Haymarket agrees sale of PistonHeads to CarGurus

Haymarket agrees sale of PistonHeads to CarGurus

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smartypants

41,396 posts

115 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
Here here to the last 2 posts clap


jagnet

2,958 posts

148 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
Lemming Train said:
Let's have a look at Car Throttle shall we, to see what we're missing : https://www.carthrottle.com/community/
yes I'm sure that Car Throttle would love to have the problems that PH has with threads getting beyond 500 pages putting excessive strain on the servers.

edit: pages, not posts


Edited by jagnet on Friday 7th December 14:59

dhutch

4,146 posts

143 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
jagnet said:
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.
It would be interesting to look at the post-count and other forum data.

I don't know what if any audit tools there are, but on commercial software you can graph the rate of new posts/treads as well as the rate of new members, and between them they show the forum size and turn over. Combined with page-read and other normal website metrics.

Getting a figure for the number of 'active members' is a much harder, as it depends what you define as an active member.


Daniel

uk66fastback

14,185 posts

217 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
Reading the posts below criticising PH makes me wonder whether people are spoilt ...

Sure, investment seems to have put aside - but for guys like me - who have come here virtually every day for years ... this is all I need. The site work for me fine. If the forums disappear - I'm gone as well.

phoenixz

429 posts

112 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
jagnet said:
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.
In response to the dwindling forums, all the subs i used to frequent had no "last posts" that were older than a day. Now most of them are lucky to get a comment inside of a week, sometimes even a month.

How do you not see the direct comparison between PH and Myspace in your own quote? Everything you have described about Myspace have been complained about of PH in this thread alone. Swap out Facebook for Reddit

phoenixz

429 posts

112 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
Lemming Train said:
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
The posting you are referring to was in regards to the front page. Not the forums.
The rest of your argument is moot

My visiting the forums is now mostly an annual pilgrimage, like going home to see the parents

smartypants

41,396 posts

115 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
phoenixz said:
The posting you are referring to was in regards to the front page. Not the forums.
The rest of your argument is moot

My visiting the forums is now mostly an annual pilgrimage, like going home to see the parents
A forum is a community, and in any community or society you get out what you put in.

No offence, but 394 posts in 102 months suggests you're hardly in a position to complain about dwindling figures or indeed the content.

jagnet

2,958 posts

148 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
phoenixz said:
In response to the dwindling forums, all the subs i used to frequent had no "last posts" that were older than a day. Now most of them are lucky to get a comment inside of a week, sometimes even a month.
That's completely the opposite for the sub forums that I tend to look at.

Certainly the marque specific forums are much quieter, but that just reflects the rest of the internet. Marque specific forums have seen dwindling numbers for a long time and many have vanished completely and there is really nothing that you can do about that.

phoenixz said:
How do you not see the direct comparison between PH and Myspace in your own quote? Everything you have described about Myspace have been complained about of PH in this thread alone. Swap out Facebook for Reddit
No, I don't see much of a parallel between myspace and PH in all honesty. There's some annoying ads on PH but they're easily dealt with with an adblocker. Even without I've never had much of an issue using it on my phone without an adblocker. It's a far cry from the worst of myspace.

Without the ads PH loads quickly with very little data used, the forums are uncluttered and easy to read. When you compare it to so many websites that over the last 5 years appear to be in a competition to see who has the largest page size it's an absolute pleasure to return to.

Unlike myspace the PH user base is, on the whole, a fairly sensible, mature and good natured community. It's a far cry from the den of iniquity that myspace became around 2006. One of the greatest things about PH is that the community is pretty good at self moderating; you can always rely on PH members to call out bullst when it appears; there really isn't a clique that's hard to penetrate unlike so many marque specific forums; trolls rarely last long.

You are not going to improve the user experience for most PH members by trying to emulate Reddit. I get it, you like Reddit, you're used to Reddit and so the Reddit style layout is one that you're familiar and happy with, just as the PH style layout is one that many PH members are happy with. If Reddit tried to emulate Facebook it'd be dead within a couple of years and in the same way PH would die a death if tried to become Reddit.

I don't think anybody is saying that the forums should be left exactly as is because they're perfect but it doesn't mean that a wholescale change to emulate a completely different site with a different user base is a good idea.

Lemming Train

3,566 posts

18 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
phoenixz said:
The posting you are referring to was in regards to the front page. Not the forums.
The rest of your argument is moot

My visiting the forums is now mostly an annual pilgrimage, like going home to see the parents
If Car Throttle is done so well and the front page is how PH should be in your opinion, why is the rest of the site dead? The front page is the 'door' to the rest of the site so if everything behind the door is dead that tells you that the front page isn't working as it's not drawing anyone in.

A cut and paste of your posts :

phoenixz in 2016 said:
To be perfectly honest, the biggest disappointment this year (for me) has been pistonheads itself...

whilst other car sites have come on in leaps and bounds, embracing social media, making big changes and invoking involvement from their members in many exciting and creative ways, pistonheads seems to be stuck in the dark ages of the internet.

the forums are dwindling, the articles are lack luster and the interest in members is minimal at best.

I know that drive tribe are technically a competitor, but where is the pistonheads tribe? why are they not top of the bumps per day?

where is the fast updating news feed of car related articles from around the world? there are plenty of sites that I use regularly that link their posts to other car sites and simply attempt to have all car news (verified and unverified) in one place. why doesn't pistonheads have that?
there should be 10-20 articles a day with featured/stickys given to featured articles.

where is the personal look at member vehicles and stories (see car throttle for examples)

for reference of doing it right: look at car buzz, car throttle etc...

maybe hire someone that was born this century? some of them are 16 now.
phoenixz in 2017 said:
Another year goes by and pistonheads is still the biggest dissappointment for me.

I have gone so far as to remove it from my bookmarks. It has now become the yearly nostalgia trip. The site i check up on once a year to see if there has been any change or improvement.

After last year's rant and being PM'ed by the editor, i had high hopes that at least some of my suggestions would be taken on, most of which were simple and cheap to do. Evidently the PMs were just to stop the public bashing of pistonheads on their own site.

Car Throttle will continue to grow, Drivetribe seems to have invaded all parts of social media (however unwanted at first), even Petrolicious (which used to just be fantastic clips for occasional watching) has become a bigger reference point and thus more relevant.

I wish PH and the team all the best, but at the moment the only future i see for pistonheads is obscurity.

Regretfully,
Phoenixz
Petrolicious is another site that's dead. Gimmicky layout with too many 'like' buttons and Facebook style commenting. Checking a handful of articles the average number of comments is 3 hehe . That's some real progress in 2+ years! PH should definitely watch their backs.

Drivetribe has gained some traction I'll admit, but just look at the state of their site laugh. It's one huge mess of stuff all over the place in no order whatsoever. Checking a handful of articles, sure, they have a fair number of comments but it's same boring one line or one word replies, completely devoid of any discussion points or debate.

As someone said a few pages back, PH has become more of a 'life' forum than just about cars. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the off-topic Pie & Piston sub-forums are busier than all the motoring forums put together. Where else on the internet can you get advice all in one place on the best family estate under £5k with 200hp+, tips on how to shave your nob without slicing yourself open, advice on best teaspoons, advice on the best log-burners, advice on marriage/relationships, advice on employment/tax/legal matters and the opportunity to get balls deep in arguing about Brexit, Trump or Islam and your post still be there 10 minutes later? All this with some of the most passive and laid-back mods that the internet has ever seen. It's like one big digital pub and sure, it could do with freshening up with a new carpet and fresh coat of paint on the walls but everything else needs leaving alone as it just works.

MrBig

1,278 posts

75 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
I quite like PH for what it is. Granted, I'm not such a fan of the bhing and belittling that takes place on some of the threads, but on the whole its a great resource for a demographic that doesn't really fit the FB/reddit etc. type model.

My worry is that CarGurus just want the brand to launch a classifieds service for the UK (and maybe Europe) and the forums will be seen as a liability. Hope to be proved wrong.

Mind you i'll save a lot of money on trainers, aftershave, headphones, watches, tools, cat6 and NAS drives (whatever they are) biggrin

smartypants

41,396 posts

115 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
If I am searching for anything new to buy or a review on something say "4K TV", I will always go "site:www.pistonheads.com" first in Google for my search and then take in the reviews of a real community which rarely have an axe to grind or an agenda on things like this. Like asking your mates in the office or down the pub.


smartypants

41,396 posts

115 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
MrBig said:
Mind you i'll save a lot of money on trainers, aftershave, headphones, watches, tools, cat6 and NAS drives (whatever they are) biggrin
So true hehe


PS I like my robot hoover smile

dhutch

4,146 posts

143 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
I have to admit, while I came here to ask about advice on cars; buying/maintaining/etc. and still use the site for that a lot, the reason I stay and check in daily at the moment is for practical trusted advice on my ongoing house renovation and advice on spec'ing white goods.


Daniel

akirk

3,192 posts

60 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
Lemming Train said:
phoenixz said:
The posting you are referring to was in regards to the front page. Not the forums.
The rest of your argument is moot

My visiting the forums is now mostly an annual pilgrimage, like going home to see the parents
If Car Throttle is done so well and the front page is how PH should be in your opinion, why is the rest of the site dead? The front page is the 'door' to the rest of the site so if everything behind the door is dead that tells you that the front page isn't working as it's not drawing anyone in.

A cut and paste of your posts :

phoenixz in 2016 said:
To be perfectly honest, the biggest disappointment this year (for me) has been pistonheads itself...

whilst other car sites have come on in leaps and bounds, embracing social media, making big changes and invoking involvement from their members in many exciting and creative ways, pistonheads seems to be stuck in the dark ages of the internet.

the forums are dwindling, the articles are lack luster and the interest in members is minimal at best.

I know that drive tribe are technically a competitor, but where is the pistonheads tribe? why are they not top of the bumps per day?

where is the fast updating news feed of car related articles from around the world? there are plenty of sites that I use regularly that link their posts to other car sites and simply attempt to have all car news (verified and unverified) in one place. why doesn't pistonheads have that?
there should be 10-20 articles a day with featured/stickys given to featured articles.

where is the personal look at member vehicles and stories (see car throttle for examples)

for reference of doing it right: look at car buzz, car throttle etc...

maybe hire someone that was born this century? some of them are 16 now.
phoenixz in 2017 said:
Another year goes by and pistonheads is still the biggest dissappointment for me.

I have gone so far as to remove it from my bookmarks. It has now become the yearly nostalgia trip. The site i check up on once a year to see if there has been any change or improvement.

After last year's rant and being PM'ed by the editor, i had high hopes that at least some of my suggestions would be taken on, most of which were simple and cheap to do. Evidently the PMs were just to stop the public bashing of pistonheads on their own site.

Car Throttle will continue to grow, Drivetribe seems to have invaded all parts of social media (however unwanted at first), even Petrolicious (which used to just be fantastic clips for occasional watching) has become a bigger reference point and thus more relevant.

I wish PH and the team all the best, but at the moment the only future i see for pistonheads is obscurity.

Regretfully,
Phoenixz
Petrolicious is another site that's dead. Gimmicky layout with too many 'like' buttons and Facebook style commenting. Checking a handful of articles the average number of comments is 3 hehe . That's some real progress in 2+ years! PH should definitely watch their backs.

Drivetribe has gained some traction I'll admit, but just look at the state of their site laugh. It's one huge mess of stuff all over the place in no order whatsoever. Checking a handful of articles, sure, they have a fair number of comments but it's same boring one line or one word replies, completely devoid of any discussion points or debate.

As someone said a few pages back, PH has become more of a 'life' forum than just about cars. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the off-topic Pie & Piston sub-forums are busier than all the motoring forums put together. Where else on the internet can you get advice all in one place on the best family estate under £5k with 200hp+, tips on how to shave your nob without slicing yourself open, advice on best teaspoons, advice on the best log-burners, advice on marriage/relationships, advice on employment/tax/legal matters and the opportunity to get balls deep in arguing about Brexit, Trump or Islam and your post still be there 10 minutes later? All this with some of the most passive and laid-back mods that the internet has ever seen. It's like one big digital pub and sure, it could do with freshening up with a new carpet and fresh coat of paint on the walls but everything else needs leaving alone as it just works.
You speak a lot of sense smile which does make me worry about whether PH is really what it used to be biggrin

In my line of work (webby digital consulting type stuff) we refer our clients to where life exists online - and two key locations are:
- PistonHeads for a predominantly male audience
- Mumsnet for a predominantly female audience

Pistonheads is really not just about cars - it is a community of people and relationships with all the ups and downs that you see in real life, just a few more virtual frozen sausages smile

There is also a very valid reason for leaving forums as they are - because they are a fantastic resource - Facebook is deliberately dreadful at going back through posts - I am a member of a couple of classic RR groups on there and they are brilliant for seeing someone's latest thought - they are useless to trawl back through and find info from the repository of knowledge that exists - apart from anything else, Facebook is so lacking in transparency and honesty in how it shows you posts that you have no idea if you are seeing everything anyway, it shows you want it wants you to see...

A big part of the future of online is in data - and there is a goldmine of information in forums online - to change that would be foolish... so there are things that could be done - but they are simply fixing the issues, and using a bit of modern tech where it doesn't change the rest of the experience - e.g. allowing image uploads to read from a phone camera / library is really simple - I have it on a private site I wrote for my book collections - a couple of hours of work - that kind of tweak to just make life easier would make sense...

dhutch

4,146 posts

143 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
akirk said:
There is also a very valid reason for leaving forums as they are - because they are a fantastic resource - Facebook is deliberately dreadful at going back through posts - I am a member of a couple of classic RR groups on there and they are brilliant for seeing someone's latest thought - they are useless to trawl back through and find info from the repository of knowledge that exists - apart from anything else, Facebook is so lacking in transparency and honesty in how it shows you posts that you have no idea if you are seeing everything anyway, it shows you want it wants you to see...

A big part of the future of online is in data - and there is a goldmine of information in forums online - to change that would be foolish... so there are things that could be done - but they are simply fixing the issues, and using a bit of modern tech where it doesn't change the rest of the experience - e.g. allowing image uploads...
Absolutely this in spades.


Daniel

smartypants

41,396 posts

115 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
akirk said:
Lemming Train said:
phoenixz said:
The posting you are referring to was in regards to the front page. Not the forums.
The rest of your argument is moot

My visiting the forums is now mostly an annual pilgrimage, like going home to see the parents
If Car Throttle is done so well and the front page is how PH should be in your opinion, why is the rest of the site dead? The front page is the 'door' to the rest of the site so if everything behind the door is dead that tells you that the front page isn't working as it's not drawing anyone in.

A cut and paste of your posts :

phoenixz in 2016 said:
To be perfectly honest, the biggest disappointment this year (for me) has been pistonheads itself...

whilst other car sites have come on in leaps and bounds, embracing social media, making big changes and invoking involvement from their members in many exciting and creative ways, pistonheads seems to be stuck in the dark ages of the internet.

the forums are dwindling, the articles are lack luster and the interest in members is minimal at best.

I know that drive tribe are technically a competitor, but where is the pistonheads tribe? why are they not top of the bumps per day?

where is the fast updating news feed of car related articles from around the world? there are plenty of sites that I use regularly that link their posts to other car sites and simply attempt to have all car news (verified and unverified) in one place. why doesn't pistonheads have that?
there should be 10-20 articles a day with featured/stickys given to featured articles.

where is the personal look at member vehicles and stories (see car throttle for examples)

for reference of doing it right: look at car buzz, car throttle etc...

maybe hire someone that was born this century? some of them are 16 now.
phoenixz in 2017 said:
Another year goes by and pistonheads is still the biggest dissappointment for me.

I have gone so far as to remove it from my bookmarks. It has now become the yearly nostalgia trip. The site i check up on once a year to see if there has been any change or improvement.

After last year's rant and being PM'ed by the editor, i had high hopes that at least some of my suggestions would be taken on, most of which were simple and cheap to do. Evidently the PMs were just to stop the public bashing of pistonheads on their own site.

Car Throttle will continue to grow, Drivetribe seems to have invaded all parts of social media (however unwanted at first), even Petrolicious (which used to just be fantastic clips for occasional watching) has become a bigger reference point and thus more relevant.

I wish PH and the team all the best, but at the moment the only future i see for pistonheads is obscurity.

Regretfully,
Phoenixz
Petrolicious is another site that's dead. Gimmicky layout with too many 'like' buttons and Facebook style commenting. Checking a handful of articles the average number of comments is 3 hehe . That's some real progress in 2+ years! PH should definitely watch their backs.

Drivetribe has gained some traction I'll admit, but just look at the state of their site laugh. It's one huge mess of stuff all over the place in no order whatsoever. Checking a handful of articles, sure, they have a fair number of comments but it's same boring one line or one word replies, completely devoid of any discussion points or debate.

As someone said a few pages back, PH has become more of a 'life' forum than just about cars. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the off-topic Pie & Piston sub-forums are busier than all the motoring forums put together. Where else on the internet can you get advice all in one place on the best family estate under £5k with 200hp+, tips on how to shave your nob without slicing yourself open, advice on best teaspoons, advice on the best log-burners, advice on marriage/relationships, advice on employment/tax/legal matters and the opportunity to get balls deep in arguing about Brexit, Trump or Islam and your post still be there 10 minutes later? All this with some of the most passive and laid-back mods that the internet has ever seen. It's like one big digital pub and sure, it could do with freshening up with a new carpet and fresh coat of paint on the walls but everything else needs leaving alone as it just works.
You speak a lot of sense smile which does make me worry about whether PH is really what it used to be biggrin

In my line of work (webby digital consulting type stuff) we refer our clients to where life exists online - and two key locations are:
- PistonHeads for a predominantly male audience
- Mumsnet for a predominantly female audience

Pistonheads is really not just about cars - it is a community of people and relationships with all the ups and downs that you see in real life, just a few more virtual frozen sausages smile

There is also a very valid reason for leaving forums as they are - because they are a fantastic resource - Facebook is deliberately dreadful at going back through posts - I am a member of a couple of classic RR groups on there and they are brilliant for seeing someone's latest thought - they are useless to trawl back through and find info from the repository of knowledge that exists - apart from anything else, Facebook is so lacking in transparency and honesty in how it shows you posts that you have no idea if you are seeing everything anyway, it shows you want it wants you to see...

A big part of the future of online is in data - and there is a goldmine of information in forums online - to change that would be foolish... so there are things that could be done - but they are simply fixing the issues, and using a bit of modern tech where it doesn't change the rest of the experience - e.g. allowing image uploads to read from a phone camera / library is really simple - I have it on a private site I wrote for my book collections - a couple of hours of work - that kind of tweak to just make life easier would make sense...
Spot on.

Facebook and the like have their place, in fact they are excellent tools for certain online jobs. A discussion/knowledgebase forum it is not. You summed it up, Facebook and the like show you want they want you to see, it's passive viewing. A forum is active viewing, you search and find and absorb what you want to see at whatever time.

(if it has a working search function smile )




dhutch

4,146 posts

143 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
smartypants said:
(if it has a working search function smile )
Ahhggg with the 'quote all's already!

The search function on this site is one area which could be improved.


Daniel

jagnet

2,958 posts

148 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
The search function just needs to post a site: search to Google. I doubt anything developed in house us going to surpass Google's efforts.

I know years ago you used to be able to pay Google to host a site specific search function using their servers and tech. I don't know if that's still something they do.

smartypants

41,396 posts

115 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
I was making a little joke, it doesn't need a search function as you say. But having a search function that has never worked is a source of constant ribbing smile


jagnet

2,958 posts

148 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
I have ordered my parrot, I just hope it's not delayed by the xmas rush hehe
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