The elephant in the room...is not quite dead yet
I started this as a comment to BlueLine's post about his moving to Facebook and the death of Redline Derby, but, as usual, my comment became a lot of words so here it is so we can all discuss. It's long overdue anyway.
I'll be the first to say that the forum has been withering over the past couple years. And I'll admit I haven't done very much to help prevent that, but at the same time, this site has always been one supported by the community. I mean, it's a forum, so it's only as good as what people share.
If a topic or subject isn't here, it's because people have stopped sharing it here. Why is that? I have my hunches but this site is something we've always done together and if people don't want to do that any more, then that is what it is.
Redline Derby is still a huge resource with info on track building, car modding, tips, tools, and all the things that go into the racing. There's more than a decade of racing knowledge here. That's not going anywhere and there's value in that. But at the same time, that only serves folks for so long. People coming into the hobby really need that info...veterans, not so much. I'm very proud that RLD has been a launching point for many, many people in this hobby.
This isn't Facebook
This website isn't going to be Facebook. If people want to use FB as their outlet, fine. It's a huge audience and a lot of folks are doing really well with it...and I'm glad it's working for them. The more racing the better, even if it isn't talked about here.
But Redline Derby is a platform and tool just like Facebook - it's not just one or the other. I hope folks can find value in using RLD for promoting and sharing their stories but if it doesn't serve their needs then yeah, it's not a good fit and that's okay. It depends on what you're chasing. But if RLD hasn't provided the tools to get things done, I'm not always sure what those are because folks aren't very candid with me about problems or expectations. I just have to guess and work within my means.
The trend over the past 15 years is that people start with RLD as they start to understand the hobby and get involved. They build up their brand/channel and then move on to create their own websites, channels, etc...they become content creators and need to focus there, as they should. 3DBM, Chaos Canyon, LoS, BlueLine, Monster Motors, Indiana Diecast...they were all here early in their respective timelines and I'm happy that RLD was a part of their journey. But after a while you have to water your own garden if you want it to grow. So they went and did just that with a friendly nod to RLD on the way out - and I appreciate that.
So then you might being saying, "well, Brian, like you just said, water you own damn garden and bring RLD back from dead!" Easier said than done, right? You need seeds to grow.
This is a community garden
Redline Derby is a community garden. It always has been. It's not just for me to start topics, write articles, post pictures, and so on. I only know and can do so much in the first place. I'm not in the trenches like so many of you are and thus the whole point was to be a place where others can share their stories, questions, and fun. If nobody wants to do that here at RLD then the only stuff left is what a few folks do share - which is a lot of YouTube links and event threads.
But don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful those people still see value in RLD. I'm glad it can continue serve as a spot to get people involved in racing.
Look, the last thing I want to see is "RLD used to be a great place." That honestly makes me sad and bummed out. I've tried to turn that feedback into motivation but it's been difficult to find a path that works when much of it is dependent on the public.
Truth is, the site has always relied on other people to be standouts and take charge. Mattman, League of Speed, JDC, G4, Smitty, Chaos Canyon, Monster, Austin Diecast, and a long list of others...they came here and said, "this is a good place, I want to help it grow" and they fed the site with topics, discussion, photos, events, whatever. I then supported those efforts by highlighting it, adding features, and making it more accessible. It was a team effort whether we recognized it or not. This isn't a Bugs Bunny playing baseball type of operation:
But over the past several years it seems most people are thinking, "why should I create something for RLD when I can create it for myself?" And that's a fair question...even though I'd argue you're not creating content for RLD, you're using RLD to shine a light on your own work. But that's a hard sell these days. We're DIY people and there's an inherent need to want to be in control. Hell, that's why I built RLD myself!
My hopes were if you wanted to learn something - anything - you'd pass through RLD, not that it would be the end destination. If you don't remember where you saw it or wondered about it, Redline Derby was a great place to find it (and hopefully a lot more!). I wanted to take what people were creating and show others how cool it was...to provide a curated look at diecast racing. But I don't know what's out there unless people share it. If a tree falls in the forest...
Look, Redline Derby has a single focus: diecast racing. It's not surrounded by other news feeds, or advertisements, or subscriptions, or anything really. It's just toy cars and real racing. I believe strongly that there's value in that experience but at the same time I know that Facebooks, Reddits, and Discords can offer a lot more bells & whistles. I can't compete with that so if that's where people go, that's where people go. I've always liked to think that folks enjoy the mom & pop feeling that RLD provides and the experience that provides, but that's clearly not the case.
And for what it's worth, I'm sorry if certain topics aren't showing up here any more. If you want new discussions about drag racing...or custom axles, or finish lines, or restorations, or wheel types, or whatever...I don't know what to do to make that happen. I can't force people to create and share. I'm dependent on the community's goodwill.
But also, the hobby has evolved and so have the people. Technology and media have made creating content far more available and interesting than it was 5, 10, 15 years ago. Redline Derby has always been just a website and its failure to evolve is all my fault. I've not done a good job of keeping up with the Joneses, but even if I had made an RLD app for your phone years ago that wouldn't have motivated people to start sharing more stories. RLD would likely be in the same situation regardless. The rise of fat track racing and decline of straight drag racing would have happened regardless...but there's no reason RLD can't be a good home for drag racing if people want it to be.
Please, if anyone reading this has any insight as to why people have stopped sharing, I'd like to hear it - publicly or privately. If this site didn't have or offer something and made people say "I give up," I'd like to hear what that is. And I don't mean feedback like, "I wish there was more drag racing discussions," - I'm looking for experience/mechanical reasons people no longer want to share here.
We're not quite dead yet
Is Redline Derby Racing dead? I'll say No but even Stevie Wonder can see that this joint isn't as hoppin' as it once was. But it's still a great resource for all things racing, from tracks to cars to everything in between.
As always, for those that continue to frequent Redline Derby, I thank you. I'll keep the lights on for you. For everyone that has traveled through RLD on their way to bigger and better things, I thank you. We couldn't have grown without you.
Wow. That was long. But very theraputic. I hope no one takes offense to anything mentioned in there, I just tried laying everything out as I see it. There's no ill will here. I want to see RLD succeed but am struggling to find a path towards revitalization.
Please share your thoughts on what you've seen and what you'd like to see around here that might make your experience better. And again, thank you all.
Feel free to comment here publicly, message me privately, or even shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org - I'm all ears and welcome any and all conversation.
- Redline Derby news
- More in Off the Track
As I mentioned on Blueline's post, this is where I come to find races. Sure, I'm in a lot of racing groups on Facebook, but there is a big problem over there: announcements get lost in the newsfeed. A LOT. More often than not, I see a post from a track about a race I was interested in .... showing the results from like three weeks ago, because all notices got lost in the newsfeed. "Oh .... missed that one...." This has been typical of all the racing I've seen on Facebook, and why I miss out on 98% of FB diecast racing.
That doesn't happen here at RLD. There is a very clear and simple calendar that states exactly when and where. Bam: here's when and where. Bam, here's the restrictions. Bam, here's who to contact and say, "I'm sending a car." Easy, straightforward, clear and concise.
Tracks are also folding up and disappearing. Too much time and effort to put in for little cars racing down a toy track, whether it be two-lane drags or open road courses. There's all that work of receiving cars, checking them in, checking to see if they run, making brackets for racing, deciding who races when, videoing, editing, returning cars ..... it is a hell of a lot of work behind the scenes for fifteen minutes on YouTube. So people are dropping out because of the sheer intimidation and size of the task to put out good content. Some people like 3DBotmaker have actually made this their full time jobs: creating content with toy cars, turning their hobby into a job.
I have no plans to abandon this place. I may not share a lot of content like some people do, but I at least try to share and be active here. This is my go-to for racing, finding races, and hanging out with the friends I've made along the way.
1. Like everything else in diecast racing it's easy to hurt feelings. This wasn't about RLD being dead, my post was to inform drag racers where to go for drag racing since I'm one of the few still doing it here and no longer will be
2. I think if you read the comments here about drag racing being boring and not fun if you can't build a fast car then my point has been made for me. But if your cars are slow and you quit then do you really like racing? Or do you just like your name and pretty car on a YT channel with 10,000 subs? Food for thought.
3. I dabble in both drag racing and fat track and enjoy both. Drag racing is my first choice because it's competition and I enjoy competition. Fat track racing is more of a show. To each their own and both serve a purpose. For those that only like drag racing and aren't in that fat track click , they have left and gone to FB. Again, their choice.
4. I think we all could've done more to get racers of all interests more involved in both forms of racing but that's just me. There is a clear group of regular racers in fat track who get the first crack at racing at certain tracks, special invites and are highly promoted and there are a few drag racers that build elite cars and are very difficult to compete against and it seems to have discouraged some from continuing. It's too bad that divide is there in some way.
Anyway, this will be one of my last posts here. I hope my effort to keep things going on this site for quite awhile served it's purpose for some of you. Good Luck
- I, for one, will miss you. I hope you come back from time to time. Your races and video production were always pure excellent. You sent the standard, it is a shame to see you leave. Cheers. — Numbskull
- And your mere presence stirs my ire to win--that, in and of itself, will be missed by me. — Numbskull
- I meant no offense in any way, just stating my preference. We're both racers, just with different interests. That's all. I also pointed out that the OP was a bit off-the-mark with your original intent of your post. You're clearly frustrated at what's changed here. I have no dog in the fight, except to say that I may not be into drags, but as a builder I appreciate the engineering in the builds. But I'm also an artist. Nothing wrong with wanting what you worked so hard to build to look good doing its thing. But judging people for wanting a nice looking ride? That takes skill, too. Whatever you decide, good luck. You have a lot of respect here. — FeralPatrick
- You have your term for racing and I have mine. You took a strong stance against drag racing and I made my point. You think what I do is boring but are sensitive over my pretty cars comment. I meant no offense — BlueLineRacing
- Sad to see you go man, I’m not the best drag racer by any means but would still like to participate. I have to agree with the post above how it’s hard to find races on FB. — MrDarq
- Would love to still run down your track again! — MrDarq
You 'gon have to do a lot to get rid of me and my crew, RLD.
This place is actually organized, clear, and concise about its events and sign ups.
something that FB is very clearly, for the most part, not.
Anything Diecast on FB, wether it be trading, auctions, sign ups, even just simply following someone are a hassle because as someone else stated, it disappears. There one minute and next your scrolling like hell to find it.
Honestly who cares wtf anyone says 'bout this site. This has been and will be, IMO, the SPOT to find some top of the line, competitive, true-to-sport street racing of ANY kind. Drag, Circuit, Sprint, you name it, only one way to get it.
- well said — Numbskull
- Yo, I appreciate that numbskull. — 0utsiders_Street_Racing
Thank you for your thoughts!
i'm in fact a corona-victime ;) like a lot of us ! (In fact the only positive thing in this strange moment)
i had to find a way to make my on cars. RLD was what i found. Great informations for me! (I have no FB)
i had also to continiou my job (firefighter and paramedic)
than i struggled between coustomisations and races. I try to make both come togheter. Even i have to send some cars that are not my ideal anymore. (Debts due to the short dates of racing. The European post delivery thing is aborted by Amazon and all the others. The time to bring a package to the Us can varriate between 3-6 or even mor weeks)
but on RDL you can find help for every question. I would see this site ass the root for a lot of people that starts with this hobby. If somebody wants to post the races only on FB i'm ok with this.
for example for me, drage racing is something that is not my favorite because i spend a lot of time and money for perhaps only one race on a 10 foot track. (My thought. Because of travel time and money)
RDL is a great way to start and to continiou the way!!!!
keep going!!! A lot of people use it to enjoy the hobby!
- I agree, time and money are always to be taken into consideration. As well as return on investment. — Numbskull
- Ok. Perhabs i don‘t understud it like you meant it. Investement? — Schottys_diecast
- Time spent building a car vs time watching a car race on a track. Build time vs Track time. — Numbskull
- Ok. I understud! Yes. This is really a thougt i had. Cheers! — Schottys_diecast
This site is how I began racing... I will forever come here for all the races I enter. Please don't go..
- cheers — Numbskull
- Me too, it's my only place to seek out races. I do check on IDRL on FB once in awhile, but I'm not on FB very often any more — G_ForceRacing
This is my go to spot for finding races, learning tips early on, and keeping track of my record. I personally like the way it is and it sever its purpose. I really don't want to see it go.
Social Media sites are just that, FB and Instagram are good for sharing races I'm in for the fans that aren't racing. I think RLD is for the racers. I couldn't see FB do what we do on here.
I come here a couple times each week to check on new races and share with other racers I know would want to be included in the race. I look up some topics still to read and learn. I'm more visual so I do like looking up pointers on YouTube. But we have to keep RDL going in my opinion.
my 2 cents
- Once again, well said, and I could not agree more. — Numbskull
- Totally agree — G_ForceRacing
ok, I will re-state what I said in the other thread. Something I feel very strongly about.
I do not, nor ever will participate in facebook, or any other "mega platforms"
They are walmart in the '90s, and independent domain owners (like redline) are the mom and pop shops
What happened with that?? Go find a nice little meat market/store now that cares.
I am a domain owner, by the way, for 15+ years,
and a small business owner for twice that, during the 90's
I only bought my domain because I thought/knew this would happen.
I will only join "targeted forums" mainly because of all the stuff stated above that what is great about this place. targeted, focused, a core community, a sense, a feel
car builders and track owners
like real racing
rookies like myself that are trying to do this, and hopefully, push others
I built dirt track circle cars for 15 years,
this place feels like the pits,
it's real, you feel it, smell it, know it
I just started this journey with y'all, and do not plan on stoppin' unless the good Lord has other plans
This place has taught be more in the little time I've been here than I would have believed
To the rookies, read the threads!!!! The archives are amazing!!
thanks to all who provide content,
and remember we all potential are content providers
As With Life,
his place is no more than what we all put into it
Let me be clear that I didn't take BlueLine's post as an attack or a dis to the site or community. I get that he was just informing racers here but as he put it, "[RLD] was once the place to be for diecast drag racing but it is a shell of its former self," and he ain't lyin' - it's the truth!
It has fallen but I wanted to take a moment explain why I think that's been happening. It's just my POV. This website isn't going anywhere, believe me. It's my baby and I'll keep it alive as long as I can. But I've been in the web business for a long time and this is just how it goes...hills and valleys. It's up to me to solve the riddle on how to improve things - that's the fun part - and all your feedback helps.
- Hate to say it but when LOS left and we all know the reasons why, I’m not excusing that but drag racing died here. I tried my best to keep it going but for some reason other drag racers got turned off by posting their races here with a few exceptions. Perfect world I don’t have to go to FB to find a race but that isn’t reality. — BlueLineRacing
- I…actually do not know why LOS left. Wasn’t on the site frequently enough, might’ve not even been a member at the time. — 0utsiders_Street_Racing
Maybe separate calendars for drag racing and road racing, instead of everything all on one calendar? Is that feasible, or would it mess up the site programs?
- Nothing is off the table at this point. Don't worry about the tech :) that's part of my fun. — redlinederby
- dividing things up may help (track style). I don't do google so have a hard time trying to keep up with the few races I have entered, a members calander with a simple joined button would be helpful??? so no outside reg crap, join race, click button? all here — dr_dodge
- a one stop shop — dr_dodge
- Building under pressure will yield amazing results. I do not think dates are important. Different race skill levels would do better, along with recognition for wins at higher levels. — Numbskull
Whenever I am buyng cars, someone always asks if I am buying them for myself or my kids. Generally I tell them that "some are for me, some are for the kids" (even though i don't have kids), and then I tell them about this place. "Go check it out - we race Hot Wheels there." I want people to know about RedLineDerby, that they can come here to find something fun and exciting to do with their Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, to be able to run real races without the major costs associated with racing,. It's something EVERYONE can do: kids, adults, anyone.... all you need is a car to race. I hope that maybe one or two people out of all I have talked to come here to at least look and see what this site has to offer, and maybe be interested enough to sign up and stay.
- Thanks Spy. I appreciate the support and local outreach. — redlinederby
I visit RLD at least once a day, although I'll be the first to admit that I don't contribute as much as I could. There's only so many times that I can comment: "Wow! That's awesome" or similar, because I haven't educated myself (or taken the time to learn) the skills and kung-fu of Die Cast, and be able to offer much advice.
Indeed, my principle drive for signing up here remains as it has always done: Learn from those wise and willing enough to share their knowledge.
Will I ever construct my own track(s)? I hope so. The mind and body is willing, the materials are ready, but the real-estate is lacking.
Will I start sending vehicles in for races? Again, I hope so. My first genuine attempt spluttered to a halt at the end of last year due to unforseen circumstances, but it's ready to be resurrected.
As Dr_Dodge mentioned, I'm pretty adverse to the big platform social medias. I've always signed up to websites or forums, but getting involved through the whole Facebook, Reddit, Tik Tok, and Twitter platforms seems to carry a lot of baggage and potential distractions. Whereas RLD gives me what I need to know, when I need to know it. And if that information is lacking, I wouldn't be afraid to ask folks here for advice or opinions (unlike on the huge, unfriendly apps and soforth where I'd be flamed or otherwise trolled for having the audacity to show a gap in my knowledge!)
Anyhow - just my two pence.
This is my go-to source for everything diecast. I will be here for a long time to come. I'm not a fan of facebook; it is just merely -- okay. Facebook offers nothing even close to the information stored on this site. I don't believe it ever will.
This site draws diecast racers: for instance; Merch by Meekin's recent stock car race(Bootlegger Run) filled in one day on this site. This site is not to be ignored. I love this site and check-in daily and I still miss races because they fill so fast.
Perhaps somehow a stricter set of rules for drag racers, some type of "drag racing rules" in order to seperate drag racing wins from open track wins may entice drag racers to wander back.