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Why do lurkers lurk?

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Posted by Engi1487 on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 3:44 PM

RR_Mel

 
We also have a lot of posting done by those that should be lurkers and not posting just to see if they can stir the pot.

 

Mel



 
My Model Railroad   
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.

 



Any examples of this behavour and why Mel? I was mistaken for a troll when I first joined this forum, when though I was just asking questions and getting used to using a forum, so I hope I am not an example of a lurker.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 3:56 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
but I don't even know what VRF is,

Sorry, I was lurking this afternoon and just seen this.  Yep, Virtual Rail Fan, I know Henry enjoys them to.

Now, back to lurking. Smile, Wink & Grin

Mike.

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Posted by selector on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 5:30 PM

We might need to consider individual's circumstances as well.  Even those with a great deal of experience and who have a pretty nifty layout up and running might be exhausted by the time they crawl to their laptop or PC after whatever dinner they can cobble together, and they simply do not want to get embroiled in lengthy debates, or even to place themselves where they have to argue with someone for some reason.  In a forum where there is healthy debate, threads get lengthy, sometimes a bit testy, and who needs to get into a 36 hour response cycle where you say several versions of, "Well, it worked for me?"  I could see people "on the margin's" of whatever current crisis is taking place struggling to keep up, let alone jumping into protracted discussions about the state of the hobby, or about our hosts' software.

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Posted by PRR8259 on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 6:42 PM

Online posts do not adequately convey tone.

I'm tired of certain model train forums where seemingly every single discussion devolves, and there are certain people who to me just exude stress, which I just don't need.

So, whatever, I won't be posting very much anymore anywhere.  I may come on for a quick look, but...

John Mock

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Posted by danno54 on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 7:33 PM

Many of the lurkers, like myself, are probably here to gather information. This site is a wealth of information. A simple search can usually answer any concern I may have. I don't feel the need to chime in at every turn. Is lurking a problem of some sort?

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Posted by The Milwaukee Road Warrior on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 7:33 PM

BigDaddy

So why not post more?  Have you been met with unkind responses?   Are there just too many guru's here?  Like my other forums, are you just not here very much?  Are most of the threads of no interest to your?

Where to start.. my posting tends to be seasonal, as in: when I'm on my winter break from work I tend to post more.  Other times of the year its sporadic.  Now and then.  Months may go by and I'm just too busy.  If I were retired or without younger kids I would be around more.

Secondly, I was out of the hobby for a loooooong time and have lots of questions and so I find myself reading more than commenting.

Thirdly, regarding "unkind responses": yes, I have had them.  It's part of life and sometimes people have a bad day and make a snarky remark.  I can live with that.  

What was over-the-top disturbing to me was a forum member that last year took insane objection to the line of one of my posts and insulted me.  Totally unnecessary.  

I had simply shared something that I thought was humorous that other modelers would also get a laugh out of.  

This particular person had apparently lost their sense of humor a long time ago (or their ability to live-and-let-live) and was outraged that I would try to inject humor into the hobby ... because he didn't find the same thing to be amusing; as if he alone were the arbiter of what is and isn't worth a chuckle.  Hmm

Anyway, I had previously set up a Flickr account to share photos of my layout progress and within a day or two of this unpleasantness I was sent a message on Flickr that someone (don't know who, but obviously from this forum) "liked" my Flickr account and wanted to link up.  The page in question was loaded with all sorts of pornography.  It was disgusting.

As a result I had to deactivate and cancel my Flickr page to be on the safe side.

It's a shame people can't just move on from things that they either aren't interested in, or topics they don't like in forums, but rather, feel it necessary to still post and "set you right."  

Seriously, if you don't like a topic just move along. 

 

 

 

 

Andy

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Milwaukee native modeling the Milwaukee Road in 1950's Milwaukee.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 8:43 PM

OP here.

The Milwaukee Road Warrior
Anyway, I had previously set up a Flickr account to share photos of my layout progress and within a day or two of this unpleasantness I was sent a message on Flickr that someone (don't know who, but obviously from this forum) "liked" my Flickr account and wanted to link up. The page in question was loaded with all sorts of pornography.

That's one that's never happened to me. Big SmileBig SmileBig Smile  I do get that on email, and facebook.  On facebook I had a week of requests from people, who, not only could I not pronounce their names, I couldn't pronounce any of their "friends" names.

It is tragic that people feel unwelcome by hostile answers.  If I see a first post by a newby, I always Welcome them to the forum. 

My inclination is to help people, but sometimes I have been spectacularly wrong.  The forum gurus set me straight and I end up knowing more than I did before.  To Mel's point there are some people that spew garbage.  Isn't that true of every forum on everything? 

There are a lot of threads that go on far beyond their usefulness.  There are others that  maybe important to real railroad, but have nothing to do with MR.

Don't write off VRF.  On Strasburg, you see Strasburg, on the other cameras you see schnabel cars, WW2 hospital ward cars, nuclear waste cars and all sorts of stuff.

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 8:52 PM

BigDaddy
It is tragic that people feel unwelcome by hostile answers.  If I see a first post by a newby, I always welcome them to the forum. 

Thank you Henry.

We need lots of participants here, and your effort to welcome newcomers is greatly appreciated.

Engi1487
I was mistaken for a troll when I first joined this forum, when though I was just asking questions and getting used to using a forum.

I never thought you were a troll. I think a lot of it was misunderstanding of your old user name and the misinterpretation of a couple of your early questions.

In the four years I have been here, there have only been two real trolls, and one borderline troll, that I know of.

I hope you feel welcome now.

The Milwaukee Road Warrior
Thirdly, regarding "unkind responses": yes, I have had them.

I have made responses where my tone has been misinterpreted. I have begun to use more emojis now, and I am trying to write in a less rigid style.

My old employer had strict writing guidelines for emails and public posts, and I wrote like that for decades. It is beginning to fade now.

-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 The Milwaukee Road Warrior on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:27 PM

Good point Kevin.  I think most people have been burned once or twice when misinterpreting the tone of an email or text.  You learn pretty quick to try to assume the best of others unless they give you a reason to think otherwise.  I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt and not judge motives in a knee-jerk fashion.

Andy

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Milwaukee native modeling the Milwaukee Road in 1950's Milwaukee.

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Posted by PRR8259 on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 10:56 PM

Most people are relatively civil on here, though there have been a few who got offended by something I said and vice versa.  My post was primarily directed at non-MR forums, which have a tendency to get much more heated than here.

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Posted by "JaBear" on Thursday, January 14, 2021 3:59 AM
I lurked for a couple of years before I even joined the Forum, and then I only joined to ask a specific question, and while I didn’t get the 100% answer, I felt welcomed enough to join in, though having read Dave Nelson’s post about Abraham Lincoln, in hindsight I should have perhaps said nothing at all!
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by NorthBrit on Thursday, January 14, 2021 4:22 AM

 

 

And if nobody said anything?

 

David

To the world you are someone.    To someone you are the world

I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought

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Posted by danno54 on Thursday, January 14, 2021 7:04 AM

"We also have a lot of posting done by those that should be lurkers and not posting just to see if they can stir the pot."

My definition of a "troll".^^^ 

Another site I am much more active on has a number of newer guys that troll it just to annoy members. Always with a snarky answer and never any input regarding the old car interests of the site. This appears to be a millenial and younger thing. Real keyboard commandos but never attend any of the car shows to meet the gang.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, January 14, 2021 7:10 AM

danno54
 Real keyboard commandos

Laugh  That's a good one, I'll have to remember that! Laugh

Mike.

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Posted by trwroute on Thursday, January 14, 2021 7:27 AM

Now that I'm mostly retired, I plan to post more.  Problem is, I don't have an opinion on every topic, so I only post when I feel that I can actually help. 

This is the only board that I post to, and there is a good reason for that.  This place has the best mix of beginner to expert.  Keeps things interesting.

Chuck - Modeling in N, HO scales and anything narrow gauge

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Posted by JoeinPA on Thursday, January 14, 2021 9:05 AM

I lurk to learn and post when I feel I can contribute.

Joe

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Posted by Soupy on Thursday, January 14, 2021 9:14 AM

Posting when you feel you can contribute is a very good comment.  Some folks, not on this forum, only like to see themselves in print. It drives me nuts when product questions on Amazon are answered, "I don't know." Why bother to post if you don't know.

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Posted by Engi1487 on Thursday, January 14, 2021 10:15 AM

SeeYou190
Engi1487
I was mistaken for a troll when I first joined this forum, when though I was just asking questions and getting used to using a forum.

 

I never thought you were a troll. I think a lot of it was misunderstanding of your old user name and the misinterpretation of a couple of your early questions.

In the four years I have been here, there have only been two real trolls, and one borderline troll, that I know of.

I hope you feel welcome now.

 

 -Kevin
 



Hi, Kevin. I had never joined a forum before, so ya my rather long username made me look bad. On reddit and other forums user names in many cases sent to be rather long and overacurated.

I have doing better on the forum since I asked Kalmbach to change, it and feel welcome, so no worried there Kevin.

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Posted by selector on Thursday, January 14, 2021 2:00 PM

trwroute

...  Problem is, I don't have an opinion on every topic, so I only post when I feel that I can actually help... 

 

I wouldn't call that a problem. It's a good quality, and probably one that more of us should emulate. Big Smile

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Posted by energizer on Friday, January 15, 2021 1:07 AM
I'm new here. I'm on here every night reading most of the post. when I can't find the answer I will ask. The guys here are great with information.
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Posted by SD70Dude on Friday, January 15, 2021 4:43 AM

JoeinPA

I lurk to learn and post when I feel I can contribute.

Joe

Same here.  Quality over quantity.....

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by PM Railfan on Friday, January 15, 2021 9:24 PM

Not sure if i like the term lurker, when one really is just reading for informative reasons. Lurker, has connotations of bad behavior.

I post more than read cuz i just love running my big mouth i guess. If i didnt post, then id have to talk to myself. You can imagine how fun that would be.

 

Honestly Occifer, im not loitering.

PMR

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Posted by York1 on Friday, January 15, 2021 9:35 PM

Soupy
Posting when you feel you can contribute is a very good comment.  Some folks, not on this forum, only like to see themselves in print. It drives me nuts when product questions on Amazon are answered, "I don't know." Why bother to post if you don't know.

 

I've thought the same thing.

Another thing like that are people who rate something one star, and then write that they haven't used the product yet.

York1 John       

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, January 15, 2021 9:55 PM

I lurk more now than I used to or maybe a better way to put it is I don't comment as much as I used to.  I joined several forums because I have been a modeler for 50 years, have a civil engineering degree, and 37 years experience in the operating department of a railroad.  My own hobby interests are a bit niche, so I am on forums more to answer questions than ask them.  I have had a unique set of experiences and I think I have information to share.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by VaCentralRwy on Saturday, January 16, 2021 6:12 AM

1)   Quality over quantity in posts.

2)   Consider that 98+% of much of "sports talk" radio is listened to by people who never call in. There's a lot who look in to see what's going on

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Posted by Ian R. on Saturday, January 16, 2021 2:59 PM

The primary reason I visit this and other model railroad forums is to educate myself by reading topics of interest and those related to a problem I may be trying to solve. I read much more than I post, something akin to listening more than talking. We all learn more that way.

When I do post (save for rare replies to others' queries), it's always with a very specific need, idea or problem in mind (typically technical), one for which I'm seeking a specific, direct answer. I try to write clearly enough so that there's no doubt as to what the question is (e.g., If I do "A" will it work? Or, Is "B" a better solution? It's, in essence, a "yes" or "no" question). Sure, there is more than one way to skin a cat or cook good BBQ, and such a question can assuredly be answered either way, followed perhaps by some elaboration as to why or why not and/or hopefully, a workable solution to the problem. But almost always, the latter is lacking.

However, 95% of the replies I receive are a combination of posters talking about themselves or, at best, related to the question by a factor of light years. I've come to call that the "Hey, look at me" Facebook syndrome. The most egregious such reply I've received occurred on another forum. Regarding a new product in which I was interested, I asked if anyone had used it and how well it performed. Simple. One responder proceeded to tell me how he had built such a product himself. Nothing more. To that, I and a third forum member replied that the question was "How well it performs, not how to make one." The reply was, "I did."

So now, I've opted to be more of a reader-learner and infrequent (due mostly to lack of expertise) educator and strictly limit the questions I pose.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, January 16, 2021 3:32 PM

Ian R.
So now, I've opted to be more of a reader-learner and infrequent (due mostly to lack of expertise) educator and strictly limit the questions I pose.

So you ask questions, don't get the answers you expected, and that makes you stop asking questions?  That would be the time to post again saying some polite or not version of "that wasn't what I asked; how well did xxxxx work when you used it" -- and then using the delete key on email reflectors or backspace on forums if you then see further Facegotistic posts that ignore the honing-in.  That they don't get it shouldn't damage your ability to get it.

I have the problem, fueled by the relatively long absence of a functioning community-search feature, of someone who asks a less-well-defined question about doing something (often because they don't know either best practice or alternatives yet), and I include all sorts of details and issues about doing it to have everything including the caveats and 'gotcha' details in one place for reference.  Many people don't like this, and I'll be among the first to cheerily admit that I have the New Yorker's tendency to stack contingency plans on top of contingency plans, define exactly what to do when you won't have time to think about it, and not have to make mistakes you only suffer and don't learn from.  As a case in point: I had someone staying with me in the '80s who was trying to get herself established in theatre -- that meant she was riding the bus from suburbs into upper Manhattan and taking the subway to get to midtown.  I gave her specific instructions on where to go, where to stand on the platform, how to be in the second door of the second car going downtown and the first door of the third car uptown ... she started complaining about the overcomplication.  Then she actually rode the train, and found the stairwells right opposite the door to be ahead of the cattle call, and the exit to the street up and around a corner rather than the length of a platform the wrong way from where she wanted to go.  

Of course this presumes that the advice is sound.  I try at least to make any advice I give objective and reproduceable, rather than opinionated or habit, but I suspect I fail some proportion of the time (for which I only say, 'ignore me next time if it bothers you!).  

(Incidentally: one sure way to keep me out of a thread is to tell me (politely or otherwise) to butt out.  As I said, I'm from New York, where that is how people who respect each other talk, and from New Jersey where chop-busting is almost a cultural ritual.  So if you find it distracting -- say so.  I'm not above redacting posts if I misunderstand the point, too -- so say so if so.  

We're all friends here -- or ought to be.

 

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Posted by Bayfield Transfer Railway on Saturday, January 16, 2021 7:27 PM

Maybe because they don't have anything to say?

I realize not having anything to say doesn't stop a lot of people from speaking up.

 

Disclaimer:  This post may contain humor, sarcasm, and/or flatulence.

Michael Mornard

Bringing the North Woods to South Dakota!

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Posted by Harrison on Saturday, January 16, 2021 7:51 PM

I used to spend a lot of time on this forum, and made plenty of posts. Now I visit quite frequently (usually at least once a day), but I simply don't have the time to reply to people or make posts. I would if I had more time, but I would much rather spend that half hour in the basement making some progress on a model.

Harrison

Homeschooler living In upstate NY a.k.a Northern NY.

Modeling the D&H in 1978.

Route of the famous "Montreal Limited"

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Posted by CGW103 on Saturday, January 16, 2021 8:02 PM

Bayfield Transfer Railway

Maybe because they don't have anything to say?

 

As Mark Twain said, better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

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