Author Topic: The future of SaabTechTalk - Do we continue?  (Read 1601 times)

sgould

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The future of SaabTechTalk - Do we continue?
« on: 18 May 2023, 11:59:48 PM »
Costs have risen hugely this year. Donations have not matched to outgoings.  Also posts have diminished.

There are things to consider...

1. I have been financing STT since 2015.  It was manageable with the help of donations, which were greatly appreciated.  But, in the last year, the fees have doubled, and the hosting company has been taken over.  I don't think that the current costs are viable.

2. We could move to a cheaper hosting site, which would keep the costs more in line with the donations received, but the fewer active members and post make this less likely to cover costs.

3.  I am old, and I have  not been well recently.  We need to have someone prepared to take the whole thing over, either to run it or to act in an emergency, if I can no longer continue.

4. Or, in few of the scarcity of recent posts, we decide to call it a day and close the site after 11 years.

What do you all think?  Any volunteers?
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Steve McF

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Re: The future of SaabTechTalk - Do we continue?
« Reply #1 on: 21 May 2023, 12:58:34 PM »
Hi Will, this is of course sad news, but probably inevitable. I'm not sure whether the decreasing number of Saab owners is now starting to bite, or that a lot of members have gone on to replace their Saabs with something else and hence no longer visit the site.

I have noticed that a lot of the more recent posts seem to be from me, and there aren't the responses there once might have been.

Would allowing some advertising help with costs? I'm thinking of specifically allowing Saab specialists and parts suppliers, rather than a general free-for-all.

sgould

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Re: The future of SaabTechTalk - Do we continue?
« Reply #2 on: 21 May 2023, 06:19:36 PM »
We've always been open to sponsors, but there's  been no interest.  There's a "Trade Support Offers" section on the board with no posts.  It's been there all the time. :(
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Geoff1951

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Re: The future of SaabTechTalk - Do we continue?
« Reply #3 on: 21 May 2023, 08:50:06 PM »
Hi Will, and those still checking in,

"There is a time in the affairs of men.."  One of many quotes that, on deeper reading, don't quite fit where STT now finds itself.  I haven't owned a Saab since October 2014 (but even now still look in once or twice a week).  During the preceding 9 years I found STT a source of encyclopaedic information and help and friendship during the ownership of my Hirsched 9-5 2.3 Vector.  It has also been, by and large, a respectful forum and while sometimes there has been occasional disagreement it never rose to the levels seen on other motoring forums (fora?). 

Although I suspect most of us have never met in the real world nevertheless I have had enjoyable online conversations with other members - hello Norfolk Jim, CitTone, collywobble, and many others.  There've been times when I've been talking out of my exhaust pipe, and always been willing to acknowledge my failings - I remember being corrected by phoenix on STT's predecessor site (whose name sadly escapes me, as does phoenix's previous forum name) about the climate control compressor.  Will, your own postings have been invaluable - the highly detailed instructions and photographs of the Parrot Bluetooth handsfree phone equipment particularly stand out.  For those of us who've passed our alloted three score and ten, we'll have different priorities now rather than worrying about throttle bodies, DI cassettes, or crank position sensors.  I certainly do.

I think what I'm coming to is that maybe it's time to say goodbye to an old and dear friend, and let STT die gracefully.  I haven't contributed financially for a few years so in a small way have contributed to the position it's now in.  Will, whatever you decide to do with STT, I'll just repeat my thanks for all the work over the years, and wish you well for the future.

Cheers

Geoff1951

sgould

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Re: The future of SaabTechTalk - Do we continue?
« Reply #4 on: 21 May 2023, 09:42:19 PM »
Thank you for you comments, and the support over the years.  The cost is not a major issue, we could go to a cheaper host.  The two main issues are the lack of new content, and succession planning.  Most of us are also members of UKSaabs, which is also finding new content scarce at times.  Facebook has taken over for now, but it's almost impossible to look up historical stuff there.
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carrera

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Re: The future of SaabTechTalk - Do we continue?
« Reply #5 on: 21 May 2023, 11:59:22 PM »
For me STT is the preferred forum, due to the atmosphere & knowledge of the members. It's the reason why when I was doing a few rescues / breakers a couple of years ago I put my build threads on here. Thanks for everyone for their interest & help. Facebook is never going to be an option for me, and as Will has said, finding things on there is almost impossible (so I am led to believe)

I very much hope we can keep it going, but of course that depends on people generating content. Maybe there's even an option to simply keep it online for a while as an archive in a worst case scenario. But if we are going to do that, may as well generate new content...

I'm still of working age, so posting rate is dependent on how busy I am with work. At the moment that means a number of projects are "on hold" or slow to progress
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ScarbSaab

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Re: The future of SaabTechTalk - Do we continue?
« Reply #6 on: 22 May 2023, 09:28:18 PM »
I'm considering whether I can commit to hosting it - I run servers for myself, other people and in my day job. I would need to read up on the Simple Machines Forum software and get an idea of the traffic (probably not a lot given the activity) and current database size. But I'm busy with work and other demands on my time so couldn't do a migration until later in the year. How soon do you want to decide?

TomPaine

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Re: The future of SaabTechTalk - Do we continue?
« Reply #7 on: 22 May 2023, 11:22:19 PM »
It may be heart ruling head but I would be very sad to see STT go. It's plainly true that the number of contributors is small and getting smaller but the quality quotient is so high; whenever I have an issue my first thought is to consult the board and the answers are always well informed and on the money. I accept that that doesn't help to keep it going though.

sgould

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Re: The future of SaabTechTalk - Do we continue?
« Reply #8 on: 22 May 2023, 11:34:12 PM »
The main priority at the moment is to reduce the cost of the hosting. The cost doubled last year and we don't use enough of the bandwidth, storage, etc. to justify this.

The succession planning is something that could follow in time. Given that I am a bit old, who knows what might happen. I was quite ill before Christmas, and I won't last forever.  I was involved with another forum where the "owner" died suddenly and sorting it out was a nightmare. 
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Steve McF

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Re: The future of SaabTechTalk - Do we continue?
« Reply #9 on: 23 May 2023, 12:22:36 PM »
For me STT is the preferred forum, due to the atmosphere & knowledge of the members. It's the reason why when I was doing a few rescues / breakers a couple of years ago I put my build threads on here. Thanks for everyone for their interest & help. Facebook is never going to be an option for me, and as Will has said, finding things on there is almost impossible (so I am led to believe)

Absolutely - I'm on my second Saab after several years without one. Whilst I had my 9-5, I used to frequent that other Saab forum that several people came from to set STT up (I believe). I had the privilege of being asked to be a moderator on that too for a while, until the site was sold (and sold out). By that point, I think I had already been Saabless for a few years, but I'd keep an eye on STT.  Then 5 years ago I acquired my second Saab, my 9-3 Aero, and so I have always turned to this page where possible - the knowledge base of the long term and senior members is fantastic.

But more recently, looking down the lists of posts, quite a lot of them seem to be started by me, which made me wonder where all the others were. Facebook groups are all very well, but you ask a question, and it is pot luck whether you get any replies at all, get any worthwhile replies, or get subjected to unwarranted sarcastic comments!!! And then of course, you can quickly lose the thread you started!!!

So I don't want to see SST go.  :'(  I'm sure I'll have loads more questions and requests for advice whilst I have this 9-3!!!! And of course, I always fancied having another 9-5 (OG or NG) - something which may or may not happen in the future  ::)

Is there anything we can do to raise the profile of the forum, to try to direct more traffic to it?

welshwizard

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Re: The future of SaabTechTalk - Do we continue?
« Reply #10 on: 24 May 2023, 01:34:40 PM »
I often come on here to follow conversations etc. but sensed the decrease in traffic.

It is the same on UKSaabs, although it seems that local branches of the SOC are busier, and various Saab related facebook pages are fairly busy...

I wouldn't be too surprised if this site is 'allowed' to peter out, we can't blame anybody for ....  A lot of people I still recall from the good old days of Saabscene (which is no more), the brand went out of business nearly 12 years ago, NEVS was a false dawn, even news from SaabsUnited/Trollhattansaab.net is a long distant memory and there are fewer Saabs for sale/on the roads...scrappage and ULEZ don't help...

Hope someone takes on Will's mantle.  I don't have the necessary expertise or time to take this on myself (I do find if I ever end up on committees I tend to kill the organisation inadvertently.....)...

Look after yourself Will.

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Re: The future of SaabTechTalk - Do we continue?
« Reply #11 on: 25 May 2023, 09:50:02 AM »
The overall forum reminds me of the Saab 9000 forums about 10-15 years ago, as all the common problems were solved and answered the rate of new questions coming in along with the gradual decline in the number of 9000's on the roads meant those forums went quieter while the 9-5 and 9-3 were gaining new posts. Let's face it, the NG9-3 is now 20 years old and Saab didn't release any new models after that in the UK with the exception of the NG9-5 but only a handful were ever sold in comparison.

I'd like to see the forum continue, but wonder if we can pivot somehow to be more relevant? I'm not a fan of uksaabs and won't move over there, I'd be happy to take over any admin duties to keep things going.