Do we need a replacement group?



Usenet's dying, but it's not from spam. It's from lack of support and interest from ISPs. They and others would love for usenet to dry up and drive everything to web based forums where they can add our eyes to the ad streams. Probably accounts for the spam assault on usenet - drive us to look at the webside billboards.
I did eGroups with other hobbies back when the web forums started to emerge and gain in popularity - they have their uses. But they have their issues as well. I saw many a group implode under the weight of the "Cult of Personality" that inevitably intrudes to any gathering of humans where members are less than on equal terms. But most groups just withered away from lack of interest. And yet no frills, black and white all-text usenet rolls on year after year. Granted this forum and a few others I frequent are nothing like their former selves. Traffic is way down from the heady years of 97 or so (God, was that really 10-11 years ago) when you'd have 250-300 posts per DAY. You can pitch as many reasons at Usenet as you can the hobby itself for the decline. 350 messages might be a week's worth now (not counting spam and trolls to stupid to realize they're thrashing about in the binaries group). I don't miss the 250-350 posts per day. I just miss guys like Al and others that are irreplaceable to the hobby and most importantly to RMS.
Usnet for me is like picking up the newspaper off my front porch and sitting down and reading it with a cup of coffee. Admittedly, my laptop is more likely to be beside that cup of coffee these days when I'm getting the national news, but I also still get and read the newspaper. Despite the fact that Knight Ridder are just left of Karl Marx. I like to keep up on the small local stories, obits, etc. When it comes to national news I get that from the web. By the time the stories make news print it's stale by at least 24 hours.
And when I'm thru reading and feel like writing long winded messages like this I choose usenet. ;-)
Like I said, enjoy the simplicity of the usenet - where therre's none of those squiggly little passwords to enter in to prove you're not a web bot. No cookies, no ad streams, no silly alter ego profile pictures that are almost never an actual picture of the person, and no equally silly forum member or message rating systems.
That's right, no 3 out of 5 tubes of glue for this post from MajorRevellWmB_2008.
WmB
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Apart from RMS there's very little social aspect to my modeling - I suffer in solitude. ;-) So it's always good to here that folks in different areas are working it better than me. My hunch is that over all the hobby is in decline. Kids just don't seem to to be into it as much as when I was a model brat. Video games - now that's alive and well by all estimates.
Now whether more adults are modeling or not - I have no idea. Sounds like that could very well be the case from what your club is experiencing. That would be good for the hobby no doubt. Young or old, today's modeler appears to be on average far more sophisticated than in the past, and that might be a worthwhile trade off - taking models from the toy aisle exclusively to the craftsman's table.
WmB
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in article snipped-for-privacy@a1g2000hsb.googlegroups.com, Don Stauffer in Minnesota at snipped-for-privacy@usfamily.net wrote on 4/22/08 9:57 AM:

I access r.m.s. via my isp (Comcast) using my email program (Outlook Express). I don't personally find the multitude of spam postings that troublesome -- I just ignore them. What I do find bothersome is the ratio of spam postings to legitimate modeling postings. Sorta like in a garden: if there are enough flowers, it's easier to ignore a few weeds; but a dearth of flowers makes the weeds disproportionately obvious.
With absolutely no disrespect to the fine modelers who still post to r.m.s., it seems as if many have migrated to other forums, especially the ones at HyperScale and Aircraft Resource Center. I confess that I check out Plane Talking at HyperScale more often than r.m.s. these days because there is always a lot more (sometimes) useful modeling discussion going on. I don't know what factors precipitated the migration. Did people get sick of the vitriolic flame wars? Did accessing newsgroups become more difficult?
Whatever the reasons, I think the biggest threat to r.m.s. is not the spam but the dwindling of useful, model-related postings. As in so many other institutions, it's all about the people. What can we do to lure people back and/or attract new posters?
Pip Moss
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But I believe the diminishing number of posts IS a result of people leaving the group. I know several who used to subscribe but have moved to web-based forums. Fewer people, fewer posts.
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I may be in a minority but I build civil models more than military anyway, like racing cars, commercial ships, trucks, etc. I know there are a fair number of car builders still in the group. And even when I do build military airplanes, WW1 is my most popular genre, with golden age (1920-1939) a close second. Now, maybe you are right, and that is why I stick with the group. Dunno.
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I used to read rms and post hear almost daily, but the constant, pointless and stupid flamewars drove me away.
The SPAM doesn't help either, even though I have pretty good filters and killfiles.

I'm not sure there is much that can be done to save RMS. A general purpose board would be great, but it would probably have to be web based and NOT Ad infected like Yahoo. There aren't many modelers out there anymore, and most already go to the various niche sites - Hyperscale, ARC, Modeling Madness, Armorama, SteelNavy, Modelwarships, Starship Modeler, etc. If you want a generic board, Hobbytalk and the Finescale Modeler both fit the bill and are moderated.
--
Frank Henriquez Programmer/Analyst Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA
snipped-for-privacy@ucla.edu http://frank.bol.ucla.edu/index.htm
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Hey Pip, good to "see" you again, been about 3+ yrs.
I think migration to other forums is what the actual cause of death was. There are several benefits to other forums:
1. They can be genre specific. The car modelers post at car sites, ship modelers at ship sites, armor modelers at armor sites, etc. So a member doesn't have to look at posts from areas he has little interest in. 2. Most forums allow for the insertion of photos. That allows modelers to post their work and get almost immediate feedback. They can also post photos to backup the written information when answering questions or requesting references. 3. Moderators help keep topics on track and try to defuse flame wars (although flame wars still exist on moderated forums). Habitual flame war starters are often banned and sent packing. 4. Lack of Spammers. Their topics are normally deleted and removed from sight.
I think it is just a case of the internet evolving and becoming more multi-functional.
RobG
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Actually, the reason I LOVE this group is that it is NOT genre specific. I model virtually ALL genres, so subscribing to this group allows me to cover all bases with one group. Plus, tips on paints, glues, airbrushes, etc. apply to all genre.
I did not see an overwhelming support to the creation of a scale model group, so laying that idea aside. However, one of the other groups I subscribe to has a member that is somehow converting all the spam messages- the ones with the big, long, full-paragraph subject lines, so that the subject lines just say "spam". This makes it easier to scroll through. I have no idea how he does it, but it actually appears that way in the group subject list.
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In my previous post I suggested to killfile the bastards or just ignore them. Well, for those other readers/posters that have problems with their ISPs dropping newsgroup, especially the binary groups, here is a suggestion. I use NetScape (NS) as my news reader and MS Explorer as the ISP (thru AT&T), specifically versions 4.2 - it is (I think) the third version of NS. It is a bit slow, and you get the gamut of spam and other crap, but it is free, I have been using it since I started reading groups around 1998 (wow, that long!). It has the regular filters albeit a bit arcane, but they are there. Go to the NS web page and follow the links to the downloadable versions - if not, go to Google and enter NetScape Version 4.2.
Hope this helps those that have to pay for viewing the newsgroups.
Ray =Don Stauffer in Minnesota wrote:

SNIP.
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"Ray S. & Nayda Katzaman" wrote:

Netscape 4.7 here and I'd still be using 3.0 if W98 allowed it. I have a crapload of rms info on this computer but it's sealed in the little cut-off universe of 3.0 thanks to the last upgrade before the new computer. Putting google groups into the filter seems to have cleared up the spam - or I haven't gotten far enough down the list yet.
Bill Banaszak, MFE Sr.
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Mad-Modeller wrote:

I switched to Seamonkey after NS went browser only, and am happy with it.
--
- Rufus

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wrote:

========================================================Hi.
I read the responses to this with interest.
I don not think the spammers will*KILL* the groups but they will cubt down on knew members and possibly activity by those who access these groups from Google.
Put yourself in a Newbie's shoes for a moment.
Some one tells you about these groups or you discover them for yourself whilst browsing on the web. You think to yourself, "Yippee! Just whay I've been looking for!" You then visit a group and discover page after page of spam and/or off-topic posts. You are very disappointed. Are you likely to join that group? I do not think so. Many times recently I have reached this group via Google only to find five or more pages of spam (50+ messages) and perhaps two or three modelling related threads. MAny times those threads have been hijacked and are illed with post completely unrelated to the question or topic in the header.
A good feature of these groups is that replies can be much faster than on a moderated forum even if the forum has a number of moderators. The problem with forums is how many times a day (if you are lucky) do the moderators check for new messages.
Any worthwhile forum or group will require registration and a password in an effort to cut down on spammers.
I moderate and also run a couple of Yahoo modelling groups. A big advantage of these is that you can *BAN* a spammer. It they try rejoining under a new identity it is disallowed.
Another advantage to Yahoo groups and some forums is that you can post images *WITH* your posts. Those viewing your post to not have to go elsewhere to look at an image you are using to illustrate a question or a response.
However, as has been mentioned, many of these forums and groups have a narrow field of what they consider on-topic posts. Perhaps that is in part because they do not want some one to post a query seeking help and then get only off-topic replies - which btw is another source of annoyance for many.
I post queries here *BECAUSE* the potential responders form such a wide pol of knowledge and because responses are some times quicker. Since I do not have a dedicated newsreader nor have I been able to figure out how to set up Outlook Express t read the newsgroups I have drifted mostly to Yahoo groups and then to forums for help.
Cheers from Peter
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.ca wrote: : : Another advantage to Yahoo groups and some forums is that you can : post images *WITH* your posts. :     You can always provide an HTML link to your photos in a post. People can then look at the link or not. Given the potential for "things" to be delivered by a specially crafted .jpg or such, I'll let others vet the link for me. :-)
    Then again, I doubt the spammers would get me with a windows exploit anyway...
                            Bruce
--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
"I like bad!" Bruce Burden Austin, TX.
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Is it just me or is our Chinese asshole friend missing today?Maybe his lead poisoning is acting up. :-)TomOn Apr 24, 7:41pm, snipped-for-privacy@realtime.net (Bruce Burden) wrote:> snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.ca wrote:> > :> : Another advantage to Yahoo groups and some forums is that you can> : post images *WITH* your posts.> :> You can always provide an HTML link to your photos in a> post. People can then look at the link or not. Given the> potential for "things" to be delivered by a specially crafted> .jpg or such, I'll let others vet the link for me. :-)> > Then again, I doubt the spammers would get me with a windows> exploit anyway...> > Bruce> --> ------------------------------------------------------------------------

rden Austin, TX.> - Thuganlitha> The Power and the Prophet> Robert Don Hughes
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<Is it just me or is our Chinese asshole friend missing today?Maybe his <lead poisoning is acting up. :-)TomOn Apr 24, 7:41 pm,
Ahhhh...and I thought my finely crafted "blocked senders" list was finally starting to kick in :-( Still, it's pleasent to see a relatively clear field of posts, whatever the cause :-)
Doug
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Day two without our jack-off.May be he's out trying to corner the rice market. :-)MAy he choke on it.TomOn Apr 25, 9:51am, "Doug Wagner"
message> > <Is it just me or is our Chinese asshole friend missing today?Maybe his> <lead poisoning is acting up. :-)TomOn Apr 24, 7:41 pm,> > Ahhhh...and I thought my finely crafted "blocked senders" list was finally> starting to kick in :-(> Still, it's pleasent to see a relatively clear field of posts, whatever the> cause :-)> > Doug
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First, I'll apologize if this double or triple posts. When I hit th "submit" button it says it didn't work, and it doesn't show on my list o submitted posts. Sometimes it takes a bit to show up. That said, I'l try it one more time. There's a new moderated group that might be o interest. It's loosely based on StarshipModeler, and it's categorized bu not genre specific. It might be worth a look and we can let the spammer have RMS to deliver the Coup de gras.
http://modeling.mybb3.org/index.ph
-
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