Separating forum and modelling queries.

Discussion in 'Forum Information and Issues' started by adrian, 9 January 2017.

  1. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    As mentioned previously we are looking at some tweaking some of the forum structure. One thing that seems to have got intertwined have been modelling queries and forum queries about posting issues or images etc.

    I didn't really want the modelling queries getting lost in all the technical stuff as I'm sure many aren't bothered about the software just as long as it works. So you may have noticed I have created a new section in the members area specifically for modelling questions and queries and then we can leave this area just for announcements like this or queries about using the forum. Nothing has been deleted we will just be shuffling threads around a bit so whilst the new section is empty at the moment I will pull across all the modelling bits as soon as I get time.
    Len Cattley, Dog Star and auld_boot like this.
  2. John Miller

    John Miller Western Thunderer

    Congratulations on the new 'tweaks' to the forum - it's all good stuff! .... :thumbs:

    However - there are a couple of issues that I find a tad confusing and maybe this is the appropriate place to raise them. For relative newcomers like myself I'm sure some of them are lost in the mists of time and tradition (like the 'Blue Brigade') - but others are more relevant.....

    - Area 51 - As far as I know that's a patch of land in a US desert. Wouldn't it be clearer to just call it "non-WR Action" especially as it immediately follows "WR Action" - and that's what comes up when you hover over it anyway?

    - Society News - Most of the content here seems to be about modelling in other scales - not so much about societies.
    BTW - 'Thirtysecond' didn't appear to get an answer to his question ....

    - Prefixes - I'm not clear as to how they work - how are they applied and who can change or delete them - and can the mods, or anyone else see who instigated them. A case in point is Jordans thread 'One poor old Triang Hymek' - sometime after I made my post #5, it aquired the prefix "SPAM". - I hope it wasn't something I said .... :eek::)
    Last edited: 10 January 2017
  3. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Thanks for the feedback it is appreciated.
    I'm not surprised there's a few things that I still find confusing.
    That is another area that we will be tweaking, as you're not the first to make such a comment. There's a few more threads to sift through in these areas so I started with the shorter questions and queries to practice on first. When I get time we'll rollout a couple of updates in this area.
    My understanding is that originally this was specifically for Society News and discussions but as the forum has evolved more scale specific threads have been started. Although it would be nice to keep an open mind and learn from work in other scales we do seem to gravitate to our chosen scales and I'm as guilty as many others! We'll have a look that area later.
    Mea culpa - I thought we'd covered it with him via a PM but it seems not. I will follow this up.
    The prefixes are specific to each area and can be applied by the person who started the thread or by the Flying Squad. They are intended as a means for quickly applying a filter to a forum area, for example if you go to the Small Ads area and click on any red "For Sale" button then it applies that as a filter in that area and only shows threads marked in the same way.

    Screen Shot 2017-01-10 at 00.22.03.png

    The SPAM filter is just used to identify a thread, in a light hearted way, where the contents lean more towards the tabloid side of the spectrum rather than the broadsheet reporting.
    John Miller and Dog Star like this.
  4. Dan Randall

    Dan Randall Western Thunderer

    Area 51 was the name bestowed by Cynric Williams, the forum's founder, who sadly passed away on 1st January 2013, aged just 47.

    Our Tribute To Cynric

    A Western Region modeller himself (and a very good one at that), WR Action is self explanatory, but with Area 51, I think he just called it that because just like its namesake, it was a place of mystery until you went in! :)

    I think it would be a fitting tribute to Cynric to leave it as he intended, but what do other's think?


  5. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    I agree with Dan, there are some bits of WT - up front as in "Area 51" and in dark corners as in "Blue Brigade" - which are reminders of Cynric's touches / humour and deserve to be recognised as hallowed ground.
  6. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    I didn't know Cynric but subscribe to this view 100%.

    WT will develop and move on - that is inevitable and desirable. And new comers to the site will be as bemused by "Area 51" and "Blue Brigade" as I was when I joined the group. However, they provide a rock in the ground which brings us back to the guy who initiated this site and act as a gentle reminder of where all this originated and how tolerant Cynric was of all railway interests outside his own (accepting that much of "Blue Brigade" would fall firmly within his personal remit).

    It didn't take me long to understand what these two items (and others) are about and, IMHO, they are a part of our culture and a reminder not to take ourselves too seriously. After all, this is all supposed to be fun.

  7. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Area 51 is a legacy name and location, it and a few other salient points / names are what make WT, well WT.

    It doesn't make sense but then not making sense and having a bit of fun is what forums are about, certainly this one.

    fenman, Len Cattley, PMP and 7 others like this.
  8. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    and therein lies the conundrum. From feedback I get, it is that from the outside of our bubble the forum appears very cliquey and introverted (I dare say some may applaud this) This confusion over where to post is usually the one given as an explanation as to why and it appears to be a barrier to people contributing, as no one likes butting in on a private conversation. I like to think that the positive attitude within the forum allows people to ask questions but many are still reticent to put their "head above the parapet" as they perceive it. I appreciate the cachet of Area 51 within WT, I just get the feeling of stagnation at the moment so I would like to try adding a couple of new areas to give new posters easier/clearer access to the forum. I do feel the focus has changed to some degree and in an effort to "develop and move on" I am just trying to reflect that in the updates.

    I couldn't agree more.
  9. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    I'll comment if I may, Adrian.

    Initially I too was rather reticent about joining because the standards here appeared (and are) way beyond my abilities most of the time. Defining where to post has never been a problem - if it's in the wrong place there's no lack of willingness to put it in the correct place, so I've just posted away with gay abandon. The biggest concern for me, and this has been voiced by others on other occasions, is how we retain the very special nature of WT. It's great to open it up to a wider audience as long as we don't lose the philosophy that's made WT what it is. In fact one could argue that coming to terms with the special nature of WT and being willing to abide by it's quirkiness is one of the rites of passage which makes one a WT member and contributor.

    As with any change - and managed change is usually desirable to keep any organisation updated, fresh and current - there may be an application of the Law of Unintended Consequences at which time WT will become no better or worse than the multiplicity of other specialist sites out there. That would be a shame. I guess that, if that happened, we would be reliant on our Flying Squad being hard nosed with the members. After all, membership of WT is a privilege, not a right.

    jamiepage, SteveB, Peter and 2 others like this.
  10. 40126

    40126 Western Thunderer

    We (that are left) are not in 'dark corners', We are clear for all to see, at the back of the class !! :headbang:

    Steve :cool:
    Dog Star likes this.
  11. 40126

    40126 Western Thunderer

    So @adrian, when does 'The Blue Brigade' get our own tab ? :rolleyes::eek::rolleyes::eek:

    Steve :cool:
  12. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Though it doesn't specify what Area 51 is, there's a good introduction to the forum ethos in Welcome to Western Thunder which lurks under the 'About' tab on the title bar. Perhaps it should be repeated as a sticky in the shallow end (new members) along with the tribute which hides under 28ten. Combined they give a good idea of what we're about and the manner in which we do it.

    Edit: Like the new features, they genuinely seem to add to the forum but equally like 'Area 51'.
    D G Williams, PMP and Dan Randall like this.
  13. PMP

    PMP Western Thunderer

    I'd like Area 51 to stay as it is too.
    allegheny1600 and simond like this.
  14. mth

    mth Western Thunderer

    Speek for yourself. I like the dark corners:confused::cool::p
    40126 likes this.
  15. John Miller

    John Miller Western Thunderer

    And you'll be at the back of the class as well if you spell 'speak' like that .... :)
  16. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    If the 'Blue Brigade' is at the back of the class does that mean we US modellers are consigned to the bike sheds :p:eek:?
  17. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    More likely a different school entirely, Dave. But it'll be OK as it's probably approved.:))


    PS - Just realised that looks extremely rude! Please carry on posting. The NA machinations (and any others, come to that) are always fascinating.
  18. mth

    mth Western Thunderer

    Dislexia rules K.O.
  19. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    If we are discussing features, one thing that "other fora" provide which I find very convenient is a "top" button.

    Particularly handy on those iDevices...

    Jon Fitness and John Miller like this.
  20. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    D&RGW and SP fans are behind smoking ;)