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Thread: Why the huge fluctuation in participation here at the Model Railroad Forums?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Central Minnesota, Park Rapids area.
    Posts
    1,651

    Default Why the huge fluctuation in participation here at the Model Railroad Forums?

    I only joined here at the Model Railroad Forums in August of 2016, so am a relative newcomer. However, since I brought the internet into the home in 1996, I have participated in many different Model Railroading Forums. All of the time in 2016 and on through the spring of this year, participation here seemed to be very good, lots of action! However, during this past summer and continuing onto today, participation seems to be very slow and lack luster! In my first Model Train Car building Contest participation was fairly good. However, the one going on currently and ending the 1st of the year, 2018 is very poorly participated in!

    Participation here seems to come in waves! O.K. I can accept that the Christmas season going on now, might effect participation. However, I don't recall it slowing down last year, like it has this year. Is the use of this forum subject to highs and lows as I perceive them?
    Mark D.

    Opinions given are my own and not meant to ruffle any feathers.
    Northern Pacific, really terrific!

  2. Default

    You're right Mark, I've noticed the same thing and I have to admit that I'm more of a lurker these days too.
    I guess people get busy doing different things or their interests shift.
    In my case it could be due to the whack I took to the noggin, or the layout being torn down for the possible house sale, or some bad experiences on feebay and amazon, or brain cancer taking one of my best buddies, also some house reno's gone awry... I guess I'm in a bit of a funk.
    I could go on but that's a whole other topic.
    I've been meaning to reply to a few threads but somehow just can't find the words. This reply took a lot of effort!
    Last edited by Rico; 12-13-2017 at 05:53 AM.
    Questions answered, Answers questionable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Central Minnesota, Park Rapids area.
    Posts
    1,651

    Default

    Rico, Sorry to hear about life kicking your butt lately. I've had these types of situations, too. Loosing a buddy is always very difficult. I won't say that: "You will get over it", as the reality is you never do. However, you do learn to live with it! Best of luck and hope things get better quickly!
    Mark D.

    Opinions given are my own and not meant to ruffle any feathers.
    Northern Pacific, really terrific!

  4. #4

    Default

    I have been with the forum since may of 2012 and have seen ups and downs with participation over the years. People have other things going on in their lives also. My wife and I attend numerous bowling tournaments not only here in Montana, but do travel to spots across the country for national tournaments. I also have other hobbies other than model railroading. I enjoy flying and also restore classic cars which takes time away from model railroading. Winter is here and I am sure that I'll also be up in the mountains snowmobiling.

    I do try to keep up with the forum on Tap Talk, but hate trying to peck at a small screen and make posts.

    I am sure that other members also have other things that keep them busy besides working on their trains.
    ................................ Chet


    Video - Switching in Churchill - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR-tYl9fd9s
    VIDEO Tour of the layout - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiNqrkq9xYY
    New cab ride - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiL7SgH6Wbw

  5. #5

    Default

    I visit the forum nearly every day, but don't always post. Without seeing the statistics on page hits, it's hard to know if there is a trend brewing. We can do only what we can to keep the site alive.

  6. Default

    Rico, it sounds like you are in an extended funk. The several hits have left you flat, unmotivated, and the truth could be that you're a bit depressed and still grieving for the seriousness and long-term nature of the changes you're facing. It's hard to enjoy fun things when your life isn't much fun. I think that both time and some remedial effort on your part, those two working together, may have you feeling more in control once again, and with that comes hormonal changes that will begin to make you feel brighter. Being aware of your condition is the first step to beginning to repair whatever you can. I wouldn't beat myself up if it gets to that point, but do start to put some energy into improving whatever you can help. With that role, you'll begin to come around.

    I think.........
    Crandell

  7. Default

    I have visited several forums daily since January 2005 when I first found the MR forums over at Kalmbach. Each place has a discernible culture, to me. Each has a pace, and in each case, the pace varies seasonally and with no apparent relation to the time of year. I have seen this forum busier than most, but not since this summer. Three years ago this was one of the busiest. Trainboard seems to be perpetually slow. Nice solid folk though. Railroad Line is also slow, but the caliber of skills there, and the evidence posted, are astounding. If you want to know what's happening among the elite in the hobby, try an hour or three there one Sunday. Be sure to go into their photography forum and peruse the monthly themed threads.

    I still drop into Atlas Rescue, Big Blue (the Gauge), and modeltrainforum.com (high concentration of Canadian members, perhaps it IS Canadian).

    The fact is that those of us who provide the daily fodder for the more popular forums are few in number. We get bored, sick, turn to something else for a while, die, sell, move, blow up computers....the list is endless. As a population, we are losing ground to the years. My guess is the typical rail forum has a mean age of around 65, whereas it would have been closer to 50 fifteen years ago. Just as steam is losing ground over time, the age of the hobbyist is getting older, and the electronic devices and media favoured to pass time with our youth are of a different nature. Trains don't figure largely so much in people's lives, unless they are blocking traffic somewhere or burning tank cars. Or steering into young high schoolers walking along the tracks with their ear buds firmly planted.


    You will find that, if you polled the membership for an entire month, you'd find only 40? regular posters from day-to-day. Those few will generate 85% or more of all posts daily. The rest are shared among newbies, especially near Christmas and the New Year, and the odd guy who needs an idea or some advice about something. All forums seem to go this way over time. The hobby is populated with old geezers who don't spend time at a computer, who don't need/want a smart phone or tablet, who have aging cars needing some tinkering, aging homes needing upkeep prior to the couple needing to sell, and other ways of using their waking hours, plus whatever hobbies they have. So, the representation of your typical hobbyist is only somewhat approximated by the few regular posters you'll find at any one forum on any day you choose to do the looking.
    Last edited by Selector; 12-13-2017 at 09:39 AM.
    Crandell

  8. #8

    Default

    Crandell, I also belong to other model railroad forums and this one is by far the best. You mentioned the Model train Forum. I seems to have been taken over by O scale (tinplate) a little over a year ago when an O scale forum folded. The Trainboard is alright and seems to be centered a bit more towards N scale. The Atlas Rescue forum seems a bit snooty to me. I do know some of the Big Blue members from the old Whistlepost which folded when the web master suffered a fatal heart attack.

    I guess that I am one of the old geezers Name:  Old.gif
Views: 148
Size:  2.4 KB who don't entertain themselves with a computer or electronic games. I do have to sit in front of a computer all day for work, where I make the biggest majority of posts. My computer at home is normally turned off so I do keep up using TapTalk, but don't post much on the phone.

    You mentioned working on old homes. Yuk. We built our home 40 years ago and over the last three years totally renovated the main living area, gutting and rebuilding 2 bathrooms, upgraded the kitchen, replaced all of the flooring in the house, rebuilt and staind the front and back porch plus had a new roof put on the house. Glad that's over so now we can spend some time traveling, just for the sake of traveling.

    There isn't as many young people in the hobby as there was years ago I imagine because of al of the video game that they always seem to have in hand. The majority of the members of the model railroad club I go to are also older people, but there are a few that aren't ready for Social Security yet.
    ................................ Chet


    Video - Switching in Churchill - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR-tYl9fd9s
    VIDEO Tour of the layout - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiNqrkq9xYY
    New cab ride - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiL7SgH6Wbw

  9. Default

    I been quite down with SHINGLES since July so that's why my MRR activity has been nearly non existent, thought about chukking it completely, selling off everything and buying a new scooter.
    "I'm not building a layout per-se, I'm just playing with trains all-day!"

  10. Default

    This forum was my "starter" forum when I re-entered the hobby in 2016. I had a lot of help from regular forum contributors like @bnsf971, @montanan, and others, for all of my newbie questions (since then, I've acquired multiple DCC systems, a dedicated PC-control railroad system, and something like 50 N-scale locos), but have frequented here less often due to the low activity. Now, I mainly hang out at an N-scale specific forum (nscale.net) which is both very active, and scale-specific. I often visit MRH's forum since that one's pretty active, too. I also just signed up at Trainboard since they had a pretty good Kato Unitrack thread and seem to be a very friendly crowd.

    I also bought a Model Railroader Magazine all-access pass last summer for $99 (highly recommended!), in lieu of renewing my $9.99/month Texture subscription, and really enjoy perusing MR's 83-year digital online archive on my iPad (however, for whatever reason, I rarely visit MR's forums).
    Last edited by Chevron_GATX; 12-13-2017 at 11:15 AM.
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