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OT But What Happened to This Site ???

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  • #31
    Well guess I really started something but was glad to see all the differant reasons for the low amount of people on this site or what seems to be. Guess there is more people here than I thought by all the replays. I usually view this site everyday and also MW. I don't always reply to posts because many times the thoughts I have are already posted by someone else. I guess many of us are a bit older and just not as active as before just due to life,health etc. So I guess I will still keep watching and replying when ever some thing comes up. I am not on FB but just find that it is odd how so many can just write about every little thing they are doing.
    John From Slinger, Wisconsin


    • #32
      I think Doc really nailed it. Most main steam social media seems geared to a fleeting thought, a bit or wit or late news on what was for dinner. Its analogous to why you obviously keep old HSM or Model Engineers mags, but no one keeps People magazine (I'd say the smart ones don't buy it in the first place!).

      I also agree on those long threads. Mostly, I don't check them. Not because there isn't great stuff there, but I'm not likely to open a bunch of threads just in case there is something that might be of interest. I scan down the page and open what peeks my interests. OT, what did you do today threads are ok, but but anything technical/shop would make the place better as a new thread imo

      Lastly, there is a bit of culture here that, at least imo, slightly discourages project posting. This forum more rewards asking questions - its awesome for that. Lots knowledge people willing to help. For project type postings, well, It takes effort to make long project posts and mostly the response is radio silence or you get the ones who just can wait to show how clever they are by offering how they'd do it (after its built). Some will say "I don't need any stinkin attaboys" and maybe so (...but probably BS, every ego (meaning sense of self) needs a bit of affirmation). However humans do respond to incentives (and sanctions/disincentives). If you get little positive feedback or thanks for posting content, how much incentive is there to keep doing so?
      located in Toronto Ontario


      • #33
        Originally posted by The Metal Butcher View Post
        and some of it would just feel "braggy", ones where there is no consultation from the community, no processes, or development, just a finished product. .
        So what? If its your day job, your pay cheque is your reward/affirmation. If its a hobby, what else is there other than to show like mind souls, "look what I did". Normal people want to see other people succeed; I see nothing wrong with show and tell; rather the opposite - I think its a positive thing here
        Last edited by Mcgyver; 04-14-2021, 09:04 AM.
        located in Toronto Ontario


        • #34
          The long, long Threads. A few smart a$$'s that post whatever they think is funny, and then of course those one or two who always post after online research to be always right.
          Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician


          • #35
            Something just occurred to me.... very recently I saw quite a number of new names posting, and thought it was cool that more new people were getting active.

            Not seeing that "surge" as much now, the new folks seem to have disappeared again

            Originally posted by Doc Nickel View Post
            But here, the bulk of new content gets buried in one of three impenetrably-long and unsearchable threads- those fellows have made a sort of sub-forum off the main forum. Except it's less organized, harder to read, can't be searched, and contains many "builds" that are spread out over dozens of unindexed pages.
            In other words, the site, through those long threads, has become just like "faceplant".

            Last edited by J Tiers; 04-14-2021, 09:20 AM.
            CNC machines only go through the motions.

            Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
            Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
            Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
            I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
            Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.


            • #36
              I think the posts by Doozer #6, Dock Nickel #14, and J Tiers #24 pretty well hit the main reason for the decline in activity. For my own inactivity, the shutdown of the high school metal shop due the Covid fiasco has ended my metal working machine access. :-(


              • #37
                I think that biggest reason we're seeing this forum (and many other forums) slow down over the last number of years has to do primarily with changing demographic. Those dang Millennials are wrecking forums! I say this tongue-in-cheek as I'm one of those Millennials.

                First off, my generation and the generation follow us are less technical or hands-on compared to previous generations. Why? There's a whole lot of factors there, but I think it has to do with the fact that many of us have lived our whole lives in affluence and were fed the line that dirty work was less respectable. Our grandparents grew up with the mantra "use it up, wear it out, fix it up" as they grew up in the depression and knew scarcity and poverty. Our parents grew up during a time where prosperity was growing, but many were still not college educated and a good portion of the population still worked with their hands. As well, you had have some knowledge of how to fix things - if you were going on a long road trip you had better know basic car repairs because with the quality of cars on the market you probably will need it. My generation has grown up not knowing hardship on a large scale (until this past year), and have ridden on the coat tails of the previous generation's prosperity. Our parents worked in factories so we can go to college and get a degree, and in the mean time all the factories closed down and moved offshore. Product quality has advanced to the point where we don't need to fix things, and our supply chain has advanced to the point where it's not worth fixing things (why fix when you can get a replacement from Amazon tomorrow). So on a grander scale my generation has lost that connection with the mechanical world, there are certainly still individuals who are interested and talented, but I don't think it's to the same scale as it was in previous generations. Even things such as Maker spaces have trouble staying open because of lack of interest (and thus income to cover the costs of things such as insurance).

                Secondly, the way the internet is used by my generation is different from the way it was used when first started. When the internet was first marketed it was 'The information superhighway', an untapped resource full of information ready for the consumer to hunt down, whether that be reference material or finding people with similar interests. Take all the information previously available in encyclopedias, magazines, and club meetings and put it all in once easy to find place. Enter forums - they tie into this form of internet consumption beautifully and flourished for many years because of it. Then along came the generation that grew up with the internet, always had it in the house. To us, the internet is entertainment, not a resource. We've got more computing power in our pockets than was needed to land man on the moon, and what do we use it for? To look at cat videos on YouTube. Or to scroll endlessly on Facebook. Post something up on Instagram or TikTok to get that dopamine hit when someone 'likes' it. A forum just gets lost in the background when compared to things like that. Ends up becoming like the encyclopedias sitting on Grandma's shelf. And like others have mentioned here, it's a shame because these social media sites have a ton of info, but it gets lost to time and lack of storage space (unless it's a politically disadvantageous post from 10 years ago, those seem to stick around somehow).

                So, I guess that what I'm saying is that I think the internet has shifted away from forums. Is that a terrible thing though? The people who are still here are devoted to their projects and enjoy helping one another, and there's no reason to stop that. I would agree with the sentiment that maybe shying away from the single large post to a number of smaller posts may help boost content, maybe that's something we need to put some conscious effort into.

                Alright, I'm done being old man millennial, yelling at the clouds.

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                Cayuga, Ontario, Canada


                • #38
                  Another reason is Covid lethargy. People have been locked down in some manner for a long time and it is taking a severe physiological effect on people. Our local ME club has been using Zoom for online meetings, trying to keep things going but over the months the number of people participating has dropped, lost interest in socializing. A lot of people have given up on doing anything.
                  The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                  Bluewater Model Engineering Society at

                  Southwestern Ontario. Canada


                  • #39
                    Reading the majority of posts in this thread, yeah it triggers my ADD and I zone out. Rambling here but forums are suffering a somewhat demographic death. Being older, (love the Simpson's old man yelling) old people are bored and ramble on forums and in general as they have nothing else to do. Then some get crusty which turns readers off. Damnit that pisses me off.

                    Having kids and now Gkids a high percentage of them are more interested in immediate gratification. Such as just go buy something vs making or fixing it. Or seeing that some effort other than talking to a phone to get an answer, (which I do quite often) is required, they simply focus on something else that requires zero thought and effort.
                    But there is some hope as kid #2in his early 40's is quite the gearhead as well as intellectual. The 13 yo Gkid got his first lathe lesson which was pretty intense and he passed with flying colors.

                    Forums? For us geezers it's a no brainer to sit at a computer and plink away on a forum while looking at a big 24 inch screen. The kids don't take the time to scroll through countless pages as it's a PIA on a little phone screen.The Gkids don't even have a laptop or desktop computer. Everything is done on a tablet or their phones including school work.

                    Rambling over.


                    • #40
                      I think the "Like" button. has really reduced interaction on the forums. Why post a coherent reply when you can just click a button?


                      • #41
                        While I believe all the above plays a part, I think the website going partially dark is a reason as well. I have posted the old internet explorer quit working with the site and now the second generation ipad also is not compatable. When you can't sign in, all you can see is thumbnail pictures and most of the links (like next page, etc) no longer work and make it harder to use. Not everybody can or want to install a new browser if this forum is all they need it for. I did download Firefox for that reason, but just sayin...........


                        • #42
                          As Gary said, not all people can wait for a new browser, but also not all people WANT to install a new browser or an OS update to run a new browser as often their computer becomes anything from slower to totally nonresponsive. They have something that is stable on their platform and they don't want anything but security updates, and sometimes even those seem to be rooted in forcing the user to buy new when old was working.

                          For me the reason I don't share more is two things. This site is not specifically the only one. It happens on all groups eventually. There is a sometimes a lack of help to requests for actual help while at the same time a rush to educate in air of superiority or pass judgement when something is merely shared for information or amusement.

                          Example: Sometime back I shared a picture of a mistake I made using a round over mill for making hinge bosses for hinged casting molds. I thought it was a funny mistake even though it destroyed an expensive cutter and a piece of stock. Just looking at the picture was amusing. The response was basically, "Yeah, so what! I can do that with my manual mill." I have a couple responses to that judgmental superior bit of nastiness, but I think I kept them to myself at the tine.

                          The response to what they actually said, "So you can destroy parts manually. If you are doing it manually why don't you just stop turning the handle when you see its going to crash. Are you just as stupid as a computer?"

                          The response to what they probably meant, "Yep when CNC machines crash its hard to stop it in time, but I can recut that part and five more in the time it took you to make one. Even if its a part that is possible to do manually. Of course you have to understand this was a handful of lines of code that were fixed for the next tens of thousands of parts to be made in a program several thousand lines long."

                          One was the same kind of superior asshole response they posted to the original post, And the other was being forced to defend oneself for just trying to sharing something amusing. Neither made me WANT to share or respond to other posts.

                          Now before somebody gets their panties all in a twist. I do not remember OR CARE who made the reply I mention above. I am sure they have made actual useful posts, and I may have learned from them.

                          I have since made posts I thought were amusing and been both gratified and disappointed. Some clearly see the humor in it and other clearly missed it shown only by the skid marks on their forehead of the landing gear on the low flying concept that passed over their head.

                          The thing I try to remind myself is there is a truism at play. Every guy in the room thinks they are the smartest person in the room. I didn't come up with that, but the first time I heard it I instantly thought, "That explains so much."
                          Last edited by Bob La Londe; 04-14-2021, 12:55 PM.
                          Bob La Londe
                          Professional Hack, Hobbyist, Wannabe, Shade Tree, Button Pushing, Not a "Real" machinist​
                          I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Doc Nickel View Post
                            Well, to bring an old point back up, one of the reasons people visit a site regularly is when there's regular content. People check every day when there's something new and interesting to read every day. If there's nothing really new and interesting, they tend to migrate over to where there IS something new and interesting.

                            And here, all too many of you regulars bury your content in the impenetrably-large and almost entirely unsearchable "Shop Made Tools" and "What Did You Machine Today?" threads.

                            Yes, many of you that have been here a while and have been regularly following that thread, have no trouble keeping up. But a part-time reader or worse a new reader? One thread is two hundred and seventy-plus pages long, the other over a hundred and fifty. I'm a regular and a machine enthusiast, and I don't read those, because they're cluttered, disorganized and unsearchable.

                            A new reader? No new reader is going to devote five days of intensive study to work their way through those threads. Those of you who use that thread have effectively closed yourselves off in your own little walled garden. You're locking all your content away and now complaining that there's no one left here to read your content.

                            If all of those shiny new shop-made tools and doohickeys I machined today were posted out in the open forum, in individual threads- as a board like this is designed for- those new and part-time readers might see actual traffic and projects- IE, new, fresh content- and maybe stick around and provide content of their own.

                            I think someone has thread envy here. The Shop Made Tools thread isn't supposed to be a place like an encyclopedia. It's a place to get ideas from. If I want to ask how to bend something or machine something I ask the question here or elsewhere. I've seen many comments from people who spent many evenings reading the thread from start to finish and loved it. Ever read a newspaper? My thread is kind of like that or a magazine. It's meant to spur the imagination.

                            Why would someone spend five days looking through the thread if they were looking for something specific? Why not just search it? Here or elsewhere.
                            OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                            THINK HARDER


                            MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC


                            • #44
                              It's time consuming to post pics and type............I'm not a big fan of typing and I ain't too good at it. Uploading pictures, linking them and all the associated technical issues that go along with it.
                              I was thinking of hiring a secretary to help me keep up with my postings !



                              • #45
                                Originally posted by bborr01 View Post
                                I think someone has thread envy here.
                                -And the last time I brought this up, nearly two years ago, you complained in a similar manner: It's my thread, don't close it!

                                Kettle, thy name is black.

                                The Shop Made Tools thread isn't supposed to be a place like an encyclopedia.
                                -True. The entire board is supposed to be like a sort of encyclopedia.

                                When I bought my Nichols mill back in 2009, I both asked and searched on PM. I found helpful threads going back to 2003. Besides the ones I searched up, some of the PM members pointed me to others that had a little useful information too. Ditto when I got my first VFD- I mainly asked, since I didn't at the time know what to ask on that one, and the PM'ers pointed me to several very helpful threads on just that subject.

                                My Springfield lathe, my Warner & Swasey, the old Rockford drill, the truly ancient Stockbridge shaper, etc. Every time, I'd Google, and Google would spit up a dozen postings from PM, often as not telling me pretty much exactly what I wanted to know.

                                "Your" thread doesn't come up. Even if it did, it's impossible to find anything specific in two-hundred-plus pages.

                                It's a place to get ideas from.
                                -Only if people read it. Put it this way: HSM already only gets a small fraction of the traffic that PM gets, and 'your' sub-thread only sees a fraction of THAT. Those useful ideas are effectively hidden. Today's online surfer has nearly zero patience- make them wait too long and jump through too many hoops to get to the information, and they bail to go watch cat videos on YouTube. Almost literally.

                                You want people to read your stuff? Post it out where people can see it easily

                                Why would someone spend five days looking through the thread if they were looking for something specific? Why not just search it? Here or elsewhere.
                                -Because the thread is unsearchable. It takes repeated, concentrated effort to find a specific post in that thread, even if you know what you're looking for.

                                And, the biggest thing is, there's a LOT of times someone may not need that idea now, but remembers it later, when a similar situation comes up. I've done it myself many, many times. The more people read a given post, the more people might get some use out of it- and since demonstrably not everyone, even of the regulars here, reads 'your' sub-thread, then that's clearly limiting who reads it.

                                I recently nearly-fully rebuilt a Warner & Swasey No.2 Turret lathe. I posted it to PM rather than here, because PM is open, searchable and indexed by Google. I've had hundreds of people over the years thank me for the photos and information I've posted, and I wanted whatever info and how-tos I came up with in that build, to be equally easy to find. I try to post the kind of information I wish I had access to when I started the project.

                                You, on the other hand, are literally, deliberately limiting access to useful information.

                                Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)