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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As all of you who received the Christmas MLR magazine will have read, the MLR forum will become 'write' access only to fully paid up members of the MLR from 1st March 2002. This decision came about after a lot of deliberation but was felt the best way forward for the MLR, the Forum and it's members for the following reasons;

The Forum has become extremely popular over the past year and this has meant a large increase in bandwidth. This doesn't come for free and rather than pay for this increase by use of banners or (even worse!) pop-up adverts, it was felt that as the members pay for the Forum, they should be the main beneficiaries.

The Forum is a very valuable tool as many people have testified, having helped Lancer owners and enthusiasts worldwide. If all non-members consider the enjoyment this Forum has provided, and the time and money they've saved from information posted here, we're sure everyone will realise the Forum's worth and understand this decision.

After the recent breach of the Terms of Agreement which has put the MLR at serious risk of being sued (more than once), giving write access to members will give an additional level of control which should be welcomed by everyone who is serious about this Forum.

Read access will still be available for everyone - and everyone is welcome to join probably the best Lancer club on the planet. . . . and keep posting!

Thankyou.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
fair point, not a problem, cheque is in the post.

However,
what about the future evo owners? who come to ask valuable questions prior to making what is a very expenive purchase. surely this will only harm the future of the cars that we try to promote.

perhaps a guest section should be added which gives write access to non members for this purpose? this could be closely moderated to remove any irrelevant stuff!
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Excellent Darin.

Robert, as far as new users go - it is tricky, I agree. With HH6's up and coming FAQ, that will help. We can concentrate on answering questions there. MAny questions asked here are the same time and time again. We could have a ask the members email address or something similar.

ANy kind of write access here will just become a mini forum, no matter how closely it is moderated. Email works best. A high percentage of general questions are answered by HH6 anyway. Specialist ones are answered by Lightspeed, Evoboy, Oligoon. I have been known to answer a few, as have T27, Simon7 etc.

I am sure members like myself will be happy to help produce FAQ's etc.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
From my point of view it's a bit thick for foreign users to pay just to able to post on a public forum without getting any other benefit out of a MLR membership meaning track days, car shows, driver tuition, meetings etc. I don't know any other car forums where you have to pay only to be able to post.

Mike
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
must agree, with scooby,

I think that the following that the board has built will disappear and the forum will become a very quiet place!
I would suggest that most people like myself only decide to become paid up members once thay have spent some time on the board and have met with other users. who is going to buy into a register blind? just so that they can post. this is the best vehicle for recruitment of new members so perhaps a bigger effort should be made to sell the club to new board users. I have posted regularly for 6 months or so and have not once been asked if i would like to convert to fully paid up.
perhaps members like barry who have a high level of expertise in marketing could advise on how to make the forum more financially viable?

this is a forum for everyone to enjoy...will we be asked to do funny handshakes when we meet. We will be labelled as stuck up ponses by the other BB's are we better and more exclusive than them? NO
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Roberts point is a good one:

I am about to become an Evo owner and as such I will join - no probs.

As you can see I joined a while ago and have been asking all sorts of questions along the way trying to make the correct purchase and finding out about any hidden costs etc. The forum is packed with valuable information and i know you can do a search but sometimes its easier just to post and ask, then you will be pointed in the right direction of a previous thread or answered on the spot.

Would it be possible to give someone a month's FREE access with write control (does that make sense?), then they have to become a member. I know you would get the odd person re applying just to get another free month but I think they would be easy to see.

Jeremy
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think 'tis a good idea on one level esp. given how BBS's always disintegrate into filthy, abusive childish mayhem before long. But potential evo owners will not be able to come on and ask questions, be directed to info and other websites etc.. This is a bad thing. There should IMO definitely be a public access section running alongside.

R
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
While I think that there are ways of sorting out newbie questions, I am concerned about how we can still get contributions from our foriegn friends and I have raised this directly with the committee and other moderators. It would be a shame to loose the contributions from the likes of Claudius, ScoobyMike and Andre.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I can only agree with whats been said above, how about a reduced rate forum only membership, that should acceptable for overseas users?

Public access is a very important part of this forum, I can understand the reasons why we are restricting it but can't help but feel we are going to do ourselves more damage than good in the long run.

This forum is THE reason why I joined the MLR in the first place, if I hadn't have been able to use the forum for a while I'm not sure that I'd have joined at all.

As for the cost of running the forum, there are other alternatives, raise the price of membership (yes I would be prepared to pay a little extra), fund raising (sponser blade per lap at the rally day!).

The main problem as I see it is the risk of being sued, other clubs seem to manage this threat so why can't we?

Ryan
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Have to agree with Roberts point to an extent,
The forum has approx 1500 registered users and although there aren't 1500 members that post that often I'm sure that the board will become a lot quieter and not as useful because people can't come on, post there specific problem and then await the responses which is what the majority of users do. I can see quite a few people moving back to Lancerforums as happened when the board was closed down previously.

And why does the forum not agree with the use of banner ads. It works very well on scoobynet and they are non-intrusive but present if you need them. I think that the MLR are missing out on a potential source of good income by not including banner ads on the site.

And giving write access only to members provides very little increased control than that which is currently present. People who are members can still post their own views and opinions and unless the change also results in increased moderation and blocking of people from posting, it won't be much of an increase in security.

Just my thoughts

Andy
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
presumably, liability insurance can cover the cost of being sued - understand that this will be passed back to memebers.

I would be willing to pay a little extra for my membership to enable a reduced fee for overseas contributors.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
whats the legallities of someone posting liabelous info as a paid up member or a non paying member (guest) surely the MLR is more responsible for comments posted by its paid members. surely by agreeing with the terms and conditions the MLR distance themselves from such tosh?

if there are no new comments raised by new guests/potential buyers then there will be no responses from the tech heads hence no info to search in the data base.


MLR RIP
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Chaps I can understand the reasons that you might consider stopping non-members posting, but I think that its not a positive step for all the reasons that the others have mentioned:- new users will be put off; foreign users will not post; it won't give that much more control over whats posted etc.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I can fully see the economic need to start generating a revenue stream for the MLR-- even if only to support its continued existence. As I've mentioned in the past, Evo specialists are so few and far between here in the Philippines, that the MLR has in many cases been the first place I have run to, to get advice. Certainly my Evo experience in the last 10 months I've owned the car has been made so much richer because of the (virtual) camaraderie that this board provides. Hence, I have no objections in principle to paying up, to become a full member here.

As others have pointed-out however, there are many benefits of MLR membership that foreign owners such as myself simply can't avail of, such as track days, RR days, group buys, and whatever other social activities stem from here. For this reason, I think it's a tad inequitable to levy the same fee on foreign members, as it is to UK-based members.

I would suggest considering a multi-tiered membership fee arrangement, and/or alternative revenue streams such as banners/ads, or even a premium services package... or some combination of the above. I'm sure there are others options beyond these as well.

At the end of the day, if the final decision is to stay with the flat rate for all members, then I WILL pay-up (but please, can foreign members be given the option to pay via credit card? I don't have a GBP account!). I am hopeful though, that the scheme that gets worked out in the end is both fair to ALL members, and at the same time doesn't result in a precipitous drop in activity on this excellent forum.

Cheers!
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
into my last month then. :(
As an ex-owner I don't want to pay for the priveledge and not have the motor to boot. Have fun folks

Have been inhabiting the scooby forum lately as its so active its great fun. Hope this one doesn't get any quieter but can't see any other route for it if people are asked to pay to play.

Regards
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What about a moderated posting form for non-members? Potential posts would be sent to the moderators, any one of which could authorise the post so that it appears on the forum. That way non-members can still post pertinent questions in any category without all the dross appearing all the time - common queries would be directed towards the FAQs.

Also, 'trusted member' status could be given to folk that should not really be asked to pony up for a full membership (overseas, ex-owenrs etc.) - we all know the names of a few people in this category - a nominal fee could be charged (PayPal?) without the hassles of clearing foreign bank cheques etc.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Chunky, sounds like a good option so that our out-of-town friends are not lost. I agree with the theory on paying members to post, but a lot of quality information may be lost and the BBS will suffer for it.
 
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