Read this if you are having problems on Zealot

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by ezdays, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Just in case you aren’t aware, the management of Zealot has changed from Peter Davis, to a group called “Crowdgather”, in hopes of giving us better service and more features than we’ve had before. Crowdgather has about 70 forums under their guidance and has the resources and staff to maintain Zealot’s growth, something that Peter thought he lacked and that we deserved to have. These people are diligent and committed to making Zealot and the Gauge shine like the bright star it is.

    There are several threads here discussing problems people have been having recently here. There are also a few announcements regarding a few problems as a result of the recent server change. Just in case you missed these posts, let me list a few problems here that you might be experiencing and let you know that they all are being looked at, and we hope with a resolution shortly.

    • Delays in accessing Zealot and/or different threads and pages: The current server is a bit slow and we are currently expanding our server capability by about five times what it is now. This change should be implemented this week. It is frustrating at times, but that will change shortly.
    • Broken links: When we changed servers, we also changed the format of the URL's to get here. The old format was, "", whereas the new format is: "" Note the difference. The programmers are trying to maintain the old format using redirects, but many of the redirects take you to the Zealot main page rather than the page you expect. The suggestion is to change your bookmarks to the new ones. Internal links are being looked at, and many have been fixed by now.
    • Using the old “” link brings you to the Zealot main page: As stated above, the links all changed. Here is the link to get you to the Gauge main page: Change your bookmarks, or favorites accordingly.
    • Some pictures don’t display, or only display the link: This goes hand-in-hand with the broken links. It is being worked on.
    • Can’t access the chat room: Try it now, some chat room problems have been fixed, others still need a bit of attention, but for now, the chat room is usable.
    • Gallery links don’t work: They’ve been working on that and for the most part, all the links seem to work right now. Any that don’t, well, give it a bit more time.
    • The WIKI is gone: What the heck’s a WIKI? Yeah, most people here either don’t know or don’t care, but for those of you that want to add to the WIKI’s, it’s been restored and can be accessed at: Once things have settled down, we will be a bit more aggressive with using the WIKI's, it is a great resource if we use it right.
    • I am not getting subscription notifications, or am getting some for threads that I didn’t subscribe to: All I can say is we are looking into why this is happening. It is affecting a few people, including some of the staff here. Be patient, it will be taken care of.
    • All the links in my notification email take me to the home page rather than the thread: See “broken links” above, they need to be changed by the programmer and will be corrected soon.
    Just about all the existing problems fall into the above categories, feel free to add any that you think are unique or not covered here.
  2. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    YES! The wiki's back!...

    Oh, wait. I can't log in. It tells me my password (the same as I use for the forum) is wrong.
  3. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Could I ask a basic question? For the record, who "owns" Zealot/The Gauge, and is responsible for key decisions about how it operates?

    I was under the apparently grossly mistaken impression that it belonged to Peter Davis. Now I read that he was a (hired?) "manager" who has been replaced. Although this strikes me as rather big news, I seem to have have completely missed any mention of it other than this post.

  4. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    He was the owner - he sold it to They host the site, they over see most everything, but The Gauge Staff as well as the Cardmodelers staff run the forums and make the day-to-day decisions...
  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Sorry to leave the wrong impression. Peter did own Zealot along with several other forums. He selected and paid for the server and the software. He did the updates and changes, dealt with ads and kept the wolf from the door. And so to that extent, he did "manage" them. Crowdgather is now blessed with these tasks. As Mikey says, we are the ones that manage the content of these forums, but we stay away from the other stuff, that's best left to the pros. We are glad to have them, and know we have someone who we can count on to deal with technical issues.
  6. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    It's unfortunate to see this forum going more and more from a hobby site into more of a corporate environment. It's not even owned by a fellow modeler anymore, but yet another startup social networking site. To me it seems the future of the site in now in the hands of a company looking to grow their "dynamic network of sites" by buying up forums on the net and trying get more investors to toss $$ their way. Something I don't see being a good thing.

    I guess one just hope this company's $2 stock (yup, crowdgather is a publicly traded company) doesn't tumble even further down in the future. If the company fails, do all of the forums they own go *poof* as well?

    While it's nice to see the site is still moderated by the same familiar names, I just have a bad feeling about what this CrowdGather may have planned for the site if they manage to stay afloat and do some crazy social networking myspace facebook morph of all their forums they bought up. *shudder*
  7. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    nolatron, unfortunately thats all to often to case these days, but this might be better, as EZ-Days explained, we will now be able to better expand at the Guage, and that can be a good thing.
  8. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Thanks to all for the explanations of what's going on.

    Was there a "Zealot is changing hands" thread that announced this news? Was there a "Good-bye and Good Luck' thread from Peter on his way out?

    I guess I'm still surprised I only learned of this major news because of some techical problems related to links. Did I miss something?
  9. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Yes, there was an announcement thread open, plus about a dozen other threads where it was mentioned along with some explanation of why we were having that particular problem. These threads were popping up in different forums and could easilly be missed if you didn't visit that forum recently, so I though maybe if we put a thread where everyone usually looks, everyone would see it and find out what was going on. I hope it worked.

    Now for those that are skeptical or a bit uneasy about the future, no one can predict accurately what is to be. We can all guess, or speculate, but I doubt that even the new owners know for sure what Zealot is going to be like a year from now. I do know this though, that we each have our special way of contributing to the success of these forums. The Gauge has gone through three owners since it's inception eight years ago. To my knowledge, none of the owners are, or were, modelers, not Dave and not Peter. Someone at may be, but they haven't come forward yet if they are.

    The point that I want to make is this, we are the ones that know modeling and modelers as well as those that come to our forums. These are our hobbies and the admins and mods on the card modeler forums are as dedicated to their craft as we admins and mods here are dedicated to all aspects of trains, real and model. The folks at know servers, they know software and they have people who know how to code and debug and troubleshoot glitches. None of us on this side of the fence want to get involved in those activities, it would interfere with the things we enjoy doing, discussing and working on our hobbies. I don't think that the folks on the other side of the fence want to get involved in the daily activities surrounding our forums, or any of the forums they own, they are too diverse in the things they cover and so I have a strong feeling that we will be left alone to run these forums as we have in the past. The difference now is that rather than just one person to support us technically, we have a team that has the resources to give us the help we need. Yes, the new owners are in this business, and they'll have to show a profit, or at least support themselves, but so did the past owners. Dave couldn't support the growth of these forums, and Peter struggled to keep us up to date with enough bandwidth and the latest software. I think we're in good hands now and we can only expect good things for the future of Zealot and all the sub-forums within.
  10. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Here's what I would be worried about:

    Interesting to see that this company originally started as a golf marketing company. I just worry that CG will eventually take something that's supposed to be a simple community site (ie: the former "The Gauge") and turn it into a myspace clone that's forum based to soley generate ad revenue.

    Some more interesting reading, which to me sounds like CG has their fingers crossed that they'll survive.

    source: http://msnmoney.brand.edgar-online....ingHTML1?ID=6065829&SessionID=DsaiWxCW3Pow1N9
  11. CK Styles

    CK Styles Senior Member

    Well that doesn't sound so good ... hmmm ....
  12. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    These Forums have always been dependent on financial success, one way or another. Crowdgather has merely "put it in writing". ;) There's not much point in worrying about the future of the Gauge - use it and enjoy it and, hopefully, that will contribute to the bottom line and we can keep enjoying it.

  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Nothing is "free" folks. The Gauge either has to be a "pay site" or it needs advertising to fund it. What it comes down to is that the more people join and use the Gauge, the more "ratings" Crowdgather can show to a potential advertiser.
  14. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Very true ... and no one expects it to be.

    What is worrisome about the sale is that under CrowdGather the relationship between advertising and the forum is going to be reversed.

    Before, limited advertising was a means to support the forum. Under CrowdGather, the forum is to be used as a means to sell advertising.

    CrowdGather's business plan is not to provide a forum for hobbyists, but to purchase and "monetize" internet forums into advertising revenue-generating resources. CrowdGather intends to gather more detailed demographic information about posters in order to better target posters for ad sales. They have also stated that they may charge subscription or user fees to generate additional income from "their content" (i.e. your posts).

    This does not bode particularly well. Let's see what happens, and hope for the best.
  15. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I appreciate Peter's hosting. Although I suspect that selling was more of a burden removing move for Peter than a money grab, I hope he got a decent amount of $$$ from it.

    I hope CrowdGather is able to succeed with the site and grow. I'm glad there there are people willing to risk their $$$ in our hobby for something like this...which is beneficial to all of us. If only I could convince a manufacturer that an On3 Mason Bogie would be a good risk...
  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    They have already gotten all of the demographic information from me that they will get. They could attempt to charge subscription or user fees, but if they do I think they will discover that no one is interested. It is too easy to just go to another free forum or even a Yahoo group. The only internet forums that charge for their use and seem to be successful in getting people to pay are the porn sites. I haven't seen evidence of anybody else making money off of users. Charge for the site and everybody will just go elsewhere.
  17. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    The slight difference here, as opposed to broadcast television, is the hobby forums draw members, and numbers sell advertising. As long as The-Gauge stays as it is, it will draw members, and therefore, advertising revenue.
  18. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    Well, being somewhat of a dinosaur myself, I have never understood the internet. I have marveled ever since I got my first computer at all the information & fun I could access on the web at no cost to me. I have asked many people how it is that somebody is willing to go to all the expense to set up things so I can do all the things I do & yet be free to me. Never really got an answer that made sense, advertising , or perhaps pop ups was the usual reply -- fine except , number one, I never click on an ad , number two, somebody gave me a popup blocker ---for free! , so I'm pretty much back where I started -- still wondering .
    Now if it came to it that some of the forums & sites I frequent decided that a subscription fee was needed to maintain the site for me to enjoy & if it was a nominal amount , I for one would be willing to comply. I might pick & choose which one I would keep & which to pass on , but it would make more sense to me than as it is now --in a way. I guess that the "no free lunch" idea was very firmly imbedded in me as a youngster , perhaps that why I have always been agog at the internets delights all for the cost of buying a computer.
  19. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Unless thier primary goal remains promoting model railroading, there will be no success and no members, which is unlikely to over well with their investors.

    I am a MODELLER - not a convenient source of revenue for some suit.
  20. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    At least The Gauge is still around no matter what.


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