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Old 05-02-2018, 11:12 AM   #1
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Hey Sportsmobile Community

It's a pleasure to be a part of the Sportsmobile Forum community. We are excited to share and give advice when needed, on tested and approved products from Sportsmobile. You can see our products on www.sportsmobilestore.com If you have found great products for your camping and 4x4 experiences let us know. We are always adding new products to our store!!
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:59 AM   #2
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Welcome! Do you have a name or did Sportsmobile pay for the Artificial Intellegence Bot upgrade to their website?

Thanks for offering us cool stuff specific to our vans!
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Old 05-02-2018, 02:09 PM   #3
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Garage
Just checked the site. Amazed to see updated apparel offerings. Long overdue. Keep up the good work.
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Old 05-02-2018, 04:15 PM   #4
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An AI Bot would put me out of a job so let's not hint on those types of upgrades. haha
I'm Andrew Feld, and I also have my sportsmobilestore.com team that will be assisting with product tips and ideas.
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Old 05-02-2018, 04:19 PM   #5
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Welcome! Glad to have you here. It would also be great for SMB to be a somewhat-active participant in general here on the site. As a marketing professional, Iíd say you are missing out on a huge opportunity to support and build your brand in the most-active SMB community on the Internet. We are your brand ambassadors, the ones who take the time to talk with all the interested people out in the field who ďjust want to take a quick lookĒ at our/your vans and weíre parked somewhere with the top up.
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Old 05-02-2018, 05:17 PM   #6
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Welcome! Glad to have you here. It would also be great for SMB to be a somewhat-active participant in general here on the site. As a marketing professional, I’d say you are missing out on a huge opportunity to support and build your brand in the most-active SMB community on the Internet. We are your brand ambassadors, the ones who take the time to talk with all the interested people out in the field who “just want to take a quick look” at our/your vans and we’re parked somewhere with the top up.
The Tiger forum at one point was a place where members could openly discuss problems they had, not only with the vehicles, but also with the manufacturer, ProVan, as well. ProVan themselves began to get involved with the conversations within the forums, trying to interfere with discussions the members were having. The guy who owns the Tiger forum became buddies with the owner of Tiger Adventure Vehicles (aka ProVan), and started deleting posts put up by forum members whenever they had difficulties with ProVan.

When their forum was an independent discussion board, members were free to discuss their experiences with each other. After ProVan got involved, censorship became the order of the day.

Alan and Jonathan Feld have been wise enough to realize that you need to allow customers their own private forum space where they can talk freely without SMB being part of the conversation. If you need to talk to SMB, you pick up the phone and call them and have a private discussion with them. The absolute last thing we need on this forum is SMB representatives having conversations with their customers in a public forum. Alan Feld owns SMB. Jonathan Feld, the older son, is now president and manages operations. Andrew Feld, the OP in this thread, is the younger brother. I have never known of Alan or Jonathan (or any other SMB employees for that matter) to comment on this forum. I am not opposed to minimalistic involvement such as Andrew's post here. On the other hand, I know from direct experience how counter-productive it is when a company begins interfering with independent discussion forums where their customers are the members. It becomes nothing more than a propaganda arm of the company. This forum needs to retain its complete independence from SMB. Yes, we are that company's fans. And one of the reasons I am a fan is that SMB, unlike ProVan, has had good enough sense to let their customers have their own private space where they can have open discussions without interference from the company itself. SMB's involvement here needs to be kept to an absolute minimum.
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Old 05-02-2018, 06:38 PM   #7
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^^ I donít totally agree with you, Tom, but your general point is well taken. It all depends on how the forum is managed and how the business relates to the posts. Iím personally on other forums where related companies participate in a good way, and I see the value there. When it does move into propaganda people call BS.

The key point is the businesses must have a good policy in place internally on how to interact with the public, not just on forums like this, but on social media platforms as well as in the general marketplace of ideas. Companies that donít do this well, and donít make this a part of their marketing and brand development strategy, are missing a huge opportunity. A long-standing PR maxim is to build a bank of trust and brand advocates before you may need it, so itís there when things may not be going your way.

There are numerous vendors here on the forum that DO participate in a respectful way (MG, Ujoint, etc.), and I believe this adds value to both their business as well as the forum.
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Old 05-02-2018, 06:47 PM   #8
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Yeah, I get what Tom is say'n and generally agree. But having the techs or folks that actually have their boots on the ground step in once in awhile would be a good thing. John Kolmbach used to chime in once in awhile back in the 2000s. He had good information on things like the suburban heater or the Starcool. Info that none of us members are really privy too or can get from the manufacturer.

Or, you can pick up the phone and talk to Peter. I do like how, this forum, is independent of SMB; some vendors can't handle honest scrutiny of their product. The Store could use more forum discounts like the one they do on Black Friday or maybe it's the 12 days of christmas
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Old 05-02-2018, 07:23 PM   #9
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^^ I don’t totally agree with you, Tom, but your general point is well taken. It all depends on how the forum is managed and how the business relates to the posts. I’m personally on other forums where related companies participate in a good way, and I see the value there. When it does move into propaganda people call BS.

The key point is the businesses must have a good policy in place internally on how to interact with the public, not just on forums like this, but on social media platforms as well as in the general marketplace of ideas. Companies that don’t do this well, and don’t make this a part of their marketing and brand development strategy, are missing a huge opportunity. A long-standing PR maxim is to build a bank of trust and brand advocates before you may need it, so it’s there when things may not be going your way.

There are numerous vendors here on the forum that DO participate in a respectful way (MG, Ujoint, etc.), and I believe this adds value to both their business as well as the forum.
I don't find a minimalistic business presence objectionable and the limited degree to which places like Van Compass, Agile Offroad, etc. participate seems to be an ideal degree. Participation by SMB itself is another matter and what you seem to be calling for is far more than I would be comfortable with. It is obvious that your main interest is in maximizing sales opportunity for businesses. My interest is in protecting the forum as a place members can discuss things without interference from the company itself. As far as calling BS, the owner of the Tiger forum became buds with the owner of ProVan and any posts that cast a less than glowing image of Tiger Adventure Vehicles were simply deleted. Fortunately and wisely, Alan Feld has always kept his distance from this forum, respecting our privacy to discuss his product amongst ourselves without his interference. He knows that we are here because we believe in his product and that our own testimonials do far more to promote that product than if he were to become involved. Maximizing sales opportunity is not this forum's existential purpose. It is rather intended to be a place for owners to discuss product related issues.
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:31 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=TomH SMB's involvement here needs to be kept to an absolute minimum.[/QUOTE]

Vendors here have provided invaluable information to our members without causing issues. Ramsey from Agile was one of the most respected sources of information on this and other forums and did so in a way that he never recieved one single complaint. U-Joint, MG, and all the hobby vendors have been able to provide useful dialog, advice and products without interfearing with discussions. I think it's doubtful that the forum owners or mods will become buddys with SMB and begin to delete any posts that SMB dislikes, and should anyone from SMB step out of line, I'm positive the members here will call them on it. Let's give them a chance to contribute knowledge that may be hard or impossible to find elsewhere. Should issues arrise, I'm positive it will be dealt with in a way that will benefit all members here.
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