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Old 09-05-2009, 08:56 AM   #15
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One other thing-- my response was not directed to the original poster, but rather to that website that was bad-mouthing the AirForums and (without naming him) badmouthing Andy R. I hope the OP did not take my response as being directed toward him.

I don't know the URL for that website, it turned up when I did a Google search on "Airstream forums" or something like that, over a year and a half ago when I first became serious about finding an Airstream. I clicked on that one, which referred to this site, and quickly came over here. I've been a happy member here ever since. This is a great place for all things Airstream, all things RV in general, and many things completely unrelated to either.


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Old 09-05-2009, 09:05 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
However the member who asked has every right to ask IMHO. really no need to talk down to him for a simple and courteous question. I did not read it that he was complaining about profitability.
It would make a much better forum world if all classes of members had to follow the nice rule. Not just the bourgeois pizzants like many of us.

BTW What is the site that is bad mouthing this forum? Tell me by PM if you fear putting it on the public forum please.
Most detractors of this site were asked to leave because of behavior. It's that nice thing again. Some have set up websites others have threatened to do such and have discovered the work and effort that goes into setting up and running a site like this. None have created a base of knowledge and experiences that have been collected here. It truely is a lot of work to do this. And in the case of this site was done with a small group of volunteer moderators that have a geunine interest in the Airstream product and seeing the information become available to all.

So this site is all about sharing experiences, knowledge, thoughts and ideas around the Airstream product. The negative stuff really doesn't fit here, however it is available elsewhere on the net. In fact the negative behavior actually hinders growth so as a group we do not want the negative around here. Differences of opinion or a discussion about how to do things differently are some things that are encouraged. Taking a shot at some one isn't the kind of thing that works.

I have been here for 7 to 8 years and have seen this site grow from a couple thousand users to what it is now. Much of this growth has been foster by Andy R. He created the site and continues to implement tweeks and improvements behind the scenes that offer you as the user a better site to navigate. As an example most of the tabs at the top of this page were not available when this site hit the web. They have all been additions since the creation.

I hope you enjoy this site and use it to enhance your Airstream experience. We will do our best to improve the site and make it useful for you be here in this corner of the world wide web.


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Old 09-05-2009, 10:04 AM   #17
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Interesting thread, I love the conspiracy theories. Here is a post I made over 4 years ago that talks about AIR Forums and how it got started!

It's pretty wild to read that post and think that I am still traveling. I am currently in Brazil where I'll stay until next year. I have two suitcases of stuff with me which really keeps life simple. I posted some info about Nomadic Living over on another Social Knowledge site:

My Bambi is still not finished but I am getting some exterior skin work done while I am gone. Next year I'll be back in the States and hope to make a plan on the interior refit.

Regarding Social Knowledge and the trademark stuff at the bottom, I'll share some of that info with you so these inquisitive minds can be put to rest. Basically I started AIR when I got aluminitus and had some time on my hands. I went back to work and slowly my primary hobby/fascination turned from Airstreams to online forum communities. Through a fluke (Google Images search) I ran across a forum that was going to be shut down by the owner because of the operating costs (link to more info on Wikipedia). I adopted the site and got to work empowering the members who were passionate on the topic to lead the site themselves.

Shortly after the same owner wanted to get rid of another forum he owned and I bought it. I think some people on the forums for forum owners saw that I really cared about the forum communities and approached me when they wanted to be relieved of their forum management duties. That's when I started to work on building an infrastructure that would allow me to leverage economies of scale to make unprofitable sites self sustaining. I slowly kept growing the company to the point it is today reaching over 1 million unique people every month and allowing over 11 million pages of knowledge to be shared for FREE through the support of advertising.

I got a chance to visit Washington DC earlier this year and speak to the staff of various congressmen and senators (and FCC) about the ad supported internet and the free services that are provided to millions of Americans. It's a symbiotic relationship, a truly unique business model that is a win-win for everyone involved. Here is a video that shows about small publishers like me/Social Knowledge and how the ad supported internet is empowering businesses to provide services for free
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Old 09-05-2009, 11:19 AM   #18
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Andy is much more forth coming about his involvement in his various enterprises than any site owners I know would be. It is none of my business if he is becoming rich and famous as it would not be my problem if he was scraping to make ends meet. Andy has provided a great service to the Air Stream Community and other Communities as well. I frequent many sites as I have many interests, Airforums is definitely the best. I almost got kicked off of one site because I told them the should emulate Andy's model. Everyone should thank Andy for what he has done.
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Old 09-05-2009, 11:48 AM   #19
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ya wanna know how to stick it to a rich website hoster? don't click on any of the links! then he won't get paid! that'll fix 'em!


pat's evil alter-ego.
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Old 09-05-2009, 12:20 PM   #20
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This is a subject where it's hard to have a relaxed, reasonable, rational conversation. Even if one asks out of simple curiousity, I think some folks have a natural inclination to defend Andy... even if a defense really isn't required.

The dynamic tension I sense here is not really about the money. For the most part, I suspect the folks who have some sort of aversion to Andy running site this as a business have some other, deeper issue. It's not like we expect our local merchants to act as nonprofits. Besides, the people who find a bone to pick with Airforums generally wander away.

I think Andy touched upon the issue in his post... the relationship between the Airforums and "the mothership," the Airstream company. I think there is a broad understanding among afficianados that this is "not your father's Airstream." QC issues, corrosion issues, service and support issues, inscrutable design decisions, odd marketing choices, a sense that the modern Airstream represents more compromise than commitment... pick your issue. Airforums is an electronic watering hole for fans of the travel trailer... but not necessarily fans of the modern company. And while some of the Airforums members are, let's call it "hoping for change," the Airforums management team seems to want to build a closer relationship to the corporation.

This is the ticklish part. It really isn't Airstream, the subsidiary of Thor, that makes Airforums. It's Andy's business which is patronized by you and me. And since we're coming to "Airforums" to talk about Airstreams... we're inevitably going to talk about what we think the company needs to do to improve... which may ruffle a few feathers at the mothership.

Now, if Airstream--the company--was truly a 21st organization, it would embrace Airforums while encouraging open, candid discussions about its products. This could be the best QC division in the RV industry. Unfortunately, my gut sense is that Airstream is still stuck in the 80s, reading some Japanese TQM manuals while Airforums is continuing to evolve. My concern is not whether or not Andy is making any money. It's about whether or not Airforums will come to a point, dramatically or incrementally, where a choice must be made between the forum members and the mothership. I don't think it would be anything as dramatic as Airstream trying to strong-arm Andy... but it could be something as subtle as the moderators having a gentle bias towards not offending the mothership.

Well, let's just hope Airstream decides to catch up with us.
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Old 09-05-2009, 12:39 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
My concern is not whether or not Andy is making any money. It's about whether or not Airforums will come to a point, dramatically or incrementally, where a choice must be made between the forum members and the mothership. I don't think it would be anything as dramatic as Airstream trying to strong-arm Andy... but it could be something as subtle as the moderators having a gentle bias towards not offending the mothership.

Well, let's just hope Airstream decides to catch up with us.
Interesting observation and a well thought-out post. We have tried to cultivate a good relationship with the mothership for the benefit of both the membership AND the manufacturer of the products we have come to love. However, the old adage, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink" applies here.

However that relationship goes into the future, I don't think you'll see a bias either toward or against the mothership. They'll either participate on our members' terms, or they won't. That's up to them.

AIR 2053 Current: 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis, & 1995 Coachmen B-van
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
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Old 09-05-2009, 01:16 PM   #22
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A big thank you

I want to thank Andy R, the posters and all of the volunteers who make this forum possible.....we have learned so much and have made so many wonderful connections that would never be possible without such a forum.....I am more of an Airstream fan now than ever.....sort of like they have crawled into my heart....albeit...we have a completely rebuilt vintage, for us, we have the best of both worlds...the look of the old with the conveniences of the new.....and we would never have known this was even possible if it had not been for this website. So perhaps the only way the mothership will profit from us is that all of those people who stop and photograph our shiny trailer might also want one immediately and if they want it immediately they might buy a new one....

I also appreciate the "be nice" rule.....and the way the moderators enforce that....I don't want to read rants or be allowed to post my own for me, this site is a blessing....thank you all. paula

PS: And if Andy R can make a profit, great for him....seems like a win-win to me.
Paula & Ed
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Old 09-05-2009, 01:54 PM   #23
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Andy R, thank you for this website. I purchased a '68 AS last November. Found this website by pure luck. Your website has taught me, informed me, helped me beyound belief and at no cost to me. The education about Airstream renovations here is better than an education at Harvard (that is if you are a AS nut). We all should be saying thank you. You have provided us with information that can not be had anywhere else.
All because you purchased an old AS. If a subscription cost was necessary to keep this going - sign me up. PS, I sure hope you make some $$$ from all the work and time you put in.
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Old 09-05-2009, 01:59 PM   #24
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Thanks for all the kind words. It's been one huge group effort and together we have created this resource.
Originally Posted by airstreamjudy View Post
All because you purchased an old AS.
Classic line! When people ask me how Social Knowledge got started, I simplify the story and tell them it was from a hobby. In reality it was aluminitus and my need for better tools to help facilitate the discussions. Once I saw the power of forums to connect people and knowledge I was hooked and never looked back.
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Old 09-05-2009, 06:03 PM   #25
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Clicking on Ads

"ya wanna know how to stick it to a rich website hoster? don't click on any of the links! then he won't get paid! that'll fix 'em!"

Hmmm. I think I'll click on some ads.
Janet & Leon
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Old 09-05-2009, 06:54 PM   #26
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Thanks Andy, for everything..
From day one, when you invited me and others to your "new site"..
To the college blend of Psychology concerning the Online Disinhibition Effect and, Airstream ownership.
If I may list it..
The Online Disinhibition Effect

You Don't Know Me (dissociative anonymity)
You Can't See Me (invisibility)
See You Later (asynchronicity)
It's All in My Head (solipsistic introjection)
It's Just a Game (dissociative imagination)
We're Equals (minimizing authority))
Personality Variables
True Self?
Self Constellations Across Media
Altering Self Boundary
I enjoyed the thread's response as well.
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Old 09-05-2009, 07:04 PM   #27
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The relationships between Forum members is a big part of this Forum's success—for example, when we stayed at eubank's (Lynn and Maria's) campground I felt like I already knew them. Over time the relationships grow and that is as or more important than the knowledge about Airstreams.

But the relationship between the Forum and the company is very different. It is not just about Andy R. and the company, but about all of us and the company. Andy R. would have no clout at the company if there were not all the members behind him (he may not have much anyway, but that's because the company's still in the 1980's and blind to the present). Not too many years ago a corporation could control the conversation between it and existing or prospective customers, but that's not possible anymore. Airstream doesn't really advertise and it's marketing is very limited.

The public voice about Airstreams is this Forum and not the company. The company doesn't seem to have a handle on that, though some execs seem to get it. This is a revolution in who sets the company image—now we have the power as individuals and as a group. Word of mouth has always been the most effective advertising local advertising, now each mouth stretches all around the planet and everyplace is local.

It's a time of great change in communications and the rules, often unspoken, keep changing. Wikipedia now has to limit posts because it has become so important it can't afford to have lies and craziness on it. Who knows what's next for Forums?

Brasil? Always wanted to go there, still haven't made it. ĦBom dia! My self study of Portuguese about 45 years ago has been reduced to about 10 words. Memory must have been good to have if I ever had one; can't remember.

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Old 09-05-2009, 07:07 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by 85MH325 View Post
That's amusing... obviously and Social Knowledge LLC are the Area 51 of the Internet! Geez...
Like the Area 51 mention, but I have 1 question,, Should it not be AirForums 51???

LOL Sarge

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