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I will say that the Hornby website always seems a bit heartless, like an ASDA store, really, a sort of rambling, shiny thing with not much substance and a lot of out of date content. Sites like Dapol's seem a lot "friendlier"- I don't know why!

Still, the website update should (hopefully) improve things!
 

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I don't see the point in shelling out cash for a catalogue when you can get the information from websites (be that the manufacturers or retailers) - just seems to be a waste of cash to me.

Hope the redesign improves things with the Hornby site tho - I tend to end up with either no results or the full product list when I try to do a search at the moment.
 

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QUOTE I don't see the point in shelling out cash for a catalogue when you can get the information from websites (be that the manufacturers or retailers) - just seems to be a waste of cash to me.

Absolutely. Some of the German dealers actually put entire catalogues online so you can peruse them at leisure, like Lokshop. You can also print of pages as required. I long ceased buying catalogues because of this.
 

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QUOTE (Raider @ 30 Jul 2006, 15:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I don't see the point in shelling out cash for a catalogue when you can get the information from websites (be that the manufacturers or retailers) - just seems to be a waste of cash to me.

A retailer I know says that over 10% of his regular customers do not have internet access & a further 10 or 15% that do still prefer a hard copy catalogue - so there is still demand for catalogues.

Personally, although I use the internet a lot (too much says the Domestic Aurthority) IMHO, you cannot beat leafing through the actual catralogue (although not in the loo.)

best regards
Brian
 

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A recent enquirer (23rd September) on the Hornby chat forum, asking about the revamp of the Hornby website has been told it is still on line for a November introduction.

When I asked for much better facilities for typing in new topics or replying to existing ones (citing this Forum as an example of how it could be done) I was given assurances that that would form part of the revamp. I wait with interest to see what happens.
John Webb
 

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What do people think about a manufacturer running a forum? (any manufacturer, not just Hornby).

Can it ever be impartial?
How can they manage unsatisfied customers?
How can they manage new info - where there are other channels to satisfy too?
Who would best manage the forums - A representative from the manufacturer or a representative from their web design company?
 

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A Hornby forum will have to be heavily moderated and all posts will have to be cleared before publication.

Hornby have a large junior following and they would not wish to publish or be assciated with anything that may harm their family image.

This is totally understandable when you consider what can happen in public forums where people push the "add reply" button without thinking of the consequences!


One other thing.

You are unlikely to be anonymous to Hornby on a Hornby forum. Hornby may well insist on a name and address over and above a simple email and password type situation when you sign up which they may check out before adding your name to the forum member list. Again this is reasonable under the circumstances.

There are modellers who are very happy to give their personal details to a manufacturer in return for having a direct voice. And these same modellers may be totally unhappy at participating in an "unauthorised" forum where they are unsure who is behind it.

So I guess that a Hornby forum will have a totally different type of membership to a forum such as Model Rail Forum.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I feel very strongly about freedom and the net, so it's just as well there are these site reserved as it were for juniors. Be sure I won't ever bother with the Hornby forum, but there is a place for this type of site. Lets hope they keep the perverts, pedafiles, and flatheads out.
 

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Just in case my previous post was missintepreted I'll just add that a manufacturers forum may well fall inside the comfort zone of a lot of people who are less comfortable elsewhere.

I think Pat Hammond suceeds at MREmag because he is an established and trusted industry man and his way of doing things is seen as the industry way. It has to be said though that he could do with seriously upgrading his website even so! Its such a pity that so much good info gets lost in its archives.

Has any of this actually answered Dougs original list of questions?

Probably not!


How would it be for you Doug if your moderating team had to check every message prior to publication?


Thats basically what the industry would prefer. And it would be a good training excercise for forum members.

However, it has to be said that the membership of MRF are a pretty sound bunch and are reasonably well behaved!

So not much need to apply the ball and shackles just yet I suspect!


In fact looking at the "Hornby chat" on the existing Hornby set up there are a few things said there that I find surprising!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I check out the Hornby website forums about once a week. The reason I do so is that my fairly recent return to railway modelling is due to Hornby's live steam model and it's one way of keeping in touch. The live steam forum is interesting but has a limited number of participants.

The Hornby general chat forum has a very wide range of people from quite young to rather older, most of whom quite clearly are only into modelling at a relatively basic level. Hornby obviously are dependent upon such people, and indeed many of us into the higher levels of modelling who chat on this forum are too, because they are the ones who help to pay Hornby's way into producing more and better models.

I do wonder if Hornby improve the forums if those at a basic level will still be able to get on it at the right point for their particular enquiry to be seen and answered. I hope so.

And it needs to be the maker who runs the site, not the web designers. They may be good at web design but probably know next to nothing about model railways.
Regards,
John Webb
 

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From memory, I think you do have to provide details to register on the Hornby forum. I did it once so I could enter the competitions.

Hornby's forum is very much train set world but everybody has to start somewhere and that is the general level of chat there. This forum has a broader spectrum with some very knowledgable individuals. I've never met anyone in my life who knows more about model trains than Ozzie. But it takes a long time to accrue a lot of knowledge about this subject given it's breadth. Most people on this forum have specific areas of expertise. Most people on Hornbys wouldn't.

The chat on Hornbys site will be tailored to Hornby product but lets face it thats why it's been provided. I don't think it is impartial but given the people using it I don't think it's that important. They are unlikely to be looking at other product anyway. The average user has got a train set and is thinking about adding to it and may not be sure which way to go. I think it's a good facility for the beginner to get basic information which wont be confusing and them not having to go to far from what they know. It's the first step in a learning curve.

Dennis, if I want to read my catalogue in the toilet I print off the relevant sheets from the website. They could also come in handy in case of emergency too.


Seriously though catalogues are good to look through. I stopped buying them as there didn't used to be much change from year to year. I may buy a Hornby one to see what the latest one looks like.
 

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The recent changes on heljan's website are worth looking at. They have a five minute video link showing off their new turntable, which shows that some one has used their imagination. The company has confidence to highlight closeup detail of a new product, and show off its capabilites. Dapol's website has been used to encourage comments on CAD CAM designs on a couple of N guage wagons and coaches, which may illustrate how a company can use customer feedback to improve its final design. Both approaches have their merits and could give Hornby's marketing team food for thought.
 

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QUOTE (mow @ 6 Oct 2006, 02:43) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The recent changes on heljan's website are worth looking at. They have a five minute video link showing off their new turntable, which shows that some one has used their imagination. The company has confidence to highlight closeup detail of a new product, and show off its capabilites. Dapol's website has been used to encourage comments on CAD CAM designs on a couple of N guage wagons and coaches, which may illustrate how a company can use customer feedback to improve its final design. Both approaches have their merits and could give Hornby's marketing team food for thought.
Maerklins website has several video clips of their products and does help the potential buyer decide if they want to buy a product or not. Maybe the British outline manufacturers could take up this idea too.
 

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>which shows that some one has used their imagination
I'm not sure about the choice of backing music. It sounded about like something from a documentary / newsreel from a long time ago (the fifties maybe). Of course this may be all the rage in Denmark.

That still did not detract from my enjoyment of the clip. Now can we have one of the container crane?

David
 
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