With close to one thousand members, the Internet Checker Taxicab Facebook Club has created the most exciting Checker experience on the internet. There’s no doubt, our members have experienced the most comprehensive daily Checker experience and support and encourage us to continue to build on the great hard work started a long time ago, our origins date back to 2007.
The internet has been a wonderful invention, over the last 40 years the tools created to help government researchers communicate, has developed into a dominant global commerce enabler. Important for business, the internet has also allowed for the growth of social media, improving how we Checker fans interact with each other.
The beauty of the Internet Checker Taxicab Archive is that it was developed for a web based world. New in thinking, the ICTA has leverage every possible technology enabler to improve how Checker fans enjoy a holistic Checker fan experience.
The ICTA leverages many different web based solutions to promote Checker and celebrate the Checker experience. A quick list would include: The ICTA website, Facebook, Facebook Groups, YouTube, Twitter and Third Party Web Partners such as Hemming Motor News.
The ICTA Website
Whether you’re looking at the documents in the archive, linking to our YouTube channel or reading one of the 250 blogs created over the last two years, you’re generating a web based “hit”. The ICTA website now registers more hits and page views than any other Checker fan based website experience. All these hits are a vote of confidence in the ICTA Checker fan experience.
The numbers speak for themselves. At 18,000 page views a month we have 22 time more”‘page views” per month than the next largest Checker fan website experience. Over the last three years significant effort and dollars have been spent building the ICTA Checker library. To give you a sense of what it took to build, please consider that over ten thousand dollars was spent to build the website and load content into the library. Over 10,000 pages were scanned by hand to benefit all Checker fans.
All the funds and effort were donated without the expectation of payment by Checker fans. Most importantly the ICTA has made no claim of ownership of the legacy Checker content. All content is in the public domain. We only ask that if you share the documents, you tell people where it was sourced. it would be nice that our hard work was recognized.
We’re very thankful to Checker fans and family that donated content to load into the library. Donations have been made by a significant number of Checker fans: Ben Merkel, the Markin family and Jack Fritz Jr. just to name a few.
The picture on the header of this blog represents just one post, close to one hundred comments and 65 photos updated the post in a 24 hour period. This one post of club support was best characterized by a single comment penned by one of our members “the Internet Checker Taxicab Archive on Facebook is like having a daily Checker Cab show”.
On average the Internet Checker Taxicab Archive Facebook group receives about 150 posts a week. A significant amount of posting starts on Friday and carries through the weekend typically averaging 30-40 posts by Sunday. The ICTA generates more daily Facebook pages than all other Facebook groups combined. In terms of participation we see about 4500 Facebook impressions over the course of one month. We also see 64% member participation of all 940 members, over a one month period.
Facebook Third Party
The ICTA has utilize many other Facebook groups as a mean of generating Checker dialog. Every day we make a least one post on the Facebook CHECKER page. A small page with just 130 members, we feel Facebook allows the ICTA to open up to other groups.
We regularly post within the AACA Facebook page. The results have been very positive. A recent post in the AACA was shared by twenty other AACA members. So too with the CHECKER group, a recent post garnered multiple posts. Every “shared post” ultimately promotes the Checker experience.
The ICTA operates the largest Checker dedicated channel on Youtube. Established in 2007, to date the channel has generated more than 65,000 views! Now consider that the Checker Car Club of America has generated 371 views since 2015, who would you think has the best Checker dedicated video channel? The numbers speak for themselves, you be the judge.
This year, the ICTA launched a twitter page. We looked at Instagram, but felt the photographic enablers was limited, particularly with the way Instagram displays pictures. The cropping of photos in Instagram actually took away from the photos. We opted to use Twitter.
We’re using Twitter to promote a picture a day. The Checker Cab Picture of the Day allows us to share photos of Checkers from our archive or member pictures. We love the feature, it’s easy to use, and allows us to easily embed and share photos across multiple channels. Again compared to other Checker clubs that post only one Friday photo, we believe that we can feature 365 pictures over the course of one year, a picture a day.
The website has allowed the ICTA to provide to Checker fans the largest and most comprehensive Checker archive in the world. It represents hard work and a financial investment created to benefit all Checker fans. The price to the Checker fan? It’s free.
The majority of documents have been donated to the ICTA. Perhaps the most significant donation of documents comes from John Logan, former Checker Motors Plant Superintendent. John first started at Checker in 1958, left during a strike period, then rejoined Checker in 1962 to stayed with Checker until retirement in 1998. John is actually responsible for the creation of the 1976 Checker 15 passenger Aerobus.
John has made three major contributions: Checker Production Reports 1966 thru 1980. Engineering Memoranda 1962 thru 1982 and Checker Illustration Manuals 1964 thru 1982. This donation has established our club as the foremost authority on Checker.
Production Reports: In the past visibility of Checker production data was limited to total production per model based on a serial number range, but now utilizing the production reports donated by Logan, we can drill down into Checker production.
Engineering Memoranda: The Checker A11 and A12 were introduced for 1962. John Logan has donated a complete set of engineering memos that documents every change on these two models produced from the beginning in 1962 thru end of production in 1982!
We can now see how and when every change took place. We can also see the names of those responsible for the change: whether it was from Jim Stout, who started at Checker in 1922, Sab Hori who started in 1947 or Steve Wilson who started in 1955 all the key leadership has touched the memos!
Changes can be as simple as adding a reflector to a taillight door, to the introduction of a new model, like the Super Cab of 1964. How many times has a question been raised regarding the first use of Chevrolet 350 engine? We can now present the facts: dates, models, and chassis numbers impacted. The entre collection represents 484 memos. To date about 315 (1962 – 1971) have been scanned and will be add to the web site shortly.
Checker Illustration Manuals: The Logan donation included volumes of Checker illustration, 1964 – 1982. The manual are big and thick. Each manual presents illustrations and parts breakdown for every Checker sub-assembly. CMC Parts Manuals are always a good source for illustrations, but these documents illustrate everything and each illustration includes a part bill of materials. In all John has provided fourteen 3 inch thick loose leaf binders, that’s a lot of paper.
To put this in perspective, over the last year, over ten thousand pages of paper Checker documents have been loaded into the library. All can be downloaded at the push of a button.
The club now has access to all these reports. All production reports have been loaded to Facebook and will soon be loaded to the web archive.
Blogs, The ICTA has generated over 250 Checker history blogs over the last two years, they serve as a means to promote Checker information, history and color to new auto enthusiasts. The blogs have been used as a means to cross promote the Checker experience to other Facebook groups. Additionally the blogs have been used to gain national attention via third party blogs such as Hemmings Motor News in order to open up the base.
We now generate a bi-weekly email to close to 500 Checker fans. The email distribution appears to be the best way to get to the Checker fans who are not currently on Facebook but would like to read regular content. Every two weeks we generate an email that presents three blogs. Every quarter we send out an email to the same distribution list in order to share our electronic Newsletters. The goal is to interact with both Facebook members and Non Facebook Checker fans.
Classified Checker Advertising
The ICTA currently tracks and promotes more Checker classified advertisements than any other Checker fan based website. If you perform a Google search for “Checker Marathon for sale”, the ICTA is number one next to Hemmings!
Why do we do it?
Because we love Checkers! We don’t do this to make money. We work very hard to generate new content every week. Can you imagine how hard it is to create new content every week, for a car that essentially did not change from 1958-1982?
Do we have our critics? Clearly we do, quite frankly that’s why our Facebook page is now exclusive. We have been hovering around 940 members over the last two years as we are adding members on a limited basis.
2017 was a challenging year, once the our challengers and critics failed in their attempt in gaining a Federal Court order to enjoin the ICTA from operating, we knew we could no longer accept just anybody into the group. How could we accept anybody who supported those who litigate: whether by financial or public support? The very members who tried to shut down the ICTA via a nuisance suits? We recognized that those malcontents could no longer be accepted as members and they were selectively removed from our club rosters.
Surely one can understand, if someone tried to burn your house down, they probably would not be invited to a Bar-B-Q’s in the future. It’s sad that it has come to this, but after spending $45K to save the club, only those who appreciate our efforts can remain as members.
We look forward to continued growth in the Checker fan experience. We proudly display our Checkers. We love the daily interaction of the best Checker Facebook experience hoing. If you’re reading this blog, it’s highly likely that you are one of our friends, we look forward to seeing you at one of our local show.
If you’re not a member and want to be one, or if you are one of the poor souls lost in the other two group and want to come back home, just click on the link below.
Thanks for your support!
Thanks for the sharing, clarifications, investment, and a wealth of Checkerdom. The legacy is open and worthy of giving us a great common ground.