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Is the Fiero market a dying niche? by Cliff Pennock
Started on: 11-22-2013 10:30 AM
Replies: 235 (6447 views)
Last post by: svpbeast on 05-29-2014 03:43 AM
craigsfiero2007
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Report this Post11-22-2013 05:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for craigsfiero2007Click Here to Email craigsfiero2007Send a Private Message to craigsfiero2007Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:


Unless it changes alot and often, (or gets bought by our government or something), I suspect facbook itself will fade away eventually.


Just like MySpace did?
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Report this Post11-22-2013 05:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:

So are forums at the end of their lives?

I can see the attraction of social media but they are pretty bad as sources of information. If I understand correctly, you can't search for posts. So although FB is great for showing of your ride, it's terrible for trying to find some information. I also wonder how well Facebook pages/groups scale with a huge amount of active posters.

I'm currently working on a complete new platform for PFF. It's going to take a while before it will see the light of day but I'm already wondering if it's going to be worth the effort.


That might be exactly what the doctor ordered. It gives you the chance to modernize it or tailor it to the future. Dont get me wrong i love how it is now. Actually changing it may lose alot of veterans.
I'd say tailor it to mobile devices. But then again maybe mobile devices will tailor themselves to the home computer interface...I mean we have tablets etc.

[This message has been edited by 2.5 (edited 11-22-2013).]

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Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post11-22-2013 05:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by RCR:

I think one item that has hurt is the leaving of several old-time contributers. I'm sure they take a bit of a following with them every time.


If I look at the numbers, I see a steady decline starting around 2010. Before that the number of visitors was pretty stable. So although I'm sure some members take some other members with them when they leave, I don't think it had any significant influence on the number of visitors since new members still join every single day. And today's newbies are tomorrow's old-timers.

That said, PFF is still very active as a forum. If you go to the main forum page, you see the number of unique members that posted a message the previous day. This number is still well over 200. So I'm guessing the number of new posts daily is at least 1,000 or so (let me see if I can quickly come up with exact numbers).
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Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post11-22-2013 05:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Cliff Pennock

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I just checked and in the last 24 hours 1,728 new messages were posted. I don't know how that compares to a few years back. I will need to find a backup from 2010 or so to check that.
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Report this Post11-22-2013 05:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JefrysukoSend a Private Message to JefrysukoEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:

I'm currently working on a complete new platform for PFF. It's going to take a while before it will see the light of day but I'm already wondering if it's going to be worth the effort.


Was the current forum worth the effort? I have a feeling you did it for the love of the car more than anything. If you can bridge the gap between social media and the story telling/technical resource aspects of the forum I think you could potentially bring new life to the forum. Not sure exactly how that would work but I know many businesses have expanded simply because of their presence on Youtube/Facebook so why not a forum?

I remember many years ago V8Archie was giving advice to another Fiero vendor stating that he saw a huge increase in business simply by creating a website. Back then in order to be relevant you needed a web presence. Now days in order to be relevant you need to be on social media.
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Report this Post11-22-2013 05:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for revinSend a Private Message to revinEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Cliff,
I have been here with ya for a long time.
The rateing system has removed many good people as well as some that never should have been here trolling in the first place.
skitime
madcurl
kameokid
etc.
There are some trigger happy folks out there, young or old, that think their stuff don't stink and that what they think they know is not always the real truth.
Like the kid who never gets his way, he will "get them back" in anyway they can, trashing talk in other threads about them or a neg to a nice guy happens.
maybe removing the speed ban for what maybe 48 hours or tighten the rateing system to limit less than 2000 post before they can put a bad mark down.

I don't have all or any right answers for you. Just don't go away. hope you do find some happy center ground and stay a great fixture on this nasty web.
love ya bro.

------------------

88 GT, 3800SC, Getrag 5sp. 12" Vette Rotors,Custom stuff done

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Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post11-22-2013 05:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Jefrysuko:

Was the current forum worth the effort? I have a feeling you did it for the love of the car more than anything.


Yes it was. Just the fact Fieros are still around partly thanks to this forum has been reward enough.

But I also have to be realistic. I no longer have the company I had 10 years ago. The Euro crisis has hit hard here too and I need to find alternate sources of income. One thing people had always been telling me was that with PFF, I was sitting on a gold-mine. But I was never interested in making money with PFF. As long as I was able to pay for the costs (one way or another), I was good.

But as it gets harder to pay the bills, I really need to rethink that strategy.

If you look at other forums, they are plastered with ads. While I feel bad about the two ads I display at the top and bottom of a thread...

[Edited by Cliff Pennock]
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quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:

But as it gets harder to pay the bills, I really need to rethink that strategy.

If you look at other forums, they are plastered with ads. While I feel bad about the two ads I display at the top and bottom of a thread...

[Edited by Cliff Pennock]

I believe that people "vendors" that sell a lot on here should donate some of their profits to keep this great forum going.
As soon as I have my item for sale I tend on donating some to Pennocks "Buy Me A Beer".

[This message has been edited by fierogtlt1 (edited 11-30-2013).]

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I'd rather pay a yearly fee than see more ads.

As others have said, the forum format itself is dying down, no matter what it is related to. So many ghost-towns. The Fiero is a dwindling thing- as space frames rust and are damaged beyond repair due to rust and accidents...

Everything has a lifespan. And even things that are consistently awesome eventually become tiresome for most. I've pondered a LOT about this stuff...
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Report this Post11-22-2013 06:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gtxbulletSend a Private Message to gtxbulletEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I tend to agree. For the most part I've notice less and less "new" people.
not yo say that's a bad thing. But it seemed like the "fiero craze" recently has ended. But as with most niche cars it is a rollercoaster effect. There are ups and downs in popularity. Right now we're falling into a low point of interest. Very sad.

I use to go to car shows and be trampled by people wanting to talk about my fiero. But as of late they walk on by

Stay strong my friends, we shall rise back up soon. I bet in a lityle over a year the Fiero will be more noticed...again.

Don't think I rambled too much.
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gtxbullet

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quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:


Yes it was. Just the fact Fieros are still around partly thanks to this forum has been reward enough.

But I also have to be realistic. I no longer have the company I had 10 years ago. The Euro crisis has hit hard here too and I need to find alternate sources of income. One thing people had always been telling me was that with PFF, I was sitting on a gold-mine. But I was never interested in making money with PFF. As long as I was able to pay for the costs (one way or another), I was good.

But as it gets harder to pay the bills, I really need to rethink that strategy.

If you look at other forums, they are plastered with ads. While I feel bad about the two ads I display at the top and bottom of a thread...

[Edited by Cliff Pennock]


Cliff. If you need to start charging a couple bucks to keep the forum open I wouldn't blame you at all.
I think the decline is also in part because of the economy too. Gotta make ends meet as best as we can.
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Report this Post11-22-2013 06:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Of the number of different Fiero forums or websites I'm a member of, postings aren't near as frequent on any of them as they were, say a year ago, nor the years before. It also seems that participation in most club activities has dwindled. Having been with PFF since 2000 and other Fiero-specific websites or forums since I first found Freddy Clark's Alt.AutosFiero Bulletin Board back in the mid 90's, I think that some of the drop in traffic may be that our older generation Fiero owners have mostly learned how to fix almost anything or know the Fiero Friendly mechanic who can, find the part they need, and only hit the forums when we get stumped.

There are few new innovations that owners are coming up with to keep everyone interested or that everyone can afford. Three.Fours, Four.Nine's, 38 Hundreds, LKs's, rebodies and coilovers are now old-hat and as was mentioned, like the Ricer Tuners, you can't just go and buy stuff off the shelf.

I find on our website that we get new registrations or emails from younger people who've just bought a Fiero and want help getting it running or other problems resolved, or they need a part and can't find it at the parts store. Once these younger people get the car up and running, you never hear from them again until they have another problem. All too often, they only want to get it running well enough to sell it and turn a fast buck and they aren't interested in remaining a part of the Fiero community any longer.

I, for one am certainly grateful for all the vendors and members who are so dedicated to our cars. I for one, plan to be here as long as I'm able and as long as I'm allowed.
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quote
Originally posted by gtxbullet:


Cliff. If you need to start charging a couple bucks to keep the forum open I wouldn't blame you at all.
I think the decline is also in part because of the economy too. Gotta make ends meet as best as we can.


Yeah, the Economy kind of keeps "project cars" on low priority. Maybe once we get into a better Economy we will probably see an increase in interest with Fieros.

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craigsfiero2007

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quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:


Yes it was. Just the fact Fieros are still around partly thanks to this forum has been reward enough.

But I also have to be realistic. I no longer have the company I had 10 years ago. The Euro crisis has hit hard here too and I need to find alternate sources of income. One thing people had always been telling me was that with PFF, I was sitting on a gold-mine. But I was never interested in making money with PFF. As long as I was able to pay for the costs (one way or another), I was good.

But as it gets harder to pay the bills, I really need to rethink that strategy.

If you look at other forums, they are plastered with ads. While I feel bad about the two ads I display at the top and bottom of a thread...

[Edited by Cliff Pennock]


Those 2 ads are extremely minor compared to other forums and some of the ads are from some of our great vendors. Some other forums you can't move your eye without hitting an ad.
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Report this Post11-22-2013 07:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieroguruSend a Private Message to fieroguruEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I think the Fiero market will continue to decline. As the smaller Fiero forums become obsolete and disappear, then there might be a periodic influx of new members, but the long term trend will continue to fade away. The thing PFF has that most others don't (at least not to the same scale) is great technical information. The problem is very few people either take the time or have mastered the PFF search function to find the info they are looking for. If there was a way to better group the info, it might help differentiate itself from all other Fiero forums, groups, etc and remain vital well into the future.

All the car forums I am on seem to be slowing down with fewer posts. I think is mainly because there are so many other time sucks and many of them are more "active" with instant alerts to your phone, so if your phone doesn't stop buzzing, ringing, dinging or otherwise distracting you, how can you take to time to browse the forum threads and take a few minutes/hours to read about fieros (or your other favorite car, engine, gun, etc).

I would rather see PFF change (ads, membership fees, format, etc) vs. see it disappear.
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Report this Post11-22-2013 08:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BV MotorSportsClick Here to Email BV MotorSportsSend a Private Message to BV MotorSportsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by TheDigitalAlchemist:

I'd rather pay a yearly fee than see more ads.



^^^ This I'd also like to see real names added. Like I mentioned before. I think a lot of the trolls, or people who like to stir stuff up, are less likely to do so w/o a username to hide behind. This is why I prefer fb groups. Its not fool-proof but, I think it helps. Real email addy filtering and tighter registration. Other than that, we really need to condense the wealth of info on this forum. However, I cant even begin to imagine the enormity of that project.

[This message has been edited by BV MotorSports (edited 11-22-2013).]

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Report this Post11-22-2013 08:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rbell2915Click Here to Email rbell2915Send a Private Message to rbell2915Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I talk to a lot of people in my two automotive classes in high school about my car, and everyone is pretty interested in it. I even brought it in and showed them. Everyone loved seeing the engine in the back and a guy who has a Trans Am was taking pictures of the engine bay and everything. Another person in that class is interested in buying one. I believe it might be a white 87 GT.

Outside of the auto shop, I get a lot of crap from people in my other classes saying that Fieros are s*** and other garbage like that. Ok, makes total sense to hate a car you know nothing about.

I for one, love this forum. I'm here all of the time on my iPod during school. Classmates ask me what I'm doing and I reply, "I'm on the Fiero Forum." I say that about 12 times a day.
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Report this Post11-22-2013 09:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:

I just checked and in the last 24 hours 1,728 new messages were posted. I don't know how that compares to a few years back.


When I first joined back in '99, it was quite easy to check every new post each day. For some reason, I'm no longer doing that.
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Report this Post11-22-2013 09:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KOSClick Here to visit KOS's HomePageSend a Private Message to KOSEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have run and still do, some forums. There are some issues inherent with forums no matter what the topic.

The first is when a new user posts and they get the dreaded..."try the search button" response. That can and does deter new people, especially in this day and age when people are used to using a tool to do the work for them. A forum is no different it is just a community of people using thier tribal knowledge as the algorithm for the response. Similar to what google does but without the back talk. Every time members do this it does drive people away. And the search function on the site is not user friendly unless you know the lingo to use, even then...

Also this forum software is probably outdated to integrate social media and mobile versions with this site. But that is a thought to help it. younger generation also dont put the same stock into cars as older ones. look at the tesla, the car market is clearly moving away from our love for horespower As we kknow it.

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Report this Post11-22-2013 09:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jake_DragonSend a Private Message to Jake_DragonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I still come here daily, mostly I start in OT but I still come here and ask questions.
But I don't know when the last time I saw a Fiero in the wild.

Ads are fine with me, I don't even see them anymore as long as they are not installing any spy-ware.
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Report this Post11-22-2013 09:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FatsClick Here to Email FatsSend a Private Message to FatsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I was shown this post on Facebook (irony), otherwise I wouldn't have known it existed.

The following is all opinion, take it however you want.

I've been an active member of PFF since 2004, almost 10 years now. I think that there are several factors at play here. If you will allow me, I'll tell you what I think.

  1. Forums are becoming "old mediums. There are many newer "flashier" ways to communicate. (note I didn't say better.)
  2. Over the past several years there has been what seems like almost an "attack" on members of PFF that were what I consider "conerstone members" These people left the forum for various reasons, and either took a chunk with them, or other members just gave up when they left.
  3. There are not a lot of trolls on PFF, but the ones that are here are certainly an issue, and cause a lot of problems.
  4. The economy sucks.


1. "Other media"- PFF is a better source than Facebook for many reasons, but Facebook offers real time sharing of information with all kinds of things to grab your attention while you are there. You don't have to go to a thread to see what someone posted (generally), it's right there for you to read. If Joe Blow says something that pisses you off you have several ways to "stop" it from happening. You can send notifications to Facebook or the page the page, block the person, block the reply, or delete the entire thread. If Joe Blow says things you like you can "friend" him, and get to see more stuff he posts, likeminded people are joining in huge groups this way.

2. For whatever reasons, "important" members are no longer active on PFF. We didn't all agree with all of them, but many of them tied the community together in ways that we didn't see. From guys in Kansas that had valuable insight into our little cars, to foreigners that never seemed to get an even break, they all changed us as a community, and tied us together more. (Even the ones we didn't like)

3. Personally I haven't posted much relevant information about my life, Fieros, or anything else lately because of the trolls on PFF, and I know others are the same way. When you get attacked constantly for things you have said you tend to clam up. this has an effect across the board from T-O/T to Tech. Nobody wants to tell you how they get that one spark plug out quickly, easily, every time if some D bag is going to argue with him about it for the next 6 months.

4. When people are broke they can't afford their hobbies. PFF, if you cut the outer fringe away, is about a hobby car. The economy sucks, and people don't spend money, or time on the Fiero. I have the opposite life. When my job slows down is the only time I have for my cars. (not money, just time.)

How do you fix it?

Integrate more with Social Media sites like Facebook. Bring people in even when the economy sucks. And suck it up from time to time, don't let your pride run off members that mean a lot to a majority of the forum (this doesn't mean their pride won't run them off.) It may be time to have someone that has time, creativity, and patience help you change the setup on some of the site.

How do you do all that? I have no clue, your the friggin genius that built this site.

Brad

PS. I like the way PFF is set up, it has always (for the most part) felt comfortable for me to be here. I've had (and have) my complaints, but altogether it's been a great experience, and I've met some awesome people through this site.
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Report this Post11-22-2013 10:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jetsnvettes2000Send a Private Message to jetsnvettes2000Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Since joining I have always loved the format of this forum. It is really easy and intuitive, If you want to see how not to set up a forum go over and look at the Corvette forum it is a disaster to find and comment on anything and forget about adding pics, it is a pain in the ass over there. I can credit this forum to a solid group of friends I have made in the past few years since joining. If I could change anything about the forum for the future it would be that it is a little easier to use with my phone, I guess I am old fashion and do not have a smart phone but I do have a internet capable phone and when on facebook I am able to upload pics and stuff. On here I can only browse the topics and get to my mailbox. For some reason it does not let me comment in threads? It really is a minor problem tho and I do not mind. One big thing that I would love to see changed is in the construction zone, I would like to see the pics be able to use a higher resolution so when we are adding to build threads and people want close ups with detail they can copy the pic and zoom into it and get what they need from it.
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Report this Post11-22-2013 10:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SpoonSend a Private Message to SpoonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I too have noticed the dwindling posts in all catagories. Perhaps the forum has reached its saturation point. Other than new products made by forum members, what else is new? Nearly every question that's asked the answer can be found in the archives. ..makes for a silent visitor.

I have a Pontiac friend that just got into Can Ams 77. He tries to send me stuff and can't figure out why I'm not on face book to receive it. Guess I'm not ready for face book but obviously there's a market for it with car buffs.

I think Cliff has given us a great resource to keep our cars going. Answers to nearly any problem can be gotten within minutes. Parts can be located and offered, sometimes for free. What else could anyone ask for. A global forum dedicated to the Fiero at no charge!!

I'm paying $35.00 a year for the Smoke Signals magazine by the Pontiac Oakland Club International (POCI). That's around 3 bucks a month for 12 issues per year. Just think if all PFF members voluntarly sent Cliff $3 / month for the service he's providing. I know some do pay but not nearly all. I feel so guilty now so I'm going to start sending my 3 bucks a month beginning now. How many followers do I have?

Cliff, maybe you could consider changing the "BUY ME A BEER" to ("Buy me a beer - SECOND NOTICE")

Spoon

Edit to add. Just made payment.


------------------
"Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne." - Kurt Vonnegut

[This message has been edited by Spoon (edited 11-22-2013).]

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Report this Post11-22-2013 10:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I can't comment on this forum specifically, but I can comment on forums generally, and I'm simultaneously proud and sad to be a member of several forums for dead or orphaned cars. Based on my experiences in those environments, I am continually shocked that PFF is as active as it is, considering it caters to a niche car sold in fairly small volumes nearly 30 years ago. The fact it has the traffic it does is amazing to me! Many of these forums have degraded into a handful of people chatting about random stuff, and occasionally answering questions for people who have inherited their car or finally, after years of searching, scoring that unobtainable ride from their childhood. It's only natural - time erodes all, and eventually the only people left in possession of a discontinued thing are the nuts jobs and the unlucky. I'm just really stoked there are so many nut jobs around here!
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fierogtlt1
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Report this Post11-22-2013 10:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierogtlt1Click Here to Email fierogtlt1Send a Private Message to fierogtlt1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
This is and have always been a great forum to get as much knowledge as possible about our cars.I have been lurking on here for a couple years but didn't even sign up until last year.I have noticed that there is a like button on all topics posted,but doesn't
show on your Facebook page that you liked anything from Pennocks
at all.
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JohnWPB
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Report this Post11-22-2013 11:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JohnWPBClick Here to visit JohnWPB's HomePageSend a Private Message to JohnWPBEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Cliff Pennock:
Odd. All threads ever started on PFF still exist. Or are you talking about links to threads on other forums?


A bit off the original topic, but I am glad you mentioned that. I have bookmarked many helpful threads on here over the past years. Most of them now go to a 404 not found page here on PFF. HERE IS ONE EXAMPLE. That link is actually a tutorial that I did on how to change the gauge needle colors in the dash.

These are ALL broken:

HERE is one on how to change the distributor step by step.
HERE is one on how to remove the drip guards above the windows
HERE is something I bookmarked as an option for a trunk light replacement

I am discouraged now to even bookmark pages here on PFF. I have to keep my fingers crossed that someone posts "Bump to keep out of the archives" every month or so, or it goes away..... It seems like "The Archives" are always breathing down our necks.

I have always wondered, what is the purpose of the archives, I have never seen this on other forums. If the posts are kept in "the archives" then it is not a storage issue. So if "All threads ever started on PFF still exist", why put them into another location and break all the links that people have to them, and just make them much much harder to find?


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Phirewire
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Report this Post11-22-2013 11:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PhirewireClick Here to Email PhirewireSend a Private Message to PhirewireEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The fiero is the inbetween age. Honestly What 30 Year old car is a hot topics, common, very desirable car. That was a desirable car when it came out. I think a giant problem is the younger crowd, and the older crowd merging. Its hard for the younger crowd to talk to younger crowd in most cases. Younger guys are shy, and the older guys tend to look down or be disgusted with "us" younger crowd. Which I agree. I love Fieros, I have no passion for cars like I do for the fiero. First time i saw one at 16 I desired one.
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timcha
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Report this Post11-22-2013 11:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for timchaClick Here to Email timchaSend a Private Message to timchaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Perhaps I should keep my mouth shut since I don't come here as often as I would like, but there are several banned members whom I really enjoyed. I understand that this is a family oriented forum and that decorum should be maintained, but.....every now and then.....things happen which set even the calmest of us off. I've seen several banned over arguments which probably should have been moved rapidly to the proper venue (trash can), but did they rise to a level requiring someone loose their membership? As several others have pointed out, there are a few on here who will pick you apart and start crap no matter what you say.....so if an otherwise upstanding member blows a crater every now and then.....let it go. This is the first and only Fiero friendly forum I have been a member of....and I value the experience and advice of other members immensely.
As for the day to day cost of running the forum, do whatever you need to do in order to make it worth your while....we will do whatever we can/must to help support you. Thanks Cliff for providing the opportunity for us to share our love of a time machine.
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WKDFIRO
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Report this Post11-23-2013 01:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WKDFIROClick Here to Email WKDFIROSend a Private Message to WKDFIROEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
From the aspect of working on Fieros full time I think most of us who did it knew that it wasn't going to last forever. That being said, from being on here for regular technical discussion or to participate in an interesting topic (and they are not that uncommon) or to jump into the OT, its always been fun. I haven't always agreed with some of the styles of Fieros but thats not for me to judge. I've seen a lot of owners take GREAT pride in how their Fiero looks whereas I wouldn't have gone that particular custom path. For the most part, people seem to be encouraged about the way they have customized their Fiero.

I'm not a big FB person. I joke that I would rather sit over in this corner with a foil hat than go on FB. I would also have to disagree that you would lose the veterans (I think I can call myself a vet) if you changed the format. Its a matter of trust if you think that the site needs to be freshened up, you've done a great job so far and I think you would be amenable to feedback to keep it a great site.

I really don't know about other forums numbers but 1700 new messages in 24 hours doesn't sound bad at all. As you can see from my numbers I'm not really all that high up with my posts. I think most of us on the west coast don't really seem to post all that much compared to most of the country.

Bottom line Cliff, to have a forum that is this frothy mouthed about a car that ended its run in 1988 is no small feat. I would call it quite the accomplishment. I mean we're on the door step of 2014. 30 YEARS from when the first Fieros were coming off the line.

30. Years. Are the MG guys still changing engines in their cars like we are?!

Fieros. We're a special kind of crazy.
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WKDFIRO
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Report this Post11-23-2013 02:00 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WKDFIROClick Here to Email WKDFIROSend a Private Message to WKDFIROEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Okay, checking the dates, Patrick (and Cliff) are the only ones older than I am on this forum. (November of 99, hey I've been here 14 years this month!)

I barely have 1600 posts compared to Patrick's 17,000.

Wow, that doesn't make me look lazy, it makes me look sloth-like!

[This message has been edited by WKDFIRO (edited 11-23-2013).]

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Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post11-23-2013 02:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JohnWPB:

A bit off the original topic, but I am glad you mentioned that. I have bookmarked many helpful threads on here over the past years. Most of them now go to a 404 not found page here on PFF. HERE IS ONE EXAMPLE. That link is actually a tutorial that I did on how to change the gauge needle colors in the dash.


Hmmmm... That should not happen. No link on PFF to a thread should end in a dead end. If a thread was archived, it should automatically find the archived thread when you try to call up the original thread. If it doesn't, then I either forgot to rebuild the Archive indices, or it's a bug in my software. I will have a look at that.
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Cliff Pennock
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Report this Post11-23-2013 03:55 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff PennockClick Here to visit Cliff Pennock's HomePageClick Here to Email Cliff PennockSend a Private Message to Cliff PennockEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JohnWPB:

A bit off the original topic, but I am glad you mentioned that. I have bookmarked many helpful threads on here over the past years. Most of them now go to a 404 not found page here on PFF. HERE IS ONE EXAMPLE. That link is actually a tutorial that I did on how to change the gauge needle colors in the dash.

These are ALL broken:

HERE is one on how to change the distributor step by step.
HERE is one on how to remove the drip guards above the windows
HERE is something I bookmarked as an option for a trunk light replacement


Ah, found them. These were all moved to the FAQs en Howtos section when that section was created.

 
quote
I am discouraged now to even bookmark pages here on PFF. I have to keep my fingers crossed that someone posts "Bump to keep out of the archives" every month or so, or it goes away..... It seems like "The Archives" are always breathing down our necks.

I have always wondered, what is the purpose of the archives, I have never seen this on other forums. If the posts are kept in "the archives" then it is not a storage issue. So if "All threads ever started on PFF still exist", why put them into another location and break all the links that people have to them, and just make them much much harder to find?


Actually, other forums either have an archive that's only searchable through Google, or just purge old threads. As in "send to oblivion". The archives here serve a real purpose. Like I said, if a thread is archived, a link to the original thread should direct you to the thread in the Archives. Like this one:

Original Link to an Archived Thread

Also, you can search through archives just as easily as the other sections. In fact, when you do a search, you can tell PFF to search everything, i.e. every single thread on PFF, archived or not.
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Raydar
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Report this Post11-23-2013 06:26 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
This is still my favorite corner of the web. Bar none.

I do feel like the "following" is changing - perhaps shrinking. Possibly because we are aging. Possibly because of the economy.
As mentioned, the Fiero is largely a hobby car. Without disposable income, hobbies tend to be put aside.

Event participation, as Charlie mentioned, is down a bit, too. Maybe people are busy trying to make ends meet, have less disposable income, or are just "tired". (I read an article yesterday that said that, for a number of societal reasons, the American population, in general, is more angry than it used to be. "Preoccupied and tired" probably go along with that.)

Our club meetings seem to be maintaining their size, however. Right now, there are about 5-6 core members who have been there more or less from the beginning. People come and people go, but we seem to be maintaining our size.

As for the technological aspects, I believe that Facebook is a cool entity, but it's not the same as a Forum. Not by a long shot.
The Forum is much better organized, by topic, and is very intuitive.
Facebook is more like (by design) writing on the wall. It's more "hit and run".

Regarding ads...
I have no problem with ads, as long as they remain "click to read". I absolutely despise the ads that pop up as soon as your pointer touches a hotlink. (I'm sure there's a word for that. The ones I use are not repeatable in polite company. )

My only other ad comment is that some of them tend to freak out the "questionable content" filters at my workplace, for some reason. I mentioned this to Cliff, and he didn't understand why that would have happened. I don't think it's happened in a while and, to be fair, it happens on other websites too. Embedded links and "sidebar" ads, etc.
It's not like it happens enough to get me in trouble, but it might cause me to get "scrutinized" if it happens enough. The people who monitor such things understand that there are random links, and if I'm not surfing pr0n or wasting too much time, it won't be a big deal. But I would hate to see the forum get placed on the "blocked" list because of some random ad that appears.

[This message has been edited by Raydar (edited 11-23-2013).]

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fierobug
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Report this Post11-23-2013 07:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierobugClick Here to Email fierobugSend a Private Message to fierobugEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fieroguru:

I think the Fiero market will continue to decline. As the smaller Fiero forums become obsolete and disappear, then there might be a periodic influx of new members, but the long term trend will continue to fade away. The thing PFF has that most others don't (at least not to the same scale) is great technical information. The problem is very few people either take the time or have mastered the PFF search function to find the info they are looking for. If there was a way to better group the info, it might help differentiate itself from all other Fiero forums, groups, etc and remain vital well into the future.

All the car forums I am on seem to be slowing down with fewer posts. I think is mainly because there are so many other time sucks and many of them are more "active" with instant alerts to your phone, so if your phone doesn't stop buzzing, ringing, dinging or otherwise distracting you, how can you take to time to browse the forum threads and take a few minutes/hours to read about fieros (or your other favorite car, engine, gun, etc).

I would rather see PFF change (ads, membership fees, format, etc) vs. see it disappear.


Fieroguru hit the nail on the head. I watch people all day with social media or whatever. I don't know crap about it. I know their in a hurry. I know their attention span can be zip. I know that introspection with perception, reason, memory, and testimony as a source of knowledge is priceless. I have learned a great deal from this forum. I love the fiero I own. I also would rather see PFF change (ads, membership fees, format, etc) vs. see it disappear. Thanks Cliff.

[This message has been edited by fierobug (edited 11-23-2013).]

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Macs86GT
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Report this Post11-23-2013 08:35 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Macs86GTSend a Private Message to Macs86GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I think much has to do with the economy right now. There just isnt as much disposable income about as there was, and the car is in that time span when its original owners/ those who knew the cars when they were on the show room floor are either aging out and the next generation has yet to pick the car up as a unique car from their parents generation. Its just a matter of time of time and exposure it will swing back. Most forums are for enthusiasts/ hobbyists and the previously stated state of the economy has most folks working with what they have for a hobby of any kind or placing hobbies on life support until things improve.

[This message has been edited by Macs86GT (edited 11-23-2013).]

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hyperv6
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Report this Post11-23-2013 09:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
This is normal and as for many cars the Fiero has had a long strong run. I see things on the HHR web site already dying down in just a couple years.

The fact is the Fiero is not as easy or as cheap to find in good condition as it once was. Generally many people who what one has one. Also add to this we have lost many members as time goes on and we all get older. Hell I am over 50 now and bought mine new. Many guys were much older than me when I got mine and are now gone.

The up side to this is less cars around the better for the value of vehicles in good shape. The down side it is more expensive and more difficult to find good used parts and just flat impossible to find some NOS parts.

We are fans of a car of a one short generation. This is not a legacy thing like the Camaro and Corvette that not only have been around for many gens but are still in production.

The fact is this will become a smaller more exclusive group as the better cars survive and the junk cars get used up and scrapped. The frames on so many have failed and so many of the cars with good frames are just not worth the expense to paint, replace the engine and do the interior in unless you really want that very car. It is much cheaper and easier to get a good clean car or one someone has already restored like most other old cars. Even a GTO is cheaper to buy restored anymore.

The Fiero base will decline but there will always be a Fiero base.

One other thing too Cliff is many of us are here by word of mouth and I find many of the young owners today have never heard of this site. Go figure you kids not finding this on the web. In the past we had many people passing around this site but today that number has also shrunk. This has tempered the number of new people coming in.

I have been in this game for a long time and I have also seen the cars popularity ebb and flow too. We could yet see another up swing later on when new people discover the car too.

In the end we my slow down here but there will always be some activity here. This was not just another kind of general car like a SUV that is no longer in production. As you have called it a Niche well that is just what we have become.
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hyperv6
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Report this Post11-23-2013 09:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Macs86GT:

I think much has to do with the economy right now. There just isnt as much disposable income about as there was, and the car is in that time span when its original owners/ those who knew the cars when they were on the show room floor are either aging out and the next generation has yet to pick the car up as a unique car from their parents generation. Its just a matter of time of time and exposure it will swing back. Most forums are for enthusiasts/ hobbyists and the previously stated state of the economy has most folks working with what they have for a hobby of any kind or placing hobbies on life support until things improve.



Trust me it Is not the economy.

I work in the performance aftermarket and we have never had a better year. The economy sucks but many people are spending and telling us they will spend it now to get the car and things they need or want before the government taxes their money away.

I have been in fear of the economy but the auto hobby is still strong and collector car prices have never been higher. A weak economy has always made the collector car market strong. People like to dump money into tangible assets like cars and it drives prices up.

This is more about the lower number of good cars out there, a dying base and young people today that for the most would rather have the best I phone vs. a car. The love affair of the car I over and if you look the auto enthusiast are no where in as great of number as we once were. Just look around and kids no longer are often seen driving cool cars and adults are happy driving a Camry's. Not exactly a fun group of car enthusiast these Camry people. Their kids will grow up loving I phones too.
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Macs86GT
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Report this Post11-23-2013 11:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Macs86GTSend a Private Message to Macs86GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
enthusiasts aren't collectors their different demographics. Many car guys have been affected adversely by the economy. I have no doubts that you and your company have had a good year but you may be dealing with a group that has not been affected by the economy as much they are out there and still have that disposable income.
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hyperv6
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Report this Post11-23-2013 11:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Macs86GT:

enthusiasts aren't collectors their different demographics. Many car guys have been affected adversely by the economy. I have no doubts that you and your company have had a good year but you may be dealing with a group that has not been affected by the economy as much they are out there and still have that disposable income.



Sorry to tell you our demographics are on a wide scale and cover everyone one from Arab Oil men to struggling circle track races in depressed parts of Kentucky. Collectors, racers, hot rodders, off roaders, desert racers, street car enthusiast are all covered with many others I failed to mention.

If I had a dollar for every guy who has to use several credit cards to order parts as he has hit his limits I would be rich now. I know where the parts are going and I know who are getting them and trust me they are not all a bunch of old rich guys that are spending all the money.

We had braced for a tough year and it has turn out just the opposite.

I have been at this for 20 years and it is a crazy business. Gas prices go up. Sales continue to increase, Terrorist attack NY sales continue to increase. Economy tanks the sales increase. I have seen about every worst case and it is like Teflon. Now that is not to say it all could crash at any point but for now the segment is just more and more profitable.

While the Fiero is in decline there are many other models that are just carrying right along fine with no ill effects. Cars like the Mustang, Camaro and Corvette are the centers of the market as are trucks. These cars when they are very old or very new see high sales. get in the mid range of 25 years and things taper off for a while.

The sluggishness of the Fiero is no different than the 80's Camaro and Trans Am's right now. The newer Camaros are big and the older ones are big but the mid years are sluggish right now as there is little interest right now in them. Give it another 10-15 years and people will look a them differently. Anymore 25-30 years is just a middle age car. Not old enough to draw major interest of value unless it is some limited model. Even a 80's 308 Ferrari can be had for as low as $25K right now if it needs a little work.

the 80's cars times just has not hit yet.



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smartaxel
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Report this Post11-23-2013 12:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for smartaxelClick Here to visit smartaxel's HomePageClick Here to Email smartaxelSend a Private Message to smartaxelEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm on another car forum also (Small Niche car too). It's dying out also. They have a Facebook group and many members join that and post on it regularly. I think Facebook is a huge killer of the forum because there is only a finite number of hours in the day that are available for BSing on the net. Because Facebook is piped to our phone, it takes up much of that time. The problem is that the Facebook groups aren't searchable or archived, so you see the same questions (some horribly stupid) posted daily as well as just dumb postings, like ugly girls, cats, ricer pics etc. Eg.. it's like folks treat the Forum Facebook page like it's twitter. If they have nothing important to say, they just post stupid stuff to it. Im my opinion the Forum Facebook ends up being a dumpster for stupidity, whereas the real forum retains the valuable information.

If it were me, I would not invest time into a new Forum unless you have a way to integrate it with Facebook. EG.. Each thread somehow linking into Facebook, and posting to someone's phone etc. Or creating a widget, that, like facebook is always active on the homescreen of an iPhone or Droid and showing you the latest info as it comes up. For a forum to remain alive, I think it needs to be in someone face these days.. Keep in mind, Facebook will die off when the newest, latest craze comes up anyway, so even that will be short lived.

The real question about Fieros Dying off.. Yes, of course. We are all getting older,and dying off ourselves. The cars are rusting away and getting parted out, and folks need larger cars for families etc. In the grand scheme, eventually the Fiero will be even a smaller Niche car (Think the Model T, or some obscure car..like the Pinto) held by a select few. But, this Forum has really been the savior for our cars. It's allowed us (ME) to keep mine together, get parts, service etc, and without it, they'd have been junked long ago.

I am curious. How big is the database for this forum? If you were to archive everything, how huge is that file now?

Ohh.. as for a source of income. I'd say add more advertisements- as many as necessary to pay the bills, then create a paid membership that limits those advertisements to just one or two. There are a lot of cheapskates, so many will say they'd pay, but few would. This way, the ads would covers costs, and the few that pay wouldn't have to see them

Just my input..
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