The Effect of the MR Forum Closing

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


modelbob

Administrator
> I'll disagree slightly in that I think Kalmbach is to be
> encouraged to do more online, not less.

I was reffering to RMC and all the others that have chosen to not have an online presence at all, rather than doing it in an under-funded and part time fashion. If they don't have the staff and funds to do it right, choosing to not do it may well be a good choice for them.

> For beginners to model railraoding and to online forums,
> the MR forum has a role to play.

Yes, I totally agree. I'd like to see us get big enough to be comparable to them some day, but I know they're not going to go away, nor should they. I read more than one model railroad magazine, there's no reason folks can't visit more than one forum.

> When this forum does get bigger and the Trolls and the ridiculous
> "what color is your train room?" posts start rolling in, I hope it will
> not be too great a burden on you and your helpers.

We've had plenty of practice for that kind of stuff over at RailroadForums.com. It's a fine line to walk, and yes people will complain. But overall I think we do it pretty well.

One thing we do is to create a variety of categories and topics. If "off the wall stuff" is placed in a certain category, folks who aren't interested can ignore it while those that are can still view it. There are plenty of other options too.

Thanks,
Bob
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
On the board I worked on we had an ignore button. If you did not want to see posts from a certain person, you could push ignore and never see another word from them.
 

modelbob

Administrator
SpaceMouse said:
On the board I worked on we had an ignore button. If you did not want to see posts from a certain person, you could push ignore and never see another word from them.
Click on the user name at the top left of the message and click on "view public profile". When the profile opens, look for the link that says "Add (member name) to Your Ignore List" Click that, and you'll not be notified or see new posts from that member.
 
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dthurman

Guest
modelbob said:
Click on the user name at the top left of the message and click on "view public profile". When the profile opens, look for the link that says "Add (member name) to Your Ignore List" Click that, and you'll not be notified or see new posts from that member.
What if they start a topic? How does that work for people that would answer the thread and you have them in ignore? seems like an odd conversation would ensue ;)
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
On the board I worked on we had an ignore button. If you did not want to see posts from a certain person, you could push ignore and never see another word from them.
Ok let's see, if I click on your username, it takes me to your PUBLIC PROFILE page and I click on "Add SpaceMouse to Your Ignore List " then I won't see your posts anymore, that what you mean?
No not gonna do that! I think I'll add you to my "BUDDY LIST" then I'll see everything you post :D :D :D :D :D :) :cool:

LOL
Willis
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
CBCNSfan said:
Ok let's see, if I click on your username, it takes me to your PUBLIC PROFILE page and I click on "Add SpaceMouse to Your Ignore List " then I won't see your posts anymore, that what you mean?
No not gonna do that! I think I'll add you to my "BUDDY LIST" then I'll see everything you post :D :D :D :D :D :) :cool:

LOL
Willis
I'll be danged! This place is good.
 

modelbob

Administrator
> I too, have paged through MR since I was a little shaver.

Same here, and I'm not going to stop any time soon. I've been reading them for well over 30 years now. I highly respect Kalmbach and what they do for the hobby and industry. I also have no illusions my forum will be larger than the one they run, if for no other reason than all the publicity they get in Model Railroader. The good news is that there are plenty of people on the internet, and you don't have to choose just one forum, so there's room for both of us, and others as well.

> But I feel that with the coming of the Information Age,
> that internet forums have brought people together.

Yes, it's an incredible way to get together and talk about your hobby and ask questions etc. Back in the old days, if you wanted to interact with Kalmbach, or any other magazine, you wrote a letter to the editor, hoped they chose it from the huge volume they got, and waited months for a reply/answer.

Here you usually wait less than a day for a reply, and often get many replies, including various options and opinions.

> In my view, Bob has one of the hottest rail forums on
> the 'net, both prototype and model. He is among the
> pioneers of a new generation, just as Al Kalmbach was
> seventy years ago.

Thanks for the compliment. I'm not sure I deserve the comparision, but I guess there is some truth to it. What we can do here now was unthinkable even a few years ago. The staff and I have worked very hard to improve things and offer an enjoyable place to spend time oline. I have some ideas on where it might go in the future, things like posting videos and maybe even exchanging 3D files for creating models on your home object creation machine, but who knows what the future holds?

I also wonder if programs like Microsoft Train Simulator will become even more popular, or just be a passing fad. In any case, it's going to be an interesting ride.
 
D

dthurman

Guest
I see a merge of the layout and the PC as times progress, possibly a video window to ride the train and control it. All the pieces are there, just someone to write it and a manufacture to get the cameras to be more macro in their view. Hmm I may have just given away a patent :(
 

modelbob

Administrator
SpaceMouse said:
I'll be danged! This place is good.
Thank you...

Vbulletin is the best forum software I could find. It has a multitude of features, including a lot that most folks don't even know exist. For example, have you ever check out the "User CP (control panel)"? You can do things like subscribe to threads and folders, edit your options, read your private messages and more.

The best thing about Vbulletin is that they listen to the folks who use the program. The same thing applies to PhotoPost, the program we use for the photo gallery. There are some small features in both programs that I specifically asked for (along with others) and they incorporated them into the new versions.

They also continually upgrade the program. In fact, Version 3.5 just came out of Beta, and once I give it a little time to let them shake out any last minute bugs we'll be uprading the forum to that one.

Why am I telling you all this? To let you know we take discussion forums seriously, and work hard to give you the best forum we can. We listen to member suggestions, use the best software we can find, and actively monitor the forum and interact with the members. This isn't a sideline to a magazine, hobby shop or video publication business, it's our only focus.
 

modelbob

Administrator
dthurman said:
What if they start a topic? How does that work for people that would answer the thread and you have them in ignore? seems like an odd conversation would ensue ;)

What you actually see is this:

> Today, 05:48 PM
> This message is hidden because dthurman is on your ignore list.

It also has the following two options:
> "View Post" - Let's you view that single post from the member you've chosen to ignore. So in the case you mentioned, you can selectively view the post that started the discussion.

> "Remove user from ignore list" - This takes the member off of your ignore list and will show all posts again.
(Which is what I'm going to go click now. I only ignored you so I could check and see exactly what it said...)

PS - As this post proves, you can even reply to somebody while they're on your ignore list.
 

modelbob

Administrator
dthurman said:
I see a merge of the layout and the PC as times progress, possibly a video window to ride the train and control it...
I can't believe nobody has done that already. It's really suprising...

I'll take it one step further. You have a miniature control stand like one on a live steam locomotive. Or even a replica of a full size one for that matter. The controls work just as in real life (they already have these for Train Simulator type games.)

The computer reads voltage and EMF etc and determines the load on your train. It reacts accordingly, and your throttle and brake settings have different reactions depending on whether it's going uphill or down, hauling a heavy load, etc, etc.

Also, though it's not exactly model railroading, I'm surpised nobody has taken an out the cab window DVD and combined it with some kind of train simulator program so you can run a train on your computer and get real video.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
PS - As this post proves, you can even reply to somebody while they're on your ignore list.
Well I'll be ding danged, this place is getting better 'n betterer all the time :D :D :D :p

Willis
 

SpaceMouse

Fun Lover
modelbob said:
Thank you...

Vbulletin is the best forum software I could find. It has a multitude of features, including a lot that most folks don't even know exist. For example, have you ever check out the "User CP (control panel)"? You can do things like subscribe to threads and folders, edit your options, read your private messages and more.

The best thing about Vbulletin is that they listen to the folks who use the program. The same thing applies to PhotoPost, the program we use for the photo gallery. There are some small features in both programs that I specifically asked for (along with others) and they incorporated them into the new versions.

They also continually upgrade the program. In fact, Version 3.5 just came out of Beta, and once I give it a little time to let them shake out any last minute bugs we'll be uprading the forum to that one.

Why am I telling you all this? To let you know we take discussion forums seriously, and work hard to give you the best forum we can. We listen to member suggestions, use the best software we can find, and actively monitor the forum and interact with the members. This isn't a sideline to a magazine, hobby shop or video publication business, it's our only focus.
I was going to go back the board that I used to moderate so I could tell you software we used, but it was down. I think it might have been a earlier version of this program. The features are very similar. But there are enough differences that it could be something else entirely. While I could do a lot of cool things, I was could not do many or the adminstrator functions. Anyway, I can't compare the things I can't see.
 

modelbob

Administrator
> The way the current (MR) forum is structured, it's made to be
> easy to moderate. The one great big general discussion topic
> allows that.... But with the traffic levels and the all-over-the-map
> postings, I find I get mentally exhausted very quickly on the MR forum.
> An hour later, posts I am interested in are already on the third page.
> I see questions on subjects I cover in my forum clinics pop up over
> and over, so then I have to go hunting to find my forum clinics and
> dig them out again....

That's why this forum is laid out the way it is, with lots of room for expansion and growth. If you want to see everything, use the "new posts" and "active topics" links. You'll see all the posts in every topic.

However, if you're looking for a particular subject, that's where the categories come in handy. Things are well organized (or so I hope) and you can easily find the discussions you're looking for.

As the forum grows and expands, the categories and topics will too. We listen to member suggestions and comments and create topics when there is interest. If the interest declines, we can always remove them later. The same applies to the photo gallery and other features. If you have a suggestion, idea or comment, please let us know!
 
D

dthurman

Guest
modelbob said:
I can't believe nobody has done that already. It's really suprising...

I'll take it one step further. You have a miniature control stand like one on a live steam locomotive. Or even a replica of a full size one for that matter. The controls work just as in real life (they already have these for Train Simulator type games.)

The computer reads voltage and EMF etc and determines the load on your train. It reacts accordingly, and your throttle and brake settings have different reactions depending on whether it's going uphill or down, hauling a heavy load, etc, etc.

Also, though it's not exactly model railroading, I'm surpised nobody has taken an out the cab window DVD and combined it with some kind of train simulator program so you can run a train on your computer and get real video.
Agreed, everything is already here, it's just a matter of merging them together, fine tuning, as for the EMF, up/down grades, train lenght and tonnage, I can see it almost being a train simulator, but you can actually still use your model railroading skills. Now That I would be saving money for if it came out. I have played MSTS way in the past, it was fun, but was lacking in some odd way, but I have never been a video gamer, though I love the Sim City series.
 

dgwinup

Member
I just spent a fair amount of time reading this entire thread. My brain isn't large enough to remember all the comments that I thought of as I read, so I'll just condense everything into one (long) oration. Pick out the parts you like and ignore the rest!

I like this forum. I've watched it for some time, posted a few times. I visit the MR forum regularly and spend as much or more time there than here (or, at least I did until last weekend; they are slowly recovering and I'm glad for that.). Why don't I spend more time here? There certainly is more to find here, in my opinion. I think it's just my unfamiliarity with the site. For some time after I joined this site, I had a hard time navigating (slow brain wave, you know?). I've spent some more time here now and I am becoming more used to the navigational tools that are available and I really like what I am learning.

This isn't a trains.com site. That's a good thing. I think this site has more to offer but it also has a steeper learning curve. Once you get up a little speed, you can really begin to enjoy what's here. I'm still pretty low on the learning curve (slow brain waves, remember?), but the more time I spend here, the more I learn and the more I enjoy it.

Modelbob is a good moderator/administrator, maybe even a great one, I'm not qualified to judge. He is present on the forum as a participant and his official duties are transparent. He isn't heavy handed in his approach to moderating. That speaks a lot to me on how the site is maintained and operated. (Except for when modelbob let's everyone know I'm off site and encourages everyone to "post like crazy' while I'm gone! LOL!!)

I subscribe to several publications, MR, RMC MRG, TOH (oops, wrong forum) and I pick up copies of N Scale Railroading, Railmodel Journal, Classic Trains and others when I find them at the LHS. I find them similar but with enough difference to offer an appealing variety of model railroading news. I find the same thing is true with internet forums. Each has a personality and perspective that I can appreciate. I am so very glad that there are people out there who work so hard to bring information, print or virtual, because if you had to rely on ME to do it, we'd still be modeling in the '50's! My hat's off to all the people who work so hard to keep us entertained, and that includes the members of forums who spend a lot of their free time advising, commenting, opining and joking just for the joy of participation.

Just as I can not pick one print magazine that is better than the others, I can not pick one forum as better, either. They are all serving the hobby in similar, but unique ways and their presence online is important.

I am grateful to be a small part of it. I am glad there are so many of you who participate on a regular basis.

That's my speech. Thanks for reading this far. No prize for doing so, just my appreciation.

Darrell, apreciatively quiet...for now
 
Last edited by a moderator:

modelbob

Administrator
Thanks for the kind comments Darrell, they're really appreciated. As you said, you don't have to pick just one forum. We simply hope that this will be added to your "favorites" list and you'll visit often.

I understand this comment:
> I think this site has more to offer but it also has a steeper learning
> curve. Once you get up a little speed, you can really begin to enjoy
> what's here.

With more features and more categories it can easily seem overwhelming at first. My best suggestion for a quick and easy way around is to make frequent use of the "Active Topics" menu. That will essentially lump all topics into one, sorted by the date of the last reply.

Once you're more familiar, the categories and topics will help you keep track of the discussions you're following. Also considering using the subscriptions options in the User CP (control panel) to keep track of your favorite discussion, but that's probably something that comes later, once you're used to the place and comfortable finding your way around.

Thanks again, and welcome aboard.
 

modelbob

Administrator
PS - For those of you reading as guests, there is one distinct advantage to registering, even if you don't post. "New Posts" only works if you're a registered member. It will provide a list of messages that have been posted since the last time you visited. That makes a quick and easy way to see what's new since you were here last.

Once you visit, only messages posted after that time are considered new, even if you haven't read all of the old ones yet. So even if you're a member, I suggest occasionally using the "active topics" to do a quick review and see if you've overlooked something.
 

dgwinup

Member
modelbob said:
Thanks for the kind comments Darrell, they're really appreciated. As you said, you don't have to pick just one forum. We simply hope that this will be added to your "favorites" list and you'll visit often.

I understand this comment:
> I think this site has more to offer but it also has a steeper learning
> curve. Once you get up a little speed, you can really begin to enjoy
> what's here.

With more features and more categories it can easily seem overwhelming at first. My best suggestion for a quick and easy way around is to make frequent use of the "Active Topics" menu. That will essentially lump all topics into one, sorted by the date of the last reply.

Once you're more familiar, the categories and topics will help you keep track of the discussions you're following. Also considering using the subscriptions options in the User CP (control panel) to keep track of your favorite discussion, but that's probably something that comes later, once you're used to the place and comfortable finding your way around.

Thanks again, and welcome aboard.

Thanks, Bob, for the suggestions. I know about the 'active topics' (read it on another posting) but I haven't really spent any time in the User CP, yet. Eventually I will, but for right now, I'm still learning about all the places on this forum that I can visit. Kind of finding a comfortable place. When I determine where I want to go on a regular basis, I'll start using the tracking features to streamline the process for myself. There is so much on the forum that is interesting and I spend too much time on the computer and spread myself a little thin sometimes.

It is a great forum. Something for everyone and nicely arranged. I will spend a fair amount of time here. It's friendly, informative and frequently funny (the polar bear and penguins! LOL).

Glad to be associated with all of you.

Darrell, smiling happily but quiet...for now
 




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