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  • To Mr. Bulliss; Re: the closing of vastly oversized threads

    I wanted to write a PM, but your box is full.

    Simply put, I suggest- again- that several of the threads, such as "shop-made tools" and "what did you machine today" have grown FAR too large, and it's long past time to close them.

    "Shop made" is over two hundred and seventy pages long, and "today" is over a hundred and fifty. Other posters have noted a seeming drop in traffic and interest here, and I believe the issue is twofold: One, regulars here are posting their new content to a handful of sub-threads that not even all the regulars read, and few or no new reader is going to try and wade through, and that's robbing the main forum of said content. Which leads to a catch-22: Without new content to draw in regular readers, said regular readers stop being so regular. And more importantly, NEW readers, seeing there's minimal new content, don't return.

    The big threads should be locked- stickied if necessary, but locked- and the participants therein encouraged to continue posting their works as regular individual threads in the open forum. Which is, after all, the entire purpose of a forum like this.

    We're already losing a LOT of traffic to Facebook and the like, and making the board less enticing to both new and regular readers alike, is not in our best interests. We should be as welcoming and open as possible- there's a lot of interesting work being done and shown here, but far too much of it is getting entombed in unindexed and unsearchable monster threads that each only see a fraction of the board's overall traffic.

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

  • #2
    Been watching the progress of the other thread. I'm about done for the day and need to run to an appointment, but will reply in more detail tomorrow.
    George
    Traverse City, MI

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    • #3
      I'd say pick out the good parts and that a sticky, delete the long winded stuff, but let the thread keep going
      just trim it, and sticky the good parts

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      • #4
        Sounds like too much work. It's these sort of things where BB's become not ideal. A wiki of the golden nuggets would be great

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        • #5
          Probably a big problem to do but ideally it would be divided into years and in future at each year end start a new one that has the year in the title and both the last entry in the old thread and the first entry in the new thread link to each other. This is what is done on the Model Engineer forum.

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          • #6
            I have to second the idea of simply closing them.

            They have sucked away content in general, and the least work solution is to simply close them.

            If someone wants to compile a guide to them, they would be welcome to do so. But I am aware that the VP folks tolerate this forum simply because it is not much trouble.

            If it becomes trouble, then it may simply go away without a trace left.
            2730

            Keep eye on ball.
            Hashim Khan


            It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.

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            • #7
              I have to agree with JT on this, but will wait to see what GB has to say about this.
              “I know lots of people who are educated far beyond their intelligence”

              Lewis Grizzard

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              • #8
                The idea here, gentlemen, is content. I know that's buzzwordy these days, but it simply means "stuff we want to look at".

                Places like Facebook and YouTube have practically weaponized it- they record what you've clicked on and looked at and logged how long you look at this or that, and so will feed you more of whatever that genre` is. That's why Faceboo is so addictive- every time you look at it, whether it's once a day or once a minute, there's always something new to look at. A new ad, a new news clipping, a new message from Aunt Gertrude about the progress of her cats gallstone, whatever.

                And THAT is what makes, builds and keeps traffic to a forum like this. If there's only one post a day, and it's asking "how duz i endmill?" well, sooner or later we're all gonna stop reading it and the forum will die. (As so many have before us.)

                But, if there's something new and interesting every day- somebody has the latest part to a miniature steam engine, another is asking about shaft straightening, another is showing off a sailboat part, etc. we're all more likely to stop and read, and more likely to come back tomorrow to read some more.

                AND, that especially counts with new readers. A new reader gets directed here, sees the second-newest post is three days old, realizes the place doesn't get much traffic and probably doesn't come back.

                Or worse, said new reader shows up, looking to read up on the projects and doings of experienced machinists, and sees we're all talking about RTV curing times and the longest thread in evidence is about the ship stuck in the Suez, he, again, is unlikely to come back.

                Now, we're doing better than that, of course, but we're still locking up some of the best content in absurdly long threads that are impossible to search even if you know what you're looking for, and so big that few, if any, new readers are going to bother wading through.

                We're already losing a LOT of traffic to FaceBook groups- they, too, are basically unsearchable, but since they spoon-feed the reader twenty new posts an hour, it hooks the reader and keeps him. (Or her.) We should NOT be crippling ourselves in that regard- especially willfully and deliberately. It takes no more effort to post those shop-made tools and whatnot to the regular, open forum, than it does to post it to the specialty threads. But out in the open, it does everyone- new reader and old alike- much more good. It's read by more people, it helps draw more in, it's easier to find with a search, for those that have ongoing projects, it's far easier to organize and keep track of, etc. etc.

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

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                • #9
                  I agree with Doc.

                  I think there is some really good content in those threads but the length makes them too unwieldly and ... well it seems to dilute the experience somehow. When people post a new thread about their project, shop made tool, tech tip, etc. it gives the rest of us an opportunity to really discuss that particular item. Of course, that can be a double edged sword because everything is opened up for critiquing and nit-picking, but I think it's for the good in the long run.

                  It's also easier to search. Let's say I'm a newbie and I want to learn about squaring a block in my mill, I'm not going to dig through a massive thread with hundreds of unrelated posts to find tips on the subject. I suppose these days, I would probably search YouTube but if I was on the forum, I might use the search function and up pops a thread that is a veritable treasure-trove of tips, techniques, and opinions on the subject. That's where the forum excels. One enormous post might as well be a Facebook feed, as Doc said.


                  But, in the end, it's George's house and his rules. We're just guests here and I, for one, am grateful to be here!

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                  • #10
                    I couldn't agree more on content. When I scroll through titles, I see all sorts of way off-topic stuff that has nothing to do with metalworking. I really don't think medical, nutritional, or agricultural topics belong here. It's a turn-off for me.

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                    • #11
                      Yep, I never look at those threads because they are too big to even parse.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CarlByrns View Post
                        I couldn't agree more on content. When I scroll through titles, I see all sorts of way off-topic stuff that has nothing to do with metalworking. I really don't think medical, nutritional, or agricultural topics belong here. It's a turn-off for me.
                        I find this slightly off topic and day to day type stuff really interesting. It teaches me about the difference's in culture, tool and material availability, other stuff in other countries, mostly USA of course.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Doc Nickel View Post

                          But, if there's something new and interesting every day- somebody has the latest part to a miniature steam engine, another is asking about shaft straightening, another is showing off a sailboat part, etc. we're all more likely to stop and read, and more likely to come back tomorrow to read some more.

                          ...

                          Or worse, said new reader shows up, looking to read up on the projects and doings of experienced machinists, and sees we're all talking about RTV curing times and the longest thread in evidence is about the ship stuck in the Suez, he, again, is unlikely to come back.

                          Having been the author of my fair share of OT posts, I don't think there is anything wrong with OT threads, especially if they are likely to appeal to the Home Shop crowd. For instance, some of my recent OT threads were related to forklifts, backhoes, and trailers - all pieces of equipment I've acquired to help me with my hobby machine shop. And even the really OT posts don't bother me - in the "glory days", there was a pretty tight knit bunch of guys here and they felt like "real world" friends. Sure, we all had machining in common, but sometimes it was nice to shoot the sh*t about current events and other nonsense. Sadly, a number of those folks have left the forum or passed away, but (especially as a young man), I think I learned as much from the OT posts as the on-topic ones.

                          That said, I think a balance is REALLY important. Maybe this is just me looking back through rose colored glasses, but it seemed like for every 10 on topic posts, there would be 1 off topic one. And the on topic posts were pretty engaging - restoring an old machine tool, working on a miniature, etc. I think a lot of that great content still exists, but it's getting vacuumed up into the long threads and what's left is mostly OT or tangentially related topics.

                          Just my $0.02. But then, if there is a decline here, I'm partially responsible. I used to post threads about what I was working on. These days, I've been so busy renovating my house and working, that I haven't had much time for the hobbies I really enjoy. The machining that I do get to do is often for work and I can't share it publicly Nearly all of my threads over the past few years have been tangentially related at best.


                          Edit:

                          That said, I was just looking things over. Honestly, most of the threads are on-topic. Maybe some of us who have been here awhile are just getting crusty and we assume we've seen it all before, so we're clicking on and reading less? I'm probably guilty of that.

                          Last edited by Fasttrack; 04-14-2021, 06:03 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Baz View Post
                            Probably a big problem to do but ideally it would be divided into years and in future at each year end start a new one that has the year in the title and both the last entry in the old thread and the first entry in the new thread link to each other. This is what is done on the Model Engineer forum.
                            Then you would have XX volumes on of Shop Made threads with no table of contents, no index. How would that make a relevant post easier to find?
                            Lock it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I actually don't mind the OT posts, in fact find them quite interesting. Something that intrigues me a bunch is to see someone asking about a basic machining topic, like single-point threading. A bit later on, he chimes in on an OT thread and shares his expertise as a brain surgeon. Who would have guessed? I'm tempted at times to come here first with almost ANY question/problem, as I'm confident that someone is an expert in that field.

                              I do agree that those long threads should be locked; I've not even looked at them because of the length.

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