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Author: Subject: E&W Forum stagnating?
The_K5
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[*] posted on 17-11-2002 at 11:19


Who are actual member 2&1 at E&W-Forum
above megalomania ??
:P
Nick F
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[*] posted on 18-11-2002 at 11:48


I know because I'm a moderator there, I just chose to have a different name here.
Member #'s 1 and 2 are, I believe, default accounts set up by the board software.
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DeusExMachina
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[*] posted on 20-11-2002 at 14:53


roguesci is one of the best forums out there if not the best. I don't post here or there too much though because I don't know as much some of the other people so I get discouraged. I usually just stick to TOTSE and Xinventions. I hope Roguesci will beback up soon.
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Eliteforum
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[*] posted on 22-11-2002 at 20:20


I wouldn't say that it was one of the "best forums".

I do agree that it's beginning to stagnate though.

After all, there is only so many times you can talk about the same explosive.

Mega's attempt to "revive" the forum as it were went laughingly wrong, posting all those old "archived topics" back to the surface to get new "replys" to them.

Nice try, didn't work though. I don't think more than 5% of the forum read them.

I know a few improvements that would boost the forum's posting and popularity 10 fold in a matter of days if one thing was put right.

And I've seen a lot of member's come and go. The only one's worth caring about were the long time members that left.

Now the forum seems overloaded with kewls "comforming" to the forum "rules"

That in it's self is laughable!




All that glitters isn't gold.
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DeusExMachina
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[*] posted on 23-11-2002 at 22:09


they could also let some new people learn instead banning and making fun of them right away. I used to be a kewl that thought everything in the anarchist's cookbook was true but TOTSE members let me learn and I am very educated in the subject now
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Microtek
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[*] posted on 24-11-2002 at 03:48


Eliteforum: Have you tried leafing through PATR 2700 ? Or perhaps another compendium of explosive substances ? The explosives that are discussed most ( both at roguesci, alt.engr.explosives and probably most other places ) are the common ones, those that are used by industry or militaries around the world. But there are litterally thousands of explosive substances, some of which are well within the scope of amateurs. Just consider the wealth of diazo-compounds, or how about something like benzene triozonide which was reported in 1920 and develops 25% more energy than NG and has a much higher VOD than ordinary explosives. Its sensitivity is on the level of NI3 so it isn't really practical but there are other benzene derivatives which also attatch three ozone groups to the ring.....
All in all I'm just saying that the field is huge. We have only just scratched the surface at roguesci.
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[*] posted on 24-11-2002 at 07:46


I was just going to start a topic about secondary ozonides to see if anyone had played with them. The benzene/ozone addition product looks to be very dense, but just imagine the sensitivity and instability! I bet ether peroxides would be stable by comparison.

Eliteforum, as I say to everyone of your opinion, stop complaining and make some useful contributions yourself!

"they could also let some new people learn instead banning and making fun of them right away."
We do let new people learn, if they're not idiots. But if, after having a two week waiting period to familiarise themselves with the rules, and an e-mail telling them to read the rules, they still break them on their first post, should they really be allowed to stay? Would they be safe messing with pyro or chemistry if they can't follow simple instructions like "read the rules"? No, of course not. And it is the fact that they are not allowed to stay that makes the Forum the best place for discussing practical explosives. Sure, there may not be much theoretical chemistry there, but that's not primarily what the place is for. That's why I post here as well, the Forum is for practical advice on known explosives. The Forum doesn't want a load of people to start topics about compound X that they've just imagined, and think might be explosive. Although such topics can be interesting, they rarely provide anything useful.

Sorry, I've gone off on a bit of a rant, I know. But it annoys me when people say things like "The Forum's stagnating and doesn't have anything interesting blah blah blah", when they themselves have provided relatively little of interest.
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[*] posted on 24-11-2002 at 09:27


so if they are soooo dumb and can't go by the rules, it's better to let them go and read fake or dangerous text files? You are right in a way but roguesci is not growing because people can't even post new topics just because it was discussed like 5 months ago and even if the topic is still alive, people get off topic.
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[*] posted on 24-11-2002 at 09:48


DeusExMachina, the forum has been around for probably near 4 years now, maybe longer. have you ever run such a successful forum? i think not. you are not one to critisise the way in which it is run. it is run the way it is for a very good reason. in short, we have learnt from past mistakes.
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[*] posted on 24-11-2002 at 13:29


"so if they are soooo dumb and can't go by the rules, it's better to let them go and read fake or dangerous text files?"

A normal ban does not stop people from being able to read the Forum's contents, it just stops them from annoying us. Even if we treated them to a special, custom ban, it wouldn't stop them from going to a library, or searching patents, or looking at a different forum, etc.

"You are right in a way but roguesci is not growing"

We do not want to grow just for the sake of growing. Growth in terms of the number of topics is only an advantage if the topics discuss seperate things. Otherwise the only effect of growth is to dilute the information present. I personally would rather see all posting stopped and have the Forum "frozen" as it is now as a source of information than have it get clogged up with topic after topic on the same subject.

"because people can't even post new topics just because it was discussed like 5 months ago and even if the topic is still alive, people get off topic."

What would be the point in starting a new topic if the subject was discussed five months ago? Just search for any old topics relating to what you want to discuss, and revive one. If they have got off topic, steer them in the right direction. If they are seriously off topic, a moderator will edit posts accordingly.
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[*] posted on 25-11-2002 at 02:52


Theforum is down for another reason in addition to the maintainance - as indicated by the login box.

We had to change host servers, not because we got kicked off or anything. The host is upgrading its software and hardware, with new Uberleet machines with hyper-threading and other assorted goodies. They cannot transfer the account contents wholesale to the new machines because of compatability issues and the risk of transfering bugs. Thus we had to manually create new accounts transfer everything and fiddle with the settings. Due to the complex nature of UBB and the hacks Mega has performed on it, things have gotten somewhat confused with the new host. No data will be lost, it is just a matter of time to get it all working.

Then theforum will be back for your enjoyment and education :)

Those archived threads were reposted so that they could be searched as part of theforum, and provide reference. They were only archieved in the first place as there was not room for them on the host. But when your disk space quota goes up tenfold, then it no longer makes sense to not have them integrated.

The staff too know of ways to increase traffic exponentionally, but kiddie porn seekers aren't really the kind of members theforum is after...
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DeusExMachina
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[*] posted on 25-11-2002 at 09:53


"What would be the point in starting a new topic if the subject was discussed five months ago? Just search for any old topics relating to what you want to discuss, and revive one. If they have got off topic, steer them in the right direction. If they are seriously off topic, a moderator will edit posts accordingly."

Yes but what if you want to post about what happened in your experiece and not in topics that talk about other people's experience? I don't think you should be worried about kewls. NBK will take care of them just fine and posts that people like NBK make will just scare them away. I don't go to RogueSci much because I can't understand half the things people are talking about.

I would like to say one more thing. The Forum is a great place to learn so I think the members/mods/admins should allow even the kewls to stay. I was a kewl at once and I'm sure everyone started out like that. Wiouldn't you want people to stay at rogue sci and learn GOOD things instead of learning about making fertilizer bombs that don't work? Some day if kewls will be able to stay at the forum to some extent, there will be a lot more people like NBK and that might lead to people like us getting more freedom.
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[*] posted on 25-11-2002 at 10:15


That's like admitting unusually intelligent toddlers into Harvard, reason being that they likely will become excellent students once they mature into adults.

If a forum allows itself to be flooded with idiocy, then the intelligent people will leave, causing that forum to degenerate into nothing but a bunch of fools arguing about who is the most pathetically ignorant idiot.

Every quality forum needs moderation if it's going to maintain its status.

I think that the quality of discussion at the E&W Forum has suffered considerably ever since nbk2000 began to have a significant influence over board politics. Discussion is no longer just about having fun with explosives; it's more directed around using the explosives to injure. I know that E&W people are currently thinking to themselves, "Absolutely not, our policy is merely to inform!" But the truth is that that policy really doesn't describe the form of discussion that takes place. Example: responses to the rnc crisis were often met with (hopefully empty) threats such as "They should know better than to mess with us, after all, we could really raise some hell!" Repulsive and lame. Also, the discussion has transistioned into the following sort: "I followed this recipe, I got this inert gunk, what did I do wrong?" Most of the explosive compounds that are realistic to prepare and use consistantly have already been prepared - the research phase is mostly over (but not completely over). Look at the size of some of the threads for evidence of that. I'm not saying that I own the website and that I demand that changes be made in the direction that I suggest. Although I'm not a moderator there, I don't contribute to the discussion, and the direction the E&W Forum takes won't affect me the slightest, I still do have an opinion to share. :)




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[*] posted on 25-11-2002 at 11:24


I just joined up to agree with a couple points mentioned..

First .. the great long 100's of reply threads are stupid and never stay on topic, why try bring it back on topic if anyone who want to read has to wade through 100's of posts of irrelevant crap?

My pet hate is the "I didnt think this was important enough to make a new thread so i posted it here" types of posts ..... So why would it help people to open up a great thread to get to your unimportant post? If its unimportant either dont post it or give it a new topic so people can decide if its worth reading or not. If not it will be turfed to the bottom of the list as noone replies.

I really think its the posting everything vaguely related to a topic in the same thread that has made the E&W forum boring now! as people are too scared to make new specific posts, the threads resemble more of a chat board then a forum with everyone talking about something else.

What is the reason for not wanting more specific threads? does it take up too much room? i dought it.. Try doing a search on something and you will be directed to one mega-thread with a totally irrelevant title.

And yes, its a shame that its now its considered 'kewl' to talk of doing things for fun rather then the now accepted reason of killing people or damaging property ... wtf is with that?
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[*] posted on 25-11-2002 at 14:32


I guess a lot of people are like me, they are scared to post new topics because they will be closed. Another reason why the forum is not growing or getting any more good posts is that almost everyone there is a little too smart for most people. I know this sounds stupid and a lot of people won't understand what I am talking about but people that know a lot about pyrotechnics/chemistry/explosives like me, still can't post there because not everyone is an NBK or whatever. People like me can't learn a lot more because of other reasons listed in this thread. I have to stick with TOTSE and Xinventions which are still great places but staying there will never take my learning as far as one's would go that went to RogueSci or here frequantly.
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Anthony
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[*] posted on 26-11-2002 at 04:58


DeusExMachina, and others, there isn't a minimum IQ quota for forum membership! You certainly don't have to be some kind of NBK clone. You also don't have to be greatly knowledgable in all areas. Fo9r example, I have a personal weakness in general chemistry, so I don't contribute to threads where people are hashing out formulas for new synthesis'. Stick to the areas you do know, and you usually start picking up those you don't.

Similarly, theforum doesn't deny kewls knowledge and learning, all that's asked of *anyone* is to follow the rules.

If a thread is hopelessly off topic, and unrecoverable, then make a new one and say so. No one will mind as long as the thread was worth making. For example, if a thread about ANFO has turned into talk about beastiality, then you *shouldn't* post a new thread saying "btw, where can I get AN?". It would be fine to post a new thread saying "I tried the ANFO, as stated in that thread and found that the addition of 0.5% BBQ sauce doubled cap sensitivity" or whatever.

Yes, everyone was a newbie, even a kewl at one point. But those who transgressed were the ones who kept their heads down and learnt, and then moved seamlessly into being a functioning forum member.

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[*] posted on 26-11-2002 at 08:35
Denied permission to edit, so new post:


I forgot to mention that theforum is most definitely about the enjoyment of E&W and the scientific/physical knowledge regarding them.

Just because a minority of members hypothesises about using things to harm people does not mean that is the expected or even accepted way!
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[*] posted on 26-11-2002 at 10:51


There are people with great knowledge on the board, but a seed must be sown to get that knowledge out.

One must realise that even if a post is lame, or hasnt been thought through, with the wide knowledge base within the forum, if its left alone it will be corrected and expanded. With knowledgeable members a post that asks a question or asks for input, should always end better then it starts. This isnt allowed to happen anymore.

You can claim that if its a legit question it can be posted as a new topic, but in reality that doesnt happen, the arrogance of the mods and the mentality that they have to search and destroy which is encouraged by hysterical members caught up in this mentality has forced the practical discussions to become rare.

Now it either has to be some super weapon that the military can even make or a method of killing/robbing someone. Both of which can hardly be called practical knowledge.

Now the lamest posts are made by the higher status members who seem to be exempt from these "rules", example, the bit of pipe butted up against the tree with a ball shoved down the barrel .. even had "improvised weapons" in the title, yet was posted in the demolitions section. If that wasnt an improvised weapon nothing is, thats an instant ban for anyone else. And the "mod" who wanted a booby trap to hurt someone entering a room, what form of bullshit post was that.

These double standards hardly improve the forum.. If i was to post this there I would be guaranteed a ban under the screams of "dont disrespect a mod", pathetic.

Anthony, you have typically been the exception and i do applaud you for even responding here. But a question, do you think the forum has slowed down and become less interesting?
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[*] posted on 26-11-2002 at 14:08


Axgrease: lol, I know what you mean. I hate the "I didn't think it deserved a new topic so I'll post it here" things! Well, they're OK if they're on topic, but they often aren't!

"I really think its the posting everything vaguely related to a topic in the same thread that has made the E&W forum boring now!"

No, I disagree. I like the way that topics evolve and move on to related things, as long as they ARE related to the original topic in some way! Unfortunately they often aren't...

Lol, it almost made me laugh when all that RC stuff was going on, and people were saying "they shouldn't mess with the Forum, we could raise hell!" etc. I agree, those kind of people are pathetic. As if they'd do anything except shit themselves if a swat team burst into their room at night!
Unfortunately an Explosives and Weapons Forum will always attract stupid young adolescents (not implying that all young adolescents are stupid, just that it does attract the stupid ones and the kewls), who will always think it's cool to act "hard" like that.

I would like to point out that you should never be scared of posting a new topic, provided that you HAVE followed the rules, ie searched first. You can normally find a topic that you can fit it into, and if not then as long as it's not just a stupid question and does actually bring up something new then you can start a new topic. The trouble is that we often get people who think that their ANFO tests are in some way different to other people's ANFO tests and deserve a seperate topic (for example). Like the guy recently who posted ANOTHER rocket topic on top of the two or three ones that were already active. It wasn't new, no novel propellant or stabalisation method, just a normal rocket. And even he didn't get banned, despite being a newbie, until he argued with my decision to close the thread. So you see, we're not all that harsh really. Well, except NBK ;)

And to those that think that the Forum is elitist: search for some of MY old posts. Hopefully not kewl, but not amazingly knowledgable. I just kept by the rules, didn't do anything stupid, learnt all I could, and was a moderator within a year.

And like Anthony says, if you JUSTIFY why you made a new topic, then it makes it clear that you had a reason and didn't just go ahead and post it without thinking. Then even if it is a truly stupid topic you'll just be told to discuss it elsewhere and the topic will be closed. You won't be banned.

Axgrease, I see what you're saying about leaving lame topics open to see if anything good comes of them, but the risk is that a lame topic will just spout more lame stuff!

"You can claim that if its a legit question it can be posted as a new topic, but in reality that doesnt happen, the arrogance of the mods and the mentality that they have to search and destroy..."
I must dispute that. The mods do not go out wanting to find and ban kewls! We want to find good new members. Legit questions CAN be posted as new topics, that's the point I've been trying to make! But by "legit", I mean that there must be a reason for it to be in a new topic, you can't just put it in a new topic because you feel like it!

"Now it either has to be some super weapon that the military can even make or a method of killing/robbing someone. Both of which can hardly be called practical knowledge."
Also, both totally untrue. If you have something interesting to discuss about theoretical chemsitry (for example) that has a purpose in the field of E&W, even if it's a proposed method to make some obscure precursor for some obscure explosive, then I for one would be totally happy to discuss it with you, as would probably all the members. Most people dislike topics on super weapons (because they're out of our reach) or ways to kill/rob people (because most, and certainly most of the best, Forumites are pacifists).

"Now the lamest posts are made by the higher status members who seem to be exempt from these "rules", example, the bit of pipe butted up against the tree with a ball shoved down the barrel .. even had "improvised weapons" in the title, yet was posted in the demolitions section. If that wasnt an improvised weapon nothing is, thats an instant ban for anyone else. And the "mod" who wanted a booby trap to hurt someone entering a room, what form of bullshit post was that."
Hmmm... I can't comment on that, I'm not familiar with the threads you're talking about.
But it is true that respected members get away with more, simply because they have earned their respect and everyone knows that their not idiots. But if someone posts something stupid/irrelevant and it is their only post, then because we don't have any other contributions from them then it is reasonable to assume that that is the standard of contribution that they're capable of, so they get banned. If you've shown yourself to be worthy of membership, it is actually quite hard to get banned (unless you actually try!).

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[*] posted on 26-11-2002 at 14:40


I cannot say for sure if it is less interesting or not. But to me it still is interesting, and the first forum I read when I go online. It's hard to tell because I lose interest in different subjects over time. But theforum has remained my favourite site for longer than any other.

As for whether it has slowed down, again I'm not sure, but maybe it has a little. But this may to the fact that threads tend to run for longer now (so fewer threads) and also because there are more sections now (less traffic in each, plus when you see a section hasn't been active for a couple of days, it does feel rather empty). Statistics do show the contary though, there are more visitors and more new signups than ever before.

You do have a number of valid points, but that's just the way some things are sometimes. For example, yes, long-term members do get cut some slack e.g. flaming, OT posts etc. It's just like in society. BTW, theforum rules are intended to reflect the workings of your average civilized society.

Honest and justified criticism (inc. suggestions for improvement) should be ok in Forum Matters. I'd like to say that nothing ill would become of the topic starter, but I would guarantee it.

Moderation has been particularly harsh recently as the RC incident brought a flood of new members - many of whom were expected to be trouble-makers.

"which is encouraged by hysterical members caught up in this mentality", you do have a point here. It does annoy me to see members flamming topic starters, especially when certain members are, or recently have been, on thin ice themselves.

You're also right that threads used to more often start lame, and thanks to themembers, turned into something useful.

That said, I've had a quick look at some of the threads on this forum, and no offense, but some of them really lower the tone of the place. Random example - people asking for fuse sensitive AN mixtures, then going on to ask what a primary explosive is. It probably took more time for the guy to post the question that it would for him to have found the answer on google.

Theforum did used to be like that (I remember it!) and IMO, it's a good thing that it no longer is.

I do suspect that many people are afraid to post new topics now, and I agree that this could limit discussion. I'm sure other people wouldn't want their inboxes filling up, but I'm happy for anyone who isn't sure about starting a thread, to mail me and ask. If the thread got shot down, it'd be my fault.
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[*] posted on 26-11-2002 at 17:01


Quote:
That said, I've had a quick look at some of the threads on this forum, and no offense, but some of them really lower the tone of the place. Random example - people asking for fuse sensitive AN mixtures, then going on to ask what a primary explosive is. It probably took more time for the guy to post the question that it would for him to have found the answer on google.


I agree with you that lame newbie questions do degrade the tone of discussion. But since the frickin' board software is broken (and I don't want to risk destroying the whole thing with a reinstall or upgrade), I have a choice to either A) pick through the database by hand for the lame posts and zap them or B) delete/lock the whole thread. I usually opt for C, "do nothing." There are few enough people here that this approach works for now. Eventually I'll have to upgrade the software or get harsher with people if we get a lot of ignorant newbie behavior.

I'm also hoping that there are people who will grow into useful members after starting out with lame, trivial questions. I've seen it go both ways. Plasma, for example, was trying to concentrate hydrochloric acid by boiling off the water (!) not so many months ago, but he's come a long way since then.

The thing that really seems to hurt forums, any chem forum, (the Hive, E&W, this forum, or others), is when the more advanced members realize that there are very few people on their level and just stop visiting because they're so far beyond the topics of everyday discussion. I can't count all the bright chemists who have silently stopped contributing to the Hive or E&W, but it happens way too often. The one that immediately comes to mind is Philou Zrealone, who stopped visiting the E&W Forum, posted here for a while, and then seems to have retreated to Usenet only.
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[*] posted on 26-11-2002 at 17:38


Despite being 40mins behind him, Nick did manage to post his reply whilst I was still writing mine. So the overlap wasn't intentional :)

Am I'm glad people can't see some of my original posts! They went down with the ship long ago, back in the days when theforum was white :D
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[*] posted on 28-11-2002 at 17:09


I can sort of see both sides of this argument as I am a semi new member to E&W. When I first joined up I was scared to post because my knowlage in Explosives/chemistry where no where near the levels of most of the members there. Slowly though I realised that it wasnt as strict as it looked. You dont have to be a wiz in chemistry to be a member there. I saw lots of very respected members there that had about the same level knowlage as I did. The reason people get banned is not because they arnt as smart as the rest. Its because they broke obvious rules, or asked questions that where anwsered many times befor. You have to look at it from the mods side to. They have a couple thousand members they have to watch over. They dont have the time to deal with those few members who cant read the rules of the forum. E&W may look like its uptight from the outside, but if you really look at it its not. It is run perfectly, and so long as you follow the rules and search you wont gat banned. Sadly though allot of people who could contribute and learn alot there get scared away by the stric looks.

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[*] posted on 5-12-2002 at 21:59


"Scared" of posting new topics isnt the best word to describe it..
Its just that it has evolved into the search for anything related, and post a new question there types of posts, with people thinking this is the right way of doing it, all it does is make it stray off topic and if someone has stopped looking at a thread because the original wasnt interesting anymore - they miss it, and/or a good topic has now changed into a discussion on something else.

Going along with the original post in this thread - I dont think thats its "stagnated" but rather just congested into "mega-threads" whereas it used to be spread out into more topics.

Everyone has their opinion but this is mine, it would be best to revert back to having more topics related around the specific questions asked, then great long ever changing threads that there is now. How this could be done ive got no idea..

With that said, i'll say I have been around the forum for years (back when it was brown!) and still visit frequently... shouldnt complain too much.
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[*] posted on 13-12-2002 at 16:39


I have not been able to log onto the Forum for a couple of months now. It just will not accept it. I was hoping after the server move that this problem would be fixed but it's not. I have also e-mailed Mega a couple of times to fix this.
I wonder if anyone else has been having these problems?
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