The Paddock Poll

The Paddock on GT40s.com should be _______________.

  • Closed and removed.

    Votes: 16 26.2%
  • Left open as it is now.

    Votes: 16 26.2%
  • Left open as a "Supporters Only" clubhouse, i.e., closed to all but forum supporters.

    Votes: 20 32.8%
  • Left open with absolutely no moderation, i.e., the home of the free and the brave.

    Votes: 9 14.8%

  • Total voters
    61

Chuck

Supporter
Veek nailed it with this comment. Totally agree:

One recent item really bothers me though, the gt40s.com being banned in libraries based on the (presumably Paddock) content. Go to a car show, SCCA event or even a cars and coffee and the participants are getting fewer and grayer. Our hobby is simply not able to compete with the newest app or the latest XBox release. The forum is a great way for youngsters seeing GT40s on various game apps to get into the history and recreation of such an iconic car. Personally, if I was age 15 again, I'd be all over this site but if my parents saw the profanity and other vile stuff from the Paddock's lower reaches, it would be banned at home. Simple solution, block the Paddock from general access and let the simians have at it. At the same time increase the site's revenue.
 

Ron Earp

Admin
Veek nailed it with this comment. Totally agree:

One recent item really bothers me though, the gt40s.com being banned in libraries based on the (presumably Paddock) content. Go to a car show, SCCA event or even a cars and coffee and the participant
Sure about that? I've got a slew of people hitting public libraries for me and so far the results indicate there are no bans in place. Red herring argument maybe? Results up when all in.

That, and the fact I do not think a significant fraction of members view this site from a library. Someone much smarter than me could take the IP access logs and verify that though.
 
Was it Public Libraries or School/College libraries, IIRC it was Doug who mentioned it & he was referring to his work situation.
 

Ron Earp

Admin
One recent item really bothers me though, the gt40s.com being banned in libraries based on the (presumably Paddock) content.
This is what I have on libraries so far, all accessible:

Raleigh NC, Public Library Athens Drive (my daughter)
Burlington NC, Public Library downtown (my dad)
San Diego CA, San Diego State University (friend)
Calgary Canada, University of Calgary (friend)
Raleigh NC, NCSU University Library (Wife)
Blacksburg VA, VT University Library (former advisor)
Burnsville MN, Burnhaven Library (friend)

While this certainly isn't an exhaustive study it's indicative to me that library access isn't a big issue. Heck, at the Cary library you can access porn, and I suspect that's the case for most libraries. Libraries are all about free access and free speech.

As far as access at work, well, I doubt that is due to the paddock. Instead, I bet your company that has a firewall/appliance that blocks "time wasting sites". I manage our Fortigate firewall at my company (we're a small company, somebody has to do it) and I use Fortigate's recommended blocking for websites. GT40s.com IS blocked at work, but not due to foul content. GT40s.com appears in the Fortigate's "Sports and Recreation" category and is blocked since that entire category is not productive for work.
 
Sure about that? I've got a slew of people hitting public libraries for me and so far the results indicate there are no bans in place. Red herring argument maybe? Results up when all in.

That, and the fact I do not think a significant fraction of members view this site from a library. Someone much smarter than me could take the IP access logs and verify that though.
Ron, my apologies if I misunderstood Doug's comments as to administrative filters blocking GT40s.com. Given there are more public libraries than McDonald’s in the U.S.—a total of 16,766 including branches, I have no idea as to all their filtering parameters (if any) and nor do I think a sample size of a few dozen will be meaningful. Nonetheless, I don't think the kind of filters at Doug's organization are unique. Popular filtering software NetNanny has a language detection feature, gives parents access to view photos and videos, and sends notifications to parents when "harmful activities" such as cyberbullying are detected. It's in use by thousands of homes and public libraries. I suspect there are others.
But my larger point seems to have been missed. If the Paddock's often profane and occasionally vicious personal attacks by a very few are triggering any automated filters, that's not a good thing. If it's causing others to disengage, stop contributing and stay away, that's worse.
So, what is the opportunity cost of those, new and old, getting and eyeful of the threats, personal attacks and profane bloviating to the Paddock? What is the impact to the site in general? How much participation, membership and funding has suffered as a result? You've just had the second recent plea for funds. You've indicated sponsor participation has diminished. Does the open nature of the Paddock coupled with the often hateful content by the very few add or subtract from the long term enjoyment and ultimately the fiscal viability of the site? Does it matter?
 

Ron Earp

Admin
What is the impact to the site in general? How much participation, membership and funding has suffered as a result? You've just had the second recent plea for funds. You've indicated sponsor participation has diminished. Does the open nature of the Paddock coupled with the often hateful content by the very few add or subtract from the long term enjoyment and ultimately the fiscal viability of the site? Does it matter?
I think the paddock has no impact on the site other than being a point of discussion for this thread and one or two others. The majority of members don't know the subforum exists and it is frequented often by the same 5X people, often.

As for sponsors, I've provided the reason there aren't as many as there used to be - I have no time to chase them up. It takes a fair amount of work to find the right contact in a company, sell them on advertising on the forum, and then to bring them onboard with payment. For a commercial site I think the advertising/sponsorship makes good sense. But for a non-profit / free / user supported site it might not be the best way to go.
 

Doug S.

The protoplasm may be 70, but the spirit is 32!
Lifetime Supporter
Was it Public Libraries or School/College libraries, IIRC it was Doug who mentioned it & he was referring to his work situation.
It is the small local public school district that uses some sort of outside firewall service. The stated reason that GT40s dot com was firewalled was “Vulgar/abusive language”.

Doug
 

Randy V

Admin
Lifetime Supporter
It is the small local public school district that uses some sort of outside firewall service. The stated reason that GT40s dot com was firewalled was “Vulgar/abusive language”.

Doug
They certainly would not allow connecting to Facebook then.... I simply can’t believe how many potty-mouths post on that site... :stunned:
 

Randy V

Admin
Lifetime Supporter
If the Paddock were to be closed to the public and open only to subscribing members, the bots will no longer be able to collect any metadata from the posts - thereby cleaning up any bad sort of profiles we may have landed in. Yes it takes a while for that to happen, but it does happen...
 

Howard Jones

Supporter
Ron. I want you do whatever you think is the best thing to do for GT40s.com. I come here to work on my cars and and learn about mid engine prototypes. I'm done with the paddoc as far as posting goes so do what you think is best. I trust you, your friend Howard.

Thanks again for all you do.
 

Doug S.

The protoplasm may be 70, but the spirit is 32!
Lifetime Supporter
If the Paddock were to be closed to the public and open only to subscribing members, the bots will no longer be able to collect any metadata from the posts - thereby cleaning up any bad sort of profiles we may have landed in. Yes it takes a while for that to happen, but it does happen...
That is what I had hoped for!

One other issue...regarding the issue of “subscribing members”...does that include the bronze/silver/gold/lifetime supporting members only, or would it be a better idea to sell a separate “Paddock Pit Pass” that would be a separate icon by our user name on our posts. Not trying to incite any form of rebellion here, but I will say that my Lifetime Premier Supporter membership is for general forum support, which means that I would find it acceptable each year to support the Paddock separately...perhaps offer a $10 Pit Pass icon that would be required EACH YEAR “above and beyond” my Lifetime Supporter status. It might just turn into another way to raise cash to continue the forum and fund improvements...or it could turn into a paperwork nightmare, too :eek:!

Cheers!!

Doug
 

Ron Earp

Admin
Maybe it should be like Thunderdome - two men enter, one man leave.

We'll set it up so two people can post while others can watch and vote. A poll will be run that will be used to declare the victor. The victor advances to the next round. The Master of the Paddock will be declared at the end and then we'll shut that shit down forever.

How's that?
 

Howard Jones

Supporter
That Ron......just might be the best one yet................I've been laughing for 10 mins and my wife came in and wanted to know what the hell is so funny? How would you answer that one? Geese.............laughing again............
 

Doug S.

The protoplasm may be 70, but the spirit is 32!
Lifetime Supporter
Me, too, Howard! Ron has a real talent for misstating the obvious, no? Gotta LOVE it!!!

Cheers!

Doug
 

Doug S.

The protoplasm may be 70, but the spirit is 32!
Lifetime Supporter
72% of the respondents voted to keep the Paddock open. That makes 41 out of 57 members.

I'd guess it'll be fewer than that who frequent the Paddock...or, perhaps, just the politics/religion portions. There are a lot of other threads (including the Jokes thread) that get a lot of traffic in the Paddock.

It might be a small "club"...but I could be wrong! The Jokes thread has a huge reply count, so there's traffic in the Paddock!!!

Cheers!

Doug
 

Mike

Lifetime Supporter
This poll was designed to produce a certain result which it unsurprisingly did. A lot of real GT40 enthusiests have/will just fade away from the site now that the main focus is political bashing. Unfortunate...
 
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