Could someone point me in the direction of the exit?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by iis612, Oct 1, 2008.

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  1. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I participate more on "the gauge" because people here seem to be more polite than other forums I read. I mean that in all seriousness. The kind of reponse to the thread in question comes up probably once a day over at the Model Railroader forum. And the Narrow guage discussion forum might as well be the McLaughlin group. And should you venture onto ANY politics forum, bring a poncho.

    Sometimes it's difficult, but realize that the person responding to your posts may have had a lousy day. I'll agree that the response to the post in question was a bit snippy. It reminds me of when I would ask my parents how to spell a word and they would say "Look it up!" But how was I supposed to look it up if I didn't know how to spell it?

  2. puddlejumper

    puddlejumper Member

    I agree with all points in this post, but don't you think maybe it would help if people weren't so darned sensitive? It's an online forum, affect your life it does not!

    Maybe I have lost the ability to be sensitive. I am a fireman and off roader and so hang out with a lot of crude individuals. But when I come online here I feel like I have to walk on eggshells. I remember I made a comment a few months back that was meant to be a good natured rib to another member whom I like on this forum and all heck broke loose from people getting offended.

    I repeat, it is a online forum, it doesn't affect your life, don't be so sensitive.

    Oh yeah, and don't leave, we don't like to see any good member leave. :thumb:

  3. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Or stop asking questions altogether, which is pretty much what I have done.
  4. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    I thought Firefighters were supposed to be somewhat sensitive, I know 4 or 5 of your "brothers"

    If the post you're referring to was the one I'm remembering... You were "Jumped on" because we didn't know you were joking and we were defending "our members" :D :D Our family....

    As you say, it's all how the person on the other side, of the other computer screen interprets your post.... :D
  5. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Being paranoid doesn't mean no one is out to get you. :cool:
  6. puddlejumper

    puddlejumper Member

    We're good at putting up a front :mrgreen:

    Yeah, it's prolly the same one. And as you say it is all interpretation. Over the E-waves it is hard to convey emotion. Sometimes an appropriately placed smiley is enough, other times not. Personally I see little use in belittling (sp?) others online, but if you are what I consider an "E-friend" I will joke with you. It's all in good fun!

  7. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Depends on which side of the "fun" you're on.
  8. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member


    Instead of leaving, why not take a break from the forum for a while? Maybe you will find that the many posters you enjoy far outnumber the occasional post that strikes you wrong, intentionally or otherwise.

    Going back to the thread you linked to ... I do a lot of web-based research and I don't find Google to be all that useful. The results it returns are usually one giant unsorted haystack of links that you could spend all day sorting through. Also, the results can be easily skewed by advertisors and others using various techniques.

    Next time try this search engine: Clusty.

    Instead of just dishing up a mountain of links, it also sorts ("clusters") the results by clickable keywords, which you can use to "zero in" on the results you are interested in.

    For instance, if seaching on "michigan coal salt mining" you get the usual list of all results, plus clickable sorts that let you see just those links containing "history" or "Detroit" or "iron ore" or "shipping", etc.

    This ability is particularly useful when searching for something involving commonly used words.

    Good luck with your research!
  9. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    I wish I had had that when I was researching the Victorian period. :cry:

    Thanks for the tip. :cool:
  10. gman95687

    gman95687 Member

    Well I think this thread is important because it brings to light a sort of theme I have been seeing here on the forum for some time. It used to be that the saying was, there are no stupid questions, only the one that wasn’t asked. Well Last month when I am reading the posts I come across a rant about people asking for help in locating certain types of hobby resources without first checking other posts or looking for it themselves. The writer of the post goes on to state that he is tired of all the numerous requests for these resources and the increase in requests is obviously because the askers are lacking the drive or funds to locate these resources on their own. This thread was written by a senior member here on this forum and it was replied to by a number of senior members as well but I must say that I was disappointed that no one paused to think about the reasons people were asking for things. Granted some folks may have have gone across forum rules by asking for scans, etc, but for the most part the questions were legitimate.
    My point is that some of the folks on this forum may not have the technical savvy to do it on their own, nor to locate resources on their own. I worked for several Internet service providers including EarthLink as a Technical support rep and spent many days helping educate people about using Google or other search engines to locate data. However, this lesson was subject to their computer's ability to process the information and also the speed of their internet connection. We take broadband for granted, but not EVERYONE has Cable, Satellite, or high speed DSL for internet. Not EVERYONE has a super fast Pentium 4 Computer to use. Not EVERYONE has unlimited funds in this crapy economy to be looking to purchase resources. Not EVERYONE has the ability to spend 45 minutes looking for a particular piece of information, whether they have school, work, or some other endeavor to attend to. Not EVERYONE has access to a computer without maybe having to go to a school or public library to use one for a fleeting five minutes. Not EVERYONE can sit in a computer chair without some part of their body hurting so bad that it brings tears to their eyes and they have to go lay down. My point is I saw the post in question, and yes I felt 100% that the answer was rude. As a technical support supervisor, if that had been one of my technicians, I would have taken the offender off of the phones and sent them to sensitivity training.
    The bottom line is that we really don’t know why folks ask for help and it doesn’t matter. This is supposed to be a friendly forum where someone who fits in the above mentioned category can go and ask a question without being treated like an idiot for doing so. Perhaps those of us who no longer feel that we are in the above mentioned categories feel as if that is the case, and if so then this forum will see more posts like this. After reading this post and the previously mentioned flame post I am convinced even that some of us have forgotten the golden rule. If we are here on the forum responding to threads, are we not supposed to be helping and spreading knowledge without sounding condescending? I think the answer to that question needs no response...Think about it....
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    You've raised some good points, gman. The variable in this whole scenario, though, is personalities - a comment that to one person seems perfectly normal and indicative of their every-day behaviour may appear rude or insensitive to another, and, of course, there's also the factor of abnormal personality traits that sometimes emerge due to the anonymity afforded by this medium. In my opinion, the situation under discussion is a case more of the former than it is of any attempt on the part of the replier to be deliberately condescending.

  12. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    So you think that it was all some "misunderstanding" despite Squidbait's personal admission of inappropriate behavior?

    Your response states the forum position quite clearly - DO NOT ask any questions unless you expect to be treated rudely.

    Nice to know.
  13. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Mountain Man, I have to say I don't think that's quite fair.

    If anything, I would say Doctorwayne personifies the antithesis of your contention. He always has time to offer detailed, helpful replies based on his considerable experience, in answer to all sorts of questions, great and small, asked by newbies or pro's.

    On a more general note, reading through this thread, it's hard for me, personally, to see how anyone can regard The Gauge as a place typically characterized by rudeness or condescension -- but maybe it's because most of my blog/forum time is spent in political arenas. In comparison, this place is like a gentleman's club.

    Sure, in any public forum you will get occasional differences, misunderstandings and off-color posts - that is part of the nature of any public exchange, especially anonymous ones. These can usually be handled with a gentle nudge, or by just ignoring them. Major or serial problems are usually best referred to the moderators.

    I don't mean to discount any problems you may see with this forum, I just want to try to keep things in the greater perspective of internet forums in general. By those standards, it seems to me The Gauge is a pretty friendly and well-intentioned place. :wave:
  14. slekjr

    slekjr Member

    it seems to me The Gauge is a pretty friendly and well-intentioned place. :wave:[/quote]

    Many posting on this thread are trying to point out this fact, and the fact we are trying to keep it that way. If this forum starts to excuse rudeness because the other forums do, then we might as well go to the other forums and excuse rudeness. This is not a political forum, and if it were we wouldn't accept rudeness. In case no one has noticed we have already lost some prominent posting members over the past year that didn't bother to say goodbye, and I have come close myself on occasion.
  15. Relic

    Relic Member

    I guess every one has their own story,I just asked for help on a subject that had been covered before,the respondent could have given me the old "thats been covered,look it up,bla bla"but instead provided a link.
    By and large this is a good site,I've been on other sites{briefly}where you were put upon for spelling and punctuation,and this was on a motorcycle site,some people just like to bitch.
    Your gonna make up your own mind,but I vote for stay
  16. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    ............ We noticed.....
  17. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Wow. Usually I'm the condescending jerk that scares off the n00bs. Not only am I not that person here, but I'm actually being thanked for doing something nice. This is odd. Very odd. Suck this, Trainboard!

    Speaking as somebody who has been here a long time, I see a marked difference in Internet users today. How many members here only have three or four posts of their own questions but never contribute to others' threads? From my experience people that leave do so out of frustration. I know I've done that elsewhere and almost done it here. In fact, the only reason I haven't "gone off the deep end" on another forum is because I'm a moderator and have some level of professionalism to maintain. Well, on some level, anyway. There's a circle of phenomenal people here, and great modelers, too, but it seems that group isn't growing. In fact, it's shrinking. Model railroading is a long journey.

    In order to maintain the same dynamic a forum needs to be able to attract both beginners and experienced modelers alike. Otherwise the "discussion" degenerates in to a lot of "how to" answers without anybody ever posting the results of their efforts. At yet another unnamed forum where I was a moderator I saw this all too clearly. As most of you know I enjoy railroads and railfanning more than modeling so I handled a lot of photographic matters at the other forum. A problem grew where people were more concerned with buying a new camera than learning how to use what they already had. There were three times as many questions about new cameras than there were threads of people sharing their photos. People would seek advice on their next purchase rather than a critique of their current skills. Eventually I got fed up with this mentality and walked away. A good many other skilled photographers did the same thing and now the forum is just a shell of its former self.

    Speaking of The Gauge now, I see many similarities with the other forums in question. People come and ask questions expecting answers but never giving anything in return. Often they think they don't have anything to contribute. That's largely untrue. Many questions asked are easily answered with a search of the Internet or of the forums themselves. Just because it's not in the first fifteen displayed threads doesn't mean the answer isn't already there. Members, all members, need to try to help themselves before they can expect somebody else to help them. At the same time, they need to make sure they're giving back to the forums as much as they are taking from it.

    Some people really aren't great modelers. I know, I'm one of them. That doesn't stop me from participating here, however, much your your collective dismay. This is a discussion forum. Discuss something. Start a thread on the railroad down the street. When they run. What engines they use. What cars they haul. Tell us why you like an SD70ACe more than an ES44AC. It doesn't matter. Just discuss something.

  18. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I hate to see anyone say good bye but it is going to happen for what ever reason. I realy like this place. I have had my feelings hurt, gotten up set about someones comments and more but I still hang around. Now after reading some of the responses some one mentioned newbees. Where are they? I used to see them a lot and enjoyed the questions and answers. Also I like being able to help them.
  19. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member


    I'll tell you why I ask questions, and very, very rarely chime in on answers. I'm a lurker, and read lots of threads. An example I'll use is "On track with Deano". I thoroughly enjoy the pictures, but continually read with absolute amazement how (tongue in cheek) they tell one loco from another becase one fan has 14 blades and another, 15. To me, they are all diesels, some biggere than others.

    Consequently, I rarely ever have answers, but I prefer to believe, if, or when, I have a question, stupid or not, I will get an answer. Much of what I read doesn't sink in and I may need a PRECISE answer to completely comprehend some subject.

    I have used the search engine on this forum, and only ocassionaly do I find what I want. So, I have tried, but as simple as it is, I still have to ask. I have ALWAYS had an answer given, and NEVER in a condescending manner or tone. Some replies to other questions may be a little off, but hey, everybody has a bad day every once in a while, so take 2 grains of salt and call me in the morning.

    How's that for a stumptop speech?announce1

  20. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    That's all very well and good, but:

    1. We aren't talking about Doctorwayne; we're talking about Squidbait, and

    2. The answer was given by an official of the forum, and

    3. The truth remains with us: Squidbait did, in fact by his own admission, not only act rudely but intentionally so.

    Making excuses for him accomplishes nothing, and it ignores the issue put before the members: are we going to be nice to one another, or shall we all take personal pride and pleasure in squashing each other whenever an opportunity presents itself?

    I have received similar answers since coming here. I took the first one in stride, but I didn't much care for the second one because I had made a major effort to find out the information myself and come up dry, simply because I didn't know enough to successfully complete my search. It's frustrating and humiliating enough to try for hours and hours to sort through the cesspool that is Google without finding answers, but even more so to innocently ask the forum and get slapped down.

    Just the other day, a forum member asked me where I had found a series of images of unusual pre-war German locomotives. I offered to provide the link if anyone wished it. Should I have pulled a Squidbait instead and told him to "Google it if you want to know"?

    I think saying that people simply misunderstand is a cop-out. The responsibility for being clearly understood rests squarely on the poster, not on the reader. Being a mind reader is not a requirement for forum membership. Being polite should be.

    I wonder if the forum would be this defensive about a newcomer instead of a 'good old boy' like Squidbait?
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