Slightly OT. Setting a standard.

Gentlemen. With reference to Kim Siddorns article in the latest SE may I suggest that this newsgroup sets a similar standard as that suggested regarding rally
field transgressors. As this is an unmoderated (I believe that is the correct term) newsgroup it will rely on everyone to keep to the agreed standard. May I suggest that everyone simply ignore totally OT postings. Should these contributors of OT postings continue to post OT items, then give them the Black Spot and ignore them (on group) even if they post something stationary engine related, for a certain period of time. This could also be applied to those who regularly seem to twist a thread away from its original subject to their own (usually non stationary engine related) topic of interest. I will immediately put my hand up and admit to irrelevant postings regarding the end of Concordes service and several other OT threads, which wont happen in future after threads regarding this posting (if any) come to an end. There must be others like myself who not being permanently online ends up downloading umpteen postings of which a fair proportion is becoming non stationary engine/associated equipment/rally related.
John Rogers
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then
post
This
away
(Snip)
You always have the option of "killfiling" any poster who's messages irritate you. I noticed that you use Outlook Distress as your news program, when you have a message open from someone who's messages you no longer wish to see, simply click on Message at the top of the tool bar and select "block sender". Providing the blocked person is not a morphing troll that should be the last of their posts you see.
--
http://hotfog.co.uk/rollers /



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This NG has been described as a 'virtual SE club' and I don't know about you but when I go to my real club (Northolt) we frequently end up chatting about non-SE topics. Most OT's are at least vintage engineering/history of technology related and I for one couldn't be doing with subscribing to umpteen different groups to cover the vast range of subject which get an airing in these parts. Besides which, I fear Mr. Siddorn may well be one of the first to contract virtual Black Spot if these rules were applied ;-)
--
NHH

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Nick Highfield wrote:

Gentlemen, Totally agree with Nick, I could be marked down the same as Kim as I am the NG's "clown" :-)). I don't see a problem with chit chat and a bit of humour, we all have a bit of fun when rallying so why not here. Engine stuff and engineering stuff gets discussed in larger quantities and if anything disparaging appeared we would all jump on it pretty quickly. If this NG was to high brow then even Philip T E and Mr Roland Craven would not take part :-)) though they have both been a little quiet of late.
Martin P
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the
humour,
would
I've enjoyed your repartee with Roland as much as anyone one else Martin, but has everybody? How many possible new contributors have baulked from posting because of the totally OT postings. There has in the past been several threads that have gone way off what the original question was, so was of no benefit to the original poster. Up to some of the other newsgroups I have subscribed to/viewed this group stays generally within the stationary engine theme and has no bitchiness/backbiting. If I am trying to do anything by the original posting it's to raise the issue of OT postings and prevent it going the way other newsgroups seem to have gone. The reference to a virtual SE club is very good, but (playing devil's advocate) at a club meeting we talk amongst ourselves in our own groups, not everyone is involved unless the one speaking in the group has a voice that everyone in the room hears :-))
Regards
John
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you
about
of
Point taken Nick. I did not include vintage engineering/ history as OT as I learn a lot from these threads. There is however some "twisted" threads that should belong to other newsgroups. As for individuals who do post/twist threads OT, I point no finger just make an observation.
Regards
John
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I think most of the correspondents on this group follow a good practise of marking their headers OT when appropriate - this flags the off topic nature and is appreciated by me at least. Encouraging this would seem to be sufficient to me, after all the overall traffic is not huge.
I am currently feeling very happy with my ISP Demon Internet - they have just switched on their SPAM filtering service and my 120+ junk messages a day has dwindled dramatically to less than 10 - I hope it stays that effective.
--
John Ambler

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wrote:

Worked very well for us when Easynet started providinmg it.
Peter
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wrote:

As probably the first or second-highest poster to the newsgroup, I have to ask, why bring this up at all ??
This newsgroup has flourished on its existing basis since George Hendry started it back in the early 1990's, and while it has ebbed and flowed a bit, it has retained a loyal following of interesting/extroverted/enthusiastic/knowledgeable posters that have enjoyed a lot of the OT stuff as well as the on-topic subjects.
Not all of us are indeed online all the time, I have to use the company PC to have a peek now and then while at work, and while I can spend some time on the machines at home in the evenings, that is normally either work-related or picture editing or sorting out someone else's website. I look after five websites these days which was one of the reasons for going onto ADSL, not so that I could sit on a PC all day and wait for posts to come into the newsgroup! :-))
There are ways of blocking unwanted posts, but personally I always look and see what is said. It doesn't take a lot of time to get the gist of what is going on and if I have nothing to add I leave it alone. Same with the other newsgroups (4) that I frequent. There is a stupid cross-posting epic going on at the model engineering group at present, but you know that it is there and can safely mark it all as read.
I think you will find that if we all stuck to fully 'on-topic' posts, then you would find the group would just dry up and return to the early days when two or three posts a week was normal.
Peter
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that
away
to
this
not
equipment/rally
ask,
started
has
interesting/extroverted/enthusiastic/knowledgeable
to
the
so
newsgroup!
and see

going on

newsgroups
model
mark
you
two or

Peter My involvement in any form (mainly lurking admittedly) with the newsgroup has been for just over a year. I will not disagree that some OT postings are necessary to keep the "flow" going and stop the group drying up, but how many? My post was based on what appeared to me to be happening and I respect that yourself and others have been involved with the group for much longer. If the rest feel that I am wrong so be it. I have made the posting and still stand by what I said.
Regards
John
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wrote:

How long someone has been a contributor must not allow his or her posts more weight than the rest, but I am as guilty as the next man, or Kim(!) and I stand with hand raised as an off-topic poster, although my intentions were pure M'lord!!
One thing to remember is that while a lot of engine makers made only engines, an awful lot of them made other things as well, so if you take it to a logical conclusion you could quite happily talk on-topic about Bristol aero-engines (piston ones of course) Bristol buses (with diesel engines) Bristol lorries and so on.
If you want to go further, look at Armstrong, Whitworth & Co. If you follow that great company and its offshoots you will cover almost any available subject, and still be on-topic!
Remember that your words have been read and responded to, not ignored, that is one thing about a newsgroup that I like.
Peter
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Peter A Forbes wrote:

Gentlemen, Just a thought are we not twisting the thread and going further OT :-)) with this one.
Martin P
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On Sun, 1 Feb 2004 14:49:47 -0000, "Campingstoveman"

No, just a reasoned discussion between friends, as always... :-))
Peter
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I raise my hand for this one. It is true I do post on Off Topic matters from time to time and I'd like to defend this action.
I did not post OT stuff until I'd been on the NG for a few months in order to get a feel of the company I was in. It was obvious that some valued netiquette more than others and it was in this NG that I leaned about top and bottom postings etc. and the importance of telling anyone skimming down the headings that a particular submission was off topic, thus avoiding the waste of people's time in opening a thread in which they had no interest.
It seemed to me that this all-male company did enjoy the occasional joke and all of us appeared to be interested in both each other and each other's line of country, to use an old fashioned expression. It was quite obvious that whilst the engines may be stationary (occasionally more stationary than the manufacturer intended), the minds were very active indeed and covered as wide a range of divergent matters as my own interests. From this NG, I have managed to find engines, compressors, dynamos and several engines, a copy of "The Inspector and the Bolts", something I was pleased to welcome as an old friend from the 1950's, to say nothing of a much better grounding in electrical matters than I had two years ago and a few occasionally embarrassing corrections of long held views. But that's what life is about, surely? The day I cannot learn something new is the day the first shovelful will echo on my box lid!
I'm sorry if I've clambered into anyone's nasal cavity, but I am buoyed up by the previous comments in this thread, other OT contributions and would like John to know that I very much appreciated his comments on Concorde which I found absolutely fascinating. Surely, you must have written a book by now, John?
When a thread drifts off topic or into mild banter, I think it's because we have nothing really to say, but like to talk to each other anyway - I find it rather comforting, rather like a belt fastener tacking away in the background and scarcely-heard Radio Four.
Finally, what are the stats on the newsgroup? Are they better or worse than they were this time last year? More or less contributions ? Fewer or more participants? Regards,
Kim Siddorn
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we
When I log on at work seeking relief from the less than stimulating process of processing enquiries and orders for aircraft bearings, I am disappointed if there is nothing going on as, like Kim, I find even the background chatter somehow comforting. If something good and juicy has come up then it makes my day.
I do worry however that it might appear from the outside as something of a closed shop of 'old mates' nattering away amongst themselves. It took a specific query, for which my desire for an answer overcame my reticence, for me to make the move from lurker to contributor. I had never knowingly met any of the regulars (must've seen some at rallies but as I've said before, I'm not exactly the chatty type) but have never regretted becoming involved for one minute.
--
NHH

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John,
If we follow your suggestion you may just find yourself the very first 'black spot' having posted during the last six weeks or so on topics as diverse as
1) Concorde Spotting - certainly not a stationary engine then but suppose it might just be on topic if you posted now.
2) Saxon Houses - admittedly in reply to another posting.
3) Diarrorea (sp) - the verbal kind but an unsavoury subject non the less.
4) Star Wars the movie - nothing was ever stationary there.
5) Beagle Mars Lander - isn't that still going out of range or now very stationary.
6) Computer upgrades.
None of these postings was marked as OT unlike virtually everything that our resident dark age and camping stove experts postings are.
Do I detect either an attempt to wake us up because there is insufficient happening for you on group or is this just an attempt at trolling by suggesting that OT posters be 'black spotted' in an unmarked off topic post.
Whichever way it is this Newsgroup is firing on all cylinders with a good set of fat and blue sparks. If it aint broke - don't break it.
See gents I may be quiet from time to time but I still watch occasionally.
Regards to everyone.
George

--
George Hendry

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George Hendry wrote:

From the Camping stove Expert himself nice to hear from you george.
Martin P
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Gosh you lot have been busy while I've been shopping :-).
Firstly, as I can be right up there in front with the foot in mouth brigade, please don't take my words as a bitchy put-down, John, your contibution (OT or otherwise) is welcome to me. All I can suggest is if the NG is not on topic to your taste at any given time, start a topical thread yourself. I don't know how expert you are, if not post some queries. If you are an expert or knowledgeable, teach me something.
Sometimes an OT post makes me smile for quite a while after reading it, and it can certainly help taking the bitter taste from a morning on the office. The status quo suits me, but I will always be happy to see more engine posts.
I was in agreement with 99% of things posted in this thread, but I think George put it best, "If it ain't broke, don't break it".
Regards, Arthur G
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George,
I have to say, that I disagree with your argument. See my comments below, it may not be broken in our eyes, but if we want to keep moving forward it is worth considering these things. As I say, people are aware of this group, but do not post for a reason.... John is just putting forward a theory as to why. Trying to second guess a motive for Johns post does nothing to assist the argument in any way, and may in fact put people who agree with what he says off from posting.
Regards
Chris Bedo Kent UK
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On Sun, 1 Feb 2004 12:20:59 -0000, "John Rogers"

What's OT about Concorde ? 4 big engines, and the news was that they were becoming stationary.
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