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Rafael
post 9 Mar 2015, 21:00
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Baggage Porter
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It is with great excitement that we at MAS Media Inc. have decided to transfer the operations and ownership of our Hobby communities, including Hobbytalk.com to a best-in-class community manager, Verticalscope Inc.

The decision to transfer our communities to one of the largest and most experienced operators at Vertialscope, a focused owner of more than 400+ communities around the globe, in targeted vertical markets; operating on forums, blogs and other Internet-based social markets.

It has been our belief that an important site and community such as Hobbytalk.com would benefit from the capability of a manager who understands how to make the member and visitor experience among the highest in the world. We had multiple choices to choose a new manager and Vertialscope was top on our list because of their long history, investments in communities and experience.

To that end, Verticalscope invests in their communities with specialists, assets and a great process and human resources, something that a smaller company such as ours could not offer in the same manner.

Thank you very much for your past patronage and we certainly expect the future to be a bright one.

All the best,

The MAS Media Team.
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VS-Admin
post 9 Mar 2015, 21:15
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Hello everyone,

My name is Philip, I am a community manager for Verticalscope, I work with a small team that will manage the webmaster duties for the site.

We are here to help primarily with the technical end of things and help make the jobs of the current Mods/Admins easier. I posted a real basic run down to answer common questions below. If you have more questions or concerns please feel free to post them in response.

What are our intentions?

We bring reliability, support and the infrastructure needed to ensure that the community will continue to be around for years to come. It?s our goal to work with the mod/admin team to help provide the resources and required work to give this community a broader reach, to attract new members, and to better the overall knowledge shared in the community.

Will leadership change?

Continuity is the focus here, YOU as the membership work very hard to keep building this community while your mod/admin team keep the walls and the roof up in this place; we are primarily here to make sure the lights stay on. Every community is unique and should always be respected in that regard. You all have established your own unique rules and regulations and a strong reputation that is carried by all of this. For us it?s paramount to maintain this level of integrity and enthusiasm.

What am I here for?

Our primary role is to be the technical contact as I said earlier. You all contributed to building the strong foundation the site was built on. Moving forward we will all work together to keep the momentum and the community growing. We will be on the forum checking in daily to make sure regular maintenance is taken care of and keeping things running smoothly from behind the scenes. We will also be setting up a help desk on the site for when you have questions or issues with the site or your account and need assistance.

Looking forward to working with you all.

Thanks,

Philip
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Maz066
post 9 Mar 2015, 21:25
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I must admit I am not that familiar with the machinations of a forum website. Will financing change with the new management? Will the look change? Will some of the applications such as searching, image or video insertions improve? Or is this change very much behind the scenes in the engine room as it were?


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LTSR
post 9 Mar 2015, 22:17
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If it 'aint busted don't fix it!

I'd be more inclined to believe that this change will benefit the membership, (the people wot makes this site), if they didn't talk in "corporate speak" like Gus in"Drop the Dead Donkey".

"targeted vertical markets" indeed! Gawd save us from censored.gif cyborgs in suits! ph34r.gif
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VS-Admin
post 9 Mar 2015, 22:20
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QUOTE (Maz066 @ 9 Mar 2015, 21:25) *
I must admit I am not that familiar with the machinations of a forum website. Will financing change with the new management? Will the look change? Will some of the applications such as searching, image or video insertions improve? Or is this change very much behind the scenes in the engine room as it were?


You should not notice much change to your experience on the site. I am however interested to know what will improve your experience here and what might not be working that used to.

-Philip
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16A
post 10 Mar 2015, 08:26
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Welcome Philip. we don't know who you are or what, if any, interest you may hold in respect of our hobby but if together with your employers your sole intentions are simply to keep us up and running on a technical level, then you are indeed welcome. As a side issue, I was personally unaware of Rafael and/or the MAS Media Team but assume them to have been interim owners of our site seeking to move us on.

You will, hopefully, find our membership well behaved, respectful and pretty much self policing without too much intervention from our moderating team being required.

First and foremost, we are 'Model Rail Forum' not Hobby.com and I'm pretty sure most of us will not be endeared at being referred to as a 'Verticals' but I accept this word forms part of your company name and is how you/they choose to refer to your constituent web sites. Would you be so kind as to identify to which group of your so called 'verticals' we now belong - Automotive, Health & Wellness, Hobbies & Collectibles, Outdoor, Powersports & Outdoor Equipment, Sports, Pets, Technology and Home Improvements? I assume it to be 'Hobbies and Collectibles' but it is interesting to note this group is absent from your main website, from the drop down listing your verticals and a search for it on your site disappointingly only directs one to Media Kits. How many other Hobby & Collectible verticals are there?

However, I must mention my nose detects the strong aroma of a large 'rat' - Money... Presently, the membership of 'our' website is free to all, ie., absolutely no fees. Can you please therefore reassure us that there is no underlying intention to introduce membership or other fees at some point in the future... or alternatively that we needn't look forward with trepidation to being bombarded with advertising on our site on behalf of your other 'verticals'?

Mike


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Mike

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ebaykal
post 10 Mar 2015, 08:56
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ditto.....what Mike has put forward.

Erkut


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If there ain't steamers in heaven, then I ain't goin
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Pokermania
post 10 Mar 2015, 11:14
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I think it is bad news.

Check out a google search for Verticalscope and see what has happened to other forums e.g. (https://theadminzone.com/threads/verticalscope.39544/) look at reply number 5.

Looks like we are now just a big database for a corporation to buy up and "receive target marketing" (i.e.spam). They also have bought up Dougs other forum "slotforum".
On the Stormtrooper forum they receive Paypal requests so it looks like they may want to make this forum a suscription based forum.

The first piece of spam I receive from them and I will cease to use MRF.

It was good while it lasted but it looks like it has come to the end.


A disappointed Peter mad.gif
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kristopher1805
post 10 Mar 2015, 12:40
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Hi Peter and others, I hope not, I would like to know about these things too and also about editorial oversight, will we be free to say what we want to say about for instance product and manufacturers or is this going to interfere with advertising revenues, I am sure this move has some financial implications whatever they turn out to be, mild ones we can stomach but if heavily applied then as above, I hope not and although I give the benefit of the doubt for now I am worried. As it is we are a spending market between us we spend a lot of disposable income and then there are the various lurkers and non members browsing, it's only sense that the box makers would want a bigger peice of this pie and we all now these days know what it means. It is also a fact that without us as members that spending market can evapourate rather quickly.

So Philip VS Admin what more can you tell us please?
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Pokermania
post 10 Mar 2015, 12:40
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One other point, how does this all fit in with the rules for registration as here ( https://www.modelrailforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2 ) particularly the bit about privacy?



Cynical Peter
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Iarnrod
post 10 Mar 2015, 12:53
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QUOTE (LTSR @ 9 Mar 2015, 22:17) *
If it 'aint busted don't fix it!

I'd be more inclined to believe that this change will benefit the membership, (the people wot makes this site), if they didn't talk in "corporate speak" like Gus in"Drop the Dead Donkey".

"targeted vertical markets" indeed! Gawd save us from censored.gif cyborgs in suits! ph34r.gif


Someone who remembers Drop The Dead Donkey! Fabulous, I find t very difficult to get The Long Haired Controller to watch it, and I loved it so.


--------------------
It might look like a train set to you but it gives The Small Controller & me a lot of pleasure!

My Railway

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baldrick25
post 10 Mar 2015, 12:55
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QUOTE (Pokermania @ 10 Mar 2015, 12:40) *
One other point, how does this all fit in with the rules for registration as here ( https://www.modelrailforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2 ) particularly the bit about privacy?



Cynical Peter



Seems like its now giving a 'No Longer Available ' message for the page.... worrying indeed...
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Greyvoices
post 10 Mar 2015, 13:04
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I followed up the link you posted Peter and ended up with a variety of mixed reactions. I soon became bored with it as it all seemed to be par for the course with negative anonymous posters being countered by a few positive anonymous posters.

I tend to reserve judgement in such cases.

Time will tell what happens on MRF. I have to say that the original two posts in this thread do appear to be somewhat crass but these are comments made from a forum owners perspective. I think that fears of commercialisation may well be justified as I have long wondered what benefit MRF is to the owners. There is one advertisement at the foot of this page so it cannot be for the money. I own a website which sees only one amendment per week by me alone but, even without any staff costs or significant overheads the cost of domain name and provision on a server costs me 1 per week. I can imagine the the costs of MRF far exceed this so, without an intrusive level of advertising those who pay an annual fee must be the means by which MRF continues to exist.

In the present scenario, if Verticalscope were to give some cast iron guarantees that the spirit of MRF would not be tampered with then I would consider making an annual contribution to ensure that MRF continues to flourish. That said, I am not prepared to become a dumb source of revenue for a commercial entity that has little or no regard for forum members or visitors.

My other concern is the lax nature of copyright on MRF. Scoll to the bottom of any page and you come to this:

Powered By IP.Board 2015 IPS, Inc.
Licensed to: Model Rail Forum. All text, photos & graphics 2005-2012 Model Rail Forum or the member posting the content (unless indicated) - All rights reserved.


Apart from the dates being, well, out of date I find the wording far too loose. I have only just become aware of this following Verticalscopes post as I immediately had a good look around MRF to see if there were any potential problems. I am left feeling somewhat uneasy so at this moment feel disinclined to post.

If Verticalscope gives a clear undertaking that it is not their intention to exploit the MRF membership and also sorts out the copyright statement so that it becomes a caste iron pledge to contributors then they will have made a significant step towards gaining the trust of all who use this forum. Obviously, time will tell and some weeks and months down the line we may be wondering what the fuss was all about. I do hope so.

Best regards ...................... Greyvoices (alias John)


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kristopher1805
post 10 Mar 2015, 13:12
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Not an expert here, just a model rail enthusiast - does this mean that all my wonderful and eagerly awaited and fabulous photographs belong to the website for copyright? because I posted them on someone else's site?

Anyone else have a perspsective on this?
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SirWilliamFRS
post 10 Mar 2015, 14:57
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At least the pop-ups have stopped! biggrin.gif
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