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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a software engineer and web developer and I've been looking for a fun side project to work on. Although I don't own a Lotus yet, I thought it would be cool to develop a good web-based registry site for owners of Lotus cars that could be used to document the car(s) owned by each user, including options, after-market upgrades, etc. One capability that might also be nice would be the automatic import of photos of the cars from photo sites like Flickr or Photobucket, whatever is more popular with the Lotus community. Pretty much any information/pictures relating to one's car could be found in one place, and all of the data would be indexed so that it could be easily found by the site's built-in search engine. I've got some other ideas for useful features, but before I go too far with this I wanted to poll the community here and ask

1) Would you find something like this useful? I know there is already some form of registry online for Lotus cars, but it doesn't seem all that useful.

2) If the answer to 1) is 'yes', then what other features do you think would make the site useful? I think Lotus discussion is already very well handled by LotusTalk so I wouldn't want to duplicate any of that functionality.

Feel free to PM me and let me know what you think of the idea. If you think it's useless, then I want to hear that too :p
 

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Right, I saw the map and think it's pretty cool. But what I was thinking of was quite different than that. Something that contained pictures of each registered car, supported a way to contact the owner to ask questions about the car, allowed registered users to post comments about a car, was fully text-searchable, maybe even allowed a registered car to be marked 'for sale' so that cars could be bought/sold, etc.
 

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I believe there is a Elise/Exige registry at Sands Museum.

Kiyoshi
Which begs the question...is the OP suggesting a Lotus registry, or an Elise/Exige registry?

I know there used to be an Esprit registry, years ago, but don't know its status.

I believe various efforts have been made for Europa, Elan, and 7 registries.

Most times the data has a half life as cars are modded, change hands, wrecked or otherwise decommissioned.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I believe there is a Elise/Exige registry at Sands Museum.

Kiyoshi
I did do a bit of research before I posted this :p

I know about the registry at Sands Museum (that's the one I was referencing in my original post), but it has no search capability, doesn't automatically pick up new photos of the car as they are added to the owner's photo site of choice, doesn't allow interaction between car owners, etc. etc. I'm thinking of something of a registry/social network of Lotus owners more than just a flat list of VINs, brief descriptions and a single photo. But if the community thinks this is already available elsewhere or not useful, then I won't bother to implement it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Which begs the question...is the OP suggesting a Lotus registry, or an Elise/Exige registry?

I know there used to be an Esprit registry, years ago, but don't know its status.

I believe various efforts have been made for Europa, Elan, and 7 registries.

Most times the data has a half life as cars are modded, change hands, wrecked or otherwise decommissioned.
What I'm suggesting is pretty general purpose and could be used as a registry for any Lotus vehicle, not just the Elise/Exige.
 

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I did do a bit of research before I posted this :p

I know about the registry at Sands Museum (that's the one I was referencing in my original post), but it has no search capability, doesn't automatically pick up new photos of the car as they are added to the owner's photo site of choice, doesn't allow interaction between car owners, etc. etc. I'm thinking of something of a registry/social network of Lotus owners more than just a flat list of VINs, brief descriptions and a single photo. But if the community thinks this is already available elsewhere or not useful, then I won't bother to implement it.
I think that this is a great idea - go for it!
 

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...i think the sands museum registry isn't actively maintained these days...
 

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Talk with the folks who do the various other Lotus registries (7, 23, 51...). It takes a long term commitment to be of value.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Talk with the folks who do the various other Lotus registries (7, 23, 51...). It takes a long term commitment to be of value.
Good suggestion, I'll do that. But my thought is that once the infrastructure is in place, the site will be maintained by its users i.e. users will maintain the info on their own cars, post new pictures of their cars from time to time, share information amongst their 'buddies', trade parts, mark their cars for sale etc.
 

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Right, I saw the map and think it's pretty cool. But what I was thinking of was quite different than that. Something that contained pictures of each registered car, supported a way to contact the owner to ask questions about the car, allowed registered users to post comments about a car, was fully text-searchable, maybe even allowed a registered car to be marked 'for sale' so that cars could be bought/sold, etc.
A database-backed searchable archive will solve some problems that the google map can not. For instance, finding others that have made specific mods to their cars - though searching LT for the mod would likely have a similar result

BTW, folks *can* post pics of there cars and what not in the description field of their google-map entry (its just HTML). Likewise, folks can be contacted via their google-profile (if they choose to fill it in) or they can put their contact info (i.e. LT name) in their description. Perhaps I should describe how to make these enhancements in that thread...

For what its worth, here are some observations I've made already with the Lotus Map - perhaps this information will help your project:
  1. Very US centric - not sure if this is simply that LT's audience is predominantly American or if Americans are just more inclined to fill in the map, but you may need/want to target your demographic
  2. May be too difficult - I choose a google-map because I thought that geographically-tagged data is more intuitive and that goggle-map was relatively easy to use. Nonetheless, there have been a few editing-errors - illustrating that its not easy enough for everyone
  3. Requires coaxing - the map filled in a couple spurts - one after its inception and the other after my posting a "come on" posting to the thread. I feel that I need to coax folks into posting entries until its value proposition crosses some threshold - at which point forum members will use it as a means to augment their LT thread postings. One problem with getting it off the ground is that, without activity in the thread, it drops off the "active thread" list - so people don't see it - that is why I put it in my sig, so people will see it when I post in other threads
 
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