*** Situation Seems Critical ***

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andymac0035
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*** Situation Seems Critical ***

Post by andymac0035 » Mon May 08, 2017 2:37 pm

I've been watching activity these past few weeks as (for quite some time) I'd been noticing a steady drop-off in traffic around here. :shock:
I know that things slow up as warmer weather approaches..... but this is worse than the usual summer slow down (a lot worse).

Blame it on spring-fever... blame it on facebook.... blame it on people still not liking our new layout.... or all of the above.
..... but the end result is still the same. This place is dying and it's sad watching it get this way.


The last time things were looking this way I stepped up and volunteered to be admin, as I had ideas for re-organizing the site. With help from SFC K and Diamond Dave the forum sections were all re-organized to what you see today. Before that, the threads/topics were really all over the place and it was hard to find things or know where to post. That was a huge undertaking that took a LONG time, but resulted in people being able to navigate the site better. Traffic and posting went up and we were doing pretty good for quite a while.

Fast-forward to today. I'm not sure what the right thing is to do, but I do know something needs to happen soon.

This post is just me saying what is on MY mind. I'm speaking out alone.

My gut is telling me that the site-name needs an update. It needs to become more than just about the clodbuster. I love the clod and plan to always have one, but the market is finally expanding, and I feel we need to change with the times.... or be left behind. In my opinion we need to make this more of a monster truck and crawler site, it already is content-wise, but the name does not reflect that.


These are just my thoughts, Bill and the other admins were not a part of this. They may agree... or they may not.... you may agree.... or you may not... BUT ... now you know how I feel about it, and now you have a better idea of what's going on currently.

-Andy

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andymac0035
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Re: *** Situation Seems Critical ***

Post by andymac0035 » Mon May 08, 2017 7:09 pm

I meant for this to be an open discussion, so feel free to add your thoughts and opinions.

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KONG
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Re: *** Situation Seems Critical ***

Post by KONG » Mon May 08, 2017 10:47 pm

Yeah it's been very dead lately. If I had any ideas to help improve traffic, I would say so. But unfortunately, I don't have any.

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Re: *** Situation Seems Critical ***

Post by Clodosaurus Rex » Tue May 09, 2017 12:44 am

I'll say the same thing I said in my response in the SAMM group on FB... perhaps the best way to go forward would be to round up some volunteers and start transitioning to a ClodTalk FB group. You could at least preserve the core information like the "popular mods" sticky, the pics from "Truck of the Month" and some of the key info in the major build ups like your T2 or Super Stocker threads. There is A LOT here worth preserving and that gives you a good foundation to start out on any new format or platform. Like I said on FB, not a perfect answer but better than "gone forever"!

Also going to point out that there is a style here that is lacking in just about every monster RC forum I've seen on Facebook-- almost everybody over there is into posting "look at my cool toy" pics and it is EXTREMELY rare to see anybody sticking to their threads after the first wave of likes or posting pics of their actual build or how they innovated around problems or issues. Its like they don't get that there is as much interest in how people got their truck built as there is in dramatic looking shots of finished builds. I know that half the time when I see a cool truck over there I find myself thinking "wow, wish there was a better shot of (insert core element here)" or "Hrm... wish I knew where that part came from". So there is definitely still a niche to be filled, and I think a good dose of the ClodTalk feel and know how over on FB could help to teach the whole MT community over there how to step up their posting game.

Should also point out that this site is really one of the best kept secrets out there. Just as one example I've referred a couple people to your T2 build as a bit of a master's class in how far a Clod can be taken, and their reaction is always along the lines of "how the heII did i never hear about this site before?" So I think that a bit of active promotion in FB groups (with permission, of course) could have a measurable impact on traffic here. You'll never get the millennial crowd, they've got social media on the brain. But there are plenty of oldsters/overgrown kids (like me) who are always going to prefer the feel of a classic style website.

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Re: *** Situation Seems Critical ***

Post by andymac0035 » Tue May 09, 2017 3:20 am

I appreciate the comments and ideas. I do agree that somehow bringing FB into the mix is a good idea.

Glad you like the style here, we all worked hard to make it that way.

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Re: *** Situation Seems Critical ***

Post by dubbl-a » Wed May 10, 2017 1:30 pm

Andy, I agree with your synopsis of the site as I have noticed a considerable drop in activity. The site refresh was a breath of fresh air and much needed to keep things evolving and attracting new patrons. I'm going to touch on what Clodosauraus Rex mentioned about the "look at my ride" photo posting. This adds another level of "live" social element that can be good and bad. The good is that there is easy, quick and consistent posting of what RC addicts are doing at that moment without the need to start a thread. I believe this helps keep things fresh on a daily basis. But, as Clodosauraus Rex said, the build threads probably will take a hit. Now Clodtalk has a lot of epic, mega cool build threads the we can't let get lost in history. I'm not sure what to do here.

The only other forum I frequent is the Arrma Forum. https://arrmaforum.com
It has a social media feel with solid thread sections. This could be a good model to go by for a revamp of our beloved Clodtalk. Also, I agree a name change should probably be in the works. Lets all start brainstorming!

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andymac0035
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Re: *** Situation Seems Critical ***

Post by andymac0035 » Wed May 10, 2017 2:13 pm

dubbl-a wrote:
Wed May 10, 2017 1:30 pm
I agree a name change should probably be in the works. Lets all start brainstorming!

The last time I brought this up I seemed to be the only one who liked the idea. Ironically, a lot of the people opposed to it, have not been on here that much (or at all) for a while now.

My idea for a name change would be:

R/C MONSTER TRUCKS AND CRAWLERS or rcmonstertrucksandcrawlers.com
No idea if that one is taken, but it sums up what you'll find here.

The problem is getting new people. If you don't already know what a clodbuster is, the name won't click with you, and even then, if searching the web, your more likely to use the term monster truck, than you are "clod".

There are two reasons I keep mentioning crawlers in all of this.
1- that's what I'm into right now..... LOL
2- and this is the one that really counts.... the crawling scene is a LOT bigger and clods were/are often built into crawlers.

*************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

The other thing you mentioned was a re-vamp. Other than maybe adding or deleting/combining a section I can't think of too much to do organization-wise.
(adding includes a link to a fabebook page)

There are however, two major changes I think should happen. These however, are entirely up to Bill Krueger.

1- fix the avatar/member info thing and get them back onto the left side of the page. However, I'm told this is not possible with our current format.

2- Lose the black background. It's better now than it was when the format was "updated", but I'm not a fan of the black background, and I suspect most feel the same way. I don't expect that will change either, as I'm told Bill really likes black.

************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

The thing that really got me going to post all this was after taking a trip over to RC10Talk. Maybe it's just because buggy's and racing are more popular, but they are doing pretty good I think. I looked at their pic contest... dang... they average 50-70 votes a month. Best we have ever done was I think 33-35.

************************************************************************************************************************************************************************


Back to FB for a minute, I'd like to get something going with the SAMM (solid axle monster mayhem) guys to cross-promote each other. Otherwise, someone here would have to start our own CT page and do it that way. And by someone, I mean not me, as I don't have the time to moderate two places.

And Bill would have to be okay with it. I have no idea if he would be or not. As I said at the top of this thead, this is me going out on my own to try and shake things up as I feel it's needed.

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Re: *** Situation Seems Critical ***

Post by darat76 » Fri May 12, 2017 9:55 am

I agree with the name change idea, tho when I see the suggested monstertrucksandcrawlers.com my eye see, and mind reads it as monster-truck-sand-crawlers.com, to compound things, it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue like clod talk does.

Now, seeing that I've mentioned a minor, actually, very minor dislike of the name, some spitballing suggestions, monstercrawlingmayhem.com encompasses the major 2 fields of RC the site is about, monstertruckmadness.com as almost all people that aren't into RC see the level of customization that is done on almost all monster trucks and crawlers as a form of madness, this also includes our very own family's be it by blood or by marriage. I'll admit, I'm not that good at thinking of names for anything.

As far as facebook goes, having someone to modify a facebook page that can and will post info to it, as well as copy over relevant responses and posts from it could work well, and no, I'm not stepping forward for that job, I have an.... actually, not going there, just to avoid an unnessecary rant.


I think a good, relivant name, with the right search engine tags will make a good difference to the volume of traffic to the site, then putting a half paragraph long brief of the site front and center should help in getting people to return to the site. I know keeping a brief so short for what this site covers is going to be hard, but many people being confronted with a wall of text will put them off having a good look around, let alone returning again and again.

For the theme colours (haven't looked to see if there are other options available) are not my cup of coffee (not a tea drinker), don't get me wrong, they don't break the site for me, but they do encourage me spend less time on the site. Now that I've mentioned this, I'm going to see if I have any choice over the colours...

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Re: *** Situation Seems Critical ***

Post by SWMS » Fri May 12, 2017 2:07 pm

Obviously you're free to do as you like, but for what it's worth I like the exclusivity of monsters only.

If I want crawler stuff I'll go to a crawler site.

Just my couple of pennies.

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Re: *** Situation Seems Critical ***

Post by andymac0035 » Fri May 12, 2017 6:43 pm

That's a good counter point, but I do think it's worth pointing out that a lot of trucks and/or parts that support monster trucks these days are coming from the crawling community.

If we can get enough monster truck support and builds with traffic to happen here that would be great.

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Re: *** Situation Seems Critical ***

Post by Sixtys Guy » Fri May 12, 2017 10:27 pm

My interest in RC MT's has been 'off the boil' for a couple of years now, so I don't post as much. I'm not really a fan of the FB groups, so I'm not really active on these either. It's hard because I really believe that the forum is great and so much better than a FB group, so I don't really know what the answer is.

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KONG
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Re: *** Situation Seems Critical ***

Post by KONG » Fri May 12, 2017 10:30 pm

If you're thinking about changing the name, May I suggest Clod Talk and more.

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andymac0035
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Re: *** Situation Seems Critical ***

Post by andymac0035 » Fri May 12, 2017 11:04 pm

I don't think the name will change. Part of me would like it to, but I don't think Bill will go for it. What I do think could (and should) change is the header where it says "ClodTalk.com Keeping the clod fun 25 years later". I think there should be a better description as to what we have here. I get the idea for "Keeping the clod fun 25 years later, but I really think that space should be used to mention "Solid Axle Monster Trucks"... Or maybe Solid Axle R/C Monster Trucks.

As for Facebook, I've got that as figured out as I think it's going to get. The guys over there in the S.A.M.M. group (solid axle monster mayhem) have said I can post referencing going on here all I want. I've already started by putting up a link to this month's pic contest.

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Re: *** Situation Seems Critical ***

Post by Sixtys Guy » Sat May 13, 2017 7:41 pm

Just a thought..... how about a race section? Racing seems to be a big thing on the FB Groups. If the racers could post pics if their races, results etc it would be somewhere where the results could be kept permanently and hopefully people visit the site to check the results. Pics etc could be posted to FB sites, with 'check Clodtalk for full race results and pics'.

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andymac0035
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Re: *** Situation Seems Critical ***

Post by andymac0035 » Sun May 14, 2017 3:37 am

We used to have a racing section (and a crawling section too). The problem was you'd have stuff posted all over the place. You'd have clods posted in the general section... the crawler section.. the race-section... it was a mess.

We do have the meets/events section, and people were posting racing stuff there for a while, but that seems to have died out.

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