New Meltdown Looming???

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Railphotog

Railroad Photographer
grande man said:
The reason I feel the "troll" thing was just an excuse is this, Troll Account + Delete = No Troll. Easy Huh? They were actually making statements that the forum might be permanently closed (over that???:rolleyes: ).
Since the MR forum is usually not monitored on the weekends and overnight, it's no big deal for these trolls to just get new IDs and continue trolling.

It happened earlier in the year when a well known dude did just that overnight, and posted all kinds of vile and racist comments, sneaking in the forum in the middle of the night. I got to read some of his messages (and copied them too) as I live in a time zone one hour before the Eastern Zone. I was reading them while others were probably still asleep.

The messages were quickly deleted when the moderator got on line a bit later. This guy has been kicked off the Atlas forum too (and others too I've read), and still posts there under a new ID but features/brags about his previous ID in his signature.

Some guys are just hard to figure out.
 

cuyama

Member
grande man said:
It's always possible that that's just my perception. It does seem that the "troll" incident was preceeded by some legit threads regarding some large advertisers and their policies. The reason I feel the "troll" thing was just an excuse is this, Troll Account + Delete = No Troll. Easy Huh? They were actually making statements that the forum might be permanently closed (over that???:rolleyes: ).
You may be remembering two things that happened at roughly the same time, but that I do not believe were related. The troll(s) were posting disgusting messages on many threads with different IDs. These included a lot of scatological and sexual references.

The only way for MR to deal with it and leave the forums running would have been to pay someone to work all weekend to clean up and monitor every post. With the volume on the MR forum, it would be a lot of work and a lot of money and woudl have created a "running battle" with the trolls that probably would have extended the life of the incident. allowing the public to view the process of the moderators trying to bring a troll attack under control is a bad choice, in my view, and many forums and bulletin boards over the years have chosen to close things down for a while to let the situation "cool off" and to permit the cleanup to be done out of the public eye, denying the trolls an additional source of jollies.

Apparently MR was considering whether the forum was worth the trouble and money when it got to that point.

[As others have pointed out, if the users on MR's forum were a little more net-savvy and knew that you must deal with trolls by ignoring them, it might not have escalated, But the MR forum members went after the trolls' bait hook, line, and sinker!]

Unlike this fine forum, MR's forum is the web presence of a large enterprise. (Maybe this one will be, too, someday, but not now). It's only because the MR forum is so high-volume that the troll(s) chose it for an attack, so their "work" could be seen by, and thus annoy, more people. MR couldn't let the offensive posting continue because they need to protect their brand.

At about the same time, a poster was complaining that his rant-thread about MR's review policy was deleted. Bergie explained that the thread was deleted because someone accused a Kalmbach employee, by name, of being on the take and "in the pocket" of advertisers. There have been many threads, before and since, that criticized MR's review policy. There's probably one running now.

Does MR always make the right decision regarding its forum? Not in my view, but I'm not paying for it. Is MR engaged in a dark conspiracy to squelch criticism? All the evidence says "no". But some people seem to enjoy conspiracy theories, so this comes up again and again.

Regards,

Byron
 
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grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
cuyama said:
Is MR engaged in a dark conspiracy to squelch criticism? All the evidence says "no". But some people seem to enjoy conspiracy theories, so this comes up again and again.

Byron, it ain't like Kalmbach shot down TWA Flt 800 or anything. :D It's just that the sequence of events seemed highly coincidental, that's all. Hopefully all this will blow over and things will get back to normal for them. Unfortunately, there are a few troublemakers over there that may not let that happen.:( I do hope the legit critisism will be looked at objectively by the Kalmbach staff and acted on. Like I said in my opening post, the editor's job is a balancing act. I wouldn't want to be in his shoes. I have problems getting more than two people to agree on a place to eat lunch...:D
 

jfugate

Modeling SP in the 1980s
Yes, the MR forum sure gets its share of ranting posters who go on and on with highly speculative theories about how MR only cares about making a profit, doesn't care about anybody but their advertisers ... yada, yada, yada.

After a while others jump on the band wagon and start saying things like ...

"Well, if that's how they are, then I'm cancelling my subscription ..."
"Well, I aint paying $8 a copy for the magazine when it gets to that price ... "
"So that's why the hobby is going to the dogs -- it's all MR's fault ... "

As if all this wild speculation was something we just saw played back from some hidden cameras at Kalmbach, and hence the gospel truth.

I don't blame Bergie for shutting down those ridiculous discussions. Things just get swirled up with ever more "Kalmbach's in bed with the devil" sort of wild nonsense. Some of those poor guys need to get a life.

And of course, when one of those goofy threads gets the axe, that just proves all the wild speculation was the absolute truth, and that Bin Laden is actually the guy in charge over at Kalmbach.

Sheesh! :rolleyes:
 

Brakie

Member
Guys,As I have mention many times MR has been sliding down hill for the last 10 years.MR is broken and it can be fixed IF the Editors chooses to listen instead of locking a topic that plainly did not agree with their view of MR problems.Of course as one guy mention MR does print a lot of "atta boy" letters and as was mention only the good ole boys and those that have a vested interest in MR can submit layout articles .Again as MR looses readers the prices will go up to that mention $8.00-9.00 price tag.Again I won't pay such a price but that is my choice.
Guys from the mid 50s to about 5 years ago I looked forward to each monthly issue..Now its look before I buy.:(
 

Brakie

Member
grande man said:
It's always possible that that's just my perception. It does seem that the "troll" incident was preceeded by some legit threads regarding some large advertisers and their policies. The reason I feel the "troll" thing was just an excuse is this, Troll Account + Delete = No Troll. Easy Huh? They were actually making statements that the forum might be permanently closed (over that???:rolleyes: ).
Speaking as a Admin on one forum and Moderator on 2 others let me assure you its not that simple..All a troll has to do is simply open a new hot mail or Yahoo account.Even if you lock his/her IP Addy there are ways to get a bogus IP Addy and the troll is good to go...:(
 

Catapult

New Member
I've noticed recently I want more articles on scratchbuilding and kitbashing than I used to. MR used to carry more of them than they do now, but they still get some in.

I wonder how much of that is on the submission end. I know they used to get more submissions for kitbashes and scratchbuilds. Art curren passed in 2000, and he was good for an article or three every year. Has anyone stepped up to replace him as a submitter? Has Wayne Weslowski been writing howtos lately?

I think that if *I* want to see more articles like theirs, *I* need to get busy and start writing. Maybe if we all submitted an article on our fave kitbash/scratchbuild/building something we'd be able to get something published, change the direction of the magazine, and (maybe...) make a few bucks on the side...

And of course if you have submitted an article like that, and were rejected, then maybe you have a right to complain...after you submit that article to another magazine ;)

Catapult
 

Brakie

Member
Catapult said:
I've noticed recently I want more articles on scratchbuilding and kitbashing than I used to. MR used to carry more of them than they do now, but they still get some in.

I wonder how much of that is on the submission end. I know they used to get more submissions for kitbashes and scratchbuilds. Art curren passed in 2000, and he was good for an article or three every year. Has anyone stepped up to replace him as a submitter? Has Wayne Weslowski been writing howtos lately?

I think that if *I* want to see more articles like theirs, *I* need to get busy and start writing. Maybe if we all submitted an article on our fave kitbash/scratchbuild/building something we'd be able to get something published, change the direction of the magazine, and (maybe...) make a few bucks on the side...

And of course if you have submitted an article like that, and were rejected, then maybe you have a right to complain...after you submit that article to another magazine ;)

Catapult
Good idea if you or I can give MR what they are looking for.. However,I suspect they receive hundreds of articles every year that was turn down for some reason..I fully believe its more then a lack of articles.
 

Railphotog

Railroad Photographer
If you submit an article to MR, be prepared to wait quite a long time to see it in print if they do accept it. In the past they've purchased material and then filed it away until there was a need for it, sometimes many years later.

I do notice MR is using some authors/photographers almost all of the time, perhaps at the expense of others who might not be as experienced. Even Trackside Photos, which at one time was a showcase for readers' models now often includes photos by their favourites. There doesn't seem to be any place for outsiders' model photos.
 

jfugate

Modeling SP in the 1980s
Interesting comments on the submissions.

I do know that anything I have suggested to MR they tell me they generally are interested in it. I'm talking articles about DCC stuff, scenery stuff, kitbashing rolling stock, whatever. They've basically told me to "knock myself out".

Having been a magazine publisher myself, I know how and article should look, so I do put a lot of effort into the submission. I try to send them something that's essentially ready to print. I study how they lay out their articles and then I emulate it in my submission. That probably helps, since it's less work for their editors to polish up the piece and make it presentable.

But this leads me to believe that they may not be flush with lots of articles on the things people on the MR forum are saying they want to see. And you can't print what you don't have. Without the likes of Gordon Odegard, Art Curren, or even Linn Westcott on your staff, it's also harder to have your staff just manufacture such articles.

What if it's us modelers that are holding out on MR, and not some diabolical plot by their editors to deep-six the magazine?
 

Brakie

Member
Joe says:What if it's us modelers that are holding out on MR, and not some diabolical plot by their editors to deep-six the magazine?
==========================================================
Joe,With all due respect I notice MR hasn't publish any articles that you may have sent in.So,if experience writers don't get publish where does that leave us that has no experience? :confused: Naw,MR has its chosen authors and always did..I can live with that.As far as the editors deep sixing the magazine I doubt if there is a plot..They are simply killing the magazine by chasing off readers by dumbing down the magazine.A fatal mistake as the hobby slowly dwindles in size.
 

cuyama

Member
Brakie said:
Joe,With all due respect I notice MR hasn't publish any articles that you may have sent in..
With all due respect, you didn't notice very diligently. Here are Joe's recent articles in MR and MRP:

Investigating the mushroom: 1
Model Railroader, January 1997 page 80

Investigating the mushroom: 2
Model Railroader, February 1997 page 110

Mushroom plan for a logging branch
Model Railroad Planning, 1998 page 46

Easy spline roadbed
Model Railroader, March 2000 page 84

Planning Tip: Locating walkaround throttle sockets
Model Railroad Planning, 2002 page 90

MR publishes material from new authors all the time. There is no giant repository of unpublished manuscripts like the warehouse scene at the end of "Indiana Jones".
 

Brakie

Member
I stand corrected even though those dates are several years old..:D
I still fully believe MR has their chosen authors that they seem to cater to..Even MR has stated a article that is sent in may or may not be publish..Are they throwing away articles since according to your statement:
"There is no giant repository of unpublished manuscripts like the warehouse scene at the end of "Indiana Jones"? I don't know..:confused:
 

jfugate

Modeling SP in the 1980s
cuyama said:
With all due respect, you didn't notice very diligently. Here are Joe's recent articles in MR and MRP:

Investigating the mushroom: 1
Model Railroader, January 1997 page 80

Investigating the mushroom: 2
Model Railroader, February 1997 page 110

Mushroom plan for a logging branch
Model Railroad Planning, 1998 page 46

Easy spline roadbed
Model Railroader, March 2000 page 84

Planning Tip: Locating walkaround throttle sockets
Model Railroad Planning, 2002 page 90

MR publishes material from new authors all the time. There is no giant repository of unpublished manuscripts like the warehouse scene at the end of "Indiana Jones".

Thanks, Byron. Somebody's paying attention. :)

The main reason they don't publish more is I don't write more. They have one of my articles now on ballasting that's slated to appear late spring, and I also sent them some video to go with it, so expect that to appear as well.

They really liked the how-to video clip that goes with the article and have asked if I could do more.

So the problem's not on their end of the pipe ... it's that I have a gazillion irons in the fire ... :rolleyes:
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
Cuyama wrote:

MR publishes material from new authors all the time. There is no giant repository of unpublished manuscripts like the warehouse scene at the end of "Indiana Jones".
I'm sure they don't have a warehouse like that, but I do know that back in the mid to late 1980's they accepted and paid me for three articles I wrote on layout concepts, modeling a prototype "mini"scene, and one on why build for a NMRA contest. (I was pursuing my author certificate at the time). To date neither of these articles have been published. Not that I mind, as the checks were greatly appreciated at the time. I have also sent them a couple of others that I have never been told if they were acceptible, were rejected, or even returned in the SSAE they required at the time.(I haven't looked at their requirements for publication since about 1992.)

There probably are more "stored" somewhere like mine. We do not know that they don't have several filing cabinets with paid for articles that have never been published.
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
I'm guessing that unless you have a well-established business relationship with a publisher, it's really a roll-of-the-dice as to whether or not an article you submit ever appears in print. They [magazine editors] probably want to maintain a large supply of ready-to-publish manuscripts, but market conditions that make an article desirable at submission time often change within a number of months/years.

In my own case, I tried submitting an article on scratchbuilding a larger version of Walthers' HO scale blast furnace, but Jim Hediger told me it was too niche-specific for such a long article - MR preferred more general-interest material. A year later, I did a manuscript on 'tweaking' the blast furnace kit to give it more of an individual 'personality.' Bill Schaumburg [at RMC] liked it so I sent him a CD with the MS-Word document and JPEG images, but haven't heard anything ever since - probably because Walthers retired their BF kit shortly thereafter. [I never did get any money from Carstens, so I guess I can still publish that one on my web site?]

I did eventually get my "author" certificate once Randy Lee published an ore boat article of mine in Model Railroading. I waited 15 months to see it in print - pretty quick turnaround from what I've learned!
 
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abcraghead

Mmmm, turbos
I don't work for MR, but.... :-D

*coughs*

There are no doubt "back articles" that have not been publshed, but if they get in print has more to do with the balance of whats already in an issue, how much space there is, etc....

Developing a working relationship with an editor helps open the doors to a pitch, but getting the article into paper itself after the check arrives is a game that has way more to do with logistics issues.

I can't speak for the editorial direction of MR. I can however say that, in general, the most common reason you do not see a certain type of article printed is because that kind of article is not on hand for them to print. So if you feel a certain topic isn't getting it's due, consider pitching that story to them and writing it yourself.
 




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