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Posted: April/01/2018 at 9:29am  Quote
 
Greetings all, this month I want to talk about the idea of sharing and how it relates to our community here at RCSB.

How many times have you been browsing a thread here on the site and though, "That's an interesting idea, I should write a reply." but didn't? Then like me, a lot of excuses fly though your head like "Lots of people have already covered this." or "I’m not an expert. Why would anyone care what I think?" sound familiar? I need to constantly remind myself to stop making excuses and that it’s important to share my ideas with the community. Maybe I can convince you to do the same?

Throw The Excuses Out!
The flaw in these kind of excuses is assuming your perspective isn’t valuable to others. It’s a convenient excuse to say your viewpoint isn’t unique, so why bother. But in reality, it’s the exact opposite. Your perspective is 100% unique, a composite of thousands of experiences of all types that nobody can replicate. Nothing that’s ever been previously shared has been through your words and shaped by your experiences. So don’t worry about being original. You already are.

Understand How Important Sharing Is
You still might be thinking to yourself, why should I spend the time and effort to share? Well, here is why...

1. It Helps You
Sharing teaches you how to order your thoughts and put a microscope on your ideas or techniques in a ?clear and concise manor. Don’t worry if you consider yourself "a beginner". If you make a mistake, the community will offer helpful tips on how you can improve. That’s free advice from a bunch of helpful, experienced people that you can learn from!

2. It Helps Others
Whether you recognize it or not, you didn’t get to where you are alone in your modeling, ?you have learned and improved your skills with the influence of others. Any time you have read a thread, watched a "how-to" YouTube video, read a magazine article, or read a tutorial you were helped because someone else shared their experiences or ideas. So it only makes sense to give back to a community that’s helped you so much already (and will continue to do so). Don’t worry, it took me a while to realize this myself. I encourage you to really think about it. It could really serve as strong motivation for you to start putting your stuff out there too.

Get Started!
Hopefully by now I’ve convinced you that first, your perspective is valuable and secondly it’s worth your time to help others. So how should you get started?

1. Keep your eyes and ears open for inspiration.
2. Focus on topics that are important to you.
3. Look at existing examples of information shared and model yours after that.
4. Go do it!

There are many members here on RCSB that share information on a regular basis, but the reality is out of over 17,000 members less than 10% actually participate. This site is here to give the scale r/c community a place to interact in a focused and clear way. So maybe if you feel like you have been a taker, it's time to become a giver in our hobby.

Cheers,
Mike





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Avatar User Offline aymodeler
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Posted: April/01/2018 at 10:20am  Quote
 
Mike,
This is a great theme, and in the spirit of this theme, I hope you don't mind a little bit of feedback that is intended to be constructive.

First and foremost, I am a builder. I enjoy flying, but I enjoy building even more. However, it is rare that I contribute here because the culture of RCSB is centered around plan builds of giant scale models, which is not my prime area of interest. I am part of the large segment of builders (and IMHO, there are more of us out there than many realize) who enjoy building smaller sport and standoff scale models that are more affordable, easier to fly, and frankly just more practical. 

I find that I have learned a great deal about building techniques from these pages, and I value my membership. Also, from time to time, I may respond to a specific technical question with some bit of knowledge I have picked up along the way that has general applicability. But I just would not be comfortable starting a build thread on a Sig kit or some small sport scale plane from Manzo here because that is not part of the culture of RCSB.

To get more activity, RCSB needs to develop a culture that is more welcoming to builders of all stripes and in all categories. Building is too narrow a subset of the hobby to even further narrow down to just giant scale plan builds. We need to encourage a broader range of building topics and encourage a broader section of modeling types. While it is good to have a focus, this is such a narrow (and rapidly shrinking) segment of the hobby, it should not be a surprise that there very few active participants.

Finally, and this may be a bit controversial, I find that RCSB can be so heavily moderated that it discourages posting unless you are very narrowly on topic. I actively participate in a broad number of on-line forums from topics including automobiles, computers, electronics, wood-working, power tools, RC, flight simulation, and more. This is the only forum where I am often very hesitant to contribute because my thought may not be exactly on point with the thread. Moderation is essential to the success of any forum, but it can be overdone. An occasional off topic digression (and even a rant or two) can stimulate productive conversation that is valuable (the best and most productive conversations are not always linear).

In summary, if the goal is more active participation, it needs to be supported daily by encouraging welcoming behaviours. Again, I hope this feedback is taken in the totally constructive manner that it was intended to have.

 
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Posted: April/01/2018 at 10:47am  Quote
 
Hi Al,

Thank you for your feedback and suggestions. It IS appreciated and helpful. Let me try and answer the issues you brought up.

First, let me clear up the misconceptions that RCSB is just about plan/scratch builds, giant scale, and just warbirds. ALL modelers of any size r/c scale aircraft are welcome here. I can see how someone would think that we are focused on larger models, plans/scratch-builds, and warbirds because that is the majority of what "scale builders" are building today. The reality is that there are not that many scale kits as there were several years ago, so most are building is from plans not kits these days simply because of availability. However, that doesn't mean that smaller models and kits are not welcome here. The "culture" as you put it, defines what is popular based on what folks are building and posting. 

The only way to change the culture is to start posting other sizes. It's a chicken and egg problem. No one will post smaller kit builds because there aren't many, there aren't many because no one is posting smaller kit builds.

I have NEVER seen an instance where a smaller scale model thread was posted and people ignored it. It just doesn't happen. If you have any specific ideas about how to make the site more welcoming I would love to hear them. I am always open to suggestions about how to improve the site.

Also, this is a site about scale and sport scale models, so while smaller scale models are always welcomed, we want to stay focused on scale/sport scale not sport models. There are many other sites that cater to the general R/C hobby for foamys, arfs and sport models. We will never be an RCU or RC GROUPS and to be honest I never want to be those. I started this site to focus on scale.

Last but not least as far as the moderation, while you and maybe some others have the opinion that RCSB is over moderated, I am constantly told most folks like and appreciate the no bs/stay on topic moderating we do here. It makes it easier for someone to follow when the thread stays on topic and that has been said to me literally thousands of times over the last 15 years. 

I appreciate your well thought out comments and your support of RCSB and hope my reply gives you a better idea of what the site is about you will start a thread one day. Also, please let me know if you have any specific ideas to make RCSB more welcoming to folks who build the smaller models. 

Regards,
Mike





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Avatar User Offline aymodeler
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Posted: April/01/2018 at 11:43am  Quote
 
Hi Mike,
Thanks for responding, but based on your reply, since most of my builds are in fact true sport planes, they still don't fit. 

While I understand that the intent is a focus on scale, opening up a section on sport plane building might still be something that can fit into that theme in a symbiotic way, and will likely encourage activity. I understand that RCSB is not trying to be RCU or RCG, but in my experience, the process and techniques of building create a much greater affinity and set of common interests amongst builders than the particular types of planes being built.

You have created a fantastic platform that fits the conversation style, interests, and needs of a select group (the 10%). That is a great accomplishment and there is nothing wrong with that. But if you believe that you need more activity from a larger audience in order to sustain RCSB (this is an assumption on my part, and probably a bad one), then you need to think about the 90% of us who have an interest that is related, but not quite perfectly in line with that exact style.

If that is not what you want for RCSB, then that's OK too. I will continue to visit, read and occasionally post some narrow reply on adhesives, or electronics, or balsa selection, or some other generic building topic.

Al

p.s.; I suspect that the thousands of comments supporting the moderation style are coming from the 10% of active participants (the math works). So again, if you really are trying to encourage broader participation, then this something to think about.

 
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Posted: April/01/2018 at 12:11pm  Quote
 
I consider myself outside the mentioned 10%, yet I love this forum exactly for the proper on-topic moderation. As I'm sure do a huge number of other non-active members.

Quote: Admin

.....
Last but not least as far as the moderation, while you and maybe some others have the opinion that RCSB is over moderated, I am constantly told most folks like and appreciate the no bs/stay on topic moderating we do here. It makes it easier for someone to follow when the thread stays on topic and that has been said to me literally thousands of times over the last 15 years. 
....

 
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Posted: April/01/2018 at 12:45pm  Quote
 
I do not post much on this site but I do follow along on some of the builds here and use some of the tricks they post on here.  I have learned a lot here from guys like Meryln Graves, Don Rice, DavidHeil and a few others.  Although I have not built a scale model, YET, I would am going to try it on a Ziroli Ercoupe. I may even attempt a build thread.  In the mean time I have taken what I have learned here and applied it to some of my sport and semi-scale models.

Aegis F-117 Stealth
Direct connection F-20
Scratch built Jeff Troy Tamecat
CMP FW-190 (new paint job)
VQ Warbirds BF-109 (new paint job)



      

   



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Bill
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Posted: April/01/2018 at 1:02pm  Quote
 
Very nice models Bill! I love that F-117! 

This site is here as resource and for everyone to use. I hope that everyone understands my intention of this post was not to put anyone on the defensive, but just to point out that when more people post and contribute, everyone wins!

Now I am heading to the shop!

Later!
Mike


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Posted: April/01/2018 at 1:17pm  Quote
 
Quote: Admin
Very nice models Bill! I love that F-117! 

This site is here as resource and for everyone to use. I hope that everyone understands my intention of this post was not to put anyone on the defensive, but just to point out that when more people post and contribute, everyone wins!

Now I am heading to the shop!

Later!
Mike
I think your intention was to inspire more of us to come out of the woodwork. Have to admit, as a very inexperienced builder who likes "scale", but lacks the patience & talent for Top Gun quality, I tend to read far more than I post.

That said, I think you've given me the final "push" I needed to start a build thread on the .60 size B-P Defiant I've been picking away at...

 
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