Okay... now what?

Help Support SkidSteer Forum:

StuZ

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2003
Messages
133
I have told many ppl about this site, and since I had some heart maintenance done have been checking the site to see if I can help anyone. Maybe there needs to be more hits on the site to bring it up on the search engines
 

owensge

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Messages
326
I have told many ppl about this site, and since I had some heart maintenance done have been checking the site to see if I can help anyone. Maybe there needs to be more hits on the site to bring it up on the search engines
Hello guys -- thanks for your interest!
The current hit totals for the site so far this month are:
Hits: 2321
Visitors: 253
Users Logged In: 9

Last month totals were:
Hits: 2942
Visitors: 231
Users Logged In: 12
Of course some of our registered users don't log in all of the time to view the forums, so the numbers are skewed a bit.
As far as search engines, we are in the top 5 on Google (search “bobcat forum”); in the top 10 on Altavista; top three on Yahoo;
Here are a couple of examples of searches that are bringing folks to the site:
http://search.msn.com/results.asp?FORM=sCPN&RS=CHECKED&un=doc&v=1&q=Bobcat Forum
http://search.yahoo.com/[email protected]@&xargs=0&pstart=1&fr=sbc-web&b=181
http://www.google.com/search?q=bobcat+b250+for+used&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8
After looking through my logs, I have noticed that the search engine crawlers have not been getting deep into the forum posts. I'll do some work on that end and see if the hits pick up.
There is a copy of a PDF flyer (http://www.bobcatforum.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=65) that C.A.created which can be downloaded and printed out to post.
I've also been pondering the idea of T-Shirts for our registered users.
Thanks for your input!
Geoffrey
 

StuZ

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2003
Messages
133
Hello guys -- thanks for your interest!
The current hit totals for the site so far this month are:
Hits: 2321
Visitors: 253
Users Logged In: 9

Last month totals were:
Hits: 2942
Visitors: 231
Users Logged In: 12
Of course some of our registered users don't log in all of the time to view the forums, so the numbers are skewed a bit.
As far as search engines, we are in the top 5 on Google (search “bobcat forum”); in the top 10 on Altavista; top three on Yahoo;
Here are a couple of examples of searches that are bringing folks to the site:
http://search.msn.com/results.asp?FORM=sCPN&RS=CHECKED&un=doc&v=1&q=Bobcat%20Forum
http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=excavators+photos&tab=-web&btn=Search&[email protected]@&xargs=0&pstart=1&fr=sbc-web&b=181
http://www.google.com/search?q=bobcat+b250+for+used&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8
After looking through my logs, I have noticed that the search engine crawlers have not been getting deep into the forum posts. I'll do some work on that end and see if the hits pick up.
There is a copy of a PDF flyer (http://www.bobcatforum.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=65) that C.A.created which can be downloaded and printed out to post.
I've also been pondering the idea of T-Shirts for our registered users.
Thanks for your input!
Geoffrey
What might be better than a flyer would be a business card/welcome card to the site. Maybe find a good shareware business card software and make a few for the local lumberyard/dealer ?? I know I am more likely to pickup a business card and KEEP it than a flyer. Just a thought .....
 

owensge

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Messages
326
What might be better than a flyer would be a business card/welcome card to the site. Maybe find a good shareware business card software and make a few for the local lumberyard/dealer ?? I know I am more likely to pickup a business card and KEEP it than a flyer. Just a thought .....
Great Idea! I have a program that will do that!
 

Team Fountain

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
Messages
61
What are we offering people? The fact is, there really isn't a lot here to make a casual surfer come back. Sorry fellas, but I'm not one to pull punches. We can't prey on an established community, we need to build one. Well, with my limited life experience, I've found three things that always gather men together. Chicks, beer, and cash. How about a Bobcat gift certificate for the first person to reach 2k legitimate posts? If you make t-shirts, you'll draw a lot more attention if you make babydoll t's for the wives. A big happy pair of tatas will definitely get a guys attention. A catchy little slogan like “See these live at Bobcatforum.com “ might not hurt. :eek:] Another idea might be to try and recruit localized chapters. I've seen this work in the past. Find local guys in major areas and encourage them to host local 'parties' or such. Unfortunately, advertising is never free and rarely cheap. The other sad fact is that most 'Bobcat' people in my area either aren't computer savvy or are so busy running a business that they don't have time to play. We don't really offer tech support, we're not endorsed by Bobcat (why is that?), and we don't sell any products. Damn, why am I here?
REC
 

owensge

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Messages
326
What are we offering people? The fact is, there really isn't a lot here to make a casual surfer come back. Sorry fellas, but I'm not one to pull punches. We can't prey on an established community, we need to build one. Well, with my limited life experience, I've found three things that always gather men together. Chicks, beer, and cash. How about a Bobcat gift certificate for the first person to reach 2k legitimate posts? If you make t-shirts, you'll draw a lot more attention if you make babydoll t's for the wives. A big happy pair of tatas will definitely get a guys attention. A catchy little slogan like “See these live at Bobcatforum.com “ might not hurt. :eek:] Another idea might be to try and recruit localized chapters. I've seen this work in the past. Find local guys in major areas and encourage them to host local 'parties' or such. Unfortunately, advertising is never free and rarely cheap. The other sad fact is that most 'Bobcat' people in my area either aren't computer savvy or are so busy running a business that they don't have time to play. We don't really offer tech support, we're not endorsed by Bobcat (why is that?), and we don't sell any products. Damn, why am I here?
REC
TF, thanks for your input! I like the idea about the local chapters!
Basically we are offering the Forum itself! All of the little used pieces: ( Articles, Photos, Downloads, FAQs, Calendar, Classifieds, etc) are just gravy that I added to support the Forum.
I'm glad you guys aren't casual users! You saved me time and money in a couple of instances last month, and I'm sure a portion of the 300 anonymous users also benefitted from the experience of this group!
As far as technical support, I occasionally receive e-mails from users and can usually get back to them in 24-hours.
When I started the site 10 months ago, I had the support of my local Bobcat rep, but he's been too swamped to participate in the forum. I remember some of our members saying that they had talked with their local reps. Can anyone comment on that?
Currently, I'm building a house and working downtown and have only been able to devote a few hours per week to support to the site. I'll put forth some business card and t-shirt mock-ups for you guys take a look at. Also, I have a store module that I can plug in to the site.
I'm d*mn glad you all are here! I'm sure there are hundreds of anonymous enthusiasts out there who are grateful as well!

Thanks for the input!

Geoffrey
 

500K_773

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2004
Messages
342
TF, thanks for your input! I like the idea about the local chapters!
Basically we are offering the Forum itself! All of the little used pieces: ( Articles, Photos, Downloads, FAQs, Calendar, Classifieds, etc) are just gravy that I added to support the Forum.
I'm glad you guys aren't casual users! You saved me time and money in a couple of instances last month, and I'm sure a portion of the 300 anonymous users also benefitted from the experience of this group!
As far as technical support, I occasionally receive e-mails from users and can usually get back to them in 24-hours.
When I started the site 10 months ago, I had the support of my local Bobcat rep, but he's been too swamped to participate in the forum. I remember some of our members saying that they had talked with their local reps. Can anyone comment on that?
Currently, I'm building a house and working downtown and have only been able to devote a few hours per week to support to the site. I'll put forth some business card and t-shirt mock-ups for you guys take a look at. Also, I have a store module that I can plug in to the site.
I'm d*mn glad you all are here! I'm sure there are hundreds of anonymous enthusiasts out there who are grateful as well!

Thanks for the input!

Geoffrey
Geoffrey,
I am glad you have taken the time and put forth the effort to have this forum available for everyone to use. It's a great place to share ideas and offer solutions to problems encoutered on the jobsite. It is still a very new website (less than a year old) and I also figured that the traffic would slow down during the summer while everyone was busy working. Personally, I am trying to figure out if I want to turn down work to make time to finish projects around the house or just hire somebody to do the work.
Are any of the links on the homepage from paying sponsors? If they are, maybe you could talk them into writing articles spotlighting their products and answering questions in a forum about their product. Hopefully you could even talk them into offering a discount to registered users of this website.
It would also be nice if we could get some of the mechanics / techs from Bobcat dealers to visit the site. This would allow us to have an “unofficial“ tech support forum. It might be a good idea for all of us to visit with the service department and let them know about this site.
Is there a way for the average user to create a survey similar to the one you have on the front page? Maybe you could create a survey to poll the users of the site to see if they find it useful and what their favorite section is. Another good survey question would be: Do you perform your own service or bring it to the dealer? I would guess that greater than 90% of the owners perform their own service. Mine machine has never been back to the dealership for anything. I think the dealership would just be happy to get the revenue from the parts sold to the DIY owner/operator.
 

Tigerotor77W

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Messages
268
Geoffrey,
I am glad you have taken the time and put forth the effort to have this forum available for everyone to use. It's a great place to share ideas and offer solutions to problems encoutered on the jobsite. It is still a very new website (less than a year old) and I also figured that the traffic would slow down during the summer while everyone was busy working. Personally, I am trying to figure out if I want to turn down work to make time to finish projects around the house or just hire somebody to do the work.
Are any of the links on the homepage from paying sponsors? If they are, maybe you could talk them into writing articles spotlighting their products and answering questions in a forum about their product. Hopefully you could even talk them into offering a discount to registered users of this website.
It would also be nice if we could get some of the mechanics / techs from Bobcat dealers to visit the site. This would allow us to have an “unofficial“ tech support forum. It might be a good idea for all of us to visit with the service department and let them know about this site.
Is there a way for the average user to create a survey similar to the one you have on the front page? Maybe you could create a survey to poll the users of the site to see if they find it useful and what their favorite section is. Another good survey question would be: Do you perform your own service or bring it to the dealer? I would guess that greater than 90% of the owners perform their own service. Mine machine has never been back to the dealership for anything. I think the dealership would just be happy to get the revenue from the parts sold to the DIY owner/operator.
I agree. I think Bobcat Company should be able to help us out somehow. I can ask someone at Bobcat... I'll try for tomorrow evening.
 

Tigerotor77W

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Messages
268
Go For it!
This message is directed to Mr. Leroy Anderson. Hi Mr. Anderson, My name is Xingyuan Wang. I am an incoming freshman to the University of Illinois as a mechanical engineering major. I have a question regarding a Bobcat forum. Currently, www.bobcatforum.com is an internet site devoted to "Bobcat owners and enthusiasts to share information and ideas." However, because it is unsponsored by Bobcat Company, the visits to the site are low and the site generally sits idle for long periods, not really fulfilling the promise it contains. Here is what I would like to know: is there any way Bobcat Company could support the site (not necessarily financially) so that it [bobcatforum] is an official site for Bobcat? I'll list some of the advantages briefly. It would allow Bobcat Company officials to communicate with Bobcat owners. It would allow Bobcat officials to correspond with those interested in Bobcat -- a way to gauge public interest in a new product, for example. It would also allow Bobcat to do periodic quality inspections of its products. If large enough of a customer base were to register and use the forum, Bobcat could determine repeating errors or problematic aspects to its machines. I am a member of the website but am not an owner or webmaster. Please feel free to visit the site yourself if you would like. I appreciate your time and cooperation. Sincerely, Xingyuan Wang Proud supporter of Bobcat equipment
 

Tigerotor77W

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Messages
268
This message is directed to Mr. Leroy Anderson. Hi Mr. Anderson, My name is Xingyuan Wang. I am an incoming freshman to the University of Illinois as a mechanical engineering major. I have a question regarding a Bobcat forum. Currently, www.bobcatforum.com is an internet site devoted to "Bobcat owners and enthusiasts to share information and ideas." However, because it is unsponsored by Bobcat Company, the visits to the site are low and the site generally sits idle for long periods, not really fulfilling the promise it contains. Here is what I would like to know: is there any way Bobcat Company could support the site (not necessarily financially) so that it [bobcatforum] is an official site for Bobcat? I'll list some of the advantages briefly. It would allow Bobcat Company officials to communicate with Bobcat owners. It would allow Bobcat officials to correspond with those interested in Bobcat -- a way to gauge public interest in a new product, for example. It would also allow Bobcat to do periodic quality inspections of its products. If large enough of a customer base were to register and use the forum, Bobcat could determine repeating errors or problematic aspects to its machines. I am a member of the website but am not an owner or webmaster. Please feel free to visit the site yourself if you would like. I appreciate your time and cooperation. Sincerely, Xingyuan Wang Proud supporter of Bobcat equipment
And still, no response. I might have to email him directly. I'll give it a few more days. Xing
 

StuZ

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2003
Messages
133
And still, no response. I might have to email him directly. I'll give it a few more days. Xing
I'm sure Bobcat would have their complete dealer network screaming at them if they supported a forum to solve customers service related problems. If you know any John Deere, or Cat Dealer principals or Service Managers, and if they would tell you the truth, they would tell you that J D and Cat have been teaching for more than 10 years that their profit has to be made through the service end of the business. Don't get me wrong, this , and other forums are great for the Bobcat business, but pay someone to answer questions, and take potential earnings away from someone that has invested $ 100,000.00 up to several million dollars into a business is not going to happen anytime soon. To get more traffic here, you will probably have to either buy some space on other related webpages or change how the search engines find us.
 

Tigerotor77W

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Messages
268
I'm sure Bobcat would have their complete dealer network screaming at them if they supported a forum to solve customers service related problems. If you know any John Deere, or Cat Dealer principals or Service Managers, and if they would tell you the truth, they would tell you that J D and Cat have been teaching for more than 10 years that their profit has to be made through the service end of the business. Don't get me wrong, this , and other forums are great for the Bobcat business, but pay someone to answer questions, and take potential earnings away from someone that has invested $ 100,000.00 up to several million dollars into a business is not going to happen anytime soon. To get more traffic here, you will probably have to either buy some space on other related webpages or change how the search engines find us.
That's a good point, Stuz. I never thought of that.
 
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