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01/12/2004 22:54:09   ian f   Is anyone other than me p****d off with the SOC web site 'cos of the lack of ads since they upgraded the site months ago. To compound matters, their webmaster can't even be a***d to acknowledge/reply to my email enquiry.

After 15 years of a great deal of not very much V4-wise from them I think that they'll have to do without my subs.

Alistair - can you bring any pressure to bear on them?

01/12/2004 23:15:54   Alistair   Well first off, this sort of thing should really be directed to the Board of Directors, they are the elected Officers of the Club and have more control over such things than the likes of myself. I'm not on the Board, and as a result probably shouldn't be commenting on a public forum but then I'm not exactly known for keeping my trap shut :)

Secondly, I am trying to help things along as much as possible V4-wise - if you have anything specific you would like us to do then please let me know!!! I'm probably not psychic, though I have been described as psychotic...

Thirdly, the website was moved to a new ISP to save the Club some money, and unfortunately this has created more of a technical challenge than was first envisaged - something to do with changing all the file structures and therefore all the thousands of links between the pages and within forum threads.

Maybe a better explanation and some updates would help inform people, I'll suggest that this is done.

I know Toby is up to his proverbials trying to sort out the problems, and also to improve the security of the forums and adverts - to minimise scanning by Spam Engines and to discourage abuse of the site by traders who a) don't pay for use of the site and b) don't declare themselves as traders (which is illegal of course)

It was discussed in depth at the AGM and Toby was hoping to get it up again "within about 3 weeks" - I think that time has passed so I'm not sure of the current status.

Not sure why you're not getting a reply to your email though, I will ask Toby. Now if you were referring to the previous webmaster who disappeared off the face of the earth, I wouldn't be surprised by your comment!

Can I just say that the SOC site is currently run by Toby who, like the rest of us, does it in his spare time in addition to a day job and raising a family. It takes up an inordinate amount of that spare time, and when we have asked for more volunteers to help (not least due to pressure from the membership) there has been naff all in the way of offers of assistance. Now I'm not making excuses here, or having a pop at anyone, but it is easy to complain about stuff like this and a lot harder to find people prepared to actually do something to help.

Ian, the Club does need the support of long-standing members like yourself and we do recognise the need to improve the services we offer and to reverse the declining membership in recent years. I and many others spent a lot of time discussing this with the Board at the AGM. The best way to help us make changes though is to be part of it. If you have things to say, then please get involved and let us know, one volunteer is worth ten pressed men and all that.

In the meantime, there are other places to advertise your wares or to go looking for stuff - the adverts section on this site, also, and Saab Central.

Hang in there matey...

02/12/2004 19:51:32   ian meakin   i only go on this web site in the hope it may have been up-dated...but alas not so far...its very poor for new photos despite me sending several last year which wern't even acknowledged...and a basic lack of news...never mind  
03/12/2004 07:48:20   Richard   I think we need more directors on the board.  
03/12/2004 07:57:46   Richard   Ok, the SOC are better than a lot of clubs. I have been trying to find out about the mods I can do to a Clan Crusader for Post Historic rallying from the HRCR for ages and I can not get hold of the person via phone, email and now letter. The plan has been shelved for now as its too late in the day to finish the car in time and I still dont know what they would let me do.
Join the HRCR Ford rally championship (Ford = get away with murder)!  
03/12/2004 22:23:48   Alistair   "I think we need more directors on the board."

You may well be right. Interestingly, I think the current view from the Board is for fewer Directors. Personally I disagree with this.  
04/12/2004 12:31:52   paul   Join the Saab Enthusiasts Club!

I gave up expecting anything much from the SOC a while ago.  
05/12/2004 11:36:07   simon   No warnings required; it's written on the tin.

R U an owner or an enthusiast?  
05/12/2004 16:08:19   Alistair   Not much to be gained slagging one off in favour of the other, there is a place for both, and many people are members of both. You seem to have missed the point of Ian's original post - he's missing the classifieds on the SOC site.  
05/12/2004 18:41:05   simon   Yes; Alistair I also miss the classifieds.
While my flipent remark above, was based on the comments submitted here, as much as my experience.
SOC: - I'm with Richard; why aren't you on the board? And why is there so little 'repect' and support for those of us who persevere, with Saab heritage as daily drivers - because we love it and would feel horrified at polishing (and not driving) show cars.
SEC & SOC - Blood on the knuckles/spanners, or G&T at posh meetings. That's the difference which I have observed. Each to his own. "Slagging" off not intended, indeed a place for both and even more but people should be aware of what to expect.  
06/12/2004 07:48:17   Richard   To be honest, I am a member of both and the SOC under Alister and Dave barrow has had more interesting articals of a technical nature over the last year than the SEC. As the SEC is getting going again I dont expect miricals over night. The SOC has a large No. of memebrs but I feel that alot of these have newish cars and dont turn out at events, they seem happy just with the mag.  
06/12/2004 11:56:24   simon   Dear All and Dear Alec,
Appologies for going off a bit, - perhaps best to remove my posts here. A weekend of swearing and blooded oil did not help. No axe to grind and FYI I am NOT a member of either. BUT why aren't Alistair and/or Dave Barrow on the board of SOC, it seems to me that they need charactures with passion were it counts.
I mean; a club without proper representation of the best, most unique, inovative, cute 'n' iconic cars EVER - made by Saab or any one else!
What a wasted opportunity and how disrespectful towards those, evidently, dedicated beyond the cause.  
07/12/2004 17:08:54   Alistair   Couple of things here (and I wish we could hold this useful discussion on the SOC site...)

Dave Barrow is on the Board as Motorsports Director, none of the Registrars are except Dave G who happens to be 9000 Reg as well as chair. This is because we don't actually have anything to do with the day-to-day running of the Club.

The SOC began as a Club for owners of these weird & then quite rare cars to get support from each other, share tools, parts, knowledge & experiences. And to have a social side to the Club. It has clearly evolved as have the cars and the needs of their owners. Nowadays, it has to cater for the very technical (perhaps we don't do this too well?) and the majority of "social" Club members - it is this side of the Club that most of the long-standing members value, indeed there are many non-Saab "Owners" in the Club purely because they have friends there.

The SEC is focused on Saabs no longer in production, and as such has a different member demographic and these members tend to be more technical and have different needs to the majority of SOC members.

I've said it before and will say it again, the only way we can change the services the SOC provides to its members is if you tell us what you want/need, or even better, get involved in ensuring this happens. Get involved, at your local branch level and/or at a national level if you think there is something worth doing. Make it happen. That's all the rest of us are trying to do!

My own view? There is potential for some spares collation and/or remanufacturing but whenever this has been investigated in the past, the demand has been too low and the business case hasn't stacked up. Maybe we could pool requirements from the international Clubs to make this more worthwhile, but again there is often apathy when these ideas are suggested, as it requires a lot of effort for potentially little gain.

The same issues apply to commercial suppliers. We'd all like the Highgate alloys on our V4s (well, most of us) but are we prepared to stump up the large sums to buy them? Only a few have. And I'm not one of them!  
08/12/2004 12:48:19   Alec   Dear Ian Meakin (and others)

I am sorry you got no reply from me if you sent me some photos, I do always try to reply but maybe it was when I was having email issues.
The reason the site has not been updated for so long is that I have had some personal problems and have not had the time to do anything with the site. I still have many photos that have been sent to me over recent months and I will try in the not to distant future to get them on the site.

Sorry about all this but hopefully things will pick up for me in the new year!

Regards and a Happy Xmas to you all.

08/12/2004 15:31:00   Senor Burt   As Alec runs this site by himself for free, it's unfair to expect anything from it. It is a jolly fine site though and probably the best SAAB V4 related resource in the UK.

The SOC and SEC sites which many of us fund through our subscriptions, should provide a certain level of information and service for their members and be updated regularly. This is unfortunately not always the case and complaints about issues with the SOC site in particular have been ignored for long periods of time without any action or acknowledgement (presumably by the guy who disappeared). They employ professionals to print (and design?) the magazine, why not do the same with the web site? For a web designer to update 1 or 2 pages a month wouldn't break the bank.

The demographic of the SOC has changed a lot since I joined. The shift in the way that cars are designed and built over the years means that the technical side is now much less a part of the club. Most SOC members have newish cars that are almost impossible to repair and maintain yourself. The number of members who drive V4's daily is now miniscule. Most SOC owned V4's are driven so little, they don't need spares.
The SOC must reflect the needs of the majority of its members which in general it seems to doing. Except with the web site apparently.  
08/12/2004 22:09:20   Alistair   Can't agree more with Jason (Snr Burt) regarding this 'ere site of Alec's, I really enjoy using the site, the banter with you chaps and also the general lack of plonkers that you get on some of the bigger forums! I'm not sure though if Ian M was referring to this site or to the SOC site???

Jason is right about the previous SOC webmaster causing some problems, he simply disappeared and did nothing for months. We did discuss using a professional firm to help with the update and potentially the management of the Club's site at the AGM, I'm not sure if anything was actually agreed about this apart from maybe to do some research. I agree it's probably the best way forward, depending on the costs.

Is the "typical" SOC V4 owner really that different from the owner of any other owner of ~30 year old classic cars in their use of the car, and needs of an Owner's Club?

Mind you, you boys should be proud of me, I got my hands mucky t'other day changing my rear discs & pads on the 9-5 (aka "Beige Barge") so there are some jobs that even the spanner-shy like me can do on modern Saabs...!  
16/12/2004 19:48:32   simon   SOC adverts back on line, today!
While I'm here - a MASSIVE big up to Alec for this site, The best Saab Club without even trying to be such.  

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