Lotus Elan

Maybe It's Time

PostPost by: Tahoe » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:51 pm

Okay, maybe this won't mean much to everyone else, but it will do me a lot of good to verbalize. Maybe it's time to go Pub crawling, but their really isn't another Pub to crawl to.

Maybe it's time for LotusElan.net to reinvent itself. I'm no expert on Elans, but I've been on enough other Forums to know what works and what doesn't. For many reasons this Forum has not really changed over many years, and it's kinda like that familiar Elan you get in and drive and love. You're used to it and love it and you don't want to modify it, because if it ain't broke....

On the other hand, you could modify your Elan it to enhance your driving pleasure. Perhaps the purists wouldn't like too much, but you'd feel the difference and ask yourself, why didn't I do this along time ago?

My point here is that this is a wonderfull forum, filled with talented people who collectively know a tremendous amount about Elans. I learn something everytime I'm here. Automotive websites come in many different forms, and there Forums are sometimes run a little differently.

This site is quite old and looks like a lot of not so well maintained Elans. It still runs but... I'd like to see a more organized and expanded base of facts and information about our cars. It is very incomplete in areas, and as others have said it isn't the easiest to find specific information which is current. If I do a search, I often get frustrated and just ask the question for the 100th time or the information I find is so far from what I expected. The owner of this site should be proud of what has been achieved, but it's time for a new Pub or this Pub needs a makeover. I've toyed with the idea of gathering as much Elan information as I can to start my own database from various sources. There is so much that seems to be lost or misunderstood and yet so much that is well documented. It's not an easy job I know, but it might be easier to start new, rather than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Okay I'm rambling now, so what do we do? Maybe you feel we should do nothing, which is okay as well.
Tahoe
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 687
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

PostPost by: cal44 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:33 pm

I like your suggestions.

Example:

If you are into Europa's look at this site. The downside is there is no chat on it. This has so much info on Europa's I still have yet to wade through it all.

http://lotus-europa.com/

Lucky that Joe in SoCal started a good Europa site for chat. Which does provide a link to Jerry Europa site.
http://lotuseuropa.org/

Mike
"Be Polite, Be Professional, But have a plan to kill everyone you meet"
General "Mad Dog" James Mattis United States Marines
cal44
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 693
Joined: 28 Nov 2010

PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:49 pm

Tahoe wrote:Okay, maybe this won't mean much to everyone else, but it will do me a lot of good to verbalize. Maybe it's time to go Pub crawling, but their really isn't another Pub to crawl to.

Maybe it's time for LotusElan.net to reinvent itself. I'm no expert on Elans, but I've been on enough other Forums to know what works and what doesn't. For many reasons this Forum has not really changed over many years, and it's kinda like that familiar Elan you get in and drive and love. You're used to it and love it and you don't want to modify it, because if it ain't broke....

On the other hand, you could modify your Elan it to enhance your driving pleasure. Perhaps the purists wouldn't like too much, but you'd feel the difference and ask yourself, why didn't I do this along time ago?

My point here is that this is a wonderfull forum, filled with talented people who collectively know a tremendous amount about Elans. I learn something everytime I'm here. Automotive websites come in many different forms, and there Forums are sometimes run a little differently.

This site is quite old and looks like a lot of not so well maintained Elans. It still runs but... I'd like to see a more organized and expanded base of facts and information about our cars. It is very incomplete in areas, and as others have said it isn't the easiest to find specific information which is current. If I do a search, I often get frustrated and just ask the question for the 100th time or the information I find is so far from what I expected. The owner of this site should be proud of what has been achieved, but it's time for a new Pub or this Pub needs a makeover. I've toyed with the idea of gathering as much Elan information as I can to start my own database from various sources. There is so much that seems to be lost or misunderstood and yet so much that is well documented. It's not an easy job I know, but it might be easier to start new, rather than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Okay I'm rambling now, so what do we do? Maybe you feel we should do nothing, which is okay as well.



Hi Russ,

Your thinking, that is if I've understood it correctly, is good but to think of taking the mass of accumulated information on here & re-arrange it would be a truly mammoth task.
The removal of existing information into new or modified "Section" (call it what you will) could be totally confusing when it leaves the surrounding posts (info) that may or may not be pertinent to it could cause total chaos & possible loss of meaning or context.

Yes it would take a very brave man to take on that job & who knows, maybe that man's Son could take over after his 1st total breakdown.

Cheers
John
Beware of the Illuminati


Editor: On Sunday morning, February 8th 2015, Derek "John" Pelly AKA GrumpyBodger passed away genuinely peacefully at Weston Hospicecare, Weston Super Mare. He will be missed.
User avatar
GrUmPyBoDgEr
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 3151
Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Location: Burnham-on-Mud

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:53 pm

Russ, I think that doing something is the right option. I also don't think that it would be a daunting task to boil down the original information contained in this forum and use that to create a new, structured information base for the Elan.

That new information base can sit alongside LotusElan.net as the researchable content, with LotusElan.net continuing as the discussion forum. They can be 'soft' linked with each other, and maybe over time, and if Jeff gets more time, they can be combined....but maybe there's no need.

Three things are needed to make this all happen.

First, one person has to stand up and set up a website to hold the content created from this forum, and indeed, other sources. They also have to load content, and modify it as required.

Next, a small focused group has to be established who can go through the forum and dig out the content...more of that in a minute.

Finally, a small group has to monitor the forum to capture any new information, in order to create content. They are probably the same gang as above.

Very easy to say, and I can already see the stone throwers lining up to rubbish it...but read on.

Most will say that extracting the good stuff from the forum is too onerous a task, and would give up before they start. Well, the forum is quite rightly a place to chat and discuss about a common interest. That means inevitably repeating information, discussion, argument, and often, the nuggets of actual information that can be derived from two or three pages of discussion can be written in a couple of sentences, Life was ever thus, and no matter how much puff, we will never get contributors to structure their information, not repeat anything, or not go off topic. Quite right too.

I don't think that going through and sorting out the good information from LotusElan.net is that onerous. If you strip out what's already contained in the workshop manual, the parts manual, Robinshaw and Ross history and Brian Bucklands work, there isn't a vast amount left concerning Standard specification cars.

I did an experiment a few months back on a couple of topics. I searched for the topics, cut and pasted actual information, removed repeats, removed stuff that was already covered in the books above, and ended up with very little new information. A group of 5 or so individuals making focused searches on the forum could cover a huge amount of ground very quickly, producing original information from the Forum

There will be a fair bit to cover modifications, Spyders, maybe race applications. But just try a search on headlamp motors, electric fuel pumps or any other similar subject, and boil it down and see how much new information you get. You may be surprised.

So that's my thoughts, but first and foremost it will take just one person to make it happen. I'm doing this with Lotus Cortinas, Tim is doing the same with Elan Sprints. Neither of us had a clue about websites when we started, so no need to hide behind that one...it's very simple.

Both of us wanted to add content to a Club Lotus website, but unfortunately that hasn't happened as no resource has been available to set up the website or add / maintain content.

So, who's it going to be to make it happen? Rocket science it is not.

Mark
User avatar
Elanintheforest
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2897
Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Location: Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire

PostPost by: elansprint71 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:34 pm

Mark,
Perhaps a year ago I began to suspect that the forum was heading for the buffers; Jeff seemed to have lost enthusiasm/available time for this place and, from what I could make out (although he did not respond to any messages) had developed other interests.
A flurry of off-forum discussion took place between myself and some current/now gone forum members; the conclusion reached was that (this is not too far from what you said above) the tech bits around the Elan are pretty simple and well-documented elsewhere; what could not be replicated, should the forum wind up, was the personal experience of those who had passed thro' here over the years.
Despite much discussion, we could not come up with a solution to capture and preserve this knowledge, although it has to be said we did not have a web-techy dweeb involved in the discussions.

If I can be of any use, please let me know.
elansprint71
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 4092
Joined: 16 Sep 2003
Location: Cheshire, UK.

PostPost by: garyeanderson » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:47 pm

I like the idea and what Russ has proposed has been discussed a bit and I do like the way mark has stated the various resources. This is where I see the real problem, all of the Robinshaw and Ross, Buckland, Lotus workshop and parts books are copy righted material so the first step would appear that this hurdle would need to be crossed before any serious work could be done of deciphering the hidden jewels on this forum. I don't have Brian's book (but have most of the others at hand) and I still learn things here that I didn't know. Not one of us "knows it all" no matter how we come across in our "other selves" that get played out on the forum each day. As mark inferred much of the info here is a) a questions is asked - b) and answer or 10 are given and then the shit hits the fan and it is lost as the banter that ensues. Most posts/answers do not try to cover the a to z process or job, just the sticky points where most of the problems are. I don't see this forum going away or any of those that contribute, we are addicted to this site and Teflon suits are an optional extra at times. Flat text and no voice of facial inflections does that sometimes, wait a minute, let me get my target shirt on... :D

Gary
User avatar
garyeanderson
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 3128
Joined: 12 Sep 2003
Location: Massachusetts, U.S.A.

PostPost by: holywood3645 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:17 pm

Jeff is watching. He responded to my request to place a soft copy of the Lotus West manual on the site. On that topic, he was worried about copyrite.
He appears to be have more important things going on in his life that this site right now. He has not lost interest, just different priorties. We have all been there, so lets not throw the baby out with the bath water.

James
User avatar
holywood3645
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1072
Joined: 07 Oct 2003

PostPost by: Tahoe » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:43 am

I don't think we need to throw the baby out with the bath water. Most information is not copyrighted, it is simply factual information. I don't think we should copy and paste from known sources, just extract information that is factual and recognized by all as being factual. I sort of envisioned a breakdown by types as far as known factual information such as correct colors, known part changes (radiators, suspension, carbs, etc.) , tires sizes, etc. to associate those changes with serial numbers etc.. Also, explain specials like SE's, SS, Shapecrafts, 26R's, etc. and what sets those apart and how to identify them. I would like to see sections updated when applicable to outline suspension set ups that work for stock, autox, track, etc. Back all of this information up with pictures. Gary has done an excellent job of grabbing parts and giving us photos to show similarities and differences. So much of this info is out there, but it's spread all over the place, and I want a quick reference. Those that are new will be able to quickly get some of the most basic questions answered and those of whow have been around a while can also find it. Forum discussions will still exsist, and maybe they will be more meaningful discussions.

This doesn't need to happen over night, but it can't loose momentum either. If enough people feel this is important we can do it, and keep this site which is important to all of us, THE SITE for all Lotus Elans and Elan +2's.
Tahoe
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 687
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

PostPost by: billwill » Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:15 am

The issue was discussed in some detail about 11 months ago.
post158904.html

The logical structure for what you are asking for is a Wiki. The most famous and useful Wiki is Wikipedia. To understand what a Wiki is, read the introductory pages there.

The essence of a Wiki is that an initial structure is created and initial content is loaded (sometimes pages with merely a title) then all the permitted people fill in whatever data they feel is relevant, then the rest of the permitted people read that and if they think it is wrong they edit it or add more content. If the original person still feels he is right, he can pull out or modify the later postings. Over a period of time the content settles down to match the overall consensus of what it should be. Any reader can if s/he wishes regress what s/he is reading to any of the earlier states of the page.

Jeff did say that he would try to get a Wiki set up for Lotus Elans but he has not apparently been able to do so to his satisfaction.

The ideal base structure for us would be if we could persuade Lotus to let us turn the two service manuals (Elan and Elan+2 ) into the basic content of a Wiki, then all the extra facts and techniques an examples that have been presented on this website could by enthusiastic member, be transcribed from these web pages into the Wiki in the appropriate places.

In the absence of permission from Lotus, the structure could still use (broadly) the headings and chapters of the service manuals and the Wiki would then become a supplement to the service manuals.
Bill Williams

36/6725 S3 Coupe OGU108E Yellow over Black.
billwill
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 4724
Joined: 19 Apr 2008
Location: London UK

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:31 am

Guys, if you read what I have written, you will see that I am suggesting that the only information to be taken across to a website is that information that is NOT contained in the workshop manual, the parts book, Ross and Robinshaw, and most importantly, in Brian Buckland's book.

Therefore there are no copyright issues.

If somebody wants to write chapter and verse on the maintenance / restoration of Elans, then good luck! But I firmly believe that with those 4 books, the wheel has already been invented, and they do a fantastic job.

That is why I also believe that there is not a lot of new content to structure on this forum, when taking into account what is already available in print.

Mark
User avatar
Elanintheforest
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2897
Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Location: Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire

PostPost by: mark030358 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:40 pm

Having bought two Elises' this year I joined SELOC. Very good site and well organized, take a look.

However, the feel of this site is SO MUCH BETTER as its "personal" if you know what I mean. I have many friends on here with whom I converese regulary, either on here, via email or phone. I've even met Pete a few years ago down at the "Arms".

I've had quite a few Lotii and yet I feel I only know a little and some of the guys on here, Brian you know who you are, are just exceptional. As an example, who else would post out FOC 50 bulldog clips to help secure my head lining when it goes on later next year.... just brilliant.

As for the banter on here and upsetting people, I take it as just that, banter. One of my favourite threads was the 26 tomb, which went on for pages and pages.... but boy did I learn and smile a lot.

One thing is for sure, the world would be worse off for the demise of this site.

Cheers

Mark

73 Sprint
69 S4
08 SC Elise
06 Cooper S

Now where did I leave that car..... :)
User avatar
mark030358
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 926
Joined: 29 May 2004
Location: Willaston, Wirral

PostPost by: billwill » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:53 pm

I've got a brilliant idea...

The grumpy no-fun, no-banter members can go off & create their own website and they can be allowed to copy over any of the technical info that they please from this site. Gary can be the admin/moderator and then he can control that website to his heart's desire.

It's pretty easy to do when you use one of the existing host sites for PHBB.
https://www.phpbb.com/hosting/

http://www.123-reg.co.uk/web-hosting/fr ... tAodbl8ANg


Or if you want a no-chat pure-info site use one of these Wiki host sites.
https://www.google.com/search?client=ub ... tf-8&gl=uk
Bill Williams

36/6725 S3 Coupe OGU108E Yellow over Black.
billwill
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 4724
Joined: 19 Apr 2008
Location: London UK

PostPost by: terryp » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:23 pm

Bill

Seconded!

Terry
terryp
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1667
Joined: 29 Nov 2007

PostPost by: Tahoe » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:23 pm

billwill wrote:I've got a brilliant idea...

The grumpy no-fun, no-banter members can go off & create their own website and they can be allowed to copy over any of the technical info that they please from this site. Gary can be the admin/moderator and then he can control that website to his heart's desire.

It's pretty easy to do when you use one of the existing host sites for PHBB.
https://www.phpbb.com/hosting/

http://www.123-reg.co.uk/web-hosting/fr ... tAodbl8ANg


Or if you want a no-chat pure-info site use one of these Wiki host sites.


https://www.google.com/search?client=ub ... tf-8&gl=uk



Okay, I guess my point was missed all together and no amount of response from my side will make it clear. I started this to help the site not start another war. I never wanted an info only site (how boring), but that's how some have interpreted it. I don't want a Wiki site either, or a regurgitation of of tons of info that no one wants to wade through to find one simple answer. Just though the site needed a makeover to make it more user friendly, and still maintain a healthy forum.

I don't need the frickin' drama boys, so if you like status quo, enjoy it.
Tahoe
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 687
Joined: 19 Sep 2010

PostPost by: billwill » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:41 pm

Tahoe wrote:
Okay, I guess my point was missed all together and no amount of response from my side will make it clear. I started this to help the site not start another war. I never wanted an info only site (how boring), but that's how some have interpreted it. I don't want a Wiki site either, or a regurgitation of of tons of info that no one wants to wade through to find one simple answer. Just though the site needed a makeover to make it more user friendly, and still maintain a healthy forum.

I don't need the frickin' drama boys, so if you like status quo, enjoy it.


No your point was not missed, but you are asking for things only Jeff can do and the site structure was discussed and improved about a year ago, which you did not mention.

If Jeff is no longer taking an active interest, the structure of this site can't be changed.

My message that you quoted was not directed at you, but in Jeff's absence the only way to do what you asked is to create another site. Since we do seem to have two diametrically opposite viewpoints here (a) those who want clean tidy technical info and (b) those who like a bit of fun and community spirit in all messages, it amounts to two options either the techno-clean advocates go create a new site, or the community spirit advocates go create a new site, in either case leaving this site available to the other group.

In either case not wanting a wiki site (to hold the best of the technical info and personal experiences in an easy-read form ) does not make sense and indicates that you do not perceive the potential of a Wiki IN ADDITION to the discussion site(s)
Bill Williams

36/6725 S3 Coupe OGU108E Yellow over Black.
billwill
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 4724
Joined: 19 Apr 2008
Location: London UK

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests