The Case For a Forum

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by JustinCase, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. I had hoped to see more traffic on the forum by now. I thought that if we provided a safe playground for members to hang out in that people would come in droves. Build it and they will come sort of thing. The really hasn't happened and I've been asking myself why. There are forums for just about every topic under the sun but very few if any women MTB specific forums. Some MTB forums have a women's section but those see very little traffic compared to the general sections. I had assumed it was because a lot of those forums are dominated by males, particularly young and cocky males, which can make interactions on the forum an unpleasant experience. Thus we created this forum in an effort to weed out troublemakers and give you a safe platform to share thoughts, opinions and loves and gripes without fear of some punkass chiming in with belittling replies.

    So that being said, I thought I would make this post in an effort to help you understand why forums are very useful tools and hopefully learn more about what it is YOU would like to see on the forum or why you choose not to use them.

    Question: Why have a forum when we have Facebook (FB)?
    Answer: Facebook is very useful in a lot of ways but storing useful information and getting good advice that can be used by others in the future is positively NOT one of them. For example, if you need advice on the best chamois or the best tires for your particular trails you can ask the questions on FB and receive replies but very soon that post will get lost in the ether, sometimes in less than a day! The advice, sometimes extremely helpful, is now useless to anyone else who may have a similar question next week, next year or 5 years from now. In contrast, a forum stores all of the information in a very organized manner which is easy to navigate and find at a later date or even during a Google (browser) search. Finding good information can be tough. Finding good women's specific information is even tougher! I guarantee if you try to search for "best women's mountain bike saddle" you will not turn up a Facebook post. You will find a lot of saddle reviews from sites like MTBR, Bike Radar etc. but not a lot of forums which tend to be the least biased as the users are not being paid advertising dollars. Try it! You'll find one forum post from MTBR but it is from 2012. Pretty out of date huh? BUT, that post may provide excellent information despite the date and someone could chime in with updates and experiences that revive the thread and make it helpful again. That is the beauty of a well run forum! You simply cannot get that in Facebook. By posting your questions and experiences on a forum you are contributing to the MTB community now and for future riders. When you post the same things on Facebook you are helping yourself and a handful of others for a very limited amount of time. :(

    It's also a lot easier (once you learn how) to post photos and videos on a forum to share with others. These can be super helpful in the future by new members or even non-members who are looking for new places to ride or visit. Just built up your new bike and want to show it off? Post it in a forum for maximum viewing and bring up the thread to update as you make additions or changes to it. Install a new part and had issues? Post it up on the forum so that you can get help and also help others before they purchase the product. Are you seeing a reoccurring theme here? It's all about helping each other out and a forum does that WAY better than Facebook can.

    Question: Why do I care if you use the forum or not?
    Answer: Mainly because I (we) like to help others and have an easy way to refer people to quality answers to their questions. A forum could also help provide ad revenue if enough people use it and that would allow us (MTB EXP) to do more for this community. It's hard running a business based on being helpful to others for free and clinics barely cover their own costs. Ad revenue is minor to say the least as it takes thousands of active members to amount to anything but every little bit helps. So the forum could help everyone and not cost either one of us anything more than your time spent hanging with friends in an online format (unlike Facebook which contributes $0.00 to our community). :D
    Are there topics or features you would like to see on the forum? Would a "How to" guide be useful for you to learn how to use the forum easily?

    I'd love to hear your thoughts.
    Justin ~ Shuttle Beotch

    Alycia likes this.
  2. I really like the forum for the same reasons you listed above. I think the format allows for more depth, ongoing discussions on a given topic, and a bit more creativity. It's why I was really excited when the forum was first introduced.

    I think because the Facebook group is such a well-established community, people are comfortable with what they're familiar with. It's hard to redirect people to a new format, especially when Facebook is the go-to online social medium for our day to day lives.

    I hope the forum takes off. I think it's a great idea. I love using it. And I like how it's organized. Have you shared it with MTBR? Spread the word in other ways like Instagram? Perhaps some sort of interactive game to stir it up... like the Christmas giveaway had a lot of activity. The MTB community always enjoys a little friendly competition. What if you had a prize for most posts or comments by a certain date? Just an idea...brainstorming...

    I like a the idea of a simple "how-to". I'd like to know if there is a way to receive email notifications if there's a new post in a particular sub forum.
    JustinCase and Alycia like this.
  3. I think you need to advertise this on MTBR and get the women over here. That place is a big testosorone fest, and it would be nice to get some women over here.
  4. I don't spend much time here... I promise I'm gonna work on that!!
    JustinCase and kreme.brulee like this.
  5. I thought about it but being an Admin there and all would make it sort of a conflict of interest. I don't want to take anything away from MTBR. In fact I mean to help grow it. This place is different. :)
  6. Most forums I used to belong to have gone by the wayside. Facebook took the place of most of them.
  7. It definitely seems that way!
  8. Well, it is, which is good, and I bet with the amount of people getting upset about the sexism over there, you could draw in more folks. Also, the fact that MTBR still doesn't support HTTPS and keeps sending passwords in the clear doesn't endear me to using it even as much as I have been.

    Also, is there any chance of supporting tapatalk from this forum? Not sure if it's possible or not, but it would be nice to check this on my phone.
    jenibolts and kreme.brulee like this.
  9. ^ Tapatalk would be great!
    jenibolts and kreme.brulee like this.
  10. Let me see if that is possible!
    kreme.brulee likes this.

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