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  • Close the BBS?

    It seems that we have a situation where this bbs is no longer very useful, presently mostly filled with complaints (justified, most likely) about the new format. Apparently also punctuated with various personal issues between certain members.

    The actual target content has dropped to almost nothing, and several former regulars are as much or more present on the PM board, and others than here.

    Maybe some have simply not yet found it, but I would think by now that would be over with. It is rare for the day's worth of new postings to fill one of the new "thinned and lightened" mini-pages.

    I know it now takes posssibly 30 seconds to breeze thru, notice nothing new and useful, and move on. Good for shop productivity, not much good for the (former?) members.

    If I were VP, I'd consider closing it. It seems to be mostly a liability with the potential to cause trouble, generally, as well as legally, and soak up far too much time for the potential ad revenue. The ads in any case are mostly duplicated in what may be a better forum for their target audience on PM, since many are for non-home-shop items.

    Something to think about. Not recommending it, situation might straighten itself out. But.........
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  • #2
    I have had the same feeling that the BBS is not what it was when I joined. Too much complaining and OT topics. The topics on true machining related items has dropped by what seems to be a large percentage. I am not having the problem of the small size that some seem to have but I'm not using IE. I think the new software is good, one of the other BBS's that I frequent uses it and it works well. There are a lot of features on that site that are not used here. Maybe over time HSM will add them.

    Just my .02 cent worth.

    Joe

    Comment


    • #3
      This board has always suffered from having some of the most appalling bickering, character assassination, and off topic nonsense. In the last year or so before the format change, it had been getting much worse. Many really good contributors had left in disgust, at least temporarily, even before the board software was changed.

      The fact that the board's original link went away for a long while got people to look at other sources of information. They see first hand that there is good information available elsewhere with a lot less undesirable posting. The fact that when it came back up the bickering and complaining was even worse was a greater inducement to just keep looking at the other boards, unless what you relished most about this board was that interplay.

      This is a Darwinian feedback loop that has hugely benefited Practical Machinist, CNCZone, the Yahoo Groups, and several other boards. The Internet is a fairly frictionless medium that depends on habit to keep it going. Change the habit and you are playing with fire.

      Personally, i find the format changes to be a pretty minor issue. I do agree that they make the board less desirable, but this pales in comparison to the fact that the signal to noise ratio for real interesting machinist content has lately fallen into the weeds.

      Sincerely,

      BW
      ---------------------------------------------------

      http://www.cnccookbook.com/index.htm
      Try G-Wizard Machinist's Calculator for free:
      http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCGWizard.html

      Comment


      • #4
        I just wish that Neil would be willing to set up a couple "after hours moderators". I can think of a few people who would be very good at it, Evan being one of them. I'd rather come in and see no new posts than three that are bitching about the format change, software legality, etc...but nothing related to the actual hobby.

        If I was VP, and was footing the bill for this site, I'd probably kill it.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have frequented a number of boards unrelated to machining. On one in particular it was moderated with a very heavy hand but only applied for one particular offense. That offense was for any sort of ad hominem attack on another board member. That means no name calling or any sort of derogatory comments. There is a fine line between attacking the information someone gives and attacking the person giving it. That line should not be crossed.

          I myself have accused someone of risking seeming foolish but I have never called someone a fool. There is a big difference.

          The formal rules of debate prohibit the use of any sort of personal attack and are a good model to follow in discussions. I learned these early and was a member of a debating team in school.

          In the aforementioned BBS the offense of using ad hominem comments (personal attacks) received a warning on the first offense and banning on the second, no exception.

          I think that this sort of rule and enforcement of it would go a long way to alleviating some of the problems here. Personal attacks have no place in a civil dissussion and this board is and should be about civil discussion, regardless of the topic.
          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

          Comment


          • #6
            I would have to agree. I don't think the state of this BBS no longer promotes or does justice to the magazine publication. I have for many years enjoyed this forum over others because I think it attracted more amateur enthusiasts who enjoyed exchanging ideas and bantering about technical topics. There isn’t much of that anymore. May be it’s just me, but the feeling of belonging to a close-knit community has disappeared.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BobWarfield
              Personally, i find the format changes to be a pretty minor issue. I do agree that they make the board less desirable, but this pales in comparison to the fact that the signal to noise ratio for real interesting machinist content has lately fallen into the weeds.
              Bob, I'm with you on that! The format change is trivial, and, for all I know, it's actually better. But the noise is something else! I moderate two boards, and I must say I see hardly any off-topic action. Every so often I have to close or delete a thread that gets a bit out of hand, usually in the form of bickering, but it's really just not that much work. On the rare occasion that a truly inappropriate topic or response is posted (religious, racial, political, commercial scam - that kind of thing) I delete it without notice and that ends the issue. It's as easy as tossing the junk mail I get every day at my front door.

              Clearly by my standards there would have been a lot of threads deleted here, and I just don't know why they have been allowed to put a drag on the entire scene.
              Cheers,

              Frank Ford
              HomeShopTech

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, VP can do what they want with the BBS...and I can do what I wish with my money and time.

                I have asked about improving the speed of this BBS...and have yet to see any improvements. For people on dialups, every wasted bit counts.

                If the BBS continues to be slow, I will rarely visit and contribute...it is just not worth the time and effort spent.

                Meanwhile I have yet to renew my magazine subscriptions...this BBS is a window into how responsive their customer support is and I vote with my wallet.

                I had a life before this BBS...and I had a life before subscribing to their magazines. When you waste my time, you won't waste it for long before I take action to change the situation.

                I certainly hope that the VP staff realizes that this BBS is an important extension of their publishing offerings and to ignore it and its users will alienate its subscribers.

                I hopefully look forward to a better situation.

                TMT

                Comment


                • #9
                  TMT, I agree with many of your points. But from my experience I'd have to disagree with the statement "......this BBS is a window into how responsive their customer support is...".

                  Based on the 5 or 6 personal interactions I've had with the VP staff (a couple of lost/damaged magazines, defective book exchange, subscription issues, etc.), I would rate their customer service 'first class'.
                  Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I thought I might get a severe flaming for mentioning this... glad to see it didn't happen.

                    It's really the "signal to noise" that bugs me now.... the format change mostly made for more complaints, for a while that is ALL that was posted. And, it STILL is an annoyance.

                    Actually, I think it would be worse if the board WERE active and on-topic.... posts would drop off the mini-pages and become invisible so soon that many would be un-noticed and un-answered.

                    But aside from that, the lack of former regulars, some of whom have pretty much left for good, and the lack of content at the moment are the major issue. And of course, some (by no means all) of that can be blamed on the new format.
                    1601

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      TMT, if a GUI is too slow, you can login to my Telnet chat server and talk with people. Or play a game of Othello

                      Web Access/Info for to the Telnet server:
                      http://www.bbssystem.com:88


                      When you're logged into the Telnet chat server and you access the Telnet webpage (http://www.bbssystem.com:88) then any images and/or links that were entered on the chat system become URLs on the webpage so it's easy to interactivly talk about something on the chat server, and display images/links on the website. Mattc and I used to brainstom all the time on the chat server.

                      How to connect (From Windows):

                      c:\>telnet bbssystem.com

                      Or Click Start/Run Command and enter "telnet bbssystem.com"

                      If your browser can launch telnet, this might work too:

                      telnet://bbssystem.com


                      Once you connect, you just Enter a name to login:


                      Code:
                               ########
                              ##########                      ####        ##                      ##
                             ####    ####                   #######     ####                    ####
                            ####    #####                  #########   ####                    ####
                           ####    ####                   ####   #### ####                    ####
                          ########### #####     ####     ####     ## ####                    ####
                         ########## ######### ########  ####        ##########     ###   #########
                        ####       ######## ####  #### ####        ############  ###### ##########
                       ####       ####     ####  #### ####        ####    #### ####  ###  ####
                      ####       ####      ########   #########  ####    #### ####  #### ####
                      ###        ###         ####      #######    ##      ##   ######### ##
                      
                      
                                              Multi-User Telnet Chat System.  
                      
                                                 (C) Adrian Michaud 2005.
                                                    All Rights Reserved.
                      
                      
                      Please Enter your Name:
                      After you enter your name , you're logged in!

                      Code:
                      Please Enter your Name: Adrian
                      
                      Welcome Adrian!
                      
                      You are currently logged on port 1:
                      
                      Logged in 12:24:19 AM 04/04/2006
                      
                      Type '/?' for a list of commands.
                      
                      --> User 'Adrian' logged ON port 1.
                      Typeing /? will give you a list of commands, or just type a message and hit enter.

                      Code:
                      --> User 'Adrian' logged ON port 1.
                      Hello World
                      [1:Adrian]> Hello World
                      Yabba Dabba Dooo
                      [1:Adrian]> Yabba Dabba Dooo
                      /?
                      
                      ProChat Commands:
                      
                      /?            - This menu
                      /q            - Logoff
                      /s            - Show users online
                      /c            - Enter the Chat Room
                      /h <Handle>   - Change Handle: /h New Handle
                      /l            - Show Last 20 callers
                      /b            - Turn Bells ON/OFF
                      /m            - Display Active Message slots.
                      /m#           - Display a message slot: /m[A-Z] or /m[0-9]
                      /m#=<Message> - Change a message slot. Example: /m4=Hello
                      /g            - Turn Message Slots ON/OFF
                      /a            - List Areas
                      /a#           - Change Area: /a[1-8]
                      /p#           - Send a private message to a port #: /p1 This is private.
                      There are several "rooms" you can talk in.. There is an Othello game room where you can play against other other online, or select to play against the computer (me)

                      Code:
                      /a
                      
                      Available Areas
                      
                      /a1 - Lobby
                      /a2 - Machine Shop
                      /a3 - Projects
                      /a4 - Wood Shop
                      /a5 - Welding
                      /a6 - Lathes
                      /a7 - Milling
                      /a8 - Othello
                      
                      --> You're currently in the Lobby Area (/a1)
                      I'm going into the Othello game room...

                      Code:
                      /a8
                      --> Adrian on port 1 has moved to the Othello Area (/a8)
                      /?
                      
                      ProChat Commands:
                      
                      /?            - This menu
                      /q            - Logoff
                      /s            - Show users online
                      /c            - Enter the Chat Room
                      /h <Handle>   - Change Handle: /h New Handle
                      /l            - Show Last 20 callers
                      /b            - Turn Bells ON/OFF
                      /m            - Display Active Message slots.
                      /m#           - Display a message slot: /m[A-Z] or /m[0-9]
                      /m#=<Message> - Change a message slot. Example: /m4=Hello
                      /g            - Turn Message Slots ON/OFF
                      /a            - List Areas
                      /a#           - Change Area: /a[1-8]
                      /p#           - Send a private message to a port #: /p1 This is private.
                      
                      Othello Commands:
                      
                      .two      - Start a two player Othello game.
                      .join #   - Join a two player game.
                      .computer - Start a one player Othello game with the computer.
                      .end      - End the current game you're active in.
                      .list     - List the current Othello games.
                      .?        - This help.
                      I can play against other people in the game room (nobody is here right now!) Or I can play against the computer. I'll play against the computer:

                      Code:
                      .computer
                      --> Othello game #1 started with Adrian playing against The Computer.
                      
                           A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H 
                         +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                       1 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
                         +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                       2 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
                         +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                       3 |   |   |   | . |   |   |   |   |
                         +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                       4 |   |   | . | O | X |   |   |   |
                         +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                       5 |   |   |   | X | O | . |   |   |
                         +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                       6 |   |   |   |   | . |   |   |   |
                         +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                       7 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
                         +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                       8 |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
                         +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
                      
                      --> Its your move. You own the 'X' pieces. Type ".?" for Help
                      Typing .? shows the Othello commands.

                      Code:
                      .?
                      
                      Othello Commands:
                      
                      .move ##  - Move an Othello piece. ## = ROW/COLUMN or COLUMN/ROW
                      .##       - Move an Othello piece. A shortcut for .move
                      .hint     - Give you a hint where to move.
                      .board    - Display the current Othello board and state.
                      .end      - End the current game you're active in.
                      .list     - List the current Othello games.
                      .?        - This help.
                      
                      --> Enter a move by using the ".move ##" or the ".##" command by typing in
                      --> the Row/Column or Column/Row in-place of the "##" like ".C3" or ".3C"
                      --> or ".move 3C" or ".move C3".  You can see the valid moves that you
                      --> are aloud to make by looking for the boxes that contain a period '.'
                      Stay away from BillH... He'll kick your arse in Othello

                      -Adrian

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Personally I don't mind the format change, although I'm on broadband so speed isn't an issue. I to have been disgusted with the "signal to noise" and frankly have avoided these types of threads. As humans we don't like change, in fact we tend to avoid it at all costs but I think with time things will get back to normal. I wouldn't close the board just yet either, give people time to adjust and time for the bickering to die down and I think we will all enjoy this board like we once did. A suggestion would be to ask each member to post a thread pertaining to machining and metalwork, that would dilute the bickering as well as get the conversation rolling. If we start to ignore the bickering threads and post or reply to on topic threads things will be back to normal before long.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by J Tiers
                          It seems that we have a situation where this bbs is no longer very useful, presently mostly filled with complaints (justified, most likely) about the new format. Apparently also punctuated with various personal issues between certain members.
                          Format changes shouldn't be a major problem so long as folks find what they are looking for in a forum like this. For me, that means one that primarily focuses on metalworking in some form or fashion with only inntermittent forays into way-OT subjects. Seems like it's been just the opposite here for the past year or so. Only posts by Forrest and a few others make it worth visiting for me and most of them post elsewhere. If VP wants to shut down this site, I won't be complaining.

                          Mike
                          Mike Henry near Chicago

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So you make a Ot bitch and whine thread over OT bitching and whining threads, that makes a lot of sence.

                            I moderate on other boards and If I were the moderator here this thread would be trashed.
                            Last edited by tattoomike68; 04-04-2006, 04:11 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Nobody behind the curtain?

                              I'm not the brightest bulb in the bunch but I'll share some of my thoughts regarding this board and the publications associated with it.
                              It just amazes me that the BBS dissapeared off the face of the earth without someone posting a "forwarding address' well in advance of shutting down the old one and starting the new one with the new format. How many were lost in that fiasco. Yes, they can find their way to the new site but what does that tell them about the folks who run this board. Do they really care!
                              I have to believe that the change to the new format cost somebody some $$$. That said I find it amazing that the ongoing complaints (some spot on and some trivial) seem to be not even considered by those who run this board. This is evident due to no feedback or replies regarding the concerns by those who run this board. What ever you do DON'T listen to your customers. Yes they are customers because part of the format change was to allow advertising for businesses selling equipment and such.
                              It is true that this board has changed from a home shop machinist board to a pissy little personal attack and OT board. I stopped coming around when I posted a question regarding the worth of an EZ Tram and was told that I should find another board to frequent since I was obviously an amateur in the hobby. Great way to help a newbie!
                              Regarding the magazines associated with this board. I stopped subscribing to both when a good portion of the monthly articles are for specialized tools or equipment for a certain brand and model of lathe, mill, etc. I fully realize that this does happen as the authors of these articles are individuals who submit their pieces for acceptance and the pool of authors and articles is not bottomless. That said I decide on whether to buy an issue after checking it out at the newsstand. I probably buy only two or three issues a year now. Personally I would like to see articles on machining techniques as it takes the use of said techniques to machine the parts for said articles. Yes, there are books that cover the techniques but are usually given only shallow information. An article or series of articles on a specific machining technique can impart large amounts of information. Yes I do enjoy Forrest Addys "New Hand" columns! Like any other hobby in this world if the newbies are not helped and nurtured the hobby fades into oblivion.
                              Just one mans opinion.
                              WANNABE

                              Comment

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