Fuelly Forums

Fuelly Forums (https://www.fuelly.com/forums/)
-   General Discussion (Off-Topic) (https://www.fuelly.com/forums/f22/)
-   -   Pondering internet MPG forums and needed improvements (https://www.fuelly.com/forums/f22/pondering-internet-mpg-forums-and-needed-improvements-1771.html)

Matt Timion 03-08-2006 02:20 PM

Pondering internet MPG forums and needed improvements
 
It has become very evident to me that there will always be more and more forums opening up for the purpose of discussing fuel economy.

It's not a bad thing, really, as more people involved means more ideas get thrown around. More ideas equals more successful ideas. That means that we all win.

The thing that concerns me, however, is that some times ideas are discussed in one place and not in another. Some ideas are unique to our site, and other ideas never make it here. With more sites popping up there is also a "competition" of sorts between the sites.

Then again people told me to never start this site as it is "reinventing the wheel." They told me that the MSN groups were adequate for this type of discussion. I disagreed and here we are.

So my question to you all is simple. What can I, we, etc. do to make this more of a primary location for people? How can it be more appealing? How can it be more user friendly? Should we seperate the forum into more specific areas? What additions would you like to see that would make this the first thing that pops in your mind when you think of fuel economy forums?

MetroMPG 03-08-2006 02:46 PM

i mentioned before that the
 
i mentioned before that the thing i like about this forum is the people on it. very few baseless or unsubstantiated MPG claims get made. and those who occasionally make them are usually called on it - in a respectful way. that's key.

i can think of another site which regularly publishes "articles" on its front page that make unsubstantiated, untested (or poorly tested) FE claims. i don't participate in its forums.

i'll always visit the teamswift site for the specific info i can get only there. and i lurk on a few others, again primarily because of the people who post on them.

so it's a human factor, not a technological one. hard to program that in, eh matt?

on the other hand, maybe it would be good to see more of a wiki-type section where the "definitive" word on various topics can reside (linked back to the thread(s) that discuss them).

forums are excellent for hashing things out, but they generally suck as a repository for information storing/seeking.

lastly, what would make this the bestest forum in the world would be if you clicked the "new" link on multi-page threads, and it actually took you to the latest posts ;)

(just joshin' you matt, you're doing a swell job programming the heck out of this mutha!)

oh - and e-mail notification please!

MetroMPG 03-08-2006 02:48 PM

or... how about this. 2
 
or... how about this.

2 words:

"profit sharing"

Matt Timion 03-08-2006 02:58 PM

Re: i mentioned before that the
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG
i mentioned before that the thing i like about this forum is the people on it. very few baseless or unsubstantiated MPG claims get made. and those who occasionally make them are quickly called on it, usually in a respectful way. that's key.

Excellent point. I also fear that this will keep our community smaller. Everyone wants the "magic pill," and we've even had two people try to sell them to us :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG
i can think of another site which regularly publishes "articles" on its front page that make unsubstantiated, untested (or poorly tested) FE claims. i don't participate in its forums.

I think I know which site you're talking about. Stuff like that scares me away as well.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG
on the other hand, maybe it would be good to see more of a wiki-type section where the "definitive" word on various topics can reside (linked back to the thread(s) that discuss them).

forums are excellent for hashing things out, but they generally suck as a repository for information storing/seeking.

I can write something up pretty quickly. It would be a simple definition dialog that users can add to, linking them back to threads, etc. This would, however, require a lot of work from the users of this site to establish and maintain. Would you volunteer? :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG
lastly, what would make this the bestest forum in the world would be if you clicked the "new" link on multi-page threads, and it actually took you to the latest posts ;)

Oddly, it works, but only for page one. The original authors of this software did some really weird things. Look forward to this being fixed sometime this spring when I rewrite the entire forum software and make it all special.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG
oh - and e-mail notification please!

I should look a little bit more into this. it honestly would be too difficult to code, especially if I didn't care about efficiency. :) I just had a few ideas on how to code it right now actually. It might be very doable.

Matt Timion 03-08-2006 02:59 PM

Re: or... how about this.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG
or... how about this.

2 words:

"profit sharing"

LOL...

I'll share the $100 this site has made since september with everyone. That is, of course, after I deduct the hosting fees :)

Matt Timion 03-08-2006 03:02 PM

Re: or... how about this.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG
or... how about this.

2 words:

"profit sharing"

better yet... Here's the plan:

1) Charge a membership fee.
2) Offer a percentage of your friend's membership fee for referals
3) Also sell MPG-Caps :P

*the above post was a joke*

SVOboy 03-08-2006 03:03 PM

Quote:I can write something
 
Quote:

I can write something up pretty quickly. It would be a simple definition dialog that users can add to, linking them back to threads, etc. This would, however, require a lot of work from the users of this site to establish and maintain. Would you volunteer? Smiling
Do it. I'll help, y0. I think that most forums like this have 3 ways of going:

1. Plain old dead
2. Become and information repository and die (pgmfi.org)
3. Have lots and lots of users that ask the same things over and over again (honda-tech.com)

diamondlarry 03-08-2006 03:15 PM

Quote: can think of another
 
Quote:

can think of another site which regularly publishes "articles" on its front page that make unsubstantiated, untested (or poorly tested) FE claims. i don't participate in its forums.
Which site is that? I think I know what you're referring to but I want to be sure.

MetroMPG 03-08-2006 03:19 PM

Re: i mentioned before that the
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Matt Timion
I also fear that this will keep our community smaller.

what's to fear?

it's not the size of your community that matters, it's how you use it!

as for the volunteer question - i'll volunteer to maintain topics i'm interested in, yes. but isn't that the point of a wiki? multiple, open, editing (open to reg'd users)?

the main diff being that it's less of a "thread", and more of an "article". it's mostly a question of format i think. you could likely do it with the existing code (but with no "reply" button at the end of the post).

SVOboy 03-08-2006 03:22 PM

Quote:Which site is that? I
 
Quote:

Which site is that? I think I know what you're referring to but I want to be sure.
It's the one you're thinking of.

MetroMPG 03-08-2006 03:29 PM

i didn't mean to single out
 
i didn't mean to single out any one site - and i don't think any names need be announced.

i've visited many FE sites. all are guilty to a lesser or greater extent. again, it all comes down to the people.

SVOboy 03-08-2006 03:34 PM

You're very diplomatic, . I
 
You're very diplomatic, :p. I used to go to more sites but it's become too much of a hassle. Meh.

diamondlarry 03-08-2006 03:39 PM

Re: You're very diplomatic, . I
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SVOboy
You're very diplomatic, :p. I used to go to more sites but it's become too much of a hassle. Meh.

I'm too much like #5 in Short Circuit I go to as many sites as I can because, "I need input!" :D

MetroMPG 03-08-2006 03:45 PM

another idea: would a chat
 
another idea: would a chat feature be worthwhile?

SVOboy 03-08-2006 03:49 PM

Eh, I'd prolly never really
 
Eh, I'd prolly never really go on the chat, seems too meh. Most sites I see that have chats they never really get used. PMs work just fine for me for random stuff.

MetroMPG 03-08-2006 03:53 PM

probably right. i don't use
 
probably right. i don't use IM. i guess that works for most people though who need to talk in real time.

krousdb 03-08-2006 03:58 PM

Re: Quote:I can write something
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SVOboy
I think that most forums like this have 3 ways of going:

1. Plain old dead
2. Become and information repository and die (pgmfi.org)
3. Have lots and lots of users that ask the same things over and over again (honda-tech.com)

I dunno. Whats so bad about the way it is now? There are sites that are more flashy, vbullitin based, and others that are just plain message boards like yahoo groups. I happen to like this one the best because of what metro said, the people. Another thing I like is that the members here aren't fixated on only new vehicles. It is totally acceptable here to have an old car that you are trying to make better. I also really appreciate that everyone is open minded and willing to experiment with new ideas and attempt to prove/disprove theorys, hypotheses gas saving devices etc.

I guess I dont have any answers for you Matt. I understand your desire to grow the site but with growth comes all of the flaming, politics, attitude, self rightousness and trolling that you find on larger sites. I can do without all of that stuff. :-(

SVOboy 03-08-2006 03:58 PM

I meant specifically the GS
 
I meant specifically the GS pms, not like AIM or MSN, though I do use those also.

SVOboy 03-08-2006 04:00 PM

Quote:I dunno. Whats so bad
 
Quote:

I dunno. Whats so bad about the way it is now?
Nothing at all. I'm just saying that if it's just us forever and ever, well, at least I am gonna run out of stuff to say.

I agree however about the merits of a smaller site.

diamondlarry 03-08-2006 04:08 PM

Quote:Another thing I like
 
Quote:

Another thing I like is that the members here aren't fixated on only new vehicles. It is totally acceptable here to have an old car that you are trying to make better. I also really appreciate that everyone is open minded and willing to experiment with new ideas and attempt to prove/disprove theorys, hypotheses gas saving devices etc.
I agree. There is a Yahoo group or two that if you mention trying to improve the mileage on something like my '78 F-250 they totally jump down your throat. My thought on a vehicle like that is that if any vehicle needs help it would be one like this. Besides, it's not like it's my daily driver. At 9-11 mpg I couldn't afford to drive it too much. In fact, I'm starting to get concerned about the gas going bad from being in the tank so long. So, yes, people can make or kill a discussion group.

rh77 03-08-2006 04:59 PM

Site Success
 
I stumbled upon this site a while back when I was trying to improve fuel economy, since I determined that it was needed in my life. What kept me around at first, was the ability to introduce oneself, and have people warmly welcome you -- especially the webmaster (thanks Matt). Then the support of regular members with questions and hypotheses allowed me to experiment on my car and report the results. That alone made it worthwhile because not only was my project assisted, but now others could learn from benefits and errors.

Ever since, it's become kind of an addiction, even a cause to believe in. The focus on scientifically evaluating products, techniques, and vehicles themselves is very meaningful. I joined a Yahoo MPG group and was bombarded by meaningless arguments, posts that never made it or was never responded-to, and the shear number of mass e-mails about the same topic. I recall a PIB/Torco/Etc thread that went on forever, and nothing was concluded. I left quickly.

I like the fact that this site is very visual, the Gaslog is a valuable tool, and salespeople tend to run off unless we can test the product ;-)

Nothing lasts forever, but this site can continue by keeping its anchor members, getting new members with fresh ideas, and by evolving to our needs. I'm satisfied for now, and won't let even a week go by without checking in.

Keep up the good work...

RH77


Bunger 03-08-2006 05:07 PM

I gotta say also that it's
 
I gotta say also that it's the people here that keep me coming back. I think I check this site as much as I check my email now! There are always interesting topics being discused and I have yet to see any harsh words nor anyone not being open minded about an idea. Keep up the great work everyone! And thanks again Matt for giving us a place to come together.

philmcneal 03-11-2006 11:14 AM

Re: another idea: would a chat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MetroMPG
another idea: would a chat feature be worthwhile?

IRC please, you guys are underestimating this powerful chat tool!

SVOboy 03-11-2006 03:06 PM

I've never had the patience
 
I've never had the patience to figure out IRC.

kickflipjr 03-11-2006 03:21 PM

I like the way this site/
 
I like the way this site/ forum is set up. I wish there was a bit more activity. The new garage setup was a big improvement.

I really don't like how yahoo groups are set up. It is so hard to navigate.

kickflipjr 03-11-2006 03:24 PM

-
 
-pressed it twice...

SVOboy 03-11-2006 03:31 PM

If you want activity check
 
If you want activity check out my new thread for autos, :p

krousdb 03-11-2006 04:19 PM

Re: Pondering internet MPG forums and needed improvements
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Matt Timion
So my question to you all is simple. What can I, we, etc. do to make this more of a primary location for people? How can it be more appealing? How can it be more user friendly? Should we seperate the forum into more specific areas? What additions would you like to see that would make this the first thing that pops in your mind when you think of fuel economy forums?

Just to calibrate you on the value that I place on this website, I present the following data:

My preferred site, before finding this one was GH. In my two years of membership, I posted 217 times. By contrast, in the one month I have been a member here, I have posted 257 times... Make that 258 time counting this post.

Need I say more?

SVOboy 03-11-2006 04:21 PM

Aww, that's like the
 
Aww, that's like the sweetest thing. They should make a valentine's day card out of that.

krousdb 03-11-2006 04:30 PM

Re: Aww, that's like the
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SVOboy
Aww, that's like the sweetest thing. They should make a valentine's day card out of that.

Blush.

MetroMPG 03-12-2006 03:25 PM

'nother suggestion. this
 
'nother suggestion. this one of mine may actually be useful:

how about mouse-over explanations for acronyms, initialisms and other "coined" words or phrases.

one of the bigger frustrations in joining an established forum is trying to decipher these. i recall this was a particular problem for me whenever i visited greenhybrid.com. they have more short-forms for words, cars and techniques than you can throw a stick at (TASA).

the teamswift site has a great technical fix for this. for example, see:

https://www.teamswift.net/viewtopic.php?t=20537

and notice how you can mouseover WTS and TPS for explanations. maybe you've seen this on other boards already.

FYI, i have a feeling the more we get into the nitty & gritty of FE conversation, with WAI vs HAI, FAS, NICE-on / NICE-off, etc, the more this will be appreciated for those seeking MPG.

it will help reduce the classic response: WTF?

SVOboy 03-12-2006 03:54 PM

I'd think that would be the
 
I'd think that would be the place of the wiki, where once HAI is added every mention of HAI on the site becomes a discrete link to the wiki entry for HAI.

zpiloto 03-12-2006 04:44 PM

What about lenght of running Mods.
 
I don't know how you would do it but have some place where you list lenght of time running a modification so that people can see if it has cause a premature failure of a componet. Info for things for example: Starter condition for those that turn the engine off, tire wear, IAT mod, lean burn, Acetone, Torco GP-7 etc for example.

Matt Timion 03-17-2006 12:20 PM

Just did a little
 
<style>
a.wiki
{
color:#009900;
text-decoration: none;
}
</style>

Just did a little research... looks like this functionality (definitions) is VERY easy to impliment. I should be able to do it in about 30 minutes time.

Check out these examples:

<a class="wiki" href="/wiki/TPS" title="Throttle Position Sensor">TPS</a>

<a class="wiki" href="/wiki/HAI" title="Hot Air Intake">HAI</a>

<a class="wiki" href="wiki/w00t" title="Expression of excitement">w00t</a>


SVOboy 03-17-2006 12:32 PM

Matt is super magnificent.
 
Matt is super magnificent.

MetroMPG 03-17-2006 06:24 PM

i bow to his superness.
 
i bow to his superness.

SVOboy 03-17-2006 07:35 PM

Man you, and you gave me all
 
Man you, and you gave me all this whining about how hard it would be to wiki it up. Make the links more discrete like they were the first time for just the mouseover. I wish you had done this a week ago and I woulda had spring break to fill it up with ****, :p


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:17 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.