On-Line Discussion Groups

These are the two car wash industry on-line discussion groups with the greatest participation:

autocareforum.com                 carwash.com

1.  autocareforum.com                Formerly known as "carwashforum.com".

If you remember and use the former name of the site, "carwashforum.com", this site name is easy to remember and the site is easy to find.  You can get to autocareforum by going to carwashforum.com first.  You will be automatically redirected to the autocareforum home page.  In later visits you can get to autocareforum faster by using "bookmark" (Netscape) or "favorite" (Explorer) to save the name "autocareforum.com" in your browser.  

Autocareforum.com is owned, operated, and moderated by a former combination self-serve/in-bay automatic car wash owner, Bill Pitzer.  His experience brings a sense of reality to the discussions.

There is a lot of participation in autocareforum.  Some of the longer term and more frequent participants have met at the annual Western Carwash Association and the International Carwash Association conventions.

This site has a short registration process to discourage spammers.

Autocareforum has an e-mail newsletter that Bill regularly sends to participants, but you can opt out if you wish.

An excellent feature of this site is that the threads with the most recent posts appear at the top of the thread listings.  This allows you to keep up with the hot topics of discussion just by glancing at the top of the lists.

Self-serve, in-bay automatic, conveyor, and detail shop operators have separate forums.

The site has a limited search function.  You can search for keywords within thread Subject headings and/or for all posts by Member Name.

2.  carwash.com         After you get to the site click on "Discussion Group" in the red box at the right of your screen.

This site name is easy to remember.  Operated by the publisher of Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine.

To participate in the discussion group, you will need to enter your name, e-mail address, and some other information that they use to entice advertisers.  You choose what information to provide or not provide.  I do not recall EVER receiving an unsolicited advertising by e-mail from any of the carwash.com advertisers.  The registration process hides your e-mail address from those pesky "snakes" that spammers use to collect e-mail addresses.

You can opt-out of the carwash.com weekly e-mail newsletter, but it seems to be a pretty good newsletter.

You can post a question or message to the discussion board and then choose to receive a notice by e-mail when someone has posted a response.  This is a feature that you will want to use.

There are separate automated car wash and detailer forums.

There is a very useful "Search Messages" function/link at the top of each page of the Discussion Board.  This search function allows you to search the text of all posts using any term.  In this way you can easily find posts on any car washing topic in which you have an interest.  Useful.

The carwash.com site also has links to articles that have been published in Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine.  There is a "Keyword Search" of the site's archives of these articles.  You can quickly research any car washing topic that interests you.  Excellent.

autocareforum.com            carwash.com


If you know of, or discover, any other car wash discussion group sites please e-mail me to let me know about them.


Tips for using both sites, including commonly accepted rules of "netiquette":

1.  Once you get to these sites "bookmark" them or mark them as "favorites".  You will want to go back to them again and again.

2.  Read and follow the forum rules.

3.  If you are new to the car wash industry and/or to these forums start by reading the oldest posts first and read forward.  Many of your questions may be answered in some of the past posts.  And you'll learn a variety of new things about the car wash industry.  If your question has already been answered to your satisfaction in an existing thread don't post your question:  Veteran forum participants get annoyed when they see the same question every few weeks.  But, if your question hasn't been answered previously, go ahead and ask your question.

4.  Spend time "lurking".  Every forum or discussion group has its own characteristics and participants, and these two are no exception.  Read and follow the recent threads for awhile, so that when you do participate you'll be better able to make a contribution.  But, don't be afraid to participate when you are ready!  You will be welcome.

5.  You will notice that both forums have frequent regular participants.  It is helpful and fun to figure out the car wash backgrounds of these participants.  You can contact these people individually to get specific one-on-one help with your questions.

6.  Questions that you post to the forums usually need to be fairly narrow or specific so that your questions can be answered by participants with a reasonable number of words.  If you are new to the car wash industry, one post from newbies that is frowned upon by forum participants asks something such as:  "How do I get into the car wash industry?".   The reason that this question is frowned upon is that it is very broad and has already been asked and answered many many times.  A similar question that is frowned upon is:  "Who makes the best car wash equipment?".

7.  Do not "bash", "flame", "slam", or "jump on" other participants in the forums.  Personal attacks are obvious to other participants and can easily get you banned from the forums.  Keep in mind that your words in print can seem much more harsh or mean spirited to other participants than if you said them in person.  Remember that these forums are very "public" and meant for constructive exchanges. Treat the other participants in the forum as you would want them to treat you.

8.  Be prepared to be "bashed", "flamed", "slammed", and "jumped on" by other participants in the forums.  No matter how courteous you are you will eventually be misunderstood, and bashed or flamed.  This is just a product of participating in any online forum, not just these forums.  Keep in mind that words on the screen often seem much more harsh than if you actually heard them in person.

9.  Follow the thread.  Post a reply or follow-up message to a previous posting in a thread only if your message is DIRECTLY related.  If your new message is not directly related to the topic of the thread start a NEW thread.

10.  If another person posts a comment or question that is off the subject the thread, do NOT in any way reply to that off subject post.  By e-mail you may want to directly communicate with the author of the off subject post to ask them to re-post their question or comment as a new thread.  Sometimes the forum moderator will delete off subject posts anyway.

11.  Post only your messages and comments.  Unless you have permission from the author, don't quote in the forums an email sent to you, something that someone verbally said to you in private, or any other personal communication by someone else.  People often say things in private that they wouldn't say in public.  It's no different on the message boards.

12.  Don't post copyrighted or private information in the forums.  There is a legal issue here, but there is also an ethical one.  Don't post the copyrighted or private information of others without their written permission.

13.  Be nice.  Always stay calm.  Be polite.  Be cordial no matter how obnoxious another poster has been.

Sources:  Getting the Most Out of the Internet, 1998, by Sky Dayton [founder of Earthlink]:  4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13.
                  The Net: User Guidelines and Netiquette, 1998, by Arlene Rinaldi of Florida Atlantic University:  3, 7, 10

Alan Bussey      Car Wash Loans     903-876-2308     fax:  484-737-1092

Back to Home Page           Back to Main Menu

© Copyright by Alan L. Bussey 1999 through 2009     All Rights Reserved.