Haymarket agrees sale of PistonHeads to CarGurus

Haymarket agrees sale of PistonHeads to CarGurus

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dhutch

4,095 posts

142 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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Talksteer said:
Well a cursory search would indicate that Autotrader got 12 million unique views per month and Pistonheads gets around 5 million.

When Petrol Ted sold the site it had 900,000 and he allegedly sold for 7 figures.

Interestingly enough around 45% of people find Pistonheads from a search engine which probably means that around half the views are related to the used car sales.

For reference Autotrader Group has a market cap of £3.9 billion!

So let's say for instance Pistonheads has 1/5th the amount of classifieds traffic and is only 1/10th as successful at rinsing buyers as Autotrader, that would equate to a £78 million value.

If Pistonheads classifieds had the same P/E ratio that would mean that they were turning over around £8 million per year.

I suspect that Pistonheads is less successful at getting money out of sellers because Haymarkets total turnover was only £136 million.

In short Pistonheads probably has the potential to be worth hundreds of millions and possibly billions as a genuine rival to Autotrader, I suspect that Carguru did not pay anywhere near that much but I suspect that they will have paid in the tens of millions.
Its mad really. Obviously I get that the site and classifieds makes money and that the brand is well known and established, but it is also crazy really that is has that sort of a value. Fair play to 'Petrol Ted' for creating a hell of a site, and while Haymarket have under invested of late they have carried it as a reasonable site and forum for over a decade which is more than half its life.

I have a natural wariness of what happens with sites/communities following takeovers, as well as the enormous trend of US investment to fail to understand the UK market, and really hope that CarGurus manage to retain the site and forums feel and momentum while introducing sensible investment to the sites software. Only time will tell.

As a forum owner myself (sites second owner) I am very aware of sharing the web with other platforms, in fact we as a site and brand have a facebook group which augments the forum. Facebook is better for transient content and the group and forum membership overlaps significantly, however the forum is also an invaluable tool and community platform and continues to do well, including new members coming in via the fb presence.


danllama said:
The charm of this forum is due to exactly what it is. Change it and people will disappear in droves.
You have to be super careful not to upset what you have. However improvements to the software behind the forum would be welcomed by a significant number and if done well should not be an issue to anyone.

As said, we will all watch this space. Retaining and listening to the current/existing staff, and spending time understanding the forum and consulting users will pay dividends in maintaining that and bringing people in to the classified and news side of the site as well.

I often recommend people look on our (PH) classifieds alongside Autotrader, and would not if it where not for the forum.


Daniel

TheLuke

2,102 posts

86 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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You oldies can't keep your MS dos forum forever, I like this forum layout as much as anyone, but I like the layout of Reddit more.

It can't stay like this forever, its just not how it works.







Bring on Pistonreddit. smile

Beefmeister

15,362 posts

175 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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TheLuke said:
You oldies can't keep your MS dos forum forever, I like this forum layout as much as anyone, but I like the layout of Reddit more.

It can't stay like this forever, its just not how it works.

Bring on Pistonreddit. smile
I find it staggering that anyone likes the way Reddit is laid out. Just an absolute mess to me.

Probably looks good to ADHD riddled yoots though which seems like is all that matters.

smartypants

41,169 posts

114 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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Reddit is pretty horrible, and it's difficult to follow the flow of anything if you're not involved in from the start, and difficult to wade through the chaff of nonsense.

Again it's a who shouts loudest wins format. Which is no good for a knowledge-base forum. No problem in changing the style of the forum, even avatars are fine - but it should still remain a basic forum structure that is tried and tested for about 25+ years now, before all this fire and forget type of posting formats arrived.




Gameface

9,686 posts

22 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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TheJimi said:
Monkeylegend said:
pingu393 said:
WTF is CTF? I've googled, but found nothing relevant.
Chew the fat.
CTF is awful, imo.

The moderation / rules are far more LAX and I got the impression that folk were rude & cheeky just because they could.

Haven't been on for years, but that's the impression I got.
Ive been on there. My screen name alluded to my car at the time. That was unacceptable apparently so they changed it to something offensive. I didn't go back.

Weird place with a snide undercurrent and unnecessary rudeness.

Lemming Train

3,397 posts

17 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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The entire forum content side of the site would be dead within a month if they changed it to Reddit style. I think even if they move it to a traditional phpbb layout (that most of us oldies are familiar with) they're at high risk of losing a vast chunk of the community if they don't closely mimmick the look and colours. I witnessed a hugely popular hobby forum suddenly change from phpbb to vbulletin with a completely different template and colour pallete and the forums became a wasteland within a year.

If they change it to one of the other less familiar forum designs or even go as far as changing it to something like Blatters then they can kiss goodbye to 80% of the community.

jagnet

2,954 posts

147 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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TheLuke said:
Bring on Pistonreddit. smile
Change for change's sake. The PH community has grown over many years around this design; like real life the surroundings influence the community and the nature of the communication between members within. Reddit has its style, PH has its - you can't change one for the other without fundamentally changing the community. Just because Reddit is successful it certainly doesn't mean that PH would follow suit with a Reddit style makeover.


227bhp

9,514 posts

73 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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As I sit here waiting 20 seconds for every page to load up i'm thinking anything's got to be better than this!

Lemming Train

3,397 posts

17 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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227bhp said:
As I sit here waiting 20 seconds for every page to load up i'm thinking anything's got to be better than this!
Buy a proper PC instead of using your toaster then hehe. I'm 'only' on an 8 Mbps connection here and the forum pages are loading in a split second so the problem is at your end.

thebraketester

7,953 posts

83 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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Lemming Train said:
227bhp said:
As I sit here waiting 20 seconds for every page to load up i'm thinking anything's got to be better than this!
so the problem is at your end.
No its not.... forum performance is shocking at the moment and lots are effected.

Lemming Train

3,397 posts

17 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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thebraketester said:
Lemming Train said:
227bhp said:
As I sit here waiting 20 seconds for every page to load up i'm thinking anything's got to be better than this!
so the problem is at your end.
No its not.... forum performance is shocking at the moment and lots are effected.
Forums are loading just fine in desktop Chrome with uBlock Origin and Adblock extensions on my W8.1 PC. If you're still using the internet in the year 2018 without ad blockers then you've only got yourself to blame! :shrug:

smartypants

41,169 posts

114 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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It's the forum if you're not running an Ad blocker

https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&...


PC: Lots of ad blocker options

iOS:

Run Safari and AdGuard

Android

Install Brave browser


Then the forum is usable.


dhutch

4,095 posts

142 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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I'm not a redit user, but there are modern high quality forum software options out there which look and work largely like the current layout, with useful extras like a user friendly image upload facility, reliable logical operation, and a mobile layout the works well on any size device.

Off the shelf options include vBulletin or Invision or obviously you could code your own with time and investment.


Daniel

sorrel

215 posts

83 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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No problems here, Chrome with AdBlocker on Win 8.1

Actually one of the quicker sites I use.. smile

thebraketester

7,953 posts

83 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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dhutch said:
I'm not a redit user, but there are modern high quality forum software options out there which look and work largely like the current layout, with useful extras like a user friendly image upload facility, reliable logical operation, and a mobile layout the works well on any size device.

Off the shelf options include vBulletin or Invision or obviously you could code your own with time and investment.


Daniel
The issues would be porting all the current database/system (which is I believe proprietary) to vB or Invision or any other board.

If you want to move from vB to A.N.Other mainstream forum software then there are usually scripts already written to take care of it...... it wont be the case for PH.

thegreenhell

6,108 posts

164 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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dhutch said:
or obviously you could code your own with time and investment.
I think this is how we got here in the first place.

dhutch

4,095 posts

142 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
thebraketester said:
The issues would be porting all the current database/system (which is I believe proprietary) to vB or Invision or any other board.

If you want to move from vB to A.N.Other mainstream forum software then there are usually scripts already written to take care of it...... it wont be the case for PH.
Absolutely understand that.

But the forum and wider site is more than large enough to warrant the time to write script to port the content over if you wanted to, or continue to invest in developing and evolving the current proprietary scripts.

It's not a quick Friday afternoon job, but either option is very viable if you can knock out the draft for TripAdvisor on a hackathon.


Daniel

phoenixz

429 posts

111 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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jagnet said:
Change for change's sake. The PH community has grown over many years around this design; like real life the surroundings influence the community and the nature of the communication between members within. Reddit has its style, PH has its - you can't change one for the other without fundamentally changing the community. Just because Reddit is successful it certainly doesn't mean that PH would follow suit with a Reddit style makeover.
The PH community grew around this design over 9 years ago. It has stagnated and dwindled since

Change in the community is a good thing. the "real life" equivalent of a community without change would be the Mormons.

Your last sentence is the prime reason for PH failing and will be Exhibit A on the coroners report of Pistonheads. You must have been the CEO of Blockbuster, Toys R Us and Myspace

jagnet

2,954 posts

147 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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phoenixz said:
The PH community grew around this design over 9 years ago. It has stagnated and dwindled since
Has it dwindled that much? To my mind the subforums still seem as busy as they were a decade ago. There's been several charts posted that show a decline in searches for "pistonheads", but that only shows a decline for that search term and gives no indication as to how many reach PH through long tail searches, something that a traditional forum layout with good information buried in it still seems to do well at.


phoenixz said:
Change in the community is a good thing. the "real life" equivalent of a community without change would be the Mormons.
Of course, things must grow and develop. But there's wholescale change and there's evolution. The former is a very risky strategy - lose your user base and you won't get it back no matter how appealing the new layout is to test audiences. Many a busy forum has died through attempting to upgrade and imitate other sites.

Too often imho it's forgotten how easy it is for forum users just to stop logging in. People like the familiar, but they also like easy, convenient and uncluttered; force them to relearn their routines or subject them to poor user interaction and more often than not they just won't bother and that'll happen far faster than new users will appear.

You mention myspace; there's various reasons why myspace fell from grace but imho it wasn't really down to a lack of development. Many of the developments were poor, inadequately tested, slow, irritating, difficult to use. All whilst forcing users to put up with a crap ton of adverts. In contrast Facebook offered a clean design free of spam. In a highly competitive arena it was all too easy for myspace users to jump ship.

Evolve the forums for sure, I'm sure there's much to be improved in the underlying code for a start, but to suddenly force a transition to a whole new way of interacting with them and many members aren't going to hang around.



Lemming Train

3,397 posts

17 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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phoenixz said:
jagnet said:
Change for change's sake. The PH community has grown over many years around this design; like real life the surroundings influence the community and the nature of the communication between members within. Reddit has its style, PH has its - you can't change one for the other without fundamentally changing the community. Just because Reddit is successful it certainly doesn't mean that PH would follow suit with a Reddit style makeover.
The PH community grew around this design over 9 years ago. It has stagnated and dwindled since

Change in the community is a good thing. the "real life" equivalent of a community without change would be the Mormons.

Your last sentence is the prime reason for PH failing and will be Exhibit A on the coroners report of Pistonheads. You must have been the CEO of Blockbuster, Toys R Us and Myspace
A quick check of your post history shows that you have been putting down Pistonheads for years, claiming that the site is failing, finished and all sorts of other nonsense. You have also said that it should be like Car Throttle and that they are taking the place of PH because that's what the car enthusiast community wants.

Let's have a look at Car Throttle shall we, to see what we're missing : https://www.carthrottle.com/community/

Oh look - it's Facebook for cars! A long long list of attention wes posting pics of their cars which everyone ignores as evidenced by 0 comments on every post. A quick glance of the "hot" topics doesn't show much improvement either. The most discussed topics barely get into double figure replies and of those that do they are nearly all one line comments. There is no discussion or debate to be found anywhere on the site, it's just me-me-me attention whoring from a user base that has the attention span of a goldfish, ie. typical Facebook/Instagram/Twitter rubbish.

And then there is also the question : if this site is so bad in your opinion, why are you still here and keep coming back? Surely if Car Throttle is the answer and they are so brilliant then you'd be so happy over there that you'd have long forgotten about PH by now and their dinosaur ways? The simple fact of the matter is none of these new enterprises that claim to know the market and what people want can get anywhere close to emulating the community and popularity that we have here. Car Throttle, Drive Tribe, Chew the Fat, Blatters have all tried and failed and despite the continual claims that PH is dead (allegedly evidenced by fancy graphs and pie charts) it's still here and the forums still seem to be as popular as ever from my observation point. confused

edit: missed out a word redface

Edited by Lemming Train on Friday 7th December 13:15

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