Dear Car Talk Community,
While I had a chance over the holidays, I simply wanted to share some thinking from the Car Talk Plaza end regarding the Car Talk Community, our plans and hopes as we look to 2012 and beyond.
First, a belated New Year’s thank you. We’re grateful for our local Car Talk Community regulars, who hang out here and provide answers to Car Talk listeners of all kinds. A number of you have been here for years, and for that we’re very appreciative. You’ve helped thousands of first time CTC visitors, most of whom are simply looking to navigate the often frustrating and confusing world of car repair. One of the projects for this year that we’ll finally get to start, is profiling some of our more long-term and helpful members.
I also wanted to thank you for bearing with us during what has clearly been a bumpy migration period. As time and money allow, we’re working with our hosting and forum providers to debug various log-in issues with our new single-sign on system. As many of you can tell, it’s obviously not perfect. In time, it will get close enough for most if not all of us to be reasonably happy with it. As anyone out there who has been through a migration into a content management system will tell you, moving 15 years of content into a cms, along with integrating legacy accounts witih a new single sign on system, can be a dicey proposition. Add in surprises like issues with unrelated widgets impacting performance, and you have a handful of somewhat complex issues. So, bear with us. It will take time, but are are slowly knocking out the bugs with help from our programmers, Corsis, and the folks at Vanilla forums.
In the year to come, we hope the forum will continue to grow and develop. Many of you noted the new alert system that we now have in place, which is powered by the tagging system we use in the Car Talk Community. (Here’s the rundown: http://e2.ma/message/7o10/vv67se) This year, we’ll also launch an “Ask An Owner” area, which will also use CTC tagging as the engine behind the system.
As we go forward, I also wanted to share one of our concerns about the community-- namely, that the tone at times can become slightly derisive and demeaning, especially towards “newbies.” This is something we’ve been watching, and we’re interested in hearing your ideas about how to make the community as civil as possible. Obviously, we’re fans of open and free speech, so we don’t want to spend our days cleaning up posts or deleting content to meet our community standards (http://www.cartalk.com/content/terms-service). Should we take a stronger stand in moving posts to the moderation queue? What ideas do you have? Our goal is simple: we want everyone coming to the forums to feel respected, and to feel as though they are being well-treated-- even those who don’t read your questions thoroughly, ask what we think might be dumb questions, or are otherwise not very well clued in. Let me know what you think.
Thanks to everyone here, and I hope you all have a healthy and happy 2012!
Senior Web Lackey