View Full Version : Model Railroad Links Directory
01-10-2005, 10:27 AM
I'm working on a new model railroad links directory which will be another feature we offer here at the forum.
I've been doing links directories for a long time, mostly related to prototype railroads. However, the model railroad side of things is a bit different. Most real railroad sites are 'fan sites' with photos and information, but not a lot of items for sell.
In researching model railroad sites, I've noticed that many of the sites have items for sale, offering anything from small cast resin details to full size pre-assembled custom designed model railroads that cost more than my house.
I'm wondering whether I should split the model railroad links directory into two sections, one for commercial listings and another for non-commercial items. Many of the categories will be duplicated in both areas. For example, a section on DCC would have sites offering articles on DCC as well as sites offering DCC items for sale. Should those be in one place, or should they be sorted by commercial and informational sites?
I guess it would be a bit like the phone book with white pages and yellow pages.
I'd appreciate some feedback on this one too, which would be the most useful you? I'd like to make it as user-friendly as possible.
01-10-2005, 01:06 PM
I wouldn't have a problem with a yellow pages/white pages split. You might even want to add a green pages for forums.
01-10-2005, 02:33 PM
> a green pages for forums.
There will only be two forums listed. Railroadforums and modelrailroadforums :)
01-10-2005, 02:38 PM
I think having two separate categories is a good idea, because I find myself sorting through links to dealers and distributors when I'm really only looking for information, or vice versa. However, sites that have both commercial and noncommercial aspects (as I hope my site eventually will) should perhaps be listed in both categories.
01-10-2005, 04:39 PM
> Sites that have both commercial and noncommercial aspects
> (as I hope my site eventually will) should perhaps be listed in
> both categories.
Yes, if they have substantial information as well as commercial stuff they would be eligible for listings in both places. Also no site would be excluded simply because they have a bit of commercial content, an e-bay listings section for example, or a club that offers specially lettered cars and hats and t-shirts for sale. That kind of thing wouldn't be an issue.
What I don't want is when you search on DCC and get a site that solely sells decoders when what you really want is unbiased information. Another example is "super-detailing". Sometimes you want info on how to do it, other times you just want to buy a left handed smoke shifter for an SP GS-4. As I said, think white pages/yellow pages.
01-10-2005, 06:17 PM
ok here's my couple of pennys worth. When I do a search for information on any subject I have no objection to a few advertisements on the site ( someone has to pay the grocer) as long as relative information to the search is there this is not always the case. When I'm looking for a product, I expect to see at least that product or a catalog of their products relative to my search. If information is there I may or may not read it (my choice)
What I don't want is when you search on DCC and get a site that solely sells decoders when what you really want is unbiased information.
Bob, will the search function be limited to the specific white or yellow page sections, or one search function to cover both?
If the pages are open to all members for posting links, what method do you have planned to keep it from getting all fouled up? Some control needed there.
If the search is governed by meta tags, all you need is three for identity <commercial> <info> <both> and a tag or tags relative to the search. Just a thought I'm new at this too.
01-10-2005, 08:55 PM
How about getting the commercial listings to spend a little for promotion in your directory?
Since I have been back in the hobby only about 6 months, I would appreciate this service you are setting up.
01-10-2005, 09:43 PM
> When I do a search for information on any subject I have
> no objection to a few advertisements on the site ...
Yes, there will be a few ads. No pop-ups or any of that,
just some simple banner ads.
> as long as relative information to the search is there
It will be. Without that, there wouldn't be any visitors.
> Bob, will the search function be limited to the specific
> white or yellow page sections
Yes, each section would have its own search engine.
They would essentially be two different sites.
> If the pages are open to all members for posting links,
> what method do you have planned to keep it from
> getting all fouled up? Some control needed there.
Some poor fool (guess who) will review all of the links
before they're posted, same as at the other site.
All links are verified and placed in the proper spot.
Want to see what it will look like? Same as this:
Notice the streamlined, mostly text interface?
See a passing resemblance to Google? That's
quite intentional, and will be the same here.
The idea is a nice clean and fast interface.
01-11-2005, 08:07 AM
Well, I'm seeing a definite trend here... :)
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