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Administrator Emeritus
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Discussion Starter #1
There comes a time when all things must pass, and so it comes with our involvement in SpecialStage.com. When we started the web page in 1999, we hoped it would help bring the rally community together in the exciting new environment of the world wide web. While we never built the web page completely into our dream page, we are proud of what we managed to accomplish in those 14 years.

At this point we are starting a new phase and would like to announce that SpecialStage.com is now part of the Autoguide.com family of websites. We are confident that they are capable of taking SpecialStage.com to the next level.

We want to thank everyone in the rally community for their support of SpecialStage.com over the years, and we hope you will treat staff members of Autoguide.com with continued support and respect.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the forum members that, over the years, have always been there for us, helping to make this the best rally forum in North America. We would also like to extend a big thank you to all the SpecialStage.com vendors and sponsors that have allowed us to present SpecialStage.com to users free of charge.

Please give a warm welcome to Marco from AutoGuide, who will be joining the staff here as an Administrator from this point going forward.

We will still be available through e-mail and personal forum messages for any questions, as well as responding in this thread. Going forward there is a need for people interested in becoming moderators. These people would be a very important choice in helping to guide the direction of this community. If you are interested, feel free to send a private message to Jim.

Thank you again for making SpecialStage.com the best North American Rally Resource on the internet.

Peace and love,

Ben, George and Jim
 

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Administrator
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Hey Guys!

My name is Marco from Autoguide.com

I will be joining the site to help out as Administrator to answer all your questions, ideas, site issues, etc regarding specialstage.com

I am motorsports enthusiast as well who has build a variety of project cars from show to full race. So feel free to ask me anything if you need assistance!

Specialstage.com is a great addition to our wide span of automotive forum communities. I look forward to get to know you guys better and work together to keep the site growing!

Once again let us all thank Ben, George and Jim for putting together such an amazing community.

Thank you,


Marco
 

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Welcome to the loony bin :)
 

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Registered
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Seems like this is what happens to boards and forums all over...

Happened to the Lotus forums, and while it's still running and relatively healthy things certainly took a sour turn.
I can imagine there will be "super special awesome emblems" for paying a monthly fee.
People will get banned if they link to a "non-liked" board.
People will get banned if they try to sell anything at all without first paying a $3,499/yr fee.

So on and so forth.

...Oh and I almost forgot, extremely invasive browser hi-jacking advertisements... Can't wait for those.
 

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Administrator
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315 Posts
Seems like this is what happens to boards and forums all over...

Happened to the Lotus forums, and while it's still running and relatively healthy things certainly took a sour turn.
I can imagine there will be "super special awesome emblems" for paying a monthly fee.
People will get banned if they link to a "non-liked" board.
People will get banned if they try to sell anything at all without first paying a $3,499/yr fee.

So on and so forth.

...Oh and I almost forgot, extremely invasive browser hi-jacking advertisements... Can't wait for those.
It is a free forum board as it was before, we are not here to push members to paid subscriptions. That is an option for each individual if they wish so and of course they will be perks to differentiate between regular members to those who have paid memberships.

Our main position here is to keep the forum running and that would only work as a community. There will be no juristic changes on what you see now as a forum board and if there were changes to be made on the overall functions of the forum, then it will be advised to the community first before implementation.

In regards of of links and being banned, I have not seen a situation like this happen if the link was legitimate and not a direct advertisement post that leads to a link of a website store or services. Then if that is the case it is obvious that the user is using the board to get free marketing ads. Would that be reasonable for all other members?

This community have several supporting vendors to be able to sell their products and market their services with a set fee. Of course any company portraying as a regular member and attempts to sell their products will be stopped as it is not fair for supporting vendors.

SpecialStage.com is what is now even under the autoguide management. I am here to simply just help on maintain the site and keep it running for all you guys to enjoy. So if you have any inquiries, suggestions, issues, etc please feel free to PM me about it and I will do my best to give you an answer asap.


Marco
 

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It is a free forum board as it was before, we are not here to push members to paid subscriptions. That is an option for each individual if they wish so and of course they will be perks to differentiate between regular members to those who have paid memberships.

Our main position here is to keep the forum running and that would only work as a community. There will be no juristic changes on what you see now as a forum board and if there were changes to be made on the overall functions of the forum, then it will be advised to the community first before implementation.

In regards of of links and being banned, I have not seen a situation like this happen if the link was legitimate and not a direct advertisement post that leads to a link of a website store or services. Then if that is the case it is obvious that the user is using the board to get free marketing ads. Would that be reasonable for all other members?

This community have several supporting vendors to be able to sell their products and market their services with a set fee. Of course any company portraying as a regular member and attempts to sell their products will be stopped as it is not fair for supporting vendors.

SpecialStage.com is what is now even under the autoguide management. I am here to simply just help on maintain the site and keep it running for all you guys to enjoy. So if you have any inquiries, suggestions, issues, etc please feel free to PM me about it and I will do my best to give you an answer asap.


Marco
Marco, I appreciate your response.

Concerning the linking and banning, this happened on the United States based LotusTalk.com(Autoguide, started and formerly operated by by Randy Chase - ChaseCam) forums in a strange way... There were quite a few members of the website, and traffic was relatively high...
There were however less than 7,000 Total Lotus Elise/Exige imports to the US since 2004.

Someone offering a group buy of 10 units of a random carbon fiber bit for the car was required to pay the same "supporting vendor" fee as companies that specialized in things that could be sold on a much broader scale... And in more than a few cases the required amount to be paid far exceeded the price of the group-buy itself, let alone any potential profits.

So sure, I can see Companies selling FIA approved safety gear, which they can sell broad spectrum, feel they shouldn't be screwed by a little guy who wants to sell a few things without paying a large fee which might cut into their profits. But like the Lotus forum (IMO) this is a relatively small active community and sometimes things like this kill incentive of new parts being created.

Sorry for the rant.

(As a side note, in-case it wasn't obvious, this problem did not occur until the AutoGuide "takeover". My opinion is in no way meant to be a negative reflection on you personally.)
 

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Thank you again for making SpecialStage.com the best North American Rally Resource on the internet.

Peace and love,

Ben, George and Jim
Thanks to all of you for creating SpecialStage.com, for all the time & effort you have put in over the years, and for turning it into the premier rally resource for North America.
 

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Administrator
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Marco, I appreciate your response.

Concerning the linking and banning, this happened on the United States based LotusTalk.com(Autoguide, started and formerly operated by by Randy Chase - ChaseCam) forums in a strange way... There were quite a few members of the website, and traffic was relatively high...
There were however less than 7,000 Total Lotus Elise/Exige imports to the US since 2004.

Someone offering a group buy of 10 units of a random carbon fiber bit for the car was required to pay the same "supporting vendor" fee as companies that specialized in things that could be sold on a much broader scale... And in more than a few cases the required amount to be paid far exceeded the price of the group-buy itself, let alone any potential profits.

So sure, I can see Companies selling FIA approved safety gear, which they can sell broad spectrum, feel they shouldn't be screwed by a little guy who wants to sell a few things without paying a large fee which might cut into their profits. But like the Lotus forum (IMO) this is a relatively small active community and sometimes things like this kill incentive of new parts being created.

Sorry for the rant.

(As a side note, in-case it wasn't obvious, this problem did not occur until the AutoGuide "takeover". My opinion is in no way meant to be a negative reflection on you personally.)

note taken on that :) and your opinion is your opinion so I didn't view it as a negative reflection towards myself. I was just trying to provide you answers to how or why those actions may have been taken on that forum.
 

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just another car guy
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560 Posts
well..
a HUGE thanks to Ben, George and Jim for all their time dealing with the SpecialStage - this has always been THE source for everything rally for me and I have spent many many hours reading very informative or very entertaining threads about random rally stuff -

I bought my car from here and hope to someday sell my car on here (inquire within...)

again, thanks for all the good SS times and hopefully they will continue well into the future!
 

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So how much did SS sell for then? Enough to retire on?? Maybe making a forum and then having it bought by someone else is the ONLY way to make money in Rally!
 

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www.tommygunrally.com
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Thanks Jim, George, and Ben for your support of the community over the years, proud member for 10 years here.
 

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Shotgun!
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473 Posts
Marco, I appreciate your response.

Concerning the linking and banning, this happened on the United States based LotusTalk.com(Autoguide, started and formerly operated by by Randy Chase - ChaseCam) forums in a strange way... There were quite a few members of the website, and traffic was relatively high...
There were however less than 7,000 Total Lotus Elise/Exige imports to the US since 2004.

Someone offering a group buy of 10 units of a random carbon fiber bit for the car was required to pay the same "supporting vendor" fee as companies that specialized in things that could be sold on a much broader scale... And in more than a few cases the required amount to be paid far exceeded the price of the group-buy itself, let alone any potential profits.

So sure, I can see Companies selling FIA approved safety gear, which they can sell broad spectrum, feel they shouldn't be screwed by a little guy who wants to sell a few things without paying a large fee which might cut into their profits. But like the Lotus forum (IMO) this is a relatively small active community and sometimes things like this kill incentive of new parts being created.

Sorry for the rant.

(As a side note, in-case it wasn't obvious, this problem did not occur until the AutoGuide "takeover". My opinion is in no way meant to be a negative reflection on you personally.)
I guess that affects guys like me as well. I try build things from my garage to help the community enjoy racing a little more and not to make mortgage payments. Sure as heck don't make even a quarter of the money listed for yearly "vendor" status. Time will tell how the machine will handle the little guy...
 

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Thanks George, Jim, and Ben for giving us a special corner of the interwebz to Special RAGE! :p

--Survivor, DCBoard crash of 'aught one.

On a serious note, will the classifieds remain free?
 

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Don't give him the stick!
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Huge thanks to Jim, George, and Ben. This is THE largest rally community in the country. It has its quirks, but we all love it.

That being said, I personally feel that trying to monetize a reletively small and, for the most part, tightly nit group may prove to be a poor choice. I personally greatly dislike the idea of attempting to build a class structure elevating a certain group from the masses.

I can see how this benifits the original owners of the site, as well as the new owners. The real question is, does it benifit those of us who use this board regularly?

Essentially, what's in it for us?
 

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Oh lord.... This will not bode well....

But yes, what will happen to the classifieds. What will happen to the little guys who make small cool things for us? This isn't a car brand board like Veloster.org or the other large forums dedicated to a single car brand... Do you have any examples of forums you guys "own" that has a culture similar to ours? Small tight knit group who are focused on a sport, not a car?
 

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To Jim, George and Ben.. I can not say enough thank-you's to what you have done over these 14 years. I do not think any one could say enough...you have put rallying where it is today about getting the information out there with the press releases, etc. i just hope this means you are going to do more rallying now. It is always more fun to be a competitor then adminster anything...a rally, a forum, etc. So good luck and wish you ALOT of future success.

Again, George thank you for coming out to Lucas Oil Desert Storm Rally this past March to compete. We did appreciate it ALOT. Ben and Jim...you get your butts back out there and enjoy the other side- Rallying or for George-surfing and rallying.

Denise McMahon
Series Director - Bilstein Southwest RallyCup Series Presented by Lucas Oil
Organizer - Lucas Oil Desert Storm and Arizona Extreme Rally
Lucas Oil Products Inc. Rally Distributor
 

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Premium Member
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George, Ben and Jim have been especially awesome to Safe Drives these last few very trying years. I honestly cannot say "Thank you" enough.

I can comment that Safe Drives has been unable to continue to advertise on other forums in the past that were taken over by companies like Autoguide. This fact was due to massively increased advertising costs. I certainly fear / expect the same with this situation. Rally is actually a very small part of Safe Drives total sales but, a huge part of our passion for life.

Again, many thanks to George, Ben and Jim.

Peace and love to you all.
 

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Administrator
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I'm sorry but I think we are mistaken what is being talked about vendor sales to single regular member classified ads. Classified will remain free as what it was before, what I was trying to explain early on was in regards of members taking advantage of the free classified to sell mass production parts from a company with out being a registered vendor. If you have cool parts that you have made in your garage and have one or two pieces to sell.. sure why not... you're not putting a company name behind that product or anything else. I believe it is a general rule of thumb on all forums across that have registered vendors supporting the site regardless if it is under autoguide or not.
 
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