2017 Results Just In!

Moderators: Amskeptic, Sluggo

TrollFromDownBelow
Old School!
Posts: 974
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:15 am
Location: Metro Detroit
Status: Offline

Re: 2017 Results Just In!

Post by TrollFromDownBelow » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:03 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

"is the juice worth the squeeze?"

As far as you continuing the IAC, that should be your motto. It will allow you to determine how many visits you want to make (or don't), how much you charge (or don't), and how many weeks you work (or don't), and then adjust appropriately based upon your ability (or lack there of) to do so.

As far as this website, I would propose that it is free until they hit a certain threshold (e.g. 50 posts, or 100 posts) this way it won't strangle newbies from posting and growing the site, and I would make it a graduated subscription (the longer you are on, the more you pay) that would culminate in lifetime free subscription once you hit "x" amount of posts, etc. Because you want those veterans sticking around to be able to answer newbie questions.

Cheers,
Mike
1976 VW Bus aka tripod
FI ...8 completely solid lifters.... now it's both kinda noisy and leaky, but she sure runs good!
hambone wrote: There are those out there with no other aim but to bunch panties. It's like arguing with a pretzel.
::troll2::

User avatar
jimbear
Getting Hooked!
Posts: 180
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:49 pm
Location: Athens, GA
Status: Offline

Re: 2017 Results Just In!

Post by jimbear » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:13 am

Selfish as it sounds, I am hoping that if you do decide to shelve (or severely limit) the yearly itinerary that you will A) settle in the Southeast and B) continue to ply your skills regionally. :thumbleft:
'74 Hardtop Westy
Pretty much stock engine setup

User avatar
Bleyseng
IAC Addict!
Posts: 2283
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:31 am
Location: Seattle again
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: 2017 Results Just In!

Post by Bleyseng » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:38 am

Just have some banner ads from suppliers to make some money off the BBS. Subscriptions? Now that I am retired senior I don't like the sound of that! Also to fight off aging, join a gym and exercise to build strength and flexibility as it gets harder to climb under a car every year! :bootyshake:
Geoff
77 Sage Green Westy- CS 2.0L-160,000 miles
70 Ghia vert, black, stock 1600SP,- 139,000 miles,
76 914 2.1L-Nepal Orange- 160,000+ miles
http://bleysengaway.blogspot.com/

Jivermo
IAC Addict!
Posts: 1196
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:57 pm
Status: Offline

Re: 2017 Results Just In!

Post by Jivermo » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:33 am

As I reflect more on this, I think about some of the very good suggestions posted by this tribe. I'd like to see the website modernized and made easier to use, too. I gave up posting pics because of the hassle; I could pull an alternator in the time it takes. Update and banner ads...a moderate subscription rate, good ideas. If you take care of yourself, you have a good 10-12 more years of this you can easily do, I think. Ditch the smokes and that damn soda. Take up ganja and beer.

User avatar
Amskeptic
IAC "Help Desk"
IAC "Help Desk"
Posts: 22207
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 8:47 am
Status: Offline

Re: 2017 Results Just In!

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:28 am

TrollFromDownBelow wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:03 pm
"is the juice worth the squeeze?"

As far as you continuing the IAC, that should be your motto. It will allow you to determine how many visits you want to make (or don't), how much you charge (or don't), and how many weeks you work (or don't), and then adjust appropriately based upon your ability (or lack there of) to do so.

As far as this website, I would propose that it is free until they hit a certain threshold (e.g. 50 posts, or 100 posts) this way it won't strangle newbies from posting and growing the site, and I would make it a graduated subscription (the longer you are on, the more you pay) that would culminate in lifetime free subscription once you hit "x" amount of posts, etc. Because you want those veterans sticking around to be able to answer newbie questions.

Cheers,
Mike
Community Forums and Whatever would be fully open and free.

Technical Forums would be an annual subscription, but you best believe that it will not look like the current rat's nest of chatty sometimes irrelevant commentary.

Each Technical Forum would have an interactive troubleshooter at the top that guides you through the diagnostic tree based on your yes/no responses. At various points, there will be active links to diagrams or the glossary or relevant posts in that heading. And yes, it will be arty and referential to the book colors. Still fleshing it out. Have to give zabo "storyboard" templates as soon as I have the art supplies all unpacked.

What is that worth? Numbers please.
Heh, time for my nap, by cracky.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .110,350 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,775 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . 72,350 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,478 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 64,425 miles

71whitewesty
Getting Hooked!
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:28 pm
Status: Offline

Re: 2017 Results Just In!

Post by 71whitewesty » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:17 am

I'm selfishly hoping you continue because I have a lot to learn...😁

Jivermo
IAC Addict!
Posts: 1196
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:57 pm
Status: Offline

Re: 2017 Results Just In!

Post by Jivermo » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:05 pm

Someone else mentioned retirement, and the cut in funds that come with that, but I think 50.00 a year is manageable. I know I contribute that to the Samba, and I only use that for the classified most of the time.

User avatar
hambone
Post-Industrial Non-Secular Mennonite
Posts: 14728
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:28 pm
Location: Portland, Ore.
Status: Offline

Re: 2017 Results Just In!

Post by hambone » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:32 pm

I don't think charging for forums is a good idea. You will chase people away, and they will go elsewhere. It's not going to make you very much money anyway. If the costs are covered, let the community take its course.
http://greencascadia.blogspot.com
http://pdxvolksfolks.blogspot.com
it balances on your head just like a mattress balances on a bottle of wine
your brand new leopard skin pillbox hat

TrollFromDownBelow
Old School!
Posts: 974
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:15 am
Location: Metro Detroit
Status: Offline

Re: 2017 Results Just In!

Post by TrollFromDownBelow » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:16 pm

Couple of thoughts.....

If you are going to charge, somehow, you need to ensure that you can guarantee a more precise diagnosis and recommended fix.... OR.. a much more entertaining experience than posting on a free forum and let resident experts chime in.. For the sake of argument, let's just say you've figured this part out...that you've built the ultimate bay window bus diagnosis experience on the web.

As for pricing, would suggest both a "pay as you go" price (e.g. $1per question) and a subscription amt (e.g. $5 a month). You need to give people options... a try before you buy option and then the opportunity to subscribe once they figure out this is a service they can't live without.
1976 VW Bus aka tripod
FI ...8 completely solid lifters.... now it's both kinda noisy and leaky, but she sure runs good!
hambone wrote: There are those out there with no other aim but to bunch panties. It's like arguing with a pretzel.
::troll2::

User avatar
tommu
Getting Hooked!
Posts: 165
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:37 pm
Location: Sunny Burbank
Status: Offline

Re: 2017 Results Just In!

Post by tommu » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:42 pm

How about an official IAC 'club' or organization. Dues give access to forum and ability to book a visit. Perhaps a primer manual of some key components?

User avatar
Bleyseng
IAC Addict!
Posts: 2283
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 11:31 am
Location: Seattle again
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: 2017 Results Just In!

Post by Bleyseng » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:39 am

Jivermo wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:33 am
As I reflect more on this, I think about some of the very good suggestions posted by this tribe. I'd like to see the website modernized and made easier to use, too. I gave up posting pics because of the hassle; I could pull an alternator in the time it takes. Update and banner ads...a moderate subscription rate, good ideas. If you take care of yourself, you have a good 10-12 more years of this you can easily do, I think. Ditch the smokes and that damn soda. Take up ganja and beer.
Now that is the best advice I have heard... :thumbleft:
Geoff
77 Sage Green Westy- CS 2.0L-160,000 miles
70 Ghia vert, black, stock 1600SP,- 139,000 miles,
76 914 2.1L-Nepal Orange- 160,000+ miles
http://bleysengaway.blogspot.com/

User avatar
asiab3
IAC Addict!
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:27 pm
Location: California sucks don't move here.
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: 2017 Results Just In!

Post by asiab3 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:09 pm

I've wanted to reply to this since it was posted, but I still don't know exactly how to say what I feel.

Colin, you've noted a drop in readership over the last five years. Since I've only been a member here less than that, I can't say for sure what causes a drop, or what to do about it. I don't think monetization from key users is going to improve interaction. I know ads don't jive with your aesthetic choices, and they would clutter up the site's clean and timeless look, but nobody is forced to pay out of pocket who finds the site in a web search or personal recommendation. As someone who deeply and truly enjoys the Itinerary threads more than any other online readings these days, I would personally pay, but I can't say the same for the people that have browsed casually at my suggestion.

Speaking from my point of view as a traveling teacher, pedagogue, and enthusiast, I can absolutely testify that the work is out there. I don't think I posted about this yet, but I just returned from an eleven day trip to Wisconsin/Michigan/Illinois/Minnesota trip where I taught half a dozen people tune-up basics, helped some more advanced VW owners understand their cars better, and even pondered a possible future in your line of work. The two things keeping me out of it are currently my knowledge level and personal connections to local friends and family.

I hope you'll continue as long as you love it.
Robbie

(Would you entertain customers that come to you in the future? I need another quick lap of the country…)
1969 bus, "Buddy"
http://theroadtells.com
"I would not do this again on a short time frame, the country is just so vast and beautiful…" - Barb/Elwood

User avatar
Amskeptic
IAC "Help Desk"
IAC "Help Desk"
Posts: 22207
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 8:47 am
Status: Offline

Re: 2017 Results Just In!

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:30 pm

asiab3 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:09 pm

A) I don't think monetization from key users is going to improve interaction.

B) As someone who deeply and truly enjoys the Itinerary threads more than any other online readings these days, I would personally pay, but I can't say the same for the people that have browsed casually at my suggestion.

C) Speaking from my point of view as a traveling teacher, pedagogue, and enthusiast, I can absolutely testify that the work is out there.

D) I don't think I posted about this yet, but I just returned from an eleven day trip to Wisconsin/Michigan/Illinois/Minnesota trip where I taught half a dozen people tune-up basics, helped some more advanced VW owners understand their cars better, and even pondered a possible future in your line of work.
a)
Website: I don't care about "improved interaction".
Itinerary: I need to *reduce* my time on the road.

Monetizing the website is not to improve interaction, it is to suffocate spurious interaction noise and suspect expertise and cross-talk confusion in the Technical Forums.
With an arty trouble-shooter that includes color diagrams and directive links to the glossaries, I will declare myself a one-stop resource for anyone who needs to get their VW going anywhere in the country.

If I offer phone consultation as a part of the subscription where I/you/we get to rely on the troubleshooter to make sure we are on the same page at all times, I say Jivermo's price point is worthwhile. And yes, I will put up a free sample trouble-shooter.

b) I want to put the annual Itineraries under this same subscription because I am desperate to filter the noise to signal ratio.

The community aspects of this forum I have always given to the members to keep alive.
Camping Forum, Clubs/Event s Forum, Type 1/2/3/4 General/Free Speech forums will continue to be freely available.
Please discuss.

c) Yes, the work is out there, but I am amazingly diffident to the "work". I am not interested in just the work. I am totally devoted to the people who want the work and have always enjoyed breaking down the boundaries between customer/servicer to a real mess of dogged partnership-through-hell-and-back. I am pleased to note that the raw resources of hell are only growing as the parts get shoddier and cars get more tired. I have known some of youse people for ten, twelve, fifteen years now. Incorporating the work challenges and obstacles into the personal growth of the people I have to come to know, respect, love, and commit to, is on its own higher level and is beyond the scope of this thread.

d) NOW THEN, what are you charging, Young Robbie, for your pedagogical teaching repair stints?
ColinOhI'mAwakeNOW
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .110,350 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,775 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . 72,350 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,478 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 64,425 miles

User avatar
wcfvw69
Old School!
Posts: 505
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:52 pm
Status: Offline

Re: 2017 Results Just In!

Post by wcfvw69 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:36 am

Colin-

I'm interested in what 'appears' to be a recent irritant with you in the forums? Yes, I agree that repair threads or troubleshooting forums should be focused on helping said poster figure out his/her/their issue. I also think there should be some room for humor to be inserted into the thread at times as well. A funny picture or video can lighten the mood. In my mind (whether right/wrong) it keeps threads a bit entertaining while helping someones' 'my bus won't start thread'.

There has been some recent good news on the horrific replacement parts ordeal we are all suffering with currently. We've all bashed Wolfsburg West for continuing to sell those pathetic, POS Pierburg fuel pump rebuild kits that you couldn't even install. They were terrible and we were all very disappointed with their business ethics in continuing to sell a known defective/unusable kit.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewt ... 9&start=60

They have apparently had Effee remanufacture these diaphragm assemblies to NOS quality standards. I did a review of this diaphragm kit in the bottom of page 4 of that link. The kits is EXACTLY like a NOS Effee kit I have. It's OE VW quality. I was super impressed with it. I restored a German Pierburg dome top pump with that assembly. 3psi which is perfect for most VW air cooled applications.
So, kudo's for WW for possibly listening to the crowd and getting these kits made again.
Maybe this will be a new trend? OE quality parts remanufactured and sold for good pricing? I guess it's a start, right?!?
1970 Westfalia bus. Stock 1776 dual port type 1 engine. Restored German Solex 34-3. Restored 205Q distributor, restored to factory appearance engine.

User avatar
Amskeptic
IAC "Help Desk"
IAC "Help Desk"
Posts: 22207
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 8:47 am
Status: Offline

Re: 2017 Results Just In!

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:11 am

wcfvw69 wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:36 am
Colin-
A) I'm interested in what 'appears' to be a recent irritant with you in the forums?

B) Yes, I agree that repair threads or troubleshooting forums should be focused on helping said poster figure out his/her/their issue. I also think there should be some room for humor to be inserted into the thread at times as well. A funny picture or video can lighten the mood. In my mind (whether right/wrong) it keeps threads a bit entertaining while helping someones' 'my bus won't start thread'.

C) There has been some recent good news on the horrific replacement parts ordeal we are all suffering with currently. OE quality parts remanufactured and sold for good pricing? I guess it's a start, right?!?

a) Yes. Now that we are all of seven people left, the dogged bored irritating ones stand out.

b) there will be no humor in a closed subscription Technical Forums and there will be no ability to reply, except with me in PM. You take your humor and shove it . . . . into the Community Forums :blackeye:

c) I am so deeply burned out and dispirited by crap parts, I can't tell you. I do hope we start demanding more of our vendors (and our legislative leaders).
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .110,350 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,775 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . 72,350 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,478 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 64,425 miles

User avatar
Ronin10
Getting Hooked!
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:44 am
Location: Columbia City, Seattle, WA
Status: Offline

Re: 2017 Results Just In!

Post by Ronin10 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:59 am

This may or may not be apparent to others, but I'm a diligent reader of the tech and itinerary forums, but rarely have much to offer that Colin, Robbie, and others have not already suggested by the time I have the opportunity to catch up on the topic (often days later). I don't frequent the other areas much simply because I don't have enough time in my day/week/month to keep up on everything and need to draw the line somewhere in this aspect of my life as well as my other hobbies and interests. All of this said to give context to my view on how best to go forward with financially supporting the IAC contribution to the community.

I think monetizing the forums without evolving the experience would fail. As has been noted, readership - or more precisely, posting, as I understand it - has continually declined over the last several years. Typing out a thoughtful, meaningful forum posts can take quite a long time. For the older members of the VW community this seems a more natural fit since they spent most of their time in this kind of environment. For those in the the middle of the pack like me, we usually don't have the time due to family, other interests, whatever. And for the younger crowd, they, on average, prefers other mediums - photography, video, podcasts, 140-/280-character soundbites, etc., mediums digested quickly while on the go and certainly via a mobile phone. I don't see much future for a tech-based forum based communication format unless it's really brief and allows lots of quick back and forth with an expert.

Going forward for the IAC experience, I think there is a future, but I think it requires a significant rethink of how this works. Maybe you and Robbie coordinate efforts, swapping halves of the country every other year.

Or maybe instead of doing the whole country each year, Colin does two shorter laps in each half of the country and again swapping half the country every other year. This might be nice as it would allow for quicker follow up visits.

Yet another model might be to set up regional "residencies" where you set up shop in a region at a host location (the PNW, SoCal, NorCal, SW, the Midwest, etc.) for a period of weeks and are available on both appointment and drop-in basis.

Maybe make a point of hitting the bigger VW shows and offering on-the-spot one-hour blocks of time for consulting/diagnosis. Make business cards and tuck them under the windshield of every VW in the parking lot of the shows, leave some with your appointments to do the same around town. A lot more could be done to boost activity here, even in its current form. Leverage your disciples.

An internet business model that I'm really seeing gain steam in non-ACVW areas and to which you've alluded to is a membership model where the general forums as they stand remain open to the general public, but your knowledge (via tutorials, one-on-one tech support, etc.) remains behind a membership firewall. Usually I see this done in the form or quick 5-10 minute video which can be informational or simply a video log of your travels and appointments, but that would require Colin to do more than dip a toe into the internet age. He would need at least get a good smartphone.

Remember what I said about the time it takes to write these posts? Yeah, mine is well exceeded so I'll cut my brainstorm off there.

Andrew
Oscar: 1976 Sage Green Bus, Stock Motor, Solid Lifters, Manual Transaxle

Post Reply

Return to “2017 Itinerary”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest