The future VWBB

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Chris,
First thanks for doing this I think its great!
Being a member for less then a year I haven’t experienced the growth of the VWBB as some others have but my question is how do you think the VWBB will evolve in the future? Do you have any plans or ideas for changes or additions?
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
At some point, I'm going to have to break down and embrace tablet/mobile access to the forum more enthusiastically, because this is how more and more people are consuming content today. Right now, about 75% of TVWBB visits are desktop, 22% tablet, and 3% mobile. Those numbers will continue to shift toward mobile.

Bridging the gap between the online world and the real world is another trend that will affect TVWBB moving forward. People are making new friends online and then wanting to get together with them in the physical world. Tweetups are an example. I have to admit, I tend toward being a recluse, an introvert, I'm not the most exciting person at a party (if I even go to the party). So this is not exactly in my comfort zone. But in 2014, I will be trying to put myself out there more, in hopes of helping members connect with me and with each other. One idea I really want to promote is that you guys and gals organize get-togethers for WSM Smoke Day in May and Weber GrillFest in August. I intend to visit a few competitions this year to say hello to folks using Weber products. I hope to judge a few events. I may just say, "Hey, I'm going to be in San Diego at Phil's Barbecue on Saturday, April 12 at 12:00pm. Show up and have lunch with me and I'll buy you a beer!" (Don't show up on this date! It's not a solid plan!) And I have a few other ideas that are not fully baked yet...stay tuned.

Connecting with Harry Soo is something else that I have been working on...I think there's tremendous synergy between The Virtual Weber Bullet + TVWBB and what Harry does with barbecue and the WSM. My attending his class was a first step, his advertising on TVWBB was another, and our giving away a free seat in his upcoming class in Alameda is yet another. I'm hoping he will return for a second TVWBB Q&A later this year, and I'm considering other marketing opportunities with Slap Yo' Daddy, as well.

What do you think would be a great change or addition to TWVBB? I can't promise anything, but I'm always interested in your opinions.
 

Bob Sample

TVWBB Diamond Member
Biggest thing I would like to see is a live chat feature. I think most of us here are adult enough to have reasonable conversations and you probably wouldn't have a shortage of volunteers to be moderators.
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
Bob, before we moved to vBulletin software in July 2012, we were on software that had a chat feature. We tried it for a little while, probably before you joined in 2010. There were two problems. One was that it didn't get much use. You'd enter the chat room and most of the time you'd be all alone! It might have made more sense to say, "let's hold a chat event on Wednesday night at 7pm" and get some critical mass that way. And it was limited to just 20 people, so we couldn't hold a big event anyway.

The other problem was that there were some issues of chat content that I didn't feel comfortable with. I would look at the chat log and see stuff that was not consistent with the G-rated approach we try to follow here at TVWBB.

Does anyone know of a successful, popular chat feature on other barbecue communities? I'm not familiar with any, but to be honest, have not been looking for that, either.
 

Bob Sample

TVWBB Diamond Member
Chris I hear you about the content. The biggest asset I see in a live chat is for those guys that send the " I need help " posts. Since I joined I have noticed a change in the TVWBB towards a more social group of people, I believe the Photo Gallery had a lot to do with it, people talking about dogs, feeding birds, asking parenting tips etc etc... I know nothing about running a forum or how much work it is to set up a chat or the cost of the extra band width but I believe most people here would behave themselves and it is possible to ban people from chat if they don't. Having monitors would also take some of the work off of you and I can think of three or four guys that would do a good job and probably be happy to do it.

Just my thoughts

Have a great day

Go Canada Go
 

TMerriam

New member
Hey Chris,
I am new to the site, but from what I have seen, you have built a solid foundation for the new members with a wealth of information. More importantly, the existing members of this site are friendly and quick to share their thoughts and opinions. I'm no technical guru, and have no idea around the cost/time commitment, but I would love to see an app... I was in Lowes the other day trying to remember a mod that I saw on the forum. I pulled out my phone and tried to do a few searches, but couldn't find the post I had found the night before on my laptop. Going through the forum via iPhone was difficult, in my opinion. I would love to see this site evolve and attract the younger generations. In speaking with a lot of my friends about this site, we are all really interested in learning from the site's wealth of knowledge. I think the new BBQ TV shows have sparked interest in guys my age to begin learning this skill and lifelong hobby. I will keep spreading the word about this masterpiece and I hope to see the site evolve in the future.

This site is the reason I purchased the 22.5 WSM. Two weeks ago, I had a 22.5 OTS and a Genesis S-330, and I was content. I have seen all the episodes of BBQ Pitmasters, and the interest in smoking has been sparked for a while. After doing a little research, I stumbled on this site and got lost in the discussions for 3 hours. Next thing I know, I've made up my mind I'm buying a smoker :)

Keep up the good work, Chris!
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
I would love to see an app...Going through the forum via iPhone was difficult...
Yeah, this is an interesting point. Not sure how threaded discussion translates to an app.

There is a mobile interface to the forum that is stripped-down from the desktop version...it might help a bit. Have you tried it? Scroll to the bottom of the forum homepage and in the orange footer, select "Default Mobile Style" from the dropdown.
 

Bob Correll

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Chris,
I think the "What's new" link really helps with calls for help.
Fresh posts pop right up, and another forum might not get noticed after it's bumped down the line, or not monitored by very many members.

Not saying an emergency help forum is a bad idea though.
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member

Andre Ainokea

TVWBB Member
We lived in San Diego when I was a wee lad, before first grade. Remember spending time at Mission Bay!

Will they allow live fire, bring your own grills? If so, this would be fun! Maybe you could be our point man for the reservation, Andre!
They sure do! Maybe we can all plan something for August?
 

Top