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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, I realize that I may be putting my privileges to post on this forum at risk here by opening this pandora's box of opinion, but someone ought to do this and might as well be a backseat member like myself who has nothing to lose:

We're coming up soon on one year under new management, and I thought a great question to ask here is, what does everyone think of the forum, one year later?

When I first came to this forum, I hit it off to a rocky start with some of the members, but I quickly realized my faults and took a break fro the forum. A couple of years, and a lifetime of maturity, later, I returned and have been on again, off again paying attention to Mylargescale. Last year I was somewhat saddened to hear that mylargescale would be sold to a company to manage it, but I also understood that running a forum can keep a person quite busy, and it is almost always money out of profit, so I can respect our old owner's decision to sell the forum.

One year later, I've been looking around and it seems to me that this forum is a shadow of what it once was. I knew we'd all be in for a little ride when the company took over, that's just how it works, but I had no idea this 'little ride' would be enough for more than a few members to quit. I'm aware of some problems this site faces, but I get a feeling in my stomach that it's only the tip of the iceberg. My feelings are confirmed by this feedback forum, which is now up to 150 threads including mine, and the bugging forum is at 456. That's 456 individual problems, within one year, that's a lot.

My feelings of people leaving the site are also confirmed. last year, before the forum was sold, there was over 1,000 members a day coming to the forum, and possibly thousands of unregistered guests. I look now and currently as I type there's only about 20 members logged in at the moment, a Monday night after work in March. The 'Active topics' filter also confirms my suspicions as there isn't even a full page of active threads listed.

Based on those observations, I have to say that this forum has gone downhill in the last year. To be frank, if I expressed my opinion in simpler terms, they'd all be four letter words that I can't say on television, so I won't say them here. Such terms aren't directed at any members, you are all good people and great modelers. To say that I respect everyone here is an understatement. But rather, those terms I'd direct at the forum itself, how well it's working, and, heaven forbid, our new management.

And to Admin, while I doubt I'll be banned for asking such questions and making such comments, please remember that this is feedback, not flaming. Mylargescale, like all forums, is a way to communicate with like minded hobbyists. When that communication breaks down, the hobby as a whole suffers and I am getting the gut feeling that the large scale hobby is taking a hit with the way Mylargescale is currently headed.

Regardless, I may recognize some people from the forum at Denver in July, so see you then!

--James
 

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I can't say that I notice any difference.
Still a lot of good threads, and likewise some questionable ones.
As seems to happen with most forums, some people ask their questions, get their answers and then have little to add anymore and drift away.
All the best,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

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In the Beginning... there was LSOL.

MyLargeScale came along and when LSOL had/created some problems of various types, MyLargeScale membership went up and LSOL membership went down. Eventually, LSOL went under.

Are we seeing the same thing happening here with MyLargeScale playing the part of LSOL and LSC playing the part of MyLargeScale??? ;)
 

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Can't see much change in either site. Sure we don't get the friendly quick service we got under the old management but people seem to be posting about the same as before. If anything, my favorite forum (Steam) seems to be more active.

Would like to see some data about the number of post before I do any hand wringing.
 

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I dont see any major difference..
im still here just about every day, and to me, there is no real difference..
I agree the activity overall has slowed a bit, that's undeniable, but apart from that I see no real difference to the forum itself..and I dont think the slowing is extreme at all..
in fact, its currently 8am eastern time, and there have been 14 new replys posted, in various threads, since midnight! and about 30 threads had posting activity yesterday..that's plenty busy! :) busy enough IMO..

and I have no where else I would rather go! ;)
I dont care for LSC, because they have no "active topics" feature..I dont want to open up twenty individual forums just to see all the new posts..
here on MLS I just open my bookmark, and all new posts are instantly available on one page, same as its been for the past decade-plus..

So from my perspective, there is nothing wrong with MLS..same as its always been! :)
its all good..im still going to "live" here for my main G-gauge forum.
I've been here 13 years now, its still my favorite LS forum! :) I have no reason to leave..


Scot
 

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MLS is not what it was when I joined too many years ago, but I think that is probably because there was a rift (a couple of years before the sale) between several members that were unable to simply say "Oops, sorry, I didn't mean to offend." Some people quit in a snit and several others just sort of drifted away back then and the place has not been the same since.

But there still was a sense of camaraderie that seems to have gone away after the purchase by the new owners.

I also sense an overall general reduction in the "intensity of interest" by people in the hobby and that is a part of the apparent malaise around here.

These reasons are all interrelated and none of them are blatantly the cause, but the new owners total lack of care about the cohesiveness of the group has not helped at all.
 

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I don't see a difference but I do have to agree with Greg since there has not been much new in way of products hasn't been a **** of a lot to talk about.
 

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It seems there has been a lack of vigor in the hobby in general. This place used to thrive years back but the die hard large scale train hobbyists are still here. This site used to routinely fail during a basic post with images or videos. Everything here now is not that fancy but it is consistent in function. Not that much new stuff to talk about and we are all getting older and slower too. :)

Andrew
 

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IMO its about the same, personally I think the new landlords haven't done anything to complain about. Forum participation has been lax since the economic blowup cleared alot of folks out of the large scale game, many of them for good so it seams. For the last couple years from my perspective a good sized chunk of the active posts here have been about or in the Live Steam category, guess their participants were slightly less effected by the economic blowup, so much so I mused the sites name MLS could be renamed MyLiveSteam. Even so there have been a few newbies asking Q's which is a good thing but its been slow on all large scale sites.


Consider that on the Kalmbach site, things got so bad they actually reduced the Garden railroading magazine forum from 4 separate forums into a single forum, and even then its very very slow. That doesn't bode well for the hobby, neither does the soaring prices, lack of new product, Aristo's loss, the endless repaints and the almost virtual abandonment of the US market by LGB for several years while they sorted out their production issues. We're still no where yet out of the woods as a hobby so its no surprise there is still a lack of new participation or returning members to keep the forums a lively place.


Sorry if that's a gloomy Eeyore's outlook but its based on a clear eyed observation of the hobby in general, but there is hope. The last few shows I've been in, there were lots of people in attendance and lots of interest in LS. But Mfrs need to do something about really high pricing and entry level approachability to get people in the door IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I guess that makes sense that it isn't just a new owner which has put this site into a downturn. To me, it's still undeniable that there's a lack of activity. (It's still pretty good considering, but not what it was). I can tell you this, the freerails forum has 1,494 registered members with 20 active topics in the last 24 hours, or a 74:1 ratio. Mylargescale has 14,371 members with 37 active topics within the last 24 hours, or a 388:1 ratio. Of course, this will vary greatly on a day-to-day basis, but Freerails at this moment is more active, compared to it's size, than Mylargescale. In other words, where are all the 14,371 members???

Of course, we never had all 14,371 members active at once, but it seems like Mylargescale's active member pool is getting down to a small(ish) number of members who are keeping the site active, meanwhile the other 14,000 members have gone their own ways.

Just food for thought here, remember my opinion is worth what you paid for it, so treat it as such.

--James
 

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If there was more "disposable income " for our unique hobby...
We might not be having these abstract conversations..

Our economy is ill..
Our many vendors that sell to us, and provide the rolling stock we need or want are having great difficulty..

The hobby will not and cannot grow without cash flow... period!

Manufactures that keep raising prices just wind up selling less in volume...
They need cash flow also...

Go knock on your governments doors...tell them to work and solve problems..or get out of the way so some one can!!
 

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My impression is that there are fewer of the old bunch, and a lot more 'newbies' asking questions. The latter is good - shows MLS is visible and accessible (or maybe the owners take SEO [search engine optimization] seriously.) The former - not so much.

But the topics are still interesting enough to keep me coming back, though I post most of my stuff at LSC. The Live Steam forum in particular seems to have become the place to discuss that topic - sslivesteam (the email group) seems to have withered as all the guys are here.
 

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I believe Garratt is absolutely correct. It's nearly impossible to find anything in F scale these days - and absolutely nothing new is planned.

Perhaps F scale was a fad, and it's simply fading out.

Same with Garden Trains.

Not to mention the economic collapse and the price hikes of Garden trains in general, not to mention the loss of several manufacturers.

Robert
 

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I guess that makes sense that it isn't just a new owner which has put this site into a downturn. To me, it's still undeniable that there's a lack of activity. (It's still pretty good considering, but not what it was). I can tell you this, the freerails forum has 1,494 registered members with 20 active topics in the last 24 hours, or a 74:1 ratio.
I have never heard of the freerails forum before, so I just went and checked it out...
ummm..if they don't understand the difference between O-scale and Large scale..lets just say it doesn't instill confidence! ;)
and it doesn't make me want to join..

Scot
 

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Large scale is very specific to model railroading and diversified within itself. I never feel at home in a H0, 0 or N scale world. Even 7/8ths has it's own specific forum which quite often requires a different approach to modelling.
This place was once 'the big show in town' when Large Scale was at it's peak in new products, new scales etc. incorporating electrics and live steam and I must say some very dedicated and skilled contributors.
Things have settled down now due to economic reasons and possibly a 'been there done that' viewpoint with the masses. Many garden railroads never quite came into fruition or the interest was lost and the weeds took over. This hobby does take up plenty of room, requires maintenance and it is expensive. You can buy a pretty nifty helicopter for under $100 now which is more dynamic and a lot less expensive than a hundred feet of brass track.
I think the hobby is now well past the 'frisby' saturation stage when every train lover just had to have one.
Live steam growth is probably mostly the older generations who grew up with trains and can afford the expense.

Andrew
 

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I have mixed emotions about the above conversation.

On the one hand, I don't have much I need to buy anymore (although I'll be taking a good wad of cash with me to ECLSTS, just in case). My garden layout is big enough to be a lot of maintenance work and I don't need much in the way of rolling stock, etc. I installed the new Kadee remote couplers in three of my locos, and I can't wait to try them out outdoors if Spring ever gets here. And I'm well into attempting to back-light my switch control panel. So there's not much I need to help keep our suppliers in business. My layout is almost "finished".

On the other hand, this winter I blew a few hundred bucks on the new Kadee remote couplers and the Phoenix control boards. And later this summer I'd like to get going in Mr. Bodnar's anduino laser detector thing. I'll post the story of the backlighted switch panel once I have it lookin' good. So it would seem that there are a few new things we can spend our money on. All we have to do is not let our layouts be "finished".

JackM

Maybe we just need to look around us to see
 
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