Wow, what a great group we have here, lots of great suggestions, advice! I really, really appreciate everyone's comments and the time you took to think about this and post them. Lots of writing, lots of questions, lots of answers. I tried to answer them all!
Q. Ceemes 1) "cast my vote mainly on how poopie of a mood I was in at the time". 2) "Include Social Channels"
A. 1). Yes, I agree, thus it makes the ratings "blurry" without a post (reason) behind the vote. 2). Absolutely, the issue is the voting structure on Twitter and Facebook is quite limited to what can be done.
Q. Markdcoco. 1) Catagories (design, components, options, performance, etc.) . 2) More spirited discussions. 3) 5+ categories of 1 to 5.
A. 1). Very interesting, I like it, but it would require more complexity in voting (limitations to phpBB voting) and for users to spend more time researching into the different areas of the bike; maybe a more basic version would work? 2). Absolutely would love to go down this road, as long as the flames are under control. 3) OMG, beyond the phpBB voting system and ouch, my eyes! haha
Q. Montanalifter. 1). One of the things I thought is a lot of people just like their brand or type of bike. 2). Categories stuck between cool/uncool and other categories. 3). I like the discussions sometimes points are brought up in which I did not think of or consider. 4) App. 5) Not Social. 6) Smaller categories
A. 1). Agree, see Ceemes A1. 2) That's an issue, I feel we need more "polarization" to break it. 3). Love it, something that will encourage posting = win, win. 4) see JackoftheGreen A5. 5) I know how you feel, not sure I'd have a social account if it wasn't for TMW. 6) See Markdcoco A1.
Q. NorthernPete. 1). Meh or fence sitting.
A. 1). Yes it is better to have Meh than to do nothing, I agree.
Q. JackoftheGreen 1). Social 2). Meh; 274 mehs right out the door. 3). Would it be possible to arrange a guest commentary by someone who's ridden the bike? 4). Also, maybe hot buttons in a banner on the front page? 5). TMW app could certainly boost participation. 6) 1-10 ratings?
A 1). Absolutely, I've tried Social voting last year, but only had 1-5 votes/week, but will do it again with the new format. 2) Ya, I know, meh. That's a lot of mehs! 3). Wouldn't that be awesome... but I post 50+ bikes a year, logistically not possible..yet. 4) I do have a large Cool Wall graphic each week on the home page (changed this week to review graphic), a Cool Wall weekly post, Cool Wall Guide and Cool Wall master list outside of the forums. 5). Yes, we do have a TMW App for the past... 6 years! (I'll find the link to it, it is just a basic app that you can d/l and click on to get to the home page). 6) 1-10 would spread out the votes forsure, but what is a 4 or 7 really mean then?
Q. pchast. 1) Weekly but my own biased votes.
A. 1) Weekly seems to be the most popular choice, so it's a clear winner; a users biases do influence the votes, it is, again, one of the challenges of trying to get an accurate rating.
Q. Sunshine229 1) The one good thing is that the forum does NOT require an account to vote. 2) Categories yes, but the trouble is we can't keep changing the categories unless we want to give up the comparison piece of knowing which bike outperformed another on the polls.
A. 1) While I'd LOVE to have everyone create an account and post, not everyone wants to create an account so I have to cater to those needs and allow guests to vote too. Which I think is fine as long as it is not abused (looking at you CCW votes). 2) By creating many different categories, you are right, we can't compare bikes anymore.
Q. Jstark47. 1). Uncool means something wrong with the bike. 2)I'd rather see us go to every two weeks than to have bikes presented that are years out of production. It just doesn't make sense to me to be voting on a bike whose production run ended years ago. 3) Can-Am pfft.
A. 1) Very, very interesting, I never would have thought along those lines, but you are right, I can see your point. 2), It would limit voting choice/options by a factor of 40x if I just did 2018 bikes and never included bikes back to 1970 and before... and I'll be biased here, i like vintage bikes...haha. 3). Ya, I know, but Can-Am, Polaris and even H-D Trike all call them "motorcycles" so despite what I think, they are, right?
So, now what?
You have all made me think what the goal of the Cool Wall has become, where it is go to and how it will morph into something even better. With all your suggestions they have planted a seed that I didn't think of a few weeks ago and grew into what I think is a little different direction and might be more engaging and more fun. Plus add it to restrictive social media and the phpBB voting systems. Many brought up the suggestions of new categories, which really made me think how can that be done? (I think I have a basic answer below). Also the current vote categories can mean something different to each rider (something I never considered), so that's new to me. How to successfully blend in old with new and take into account ratings, which are biased and flawed and produce an acceptable outcome... So many new perspectives.
So, I think I've come up with a plan that combines most everything above, boils it down to the simplest form, makes it engaging, exciting and compatible with social media and phpBB voting. So thanks to you, here is what I got:
Remember when I posted the special two week features of multi-bikes and everyone loved it? (or at least we got a truck load of votes and replies), well, taking your suggestions above, mixing in that multi-bike magic, this idea has evolved: A "This or That" simplistic version of the Cool Wall we have today, where the simple idea of two bikes pitted against another. (anyone remember MTV and Combat de Clip?). The most voted on bike will advance to the next week to be pitted against another bike. Could be new vs new, new vs old, supersport vs adventure bike, but in the end, my goal is to generate debate (posts) and interest (which will win, who will advance). Weekly as well with the ability to introduce a maga-matchup at anytime.
Its different, simple, effective, breaks down the voting complexity and (hopefully) makes it more interesting for the members, I can post it easily to social media and will take less time for me to do as well.
It will be up later today, I just have to toss around a few layouts, styles and boil that down.
Help me out, try it out and see if you like it or not. We can always morph it as time goes on.
Thanks again, I hope you enjoy it.
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