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RA forum vs. MOA forum?

Home Forums General discussion Motorcycle Talk – General Topics RA forum vs. MOA forum?

This topic contains 38 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by  Roy Jackson 11 years, 10 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 39 total)
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  • #61184

    ackgs
    Participant

    I hope that in time this site does get a little more busy and I think it probably will. I agree with the posts above that the MOA site gets more traffic because it was there first and is a larger club. I also hope that when the traffic on this site picks up the threads continue to be relevant to motorcycles etc. Over on the MOA forum they recently had a three page thread about the MOA license plate frame and then there is the monthly “I got my club newsletter today” thread that can go on for several pages. Traffic for traffic sake just isn’t very interesting. So far the topics covered here while somewhat sparse are very enjoyable and relevant. I also find I like the OTL compared to the “other newsletter” a lot. The OTL actually has articles about motorcycles. 😀

    #61198

    halrkent
    Participant

    I’m a member BMW MOA and a new member of BMW RA. I also read several other BMW sites. I’ve noticed that the sites that have model specific sub-sections have the greatest usage. We should add sections for “Oil Heads” and “Air Heads” with sub-sections for K, GS etc.
    Hal

    #60959

    SHEPARD BROWN
    Participant

    I too, like many are members of both clubs. Both forums are some of the most enjoyable reading I do in my “spare” time….often at “work.” (not really work…just standing by alot,on shift). It’s nice to see the expansion of the RA forum……will get a lot more active:p

    #61224

    Maylett
    Participant

    [QUOTE=CTYankee »]Anytime! Keep the ideas coming![/QUOTE]
    This is my first post here, but since you asked, I’ll jump in.

    I ride a 2009 R1200RT, and I make my living designing user interfaces for things — especially Web sites. I’ve designed six or seven different forums, and administer a couple of very active ones. In all this I’ve developed a philosophy, or sorts. I’m certain that I’ve posted enough below to give everyone something to disagree with, and that’s fine. I’m not suggesting that I have the final word, but I do have some opinions, criticisms and general suggestions.

    [list=1]
    [*][b]Forums need to engage the participants.[/b] A forum is essentially a place to take a break from the day’s tedium. It’s like an after-work get-together with friends or maybe like a party. Like any successful venue, the conversation has to be good and the entertainment, well, entertaining.

    The RA forum doesn’t have the right mix of categories, and that inhibits both the conversation and new members (like me) from jumping in. For example, the first five categories concern the RA rallys. As a new member, there’s nothing there that engages me. In fact, four out of the five first categories are about old rallies that took place from 2006 to 2009. How much conversation could there really be about a three-year-old rally. I mean, this isn’t a history forum, is it? BMW RA undoubtedly wants the rallies to be well-attended, but dedicating the first five forum categories to past and present rallies is, um, a bit dull. Worse still, it sets the stage for the whole forum.

    Even though the subject matter here is motorcycles (BMW motorcycles, specifically), the conversation at any good party will veer off into a hundred different directions as people get comfortable and start bantering back and forth. There aren’t forums here that encourage those sorts of loose, casual exchanges. Instead, there’s one sort of catchall “Motorcycle Talk — General Topics” forum. Not surprising to me is that it is also the most popular forum here. It’s the only forum in which the forum members haven’t been told what to talk about. More forum categories are needed that invite the loose, casual exchanges about things that BMW motorcycle riders care about, and this is important: it’s not always motorcycles.

    You have a special forum category about the OTL magazine. Okay, that’s understandable, but really, how many people want to discuss something they read in a magazine?

    The regional categories are too scattered, too non-inclusive and too segregated. Where, for example, does my state fit in — Utah? Do I get squeezed into Colorado or do I, most likely, just choose not to post anything? At best, forum members will identify with one or two of these regional categories. I would consolidate the regional categories into fewer and broader categories. For example everyone from the West rides in the West and wants to ride, say, in the East. And everyone from the East dreams of riding in the West while riding mostly in the East. And everyone eventually crosses the area in between. Create regional categories that a broader groups of people will like to post in, and stop trying to pigeon hole the participants. I understand that you’re trying to make sections for active regional programs, but it’s not a good formula for success since it creates a forum where the bulk of the categories have no interest to people who aren’t in those regional programs. Again, broaden it out and make these categories more inclusive for more forum members.

    [*][b]Forums need a personality.[/b] This is a Catch-22 problem. The forum needs personality in order to draw people in, but it doesn’t develop a personality until more people start posting. To start, you need to provide a pre-built personality of sorts. It’s like a new restaurant or a bar; people wander in, if they like what they see, they’ll sit down. If they like the experience, they’ll come back and bring their friends, who will in turn tell their friends, and so on. Restaurants jump start this process by providing a place with an atmosphere and food that their hoped-for clientele will like — the right menu, quality food, nice atmosphere, nice colors, comfortable chairs, nice lighting, nice mood, etc. You need to do that here, and my final suggestions below are about that.

    [*][b]Forums need to have personalities.[/b] A good forum needs a few people to stir the pot, say off-the-wall things, and make people laugh. This is a fine line to walk because things can get out of control, but without a few of these characters, a forum is as boring as chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips. Real debates are needed. People need to get excited about the discussions, even if they’re only lurking. A heated argument is always a good draw, just as long as it’s treated as an occasional spice and not the main course. Line up some moderators. Moderators not only moderate the, um, hoped for excitement, but they also serve as hosts who provide a sense of continuity and personality to the forum. Pick the right moderators, and you’ll have some forum leaders that people will rally around, respect and recognize. I’ve always tried to pick forum members who have a history of being even keeled, but who have distinct personalities that add some color to the forum. When it comes to moderators, a mix been quirky and friendly is good.

    [*][b]Forums need to look good.[/b] People who ride motorcycles are generally pretty excited about motorcycles. Motorcycles are fun and exciting. They’re fast, they’re a bit dangerous, and they’re a real rush. Motorcyclists like excitement, and this forum should reflect that, but it doesn’t. I mean, it’s blue and cold and boring like an ice princess. It’s the standard vBulletin, generic, dull and incredibly-unexciting-in-every-way default theme.

    Do motorcyclists like boring? Do they like the generic default? Do they get excited about a color scheme that looks like a crisp but dreary February day in Siberia. No, of course not. Get a good theme that matches the excitement of motorcycles and the craving for stimulation and new horizons that motorcyclists have. Make it airy, expansive and a bit gritty. Use brighter colors and more aggressive graphics that evoke the emotional responses that we feel when we climb on a motorcycle, kick the bike into gear and twist the throttle. This is where you could really kick butt on the MOA forum — it’s even worse, it’s gray and dull like dry, caked mud.

    [*][b]Forums need to be marketed.[/b] You’ve got an advantage here; the forum is associated with a significant club. Use those contacts, and once the forum is ready for prime time, use that club to promote this place. The magazine, e-mails, referrals, etc. Use these contacts and friends to instigate a guerrilla marketing effort where this forum will be talked about in other forums and on other Web sites. Get the URL posted on as many Web sites as you can, and do it in a positive, non-spamming sort of way. Get this forum up there in the Google rankings and take advantage of all the search optimization that you can think of to make that happen.
    [/list]

    #61225

    GATINEAU GERARD
    Participant

    Please listen to at least some of what Maylett says! This place is dead! So dead that it is driving people away… 🙁

    #61226

    Dutch
    Participant

    Hey all; Lot’s of good points here!! Who do we talk to about getting some of these ideas implemented? What can we do to help? Let’s get this place going for crying out loud!! Vaya con Dios, Dutch

    #60715

    dpryan
    Participant

    I became aware of the MOA long before I heard about the RA, but once I purchased my 2nd bike (and 1st BMW) I thought I’d check out this club/magazine/website. So far, I like what I see. I understand it’s smaller, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing in my book.

    The first time I checked out the forum there didn’t seem to be too much going on, but it does seem a bit busier and easier to navigate now. I’m going to make a point to poke around here more often. 🙂

    #61228

    Roy Jackson
    Participant

    May be we should start a thread where we can all get together and talk about almost anything in a civil tone. Sort of like a tavern or I know we could call it “The PUB on the Screen” POTS for short. Just and idea.:cool:

    #60717

    Roy Jackson
    Participant

    [QUOTE=jeremell »]I’m a member of both clubs and I’m not trying to disparage either club, I’m just curious and was thinking about this. I notice that the MOA has a very active forum and the RA does not. Why would that be?[/QUOTE]

    That’s because the RA members are out riding, RA = Riding as opposed to MOA = Member..:eek: Only kidding, I think its because the RA is much smaller in membership, The MOA site is a little easier to use, and there is only so much time to spend on line, not to mention all of the other BMW sites, Sporttourer, adventure rider, etc etc… I’m trying to spend more time on this site. hopefully so will other people. Later:cool:

    #60719

    MARK FLANAGAN
    Participant

    [QUOTE=Beemer-me-up »]I think its because the RA is much smaller in membership, The MOA site is a little easier to use, and there is only so much time to spend on line, not to mention all of the other BMW sites, Sporttourer, adventure rider, etc etc… I’m trying to spend more time on this site. hopefully so will other people. Later:cool:[/QUOTE]

    I think it’s because most RA members are also MOA members and MOA was first with a forum, so those people are already established over there. Personally, I’m happier at Advrider and Sport-Touring. Multi-brand is more fun. I only check Ducati.ms for specific needs these days. I check in here out of loyalty to my fav club!

    #61232

    GATINEAU GERARD
    Participant

    [QUOTE=Beemer-me-up »]May be we should start a thread where we can all get together and talk about almost anything in a civil tone. Sort of like a tavern or I know we could call it “The PUB on the Screen” POTS for short. Just and idea.:cool:[/QUOTE]

    I don’t think anyone said, “make it just like the MOA forum”. The issue is that there is little activity here and thus little draw to post; catch-22. I think most RA members like the contrast from “the other” club and in fact most are members of both clubs for that reason. (it goes both ways) 😮

    #61236

    ackgs
    Participant

    [QUOTE=Beemer-me-up »]May be we should start a thread where we can all get together and talk about almost anything in a civil tone. Sort of like a tavern or I know we could call it “The PUB on the Screen” POTS for short. Just and idea.:cool:[/QUOTE]

    Oh please not that! More activity would be good but not at that “cost”.

    I’m with BMWPhreak I too like the contrast.

    #61237

    ANTON LARGIADER
    Participant

    [QUOTE=Beemer-me-up »]..we could call it “The PUB on the Screen” POTS for short. Just and idea.:cool:[/QUOTE]

    The old-school telecom guys would get confused…

    #61239

    Roy Jackson
    Participant

    [QUOTE=AntonLargiader »]The old-school telecom guys would get confused…[/QUOTE]

    😉 someone gets it. I guess suttle sarcasm is lost on some peole, see you at the rally..

    #60753

    ROBERT ODENDAHL
    Participant

    The RA forum is growing which is a good thing. It offers an alternative to the MOA forum which is also a good thing

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