The Webmistress Who Wasn’t

Another against all odds article brought to you by yours truly:

We Ride Front Page

We Ride - A Place For Women & Their Motorcycles: A work in progress that refuses to die. A promise is a promise.

This whole thing started out of frustration really. I had found a women’s only motorcycle forum which was part of the site, which I really liked. The women were discussing their experiences while learning, helping each other out. They discussed gear, riding technique, their fears, their embarrassing moments, anything to do with the ride. In short, they shared.

There was no drama initially. Everyone was open, religion, politics and other potentially controversial stuff wasn’t debated or even really discussed. It didn’t matter. Just a bunch of women (and a few guys) from all walks of life sharing their passion for two wheels. Young and old, retired and working, self-employed and business owners, students, moms and homemakers, single, married, straight, gay, religious and the not-so-religious, women with differing political views, new riders, seasoned veterans, cruisers, adventurers, sportbike riders, women who rode trikes, scooters, and even sidecar rigs.

Then some bad stuff happened, drama tried to ensue internally and the man who ran the board shut it down without warning. TWICE. This happened twice! Lots of us lost ride reports, and extensive posts that were valuable to other riders in content. He was also in the habit of deleting posts he didn’t like or ignored content submissions to the main site of the women who had voiced concerns. He also deleted and banned accounts of male members “who were problematic” in his eyes. I never saw what he spoke of. As a matter of fact the two male members who were actively posting to the board were very helpful and didn’t do anything (at least not openly, that could be construed as “problematic behavior”) and none of the other women seemed to care that they were part of the group.

Finally the core group of us (some of the members actively posting at the time this happened) had enough and tried to gather the women on a different network to figure out what our next move should be. We got to know each other and we didn’t want to part ways. Not like this. We found a temporary home on the Ning network and although it was lacking in a lot of features (but awesome in other areas.) This temporary home became more permanent than initially intended and although the majority of women of the former board didn’t make the transition for various reasons, the Ning network also started growing in membership. Then Ning decided they wanted money to keep our little home in the clouds going. Hell with that! I decided that I had finally had enough of “control issues” that were out of our hands, so I bought some hosting server space and plopped down some cash from my “Racing Fund” to get our own thing going where we were in charge over EVERYTHING short of server outages and acts of God.

The core group moved yet again. Again we lost members in the transition. We Ride 2.0 (as I call it) is born. A full-featured site which grew out of the Ning social network, created by DianeT who is one of our resident IT Gurus.

And this is how I came to be responsible for running a motorcycle site for women. I had sworn (a long time ago) that I would never be a site admin again. It is so much work! Most people don’t even understand how tedious and time consuming it is to keep a good site running efficiently. Not to mention the amount of time and effort mods spent to keep the discussions drama-free and to the point. To keep the board clean and free of spam, to keep it organized, so it is a help to its members and to those people who are in search of information.

Part of that is membership. Discussion boards grow by the contribution of their members. The more useful content the better for the site as a whole, but that is of secondary importance. We need members, active members who want to become part of a women’s forum that is small as of yet, but has huge potential, since we have so many talented women in our small little group. They all have something to contribute, each of them have their own little area of expertise.

I promised them regular database backups and continued hosting, no matter how loudly the echo reverberates in the room. Both of which were issues in the past, unfortunately. You can’t force people to post. Doh! This site isn’t going anywhere. If all else fails, I can use it as my own personal online m/c playground. Heck, I could move my blog over there if I wanted to, but I am not about to install a local copy of the WordPress script on the server and transition all this junk. I don’t have neither the time nor the inclination. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, unless it’s too slow…

I knew it all along, but it is something that I am rather bad at, so I procrastinated it, because I have so much other stuff to do that takes priority. We need to advertise. We need to get the word out. We need to let women know we’re here and that we’re trying to build something for ourselves. We have to sell ourselves. Yeah, there it is. I hate self-promotion, I hate selling myself or something of mine, wether it be material or intellectual. Heck, I hate selling stuff for other people. I always thought it to be a prickish thing to do to be in someone’s face and try and make them come around to your point of view in order to get what you want out of them. I always thought that if it’s good people will notice, take part in it, and spread the word. It would pretty much take care of itself. Not so. Like a friend of mine on Twitter once said, there is no one coming to discover you. No one will come and rescue you from your mundane existence. You have to go out and reach for it yourself. Easier said then done, when I’m already reaching for the improbable myself… So much to do, so little time. I suppose I need to come up with a plan. Do the things that are self-evident and then just put it in action. I have a feeling I will be doing a lot more writing and script tweaking in my near future. I better start sleeping less and managing my time better.

Wish me luck, and sign up for the damn forum already, will ya! πŸ˜‰

We Ride – A Place For Women & Their Motorcycles

FYI: Miss Busa is such a bad sales person, she couldn’t sell a racing slick at half-off MSRP to a racer with a flat tire. And that’s a fact, Jack.

10 Comments on “The Webmistress Who Wasn’t”

  1. chesshirecat says:

    I did try to sign up for the forum…it don’t like me. I try again later today.

  2. Michelle Linton says:

    Well I want to at least contribute to your hosting fund! I enjoy the forum very much and you shouldn’t bear that whole burden. You are much better though at the tech part than I would ever be so guess you and DianeT are stuck with that. I will certainly pass the word around!!

    • MissBusa says:

      No. Absolutely not. This is a free ride and it’ll stay that way. I’d rather add ads to it than take any money from any of the members. The forum has PayPal connectivity and subscription based features that can be invoked… no. That sucks…

      I do appreciate the thought. πŸ™‚ You are awesome. Just buy a patch when the girls have finished them. So maybe I don’t have to go 200 mph on baldies. LOL

      • MissBusa says:

        Which reminds me, we could actually use that system to sell the patches safely and conveniently. Hijnx has access, I made her admin before I left on my hiatus. She probably already found it when digging around, if she did that is.

  3. Vaughn says:

    Ms. Busa:

    I imagine you’re trying to host your forums on the cheap, so to speak, and I would like to open up a set of motorcycle forums catering to a different demographic.

    Would you be willing to share what hosting is setting you back a month ?

    What software are you using ? VBulletin ? Is there a superior software that’s cheaper or of comparable price ?

    Thanks, madame.

  4. Judy LaParne says:

    Well, if you ever have any trouble and need a new home, you let me know and I will design a place on my website that you can call home. It will be absolutely free, all women (if thats what you want), and will never give you trouble. I wish I had known you had that problem. Im so sorry for you. but, the good news is the site looks REALLY GOOD!! I will have to join the chat.
    Remember; I launch this month!! If you ever need it, it will be there for ya..just shift right over. πŸ˜‰

    • MissBusa says:

      Thank you so very much Judy. πŸ™‚ You don’t know what that means to me! You are awesome! And I will definitely keep that in mind should something dramatic ever happen. I did make a promise to the ladies and a promise that shall be kept until Internet v2.0 and then we renegotiate. It’s not a problem. I just don’t have the time to make the site what I want it to be. Things like the theme, little tweaks… the garage still isn’t up. I haven’t added the planned content to the CMS portion of the site. There is work, there is riding… and some more riding… and research about riding even faster… but it’s functional, I suppose the bling will come little by little. And I need to learn how to manage my time better… I screw around way too much, but I like socializing and hanging out, but I really should concentrate on racing, the blog, and the site, and keeping the boss happy enough to not hassle me. LOL

      I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us. =D I’m wishing you the bestest of the best and awesome success! Rock on, sister!

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