QOTD: Chaperone or One Your Own?

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
qotd chaperone or one your own

Today’s question stems from a note buried in some text we read for yesterday’s news post in which we spoke of VW reviving the Scout brand. As the owner of a relatively niche vehicle, would you rather use a private internet forum – or one operated by the company itself?


Scout Motors, which is technically its own company in this country and not a sub-brand of VW, has created an online forum to provide Scout owners, enthusiasts, and curiosity seekers with a place to engage each other and – just maybe – a few people who actually work at the company. Stated goals are discussion, suggestions, stories, and making connections … all of which sound like the bumf from an insufferably upbeat marketing company but are actually useful traits when one is trying to find real answers to an automotive conundrum.


As the Scout forum rightly suggests, supportive communities are sometimes hard to find. Witness the morass of self-righteousness and ill-informed advice which often bloviates from private forms, where keyboard warriors bash other builds or give answers which are either biased or completely incorrect. More than one person has been burned by a random person on an internet forum who, while having the best of intentions, dispensed incorrect advice and caused more problems than they solved.


Would this be mitigated with a manufacturer-owned forum? There is an argument that the answers provided in such an environment may be better informed than Joe’s Yelling Forum, but we highly doubt an OEM would comb every single entry for accuracy and clarity. And even if they did, there will be cynics in the audience who’d suspect the brand may try to suppress some messages if they go against the intended design of their vehicle. This author doesn’t think that would happen – but we all know the level of conspiracy theory involved in some corners of online discourse.


But if a manufacturer commits the proper resources to such an endeavor, it could be a boon to that particular enthusiast community. Imagine engineers at Jeep, as part of their workday, being assigned for an hour to browse the official Jeep forum during which time they could provide sound advice and guidance. Or have a particular day of the week designated for AMA sessions with a notable person on the Jeep team. Yes, the opportunity is there for such a task to become far too time-consuming.


What’s your take? Private? Or public?


[Image: Scout]


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  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Nov 15, 2022

    It might work but I can see it being a cheerleading site trying to hock manufacturer approved modifications.

  • SPPPP SPPPP on Nov 16, 2022

    Private forums win. And they should ideally be truly private forums, not consolidated media properties such as the several hundred forums that were bought out by VerticalScope (yes, the same VerticalScope).

  • Beachy Asphalt only works to keep the dirt road below it dry, and it is the dry dirt that holds up the asphalt surface to make a smooth road surface. Once the asphalt cracks or a spring wells up and the dirt gets wet, all bets are off. It is usually due to a spring that perennial potholes form. They are very hard to get rid of.
  • JamesG I’m the owner of the featured car that’s currently on EBay. Thanks for such a nice write up on these cars. Mine happens to be in excellent condition and the photos don’t do it justice. The HT4100 isn’t as bad as some made them out to be and they can go 200k miles with proper maintenance. I also own a 79 w/the analog fuel injected 5.7 350 which should have been used through 1985 but ever-increasing CAFE regulations called for more economical power plants which made GM shelve this great motor.
  • Jeff S Adam on Rare Classic Cars recently bought a pristine 71 Kenosha Cadillac.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY-G2dExgXE&ab_channel=RareClassicCars%26AutomotiveHistory
  • Jeff S Wouldn't most of the large suvs in NYC be livery vehicles? If so that would be hurting those who make their living by driving for hire.
  • EBFlex Yes their mass transit is great if you want to be beat within an inch of your life or pushed onto the tracks by some random psycho.
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