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Is social media apps (whatsapp/Facebook) a long term threat to TFI?

Discussion in 'Suggestions and Improvements' started by mchanna, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. mchanna

    mchanna Superiore

    Messages:
    989
    Pune
    Hello friends,

    Every city has their own whatsapp group, through which the members are in touch on regular basis discussing technicalities or suggestions or upgrades.
    These are happening on a closed loop. Though it provides a quicker and easier way of communication, the forum users are missing those important discussions and decisions when not updated on the forum.

    I am sure many have discussed and updated their tyres/seat covers/paint treatments/discounts/new deals/ICE, but not many updated the forum.
    Off late this has become a hot topic and have been discussing about this whenever we meet.

    This is definitely a genuine concern for the moderators and for the FORUM perspective.

    Pros:
    • It is very easy and convenient as a user to whatsapp and get the recommendations.
    • Whatsapp also provides the quick response time, where members help instantly.
    • Handy in emergency.
    • Creates stronger bond between the members.
    Cons:
    • Taking users away from forum as he is getting all he needs instantly
    • User will get limited recommendations based on the groups knowledge
    • Forum contents not getting updated.

    We can continue to be on whatsapp, But:
    Can these media co-exist without affecting the Forum?
    How can we make sure the forum is updated with any critical decision?
    How can we enforce the use of forum and get benefit of it?
    Do we have any control over whatsapp?
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2013
    6 people like this.
  2. ghodlur

    ghodlur Esperto

    Messages:
    2,326
    Thane
    Very much relevant topic Channa, thanks for bringing this up.

    I am not a big fanboy of whatsapp after my recent experience where users in the group use this for gossiping, sending jokes etc. Also the no of messages recd is humungous with very little relevance to cars. Add to that it makes people more addictive to checking out the mobile for whatsap updates. Other drawback is the battery of my mobile goes for a toss. If used judiciously then its a great boon or else for all other reasons its a bane. I would anyday prefer to catch up with friends in person rather than on mobile.

    Just imagine my wife asking me to check whatsapp update for the designs of the curtains she wishes to buy and my son asking me to let him read the whatsapp messages.:eek:
    3 people like this.
  3. C_S

    C_S Amatore

    Messages:
    158
    Bangalore
    In my opinion these technologies make people go farther in reality and closer electronically.... :( .. I agree with Ghodlur that it is always better to meet in person. Also with everyone embracing all social media without thinking on the consequences, in 5 years time, forums such as TFI could have a very minimal users as compared to today
  4. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    1,900
    Bangalore
    Bangalore
    Linea 1.3
    Well the intention of the forum is for people to share information voluntarily for benefit of larger audience.

    Well, a closed loop will still communicate be it on whatsapp or sms or call or by any other means. How can one control it?

    Of course it can co-exist. Its the members voluntary interest to share the information on the forum. I certainly believe there is no obligation for the member to either hide information or mandatorily share it on an open forum.

    This again will be the member's voluntary interest of sharing information for the benefit of larger audience. Create more awareness and value by the members and the mods which generates the voluntary interest of sharing information.

    Very little impact on the members by any sort of enforcements. Any enforcements will do more damage than good.

    And, How would a member or a moderator enforce anything on anybody with respect to whatsapp?

    No. I don't see it happening.

    Use of technology for one's convenience and put to good use is one thing, but abuse of technology is another thing and does more harm and has a long lasting impact.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
    4 people like this.
  5. naveen2cool

    naveen2cool Superiore

    Messages:
    646
    Chennai
    That's the answer to this thread. Watsappp is used for informal/casual communication between members and to get quick response.
    Forum is used like a diary to log members ownership experiences and other technical stuff.

    Though we have a off topic discussion thread in our forum, some conversation often ends up with some negative comments and the mods have to clean up the thread. As there are so many members in different parts of the country in this forum, opinions and views will differ. To overcome all this, group of like minded people create watsapp group and discuss among themselves privately. There is no harm in it. Moreover, a Watsapp group can hold maximum of 30 members only if I'm not wrong.

    With the use of watsapp, unwanted replies to threads gets reduced and improves forum quality.
    1 person likes this.
  6. PatchyBoy

    PatchyBoy Esperto

    Messages:
    2,438
    Bangalore
    Very nice and relevant discussion. Thanks for bringing it up. Let me try and answer your questions from my perspective.

    1. Definitely yes. Most often, I have noticed that the discussions on these closed groups start from something that was shared on the forum. I have also noticed that most discussions on these closed groups involve topics that are not meant for open forum consumption.

    2. I fail to understand what exactly you mean by "Critical Decision" here. A decision that affects members of an online forum cannot be taken by a closed group. Whatever decision that a closed group takes, is likely to affect only that group, and IMHO, it is none of the forum member's business.

    3. Being a member in this or any other internet forum is optional and so is information sharing. There is nothing to be enforced here. As with any forum, even here, you will find that hardly 5% of the members contribute regularly and the rest are mere spectators. That is the very nature of such forums.

    4. Absolutely not. We have no control. Why should we? Also, these smaller localized social media groups are quirk of the human nature. Even in physical large number groups, don't we find people getting into smaller groups?

    That said, I am noticing a lot of members - new and old but inactive alike - suddenly pop up and ask help with a problem, without searching the forum. I do not blame them fully, as searching and finding valuable information in large threads can be a pain. To address this, we can have a wiki section, that would serve the purpose of solely being a lookup reference and will be far easier to find information there, as it would not be cluttered with comments.

    Rajan
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
    2 people like this.
  7. DRIV3R

    DRIV3R Esperto

    I know for a fact that WhatsApp is being used by few of a group (not one-one communication, but a WhatsApp group) to intimate their peers to come and back them up over the forum, on few specific topics/posts which are not to their taste. ;)

    Coming to the topic, I feel all the modes can co-exist, and no amount of WhatsApping/FBing would equal a dedicated forum, atleast in terms of content.
    2 people like this.
  8. asimpleson

    asimpleson Esperto

    Messages:
    3,000
    Heptanesia
    Linea 1.3
    Whatsapp cannot replace TFI !

    Oh BTW Ghodlur, you are missed on TFI Mumbai 26th November whatsapp group ! :evilsmile

    Seriously speaking though, I can't agree more with you on this topic. It really is 2-5% cars and most other things are irrelevant. Whatsapp being an IM and not as focused and profound as a forum, with a serious intent and set of rules, simply lacks these features.

    Even the users on these mini groups like and respect the rather discreet nature of the forum, which they themselves admit should be separate and distinct in existence, both so very needed in their respective places.

    Apart from that whatsapp does create distraction in the work place and can be really annoying especially when you are interacting on something important and one keeps reaching out or is constantly busy with the phone. They have strict policies in many corporate houses about using such IM stuff in the workplaces these days. They are such an occupational hazard, with the speed at which important information can be leaked or misused. The whole concept of privacy is challenged!

    There needs to be like minded individuals who are mature and tolerant with each other. IMHO, these days people have a very low quota of listening and responding or interacting person to person. Everyone seems to be pre-occupied in their own personal things or issues to deal with daily. One is compelled to think and act to managing one's own business rather than reaching out and interacting with people in person.
    In metros traffic and busy schedules are again not too condusive for face to face chats. This picture needs to change for people's own health!
    Saved for the fact that TFI to some level gives us this opportunity to interact online as well as in person at meets.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
    2 people like this.
  9. PaddleShifter

    PaddleShifter Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,697
    Chandigarh
    Grande Punto 1.3
    I agree with most of the posts above. One is free to use whatever app or platform he/she finds convenient to use. Its a free country.

    The only issue I see is that if issues or experiences are not being shared on forums, the resolutions etc. go undocumented. Thus, the database might miss out on valuable information.

    The database of TFI has been of great help to a lot of members who could actually have a few probable diagnosis to guide technicians at service center in case of issues that were nit being handled well there.

    I just hope that this database expands and remains updated for the benefit of the fiat owners and lovers.
    2 people like this.
  10. mchanna

    mchanna Superiore

    Messages:
    989
    Pune
    I am afraid but its already in the making, we stopped writing letters after the phones/emails, we stopped waiting in a long Q in the STD booths after the mobiles, our visit to hometown reduced after video conferencing...and now even calls got reduced due to social media and hifi mobiles......We have gone to an extent that now we are receiving marriage invitation over SMS or EMAIL, no time to invite personally.

    IMO, We already moved away from reality long back, we started loving this virtual world without our knowledge. We were addicted to orkut/facebook/g+/whatsapp
    But these electronic media uniting like minded peoples all over the world.

    Having said that whatsapp group brought many of us close locally (at least for me) by chatting regularly about anything everything, frequent meets, quick calls from service center, in emergencies friends rushed on the pop of a message, few to name.

    - - - Merged Post - - -

    I meant to say decisions regarding any car upgrades/mods/purchase based on the closed group discussion. Or they might have done a very good mod and just discusses it over whatsapp and never updates the forum.

    - - - Merged Post - - -

    Yes, they cant match, unless members update the forum proactively.
    Most landed here in search of a solution/help for a specific problem, If members get those suggestions/helps/troubleshooting instantly the forum will not get updated.

    - - - Merged Post - - -

    This is exactly my point is. Forum is missing the valuable information and discussions that are happening over whatsapp casually.
    As C_S said in 5years forums might loose its charm for being outdated.
    1 person likes this.

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