Why Is Railpage Becoming Full Of Continuous Dribble ?

 
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
Railpage has always had at least some fairly good posters. I have noticed lately that their few posts are being more drowned out by either complete drivel or just fairly stupid posts stating the obvious.

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  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
It's called freedom of expression.  I suggest that we just have to learn to live with it on an open forum.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Railpage Australia™ has always had at least some fairly good posters. I have noticed lately that their few posts are being more drowned out by either complete drivel or just fairly stupid posts stating the obvious.
"Rodo"


Basically, I agree with what Rodo has said and his post highlights a similar concern of an apparent decline in the overall standard of Railpage Australia™ posts that I have been wondering about for quite some time.  

Don't get me wrong, there are still many well informed people here but It seems that there is an increasing trend to attack the poster rather than the post. There are also posters here who cannot see the trains for the sleepers and content themselves with trying to defend the indefensible. There are others who fill the forums with utter rubbish.

I have been in rail, in one capacity or another, for some years now and I, too, have tried to post a few things from time to time that I hope may have benefited readers or provoked intelligent comment. I remember particularly a thread a while ago on the airbrake which I thought was very worthwhile. There are many others but they are becoming fewer, perhaps as some of the more experienced members lose interest.

If there is one thing the job has taught me it is how much I don't know and this is one reason I continue with RP with interest. Unfortunately, it seems that the depth of knowledge is getting shallower and there are a number of inexperienced posters who substitute knowledge with vehemence. Granted, no-one has to listen to me or anyone else (and that is their right) but there are still a (diminishing) number of posters who are happy to extend their knowledge to those who are interested and who are prepared to listen. 

Thanks to the many posters of all ages who go to a great deal of trouble to record their experiences in an intelligent manner.

  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW

Railpage Australia™ has always had at least some fairly good posters. I have noticed lately that their few posts are being more drowned out by either complete drivel or just fairly stupid posts stating the obvious.
"Rodo"


It's called freedom of expression.  I suggest that we just have to learn to live with it on an open forum.
"Valvegear"


Sadly, both of you are completely correct - on one hand, it's frustrating to see what seems like every second thread dragged off topic with petty squabbling or random rubbish. This seems to happen more often in the "suburban" forums over the other forums, and I'd suggest this has something to do with citybound "enthusiasts" not having anything of substance to discuss due to a lack of experience. From such minor complaints as indicator boards being different between two stations, or some other such ultra-specific nonsense, a lot of it is just whinging for the sake of whinging. I wish people would address their complaints to the authority concerned instead of blindly complaining on a forum dedicated to enthusiast discussion.

A slight correction to the point of freedom of expression - membership here is a privilege, not a right. Users who continually post rubbish get warned, and then booted. I have recently noticed a few troublesome users have been rather quiet - whether this is their own doing, or that of the administrators and moderators, I don't care. As long as they have stopped!
  Foamer GEEWONG

Location: Geelong
Having only  been a member here for a shot time, I find RP very informing and often entertaining.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I am taking bets on a) when this thread will be locked and  b) by whom.

Maybe the number of "quality" posters has diminished, and therefore the number of inane posters becomes more obvious as their material posted swamps out otherwise informative stuff.

Or maybe it's just a seasonal thing.  Razz
  heisdeadjim Chief Commissioner

I am taking bets on a) when this thread will be locked and  b) by whom.

Maybe the number of "quality" posters has diminished, and therefore the number of inane posters becomes more obvious as their material posted swamps out otherwise informative stuff.

Or maybe it's just a seasonal thing.  Razz
"seb2351"


Both I think.

Lots of content here, but, historically RP has long tolerated stupidity for too long.

Thus, like moths to a naked flame, they all come to see and to play.

Edit: My previous musings on the topic.
  EFB5800 Chief Train Controller

Location: On my office roof.
When I joined a couple of years ago, any thread in the Locomotives and Rollingstock section that didn't have a new post for a couple of days, would get pushed onto page 2. Today is yet another example of a Saturday or Sunday with no L&R threads posted on at all (excluding Draffa's post at 1:59am, which is really late Saturday night).

I've got to go with the OP on this topic, and I must say that many of the good old well informed posters who's info I have enjoyed reading seem to be quiet these days. But on the up side the slagging seems to have slowed too. Hope I get this post is submitted before locky lock time. Laughing
  woodford Chief Commissioner

This is a forum, forums are really about opinions, nothing really to do with being informative or accurate and sadly to many opinions particularly about rail are based on poor information. This has much to do with the main stream media which treats rail as very much as a second class service, not to mention most journalists have little if any knowledge of railways so they tend to pick on conflicts and apparent  missmanagment.

My main reason for this post though is that a decent informative post takes a great deal of effort to do, One MUST research the topic and then write it in a fashion that reduces the chance of miss interpretation. All this takes much time and effort and there a few in the community now particularly in this time of instant gratifaction, willing to spend the effort required. To write a 400 word post to the above requirements takes in the order of 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Most are simply not willing to spend the time or effort.

Woodford
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
True in some threads but not all as the major forums are still mostly full of useful material. I could list them but it is personal opinion. As Woodford said, it takes time to do the research and that is the problem. You soon recognise who does research and who just posts rail rumours or endless stuff they have not analysed. You also soon realise who is pushing a personal agenda without factual content. 

On the other hand, many of us push personal agendas but do our research so that is to be encouraged eg Railway Archaeology forum, Locomotives and Rolling Stock forum especially the Wagon and Container Pictures thread. There are a few of us pushing research into the former QR line to Southport and Tweed Heads which is showing wonderful results as some long lost items are being rediscovered such as the bridge piers just south of the steam era Oxenford station site and the factual material on the Pacific Highway in that era. The turntable thread is another wonderful thread reflecting hours of personal research.
  snowcone Station Master

I believe the Moderators on this site let the discussions go a little too far and they do get rather antagonistic at times.

What I have noticed that if someone has made a statement that turns out to be incorrect, another poster will come down on them like a tonne of bricks, rather than just pointing out their error (nicely).

Sometimes some good manners wouldn't hurt
Just my 2 cents worth.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
What I have noticed that if someone has made a statement that turns out to be incorrect, another poster will come down on them like a tonne of bricks, rather than just pointing out their error (nicely).
"snowcone"


I just made a dill of myself in another thread, and I was very pleased that someone pointed out my mistake very politely.  You're right; good manners never hurt anyone.
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
What I have noticed that if someone has made a statement that turns out to be incorrect, another poster will come down on them like a tonne of bricks, rather than just pointing out their error (nicely).
"snowcone"


While I agree that when someone has made an error, then it should be corrected politely, a lot of members bring it upon themselves, by making vast posts without any information or truth to them, and then get uppity when someone does try to correct them politely. They then continue to do this in thread after thread, constantly posting dribble that they have just made up on the spot. People get frustrated.

It's a common trend in the Railway enthusiast community to not say something unless you can prove someone wrong. I've had a well-versed friend of mine try asking a question on various groups/forums, and get nothing. As soon as he changes his question to an incorrect statement, he gets a thousand people rush in to correct them. I personally find that these types of people are best ignored, as they get nothing out of it.
  PClark Chief Commissioner



Perhaps it has something to do with the generally acknowledged link between problems such as autism and Asperger's syndrome and an obsessive interest in railways. 

It's true that the site has lost many good contributors - Riccardo and The Vinelander come to mind.



  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The right to not read any post that you don't like or take offence to of course still exists.

Overall this and other websites on Aussie rail things all seem to be slowing in postings. Maybe sign of times the railways are lacking with change and questions of the past have been answered.
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
I must say that this thread has produced some quality posting, although Valvegear was of course just stating the obvious. I would say that my provocative question is what improved things but it might be that yesterday I was just bored. Some of the posting looked reasonable but it was all about things that did not interest me. 
  jd4980 Chief Commissioner

Location: Grafton
I have to say, as firmly as i believe that much of the decline in quality posts and sharing of information is a direct result of those holding said information to be just totally fed up of the would be if they could be armchair experts, there is a cross section of those that may know a little, certainly more then the kiddies can't except someone else may really know more.

A personal example of what i'm talking about would be a thread some time ago regarding the mail trains that ran in NSW and upon posting a photo of the last UP service on the nth coast, yes a photo, 1 proclaimed learned individual still wanted to argue that the photo wasn't a mail train or at the location advised at the date advised. Despite several other people digging up official records of the particular consist and confirmed a match to the loco and vehicles within the photo, and anyone familiar with the location would confirm it was undeniably accuratly identified, was not enough evidence for this individual because it didn't match his solid record keeping as an SM or an assistant of such from the period. Thats just 1 example, i'm certain most here have their own story to tell but it always stuck in my mind that this individual wanted to argue about a photo!

Dare i say it also but some of the moderators are fairly 1 eyed and quick to shut threads down that don't toe the line to their beliefs or view points. These days its rare for me to post due to the nit picking on small gramma issues, spelling mistakes, and the general belittling of people undeserving of such cyber bullying. Its just a fact that as a whole, society isn't very humble these days, and these faceless forums make that sad reality just that little bit more in your face. I also belive that there is a big generational gap within the enthusiest fraternity, and much like life in general which further adds to the divide between those that really know and understand and those that think they know. 2 good examples of this would be a line side right of way hand signal and the wearing of safety vests. 2 of my former biggest hates as an industry worker towards the gunzel fraternity. Lucky for me i no longer work in a gunzel ladden environment, and easily avoidable on here these days due to my declining interest to be bothered other then to have a grizzle like now.

Thanks for the counselling session all, who do i make the cheque out to ?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
While a few of us here are calmly discussing RP and its vagaries, there is another issue that I think is worth raising again in the hope that some readers will realise its relevance.

The topic is the use of abbreviations, jargon, acronyms and/or other code words.

I have raised this on several occasions in the past but it has more or less gone over the heads of the worst offenders.

We all need to remember from time to time that Railpage has a nationwide audience in addition to a number of overseas readers/contributors. We do not all live at Box Hill, Redfern, Gawler, Gladstone or Mundrabilla for that matter and the use of jargon etc applying to Victoria (for example) is, perhaps, unlikely to be understood in Perth, Port Hedland or London. The use of this type of language does not make one a 'railwayman' in the true sense any more than wearing a 'trainproof' jacket.

Acronyms and jargon beyond an understanding audience is simply bad form for anyone genuinely trying to be informative rather than a show off.
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
Acronyms and jargon beyond an understanding audience is simply bad form for anyone genuinely trying to be informative rather than a show off.
"YM-Mundrabilla"


That's what it boils down to, yes. I understand a minority of the people doing it do it accidentally, because that's what they do in day to day life (ie, at work), but when people who obviously don't work in the industry do it, it reeks of trying too hard.
  Whitedisc Beginner

It is timely that some one raises this question. Its an interesting cross section of responses that indicate how "we" understand what is the purpose of Railpage. Unfortunately many members/participants  are in the "rail business" and the way our bosses have recently decided to intrude into our lives by taking interest in forums like this has not helped an open awareness.
Unfortunately because of my position, I cannot comment on many items because I would be breaking the contractual agreement that i am engaged under.
It is very interesting that the railway modelling scene appears to me to be going the same way as Railpage with a hesitance not to respond because the consequences are ridicule not a response of "tell me more" or "tell me more of where you are coming from"  when you make the reply.  
Sadly ALL areas of the Oz railway industry do not appreciate that they are making history every day, daily, and there are some amazing people with a great wealth of knowledge who really dont want to participate openly anymore. Its all too hard.
The industry seems to me to be full of negatives and very few positives and if there are some positives the value is massive and takes for ever to achieve. Anything less than $10million doesnt seem to get a mention with a whole lot of detail.  
Its very sad that people in the Pilbara dont even know accurately what is happening in their backyard. On the 15th May the second biggest shipment of locos for Rio Tinto arrives (since the 29 for hamersley in 1995.) Think about the logisitics of handling this but again there is no fanfare or open public awareness. There is an expectation that this happens everyday so no interest.
Another example is the work of laying the third track at Geraldton Port WA in the past week and at the same time a new car dumper is being prepared for install. How often does this happen?.
Out of all of this there is lots happening but people can't seem to be bothered reporting cos the negatives will come out or the "experts" will be asking all sorts of technical questions that the reporter cannot answer.
What a disapointing "technology age" turntable we are on.
Rgds Ian





  woodford Chief Commissioner

What I have noticed that if someone has made a statement that turns out to be incorrect, another poster will come down on them like a tonne of bricks, rather than just pointing out their error (nicely).
"snowcone"


It's a common trend in the Railway enthusiast community to not say something unless you can prove someone wrong. I've had a well-versed friend of mine try asking a question on various groups/forums, and get nothing. As soon as he changes his question to an incorrect statement, he gets a thousand people rush in to correct them. I personally find that these types of people are best ignored, as they get nothing out of it.
"Raichase"



There is another side to this, delibrately making an error when interogating someone is a common method to get some one to say something they would have otherwise kept to them selves. I used this technique a number of times during the reporting of the NE line regauging in order to get information that readers were withholding and it proved VERY valuable.

A point has just come to me thjat is REALLY related to the providing of good information., In the end it takes a lot of guts to do the research and put yourself forward as a decent source of public information and this DOES include standing up for you beliefs in public. Most people will NOT do this willingly but will only respond if emotionaly charged hence the amount of drivel.

Woodford
  monday Chief Commissioner

This is an interesting thread.

The best comparison between these forums and a comparable discussion area, which ill cite the facebook group "Australian Ratbag Enginemen and other associated rail rats", includes:-

Membership is NOT anonymous - you need a real name and someone in the group needs to vouch for you to join, and all your posts are under your FB name - if you FB under an assumed name, youre not likely to get in to post on AREDORRA as no one will vouch for you to join in the first place.

This means, people know who and where you are from and your history, and if you talk sh1t, you had better back it up with evidence - this leads to better quality posts overall. 

There is definitely not rubbish from teenagers spouting that they are the font of all railway knowledge, as most of the teenagers dont want to look ridiculous infront of the real railway guys.

It also has better answers too, as it has a lot of more contemporary railway people involved - those in the industry tend to post their rather than RP.  If you have a question, it usually gets answered pretty quickly, and often, fairly accurately - a lot of the guys know people, who know people, who know what is going on (right up the management structures of most railway companies)

The photo stuff is easier to use than that on RP - people can post straight from their mobiles onto FB much easier than here.

I like visiting both AREDORRA and RP, as both have their merits, but if I have a real question to ask and looking for a more indepth answer, then i'd post on AREDORRA rather than here.

If there is a brain drain on RP long term, then unfortunately RP will suffer from it, as it will only become a place for dribbling foamer teenagers to talk colour schemes and not much else.  I joined at the end of 2003 and it is a good site, but there are less and less of those experienced guys on here and there are other options out there to discuss trains...

Just my two cents.
  jm1941 Chief Commissioner

Location: Mount Gambier
What a disapointing "technology age" turntable we are on.
Rgds Ian
"Whitedisc"



Yes very true Ian. I finding harder each year now to be bothered at all and I been around here since first days in Jan 2003.
Too much techo stuff bombarding us now all the time, (bring back old trains as it was not complicated days then) better to just bow out as enough is enough with all this privacy/big brother might be looking over your shoulder junk and is killing our once simple communications we all had here. So why bother communicating too much anymore, just do basics if one needs a fix. Safer to just maybe read and keep one's thoughts and opinions to oneself, then no head pains anymore and much better for the blood pressure and on one's heart rate.  One not figure this till into one's twilight older age, it just not worth all the hassles.  Sad

Regards.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!

I have found poorly researched material from all age groups. I also have found well researched material from all age groups. The determining factor is the personality and willingness to proof read material  for factual content. Some just proof read for typos but the real people proof read for factual accuracy.

Some of us older folk have been repeating railway myths they/we heard years ago without bothering to check.  A case in point was the false claim that the former Tugun railway station in QLD was near Station Street Tugun but the platform and yard was not there and instead actually north of Toolona St, Tugun. For years I heard and read the Station St myth untill I actually did a bit of local research and found first hand witnesses, pictures and railway plans showing the correct location. See the actual QR plans; SCL N-C s11 Tugun  http://www.4shared.com/photo/pasHYSk6/SCL_N-C_s11_Tugun.html

Late edit; maybe we all should work by the principle of "let those without sin cast the first stone" as a check of past posts will show many of us have had our facts wrong at times.

 

  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
Making sensible posts has it's frustrations! On the rare occasions that I have posted anything serious, I usually got shot down for *some* reason, so most of the time I just lurk or type responses that I (usually) delete.[img]http://img695.imageshack.us/img695/1461/image0306.jpg[/img]
I once posted some pics of a coalie I worked with four DLs, and people who didn't know better commented about union rules, DL's limitations, noisy cabs (which they most definitely are not!) and whatnot. I must admit it was a tad discouraging, considering I think I know quite intimately exactly what I was talking about!  

Evil or Very Mad

I should get over it and post some interesting stuff, set a good example as it were. I do like the site, the only way to make it more informative and more friendly is to do it ourselves.



p.s. Damn! I can't work out how to post photos small anymore!




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