VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

martin goodall
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby martin goodall » Sat Sep 26, 2020 5:37 pm

Sincere congratulations to the whole organising team, and to all those members who contributed to the content of the virtual show, on a very successful and enjoyable online event.

Nothing can really replace the real thing, but this was a very welcome and thoroughly worthwhile initiative.

So a big thank you to everyone who was involved in its preparation and presentation.

Philip Hall
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby Philip Hall » Sat Sep 26, 2020 6:11 pm

My thanks too to all involved for a splendid day. There is so much content to keep us amused for many days to come and keep us away from modelling!

Philip

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BryanJohnson
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby BryanJohnson » Sat Sep 26, 2020 6:20 pm

Many thanks to all involved in putting this on.

I've only looked at less than half of what's on offer, so will carry on over the next few weeks.

Bryan

SteamAle
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby SteamAle » Sat Sep 26, 2020 6:28 pm

Well inbetween helping a seven year old build a cardboardbox den I've managed to dip in and out through the day. It would have been nice to be at the real show along with the Cumbrian Railways Association and CSP Models stands, and take lots of money, but then this way I've managed to look at lots of layouts I'd normally not get time to do! Brilliant.
Thank you everybody for your input in whatever way. It has been very much appreciated.
Hope to see lots of you when exhibitions become the norm again.
Philip

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Bernie
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby Bernie » Sat Sep 26, 2020 6:29 pm

A hearty slap on the backs of all who made it happen. Well done, indeed!
An afternoon in the company of Jeremy Suter was enough to cajole me into revisiting my HL Drewery chassis. Gearbox built, hornblocks fitted, laughable rods constructed. Great fun!

Thank you Scalefour Society,
bernie

Paulhb
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby Paulhb » Sat Sep 26, 2020 8:14 pm

Yes well done to the Committee and particularly Danny for making this happen. Thoroughly enjoyable event. It was obvious that a lot of work had gone into this, thank you.

Scaleforum and Scalefour North are unique events and always enjoyable but it’s great that layouts, demos, lectures that were on show today could be made available to all.

Regards

Paul Bannerman

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45609
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby 45609 » Sat Sep 26, 2020 8:28 pm

Congratulations to all that contributed to and helped organise this virtual event. Still got lots more to look at and it even inspired me to go do some modelling late this afternoon. Will be back to view more whenever I need a fix.

Well done!

Morgan
Last edited by 45609 on Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

essdee
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby essdee » Sat Sep 26, 2020 8:37 pm

Echoing all the well-deserved above - many thanks to Danny and you all, for a thoroughly uplifting occasion in otherwise dispiriting times.

I enjoyed the lot, from seeing Don Rowland's Central Cheshire Lines in John Sherratt's sensitive care, via new ground for me, of scenic treatments, to the awesome achievements of the Southwark Bridge Team, Robin Whittle's MR roundhouse opus, Steve Hall's lifetime-inspired Drighlington.... and so on. I will be revisiting everything.

For that 'Desert Island' choice, though...? If I must - at gun-point, probably David Brandreth's superbly-crafted exposition on Resistance Soldering; I have a feeling he has here sparked off quite a surge in this method. Carriage kit mountain, here we come at long last... But, they were all engrossing and hugely appreciated, thank you.

Cheers all,

Steve

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Neil Smith
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby Neil Smith » Sat Sep 26, 2020 10:09 pm

Just to echo what everyone else has been saying.... This has been simply superb. I am still reeling from watching all the (main) Southwark Bridge videos earlier (and I haven't even started on the gasworks set!) - this and elsewhere some fantastic modelling on show, and so inspiring. And with the fact that we can go back to it again and again.

Well done all!

Best wishes

Neil

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David B
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby David B » Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:49 am

A most enjoyable day. My thanks, too, to the organisers and contributors.

I was, though, surprised at the relatively small number of posts made in response to the various offerings until I found that non-members, though they could see everything, had no means of contacting the demonstrators or layout people. I had thought, from the prior publicity, that the 'special' area of the Forum was open to all for the day. This, I suggest, was an opportunity missed by both modellers and the Society.

petermeyer
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby petermeyer » Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:11 am

A very big thank you to Jeremy for his marathon live demonstration, on YouTube, of building a Morgan AA13 chassis (at my suggestion). Very much appreciated by me and hopefully the others who watched the day particularly as he worked through 2 of his scheduled breaks in the afternoon! Well done!

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dcockling
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby dcockling » Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:11 am

David B wrote:A most enjoyable day. My thanks, too, to the organisers and contributors.

I was, though, surprised at the relatively small number of posts made in response to the various offerings until I found that non-members, though they could see everything, had no means of contacting the demonstrators or layout people. I had thought, from the prior publicity, that the 'special' area of the Forum was open to all for the day. This, I suggest, was an opportunity missed by both modellers and the Society.


Hi David, I disagree.

I must say that I have felt a certain degree of frustration regarding people's inability to listen or read things, or scroll to the bottom of a page or to make the smallest effort to think things through for themselves. I don't know how we could have made this event any more easy to find, or more accessible, especially given that we are an amateur organization with a limited budget and a small number of people working on creating the show website and running the forum, all of whom have full time jobs to do as well.

This is a members' forum and you have to be a registered member in order to use it fully. That's how it works. There is no way to turn this feature on or off. So we could not have done what you suggest. However the software comes with a GUEST BOOK area and non members can post there, this area is - and again it's part of the software - moderated and posts have to be approved by the moderation team before they appear. If people had watched and listened to my welcome video they will have heard me say that non-members could post there and we would look to approve guest posts asap. We had people on duty all day to do just that, no one posted anything though. If non members had wanted to post they could have visited our website, clicked on FORUM (it's at the top of the page) and scrolled down to the Guest Book where it says: "This section allows guests to comment or ask questions. Posts from guests require explicit approval (which generally takes a day or so), before they appear, so that we can prevent unwanted spam." And in that section there's even a post by our webmaster answering a query from a non-member about accessing the show.

I have lost count of the number of e-mails, messages and posts both in the run up to the show and on the day, that asked me and John, how people could access the content (you answered another one yourself earlier) and the top of the pops question, will the content continue to be available after the show?

Seriously, why would we want to remove it?

And as to access, there are links everywhere we could put them, including at the top of the main page of the Society's website.

And another reason I refer to not being able (apparently) to scroll down a page is the view numbers for Robin Whittle's Sheep pasture.
Video 1 - 219 views
Video 2 - 82 views
Video 3 - 62 views

Did people get bored? Or just simply didn't realise that there was more than one video, because they didn't scroll down the page?

And this isn't just a problem at virtual shows. Terry Bendall told me that at the first Scaleforum at Stoke Mandeville we had complaints that people couldn't find the sports hall on the site.

Rant over!

All the Best
Danny

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David B
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby David B » Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:43 am

I don't disagree with what you say, Danny, and we have spoken before about people's apparent inability to read things properly, something we are all guilty of from time to time. Access to the virtual event from the main Society website was not very obvious - I missed it at first and so did several other people I have been in contact with.

The Guest posting facility is tucked away at the bottom of the main Forum, so, with no other indications to it from the virtual event pages (I don't know if it is possible to add a second Guest area), it is not really surprising that it was overlooked. I was not aware, as I expect most members would also be, of the technical restrictions to the Forum's access. When one sees an area which is open to non-members (which I believe was modified a while ago to allow attachments), it would not be unreasonable to think this could be applied elsewhere.

So, it is a combination of not reading things, lack of knowledge and understanding of the technology. I do understand your frustration, but how do we minimise it? It is all too easy to assume people have knowledge one possesses because one is familiar with a process or technology, so when designing things, one has to think carefully about the pitfalls and pre-empt them. It may be a nuisance but ultimately, it can save an awful lot of unnecessary repetition answering the same questions.

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John McAleely
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby John McAleely » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:12 am

David B wrote:I do understand your frustration, but how do we minimise it?


I’ll use this as a hook to jump in. Yesterday, our forum broke a number of records for us, and had a sustained contribution rate of a post more often than every two minutes. The number of people logged in, or accessing as a guest, were also sustained records, and likely by an order of magnitude.

I think we should recognise, though, that the forum is designed for continuous operation, not a burst for an event. To use it even as a guest requires some level of commitment. One must ‘sign in’ (guests with an email, members with a username), learn the software, and pay attention to a few conventions to get good results.

We decided to host yesterday’s event with what we had on hand. That allowed us to focus on helping the many contributors get good material together, and also maximised our ability to help on the day.

If we do want to increase interactivity ‘on the day’ we should probably look into different tools, and there is a lot of activity in this space right now.

I’ll offer another thought. I suspect quite a number of our contributors are feeling a bit flat compared to a normal event. For whatever reason, their contributions garnered no comment, or only a couple of notes. A normal day as a demonstrator is to be talking to people all day, so it will necessarily feel quite different. However, to take our two talks as an example, we can be confident they were viewed by an order of magnitude more people than any presentation I’ve ever attended at Scaleforum. In other contexts, that would be an impressive and pleasing result! Of course, they will also continue to get viewers, long after the show. The rewards for contribution to an online event are going to be different, and I think we all need to learn what those feel like.

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dcockling
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby dcockling » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:27 am

David B wrote:Access to the virtual event from the main Society website was not very obvious


Scaleforum.jpg


Really? Scaleforum 2020
Today! Scaleforum 2020

Please,anyone, tell me what we ought to have done. All you have to do is click on it.

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John McAleely
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby John McAleely » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:58 am

dcockling wrote:
David B wrote:Access to the virtual event from the main Society website was not very obvious


Please,anyone, tell me what we ought to have done. All you have to do is click on it.


Hehe. I’ll bite :-)

We could have turned the whole page over to the show. We could have put a link to it from every page (there are around 5 right now, in all the usual places). To do those things would also have been quite hard with the technology we have on hand, and would have meant, for example, no translations of the PowerPoint material from the show into other formats. Our software gives us infinite choices, but we are faced with making those choices with limited time. It is trivial, and not especially interesting, to look at one choice out of context, and suggest it be taken differently.

A completely fresh visitor to our homepage has around 20 different things they can click on. They are cognitively very similar. I would recognise someone saying the one near the top, in the middle, is ‘not very prominent’, whilst simultaneously thinking it is the most prominent link we have as a society.

I am very confident we had hundreds of visitors to yesterdays show. I had the perspective of a hall manager, seeing all the crowds arrive, as various dashboards revealed numbers going up. It is hard for me to share that though, because all of the numbers are not ‘people in the hall’. The numbers seem very comparable to our other events, and we can now put our collective thinking caps on: if we do it again, what would we change?

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David B
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby David B » Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:29 am

dcockling wrote:
David B wrote:Access to the virtual event from the main Society website was not very obvious


Scaleforum.jpg

Really? Scaleforum 2020
Today! Scaleforum 2020

Please,anyone, tell me what we ought to have done. All you have to do is click on it.


Click on what? There is nothing here that indicates there is any link. It could have been made to look different to everything else on the page so that it was clearly a link and not ordinary text. I thought it was a heading as did other people. You knew it was there which is why it was obvious to you. This is what I was referring to when I said it is all too easy to assume everyone has the same knowledge as you because you are familiar with whatever is there.

Links are usually distinguished by being a different colour, underlined, or both. It could have been made larger or even had text added saying 'Click here to enter the Virtual Scaleforum'. A special button could have been made - anything which made it obvious there was a link.

I did not initially use this route, having read what you had put in the News about there being a different address.

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Rod Cameron
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby Rod Cameron » Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:36 am

John McAleely wrote:I’ll offer another thought. I suspect quite a number of our contributors are feeling a bit flat compared to a normal event. For whatever reason, their contributions garnered no comment, or only a couple of notes. A normal day as a demonstrator is to be talking to people all day, so it will necessarily feel quite different. However, to take our two talks as an example, we can be confident they were viewed by an order of magnitude more people than any presentation I’ve ever attended at Scaleforum. In other contexts, that would be an impressive and pleasing result! Of course, they will also continue to get viewers, long after the show. The rewards for contribution to an online event are going to be different, and I think we all need to learn what those feel like.


That was the case with several of the DRAG demos. Some of them weren't available much, or at all, yesterday, and maybe I should have opened a topic on their presentations on their behalf. I don't know what response Lewes might have got if I hadn't done that.
Rod

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John McAleely
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby John McAleely » Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:51 am

Rod Cameron wrote:That was the case with several of the DRAG demos. Some of them weren't available much, or at all, yesterday, and maybe I should have opened a topic on their presentations on their behalf. I don't know what response Lewes might have got if I hadn't done that.


I think this is a good example of Forum expertise over a longer period than the day - Rod's been a contributor for a while, and I think he knows if he supplies a place, people will likely contribute. Regular contributors know, in turn, that Rod will likely respond and welcome their thoughts. Equally, it was from the team's own expertise that we chose not to create a 'starter thread' for every demonstrator/layout. Given the dynamics of an event like this, it is quite likely some contributions will be enjoyed just by browsing on the day, with no explicit feedback (Sheer volume dictates that - no-one will have had time to appreciate all of the content we put up in the time allotted for the 'event'). I believe a clearly labelled 'empty space' from the organiser would have made the contribution seem less welcomed, and we would now be debating that...

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David B
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby David B » Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:13 pm

Rod Cameron wrote:That was the case with several of the DRAG demos. Some of them weren't available much, or at all, yesterday, and maybe I should have opened a topic on their presentations on their behalf. I don't know what response Lewes might have got if I hadn't done that.


I agree, Rod. I saw your post, thought it a good idea and followed your lead. Thank you.

Ian White
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby Ian White » Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:15 pm

I would just like to add my voice to the messages of congratulations to everyone involved with the organisation of Virtual Scaleforum. As has been said above, nothing can beat physically being at the show, but in these difficult times this proved to be a fantastic alternative.

A huge thanks to Danny and the committee for all their work - and also to the exhibitors who took the [not inconsiderable amount of] time to prepare their videos, photographs and accompanying text - all of which I found totally enthralling to watch and read.

A truly successful venture - well done and thank you!

essdee
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby essdee » Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:45 pm

Stone the crows! I have belatedly got around to visiting the Southwark Bridge Gasworks video sub-set..... yet more superb concept, modelling and explanation... and thanks to Neil for posting and reminding me of this oversight.

Thanks again, Ted, Mike and the team; stunning work.

Steve

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Neil Smith
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby Neil Smith » Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:25 pm

Stone the crows indeed Steve! I have now finished watching the gas works series. Wow just wow! Head spinning...!

GarethSmith
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby GarethSmith » Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:37 pm

I would like to add my thanks to everyone who helped put yesterday's Scaleforum together. I spent some time browsing round and sampling the content yesterday - and will likewise enjoy more of it in the coming days. I found it well done and source of encouragement to get on with some stalled modelling projects.

Thank you.
Gareth

andrewnummelin
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Re: VIRTUAL SCALEFORUM & SCALEFOUR NORTH

Postby andrewnummelin » Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:55 pm

A huge vote of thanks to all the people involved with creating a very special event. Also I'm sure that many people used presentation techniques that they would not have considered doing in the past - hats off to those who dared do something new.

I've had a couple of very enjoyable days and, like at a normal event, I learned some new things and have been given a push to get on with things that have been pending for far too long.
Regards,

Andrew Nummelin


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