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#955462 - 03/02/2011 22:58 Re: site down? [Re: Andy Double U]
Tales Offline
Cloud Gazer

Registered: 31/01/2011
Posts: 46
Loc: Springbrook, GC Hinterland. Fo...
Originally Posted By: Andy Double U
I think you can separate users into the following categories:
> Newbies who are new to the weather, have little to no background but are seeking information either for general knowledge OR because there is an impending event that they are trying to garner more knowledge on.

Hi guys. I believe I fall into this ^ category. I found it because I was hunting for technical and broader info on the development of Yasi behind TCA, and over and over my searches led me to WZ forums. So I hung around, made an application to join, and stayed. What I found in the General Chat thread was a FB-esque situation, but not knowing any different, figured that it was usually like that. For a little while, anyway. A number of posts from mods cleared it up pretty quick, at least for me. The screams of 'elitism' from some (which I don't share, personally) could possibly be explained as a reaction from people who thought as I did, initially. They wandered into a general chat forum teeming with life, and figured it was always like that. I'm not excusing the behaviour, but I do think that a general misunderstanding of the nature of the forum was prevalent - despite the best efforts of our mods. Plus some people simply don't read, which is frustrating to say the least. That said, I didn't find it overly difficult to navigate through the rubbish to find the gold. Time consuming, certainly. The fact the forums went down at the most critical point in the crossing was very unfortunate.

As a newb, I really like the Weather School idea. I know a great majority of us would try hard to make meaningful contributions, ask worthwhile questions, and do some background research. I am somewhat poor at math/physics (which is why I'm a lawyer instead lol), so much of the tech will go over my head indefinitely. But it interests me nonetheless. I love nature, and love weather, and would really love to stay and learn. If I'm afforded a read-only status, that's cool. But being able to ask the odd question, in some form or another, would be useful.

#955495 - 03/02/2011 23:57 Re: site down? [Re: Tales]
dlcat1 Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 31/01/2011
Posts: 901
Loc: Melbourne (NE burbs)
I think you could put me in the same category as Tales, joining for more or less the same reason. One of the first things I noticed reading the Yasi chat thread was that it rapidly became a "one stop shop" for anyone interested in anything remotely STCY related, and the sheer volume of posts meant pertinent information was rapidly lost several pages back, the same questions where being asked over and over again, seemingly by those who may be conditioned to an instant answer, and I believe the vast majority of users would have had difficulty differentiating between posts containing valid information, educated guesses, and the wildy spurious. I also feel that stressed people not getting the information they wanted instantly, may have contributed to some of the heated posts.

I believe that as a general chat thread, it might have been fine, but as a source of important information it became pretty useless in the 24 hours or so before landfall. I also think that the technical thread, while a source of verified information, would have been of limited use to many of the users of the general chat thread, who apparently had trouble interpeting it or misinterpreted it. I got the distinct impression most people just wanted to see where the cyclone were the cycloen was at, and really didn't have a clue what the difference between the IR, WV and Vis images were or that they didn't show the same thing.

I have a couple of ideas.

1) introduction of another level thread between the technical and the general containing a plain english explanation of the technical thread, discussing what you can see on the various images, what the technical reports mean and so forth, enabling people to expand their knowledge almost lecture style, maybe even a podcast, although that may run into bandwidth issues for some users. This could also be done on the technical thread, but I've suggested it as a seperate thread as I think you've got two distinct audiences there. This leaves the general thread chat as just that.

2) Introduction of groups. I can see pretty colors for mods and admin, but I'm wondering if the introduction of say "community leaders" or "technical experts" might help. If as a new user I want to know whether Joe Blow is someone I can trust, I can look at their username and see whether WZ trusts them. An idea similar to this has been implemented on the forum here Currently I believe the "cloud gazer". "WZ Addict" etc just relate to the number of posts, not the content?


Edited by dlcat1 (03/02/2011 23:58)

#956142 - 04/02/2011 22:32 Re: site down? [Re: dlcat1]
Prettymillielovestorms Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 11/09/2008
Posts: 95
Loc: Banora Point - Tweed Coast
Hi Everyone, I certainly agree with most of the points that Tales, dlcat1 & TC poncho. I have been a member since September 2008. I joined with an interest in weather, but specifically, I wanted to learn and understand why, when we lived in Tasmania, there was there very few thunderstorms lol.

I wanted to learn from educated weather watchers what really goes on in extreme weather scenario's, and learn from their experiences. I had a look at the amount of posts that I have made, a total of 37 in that time. I don't feel that I contribute a whole lot, but I'm on here all the time. I can now tell you why we didn't have very many Storms in Southern Tasmania, and I can state, that compared to most of the general population, that I know quite a lot about the weather.

I can attribute this by sitting back, reading, learning and observing and researching. I have even brought a decent Canon, so that I can record view and maybe soon possibly share my experiences. I believe that is the essence of what this forum is about. It is a wealth of information, some from experience, technical knowledge, professional knowledge and on the ground observations. All this information is what makes this forum, such a great place to be.

I understand and feel the frustration of members who are genuinely either trying to contribute, or get important information across, and it is lost in ridiculous one line assumptions or useless banter. I guess we can't censor, because at the end of the day, some people were just looking for advice and comforting answers and this forum provided that need.

Hey, I made my 38th post, only 12 to go.... just watch me fly.. lol

#956245 - 05/02/2011 00:19 Re: site down? [Re: Prettymillielovestorms]
Horizon Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 27/12/2008
Posts: 128
Loc: Mermaid Beach GC
This issue comes up again and again. At one stage someone told JEFF.H. he was talking crap, little wonder a lot of the more knowledgeable people are/have moved on which is a big loss to everyone on this forum. Ive read RWM doesn't post anymore now either, something isn't right when you start losing your best contributors.

Now I know its a balancing act, Quality vs Quantity. I just hope the powers that be chose Quality as its the very reason I stuck around in the first place. If we lose all our top contributors what's the point coming here in the first place ?

#956382 - 05/02/2011 09:49 Re: site down? [Re: Horizon]
Sara B Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 30/01/2011
Posts: 318
Loc: Dugandan
i know this thread is specific to 'site down?' just slap me on the wrist if I am posting out of place.

one thing I can see is that the forum is evolving, a social dynamic is at play... it is unavoidable really... like any natural phenomena subject to a complexity of variables, chat forums are subject to dynamic change. Consider an analogy between the east coast of Australia and WZ Chat forum (longstanding users & their threads = environment; new users = a weather event). Both environment's have suffered an impact from Yasi, one is a physical impact and the other is a socio-psychological (maybe there is a better word?) type of impact. And theres the technical stuff… server overload or whatever…

So following along with my analogy, I think that some seasoned members of WZ will be resistant to change, because they have an established place in the hierarchy of their environment, due to good reason, having proven that their opinion is worth consideration. Look at any ecological system and you will see that succession is natural. The seasoned reputable members are firmly rooted in place, I believe?! But may be wrong?

The newbies posting ‘inane’ comments could be analogous to… Yasi’s weather event… lots of debris being thrown around, a battering of winds, trees being uprooted… the winds of change? seems to have blown over now though

Well as a newby, the whole reason I am here is to learn from the seasoned, experienced weather people, I don’t mind the conflicting predictions of landfall, I am happy to consider others opinions and decide for myself how worthwhile they are. I am also interested in the subjective comments of others who are physically located in other areas around the country and experiencing localised conditions – these people are in the best position to report back (weather to me - is not all about wind shear, direction, speed, vertices, data, radar, it’s also about the people and how they perceive what is happening around them), I also like to consider viewpoints coming from outside the mainstream media –because these viewpoints are real, not constructed, edited and contrived for the masses!
So I hope that this can all sort itself out because I like this forum, I can overlook inane comments and in turn hope that anyone who considers my comment inane has the capacity to just flick their eyes down to the next post… that seems to be working for me

ps. agreeing with a lot of the thinking on this thread

#956395 - 05/02/2011 10:10 Re: site down? [Re: Sara B]
jemima Offline
Cloud Gazer

Registered: 31/01/2011
Posts: 5
Loc: Toowoomba Qld
Hi Everyone, Have been following forum since Xmas with family in flood affected areas SEQ and watched in horror the predicted & unfolding events that occurred here in Toowoomba/Lock Valley.
I registered before Yasi crossing as have immediate family in Townsville & wanted to be able to ask questions if necessary, but I found enough info from BOM, ABC radio, Tech discussion & NE Qld folks chats so this is first post for me. Sadly during this Yasi event some people behaved badly on this forum particularly people nowhere near affected areas.
I don't know how you fix the problems you have discussed but as in anything in life you have to educate the newbies. A small group of these people may oneday go on to be the weather experts we look to in the future.
Mods I wonder if newbies should be starting new threads also.
Thankyou to all the longtime posters from SEQ & Tropical Threads most have been very informative during these times.

#956401 - 05/02/2011 10:22 Re: site down? [Re: jemima]
99wazza Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 27/01/2011
Posts: 59
Loc: Bundaberg
Having been a watcher for quite a while, I finally decided to register and join in the discussion during the build up to Anthony. What I think has happened is that with a major event builing, many people were drawn to the forums and many new people, who were unfamiliar with who is a regular poster and who is not, were getting conflicting information and also because emotions were high at the time some people were being super-sensitive and took things to heart that they shouldn't have.

Most likely, now that (for the moment) the event is over, many of these people will drift away and the forum will go back to normal. I'm sure this isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened on here and it won't be the last.

People also need to understand that the general chat forums are exactly that. They are for general chat based around a specific topic. Due to the high volume of newbies there was bound to be confusion and repetition of questions, especially given the lighning speed at which the forum was moving the other day. There is no point getting upset if someone didmisses your opinion because for everyone that does, someone else will listen closely.

In a nustshell, this type of forum will always swell during a weather event and there probably isn't really much of a need to change too much about it.
"For the man sound in body and serene of mind there is no such thing as bad weather; every sky has its beauty, and storms which whip the blood do but make it pulse more vigorously."

#956513 - 05/02/2011 12:47 Re: site down? [Re: 99wazza]
Curiouser Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 22/01/2011
Posts: 174
Loc: Brisbane Qld
My apologies if this has been brought up, I skimmed some of the posts in here, but tried to read most. Some great ideas, especially a 'voting' system where it is easy enough to see members whom other members deem credible. If experienced members only could 'vote' on a member on a post by post basis, then it would be all the more credible.

Thread splitting is a great idea but rather than restrict individual members, is it possible to restrict the number of posts on each thread? Eg. General Chat thread has no limit to number of posts, Tech thread each member can post only 1 every few hours etc (with ability to edit post in the meantime?)etc...

Went to another forum on Wednesday night after WZ forum crashed, noticed that the moderator there had recognised the influx of new guests and announced they would approve applications to become members on a case by case basis, depending on whether or not the person genuinely needed info. I realise that this may have had more to do with server capacity than anything else, but I thought it was a good idea nonetheless.

I love the idea of Weather School! Where do I enrol? grin

Other than all that (was going to be a short post) great job WZ forum mods and admins! Thanks smile

#957148 - 06/02/2011 09:50 Re: site down? [Re: Curiouser]
red1 Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 03/01/2011
Posts: 62
Loc: Dunoon 2480 nsw
I got a bit narky during the event when people posted stuff like "getting windier" and they didnt show their location. I realised today that i have not got my location on my info so have updated that.

Maybe during extreme events new memberships are postponed.

I dont like the idea of limiting posts because new relevant info might no get thru.
I have actually been a member for about ten years but lost my previous password and had to re register

Edited by red1 (06/02/2011 09:52)

#957526 - 06/02/2011 16:55 Re: site down? [Re: red1]
cheekeymonkey Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 30/01/2011
Posts: 176
Loc: Yorkeys Knob, Cairns
I think there is a slight issue with both postponing new memberships and also restricting numbers of posts for new memberships for the simple reason that on the Cardwell- Bowen, Coral sea tropical cyclone season 2010-11, FNQ wet season Feb 2011 etc., there have been a lot of postings post cyclone offering help to others. They then may get questioned about the type of help they can offer etc. and could then quickly use up their allocated posts just by trying to help others out.

I still think that the site is incredibly informative and the best place to get the most up to date information on a weather event. Thank you to all who have given your time and expertise to both educate and inform us all.

#958137 - 07/02/2011 20:13 Re: site down? [Re: cheekeymonkey]
cheekeymonkey Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 30/01/2011
Posts: 176
Loc: Yorkeys Knob, Cairns
Another thought.
How about a 'search' area at the top (which is in a very obvious place) so people can put in a keyword & get all posts relevant to their question?
Perhaps next to the 'glossary' tab

Edited by cheekeymonkey (07/02/2011 20:13)

#958138 - 07/02/2011 20:16 Re: site down? [Re: cheekeymonkey]
crookie Offline
Cloud Gazer

Registered: 11/01/2011
Posts: 8
Loc: Crows Nest Qld
Umm...have you looked a few tabs to the left of the 'glossary' tab?

#958141 - 07/02/2011 20:20 Re: site down? [Re: crookie]
cheekeymonkey Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 30/01/2011
Posts: 176
Loc: Yorkeys Knob, Cairns
Oops- just spotted it.
Well, I guess that means it's not obvious enough- maybe the space to type in should not be on a drop down, but sitting there ready- just a thought

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