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State of the Forum, 2021


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With all that's happened over the past year, it seems like a good time to catch up and let you know what's happening behind the scenes.

Our server upgrade didn't go as well as it could have, and some of the problems took longer to resolve than I would have liked. I appreciate everyone's patience while we got that all working again. The new server is faster in almost every way, and gives us a good base for more and better services going forward.

People seem pleased with the most recent forum upgrade. I personally like the cleaner and more readable look. What you don't see is that it's easier to administer and maintain. At some point, we'll be tweaking the appearance so it harmonizes better with our web site, but that's a ways off.

We enabled the like button. We think it will be more helpful than detrimental. Please, don't get overly concerned with your number of likes. Just keep posting as you normally would. This hobby has more branches than a Bodhi tree, and someone will need your information at some time in the future.

We've experienced significant growth during the pandemic. There were some refugees from the now defunct Scale Auto forum. If you found your way here from SAE, welcome. More importantly, lots of people suddenly had time to begin, or return to model building. It was fun when we were kids, and amazingly enough, it's still fun now. Our new user rate tripled starting about April of last year. We also had an unusually large contingent of guest users.  This is all good for our hobby.

This influx has presented some surprising challenges. My local hobby shop ran out of styrene glue. A week before, they had 50 bottles. I've never seen that. Our additional users have put more load on our infrastructure too, but we're well positioned to handle it. I don't anticipate us having any capacity problems for the foreseeable future. Our new server is working very well. Uptime has been excellent, and the upgrade gave us the headroom we needed to handle both the increased content, and new users.

Our goal has always been to have a welcoming and supportive community. I feel like we're generally doing well in that regard, and for that, I thank you all. Given our influx of new people,  we see lots of questions, some of them more naive than others. We're trying to get helpful content on the web site, but it will take time. It's worth noting that our new modelers are coming to the hobby as adults. The challenges are different, and they don't have a passel of friends where they can pick up the very basic stuff.  Please, be patient, and helpful. We have a wealth of information here, but it's not very well organized and harder to search than I'd like.

We have a love/hate relationship with the advertisements. On the one hand, they pay for the server, and software support. On the other, they're intrusive, sometimes inappropriate, and lately have taken to obscuring content. Getting the ads to a tolerable state is currently my top priority. Advertisers like to game the system in multiple ways. This is causing us a lot of problems, and I'm tired of spending part of my weekends trying to weed them out. We are going to switch to another provider as soon as I can get it set up. Ultimately, we'd like to carry ads from model car providers too. That's a ways off as we don't yet have the personnel to manage it.

My responsibilities changed at the beginning of the year. While I still maintain our online presence, I joined the editorial board for the magazine. I'm also responsible for our online marketing and distribution efforts. It's a good challenge, and we're looking forward to bringing you more excellent content. Our first major project is rebuilding our main website. We expect to be done with that shortly. It will be simplified and easier to navigate. We want to bring more of the magazine content online, and perhaps more importantly, expand our content with valuable information we don't have room for in the printed magazine.

I'm spending somewhat less time on the forums than I used to, but I'm still available via PM. As a general rule, you should report any posts you need deleted from trading and wanted to the moderators. All the mods will see it, and you'll get a response much sooner this way. I also see reported posts if one of the moderators doesn't deal with it first. Speaking of which, we am extremely fortunate to have an excellent team of moderators. Xingu, iamsuperdan, and Badluck 13 are the ones who carry out the day-to-day decisions that make our policies real. I'm grateful for their continued contributions. This board wouldn't be the same without them.

I'll close by thanking our members for making this the kind of forum that's worth visiting. It was special when I joined in 2008, and thanks to you, it remains special today. We're always interested in improving, and if you have any ideas, I would be glad to hear them.

Happy modeling,
Dave Ambrose

 

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  • Dave Ambrose changed the title to State of the Forum, 2021
30 minutes ago, Dave Ambrose said:

Our goal has always been to have a welcoming and supportive community. I feel like we're generally doing well in that regard, and for that, I thank you all. 

 It is "US" .......Dave!     ....that need to be Thanking "You"!      ....with out you, moderators, this forum..... I would be without a viable info resources, comradely, ...simply a lone hobbyist without a clue here in all these cornfields of Iowa. I tip my cap to you ALL! And humbly Thank you!

Kevin (aka khils )

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I found the forum November 2019. It is very well run and respectable. At first, I could peruse a whole day's postings in a few hours in the evening. Now there are so many posts I cannot keep up. I am not whinning or looking for a fix. Just showing how popular it has become. My favorite part is the encouragement shared all around. I love to give it and also receive it from time to time. Since I have come here, my build quality has gone up by leaps and bounds simply because I have seen what can be done. Thank you all for this forum.

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Thank you, for spending the time to write about what's going on.   I basically despise having to deal with technology, so anyone with the skills to keep the ship afloat deserves respect.  I consider this like a model club, on a large scale (bad pun).  IPMS didn't do anything for me, other than some awards.  Appreciate having this community to engage with, been very helpful at spending my disposable income.

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Yes, thank you for all the work involved to keep things going. I appreciate anyone who gives up their own time so I and others can have the pleasure of this message board.

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Agree with all of the comments listed above... thanks for keeping this venue up-and-running (and growing), at a time when we've experienced more of the opposite in our world today.

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Thanks so much for all the hard work that everyone involved puts into the forum. It’s filled with a great bunch of people and it provides so much fun and good info, and comraderie 👍

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Many thanks and keep up the good work, it's really appreciated. 👍
Regarding the like button, I don't care for it as I don't think it's necessary and I prefer and appreciate a more personal written comment before a number of likes any day...well that's me.

Edited by Force
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Thanks much to everyone involved in providing us the forum. Even when the magazine was on hold, the forum was always there. Now that its back as well, we all have twice the fun! I think covering forum builds in the magazine is a great idea!

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I think I can speak for the other moderators here and say Dave does all the hard work that keeps this place running smoothly. We just tell you not to curse and to play nice with others and move the trucks out of the car section and....you get the picture.

Thanks Dave, for all that you do here.

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Thanks Dave and the moderators... This is the only forum I care about... I think it’s pretty much perfect... it’s great to have a place to go for like-minded interest, and thanks also to the members here for making it an easy place to fit in.

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BIG thank you to Dave and the moderators, and indeed anyone else who is involved in maintaining and improving this wonderful Forum.

Without a doubt, this is the BEST model cars forum in the World ( and beyond )............ I am proud to be a member of MCM Forums, and I have the greatest respect for you all....... especially Mr Ambrose...... he is the man !

David

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Dave, thanks for all of your hard work. I have a question/suggestion. Would it be possible to extend the window of editing posts indefinitely? I have some older posts from a few years ago that have broken image links, and I would like to fix them. I also have a thread I started a couple of weeks ago, which I added an update date to, but now I cannot go in and edit to reflect my latest update (ie; "Updated June 10" to "Updated June 21").

The idea that unlike a certain other forum, the threads are long term and don't roll off the map is great, but there are posters out there (particularly those who use/used Photobucket) who lost their photos, leaving a trail of broken image icons. Hence the need for the long term ability to edit posts. Any chance of this happening?

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