New robotics forum : please stop by!

Hello,
My name is Robert Oschler and I am the forum administrator for the Robots.net sanctioned forum: http://www.robotsrule.com/phpBB2/ .
It's a brand new forum and as I'm sure many of you know, kickstarting a forum can be hard at first.
I'd appreciate it if you all would stop by and post (and have fun while you're at it!).
If there is anything you have wanted to see on a robotics forum, new sections, polls, features, etc. - *please* stop by and leave a message on the suggestions forum.
For example, I've been considering creating a database of robot parts (buy/sell/trade/swap), diagrams & schematics, and help requests, and web sites. People could post to this database when looking for robotics related items or assistance, and share with each other.
What do you all think? Please post your replies here: http://www.robotsrule.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p7#37
Thanks for your time, Robert.
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Yes, especially when there are dozens if not 100s of other robotics forums already. It seems the best way to start a "new" forum is to concentrate on something specific, like the Basic Stamp or other controller, R2D2 robot, etc.
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Though this one appears to be non-commercial, a lot of these "forums" are just there to build Google PR in order to sell AdSense or other ads.
For the OP: Who is Robots.net to "sanction" a forum one way or the other? Don't get me wrong: I think Robots.net a fine site and they deserve many kudos. But I don't think any single entity has been given the job of accepting or dismissing any activity in the robotics community.
-- Gordon Author: Robot Builder's Bonanza Budget Robotics: http://www.budgetrobotics.com
dan michaels wrote:

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Gordon,
Sorry for the confusion.
Robots.net isn't saying my forum is the only forum for robots or the best, it is simply saying that my forum is the forum for the Robots.net web site. If you go to their web site you will see that they don't have a forum. I talked to them and offered to put one up for them and they said OK and allowed me to call it the Robots.net forum (as shown in the DMOZ listing for it).
BTW, I looked at your books on Amazon and I noticed that they had near perfect customer review ratings. I took the liberty of adding them to the new page I created for books on building robots. I hope you don't mind. Here is a link to the new books page:
http://www.robotsrule.com/html/books-robots.php
You can see the link to this page in the upper left hand corner of the main forum page:
http://www.robotsrule.com/phpBB2 /
Honesty note: I just bought the books so I used Amazon's editorial descriptions as a basis for the descriptions I wrote. I felt confident adding them unseen because of the high customer review ratings they both have.
I hope you'll stop by! I'm working with another forum member on creating a searchable parts, knowledge, and mentoring database so members can exchange knowledge. As an author on robotics, it would be great to get your input too. My intention is that the database will be a resource to robotics builder's everywhere who are looking for parts, help, ideas, etc.
Thanks, Robert
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OIC. Thanks for the clarification. "Sanctioned" has a lot of different meanings, I suppose.
Also thanks for the links to the books...the Amazon descriptions are really from the Ingram book database, and come from the publisher, and are meant to be reproduced. I encourage you to add more books. There are a number of really good ones out there. Together they form a good "collective" for advancing the art.
Don't go by the Amazon rating to judge quality. I've never posted a false review of my books, or of my "competitors'" books, but some other authors do. Amazon's rating system is now beseiged by authors and publishers "gaming" the system, as Amazon makes no attempt to validate the reviewer. Sugestion: It's better to get qualified recommendations from your own registered members. You can find out which books are among the top 20 or 30 sellers on Amazon, list them all, and then let real users comment and suggest (and add their own favorites).
I agree with Dan about specializing. Since you are using PHPBB2 you can add forums under groups, which helps to keep things on-topic. The disadvantage of comp.robotics.misc is that while topics a threaded by a newsreader, they all go into one big hopper and people have to weed through them all for the things that interest them.
You have a forum on "fighting robots," for example. Perhaps that could be a "Competition" group, and under that Combat, Trinity, Sumo, and other popular challenges. People interested in mini-sumo aren't building combat robots, for example, and vice versa. Again, just a suggestion.
I do a monthly column for SERVO Magazine on robotics resources, and an upcoming topic will be publicly available Web forums. As I run across them I've been saving them, and I now have *dozens*. Seems to be the latest trend, or something! <g> Anyway, good luck with yours.
-- Gordon Author: Robot Builder's Bonanza Budget Robotics: http://www.budgetrobotics.com
Robert Oschler wrote:

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Gordon,
In retrospect "sanctioned" was a bad choice of words. Big thanks for the tips and the suggestions. I will be using them.
Regarding books, if you have any all-time favorites, just give me the title or link and I'll do them up. I would indeed like to beef up that section.
I look forward to your column in Servo magazine. I'll use the forums list you publish to see what I can offer that would be topically unique from what the others are offering. When do you think that particular topic will appear in your column? Servo is a sister publication to Nuts 'n' Volts isn't it? I'll get a subscription right away.
Thanks, Robert.
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Gordon McComb wrote: >>> For the OP: Who is Robots.net to "sanction" a forum one way >>> or the other? >> >>Robert Oschler wrote: >> Sorry for the confusion. >> Robots.net isn't saying my forum is the only forum for robots or >> the best,it is simply saying that my forum is the forum for the >> Robots.net web site. > > OIC. Thanks for the clarification. "Sanctioned" has a lot of > different meanings, I suppose.
Actually, the first thing that came to mind when I read that was the meaning from the movie, The Eiger Sanction. But don't worry, we aren't authorizing assasinations. ;-)
I've never added a forum to robots.net for two reasons: 1) I prefer reading comp.robotics.misc to any web forums I've run across and 2) as has been noted there are already a lot of robotics forums around. But I get regular emails asking for a robots.net forum, so when Robert volunteered to set one up, I told him he could use our name if he wanted.
-Steve
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That's a good point. In my case the something specific I intend to try is a searchable database of parts, datasheets, and knowledge that everyone can use. If you have any ideas about this please let me know, or better yet, stop by the forum and express your opinion here:
http://www.robotsrule.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t 
Hope you will still stop by at some time!
Thanks, Robert.
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