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  #11  
Old 03-17-2014, 10:58 AM
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LCARS 24 LCARS 24 is offline
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I am tempted to start a new Trek forum, since I feel I could make it look good. I'm okay with how this one looks. I dislike white backgrounds for forums.
But it seems the only ones with a lot of traffic are those that coddle trolls. I was on TrekBBS for seven years, and once I cited as an example of how seemingly impossible things become possible when the rules change that an equilateral right triangle (yep, 270 degrees) can be drawn on the surface of a sphere. One member who goes around attacking people several times a day and gets away with it called me a liar and claimed it wasn't true, even though it's easily verifiable with a quick Google or Yahoo! search. Another made a direct ad hominem attack and included an image of a gun pointed at me. I just posted, without quoting or naming anyone, "I guess it's okay to skip responding to any trolling posts," and posted a link to a science paper by four physicists germane to the main topic of the thread. A moderator then showed up and jumped down on me with both feet for using the T-word--even though I had named nobody and quoted nobody but just made a general statement. I didn't want to make a public stink about it, so I PM'ed him. He called the post with a gun pointed hostile and obnoxious but not against the rules. He said that the mere mention of the T-word by the target of an attack was against the rules. I just told him by PM that I had deleted by avatar, signature, and location and wouldn't be posting on TrekBBS anymore. He didn't answer. I asked both the webmaster and that moderator to remove that image of a gun pointed at me, and they refused. I hadn't really given it much thought, but I guess from the perspective of the operator of a forum one troll that makes a dozen or more posts day, even if all he does is attack people, is more valuable than a hundred members who only post a couple of times a month, and that it's worth it to lose members here and there over the troll situation.

I joined non-Trek high-traffic forum more recently and received a threat by PM from a member. I reported it to the staff, as the rules instruct, but got no answer. After about two weeks I contacted the moderator, who told me it wasn't against the rules, even though that forum has hundreds of pages of rules, including a section on threats that clearly states that what the moderator told me wasn't true. I quit posting and am still logged in, but my incoming PM box seems to be disabled. But one thing they did was add a notice on the PM page that anyone who sends an abusive or threatening PM may be suspended without warning or any prior notice. That reminds me of the old adage that padlocks only keep the honest people out. But it's just another example of how they feel that high traffic is highly dependent on trolls. Before those two incidents I had noticed the troll issue and seen posts here warning about TrekBBS here but really didn't want to pay attention until a moderator can in and threw me, who and been nice to everyone, polite to everyone, and certainly contributed a lot of content, under the bus just to please a member who goes around attacking people all the time but probably has a very thing post count. But I've seen abusive posts elsewhere, especially where there is high traffic. So it's not only those two examples. Apparently a forum operator has to leave ethics at the door to have any hope of generating high traffic and ad revenue.

And the troll-free Trek forums don't seem to get much action other than hangman and screencap games. Some say there's nothing about Trek left to discuss. I wouldn't go that far.

I already have a Web site and use very little of the bandwidth I'm paying for, but it may not be able to handle a forum piggybacked on it. I certainly don't want to spend money on a forum. And I would have to learn the mechanics of it, since i have no experience setting up and operating a forum. But the choice of tumbleweed forum versus troll asylum seems pretty discouraging.

Krillmeed's is a nice Trek forum and busier than this one, and it would be nice if the Cygnus (Star Trek Blueprint Database) forum were active, but it's tumbleweed city.


Here's a triangle with three right angles:
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  #12  
Old 03-17-2014, 12:52 PM
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Wow I'm sorry you've had such experiences on forum's LCARs, I'm even more amazed how people can get away with it when it's all there written for everyone to see.

This forum has been mostly free of trolling I think (though someone please correct me I'm wrong there), Janeway's forum was troll free IMO, I know Zardoz felt victimised after an argument, but it was a nice friendly bunch I think, so to me its a shame that it decayed to be just spambots until its demise.

I think Capn Tom had some problems with SB63's forum, though I don't want to speak for him there - so please speak up Tom if you care to comment on your experience.

I've looked at a few more forums, haven't signed up to anymore though as they are mostly, as you aptly put it - tumbleweed cities. Hadn't known about Krillmeed's. I'd certainly be up for joining another forum if I found one that was active as this has been. Got to say I'm not optimistic though.
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  #13  
Old 03-17-2014, 01:57 PM
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Well, forums are just as good as its members and moderators. Heated arguments are one thing but somebody getting away with threats is an entirely different ballgame.
About TrekBBS, while not having made as nasty experiences as LCARS I also felt that there are, besides some really nice and incredibly smart people, mainly trolls over there.

What I like about this place is that back in the days when there was a lot of posting going on we had three types of threads/posts: news, tomfoolery and serious discussion, i.e. something for everybody.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LCARS 24 View Post
It seems like a more pleasant experience that dealing with CAPTCHA, and the applicant may just start out with more respect for that forum.
But doesn't it also imply more work than CAPTCHA? Of course it is nice to type in "James" to the question of "What is the first name of Captain Kirk?" instead of some random words but as Tom has pointed out, you could only ask really simply questions (for example the second name of Kirk would probably be too difficult, I definitely had not known it during my first few years of being a Trek fan) lest you prevent people who are new to Trek or just into one or two Trek series from being able to join your board.

About a new Trek forum, this is a great idea and if you run it I would join instantly.
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Old 03-17-2014, 01:59 PM
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Yeah I can't understand why any serious threat could not be acted on, especially when a mod is PM'd and everything is done properly, rather than rising to the trolling and escalating the problem.

This place has had some great threads, still plenty of good ones coming up as well.
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  #15  
Old 03-17-2014, 02:07 PM
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While I mainly contributed in the analytical threads back in the days I have always been most impressed by the artistic threats, be it you posting a link to your Trek game, LCARS posting his schematics or Martok posting his work on ships and even entire videos.
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Old 03-17-2014, 02:13 PM
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I'm gratified that you remembered my games , I still work on them from time to time. But I agree in that it has been a pleasure seeing the creative outputs that people have chosen to share over the years, I was very shy about putting myself out there but positive responses and constructive criticism made me get over that very quickly, I imagine it's been the same for quite a lot of people and not something that's nice to do when people get abusive.

I enjoy the threads you mentioned and also the ones where opinions get quite polarised and heated, not in an abusive, aggressive way but when people have strong opinions that they're passionate about, can be fascinating to read, even when I didn't actively participate.
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roysten View Post
Yeah I can't understand why any serious threat could not be acted on, especially when a mod is PM'd and everything is done properly, rather than rising to the trolling and escalating the problem.
Any threat is a problem. It was nonspecific, but someone who knows your identity can do damage by e-mailing your employer, clients, whatever, accusing you of crimes or whatever. They can find ways. I've seen it happen. The rules didn't mention types or degrees of threat, but vandalism these days can be carried out from another continent.

And even though that forum politely blew me off when I reported it, they did add a notice to their PM page about abusive or threatening private messages. And maybe they figured that if they banned him he might just start a smear campaign by e-mail against the person that reported him and that I would blame (and maybe even sue) the forum operators if he managed to inflict some serious damage.

Apparently some trolls have a lot of time to think about what they can get away with and probably are careful to insulate themselves from being identified before starting. I wonder if people in prison are allowed to participate in Internet forums.

By the way, one of our members here whom you all know but doesn't post anymore had an even worse experience at TrekBBS and was very angry about it.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Well, forums are just as good as its members and moderators. Heated arguments are one thing but somebody getting away with threats is an entirely different ballgame.
About TrekBBS, while not having made as nasty experiences as LCARS I also felt that there are, besides some really nice and incredibly smart people, mainly trolls over there.

What I like about this place is that back in the days when there was a lot of posting going on we had three types of threads/posts: news, tomfoolery and serious discussion, i.e. something for everybody.


But doesn't it also imply more work than CAPTCHA? Of course it is nice to type in "James" to the question of "What is the first name of Captain Kirk?" instead of some random words but as Tom has pointed out, you could only ask really simply questions (for example the second name of Kirk would probably be too difficult, I definitely had not known it during my first few years of being a Trek fan) lest you prevent people who are new to Trek or just into one or two Trek series from being able to join your board.

About a new Trek forum, this is a great idea and if you run it I would join instantly.
But, as I mentioned upthread, the screening quiz would be multiple choice, done with radio buttons or checkboxes, first to determine the applicant's favorite Trek series, then a question that anyone familiar with the selected series should be able to answer, with a follow-up question only if the applicant misses the first one--so nothing to type in, really, just a couple of clicks.

By the way, I think the webmaster of Krillmeed's Star Trek forum mentioned something about a cyberattack on the forum from China, which he was able to overcome. I don't know any details about that.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:02 AM
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I can't remember ever joining TrekBBS (it never really had a good reputation as far as I recall but maybe it had already soured by the time I even knew it existed). SB63's site was well run but I just never quite felt that it was quite a fit for me (and only with one person there was a little trouble but SB dealt with it all quite professionally) so I sort of left it.

I always liked this place best really. Must have been because it was my first internet forum, I've never really joined many others and none have been as good as this place was in it's prime. But, everyone drifted away so there's just not really enough people left to do much except say 'Hi' every once in a while.
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  #20  
Old 03-18-2014, 01:28 PM
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Well, what's weird about this forum, beside the crash a while ago, is that people who have joined in the last year and a half or so can't post. That's why the view count of threads is unusually high with so few posts. I looked through the member list a few months ago and found a date (which I don't remember offhand} after which those who joined have no posts.

And about TrekBBS, I saw warnings about it here and elsewhere, but I was limiting myself on TrekBBS to seeking information I couldn't find elsewhere about the Trek schematics I was making. When I was working on the MSD for Zephram Cochran's warp ship, the person who had purchased the filming model posted photographs of it laid out in his yard, allowing me access to accurate information about it available nowhere else. I also used the online version of Christie's Catalog and ran works in progress by the folks on this forum, where some of you guys spotted errors for me, which was helpful, and suggested other ships to do. But I did get quite a bit of help on TrekBBS with tidbits of info, including from Rick Sternbach, Andy Probert, and Doug Drexler (who joined just to give me some info about the Type 10 shuttlecraft. At that time I could see troll attacks on other members but the ones on me were few and far between until I was asked about doing an MSD of the J.J. thing, which I had no interest in doing. And I guess that turned me into prime troll food, to be chased down and slaughtered. Plus, I was polite to everybody, which trolls apparently hate.

Anyway, after making 82 Trek schematics plus the NASA MSDs, that library is pretty much filled out, although there are some more ships I could do, like the Malon garbage scow (how exciting!). I kind of stopped when the big earthquake hit here, 25,000 people were killed, and we suddenly had nuclear reactors contaminating the air. If I make any more, I'll have to get by without TrekBBS.
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