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(Post Link) post #1 of 27 Old 14-06-17 Thread Starter
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Facebook or just times changing. (quiet in here)

I think FaceBook and it's useless groups are killing forums such as this.
I'm between projects at work so went looking at car forums I once frequented. They're dead completely and I thank my lucky Italian stars I like Italian motors.
I am currently on four forums and this probably lies second most used out of all of them. I enjoy this the most though.
One of the others is for my Salon MB CLK. That's quite active but not like here I don't think.

So I went on my old Rover/MG forum. Now I read somewhere here that MG sold more cars than Alfa some month this year but despite that it is dead.

But a VW Audi forum which was a hive too back then is now done.

So is it FaceBook or have we just moved on?
I'm blaming FaceBook and love it or hate it, in it or not it's a bloody bugger and I blame it for this great social medium and wonderment of technical and comedic information breakdown.

I'm not going anywhere, I'm just going.
Statements above are all my own opinion and not fact.
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I think there are two different issues.

Firstly, very much so the Facebook has killed activity on many forums. This doesn't just extend to car forums. I am a hobbyist 3D fettler, and I used to belong to a few forums that were loaded with activity. I returned to a few of them recently, and many of them were offline!

I do also wonder as well if there has been an overall fall in interest in cars as something to admire and cherish. An interesting comment my neighbour made to me once is that he was astonished that he saw someone of my age actually looking after his car.

At first I didn't think much of it. But then on reflection I did think to myself that the estate I came from used to be always full of half-deconstructed cars on the drives. You could walk up the main road and see Capris, Novas, Orions, Escorts... all in some state of dis/re-assembly. My mum even used to take apart her V6 Capri on the driveway.

A few issues of Practical Classics have highlighted how difficult it is to get younger generations into historic cars, and cars in general. I think many people just see them as mobile hotspots, things that get them from A to B, and inconvenient when it needs servicing.

I think that with the changing face of peoples' finances, I wonder how many people will keep up with maintaining cars, as well as wanting to pay extortionate amounts of cash for trivial parts. Why as a young lad would I want to pay £130 for an air conditioning hose, or £500 for a new front light, when I have gym fees to pay, and holidays to Thailand to pay for?

I was having this conversation the other day with a few friends. I think they are under the impression that I am bonkers for owning the 147, when I can have a much cheaper, more powerful, modern, and warrantied car for such a small price. And it's true! I really could just walk into a Ford showroom and walk out with a brand new Fiesta ST on finance, no problems. No need to use a forum and wait for hours for a response when it breaks. Nope. Back to the dealer, and usually fixed for free!

I think you are correct that the social media dominates the communication. But particularly with cars, I wonder if people are genuinely just loosing interest with battling with stupid BMW roof-folding mechanisms, ridiculously expensive Alfa Romeo plastic bits that break every week, and having to weld the 10 year old Ford Fiesta after it has even heard the word 'salt'.
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As an example my nephew has just passed his driving test. Immediately I went on line to find him his first car! Budget - £1,000, with a bit of help from me and his parents. So many options for an ideal first car - 10 year old VW's, Fords, you name it the world is your oyster.

I presented my recommendations to him, and said that I would gladly assist in sorting the likely issues, of brakes, oil changes etc and teach him a little along the way with basic car mechanics. This mirrors what I and probably most on this forum went through at the age of 17. This in turn would have led him to an interest in cars, mechanics and then forums to get advice etc.

But no. His parents got involved, and he has now signed up for some new Korean vehicle on PCP with free insurance. And whilst I can sort of understand the financial side of things (factoring in the free insurance), he will now have no need or desire to delve into the mucky side of how his car works, as a) it probably won't need any fixing, and b) if it does it goes to the dealer.

I imagine this is what 99% of new drivers are doing.

Also, in the case of Alfaowner.co.uk, most issues/fixes on the older models are well documented and discussed to death, so less need for interaction/new posts. New models are still in the dealer warranty network so again less "traffic" on problems and fixes.

Cars are more reliable now as well or if they do go wrong too complicated for many to contemplate a DIY fix - hence less internet forum discussion.

So I don't think it is just FB, more a case of many factors - mostly driven by the fact that people are now buying new cars on finance.
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(Post Link) post #4 of 27 Old 15-06-17 Thread Starter
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David, you do I think have a bit of a point. I too am not sure younger people are taking an interest in older cars but we do have new Alfas that they might.
It is actually easier today for a younger person to buy a new car on finance. IIRC they often get insurance thrown in which helps massively because that is way more expensive for younger people today than it was for me.
My daughter likes cars and probably because some of my influence but she does not use car forums and probably is not on any FB groups for cars but I'm going to ask her.

That might explain it here but I would think a VAG forum would be full of that type? Even with a new car there are things you'd only find out on a forum. This is part the reason.

This ties in with the post from Alfabeat. Finance and new cars. I think this and FB is the main cause.
Alfa GTV/Spider and the other groups I find myself in on FB are very active and the Alfa ones try to address problems too.
I'm convinced ****ter and FaceBook between each other are bringing this format down.

I should mention I too used one or two non car forums. Last time I looked at least one of them was dead.
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Originally Posted by alfabeat View Post
he will now have no need or desire to delve into the mucky side of how his car works, as a) it probably won't need any fixing, and b) if it does it goes to the dealer.

I imagine this is what 99% of new drivers are doing.

This makes it sounds like the UK is turning into France.



AO will never be what is was at the start of the millennium .
That's just how it is.
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Sad times.
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Nobody has mentioned the complexity of modern cars when it comes to DIY on them. On anything under ten years old you are driving around with the car being managed by a computer which no sensible DIYer would think about touching. Like others I remember doing basic maintenance on my first cars because they were simple. That was until a workmate offered to help set up the twin Mangoletsi's carbs fitted to the Herald Coupe. We never did get them right but it still ran. I then had a couple of others of no special merit until I got my first company car. 30+ years later and I returned to car ownership and had neither the inclination or knowledge to tackle much more than changing some bulbs. It is far easier to use the local mechanic that serviced the company cars and I have known for nearly 40 years (where has the time gone!!) and so I don't need to use a forum to help me out. The ***** is different. I am not doing my own servicing but do need advice on which Indie to use who has the experience to work on a non-mainstream car and what extra work, over and above the routine, need to be considered to keep it going for a long time hence my being on this forum.

One of my children drives a car that is purchased on a plan which include a servicing deal and changes it regularly. The second is married to a regular petrolhead who does a lot of his own work and routine servicing and the other two do not drive. This probably representative of the younger generation. Those living in the big cities have little use for a car and consider the money better spent elsewhere. After all they are always being told that a car is the one asset that depreciates faster than any other so why would you buy something you won't get the use of and can be considered a money pit.

Not driving is also perhaps a reason for fewer being on motoring forums. It will only get worse. I read that the CEO of AVIVA (I think) said the children born today will not have to have a driving licence. This was with respect to insurance issues and driverless cars. Her point was that in 17 years driverless cars will be the norm. Now if you aren't driving the car you may well not own it, just calling one up as and when you need to get from A to B, and hence future generations will have zero interest in motoring.

Procrastination is the thief of time
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I used to frequent a music forum, full of local bands and people that were interested in the local music scene.
Everyone left when Face**** became the norm. (Myspace and Bebo worked well in conjuction)

Now Facecrack has been around a while, I reckon that setting up a forum might get a second wind. You can only publicise yourself so much on that self-whoring nonsense.

I love how this forum continues: facts, blx, arguments and tosh!

All in one basket

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All relevant points. Newer cars are more complex, finance is always available and in a month like this, where the GTA had an MoT, 4 new tyres and a near £500 bill, with Mrs Pat's spider wetting itself on the forecourt and being trailered off to the doctors, even I am thinking "I could have some brand new ultra reliable car for £150 a month".

Facebook has taken a chunk out of traffic on here, but it is a useless resource, IMHO. This may be because I despise it and don't use it properly but I'm farked if I can ever find anything on there. Search FB? Yeah, right!

We have suffered a lot with folks getting banned, falling out, having a set-to about politics/bicycles/voting/speeding fines etc. followed by the inevitable "huff" and exit. We can't undo that once someone has gone. For some it's good riddance, in many cases I miss the variety, the disruption, the change of pace.

Life is change, sometimes welcome, sometimes not. We ebb and flow in our interests, likes and dislikes. Next month might see the launch of the Friends reunited/Bebo/Facebook/WhatsApp of the next few years, it might not.

I have said it before, I'm here because I like the people here, despite never having met most of them (or perhaps because I haven't) and I am too thick-skinned or lazy to get upset by the very few who I don't.

Enjoy it while it is here

No 2 on the Git list

Are you folding?

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Some of WOT Steve said :LIKE:

Especially this bit: "Enjoy it while it is here "

And yes FB is useless as a resource of info, that's why the Tech Lounges here are invaluable
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Or we just started to run out of wind?
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But have we?
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I never heard of FB having a whip-round
to get some cash together for new server
or faster connection.


Happy days!


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Nah I much prefer AO to facecrap
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Forums will go the way of spit and sawdust pubs, lidos, indoor karting, freak shows, and other things which seemed essential at the time. Yes, Facebook is the immediate replacement, just as it replaces email for many users.

The Autosport forum is pretty healthy, but that's unusual. There are some small music-cum-fan forums which trickle along with a few posters. What's surprising is how this forum is still fairly active given the reduced numbers of Alfa Romeo owners since the demise of the 156.
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Arsefook is the route of all evil. Stay away kids.
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apart from everything, most posts on Facebook are photos and vanity photos (or maybe 99% of them are vanity photos only?) This reflects times:
Cars are more complex
Old cars are not interesting and expensive to maintain comparing to PCP variant.
People are more 'look at my selfie!' these days.

Forums just don't work with that formula well. Starting with the difficult to litter them with vanity photos. I am part of Alfabook, but switched off notifications - not really interested.

Love this forum - so much knowledge.
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Here's my facebook rant of the day. Family members were interested in attending a classic car show, so I went to look up the details online. Rather than having a regular old webpage, this group puts the notices up on facebook. I don't have a facebook account, and neither do any of my family members. So of course reading the page becomes a chore, because rather than making it fully public (I think it's possible to do that) there is a stupid facebook sign-in banner covering half (or more) of the screen real estate.

Yes, I know facebook is free, but it's really a poor marketing platform if you want to ensure your event is as widely attended as possible. Fine, if you need to organize it through facebook that's one thing, but at least have a non-facebook presence where people who aren't on facebook can reach out to you for more information.
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Hiya TS.

Products and services requiring a facebook login,
as with news sites behind paywalls or that
ask for ad-blockers to be deactivated, are dead to me.
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I agree TGJ apart from the pay news sites free news is generally crap and is killing proper journalism
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Somewhat amusingly I thought, given its members' often voiced disdain for AO and its forum format, Alfabook is launching a website.

Whether it will be a forum or just a list of ad links and merchandising opportunities is unclear to me. But they seem very pleased with it.
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Most people these days are sheeple, facebook is their AO, and not to discuss or share but to display and show-off. Cars for these are a commodity, a necessity, not something to spend money on, heck a great deal of younger new owners don't even buy their cars, mostly financed or paid for by the bank of mum and dad. They don't even know how much their insurance costs. I know a young lad I work with who has written off 2 cars, new cars and is on his 3rd now. Thank god he's not into Alfas. I'm starting to admire anyone who drives a unique, old or modified car now simply because I appreciate the passion these people have for their cars and I know to a degree the amount of effort one has to put in to these machines to keep them right. I'm only driving an Alfa because I'm stubborn and I've always wanted to be myself, I like custom or unique things. If I would have listened to most peoples advice I'd probably be driving an Audi now, but as it stands I went for an Alfa and as most owners will know things do 'occasionally' go wrong, so I was reluctantly dragged into the mechanical side of things, but now I genuinely am interested in the cars mechanics and cars in general. Obviously when things go wrong, I have to put it right, if only to save face.

I tell you what though, as David mentioned above, there is no better way to spark up a conversation with a stranger than to be working on your car outside. The amount of people that have come over to me with an interest and had a little chat is more than the fingers on my hands and that's only this year. (The older lot are usually flummoxed by all the gubbings in the engine bay, mostly my lighting looms and relays ;p)
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Quote:
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Somewhat amusingly I thought, given its members' often voiced disdain for AO and its forum format, Alfabook is launching a website.

Whether it will be a forum or just a list of ad links and merchandising opportunities is unclear to me. But they seem very pleased with it.

Ha ha ha.

Oh the Irony.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfaJoe92 View Post
I tell you what though, as David mentioned above, there is no better way to spark up a conversation with a stranger than to be working on your car outside.
I sometimes get people talking to me while working on my cars, but usually "care in the community" types. Usually very chatty and friendly people but def not all there. There was one bloke who insisted where a certain wire in my engine bay should go and when i politely said i didn't agree he called me a bald c**t, gave me a menacing look and stormed off nearly getting himself run over in the process. Luckily i've not seen him again.
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The last time I worked on the car on the drive some bloke pulled up in a white van and asked me in an Irish accent if I wanted to buy some cheap tools...
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