Demo of Proposed New Message Board Host – AACA

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    Peter G. brought us up on the AACA forums, though didn’t call us out by name.  He obviously has a vested interest in getting us on those forums.  I replied with my thoughts.  I realize that I’m probably in the minority and that we’re headed to the AACA forums no matter what, however, just wanted to share here what I shared with the rest of the world.  My opinion only from being on the AACA forum for years, and none of what I say takes away the appreciation for the hard work people have done concerning our forum.

    From Peter Gariepy:

    “Just curious. Why “private”? Why not be more visible? 

    FYI: I recently helped with some technology issues with a smaller club to help with their “private” forum.  Participation is modest but constant.  No more than 150 participants. Maybe 30 “core” participants. They saw being public as both a ‘service’ to their membership, and worried public would expose them. “

    My response:

    Peter, I’m fairly sure I know the club you’re mentioning, and I myself have been involved in some of those discussions.

    There IS a large exposure, as you say, and not all of that is good.  Once the private forum moves to the public forum and starts posting comments and pictures and information, it’s public and can be used or abused.  It’s just like making a comment on Facebook and thinking it’s private.  It’s not, it can then be used, quoted (or worse, misquoted), copied, by anyone in the world.

    I feel there’s some merit to having a “private” forum, as we’re labeling it.  In the case of the forum that’s considering moving to the AACA, there are numerous reasons that I, and some others, aren’t in favor of it.

    -On the private forum, I know just about everyone, and can be much more candid in my comments and not expect some “stranger” to call me an idiot (as I’ve been called on the AACA forums)

    -There’s more anonymity, if someone doesn’t want their name bantered around on a public forum, which the AACA is.  I started out keeping my name out of my posts on AACA, until someone posted something like “Gee, David Coco (Trimacar) was a big help when I talked to him the other day”….so much for keeping a low profile, and I know that some people on that other forum don’t want their name out there for privacy reasons

    -There is an undercurrent of animosity and criticism on the AACA forums.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the opportunity to be here and post my thoughts, but it’s a totally different tone than a private forum.  I once was rationally discussing a topic on the AACA forum, and a post was made saying that they hoped I wasn’t in the educational system, I was so stupid….that tone is not evident in the private forum.   And, gosh forbid one post a car for sale on the AACA, the comments can get downright nasty, which is the reason I think the poster of a for sale thread should have the option to not allow comments.

    -The argument is made that if a forum moves to the AACA, there are moderators who can delete or modify negative postings.  That’s fine, but some of those posters with a negative outlook may then go elsewhere and say “Gee, that XYZ club is a bunch of snobs, they deleted my post”.  Again, 99% of this forum is friendly, but there’s an element that’s not, and that doesn’t even bring into account the newbies, anyone in the world can get a user name and post gibberish.

    -What if the club in question wants to discuss a sensitive, internal issue, on the private forum?  Can’t do that on the AACA, or if you do, it’s airing all the club’s dirty laundry.  There’s one club on AACA which had a big discussion on a major topic involving the Board of Directors of that club, I cringed when I saw it, as it should NOT have been public.

    -Last but not least, the “exposure” is used as a positive for moving to the AACA, but my personal feeling is that I don’t think that having that private forum move here will make much difference.  That marque has been represented on the AACA forum for a while, and that section has little use now, why is it going to attract new use (that’s not already on the private forum?)

    I don’t intend these as arguing points, I just wanted to let you know my thoughts on the subject.




    My previous rant here is deleted because it only heightens the angst associated with this topic.

    However, my question remains, why do we need to deal with this turgid discussion on the “wonders” of the AACA website?



    Moderators are already on this site. David White and I have been here for this task since we opened the site. Please review the Sunday video demonstration and it explains the job descriptions for moderators.

    “I do not wish to be associated with “classic” Chevrolets, Fords and other mass-produced cars that were spit out on the assembly line in the hundreds or thousands per day.

    We are members of a “Society”and not a “club” and I feel that we need to keep our exclusiveness, just as did the PAMCC.”

    When Moderating anyone’s post my first thought is always going to be: “Is this good for the National Organization? “ Visitors to this site reading your post will not find your greeting as a Past President to be a reason to join our Society. Will I hide or delete your post? No. Very few PAS members first antique car was a Pierce-Arrow. The internet is here to stay. The AACA Forum is the “Pierce-Arrow” of the hobby that all others are measured. We need the open internet to get our friendly message out and find our next members.  Karl




    Having finally watched the presentation there’s just one thing I really believe needs to be addressed is allowing those members who wish to be anonymous by using a profile name in place of their own should not be called out by other members. Over the years I have had three different profiles, the first was lost in a major system glitch in the infancy of the AACA forum for which I am grateful as it gave me an opportunity to create #2… My second profile is an anonymous name and is used when discussing various collectibles of value which I would rather not have the world knowing whose they are. My final profile is my name and is used to talk about my cars, Sell things, and or be helpful. Several people who I have grown to trust know the story of my anonymous profile but I like to keep it segregated for personal reasons (most importantly being that I’ve PO’d several people in the past 20 years…).

    I write this because I never knew who Grimmy was before this presentation and feel that it was his option to remain anonymous.

    As far as the other arguments against this move, I am cautiously optimistic that it will be a value added benefit to the PAS so long as we members continue to do as Greg suggests by directing the specific questions to the clubs vast data stores of information. If $45 membership isn’t worth the access I would be surprised.


    Mark, I agree that some people want to stay behind a generic profile name and not be identified on the AACA forum.

    I will also say that it’s very difficult to do.  I started that way on the AACA forum but gave up, as someone called me out by name.  All it takes is once and it’s over, then if you change your user name you’ve lost history on the site.

    Remember that staying anonymous means not posting pictures of your cars, not talking about specific events or shows where you participated, not talking about the town or area you live in, the list goes on.  The old car hobby is too small a group, relatively speaking, for someone not to figure out who you really are.

    I think our private forum is going to the AACA forum, it’s already in use there, and I can appreciate the argument that it may give the Society more exposure.  I’ve expressed my opinions and that’s that.  Life will be different on the AACA forums, but heck, life’s different everywhere now……


    Agree David, I just thought I would mention that and hopefully help keep someone’s privacy intact if that was their desire.



    My previous rant here is deleted because it only heightens the angst associated with this topic.

    However, I think the need for this entire exchange should not be necessary, but apparently, it is necessary, if for no other reason than to solicit individuals’ opinions.





    Peter: one of the main failings of the Classic Car Club was it’s desire to be ‘exclusive’.  The PAS has been and will continue to be ‘inclusive’.  Non-members are welcome at PAS events, and on the website.. The only difference between being a $45 member and being a non member is being able to post questions on the message board and to access the PASB’s and Emporium.

    The problem with the BBPress message-board plug-in free software is an aggravating and reoccurring problem of lost posts or threads.. How would you like it if this entire thread went away? All your ranting, posturing, posing, etc would be lost.. But you’d be able to write it all over again, so maybe that is a plus for you?

    For me, if I had written a long ‘How-To’ on a technical subject and the message or thread disappeared I’d not be happy. Writing long, accurate repair or how-to posts is time consuming. And they need to be accurate, not passionate or opinions..

    Regarding moderators on the old message board: In the past some inaccurate posts or suggestions have been ‘called out’ on the old PAS message board and with it’s lack of editing available on our posts, several threads got all ‘cut up’ by inaccurate posts being deleted, which fragmented the message.

    With the PAS message board piggy-backing on the AACA forum’s very strong and proven message board software and site, we not only will have no lost posts, but also if someone is obnoxious, they will be warned, be asked to edit their post, their post may be deleted or hidden, or eventually the member would lose posting privileges.  All of this was discussed by Karl in the video..  Did you watch the entire video before ranting ?  Maybe a second viewing is in order?

    Your comment about membership is not correct.  Yes in the past membership numbers have gone up and down, but take a look at the average age of most car collecting clubs, then check the number of members in the obituaries..  ALL car clubs or societies need to attract new members, with or without cars..

    And to be blunt, your snobbish comments would have put off a lot of current PAS members if they read your comments before considering joining our society..  Everyone of us is an ambassador for our society, and being an ambassador is a very important job for each and everyone of us..  Our Society needs new, interested members, and the population of the AACA is a perfect place to find like-minded gear heads or collectors looking for a high quality car to learn about, or add to their collection..

    While I too do like that on our PAS message board I know that if I’m answering a technical question, that person IS a member.  On our message board on the AACA site, I will ask if they are a member, and point them towards the huge resources of our archived PASB’s and Emporium.  It will be a little different, but most likely if a non member gets treated right, i.e.: ‘Inclusive’ not ‘Exclusive’ then they will most likely be glad to join the Society in order to access all benefits a membership.

    The old adage of ‘you attract more with honey than vinegar’ comes to mind..

    Greg Long




    Thank you for your input, however I prefer the flame-thrower approach to getting things stirred up.



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

    Page 3 answers to questions:

    Question from David Coco:
    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).

    In order to allow Members to test the proposed plan, they need to be able to see how the system would work, so it is a live demo.  We can take this down, but then members would not have an avenue to test the proposed plan.

    Question from David Coco:
    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.

    Yes, as George Teebay suggested and the committee had planned, we will need to make clear how to use the AACA Forum and how to understand the difference from the old message board versus the PAS Forum at AACA.   However, short of the actual interaction with non-PAS AACA members, there is really no difference in regard to anonymity.  Our PAS message board is already open to non-PAS members as “read only.”

    Question from David Coco:
    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.

    We can still keep a fun and happy tone.  The tone is set by the end users and the moderators.  By working together, we as a group can keep the tone amicable.  Not all PAS members find the Message Board to be friendly and open as it currently stands.  We too at PAS have “tone” issues.

    Question from David Coco:
    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.

    George Teebay made an excellent suggestion and it is one that our Moderator-Karl had mentioned as well, we can put a sticky at the top of our PAS Forum at AACA.  In this sticky, we can spell out the rules for participation within the PAS Forum.  Respect and tone can be addressed here.  We understand the need for respectful and civil discourse.  And the PAS moderators will be monitoring all posts.

    Question from David Coco:
    “Who has more knowledge about these issues than the members assigned to propose the best solutions for the Society and all of our members?”

    Thank you, we are working hard to find a good solution for this situation.

    Question from David Coco:
    Dave [Stevens], 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.

    We do understand that this is a change.  Minor glitch is a bit of an under-statement, when you consider that we lost 890 posts in May and 570 are still outstanding.  We have been losing 500 posts every 10-15 days.  Yes, we currently have a patch to recover those, but this committee cannot guarantee that this patch will work indefinitely.  We must remember a patch is not a permanent fix, but a patch.

    The volunteers of the Website Committee have learned many software packages and the associated plugins to create and maintain our new website.  These include: WordPress the overall website base, bbPress for the Message Board, MemberPress for the membership management, Classified & Directory for the Emporium, WordForms for accounting tasks, Events Manager for meet registration, Publications for the library and our publications and other page tools and plugins needed to operate the website that we currently have.  The hours spent by all members of the committee are numerous.  We would not present this change without considerable effort to resolve this glitch.  If it were easy, it would already be solved.

    Question from David Coco:
    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.

    Thank You, David Coco Winchester Va.

    If we never try, will we ever know?  Should we let the fear of the unknown stop us from reaching for a future and new members?  Participation is the key to having an active forum.  When the Pierce-Arrow world is behind a curtain, who is out there to teach others about Pierce-Arrow?  Put them all together in one pot.  It is like Hershey Swap Meet – people come from all over the country and the world to one spot because they know that is where the activity is.  AACA Forums is the same – where the most antique car people are talking and where the most activity on antique cars is occurring.

    Question from Robert Brown:
    Are there any other plugin replacements available that we could potentially use (either free or for pay)?

    The Systems Committee did this research in the initial website project.  Please remember that bbPress is the #1 rated plugin for online forum needs.  These options will be presented at the next board meeting.  The Website Committee will require sufficient time at this meeting to explain the options and the many impacts to the Website Committee.

    Question from Robert Brown:
    Is there any way we can ascertain if the current glitch in the free software plugin is even fixable?

    No, there is not a way to be certain that the glitch is repairable.  At this point we do not know if the issue is in the imported old website data (~24,000 posts) or if the problem is in the underlying software plugin.  We could be facing an issue with both.  The glitch deletes approximately 500 posts at a time.  We have researched to see if other users have had this problem, contacted the developer and have found no additional information.  If the Website Committee had those answers, we would have a much better ability to plan for the future.  Currently, we are at the mercy of the developer of the free bbPress plugin and/or unknown issues with our own imported data.

    Question from Robert Brown:
    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)?

    We have had 8 incidents of the glitch. Until just recently, these glitches forced an “all hands-on deck” response by the team and the moderators.  This required hours of hand manipulation.  There are still 570 outstanding lost posts.  Currently, we have a semi-automated process, but we have no way of knowing if this temporary patch will continue to work in the future if the developer of bbPress changes the free plugin software in future updates.  Currently, we watch the website throughout the waking hours every day.   George and Jane are the two most on call and ready for action.  We have made every effort to correct this glitch. Jane spends about 20 hours a week supporting the PAS Website and in member user support.  Emails and calls come in everyday, including evenings, weekends and holidays.  We all work hard for the sake of the PAS members.  To maintain a fully functioning website, the website committee – Rich, George, Jane, and Liz, with essential and invaluable assistance from Donna White on Membership, Dave White as Moderator & PASB Editor and Karl Krouch as Moderator give numerous volunteer hours weekly to the PAS and to the support of the Society’s data and website.  This doesn’t even mention the hours of service by Rick Morrison as the Emporium Editor and Roger Sherman as the Arrow Editor.  Both the Emporium and the Arrow are linked to the Website.  The Website Committee would have this fixed if it were within our power; yet we must deal with the situation at hand.

    The Website Committee


    Whew.  Thank you Jane for taking on the task of responding.

    I don’t have the energy to go back and do it point by point, but here are the high points.

    PAS Forum read only VS. public post, as we are currently…that’s fine with me, but we’re still talking among ourselves.  The ramifications of bringing our posts into the general public, and having them respond, are huge.   I’m really not fighting it so much as pointing out that life changes on the AACA forum, and as dramatic as that sounds, just saying…a user has to search for the Pierce forum, on the AACA, you are now a target  for those who can figure out how to hit keys on a keyboard….I’ve been there, it’s not real pretty at time….do the benefits outweigh the negative stuff we’ll have to wade through? Maybe, that’s for our Board to decide.

    Keep a “fun and happy tone”, well, sure, at times, but there will come a time when we look back and think to ourselves oh my goshenation, why did we go public with this.  I’ve spent more than my fair share of time on the AACA forums, a great tool, but can get downright nasty at times.

    Sticky with rules?  I chuckled at that.  Rules for posting are ignored constantly on the AACA forums.  You can enforce by deletion, but that can lead to bigger problems too.

    I think we’re headed to the AACA forums, you guys in charge seem to be leaning that way, and I know Peter is crawfishing and saying this’ll fix it ( a Lousiana term ).  That’s fine, but again, I’ve been very active on the forums, and it’s not always a happy world.

    You mention we’re losing 500 posts to the PAS forum every 10-15 days?  I’m not understanding that comment.



    I’m not surprised that you don’t understand the comment. Most everyone seems to lose sight of the causational reason for the Committee’s plan.

    The disappearance of 500 or so posts every few days IS THE ISSUE that prompted the proposed solution. This is not a minor problem to our volunteers!

    The significant volunteer hours spent to resolve this each time it happens is not sustainable. We will we burn out these folks who are toiling constantly on our behalf. Our website works fine except for this Message Board problem. The Committee has immersed themselves in finding the best solutions for every aspect of our website since 2017. Their proposal is the best option they could endorse after lots of research.

    We would not allying, joining or endorsing AACA. All we would be doing is taking advantage of the stability and support for their no cost platform. It happens to have pros and cons that different members seem perceive differently, but for now it is a solution we can try out without any impact on the vast majority of our members who don’t use the Message Board Forum.

    Your 8,000 posts on the AACA platform would seem to indicate that it doesn’t crash or lose posts. I am encouraged that you do keep using it despite your stated concerns. I see upsides and downsides, but that’s normal. There is hardly ever a perfect solution to anything done by a group, but there is the worst option of doing nothing.

    Thanks for all of your input on this matter.




    My point was that we don’t HAVE 500 posts every few days.

    I have been just stating my opinion.  I am sure that we will move to the AACA forum regardless of comments, and life will go on. Go for it, if it makes life easier for our volunteers then that’s fine.  I do feel that the person paid to “fix” our website has a vested interest in us going there, but so be it.

    Yes, I have 8000 posts there, but there have been a lot of compromises along the way, including developing a very thick skin and realizing that many people on that site aren’t on the same wavelength I am.  As long as everyone realizes that the door will be open for criticism that’s not always friendly, that’s fine…


    Just a thought, has hacking been a big problem with the site? If the Pentagon and FBI can get hacked what are you planning to do to stop it? Is it worth the big uproar?

    Just my 89 Pesos.
    Jim L


    Dear Jane and website committee,

    Thank you for your very thorough response to my questions and your tireless hard work to provide us with an outstanding (albeit currently buggy) website.



    If we end up on the AACA forums, for goodness sake, stay on topic.  Peter G. Just went ballistic as a moderator and there’s now a banner on the site STAY ON TOPIC or some such.  God forbid we talk about other things that come to mind….


    No matter what Forum I am on, I find that staying “on topic” will make life easier for anyone looking for information or wishing to join in a discussion of an interesting topic. Postings often stray from the headline subject and end up discussing totally unrelated subjects, resulting in people missing out on the info they sought. Conversely they may skip a very interesting conversation because the headline is totally unrelated to the matters now being discussed. If you talk about other things that come to mind, I suggest starting a new topic about that other thing. More “on topic” conversations will always be more helpful no matter what forum you are using.

    Dave Stevens


    Snobs Beware:

    I can access the following club site forums without logging in to the site. I can see all posts just as non members can view our posts here.

    I have been looking here for years. Check how some sub-topics have not had a post since Spring of 2020, some earlier! The top two Auburn and Cord continue to be used by it’s members. They also have a AACA page with a link to join the ACD.  They survived this “openness” and continue to give easy internet access to keep interest in the Marques.

    The Lincoln Zephyr club

    For years I can see this beautiful site. I can go to the classified pages, see the tech experts page, all without being a member, or logging in to this site. If I click on the forums: I get transferred to AACA site just as the PAS is looking at doing.


    The Stutz Club

    Create a log in and password and you can see all of this Marques site. They just want to know who you are, but welcome you to look and MAYBE someday join the club.

    PAS can lock everything back up, never go to AACA and then have to answer and LIVE with the answer to this question:


    Most Opportunities only knock once!  Or… lets hide under a rock!






    “David W. Coco
    If we end up on the AACA forums, for goodness sake, stay on topic.  Peter G. Just went ballistic as a moderator and there’s now a banner on the site STAY ON TOPIC or some such.  God forbid we talk about other things that come to mind….”


    This is just simple moderation of the AACA forum. NOT staying on topic has happened here in the old and new site. A moderator can take the post and create a new topic with heading. OR: the poster could start a new thread. That is less work for moderators. Wow just common sense?

    Peters post:



    When is a decision going to be made?  Right now we have two different forums, one here and one on the AACA site.  At this point it doesn’t matter to me which decision is made, I’ve said more than enough about it, but it just seems like we should have one or the other, not both.

    I understand the function of a moderator, I just think Peter is being a little heavy handed on the subject, the reason for my comment.

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