Exploroz Forum - one true place for genuine, relevant, informative...?

Submitted: Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 11:09
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"With the extensive uptake of social media like Facebook, Twitter and other platforms there is greater choice for your online communication. However, the ExplorOz Forum remains the one true place where genuine, relevant and informative discussions about 4WDriving, Caravanning, and Camping in Australia can occur. " A quote from the latest
Exploroz Newsletter.

I belong to a number of Facebook off-road pages, which contrary to your statement, I find genuine, relevant and informative. I view Exploroz in the same light.

This is a serious post, and as an Exploroz Member, I would be most dissappointed if your moderators deleted it.

Willie.
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Reply By: Joe Fury - Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 12:07

Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 12:07
G'day Willie

Yes, ExplorOz is a good social media vehicle for novices to gather useful information and for ~ experts ~ to give their account in respect of travel and various other subjects of interest, sadly some times even the well informed members of ExplorOz seem to take on a "holier than thou" attitude when an opinion different to theirs is posted.

Then the forum post is rapidly Hijacked by the experts.

Safe travels : Joe Fury
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Follow Up By: OBJ - Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 13:08

Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 13:08
You are pretty close to the mark, Joe.

Just looking yesterday (Friday) and there were only six postings all day including the Friday joke page. In times gone by it was sometimes difficult to catch up if you missed a day or two.

I have similarly been put off by the 'holier than thou' attitude of some contriibutors and 'exerts' (so called), especially when dealing with new people.

I gave up on membership, and cruise by every couple of days for a look then get out. There are now better alternatives, apart from a few very good, well informed diehard contributors.

Sad but true.

OBJ
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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 22:46

Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 22:46
All the forums I frequent have been pretty quiet for the last few months. There are still plenty of readers, just not many posters. Some of the topics on here have been so uninteresting I haven't even open some threads, but if you start bagging Land Rovers then things start to liven up. Have I mentioned that I think Toyotas are over priced crap? I only mentioned it as a forum post stimulus of course... :-)
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Reply By: mikehzz - Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 13:15

Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 13:15
Exploroz is good because it is independant. I like the fact that it is a hand crafted and unique website. I'm an anti social Facebook hold out....I hope I never join up, I think it's a bit "girlie". :-) No offence to all you real men Facebook users.
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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 14:32

Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 14:32
I,m with you mate. Facebook is a joke. I think a certain radio announcer summed it up beautifully after an idiot rugby player had his stupidity placed on for all to see.

Facebook....The media of morons.

There are some good aspects for sure. Seems to me that some people without a real life jump on there too often to tell us what they had for dinner. What movie they saw last night, photo of their goldfish, picture of a cake they made.etc,etc.
Get a life.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 22:30

Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 22:30
If those people on Facebook "need to get a life" then perhaps you should say something to them, as after all they are the friends you have chosen.

You only see what you have chosen to see.

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Reply By: Gramps - Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 13:36

Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 13:36
Now Bro,

what business does'nt think it's the bee's knees. Have a good one [img]
[/img]
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Reply By: patsproule - Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 17:52

Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 17:52
Everything has it's place. We actually use a closed facebook group to organise our family and friends outdoor travels and find it very effective. We create events within the group and use it to postdates & destinations, files, itineraries, photos and generally discuss plans. It works well for us since our group is across several cities and centres. I know it's evil but it's just so accessible, particularly to the younger generation who have ditched email in favour of FB messaging.

I too have noticed the postings on EO dropping. Not sure why. 4WD Action mag forums are all but dead too as are outer limits. However Pajero club forum just keeps getting busier. Not sure why the differences.....
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 18:19

Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 18:19
Agree patsproule. I have found that a lot of people have a limited view of Facebook and have only looked (or maybe just heard about) members pages.

In my experience FB groups - not pages - are quite useful and there are groups on all kinds of topics as well as the closed groups that you describe. There are numerous groups catering for caravanners, those looking for free/low cost camps and other topics generally covered by EO. Those groups have thousands of members. But they do not offer the kind of aggregated in-depth information available on this site and meaningful conversations are difficult because of the thread structure. They also become very repetitive as they really cater for the lowest common denominator in terms of knowledge and awareness of issues that get discussed.

I have no problem with the owners of this quite exceptional site talking up their business - its what every business owner does or should do if they want their business to have a future. In these times of rapidly developing technology running an online business must be very challenging. David and Michelle have done an outstanding job and if I had to choose between their business and a mulinational one I know who I would rather support. All strength to EO I say, but accept that FB and other sites have a place too.

J and V
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Follow Up By: turbo 1 - Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 22:07

Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 22:07
Not just Pajero, all the vehicle based ones are strong and some I once frequented 4wd action, overlander, 4wd australia, eo are all very quiet and rarely contribute now.
I know my vehicle based one has very few know all's with most trying to be helpful.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 12:53

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 12:53
John & Val,

" I have found that a lot of people have a limited view of Facebook and have only looked (or maybe just heard about) members pages. "

Couldn't agree more. I'm a member of a closed group for 40 series owners. I find more useful info there in 5 mins than I would find in days of trawling open forums (with possibly the exception of ih8mud).

Also starting to find alot of self-righteous know-alls on this forum at times who it appears have the agenda of shutting down open discussion (imho). A few times I've been tempted to offer an opinion on some topic, only to decide not to because either someones getting agressive or you can see the flame war coming......
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 21:03

Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 21:03
Willie,

Have noticed too that threads are dropping off. I just put it down to the season, where people are thinking of the festive season and not planning, travelling and the like.

One thing I have noticed, and not just lately either, is that there seems to be fewer photos posted within the threads.......a bit disappointing.

As for the "one true place...........etc" quote, I feel that David and Michelle are quite within their rights to use such wording to promote their business.

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 22:42

Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 22:42
The Forum is not the sole reason this site exists, the Forum is a part off or ancillary to the whole site.
Posts maybe dropping off because the archived Forum database, plus the blogs and other site information means the need to post questions, particularly repetitive questions has been largely negated.

As a 10 year plus member, I frequent here everyday to have a look and when I want info for my truck or a place to visit I search the site and archives for the answer first before posting yet again or looking elsewhere.
If you Google a subject just have a look what the top hits lead to, EO rates in the top few best results everytime.

Bottom line there is no other site in this country that provides the mass of information that EO does, if you want to travel to it, know about it, experience it, learn about it you will probably find it on here.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 22:44

Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 22:44
Forgot to add, Forum posts may seem to be down but the overall site hits are rising.
Testament to the fantastic resource David and Michelle have produced in my opinion.
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Follow Up By: equinox - Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 22:59

Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 22:59
Agree John,
Many questions have been answered before, so post numbers will decline as the query is found by searching the archives.

Also, many FB pages contribute to single issue discussions, such as off-road caravans for example, but do not promote the whole spectrum of 4WDriving, Caravanning, and Camping as EO does.

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.
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Reply By: Member Kerry W (WA) - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 03:36

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 03:36
The forum is actually a small but powerful, part of this site. Sure it "seems" to have its phases....but don't underestimate it!

One thing I have aways been aware of is the "silent majority" who use this site. (I am usually one of them until I can add something useful).
Checking the site stats - 1385 logged onto the site at the moment - this is why it rates so high in Net ratings ... and also, of course, so many Google searches lead straight to this site hence the huge amount of traffic it gets.

Either way ask a question and it gets answered. Then watch 400+ views appear in a short period of time. Far from quiet!
Many users only just scrape the surface of ExplorOz.

If you look at the live and interactive features of this site, the ability to download (and upload) treks and places of interest. The mapping features, the Classifieds, Road Conditions (Some amazing infrastructure in "Road Conditions" designed so that Federal and State governments SES and police could use, LIVE, on location in a crisis or Flood to warn of road closures and natural disasters etc, and blogs, I don't think there is another site anything quite like it.
However if you only consider the action emanating from the forum on a daily basis, I think you miss much of the true power of the ExplorOz community.

I agree local social media is coming into its own, but EO is big (and it is well managed) - its mojo is in the big picture. National!...but still with enough grass roots to help out on a local level...

In the past I remember people have become bogged up in the victorian alps or having slid off their driveway in their front yard north of Sydney, they posted on the forum asking for assistance and had help arrive within minutes or hours. Then there was the famous EO renovation rescue a few years back.
There is a sense of community and friendship that extends out from it - with likeminded people. Yes sure it waxes and wanes as people come and go as they travel of have other interests, but it seems to be self maintaining.

Dont let the odd troll stop you from contributing to the collective wisdom..or take away from the good the forum can do.

It is what we make it.
Kerry W (Qld)
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Follow Up By: Member - Michael W14 - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 07:00

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 07:00
I agree with all you say Kerry. It is the best site for information.

I think though, it is suffering against the competition which allows social interaction.

As a long term member like you, I remember the exodus of members when the owners laid out the new laws of "no more chit chat".

If I was them watching this great site limping along in the face of competeition which allowed social interaction, I would make some big changes.

And I would forget about making dubious rants on the news letter !

Cheers,

Willie.
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Follow Up By: Phil B (WA) - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 08:43

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 08:43
I agree with your comments Kerry

You noted 1385 people logged on - in addition this post has had some 8 replies and 9 follow ups - but 670 views.




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Follow Up By: Mick O - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 16:01

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 16:01
Willie this topic comes along every now and then, the old “It would be so much better as a chat room”.

I think it’s important to remember that you are talking a very different entity to a mainstream social media site like Facebook. EO is also different to many of the forums set up on common, garden variety forum platforms provided by Yahoo and the likes.

The suite of tools provided with EO are far superior to anything you’ll find on a facebook page, and many other 4x4 specific sites as well. Opinions, and anecdotal info, well you’ll find those anywhere including here. What you don’t get here is the dross associated with banal conversation within the post. I’d presume that David and Michelle set up the forum guidelines and rules to provide exactly that, specific, relevant information and opinion on the matter specific to the post. No “Wow look at what I’m having for dinner” in the midst of a specific question about 1HD FTE overheating issues for example.

The EO forum is a great resource, not a chat room and the forum policy is aimed at keeping the forum pure to the core themes of the site. There is still a bit of banter going on though and it's a lot more relaxed since those 'special ones' moved on. You’ve also over looked that fact that as a member, you can still indulge in as much chat as you want through the MM system (A bit clunky admittedly but it’s a way to get in touch and have a chat.)

"Dubious rants"..I don’t think so, I think Michelle or Adele were merely (and quite accurately) outlining the benefits of the forum. You managed to cherry pick one little piece out of 5 paragraphs, info that sits well as a whole and does nothing more than extol the virtues of the site. Something the owners of a commercial site are surely entitled to do.

I’d hazard a guess and say that just about every forum user also frequents other sites/forums along similar topics or otherwise. That’s the joy of the internet I suppose. You can fulfill all your needs easily. If you need to ‘chat’ more, you can pop over to facebook or any number of public forums. If you want specific, relevant info, you can pop along here. Choice is a wonderful thing.

All the very best for the coming festive season and safe travels for 2015.

Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 19:43

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 19:43
You put it beautifully Mick.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Matt M - Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 15:17

Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 15:17
Well put Kerry. Mick O, it is contributions like the ones you make that add to the real 'richness' of this site.

The forum nowadays I can take or leave. Some regulars who like to offer an opinion on everything (which is fine), but what you never hear about from some of these 'experts' is anything to do with actually travelling the country. I do wonder if some regular forum 'cut-and-pasters' ever actually travel anywhere. But to each their own I guess.

Much, much more to find on this site than just the forum. So to those who do contribute to the knowledge bank that is ExplorOz, my thanks for your efforts.

Cheers,

Matt.
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Reply By: Mark T6 - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 08:11

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 08:11
Owning a Toyota Prado and a Lotus Caravan I'm a member of both Pradpoint and the Lotus Owners Group.

Both are a "bit slow" these days, possibly because almost every piece of information you could want is already there, just use the search area and bang up comes loads of stuff.

I'm on FB, mostly my family, and I'm a member of a Football group (not a page) and the Lotus Caravan owners group (again not a page), and I must say these are both fantastic and well patronised (during the season for the footy one).

In my opinion there's room for both, Twitter however is a whole different animal!!
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Reply By: The Landy - Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 14:36

Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 14:36
EO is a great travel resource for those travelling in Australia.

It is inter-active, and as many have said prior, the forum is one part of it. I think what the forum suffers from at times is the need for people to challenge everything that is written rather than simply accepting that others have a differing point of view.

For me, it is the only forum I frequent, albeit slightly less recently as I focus on other activities in my life…but I would still visit every day, on average to see if there is anything I can learn.

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Vic - Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 22:08

Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 22:08
I don't read the quote from the Exploroz Newsletter the same way that Michael W14 does. I do not see it saying that other forums/facebook pages are not "genuine, relevant and informative". I see as the main point in the Newsletter that the ExplorOz Forum is the one true place for information and discussion covering "4WDriving, Caravanning, and Camping in Australia". Sure there are other sites that specialise in some aspects of what is covered on ExplorOz, and many of us are members of them, but I am yet to find another site that covers so much. We are spoilt for choice these days as to where we source our information and there is nothing wrong in ExplorOz talking up their website. I am retired and spend many months each year travelling and I am yet to find an information source as comprehensive as ExplorOz. Other people maybe different and if you find other sites more relevant to your circumstances then I say use them. All Forums have rules and if you do not like them then do not join. Moderators apply the rules, and if they where to apply their own beliefs and opinions then the site would die. All the above is in my humble opinion.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
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