The Corvette Action Center Community Forums were established in late September of 2000.
During my travels over the web studying other Corvette/Automotive related web sites, I found a few that had well established Forum communities for quite some time, but my general feeling about them was that they were unprofessional and lacking direction, guidance and insight.
As a result, I decided to build a Corvette related web site that would not only be professional, but provide good, solid information to the owner and enthusiast as quickly as possible through both online documentation and community.
The guidelines for the Corvette Action Center Community were established, set in place and have been exercised from time to time.
As a result, growth of the Community has been somewhat slow at times due to our reputation of being a no-nonsense, professional community, but it has paid off in the overall quality of our community. The members that have joined, greatly respect what our goals are and regularly contribute their help and knowledge to the other members.
We currently have no requirements for membership in the community other than an understanding of our guidelines and respect for each other.
In terms of advertising, we haven't been very successful at selling advertising space for a couple reasons. First, we try to keep advertising within the Forums to a minimum since most rotational advertising code can be bulky and result in slow forum access. Many of our members have to rely on slow dialup internet access and we have tried to modify/engineer our forums to be responsive as quick as possible to make it easier for them.
Our "bread and butter" for advertising comes in the way of affiliate programs which are geared towards the content of our web site. Generally we've been successful in this area of advertising as the funds generated by the affilliate programs have been enough to pay the monthly hosting fees to keep the site up and running. However, in some ways, the lack of revenue has prevented our further growth down other prospective avenues such as paid-for content.
In studying other online Corvette communites that use advertising in their forums, we have found that some of them go to the extreme with the amount of advertising. In speaking with some of their members, a general consensus has been raised that a lot of the advertising, which isn't content specific, has given the overall web site a very "cheap, commercial feel". As a result, we have been very cautious with the type of advertising we employ and will continue to do so for the better of the community.
Presently, we have 950+ members and we're hoping to reach the 1,000 mark sometime in July. We're confident that the growth of our community will continue steadily and will eventually lead to the Corvette Action Center web site becoming one of the premier Corvette related web sites on the internet.