I must be slightly mad for creating a TI-Raleigh SBDU Forum, this has the potential to really increase my blog workload! But I do think this needs to happen and now is as good a time as any to do it. The forums are part of a Community area I’m working on. There are many reasons why I’m creating the community area, too many to go into now, but hopefully it will be a great new dimension to my site.
A “user forum section”… it’s something that lots of other sites have. Facebook is one, WordPress, the platform this blog runs on is another. And many of the plugins and addons this site uses have them too. They enable users to interact and put questions to the site owners, developers and more importantly, other members.
This symbol made an appearance a few weeks ago when I gave my site a small face lift. Since then I’ve been hard at work behind the scenes trying to get the functionality working. I really want my blog to be more than just somewhere someone can come to read my posts about the SBDU. I’m hoping it’s going to become a space for like minded SBDU people to dip into and ask questions, look for information, share their own knowledge, post and talk about their own bikes, look for new projects or even sell an SBDU.
The forums and other new functionality that I’m adding can be accessed from the [Community] menu…
Creating the Forums: Reason One
More sharing to a wider community
I receive lots of Facebook messages and emails. And that’s great, I answer them all and I love receiving them. The responses I give are packed with information that others could benefit from. So isn’t a forum the best solution for people to ask questions and allow others to share in that information and therefore hopefully increase the amount of people who can benefit? Of course I’m not switching off the direct contact and I will always welcome any and all private messages, but there has to be a benefit to opening up some of the questions and responses to a wider community.
If you still want to keep things private, please continue to get in touch through my Facebook page, contact page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will also be an additional method of Private Messaging through the forum very soon.
However, if you want to join the community and ask a public question then get registered! It’s really easy…
Here is what you need to do…
- Go to https://raleigh-sb4059.com/community
Click on ‘Register’
- Enter your details
Create a forum username and enter your email address, tick all the boxes and hit [REGISTER]
- Check your email inbox
Go to your inbox, open the email and click the link…
- Set your new forum password
Enter and repeat then click [RESET PASSWORD]
- Logout then log back in and you are sorted
After hitting the [RESET PASSWORD] button you should logout but immediately log back in – and that should be all that is required to give you access to post replies and add new topics.
NOTE: There is no need to register if you are only interested in viewing posts.
SBDU General Forums
Adding the forums to the site now means that there is a private and public method of getting in touch! There is no escape for me!
Please keep in mind though that this is a new project. Bugs are inevitably, and other things I haven’t captured while I’ve done my own testing might crop up. But fingers crossed it should all be ok.
I’ve created a couple of forums within the ‘General’ section. The first is just a general chat forum and the second is more of a question and answer forum. I’ve no idea at the moment what the uptake on these forums will be. There may be no actual need to separate these two, they could eventually merge but I’ve created them both to see how things work out.
Creating the Forums: Reason Two
I’ve avoided turning my TI-Raleigh SBDU Facebook page into a selling marketplace. I receive requests to sell on my page and have always turned them down. I do this because I see other pages and groups overrun with ads. These ads end up forming the majority of the page content, which I think is a bad thing.
I’m creating a forum to provide an outlet for registered users to advertise their SB bikes. This will be SBDU bikes and frames only at the moment (at least to start with, but maybe ‘W’ reference Raleigh and Carlton will be added soon). There will also be a ‘wanted’ posts section. Hopefully people can get together, those looking to buy or sell. These are private classifieds, the buyer and seller will communicate together and any questions and/or issues will remain their responsibility. These forums are simply a mechanism to bring people together. These forums won’t require any payment. There won’t be any listing fees or auction fees and any sale or purchase is a private agreement between buyer and seller.
If the classifieds are popular then I may also introduce a premium listing feature. This will be a listing that I highlight in more detail though a separate and dedicated section on the blog, side by side with the forums, I might also highlight the premium listings on my TI-Raleigh Facebook page too. At least that way, I can control the frequency and content of bike ads on my page while giving the ad the best exposure to the traffic my TI-Raleigh blog receives.
What Else is Planned?
Lots, there are lots of things planned.
But to start with I’ll be adding another feature to the ‘Community’ section of the site. I’ll be adding functionality to add (upload) your own galleries. This is something I’ve only just started to develop but I hope to have it ready soon. I just have a few niggles to sort out first.
I could have just created a Facebook Group that has all of these features ‘built in’… that would be too easy though and doesn’t suit everyone. I’m aware that some in the vintage bike world don’t use social media, especially Facebook. But most do dip their toes into the internet. So stepping away from Facebook seems to be the way to go to include everyone.
This project is new and I know that it’s also a very niche topic. Raleigh SBDU is a tiny corner of the entire vintage bike world. The forums might not have much take up, there may not be many active users. It may be that it’s only ever used as another resource for selling bikes, but I’m happy to sit back and see how it develops. Here is the link to register…