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Featured Facebook's negative impact on car culture and tech info

Posted by Ludachris, Jan 8, 2019

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  1. Ludachris

    Ludachris Founder & Zookeeper

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    Roseville, California
    facebook-abyss-320.jpg If you don't care to read the entire post, here's a quick summary - do your part to help automotive enthusiast culture thrive in the long term by posting all tech related Q&A in automotive forums, NOT on FB. The more you post Q&A on FB, the more you are submitting data to a massive abyss where it gets buried, with very little chance of ever being found by others later. Here's my rant...

    We all know Facebook is the largest online community in the world. Most everyone uses it these days, some a bit reluctantly. It's great for connecting with friends, family, and business networking. But if you pay close attention you'll notice its insidious, and very significant negative effects in the automotive enthusiast world. In some ways it's wonderful, in other ways it's a cancer. Sure, it's easy to share photos of your car with your friends quickly and easily. It's very simple to chat with others in your network and tell everyone all about your opinion on any give subject. The events feature is very cool too. But with all of that user friendliness comes a very high signal to noise ratio and chaos when it comes to technical information organization. FB was built with one thing in mind - engagement at the expense of everything else, including quality.

    Now, it's blatantly obvious that forum software development hasn't kept up with the social network giants. Mobile usage has gone up dramatically for online communities and forum user interfaces haven't always been great on mobile. I have worked hard to make our site mobile friendly and will continue to work on ways to improve in that regard (the next software update will be a big deal for mobile users BTW) but most forums suck on mobile. And believe me, many independent forum owners know this. The problem is that there hasn't been a consensus when it comes to the vision of forum software design. Some forum owners don't want forums to mimic social media apps, they feel it would result in less than desirable content contributions. The bottom line is, forums need a shot in the arm when it comes to user interface and usability.

    Because of that, sadly, more people these days tend to share photos of their cars and progress of their builds on FB when they could catalog their build in forums, where it can be referenced more easily and for a longer period of time by more people in the respective community. The power of the "build thread" is being eroded by the occasional FB update that shows up in between all of the other food, family, and other unrelated updates on that person's wall. You can't follow a build on FB like you can in a forum. Full immersion is all but impossible.

    Technical information has become more fragmented than ever before. It used to be that there would be multiple forums for each make/model platform (there were/are a few DSM forums out there in case you didn't know :) ). Sometimes you didn't know which one contained the thread you were looking for. A quick Google search would usually do the trick. Now there are countless FB groups to go along with those forums. Good luck trying to track down where you read a post from last week, last month, or last year. Was it in your news feed on FB or in a group? Which group? Have fun with that. As more people look to FB to post their questions the answers are being posted there too. That means less information will be cataloged for retrieval later. As new trends emerge they will be discussed less in forums, making it more difficult to research those topics on Google in the future. Think about what that means for the future of automotive tech information for a second.

    Repetitive tech questions make nearly all automotive groups on FB very difficult to embrace. Most people in those groups completely disregard all of the great tech info that is archived in forums and post questions that have been answered thousands of times before, daily. This is partly due to the flawed FB conversation design, but also the instant gratification and laziness that the platform has bred into its user base. It's almost as if people lose all sense of being resourceful and/or self reliance when they open the app. I guess in a way, FB has helped keep forums a little cleaner by attracting the lazy people who don't research their questions first.

    The platform is largely unmoderated and filled with misinformation. Not that forums are always that much better, but at least the good ones have a moderating team that makes a sincere attempt to keep things organized and clean, discouraging the trolls and creating a positive community atmosphere. Some also tend to have features meant to limit repetitive questions. Most FB groups are often created by or moderated by business owners who are looking to market to that group in some way. Unbiased information isn't always a top priority.

    All of these issues have resulted in an environment where the people who have great insights and experience wall themselves off from their respective communities and have little patience when it comes to helping others. They simply don't care to participate and contribute in the wild west of trolls, loud mouths, and spoon fed "takers". Again, not to say that forums don't also suffer from most of these issues, but some of the good forums tend to encourage "elder" participation and member education to reduce some of these problems. You used to see more mentors stepping up in the community to help teach others, even though they might get frustrated at times. On FB you're seeing a growing trend of people replying with "part it out".

    The FB platform was quickly adopted by business owners who loved the idea of free and wide ranging self promotion to push their products and services all in one place. Who doesn't love free advertising? As a result, you see business owners participating a bit less in forums too. Unfortunately for them, FB changed things up and started burying business posts to push businesses to advertise. Marketing messages flood most news feeds now. You're constantly being targeted by marketers and spammers looking to make a quick buck.

    It would be easy for someone to point out that I'm a bit biased. And that isn't necessarily an unfair statement to make. Being a forum owner I obviously have a vested interest in this topic. But I'd like to think I'm looking beyond what I've worked so hard to build with this website and am looking at the bigger picture in the automotive world - a community I have always been very passionate about. DSMtuners is focused on a 20+ year old platform whose community will dwindle as time goes on, just like other communities focused on specific vehicle platforms, regardless of how much effort I put into it. I'm not on this soapbox in an effort to help prolong the lifespan of this website. I'm posting this to get people to think about the long term health of the automotive enthusiast community in general and the importance of cataloging technical information and keeping niche communities going strong outside of FB.

    Another point to be made here that some might not be aware of is that most automotive forums have been acquired by one of two massive forum networks (AutoGuide/Vertical Scope and Internet Brands). Many of the original founders of those forums sold their website and assets to one of those two networks. In most cases those networks end up killing the site's spirit and the member participation drops off over time. All technological advancements in the forum come to a halt, outside of advertising systems. I've watched it happen to quite a few forums. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult for people to want to log in and support a forum owned by one of those networks. I get that. Even then, I feel it's better to participate in those forums over FB. At least the tech information can be stored and organized for reference by others later.

    So, before you answer someone's automotive tech question on FB, think about all of this. Answering questions posted by others on FB only exacerbates the problem. Consider pointing that person to a forum to search for the answer or share a link to the thread with the answer can be found. Give them your username on the forum and have them reach out to you there, extending the interaction to the forum, instead of FB. Educate them on how they can find answers easier in forums and how they can pay it forward by sharing their experiences in forums for others to benefit from later, where that information can be retrieved easier in the future.

    Before you go posting a tech question on FB, ask yourself if your question is likely to be something others are asking. If so, consider posting that question in a forum where others can benefit from the answers years down the road. Share your builds in forums (not just here, but in other relevant forums), post how-to write ups, discuss non-tech topics, and help strengthen the community in that forum. And before you create a new FB group or offer to help moderate a group, consider volunteering to help moderate and keep things clean and organized in a forum instead. If you're tired of finding dead end or irrelevant threads in search results, consider offering to help moderate. Forums don't need to be made great again - they need people to take an active role in shaping the community and encouraging a positive, helpful environment to offset the negative effects of FB in our beloved car culture.

    /rant. These are just the ramblings of an old car enthusiast who's worked behind the scenes in the online community industry for too long. I'm sure some will think I'm way off base, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. And sadly, some won't care. Thanks to all who continue to participate and contribute here on DSMtuners and in other forums. Just know that some of us appreciate what you do for our car culture and our community. Do us all a favor and use FB for keeping in touch with friends and family, and use forums to communicate with your respective car communities.

    If you are one of those people who spend time as an admin for a DSM FB group or just a person who spends time helping answer DSM tech questions posted by others on FB, I invite you to get involved here and put your time towards something more meaningful than the toxic mess that FB groups have become. Help us clean up the forums, remove obsolete or bad information in threads here, organize the data for others to benefit from for years to come, and build on the thriving community we've had here for nearly two decades now. Quit giving your time to a social platform that has no interest in whether or not our automotive hobby flourishes or completely disappears. A platform that continues to absorb quality technical information that will get lost in the abyss, never to be available for reference later by others in our community. Send me a PM to find out how you can get involved.

    :hellyeah:
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019

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  2. 1990TSIAWDTALON

    1990TSIAWDTALON Moderator

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    We appreciate you and all you have worked so hard to maintain, thanks Chris!
     

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  3. ec17pse

    ec17pse Freelancer

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    I tell everyone each time i see someones post on fb to join dsmtuners, i do try my best but some people just like fb as its easy and they like fast replys were as here it might take a day, it is a shame they use it and data is lost but its no lie alot of posts gets imported from here,

    Only thing i can think of is limit data seens to only people who are logged in, i see some forums do this when i google aload of stuff, it means they have to be signed in to see anything. Evo123 forum was the same until a few years back and it seemed to work well but they are really small compared to us and like 90% or more data was just linked from us here anyway haha.
     

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  4. Ludachris

    Ludachris Founder & Zookeeper

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    One thing I notice people complaining about on FB with DSMtuners is broken links, broken photos in posts, and dead end threads that have no useful replies or "use the search". Those a valid complaints.

    I always respond to people who complain about those issues asking them to report those posts/threads and help us get them cleaned out so that the search results are cleaner and more useful to all who are actually trying to do research and find information. The same goes to all of you. And if you would like to volunteer to clean out useless replies in good tech threads, or dead end threads with no real technical value, send me a PM. It takes a community effort to keep a resource like this organized, clean, and moving in a positive direction. Pay it forward and be sure it's helpful for others in the future.
     

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  5. dustyboner

    dustyboner Proven Member

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    I have never been on facebook and never will.
    Why anyone would put their personal business on a website like that, i will never understand.
    I don't want anyone to be able to look me up, know what im up to or even know im alive. The people i want to be able to contact me, know how to.
     
  6. jsmcpn

    jsmcpn Supporting Member

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    Awesome OP and thread! I just sold my Evo last week. During the process, myself and one of the interested parties were ranting about how the car forums and all the valuable knowledge they accumulate have scattered to the winds by social media.

    I've been DSMing since 2001, but I never signed up for FB, Twitter, Instagram or any of that nonsense. I'm glad I didn't, but I do admit that I feel totally "out of the loop" when it comes to anything that happened in the car scene after about 2012. However, from the sound of things, even if I had joined the FB craze, I wouldn't have gotten anything out of it versus forums anyway! "Forums" brought order to the chaos of "listservs", but since then the trend has reversed - a FB group is much more like a listserv IMO. FB groups emulate a legacy technology problem that had already been solved. We're back to localized/decentralized fragmented information again like it was before forums.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019

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  7. ist dwa

    ist dwa Proven Member

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    Facebook is for losers.
     
  8. Ludachris

    Ludachris Founder & Zookeeper

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    Forums are still good for anonymity, for those who want that. I use FB on occasion for catching up with friends and family, as well as business networking, but I am actually a pretty private person (which some might find hilarious, seeing as how I manage online communities).

    I always try and participate in forums for automotive technical info, but that's just me. I also like patronizing small mom and pop businesses and restaurants over larger chains when possible. I tend to try and support small business owners over big corporations as much as I can, even if it costs me a little more. I know many people don't care about that kind of stuff. I've always loved cars and motorsports. I wish more people would take more of an interest and active role in preserving this culture and driving it in a positive direction. I feel like participating in forums is almost like supporting your local drag strip or road course.
     

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    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD (sold)
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  9. BTKai

    BTKai Probationary Member

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    for some forums FB it is literally a cancer! we used to have a forum called,DSM mexico,it wasn't that big like this one (dsmtuners) but it was really helpful when it was active, most of the members used to there to help each others! but now that forum is completely dead,and i always say that is thanks to FB!

    i'm really glad that dsmtuners its still here,ALIVE,like no other dsm forum!

    and i don't think it's just a coincidence that it is alive, i think it's still here because the 99% of issues that we have to deal with dsm platform are answered here already,so we can resolved them"easily"! we just have to do a little research and we'll find the answer for sure!

    so thank you to all members that are making this forum still running and maintain!!!
     
    Ludachris likes this.
  10. Kryndon

    Kryndon Proven Member

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    You raise some good points but I also think what you're saying can be applied to a much broader scope of things, not just facebook and automotive forums. Good information needs to be stored accordingly and kept in the right place, while retaining ease of access for the layman.

    In terms of sharing our builds and car experiences, frankly I much rather document my progress here where other likeminded people can see and discuss it, rather than post it on my FB wall and get mocking comments from my friends. Around here, literally no one is aware of DSMs and how great of a platform it is. So what's the point? Might as well not talk about it at all and leave those discussions for here or for actual car meet-ups.

    However, I'm part of a few Mitsu FB groups and often times questions, technical ones, come up about various models and sometimes questions about Eclipses. Usually if I know the answer I will comment and try helping them out. I've been there and I've hated it when I've been in dire need of an answer right away but had to wait. So I just go ahead and talk to them directly and try to help out. Afterwards I always suggest they visit DSMTuners as it's the literal heaven in terms of information and discussions about these cars. Yet, people just don't want to bother. This site is so nicely designed and easy to use, I just wonder why they stay away from it.

    Anyway, that's my opinion on it. Facebook is most useful for simply keeping in touch with friends and having a quick way to contact them. Otherwise it's nothing special.
     

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  11. Ludachris

    Ludachris Founder & Zookeeper

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    A lot of regional automotive forums have disappeared, and sadly, some really good tech info disappeared with them. It sucks.
     

    Street Build 8K  0

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD (sold)
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    1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
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  12. rEclipserGST

    rEclipserGST Proven Member

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    I do recall a few years back, the Search function on here was VERY useful and ACCURATE.

    Nowadays, I can type in a "general or VERY specific thing" and get ZERO hits on this forum.

    I need to know why. Because, right after this, i CTRL+C and drop it on google with the old "dsmtuners" and it pops RIGHT UP!

    I need to know why.


    Also, should we comment or tag you in these dead thread pic links? I want to help. I still tell people about this site. Because without it, there wouldn't be any dsm knowledge floating around.
     

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  13. Ludachris

    Ludachris Founder & Zookeeper

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    If people can ask questions on FB and get answers, why would they need to visit forums? In some cases, those people aren't enthusiasts, they might not want to take the steps of registering for a forum. They just want a quick answer to a problem they're having. But for the enthusiasts, it actually makes more sense to NOT participate in tech discussions on FB - don't answer their questions. Don't post questions there. Use forums instead. Push other enthusiasts to where they should be discussing tech information - forums. Answer their questions there. The more people you have participating in the forums, the stronger the community will be and the more good tech info that gets cataloged down the road, instead of lost in FB oblivion.
     

    Street Build 8K  0

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD (sold)
    manual · 2G DSM

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    1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
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  14. Ludachris

    Ludachris Founder & Zookeeper

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    Give me an example of a search term so I can try and troubleshoot.

    We have had some issues with the search feature crashing the database in recent years. We actually changed the search to a new system to fix that and to try and offer better results. However, we still use the old search feature in some instances, and sometimes it still crashes. When it crashes it does what you described - shows zero results for anything you type in. But again, the new search feature should not have any issues with that.
     

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    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD (sold)
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  15. Ludachris

    Ludachris Founder & Zookeeper

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    Sometimes we can fix those threads when they're reported. Other times we have no choice but to remove them if they're no longer useful, like when they link to external websites which no longer exist.
     

    Street Build 8K  0

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD (sold)
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  16. jsmcpn

    jsmcpn Supporting Member

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    Just upgraded account to Supporting Member.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019

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  17. donniekak

    donniekak DSM Wiseman

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    I try to regularly point people back to forums. I don’t understand why people would rather trust random instant answers over time proven data.
     

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  18. motomattx

    motomattx Proven Member

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    Me too! No idea why anyone would put their lives up on a wall like that to air dirty laundry, I guess in my opinion its likely people that have an inferiority complex that are trying to make their mundane lives seem somehow more interesting than it actually is... I simply dont have time for that.
     

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  19. familyMAN

    familyMAN Proven Member

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    Very well said Ludachris! I send people here and 3Si all the time.
     

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  20. Raymond1927

    Raymond1927 Proven Member

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    It would be really nice if there was a dsmtuner app. Time and time again I see, so much misinformation on Facebook and the gram. But it's like what can you do. You try to correct someone and steer them in the right direction. And all the sudden they have a buddies, cousins, friend that did it this way. You don't know what your talking about. Then I'll have to kindly post a thread from dsmtuners on how to do something and specs.smh frustrating. So now I've learn to just keep scrolling.LOL
     

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  21. Mello

    Mello Proven Member

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    I can't agree more. Social media is one of the top 5 biggest evil in our life time. So all this makes me wonder why is their a "Log in with Facebook" button even allowed on this site. You do know they're tracking & data mining everyone one of us. That button is the main reason I seldom login anymore & visit mostly as a guest.
     
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  22. jsmcpn

    jsmcpn Supporting Member

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    Denver, Colorado
    R.I.P. http://codsm.org/forums

    I too despise "identity federation". I have to use Okta for work, yuck... I don't trust that company one bit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019

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  23. DogWhistle

    DogWhistle Proven Member

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    Total: 908 (members: 68, guests: 746)

    ^ Here is the crux of the problem. This is a weeknight, and this is what it says at the bottom of the page.

    It's long been known that 20% of the people (of any group) do 80% of the work. Here, on 'Tuners, it may be more like 10% do 90%.

    You're up against a couple of things: The cars are getting older and the owners are getting younger. A teenager doesn't value the wealth of knowledge stored here (even though he may need it later), he wants HIS problem fixed RIGHT NOW!

    Part of that is the "instant" culture people expect today. Unfortunately, few are willing to even do a search for an answer, they simply throw the question into the universe and want someone else to do the work and spoon feed them the answer.

    I see the posts on the DSM Facebook groups and it actually surprises me how many people still are messing (choice of words purposeful) with our platform. The responses crack me up. The couple times I've tried to reply, I've directed them here, but there is no telling if they ever followed my advice.

    So, what should we do? Chris has already tried lowering the price for admission by eliminating the minimum number of posts for probationary members to post in certain forum sections and to list items for sale. You may remember, Chris, I sent you a PM as I was concerned about this. I'm liking the idea to require membership in order to see the content we have amassed (see the first line of my response). Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

    Current stats may show more new members joining than before, but do they stick around? In a nutshell, the owners of our cars will only be as dedicated to this website as they are to their car. For many youth, their first car is just a stepping stone.

    Unfortunately, I fully expect that the number of active members on this forum will plateau, if it hasn't already. As an example, I would guess that a Chevy Big Block Forum isn't exactly bursting at the seams. Unless we can incorporate relevant information on something produced more recently than the last 20 to 30 years, we can't expect to have a growth pattern.

    The ultimate success and longevity of this site will be because of the dedication and quality of the members who are the pioneers of the latest technology and its application on our cars.

    Chris, it comes down to the purpose for this forum. Right now it appears it is to share as much information for free to foster the participation of the DSM platform, and to encourage the development of specialized components for betterment of the platform. Altruistic, to be sure, but you will have to find a way to create more value to the information you have compiled and more-obviously differentiate DSMTuners from any social media group.

    Maybe the best way of determining that purpose is to ask, Who do we want as members?. You can only control your own product while social trends come and go.
     

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  24. Archer Fabrications

    Archer Fabrications Supporting Vendor

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    Well said man, facebook is the devil, and proud to say im not apart of it. Instagram on the other hand is becoming more like it, (they own it) but this fourm has always been a great place to learn and refrence information for this platform. I used to spend hours and hours every day reading posts on here to learn everything I could about DSMS. Keep it up @Ludachris :rocks: I also had a short time being a vendor on evo M who is owned by internet brands..... pretty aweful to deal with. They are definately not enthousiast owned and are just there to collect the check. Needless to say I dropped them, and continue to support DSMTuners
     

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  25. GsxJon

    GsxJon Supporting Member

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    :applause: Well said @Ludachris ! Like archer said, this site is great place to learn. You can always rely on for referenceing correct information since dsmtuners is full of years of great knowledge.
    Since these cars are getting older, the younger generation are getting their hands on them. Most of the younger generation are too lazy to do research and post to Facebook looking for a spoon fed answers pertaining to their current problem. With the amount of time it takes to post their question on Facebook, they could of found the answer on the forums.
    Facebook car groups are a waste in searching for Information
    1: posts & info get lost in oblivion
    2: 90% of comments are of people in pissing matches.
    3: there is a lot of miss information spread.
    I can’t even count how many times I see re-occurring questions in one week on Facebook. I feel like a broken record with informing them to simply join the forums.

    I am great full for your time and efforts of keeping this forum alive! It has helped me beyond what words can describe.
     
    import solutions likes this.
  26. curt-s

    curt-s Proven Member

    667
    132
    Joined Dec 21, 2008
    Winterville, MB, Canada
    FB is akin to a horrible rash on the inside of one's colon. I will dance a gleeful jig if it goes under and Zuckerberg is forced onto foodstamps inbetween indictments.

    That being said, looking forward to updates that play better with mobile browsers and portrait aspect resolutions.
     

    2K  1

    1991 Eagle Talon TSi
    fwd · manual · 1G DSM
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