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Administrator
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Discussion Starter #1
I have created this forum so we can talk about any issues you have in private. Only Administrators and other sponsors can see this forum, so feel free to be candid and discuss whatever you like! Cheers!

Nadeem
 

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Of the 11 Sponsors who offer MINI specific products and services, 9 have voted in the Sponsors are you happy poll:
All but one have voted that they are unhappy:

  • Not Happy
    GT Tuning (Rooland2003)
    Lohen
    Mini Pirate (Phil Cradock)
    NewMiniStuff (mikeythemini)
    Performance Torque
    Revolution Mini Works
    ThinkMini (Lucky Dave)
    Vecchio Engineering
  • Happy
    Wollaston MINI (M)
Besides being unhappy, most of them are active participants in forums besides their Sponsor forums.
 

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Administrator
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Discussion Starter #3
Of the 11 Sponsors who offer MINI specific products and services, 9 have voted in the Sponsors are you happy poll:
All but one have voted that they are unhappy:

  • Not Happy
    GT Tuning (Rooland2003)
    Lohen
    Mini Pirate (Phil Cradock)
    NewMiniStuff (mikeythemini)
    Performance Torque
    Revolution Mini Works
    ThinkMini (Lucky Dave)
    Vecchio Engineering
  • Happy
    Wollaston MINI (M)
Besides being unhappy, most of them active participants in forums besides their Sponsor forums.
I need them to contact the sales department at [email protected]. It is something for Richard Jones to be aware of, so when he asks, I can offer the correct solutions. We can also discuss here, and I can show the team in the office the posts from our sponsors. Putting posts in a poll that I wasn't even aware of, doesn't help anything since the sales department doesn't browse the sites.

Nadeem
 

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How can you not be aware of it - your admin & its in feedback - surely you should be looking at the feedback forum when you have just made a major change to the site & you know people are not happy
 

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I have PM'd admin & emailed the other contacts I have been given
Got nothing to hide so here it is
Hi
My name is Mike Wildman. I run newministuff and have sponsored this site since 2003.
I don't just see it as a place to advertise as I am a member of a community (I joined in 2002 when I ordered my first MINI)& have a great many friends on here. I am happy to give free advice & even sponsor the annual charity ball.
I am very worried at the changes made to the site recently.
It now appears more like an advertising directory than a Mini forum. The fact that the google ads are being given priority (larger)over the long term sponsors who pay a lot of money every month is beyond a joke. Also many people are so sick of all the adverts that they are now using ad blocking software which is resulting in the official sponsor ads also being blocked.
If I was searching for a MINI forum and came across this one I would go back to my search as you have to scroll down & down just to see the forum.
Many people have said they are not happy but you don't appear to be listening
I would have thought after the problems you created with changes when you first took over the site you might have asked for peoples feedback this time around. The moderators saved the day back then and I thought they were supposed to be left to run the site on a day to day basis (something they do very well) They are trying desperatly to save things this time but without backup from yourselves it is pointless.
The moderators do a great job with this site, as like your sponsors they are part of a community that has grown over the last 8 years. It goes beyond a internet forum, as we have social meets and events throughout the year. Great friendships have been made here & even when people leave Mini ownership, they still stay with MIni2 because of that 'community' feeling. That feeling is being lost

The site appears to be full of bugs - You dont appear to have tested it before releasing it.
The forum is also very very slow - 1 week on things are no better
I really can see the site going down the plug hole unless some positive steps are taken.
Regards
Mike Wildman
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How can you not be aware of it - your admin & its in feedback - surely you should be looking at the feedback forum when you have just made a major change to the site & you know people are not happy
I am an outside admin. The moderation team, Paul and Miniac are my main line to see what is going on with the site. They usually bring anything to my attention that needs it. I am more like tech backup and a contact for Autoforums. Maybe I should have clarified this to the members. I am responsible for around 100 sites and that is why I don't always catch every little thread or poll. Thanks for posting in here, and in future we can use this forum for any other problems you have. I will flag this forum to the sales department as well. FYI, the team and company has changed hands since the initial takeover. Also, the mod team has all the backup they need, and I created this forum just so I can work towards having some backup for when I ask to move the google ad, that is why I asked that you email the sales department directly as well.

Nadeem
 

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Nadeem - thanks for setting this section up for us.

Firstly I agree with Mikey, m2 started life as a community for like minded people who love this car to meet and have fun. Obviously over the years it has grown probably bigger than Paul ever imagined but hey look MINI is one of the coolest brands on the planet at the moment.

From my perspective I joined in late 2001, as a MINi fan when I got my 2001 Cooper and have been a sponsor since 2005.

We give generously to the M2 Charity, I've lost count of how many m2 window stickers we have given away and there are a number of reasons why this site is so dear to my heart.

1. we have made an incredible amount of friends throughout the years and those people have given me tremendous support recently of which we are very grateful.

2. what started as a hobby has now developed into a full time (24-7) job and is now part of my life and my families life.

3. times for business is very hard at the moment and we are even having to face work tender pitches where our competitors are doing the work for FREE just to get the work and any little sponsorship or ad space that comes along with the job - we can't compete with that.

With the type of work we do it is very important that our design and interlectual property rights remain - we are constantly fighting our work being copied by many and the ebay mentallity is killing creativity - but thats another story.

We work hard to create uniqueness and individuality which is what the MINI is all about.

4. MINI is unique. AutoForums please note - ONE SIZE ALL DOES NOT FIT !!!
OK you can say that about any car marque but come on you need to listen to your audience and hey thats us the Sponsors who work with this car everyday and the members - yes the people who actually buy these cars and what they want out of a Forum site which at the end of the day is a voice for them.

5. I understand that many people may think that us sponsors are cashing in - well it ain't true. We are supplying a service that these people want and when we get innundated with non essential and non necessary advertising all over this site then its going too and is switching people off.

If it ain't broke then don't fix it !!

6. I for one on behalf of my company, Mini Pirate Ltd are pretty miffed that a competitor whom is NOT a sponsor of m2 can blantantly have their ad displayed in my forum section !!! Not good.

So lots of people are now using the ad blockers which as Mickey says, they are now switching us off too :mad:

7. So, easy really, for the £££ we pay every month continually without question, why can't the SPONSORS of this site be king and have the main advertising space at the top, bottom and middle of the site??

Why can't the sponsors of this site have their ads in a rotation format in that stupid 'Wheel & Tire Center' ad (apologise for the spelling). This seems the only add I can't switch off, so are they the new forum owners or best mates of the new forum owners ??

8. Site update design. Well where do I start. I understand this is being looked into, but as a designer of almost 30 years industry experience working with clients such as National TV companies, Banks and Formula One Teams the new header layout is just so wrong in many ways.

Firstly the color is ghastly and I turned to Legacy as soon as I could. But the header stays red !!

Secondly the images have been created by someone who appears to know little about the brand - why is the Clubman back to front ? - why is there a roof of a MINI just pocking up? !!!

schoolboy errors and if I had done a job like that for a client and it be published then it would be P45 time without passing go !!! Know your brand !!! first element of design ;)

For god sake why didn't you contact ME - I'm a bloody designer I would have jumped at designing a header for m2 !!!!

So come on, listen to the people who matter most : a) the m2 members and b) the sponsors so we can make this a place to be proud of and go forward for what is going to be the most significant year in the history of the mini MINI for a long time - or don't AutoForums know about a little birthday party this year ??


rant over - back to work now !
 

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but it still begs the question - know your brand !!!

back to front Clubbie or not !!

its a sackable offence !

surely someone down the line would have noticed this and just think - a little pm to me ..... ' hey Phil you're a designer right?? can you cast your eye over this and comment please, thanks AutoForums' .....

it would have been my pleasure !
 

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MINI2 No.1
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The admin got about a week to bug fix functionality (which was barely enough) and I know I wasn't look at detail so much (apart from MINI from Mini ;)) and the mods got about a day and a half to look at it. The AutoForums guys obviously just didn't know and/or notice.

But then again, neither did anyone from Airstream or MINI with their concept images they've just released. :eek: Exact same problem with a flipped image and filler cap.
 

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I would also like to point out that as Main Sponsors of m2 I for one was never contacted in any shape or form regarding any changes to the site inview of updates advertising or other.

OK I agree any software update we don't need to be involved with but when it comes down to me earning a crust and being able to put food on the table for my kids then yes it matters !

I wonder if my competitors have a MINI PIRATE advert blazened on their shop window ??

(apologise Paul for the tone but when its business it hurts matey)
 

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I agree with you about the consultation, with such a dramatic change it would have been sensible, I think, for AutoForums to get in touch, although I don't know if anything would have/could have happened differently.

I use adblockers, have for ages, so don't see the ads, but when I've switched them off to check it out the MINI sponsors are drowned out by the google ads, which by their contextual nature do sometimes show competing companies adverts, often bigger than your own adverts. Previously I used custom code to bypass ad blockers for sponsors though, but people have suggested this is a bit "sneaky' and subversive in itself.

I'm not sure what has been said where, but I feel I should also point out that Nadeem isn't the top decision maker at AutoForums, so he is really stuck in the middle (but not so much so as the MINI2 moderation team, who really are getting it from all sides just now!), and I get the impression he is at least trying to fight your corner in terms of the topmost google adverts at least.
 

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understand your comments above Paul and I know or hope that Nadeem is helping where he can but if he is the man in the middle surely the top brass should be on here answering our thoughts??

If a customer comes to MP with a question or concern I don't fob them off with a lesser colleague to help, I speak to them direct - thats how you do good business !
 

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Discussion Starter #14
We have decided to give the option to ALL users to remove the top Google ad placement. Thanks for the feedback! It was an integral part in making our decision. Cheers!

Nadeem
 

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My visiting customers this week have expressed their unhappy thoughts on the changes..

Why not have the adds turned off as standard? new users and potential customers dont know how to turn the adds off!

In these times I choose to advertise on Mini2 and have good leads and contacts on here and I hope they stick around!

It is a shame we did not have any advance warning of the re work of the site.
 

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I have changed the link for Site sponsor to take you to the Sponsors section rather then to just a list of banners. :)

Stew
 

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Does this stop a competitor of mine who is not a sponsor of m2 having their ad as big as a house on any of my forum pages ??? whilst mine is a little banner at the top ??

Please remember guys some of us rely on a lot of m2 trade/members/customers to put food on our table every night !
 

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What if that competitor of yours decided to become a Site Sponsor here? Am I supposed to tell them no becasue they are your competitor? If you didnt want competition then you should not have started your business. The benefit you have over someone what is showing up in a google ad is that you are able to interact with your consumer. They get to ask you questions and you get to build a relationship for future business. The members of this site know who to come to when they have issues. If Banner real estate is all you want we can take down your forum and give you a bigger banner. Would that solve your dilemma? This is what you are making it out to be. Somehow I get the feeling that your Forums and Membership here is a lot more valuable then a banner that is at the top of a page.

Yourself and the sponsor here do a good job of interacting with the membership. This is why so many of them have so much respect for you all. You get the chance to deal with someone on a direct one to one basis. This is what the value is and Im sure you understand that. Im pretty sure you wouldn't be here if that wasn't the case.

Stew
 

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Just my 2 cents ...

Competitor banners showing up in Sponsor forums existed before the site upgrade ... they were banners of other MINI2 Sponsors.

Even with Google Ads disabled some Sponsors will see banners of other MINI2 Sponsors offering similar products and services:


I could be wrong but I bet if Sponsors asked customers who found them through MINI2 what prompted their contact, not many would say "I saw your banner". Most would say "I saw a product announcement in your Sponsor forum" or "I saw the positive feedback one of your customers posted".

As Stew pointed out, your advantage lies in having your own forum and interacting with the community. Nadeem stated in the Moderator forum that not all Sponsors have a banner in the rotation at the top of forum, and that those without banners don't pay as much. I'd question whether a banner is even necessary.

To butcher a famous movie line ...
Banner? ... I don't need no stinkin' banner!
 
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