Unfortunately, Facebook is killing car forums

The online communities for collector cars are now on their third iteration.   They started mostly as email lists, moved to forums and are increasingly moving to social media.   This is not a good thing.

The car forums and lists built a real sense of community and there was a lot of effort that went into many postings.  Indeed, some individuals spent a lot of time writing up great howto guides on various topics.

Some of these car forum/email threads are now 10-15 years old, yet are still invaluable resources to the collector car community.   At the end of the day, advice on how to adjust some aspect of a 30 year old car hasn’t actually changed in 15 years.    I try to do a lot of work on my cars myself.   For anything I have not done before, I spend at least 30 minutes searching the various forums to understand gotchas and lessons learned.

I’ve seen in the last 2-3 years the amount of new content and sense of community really drop off.   Facebook groups have exploded at the same time.   Facebook groups have the advantage they are very ‘here and now’ and the posting of photos is very easy.    However the interactions are very superficial and it does not leave much in the way of a lasting record.   There seems to be more time devoted to talking up prices of poorly presented cars and making asinine comments on photos than any sort of meaningful discourse.   Of course, this is a problem in our society at large, and not something specific to the old car community.

What is specific to the old car community is that many of those who were around when these cars are new are getting older and that specialised knowledge will only be around for so long.   If only we could preserve it instead of commenting that a poorly modified car is ‘fully sic bro’.

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