Just wanted to take a take a few minutes to thank everyone for supporting GMTC
This site started in 2004 when I had a vision for a GM Truck & SUV site. So I registered a domain name, got a little web hosting account and launched my first site. That started to gain some traction, so I launched a whole series of other Chevy & GM sites that were eventually merged together to make the current GMTruckClub.com.

Fast forward through 7+ years and (literally) thousands of hours of my own time, effort and money and we're now one of the biggest Chevy Truck Forums & GM enthusiast communities on the web. In fact we get more traffic in a single day now that we used to get in a month.

However, with growth comes new challenges for the site. This is especially true as we expand and try to stay true to the original vision.

One of the challenges is trying to keep everyone happy
Quite simply, that's just not going to happen, never are we going to make everyone happy, especially on the web. I’ve made the decision that we need to stick with the original vision of fostering really cool and technically-advanced content, while maintaining an atmosphere that is family-friendly, free from personal attacks and as clean as an automotive website can be.

We call it a "pg-13" site, but even that is a little vague and hard to define, so we've always tried to walk the line between allowing people to express themselves, showcase their awesome rides, share their expertise and more, but also sticking true to our purpose to have the type of community site that we want to have.

I think our track record speaks for itself; probably less than 20 out of the nearly 60,000 members that have registered to this site have ever voiced an official complaint that we’re too restrictive. If they think that, they usually just figure it out on their own and go find another site, there are a couple others at the same level and size that we’re at.

In fact, the opposite is true. We frequently get comments on how people love the fact that they can find quality, factually solid content without having to wade through posts that are mean-spirited personal attacks, berating of someone's truck for their sense of style, commenting on someone's (in) ability to articulate well, and more.

For the most part I think we've done a pretty good job and have found the right niche for the community we want to serve. We’re working hard to promote the kind of community that we want to be part of.

Moderator Actions and Guidelines
One clear area where I need to do a better job is to equip the moderators to deal with issues as they arise and to update the guidelines to deal with borderline issues. I owe all the moderators an apology for not being able to keep up with their ideas, questions and concerns regarding the site.

So, if any member wants to be critical of any moderator actions that have occurred, they probably don't realize all that moderators are doing for the site and that I’ve been remiss in providing them with updated guidelines so they’re out on a limb with less support than they should have.

Being a moderator is both rewarding and challenging as we literally remove thousands of posts per year. Most of the time these are robot-generated spam that gets removed, and no one notices - which is the point (we have a policy to never publically post moderation actions). Just a handful of removed posts are ever protested and most of the time those are from newbies who are either just trying to promote their company / website / marketing scheme and don't have any real interest in helping out the site.

It’s actually pretty funny. Very often the spammers say that ‘it's not fair’ that we don't allow them to spend their first 10 posts promoting their small oil change facility in Boise, Idaho (or their own website, or whatever). Our response? Boo-hoo-hoo, guess what spammer – life’s not fair. If you don’t like our rules, then go out and build your own website from the ground up.

In general I support the hard work that the mods have done helping to keep the site moving forward. If it weren't for them, every other post on the site would be spam, some type of link-generating scheme, personal-attack or worse. They've helped clean up a lot of the trash that people never see, so hats off to them.

Member Actions and Guidelines
If my hat goes off to the moderators (who are also members), then I throw it into the air for all of the member contributions over the years. We would not be anywhere without good members – it’s as simple as that.

Now, it’s not possible for me to go through the list of all of the great members that have been part of the site over the years, and I’m just amazed at the high level of vehicle-specific content generation produced by the most active current members. It goes to show me that the passion behind these vehicles is widespread and is more like a giant family where we might have disagreements, but in the end – we’re still family.

Just like any group, we’ve got a mix of just about every type of person you can think of from blue collar to professional, liberal to conservative, wild to straight-laced. We’ve got the 16-year old kid with his first truck, to the retired guy towing his truck behind his RV to go visit the grandkids. We’ve got members all across North America and even a good number from Europe and the rest of the world. Wow, it’s a thrill to me to know we have that kind of reach out to be ambassadors to these great vehicles.

However, due to the nature of the site and the content – we’re going to have disagreements. That’s fine, 99.9% of the time, they work themselves out and we don’t need a big centralized authority coming in and laying the smack down.

Now, when there are some legitimate issues that need to be discussed, I think that I also owe all of the members of this site an apology for not providing the proper method of resolving grievances or contributing ideas. That’s something that we once had and it must have gotten lost in the details of all of the changes over the years.

Looking forward to continue to provide great content to everyone
So, with all this being said, I’ll work hard on that so we can keep GMTC focused on what we do best, showcasing awesome trucks and SUVs and allowing people of the Chevy/GM family a chance to share their passion with one another.

We’ve got seven solid years under our belt, here’s to the future and another seven years of great conversations about the best trucks and SUVs in the world.

Thanks for listening,
Steve