Internet "forums" are a thing of the past

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Keith S
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Internet "forums" are a thing of the past

Post by Keith S » Sat May 11, 2019 8:52 am

I have noticed in the last couple of years, that participation in internet forums has decreased markedly. This one is a good example, but by no means unique. I built my own sailboat once, and participated in a forum on that subject, which was very helpful during the building process. It was once a lively, busy site, with lots of people logging on regularly to talk about wooden boat building experiences. There were the usual complement of wankers, trolls, sages, and punters, but it was entertaining anyway and I got the boat finished. Now there are barely three people who log on once a month or so. This forum is the same. I wonder what social phenomenon is responsible for this decline. Do people generally not have hobbies anymore?

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Re: Internet "forums" are a thing of the past

Post by philipy » Sat May 11, 2019 9:21 am

Keith S wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 8:52 am
Do people generally not have hobbies anymore?
Yes, but they spend all their time finger poking on Faceache and other Soshul Meja.

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Re: Internet "forums" are a thing of the past

Post by Peter Butler » Sat May 11, 2019 10:51 am

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Re: Internet "forums" are a thing of the past

Post by Busted Bricks » Sat May 11, 2019 11:24 am

Keith S wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 8:52 am
Do people generally not have hobbies anymore?
I think they do but they are not the hobbies we grew up with and the interaction is different. I do know a lot that consider watching football on the the telly a hobby although that doesn't really fit my idea of what a hobby is.

I have flown model aircraft for most of my life and participate on a large forum. The sections for quadcopters (drones) are very busy and that segment of the hobby keeps growing fast. However the type of people participating are different from those that build and fly fixed wing aircraft and although we all fly model aircraft we don't really gel. There is a shift from "builders" to "assemblers". Some claim it takes no skill to assemble something but there is still a lot of setup tasks that need to be learned. With a quadcopter you need good computer skills as a lot of the work to get them to fly well is done in front of a computer. Different tool to what those of use that cut and glue parts together use, but still a tool that needs to be mastered.

In schools today (at least here in Denmark) there is hardly any focus on making physical products. Kids have been encouraged to seek further book based education rather than going into vocational training. As a consequence we now lack carpenters, blacksmiths, CNC operators etc. Fewer and fewer young people know how to actually build something using their hands. However they can draw up a 3D model and print it. I guess this shift in skill levels is being felt in forums where the focus is on scratch building where you start off with basic materials. Forums that deal with digital fabrication like 3D printing are thriving.

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Re: Internet "forums" are a thing of the past

Post by ge_rik » Sat May 11, 2019 12:15 pm

I'm not sure whether it depresses, frustrates, bewilders or iritates me when contestants on tv quiz shows say their hobby is 'shopping'. Apart from looking for specific modelling items online, shopping is one of the things which I try my utmost to avoid (as my wardrobe will testify). How on earth shopping can in any way be considered a hobby baffles me.

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Re: Internet "forums" are a thing of the past

Post by TonyW » Sat May 11, 2019 1:56 pm

I always take it as a sign of an egroup's or forum's impending demise when one of the discussion topics is said egroup's or forum's continuing existence. One only has to look at the 16mmngm egroup, where most of the messages are about the alleged perils of Facebook (*), "It's quiet, is anybody there?" and "This is a test, just to see if the egroup is still working". In that group's case, the message count for last month was a paltry 143 (and only 80-odd in Jan and Feb), down from the heady heights of 3600+ in 2004. Of course, Yahoo don't make it easy to post there and I have a suspicion that one day in the not too distant future they will pull-the-plug and it will vanish.

My view is that this forum seems to be bucking the trend and holding up well, and long may that continue! However, I find the various Facebook sources invaluable and enjoyable.

It has to be remembered that to post on this forum you have to create an account, and to post on Facebook you have to create an account. Neither platform knows any more about you than you are prepared to tell it. Both accept spoof/anonymous accounts where the real account holder is not known. It is all the same thing - "social media".

(*) Amongst others: Emptying all of your bank accounts, selling your children in to slavery, giving you dandruff, etc.

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Re: Internet "forums" are a thing of the past

Post by Keith S » Sat May 11, 2019 5:58 pm

Oh no! I hope my topic isn't an unintentional harbinger!

Like "Busted Bricks" says, I too am a member of of a model aeroplane forum, and I must admit that one is a bit busier than average. I only read the posts related to scratch or kit-built aeroplanes, not interested in drones, although I was previously quite interested in actual model helicopters (the kind that work like a real helicopter, not a flying bedstead) too but as you say, helicopters are more about assembly than actual crafting. I still like them but that "assembly" part is very expensive, and on a helicopter you try to make your own bits at your peril- your home-made flybar or tail rotor just might wind up embedded in your eye socket.

Perhaps this slowing-down of the "forum" format has to do with the fact that all the various forums I'm on have to do with buikding things, and it's actually that (building things) which is declining. What a pity. I am simply not particularly interested in "collecting" or "chequebook modelling". Although if my chequebook was sufficiently voluminous I probably would knuckle under and buy something already-built by t'lads in Doncaster...

In my job I suppose I have noticed a change too. When I was young, not so long ago really, young fellows wanted to move to Northern Canada to have adventures as "Bush pilots". I've done this most my life and the focus has always been on aeroplane handling and physical endurance. The ones who showed no aptitude for either of these were sent packing, or they died. It could be taken for granted that most male pilots had a pretty solid history of building model aeroplanes in their youth too. Females not so much, which is a phenomenon I don't have a comment on the relevance of, but I don't think I've met a woman yet who has ever built and flown a model aeroplane. Unfortunately you can study all the books on aerodynamics, structures and fluid dynamics you wish, (although they don't do much of that either, truth be told) and never gain the understanding that a simple flying model, made yourself out of wood, will give you on an instinctive level. Anyway now, a young person seems to judge himself to be a pretty talented aviator if he has mastered the use of whatever on-board automation allows him to spend as little time as possible with his hands on the controls. There seems to be a certain perverse pride in not having to stoop to the parochial level of actually having to physically use something as crude as a manual flight-control. It's also difficult to get them to turn their phones off after the engines have started.

Oh well, hooefully I haven't triggered the demise of this forum by commenting on it, I've just been worrying. As many of you know, living in Northern Canada means that my main connection to others who enjoy this hobby is via the internet!

I suppose also, the people who have ever seen a steam engine actually working, or who feel nostalgic about the particular kind of railways that our hobby represents, are getting older too.

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Re: Internet "forums" are a thing of the past

Post by Dwayne » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:31 pm

Perhaps "social" media has made inroads on forums such as this. I hang out on a motorcycle themed forum that seems to have a steady member involvement. This may be in part because of television shows dedicated to cars/bikes which brings new blood to those hobbies. Model railroading isn't a hobby that attracts much new blood. Garden railroads even fewer with the need for real estate outside of the walls of the house.

I quit the "social" media circus after my recent second divorce in June. Just too narcissistic for me anymore. I prefer keeping my hobbies to myself. Additionally I'm rebuilding and getting my life back on track (pun intended) as a bachelor... so this hobby has taken a back seat for the moment.

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Re: Internet "forums" are a thing of the past

Post by JMORG » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:59 pm

I would say that forums are gradually improving as more younger people are leaving social media. I currently have no social media (along with my mates) but I do regularly use forums as a reliable source of information.
Despite the negative association of forum sites such as 4chan and Reddit, a lot of people use them as sources of information and honest discussion. I in particular use 4chans /fit/ board to discuss healthy lifestyle and fitness. As part of the "safe for work" domain; /fit/ is actually a very good source of honest information and rarely has any "hateful" comments. Off topic topics are generally removed or relocated very quickly.
I would say that forums will actually improve as time goes on.
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Re: Internet "forums" are a thing of the past

Post by FWLR » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:40 am

It's one thing to say this forum is demising somewhat, but I don't think it is. This has to be one of the more informative and very friendly forums that since I have joined as got better and better. There is so much to learn from reading threads that go back quite some years, so that tells you it's a thriving forum. The only one regret, is that there isn't many young people on here. Saying that, there isn't many young people in the hobby as far as I can see. Most of the videos on Youtube for instance, show lots of old guys and some, I am going to say it, girls, running and viewing trains on lines. I am hopeful that more young people can come into the hobby, not all of them are going to be IT genius's are they. Yes a lot of skills have disappeared, in my own engineering field, I was a Central Lathe Grinder for many years, then onto Milling and Lathes themselves. But after getting made redundant 3 times, mainly due to the fact, the company's I was with, where small family concerns. I found quite by accident that I was very good at setting up any machine for production work. Then after another redundancy, I went into driving, a come down yes, but I enjoyed it. Most members know what happened after that.

The jist is though, HOBBY's are what we make of them no matter what their interests are. I would never knock anybody's hobby, it's what they are into and good luck to them.

Forums are there to help or just for a chat. I for one missed this forum while I was hospitalised recently. :(
I suppose it's like a drug, you need your daily hit.. :lol: :lol:

Sorry if I went on for too long. I could talk about this and many other things according to Anne.. :lol: :lol:
Rod

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🚂🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃

https://gardenrails.org/forum/viewtopic ... 41&t=11364

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Re: Internet "forums" are a thing of the past

Post by Tom the blacksmith » Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:52 am

Completely agree with you Rod, diminishing maybe but not demising. And like you I have no problem with anyone who has a hobby, no matter what it is, I am however worried about people who have none. Browsing social media is not a hobby in my book, a proper hobby is one that takes time and effort to master, that's what keeps it interesting as you strive to produce better work.

One thing, this is bar far and away the best forum I have come across! Friendly, welcoming, and open with advice and information that's freely given after years of experience. I am a member of one (vintage car) forum where members hold onto valuable information with a death like grip, and will watch newbies making mistakes (that they have made) which could lead to disastrous results if a few us didn't pipe up.

I hope there's is a fight back concerning social media, and a return to getting your hands dirty and proper hobbies.

Best, Tom

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Re: Internet "forums" are a thing of the past

Post by DonW » Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:49 pm

Regarding the 16mmNGS egroup there was always a ension between those who wanted it only to be used for Association business and those who wanted to cover a wider range. Anyway the cruch with Yahoo came and the group has migrated to IO groups. There is a major difference between a forum and an egroup. In a forum unless to take the trouble to log in and look in the various categories you can easily miss things. With an egroup you get notified of every posting. However for anyone joining an egroup you have no idea what postings there have been in the past an trying to find say what posting there have been about whistles would be very difficult. Much easier on a forum where you can find threads on Steam loco construction and look for any that mention whistles.

Personally I think forums and egroups have a particular value to those who perhaps have few nearby who share their interests or have lives which make joining a local group problematic. On here I find myself discussing things with people from around the world whom I will be unlikely to meet.

Don

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Re: Internet "forums" are a thing of the past

Post by Keith S » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:57 pm

I guess I miss some of the younger folk who used to be on this forum and no longer seem to participate, like Douglas and Zach Bond, for instance. Both of whom were very interested in garden railways and had some very good models. I'm friends with Douglas elsewhere, but the last time I saw or heard anything from Zach was in person at the 2017 show in Peterborough.

I live in a very remote part of Canada, and my garden is currently too small and "under construction" to allow a railway, not to mention butane will only vapourize outside between perhaps May and September. The only local model railway group deals with "HO" scale modern North American prototypes, in which I have little interest.

The only real participation I have in this hobby is via the forum and my membership in the 16mm association. The last time I saw a functioning 16mm scale train was in 2017, other than mine, which I sometimes run in a circle on the lounge floor when my wife isn't paying attention!

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Re: Internet "forums" are a thing of the past

Post by tom_tom_go » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:33 pm

The forum is what you guys make it, it's your platform...

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Re: Internet "forums" are a thing of the past

Post by FWLR » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:11 am

Agree with Tom. It is our platform, so let's get on with discusioning and showing our hobby. If members don't want to say anything or show anything, that's fine in my eyes. I am quite sure that they get something from looking in now and again.

Although I myself haven't done a lot recently, (because of other reasons,) I will soon hopefully be back in the swing of things and building or trying to build :roll: something for our line.
Rod

Life is so easy when I run my trains. :thumbright:

🚂🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃

https://gardenrails.org/forum/viewtopic ... 41&t=11364

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