Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

forum culture

15987 views
128 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    July 2009
  • From: lavale, md
  • 4,600 posts
forum culture
Posted by gregc on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 7:22 AM

ever since i started looking at forums, i thought it would be interesting to read what a psychologist thought about them.  each seems to have it's own characteristics.   fortunately, they've found ways to prevent/discourage abusing and even inconsiderate posters.

but i see different cultures on MR forums i watch in terms of # of posts and relavence to the thread topic, as well as other, more techinical forums (e.g. Arduino Programming Questions)

what i find surprising is the large # of comments on a typical MRH thread.   i checked recently and found the average # post/thread to be 73 and not uncommon to see 200+ while threads describing someone's particular RR, started years ago have far greater comments (e.g. 800+)

i am reluctant to read a lengthy 100+ post thread which may be on a topic of interest, searching to find useful nuggets of information and gotta wonder about their value.   i wonder if some forums are more for entertainment than information.

i realize for some, a forum is a community and an outlet for social interaction and valuable to avoid isolation highlighted recently by the Surgeon General.   perhaps this forum's monthly "Diner" thread is a useful way to keep thread's focused on the topic

but like magazines, i wonder if the popularity of a forum more about the social interaction and culture than the topic of the forum

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 262 posts
Posted by AEP528 on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 7:41 AM

I can't be the only person who has noticed that the longest posts on this forum, and the ones with the most personal information, are from people who proudly state they've moved far away from urban areas and value their isolation.

Moderator
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 17,189 posts
Posted by tstage on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 9:20 AM

gregc
i wonder if some forums are more for entertainment than information.

Greg,

I think in the nearly 20 years that I've belonged to this forum, I've seen a trend more towards entertainment and away from interesting or helpful threads.  That's not to say that aren't interesting or helpful topics being posted here.  I just don't see nearly as many of them as I used to, which is sad from my perspective.

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 21,114 posts
Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 10:00 AM

We had some of these discussions regarding the 'policies and procedures' for the old steam_tech egroup, before Melissa came along and ruined things.

Kurt Greske, a self-proclaimed 'curmudgeon', noted the approach taken by the Ampex (tape-recorder) enthusiasts: their list was wild and free-wheeling, 'moderated' only by the self-control of its participants.  This worked admirably in the early days of BBS and reflectors, where the only participants were people in 'the confraternity'... and adult enough both to engage in humor and deal with those who abused the privilege.

We also consciously decided to preserve 'free speech' in posting, but also accommodate the (many) participants interested only in hard steam technology and disinterested in off-topic discussion even of associated railroading -- and in the olden days might be on dial-up connections unable to deal with people who didn't snip their posts correctly.  We dealt with this by convention -- in the subject line we put OT for off-topic subjects, and YAK for material not related either to steam technology or railroading.  This was a compromise, but to me infinitely preferable to, say, Ben Hom's PRR list, or the current B&O discussion group, where any off-topic thread is remorselessly deleted as soon as the eagle-eyed dictators spot it, usually with a caustic comment that it strayed outside the pale (note that this included, for PRR, any discussion of Penn Central as being 'off-topic'...)

You cannot rely on that today.  Something that goes unremarked is the number of spam or insincere postings that the Kalmbach moderation has to deal with each day.  We had to use mandatory initial moderation since there were a few people who actually researched steam enough to make a few credible posts before hitting the spam.  We also had quite a community of sweet young things from Cebu City in the Phillipines that I suspected were far less interested in the technology of locomotives than other things.  Deciding what to keep and what to ban involves -- and ought to involve -- careful herding of the cats who are active participants as well as 'lurkers'.

We did not have a Mike on steam_tech, like one of those 'edgy' people recently mentioned in connection with a certain high-priced cab ride auction, although we certainly had a bunch of Europeans with poor opinions on American steam practice and other things.  It's a difficult thing to balance freedom of expression with things that some users find extremely distracting if not inflammatory.  Different communities will handle that in different ways... or neglect it as expedient.

I certainly think that over the years the Kalmbach forum system has been very successful in weeding out a fairly wide range of participants.  In fact one moderator, who shall remain nameless, actually managed to get me to quit posting for a few years, and I wonder how many others just left and gave up.

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 18,255 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 10:45 AM

AEP528
I can't be the only person who has noticed that the longest posts on this forum, and the ones with the most personal information, are from people who proudly state they've moved far away from urban areas and value their isolation.

Yes. I have wondered often if these posters are actually just trying to convince themselves of something rather than have an audience for their thoughts.

What good is having it all if no one sees it... I know... I'll talk about it over and over on a choo-choo forum.

Laugh Pirate Wink

tstage
I've seen a trend more towards entertainment and away from interesting or helpful threads.  That's not to say that aren't interesting or helpful topics being posted here.

We need new blood and beginners.

When I started in here, about once ever two months some newbie would post a question about kadee couplers. The first few responses were always like "here we go again", or "why can't you use the search function".

We need to be more careful about responses to newbie posts. Just welcome them and answer the question. Don't suggest they are doing it all wrong, suggest something beyond their skills, or give them a too technical answer.

New people get the intersting discussions going.

-Kevin

Living the dream.

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Flyover Country
  • 5,325 posts
Posted by York1 on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 11:47 AM

AEP528
I can't be the only person who has noticed that the longest posts on this forum, and the ones with the most personal information, are from people who proudly state they've moved far away from urban areas and value their isolation.

 

That may, in part, refer to me.  I moved from an inner city to a rural area.  However, my reason was my three daughters, who were going into high school.

I actually have more close personal friends in this rural area than I did in the large city.

York1 John       

  • Member since
    December 2015
  • From: Shenandoah Valley
  • 9,091 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 12:08 PM

One of the reasons I joined the forum was; I was a DCC newbie, in fact I hadn't decided on DCC for sure.  Since I participate in the Diner, I have to admit it's a social experience there. 

I have no interest in posts about favorite train movies, TV or songs.  Maybe there should be an off topic subforum.

I belong to a couple of forums on groups.io and I am surprised when a newbie asks a really basic MR Question, but OT to the group, that people will rush to shout OT when a simple answer would help the OP.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: 4610 Metre's North of the Fortyninth on the left coast of Canada
  • 9,172 posts
Posted by BATMAN on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 12:45 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
AEP528
I can't be the only person who has noticed that the longest posts on this forum, and the ones with the most personal information, are from people who proudly state they've moved far away from urban areas and value their isolation.

 

Yes. I have wondered often if these posters are actually just trying to convince themselves of something rather than have an audience for their thoughts.

What good is having it all if no one sees it... I know... I'll talk about it over and over on a choo-choo forum.

 

This sounds like a couple of schoolgirls out on the playground gossiping about who is saying what. When I joined the forum 17 years ago the diner was a thriving place where you went to talk about your day. Now I see that people have opinions on what is being said and rather than not read it, complain about it. The clientele in the diner has changed a lot over the years and there have been some interesting people in there. I use to exchange PMs with several of them in years gone by. The numbers have dwindled to almost nothing, maybe it is because all of a sudden they are being judged on what they say. 

 

York1

 

 
AEP528
I can't be the only person who has noticed that the longest posts on this forum, and the ones with the most personal information, are from people who proudly state they've moved far away from urban areas and value their isolation.

 

 

That may, in part, refer to me.  I moved from an inner city to a rural area.  However, my reason was my three daughters, who were going into high school.

I actually have more close personal friends in this rural area than I did in the large city.

 

Laugh They are probably referring to me John....or both of us.Laugh You keep on posting and I'll keep on reading about your day(s) Though for how long I am not sure, the last thing I want to do is add stress to someone's life by seemingly making them read things they are free not to read.Beer

Brent

"All of the world's problems are the result of the difference between how we think and how the world works."

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Morristown, NJ
  • 790 posts
Posted by nealknows on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 2:49 PM

@Greg, I'm on both forums. Yes, there are many posts on here and the other one that can have many replies. I'm usually on them in the morning and evening, unless I'm sitting at my desk doing other things, then I'll peek again. 

For the most part I'll read the threads that I have an interest in or something that is different. As long as the people reply stay on topic, I'll keep reading. However, when it goes off topic or people talk about 'other things', then I'll stop reading.

Since the owners of the forum have made it more difficult to communicate amongst the members, I think that's where some of the 'socializing' comes out in the forums. 

Now I will say I've been guilty of this, and it's when Amhearst Train Show in January gets close. Then I ask who is going and tell them if they have time to stop by where I will be for the show. No naming of the booth, just the location, so the moderators can't say I'm advertising. 

@Kevin, I agree that we not only need new modelers on the forum, but we need to let these people ask their questions even if someone asked about it years ago. In addition, I think we need to stop telling these people their first couple posts are being moderated. That's the moderators job, and those who make that comment, IMO make them feel superior to the ones posting a question. We don't know if the poster is a true newbie and a youngster, or a seasoned modeler joining the forum so he can learn more. 

Many people who are not computer literate finally join the forums for many reasons. They probably still have a flip phone for a cell phone. Whatever they are, they are now here. Let's not scare them off from the beginning. 

So let's hear from those beginners or new folks with your thoughts and questions. That's what we're here for, right? 

Neal

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 8,606 posts
Posted by maxman on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 3:39 PM

BATMAN
The clientele in the diner has changed a lot over the years and there have been some interesting people in there. I use to exchange PMs with several of them in years gone by. The numbers have dwindled to almost nothing,

Could be that they didn't like what was on the menu, or starved to death on the imaginary food.

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Flyover Country
  • 5,325 posts
Posted by York1 on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 3:52 PM

maxman
Could be that they didn't like what was on the menu, or starved to death on the imaginary food.

 

How could anyone starve to death on the unlimited bacon, eggs, and beer, especially since it's free everytime the page changes?

York1 John       

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 2,270 posts
Posted by kasskaboose on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 4:09 PM

I worry here what a shrink would say about the comments posted here. 

Moderator
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 17,189 posts
Posted by tstage on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 8:01 PM

SeeYou190
New people get the intersting discussions going.

Why can't regulars get interesting discussions going?  I think THAT would attract new members.  Talk about projects or a layout idea you're working on.  Ask questions about problems you're running into or haven't cracked yet.  Post an interesting find or question in the Prototype forum.  Review a new locomotive or piece of rolling stock you recently purchased.  Sadly, those are the threads that typically die first.

And, sadly, there are a handful of members on the more social-type threads who either mostly or exclusively post on them and nowhere else.  While that's their preogative, it seems kind of a waste to me.  Everyone has something to offer the forum community that they've gleaned through their modeling experiences on a given topic or topics - however significant or insignficant that experience may be.

I've found there is always something to learn and I don't care who I learn it from.  I'm also not shy about sharing what I've found works for me.

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
    August 2011
  • From: A Comfy Cave, New Zealand
  • 6,035 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Thursday, June 15, 2023 4:36 AM
I have from time to time, whilst browsing other forums, read that some consider this forum is for beginners, and also tolerates oddballs who don’t take the hobby seriously enough! If that is the case, I’m not at all sure where I fit in the scheme of things! Anyhow,“sticks and stones…” 
 
One thing I haven’t managed to figure out though is the members of this forum who will readily spring to print criticising “The Diner,” and other “social topics” which pop up from time to time, that to their reasoning detract from the forum. It’s a similar situation to like those ffolkes who complain about TV programmes, yet don’t realise that they have control of the “Off switch”! 
 
I should ask my psychologist daughter the whys and wherefores, but personally think some ffolkess aren’t happy unless they have something to whinge about, especially if other ffolkes are enjoying themselves.

gregc
...i wonder if the popularity of a forum more about the social interaction and culture than the topic of the forum

I lurked on this forum for some time before I joined to ask a question regarding a particular prototype practice. To which I did receive satisfactory replies, and as a result have stuck around learning more, making some hopefully useful contributions, and freely acknowledging that I have made some contributions that are not!
  
The social interaction was an unexpected, yet satisfying bonus.
 
¼ My 2 Cents Cheers, the Bear.Smile

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

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Flyover Country
  • 5,325 posts
Posted by York1 on Thursday, June 15, 2023 7:40 AM

tstage
And, sadly, there are a handful of members on the more social-type threads who either mostly or exclusively post on them and nowhere else.  While that's their preogative, it seems kind of a waste to me. 

 

Again, I guess this would be about me and several others.  I post mainly in the Diner on topics not related to railroading.  Occasionally I post on other threads when I feel like I can contribute, but that's not often.

I had never considered that the Diner could bother some people.  Sorry about that.  I appreciate the Diner for the friends I've made there.

York1 John       

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Heart of Georgia
  • 5,376 posts
Posted by Doughless on Thursday, June 15, 2023 8:39 AM

York1

 

 
tstage
And, sadly, there are a handful of members on the more social-type threads who either mostly or exclusively post on them and nowhere else.  While that's their preogative, it seems kind of a waste to me. 

 

 

Again, I guess this would be about me and several others.  I post mainly in the Diner on topics not related to railroading.  Occasionally I post on other threads when I feel like I can contribute, but that's not often.

I had never considered that the Diner could bother some people.  Sorry about that.  I appreciate the Diner for the friends I've made there.

 

FWIW, when I read the Diner, I think you post more railroady things than many of the regulars.

But I don't think the OP is talking about the Diner per se...one thread devoted to more nonrailroady topics.

I think he's probably commenting on the fact that the Diner thread is always by far the most populated thread, which is indicative of the forum's culture as a whole.  The lack of other popular threads more MR related.  Just my opinion of what his opinion is, in a nutshell.

- Douglas

  • Member since
    March 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 11,414 posts
Posted by dknelson on Thursday, June 15, 2023 10:19 AM

When the whole idea of the Kalmbach trains Forums (and similar forums) was bright and new, it was pretty exciting because of the speed with which a question or a topic could generate comment, pictures, tutorials, interesting links.  It was being compared to the ponderous speed of the magazine world where January's question finally got a response in April.  That was also a time when the internet it self was still a novelty and there were train enthusiasts and modelers who spent huge amounts of time posting information that otherwise would be almost impossible to track down.

Now it is old hat and we are getting jaded.  So there is not much use wishing it would be like it used to be, because the whole environment has changed.

Now there was of course a downside to that early era.  There were certain immature individuals who found that if they posted naughty words on a Friday evening they wouldn't get taken down until Monday morning.  That was very tiresome.  Those sorts of people now have, shall we say, other outlets for their adolescent enthusiasms.  

And certain habits of mind -- I guess you could call it Forum Culture -- got started early on and have lasted a long time.   There was and sometimes still is excessive vehemence if in some way the "unwritten rules" are violated.  At one time people would get pounced on if they asked a question or posted a topic that had already been covered.  Maybe that made sense when the Forums were new and that prior post was just months ago.  Now that this forum has tens of thousands of topics, and over two decades of postings, it gets harder and harder to find out if it is new or not, but that is still a pounceable offense it seems.  I think this created a fear of posting anything unfortunately.

Another pounceable offense was reviving an old thread even if it meant making that thread a more complete and more accurate discussion of the topic at hand.  There seems to be less fury about reviving old threads these days but not so long ago, it was cause for public shaming.  Again the result was to create still another needless fear about posting.

And most ironic of all is that those two punishable offenses contradict each other.  If you say, don't start a new thread when one already exists but then also say, don't add to an existing thread if it is old enough to constitute a revival, instead start a new thread .....  well -- OK, now what?  

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 18,255 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, June 15, 2023 10:25 AM

On most of the newer threads about model railroading I have not had much to add to the conversation.

My areas of experience are:

N scale 30 years ago.

DC wiring and control.

Detail painting and figure painting.

Craftsman kit and scratchbuilt structures.

Benchwork construction.

Scenery.

Crazy character-filled models with no prototype at all.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

I am no good at track planning, I am not fluent in anything DCC related, and I do not understand signalling.

I try to only post answers based on real experience and what I have learned from actually building things. I shy away from theoretical discussions.

I like to share pictures of what I have done even though my modelling is not as good as others that share. The environment of shared modelling is one of my favorite features of this forum.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

I lurked on this forum for some time before I joined to ask a question regarding a particular prototype practice.

I did not lurk here long before I joined.

However, I have been lurking on a photography forum for over a decade learning and harvesting ideas and techniques.

I do not have anywhere near enough experience or ability to contribute to that group.

-Kevin

Living the dream.

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Heart of Georgia
  • 5,376 posts
Posted by Doughless on Thursday, June 15, 2023 11:48 AM

SeeYou190
DC wiring and control. Detail painting and figure painting. Craftsman kit and scratchbuilt structures. Benchwork construction. Scenery. Crazy character-filled models with no prototype at all.

I think your comment speaks to some of the reasons for a changing culture.  Most of what you listed was pretty common tasks 20 years ago.  Now, tasks seem to be more specific.

With RTR models and specific details, the generic..."how do I add grab irons to a diesel locomotive" doesn't get asked much anymore.  Common questions have been balkanized into a bunch of niche questions...and therefore less popular as a whole.   

And more variety of everything, with people settling into methods that are not as universally common as before.  A question about operating trains could cover DC to Arduino......separating into a bunch of niche topics.

When I look at the front page of the General Discussions section, its usually a lot of niche type of threads, many of which I'm not interested in.

If there was a discussion about the best way to add FRA stripes to turn a circa 2005 car into something more appropriate for 2015, I'd probably participate in that thread.  Very niche though.

- Douglas

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Southern California
  • 1,682 posts
Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Thursday, June 15, 2023 1:08 PM

My main activity here is looking at pictures of people's models and layouts. That has always been one of the things that attracted me to model railroading in the first place. I am far more interested in the models than in real life railroading. So keep posting about your layouts and your models. I would like to see more of them posted here.

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 21,260 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, June 15, 2023 5:36 PM

How much of the difference between this forum and others is because of our age?  I think we're still learning social skills as we get older, skills that many in the younger generation,  despite their computer literacy have not yet mastered.

It took a while for me to get into the "social" aspects of the Diner, but now, I spend as much time there as anywhere.  I think the other threads have become slower and less popular over the years, but I still read many just to see what people are up to.  I still contribute occasionally,  although I haven't bought anything new in a lot of years and my knowledge base, once pretty good, is no longer up to date.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    February 2021
  • 1,076 posts
Posted by crossthedog on Thursday, June 15, 2023 5:57 PM

The value I get out of this forum is that when I am confronted with the next new aspect of the hobby -- first it was track planning, then benchwork, then track laying, soldering, wiring, and on and on -- I can ask how you fellas have done it (or how you wish you had done it) and I always get "actionable intelligence" pretty quickly.

The diner doesn't interest me that much, but it might if my life moved at a slower rate. The photo threads are great but I don't feel much like contributing because you've all seen my little loop a million times and until I build my town and get to creating some scenery it just doesn't seem worth sharing -- despite very gracious urgings from members to post photos anyway.

I also dip into most threads that promise to be of a how-to nature if I think that it may be an issue I might encounter someday. And I like to keep abreast of problems that people have with specific products. So for me the big draw is the availability of several centuries' worth of combined modelling experience.

-Matt 

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

  • Member since
    September 2011
  • 6,366 posts
Posted by MidlandMike on Thursday, June 15, 2023 8:56 PM

I followed the Trains forum for years, but didn't folow the MR forum as I was more of an armchair modeler.  Then I found myself as the moderator of a youth model railroad club.  Suddenly I had questions about the best way of attaching roadbed and track, and got them quickly answered after asking on this forum.  I now get lots of info on this forum.  I think a lot of different people get a lot of varied value from these threads and it's hard to second guess what they get out of it.

  • Member since
    June 2002
  • 564 posts
Posted by drgwcs on Thursday, June 15, 2023 11:55 PM

I just have to comment this about the diner (which I mainly lurk in.) It reminds me of our railroad club. The most popular room is our club room where we just sit and talk. Half the time it's not about trains either. It's often far more popular than running trains and there are guys in there that run a train about a couple of times a year. So the diner isn't all that unusual....Big Smile 

  • Member since
    July 2009
  • From: lavale, md
  • 4,600 posts
Posted by gregc on Friday, June 16, 2023 10:05 AM

MisterBeasley
How much of the difference between this forum and others is because of our age?

certainly there are forums that attract younger people, but my observations are about MR forums

the MR electronics forum has an average of 8.3 comments / thread.  MR protoype 13.4, MR layout 18.9.   the MR general discuss forum has 62.5, but only 22.3 if the Diner and Snow Plow threads are ignored.

as mentioned, the MRH forum has 73 comments/thread.  i'm not sure how much these averages depend on the size of the community.

it seems the more technical forums have fewer comments but unless there's a particular forum/thread (e.g. Diner) for off-topic comments, any forum may have more comments due to social interaction

 

i also particpate in the Arduino Programming Questions forum.   i think there are many retirees who particpate, possibly seeking social activity.   (i think of it as a puzzle)  many provide well focused and educational comments.    others seem to make more general suggestions without providing specifics which i'm not google wouldn't have been just as helpful.

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Big Blackfoot River
  • 2,783 posts
Posted by Geared Steam on Friday, June 16, 2023 11:23 AM

tstage

 

 
 

Why can't regulars get interesting discussions going?  I think THAT would attract new members.  Talk about projects or a layout idea you're working on.  Ask questions about problems you're running into or haven't cracked yet.  Post an interesting find or question in the Prototype forum.  Review a new locomotive or piece of rolling stock you recently purchased.  Sadly, those are the threads that typically die first.

And, sadly, there are a handful of members on the more social-type threads who either mostly or exclusively post on them and nowhere else.  While that's their preogative, it seems kind of a waste to me.  Everyone has something to offer the forum community that they've gleaned through their modeling experiences on a given topic or topics - however significant or insignficant that experience may be.

I've found there is always something to learn and I don't care who I learn it from.  I'm also not shy about sharing what I've found works for me.

Tom

 

 Because there are a few members here that will fillibuster a good thread with their opinion(s) and not stop until everyone either gives in or just stops posting on the subject. Regardless of what many believe is useful information, is not, especially after the same infomation is posted over and over for years, so much that we already know what the next reply will say. There's a fine line between useful information, and self serving egotistical members who are not open to new ways or technology. I browse the DCC forum every now and then, but since Randy (RIP) is gone I have found less interesting subjects to engage in. 

Take it or leave it, I probably wouldnt notice if this forum disappeared tomorrow, forums have taken a backseat to other social media thats available. Thats where the new and young modelers are, not so much here.

"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination."-Albert Einstein

http://gearedsteam.blogspot.com/

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Heart of Georgia
  • 5,376 posts
Posted by Doughless on Friday, June 16, 2023 11:44 AM

Geared Steam

 

 
tstage

 

 
 

Why can't regulars get interesting discussions going?  I think THAT would attract new members.  Talk about projects or a layout idea you're working on.  Ask questions about problems you're running into or haven't cracked yet.  Post an interesting find or question in the Prototype forum.  Review a new locomotive or piece of rolling stock you recently purchased.  Sadly, those are the threads that typically die first.

And, sadly, there are a handful of members on the more social-type threads who either mostly or exclusively post on them and nowhere else.  While that's their preogative, it seems kind of a waste to me.  Everyone has something to offer the forum community that they've gleaned through their modeling experiences on a given topic or topics - however significant or insignficant that experience may be.

I've found there is always something to learn and I don't care who I learn it from.  I'm also not shy about sharing what I've found works for me.

Tom

 

 

 

 Because there are a few members here that will fillibuster a good thread with their opinion(s) and not stop until everyone either gives in or just stops posting on the subject. Regardless of what many believe is useful information, is not, especially after the same infomation is posted over and over for years, so much that we already know what the next reply will say. There's a fine line between useful information, and self serving egotistical members who are not open to new ways or technology. I browse the DCC forum every now and then, but since Randy (RIP) is gone I have found less interesting subjects to engage in. 

Take it or leave it, I probably wouldnt notice if this forum disappeared tomorrow, forums have taken a backseat to other social media thats available. Thats where the new and young modelers are, not so much here.

 

Really? Those few (or is it one) poster drives you away from an entire thread, or even forum?  Since I know what they are going to say, I usually pass over the comment like I do when I read anything when I know the outcome. 

I don't watch a movie when I know how its going to end (unless I like it), but I don't stop watching movies or boycott a specific channel just because that movie is shown a lot.

I think other forums probably gather members because of the subject matter being discussed. Afterall, social media is just words on a screen and a keyboard.

I've always thought that this forum was heavily dominated by steam and transistion era interests, so I don't participate in it as much as I used to.

- Douglas

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Heart of Georgia
  • 5,376 posts
Posted by Doughless on Friday, June 16, 2023 11:48 AM

gregc
the MR electronics forum has an average of 8.3 comments / thread.  MR protoype 13.4, MR layout 18.9.   the MR general discuss forum has 62.5, but only 22.3 if the Diner and Snow Plow threads are ignored. as mentioned, the MRH forum has 73 comments/thread.  i'm not sure how much these averages depend on the size of the community.

That's interesting.  I'd guess the difference is due to the size of the community.  Which is probably related to content.

It may be related to how easy it is to post pictures.  A technical thread probably benefits from images over a long string of sentences.  Thereby inviting more "how to" threads and threads with specific modeling interests to discuss.

- Douglas

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 21,260 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, June 16, 2023 3:42 PM

Don't forget that we have lost valued and knowledgeable members who shared their expertise and artistry with us.  Most of those whose names appear on the Diner's RIP Track were known to many of us, and some of them are kind of irreplaceable.  The Electronics and DCC forum was a much busier place while Randy was around, for example.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: 4610 Metre's North of the Fortyninth on the left coast of Canada
  • 9,172 posts
Posted by BATMAN on Friday, June 16, 2023 4:00 PM

Randy was very kind and more importantly for me a patient educator. We exchanged many emails as he tried to help me to get my electrons moving the way they should. 

Whether it is the diner or any other thread, we have an international audience here and a vast array of personalities. Occasionally we get a self-appointed policeman that thinks the forum should operate "in his image". No one is making us read what is posted here, if a particular poster gets your back up, don't read their post, it is just that easy.

Brent

"All of the world's problems are the result of the difference between how we think and how the world works."

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!