27th August 2019 marks the 5th anniversary of the ElgrandOC forum.
That is the "official" birthday for the club, although there was a small presence on Facebook for a week or so before.
ElgrandOC was set up on a whim. It was an experiment. There were 3 forums online when I bought my Elgrand. An Australian based site. There was the Elgrand Collective and also the Elgrand Ning forum (Ning was a web based platform).
The Aussie site was open, and a great source of info, but did not accept new members. Both the Collective and Ning platforms were locked down, and getting access to the forums involved jumping through hoops (3 page registration form, a telephone interview and payment up front before you could even get in to say hello).
Based on the lack of "community" feel... I decided to set up ElgrandOC. A free, open to all, one stop resource for Elgrand owners across the world.
So then there were four forums. Slowly, as time passed, four became three again, which became two, and then eventually, it became one. Just us.
I'm now sitting here, 5 years later, and looking back at everything we've been through as a club, and appreciating everything we have.
Over 5000 members, an average of 300 users active EVERY day and an average of over 320 posts EVERY day.
We are now the ONLY remaining Elgrand forum. I've been told so many times over the last 5 years that the forum would die because Facebook is taking over and ruining car clubs. Well, ElgrandOC has proved that this is not the case. The reason forums have died is lack of drive, lack of ambition, and lack of interest from members. And this is where we start to get into the appreciation side of this post.
Every single member of ElgrandOC has helped to bring us where we are today. Whether you are a registered member or a premium member, it doesn't matter. Just being here and using the forum, asking questions, chatting to one another... all of that has helped to make ElgrandOC stand out in the crowd. We have achieved growth and strength in a time where other forums have been dying due to social media.
I love seeing posts from new members thanking the community for being so friendly and welcoming. Every single one of you who just welcomes a new member has played a VITAL role in ensuring the growth of the club. You have welcomed a new member, made them feel like part of the family, and allowed them to fully engage with the rest of the community without hesitation.
I know there are still a lot of members here who have either just joined or been here for a while but still feel anxious about posting. But I know from speaking privately to members who do get stuck in, that diving in head first and understanding just how strong the community spirit is within the club, that goes a long way to getting you involved. We have an amazing collection of personalities within the club, and it warms my heart seeing people enjoying banter, sharing laughs, and leaning on each other for support when they need to.
The one thing that upsets me is hearing the odd comments about certain groups of members being "cliquey". I never understood this because no one who has ever joined the forum has been purposefully made to feel unwelcome. We love getting new people in, new personalities, and new experiences. If anyone feels that there are "cliques" within the club, and you feel that you struggle to get involved, drop me a PM and we'll have a chat about it. I can wholeheartedly say that the clique you believe is there, is not, and all it's going to take is your participation. I will include a link at the end of this post regarding social anxiety and it's effects on meets and events, but I am becoming increasingly aware that this also applies to people posting within the forum. If you don't feel comfortable posting, but you are desperately wanting to join in, as I said, drop me a PM and we'll have a chat about it. I'm more than willing to spare any time I have to help members of this club. Getting you engaging with the rest of the community helps the club to flourish. We need you to be a part of that. Every single one of you.
I know there are people here who don't want to be a part of the community, and just want to get help with their vehicles etc. That's fine. I 100% appreciate that. But, just as a word of wisdom, more people will be willing to help those they are bonded with. Having that conversation with others, getting your name known, and integrating yourself with the community will help you in any situation where you need help. That is what a community is about. Helping out. I'm not saying you won't get help if you don't join in with conversation, but it's human nature to be more helpful to people you know. Example, if you pass a broken down car on your drive to work, would you stop to help? Most likely not, you don't want to be late. If you passed a family member or friend... that decision process would be very different. This is not about being cliquey, this is just human nature.
So once again. Thank you. Yes you. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Thank you for being here. Thank you for being a member of ElgrandOC and playing a big part in helping the club to be exactly what it is. I know the 10 post rule rubs some people up the wrong way, but 99% of members appreciate it. And of the 1% who disagree with it... they start to understand it once they've got into it and start to understand how the community works.
We are ElgrandOC. We are united by a love for a car. A strange thing, but wonderful that it has brought so many people together for the better. Some of my best friends I've made in this club, and I make new close friends every year. I know that other members feel and have experienced the same. You get back what you put in.
Live long ElgrandOC.
Once again, thank you all. Your participation no matter how big or small has helped to make EOC exactly what it is.
Meets and Social Anxiety
You have 10 posts so share away! That's what the Forum is here for. Thank you Karl (and others) for all your hard work. I think you have hit on exactly the right mix of a straightforward to use forum, with friendly and helpful staff and members. The only fly in the ointment is nothing to do with the Forum it's the behavior of the various authorities, that sometimes seem determined to make life a little more difficult than it needs to be. No names no pack drill, TFL and DVLA. Oops it slipped out.Happy Birthday.
I’ve had my Elgrand E51 2004 for 2 years now, so comfortable to drive. Just come back from our 2nd trip to South of France and it’s a doddle to drive. This forum is essential to us, not everything is always 100% fine in a car so being able to talk to others to overcome issues adds to the community. I have a current odd issue with my Elgrand so when I get to 10 posts I’ll be able to share my experience and hopefully someone has already solved it
Well said! We had anxieties about getting an Elgrand because of parts, high running costs, insurance and plenty more besides. We are so much more at ease through this forum. So yeah, because if this, there are lots more Elgrand owners than there would have been otherwise. Thanks Karl!!This should be “thank you” Karl.
Without this forum we would not all have the enjoyment we do here.
Also without this forum I would not have bought an Elgrand. I spent several weeks lurking in the background before I did. It was the fact that there is an active forum that convinced me I was doing the right thing and there would be support available for parts and problems
What time does the birthday party start and who’s providing beer.
To be fair...that's not just 'cool', it's bloody amazing really! The fact that 12 people found and joined this forum on day 1 shows that there was a need for it. It also means the 11 that are still here have probably still got their Elgrands.The other 11 have all been active on the forum in 2019. That's pretty cool.
I like you alreadyI put a deposit on my E51 earlier this week and then thought.......there's bound to be a forum for this vehicle.
And low and behold, here we are After browsing the forums for a few hours, I had no hesitation in going for
the full membership. The collective knowledge of you guy's is going to be priceless to me as a newbie E51
owner. I also think a sense of humour is a must and I've noticed on the forums, it is there by the bucket load.
My thanks to you all in advance for your help and I look forward to contributing in the forums.