Over the past six years, I have been involved with at least that many different cycling forums. On some of those sites, I would post for a bit, then maybe come back every once in a while to check things out, but I never felt like a “member”. I’ve been the administrator on two sites, one of which now has over 180,000 “members”, yet still has less than 15,000 active users. While that’s great for drawing ad revenue, it does little to foster a sense of community. As a side note, the site’s search function rarely, if ever, actually works, so it’s not even a viable resource for cycling information, unless what you’re looking for gets indexed by the Goog’, and you find it that way.
Which brings me to TwoSpoke.com. I was approached by the admin of that site when I was wrapping up my contract with another forum. He was interested in trading links, and I offered to help out with his new forum any way I could. (Best advice? Don’t hire me to do anything. 🙂 ) So I put up a link, joined the site, and offered my two cents when I had something of value to suggest. Nearly a year later, they’re still going strong, and have perpetuated that sense of community that none of the larger sites have been able to hold on to. And the owner (an actual cyclist) has been extremely proactive in maintaining the quality of the site, both on the server side, and the user end. While the site has been growing at a steady pace, it’s still held onto that sense of familiarity, where all the regulars not only know each other, but treat each other with respect, and welcome new members in a gracious manner.
If you haven’t already checked out the site, go have a look. You might even stay for a while.