Demo of Proposed New Message Board Host – AACA

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    The Website Committee is proposing to change the location of the PAS Message Board forum to a new hosting service – AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America).  The Committee would like to invite all interested members to a demonstration of this option.  Please join us for a 1 hour Zoom call, Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 4 PM Eastern/3 PM Central/ 2 PM Mountain/1 PM Pacific time.  This demo will give details of how this will work and discuss member concerns.

    If you are interested, please email me so I can send you the Zoom invitation.


    Rich Lange

    [email protected]



    Can you give us a little more information please.  Would this mean to view the PAS forum, one would go to AACA forum site?  If so, would that mean anyone signed in to AACA forum would have use of PAS forum?  Thanks dc


    I have posted a couple things there already because I think the photo hosting is far easier to use than here, but David’s comments bring up some very good points. I too question what level of access is being allowed through the AACA and believe that unrestricted access there will dilute the value of club membership by more than the benefits gained by increased interest it may generate in the cars. Being fairly new here I may be wrong, but once that genie is out of the bottle do we have any options for reversing it?


    From what I now know (and someone correct me if I’m wrong), everyone and anyone signed in to AACA forums would be able to see and respond to any of our posts on the PAS forum.

    The “members only” sections would still need PAS membership and login to access.

    My thought, after years of being active on both forums, is that being on the AACA site will change the tone of our discussions somewhat, when anyone can EASILY  see the posts and comment. Before this change someone had to come looking for us, now it’ll all be very public.  There’s a lot of negativity on the AACA site, and we’ll have people criticizing some of our discussions.  I’ve seen it daily, there are just some people who love to criticize and don’t hesitate to do so.  Oh, wait, am I one of those?  Hmmmm….

    One argument is that “Well, people have to come looking for the Pierce forum on the AACA site and few will”.  That’s not quite true.  There’s a feature which I use, called “new posts”, that brings up all posts from all sub-forums since your last visit.

    Does the additional exposure help the Society?  Possibly.

    None of this takes away from the fact that numerous people of the PAS have put in a lot of time on the new forum here, and that’s appreciated.


    I had some concerns about possible negative tone input from non-PAS members, but was advised that we will have TWO PAS member moderators who will have the ability to tell folks they are inappropriate, delete messages or block individuals who don’t respond to corrective communications. Each of us will be able to immediately report anything we think is inappropriate.

    You are correct that non-PAS members will not be able access any other Member Pages. We should suggest they join if they are looking for historical or technical info with the latter requests being answered with a little useful info and the suggestion that there is so much more available to members. It seems the ability to recruit members will be significant.

    The number of PAS members already using AACA is surprisingly high and almost comparable to our own site. I hate change, but this seems to have several strong positives and will solve some major website management problems. That situation prompted finding this solution.

    Please everyone…view the Demo and website committee presentation and get answers before deciding one way or the other.

    Dave Stevens


    Thanks Dave … I haven’t decided one way or the other, but I do have concerns about going to the public forum of AACA.  Just the thought of comments about frogeyes give me pause.

    I agree you can moderate, and even delete posts, but I’ve also seen those deleted people pop up with comments elsewhere on the forum, “yeah, well, you can’t discuss anything with those Pierce people” kind of thing.

    I’ve spent way too much time on the AACA forum, have over 8000 posts, and just think the feel of the AACA public forum is different than the cozy feel of the PAS Message Board.

    In addition, but I guess a small point, on the AACA forum a PAS member could no longer post something like “Hey, I used XYZ chrome platers and they are terrible, don’t use them as they’ll rip you off.”  The AACA is rightfully afraid of lawsuits and open discussion on negative aspects of vendors is discouraged and deleted.

    I hope to be able to attend the Zoom meeting and have an open mind, but also have concerns as mentioned.


    Perhaps the current website designer, who the PAS paid a lot of money to create our website, needs to fix this website instead of the PAS Website Development Committee suggesting that we flee to an association with the AACA website.

    I do not want to be so associated / connected, even if I am a member of the AACA.

    Fix it, don’t flee.



    Dr. Williams

    Jim Fredrick


    My question is, when did this occur?…why this change all of a sudden?…what is wrong with the forum we have now?…is it because members here do not understand how to use it?…is it flawed in some way?…the PAS went to a lot of trouble ( and money) to put up this new forum and now you want to abandon  this forum for something else?…why?…

    I fail to understand why this subject is even being brought up, was this suggested because the members here do not know how to properly use the forum and therefore, because they know how to use the AACA forum better, we might as well switch to that one instead the one we have now?…

    What’s next?…do we switch our for sale ads over to the AACA forum as well because they have better graphics?…or do we just let this website completely go and join the AACA instead because they have a better website and forum altogether?…

    I am a member of the PAS, I am not a member of the AACA, nor do I wish to become a member of that organization ( I was a member for one year, they did not impress me) so what is the bottom line here, why is this move even being suggested?…



    The proposal for a different Message Board was brought about by a recurring problem on the current Message Board.  Every so often some of the recent posts just disappear.  A month or so ago a number of posts disappeared and some have not yet been fully recovered.  The web folks have gotten good at recovering the current posts when they disappear, so the problem is not very visible to members, unless you frequently visit the Message Board.

    The web committee has attempted to find and fix the problem for months, so far without success.  The software vendor has also not been able to resolve the issue.  I am familiar with the issue because I have been letting the web committee know every time I see a post(s) disappear. I think the preferred solution is to fix what we have if that can be done.  Much time has been spent on it, so far unsuccessfully.

    Going to the AACA Forum is one possible solution. It has some advantages and some disadvantages. I am going to watch the presentation about the AACA site before I make up my mind on how I feel about it. If you are interested in seeing the presentation, see Rich Lange’s post above.




    Thank you for the explanation, the problem has been discussed at length with me and I understand the situation now.  I was unaware of the continuing problem with the current forum, and and therefore my reaction in my initial post.  I suspect most members would have been asking the same questions, as the problem was not initially known to a lot of members to begin with.

    That said, if the problem is something that cannot be fixed with the data we have on hand, and the answer is to throw more time and money at fixing the problem in the near future, then perhaps this is not a bad idea until we get the initial problem with our own server fixed in due time.


    PAS Message Board users,
    I would like to share some context on this topic.

    The complete PAS Board of Directors has not formally reviewed proposed changes to our ‘Message Board’. We are currently in a due diligence process. As such, this coming Sunday, a presentation will be provided by the WebSite Committee outlining one proposal…..moving the PAS Forum to the AACA. Please understand that our Board is committed to explore all paths to assuring our Website and ‘Message Board’ vitality for our club, long-term.

    In the days after the Zoom presentation, I encourage our Message Board users to reach out to members of the Board to share your thoughts on this matter…. an email, phone call, or the use of this Forum will be welcome. As key stakeholders in the franchise, your expectations are of primary concern and they will certainly drive next steps for our fine organization.

    Many thanks


    I participated in the Zoom meeting, and first want to thank Jane, Liz, and Karl for a very nice presentation.  In particular, Liz presents a strong argument for the proposed move of the Pierce forum to the AACA site.

    It doesn’t appear to be “proposed”, however, as it is now live on the AACA forum, with our topics, and in the upper left hand corner “Pierce Arrow Society Discussion Forum hosted by the AACA.”  Comments have already started being posted there, from AACA signed in users, so unless this is just a live demo it looks like action has already been taken (see screenshot attached).

    I appreciate the fact that it might give us some exposure to the general public, but therein may lie the problem.  The AACA forum is NOT just for AACA members, it’s open to anyone and everyone who takes a couple of minutes to register.

    During the meeting, Jane pointed out that I put my name on my AACA posts.  If you wish anonymity, the AACA forum is not the place to do it.  Early on I just went by my user name, Trimacar, but it didn’t take long for someone to comment something like “Wow, had a nice talk with David Coco (Trimacar) and he was a big help.”  Cover blown, so to speak.

    I equate our forum moving to the AACA site to having a nice little family gathering, all your kin you can say anything you want to, then inviting hundreds of strangers to join the gathering.  The cozy tone and feel of the gathering is then lost.  Discussions on the AACA are not private discussions, but rather public record and subject to severe criticism.  I know, you can delete some postings, but that can have a negative effect on the Society when  the censored user complains about the Society elsewhere on the Forum. Censorship is not taken lightly by many users on that forum.

    I have over 8000 posts on the AACA forum, and I daresay I have a good reputation there, but I’ve also been called an idiot and had someone tell me “hope you’re not in the educational system because you’re posting stupid things”.  The AACA forum is a great tool for communicating, but it’s also has, at times, an argumentative and confrontational tone.  Moving there will change the complexion of the PAS forum to a large degree.

    Thank you David Coco Winchester Va.


    Thanks to Jane, Liz and Karl for their excellent demonstration!

    Thanks also to those who spent their valuable time to attend and expand their understanding of the issues, the proposed solution and the opportunities to grow membership and promote the Pierce-Arrow Society to a broader audience.

    Time did not permit me to ask 4 more questions that I believe should be addressed:
    1) Would the change make us more, less or the same in terms of resistance to HACKING?
    2) If a member posts proprietary information, can the Moderator Delete the post?
    3) Do we want to be an Inclusive or Exclusive Society, an Open or Closed Society?
    ( I have been hugely involved with the Society for 25 years primarily because it has always been an open and inclusive organization. Am I wrong?)
    4) Who has more knowledge about these issues than the members assigned to propose the best solutions for the Society and all of our members?

    Best regards to all!

    Dave Stevens


    Yesterday, the Website Committee presented an option that they described as addressing ‘serious system problems’ with our message board and ‘maximizing our marketing’. The new plan involves moving our PAS message board to the AACA. (Be advised our current website vendor is an administrator on the AACA Website)

    The presentation was thorough and I thank the Website Committee presenters for their work. That said, to make the best decision possible for our organization, I believe additional due diligence in the form of multiple options for remedy are required.

    We must consider:

    1) Requesting a letter from the current website vendor outlining the site short comings and offering possible remedies to keeping our existing Message Board functional…even if entertaining addition cost for this remedy is required.

    2) Having a 2nd party review our website and offer potential alternate remedies.

    The Message Board is much too important a tool in membership benefits to make a quick decision. Multiple options and a second opinion are inclined to yield the best choices for us to consider.

    Many thanks


    “4) Who has more knowledge about these issues than the members assigned to propose the best solutions for the Society and all of our members?”

    Dave, I agree that the people involved in presenting this solution have worked hard and believe what they are presenting is a good solution.

    That said, this is a major change in response to a minor software glitch.  Personally, I’d prefer to lose a post every now  rather than lose the privacy of our current forum.  This is just my opinion and is not a criticism of the hard work mentioned above.

    It may very well be a good way to publicize our club, but in looking at the Pierce Arrow forum that’s been on the AACA forum for years, it’s little used.  Unless someone is using the “new posts” option when viewing the AACA forum, one has to go looking for the Pierce Arrow forum there, and very few people do so.  Moving our private forum to that site won’t make that change.


    I also attended the presentation yesterday regarding the message board.  Jane, Liz, and Karl did an excellent job presenting the potential new location of the forum on the AACA website as well as the positive and negative aspects of the proposed change.  I am sure the committee did their due diligence and believe this is the best solution for the problem at hand.  Just for my own edification, I am curious about the current problem.  I understand the current plugin is free and thus the software developer is not inclined to make any effort to fix or even investigate our current problem of dropped messages.  My questions are (again simply for my education):

    1. Are there any other plugin replacements available that we could potentially use (either free or for pay)?

    2. Is there any way we can ascertain if the current glitch in the free software plugin is even fixable?

    3. Replacing the dropped messages is very time consuming and labor intensive for our moderators.  Is it reasonable to ask the moderators to continue doing it either indefinitely or until a software fix or replacement occurs (with an unknown time frame)?

    These points will help me better understand the options to move forward.




    You may watch the demonstration from Sunday afternoon here at:


    If you have any additional questions, please list them on this thread and we will answer them as soon as possible.  Thanks!


    Questions on the PAS Forum at AACA from email and Message Board

    Page #1 of answers to questions:

    Question from Dave Stevens:
    Would the change make us more, less or the same in terms of resistance to HACKING?

    Less open to hacking as the open conversation would be held off the PAS Website and remove that threat from our website.

    Question from Dave Stevens
    If a member posts proprietary information, can the Moderator Delete the post?

    Yes, they can delete or hide the post.

    Question from Dave Stevens:
    Do we want to be an Inclusive or Exclusive Society, an Open or Closed Society? ( I have been hugely involved with the Society for 25 years primarily because it has always been an open and inclusive organization. Am I wrong?)

    We should be Inclusive and Open if we wish to follow the mission of the PAS, which is to promote the history of Pierce-Arrow and Pierce-Arrow Automobiles.

    Question from Dave Stevens:
    Who has more knowledge about these issues than the members assigned to propose the best solutions for the Society and all of our members

    The Website Committee has a well-informed team with a diverse background.  One member in particular with an illustrious background in Tech.

    Question from Bob Jacobsen:
    To be in favor of the proposal, I would require the Obituary section to be deleted from an AACA accessible forum.  I am concerned about vulnerability of families of deceased members (outsiders tracing and harassing them for purposes of trying to buy their Pierces when their defenses are down, etc.)  I don’t think we need obits on the forum because they are already in the secure Emporium, but notifications are part of the cozy feeling of the present message board.

    Agreed, we put this in the list as it is currently in our Message Board.  There is a section in the Emporium for these Obit notices and that could replace the Obit section on the forum easily.  We simply have to use this option on our website.  I think this is simply teaching members to look in a different location for the information.  On that issue of other options, we have a perfect place in the Emporium for members to put out Buy/Sell, Wanted, Leads and New posts for private membership viewing.  Here members can private message others about Emporium posts as well.  This can keep the sales inside the PAS website as well.

    Question from Bob Jacobsen:
    One search advantage the AACA site apparently has: you can go to ‘Activity’ then ‘My Activity Streams’ then ‘Content I posted in’ and it will bring up all your previous posts automatically, no matter the subject.

    As far as I can tell, the PAS website message board requires you to search by your name in each of 8 categories individually to see what you have posted. (General, Buy/Sell, … Obituary.)  Perhaps that is not true or could be changed to enter a last name overall search.


    Yes, these are nice features at AACA.  Those options are not available in the bbPress package.

    More answers to come, stay tuned.  The Website Committee


    Questions on the PAS Forum at AACA from email and Message Board

    Page #2 of answers to questions:

    Question from Jim Chase:
    I also want to thank all involved; the presentations went very well. I have been a member for 34 years but am definitely not an active contributor to the club, much more a user parasite whose only interaction is via the website

    All are welcome and important regardless of how often we hear from you.

    Question from Jim Chase:
    I think the AACA website can work fine, I will make whatever changes made work for me.

    I do have one question that has been bugging me however. I feel that the activity on the message board has dropped significantly since the change. I don’t know if that is true or just a wrong impression. If so,  do we have an idea whether this is due just to the change discouraging people or other factors? Personally I don’t feel the occasional glitches and pauses are a big factor in this.

    Regarding the use of the message board.  We imported 23,278 messages/replies from 12 1/2 years of service from the old website.  The math breaks down the average post rate back then at 5 total posts a day.  This could be from one member or several.  Regarding our current message rate – Members have mentioned that they now are finding their own answers instead of running the technical question out on the message board.  As this project progressed, that became a big goal of this committee – give the members easy access to technical data that helps them with their car.  We first did this, as you have mentioned, with the PASB Library we created along with the Technical Article Search Tool that has become a huge online member benefit.  The Owner’s Manuals Library and recently the Bernie Weis online archive are now available online as well.

    Our message board continues to be a popular website section, but we don’t have as much historical data to do a real comparison since the site has only been live barely 6 months and 2020 has been a “Cancelled Car Event” year so not as many people are focused on their garage projects.

    But, from other numbers, it is logical to assume that people are getting their info from the new online resources of our website instead of the message board per se.

    For the upcoming Board of Directors Meeting on October 11th, we are preparing a full website metrics report.  Google Analytics tracks all sorts of information on the new website’s use. Here are some highlights that you may find interesting from the last 30 days (8/20-9/20):

    • 832 users have visited the website in the last month
    • 646 were “New Visitors,” 186 were “Returning Visitors” (members).  Note:  New Users can be either non-members, or members who are visiting for the first time.
    • 3874 Sessions (129 per day)
    • 5 Sessions per user
    • 24,296 pages were viewed
    • More than 6 pages per session per user
    • Average Session Duration – 7:30 minutes

    Our 2017 PAS Membership Survey posed the question “How often per month do you access the PAS website” and the highest result was “1-4 times a month” at 15% of the membership.  That was 150 members per month in 2017.  In 2020, we average 186 members, which is an average of 21% of the membership.  That is an impressive 40% increase in membership use.

    In addition, these statistics show that the new website has significantly more membership activity and the trends strongly suggest that our members are spending more time on the website doing different things than just message board posting.

    We can conclude that members are finding more reasons to go to because it offers them online technical libraries, research archives and online technical article index capabilities which were not previously available.  These statistics support your own mention of your use of the searchable PASB Library!  The online technical information allows members to research on their own instead of asking for help right off the bat.

    Question from Jim Chase:
    Like any change to software (I hate updates) I found the initial use a bit off putting but once navigated feel like it works very well and am very satisfied with it. As I have said before, the searchable PASB’s is a huge benefit to me.

    This is great to hear.  It was a goal to create a searchable PASB index useful for our membership.  Liz and Dave White worked tirelessly to complete this index.

    Question from Jim Chase:
    I will say that posting to a site with a much larger potential audience is perhaps an advantage but also a bit intimidating. When we get into collegial debates on subjects (think ethanol or oil additives) it could expand and get out of hand which happens on so many websites.

    Remember we will have Karl Krouch (PA) and Dave White (CA) as moderators with full moderator access and the PAS needs members to survive in the future.  This is the largest old car audience in the world!  Let’s win hearts and minds for Pierce-Arrow and PAS!

    Question from Jim Chase:
    I guess if I had my selfish druthers I would prefer the more private sight, however, since this is a volunteer organization I think the top priority should be whatever solution is the least burden to whomever is donating their time to keep it going.

    This project has taken years to complete. The original Systems committee began in 2017.  Thank you for recognizing that this is a huge amount of PAS Volunteer time.  Before the launch, we were spending 30+ hours a week EACH in order to expand the website’s content and oversee the construction of the site in general.  Our website contractor is a car guy and the scope of the project grew because the PAS volunteers did the grunt work so there was ZERO cost for PAS in adding extra capabilities like the PASB searchable indexing.  That was 4 weeks of 4-6 hours a day of database entry and a lot of long distance phone calling with PASB Editor Dave White as we recorded all 6422 records.  All of this was done within budget and really became a labor of love by the committee.

    People like you make all this work worth it and thank you for appreciating the breadth of this project.  We have travelled down many roads and spent many hours to make the best decisions for 100% of the Society.

    More answers to come, stay tuned.  The Website Committee

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