The future of car clubs in the Facebook age

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eefy
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The future of car clubs in the Facebook age

Post by eefy » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:25 am

A many of you know I also write a blog, http://www.thepetrolstop.com and I've recently written an article about how Facebook is affecting car clubs, and for the best part the Scirocco Register has embraced and is thriving with it-

http://www.thepetrolstop.com/2015/04/ar ... ebook.html

What are your thoughts about Facebook and the falling car club member numbers?


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Dr. Dub
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Re: The future of caar clubs in the Facebook age

Post by Dr. Dub » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:18 am

I detest Facebook. Nowadays it as though you must comply with Facebook, iphones, Twitter etc. No thanks, I'll stick with good old forums, independent websites that aren't part of Facebook and my Android phone. The drop off of fantastic VW shows like BVF can't be blamed on Facebook can it? Maybe it's just a broader case of there are only so many cars you can see before things get stale. I used to go to BVF every year, but it was pretty much the same line up of cars each time. Sadly that show is now history. People want new things and soon get bored. That may be the case with forums, perhaps they were a fad. Remember MS Messenger? How great was that at the time? Now it seems archaic. In time I'm sure Facebook will be a distant memory. Dedicated forums like this are essential in my view. They're not for everyone, but they are the linchpin for smaller car clubs. The stand alone presence also gives a better impression of the club when not melded in with the other tosh on Facebook.

We must also face the fact that Sciroccos are becoming rarer, not counting the Mk3 of course. So inevitably interest in them is bound to decline purely through attrition of vehicles.


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MRMENDER
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Re: The future of caar clubs in the Facebook age

Post by MRMENDER » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:08 am

Dr. Dub wrote:I detest Facebook. Nowadays it as though you must comply with Facebook, iphones, Twitter etc. No thanks, I'll stick with good old forums, independent websites that aren't part of Facebook and my Android phone. The drop off of fantastic VW shows like BVF can't be blamed on Facebook can it? Maybe it's just a broader case of there are only so many cars you can see before things get stale. I used to go to BVF every year, but it was pretty much the same line up of cars each time. Sadly that show is now history. People want new things and soon get bored. That may be the case with forums, perhaps they were a fad. Remember MS Messenger? How great was that at the time? Now it seems archaic. In time I'm sure Facebook will be a distant memory. Dedicated forums like this are essential in my view. They're not for everyone, but they are the linchpin for smaller car clubs. The stand alone presence also gives a better impression of the club when not melded in with the other tosh on Facebook.

We must also face the fact that Sciroccos are becoming rarer, not counting the Mk3 of course. So inevitably interest in them is bound to decline purely through attrition of vehicles.
Well said Dr. Dub
I'm sure FB can play it's part but it's not for me



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Re: The future of caar clubs in the Facebook age

Post by jim91 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:21 pm

I don't do facebook, not my thing but think the likes of this forum are great. Have seen a lot of forums including here becoming really quiet latley as their facebook pages are easier to access from phones etc and are thriving.



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Re: The future of caar clubs in the Facebook age

Post by the edmundator » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:21 pm

Before the inter web, car club membership was essential if you owned anything where you needed a reliable source of hard-to-find spares, access to model-specific expertise, or even just a channel through which you could make contact with other people who shared your enthusiasm for the car in question. All of that is available for free, at a moment's notice, via the web.

That is good, because it means you don't have to wait a month or two to find that elusive spare part, or work out why your clutch feels really heavy. Unfortunately it also means that paying to join a club becomes less attractive. It means that clubs have fewer opportunities to invest in things that make owning the car easier. Unless you're running your club as a business or charity and need to reach a certain turnover to stay out of debt, this isn't really a problem. I suspect it hurts the bigger clubs more than the little ones - if you rely on membership payments to pay for premises, staff etc it's a lot more of a problem if people stop paying-up.

For the Scirocco Register to remain relevant, it needs to be on social media. Otherwise another group becomes more important - and the membership spreads apart. That's not necessarily a problem, but at least we know what the aims and values of SR are, which we might not get with someone else calling the shots.


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whiteshark
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Re: The future of caar clubs in the Facebook age

Post by whiteshark » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:48 pm

I teach Broadcast Journalism and part of the course covers Facebook and social media. To attract younger members Facebook is essential. In reality if you explain to users how Facebook works and the algorhytms it deploys, users are quite shocked. On a global basis it is great for our fellow Rocco owner in Australia but I'm no fan, not a user and enjoy my privacy. I think the Scirocco register Forum has died a bit since joining Facebook. There are less posts and only a hardcore bunch of enthusiasts, RIP Ian. But to attract a younger generation of Rocco owners it is the only way to go. Hopefully both can coincide. Dr Dubb hit on the head !! Great post and I have to concur with him.



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Doug T
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Re: The future of caar clubs in the Facebook age

Post by Doug T » Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:56 pm

I am on the Register and I support the concept of the forum but I don't post that often given I am not in the UK.
I am not a big fan of Facebook for technical conversation because it is difficult to find the information after time passes and it is not on your latest home wall. The other problem I find with Facebook is the continuous distraction with other friends and friends of friends that are not on topic and just posting spam. I use Facebook to communicate to a large group of VW enthusiasts and it works very well however, friends often share the information to others that are outside of the intended enthusiasts group. When the information expands beyond the target group it has positive and negative consequences. One consequence is when more people show up to a Scirocco event where space is limited but the uninvited drive some other make of car and don't have a good time because we are talking about stuff they can't relate to. Folks that were invited then have to park far away because the space was taken by the uninvited.

I have found several of my Facebook status posts shared on the Register's Facebook page and it was not my original intention to have it show up on the Register's page. It is not a real problem that the Register shows my status sometimes but when it happens I am no longer connected to my own status post. My status takes on a new life without my knowledge. Fortunately the posts that end up on the Register have Scirocco content and it is great that more of the community has a chance to see what others like me are thinking about outside of the Register.

The other issue is that many of us don't have so much time to spend looking in all the different places for information.


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GTXTRA
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Re: The future of caar clubs in the Facebook age

Post by GTXTRA » Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:42 pm

It was in response to the reduced forum traffic we decided to try 'new' ways of engaging with people old and new. At the time someone had also set up a well received SR page without really getting official go ahead - once we got that sorted it has gone from strength to strength.

FB has certainly opened up things to new folk - admittedly not all of them come onto the forum but that's the way of things at the moment. In order to keep the new blood coming and to continue to keep in touch with the many former forum regulars who now 'demand' a different way of getting their SR fix.

I'm still on here most days and where appropriate link to the forum on the UK and the International FB pages to help push a message or an idea.

We also use twitter @Type531533 to maintain links with the mags and some of the traders plus these 'new' channels mean I can see how the other car groups communicate with their members and the wider world.

We'll always have a forum like this as far as I am concerned - we've got some glitches still and some updates to run but the 'tech department' is aware and will sort in due course.

In addition Heath is also always on the lookout for interesting content for the magazine so however people choose to interact with SR Skyrocket remains a staple.


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Lukeh17
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Re: The future of car clubs in the Facebook age

Post by Lukeh17 » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:12 pm

Hi all,

I am a young guy and hate facebook. I don't see why all us young people have it when we also have all the other gadgets too. It maybe useful in getting more people join here though. Almost like free marketing. I understand it if you have family, friends etc abroad but its not for me. As for falling car forums, I think its a shame because they are so useful. You have people on there that know so much about the cars and give very useful information and tips and in some cases probably save people quite a bit of money. Also they are a great place to meet people with the same car and they provide spares for cars.



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Mr Funk
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Re: The future of car clubs in the Facebook age

Post by Mr Funk » Sat May 02, 2015 7:27 am

Social media is essential, without it the Register wouldn't be half as big as it is.
Those of you only using the forum don't see the half of it, the pages, groups on Facebook and Instagram feeds are infinatly more popular than anything we post here. But the previous posts are bang on, the forum is the heart of it all.
We took a lot of grief when we decided to start the pages and feeds, it might not be for everyone but there's no denying that it was the right choice at the right time


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fev1983
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Re: The future of car clubs in the Facebook age

Post by fev1983 » Sat May 02, 2015 9:05 pm

I don't do facebook as I think it Is awful.
But I do Twitter as I find that just a quick few words and news features are great.
Why is the register Twitter page not that popular????
The facebook page seems to thrive but Twitter doesnt,so come on let's get that going.

Danny