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    Rob Howden

    Taylor, send us press release on this event and we’ll get it posted up on the site!   Looks like it would be a blast!



    Rob Howden

    Just to add in a little commentary, here is what I believe you can expect for the 2014 SuperNationals:

    1. Live Video – EKN will be producing a live streaming video broadcast in cooperation with SKUSA – my goal is to then use that footage to put together a show for one of the cable channels like MAVTV

    2. The class numbers will shrink to shorten the days – I highly doubt any classes will be added at this time

    3. KZ will return to the line-up thanks to strong domestic participation this year in the absence of some of the factory efforts

    4. A increased focus will be put on improving the quality of the racing

    5. There will be an expansion in purse money and prizes

    It’s all about small improvements each year to make sure the race gets better and better.


    Rob Howden

    I totally agree, Mike.  There is some really nice stuff being built in the US right now.  And it’s performing well.  I raced a Margay 4.11 this year in Ontario, and it’s a great kart with incredible finish.  It turned alot of heads.  I think it they had a dealer in the area, it would do very well.

    That said, we’re going to start working on some editorial to put the US builders in the spotlight.  I’ve spoken with John Martin for iKart on a number of occasions and I’m excited to learn more about his approach to the chassis design and his plans for 2014 and beyond.  We’ll be using the ‘off-season’ to roll out lots of cool and interesting editorial like this.



    Rob Howden

    The excitement level continues to build here in Las Vegas, as all the teams have moved in and kart prep is wrapping up.  We’re on-track with the first rounds of practice in the morning and everyone is anxious to get things rolling.

    In regards to coverage, we’ll be providing straight audio this year, but Tom Kutscher and I spoke today and EKN will be producing a live video broadcast in 2014 to add that component to the event.  The lack of video obviously doesn’t effect attendance, as SKUSA will top 600 drivers to set a new record.  And that’s 600 drivers, not 600 ‘entries’.  It’s crazy.

    We’ll work diligently over the off-season to find the commercial sponsorship to make sure that the live video is a straight expense.  It will be our first foray into video, and we’re looking forward to it.


    Rob Howden


    We’ve talked about putting together an industry-only restricted forum section to allow interaction between business owners etc.  Might be time to pull the trigger on it.



    Rob Howden

    Stay tuned. An official SKUSA release will be coming today.

    I’ve spoken with Tom and this is going to be a big deal, and a great opportunity to promote karting in NorCal.


    Rob Howden

    Thanks Chris. The URLs used by the new site are different from the old format. so we didn’t pick up on this. That said, we’ve added the ‘New Topics’ link to the ‘Forums’ drop-down menu in the navigation bar, so reader can click there first, if desired.

    Please send me your mailing address and I’ll make sure you get an EKN shirt for helping out with some great feedback. Much appreciated!


    Rob Howden

    Mike, that’s an awesome question. I’ve been working on the editorial for our new Karting 101 section, which will be designed to answer any question someone may have in regards to the sport. The intro section needs to be exactly what you’re asking….a clean, clear description of the sport. Essentially, it needs to be our calling card.

    I really look forward to reading the replies to see how they jive with my thoughts, and maybe I can see some new viewpoints to include in our editorial.

    Thanks for posting this question.


    Rob Howden

    David and I both had awesome outings at Rock Island. Mine was issue-free and it was all about getting used to the track again and pushing my limits while fine-tuning the kart. I was happy with eighth overall, the top finishing kart with CIK bodywork. Cole had a few issues that put him at the tail for the start, but he raced up from 27th to 13th….great run all-around.

    We’re working on our OnTrack editorial reports now, and I expect that David will roll is out on the site next week. We’re were lucky to be able to work with two great shops – DB Motorsports and Team Topkart / Victory Karts. Big thanks to them.

    Hope you guys enjoy reading our OnTrack reports.


    Rob Howden

    Let’s be real here. You don’t really want honest feedback. When you had real feedback, you cried about it and deleted the posts. What you want is for everybody to agree with you and tell you they like the new site, except they don’t. Everybody hates the new site.

    Everybody knows it is your site, and you can do whatever you want with it. However, the way you disregarded everybody’s feelings was unbelievably arrogant. You keep saying how much better the new site will be, except nobody has seen any hint of it yet.


    Leaving feedback in a forum thread serves no useful purpose, but only to fuel a mob mentality of negative commentary. Like any ‘customer feedback box’, we emptied the box, went through all the input, we’ve put together plans to make adjustments, and we are moving forward. To say that we disregarded this feedback is simply ridiculous. But I guess that perception is part of the world we live in. You can’t see behind the scenes, so you make a negative assumption that we don’t care, you call me ‘unbelievably arrogant’, and you feel justified in your post. Would you call me that to my face? I would hope not, considering that fact that you’re only making an assumption based on what you see in a few forum threads. Because if you did, you’d hear that we’re working on this everyday. You’d learn that it’s a constant topic of every day, and steps are being taken to add features that have been requested.

    EKN is a vibrant site, with a staff of two people. Our developer is working on some solutions to other minor issues as well, all while David and I continue to go about the business of running the site. I know you don’t care about this, or our editorial efforts, because it’s all about the forum for you, but the simple fact is that upgrades will be made as soon as we can put them into effect. The reality is that we’re working on it every day.

    And Henry, people don’t ‘hate’ the ‘website’, some just ‘hate’ the new forum. The site itself – the other dozen segments of the site that support the sport and racers with coverage, editorial, news and features, have been extremely well-received. I have a ton of great emails and message from racers, parents, advertisers and the organizations. I do thank those people for their input as well.

    I’m disappointed that you can’t see that the forum continues to provide positive community interaction, and is already evolving with new threads and topics each day. Yes, it’s a different experience and a different look, and it’s lacking a few features of the old site, but if content is actually king, the site will re-generate itself very quickly. So, you can either help that along by adding useful contributions, or you won’t. I can’t make you do either, so it’s up to you to decide if you’re going to make a positive contribution to EKN and the sport, or just comment on what’s wrong with the site.


    Rob Howden

    Good morning, Tony!

    Good luck to you with the broadcast and please extend my best wishes to all the racers this weekend.


    Rob Howden

    Thanks for your patience, guys! This is getting handled as we speak. The guys were rocking on it today.


    Rob Howden


    I just ‘cut’ the URL that you posted on EKN Classic, clicked the ‘img’ tab in the forum here, and the ‘pasted’ the URL into little Image Pop-Up that is presented, added a name for the image in the second pop-up, and ‘ta-daaa’ here it is.

    Did you do something different than that?


    Rob Howden

    Photobucket test


    Rob Howden

    Ok… i know im not the only one with this problem. I was away from ekarting for half a year and they seemed to find a way to update (ruin) it! How do i search the old archives and is there still a way to use Google? Such a great wealth of information and shit talking to be lost to a stupid update, and thumbing threw the archived forum page by page is not effect for what im trying to find.


    The archive is not lost…it’s all housed at and you can still go there to search everything.

    We are currently re-addressing the process of re-direct so that the Google searches will continue to be able to access the links.

    And with any search that you do on Google (or whatever search engine), the only need to replace the http://www.ekartingnews with http://www.eknclassic and you’ll access the link.


    Rob Howden

    A small suggestion: move or duplicate the “Mark All Topics as Read” button to the top of the page.

    I find it a real PITA to have to scroll to the bottom of the page to get to it.


    Thanks Jerry. We’ll definitely look at this.


    Rob Howden

    HEY!!! The quote format works now!!! LOL. My team is checking things off the to-do list!


    Sorry…just a little breather from getting barraged. ;-)


    Rob Howden


    I understand that this is your business, but it seems that you have lost touch with who your end or true customer is. You provide a free forum and editorial site to promote karting yes, but the business side for your is the revenue generated by paying advertisers who rely upon us the end user visiting and using your free product to give value to their advertising dollars. So saying you dont care about us the users, our opinions, and experieinces with “YOUR WEBSITE” is wrong. The end users, be it lurkers or posters are what determine the going rate for advertising on your site, the more we visit the more you can charge your advertisers. That makes us the customer.

    As you say we can just give up, not visit etc. but what good does that do you or your advertisers. I am certainly not visiting as much, nor spending as much time on the forums as I did, and I can guarantee with 100% certainty I am far from being alone in that regard.

    I have posted that I did not like the new format, still dont and never will. I used to enjoy reading the forums and now dread it. Posts that just complain with crappy comments like “new site sucks” are wrong and should be removed and dont deserve to be acknowleged, but someone stating they dont like the new site because its hard to read, or hard to navigate should be acknowledged, not met with resistance because you dont agree. You are the creator and it will be hardest for you to be objective, but you owe it to your readers and yourself to take a step back reevaluate your position.



    Thank you for taking the time to comment here. I’ll first comment that I care very deeply about my readers, both those who use the forum and those who don’t. I also believe that I have a very firm grasp my my business model and the symbiotic connection between our EKN reader and our valued advertiser. Please let me correct the statement that ‘the more we visit, the more you charge’. EKN has not raised its advertising rates for the last four years. There is no correlation there. My rates are based on a guaranteed view count that we triple each month.

    As for our readers, I talk to them every day. I chat with every driver and parent at every race I attend. They are our readers as well, and they have much different EKN experiences that the regular forum visitors and posters.

    I haven’t told people to leave the site, but only that it is what it is. I’ve let them know that I have a plan for the future of EKN and this new site design is part of that route. We have some incredible things planned for the site, new concepts for attracting new karters, educating them, and supporting the industry. It’s hard for me to keep quiet and not respond to all the doubters, although I need to remember that they don’t know my vision, only their own comfort zone, which some believe has been compromised. I understand and truly value that people love EKN (and the forums), and I’m proud of that. But, I cannot sit and let the world of media pass us by. The old site was archiac and was missing all the functionality we need to move forward. And I did not believe that I could do what needed to be done any other way.

    As far as providing our advertisers with value, I learned LONG ago that it’s not just about banner views or click-throughs. That’s only a small part of what we must bring to our clients to make being part of the EKN program successful for them. Yes, it’s a component, but we provide much more….and with this new site platform, I can do even more for them. To me, that’s crucially important.

    And to address your final paragraph. You posted that you ‘don’t like the forum, still don’t and never will. I used to enjoy reading the forums and now dread it.”. That’s hard to read, but it’s your perogative to feel that way. But I also don’t think I’ve given much ‘resistance’ to improving the ‘hard to read and hard to navigate’ feedback. We’re looking at ways to improve it further. Thanks to Howie Idelson, a talented graphic designer, we made some font and style changes which I love, and we’re looking to add more features to improve navigation and the overall experience. That said, the only resistance that I offered up was to the suggestion of scrapping this forum and starting fresh with something else. Put bluntly, that’s not an option right now.

    We’re taking EKN to the next level, and I’m personally excited by everything that is in store. I wish I could let you all in on my vision, but that would ruin the surprise and the ideally consistent run of exciting additions and improvements.

    Eric, thanks again for the comments and the line about the straight negativity being removed from the site. I have read and taken in all that you have offered.


    Rob Howden

    Thank you for the reply and the input, Greg.

    Each and every person is entitled to their opinion, and that’s great. If ‘ease of use’ and ‘content’ are the two primary comments at this time, this works for me…and here’s why:

    1. Ease of Use – as I have stated, the new forum IS the new forum, plain and simple, and it’s not going to get thrown out to go back to a widescreen format. Our site just doesn’t work that way and it was a pain, business-wise, in the past as well. So, to address ‘ease of use’ with the new forum, we will continue to work on improving the experience to the best of our ability and limitations. That said, I’m sure you’ll agree that the familiarity with the old forum and the discomfort that comes with new things, unknown qualities, is at least partially part of anyone’s negative feelings toward’s the new boards. This will eventually dissipate as people become more comfortable with the new site.

    2. Content – on the old forum, topics were brought and debated, time after time. We re-hashed old topics each year, some people just played along and commented and added to the thread, while others bitched that people simply need to search for a topic instead of starting a new one. What I’m getting at here is that as the days and months go by, every topic from the old forum will be introduced here as well. It’s inevitable. We turn over people in the sport every 3-4 years, we know that, and while it’s a trouble spot in the growth of karting, in this particular case, it means that the new people coming into the sport will be asking the same questions and discussing the same topics as those that came in four years earlier. The content will re-generate itself, as it already is. We are looking into ways to bring some of the old content over, but I can’t comment on the true ability of this possibility at this time.

    Thanks again.


    Rob Howden


    I’m not sure that growth you’re hoping for would occur. The Rock Island Grand Prix has promoted a Pro Open class for the last couple of years and the participation has been disappointing to say the least. They only drew seven entries last year.

    I think it comes down to the fact that people really approach karting a little differently than they did back in the 80s and 90s. And it’s not that people are ignoring innovation, the focus has been put more on the driving experience due to escalating costs of the open formulas.

    I believe it also involves the overall mindset of today’s youth. There is a definite lack of desire and commitment to improve oneself. If you’re not winning, you quit. If you’re not in the championship chase, skip the final races. Man, I never thought of doing that. I ran every race in the series to battle for fourth in points, or seventh or tenth, whatever it was – no one stopped running. I think the growth of the RIGP Pro Open deal was tough in the early going because no one thought they could beat the tandem of Haddock and Giessen. In the 70s and 80s, I’d be willing to bet that karters would work their asses off to try to beat Haddock, not throw in the towel.

    Well, you mention that putting the UAS rules on asphalt would do the trick…you’re going to find out. Rock Island’s Pro Open class is running under UAS rules. Only time will tell.


    Rob Howden

    One look through the classified forums and you can see how things aren’t working. Formatting is all jacked up, quotes, etc.

    In fact, just the lack of posted ads versus the old site should be telling enough, don’t even need to look at analytics.

    TBH though, as a newbie to karting, websites sure don’t seem like they are high priority for anyone. Hell, even WKA hasn’t posted any stories or results from the Man. Cup races on Sat & Sun.

    Joshua….as proven by the lack of quote formatting directly above, we need to fix a few things. The formatting will be looked at in good time, as we’ve been addressing a couple other issues first. As for the posted ads, I think that almost 400 unique classified ads in just over a month is pretty strong, considering the fact that we’re in the middle of the season.

    As far as website priority is concerned, WKA isn’t really a good barometer of this, as they have never been overly-forward on trackside coverage. I expect a report from Pitt tomorrow. In stark contrast, our EKN Trackside coverage has been able to expand and flourish with the new site, thanks to more functional and user-friendly photo galleries and the ability to post video and audio interviews within our race reports. These are all very valuable commodities for our readership that those focusing totally on the forums do not take into consideration.

    We’ll be back trackside with live coverage of the Rock Island Grand Prix and US Pro Kart Series finale within the next month, and I can assure you that a large group of karting enthusiasts will make our site a priority during those weekends.

    And, as a newbie, I think you’ll be impressed with the components we have coming down the line to help make it much easier for new racers to enter the sport and enjoy their learning curve.


    Rob Howden

    Dustin, while I appreciate that you seem to think you know how I run my business, you do not. Here’s a great thing about the free market system. I am offering a free product for you to use. If you like it and want to use it, you can. If you don’t like it, don’t use it. It’s simple.

    If this is the case, don’t tell me how to run my business either. We’ve built a new website with a new forum, and I like it. I’ve received countless emails from people in the community and the industry that like it as much as I do. Yes, we’re going to see if we can make some adjustments to respond to request from a few forum members, but that’s it.

    Personally, I’ve heard enough from you. If you don’t like the fries at a restaurant and keeping coming in to tell the chef how to cook his fries, eventually, you’re not going to be allowed back in the door. Let me give you a hint…it’s the same here at EKN.

    I love feedback, but I don’t like, nor will I stand for, disrespectful comments or continuing negative bashing. You and I are done with this conversation.


    Rob Howden


    I’d love to hear your thoughts on how the old forum format was underestimated. In terms of educating racers new to the sport, we’ve got components in the works that will aid this more than ever before.


    Rob Howden


    Karting’s been getting some pretty solid exposure of late through MX guys running shifters. I think we can all help push this forward when links to stuff like this get pushed onto Facebook. If we all start sharing and ‘liking’ this links, it helps spread the word.

    This kind of stuff is great for the sport:

    We all need to be flooding social media with our racing and our adventures, so the excitement of karting gets out there.


    Rob Howden

    So are you done taking feedback? I’m disappointed the feedback thread has gone away.

    Jim, we are ALWAYS open to feedback. We took the last thread, developed a work list using the suggestions and requests from a number of our readers, and then removed it from forum section. That’s what feedback is for. I certainly don’t intend to leave a thread on the site in which readers have openly bashed our efforts to improve EKN. I think everyone would agree that this would not be in the best interest of the site. Personally, I love the new site and I really like the look and feel of the forums. As we continue to work on the features, I hope more people will feel the same way. We are certainly working to evolve the new forums to include additional features, as this is on our priority list.

    That said, this is my business and it’s a free site for our readers. I would make the assumption that most of the people who have made aggressively negative comments about the new forum have not taken this into account. They’re simply commenting based on their own needs and desires, and not that of a vibrant business that MUST to be run with fiscal responsibility. EKN is in the business of supporting and promoting the sport of karting by working closely with organizations to provide media coverage and exposure, and in the business of providing unparalleled advertising value to the karting industry. Of the 100+ readers who post actively on the forums, about 5000 more just lurk…and, they read the editorial, the race reports, the rankings, our columns, etc etc. The forum is not the be-all and end-all of EKN. In fact, we have many more great components in the works that will be bringing even more value to the site.

    In the end, people have different priorities. I’ll make my decisions based on my mandate for the site, not based solely on the input of readers who simply want the forums THEIR way.

Viewing 25 posts - 26 through 50 (of 60 total)