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madkaw

Is this site dead?

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I belong to a specialized BMW site as well, and the posts there have slowed way, way down from their peak around 2006-2007.

 

I have been told it is because most participants have shifted to FB.  I don't know if that is true or not, since I have nothing to do with FB, and never will.

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I'm on facebook because of the Datsunworks heads. As far as getting info it sucks. Things disappear quickly so other than answering a question that people are too lazy to search it's not good for data.   Forums will always rule for good hard data but like newspapers people will miss them when they are gone and then it will be too late.

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On 2/1/2019 at 4:06 PM, Derek said:

I'm on facebook because of the Datsunworks heads. As far as getting info it sucks. Things disappear quickly so other than answering a question that people are too lazy to search it's not good for data.   Forums will always rule for good hard data but like newspapers people will miss them when they are gone and then it will be too late.

Searching facebook never works that well for me.  I love forums.  

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I've said it more verbosely in other threads, but times are changing and I don't know what the final solution is. But there's always been a double edged sword in every forum where asking people to search just halts discussion which could potentially foster growth on a topic. Eventually you've had conversations around 90% of what people ask, and there isn't enough left to hold enough interest to keep a community going. Facebook is the antithesis of this problem. People ask a question, and people answer because there's no real capability to search back through history, so the same conversations get repeated like groundhogs day.

 

Most projects people are following are either on instagram, youtube, or facebook. Those same people may post to forums, but it's generally because it offers at least a cleaner space to discuss things than social media comments.

 

That said, there needs to be something in between that I have yet to see pulled off. Where useful data can to collated and consolidated, into something maybe resembling a wiki, but open discussion can happen in a more social media style format where people are encouraged to share what they're up to and follow people's stories, which generally have little to contribute to technical documentation.

 

Social media was never intended to replace documentation, but the main value we've all had for this forum is the documentation that comes out of the hard work we pour into our projects. Where would the L community be without TimZ and JeffP? But where would that information get documented if they only ever shared their insights on facebook? But conversely, what are we all going to continue talking about in order to keep traffic up if we've written 5 million words of technical documentation and just link people to reference pages anytime a question gets asked? There's a balance somewhere, I just don't know what it looks like yet.

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311s.org seems to have started a compromise between the two. They have a main page that takes you to the forum as well as a wiki with some of the most common/useful questions and info. 

 

They don't seem to have followed through and it looks dated, but I'm sure something like that would work. Letting people register/login through facebook here was a step in the right direction I think, but even that hasn't worked very well since last I checked. 

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I think maybe if there was a concerted effort from us to push people to hybridz from facebook questions via links it may get some new traffic through here. 

 

Something like this:

 

What are you guys doing for dash repairs?

 

http://dashboard site:forums.hybridz.org 

 

This is through google which in a round about way will get them there. Can we do this through the forum? The forum search function blows and always has. 

 

We are indirectly spoon feeding which I hate but if we don't take an active roll in increasing traffic then it will really become a problem.

 

Just a thought.

Derek

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Facebook is one of those newfangled enterprises that's completely passed me by.  That forum traffic is falling because of the alternative of Facebook would be surprising... but only because I'm ignorant of Facebook.

 

A related problem occurred at our local BMW enthusiast meetup, "Ohio Bimmers".  Because it's more local, it's more conducive to semi-regular meeting in person.  I would host "wrenching sessions" at my house, with some 5-10 participants in a typical gathering.  Well, these were a common occurrence 10 years ago.  They've since petered out.  The culprit is demographics.  Most of the participants were younger fellows, typically freshly out of college, age 23-26.  In the ensuing years, they've done the Big 3: gotten married, had kids, and bought a house.  The Big 3 are enormous drains on one's time, one's spare energy and one's capacity to engage in hobbies, be it modifying Datsuns or playing chess or going mountain-climbing,  Perhaps in another decade or two, once the kids are grown and in college, the former participants will return.

 

Meanwhile, some of the founding members of this site were around age 35 in the year 2000.  Today they're in their mid-late 50s... seemingly the ideal time to reengage in hobbies.  And yet, most are absent.  Have they moved on to other cars?  Have they burned out?  Some, I know, went through divorces... then recovered and remarried.  Others... who knows?

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FB is great for sharing pictures. For sharing tech info, it sucks. I often respond to FB posts with links to posts here a lot just to save the hassle of typing it out or having to copy/paste. Not an attempt to boost numbers here, but if it works out that way so much the better.

When I was an admin here we talked about what the purpose of the forum was, and the general idea was that it should be like a library or an wiki page where people could go to find the info they were looking for. Adding a million posts about the same issue makes searching harder, so that was strongly discouraged. I still think this is the right policy, and I'm sorry to see that it isn't as strictly enforced, and also happy to have had my hand in pruning the information tree in that way. 

There is a mix of "HybridZ is great" and "HybridZ screwed themselves by being too strict" on FB but seems to me most of the other forums have declining membership as well, and this one seems to have a fairly consistent level of tech postings that is higher than most of the others that I'm on (miata.net beats this forum out, but I think it's pretty safe to say there are a lot more Miata owners than Z owners at this point).

 

I think the response to the funding issue a year or so ago showed what is really going on. Casual Z owners don't care enough to engage in a serious forum, they just want to post pics and have people like them. People who are more serious about modifying or racing are going to stick around, because this is (still) a repository of very good info.

 

Edited by JMortensen

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On 2/8/2019 at 2:32 PM, JMortensen said:

There is a mix of "HybridZ is great" and "HybridZ screwed themselves by being too strict" on FB but seems to me most of the other forums have declining membership as well, and this one seems to have a fairly consistent level of tech postings that is higher than most of the others that I'm on (miata.net beats this forum out, but I think it's pretty safe to say there are a lot more Miata owners than Z owners at this point).

It’s interesting that you mention Miata.net.  I’ve been active on that site, for a decade or so, but mostly from the viewpoint of stock or lightly modified Miatas.  Miatas are lovely cars to drive, but noxiously difficult for V8 conversions, requiring very substantial re-engineering for even a stock LS1 (or similar) V8.  The S30 Z requires so much refurbishment and sorting-out just to be livable on a daily basis, but the cavernous engine-bay is unrivaled as recipient for a large engine.

 

Miata.net doesn’t have the level of FAQ as does HybridZ.  There is no equivalent to the wind tunnel campaign that was done for the S30 back in 2007.  There are no legendary members like JohnC, whose posts have come to be pillars of received wisdom.  And there’s surfeit of dumb “newbie” posts about generic and trivial things.  But Miata.net remains lively because of persons to whom it appeals: middle-aged men who remember when the NA Miata came out in 1989, who couldn’t afford it then, or for whom family/career/etc. interfered, and who now have the time and the garage-space to tinker.  Without making a swipe at our younger brethren, it seems to me that for whatever reason, Z’s tend to appeal to people who are less established in life, less-experienced, who have more eagerness and dreams than wherewithal or practice.  So, the questions tend to be both ambitious and naïve… which is irritating to the veterans.  If somebody asks why his 1991 Miata is running roughly, it’s a quick deduction that the catalytic converter has clogged, suffocating the engine; or the plug wires, notorious for going bad, have indeed gone bad.  If somebody asks what’s the best way to swap a Hellcat V8 into a 1971 Datsun, and will the rear-end be strong enough, well, that’s a much more irritating question, is it not?

 

Also, it seems that for whatever reason, the originals/regulars on HybridZ have gone silent.  Some have passed away.  But others I’m sure are not only very much alive, but still own their Datsuns.  What happened?  What happened for example to “Katman”, to Terry Oxondale, Pete Paraska, Mike Kelly, Denny411 and so forth?  On Miata.net, we have numerous people with 20K or 30K posts, who have owned a dozen Miatas over the years, who have been buying and selling, driving and storing, modifying and preserving them for nearly 30 years.  Why has the same trend not persisted with HybridZ?

 

               Also, there are modern questions on perennial stalwart topics.  For example: “Suppose that I’m happy with stock brake-power, with maybe performance pads and SS lines.  But I want lighter brakes, for less unsprung mass.  And I don’t want to deal with drum brakes.  I don’t want to rifle through junk-yards.  I don’t need or want 13” rotors or 6-piston calipers.  I called Wilwood and Arizona Z-car, and that’s all that they had.  What else can I do, now, in 2019”.  Or: “So, you guys tested a bunch of Datsuns in a wind tunnel in North Carolina with no moving ground-belt, no boundary layer sucker and some high blockage.  My university has a high quality wind tunnel with a moving belt and capacity to spin the wheels using embedded electric motors.  With have a 6-component internal force balance and a particle image velocimetry system for getting time-resolved 3D measurements of the flowfield behind the rear hatch.  What should I be thinking in terms of a test matrix?”  Or: “My engine makes 650 ft-lbs of torque.  I want a manual transmission with overdrive, but don’t want to deal with the weight of a T56.  I need a blowproof bellhousing because I sectioned my firewall for 10” of setback beyond the JTR method, and my race-sanctioning body wont certify my car unless they see that SFI sticker.  I called G-Force, and they told me that at my power levels, it’s either a T56 or bust.  And everyone at my track insists that I install a Powerglide… but I want a proper manual transmission, with overdrive.  What should I do?”

              

Edited by Michael

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Terry sold his Z and bought a Manta, which he did up to an even higher level than the Z. It's just awesome!
http://www.fototime.com/ftweb/bin/ft.dll/pictures?userid={7DC317B0-8EDB-4B2E-A837-F708D07C9769}&AlbumId={B0B466A9-4204-4F78-BC4C-DEBD9966B5B9}&GroupId={E9BD2EDD-A388-43BD-B264-DFF5CB43B8E2}&nt=a

I still see Pete posting from time to time. Katman was moving away to focus on engineering on more modern racecars, E36s at the time. I assume if he's still in it he's probably working on newer stuff than that. Mike Kelly sold his Z after several failed attempts to put an engine in it. No idea on Denny. I miss Coffey. We emailed or FB'd with each other on a weekly basis.

As to miata.net, they allow for the newbie questions over and over. I haven't seen the antipathy that you describe towards those posts. Seems like there isn't a "protect the searchability" drive like we have here. I know when I got my 99 I searched and found so many threads on my particular issue that I posted again and immediately got an answer with no admonition to search. Turns out coils were dead, killed precat, killed cat. PO had replaced coils and left it like that and I had to go through the exhaust to fix.

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Miata.net itself admits that its search-function is subpar.  Recommendation from the more venerable members there, is to search for a topic via Google, thereby finding the right Miata.net thread.  For purposes of troubleshooting or getting advice on repairs or minor upgrades, it's fantastic.  For things like V8 swaps into Miatas, the utility of the site is more suggestive than explicit.

 

Then there's miataturbo.net.  Rather sophomoric and dismissive attitude by veterans towards newbies, but the intent is noble: they're trying to keep the site technical and useful for rigorous instruction, rather than water-cooler blather.  Much of their content leans toward electronics and tuning... probably of use to the turbo and fuel-injection-oriented people on HybridZ.

 

And yes, that Manta is spectacular!

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The problem for informative forums like  his 'grate sight' is that people come for the information and then yak about it on social media without contributing here. In other words this site is used but not replenished.

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I come back every time I'm banned...with this year meaning of the prior three months  I've only been on FB maybe a total of 14 days. They are seriously PC and nobody can take a joke. They are also EXTREMELY Eurocentric-Communo/Socialists and anything that deals with anti-communist or anti-socialist in any way will get you scoped and flushed.

They also are Anti-Goodwin, with the mere mention of Adolph, or even his face in a humorous meme poking fun at his stupidity will get you banned for 30 days.

Then, while you're gone, apparently they assign some snowflake to comb through all your posts and start tagging ANYTHING that they NOW deem offensive.

The Best one was last year they tried to ban me for a post that showed up in one of the FB "7 Years Ago Today" auto-posts... Go ahead and share it and BOOM BAN! not even 15 seconds. "Hey, YOU GUYS SENT IT TO ME!" Whiskey Tango Foxtrot???

The upside is, I have a lot more time to do other things. For the first time in years my Quicken is up-to-date with proper balances on ALL the accounts!

  • Haha 1

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This site is still pretty amazing. It is hard to believe how many generic auto terms I Google and HybridZ pops up in the search. And as far as dead, I think there are too many other distractions now so volume is understandably lower.  HybridZ is the last place I would go for chatting, looking at pretty pictures, and meeting other Z people, but for hardcore tech questions, HybridZ still seems to be the best solution. Due to the lower volumes, responses take longer, but you can still message an expert if needed.  As far as the community, look back at old posts and many of the "newbies" now have 10-15 years experience with this platform.  Personally I have been building and racing these cars for 13 years now and I know a hell-of-lot more.  For the most part, I solve my own problems now. But I still visit periodically and don't respond to threads that already have multiple correct answers or have detailed search results available. 

 

So what is the future of this forum? Technology is always advancing, venders come and go, parts become obsolete and then available again, and what was once an expensive solution can be applied for a fraction of the cost. And no matter what you have seen before, someone will innovate and set a new standard.

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2 hours ago, madkaw said:

I’m sorry that I even posted this thread- but like I said - my settings were screwed up and so I wasn’t seeing any new content .

Glad it’s ALIVE !!

 

On the contrary, your initiative forms a sensible and useful basis for updating our perceptions as the ensuing months and years roll by.  Of course this site isn't completely "dead", but its volume of activity is a paltry fraction of what it was in 2000-2005.

 

Now a comment on the topic of Facebook supplanting forums for automotive discussions.  Recently I relented and joined Facebook, via a placeholder account (not my real name, no personal information).  The sole objective was to join automotive discussion groups.  While occasionally there's an informative or amusing post, the predominant trend is daft and episodic journalizing of recent events... I went here, I saw that, hey neat, let's collect digital affirmations.  The technical questions tend toward the elementary (why won't my car start?).  The user-interface seems to be aimed at being colorful and pleasing to the eye, rather than conducive to searching for information, for archiving it, for having any sort of stewardship.  In other words, it's a pale and pathetic facsimile of forums.

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It’s a quick fix sometimes , but not sure it’s worth the shot. Though Hybridz got a bit sticky with its rules , it did tend to keep on topic . I use to post all the time because I was stuck in hotels and thought it was fun to share my projects and learn . Back then I toted a laptop with a real key board . We’ve lost a lot of talent that use to be here often also. Well things seem to come to full circle , so maybe folks that want real knowledge will come back to the forums . 

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Forum posts are pretty time consuming to assemble compared to snapping a picture and posting to facebook or instagram. For the effort, a youtube video would be more permanent and even result in some financial game if you could get it monetized. So that leaves those who do it to share. Who like the format and threading. Seems like fewer and fewer appreciate the standard.

 

I know some forums have a wall type mechanism where someone can only see a post or two before having to sign up. I know some others have gone completely behind a pay wall with an annual fee allowing access. Not sure that fits the technical discussions that we have here. I like to think keeping it open allows anyone to feel like they can contribute. 

 

I will say when I was on a Facebook page there were some who at every turn would downplay and warn people against visiting hybridz, like anytime it was mentioned. I've gone back and found some of the posts that seem to have triggered such anger and sometimes it is hard to see how it could spawn years of hatred, but yet every single post it seems like they find and comment how terrible a place it is. 

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I love facebook also. I am a member vintage racing Z's, datsun classifieds,  vintage imsa racing, race parts for sale in southeast, and maybe the most impressive is homebuilt cars from scratch. Its mindblowing and puts every build show on TV to shame. And I am only mentioning a few along with maintaining my own garage page. These communities are great, but no substitute for a good build thread or detailed model specific explanation or sticky you can find in a forum. Hell I put "forum" as a search term for every question I google about any vehicle.

Hybridz really is a nitch group with limited audience. I am sure all the stuff better served by other platforms has all moved by this point. But I really hope that this group continues smaller but stronger.

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I absolutely detest Facebook.  It's an awkward format, evidently aimed at housewives vying to impress each other with the most fluffy cake-batter mix.  There's no ready means for an extended discussion that's not sullied with inane comments and sprinkles with graphical objective that are ostensibly decorative, but really are only distracting.  And then there's the ads.  

 

The idea of combining a camera with a portable telephone remains lost on me.  Yes, I have a "smartphone", but it takes putrid-quality pictures.  Anything presentable requires a proper SLR, and subsequent editing in Photoshop, on a computer.  As a person who sits in front of a computer all day, I find its keyboard and user-interface to be far superior to those of a phone.  Thus, it is forums, and not some other medium, that are easiest to use, whether as a mere reader or a contributor.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/25/2019 at 11:00 AM, clarkspeed said:

I love facebook also. I am a member vintage racing Z's, datsun classifieds,  vintage imsa racing, race parts for sale in southeast, and maybe the most impressive is homebuilt cars from scratch. Its mindblowing and puts every build show on TV to shame. And I am only mentioning a few along with maintaining my own garage page. These communities are great, but no substitute for a good build thread or detailed model specific explanation or sticky you can find in a forum. Hell I put "forum" as a search term for every question I google about any vehicle.

Hybridz really is a nitch group with limited audience. I am sure all the stuff better served by other platforms has all moved by this point. But I really hope that this group continues smaller but stronger.

 

HybridZ is what you want to make it, I've found that there is always a great response when I have a query on a variety of topics, some quite technical. And that is current. I've yet to run across any source of Z info better than is available here. There is a big difference between this solid source of information and the numerous superficial alternatives no matter how hard they try to be real, lots of shiny paint over rust and filler.

 

Hi Michael.

Edited by 260DET

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Fascistbook is the warren of the butthurt and the snowflakey... If they have a visceral hatred it's because it can be whined to the highest heavens with supporting ilk in a safe place.
It's pathetic when you consider most who are butthurt are upset because they were CORRECTED and resented it.

I don't know, I appreciate being correct. If you're not corrected, you are giving bad information and that's the last  thing I want to do is give bad information.

 

And therein lies the rub... Many weren't out to give out information, they were out to make a name for themselves.  I bought a shirt recently that is black with white block letters:

IDK
IDC
IDGAF

If I could have had "if you click like and follow me" it would have been perfect!

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