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a2jack

The Emperors Clothes.

21 posts in this topic

I have, over the last year. really enjoyed this site, yet now It feels something is being lost here.Is it because we (the club) are trying to be everything to everybody? Is it because we from the US have come here and ruined the flavor of what was once a fun Canadian/Euro Smart site? I don't see the banter or information flow, nor many of the old posters that were here just a year ago. Why is that?Could it be the site is becoming too ridged and by the rules? Could it be many people can't figure out what goes where. Could it be we have so few Pix because many people can't understand how to post them.Could it be that most of the members are not computer nuts, but Smart car nuts, and unless the "site runners" learn to "KISS", new procedures will come hard to many? Where on this site do we even have a conversation such as this? Perhaps we must go to the "Stuff I'm looking for" forum... Let's TALK about CsC's future and what we can do to bring our old members back.A2Jack.

Edited by a2jack

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I think it's just a combo of winter blahs and the changes that have slowed people down. The old site cycled like this as well in the winter. Nobody wants to do GTGs when its grim. The meetings really drove traffic imo

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Amen! my southern friend. I do not believe it has to do with anyone coming here, more to do with some of us less geekable types not being able to type and chew gum at the same time. Slowly we will find our way around again, maybe???????

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Amen brother, amen...Today, I got in Orange Crush, waited for the glowplugs to fire up, cranked the starter and heard the sweet sound of the three banger come to life. I drove to work on the Lakeshore (West island to Montreal) and thought life is good.My dash lights lit only when required to. The ABS and traction control worked flawlessly. No gremlins. Just fun motoring.The radio, hummm well played tunes but even though not state of the art, is still miles better than my 8 track Craig, or the Candle (from Consumers Distributing) gear I used to listen to in my pimple days.I agree that the ebb and flow of posts, comments, unbridled joy and perma grins are tougher to come by with minimal daylight hours, monster snowbanks and salt calked cars. But, life is short and death is long, so guys, enjoy it all, every quirky moment of it , 'cause this is not a practice run.Brothers and sisters...don't only see the garbage...flowers man, smell and see the flowers.Post and prosper

post-2626-1202350192_thumb.jpg

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Quote "Could it be that most of the members are not computer nuts, but Smart car nuts" I would say the oppposite is probably the case. 3 or 4 years ago the members were smart car enthusiasts first and with a lot of them having computer skills secondly. I think today, since the novelty of the 450's has worn off and the smart is becoming just another automobile, the newer breed is more than likely to be just smart car buyers and not enthusiasts per say. There isn't the driving interest in how it works, what makes it go and the ever present curiosity about the car. Aside from the gas mileage, I doubt most buyers care about tridion safety or the operation of the computer controlled clutch and the manual transmission.. Like it or not, the new breed is a lot different from the original enthusiasts, both men and women, who drove the original site. The format we are presently using really has no bearing of the members participation. A lot of work by dedicated members went into trying to solve problems and issues that people complained about with the old forum.I think they are doing an admirable job and the end result was that members got what they asked for.

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Some of the hadcore nutcases like me have had their cars for three plus years now and so a lot of the fun bits - speculation about the CDN model's special equipment etc - have passed. Actually that phase was before this site was even created, and mostly happened at the former MBCanada smart sub-forum.Because Canada already had the smart before the new one was introduced in Europe, the edge of anticipation for the 451 seemed to be pretty mild in comparison. Then there were the predictible "I hate the new car because it's new, or bigger, or not diesel, or has a Japanese engine....". That didn't help. I love the new car.Then there is the novelty factor of club life generally. Locally, our biggest meetings were in the first year and a half that the car was on the market. Now we are lucky to get four cars out to an event on Vancouver Island. Maybe it's because the honeymoon is over and the car is no longer the perfect thing it was before we had them. We saw this in the Cross-Canada Relay too, which in 2007 was a shadow of its 2006 version.I love reading about the newer members' enthusiasm and excitement as their cars are delivered! It's great and as time goes on and we get a couple more models (bring on the Brabus!), there should be further customization opportunities. Change is OK and what is really happening here is we're maturing as a club and smart owner community.

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Maturing...honeymoon over...initial flush of enthusiasm passed...This sounds way too much like the seven year itch. The early adopters were pioneers and became spokespeople for the brand and car.As the smart has become more...gasp and dare I say it.... mainstream, the hoopla and fanfare subsided, the need to debate and defend the choice to go smart has also abated. This is in no way a 450-451 or US-Canada issue, the site has evolved as did the owners / posters.The sermon on the mount is not as critical. New owners may be looking more for practical advice, tips and links,and not so much to find brothers in arms, to lead the charge against the staid automotive world.The original site and current version, plus the contributors have in my opinion helped convince Mr Pensky to bring the car to the US and in so doing, may have staved off shuttering the smart division altogether, no small feat. Plus que ca change

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I know that when I first searched the internet to find smart car stuff in the fall of 2004, I hadn't even placed my order yet. I found a great enthusiast site (now extinct---this site rose from those embers) and much excitement about a car that I believed could have a very positive influence in North America. In the last 3 1/2 years, I have done as much as possible to promote the car to skeptics near and far. Quite frankly, the car is so common now on Vancouver Island that I sometimes don't even notice them anymore. I often feel that it's 'Mission Accomplished' and that I've done my bit.Now, with it's introduction into the much larger U.S. market, where it can have an even greater influence on the environment, I get a renewed interest in helping the car gain acceptance. It is so satisfying to see our American members catch the virus and get enthused about what is now possibly an even better little car. (I think, Fred, from your comments, that you might not be seeing that phenomenon).We had 107 members online on Dec. 12 2007. That seems to me to be a pretty lively crew. I don't see any need to try to bring back the old guard who might have lost interest in a car club---let's just watch the ball keep rolling and growing as Americans get the fever. It's all good, a2jack!

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After 25 years of marriage (to my wife of course) I can tell you that losing interest along the way is normal.Attachments to cars are the same. There are times when you are excited, there are times of apathy.As Mike pointed out Canadians on the whole have accepted the little guys as part of the auto landscape. The influx of renewed interest from our US neighbours is infectious and reminds us old timers of our initial enthusiasm as we got our first cars just three years ago.For some members, the flame has waned and they have gone on to different rides and different interests. But for others the flame will always be there as a beacon for the new generation to find.There is no magic bullet to attract those who have lost the way. All I can say is that if the site remains relevent to newcomers it will evolve to be what those members want to see...most probably something about smart cars.pedro

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As the interest wanes for the ''old guard''the new challenge will be to keep our smarts on the road at a minimal cost.People will always return when they have problems.In the meantime let all the 451 owners enjoy the arrival of their babies. :dance:

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I too miss the old banter of what we did to who did what. is that what you mean? I also look forward to hearing of the new 451's escapades and adventures. Maybe we should have a new topic 'adventures in smart land'. where we can only discuss fun stuff we have done with our smarts.Not to take away from the important how do we cope with this and that. It is definitley starting to look like a grown up serious only discussion group. ( and some of us know that is not the case)Come on people post your skiing down a hill in your smart or parking in strange places adventures.OK I'll go back on my meds now.Karen :)

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a2jack: no, i don't own a fortwo...yet. i just read ihate2drive's(?) issues and i am so not in that place. i love driving and i want a fortwo. my relationship with my current car, siding somewhat w/smrtie (since i'm clueless in that regard), is much like marriage - i feel secure in knowing that it's (kinda) mine, sometimes neglect it, love it (features, handling, reliability), et c.the environment is my primary concern and i feel that the fortwo is perfect for me in this regard, diesel or petrol. it may have become a piece of art for some, but look at the 'change' it's brought about. people's minds are actually opening even if they don't realize it. sure, it pains me that no one is saying, "I finally saw your tiny car in a commercial!", but i know that's coming, too. i finally got the chance to tell my mechanic about it and his eyes glazed over when i was about five minutes into my spiel...or was that the fear of losing a client? hmmm.as for this site? it's a blessing. where else can one go to have fun learning everything about smart and the fortwo life? i love gtgs, pics (btw, where are those?), rants and raves, how-tos, et c. being in the us, i'm one of many who are still looking in from the outside but, again, i'll get my turn. and the fact that i won't be so ignorant when i make my purchase is really empowering. besides, what other site can say it's done so much to promote the smart fortwo in north america and, in turn, opening people's minds to 'change'? (talk about 'borg'!) yeah, it can be slow, but stick around, a2jack, and try not to let other members set the tone for you. don't forget that, good or bad, this is your experience while you're in here.okay! kaffe's kicking in. have to get that user manual from regina before i take off.

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As a recent member of this forum, I can't comment on the 'good ol' days'; however, having been involved with a handful of online forums as both member and moderator, I can say this is one of the better-behaved online communities I've seen. Posts are generally refreshingly literate, and members seem quite genial. So far I haven't noticed anything that smacks of trolling or moderator nitpicking or any of that.

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LOL. We do squabble; however, you are right - it's pretty low key compared to other sites.

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I have enjoyed this site since I first got the notion to buy a smart. The site does feel different, and I agree with what has been said about maturing and changing as a site and as people. I also agree that as the smart becomes common place and as I've figured out how to do an oil change etc. I am less drawn to this site. Also as we think about starting a family it is likely a hybrid will replace our little smart. Even then, I think I'll check in from time to time. I've never loved a car as much as I have loved my smart.

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Well - we all have the power to do something about it - that is get posting!I admit I have not been able to contribute much over the past two months for personal reasons but with that bit of fun behind us - onwards!I hope to be doing some mods this weekend - and this time I will remember the cameraAsk not what CsC can do for you but what you can do for CsC! (With appologies to JFK)So this weekend - footwell lights - found some nifty ones in Walmart of all places - and start to think about a dash mount - saw a really cool one on ebay.de!Batter up - let's banter!Cheers,Cameron

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I want to chime in here because I don't want people to think that I don't post anymore because I don't love my car or something. My reasons for stopping posting have nothing to do with that.

Every single morning, I still snap awake and rush to get ready, because I can't wait to get in my car and drive. Whenever going-home time rolls around at work, I stare out the window and can't wait for the commute home. Wherever I go, I look forward to the journey to get there, not just where I'm going, and I always offer to go in my car whenever friends want to go out. My car is as much a part of me as my personality, and all my friends, coworkers and acquaintances know that - they've often told me "I can't imagine an Iain without a smart car." They call my car by name. When I park at night and walk back into my condo, I look over my shoulder at least 6 times, back at 'lil Nosedive. It's in my DNA. I am more passonate about the brand and supportive of what it stands for than anything!

-Iain

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As a recent member of this forum, I can't comment on the 'good ol' days'; however, having been involved with a handful of online forums as both member and moderator, I can say this is one of the better-behaved online communities I've seen. Posts are generally refreshingly literate, and members seem quite genial. So far I haven't noticed anything that smacks of trolling or moderator nitpicking or any of that.

i would agree with this. february is also a month where online forums experience alot of out-of-norm behavior - don't know why - it just is. winter doldrums, seasonal affective disorder, whatever. spring will bring new energy and activity back to the forum, just wait and watch.

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"I can't imagine an Iain without a smart car."

LOL, I can say almost the exact same thing. I, of course, do not have that pesky extra 'i' in my name.

~Ian

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Great replies :) Seems like the consensus is: Winter blahs, too cold to be messing with cars. not at all a lack of interest.It was fun to see everyone come out of their Igloos (it's 9f here and the wind is 35-40 mph from the north). Your posts have turned what could have been a negative thought into a great big boost for the club.Hello Duck! We sure missed hearing from you , although we realize all the the coasters around here are covered with snow.Bottom line: As Speedie says, " LET'S GET POSTING". :P A2Jack

Edited by a2jack

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You guys are awesome!To all who love the smart... THANK YOU!!To all who love this club... THANK YOU!!!To all that complain about its imperfections and want it better... THANK YOU!!!I wish the BOD had more time and ability to take all the suggestions and make it a magical place that appeals to everyone, but I know that will never be possible. So we'll certainly do the best we can when and where we can, and hope that you make the most of it and enjoy it for all that it has to offer. Cameron said it best... its in your hands. One way or another.Cheers everyone! Both old and new. I hope 2008 is the smartest ever. - Steven

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