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Thread: US Club

  1. #1
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    Default US Club

    Hey guys,

    There has been a fair amount of discussions at www.usa7s.com regarding formation of an all inclusive US Club, and we are going ahead with implementing the idea.
    I know at least some of you are members over there and have provided valuable input.
    I'm starting this thread over here and subscribing to it to gather your thoughts on the subject.

    I know despite the website name that californiacaterhamclub is inclusive of other brands, so in that sense we're on the same page.

    The idea of the club really started after we had a small cruise in Virginia and decided to do something bigger for next year (which is the 7/7/7 event).

    The response was very good, and from there we thought a US all inclusive club could spur this type of event on a more frequent basis nationally by
    A- Providing some basic needs, such as insurance coverage
    B- A large enough subscriber base to achieve some scale

    the main discussion thread for the club is here, but I will keep an eye on this thread as well.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    For us locals:

    We had a similar discussion a while back:
    http://www.californiacaterhamclub.co...read.php?t=423

    Let's use this thread to discuss what this means for us here on the left coast.

    I think we have a number of alternatives, listed below in order of engagement.

    1) Stay out of it.
    2) Become a chapter of the National 7 club, while retaining our local identity and web site.
    3) Become an absorbed chapter of the National 7 club where we redirect www.californiacaterhamclub.com to the national web site.

    Today we (the California club) is completely oriented around the forum, where we do all our planning, banting and lying. From my point of view, we can continue under all three options above, and I remain agnostic on the subject.

    The value of the club (in my opinion) is not in our name or our website, but in the members and the community we form. This membership can easily be transferred to a new format or forum as long as we retain our earlier posts and login names/passwords.

    The all-inclusive discussion in the thread referencesed by slngsht has been a bit moot for us since the start of the CCC. Simon Nearn was fairly keen on that we would be Caterham exclusive in order for us to use the name in our club, which we circumvented by having no official membership procedure. Since then all kinds of Sevens have showed up at our events, and we are happy with that.

    I will follow the discussion in this thread and, if we are in consensus about option 1 or 2 above, perform the necessary technical work of aligning our website with that of the national club's.

    /Magnus F.



  3. #3
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    I took the libery at opening a similar discussion in the usa7s.com thread.

    /Magnus F.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnusfeuer

    Simon Nearn was fairly keen on that we would be Caterham exclusive in order for us to use the name in our club, which we circumvented by having no official membership procedure.

    /Magnus F.


    Didn't realize this was the case, and maybe I'm not clear on what exactly "circumvented" means. But if Caterham has not given permission for the use of its trademarks in the way that they are being used here, then they should not be used.

  5. #5
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    I asked Caterham UK for a formal paper allowing us to use the name, but Simon said that it was not necessary. Since then Simon has stepped down, and the new ex-Lotus guys have taken over.

    If we start to get heat from Caterham about our name, we will simply change it.

    /Magnus F.

  6. #6
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    Default I've had some recent correspondence with Cat-UK

    and I think that using the word Caterham in a club name where the membership is up to 50% LSiS and not Cat might be treading in bad waters.

    I think the European POV on the "trademarkability" of a number makes them more lenient on something like USA7s.org or even something like California 7 Club.

    As for the 7 logo...I was frankly suprised that LF published that pic of Stan S's Birkin with the 7 grille. Note that I have asked for special dispensation for the 7-7-7 TotD "Dragon's Tail" logo. We have the right to use this for this event, but of course, they can revoke that right at any time.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Navarro
    As for the 7 logo...I was frankly suprised that LF published that pic of Stan S's Birkin with the 7 grille.
    Hi Al,
    I didn't know my car made the article! Is it online anywhere, or is there a chance you could scan the article?
    As far as having the 7 grille on a Birkin is concerned, I know that the gentleman involved in production purposely choose a different font for the 7 than Caterham uses. I don't know if that would legally make a difference though! He's not involved with the Birkin company, just an enthusiast and fellow owner.

    Stan

  8. #8
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    My son just turned 7. I put 8 candles on the cake just to be safe ;)

  9. #9
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    You are now infringing on Westfields SEight.

  10. #10
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    Update.

    Slngsht and I will do some integration tests during the next week or so to find out if we can merge our two forums into one.
    ---

    I will suggest the following website layout:

    Front page:
    Automatically updated every day to show the latest posts, blogs, photos, articles and upcoming events.

    Forum:
    Like we discussed earlier in this thread.

    Articles:
    Contains texts written by members regarding events, new products etc.

    Member area
    Allows registered members to setup personal photos, write blogs, present themselves and their car etc.

    Events:
    Contains schedule software where people can sign up for upcoming events, races, blats, etc.

    Photo/Video:
    Contains photos and videos from events etc.

    All sections of the web site will have a standard menu where all other sections can be directly accessed. I will ask Miwako (my wife), who is a graphic designer with focus on interactive design (and print), for the best way to layout the site. She may also do a logo for us, unless someone else have started that process.

    ---

    A combined site would have approx 60-80 active members based on calculations that Slngsht and I did over MSN messenger. This can be compared with our 40 active members today on this site. We will probably land at around 250 visits per day, totalling at ~4300 hits.

    It seems like we have a loose consensus (with the exception of Chris) to move forward with this. I will do my best to retain the look and feel of this forum in the new site.

    Chris: If/when we go national, I truly hope that you will join us in the California corner and that we will see you at blats and track events. This new format will not be much different from what we have today, but it will enable me, slngshot and others to pool our resources to do a better job providing the club with web services. I alone would never be able to maintain the website suggested above.

    Please note that nothing stated in this post is final. If you have ideas, comments or opinions, please post them. If I don't hear people complaining, I will take that as an acknowledgment to move ahead.


    /Magnus F.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Navarro
    and I think that using the word Caterham in a club name where the membership is up to 50% LSiS and not Cat might be treading in bad waters.

    I think the European POV on the "trademarkability" of a number makes them more lenient on something like USA7s.org or even something like California 7 Club.

    As for the 7 logo...I was frankly suprised that LF published that pic of Stan S's Birkin with the 7 grille. Note that I have asked for special dispensation for the 7-7-7 TotD "Dragon's Tail" logo. We have the right to use this for this event, but of course, they can revoke that right at any time.
    OK, I'll ask the dumb questions. If the latest word from Caterham Cars is that its comfortable with its trademarks being used in the USA by a Caterham Club, consisting of Caterham owners, why not start a USA Caterham Owners Club and boldly use those trademarks in the approved manner - plaster them all over the place in fact? Would that bring greater public awareness to all sevenesque cars in the USA than the present circumstance of not being able to freely use widely recognized trademarks, and possibly even offending some by pushing the envelope with circuitous use?

    And if done right might that approved use entice Caterham UK and USA to possibly actually support some activities in the USA? And if they do would that also be a boost for all sevenesque cars and enthusiasts? Or would it deter other sevenesque manufacturers who might otherwise come forward with support rivaling what Caterham might provide?

    And would doing all of this detract from separately hosting a forum and events open to all sevenesque cars?

    What are the learned answers?

  12. #12
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    Magnus, I think the proposed major areas of the site are very good.

    I'd say the Events section should probably just be an Events Calendar, with the event links to appropriate discussion thread for the particular event on the calendar.

    I know you proposed a forum section layout somewhere... can you post that here as well?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roll a 7
    You are now infringing on Westfields SEight.
    :lol:

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich H
    OK, I'll ask the dumb questions. If the latest word from Caterham Cars is that its comfortable with its trademarks being used in the USA by a Caterham Club, consisting of Caterham owners, why not start a USA Caterham Owners Club and boldly use those trademarks in the approved manner - plaster them all over the place in fact? Would that bring greater public awareness to all sevenesque cars in the USA than the present circumstance of not being able to freely use widely recognized trademarks, and possibly even offending some by pushing the envelope with circuitous use?

    And if done right might that approved use entice Caterham UK and USA to possibly actually support some activities in the USA? And if they do would that also be a boost for all sevenesque cars and enthusiasts? Or would it deter other sevenesque manufacturers who might otherwise come forward with support rivaling what Caterham might provide?

    And would doing all of this detract from separately hosting a forum and events open to all sevenesque cars?

    What are the learned answers?
    Rich,
    I'm not sure if I can answer all that, but Caterham has basically said OK to us (Al N.) using the 7 logo as part of the 7/7/7 event logo. All along I believe they have said go ahead, but they reserve the right to change their mind.

    Two questions come to mind:
    1- If the club is completely open to all LSiS (speaking of the national club, not CCC), why include "Caterham" in the name, and risk a change of heart by Caterham and deal with the mess after that?

    2- As a non-Caterham LSiS owner, all else being equal, if I came across two forums - one named blah Caterham blah, and one named blah Generic Seven blah, my first reaction is that the Generic Seven club is more accepting (it's just a perception). That said, I'll join every seven related resource I can find.

  15. #15
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    The main reason, in my opinion, for being all inclusive is that the Seven market and community is too small in the U.S. to be divided into brands.

    Even if we called ourselves SuperiorCaterhamSevensOfUSA.com, we would still have to begin every introduction with explaining what a Seven is, then give people the Lotus Seven history lesson in order to reach the Caterham finale. This is the downside of living in the back waters of British car culture.

    In conclusion, the Caterham name does not add that much value over other Seven brands to anyone here in the U.S., except for us snobs who actually own one.

    So why not instead gather around the Seven banner and tout the best design ever made for club racers?

    /Magnus F.

  16. #16
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    It seems like my original suggestion of forum sections was lost due to our earlier database problems. I'll make another attempt

    Technical questions - General
    For generic questions such as tires, engines, ECUs, electrical problems etc.

    Technical questions - Caterham/Birkin/Locost/Etc.
    Tech questions for specific brands. An example topic would be the De Dion tube failures on the Caterham, which is of little interest to a Birkin owner. Also touts the fact that each brand can get help here.

    National events
    NW tour 7/7/7, Se7ens Channelge, and similar grandiose schemes can be discussed here.

    Marketplace
    Private parties can buy and sell their Sevenish things here.

    Idle Talk
    Gossip, idle banter and holy flame wars.

    West Coast
    For those on the right side of the nation. Contains the following sub sections
    --Local Events
    --Idle local talk
    --Introduction of new members (Should this be on a national level?)
    --More?

    Central
    Same sub sections as above.

    East cost
    Same sub sections as above.


    Did I miss anything?
    /Magnus F.

  17. #17
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    Chris: If/when we go national, I truly hope that you will join us in the California corner and that we will see you at blats and track events. This new format will not be much different from what we have today, but it will enable me, slngshot and others to pool our resources to do a better job providing the club with web services. I alone would never be able to maintain the website suggested above.

    Sounds more like when, base on what I'm reading here.

    I'm not sure where the notion that I would stop attending events came from as I never even remotely suggested anything of the kind in anything I have written I think. It's unlikely you'll see me on blats however as I find they are more dangerous (um, ahem, spins, cellphone chatting ignorant moron guided suvs, cops etc.) than they are fun. The more tracktime I do the more I want to do and the less interest I have in slow, dangerous drives on public roads.

    If I had any interest in hanging around in a larger group (other than the L7CGB, for the technical bits, and Low Flying) I would have been doing so already. I don't take my identity from waving the Red White and Blue and I never have, and I basically don't have time in my life to wonder or care about what's going on in Texas or Virginia or wherever. I am highly doubtful that a larger thing will somehow generate more interest or somehow provide something more useful than what we have (had) here. I simply don't believe that bigger is better.

    Personally I'm really sorry to see this go.

    But, ultimately, as I've already stated in the other thread: you do what you need to do and feel is best because it's your time and money. I think I can safely say that all of us who have participated here greatly appreciate the work and time you've put in keeping this show running. Thanks!

    I'll be heading in Stokes' direction now I reckon. See ya at the track:D
    Chris
    ------------
    A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnusfeuer
    It seems like my original suggestion of forum sections was lost due to our earlier database problems. I'll make another attempt

    Technical questions - General
    For generic questions such as tires, engines, ECUs, electrical problems etc.

    Technical questions - Caterham/Birkin/Locost/Etc.
    Tech questions for specific brands. An example topic would be the De Dion tube failures on the Caterham, which is of little interest to a Birkin owner. Also touts the fact that each brand can get help here.

    National events
    NW tour 7/7/7, Se7ens Channelge, and similar grandiose schemes can be discussed here.

    Marketplace
    Private parties can buy and sell their Sevenish things here.

    Idle Talk
    Gossip, idle banter and holy flame wars.

    West Coast
    For those on the right side of the nation. Contains the following sub sections
    --Local Events
    --Idle local talk
    --Introduction of new members (Should this be on a national level?)
    --More?

    Central
    Same sub sections as above.

    East cost
    Same sub sections as above.


    Did I miss anything?
    /Magnus F.
    Members area:
    Club Members Area
    -Club Discussion
    -Voting section - this would be the official polling place for club matters

    Help & Testing

    Forum Suggestions & Enhancements

    Do you think we should split marketplace between Cars vs. Parts?

    Also, a fabrication section within Tech would be useful... Locost guys can contribute alot of knowledge in this area.

    New member introduction and general discussions - I prefer those nationally, but I can see members here prefer local talks. I can go either way. I have talked / PMed with more guys around the country as I have with folks in the DC/MD/VA area, both for the 7 hobby and for my vette, and have established enough of a relationship that I'd look forward to meeting the online friends for a beer if they travel here, or if I travel to their area - and have on a couple of occasions.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by slngsht
    Do you think we should split marketplace between Cars vs. Parts?
    You can group them together to begin with, then split later if volume dictates.

  20. #20
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    Default I've tried posting this a few times now...

    Here is goes again, from memory...

    Another advantage of consolidation is that I'm on USA7s.com daily and over here only weekly. My apologies for the delay in replying to any and all...

    Stan
    I will try and scan that in for you next week and shoot it over. BTW, I noticed that your grille's 7 is more stylized than the Cat one. It's cool, btw.

    Rich
    Although I run a Caterham Superlight, I'm so marque inclusive I may as well change my horn to play Kumbaya. As Mazda notes, the non-Caterham folks among us (and they are legion) may not automatically think a WhateverCaterhamKlub is for them. And, as Magnus states, I think we're too small a niche to be against aggregation (of marques and clubs/sites).

    Magnus & Mazda
    I think the dialog you guys have opened and are fostering between East and West is great. While it does make me feel slightly sad to read Chris' comments about keeping the CCC in tact, I think your efforts will be remembered fondly many years from now. You should both be commended. Keep up the energy and enthusiasm.

    As for site sections: I think Mazda, in his most recent post, notes the "new member intros" subsection. I think that's a good thing to add, a la Britishcarforum.com. Also, a section with FAQ for people thinking about buying an LSiS...where the various US options are described (even let the manufacturers edit or add to some base copy) and the various newbie FAQ addressed.

    Finally, as for art direction and logos....although I am the co-owner of a small ad agency over here in NJ, I can only ask my art directors to do so much for my hobby. So Magnus, your wife should take the ball and run with it. The CCC site is pretty clean, so I'm confident we'll end up in a good place. My only caveat is to probably stay away from the 7 logo. Although we have verbal permisison to use some version of it for 7-7-7, I wouldn't want to push it.

    Oh, one last thing...is it just me or is the "chit chat" section of blat chat UK entirely tiresome and 95% off-topic. And what's with all the closed threads recently?

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