SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy New Reader
5/29/08 2:32 p.m.

I'm a big fan of Renaults, and Peugeots and Citroens in theory. I'm looking at getting into a Renault GTA, and would also love to own a 505 turbo or 405 Mi16; but it seems like there's no concentrated knowledge base of people that know these cars in the USA. They're around, it seems like everyone knows at least one French car owner or nut, and I think it would be cool to collect all that knowledge somewhere and create a support base and secondhand parts market for French cars over here.

I'd like to try and start a web forum, I guess. My question is; how would I successfully go about doing this? How could I draw knowledgeable people into it? I would be more than willing to foot the hosting bills if I could establish something like this. Any advice/insight would be appreciated!

(btw, I'm not trying to steal GRM'ers here!)

Wally
Wally SuperDork
5/29/08 2:36 p.m.

I have a Mobelette moped, is there any chance you will a spin off Le Sprockets?

RX78
RX78
5/29/08 5:01 p.m.

I'm so sorry...I thought you were interested in a forum on starting french cars.

nickel_dime
nickel_dime HalfDork
5/30/08 5:39 a.m.

French cars start?

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
5/30/08 6:33 a.m.

Des,

The hardest part is convincing 500 people to frequent it regularly. I believe that it want to really kick one off then expect it to be empty for two years. Go to the Marque specific events, recruit the big players, and get their opinions of what THEY need.

The most important thing about the forums is that you add a bit of flexibility into your plan.

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
5/30/08 7:23 a.m.

Short version? Grab some free board software, put it on a half-decent hosting plan, and boom, you're done.

Long version? I've been running boards on the web for more than 10 years now. It takes a lot to get one going, and then It's a lot of work keeping it going. Don't get into it without thinking about the amount of time and effort it will take, and how many nights you'll come home from a regular job to discover 500 spam porn posts you have to clean up, and 50 messages you have to respond to from people wanting to know why you haven't cleaned it up already, and....

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
5/30/08 7:30 a.m.
Tim Baxter wrote: Short version? Grab some free board software, put it on a half-decent hosting plan, and boom, you're done. Long version? I've been running boards on the web for more than 10 years now. It takes a lot to get one going, and then It's a lot of work keeping it going. Don't get into it without thinking about the amount of time and effort it will take, and how many nights you'll come home from a regular job to discover 500 spam porn posts you have to clean up, and 50 messages you have to respond to from people wanting to know why you haven't cleaned it up already, and.... SOME JAGOFF SUGGESTIONG YOU ADD A MOTORCYCLE FORUM

I finished that thought for you Tim.

Wally
Wally SuperDork
5/30/08 9:11 a.m.
Tim Baxter wrote: ....spam, porn ....

Spam and porn, sounds like my days off. I have some French car news. At work I saw a black 4 door Peugot 307 with Jersey MFG plates. I have no idea why it was here but it was cool to see something different.

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
5/30/08 9:48 a.m.

If it weren't for spam, porn and idle gossip, there'd be no internet at all.

gamby
gamby SuperDork
5/30/08 10:08 a.m.

start small and see what happens.

I frequent an RI Honda board that has a whopping 51 registered users.

Japanese Nostalgic Car started small and gets new members daily--a ton of it internationally.

French car enthusiasts will find your site over time--guaranteed. I say go for it.

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
5/30/08 10:13 a.m.

One big advantage you DO have is that you've found a currently under-served niche. If you said, "I want to start a car forum", you're a guppy in a big sea. If you said "I want to start a Miata forum", miata.net is the big dog in that room, and you'd have to find a way to do things in a compellngly different or better way. But right now there isn't a lot out there for the francophiles, and that's a big advantage for you.

GlennS
GlennS Reader
5/30/08 11:47 a.m.

Good news, frogcars.com does not appear to be taken. :grin:

Josh
Josh Reader
5/30/08 12:34 p.m.

This seems like as good a place as any to admit that lately I've had this unnatural desire to find a Citroen DS and sort of resto-mod it. Gloss or satin black paint, modern lightweight wheels and tires, big disk brakes, race-inspired interior, blacked out chrome. I don't really have a clue about them, any idea how I'd do this, or any money with which to try, but if I made a million dollar pull on a slot machine I promise I'd get right on it :).

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
5/30/08 12:38 p.m.

I got a bad jones for a Matra Djet, myself.

That_Renault_Guy
That_Renault_Guy
5/30/08 1:23 p.m.

I used to subscribe to a couple of Yahoo-based Renault forums, but haven't been in years (I don't even know if they're still there) because of declining content.

I think it could be fairly successful, if done well and I know I would be all over it . . . :grin:

SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy New Reader
5/30/08 1:32 p.m.
Tim Baxter wrote: One big advantage you DO have is that you've found a currently under-served niche. If you said, "I want to start a car forum", you're a guppy in a big sea. If you said "I want to start a Miata forum", miata.net is the big dog in that room, and you'd have to find a way to do things in a compellngly different or better way. But right now there isn't a lot out there for the francophiles, and that's a big advantage for you.

My thoughts exactly. The hard part will be finding knowledgeable people to rope in and discuss; Peugeot and Renault enthusiasts seem to be very disbanded.

GlennS wrote: Good news, frogcars.com does not appear to be taken. :grin:

Hmm....:twisted:

jezeus
jezeus Reader
5/30/08 2:22 p.m.

I think japanese nostaligic car is a good model of how to start a new successful auto forum. Make a destination for french cars not just a forum. Find cool french cars and do a write up on them with pictures. do write-ups about your project cars. Give people a reason to come to the site. Be as active as possible yourself. maybe even spend a bit of money to promote your site once it gets a few active members. google adwords is an easy way to do this.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
5/30/08 3:22 p.m.

a quick google search shows sites such as www.505turbo.com and Citroen connection...

you need a market differentiation.

SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy New Reader
5/31/08 12:19 a.m.
ignorant wrote: a quick google search shows sites such as www.505turbo.com and Citroen connection... you need a market differentiation.

505turbo.com seems to have a small crowd of US users, but a mostly Euro-centric base. The Citroen Connection is just a mailing list archive and some info that hasn't been updated in years from the look of things. I'd like to bridge them all in one modern forum, if possible.

Carson
Carson Reader
6/2/08 11:58 p.m.

I'd join and frequent. I've always wanted a Peugeot 205 GTi. Never seen one in America though.

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