If I was doing this job, I'd come up with a package of functionality that hits most of the basic functions that groups like to use: threaded message board, picture db, files db, links db, polls db, bike/rider registry db, roads db, facilities db (motels, campgrounds, roadhouses, etc.), bulletin board for announcements/ads/etc. An interface to one of the mapping vendors (Mapquest, ESRI,etc.) would be great. The functionality wouldn't have to be fancy or pretty as long as it got the job done and was easy to use. Then I'd establish a matrix: one axis would be 8 to 10 regions in the US. The other axis would be the 6 or 7 genre of bikes. Then each of the main categories would get the package of functionality, and each cell in the matrix would get a package, that would be child-linked to it's two categories. I'd recruit a group-leader/shepherd for each one to manage and grow their cell.
At this point, users can log onto the area (package) and have all of the functionality described above for their ride type (cruiser, sportbike, touring, etc.) or into the area for their region (California, the South, New England, etc.), or they could drill down into the intersection of the two. It would take a year or two to fully catch on, but soon you would have all the motorcycle groups from Yahoo and Delphi, and the lists from the listervers.
I'd keep the basics free, and maybe charge a pittance for full/extra membership. Advertising would be the main revenue stream, but you could also pursue affinity groups (credit cards, insurance, financing, etc.)
If you want to want to really take over the space, version 2.0 would extend the ride type dimension to the 30 or 40 leading models of bikes (ST1100, Bandit, GSX, VFR, Softtail, XR, etc.) that have loyal followings, so that each of those groups are now in the MO domain.
It would be a fair amount of work, but not overwhelming assuming you guys have pretty good tools in place at this point.
You got my vote. Especially the bit about finding folks to ride with. A database of m'bike clubs is always a good thing although those have all expired thru disinterest after a few months. With MO being a popular place maybe it'd survive more than a few riding seasons. And what about those rides put on by the manufacturers? Dya think they'd announce on your site? Posting pics would provide alot of entertainment, if not lawsuits. What about a place for the local bike shops to advertise specials? Nah, better keep it for riders only.
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