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Announcement: Changes to non-cycling discussion on Bike Hub


Matt
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1 minute ago, Matt said:

@Gen this reply isn't directed at you specifically but you raise some points I've seen others question and perhaps some further context and history is needed.

It's quite clear from the reactions of Hubbers that Bike Hub means very different things to different groups of users, we know this but it's often surprising to us just how different that can be.

Here is some context from this side of the curtain. 

Bike Hub began life as a rudimentary "message board" in 2004. Since then it has evolved, partly from our input, but mostly shaped by users and what you've used Bike Hub for. 

As early as 2008 the predominant use of Bike Hub was to buy and sell bikes and gear. Back then we had a simple Buy & Sell forum which quickly became a torrent of ads that was near impossible to search or filter. This was the opportunity that lead me to turn Bike Hub from a hobby into a business in 2010.

The Buy & Sell forum became a purpose built Classifieds section with categories and filtering. We've continued to build on this over time as user demands evolved. 

Later we began publishing some content. Predominantly press releases, but at a stage we produced a healthy amount of original content in reviews, interviews, etc. While we enjoyed creating content and without tooting our own horns did a decent job of it on original content, in a world where everything is available online from some serious international players, as a primary revenue driver for the business it felt like a losing battle. This content pre-occupation led us to all but ignore what always the "big opportunity" for Bike Hub. 

About three years ago now we made the decision to re-focus our efforts on the Classifieds. In numbers even then it was the engine room of Bike Hub, accounting for well over 60% of traffic (now well over 75% of traffic). 

All through this journey the forums have lived on and evolved in their own way. We saw the arrival of big social, Facebook, Twitter, Strava, Youtube and even the likes of WhatsApp begin to service some of the role Bike Hub played in connecting cyclists with each other and information. And no doubt other platforms will do similar in future. Despite this, we feel strongly that the forums can and will continue to add value in specific contexts in a way that these other platforms can't.

We know we can't be everything to everyone, and trying to be would see our demise. GCN, Pinkbike, even some Youtubers and many others... there are so many great sources of cycling content in 2021, all globally available. Even on the Classifieds front we're cautiously aware of the likes of Facebook marketplace and other upstarts.

The bottom line is that in order to succeed and thrive we have to focus, play to our strengths. Our core strength lies in Classifieds. Of course the community that surrounds Bike Hub is shaped in part by forum activity, the content we create and other softer factors. The move to reduce the scope of non-cycling discussion with without doubt change the dynamics of the forums. We expect post counts to drop, at least in the short term, but ultimately the move is one in favour of quality (relevance to our domain - cycling) over quantity. 



 

cool. how about a compromise then.

NCR on fridays?

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3 minutes ago, Shebeen said:

cool. how about a compromise then.

NCR on fridays?

man I had coffee come out of my nose  now.. Not cool😅

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Matt you truly are between a rock and a hard spot .....

 

Sure many of understand the business realities you face.  Few might even understand the practical aspects.

 

We just HOPE you manage to find a balance which retains some of the "vibe" of the Hub. :thumbup:

 

Ample dried out, no atmosphere, "sources of information" out there .... THIS is where we like to interact, support, discuss and fight about cycling stuff, AND the stuff that forms part our our cyclists lives .... 

 

 

Voorspoed Matt :thumbup:

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1 hour ago, Patchelicious said:

Much preferred the option of hidings to detention. Was rather annoyed when they took that away when I was in Std 4

clearly you werent bliksemed enough or hard enough

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1 minute ago, avatar said:

clearly you werent bliksemed enough or hard enough

Was bliksemed plenty, pain is temporary, detention takes away time that you never get back....

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I have not "chat" on bike hub for some time now, and I am not a great contributor too many of the threads. I must still get use to the new lay out , which really does not do it for me , maybe the resistance to change is stronger than ever. I feel now less eager to visit the site because this was a once stop "shop" to get a lot of info, I don't do FB etc etc. Its early days still, maybe the change is for the better?

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What of all the experienced members who reply to any tech related queries leave, or no longer partake and you only left with newbies and no tech knowledge? Would you hire the expertise of a few individuals or rely on people looking at gmbn and youtube?

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32 minutes ago, Eddy Gordo said:

What of all the experienced members who reply to any tech related queries leave, or no longer partake and you only left with newbies and no tech knowledge? Would you hire the expertise of a few individuals or rely on people looking at gmbn and youtube?

I hear you.

But what if the experienced members who's thread sprawling squabbles cause the newbies to leave or never bother asking a question in the first place? In fact we've had many long-time experienced members leave for the same reason. And yes, better moderation absolutely has a key part to play here, but most often it's a conflict and culture stemming from off topic debate that bleeds into cycling discussion in a negative way.

Obviously there's a balance we have to strike, however if members leave a cycling website because we limit their ability to discuss a subset of non-cycling topics then perhaps they weren't hanging around for the right reasons.

 

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1 hour ago, ChrisF said:

Matt you truly are between a rock and a hard spot .....

 

Sure many of understand the business realities you face.  Few might even understand the practical aspects.

 

We just HOPE you manage to find a balance which retains some of the "vibe" of the Hub. :thumbup:

 

Ample dried out, no atmosphere, "sources of information" out there .... THIS is where we like to interact, support, discuss and fight about cycling stuff, AND the stuff that forms part our our cyclists lives .... 

 

 

Voorspoed Matt :thumbup:

if Chit Chat/NCR/Off-topic was only available to premium members, I would happily pay to have somewhere to come for some banter.

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2 minutes ago, Matt said:

I hear you.

But what if the experienced members who's thread sprawling squabbles cause the newbies to leave or never bother asking a question in the first place? In fact we've had many long-time experienced members leave for the same reason. And yes, better moderation absolutely has a key part to play here, but most often it's a conflict and culture stemming from off topic debate that bleeds into cycling discussion in a negative way.

Obviously there's a balance we have to strike, however if members leave a cycling website because we limit their ability to discuss non-cycling topics then perhaps they weren't hanging around for the right reasons.

 

You have a fine line to tread here - I stay off the toxic threads and nearly quit the hub when I got myself sucked into one

A problem for you is that the classifieds drive your business but there is an unquantifiable element of trust in the classifieds section brought about by the community aspect of the hub

As a man with problems I use the classifieds a lot but I choose to do this because I know that 99.9 percent of hubbers, even the silent majority are here because this community in which they trust 

At the end of the day it’s your business and I’m personally mostly interested in the cycling tipocs

 ps bring back the comments, covid is an alien uprising and short socks and Fanny packs rock 

 

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6 minutes ago, gemmerbal said:

if Chit Chat/NCR/Off-topic was only available to premium members, I would happily pay to have somewhere to come for some banter.

This is a fantastic idea - win win - bikehub can get loot for us talking crappola - I’m in 

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is this the right place to point out that MVDP  (in yellow) attacked the peleton at TdS and is now going to open his suitcase of courage on the final slopes?

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Matt thank you for creating this first of all , I love this site and all the knowledge and banter it's provided over the years.

 

I'd like to think I was one of the members that contributed to tech , not much since end 2019 cause people like to keep on regurgitating ideas when the correct one has been provided on page one but everyone has to add their k@k diy solution.

 

I don't think I'll ever leave this site , forums maybe ( highly unlikely) but I'll post an ad now or then. No one likes change but the changes over the last two or thee years ( site and moderation ) have pushed members away and I'm starting to feel like one of them.It makes perfect sense that the classifieds are generating so much traffic for you and I'm sure it will go up I just fear the more it does , the more the forums will be left behind.

 

Bikehub is almost always open on a tab for me even if I don't check it for hours , I hope that's the case next year this time  

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40 minutes ago, Wayne pudding Mol said:

You have a fine line to tread here - I stay off the toxic threads and nearly quit the hub when I got myself sucked into one

A problem for you is that the classifieds drive your business but there is an unquantifiable element of trust in the classifieds section brought about by the community aspect of the hub

As a man with problems I use the classifieds a lot but I choose to do this because I know that 99.9 percent of hubbers, even the silent majority are here because this community in which they trust 

At the end of the day it’s your business and I’m personally mostly interested in the cycling tipocs

 ps bring back the comments, covid is an alien uprising and short socks and Fanny packs rock 

 

Wayne is making an excellent point regarding the relationship between the community and trust in the classifieds. I do not contribute a lot, but enjoy reading what other people post.

I got pulled into visiting the Hub daily by posts like Matt's "soapie" with al his bikes :-). I know it is not all NCR content, but you get to "know" people through their posts.

Adding the NCR stuff to Bike Hub Plus seems like a great idea.

All the best, Matt!

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