A friendly bloke suggested I start a new thread with a response so that it doesn't get buried in pages upon pages of stuff. Here's what I had said:
Sorry for the delay in responding to this thread. I do appreciate the sentiments and feedback, whether positive or negative, because I do understand there's been a change in the support of the forum and it stands to reason that you like things the way they have been.
People don't like change. Yeah, I get that. And then y'know what? They get acclimated soon enough when the boat's not rocked. I've hardly rocked the boat.
Oh, but what's this? The Political Forum? Yeah, I'm the one in control of canning it, but my voice was hardly the one who decided to relegate it. Before I came on board, there was a discussion on the Moderators' Forum ("Future of Politics on GMI"). Plus, Mark had given me a heads-up on the deliberations. I was reluctant to voice my two cents among the staff because I was the new guy and felt my opinion should not carry the weight of those who already have been invested in the site.
So, yeah, maybe I've rocked the boat a bit after all, but please give the forum forensics a rest - there are things that go on behind the scenes that most of you are not privy to. I've just shown you one instance above. It's not productive to the folks who contribute to the inner workings of the site, only for me to be confronted with "He doesn't get the site." Damn straight I get it - the political forum was a morass of negativity that was bringing down the site. Why keep it when folks can't play nice? It was a nice experiment whose time has come and gone.
Don't believe me? Even in this thread, it's now 9 pages and there's a lot of bickering. Can we all agree that we need to raise the level of discourse up a notch? Yes, we folks behind the screen have to curate the forum and set a tone, but you have to follow through and maintain the tone. This forum is a pleasure to read when people talk about cars, but when the forum becomes tit-for-tat, it turns into every other forum out there. The Politics Forum only made it worse - we'd rather maintain the positive aspects of this site and eliminate the negative.
And the articles I've posted?
Nothing I've posted goes without discussing things with my bosses. A lot of time has been spent discussing ideas, nixing some and putting others on the back-burner. And then, if that's not good enough, some people have issues with where an article is posted. Again, everything is done with the agreement of the higher-ups.
But don't let this appear as I'm shaking my finger at you like Aunt Gladys - I see the comments and I tell my bosses as well. You're our customers, and we have an obligation to listen to you and consider everything. I assure you they've taken the comments to heart. So if there ever is another article like the Pontiac one, I can assure you that it likely will appear in a forum that you will consider more appropriate.
To another point: Again, regarding being privy to things behind the scenes, sure, I can take the "GMI isn't a fanboy paradise" comments, but they are not based on reality. Again, your feedback hasn't gone unnoticed, but trust me when I say that this impression is a complete 180 from the reality.
So don't like an opinion in an article? How about articulating how you imagine a modern Pontiac lineup? Or, if you want to be extra-critical, post how the New GM is not capable of getting Pontiac right at this point in time . . . and explain why. No, I'm not throwing back any angst back upon you - I'm merely suggesting that funneling that negative energy into positive interpersonal discourse on a topic that we share and love.
Ditto with the Top 10 list. How many of us have seen "listicle" after listicle online, from Yahoo Autos to the WSJ, about something that has us shaking our collective heads? Most of them suck and don't demonstrate a grasp of automotive acumen, or they simply name the same tired cliches. I knew I was up to the task of coming up with something with integrity. "Style" is a subjective perception, and I made a list that attempted to cover different eras without too much emphasis on oft-repeating brands (aka "Yeah, a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz and Seville reek of style, but there's been too much Cadillac already and I feel we should include something from another GM brand as a matter of balance"). Were my choices my favorite GM products from the past? Hardly, but I attempted to be objective yet have fun . . . hell, what list would exclude a 1963 Buick Riviera? But I think the '65 came off best, and I thought the underrated '67 Eldorado would be an interesting substitution. It carried all the style equity of the Riviera but it's slightly more refined thanks to being several years newer. With only 10 spaces to consider, I could have listed the usual suspects, but Lord knows I don't want to be considered a Fanboy!
But the criticism of the other articles, like "Why Won't My Car Start," have been duly noted by the AutoGuide folks and I've asked for some different fodder like the Cruze spy photos, which seem to have been well-received by y'all.
I will do my best to interact more, as I'm trying to gain my bearings (is that how the saying goes?) for the site. If it's not to your satisfaction, by all means let me know - even via PM. Remember, you're the customer, and I can't possibly see every single thread going on every day. After all, the WWW implies interactivity, and in our world today the customer has the power to articulate things in ways that was not previously possible during the Atari Age. In the spirit of yesterday's holiday, let's just pretend I'm like Mom (or Bon Jovi) and I'll be there for you.
Is that enough personality for ya?
In sum, my main intention is to continue what Mark started. As I get acclimated with the culture of the site, nudge me into the Admin you want me to be. If it ain't fun, it ain't worth it, so let's work together to keep GMI being your favorite site about General Motors.
If you feel you need to articulate something in response, please do it here.