Lotus Elan

Type 26 Facebook Group - interested in everyone’s views

PostPost by: dunclentdr1 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:46 pm

Type 26 Elans, both S1 and S2, are increasingly interesting elements of the Elan community.

Over the next few days I am going to set up a Facebook group for all Type 26 owners to use, along with an Instagram #tag, to allow all those who own and appreciate 26s to post.

Grateful for feedback and support and will follow with Group details.

David
Last edited by dunclentdr1 on Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:04 am

why can't you..... and others.....just post here???
aren't we "social" enough?
:D
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PostPost by: prezoom » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:24 am

Sorry, faceplant is a non starter in my book.
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PostPost by: Kpas » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:34 am

Count me in!

I'm happy to see early Elan's on whatever platform I can. The more the better!
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:12 am

Not sure whether Jeff would be keen you using his platform to advertise and potentially take membership/traffic away from this site? Think maybe you could have asked first? I’m sure the word would spread anyway but... just saying.
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:46 am

There already are some Lotus centered FB groups, but it is certainly the essence of the FB system to create more... esp. for semi commercial purposes.

As for how to control yet a new group and enforce rules just right so that the magic happens and it becomes more than babbling or advertising, it is not as obvious as it seems...

I've seen the evolution of some other car forum over the years (Jaguar, Citroen, ...), with the following pitfalls:
- multiplication of competitive forums starving each other to death and resulting in the loss of some valuable technical content or narrative
- forum upgrades leading to a lot of chit chat diluting the core content into pub/society/political diversions and decreasing the intrisic value of the forum
- last, considering the technical/historical value of the content, I would be reluctant to place it in the hands of a commercial company (FB) even if it claimed today that this content remains 100% yours

good luck !
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PostPost by: dunclentdr1 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:11 am

OK, scrap that idea then!

Any other thoughts and ideas about how best to create a type 26 resource?

David
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:30 am

I think it depends on what you want it to do. If it is just a source of information you could create a website similar to Tim’s http://www.lotuselansprint.com. I’m sure others would contribute to the content. If you’re looking for debate interaction etc I’d suggest you start some relevant topics here and then keep them current so they’re regularly on the Active Topics front page. I suspect this forum has the largest contingent early cars owners anywhere.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:03 am

I think that having a Facebook Type 26 Elan group would be a great idea!

It is less ‘formal’ than a group like LotusElan.net, and it would attract the more casual enthusiast, and my experience has been that those guys often have a great story to tell and knowledge that can be outside the experience of current owners.

Let me explain. I run a website that records the history of the Lotus Cortina, in terms of its design and development, originality and change points, sales literature, competition history and lots more.

The flow of information that I and many others had gathered over the years was starting to slow down, so I joined Facebook just to see what was going on with all these groups that were being set up. Folks there tend to share old photos and stories from the 1960s, and that information is very often picked up by guys who were there at the time, and therefore have something new to say. They tend to be getting on a bit now, as the guys I have met were working at Lotus in Cheshunt in the 1960s designing the car, Team Lotus guys maintaining and racing the Cortinas, guys that did the same for Alan Mann Racing and the Ford competition Department rallying Lotus Cortinas, as well as guys from around the world with similar experiences and obviously a great contemporary insight.

None of them have ever gone onto the forums set up by the clubs, as the topics tend not to be about subjects they have an interest in or knowledge of. But their knowledge has been priceless for me, and recording their input onto a structured library of information shows them that their information is very valuable, and they pass on the experience to their friends who then very often also make a contribution.

That last sentence is important. The information that is shared on the Facebook groups tends to be very transient by the nature of that forum, and information soon gets lost in the noise and disappears down the timeline never to be seen again. If you want to gather historical / definition information, then you really need a well structured website ‘library’ sitting alongside the Facebook group that you can record the good stuff in.

When Tim Mees set up the Type 26R register, setting up the library website was his intention, and I started to help him put it together. Unfortunately, with his untimely passing it all ground to a halt, which is pretty much when I decided to do the same thing but with the Lotus Cortina. That could be resurrected / re-built and enhanced.

Closer to (the Elan) home, there is the fantastic website setup by Tim Wilkes for the Elan Sprint. A more complete Elan 26 site sitting alongside that would be great to see.

I think it’s important to get a library website established first so when the Facebook group gets started, you have something to attract the enthusiasts to, and somewhere to record the information gathered in. That way you will build up a group of folks who are keen to contribute, building a better knowledge base and attracting the widest possible participation.

It certainly wouldn’t be competition for LotusElan.net, but would sit alongside very happily.

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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:28 am

I don’t use Facebook or have an account.
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PostPost by: dunclentdr1 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:58 am

Thanks Mark - interesting insight - my experience of being a member of a small number of groups, including MK1 and Lotus Cortina, as well as a couple of Lotus forums, is that the postings are normally interesting and give lots of insight, as you say from a broad spectrum of posters.

This forum is really good - more of a focus I think on questions and answers/views, less so on sharing historical material and experiences which seems to be the theme in the best social media groups.

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PostPost by: jcocking » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:08 pm

Mark's comments are a good reference point.

The goal of LotusElan.net was to be a community discussion and library of Elan information. The discussion part is pretty straight forward to create. The library component is the hard part.

There are levels of discussions.
  • Instagram is fine for quick photos of vehicles, but it is only eye candy. No serious discussion of cars occurs within Instagram. Follow #lotuselan for several weeks and you will see nice pics.
  • Facebook is much better. There is a good Lotus group called Classic Lotus Elan and Plus 2 Owners. Many of the Forum members belong to the group. It averages 3 to 5 posts. Most are photos of cars or interiors. Challenging questions, for the most part, are suggested to come to LotusElan.net to get help. The photos are transient and are a pain to find old stuff.
  • The forum is dedicated to one topic and everything is about Lotus Elans. The signal to noise ratio is the best. The distracting stuff is less than 5% of the information.

As Mark indicated the key is to build the library. This will take work. To be successful, you need a dedicated person who will be the curator and editor. This person will need to commit an average of 3 to 10 hours per week to make it work. The bigger challenge is the social media sites do not support this need. So you will need to build a website (like Tim did) or set up something. This now takes additional time and money.

If you want to build out the library on Type 26, then contact me. The original goal for LotusElan.net was to have numerous editors focused on the various types of Elan curating and editing the content. If the Type 26 is a passion, jump to the Wiki and see the beginning shell created.

How can we work together as an Elan Community to create a resource for the future?


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PostPost by: dunclentdr1 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:39 pm

I think my original proposal (admittedly late in the evening after more than one gin and tonic) was driven by the thought it would be great to have a place where people can easily share pictures, history and connect as a group of enthusiasts and owners and this much more light footed and informal approach is where a social media group could help.

The other goal that is emerging from the discussion - a website of some form as a resource with documents, specifications, historical material - would be awesome but also a very large undertaking for a small group of people. I would be up for that in some form but as part of a team.

On the social media group, maybe it’s something to kick off and see what interesting material comes forwards, either just interesting to see, to share here also or to see who else is out there and may want to help build a resource.

Unless anyone thinks it would cause harm maybe let’s test it out and see what comes out of the woodwork.

David
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:28 pm

I do use FB and subscribe to and contribute to the Elan and HLR pages there. It is a useful adjunct to this dedicated forum.

As others have noted, FB, Twitter and Instagram are transient in nature and tricky to search out old posts. However, they do provide a means to have different styles of conversations to those we enjoy on here and encompass a wider circle of enthusiasts too.

This forum is more easily searched and capable of accepting documentation that all helps in researching aspects of our cars. One day it would be excellent to have a definitive Elan library as a resource, accessible to all. One problem in building that, quite apart from the manpower required, is ensuring it's accuracy. The Elan, like I guess a good many classic cars, has had a number of myths and half truths build up around it over the decades. Many magazine articles tend now to reiterate information which is incorrect, which somewhat annoys me! But I don't want to become Mr Grumpy of Tunbridge Wells (I know where he lives …!), rather I want to see the correct historical story told of the Elan for future generations of historians and enthusiasts.

I'm quite happy to see another Elan FB page and hope that it will stir memories and bring to our attention new facts, unearth valuable enthusiasts and help us all.

Tim
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PostPost by: Fred Talmadge » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:43 pm

There is already this group https://www.facebook.com/groups/Lotus.Elan/ Mostly pictures of peoples cars and projects. Not as detailed as here, but I always like looking at Lotus cars. Oh and there is a group for the Golden Gate Lotus Club.
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