We don't get any good news from Austria! The operator of the Swedcarforum plans to go offline at the end of the month. This would make another Saab forum disappear. The brand is increasingly losing its digital presence. It becomes more and more invisible.
Do i understand? Yes, I can understand the motives of those responsible 100%. The situation is not easy, even for the blog. Mark and I have been discussing the immediate future of the project for weeks, so far without finding a solution. The community is shrinking - and with it the number of visitors to the website. On the other hand, the effort remains the same or increases. In addition, the GDPR has tightened the requirements and the risk for many private pages and blogs.
A brand loses its digital presence
No friendly environment for a small brand that no longer produces cars. In the year 2011 one could still be proud of the international, digital presence of Saab. Dedicated blogs and forums existed for almost all major markets, a kind of underground marketing, staged by fans for fans. The movement, which had its roots in Steven Wade's blog idea, was dynamic and knew no bounds. She was unique, typically Saab. And today? It is (almost) over.
Gradually, the bloggers went offline, forums disappeared. There is not much left. Understandable! There is a lack of basic requirements. New cars that you could discuss in forums or write about the bloggers. Much more devastating, you miss every perspective and imagination. Companies that could provide impulses are obviously busy with other things. Trollhättan have had theories on the assembly line since 6 years, but no serious future. The Saab AB fights in all sorts of fields, from a renewed entry into the automotive world has long been out of the question. The development of share price the past few months speaks volumes. And Orio Sweden seems to be preoccupied with reorganization and a future as a logistician in order to remain profitable.
A future for Swedcarforum.at?
All of this is not good because any small forum and blog that goes offline is a lost presence with immediate effects. Of course there are alternatives. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter offer platforms. But they are also data octopuses who create dependencies and take a lot and give nothing back. Should the Swedcarforum.at be over? Maybe it's just over, the time of the small Saab forums and blogs? Or does the sympathetic, independent forum from Austria still have a chance? The operator will keep the platform open until July 31. That is how long there is an opportunity to find a succession plan.
This is an urgent appeal to the community, workshops, family tables, clubs. Maybe a network can save the forum. Or a generational change, a chance for young fans. A new beginning, which is a challenge and which could set fresh impulses. Austria has a lively Saab scene. Small, fine and agile. It would be a shame if the opportunity to continue would be unused.
The Saab drivers have it in hand. It is her brand. Doing instead of moaning is in demand. The blog crew gladly forwards inquiries to the operator of Swedcarforum.at.