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Forums decline in usage in general Locked

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, July 6, 2020 1:13 PM

Partisipation is key in a forum. No partisipation no forum. They get revenue here from ads and from selling content. They are making the ads work to some extent but if partisipation drops off and the veiw drops off and then the ads will too. It is a fine balancing act. Which I feel they have not fully fiqured out yet though they are trying. But I must say sometimes the overseers of the forum treat us like hobby shops do which has not been good in my life. I am often times realy getti ng into a thread only to have them say the subject has been covered, move along, many times before I even have time to comment on something because I wished to make sure all my ducks were in a row.

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Posted by Billwiz on Monday, July 6, 2020 2:35 PM

I read this forum often through the week.  While I have only met one participant, some of you are almost friends.  I don't always post, unless I feel I can add something, or if I have a question that I know you can answer. Besides the one thing I'm truly an "expert" in is verbotten on this forum (and rightly so) - I'm a theologian and a pastor.  

I've been on the recieving end of the "you should know better" responses, I've had a member reach out to me to apologize for another's response, and I've had members who helped me in many ways.  My first DCC conversion (not plug and play) had an issue and after the whipping from one member, I got help from another (who helps everyone with DCC questions - I printed out his answer and it sits in a DCC file).  The wealth of knowledge on this forum is incredible and is a welcome addition to the hobby.  

I add my thanks to our hosts.

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Posted by BATMAN on Monday, July 6, 2020 2:45 PM

Billwiz
after the whipping from one member, I got help from another

I have sent a PM often to individuals I know can answer a question and have got the help I needed that way. Sometimes running the grumpy old man gauntlet just isn't worth it, so PMs it is. 

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by FlattenedQuarter on Monday, July 6, 2020 7:55 PM

I'm a recent joiner, joined after being lead multiple times here googling questions I have. I've found most people to be willing and helpful. Threads seem to wander occasionally. I do think it should be a lot easier to post photos.

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Posted by PRR8259 on Monday, July 6, 2020 8:12 PM

SeeYou190

 Kevin--That was a veiled reference to another forum that I didn't want to name here and call them out.

John

 
PRR8259
Also--my interests just run toward ALL steam (maybe I'm one of the last of those dinosaurs), so there is just nothing at all for me to gain from certain forums that have become virtually all diesel all the time.

 

I have never had the impression this forum is virtually all diesel all the time.

-Kevin

 

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Posted by FlattenedQuarter on Monday, July 6, 2020 8:58 PM

A more organized and accessible data base including things like the freight cars of the 70's in the newest mag issue would be awesome

sol
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Posted by sol on Monday, July 6, 2020 9:05 PM

One other aspect to consider, is that there are so many forums around covering so many different aspects of the hobby.

Ron

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, July 6, 2020 10:20 PM

FWIW:

I have absolutely no problem with so called 'necro-posting' (horrible term!!). Quite often it is done by a new member who doesn't yet understand all of the details of how the forums work. Shooting them down because they have revived an old thread is just plain arrogant.

I also have no problem with anyone who asks a question that could be answered by searching previous threads. This is a discussion forum. The whole idea is for us to talk to each other! Asking others to share their expertise is what the whole thing is all about! We all know how ineffective the MR search engine is. I choose to converse with my fellow modellers rather than spending time trying to sift through countless unrelated search findings. 

My 2 Cents

Cheers!!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by PRR8259 on Monday, July 6, 2020 11:16 PM

Let me be clear: I have no, zero problem with resurrecting a topic.

My references were more to dead topics on other forums (specifically the Atlas Rescue Forum and the original Atlas forum) where certain threads degenerated into some nasty name-calling.  Even when brought back from the dead, since emails and posts are forever, the nastiness continued, to the point that imo new people were actually in some instances taking sides, and snarky, sarcastic remarks were made well after the fact, by people who certainly did not have all the facts.  There were at least some decent people who got mad and left.

Here it has generally, usually but not always, been more civilized.

However, since I have a personal issue with one frequent poster here, I'm just done.

Sorry for any confusion.

Best wishes to all; may you find the answers you are looking for.

John

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, July 6, 2020 11:17 PM

hon30critter
I have absolutely no problem with so called 'necro-posting' (horrible term!!).

Nor do I. In fact, sometimes an old thread will come up that I participated in and it gives me a chance to edit and replace the ever-present "photo no longer available" message thanks to: Photobucket!

I believe the longevity of this forum is one of its attributes and dusting off an old post doesn't hurt anyone.

I hope my local library doesn't decide to eliminate books that they deem to be "too old".

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, July 6, 2020 11:45 PM

PRR8259
However, since I have a personal issue with one frequent poster here, I'm just done.

Hi John,

Personally, I will be sorry to see you go especially for the reason that you state. If someone is regularly offending you then I would urge you to report the abuse to the moderators and let them deal with the situation as they see fit. If you are not satisfied with their response then by all means move on.

A few years ago there was a forum members whose constantly condescending comments offended me deeply. He was very knowledgeable, particularly with regard to DCC, but instead of sharing his knowledge to help people, he resorted to just putting them down for their lack of knowledge. I called him out on the nature of his responses. Shortly after that he quit the forums.

My point is that you don't need to put up with abuse. Don't let the abuser decide what you will do. Fight back! You will win regardless of the outcome!

Sorry if that sounds like a lecture. It was meant to be encouraging.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Attuvian on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 2:21 AM

PRR8259

However, since I have a personal issue with one frequent poster here, I'm just done.

John,

Good folks are making an effort to retain your participation.  And I'm sure that there are many others with the same sentiment that have not weighed in, at least as yet.  Don't be quick to jump ship because there's a "prickly Pete" on board.   Who knows, that current estrangement could pass perhaps not too far down the line - to the benefit of you both.  In any case, the better blessing goes to the guy who first grabs hold of the grace to at least let it ride.  Hope you'll stick around and let us benefit from what you can contribute.

(Another) John

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 3:18 AM

PRR8259
However, since I have a personal issue with one frequent poster here, I'm just done.

I know a few people have been aggravated with me from time to time. I have a very hard time properly expressing my "tone" when I type, and I sometimes sound much different than I intend.

I have no problem just skipping over the posts from people I do not want to read.

There is one poster on here that always makes great comments in the "layout building" threads, but really irritates me in the "prototype information" threads, so I do not read what he posts there.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 5:32 AM

PRR8259
However, since I have a personal issue with one frequent poster here, I'm just done.

Only one? At one time I had three on my six including one that pm'd me every time I posted a photo and told me I should stop embarrassing myself by posting photos.The other two would flame me for anything I said and like you I thought about leaving but,decided I will not run from trolls.. 

Today I'm still here and those three hombres hasn't been seen or heard from  since around  2003.

 

Larry

Conductor.

Summerset Ry.


"Stay Alert, Don't get hurt  Safety First!"

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 9:44 AM

The trolls will always exist, but stopping full threads because of them is just wrong even if it is the easy way to do it. As for the preacher man, I would love to discuss theoligy but this is the only forum I still use.

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Posted by maxman on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 9:57 AM

PRR8259
However, since I have a personal issue with one frequent poster here, I'm just done.

So, you're just going to let him "win"?

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Posted by NittanyLion on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 9:59 AM

There's a much broader trend at work.  The quick and dirty summary is: the message board model has declined across the internet as a whole.  Comment networks (like Gizmodo and SBNation) and social media platforms, combined with the large scale aggregation into Reddit, have driven that.  The message board system is increasingly confined to the enthusiast site with a long term captive audience.  Enthusiasts are less likely to be a component of one of the larger networks, unless it is a very popular general topic like Gizmodo handling Jalopnik's car coverage.  But the enthusiasts still head over to their old-style message boards if they want to talk about tuning their VW Golf.  Social media platforms do have the ability to peel off users from message boards, though, because they can handle niche topics very well.  So, even though enthusiast message boards have ridden out the changes over the last decade of internet usage, they've still felt a loss of traffic through social media.

Like message boards replacing newsgroups, so too social media will ultimately supplant message boards, because that's where the new users are going to appear.

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Posted by snjroy on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 11:27 AM

I like this forum and read it every day. It pretty much boils down to this: I like it because it's old school in the most noble sense of the term. It's mosly words, with some pictures (I don't have patience for videos...), and people are civil. Sure, discussions can heat up a bit, but the moderation is pretty much flawless in keeping things civil, at least to my taste.

I don't mind old threads being brought back. This hobby is far from being static: sometimes new techniques get mentioned. Some threads are extremely funny - I like to see them come back and laugh just as much as the first time.

Experts?  I often see non-experts find solutions here. Problems are sometimes quite complex and the contribution of many usually leads to a happy ending. But of course, the input from the advanced modellers is the jewel on the crown... thank God for them and their generous contributions.

By the way, there is an interesting Wiki page about online communities (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_community). Lots of theories, data and best practices to read about. Among other things, it says that forum users typically underestimate the number of viewers and users of their forums...

Thank you Kalmbach for hosting this site. Please tell your advertisers that I spend tons of money on Model Railroading because of this forum. All we need now is to get that Canadian dollar back up so I can spend more!

Simon (from the Great North)

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Posted by PRR8259 on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 12:05 PM

maxman
 
PRR8259
However, since I have a personal issue with one frequent poster here, I'm just done.

 

So, you're just going to let him "win"?

First, Kevin "See you 190", the person is not you.  I hope I did nothing to give you that idea.  I don't think I ever had any issue with anything that you said, really.  Nothing that I can possibly recall.

Actually, of all the people active on this particular thread so far, I can't recall any issue with any of you.  We might disagree at times, and it's still a free country, lol.

However, there is someone that I cannot get along with.  I have tried respectfully, honestly and openly to "agree to disagree" with him (to no avail), and of course all statements regarding arguing with idiots are noted.  I feel the last general topic I participated in degenerated into a most worthless topic and I have privately apologized to the original poster of that particular thread.

As I pointed out above, I actually already have contacted the moderator (well one moderator) about the person in question, and was told that the person despite being "difficult" does add some value and basically that was that.

Believe me, I tried too many times to "win" the (constant) arguments with the person in question.  That is the problem.  It added no value to these forums.  It was a waste of my time and possibly heightened blood pressure. I really don't need the aggravation.  I thank you all for the nice comments, etc.

There is no "win" for me.  So yes, I'm "letting the other guy win".

Best wishes to all of you.

John

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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 12:08 PM

For newer folks they're seeing it all for the first time, but for us more experienced folks, a great deal of what's "new" is repeats, so we spend less time on the forums.

For me the exception is the layout build and tour threads. They're always new and interesting, though I tend to skim through the construction techniques parts.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 12:20 PM

PRR8259
However, there is someone that I cannot get along with.  I have tried respectfully, honestly and openly to "agree to disagree" with him (to no avail), and of course all statements regarding arguing with idiots are noted.

Just out of curiosity, this wouldn't be a certain poster using handles of heavy equipment firms in Ohio, would it?

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Posted by Billwiz on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 12:26 PM

rrebell

The trolls will always exist, but stopping full threads because of them is just wrong even if it is the easy way to do it. As for the preacher man, I would love to discuss theoligy but this is the only forum I still use.

 

I always like a good theology discussion, but havent found a good theology forum!  

 

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Posted by PRR8259 on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 1:03 PM

Overmod
 
PRR8259
However, there is someone that I cannot get along with.  I have tried respectfully, honestly and openly to "agree to disagree" with him (to no avail), and of course all statements regarding arguing with idiots are noted.

 

Just out of curiosity, this wouldn't be a certain poster using handles of heavy equipment firms in Ohio, would it?

No.  The name represents a fictional railroad, and it is not Kevin.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 1:11 PM

My forum usage:

"General Discussion": This is my home. I love the general loose feel of the discussions, and probably 90% of my posts are in this section.

"Layout Building": I post my project builds in here, and I read everything. I occassionally give compliments for the excellent work that is shared. I don't post these much because just saying "great job" over and over again would become silly. Sometimes I have good ideas to share, but more often I ask more questions.

"DCC and Electronics": I do not read this much because I do not use DCC. Occassionally there is a thread about DC wiring/controls and I can offer a solution or help.

"Prototype Information": I read every word of these posts, and I find them fascinating. I have probably only posted a dozen or so times in these forums because I really know very little about prototype trains, but this is the most interesting section of the forums for me.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Lazers on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 2:20 PM

I like this Forum very much and wish at a long future. I think that Kalmbach & Steve Otte do a great job in providing us this outlet for sharing MRR experiences.

Years ago, long before Facebook was forced into cleaning up it's act re registration and personal data, I had a very bad experience of an attempted breach of confidential info' - via Facebook. I closed my account and told them in no uncertain terms (or language) what I thought of them. I will not go back.

However, I cannot help but wonder what the average age of this Forum Community contributors is, when compared to that of an equivalent group of Facebook users.

Being a stranger in paradise, when I consider the help, advice, info' and ideas I gained from my two most recent posts, re Boxcar dilemas, I am grateful - and to me this proves how useful and valuable this Forum is. Paul

"It's the South Shore Line, Jim - but not as we know it".

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Posted by davidmurray on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 2:38 PM

We have deaths every year, I wonder how many active (12 posts a year) there are on this forum?

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by BATMAN on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 3:58 PM

Lazers
Years ago, long before Facebook was forced into cleaning up it's act re registration and personal data, I had a very bad experience of an attempted breach of confidential info' - via Facebook. I closed my account and told them in no uncertain terms (or language) what I thought of them. I will not go back.

I have two FB accounts, one is my real name and is just for family and a couple of my closest friends. It is how my kids send my lots of photos of what they are doing when away at University. I also video chat with them several times a week.

The other is a complete alias with my wrong age that has me as a retired proffesional living in Europe. This is the one I use for all my groups I belong to where I do not do the friends thing. The knowledge to be gained on these FB groups in this hobby is amazing. I also belong to some aviation groups on it.

I can tell I throw there tracking systems for a loop as my IP address is in BC, however all my other info is Europe. I don't get any of the crap that I get on my personal page. They just don't seem to be able to target me.

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 4:07 PM

Lazers
However, I cannot help but wonder what the average age of this Forum Community contributors is, when compared to that of an equivalent group of Facebook users.

I know my oldest Grandson is a member of model railroad SIG on face book that specializes in his modeling interest.

I am a member of the following face book modeling groups, shelf layouts, prototypical operation, model railroading and Conrail.

Larry

Conductor.

Summerset Ry.


"Stay Alert, Don't get hurt  Safety First!"

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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 4:29 PM

I'm much more comfortable posting on this forum than on the social web networks. On FB, Twitter, Instragram, etc.......post your sentences the "wrong way" (especially if it's not "pc") and you might be hearing from your employer. 

I enjoy and have benefited from the wealth of good information on this forum and have had fun sharing any info that I can assist fellow modelers with.

Yes, we've had a few trolls and members with condescending attitudes. I've been trolled a few times, but learned to keep my skin thick.  Cool factor is that trolls and elitists eventually move on! Why should I leave and miss out on the positive fellowship here?

I hope that this forum continues for a long time to come. Big Smile

 

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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Posted by maxman on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 5:11 PM

PRR8259
No. The name represents

Yup!

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