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Growing the MP3Car Community.

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  • Growing the MP3Car Community.

    Is it time for our next step?

    First and formost, this is not a rant, not a negative rant. I will from time to time express opinions that perhaps run contrary to current implimentation. I'm sugesting nothing more than improvments and growth. ---if NONE of this comes to pass, I will bear no ill will to owners, moderators, or members.

    The most active developer doesn't even have a CarPC yet he plods on soaking up your feedback and feature requests, writing software all the while.
    MP3Car is home to some VERY wise contributors posting their experiences and educated advice.
    MP3Car is home to eager reviewers sharing their experiences with all of us.. not asking a thing in return.
    MP3Car is home to resourceful engineers designing hardware.

    MP3Car has a dedicated following .. a rich collective knowledgebase. I think they and we are worthy of more than a discussion forum.

    I'd like to recommend that the owners/operators consider upgrading to a full blown web portal system.

    Basic Portal Features:
    <> Articles ("How-To"s, FAQs, Reviews, etc)
    <> Forum --of course
    <> Live Chat (interviews, reviews, live Q&A, etc)
    <> News, BLOGs, RSS feeds from sister, user sites
    <> Misc: gallery, calendar, filedownload area.
    <> Meaninful search results
    ;Today your search pulls every (regardless of context) instance of your query unless you employ programatic search vocabulary. --not a pervasive skill in our userbase.
    When data is kept organized in categories and context, searches will link users with their desired info with less frustration from having to sift through threads and threads of unrelated info and chatter.

    <> Information stability
    ;In a forum, valuable information is quickly lost to 'scroll' and chatter.
    If we could post an article and then post forum content about that article we could have the best of both worlds.. --the article that withstands scroll.. and a discussion that grows the knowledge and value for all participants (and viewers) alike.

    <> Growable feature list
    ;As demand and resources require and provide, additional or fewer features could be enabled, modified or scrapped without a complete re.write of the system.

    <> expense?
    <> bandwidth?
    <> More content managers/moderators

    MP3Car owner, Operators, Moderators --your input please
    --This isn't a democracy, and it ain't my level of service in the ballance. I get that. --just the same, I'm asking of you your collective consideration of growing this very valuable resource and by extention this valuable community.


  • #2
    I'm not advocating we jump to a subscription service. But I do want to illustrate my commitment to the community.
    <> I'd be willing to chuck a few financial resources at getting a portal online.
    <> A tiered membership may be required, I'd be willing to pay a modest amount for monthly or yearly access to premium content.


    • #3
      I think it would be a good idea to upgrade the site a little. Don't know about membership fees though. Especially when the content is driven by the members themselves.

      I'd like to see the member profile areas upgraded a bit. Would be cool to be able to host your install gallery, and specs in your profile.

      I think it would also be a great idea to have access to some location information, to find out if other people in your area are also into carPCs. This would be especially useful if people wanted to share their experiences or sell services.

      It may also be a bit useful for the group to create some kind of statistics for viewing by mnaufacturers and retailers. If they could see how many people use or want a particular piece of kit or feature then they may be a bit quicker to implement them. i.e. double din screen or 800 x 480 resolutions.
      Hardware:- VIA EPIA MII 12000 LVDS 1.2Ghz : £137.95 + 512Mb PC2100 DDR Memory : £49.34 + Opus 150w Shuttle PSU: £128 + 7” Lilliput 629 Touchscreen: £173.90 + 2.5” 40Gb 5200rpm Laptop Drive + Slotload Laptop CD-RW/DVD-ROM + Hauppage WinTV-PCI-FM : £53.95


      • #4

        yes, one of the features I didn't list explicitly would be polls that could be used to collect data like that.

        I think there's a lot of value in growing the's also a lot of work and planning.. someone has to have vision enough to plan wisely and govern /moderate just as wisely or the community falls apart in chaos.

        The simplicity of an WebStore and Forum probably is a significant factor of MP3Car's success.
        --I'm curious if the desire & support is out there for something more.
        --I get a little frustrated every time I see the 'search rant' when in my heart I feel for all the newbies that must sift through pages and screens of chatter to find a simple statement relating to their query.


        • #5
          i think jumping into a webportal would be nice.

          here is the thing.. vbportal is either free or very cheap since owns vbulletin. its very easy to integrate vbportal. i run portal and vbulletin on my website.

          also.. making users pay for subscrptions or software.. etc.. is the number one way to kill a website; especially since all the content comes from the users and not the owners.


          • #6
            I can conceed the point on pay for play. I'm trying to make this idea apealing to the owner/operators.

            For organized information, articles written (as articles) by our local heros, and organized downloads-- I would consider paying.


            • #7
              I think that we should keep the information free as possible. That is the way that we started and should maintan that for future MP3Car users.

              2002 Mustang GT
              xp2200,80gig,GF4MX4400,512ram,7inVGA Touchscreen, Side View Camera w/sound, USB GPS Mouse(computer hidden in LH Rear QP)


              • #8
                Point taken.. I don't want to bog this topic down to Pay vs Free.

                what are your comments on the rest of the topic?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by grepzen

                  --I get a little frustrated every time I see the 'search rant' when in my heart I feel for all the newbies that must sift through pages and screens of chatter to find a simple statement relating to their query.

                  I agree with that, I even know what I am searching for and it's still hard to find information, would be nice to see if that could be improved.
                  S60 Install


                  • #10
                    so, let's fix this.


                    • #11
                      As a relatively new member, I don't know what the site owners do for a living, but this is probably a secondary activity for them. Upgrading the site to make it more useful would also probably require a greater time comittment. At a certain point, the time involved has to be compensated for by some kind of return. Even people who love their jobs won't work for free. They can't afford it.

                      I assume the storefront helps pay the bills a bit but taking that next step often requires a business plan, some capital and the requirement that you take a different and more revenue focused point of view.

                      You'd probably have to be willing to accept some form of advertising to help support the change if you didn't want to charge a fee.

                      From my standpoint, I've learned an awful lot of things from this forum that I never could have figured out on my own and am grateful for it. However, your observation that there is much that could be done to improve the organization and content, thus making the site even more valuable is a good one.

                      How-to articles, some kind of knowledge base (wikipedia style?) would certainly help. Perhaps some of the members themselves would be willing to step us as stewards. For example, the newbie area would be of greater help if a few folks would patiently answer or point to the proper article/thread without the dreaded admonshment to

                      Even modest changes might help quite a bit.
                      Originally posted by ghettocruzer
                      I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
                      Want to:
                      -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
                      -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video


                      • #12
                        Yeah, this site has come a long way since full size computers and 20x4 lcd screens... maybe expanding the mp3car store to gain more profits. Cardomain capitalized on that concept, they used to be just a place to post pics of mods and stuff. Now that they attract so many visitors, they started a store. Now people can learn and look about what they want to do to their car, then they click on the Store link and buy it. They even have a full color catalog, I get it a few times a year.


                        • #13
                          It's kinda funny that I found this thread now, cause last night I started making my dream version of using pre-made applications such as PHPNuke and Gallery. I'll see what I can come up with with a little work and post it here and maybe we can work together to upgrade and not make the admins here do all the coding and work.

                          Now, back to making all my ideas try and fit together.

                          I've started a location script, kinda like deviantART's that will show the closest people to you based on Longitude and Latitude. Hopefully something good will come out of it.

                          Progress: On hold while I pay off my new PowerBook :D
                          Part List:
                          VIA MII10000 - 512MB - 20Gig 2.5" - Rikaline 6010 - 7" Lilliput - CNX-P1260 - Alpine 4ch Amp - 4 Gauge wire and fused distrobution block.


                          • #14
                            Check it out:

                            It's not that hard to do once you get the right formula and edit the right pages.

                            Progress: On hold while I pay off my new PowerBook :D
                            Part List:
                            VIA MII10000 - 512MB - 20Gig 2.5" - Rikaline 6010 - 7" Lilliput - CNX-P1260 - Alpine 4ch Amp - 4 Gauge wire and fused distrobution block.


                            • #15
                              Yeh, I think we should switch to another forum software like Invision power boards.

                              And yeh, I'm one of those developers w/o a carpc. I'm also one of the people who can't mod his own subform
                              PowerVoice v1 | NaviVoice Source
                              GammaControl v2.4
                              SKINbedder v3

                              1995 Lexus SC300