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Welcome Guest,

I think I can speak for the members of MLS in saying we are glad you are here, but right know 7:36PDT there is 3 register members on line and 77 guest /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/shocked.gif.  It is fast, fun and easy to join and best of all it is free, unless you really get to like it and then the first class membership is worth it.  I am not critizing anyone for not joining, I just believe that you can learn something from anyone.  No telling the wealth of information that 77 seperate people posses.  I hope no one is offened, I just felt that this needed to be said, by the way I just checked and there is 90 guest on-line.

Hope you join the family,

Johnny
 

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Johnny,
   There are a lot of people that are starting to realize just what a wonderful resource the large scale websites are! Some people though are reluctant to "join" a club whether it's local or on-line. The advantages to joining are that you lose the ads on the side of the screen once you log in and you can then post to the forums! Also, don't forget the four letter "F" word (no, the other four letter word!!!) it's FREE!!!  
  There are benefits to becoming a 1st Class member but that's for another thread! Joining is simple and Johnny is correct in that everyone is welcome at MLS whether they are just visiting or want to participate. As a member since 2000, I can tell you that you won't find a better group of friends anywhere!:)
 

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The list of users online is just plain screwy!  Right now it says one visitor is in Chat, but the list at the bottom of the forums page says no-one is in chat.

My user ID appears and dissappears all day long and sometimes lists me as being in the forums or at the Home page and yet I logged in once in the morning, go to the Active Topics page and come back to check things all day long, without closing the web page, just doing a "refresh" to see new entries.

So the count of "Visitors" is not realistic.  I think the list is a low priority function of the website software and it doesn't get updated very often and since a user seems to get "logged off" after a short period of time, even if they are still actively READING the forums, the visitor count sometimes includes registered users (including 1st class members) who think they are logged-on.
 

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I think only 1st class members get away from the ads. "1st class members" pay to access the site, "visitors" get a subsidy from the advertisers.
 

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Guests are good as they can see what a great hobby this is and maybe take it up or increase their current interest.Still if you find the site interesting JOIN, the benefits are many and the help and advise from other members is invaluable.
Bunny
 

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Bots are smart little search programs that look like users. They are also called web crawlers. Bots run continuously across the internet (crawl page by page), find stuff, and save the links to the major search engines....like Google and Yahoo. They're smart enough to ignore common words and just remember (indexing it's called) the meatier words. All these words and links are saved in an index file on the Google/Yahoo servers.

When you go to the search engine site (Google.com or Yahoo.com) and enter a query, you are querying their index file...and the query retuns the location of the "meaty" word(s) that were contained in your query. It's BIG BUSINESS to get your web site link near the top of the search results. The algorithm used to rank the query results is partially based on how many hits a site has (so MLS comes out well on that metric)...so if you query garden railroad stuff, you'll likely be shown MLS references because MLS is the "biggest" garden railroad site. There are many companies out there that do "web site optimization" who, for a fee, will make your site come out on top web search results after 6 months or so of operation.
 

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There is another less than useful (to the great masses, anyway) "BOT" that is using up the bandwidth of the internet... these are reading all the forums, etc. looking for things that look like e-mail addresses... a word followed by the AT sign, followed by another word and a Dot COM. This is why some folk will not list an e-mail address in text in missives (and why it is considered bad manners to list someone else's e-mail in a posting in a forum) or why e-mail addresses are often listed with the "@" sign as "at" and the "." as "dot". as in: wonttell AT anytime dotcom. Us humaniods can easily re-interpret that to be "[email protected]" but the BOTs can't be sure about it and so "probably" won't add it to a SPAM database.
 

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As a new  guy to Large Scale I found this site while looking for information. I read through the forums once , and set down and signed up for 1st class membership, Best money I ever spent.
 
I've asked a lot of questions and always got a lot of helpful information and encouragement. Really find a lot of inspiration seeing fine work of others and ideas to use on my RR.
 
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i would say: Don't press the guests!

i, myself knew this forum for years, reading a bit now and then.
but since i was not (could not be) active in the hobby, i had no pressing questions and i had nothing to share.
when my situation changed, so that the next layout became something more than a daydream i started to search for and compare forums.
i did not register in forums, that make you register first, even before you can read the contents.
discounting the (ro-)'bots', i think most guests are armchair-modellers.
they lack room, or money, or time, they would need for the hobby. so they daydream about it. and they read in forums, that add something nice to their dreams.
when their situation changes, that they actually can start modelling, they will join those forums, they felt comfortable with.

and it is not so, that the guest readers don't contribute. with each view at the forum they produce 'traffic'. the more traffic, the easyer for the forum-owner to get sponsors.

just let them come at their own pace. - don't press the guests.

korm
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Posted By Semper Vaporo on 03/23/2008 4:11 PM
There is another less than useful (to the great masses, anyway) "BOT" that is using up the bandwidth of the internet... these are reading all the forums, etc. looking for things that look like e-mail addresses... a word followed by the AT sign, followed by another word and a Dot COM. This is why some folk will not list an e-mail address in text in missives (and why it is considered bad manners to list someone else's e-mail in a posting in a forum) or why e-mail addresses are often listed with the "@" sign as "at" and the "." as "dot". as in: wonttell AT anytime dotcom. Us humaniods can easily re-interpret that to be "[email protected]" but the BOTs can't be sure about it and so "probably" won't add it to a SPAM database.


Really!?  Well then, let's have some fun.  [email protected]. Come [email protected][email protected] searching bots can [email protected]! And when you are [email protected] the internet, why don't [email protected] some place else like [email protected] and [email protected] !!  /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif
 

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Posted By kormsen on 03/24/2008 3:33 AM
i would say: Don't press the guests!

i, myself knew this forum for years, reading a bit now and then.
but since i was not (could not be) active in the hobby, i had no pressing questions and i had nothing to share.
when my situation changed, so that the next layout became something more than a daydream i started to search for and compare forums.
i did not register in forums, that make you register first, even before you can read the contents.
discounting the (ro-)'bots', i think most guests are armchair-modellers.
they lack room, or money, or time, they would need for the hobby. so they daydream about it. and they read in forums, that add something nice to their dreams.
when their situation changes, that they actually can start modelling, they will join those forums, they felt comfortable with.

and it is not so, that the guest readers don't contribute. with each view at the forum they produce 'traffic'. the more traffic, the easyer for the forum-owner to get sponsors.

just let them come at their own pace. - don't press the guests.

korm
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I'd normally agree with that but as an armchair railroader for a little bit longer, I've learned alot in the years I've been a member here. I think that there are threads I've contributed too as well? LOL! As someone who started buying large scale knowing it would be years before he could get a layout running this website mostly and a few other outlets have let me stay somewhat up to date and current on the large scale goings on. I've now a got more large scale projects than I can over hope to accomplish at this point and no place to run trains! LOL! Hopefully that will cahnge soon though. Finally ina  house and getting settled. Hoping to do some work on the yard and landscaping this summer and then I can start laying out the railroad.

Chas
 

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Get em, ED!! 

Is that all it took to get you fired up?  

I like the Bart Simpson / Breakfast Club reference (eat my shorts). 
 

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The counter must be messed up....this is what I just copied...:confused:  Doesn't make sense that I am the only member on line...  I noticed my little normally green dot is red so maybe this is all just a dream.../DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif

-Gary

Who is online:
There are currently 122 guests(s) online
There are 1 of 6582 member(s) online: GaryY
 

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I have been a 1st class member for several years. I actually log in less than 5% of the time. That is when I think that I have something to contribute. Otherwise, I guess that I show up as a guest. At the moment I am on dialup. The extra time required to login every time is not worth the wait.

One problem that I have is that, when we who go to the trouble to try to answer a question, more that half the time the only comments are from other MLSers who either agree or disagree. That's fine. When the original questioner fails to reply either positively or negatively that bothers me. If we take the time to try to answer a question, at least let us know if it helped or not. We who think we know it all can learn from whether or not our suggestions helped.

Chuck N
 

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I agree Chuck, often times I see a post by a newbie asking a question, and then a lot of people jump in to help, and you never hear from the thread originator again.... I like to know what they decided... but that's life I guess.

Regards, Greg
 
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