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Maybe I'm way off with this post and my interpretation of recent events, or maybe I'm posting my stuff in the wrong sub-fourms, or maybe my posts are just not interesting to the MLS members.  But I seem to be getting less and less responses to my posts over the last few months, and this is especially my questions about the hobby.  I use to rountinely see 20+ responses to my posts and I had a wide variety of opinions that I found most helpful.  I really loved to log onto MLS and see what people had to say.  But lately, I come online, check my forums and find that only a few people have respond. I'm starting to find this less and less informative and less fun to participate in. My question for the membership (and Shad), is this.  Is this just me, or have others noticed this?  If so, what's the reason. 

Have I been black-balled by the members? /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/ermm.gif

Did I offend the entire MLS group?/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gif
 
Or have people just lost interest in MLS and in helping newbees? /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crying.gif

For the record, if it's just me and my uninteresting posts, please tell me.  I have a pretty thick skin and can take the honest criticism.  Just don't insult my car, my wife or my mother.  OK, you can insult my mother and my wife, but lay-off of my car! /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue2.gif;)

Ed
 
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the slower server speed is a minus for me, other sites process much faster...most all the time!

cale
 

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/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gifSadly, this has been my feeling, but I thought it was just me./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gif The traffic just doesn't seem the same. Shad has made the comment previously that the traffic had actually increased. I must be missing something, I guess.
 

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Hi Ed,
I do not think it is just you.
I believe that since maybe late January there has been less posting on MLS.
I have been on ......  vacation since mid-December and each day I rush to the computer to see what's going on in MLS-land and notice the lack of postings./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gif
I have not done any research as to why but I do not that I have noticed it.

Maybe Shad has some statistics that dis-prove what I say.
But, I agree with you.

Tom
 

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Over the years, I've seen traffic patterns ebb and flow. Sometimes it's the season that's responsible for less traffic... people are off doing other things, on vacation, busy with their kids, etc. Other times the reason isn't quite as easy to understand. So far, though, it's always picked up again after a short slowdown.

As for site speed, since we lost the new server, things are slower. A new server is in the works and should be up and running soon. Hopefully, it will solve that problem well into the future.
 

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I'd have to agree - there is far less on the site now than when I joined several years back... I don't see near as many projects, and reports. Less meet/show photos... it does seem that as a whole, MLS is slower - but then again, so are the other sites out there. I get the feeling that, in part, AMS and others have produced so many RTR items that perhaps folks are building less? No need to scratchbuild when you can bash... no need to bash when you can buy? With any luck, we'll see some new blood with the K-27 and an influx of those building cars to go with it?!
 

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It's that picture of you with the earmuffs Ed !  /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crazy.gif    Just kidding, maybe alot of people are finally all talked out after so many yrs. on here . Or your just not catching the right people on for your questions, winter Blahs  maybe. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gif
 

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I've noticed less activity as well. For myself the very slow speed I encounter here frequently has limited the amount of forums I visit because of time constraints. I used to check almost every forum daily and some more than that. Now I usually limit myself to 5 or 6. I would imagine I'm not the only one doing this. Once the server speed here is back up to speed I think we'll slowly gather people back. It won't happen overnight though as it'll take people awhile to see that things are back to normal.
 

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There are fewer builders threads on MLS IMHO...and the reason for it goes back a few years, when there was a stink about copyright...and who owns what. Least, that's my opinion. Several who had posted building threads for years stopped...and began hosting their photos on other sites...and THEY were the ones who expressed concern about loosing their "rights" to their designs or processes....not that they really were, but they we expressing their concern.

If you go to the bottom of any MLS page....there's a link called Terms of Use. If you go there, you'll read the "copyright" expression for this site. As I read it, Shad says pretty clearly that MLS isn't interested in the designs....but you need to read it and understand it.

Hopefully...this myth that MLS "takes ownership" of the stuff posted here will go away.
 

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Posted By Ed Harvey on 03/10/2008 7:11 PM
Maybe I'm way off with this post and my interpretation of recent events, or maybe I'm posting my stuff in the wrong sub-fourms, or maybe my posts are just not interesting to the MLS members.  But I seem to be getting less and less responses to my posts over the last few months, and this is especially my questions about the hobby.  I use to rountinely see 20+ responses to my posts and I had a wide variety of opinions that I found most helpful.  I really loved to log onto MLS and see what people had to say.  But lately, I come online, check my forums and find that only a few people have respond. I'm starting to find this less and less informative and less fun to participate in. My question for the membership (and Shad), is this.  Is this just me, or have others noticed this?
Something has definitely changed. Some members have moved on while others simply don't post as much.  MLS no longer has the close sense of community that it once (almost) did.

I keep hoping that as new members find this site and join MLS, things will begin to pick back up.   For some reason, to date that has not happened. 

Thus, I have to agree with you.  It is just not as interesting to participate here on MLS as it was two or more years ago.  Has it been that long? Seems like it. 
 
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Hi all,
 Just wanted to add my 2 cents. ive noticed this on all the forums not jut here. it seems that ever since track price doubled and more last year i think it was the final staw for some people.i have a freind that i was talking to about track prices doubling and he told me that he was getting out of large scale because of this,plus he could sell his track for more than doulbe what he paid, and get back into o scale for a lot cheaper because it seems ONLY LARGE SCALE had a big price increase acrossed the board, most of all track... its funny how the other scale didn't have a price increase on track???and they sell more tonage of track than large scale does.i have also noticed that newbie postings are way down, i think its very hard for new people to enter this scale anymore on a affordable basis. plus with times getting tighter people arer working more and don't have the time to post as often and the dollar doesnt get you what it did a year ago. i really think large scale is getting out of reach for most people that want to enter, the guys that were lucky enough to be in this scale for a couple of years basicly have most of what they need and don't need to buy anymore or very little.
just my take.
Nick
 

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I got my online experience on CompuServe back when you'd get flamed if you had three lines in your signiture. And you'd get flamed for "me too" posts if all you were doing was agreeing with the thread and not adding anything new. "Signal to noise ratio" was the buzz phrase. 

Since old habits die hard I don't usually post unless I have something I think contributes. And since I'm still a newbie myself I don't often think I can. I forget you need to support others that post and I try to add the occasional "thanks for posting that" but often I just move on to the next thread. But I haunt the forums and suspect many others do as well. I've seen many posts get hundreds of views and have only 3-4 responses.

The new site/ meltdown / reversion to old site / back to new site may have taken a toll and things may seem slow for awhile. But there's still a very viable community here, IMO.

Best,
TJ
 

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This is the second time I have come on and I am the only member here. Lots of guest, but few members. I check in everyday, but seldom post. I'm on dail-up and that is slow, but the site is slower now. I just keep busy building engines and rolling stock and have fun running trains. I have been flamed on other sites because I like to build to 1/32 with my steam engines, so I just keep my work to myself and read what might come up here. Jake
 

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Dwight's correct, this has happened at least three times before that I can remember. There's a slow period followed by something that sparks interest and it starts up again. I wouldn't worry about it. The masterclasses aren't going right now and the Bachmann controversy has been winding down. It's about time for ECLSTS and spring is almost here! MLS isn't going anywhere!:cool:
 

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Posted By nick s. on 03/10/2008 9:11 PM
Hi all,
 Just wanted to add my 2 cents. ive noticed this on all the forums not jut here. it seems that ever since track price doubled and more last year i think it was the final staw for some people.i have a freind that i was talking to about track prices doubling and he told me that he was getting out of large scale because of this,plus he could sell his track for more than doulbe what he paid, and get back into o scale for a lot cheaper because it seems ONLY LARGE SCALE had a big price increase acrossed the board, most of all track... its funny how the other scale didn't have a price increase on track???and they sell more tonage of track than large scale does.i have also noticed that newbie postings are way down, i think its very hard for new people to enter this scale anymore on a affordable basis. plus with times getting tighter people arer working more and don't have the time to post as often and the dollar doesnt get you what it did a year ago. i really think large scale is getting out of reach for most people that want to enter, the guys that were lucky enough to be in this scale for a couple of years basicly have most of what they need and don't need to buy anymore or very little.
just my take.
Nick


Nick I think you hit on something, yeah the increase in prices has had a very negative overall effect on the hobby. I was told by a LHS owner that he was told by Lewis himself, that the main reason that Aristo raised their prices so much, was mostly because with LGBs meltdown, they felt they could. The end result has been that they shot their own foot off with sagging sales and sticker shock for oldies as well as newbies. Way to go Lewis.

Thats probably another reason why, the loss of LGB as a major manufacturer, have likely sent some looking for greener pastures. Also the debacle over the insolvency that sent some former members over to the Family Forum, so we lost there participation here but I dont mind that, it got pretty screwy with a couple of those guys...

Its not just here. Postings are down all over the place, here, at LSC and the GR forum save for a few of us still posting there.has been dam near dead. Its also wintertime, a BAD winter nonetheless, so theres likely a loss of people waiting out the winter, like being in the duldrums, we just need to wait for spring and hope a fresh breeze returns
 

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It seems like when I post I am the death of the topic.  I have put many topics to rest by posting on them.

We will see if it happens this time or not.

John
 
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Your safe John./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/hehe.gif
Nick.
 

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Yes, I've noticed a slight down turn in posts too. But as Dwight sez, we have had this before. The last time I remember this happening, Marty, Chris Walas or me, can't remember exactly who, suggested and started a Winter building project. So how about it?
My suggestion this time, a back drop row of stores, industry or such like. Any takers?
Rod
 

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I have seen (paper) magazines in other areas of interest (specifically computers in the 60'S &70'S) come and go for various reasons and I have seen similar things happen in the realm of Internet forums.

A new magazine would start up and publish very fundamental articles.  Real "beginner" stuff.  After a while that type of information has all been covered.  Then the articles begin to push the envelope and new things are invented and passed amongst the readership.  But as time goes on, that begins to taper off.  Complaints begin to be registered about the lack of new articles and at the same time newbies are stifled by the "cognoscenti" that if they have that basic of a question they should order back issues of the magazine.  The magazine cannot repeat articles because that subject has already been covered once and the loyal readership won't stand for paying for the same article they already have in their stacks from several years ago.  Soon the magazine dies for lack of interest... the newbie won't subscribe because there is no info for them and the once loyal subscriber quits since the magazine has nothing new anymore.

I have seen a couple of web forums do the same thing... exacerbated by one or two "loyal, long time" members that constantly direct newbies to the archives for answers that were already given a long time ago... yet they are unable (or more likely unwilling or too lazy) to point the newbie to the specific place where the answer resides.  That tends to shove the newbie to the background and they become unwilling to risk the embarrassment of asking questions only to be told the answer is hidden someplace deep in the archives.  It is often forgotten that the newbie doesn't know the terminology to know what to search for to find the specific answer and they are then relegated to reading the entire encyclopedia of information just to glean the specific answer... something very few are willing (or able) to do.

I have also seen a web forum die because of one or two "loyal and long time" members stifle discussion by claiming that any new discussion is irrelevant since "so-'n'-so figured that out out years ago, we know what works and we don't need anyone trying to re-invent the wheel".

I will say that I have NOT seen those things happening here on MLS to any great extent.  AND I APPRECIATE IT IMMENSELY based on what I have seen happen elsewhere.

Lately there have been several "newbies" announce their presence here (and a few just "show up" without an official announcement) and each one has expressed, in a somewhat veiled way sometimes, a fear of being ostracized for asking "stupid questions".

There have been a couple of "spirited" discussions here in the last 6 or so months and there have been some further discussions of the appropriateness of those original discussions and I wonder if maybe any "reduction of activity" to this forum is a reflection of that... a reluctance to "discuss" due to a personal questioning of motives for doing so.  But, then, maybe that is a good thing?

John... I find the death of a topic is when I click on the "Check this if you would like to be notified when someone replies" checkbox.
 
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