ADMIN: The purpose of the group

Mike Brock <brockm@...>

Dave Nelson wrote:

Are the old hands obligated to anwswer *every* n00b's
question, even those that have been dealt with many times before?
In my
opinion, the answer is no.
Dave Husman replies with:

Is any one person obligated, no.

Is the list obligated, yes.

The basic purpose of the list is to share information. If someone
asks a question and those who know don't answer, then information
isn't being shared.
The STMFC charter clearly states:

"The purpose of this list is to discuss all aspects of North American freight cars of the steam era [ 1900-1960 ]. The objectives include the sharing of information about railroad freight cars including their operation and various techniques of building models of them."

Thus, while sharing information IS an objective, the purpose for the group is to provide a forum for discussion. I should know because I formed the group...along with 30 others including both Richard Hendrickson and Dave Nelson. Let me make it very clear. Neither the group nor any member is obligated to do anything...except follow the rules. One of the pleasant aspects of the group is that members DO respond with answers to questions and, being somewhat knowledgeable about certain aspects of railroad history, I can say that, commonly, responses require some research...requiring time and effort. When a member has done this a number of times with regard to the same subject, it is to be expected, I think, for the member to show impatience, particularly when carefully researched information is ignored by members who were privy to previous discussions. The group was formed, however, for discussion, so diverse views on a subject should be expected. At the same time, many members might not be aware of the growth of the group...which now includes 1050 members. Hence, many "newbies" [ and the term is not meant as an insult but merely to indicate new to the group ] have not been through some of the discussions. It is apparent that some type of history needs to be maintained of some of the more technical and pertinent messages. I'll look into this.

I would be suprised if the same basic questions
didn't keep popping up. They do on every other list I have
subscribed to.
It IS true that no subject within scope should be considered out of bounds. At the same time, the solution seems to be a searchable library.

And that's exactly what all the "noob's" are thinking when they ask a
question. Evidently they will be disappointed.
I don't think so.

Mike Brock

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