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Discussion Starter #1
I want to get your opinions on a website idea. I'm posting this on the forums I frequent, but I'm not trying to steal the users. You know as well as I do that active forum users are a special breed; loyal and, honestly, hard to come by. But they know what they like and I would like to pick your brains about what that is. I'm not going to drop any links or even the website name because I'm really not interested in stealing members. I would just love to hear what your thoughts are about the following:

I am starting a site that is laid out like a news website. It would be a responsive website design using Drupal and will feature Top Stories, Most Popular Stories, Videos, Pics, Reviews, etc. The front page would look like a magazine, with pictures and stories from different sections of the site. It will probably have embedded videos, too. The thing is, is that registered users will be creating the content, not just me.

The website would be geared around people's projects, rides, gatherings, whatever it may be that is motorcycle related. If you were swapping out some pipes in your garage, you could take pictures and upload them to the site, write it up like a story, and publish it. It would then be featured on the front page like headline news for everyone to see. Other users would be doing the same and, in the end, the website would not only serve as a motorcycle community journal/news site featuring everyone's personal story around the globe, but also a huge repository of knowledge.

It wouldn't be one limited to one specific type of motorcycle, either (touring bikes for instance). It would be for street or dirt, touring or sport bike, Harley, Kawasaki, preferably no scooters, just motorcycles, but if people find use in scooter projects/news, I'm good with that too.

What do you guys think of that? What would you like to see on a website centered around everyone's motorcycle adventures? What would it take to keep you coming back to a site like that?
 

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I would like to be able to upload pics directly to the forum, not to a third party place like ImageShack and then have to copy a URL into the post. That's just a pita, and something that has to be re-learned each time, if you don't do it often enough.

I would like a section devoted to accessories, like lighting, or gauges, or water bottles - things that are not specific to a brand or model.

You need to keep the technical sections related to the specific bike - that's what draws a lot of users, to see what problems others are having, and how they are solved.

If the website makes good money on ad-clicks, why not share that back to the people who post, by giving a random poster each day a $5 paypal payout, or something like that.

Intruderalert.com has the nicest layout that I've seen for a forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would like to be able to upload pics directly to the forum, not to a third party place like ImageShack and then have to copy a URL into the post. That's just a pita, and something that has to be re-learned each time, if you don't do it often enough.
Ideally, I would love to host the images on the site itself. I agree, I don't like being forced to use a third party to display pics on a website. That's the route I'm heading for - allow users to upload pics directly to the server.

I would like a section devoted to accessories, like lighting, or gauges, or water bottles - things that are not specific to a brand or model.
Like a review section? I'm setting up the site to have a page/area dedicated to user reviews of products. If that's what you're talking about, I agree that's a great idea. If not, please tell me more. I'd love to hear about it.

You need to keep the technical sections related to the specific bike - that's what draws a lot of users, to see what problems others are having, and how they are solved.
Definitely a good point. I haven't figured out the best way to approach this yet (should i go with a forum layout, or should i find a way to keep the technical section a part of the "magazine" theme (which would be preferable I think)), but I think you are correct - it needs to be organized.

If the website makes good money on ad-clicks, why not share that back to the people who post, by giving a random poster each day a $5 paypal payout, or something like that.

Intruderalert.com has the nicest layout that I've seen for a forum.
This part, honestly, would be hard to do for a few reasons. 1, chances are the expenses of the site are going to be a lot higher than any income coming in, so any ads would be barely helping to maintain the site for many years; and 2, I personally do not like a ton of ads on a website, so I would prefer to find a way to sustain the site without spamming everyone with ad traffic.

I also wonder how that might negatively affect the site's reputation, if it appears people are paid to visit? Perhaps find a way to reinvest the money into features people want may be a better approach. I'm just thinking out loud. That will take a lot of thinking and planning on how to best approach that, but I'm all for giving back to the community. Without the fans/followers, many great websites wouldn't exist.
 
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