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Jeep Forum...no traction


#1

Hello,

I’m sure this will sting, but I could sure use some feedback on a Forum I started, but failing to gain any traction.

I setup up forum based on the discuss framework thinking it might be of value to the Jeep community at large for discussing car issues and events with as little friction as possible.

I realize the site is definitely lacking something, but haven’t been able to figure out what. I would greatly appreciate any insights the bootstrapped group might be able to provide.

Please check it and let me know your impressions!
http://www.jeepexchange.co

Thank you,
Rob


#2

My guess is that you are lacking community. Not community in the traffic sense (although that is true as well), but community in terms of tying people together. There’s a lot of disconnect around the idea of a “Jeep” community. Jeep caters to many different types of people with various offerings. No one has anything in common, other than a Jeep.


#3

Thats an excellent observation…very insightful. I should definitely focus it down, at least initially.
Thank you


#4

The tough thing with forums is they need to reach a tipping point before they’re successful. No one will come to participate if there’s no one there, so how do you get them there?

I’m not suggesting this, but I’ve heard of successful companies that got their start by creating a bunch of fake profiles and mimicking activity. They had to do this for months before they were able to stop and it was self-running.

You could also try advertising, paying for a few months so your user base gets built up, and then hopefully you can stop advertising after that.

Also think local. Go to your local Jeep dealership and leave flyers, get to be buddies with some of the salesmen, etc.

It can be done, but it’s going to take some hard work.


#5

Thank you for the great advice.

I’ve tried seeding it, and feel weird doing so! :smile:

I’ll continue doing so, but try to really focus the site down to a very specific niche. That might help.

Might sound strange, but I really just built it more from a hobby desire as a Jeep owner, thinking other Jeep owners might enjoy it; and if it turned into something more all the better.


#6

I’d use a site like that (and like this one) as long created value for me.

  • Solving problems I might have (think qna like this forum and Stackoverflow:
    My back right blinker is blinking fast and doesn’t turn on but the front one does, how do i fix it?

  • Tips to make my jeep better on gas mileage or something

  • Findable by google, main reason I use Stackoverflow is cause my question turned up in google already answered with a high quality answer. (laracasts is becoming the same)

  • Start a podcast or youtube channel like the guys that own this site did.


#7

As a car guy… I think a discuss platform is a little dry… You need a home page, something that states the purpose and directs the user to some specialized forum. And a few more pictures… lol Like, Nice Jeeps…

You need some star posters that already have a community… for example, an off road store/competitor/star that starts posting his stuff there… his fans will follow… Same for other topics… companies etc… The easy thing with those is if you are already part of their community, you can approach them and make them a deal on publicity or other stuff… begging also works sometimes… lol

Its tough to get traction… it takes years… Best of luck