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Is anybody out there?

The Facebook group was set up at the behest of members, largely for the reasons stated in the word document. I sent these comments to the Club HQ and was heartened to hear back that improvements to the Forum are in hand which will, in particular, make posting of photos a simpler process. Additionally, work has recommenced on an in house PCGB app.
But, for now, the fact remains that ease of use of other media, especially for "chit chat", far outweighs the "clunky" (their words, not mine) nature of the forum. In it's current form, the great majority of the FB group would not use the forum even if that group was shut down, for the same reasons they didn't use it before the group was set up. In my view the only way that will happen is if the forum is available, possibly through an app, which allows the user to be permanently logged on and has quick access to conversations on their hand held devices and easy upload of multiple photos.

Since returning from our Cotswolds tour I have put up threads about two new potential events and reminders about two others. Forum goers have equal opportunity to have their say. Previous to those, all extra ad hoc coffee and cake type events were announced in both places. There were no posts on the forum by members.

I'm not sure what you're asking for regarding having content reproduced in both places? Do you want a thread where Facebook 'conversations' are copied over to the Forum? All news and events are available to all members via the Region pages or newsletters and anyone is at liberty to start a discussion about them here, just as they do on Facebook.

I take the point about publishing items in multiple places but that's got to be an absolute nightmare for Admins (of which I'm thankfully not one - keep up the good work guys!). The relative success of the Facebook 'solution' is down to usability but surely if the Forum/App/Platform was good enough to be a one stop shop for all PCGB information then it would be used. As soon as you start relying on external IT platforms then you lose control unless you have a very good contract with your IT supplier including potential penalty clauses. Somehow I can't see Facebook signing up to that...?

Starting from here it's not an easy problem to solve. If a new platform is being developed for PCGB I suggest that what will win people over is usability from multiple devices and exclusive content that members will benefit from.
I tend to use forums for more technical queries to see if I can find answers for myself. The slower more formal approach of the forum format is not conducive to getting quick answers. I joined Facebook for the sole purpose of being part of the Porsche group as I also hate it in general.
In the past I've asked questions and got detailed answers from experienced people very quickly.
This was all done on my phone where I could share photos, videos and text easily. Facebook can be an annoying place but as a group tool it's incredible. Alan will testify to that having seen what Martin Josey and I have done with it in a separate group. We actually have a community with nothing more than a basic Facebook group.
I agree the forum is a club resource but unfortunately one that now looks more at home in the late nineties.
Time for an update and refresh as it's now the 21st century and things have moved on somewhat.
One wonders why PistonHeads Porsche forum is so active. Useless search, insecure PMs, difficult image loading, very difficult to embed YouTube.
Disclaimer: I'm a new-to-club R16 member who is up for some away days with neighbouring regions, also someone who wanted more than quiet user forums on a couple of web sites for the karting class in which my son raced and set up a Facebook group that really took off.

The PCGB forums serve multiple purposes; there are technical content and regional groups. Although I have only dabbled, I think that there will always be value in the technical groups; they are seen as the de-facto place to go for expert opinion. Regional groups on the other hand are all about engagement and, whether you love or loathe it, there is nothing as good as Facebook. I would guess over 80% of members are already on Facebook, the majority of which will be firing up an app and seeing what is on their newsfeed on a daily basis. You only have to look at Alan's post on Facebook and the response that it garnered in 24 hours compared with any previous attempt to engage on the R15 forum to see how much more attention that the Facebook post had. For social side of PCGB engagement it seems pointless to resist; why try reinventing the wheel? It's worth pointing out that any group is only as good as it's admin. Quite often it is the admin who has to keep the group fresh with new posts as I am sure that Alan understands.

Regarding the argument of having resources split across sites, that genie is out of the bottle and it was right to move with the times. All the region can do is continue to promote its events in both locations. I respect those who have no time for Facebook and in many ways I agree but it's a personal decision whether or not to join that side of the community. You aren't missing out on anything that you pay for, it's just that others have decided they want to make it easier to socialise and engage. A new app isn't going to change that.
Hiya team,

R2 RO here. I agree with the, shall we say, pro-Facebook comments above. I was the creator of our R2 FB group before we became RO's, and it's grown to about 210 members, just over 1/2 of our total regional membership count.

Our group is completely optional and serves only a social purpose. We do not publicise events or official club business on there, at least until after the official mailchimp has gone out, if at all.
Nobody is disadvantaged by not being part of it.

As many others have said, the key advantage is ease of use. As an RO I can upload photos and videos directly from my phone camera. I also get push notifications whenever someone posts or comments, or whenever a member asks to join. It's much more rapid, dynamic and fits into everyday life.

Conversely, I have to make a special effort to log into this forum, navigate through each of the subsections and interact with filters to see what is new.
The benefit here is that the forum is searchable and a permanent record, so good for technical answers.

To address the repeated point from Clive, to paraphrase 'I don't want to use social media so why should I miss out on club activity as a result'

Well, in my opinion, the reason why is as simple as the fact its a personal choice to use or not use FB/SocMed.
You are perfectly free to create a FB account with no personal details, using a pseudonym and fictional DOB even, with a sole purpose to take part in that group.

In the same way, nobody is forcing members to have an internet connection or an email account.
But if you choose not to have these things you will not be able to benefit from this forum... or regular email notification of events or to book you place at events on the website.

I choose to live in a great part of the country here in NE Scotland, with the best roads, least traffic etc..
But that choice means Silverstone Classic is a £600 weekend away and not a £60 day out like it is for the many members who live within driving distance. As is the issue with practically every other national club event for us.

It's all swings and roundabouts. Your choices affect how much you get out of the club, and that's down to each and every one of us. There is no right or wrong answer.
I think that many people find FB to be the thing that works the best for them and that is OK.

Change is the only constant in life and to cling on to the Forum as the heart of online socialising for PCGB is in my opinion resisting an inevitable change.
Unless an App can be developed that gives the functionality of FB for this Forum..

Just my twa-pennies.

Yours aye,

George_Mayson said:
You are perfectly free to create a FB account with no personal details, using a pseudonym and fictional DOB even, with a sole purpose to take part in that group.

Is that correct George? When I tried that a couple of years ago I received an email from Facebook asking for a photo of myself, which I sent. Shortly after I received a message from them saying they’d deleted my new account because I wasn’t who I said I was, or words to that effect.

I didn't have a photo until very recently and had no problem setting up a Facebook account so it can be done.

geoff lane said:
I didn't have a photo until very recently and had no problem setting up a Facebook account so it can be done.

Do you mean that you too were able to create a FB account as George described, using a pseudonym, incorrect d.o.b., and no personal details? If so, perhaps I’ll try again. Thanks.
So the answer to my original question is yes - there is more happening on Social Media. :rolleyes:

But this thread proves there is life here too. ?? We've had an interesting discussion with members giving their own opinions, whilst maintaining respect for each other. We all know our own RO, Alan is on the side of the forum since he is one of its most prolific contributors. [:)]

We also know there are many examples where Register and Regional forums have become dead as dodos. Their officials have fallen asleep on the job and have not worked to provide content. No content equals no visitors and it's then death by neglect! [:(] I don't think many of our Directors like the forum much either. It's too easy for grass roots members to express unease and criticism. ?? Elsewhere though, some Registers and Regions have lively forums, full of interesting content and a host of contributors. Officials are doing the job properly, promoting and working at it.

Personally, I would love to see a flourishing R15 forum again full of information, news, views, topics, members' activities, trivia etc. as it all adds to the flavour and enjoyment of my membership experience and makes me feel part of the Club. By all means, use third party media concerns too if you wish, but please don't kill off our own precious Club facility in doing so. ??


AndrewT said:
Do you mean that you too were able to create a FB account as George described, using a pseudonym, incorrect d.o.b., and no personal details? If so, perhaps I’ll try again. Thanks.

I aplogise if I have given incorrect information here.

What I can say is we have a member on our SocMed who has no profile photo, and uses a pseudonym. I can't see how they can know whether your DOB is correct or not.
I'm more than happy to run both forums, this and FB, in parallel, providing news and event information. That's my role. However, I'm not prepared to continually wrack my brains trying to come up with "trivia, views and other topics" in either place. It's a member's club which means members have CONTRIBUTE and PARTICIPATE not sit back and wait to be served, which seems to be a trend in all areas not just the forum. There are 7 active threads in the R15 members only section and a couple in the open area, started by me, which have received half a dozen replies, mostly by one member.

I have advertised for a keen individual to inject some topics, trivia etc that you ask for and it will feature in the forthcoming newsletter too. However, as many contributors to this and to the 992 thread have said, this forum does not lend itself to the kind of exchanges you can have on other platforms. What the forum does brilliantly is allow longer articles - such as how to get a centre lock wheel off or fit radiator grilles.

At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, the reasons our members are not using the form are clear from the comments I received. Until those issues are addressed I fear it's going to be "Me, you and a dog named Boo" posting on here.

Having trawled through other region forums, it appears there are only a couple that you might call active. Curiously, the largest region of all, R20, has no acfive posts at all.

Edited to add the last para
To be honest I only popped over from Facebook to answer this thread. It's been an interesting discussion but I'll return back to the 21st century now!
I'd like to point out that Alan is an excellent organiser and is endlessly looking for activities to do in the area. I think the demographic of the area may be contributing to the level of engagement as there still may be some fear about mixing again.
The quietness on this forum is certainly not for lack of Alan's effort and commitment. I'll certainly be learning a great deal from him if I can keep my Boxster out of the knackers yard for a little longer.
tscaptain said:
Having trawled through other region forums, it appears there are only a couple that you might call active. Curiously, the largest region of all, R20, has no active posts at all.

Alan for the record, contrary to the urban myth, we are not the largest region. There are several regions with a larger membership, notably Surrey, Chilterns and Thames Valley to name a few. Our postcode area is relatively small. However, we do make a lot of noise and pull in members from surrounding regions to our events [:)]

On forum use, our efforts are focused on organising activities, 5 within the last 10 days, another on Sunday. All our events are posted and promoted on other parts of the Club website and indeed, at the request of London members, way back in 2011, social media.

Edwina and I have taken a view that we do what our local members want and not those who live outside it.

Note, that after having had my wife trolled on here by some who think it's OK because the world can't see it, it's not surprising that others might avoid using it too.

Clive, whilst I hear your views about the forum, and it's use, we as a region won't be using it until some underlying issues have been sorted.

Nick - London RO
ted walker said:
Well said Clive. R16 is a good example of nothingness!!!
Hello Ted, last I heard you had left the club but it’s great you have rejoined.
Not seen you at any of our events for over a year now.
you missed a great gathering at Prescott last week (posted on the forum), hope to see you at our event this Saturday at Castle Combe, as posted on the forum.

best regards Stuart

It seems to me that the forum has to compete for members attention. If it doesn't it is likely to become extinct in all but name as it is currently swimming against an ever strengthening tide.

As most of you know I had a later life crisis and went off and had an affair with a McLaren. Having come to my senses and returned to Porsche (or at least tried to) I was disappointed to see that the forum had not moved with the times. It is still difficult to use, clunky, slow and does not compare favourably with the competition despite being a great knowledge source. It would need quite a bit spent on it to bring it into this century and I am not sure if that would be worthwhile given the available resources. Also I am always conscious of the fact that the club fees are low and is consequently run by volunteers. Should we not make their life as easy as possible and use platforms that are readily available out there

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