A few nights ago Christina and I had a discussion about starting an Australian specific Volkswagen Golf forum. A few glasses of wine later (!) the snowball effect kicked in and we were on the laptop looking for domain names. The very next day we were at the department of fair trading office registering a business name.
A quick Wikipedia search on the VW Golf concreted our excitement: The Golf has been manufactured by Volkswagen since 1974 and marketed worldwide across six generations. It was Volkswagen’s first successful replacement for the Volkswagen Beetle and historically, it’s Volkswagen’s best-selling model and the world’s third best-selling model. The GTi is also the world’s first “hot hatch”.
Founding a community might be a hard thing for many but I’ve so far successfully founded three of them (Australian INfront, JDM Style Tuning and Bikes Move Us). Graphic design and web design is what we do, and to us it comes naturally. It’s also “free” for us as we don’t have to pay designers and coders to do the work for us.
Yes, the business name registration, domain name registration web hosting and VBulletin forum software cost us a few hundred dollars, but it’s nowhere near as much as setting up a physical business and it’s money we’re willing to lose so long as we have fun along the way and so long as we give it a mighty good shot at succeeding.
The concept behind VWgolf.net.au is simple. An Australian based Volkswagen Golf forum which embraces all models of Golfs VW has ever made. Hopefully the organisation of offline meets will be made easy through the forum, as well as sharing experiences and information relating to VW Golfs.
One thing I’ve learnt with communities is that you can’t get very far without people. Apart from investing a lot of time into design and the creation of content a call to action has to be made. Specifically inviting respected VW Golf owners from other internet forums is a good start and inspiring new members to spread the news and invite fellow Golf owners to sign on is a must.
So yesterday was our first day. We redelegated our new domain name to my web server, bought the latest version of VBulletin, uploaded and installed it and we’ve been working on it all night and will most likely continue to put a lot of obsessive compulsive energy into it for the next few months. We’ve launched the site without an identity, we’ll be designing the identity as we go along as it’s the internet afterall, liquid as you can change anything and everything as you go.
Please visit and check the progress of: www.vwgolf.net.au