites joined I'd have double entries, with the fuelly log containing more useful data (being able to use metric units).
We would have to find a way to migrate and merge and let users clean up their logs so only one master set of logs existed (if they were a member of both sites).
Quote:
Originally Posted by BEEF View Post
I realize that the traffic on this site has significantly decreased and maybe this is the only way to "save" this site and keep it running. I am sure there are financial goals for this site and it is probably fully funded by advertizing which depends heavily on members and site visits.
I want us to make this decision with the best interest of the community at mind, not based on finances. Both would remain online independently if that's the route we choose. More importantly is trying to do what's best for the members of each site.

The forums on Fuelly are not that active, about the same as we have here. I suspect we could funnel more people into the forums with some niftier integration techniques so with time it might ramp up. I doubt the volume would ramp up so quickly it would feel awkward overnight. Both sites have some very smart members and I think it would work out quite well.

Any other feedback or gut feelings on this?
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