New year - and everything will be completely different

The turn of the year is actually completely overrated. The date changes, the state traditionally increases the tax burden, otherwise everything stays as it was. This year everything will be completely different. At least as far as the Saabblog project is concerned. It's at a turning point.

New year - and everything will be completely different

Sometimes it is imperative to draw conclusions. Even when it is difficult. The blog project is almost 10 years old and has an eventful history. Saab as an active car brand has been in the past for a long time, but 2020 was the third best in the history of the blog. Exactly 1.192.906 visitors came to the blog, only in 2012 and 2014 there were more.

Not anymore

The large numbers of visitors are now a thing of the past, the project will shrink, just like the Saab population on the streets. The switch to a subscription model will start this week, the step was anything but an easy decision. To be fair you have to state that everything has been tried in the past to secure funding and to keep the blog open to all readers at the same time.

All possibilities of integrating workshops, spare parts distributors and readers were tried out. Everything was based on voluntariness and appeals, but none of the models were sustainable. The remaining tool is the payment model, which I always wanted to avoid. It has a certain finality and is a bit uncomfortable for the reader, because who likes to pay for content?

But the system is fair and simple. It clarifies the situation and uses numbers to show whether the project has a future. Who pays, reads. Those who do not take out a subscription will stay outside in the future.

Of course, I'm not going to close the blog 100% immediately, and there will always be free content in the future. Like the posts that Guest authors publish. But the majority of the editorial content will now disappear behind the payment barrier, at a fair price.

It is clear to me that this change of direction will generate little enthusiasm. Also that the number of visitors will decrease rapidly. One can argue that the decision is bad for the Saab brand. It will lose even more visibility as a result. That is certainly true, but all those who still made their living with the brand had a decade of opportunity to sort things out on their behalf.

But, and objectively this is the good news for everyone who may see a problem for themselves here: This project is not essential. Nobody has to read it, there is no content to be found here without which one could not live. Everyday life without a blog and without Saab stories is quite feasible.

But maybe not that entertaining ...

A very good friend asked me a few days ago how much longer I would like to do this. At some point it would be enough, and the whole project would be lost against the zeitgeist and electrification. My answer was simple. As long as I can think of something about Saab, and it does that constantly, I'll keep writing.

In the future for fewer readers, but without open questions, with a fair regulation for both sides. And changes are above all opportunities. The possibility of a better, more predictable budget could lead to a more interesting blog with even more exciting content. We will see.

The subscription tariffs will go online in the next few hours, more on the blog tomorrow.

26 thoughts on "New year - and everything will be completely different"

  • SATIRE:

    I unreservedly agree with Gerhard's comment.
    Finally someone hits the table with his fist and energetically points the truth with his bare finger. Such comments have been suppressed and systematically deleted here for far too long.

    This is the only way the blogger has been able to enrich himself immeasurably with a lulled readership over the past 10 years.

    He crammed his and Saab's disciples into an echo chamber so ingeniously that he didn't have to lift a finger himself for tens of millions of untaxed income. No, the disciples both sent readers' contributions and also donated huge sums of money.

    The blog was a surefire success. With all the money and all the time, the work-shy blogger finances himself and enjoys not only a collection of historical Saab, decadent espresso parties, dogs, ground and garden ponds, but also a private race track and a collection of Koenigseggs.

    It's great that the investigative reader Gerhard finally shows us access to reality. It's fantastic how he got this explosive and relevant information past the censorship - almost a Snowden.

    SATIREOFF:

    It is those readers (who are loudest and most unfairly even below the belt against donations and subscriptions) who have fueled this ultimate financing model (the subscription) year after year.
    The paradox is that the model gives them the chance to position themselves clearly and still switch to attack mode.
    It's like a vegan smearing the tofu burger on my face at a barbecue party, which I grilled especially for him or her free of charge - on the grounds that paying guests would also get meat.

    Yes, what now, Mr. Gerhard? When the blog finally disappears behind a payment barrier, then you have achieved your goal. From now on you don't have to think or speculate about the use of donations (which you probably never made) or the fairness of a division of labor (which probably never interested you).

    Finally, finally, the situation has been clarified in your favor. You pay a sum X for something in return or leave it. Your decision, your earnings. Whining is no longer valid ...

  • Hello Tom and thank you for the work you have done so far on the blog. Of course I understand your decision! In the previous posts everything was actually said. Of course, subscribing to the brand's blog as a whole is going to hurt and offend some readers, but such engagement deserves not only readers, but fair appreciation too! I will therefore also be there in the future and support and subscribe to the blog. On this occasion I wish everyone a good year 2021 with good health and the hope of a normalizing life soon.

  • @Ebasli Come back, be patient please. The technology annoys me.

  • Oops - Disappearance bus!

    Now today's article with the various subscription systems including all comments has evidently escaped into the electronic Orkus. 🙁 Where did he go? Will he come back again ???

  • @ Gerhard:
    Please “butter with the fish”: Funny, other blogs get by with significantly less financial means.
    What?
    Thank you.

  • I proudly wear the Saab blog sticker on the rear of my 9-3I.
    I will continue to support and subscribe to the blog in the future, very clear!
    What I also like about Saab, besides the vehicles, is the togetherness and the “fan spirit”.
    People help each other, are happy, give virtual tips for the next test drive of a “new” one. I enjoy that and
    is definitely part of my buying impulse. So again these days when considering my 9-3 I against a '06
    9-3 II SC to be exchanged.
    Keep on Saab (ing)!

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  • @Gerhard Thanks for your comment. There was almost too much harmony here yesterday. The fact that the blog will disappear behind a paywall is owed to people with your attitude. Performance is not rewarded, but consumed diligently. And when things don't go the way you want them to, you work with vague assumptions.

    Your comment once again confirms my decision and makes it easier for me. Thanks!

    I really don't want to write for people with your attitude. And as written, nobody has to read here. Not is essential.

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  • Tom, Volvaab - burning interest and diplomacy regarding ORIO

    I had not expected otherwise from the clever Tom, especially in this absolutely public setting. But you still like to do a little bit of “drilling” when you are tormented by curiosity ... 😉
    LG!

  • @Gerhard Finally a negative comment. I waited for it all day yesterday in vain. I would be interested in the definition of “expensive” to burn. I haven't seen a price here yet, hence the question what is “expensive”. Is it about the principle, does everything have to be free? And has it been all crap here for the last 10 years that you only find unkind words?

    In fact, I would also be interested in the other blogs that write about Saab every day. Probably for many years and in the quality offered here. I would like to read more about Saab. A link would please me very much. Many thanks!

  • Funny, other blogs get by with significantly less financial resources. But all the “business trips” to Kiel, Bamberg or anywhere else are probably just really expensive ...
    Maybe now is the time to sell “Paul” and use the money for the blog. The majority have already forgotten that it was meant for a good cause (after all these years) and for the fanboys the blog is certainly a “good cause”.
    It's just like always: when it comes to your own wallet, “love” isn't that far. Then the “fan” becomes a tough controller.
    But actually the subscription model is not bad, like-minded people stay among themselves and can virtually pat each other on the shoulder in their echo chamber to confirm again and again that they are the true custodians of the Saab heritage.

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  • Will be there too.

  • I'm sticking to the blog.
    Everywhere you pay e.g. streaming,
    Thanks Tom
    Greeting André

  • As a late arrival I stay with you Tom. The blog is more interesting and more important to me than “Autobild or Auto-Motor-Sport.” I can terminate it if necessary….

  • @ Ebasil (burning interest),

    me too. And I could imagine that Tom would like to write more openly some experiences with commercial beneficiaries ...

    It speaks for good style and foresight not to give in to our urges and disappointments or not to give free rein, but to let your hand stretch out.

    Generation and strategy changes, personnel changes, restructuring and even start-ups with old friends (for example as a free workshop with background and specialist knowledge) - the Saab world is dynamic and only the bridges hold opportunities - also for Orio ...

    For one or the other bridge pillar, I like to do without inside knowledge, background and potential exciters. Who knows who would like to take a step or two towards the community again, when, how & why, and grab this blog as a bridge and advertising platform and reach out?

    I take my hat off to Tom and his mature and diplomatic handling of this uncomfortable aspect as well.

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  • @Hans S. The classifieds remain open (free) and visible to everyone.

  • Completely understandable Tom. As written earlier; I am definitely there as a person interested in ABO.

  • Much has already been said, most of it correctly and understandably.

    What about the classifieds? Will they still be visible to everyone? Placing an ad could also be subject to a fee, but reading it for everyone to see?

  • PS Another wonderful photo - the blue 9-3 II convertible fits wonderfully in front of the blue sky and in the icy landscape! Unbelievable what the blog or Tom has for a Saab photo archive. That too needs to be preserved and kept accessible (at least for the subscribers)!

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  • @ Joe:
    Is there any information as to whether the SAAB workshops are “suffering” and have tight orders ???
    If so, I am also amazed at the lack of commitment.
    If not, I could even understand the company a little: always working to the limit, also makes you dissatisfied.
    No MA too. Then you just remain a “small / manageable / individual” workshop.
    I'm there for the subscription :-)!

  • @Ebasli Currently there are exactly 3.718 posts that only deal with the topic of Saab. I guess that we leave around 90% of the historical content freely accessible, assuming a positive development.
    The blog supporters would continue to have their platform and will continue to be visible because all content will be readable. Unfortunately, their numbers are melting away like the snow in spring. At the turn of the year we had another exit.

    As for Orio, the termination of the cooperation came from me. The reason, however, provided the other side very persistently and there is nothing more to report about it. Even if you are really interested in what is to be understood 😉

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  • Yes, this is the expected and unfortunately unavoidable solution. Completely understandable! In my opinion, it would be more important than, for example, the guest posts that older articles from the archive are still freely accessible, or at least most of them. Interested readers can then find and read them via search engines - and then maybe decide to subscribe because of the current articles. At least that's what happened to me when I came across the blog via a network research for GPS retrofitting. Is something planned?

    And what happens to the remaining commercial blog supporters (Lafrentz, Stephan, Skandix, Gaworski, Jost, Taubenberger, Schwedenteile, Saab Service Frankfurt, Muckelbauer, Schmitz, Himberg)? There aren't that few either (even if they don't cover costs). They certainly don't want to disappear behind a barrier for their paid advertising. I think it would be a shame if this tie broke too.

    And with regard to ORIO, I remember Tom's hint that the collaboration was terminated by the blog, but not by ORIO. I would really be BURNING interested in the background! 🙂

    I wish Tom, the blog team and all readers a happy and healthy New Year with lots of great Saab experiences! 🙂

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  • That wasn't completely unexpected, but it still shocks me a bit. But it is logically understandable as a consequence. Of course, it's not good for the brand. But I have to thank Tom at this point for the years of patience with which he kept the blog open. That's really fantastic!

    And if he closes down now, many will get upset about it, but it is his decision. I respect.

    @Joe I don't think Orio is even aware of what's going on here. There is an interest of no more than 0%.

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  • Yes, just do it, regardless of whether it is a blog or a forum, you often get the crucial tip for your SAAB there. I was there and so far have been tied up via Mark. Surely we all hoped that a new start could be made for SAAB, a manufacturer who is aware of the tradition and brings it into new cars as well as in the maintenance of the historic SAAB. Supported one of the clubs, forums, blogs, workshops and surprised us with unconventional solutions in new SAABs. But without this manufacturer it is difficult to even bundle the information. Thanks for the work on the blog so far!

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  • Is the right decision. This will cost one or two readers, but quality has its value. If it makes sure the blog continues to exist, then it's wise. There have really been enough attempts at alternative financing.

    I'm looking forward to 2021 and the blog!

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  • Hello Tom, dear blog team

    Exactly, I agree with you on many points. The companies that “still” earn money with SAAB are sleeping. They should open up and support a blog like that. Because this is the only existing platform.

    Above all ORIO! Unfortunately, the management of the company seems to be “weak” here or simply bypassing reality. Maybe sticking too long on the chair.

    A classic division would have to take care of the maintenance of the vehicles. Offer tips and tricks for renovations and provisions for download! For example “plans for cavity sealing” and much more. And on your own initiative, overhauled engine blocks and gearboxes, leather upholstery etc. can be reproduced in large numbers and returned at fair prices with the return of the old part. It's arduous that the SAAB enthusiast has to struggle himself. An individual overhaul is many times more expensive than if, for example, a company in Poland was commissioned with 100 engines and had them overhauled in series. Many things are simply no longer available for all vehicles. Headlights, front spoilers, taillights, chrome trim covers already with newer vehicles.

    In youngtimers and oldtimer magazines, there should be “advertising for the SAAB classic division”. So that SAAB remains present and this and that lover of youngtimers gets the idea to deal with SAAB. SAAB in particular always had many special models that are worth preserving. But that is only possible if you, as a company, place an advertisement there from time to time.

    It will be the case that there will be very few enthusiasts who will still be ready in 5 years time to spend time looking around for the parts they need. And since prices won't rise, as demand diminishes,

    Just like your blog. At some point it “erases” everyone, as we say in Switzerland. At some point it will be enough. Sure, I understand you without a doubt. It's a shame, but, as you mention, it is mainly due to the lack of support from the companies that still earn money with the existing but soon dying brands.

    A lot of enthusiasts have already gone and hung up SAAB. And I am also convinced that if there are even fewer SAABs on the road, ORIO will also discontinue the SAAB division at some point due to a lack of income. Instead of acting now and turning things around. Too bad.

    Many 9-3 and 9-5 are driven as long as possible and then the last ones disappear. As is the case in Sweden in the mother country.

    I will definitely join the blog as a subscriber, but I still can't find a good solution. I hope that the above lines may wake up companies again and give them some thought.

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  • All the best Tom for 2021 - the main thing is that the blog lives on - everything is done right 🙂

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