Feedback sought from non-members

Submitted: Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 12:15
ThreadID: 5108 Views:2995 Replies:24 FollowUps:60
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There has been a lot of recent discussion on the cost of running the Forum, and on the subject of membership. There have been lots of ideas put forward, but mostly from members. It seems we all joined for a similar reason - we all recognise the value we have obtained from the site (from the forum, or other parts) and we are willing to compensate EO for that benefit. Others apparently don't see it that way so we need to hear from non-members as to why they aren't joining and what it would take to get them to join/contribute financially.

We all seem to agree we do obtain value (to greater or lesser degrees) from the site. Could we have obtained that benefit elsewhere? Probably, but not as conveniently. If the Forum disapeared due to unrecoverable costs, would we miss it? We are the users and the beneficiaries so shouldn't we bear the costs of the platform that's been provided?

So, non-members, what added value/benefits, beyond that which you already receive from the EO site, would entice you to pay membership? Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
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Reply By: Kev - (Cairns,QLD) - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 12:54

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 12:54
I have nothing against being a member but don't want to pay $50. ($20 maybe)

I personaly don't use any other part of the site other than the forum, saying that theres alot of usefull info and its a great site but i like my forums.

To me there is about 20 other 4wd forums out there (all free) that i could use but i choose to contribute to this one and one or two others aswell.

At the end of the day its all about giving and gaining infomation and if David wants to make this a pay site for that info then we all have the option to stay or leave.

I don't just take from this site as i feel i do my part to contribute as others do to.

Im starting to feel unwelcome here because i choose not to pay so if thats the case then you only have to ask me to leave.........and i will !

AnswerID: 20991

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 13:00

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 13:00
Kev, you're not "unwelcome". I'm sure D & M don't won't you leaving either. We are just trying to solve a problem and your input is valued.

Thanks for the response.

BTW, what is/was it that made you decide to use and contribute to this forum as opposed to one of the others? Is is the participants, the layout, or something else?Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13548

Follow Up By: Kev - (Cairns,QLD) - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 13:10

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 13:10
Ummmm i think its because this site has a bit more of a serious side to it as some forums are about bleep in about to get your contributing tally up and because of that some new members are reluctent to jump on and have a go.
I think its like having a decent conversation opposed to small talk.

Saying that there are some here that are set in there ways and against hard core/vehical mods but i suppose this is a trecking site so thats ok.
FollowupID: 13549

Follow Up By: gordon g - Monday, Jun 23, 2003 at 01:24

Monday, Jun 23, 2003 at 01:24
Just a suggestion---as you know there a quite a few pensioners on the road with a limited budget, so maybe a concession fee of say $20-25
could apply to us which I am sure would help to build memberhip and increase the finances. Happy Camping!!
FollowupID: 15451

Reply By: herkman - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 13:21

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 13:21
I would think everyone should stop and think carefully, before they say things that will either be taken wrong, and or will cause the case of members versus non members.

I am ex air force, and as a result of my military service, now have to live on a invalid pension. This means that we have to watch every dollar that we spend.

Additionally I belong to about twenty forums around the world, whose aim is to help others, and to obtain help. I well understand the cost of running a web site, and I see this forum as being just a small part of the total web site.

The problem from where I sit, is that many people just cannot afford the hundred and one small out lays that would come, if you wanted to be part of the action.

The prime purpose of a forum, is to give and recieve help with problems associated with the forum interest. I would like to think that most people are prepared to put in and take out of the forum, with the prime aim to give to all.

Remarks made by some "members" show a lack of compasion and understanding, of life outside their world.

The site operator, from where I sit, needs to come to grips with whether they can afford the cost of running the forum, with this mixture of non and paid members.

If that cannoty be done, then they should make that fact known up front, so that people for for ever reason cannot be members, make their decision not to join.

However when I look at the contributions, I see a very high level of input and help from the non members, and from members I have seen contributions that do not appear to spread oil on the troubled waters.

After when we see someone stopped on the side of the road, will we ask to see membership before we offer and give help.

Remarks little stingy bugger, do nothing to help the program at all.

Maybe the stingy brother could save your life one day.


Col Tigwell
AnswerID: 20993

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 14:18

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 14:18
Col, I understand your precdicament and empathise, but unfortunately EO isn't a charity. Ask yourself, if you're not willing to cover your own costs, why should EO? The paying members currently "subsidise" the non-member users - there's your charity. Should we pay more (higher subsidies) so others don't have to?

Your remarks about being "stingy" are a way off the mark, and somewhat irrelevant to real issue here, as are your comparisons with offering/providing road-side assistance. Will you spend $1,000 a month of your money to set up and maintain free road-side assistance to anyone who wants it, even if no-one is willing to contribute to the cost? I think not. Why? because you can't afford to. Do you think I T Beyond can afford to?

I'm paying, to cover the costs of my posts, and and am willing to pay more if David deems my "volume" to warrant higher fees. However, in fairness to me and the other members, why should we subsidise those that aren't willing to pay? Really? Especially as they can all afford 4x4s, camping gear, computers and internet connections? There are others far worse off.

BTW, I actually contributed more $s to charities in last financial year than I spent on my 4x4 and camping kit, so I consider myself outside the group you describe as `some "members" show a lack of compasion and understanding, of life outside their world'.

Now, any suggestions on how to resolve the current problem of ballooning costs for the site?Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13554

Follow Up By: Kev - (Cairns,QLD) - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 14:50

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 14:50
No one forced you to pay! it sounds like you feel ripped off because you didn't have to.

The idea is the advertisers pay to advertise and that money go's to the site so if you upset everybody and they leave then the advertisers will leave too and the site is finished.

I didn't choose what David does with his site and the expencive servers ect. I would rather be on a slower server than pay heaps to contribute.

He's running a buisness like every one else and makes his own decisions and in this day and age people shop around and if they don't like whats on offer they go else where.

I don't know David from a bar of soap and he dosn't know me so i don't expect him to care what goes on in my life so im not to worried about his.

Just chill out and worry about your own life, he's a big boy and can look after him self.

FollowupID: 13559

Follow Up By: Old Soldier - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 15:39

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 15:39
Rohan K,

I'm totally with Big Kev on this issue.

As good as this forum is - it is JUST another forum about 4WD and touring activity.

If you want to become a "member" then that is your business. You do not "subisidise" me, Kev or any other perosn who comes here, so as Kev suggested mate - chill out..

What makes this forum so good is the quality of the posts from the people who contribute.

It is up to the owners how they pay for the running of the website. but anybody with half an ounce of business "nous" could show this forum to any 4WD type business and point out the "captive" audience to prospective advertisers.

That is the challenge facing the owners of Explorez - not trying to slap fees onto the people who contribute here.

Any attempt to charge for coming here will see people exit in their droves - myself included.

And if that happens there will not be a forum, and possibly no Exploroz either. It would be missed [for a while] but the people who contribute here will find another place to go. Think about that.

As for making it worthwile becomeing a member, I see nothing on offer in taking out membership here that I cannot buy from local 4WD outlets for a cheaper price, so please tell me about theses "benefits of membership".

No, the answer is is not in badgering "non members" into coughing up money, the answer [as in all business] is effectively managing what you have, and growing it steadily to make it more and more profitable.

And like previous posters, I don't think we need "members" - however well intentioned they may see themselves, trying to tell us what to do here.

enjoy the bush

FollowupID: 13564

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 19:36

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 19:36
Dennis, no one is "telling you what to do", nor would I presume to. The issue is financial survival of the forum and what can be done to obtain a greater level of financial support.

The question was what would entice you to join. Your responser that there was nothing here doesn't answer the question, but thanks for your more considered response.Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13574

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 19:40

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 19:40
Kev, David posted a question seeking assistance with finding a solution. Its interesting that the aggresive, defensive responses have been from non-members. Perhaps you should "chill out" and offer some ideas rather than personal criticism.Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13575

Follow Up By: Kev - (Cairns,QLD) - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 20:08

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 20:08
I must of missed that post from David.

I don't read all the posts, just the ones that inerest me from the title.

If David did bring this subject up then why did you bring it up again ?

I probebly am being defensive but thats what you get for being told that we are being supported by you guys and making us feel like a burden to this forum.

Ok as i have no idea what there expenses are and im sure its not just the forum, mayby he could cut back on his trips to do his reports on that would be most likely funded by his company ect. (only a guess)

If he realy has financial troubles i think he would be beter seeking profesional advice and not relying on his members to hassle the non members.
FollowupID: 13580

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:15

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:15
Only because David's post elicited responses mainly from members. Very few non-members responded and it is their views that are more relevant.

Memebrs aren't hassling non-members. We are merely solicting opinions. Hopefully constructive ones. I'm sure the comments by non-members to this post (good, bad or indifferent) will all help EO to formulate a strategy.Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13587

Follow Up By: herkman - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 15:56

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 15:56
Rohan you are asking the public, tell D & M to run their business, and I for one do not see that to be the right way to go. When one runs a business, they must form the business plan.

Let us face the situation, lots of people are making a contribution, and my studies reveal that more non members are making contributions, than the guys who plonk down their money. So if you want to change the ground rules, make membership a requirement, and I suspect that most non members will go away. Then too will away go all that valuable input, which keeps the forum active.

It has nothing to to do members benefits, in many cases I have looked at, the products for sale are available elsewhere, often cheaper, without the need to become a member.

Your comments, have the ability to destroy this forum, if you chose to pay $50 a year, so you can beat your chest and say "I am a member", then God bless you.

I for one will never pay to join a forum, forums are about helping each other, and the business side of the site, should stay on its own commercial basis.

I for one would be preety cheesed off, if I was running a website/forum, and people who have no financial interest or office in the company, started canvassing for suggestions, of how it can be more profitable.

We live in a commercial age, and business's stand and fall by their marketing program.

The challenge is simple, make paid membership compuserly, and watch the forum crumble.


Col Tigwell
FollowupID: 13658

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 16:16

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 16:16
Col, get your facts straight. Read post 5048 and leave your responses there, if you actually have anything constructive to say.Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13662

Reply By: Member - Wherethefugawi - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 15:47

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 15:47
What happens if the non-members cannot participate in the forum as it presently stands?

Will they will go else where leaving it all to the members to support. I reckon they would. Can we support it?

There is just over 500 of us isn’t there? Will the advertisers stay and support this site to only 500 persons? I would want my name getting more exposure than to only us members!

In my opinion this site would die if it is left to us members only to support even at $100 dollar memberships! Can we afford more? Some could, some cant and others wont.

OE is a profit making organization and as such it’s going to be the directors/managers who will make the decision as to what ultimately happens to the site! Can it afford to keep going as is? Its all relative as to how much profit it’s making I guess. No profit means a cut in services and then the customers complain, then they swap to another provider!

The non-members should not have to pay if they don’t want too as with out them we can expect to lose it all. A non-member will not support the shop and certainly wont need to support the Advertisers.

If I am reading this right the OE needs more members and paying Advertisers if it to remain as is! More Income (should) = more profit and hence good services.

Come on Non Members if you can support please take out membership ….you GET FREE MEMBERSHIP if you purchase something from the shop providing the value is over $150.00 ……. Don’t You Need A Good 1st Aid Kit for home or doesn’t your parents or in-laws…WHAT A PERSONAL EPIRB or one for the 4X4!
…. Buy your wife a great cookbook. Why not buy the 4 of them and together with the bird guide and venomous creatures books give them to her for her birthday (better than buying her a an electric drill) or your relatives for Xmas ….at least you’ll get free membership.
AnswerID: 20996

Reply By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 16:17

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 16:17
WE do advertise on this site and to date have not any feed back from our ad or answers on the forum . The reason I like the site is the forum and there are also other parts on the site.
The forum does get some good answers and good questions it makes good reading.
Also were are all these 4x4 forums I would be interested to know.
All the best
Peter 07 4094 1745
Eric 02 4294 3496Cape York Connections
AnswerID: 20997

Follow Up By: Old Soldier - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 17:13

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 17:13
G'day Eric,

I made a genuine email enquiry to your firm [as a direct result of your ad here] about 5 weeks ago.

As of this date I have NOT had the courtesy of a reply.

I can only interpret from your lack of response that you have enough business and do not think you need to reply.

As to where all the other forums/groups are, I can think of half a dozen without any effort at all.

I found them the same way I found this one.

By using a good search engine - Google come to mind.

Enjoy the bush


FollowupID: 13570

Follow Up By: Kev - (Cairns,QLD) - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 17:20

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 17:20

These are just the Aussie forums that i know of (not including U.S.A).

And no i don't contribute to all of these only 2 (including this one) and sometimes a third one.

By the way they are all FREE!!!!!


FollowupID: 13571

Follow Up By: Member - Bob - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 18:17

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 18:17
Free!!!! Now that's an interesting term. Maybe it means "no apparent financial cost in the short term". I've formed the view that nothing worthwhile is free. I deal with people every day of the week who whinge because what I do for them isn't free. In fact, we have created a society of freeloaders who expect every thing for free. Very often the same people will squander substantial amounts on cartons of smokes etc. Maybe the the $50 is too much up front, and could be reduced to a less scary amount for a shorter period of membership. But after all, a dollar a week is sfa, even for the hardest up person in Australia. But a lot of people by their very nature would choose not to pay even if they knew they were getting excellent value. For me, the value of this forum far excedes the cost of membership. You only have to have a look at the crap on the other forums to appreciate why this one is better.
FollowupID: 13572

Follow Up By: Member - Geoff - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:16

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:16
Eh!!!! by the way Eric I sent you a dotcom referring to your tours, from this site, and I haven't received a reply yet and it was a couple of weeks back, aren't they getting through, or have you been relaxing??:-) Jen
FollowupID: 13588

Follow Up By: Member - Bill- Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:23

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:23
I'm with Bob, content here is worth $, others I look at incl. most on Kev's list is crap. Mainly blowhards you can listen to on UHF 40 on Satrurday morning, it's free too.Regds

FollowupID: 13589

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:13

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:13

I too am concerned that you say you have had no contacts. We get copies of all advertiser emails sent from the system and there have been several. Additionally we have advised several people to contact you directly after we have had telephone conversations with them.

As usual I expect that they forget to tell you where the referal came from. Just like the fact that people forget to tell advertisers about the referals from this site already. If only we could get the users to tell the people whom them were refered by life would be simple.

ExplorOz Team - David
Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
FollowupID: 13634

Follow Up By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 17:48

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 17:48
Boy I got some response from that reply.
Old soldier I did not get the email it may have got lost in space also David I have had a few phone calls as you said they didnt say they were talking to you . David could you please get all the emails directed to me decause Peter has moved about 5 weeks ago and his phone line into his house does not handle emails {dont ask me why ] So to any one who sent emails or phoned please accept our oppoliges . Phone Eric on 024294 3496 or mobile 0418 964279 and I will answer most questions
All the best
Eric 02 4294 3496
Pete 07 4094 1745
Cape York Connections
FollowupID: 13671

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 00:13

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 00:13
Member - Bill Dribbled this followup

I'm with Bob, content here is worth $, others I look at incl. most on Kev's list is crap. Mainly blowhards you can listen to on UHF 40 on Satrurday morning, it's free too.
Have you ever been on any of those lists? Didnt think so..
Blowhards? LOL.... Content that is dribble probably agree with you, but some like somethings, and others like other things.. I think the saying is To each their own?

I can tell you that most of those lists run regular trips(regular group of people meeting from the list 2 of 4 weekends)... Is that blow hards. nd one is from the NSW 4wd Association! BLOWHARDS! ROTF!

Take a look at Outerlimits, and you will see 9/10ths of the Tuff Truck field on that forum. Blowhards? Most dont even have AM let alone UHF.
FollowupID: 13716

Reply By: hilux - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 17:55

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 17:55
I have only just discoverd this site, not that I have had earlier need fo such.
I had a question I could not seem to find an answer by searching through Google or Webwombat an Ozy site. By chance I came across this site and posted a questioon as a visitor, and was happy with the response and the very friendly way in which it was answerd. I was expecting to be answerd as some dumb bugger who couldn't know one end of his forby form the other.
After this and looking further throught what is posted on here I will visit more frequently.
I was a little stunnd at the $50 asked to be a memeber I would be happier to pay $20/$30 Ok we probably spend 100x's that much just going for a weekend away to enjoy our great out doors and meet fellow 4wheelers..
If the forum stays as well informative and helpfull as it presently seems and must have been. I will seriously consider the the $50 asked but remembering the rule try before you buy.
Ive been a camper and fisherman since I was a kid. But only recently aquired my own 4by and am already making plans for a few trips away.
So with some help from fellow forum members I hope I can make my enjoyment of the outdoors that much better.
hey guys lets support each other.
if you read this far thanks for your interest
Hope to meet you out in the bush one day

AnswerID: 21001

Reply By: Empty - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 18:28

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 18:28
An interesting debate. Unfortunately I don't know enough about IT matters to make a terribly informed contribution however a couple of things spring to mind.

Firstly, just how much does it cost to maintain a forum such as this?

Secondly, and Richard touched on this, as this site represents a commercial concern for the owner isn't the idea to attract as many users as possible so that advertisers can be encouraged to pay for advertising knowing that the site has a strong hit rate?

To me it's chicken or the egg stuff. There are a number of potential revenue streams from a site like this. Viz a viz advertising, mechandising, itinary planning ,membership etc. If the site is not returning a profit or at least generating enough revenue to justify its existence then surely the owners need to re-evaluate the cost versus revenue model of the whole business.

Anyway, to this point, we haven't had any input from the owners so to what extent is this really an issue that members should be looking to address in this way?

AnswerID: 21003

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 20:01

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 20:01
Empty, have a look at post # 5048Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13577

Follow Up By: Empty - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 20:32

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 20:32
Thanks Rohan

I missed David's post first time around. Certainly spells out his position clearly enough. Even without being aware of his predicament I have been spreading the word about the site.

For example, just last week I bought a battery isolator from Redarc based on the positive feedback I had read about in this forum. I mentioned to Redarc's MD about the good reviews his product was getting on the ExplorOz site. As you can guess he was totally unaware and in fact had never heard of ExplorOz. Similarly I am about to buy a camera from another site I heard about on this forum.

As a sales oriented businessman I view those examples as missed opportunities by the ExplorOz team. That's not to criticise them. Active selling may not be their focus at the moment nor may they have the resources. And yet, the question begs to be asked, is it selling the site to potential commercial advertisers that will generate future revenue or is it increasing membership? Probably a combination of both I suspect.

As you rightly point out, the question of membership is not totally about dollars but more about what users get for their dollars. There needs to be a clear benefit that appeals to each individual. Perhaps that's not there at the moment.

So we're right back where we started. How do you make the concept of membership more appealing to non members? Do you go down the user pay road and risk disenfranshising many of the non members? What effect will this have on the longer term viability of the site?

These are all important business considerations that only David and Michelle decide upon. They need to decide whether they have the resources and ability to become totally sales focussed and drive revenue through sales AND at the same time maintain a quality site that is already attracting strong user interest.

The concept is good. I think they just need to sell it more strongly. After all, that is exactly what the mags are doing.

Kind regards
FollowupID: 13582

Follow Up By: Member - Wherethefugawi - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 08:14

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 08:14
Empty, Send both those suppliers an email directing them to those posts as it might just get them to contemplat advertising?.. would it it be worth the effort?
FollowupID: 13612

Reply By: chopper - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 20:14

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 20:14
PLease take this as a helpful reply.

I went to the adventure shop the other day with the aim of spending $150 and could not do it.

I did have the log book and a couple of cook books in the cart, (not even close to $150)

What would i have bought.

Some of Les Hiddins books

The new "Princess K'gari" book about Fraser (I'll be getting it anyway)

An exploroz flag (if there was one).

and who knows what else.

I have no problem with user pays, if that is what is needed, but I can't see myself going to $50, the old price of $30 i would have done.

The other thing is in relation to consumer confidence. If the forum becomes members only (who knows, I may become one) the numbers, and therefore ideas, suggestions and answers will dwindle quickly, my membership will no longer be as valuable, (this does not encourage me to spend the money).

As for answers to supply/demand I believe that it lies with advertising/merchandise, and that ain't my area of expertise.

Please see this post as attempting to be constructive.

AnswerID: 21008

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:09

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:09
Chopper, I agree about the products and did mention it in an earlier post. Apart from the Helton heat exchanger, there's not a lot a lot I haven't already purchased.

I'm looking for a roof rack but none of David's advertisers make one for my vehicle. I'll be after a new set of tyres soon, but no suppliers appear to be paid advertisers.

Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13586

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:16

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:16
Thanks we are working on new and additional product offerings all the time and we will be adding a load of accessories products in the comming weeks.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
FollowupID: 13635

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:33

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:33
I look forward to it David. I try to buy whatever I can through EO, even if I can get it locally. The more that's available, the more purchases I'll be able to make via the Shop. Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13641

Reply By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 20:19

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 20:19
To Rohan K, David and Michelle,

I think the answer to the problems is staring you in the face (actually NOT staring you in the face, to be precise). You have all these vendors that pay good money to advertise on this site (full credit to David for an excellent job in that respect), BUT...where are they??? May I make a suggestion that the advertising be placed in the sidebar of the forum (perhaps free for the first month of a 6 month advertising block) where everyone can see it as they are clicking through. This would produce more exposure for the advertisers who may see more sales as a result, and therfore pay more to subsidise the running of the site. When advertisers see the traffic through the FORUM they would be more likely to part with their money. The basic problem is that the readership has to go LOOKING for the advertisers at the moment, and, undertandably, the advertisers are not getting the sales results from their advertising dollar.

Fine tuning the geographic part of the advertising search engine would help (including the capital cities seperately), as I noted in a previous entry.

One reality is that a great part of the readership (members and non-members) resides in the eastern part of Australia, so the advertising (mainly WA-centric) is not really appropriate to us. Us easterners need to spread the word a bit more...

There are some people like myself that do not have a credit card and are therefore limited to what they can buy over the internet, and purchases through this (and other sites) are awkward. This also applies to the membership charge.

In the context of the above comments, the forum needs to remain free for the advertisers to get their sales (>>> David gets paid). Creating a "closed shop" will kill the site entirely by limiting the pool of potential sales the from which advertisers draw their sales.
AnswerID: 21009

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:25

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:25
Fair point Gary. I completely missed an advertiser's listing that I was actually looking for. Perhaps it does need to be more "in your face", or at least more visible in the arena (forum) most visited.Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13590

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:24

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:24
Yes agreed but look at the advertising options we have already available and understand that WE DO NOT CHARGE LIKE THE MAGS do for advertising. A whole year is $160 not $1000/month like a mag does so how much do we give away for $160. We have banners in the forum view page, we have page sponsoring in the forum and on every content page in the system - the advertisers have just not got onto it yet.

The biggest problem is that we are only two people and all we really want is the word of mouth to filter from the users to the advertisers. This is really all we need and I do not really want to change anything about the operation as it currently stands.

Interesting comment about the advertising being mainly WA for this is just not true. In fact WA is not very well covered from the advertising point. However please spread the word.

I am shocked that you mention a credit card issue - We accept Direct Deposit, Cheque & Money order along with credit cards.

Thanks for your feedback and comments.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
FollowupID: 13637

Reply By: Kev - (Cairns,QLD) - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 20:26

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 20:26
Just had a brief look at post 5048 and understand it is the forum that is causing the problem.

The only real way to help improve this problem in my view is to go back to a cheaper server or introduce adverts on the forum pages like the yahoo sites, must admit i hate this advertising but may be a nessesary evil.

Just shouldn't penalise the forum users.
AnswerID: 21010

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:31

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:31
If I had to be like yahoo groups I would do myself a favour and turn it off. I think the groups thing is a pile of crap and a waste of Internet real estate. They do offer it for free and this is a positive but then again so do I.

Thanks for your feedback however seperating the forum from the site is a real pain as I have integrated the logons, maillists and forum databases together. You will also notice topic search links all the parts of the site together - inc Business, Articles, Trader and Shop. The seperation would be very difficult.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
FollowupID: 13640

Reply By: Jack - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:01

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:01
I would like to make the following suggestion in regards to the need to underwrite the Forum on this site. I plan to take out a membership, and will do that shortly when I need to make some purchases from the shop. A recent health setback has forced me to delay this, which does not help David very much, but that is the way it is.

1. In a former life I was involved in media sales and management. Advertising leads to customer *enquiry*. Sales people them make the sale based on that enquiry. At times we had various "drives" to attract advertisers to various organisations whom our company represented. My suggestion in the first instance is to have David compile a list of advertisers he may like to see on his site, and members then (via the magic of email) contact them indicating that they are users of the forum and would consider using their products and services if they were on the site. It is my estimation that they would receive enough email to arouse their curiousity sufficiently to enquire of David as to what costs are involved etc .... at that point it is up to David to convert their enquiry into a sale.

2. I think car stickers work (along with many other forms of advertising) ... I see them .. I tune into the various radio stations while I am travelling to see what is on offer ... etc .. etc ... If people see enough car stickers for a given organisation, it also leads people to enquire. Once again .. once the enquiry is made, it is up to David to do the selling. I'd be pleased to carry an ExploreOz sticker on my truck, even if I had to pay for it.

3. There are a number of good Media sales organisation around the country who do this sort of selling on a fulltime basis. Armed with details of the site, some good authoritative information on the number of "hits" the site gets, these companies can do most of the legwork in approaching various advertisers for Internet advertising. I think the usual rate of commission is 10%. Given the sort of organisations that David may want on the site, it is pretty impossible for him to do "face to face" in the way that these organisations can do it for him.

4. My final offering is to suggest (if possible) that the forum be switched to another less expensive server. Going to it is pretty seamless, as it is just another link as far as we "surfers' are concerned.. It is not an ideal solution, but it is a thought. I maintain a website for my old Army unit and when we ran out of space we transferred part of the site to another server. Worked fine, and then our ISP gave us extra space so we were able to put it all back on the one site.

I will keep my thinking cap on and see if I can make further contributions on this subject. I think it is worth the effort.
Safe travels
AnswerID: 21016

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:40

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:40

Thanks for the feedback could you please advise me if you have any contacts or organisations that we should talk to about your point number 3.

I like the ideas in point 1 just trying to work out how we could make this happen.

Once again thanks for the feedback. I think I need a while to absorb all this.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
FollowupID: 13642

Follow Up By: Jack - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 18:55

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 18:55
Hi David:

I am having a friend currently employed in the media industry check out the "good" ones for me which I will pass on to you privately.

A good submission will assist .. you could consider structuring your advertising pricing by the web page, taking into consideration "hits" per page/content etc ... Remembering that these guys work on commission you may need to look at your advertising rates (increase) .. I am not sure what they are.

I have been out of the advertising/media game for a few years now and have retired for health reasons, so I need to make sure the information I have is "current". Won't take long and I will be back to you.

I may also have a crack at writing a rough submission that you can play about with. Just in the middle of putting the magazine for my ex-service organisation together for this quarter, so once i get that done I will have a shot at it.

FollowupID: 13677

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:15

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:15
If the forum is the problem, and the rest of the site is doing the job, then it seems piss easy to me to resolve -> Scrap the forum, Burn it.

Why not open a Yahoogroup for this forum, and just use that as though it was the sites forum... THEN ITS FREE!!!!! And no traffic problems. SIMPLE!

Im with others. I contribute with information on this forum, as to lots of others, the ones getting nasty about paying are the ones that are usually asking questions...

But with the glut of 4WD forums out there, 1000s to be honest that are free, why would you pay? The same questions from people get cross posted on different forums you see it daily, here, Patrol forum, Melbourne, Outerlimits, 4wd Monthly, Overlander etc etc, all from one person. Dont think that people only ask here, they dont.

You can get information on anything out there for free, people just choose to use this place - if your happy to pay, all the power to you. I'd rather send $50 to the starlight foundation, and use free forums. tried to make it user pays on their forum, there were 100s replies from wankers there "YES NO PROBLEMS WITH $20", then there was the ones that didnt want to pay, so they started another forum, which as you guessed was free and now everyone is on the free one, and not snakeracing, which is now almost dead. Snake introduced Popups at one stage, that almost caused mass riots, not me, popup killer works a treat!

Either that or have more sponsor ads. As others have said, opening when you open a post on the forum. People dont mind clicking on ads, when they need stuff, they just dont want to go looking for them! works for me when IM looking the net for information, unless I know what Im lookin for then usually just try www.MAKER OF WHAT IM LOOKIN if that dont work, then google.

Personally I dont want to see this place as a SITE go, I dont think ANYONE would say this place isnt the best around for Aussie Touring Information, but if the forum goes, life WILL go on...

AnswerID: 21017

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:42

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:42
The other thing is people keep saying go to a slower server - people were moaning weeks ago before Dave changed to this place that the speed sucked, and they hated slow sites whinge moan dribble...

Now that its on a fast server, they want to go back?

Dave ya cant win!
AnswerID: 21022

Follow Up By: Member - Peter (WA) - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:57

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:57
Hi welcome back hope you had a nice and safe tripBorn to drive a 4x4 , not a keyboard
Peter York 4x4
FollowupID: 13593

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 22:06

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 22:06
Thanks for that, didnt think anyone had missed me... [ View Image]

Yea been in Sydney for a week...

The best thing about Sydney is seeing it in the mirrors as you set sail down Sesame St back to Melbourne!

[ View Image]SYDNEY [ View Image]

Anyone lookin for smileys to link here goto change the URL's to link the images to be the same as it is in the frame below as you post.
FollowupID: 13595

Follow Up By: Member - Peter (WA) - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 09:47

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 09:47
see post 5053 still causing largr posts and you werent even here LOLBorn to drive a 4x4 , not a keyboard
Peter York 4x4
FollowupID: 13618

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 10:10

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 10:10
Truckster, you had the best weather we've seen for 7 or 8 weeks. Imagine how we feel. I'd love to see this place in the rearview again - not getting away enough!Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13619

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 10:35

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 10:35
its amazing what happens when i bend over eh :-)~

And I left Saturday as the Thunder started in the bleep re...

Says something dont it >8-)~
FollowupID: 13621

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 11:24

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 11:24
You brought the sun, you took it away (what can I say?). What's Melbourne's weather like then?Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13628

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 11:25

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 11:25
Foggy to start with but so was I!

Nice day here, sun followed me home too :-)
FollowupID: 13630

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:42

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:42
No ya can't win but the ship is still a float and we are still moving forward. We have some very interesting stuff happening at the moment and this may help us to solve all our problems - so at this stage we just keep plugging away.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
FollowupID: 13644

Reply By: Member - Peter (WA) - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:52

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 21:52
as a member and business owner I feel that the big money will come to this site via ads and customer service the more advertising on this site with a discount or commition to this site for member purchases will far out way the $50 from each new member ,I have just ordered a new campertrailer for approx $6000 and would have been happy to say I heard about there product on EO but sadly there was no referance to the manufacture here even though he is in the same state as this site is based a 5% kick back is good money maybe EO could look further into this avenue of income to help pay the overheads of this Forum.Im sure others members or non members would be more than happy to tell the retailer of the good reports they have read on this site re ;their product if they knew EO would also benifit ,my two cents worthBorn to drive a 4x4 , not a keyboard
Peter York 4x4
AnswerID: 21027

Follow Up By: Member - Errol (WA) - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 23:31

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 23:31
Are we having this before next weekend ?Why go overseas when you can ExplorOz
FollowupID: 13600

Reply By: Slammin - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 22:56

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 22:56
Non members did respond to original thread of 5048. I know I did.

Exploroz I feel would benefit from collecting some user demographics to illustrate to advertisers their total userbase as 500 members sounds a bit lame, sorry but its true. Easy enough, anonymous when you register wether member or not.

A tiered membership seems pretty popular and i have already done so off my own bat.

Discussion about advertising in Mags is erroneous as this site is as indicated primarily based around a forum whereas a mag is based around vehicle tests the rest of the mag is pretty much fluffer.

Potential advertisers do not have to spend to be mentioned here as illustrated a couple of times above. You all still bought their products, wether they contributed or not.

You can't go a full forum page without Engel or Waeco rearing their heads somewhere. In threads maybe the paid advertisers could be highlighted.

This whole discussion seems to of been a bit devisive as what happened back when someone else signed up and urged others to. Its a problematic situation its not personal.

There has been some good suggestions and I think E.Oz will be busy reading all this and good luck to them just remember that exclusivisity is not the answer.

AnswerID: 21030

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:52

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:52

We do have the user demographics and full stats for every aspect and every page of the site. We are happy to put this together for advertisers and most have already seen it. We currently render 120000 user sessions per month we have worked this out to be around 35000-40000 different IP's per month thus readership is a little bit better then the top 4WD mag. We know where the users come from and how long they stay on the system.

I must admit that we are not only a forum site - The bulk of repeat readers go to the forum (I know this) however most new readers take a number of visit before they even get to the forum. One of our biggest jobs is the national road conditons report (read by a very large number of users). We are also trying to work out a structure for continous editoral and user submission of stories.

We will keep plugging away and thanks for the feedback.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
FollowupID: 13645

Follow Up By: Slammin - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 22:58

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 22:58
G'day David,

When I said user demographics I meant more than ISP and computer number.

If I was an advertiser I would want to know details like What postcode,
age, est salary, vehicle- make model yr etc, amount of time travelling/yr, professional 4wder or rec, est $budget/yr, accessories needed or wanted? The potential list is worth real $ alone for market segment information. As I said back in 5048 there are a hell of alot of stereotypes as demonstrated with new car adverts. Something more real would turn your advert sales into ordertaking.

Having said all this privacy is of great concern to all and I know I don't want 5 telemarketing companies calling every dinner time. BUT it could be optional, if members know it helps sell adverts and fund the forum and would ulitmately be anonymous, I'd fill it in espec. if it was a secure connection. You're not asking for names addresses and bank accounts. (although that would be pretty damn handy, send all details to my account No. 7645 8756 bsb 657 657 at commonwealth Alice spr - I'll pick it up when I'm in town in a couple of weeks).

Anyway catch ya!

FollowupID: 13700

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 23:23

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 23:23

Understand we actully do have some of that information from past surveys that we have run. These show age trends, state, purchasing historys, needed items etc. Maybe with the increased readership we need to update our survey system and record some current trends and stats. However we do have data that has and is still being recorded in our older surveys.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
FollowupID: 13706

Reply By: Steve - Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 23:07

Sunday, May 25, 2003 at 23:07
Sorry .. but i am not a 'Member' ... and why would i want to pay to read the response to this comment... Have responded to many questions in the past and copped abuse and crap from all the 'Trucker' experts and the gathering of fans, .. and am happy to take a back seat and 'look -on ' .. have bought off their site and if they( David + Michelle) aren't happy with it well I can go elsewhere... IMHO there are too many experts who are 'bitumen burners' who appear to have no experience in the outback, all except day trips from their tarmac coated towns , who write loads of cobblers and promote their own opinions as fact....and as for the Nissan/ Landcruiser vendetta and childish rot that accompanies all that nonesense... well really I can do without it all and go Outback every year for 6 weeks and you can all go run and jump for my comments !!
AnswerID: 21031

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 00:36

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 00:36

I didn't realise that unless people did 6 week trips here and there, and "all except day trips from their tarmac coated towns" means people dont know what they are talking about?

We are all bitumen burners, we all spend more of our lives driving on the road than out in the bush, sad fact.
FollowupID: 13603

Follow Up By: Member - Cocka - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 00:38

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 00:38
Welcome back Steve, I've missed you. You add a bit of old blood and guts to this site, a bit of the savage dog. Your opinions are as important as any one else's anywhere but don't shoot the messenger. Attack the story if you must not the man. The footy player who attacks the throat of another player gets sent off, suspended, the player who plays the ball (the game) wins.
How's your mate going ??Carpe Diem
FollowupID: 13604

Follow Up By: Member - Cocka - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 00:53

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 00:53
Welcome back to you to Truckster, things havn't been quite just cause you went away. Would have bought you one at the Arms (nthn beaches) had I known you were in town.
Quick thanks about the RD drawers, prompt service & their in and working. Buuuuutiful. Dare I mention a non advertisers name in this thread - Yeah - Brawn 4x4 .

Carpe Diem
FollowupID: 13605

Follow Up By: Member - Wherethefugawi - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 08:43

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 08:43
This is a problematic situation, its not personal against non-members.
This site will die , IMO, if the non-members dont have full access to the forum. I am a member because it was included in products purchased! and was done so for other reasons, non the less, it was my choice.

Lets not attack the forum or the site but let us all uderstand that the site is experiencing some difficulties. This site benefits us all i'm sure. Rather we, Non-Members and Members need to fight to keep it up and running!

FollowupID: 13614

Follow Up By: Member - Bob - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 20:34

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 20:34
Steve, its good to see your anti-depressants are working so well.
FollowupID: 13682

Reply By: Member - Peter (WA) - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 09:58

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 09:58
Time to put the knives down and get on with the real reason we are all on this forum to talk trips ,4x4 and camping ,the owners of this site have a problem to solve and yes it afects us ALL but it is their site and there problem ,sorry to say but the good info is getting less and the WHO SAID WHAT is getting more , is this a site for adults ?????Born to drive a 4x4 , not a keyboard
Peter York 4x4
AnswerID: 21046

Reply By: Allyn (Pilbara) - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 10:44

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 10:44
Hilux - I have to concur with the $50. It was $30 initially when I joined and I had no hesitations in paying that but come renewal time it had leapt to $50 and it was with some hesitation that I renewed. I doubt that I will renew again next year.
Col, fortunately I can afford it but I still like to get value for money, as do we all, but if I do renew it will have been a line ball decision.
Having said that I've looked at other forums and they're sheer CRAP but it's something I could live without easily enough.
I've said it previously and will do so again. This is a commercial decision that EO must make. Not one that I would like to make mind you but it's not my line of business.
For weeks (months even) I've heard nothing but complaints about running costs and yet member numbers are increasing all the time. Add that to the doubled membership cost and things just have to be better than they were previously.
I've done my bit by joining but as stated, will think twice about it next year. It's only cos I needed a book from the shop that I justified renewing this year. Adventure Shop has nothing left for me now.
I like non members contributions and like the fact that the answers and questions while sometimes too straight leced and regimented (anti lift kits, tyres etc), most are rational and relevant on this site, as opposed to other sites. You're all welcome in my opinion and the forum is the main reason we are all here.
I've learnt some pretty good info in the past twelve months and even saved a few bucks along the way. Had a few written tussles and even laughed at some responses. All in all good entertainment but $50 spent at the local strip club would have given me that too.
Sympathise with the dilemna of site owners but there ain't nothing I can or will do about it except continue along as usual.
cheersIn here - thinking of out there !!!
AnswerID: 21052

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:02

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:02

Your renewal's are only $30 not $50. I understand your position but please be carefull about posting incorrect information about the cost of renewal of membership. It was $30 new and $20 renewal for 2.5years and due to rising costs and our ability to provide more features to the membership that the fees got increased.

Just to clarify we are adding new products the the Adventure Shop every day so it is a little narrow minded to have decided the the Shop has nothing for you. We are adding products for Caravans and Trailers this week and a whole range of swags and camping products in the next few weeks.

Also a special note - I did not start this post and did not ask that it be started.

I must also admit that I am a little disappointed about your last paragraph. "there ain't nothing I can or will do about it" This does not help me create features and functionallity that will keep your interest.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
FollowupID: 13631

Follow Up By: Member - Wombat (Vic) - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 16:39

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 16:39
Oooops - Sorry Mr Martin - I dared Rohan to ask the question! Oh well you can't say you don't know the innermost thoughts of your market!

WombatLive today as if there may be no tomorrow
FollowupID: 13665

Follow Up By: Allyn (Pilbara) - Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 00:17

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 00:17
You recently slugged me $50 for a renewal so if it's only $30 (which is what my reminder stated but when I followed prompts was asked for $50) then perhaps you could credit me for next years membership please.

I wrote the post today and as of today the Shop has nothing for me. Nothing narrow minded about that whatsoever !!!

There IS nothing I can do to help you further. I log on most days, contribute with the best of intentions and with a sensible attitude, have been influential in several others visiting and joining your site, I have made numerous purchases from your shop and have been financial since the very first visit to your site. I think it was my suggestion for readers rigs too, although others probably suggested it also so I'm not going to take all the credit.

What else would you like from me?

Perhaps you got me on a bad day but if renewal is only $30 as you state then I have no problems at all given that is a more reasonable figure.In here - thinking of out there !!!
FollowupID: 13717

Reply By: Anthony (Vic) - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:52

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:52
I have recently joined the EO site as a visitor after searching the Web for useful info about 4WD towing experiences and off road caravans. The reason being (me, the wife & 3 & 5yr old girls) are about about to purchase a Jayco Dove Outback (based on the research sofar) and we are keen to find out abouts other peoples experience with a Jayco Outback when actually taken off road. So far, I have found the EO site and info the best, with a great forum.

So, currently I'm a visitor, if I did become a member ($30 or $50 or whatever), what additional feature or benefits would the EO site offer ?
AnswerID: 21065

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:55

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 12:55
Good question - Check out our Members Applicationpage that has information and links to what you get from Membership.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
FollowupID: 13646

Reply By: David N. - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 17:28

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 17:28
David and Michelle-
Well Done
It's the best forum by far... but until I decide to buy something from the "shop" and I probably will soon.. I can't justify $50 as there are more important things to spend my money on...
However I agree about the advertising- why is it so hidden- why as we browse do we see no ads at all.
I have bought a number of products and mentioned the exploroz forum as the source of the info- maybe we all need to do this more often. (Can't remember the last time I bought something because it was advertised in the Yellow pages...)
I am forever amazed about how many people will offer constructive and helpfull advice. I believe I offer far more positive input rather than asking for help. (The knockers and criticics should shut up! Debate is fine but not insults...)
Anyway, best of luck and hope it all works.
Thanks and cheers
AnswerID: 21112

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Monday, May 26, 2003 at 23:16

Monday, May 26, 2003 at 23:16

I agree with you however we have advertising options available in the forum and on any other page of the site for that matter. We currently offer page sponsorship in the forum at $500/month (120000 page views per month). This is very very cheap in comparision with the mags so we are awaiting the advertisers (will a discount help, not sure we just dropped the price). Many other pages are between $25 & $50 per month, still cheap.

Anyway there are things brewing in the distance (maybe a coffee at well 6 on our Canning Trip). We live and wait!Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
FollowupID: 13702

Reply By: Suzuki Viagra - Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 23:10

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 at 23:10
As far as advertising goes, I'm happy do deal with a popup or two so long as it's not every time you click on a button or read a thread one pops up. If you copped one or two in half an hour you were on that's not really too much of an inconvenience - you can always close them or get anti-popup software if you really hate them that much. if you put too many on it will drive users away.

Cost of operating is gonna be a key issue - if I was charged to use this I'd go elsewhere - as mentioned theres thousands of free 4wd forums out there and a lot of them do have more useful advise if you're after something specific (like how to fit part x to brand y to build the greatest 4wd ever). However, Explore Oz is also good at what it specialises in too - mainly touring rather than hardcore rockhopping or mudbashing (which are more in line with my interest - hey I have got a Suzi after all).

I still come here from time to time because the people are generally friendly and are prepared to be helpful most of the time (and when they're not I can have the pi55 taken out of me as well as the next bloke). Actually a lot of new 4wder's start out here and I like trying to help people out and offering my advice - some of it's even useful.

I'm sure you've hear the phrase in business, "People are our greatest resource". It's true. Without the responses from many of the non-members this forum would be deader than a dinosaur, and without the site hits bang goes your advertising bucks, and exploreoz is no more.

I'm glad people pay to subscribe, but forcing people to pay for the services is quite simply business suicide, when you have thousands of free competitors. I'm not gonna be one of the paid subscribers, As it is I manage some free forums of my own, and if I wanted more people to chat to I'd just open up another one or stir the pot in some of the ones I'm involved in as a member, moderator or administrator.

Not that I've been around here much anyway - too busy playing with alternators and plastering, and not that there'd be many notice I'm gone.
AnswerID: 21248

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 09:52

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 09:52
Hey Suzuki V, its been a while. You must have been busy. Thanks for the "even-tempered" response.

BTW, what on earth do you use plaster for on a Suzuki? Especially a Suzuki alternator? I had an old Datsun 1600 once that was held together with the proverbial chicken wire and bog. But plaster?

Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13848

Follow Up By: David N. - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 12:16

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 12:16
I think the plastering is elsewhere ie: like mowing and washing.....
separate jobs... Correct me if I'm wrong Suzuki.
FollowupID: 13855

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 12:30

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 12:30
David, I figured that. I guess "tongue-in-cheek" doesn't translate well into email.Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13858

Reply By: Suzuki Viagra - Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 22:08

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 at 22:08
Plastering was caused by Suzuki. Tried to extend garage by parking in spare bedroom LOL. Pushbike handlebar through wall - both sides days before inspection......

Fiddling with some electical (alternator) problems with the car running to test charging and somehow I must have knocked the car into gear - how I dunno since I was leaning over the front guard at the time.

The only thing I can think of is that after I put the body lift in clearance has been really tight to the gearshift lever (I even had to change the boot to stop it jumping into second by itself due to pressure from the rubber).

Maybe me leaning against the guard was enough to help it decide it wanted to be in second.

It happened to me twice on my last 4wd trip but I just thought either I was stupid and had forgotten to take it out of gear, or the flex of the body due to theextremely rough terrain was enough to shift the cabin that couple of mllimetres it needs to jump into gear. Definately with the abuse I've piled on the Vitara recently there's been plenty of flex and squeaks in the cabin and the panel gaps have all moved a few mm here and there....

Might have to have a closer look - after I find a permanent alternator solution. Anyone know a good machinist in Brisbane to make me some custom 6mm spacers for my alternator, so i can get around to butchering my gearshift levers instead...?
AnswerID: 21336

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 09:41

Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 09:41
SV, I'm almost sorry I asked. I don't know whether to laugh or cringe. Which are you doing?Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13911

Reply By: Member - Cocka - Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 09:00

Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 09:00
This thread has become so big it's taking ages to load & I'm on cable. Things seem to be digressing. Despite all the who-har and emotion I would be interested in some resolution, a lot of people have put in a lot of time and deserve some finality to their effort.
Just a couple of final (I think) matters to mind. I'm glad that David stepped in as it dumped his business back in his lap and that came from his original comment about T. In a sense David has a financial committment to this site, we provide the intelectual content to the forum. Without the forum how would the rest of the site function, I would suggest only on a user pays basis for the info requested.
Business's are about bums on seats and non more than this site.
David advertises in the Aust 4x4 Monthly and says the site is free. Free means free, so why does he whinge that it's getting too expensive because of the traffic, yet he advertises !!
We have also concerned ourselves with something on his behalf, as we are want to do on a forum, that'a what a forum is. We pay a fee to become a "member". But what is a member ?? All organisations I have been a memeber with have given me a right to see the minutes of meetings, vote on resolutions and to see the accounts as presented. Really we are nothing more than customers, some of us are paying for our goods & services & David through advertising "Free" use of the site is giving product away. And he is crying poor !!!
I sort of feel ripped off.
In my humble opinion David needs to reduce the cost he charges for the services and invite more people in with the reward of something special like an annual members BBQ out in some desert, BYO. +++ sponsors.
I think a couple of more knowledgeable than I advertising gentleman have given David a good pass here, I wonder how far he can run with it.
My post has now taken on the same tennor as the others aaggghhhh
I thought it would be different. Do I sound cranky ?? Hope not.
David, please acknowledge emails. It makes me think they are not being read or falling on deaf ears, I did send one about a potential advertiser & I might have another. Just "thanks" will do.Carpe Diem
AnswerID: 21361

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 09:47

Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 09:47
Hey Cocka, I guess its time I came clean. I didn't pay for membership. I got it for "free" by spending the required amount in the shop, which I would have done, regardless of membership. Ergo, I have no reason to feel ripped off (all of which makes Kev's comments somewhere above, irrelevant).

Anyway, have a look at the EO response at the end of post 5048, which I think addresses your comments above.

Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13912

Reply By: ThePublican - Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 09:59

Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 09:59
Look up the word FORUM in the dictionary,,, "a free discussion and exchange of ideas," END OF STORY.
AnswerID: 21363

Follow Up By: Member - Cocka - Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 13:54

Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 13:54
I'm not meaning to sound picky but FREE can mean at no financial cost OR free as in uninhibited, open. I guess we love the bush because we feel free and it costs nothing to look and smell.
I just wanna go. I just wanna Carpe Diem.Carpe Diem
FollowupID: 13933

Reply By: ThePublican - Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 14:35

Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 14:35
Cocka,,I meant FREE as in both meanings of the term,,not as Rohan K.would want,,after all said and done he actually did not pay for his membership anyhow,,being so called free with $150 purchase,,,either way you look at it he has ripped $50 from the profits of the income stream of the site.
AnswerID: 21386

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 15:41

Thursday, May 29, 2003 at 15:41
Good one Publican. Like an old, smelly cheese, your getting better with age.Life just ain't that serious.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 13939

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