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Old 01-15-2008, 12:30 AM   #1
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Grand banks owners forum IAGBO

Anyone know what's hap'n on the GB Owners forum? It seems that Bob Lowe who runs it now wants to recover all his costs and is looking to raise around $20,000 from members who then get to call themselves "supporting members"!!??? The gullible have already sent off $6,500 or thereabouts.
I thought these forums were to help each other and deal out a bit of stick from time to time (and have fun at the expense of the real loopies - just a few here)*but it does seem a little odd to get people to pay to listen! What do you reckon, is this a scam or not? FBI, Discovery Channel....
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:39 AM   #2
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Grand banks owners forum IAGBO

Huh? Costs? Wonder how much he's charging for his time per hour? Sounds like a good time for somebody to make an alternative GB forum.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:27 PM   #3
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My understanding is that hosting a forum like this one or the GB forums is not particularly cheap. There are costs involved, in both time and actual money. I have no idea what these costs are--- I assume it varies from forum to forum depending on whose server it sits on and so forth. I believe the GB forum is hosted on a commercial server, although I don't know what the monthly costs are. The costs of hosting the original GB forum are picked up by GB itself (they used to be picked up by the Oxford Yacht Agency). The much more popular spin-off, the GB forum administered by Bob Lowe and Frode, has so far had it's costs picked up (I assume) by Bob Lowe and Frode. Bob's retired--- I don't know about Frode. As photo content and other features increase, I assume the hosting costs also increase.

So I have no problem with a forum administration looking to the people using the forum to help pick up the costs. Doesn't seem much different in my mind than a magazine charging for a subscription. The only difference here is that the forum readers get to determine the content.


-- Edited by Marin at 13:29, 2008-01-15
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Old 01-18-2008, 02:41 PM   #4
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RE: Grand banks owners forum IAGBO

What I do know is that the original board was set up by Bob Lowe through the Oxford Yacht Agency when Lowe was running a yard. There was a huge poo fight between Lowe and Livingstone from GB yachts with a number of very abusive emails coming from Lowe (check with Mike Negley for details). No doubt there are similar claims from the other side of the argument. The "Owners" site then went alone and GB yachts beefed up the "Beacon" site on the GB*web site.*There are more hits on the "Owners" site than "Beacon" but the beacon site is a bit more formal.
I don't really care too much but it seems that Lowe now wants to be paid for his work. It's a blog site for*gosh sake! and a lot of the advise is the same as you get on any blog site, some of it a huge load of hog wash.
My question, is where is the money going and to whom, and is it being audited by anyone for the sake of those members who want to give Bob Lowe some of their hard earned. HOW CAN IT COST $20,000 TO SET UP AN INTERNET BLOG?

So what does it cost to run THIS site?
Do you admin guys expect some*day to get paid?**
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Old 01-18-2008, 03:13 PM   #5
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There is cost associated with this site. How much...it ain't no $20k. Do we ever expect to get paid? Not at this time as the costs are fairly minimal but they do add up over time. We have considered selling T-shirts and/or burgees and things of that sort to recover some cost. And we have turned down many offers to advertise on this site. We have even had a few kind and considerate people offer money straight out of their pockets to help defray our costs...we kindly turned them down but it was very nice of them and very appreciated. Regardless of whether we maintain the present path or choose another, we will NEVER charge people to access this site!!!
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:43 PM   #6
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There is no charge to access the Grand Banks Owners forum (at least not yet). The adminstrators are asking for voluntary donations to help defray the costs. I wasn't aware the target was $20K--- that does seem like an awful lot unless they figure that this amount will be sufficient to operate the forum indefinitely and they won't need any more money, ever.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Grand Banks forum administered by Bob Lowe and Frode is much more than just the forum itself. They also resurrected the popular but long-dormant GB Woodies site, which in itself is a large, interactive forum and data base, and included it on Grand Banks owners site.

They also maintain a sizeable library of owners and operators manuals for GB boats, engines, transmissions, etc. on the same website. For example, the complete operators and parts manuals for the Ford Lehman 120 are on the site and can be downloaded. There are numerous magazine articles from various publications over the years about GBs (including the first review of the first fiberglass GB36 in 1973). So there's a ton of "stuff" on this site besides just the owners forum, which is very similar in format to this one.

I have no idea how much hosting this kind of additional data, photos, PDF files, etc. adds to the cost of hosting the forum.

When the Oxford Yacht Agency had the Grand Banks dealership taken away from them by Grand Banks a few years ago the question was what to do with the owners forum they had been hosting. OYA no longer had any interest in hosting the forum, and when Grand Banks LLC approached them about taking it over they said fine.

The concern among a number of participants was that sponsorship by Grand Banks could alter the nature of the forum, with GB steering it more in the direction of a promotional tool for their new boats and away from the "how do I fix my 1969 steering gear" type of thing.

Grand Banks LLC said they would not do this but some of the participants said they had no reason to trust GB given their treatment of several long-time GB dealers in the name of reorganization. This gave rise to the acrimonious dialogue Charles referred to. Having seen much of the material written by both sides, I would have to say it was a tie.

For a variety of reasons, one of which was the negative perception of Grand Banks based on their statements, almost all the active participants in the OYA forum went over to Bob and Frode's "breakaway" forum. The fact they were also taking over and including the GB Woodies site was an additional draw.

A few of us have remained active in both forums. However the activity on the GB-sponsored forum is minimal. And so far I have seen no evidence of Grand Banks exerting any influence over the forum they sponsor (called GB Beacon).

My big disappointment is that--- for reasons I am not privvy to--- a key Grand Banks expert, Mike Negley, has so far declined to participate in the "new" Grand Banks forum. He posts only to the Grand Banks-sponsored forum, which is too bad because, like Bob Lowe, he is an incredibly experienced and knowledgeable person when it comes to GB boats. Those of us who monitor and participate in both forums still get the benefit of Mikes expertise and advice, but people who participate only in the new forum do not.
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Old 01-18-2008, 06:08 PM   #7
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RE: Grand banks owners forum IAGBO

There is no question that BOTH forums are a great resource, but it is fairly easy for members to post documents onto a site. I therefore can't see what the money is for except to reimburse someone for their time. I understand that Frode runs a software company - maybe he's the one getting the dough?

(Marin you haven't sent them any money yet)

All these web sites are really interesting if only for the people they attract, all with different agendas and different stories to tell. I like to look at em all, sometimes I get involved but usually not. I note a current trend is for someone to say "but I read it on SNOPES so it must be true"* derrr. Snopes is just another web site. So there's another idea for a thread.
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Old 01-18-2008, 06:38 PM   #8
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How much do you pay to have Passagemaker delivered to your door 8 times a year? Or Time, National Geographic, Playboy or whatever other rag you read? Do you get a daily newspaper or two? What's your paperback book tab for a year? Are you unhappy lining those peoples pockets?

Are you so broke that a few dollars is going to break the bank? If so, then don't donate. Nobody on the GB site said you can't come and read, post or participate in any other way if you don't give money. If you enjoy the site, appreciate the information on there and want it to continue, then give what seems right to you, or not, depending on your circumstances. To act as if its a sin to ask for donations seems wrong to me. Many web sites I visit request donations occasionally to pay the bills.

Just my opinion, yours may vary and I might be wrong,

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Old 01-18-2008, 06:50 PM   #9
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">I note a current trend is for someone to say "but I read it on SNOPES so it must be true" derrr. Snopes is just another web site. So there's another idea for a thread."

A family friend who was a very successful, self-made businessman (he founded the company TeleCheck among other things) told me with regards to getting a job, "If you want to be perceived as an expert in something, write something about it and get it published."

This was in 1979 or thereabouts, so when he said "published" he meant an article in a reputable magazine, a book, etc. Today I think his advice still holds true, but now "published" can mean a post to a forum like this one, a post to a newsgroup, a blog, you name it.

Magazine and book publishers aren't likely to publish something that doesn't have fact behind it (unless it's fiction), and they have the means available to check out the accuracy of the story. So in the "old days," the chances were that if you read about something, the basic facts were probably true.

The publishers' inherent "truth" filter does not apply to the internet, so there is almost no way to tell if something stated as fact actually is. If someone who can write convincingly says, "All Detroit diesels are crap," a fair number of people will believe that and then pass it on in their own posts. Pretty soon there will be this widespread belief that all Detroit diesels are crap for no other reason than, as Brittany Spears would probably say, "It must be true. I read it on the internet."
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:10 PM   #10
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RE: Grand banks owners forum IAGBO

Dead right Marin.

Mr 2Bucks you saw right thru my subterfuge asking about money, who gets it, whats it for, audit trails etc etc. It's just about me not having any bucks. If I hadn't wasted all my dough on PMM, Playboy (bit tame) etc then I'd be right to give Frode and Bob some of the hard earned. Just want to know who gets it and what for.

Mr Baker, I heard (on the internet - so must be true) that you're going to pay us to contribute in future. Is it by word or thread?
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:15 PM   #11
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Marin you are wrong wrong.

It wasn't Britney Spears. It was Paris Hilton and she said I was in Detroit with Vin Diesel and he was crap.
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Old 01-18-2008, 08:30 PM   #12
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Ahh... I see. Another good example of how the internet can twist reality. Well, I can't keep track of who's who in bimbo-land. Britney seems to be pretty much the queen of wasted space so I just assumed it would be the sort of thing she'd say.
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Old 01-19-2008, 08:20 AM   #13
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RE: Grand banks owners forum IAGBO

Quote:
Charles07 wrote:

Mr Baker, I heard (on the internet - so must be true) that you're going to pay us to contribute in future. Is it by word or thread?
Uhhhhhh.....NO!* And when you say you "heard it on the internet" it carries a little more weight when you add an "s" to the word internet!!!* Let's give it a try....

"...I heard it on the internets..."** See???!!!
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Old 01-19-2008, 12:15 PM   #14
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"Mr 2Bucks you saw right thru my subterfuge asking about money, who gets it, whats it for, audit trails etc etc."

You see Charles, I like to spend most of my discretionary income on charitable pursuits such as housing for homeless prostitues and other women of ill repute. I try to give one of them a warm bed to sleep in and a roof over their head for at least one night each week as often as I can. Sometimes I even give them a little spending cash when they leave for incidentals. I figure charity is charity and whatever they spend it on is their business.

Whatever Bob and Frode use my donation for is not a concern to me as long as I get what I want from their site. I imagine they would explain more to someone who asked. I choose not to ask.

Ken
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