Happy 17th birthday, Team-BHP!

Wow, our baby is just a year away from getting its driving licence .

The likes & dislikes posted at the start of every Official Review (and now ownership reports too) are unique to Team-BHP. Unique because they set the tone at the start of the review itself, listing in an extremely comprehensive & brutally unbiased manner all that’s good and bad about the car. In some reviews, our likes & dislikes list runs up to 25 – 30 points! There isn’t a doubt that it’s the best synopsis of any new car launch.

We’ve been applying the above to all the amazing beasts that come our way. But what about Team-BHP? How about reviewing our community in the same way? Here is my list of likes & dislikes for our beloved Team-BHP.

Request to please reply with the same flow. You must post BOTH, likes as well as dislikes (not either one). Thanks!

What I like

  • A forum that continues to thrive, in a world where web forums are dying. We must be doing something right . And we continue to improve every year. For instance, over the last 6 months, our car reviews are released quicker than ever!
  • The incredible people onboard…our member community & the camaraderie between us. Be it newbies & BHPians, or DBHPians & Mods. Thank you for making this journey a truly incredible one with your presence.
  • Our top-class content, thanks to active members as well as the very strict + effective moderation. This is a forum I’d spend a couple of hours on everyday, even if I wasn’t its Admin. There’s nothing I love more than participating on the forum.
  • Keeping the forum troll-free, spam-free, porn-free. It’s something even multi-billion dollar corporations like Twitter & Facebook struggle with. Truth is, trolls are ruining the internet & we are damn proud to be troll-free!
  • Somehow, Team-BHP invokes a whole lot of passion! People are crazy in love with us & there are many diehard fans on the forum (there are crazy haters too, sadly).
  • Living the dream! 80 – 90% of my time is spent on cars + content. I am either driving cars or writing about them. The entire day, I am only thinking about cars & the Indian auto industry. There is simply no other industry I’d rather be a part of, and nothing else I’d rather be doing.
  • Team-BHP has given us memories & friends to last a lifetime (more details here (A dozen years of memories…Happy 12th Birthday, Team-BHP!)). Equally important, I don’t think there is any other platform that has given us as many special moments (partial list here) as Team-BHP has. It is such memories & moments that make life fun.
  • The fact that we’re the only large automotive media in India to refuse car advertisements opens up a lot of avenues. It gives us creative freedom in content (check this one out) & helps keep our reviews brutally unbiased. The independence is liberating! No other car media has the guts to say no to car ads or call out car manufacturers like we do.
  • In 90% of disputes reported on Team-BHP, we side up with the car owner. No matter what the cost, legal notices included. We remain a community of car owners, by car owners & for car owners. If we know we are right, we will fight tooth & nail. No matter who is on the other side, even the country’s biggest car manufacturer.
  • The sheer breadth of content! Is there anything related to the Indian car scene that we haven’t discussed? Is there any other Indian automotive website where you’ll read about missing fuel tank bolts, car naming, windshield protection, fishkeeping, historic petrol / diesel prices, big group meets, Royal Enfield books and types of keys?
  • That fact that we do things differently (full details on this thread (Celebrating 15 years of doing it DIFFERENTLY : Happy Birthday, Team-BHP!)). This is a community run by the heart more than the head. And we sure aren’t ones to do things the conventional way.
  • The only large automotive website which gives car owners a massive platform to air their views. Write something on social media and most of the posts out there will be viewed by 100 – 200 people. Write something on Team-BHP and there are good chances that your thread will cross 100,000 views. On a related note, once a customer complaint is posted on Team-BHP, it usually gets solved. In the last year, we’ve had 1.93 crore unique visitors & 17 crore pageviews! Team-BHP’s sheer size gives it a lot of benefits, directly & indirectly.
  • The fact that we have a culture & personality. We’re not just another website churning out news & reviews only. We are so much more than that. Team-BHP has a soul. We talk about life in India, we have meets with a hundred attendees, we won’t think anything of going out of the way for a stranger as long as he is a BHPian…I also love how the forum has stayed true to its core principles & philosophy.

What I don’t

  • We’ll be the first to say that the new member approval process is imperfect. While 90% of good members are approved, a few do end up rejected. This causes a lot of pain to us. One does have to put in effort to get onboard.
  • I wish we would expand our coverage of motorcycles, especially the reviews. Imagine an “Official Review” of every important motorcycle launched in India! Man…
  • The forum interface looks okay to us regulars, but it’s terribly outdated by current standards. Content is king though & is waaaaaaaaaaaaay more important than the look. Reddit is sailing a similar boat, while Google Search also has hardly changed its interface from the original days. At best, we will make small tweaks to the layout because drastic changes never, ever go down well with user communities (read up on the digg & Jalopnik disasters).
  • The “passion” point I spoke of above runs the other way too. While lakhs of people love us, there are a couple of hundred that hate us. Well, it’s the price you pay for strict moderation & doing things differently. We have accepted that we cannot please everyone & we’re fine with that.
  • I wish we had more gender diversity onboard (related thread). Women now make 13% of our viewership, yet merely 1% of members.
  • Wish we reviewed more premium cars. Bandwidth means we cannot review all cars, and I prefer to maintain sniper-like focus on mass market cars in the cost range of 1 – 30 lakhs.
  • More BHPians should be welcoming newbies in the introduction forum.
  • The many members that have been banned. Some of them were good writers & did contribute significantly to Team-BHP, but we cannot compromise on our forum rules, decorum or etiquette. Whatever the reason – all said & done – they were a part of the family at one time & I remember at least some of them fondly.
  • It breaks my heart that we lost some truly amazing friends to road accidents (Rtech, Sam & others).
  • Our ads can get intrusive, especially on the desktop site!
  • We are a small team & hence, cannot do everything that we’d want for Team-BHP. From 10 things that we’d want to implement (improvements, features & the like), we end up picking the top 2 – 3, simply because we don’t have the bandwidth or time for the rest of the list.
  • Some members left Team-BHP even without being banned. Sure wish that wasn’t the case. But again, we will NOT compromise on our expected rules & forum decorum.

A true BHPian family! The Team-BHP love transcends all ages & genders…

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