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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think everybody has read these already, so I don't think I've violating anyone's privacy by posting this. Here it goes:

Steve,

It has recently come to my attention that you have started a site at
Mazda6Tech.com, for various reasons.  From several sources I have been
told that you'd like a place to easily post technical articles, and that

you are currently upset with the low levels of moderation at
Mazda6Club.com.

The fact that you failed to discuss these issues with myself prior to
starting your own site is upsetting, and I'd like to keep this community

together.

Your stated goal, as I understand it, is to provide a resource in which
technical people could find information.  I believe that this would
better be served by adding a technical section to our Mazda6Club.com
website, and taking articles posted to our forums and posting them
there.  This would, I feel, better serve the interests of the community.

Do you not agree?

Your second issue, as I understand it, is that you'd like to see more
moderation on the site.  This is an issue that is already being taken
care of.  We are in the process of hiring a minimum of three more
moderators with the goal of decreasing repetitive posts and cleaning up
the site.  I hope this may ease some of your concerns about the current
state of the site.

If you'd be interested in creating this section of our website, I'd be
interested in hearing from you.  The same apply's if you have any other
conerns or comments.

Also just so you know, I've been in contact with crossbow as well,
regarding the same issue via email. The only reason I'm bringing this
up, is I've been involved in the Mazda community for sometime. Owning a
'99 Mazda protégé, I've seen more than enough forums start up, on just
the protégé. Starting from protegeclub.com, to msprotege.com,
clubprotege.com, are just to name a few of several more sites dedicated
to the protégé. As there are not much Mazda6 sites out yet, I'd rather
see one site dedicated to it, rather then several more, which makes
things easier for the members?

Let me know what you think... thanks for your time,

Regards,

Amish Solanki

Amish,

I have always had an interest in bettering the Mazda6 community, and that
has not changed. This new web site was created because of the pleas we
heard from the users on your site. We were specifically asked to do this by
the community, and what started out as a spur-of-the-moment thing turned
into a large project with many supporters. Our site would not exist if not
for this overwhelming response.

I've offered to help with your site in the past. I've worked with Tony by
contributing to the redesign of the site. I still continue to gather
information to help the Mazda6club, just two days ago going out into the
rain to photograph some suspension parts for LBJay and Brillo. These are
not used on Mazda6tech or by me personally; they are for the club. I
continue to contribute to your site no different than I have for the past
1-1/2 years. It is a great, fun place that I enjoy visiting every day.

However, it is clear to me that trying to expand on Mazda6club.com is not in
the best interest of the entire community. Perhaps you can understand why:

· The forum software is faulty and has been (in one way or another)
since its inception. I have offered to help with the past, being a web
programmer, but was never taken up on the offer. Integrating more content
would seem impossible without first fixing the existing "basic" bugs.

· The forum and articles are not well integrated, and I have no
access to the stuff that I myself have written for the site.

· Moderation is average to poor, and perhaps that is something people
like about the site- free speech. Strict moderation simply would not work
for the 6club.

Quite frankly, I am personally offended that you think so little of me as to
create a competing web site just to spite you. There is no spite. This isn
't personal. Mazda6tech is not even intended to compete. It is a resource
for the Mazda6club to use, created by and for the members of the Mazda6club.
The information organized there is best kept available to but separate from
the Mazda6club. Here's why:

The level of moderation we plant to enforce on Mazda6tech.com simply wouldn'
t work on such a liberal forum as Mazda6club.com. It is not for everybody.
Notice our site does not have an all-purpose lounge, nor a buy/sell forum.
It is not a complete site. The forum exists only for technical questions
that would be otherwise lost on a place like Mazda6club.

One of the nation's top service managers for Mazda, Mark Sawyer, made 1000
posts on your site until finally calling it quits. He made the comment that
every meaningful thread he started would get very little traffic, while
silly questions such over the octane of gasoline and the rust issue would
get hundreds of responses. His threads would get lost, and the same
question would be asked again. Because of this, he left.

Perhaps you can blame that on poor moderation, perhaps not. Personally, I
think it's just the type of crowd, and there is little that can be done to
prevent it without starting over. We did. Our site is organized in a
fashion that is designed to offer nothing but answers, and that's why we
believe it will work. It is going to be something totally different. Not
better, mind you- just different.

I will give an example. The 6club can have a fun discussion about motor
oils, with lots of feedback of what people are using. But for a deeper
analysis, there is no alternative to bobistheoilguy.com. It's a totally
different atmosphere. I feel that's what we've created- the nitty-gritty,
tech-only alternative. You can see why this site would not appeal to large
majority of the Mazda6club users. However, to the few that it does appeal
to, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. It's a niche.

It is because of this that our site will not split the community. It will
co-exist. Many will not care for our site. Some will not care for yours.
But with both available, the community is bettered.

You no doubt have noticed that I have been linking to the articles published
on Mazda6tech.com from the 6club forums, and I would like to respond to
that. I do this to answer the questions of users as fully as possible.
What you do not know is that the articles currently written were ALL written
as responses to your users' questions! Articles such as the wheel fitment
guide and the TSB list did not exist until a user requested them.

The same questions are asked over and over on the 6club, as on any popular
forum. I myself usually type the same canned response, answering the same
questions over and over. This is tedious and tiring, and on occasion
frustrating enough that I'll take that out on the user. Instead of
continuing to write out these repeat responses, I chose a different
approach. I decided to write an in-depth report answering the question, and
instead provide the URL to it. This benefits both parties- the user gets a
far more thorough answer, and I (or your moderators) don't have to spend
type typing or searching out the proper response. Link, and the user has
more answers than they ever knew they wanted.

In response to one question on the Mazda6club, Mark Sawyer gave me the
technical service bulletin list for me to post. Of course, it needed many
formatting changes, and it took me half an hour to do. I cannot afford half
an hour of my time, plus Mark's time, every time a user asks for a TSB list.
Instead, I made a static web page with the list and linked it. That post
was then deleted by your moderators, and instead of that user getting his
question answered, he got nothing. How does that benefit the community?

I would encourage you and your moderators to do the same. It is an open
policy that worthwhile posts in our forum will be archived into an article
for all to read, so that it is never lost. Since these articles are created
in direct response to user questions, we hope that you and your moderators
find it equally convenient to link them as the most complete way of
answering a question. Personally, I hope that if you harbor this behavior,
the amount of repeat and follow-up questions will drop.

Though, the Mazda6club is your site and you can do with it what you like. I
've given you my reasons for creating a different site, and I still believe
in them. One site cannot be everything to everybody. Ever order Chinese
food from a pizza place? It's never the same; it's not what they specialize
in. Ever test-drive the one-car-fits-all Honda Accord? Need I say more?
:)

If we work together, we can collectively offer more, and everybody wins.

-Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Replying to Topic 'Mazda6tech letter history'

Amish,

I still haven't heard back from you. I think we need to communicate a
little better- I have a much easier time connecting with your moderators,
but their information is second-hand. Dave helped us come up with something
that we hope will help: if we get rid of our regional sections, would you
feel a little less "competitive"? We agree that they do not belong on a
technical site, and they are going to be removed.

I've come up with an analogy: You could give most people a service manual,
oil, and a filter, and they'd still go to a shop to get their oil changed.
We want Mazda6tech to be the online, interactive service manual for Mazda6
users. We want Mazda6club to be that shop that the other 95% of the world
is more comfortable with. Does that make sense? The 6club is already a
great price to find out what springs ride and work well on the '6. But some
are more interested in how springs effect the yaw and roll angles, and that
stuff is better left to a place with a specialized audience. 95% of the
6club members don't care about that stuff, and those threads, if created,
would serve little purpose on the 6club site.

Of course we're going to let people know that they have a "service manual"
available to them, should they choose to use it. And that's why I
personally sent invitations to the people I thought would have interest in
it. That said, I was totally unaware that an admin even had the ability to
read others' PM's, and I do feel as if my privacy was invaded. I will keep
that personal issue aside for the time being, but I think that needs to be
addressed in the future.

In a perfect world, the two sites would be seamlessly integrated yet
completely seperate. There simply is no place for mazda6tech within
mazda6club, as we would only scare members away from the designated
technical sections and cause further disorganization. For the few things
that overlap, there should be referrals both ways- I'm sure we will be
linking to many developing projects listed on the 6club, just as we expect
to link to many explanations of TSB's and why things work from the 6club. I
wish you didn't, if you'll pardon me saying, feel so threatened by seeing a
link to our site from yours. We hope to see plenty going the opposite
direction too.

All we want to do is help people. We fund this out of our pockets, just so
that the knowledge we share can be put to better use. This has turned into
a huge political battle, and it sucks. Who's winning because of it? In the
meantime, I'll stop posting links to 6tech so that you can start thinking
with a clearer mind. Please though, respond promptly. Communication is
key!

-Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Replying to Topic 'Mazda6tech letter history'

Hey Steve,

Thanks for the email.

I'll be brief, but 100% honest with you, because by your response, you
seem to want to work something out (I didn't get that feeling from
Greg).

Here's the deal with my lack of response. As you can imagine (and as I
said above, I'm being brutally honest with you), I've had the other mods
take a look at your previous response as well.

We have a big debate going on in our "admin forums" about what to do.
It's almost like all the 6club guys need to meet in a room with one of
those speakerphones, and you 6tech guys the same, and we have a big
discussion.

I've got emails from you guys, and big discussion in our forums, and
we're honestly trying to figure out a way that works.

From your response below, it does seem as those Dave may of told you a
little what is going on in our forums as well (re: the regional forums,
as I was the only one to mention that).

How about this, give us a day or two more, to figure out a plan, and
then I'll get back to you. On that note, do you have msn/icq? I'm much
easier to catch that way, as I do spend a ton of time at the computer,
specially in the evenings (btw I'm on -8GMT).

On another note, before I end off, I'll tell you why this bothers me the
most.

I've been a mazda owner for several years (we currently have 3 in our
family). I've been a huge contributor to the Protégé family (as I've got
one myself) and I've cnc machined several parts for them, since I work
at my dad's cnc machine shop.

I've seen protégé sites start up out of the ying yangs... left right and
center. I check about 4-7 different protégé sites per day. Its EXTREMELY
freaken annoying. I check them all before they all are setup for
different type of people, each one has different type of rules and
moderation.

I do NOT want to see this happen to the Mazda6 community. Trust me, if
you ask most of the protégé owners that freq the several forums, they
all wish it was one.

In the end, I to wish to find a simple and effective resolution. I'll
get back to you shortly. If you're avail on msn/icq my contact info:

[removed]

Thanks again,


Amish
Here is our compromise, as best as we have come up with:

a) We will get rid of our regional forums
B) We will permit off-site image linking from only the 6club (providing
that you do the same)
c) We will change our menu system so that instead of just one forums link,
they are labeled "owners club" and "technical" forums. We ask that you do
the same.

I'd love to somehow integrate the user base, if you have any ideas, but as
I've said, we are not willing to integrate the actual forums.

-Steve
 

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Replying to Topic 'Mazda6tech letter history'

Originally posted by Stretch
c)  We will change our menu system so that instead of just one forums link,
they are labeled "owners club" and "technical" forums.  We ask that you do
the same.
I don't quite understand what you mean by this..? Is it that "owners' club" links to 6club and "technical" goes to 6tech? If this is so, I can see how by those simple definitions people may end up going to 6tech for things that should be in the 6club tech section.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Replying to Topic 'Mazda6tech letter history'

Originally posted by Mazda_Gremlyn


           
Originally posted by Stretch
c)  We will change our menu system so that instead of just one forums link,
they are labeled "owners club" and "technical" forums.  We ask that you do
the same.
I don't quite understand what you mean by this..? Is it that "owners' club" links to 6club and "technical" goes to 6tech? If this is so, I can see how by those simple definitions people may end up going to 6tech for things that should be in the 6club tech section.
I'm open to other suggestions of formatting. I was merely suggesting linking each others' sites. The level of which this is done is up for discussion, too.

For example, we could mirror the links to buy/sell, the lounge, etc that would just point directly to your site, and you could have a technical area that is nothing more than a pointer to our site. THis would probably have to be specially coded into the forum, and then the users have the issue of needing to log in again. Just thinking out loud here...
 

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Reading Topic: Mazda6tech letter history

Steve, thanks for posting them up, I was gonna fire a email back at you tonight if you wanted to repost them.

I just walked in the house, I've been running around for work all day. I'll be back in a hour or two.
 
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