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Rafael
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.
VS-Admin
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
Maz066
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?
LTSR
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
VS-Admin
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
16A
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
ebaykal
ditto.....what Mike has put forward.

Erkut
Pokermania
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
kristopher1805
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?
Pokermania
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
Iarnrod
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.
baldrick25
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...
Greyvoices
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)
kristopher1805
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?
SirWilliamFRS
At least the pop-ups have stopped! biggrin.gif
conmaira
It's not quite accurate to say the site is free as + members did actually pay a small amount.

I was intrigued by one part "......to help provide the resources and required work to give this community a broader reach, to attract new members,..."

I came across this site by accident some time ago and as I'm still here it obviously provides me with something useful and I'd wish I'd known about it before.

But I am confused by the "broader reach" aspect.



Hugh
Julian2011
QUOTE (conmaira @ 10 Mar 2015, 15:03) *
It's not quite accurate to say the site is free as + members did actually pay a small amount.

I was intrigued by one part "......to help provide the resources and required work to give this community a broader reach, to attract new members,..."

I came across this site by accident some time ago and as I'm still here it obviously provides me with something useful and I'd wish I'd known about it before.

But I am confused by the "broader reach" aspect.



Hugh


Perhaps they are going to allow "Toy Trains" ..... rolleyes.gif rolleyes.gif .......

...... or, to be serious, it may be better to await the developments, rather than un-informed speculation.

Julian
VS-Admin
QUOTE (16A @ 10 Mar 2015, 08:26) *
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


There is no intention to introduce a paid membership program here unless the membership wants it. The only other time we would ask you to pay for something on the site is if a site branded merchandise program was introduced. This also would be dependent on requests from the membership. ModelRailForum would fall under the Hobby and Collectable group, this is not meant to be of any kind of offense to anyone here in regards to the group.

QUOTE (Pokermania @ 10 Mar 2015, 11:14) *
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


This entire thread is very old and a great deal has changed since this was posted. If you search for dirt on any number of companies you will find it. What you are not seeing in that thread is the number of thriving communities we maintain and help to manage. I have been on stromtrooper since the beginning and can tell you there are no paypal requests coming from us. I would hope that you could keep an open mind while I work to unravel all the issues I was suddenly presented with on all these sites.

QUOTE (kristopher1805 @ 10 Mar 2015, 12:40) *
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?


You are welcome to say what you want to say. If you are not happy with a product this is your right to publish what you want to. If you are unhappy with another member and just want to pick fights and be a troll this might mean you are violating rules on the site and just being a rude person. That might see your account suspended as it always has.


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

QUOTE (baldrick25 @ 10 Mar 2015, 12:55) *
Seems like its now giving a 'No Longer Available ' message for the page.... worrying indeed...


http://www.verticalscope.com/privacy-statement.html


QUOTE (Greyvoices @ 10 Mar 2015, 13:04) *
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)


Still loads to get done on here including the privacy statement and the copyright info as well as checking on other issues with galleries and site speed. There is no plans to make major changes to the user experience here other than to hopefully make it better. As far as ads the standard practice is that guest traffic will always see more than the logged in users. Guests contribute nothing to the site so they may as well be the ones to help pay the majority of the bills.

QUOTE (kristopher1805 @ 10 Mar 2015, 13:12) *
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?


We do not claim any ownership or copyright over images or content you publish on the forum. We do however retain the publishing rights for it on this site. This means when you post things here you have granted us the rights to publish it here. this may sound odd but this is how the law says we have to do it. We will not restrict you from publishing the same content on other sites. We will not sell your content to other sites. If another site decides to steal your content from this site and publish it without permission we do have the right to serve them with a DMCA request to have the content taken down from their site. I hope this makes sense.

-Philip
Julian2011
Thank you Phillip, that is much clearer now.

May I also add a welcome too.

Julian
16A
Thank you for the clarification Philip, we'll just have to 'suck it and see' (UK colloquial expression) how it all comes out in the wash (another).

To summarise your comments and for the record your stated intentions at this juncture are;-

1) No membership or other fees, unless you introduce site branding at our request. - Your intentions please in respect of Plus membership?
2) No adverts other than those we already have - except for guests.
3) Within reason we can say what we wish.
4) We may be suspended if we Troll or cause offence.
5) Verticalscope does not claim ownership or copyright over any of our posted images or content.

Thank you. Please inform the membership of any proposed changes to these stated intentions.

Mike
VS-Admin
QUOTE (16A @ 10 Mar 2015, 16:34) *
Thank you for the clarification Philip, we'll just have to 'suck it and see' (UK colloquial expression) how it all comes out in the wash (another).

To summarise your comments and for the record your stated intentions at this juncture are;-

1) No membership or other fees, unless you introduce site branding at our request. - Your intentions please in respect of Plus membership?
2) No adverts other than those we already have - except for guests.
3) Within reason we can say what we wish.
4) We may be suspended if we Troll or cause offence.
5) Verticalscope does not claim ownership or copyright over any of our posted images or content.

Thank you. Please inform the membership of any proposed changes to these stated intentions.

Mike


the plus membership I need to look up. As much as you where given short notice on my arrival I was not given personally as much info on you as I had hoped to get from MAS.
Ads I will get an explanation of exactly how this will lay out. We may in the future see direct advertising from site vendors. This would be model train related companies wanting to advertise directly to you.
I regards to your freedom of speech, this goes with the site rules. We will not change the rules here as they have always been enforced. Within reason meaning we should all act online as we would act in person.
We do not claim any ownership of your material as I said, we do retain the publishing rights to publish it here as part of the agreement when you post content here.

-Philip
neil_s_wood
Thanks for providing the clarification to the member ship Phil, much appreciated.

Regards

Neil
Free_at _last
Where does Gary fit in with all of this, he's been rather quiet of late?
jim s-w
Welcome Philip.

Nice to see concerns of the membership being addressed openly and not blanked (or deleted) as happens in some places.

Jim
VS-Admin
It is rare you will see anything removed unless the post is very inappropriate for all audiences. wink.gif I am happy to answer questions as best as I can. If I don't have a specific answer I will usually tell you I will work on getting the answer. If I miss a question its not intentionally ignored, I am human and sometimes do miss things when I read them. If you feel you asked something and it was not answered please DO remind me.

-Philip
LTSR
Just for Tarnrod,

"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."

Try channel 8 "London Live" Two doses starting at midnight . . .
Iarnrod
OT, but thanks LTSR. I also have a DVD set so am not completely cold turkey! What I liked about it was it was deeply satirical, but a little more gentle than modern offerings. I love things like "The Thick Of It", but they're not family viewing...
Xerces Fobe
Sounds like a good move interstimg to see how it develops

XF
VS-Admin
Please update me as well if you have anything else broken on the site.

-Philip
Rafael
Hello Team,

Phil is out of the office for the next few days so I will be watching the site for him while he is away. My name is Danniella and I run the Forum Support Team here at Verticalscope.com.
If you need to get a hold of me to help with any issues on the site please sent me an email at [email protected]

I'll be on the site a few times a day to check in too thumbsup.gif

~ Danniella
SELKENTMRC
As the system is blocking me from posting in this section as a new topic, can I ask will you be changing the validation code for new members, or those forgetting their passwords. I am a member of numerous model rail groups and when I joined a few months ago, nearly gave up as took numerous attempts to work out the anti spam box code, which is made up of numbers. letters and graphics, which makes most attempts at trying to read it impossible.

I have perfect eyesight, and also am not colour blind, but the validation code box is so unsuer friendly. Have you considered going over to what other forum groups have ie a box of six pictures and you have to tick say the three with a dog in it for example. I know anti spamming is important, but can be done in a user friendly way. I wonder how many forum members have been lost as they could not actually join.

This is an excellent site, but really unuser freindly on registration, and it is not clear once registered that you can change your password from the highly memoerable 7474hdhgd48r84h4d87478dh etc
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