TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Let's talk about the future of Tesla Motors Club

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by danny, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. danny

    danny Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    738
    Hi everyone,
    I would like to talk to you about the future of this site and I need opinions and suggestions. I would love you guys who have devoted so much time into creating the content of this website, to also help decide what is going to happen with its future.
    I understand that when this forum started, Tesla Motors was by far the most attention getting electric car company. But a lot seems to have changed. The industry is starting to get serious about electric cars, not just tesla motors.
    I am thinking about converting tesla motors club into a more encompassing electric car forum. I feel it has reached the point where there is enough other exciting electric car news besides tesla motors.
    I want to keep a section for tesla motors of course, especially because they seem to have been one of the catalysts for the interest to suddenly increased in electric cars and they continue to do important things in this field.

    I welcome any suggestions from name of the website/forum, to the way everything is set up in organization, and the sites general aim. I do plan to continue trying to get some money generated from the site because I am still far from covering the costs of setting up the forum. Google ads do not bring in very much in comparison to sponsors. If anyone has any suggestion on how I can get a sponsor or knows of anyone who would like to sponsor now, or maybe further down the line, I would appreciate it.
    I understand I could ask for money contributions to the site from our members, but I feel that you already give enough contributions through your content and posts. It is our members that make this site work ultimately, not me.

    We are a crucial forum in this newly developing field and I believe we can contribute, through our ideas, to the evolution of the market.

    Please share any ideas. I am even open to people getting involved with the website in anyway whether it be designing or even controlling certain aspects of the site. I would also like to link to other important electric car sites or green car sites and in turn have them link us.

    Thank you and I look forward to your ideas.
     
  2. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,267
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    I would LIKE to be able to donate a bit to this site...considering the insane amount of time I spend on this site it seems only fair. Give us the option, if you think it's a bit wrong begging for donations hide the Paypal link somewhere.

    As to the site, I would like the site to maintain it's name as the TMC. That name seems to be known and settled. I would consider just adding more subforums.
    Add another Tesla News forums under the Tesla heading and rename the News and Video forum to cover all EV news and videos. Which is in many ways the way it is now...

    Then consider splitting up the Electric Performance forum into maybe some specific brand based forums or some other split which seems natural.
    That's my 2 cents anyway.

    Cobos
     
  3. danny

    danny Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    738
    My issue with keeping it Tesla Motors Club is that I don't want to limit the site as being basically Tesla Motors focused. Yes it made sense in the beginning but I'm not sure that it is best for this website to depend on Tesla Motors and its future. I want this site to be more flexible and as much as we can have subforums for other makes and as much as they may be active, Tesla Motors Club due to its name will remain focused on Tesla Motors.

    When Tesla Motors was created, they were practially the only car company of its kind, but now that others are popping up like Fisker Automotive, I do not want this site, by its name to exclude them. I would like this site to have the opportunity to grow and I don't see Tesla Motors as being stimulation of growth. At the same time I do understand that this site was built upon enthusiasm for Tesla Motors mainly so I am trying to reconcile the idea of moving away from a Tesla Motors focused website. As long as this site remains teslamotorsclub, everything, even discussion about other companies in their own subforum, is generally talked about with tesla motors in mind. I do not want people to assume tesla motors is our main focus. I understand it may be our main focus right now, but I personally am a EV supporter before I am a Tesla Motors supporter, I can only speak for myself on that regard.

    I do not want to make any quick decisions however, without consulting the members and hearing their ideas. I understand some of you see this place as your place to talk about Tesla Motors, but I really would like it to grow to be something even more influential.
    So lets keep discussing!:wink:
     
  4. Laurent

    Laurent Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Messages:
    285
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    How about ElectricAutoClub.com or ElectricCarForums.com ?
     
  5. Bradleybang

    Bradleybang Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Messages:
    363
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    would not you then be

    EV FORUM - ELECTRIC VEHICLE FORUM - ELECTRIC CAR

    I see that site uses vbulletin. Maybe you could merge the members of the two and keep this as a subset. Split the cost and more members might get you to breakeven.
    If you merged you could drop the teslamotorsclub name and i'd bet a San Carlos firm might buy the domain from you.
     
  6. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,267
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    I do see your point dsacks but the way I see it now we are discussing everything on the EV scene already regardless of the name. In many ways Tesla is a main focal point because it's the brand and products that create the biggest interest. But my main point was that the name TMC is already established. So you do not want to change that name, at least not this early. There are plenty of other EV/green sites, autobloggreen to mention one, and you do not want to destroy your own niche, or our niche :)
    But I'm just one of the rather busy posters here, so see what the others think.

    Cobos
     
  7. Jeff

    Jeff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    Somewhere, Pennsylvania
    I visit this place almost everyday and often asked myself the same. Why not make this forum flexible beyond just Tesla? With so much electric vehicle happenings you'd be limiting future growth in a big way. While I respect Tesla, I agree it is time we move beyond Tesla only. I have been hitting up volt forums lately in unison with these because I want the complete package. Please expand! Make sure we know the new url first if you go through with this! :smile:
     
  8. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,251
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    I like the idea of a more generalized forum now.

    Now that Tesla is shipping real cars to real customers, perhaps it is time to leave this forum going primarily for actual Tesla owners, and restart your original plan of a general EV forum.

    I think you still own the "ELECTRICPERFORMANCE.COM" domain that was your original site before you morphed it into a Tesla centric site.

    I could take this offline to discuss with you, but I would consider being a moderator of such a site. Part of the reason I gave up my moderator status here was that Tesla PR referred to it as a "hostile" site which isn't something I want to be associated with.

    Maybe I should just start my own site?
     
  9. Joseph

    Joseph Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
    343
    Location:
    South Florida
    Personally, the idea of changing the focus of the website doesn't interest me, but if you're idea is to have an all encompassing website on EVs, then eventually it will haev to happen.

    The reason why this website is good is because the people here are so fervently obsessed with Tesla Motors. I love EVs in general, but the crown of the EV world, you have to admit, is Tesla Motors. If you are telling someone about EVs, and really want to capture their interest, what do you takd about? Tesla Motors.

    If this were to became a generalized site, all the little details about the Roadster (like cup-holders and how its' keys look like) could fade away for more generalized talk. There might be less of the great people like Doug and TEG who dig up just-the-right-picture or that detail that no one else in the world except a Tesla fan would care about. If the webiste became more general, we would probably pick up less dedicated Tesla fans, and the quality of the forums could die down.

    When I want all the info. about the Volt, I go gm-volt.com, which is an excellent website. I don't know of anywhere else where I get such a wealth of information. If that website were to expand its horizons, I imagine it would become too large and there just wouldn't be enough manpower to provide all the little tid-bits of info that make a website distinctly a fan website for Tesla Motors.

    Then there is the problem with the name. How do you generalize a website that has the name 'Tesla Motors' in it? Changing its name would probably make the website lose its "brand name" so to speak. The average car guy who only hears about or pokes around this website every now or then, will probably be confused.

    To me, it's like the neighborhood store that you go to when you have just one specific problem. You don't go to Home Depot because although you'll get what you need, the service won't be like it is at your neighborhood store.

    If you do decide to change the website, I'd advise to wait a while. In my opinion, the right time to expand the website is when there are too many posts in the "Electric Performance Forum - Discussion about electric cars other than Tesla Motors" and it is becoming disorganized. As of now, that part of the website doesn't have any problems, so I don't think you should change the website until some traction starts.

    For now, there is still no other "real" car company in the EV market besides Tesla Motors and GM. I think to open forums right now for these companies that don't even have working prototypes, would end you up with a bunch of silent forums.

    When you do expand the website to accomodate for other EV manufacturers, I don't know what to say. I don't know anything about website design. But maybe just opening a different website would appropriate. Like how autoblog created autobloggreen. You could make the Chevy Volt Club or the Fisker Auto Club.

    By the way, about sponsors. You should contact the editor of evworld.com. Evworld.com is big enough to have sponsors like Honda (which as you tell, I think is totally awesome) and AeroVironment, but still small enough to easily be able to talk to them. Their contact info is...

    Editor
    EVWorld.Com, Inc.
    P.O. Box 461132
    Papillion, Nebraska 68046
    USA
    [email protected]


    Maybe you can try talking to Plug In America. If you're on EVDL, you might get some help. Out of its 1,000+ members, there ought to be some good connections. Chelsea Sexton is on that list.

    Ultimately, it's your website. Do what you want to do. Just don't change the website too much.
     
  10. graham

    graham Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,572
    Location:
    Aptos, California
    There are other EV fora on the web, but I am not aware of another Tesla only site outside of TM themselves (and maybe Martin's blog). We would lose some exclusivity if we changed the purview of the site. However, if that happened, I wouldn't leave or anything. That is assuming that the same cast of characters stayed as well and the Tesla content remained high. I am interested enough in EVs in general that it could be interesting.

    I would also be interested in donating monetarily to the site if a PayPal link were somewhere. I would not like this to be a subscription-only site, but I think it is very reasonable for those who hang out here a lot to help contribute if they have the means and are interested.

    This site previously had various stability issues that I assume are from not handling high load well. Can the servers handle trying to attract more users and expanding our content?
     
  11. danny

    danny Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    738
    Thanks, I am thinking your may be right about perhaps at least waiting some more. Its just that if I could find a way to make a general EV place that was very accommodating to tesla motors, that would be ideal. Because I don't want the site to lose the Tesla Motors people. They made this work, and I don't want them abandoned. But I also, as I said don't want to be dependent on Tesla Motors. I have no idea what people will think of them in the future.

    So basically what I'm suggesting is simply to spread the investment to other people as well. But anyways you are probably right that its too early to do so.

    Please continue with your comments, I have not drawn any conclusions and will appreciate your opinions and ideas.
     
  12. danny

    danny Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    738
    I will look into the paypal thing.

    I also will look into the server issue and stability issue however I want to try and get an idea of where I am going with all this first so that I can try and do everything at the same time.
     
  13. danny

    danny Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    738
    Oh, and another thing, I always liked the idea of the site, if it were to be more general the Tesla, to remain more concentrated in performance vehicles or sporty vehicles. I would be inclined not to put a chevrolet volt section although I suppose if there was enough interest and calling for it, I would probably make it happen. But anyways, I don't really want to try and make this forum dominate the entire electric car market. I would prefer it to be a electric sports car site. There a many sites that are sports car forums for example that focus on a select few like porsche ferrari and so on.
     
  14. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,142
    #14 malcolm, Jul 23, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2008
    We all found this site because of the Tesla name and while Tesla continues to hold such a high profile position within the industry (and such a high hit rate online), it would make sense to stick with it - especially if we wish to mantain the healthy background of "Guest" useage (which is the seedbed of new membership).

    I'm happy with a change. After all Electric Performance was originally a separate site. One that didn't do too well, if I recall. Another reason for sticking with the Tesla name.

    Looking at the stats there are around 140 of us who are "active members" out of a total membership of around 490. So there is potential to get new threads which encourage broader discussions. I don't think we need to support GM's Volt - this site needs to support the smaller manufacturer/individual dreams and projects. Ideally it would be good to see the same "tesla" format of forums used for other companies. Aptera and Think are two obvious choices. Although some may argue that quadracycles shouldn't be included. Personally I'd like to see Aptera with its own forum because they are pushing the design envelope much more radically than anyone else.

    But how much do new forums cost per month?


    Edited to Add: My 2c

    Media Forum: keep as now with "News, Articles and Events" and "Videos" but drop Tesla Motors from the sub-heading.

    (start arranging manufacturers alphabetically)

    Aptera Cars Forum: "The Typ-1" "Future Cars". Good place for sub-forums on "Drag Coefficients" and "Quadracycles"

    Tesla Motors Forum: keep as now with "Tesla Roadster" "Future Cars" and "Tesla Motors" - add "Model S" at some point?

    Th!nk Cars Forum: "New City" "Future Cars". Good place for a sub-forum on "Battery Leasing"

    Energy Optimisation Forum: "Batteries and Battery Management" (maybe a sub-forum on "Capacitor systems"? - gotta have somewhere to file those EEstore press releases :) "Motors and Generators" "Vehicle Lightweighting"

    Electric Performance: Change the name to "Grass Roots" - greater emphasis on ideas, one-off projects and conversions, Technical Issues plus "EVs and Renewables" and of course, "Environment" and "Off Topic"
     
  15. Finkenbusch

    Finkenbusch Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Vienna - Austria
    I would basically stay as is but slowly incorporate other high end cars (for dicussin) like the lighning.

    So establishing this cultivated thread over time as a one following not monopolistic only tesla but the high end EV world (minus golf cart similar shoeboxes and ev cheap-charlies and deadbed contenders) only.

    A strategy who would stand on more high class legs would cut in a small but sharp and elegant market niche
     
  16. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,052
    Location:
    Herndon, VA
    I am open to changes. As a matter of fact I am in full support of it. I was thinking it would be great to have a site where ALL ZEV's were discussed not just electric.

    I would love it to be the ZERO EMMISION AUTHORITY.

    Have sub categories for each manufacturer. And maybe one for general news as we have now. I would think that maybe you could attract as many people that are as enthusiastic about other cars as we are about Teslas. Maybe one for batteries, air power, Hydrogen etc.... ie fuel sources

    I can see Tesla Category and sub-categories for Roadster, S and Bluestar etc. for each manufacturer.

    Hopefully all of the other manufacturers will have as many dedicated fans as TM does and they will all post just as interesting stuff on their particular car. Maybe have 1 moderator for each category to lessen the work for one or two individuals - that are currently doing a GREAT job BTW !!! Find the person posting the most in each category and ask him or her to moderate.

    That way all would be coming to the site but each forum would be dedicated to a few really interested people or those that were interested in general info on all cars could view the ones they are interested in ...
     
  17. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Messages:
    15,914
    Location:
    Stanford, California
    I don't think we should change the name of this place. Tesla Motors Club already has a relatively high profile. It's even been the source of a several news stories. (Some threads have a ton of linkbacks.) With cars finally being delivered, we've seen increased participation and we're just getting to the point of organizing social gatherings. Now is not the time for drastic change.

    I appreciate the original purpose of the Electric Performance Forum, and it might make sense to start that up again as a separate site, but right now I don't think there is enough content to support it. When I first heard about Tesla in 2006, they already had 2 working prototypes. Fisker and Lightning may be close, but don't really have much to show yet. They are not yet at the point Tesla was a couple years ago. Certainly not to where I'd care to chat about such minutiae as the location of the cup holder, etc.
    Maybe there's a way to setup Electric Performance as a separate front end (showing slightly different thread organization) and yet still share the same content as this site.

    I thoroughly understand this sentiment. It was really disappointing that Tesla PR chose to take that stance. Kinda like having the girl you had a crush on call you a jerk. I think there can be a mentality in the PR world that you have to control the message. And if you can't control it, kill it. But talking to some Tesla folks on Saturday, I have a feeling that they've come back around to appreciating this site. It particularly helped that a few owners expressed to Tesla that they value this forum.
     
  18. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    CA CA
    My thoughts are aligned with Kevin's but keeping it to exceptionally fast EV's. There are plenty of other sites that can handle Think and Nano news. Ours would be the anti-punishment car site.

    If someone searches for, links-to or types in TeslaMotorsClub they should go here where everything is unchanged minus a few non Tesla categories.

    This site may be a part of an Hot EV or Performance EV site but it would be a link to these pages unharmed. Other sections of the Fast EV site would have Fetish, Lightening, Karma, etc links.

    There would also be a general EV tech section that applies to all EV's. Batteries, in wheel motors. EV specific accessories. (like spray-on brake dust. It fools street racers into thinking you have and ICE motor!) off topic, etc, those could be stripped from this site to get them started.

    As for advertising. I am concerned that we can not say what we feel. Tesla already has dissenters walkng on eggshells. If Nissan wants to advertise and we want to dis their new Bugly EV for stupid design choices, then we should be free to do so. The mainstream press has enough problems with this and I would rather Paypal to keep our freedom of speech.

    Dave did a good job on this one. Remember there was another Tesla fan site Tesla Talk - Home that did not do as well.
     
  19. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,142
    Maybe someday someone will create F.E.V.E.R - The Fast Electric Vehicle Enthusiasts' (web) Ring.
     
  20. danny

    danny Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    738
    I would don't see how a sponsor could get rid of freedom of speech.
    If they don't like what we say, they can just quit sponsoring.
     

Share This Page