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Thoughts on "build threads"

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JasonB29/07/2014 12:20:59
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I asked for one of the build threads to be kept on topic today and this prompted a reply from Michael Gilligan as follows:

"Jason

We have several of these "narrative" threads running now.

Might it be worth locking this type of thread against other posters??

If Alan [for example] wanted to ask questions, or invite comment, this could done in a parallel thread ... it's easy enough to post a referring link.

MichaelG."

Rather than clutter that thread more I thought it best to start another to see what peoples thoughts are.

Myself I would rather not lock a thread, the main reason being I would like to see these threads be more than just a narrative from the builder as they are on most other forums and locking would only discourage members and in particular beginners from asking questions about what may have been posted.

There is also the practical side to it for us moderators, the author would not be able to post in the thread so would have to e-mail the text to us so we could add it to the locked thread then lock it again and there would also be the job of inserting photos hosted on this site.

Another option would be to make the thread premoderated where any posts have to be approved, this has the disadvantage of a time delay between any posts & replies dependant on when a moderator approves the post so some continuity and spontinaity coule be lost.

I would be interested to hear others views on this.

J

PS I'll delete the off topic posts from the other thread later today

Trevorh29/07/2014 12:38:12
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303 forum posts
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Hi Jason,

I agree that the threads should not be hijacked by people who feel they have to post "a comment" irrespective of its content but purely for the fact of commenting

for me it adds absolutely nothing to the thread in question and as you say is more likely to put the author off from posting any further

The "my little engine" thread has and is still one of THE most informative threads currently on this website for us beginners who are gradually learning how to build an engine and it should be encouraged at every stage/level not taken over by people who have nothing to actually contribute

That's my small pennies worth

regards

Edited By Trevorh on 29/07/2014 12:43:31

Michael Gilligan29/07/2014 12:43:50
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16620 forum posts
723 photos

Jason,

Thanks for starting this discussion

I had not realised that the originator would also be locked-out ... That is obviously an impractical arrangement.

Perhaps someone can suggest a better compromise.

MichaelG.

Steven Vine29/07/2014 12:44:50
340 forum posts
30 photos

I think Michaels idea is a brilliant one. The build thread would then be like a long running magazine article, concentrating on the build only, with input from the builder only. Have it moderated so that no other posts appear, other than the builders. Issues can be discussed in separate threads, without marring the build thread. I would not think the time delay due to moderation and approval would be detrimental (it's not as if you guys aren't here every day!).

Steve

Bazyle29/07/2014 13:06:13
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5555 forum posts
207 photos

I think some forums have someone who periodicly removes the dross from the thread. More work for moderators but maybe a volunteer could moderate that one and only thread with no other moderator duties. Sometimes the comments and questions contribute significantly and sometimes they don't..

JasonB29/07/2014 13:20:49
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The problem that I see with having any points raised in separate threads is that they will soon become lost, if relevant posts are all kept in the thread then anyone looking through the thread at a later date will have a better pool of information and it also saves the same question being raised again or a lurking beginner not asking.

I post my builds on other forums and often get asked if I can go into more detail abouit how or why a particular part was machined the way it was or what does one of teh terms I use mean. Taking them out of context in a separate thread would be detrimental to the main one rather than marring it.

Just one other point about the time delay I mentioned. When a post is made that needs to be moderated it can sit in the admin side for maybe 12hrs ( remember this is an international forum so a post from down under may not be read for sometime) When it doe sget approved it will be slotted into the thread based on teh date & time posted so could end up getting lost on a previous page or the point may have been delt with in teh mean time. JS and myself have to go out and work so our time is limited depending on work load etc. Diane and Neil can't be expected to monitor the site 24/7.

J

Bob Brown 129/07/2014 13:43:18
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1016 forum posts
127 photos

I not sure a build only topic will work as the level of expertise is varied from beginner to expert. Having comments in a separate topic is IMHO never going to work, off topic a different story and we can all be guilty of that but that seems to be the nature of open forums.

Simon036229/07/2014 13:44:03
200 forum posts
73 photos

I think part of the problem is determining whether the build thread is for 'now' or as a record to be accessed in the future.

If the thread is intended as a live thread then the clutter of "wow, great work" and similar non-contributing comments are easily ignored and filtered.

If it is intended to be used as a resource in the future then the pure, locked version is far preferable. I have read a number of other build threads on other ME type forums as well as unrelated ones and trawling through 20, 30, 40 pages which consist mostly of comments and off-topic issues makes for heavy reading.

So my preference is for the locked version - if a request is made for more details on a process or activity, the author could include this in their next posting or simply edit their earlier posting (I assume!).

Maybe we need a forum designer to include a rating button - ranging from 1 (core original input) to 5 (off-topic, rants and vacuous comments) and allow a reader to filter the results. (Sorry if this bit is actually 'off-topic', maybe a good illustration why it is needed)

Simon

Stuart Bridger29/07/2014 14:11:23
488 forum posts
28 photos

It's interesting to compare this forum, with that associated with Military Modelling (link at the bottom of the page).
I drift over there from time to time for a bit of nostalgia, as it was my primary hobby in my teens. Their forum is completely dominated by build threads. which are completely open. You do sometimes get whole pages of "nice work", etc. but it doesn't seem to detract from the main topic. My personal view would be to leave as is.

John McNamara29/07/2014 15:20:35
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1313 forum posts
113 photos

Hi All

Sometimes when I post it is frustrating that the dialogue gets off track. Particularly when I have spent several hours digging up information to support a concept, however I cannot see how this issue can be got over by some form of censorship; commercialism, profanity or abusive behaviour excepted as is now implemented anyway.

Yes It would be nice to have a tidy in order presentation, You can always use blog software and do that. But then you loose all the often very constructive feedback that group discussion brings.

Like any public meeting of minds and Ideas the topic at hand does tend to stray from time to time. It is just the way minds work. I am certainly guilty from time to time of doing it.

If the conversation strays the best ploy is to ignore the diversion and post a comment that is back on the original topic.

Regards
John

michael cole29/07/2014 15:23:30
163 forum posts

I also read build threads over on traction talk and argee with leaving things as they are.

Regards

Mike

Weary29/07/2014 15:52:20
311 forum posts

Jason, and others,

In broad terms I would say to leave things as they are. This is a public forum and posters have to accept that they do not 'own' the thread.

However, I see that some threads have a picture added by the thread originator (?) that appears at the top of the first page, and every subsequent page. I don't know how this is achieved, but perhaps the 'technology' could be used to add a picture of large script that could be loaded to build threads by the originator or by a moderator saying words to the effect:

Build thread, please stay on topic. Off-topic postings may be removed.

This would remind all potential posters that the build thread has perhaps slightly stricter limitations as regards postings and allow the removal of any eventual off-topic postings 'as and when' it suited moderators etc. When the build thread was completed the 'text' could perhaps be replaced by a picture of the completed work.

Regards,

Phil

NJH29/07/2014 15:55:42
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2314 forum posts
139 photos

A forum is surely, by definition, a place for discussion? As such I find the concept of a "Build Diary", where response is discouraged, slightly strange. If a reader sees something that they know will later cause a problem for the builder should they keep quite about it? Equally if a reader sees a set up or process that they think may be applicable to their own project can they not ask for further explanation?

Maybe the essence of this is for all to ensure that comment / advice is strictly limited to the project or process described in the thread and does not branch off into peripheral areas or, indeed, become an off-topic discussion between readers. Both of these seem to occur all too often.

What's more the right place for a build thread, without comments, is surely in the magazine. ( I understand that there are some folk, who I believe sometimes read this forum, that will pay MONEY for this!)

Alan, if you are reading this, please keep posting your "stuff" - I may even have a go at a No 1 myself some day ( once I've reduced the existing "To be finished" pile a bit! )

Regards

Norman

Neil Wyatt29/07/2014 16:50:11
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18316 forum posts
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This is an interesting discussion.

I have some sympathy with Norman's view. This is a forum and posting a build diary is effectively soliciting comment. We all like our workmanship or ingenuity to be praised, and we all have to swallow our pride from time. to time

As a 'halfway house' perhaps moderators could be a bit more pro-active in moving off-topic comments, although the one time I've tried this it 'killed' both the old thread and the one I moved the OT bits to...

I think one answer is that we just don't have enough build threads on here, either too much reticence, or the fear of never completing!

Before I took on the 'editorial mantle' I did post some 'work in progress', but not too much as I didn't feel there was great interest in it as there were only occasional comments. I got self conscious and felt that if I posted three or four times in a row without comment it looked like my own vanity rather than being of interest to others!

For this reason, I have commented on other people's builds occasionally simply so they know someone is reading their posts with interest.

personally, I like to see work done by people at every skill level and scale, simply because I get things to aspire to (and tips on how to do better) while also seeing the sort of work that If I can expect to do in my own workshop. In the end, if there were more builds (tool or model) on here then the 'light relief' might end up a bit more diluted and we would all be better off.

Please keep discussing, but perhaps the real answer is for as many of us as possible to start posting build threads?

Neil

Jo29/07/2014 17:28:00
198 forum posts
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 29/07/2014 16:50:11:

I think one answer is that we just don't have enough build threads on here, either too much reticence, or the fear of never completing!

Or could the fact they are posting on a Website hosted owned by a publishing company who claims copyright of the material posted here influence their choice of forums on which to post their threads?

I personally believe that the major influence is the culture of this forum in which many of the frequent posters members seem to have some sort of testosterone problem which causes them to pick holes in each others work and spend their time seeking to prove that they know more/are better than another member crook which is something that extremely discouraging for someone who is trying to build their first model or present their work in such away that another can learn.

Jo

jason udall29/07/2014 17:52:10
2026 forum posts
41 photos
Maybe
Start thread...
Open as per normal..
If thread of "sufficient" "merit"..create closed tread gathering all "appropriate" comments into the "finished " edited version.
The latter done by making op admin for this one thread..if possible. .other wise let current admin do it.
Thus we have the freefor all version and the concise version.
NJH29/07/2014 18:53:22
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2314 forum posts
139 photos

Hmm Jo

"I personally believe that the major influence is the culture of this forum in which many of the frequent posters members seem to have some sort of testosterone problem which causes them to pick holes in each others work and spend their time seeking to prove that they know more/are better than another member crook which is something that extremely discouraging for someone who is trying to build their first model or present their work in such away that another can learn."

Is that really true? Yes there is discussion and, as in all discussion, there may be disagreement but "picking holes and seeking to prove they know more " is not a common attitude as I see it.

Norman

Neil Wyatt29/07/2014 20:13:16
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18316 forum posts
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Hello Jo,

You may be interested to read the BBC's explanation of their similar arrangement for 'User Generated Content'. I don't see any material difference, and I don't think the BBC suffer from users being reluctant to submit content?

Neil

The BBC's Terms of Use provide the BBC with permission to use any UGC submitted to/shared with the BBC free of charge across any of its services both in the UK and worldwide.

While these may seem like quite wide rights, the BBC operates a large number of services and these are the BBC's standard terms covering the wide variety of types of UGC submitted to the BBC for a large number of purposes. To be able to use your content (such as showcasing a photo on bbc.co.uk or a short video clip on the BBC's television News) the BBC needs sufficient rights to use the material as proposed by individual UGC projects.

The terms also include the ability for the BBC to be able to sub-license UGC to trusted third parties such as other international broadcasters in the case of News UGC, and/or trusted third parties such as local councils or other public bodies if requested and for appropriate purposes. If the BBC shares any of your content with any of its trusted partners, it will endeavour to ensure that they do not alter your material in any way or allow them to provide it to other UK based broadcasters or to the print media. The BBC will also endeavour to inform you when accepting UGC about how it will be used.

While UGC may on occasion be included in BBC services that are licensed to other international broadcasters, and international users of the BBC site may see some advertising around certain pages of the site, any such use of user content is incidental and the BBC does not directly generate any revenue from individual pieces of UGC.

Bill Starling29/07/2014 20:20:19
97 forum posts

I greatly enjoy - and learn from - reading build threads. However if you want to say 'Thanks and well done' to the author, isn't it better to send them a PM? Doing it in the thread seems to be unnecessarily saying 'look at me', as well as cluttering the thread up.

Bill

Jo29/07/2014 21:33:41
198 forum posts
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 29/07/2014 20:13:16:

Hello Jo,

You may be interested to read the BBC's explanation of their similar arrangement for 'User Generated Content'. I don't see any material difference, and I don't think the BBC suffer from users being reluctant to submit content?

I do not see in the BBC's terms that they require that their contributors: "You agree to irrevocably and unconditionally waive on your behalf in perpetuity in respect of such Content the benefit of any provision of law known as moral rights of authors or any similar law in any country." Which is the last line of the copyright statement on putting material on this forum, see: **LINK**.

Use is one thing, irrevocably and unconditionally waiving your rights in perpetuity is something totally different.

Norman: I do not often visit this site anymore because each time I do I see another occurrence of this sort of behaviour and it puts me off for a few more weeks, the one that immediately comes to mind in is Gray's thread about his drill grinding jig sad.

Jo

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