For my readers outside the small world of old truck obsession, ATHS is the American Truck Historical Society. They’ve been sleepily putting out a bimonthly magazine and an annual truck show for the last few decades. They’ve got a national HQ in Kansas City and a bunch of local chapters all over the country.

Now by the turn of the 21st century it was pretty obvious that any outfit that hoped to survive needed an online presence. Heads firmly planted in the past, ATHS leadership pretty much ignored this reality. Fortunately a bunch of youngins and young thinkers around ATHS put together a pretty decent web forum and became the ATHS online divison. It wasn’t perfect- some of the threads ventured far from trucking and had the “look and feel” of a KKK meeting. But the forum admins did their best to keep the peace and it worked pretty well, even though as one of the frequent combatants my comments sometimes got nipped too.

Now ATHS management could have maintained it’s slumber, but for a couple simultanious occurrences- they rented out some unused space to a company that does web “presence” for businesses, and the online division was left several thousand dollars in the will of a deceased member. Yup, you guessed it- ATHS management took over the web forum with the assistance of their tenant and grabbed the money too!

The result has been a dysfunctional forum that ticked off everyone and heavy handed censorship of anyone who complained. Not being real bright, ATHS management brought this on themselves on the eve of their re-election, assuming their “slate” would easily retain their offices. The membership is ready to personally escort them out of office, and the anger had spread across multiple gearhead forums… Should be a good test of whether an online community can evict a stodgy old school board from their “brick and mortar” bunker in KC!

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