When McGoo and I launched ChopCult.com in 2009, we did so with limited knowledge of the growing realm of “social media.” We wanted to assemble a community for people just like us: blue-collar guys who enjoy building and riding custom motorcycles. We dedicated a lot of time and energy to make ChopCult as good as possible within the scope of our abilities, but ultimately, members quickly became the people who made ChopCult unique.
Thanks to the participation and support of every builder, bikerider and entrepreneur who trusted us with the keys to their domain, ChopCult thrived. Citizens if this site share knowledge and experience on what has become one of the most robust original news resources, forums and social networks in today’s growing motorcycle world.
Today ChopCult has reached a place where two men with day jobs and a handful of hard-working part-time moderators and contributors can no longer keep pace with the needs of its audience. Even simple things like membership approval and forum moderation take time, and we take even these mundane tasks seriously. Consequently, site improvements conceived by us or suggested by CC members could and often did take months and sometimes years to execute. We did the best we could but there are only so many hours in the day. To manage ChopCult’s growth and relevance at its current size and pace, changes had to occur.
Beginning January 1, 2013, ChopCult.com will be owned and operated by KaiStream Inc. KaiStream is a social-media management company with the staff and financing to do things for ChopCult we never could. KaiStream is not a group of motorcycle enthusiasts, but specialists in running sites like this one. Their passion for social networks and understanding of user groups’ needs is real. ChopCult’s new owners are impressed with the community spirit of the site and have told us any subtle changes they might make will be months down the road, and will be done in the interest of keeping ChopCult growing and thriving just as it does today.
So, what does this mean to ChopCult members? Hopefully, the transfer from our old server to KaiStream's new one will be seamless. ChopCult may go "dark" a few hours around midnight PST this evening, but no other hassles are likely. Of course, the new owners pledge never to sell or share any personal information of our 25,000 members and nearly 175,000 monthly visitors, and all ChopCult.com content will remain intact. In months to come, KaiStream may make improvements to the forum and/or classifieds that we haven’t been able to execute due to lack of time and financing.
Even dedicated full-time Internet companies have manpower limitations, so two current ChopCult features that won't make the cut are the miles redemption and CC merch stores. Members have until January 31, 2013 to cash in accumulated miles on their odometer for prizes in the redemption store, and we’ll satisfy orders for t-shirts and other ChopCult merch through the same date. On February 1 the odometers will exist to quantify your involvement on ChopCult for other members.
If you are an active ChopCult member, new ownership is committed to keeping the site your favorite online home. Casual visitors and hard-core members alike are unlikely to notice any significant changes, and that’s a good thing. If you’re a ChopCult advertiser, KaiStream’s full-time staff for account services will put our efforts in this department to shame. Advertisers: look to your email in-boxes this weekend for information from McGoo on business protocol moving forward.
KaiStream will reach out to active members for assistance with moderation and content generation as soon as other business is handled, but you don't have to wait. To volunteer your name or just join the conversation, please weigh in on this thread in the main forum.
Bottom Line: ChopCult will be the same as it ever was, only better, and McGoo and I can focus on other interests.
To the thousands of friends, contributors, industry players, fellow builders and bikeriders we’ve met through ChopCult.com over the years, thanks for your support. We look forward to participating on here as members, and can't wait to see what's in store for the future.
Billdozer and Halwade