Thread: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

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  1. #1
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    Default The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    This is the only automotive enthusiasts community that I know of where we have to pay to talk to those in our specific regions.

    I live in the Chicago, IL area and have one of the largest chapters near me. I however haven't been able to attend a single one of their meetings and/or events. I also do not know when I'll even have time to.

    Most of my free time is either spent working, or racing my car.

    However, it'd be nice to participate in local communications. There are often many threads where I can offer advice, reviews and or feedback for other locals.

    I actually paid to be a VCA member for the first year for this exact reason. I couldn't bring myself to renew my membership though just to post with my fellow local viper owners.

    As a vendor, I sponsor many forums. As an enthusiast, I also participate in many.

    It's a real shame that the enthusiasts get the shaft here. The ability to communicate with locals that share the same passions as you is critical in building online communities.

    I wish you guys would reevaluate this.

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    I believe the reason this was put in place was so that people from other car clubs (i.e. corvette/mustang) couldn't start posting things for their local shows or events and start drowning out all the Viper related posts.

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    I remember reading that as well.

    If the forum is understaffed, than that is a valid reason for sure. Typically moderators can easily control that though.

    I doubt the honest reason to cripple viper owners/enthusiasts privileges is so reduce moderation load though.

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    If everything is available without paying dues the soon there would be no board at all. It's only 100 bucks or so. Support the club.

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    Quote Originally Posted by slysnake View Post
    If everything is available without paying dues the soon there would be no board at all. It's only 100 bucks or so. Support the club.
    so every other forum that is free to post on has disappeared?

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    I'm amazed that a cost of $150.00 for a Venom or less for a reg. Membership is a big deal to someone who can race a car.---Dave
    2005 Comm. Ed Conv, 2010 Coupe,2016 ACR Extreme

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magnus_ View Post
    This is the only automotive enthusiasts community that I know of where we have to pay to talk to those in our specific regions.

    I live in the Chicago, IL area and have one of the largest chapters near me. I however haven't been able to attend a single one of their meetings and/or events. I also do not know when I'll even have time to.

    Most of my free time is either spent working, or racing my car.

    However, it'd be nice to participate in local communications. There are often many threads where I can offer advice, reviews and or feedback for other locals.

    I actually paid to be a VCA member for the first year for this exact reason. I couldn't bring myself to renew my membership though just to post with my fellow local viper owners.

    As a vendor, I sponsor many forums. As an enthusiast, I also participate in many.

    It's a real shame that the enthusiasts get the shaft here. The ability to communicate with locals that share the same passions as you is critical in building online communities.

    I wish you guys would reevaluate this.
    I Fully agree

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    Quote Originally Posted by slysnake View Post
    If everything is available without paying dues the soon there would be no board at all. It's only 100 bucks or so. Support the club.
    This is the ONLY forum I know of that has paying sponsors on board (quite a lot of paying sponsors), and require members to pay as well.

    Like I said, as a vendor I sponsor many forums. We sponsor forums so that we can post our products for sale, but also to support the community that gives us the avenue to market our products to.

    2whitevipers, I'm not spending $150/yr just so I can make a few posts a month to converse with local enthusiasts. That makes no sense.

    I can already participate in every other part of the forum just fine, except specifically with those that actually live near me.

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magnus_ View Post
    This is the ONLY forum I know of that has paying sponsors on board (quite a lot of paying sponsors), and require members to pay as well.

    Like I said, as a vendor I sponsor many forums. We sponsor forums so that we can post our products for sale, but also to support the community that gives us the avenue to market our products to.

    2whitevipers, I'm not spending $150/yr just so I can make a few posts a month to converse with local enthusiasts. That makes no sense.

    I can already participate in every other part of the forum just fine, except specifically with those that actually live near me.
    But again...those regional forums are for VCA MEMBERS of that region to converse in. Not just registered users on the site. We have a forum on these boards for site supporting vendors to post about their products or their specials they may be running.

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    VCA Membership dues are used by the VCA for activities other than this Forum. The VCA is a very active club. Dues help support local Chapter activities. You have stated that you would like to attend more local Chapter activities. Paying your dues helps your local Chapter. A non dues paying person who attends a local chapter activity, at least from my point of view, is a free loader. I assume that you do not wish to fall into that category and that you did not understand what dues are used for. The benefits of being a VCA member are substantial. Certain discounts are available with vendors that are not otherwise available. Since you race, you might, through the use of those discounts, actually come out ahead. I hope that you join.
    '14 Blk Vper TA; old Vper: Q:11.4, st mi:174; '15 Auto Chall Hellcat Q:10.985/126.96; 08 SRT8 Jeep(159.52 st mi)(Q:12.13/111.7);00 Fd Ltning:Q:12.89/105.48 (sold). Best Q (Tp Dragster): 207.43 /6.793

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    Bob, I'm actually involved in management roles for a few clubs, organizations, etc...

    We accept dues for events.
    We accept forum sponsorships to help support the forum and events.

    We do not limit communication with other local members to those who don't pay.

    We differentiate the difference between a non-paying member vs a member by different rates for events, etc..

    Like I said, I was already a VCA member just so I could post in the local forum. I didn't renew because I don't see the $150/yr value of being able to communicate with local viper owners.

    For me its a real shame because there are so few vipers. Being able to talk to other locals would be nice.

    I understand the GOAL that's trying to be accomplished here, but IMHO there are much better ways at achieving that.

    This is the ONLY forum that actually requires membership to communicate with other locals. The dues argument is a weak one.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    Anyway, the point of this thread wasn't to start an argument.

    I just wanted to voice my opinion.

    Hopefully in the future the restrictions on non-paying members ability to communicate with other viper owners in their area will be lifted.

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    I understand your point but I think it works best the way it is. VCA dues are less than the cost of two tank fill ups. As I mentioned, there are many vendor discounts and deals available if you are a VCA member. So why not just look at it as the dues paying for things other than this site because, for the most part, that is the case. I do not know about other chapters but event fees are a very rare thing in our chapter. To be on the email list for events, you have to be a dues paying member. VCA officers are volunteers and work hard at what they do. The VCA has an unusually close relationship with Chrysler and SRT in part because of that hard work. Those who pay dues support that effort. So support the cause. Join the VCA.
    '14 Blk Vper TA; old Vper: Q:11.4, st mi:174; '15 Auto Chall Hellcat Q:10.985/126.96; 08 SRT8 Jeep(159.52 st mi)(Q:12.13/111.7);00 Fd Ltning:Q:12.89/105.48 (sold). Best Q (Tp Dragster): 207.43 /6.793

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    Bob - the one piece to the equation that you are trying to gloss over is the amount of the national dues that goes to the local chapter. When nearly half of our dues are channeled back to the local chapter - that the OP and others like myself, choose to not participate in - that money in effect is wasted. I sure hope the local chapter enjoys my "donation" to fund the events that I will not participate in - a simple thank you would be nice. I am happy to support the VCA and the Vendors on the VCA. I joined as a Venom member to get the additional discounts from VPA and the extra discount for VOI - for me it was worth it THIS YEAR - next year probably not.

    Just as the OP - not trying to start an argument - just stating my opinion. I have long lobbied for a "Web-only" membership category for those that would like to support the VCA - but don't participate in a local chapter for whatever reason. I have also lobbied for a board position that would represent members like myself that have no voice at the national level.


    To the OP - the Illinois chapter has a great group of guys and are very active. If you participate in an Autocross or road course, you will get more than your money back. They have their monthly meeting the first Wednesday of the month - so if you wanted to see what they are all about, June 6 would be a good time to find out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobpantax View Post
    I understand your point but I think it works best the way it is. VCA dues are less than the cost of two tank fill ups. As I mentioned, there are many vendor discounts and deals available if you are a VCA member. So why not just look at it as the dues paying for things other than this site because, for the most part, that is the case. I do not know about other chapters but event fees are a very rare thing in our chapter. To be on the email list for events, you have to be a dues paying member. VCA officers are volunteers and work hard at what they do. The VCA has an unusually close relationship with Chrysler and SRT in part because of that hard work. Those who pay dues support that effort. So support the cause. Join the VCA.

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    Quote Originally Posted by ROCKET62 View Post
    To the OP - the Illinois chapter has a great group of guys and are very active. If you participate in an Autocross or road course, you will get more than your money back. They have their monthly meeting the first Wednesday of the month - so if you wanted to see what they are all about, June 6 would be a good time to find out.
    Just to add to this, the IL chapter also lets you particpate in each of the events [1 Autocross, 1 Road course, 1 Drag race] for FREE for the first time participants. That is a ~$500 value in itself.

    Back on topic, in my opinion, I think non-members should be allowed to post in the regional sections. Have we really seen those forums get spammed with non-viper events? May be, I don't know.

    A

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    Yes, we have seen those forums be massively spammed with posts from non members. The car club culture is a very busy one and there is something going on every weekend, everywhere it seems. Many of these events being hosted by folks who are making a buck as well so there is considerable motivation to drop in and spam.

    The absolute worst thing a Regional President can see is to drop in on his forum and see some guy hawking his cars and coffee, dyno day, detailing clinic or whatever at give away rates designed to draw new customers on the same day as an event he put his sweat and blood into.
    And as we do break it down to regions we make it very easy for someone with a local profit motive to target us.

    And it has to be said that there is also no logical reason to allow casual non members who own Vipers and choose not to pay dues to post in those forums and subsequently organize get togethers that might pull VCA members away from a scheduled event on the same day. That is just as frustrating to those that volunteer their time to help organize.

    This was a decision taken by a vote of the Regional Presidents about 6 or 7 years ago in response to some of this kind of traffic that was appearing in the forums.

    A final thought, membership in any organization has it's privileges. Having access to forums that allow communication regionally between dues paying members is a privilege owed to the dues paying members of the CLUB, not a right just because one owns a Viper.

    This car forum is unusual in it's comparison to other so called "free" car forums in that it is a CLUB. So join the club and enjoy the privileges. But if you choose not to join don't expect any of those privileges to be free, there's no logical reason for that expectation.

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee00blacksilverGTS View Post
    Yes, we have seen those forums be massively spammed with posts from non members. The car club culture is a very busy one and there is something going on every weekend, everywhere it seems. Many of these events being hosted by folks who are making a buck as well so there is considerable motivation to drop in and spam.

    The absolute worst thing a Regional President can see is to drop in on his forum and see some guy hawking his cars and coffee, dyno day, detailing clinic or whatever at give away rates designed to draw new customers on the same day as an event he put his sweat and blood into.
    And as we do break it down to regions we make it very easy for someone with a local profit motive to target us.

    And it has to be said that there is also no logical reason to allow casual non members who own Vipers and choose not to pay dues to post in those forums and subsequently organize get togethers that might pull VCA members away from a scheduled event on the same day. That is just as frustrating to those that volunteer their time to help organize.
    There is a very simple solution to this that I actually can't believe isn't already the case. The regional president should be the moderator for that specific section. I believe that should be the case no matter what the posting policy is. Seems pretty common sense to me.

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    Quote Originally Posted by MTGTS View Post
    There is a very simple solution to this that I actually can't believe isn't already the case. The regional president should be the moderator for that specific section. I believe that should be the case no matter what the posting policy is. Seems pretty common sense to me.
    But then you are creating more work for the regional presidents and would be pissing a lot of people off by saying...ok...non dues payin members can post in regional forums only to have their posts removed by the moderator of that regional forum because it's not appropriate for that forum. Then you would be flooding the moderators of the web site with emails saying "Why was my thread removed?" "I thought I could post in the regional forums." These regional forums are already being policed with the policy of having to be a dues paying member and I don't see a need to change it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 01sapphirebob View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MTGTS View Post
    There is a very simple solution to this that I actually can't believe isn't already the case. The regional president should be the moderator for that specific section. I believe that should be the case no matter what the posting policy is. Seems pretty common sense to me.
    But then you are creating more work for the regional presidents and would be pissing a lot of people off by saying...ok...non dues payin members can post in regional forums only to have their posts removed by the moderator of that regional forum because it's not appropriate for that forum. Then you would be flooding the moderators of the web site with emails saying "Why was my thread removed?" "I thought I could post in the regional forums." These regional forums are already being policed with the policy of having to be a dues paying member and I don't see a need to change it.
    Bob, please read the part where I said that I believe this should be the case NO MATTER what the posting policy is for paying/non paying members.

    Lee has told me that is the case but the president has to ask for those permissions.

    I just don't see "too much work for the moderators" as a valid excuse. Yes, I've been a moderator on a car forum MUCH bigger than this one and it's not that big of a deal. When you delete a thread or edit something you can put a reason and it shows up for the user. If that's being done (which i believe is) there should be no reason for an influx of "WTF happened" threads or PM's Its not hard to appt. more mods if they are needed.
    Last edited by MTGTS; 05-24-2012 at 11:14 PM.

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    Quote Originally Posted by MTGTS View Post
    Bob, please read the part where I said that I believe this should be the case NO MATTER what the posting policy is for paying/non paying members.

    Lee has told me that is the car but the president has to ask for those permissions.
    I can see the point you are trying to make and maybe the regional presidents should have that power over their own regional forum but again the VCA decided that the abality to post in regional forums is a preliviage of membership and for whatever reason the OP doesnt see the value in being a member and that's fine but to complain about not being able to post in an area that's reserved for club members when they don't want to be a member and they know it's a privilage of paid membership just seems a little silly.

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    Just curious. Are the posters who want privileges without having to pay for them Democrats by any chance?
    '14 Blk Vper TA; old Vper: Q:11.4, st mi:174; '15 Auto Chall Hellcat Q:10.985/126.96; 08 SRT8 Jeep(159.52 st mi)(Q:12.13/111.7);00 Fd Ltning:Q:12.89/105.48 (sold). Best Q (Tp Dragster): 207.43 /6.793

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    Might want to rethink your logic here. I despise the fact that I am subsidizing events that I will not participate in.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bobpantax View Post
    Just curious. Are the posters who want privileges without having to pay for them Democrats by any chance?

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    Ohh snap, he went there... :-)

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    Quote Originally Posted by ROCKET62 View Post
    I despise the fact that I am subsidizing events that I will not participate in.
    ...........

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    The whole setup here makes sense if your viper and this forum was your introduction to online automotive communities.

    However, if you came from ANY other background: corvette, subaru, bmw, lamborghini, ferrari, f-body, w-body, ford, diesel, etc.. the system in place on this forum is completely backwards.

    Either the viper club has it right, or every other car community out there has it wrong.

    Don't try to convince me that the VCA has a more active community than say the bmw club, or the mustang club, 5'th gen camaro club, etc.. The viper member base is one of the smallest, if not the smallest, only to compete for that title with Lamborghini. I think there are more Lamborghini get togethers in the chicagoland area though than there are viper get togethers.

    The common business model for online forums has already been ironed out. It works for everyone else, yet a few of you believe that its completely ridiculous. Who's doing it right? Everyone else, or this forum?

    Regardless of who's doing it right, as I said in my initial thread, I have yet to go to a single IL VCA meet. I have no idea when I will be able to, time permitting.. but it would be nice to converse with other locals.

    In example:
    "Hey, I saw you guys on 290 sunday afternoon, car's looked good."
    "My engine just blew, can anyone recommend a shop?"
    "Just had my car serviced at xyz, the viper tech was very knowledgeable, etc.. was happy with the results"

    The moderation excuse is just that, an excuse. Chapter presidents and council members/management could be given moderation privileges.
    Global moderators could be given privileges.
    Stickies could be made outlining what type of posts are not allowed.

    These are all pretty much standard on any forum.

    I wouldn't feel so strongly about this if the forum wasn't already packed with vendors as sponsors. Sure, they get to market their products, but their fees should go toward bandwidth costs, server maintenance/management, and administrative fees/profit. Again, this is how every other car forum does it.

    If you guys want non-paying members out of the local chapters, hey, that's fine. As a paying member your voice should definitely be valued more. Don't try to convince me though that I'm trying to get something for nothing here. I am subject to vendor marketing everywhere I am on this forum. That's the price of a free-service, ads. In this case they may not be what you're used to in the forum of big flashy boxes, but instead they come in the form of vendor posting and signatures.

    Don't get me wrong here though, I'm all for that type of business model. I'll gladly accept being marketed to for the freedom of use of the forum.

    Please don't try to convince me that the same model used by EVERYONE else is flawed.

    I'll gladly accept that this is simply the way VCA want's it done. But, it's still my opinion that there is a better way.

    I strongly believe allowing non-members to communicate with other local owners will PROMOTE activity in local chapters as well as activity within the VCA as a whole. It's also my belief that when people participate in a club, they understand and appreciate the value of dues, and thus, are much more willing to help support the club.

    That being said, I do appreciate the free services already made available to me via this forum and I do understand that it's ultimately the forum owners choice as to what is made available free of charge. I'm just suggesting.

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    I think VCA dues are a tremendous bargain. The magazine is top quality. The vendor discounts are excellent. Local chapters, for the most part, seem to do a good job. An open line of communication to SRT and its engineers is maintained. This Forum has had, and continues to have, a great deal of useful and valuable information for current and prospective Viper owners and has allowed many of us to form friendships over the years. The last VOI and the upcoming VOI were arranged by VCA Officers - an incredible amount of work.

    Too many times I have seen posts that gloss over the many hours of volunteer work needed to keep the club and all of its functions and activities up and running. If even one person takes the volunteers for granted, it is one too many.



    Quote Originally Posted by ROCKET62 View Post
    Might want to rethink your logic here. I despise the fact that I am subsidizing events that I will not participate in.
    '14 Blk Vper TA; old Vper: Q:11.4, st mi:174; '15 Auto Chall Hellcat Q:10.985/126.96; 08 SRT8 Jeep(159.52 st mi)(Q:12.13/111.7);00 Fd Ltning:Q:12.89/105.48 (sold). Best Q (Tp Dragster): 207.43 /6.793

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    Despise is probably a bad choice of words. There is a story behind this feeling. I attended an event and overheard a group of "regulars" complaining about all of the "new" people that showed up for an event. Because of all the "new" people there, it limited "their" track time. They seemed to forget the fact that all of the "new" people paid the same as they did for this event and were equal in terms of membership.

    In my opinion - too often those that are very active at the local and national level forget about those members that do want to support the VCA - but don't actively participate in events - for whatever reason - be it proximity to the local chapter, work/personal conflicts, or just plain and simple personal choice. It's easy to say it's only a tank of gas - or it's only a hundred bucks - the reality is for those that don't actively participate - the perceived value of becoming a VCA member is a lot less. I also don't like the word subsidize - but if you do not participate in your local chapter - you do in fact subsidize "their" events. And for those that want to accuse me of griping or complaining - I have offered time and again to help explore ways to address this group of members like myself. I would gladly accept a nomination to represent the "forum only" members in a conference call, committee or whatever. I do understand that I'm fighting an uphill battle as if there was a "web only" membership category - that this would potentially take away money from a local chapter and "their" events.

    The distinction between a "car forum" and "car club" is a good one. For those that do not actively participate - this is more of a forum - so I understand the OP's point of wanting to be able to communicate with the local chapter - even if it was simply to ask for a local recommendation on where to get his Viper serviced. If he was not part of the club - he should not be allowed to attend a local event - other than maybe a club meeting to see if it was something he was interested in. If the local club wanted to open an event up to a non-member - they could adjust the price accordingly so that is would make sense for the guest to join rather than pay the difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01sapphirebob View Post
    ...........

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    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobpantax View Post
    I think VCA dues are a tremendous bargain. The magazine is top quality. The vendor discounts are excellent. Local chapters, for the most part, seem to do a good job. An open line of communication to SRT and its engineers is maintained. This Forum has had, and continues to have, a great deal of useful and valuable information for current and prospective Viper owners and has allowed many of us to form friendships over the years. The last VOI and the upcoming VOI were arranged by VCA Officers - an incredible amount of work.
    I agree with you which is why I'm a member but there are ways anything can be made better. I don't think people are saying the club sucks it needs to be fixed but that there is room for improvement. To not be open minded about changes and improvements is just not good business. Which, when it comes down to it is what this club is.

    The regional section could be opened up to those with the "OWNER" status and not the enthusiasts. This should limit the spam that the mods seem to be most worried about. To me, the club and this website is here to promote communication and information between all Viper owners.

    Can a non member even see the regional sections?

    If a person that is new to the site can't see or isn't even aware of local events they are LESS likely to pay and join the club. But, if they could see whats going on in their area even communicate with other locals they might make it out to an event, see how great the club is and join up.

  29. #29
    Site programmer
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Abilene, TX
    Posts
    1,944

    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    There is no "owner" classification anymore.

  30. #30
    Enthusiast

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    123
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: The inability to post in regional forums for non-paying members.

    Quote Originally Posted by -RUNNR View Post
    There is no "owner" classification anymore.
    I believe what MTGTS is saying is that there should be an "owner" status and with that they should be able to
    post in the regional section. These "owners" then might make it to an event and possibly join.
    I agree.

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