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Old 13th May 2018, 2:32 am   #1
mickash
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Default Members' "last activity"

Under each member profile there is a time and date of their last activity.
Does that equate to the last time that they visited the site after actually signing in or does it also include any subsequent visit where they haven't signed in?

I'm just curious as I have noted many threads started by new members where they only make a single post and their last activity noted is at the time of their initial post.

Does this mean that they may never have checked back to view any replies from other members, some of which continue for days. Or is it possible they have seen the replies but because they haven't actually signed back in, the last activity doesn't get updated?

Michael.
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Old 13th May 2018, 5:28 am   #2
Dave Moll
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Default Re: Members "last activity"

I believe it's the last time they accessed the site, as many of us tick the box saying "keep me signed in", so the information would get very out-of-date otherwise.

Unfortunately (and strangely), some new members post and never check for replies.
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Old 13th May 2018, 7:15 am   #3
Dai Corner
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Default Re: Members "last activity"

Sadly, I suspect that the 'one post wonders' often do read any replies but don't bother to log in and thank the authors or continue the discussion. If they don't log in the forum software won't know it's them.
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Old 13th May 2018, 9:10 am   #4
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Default Re: Members "last activity"

I've noticed this as well. I think that some new members get the 'retro bug' (particularly with record players) and having bought one at a car-boot, think it just needs a new 'needle' to miraculously make it work. They possibly have no concept of amplifiers or electronics in general and just want a 'quick fix'. When they get a reply that mentions 'cartridges' and 'stylus' and 'dried grease' and even worse, 'smoothing capacitors' they either go elsewhere to try for the reply that they want or possibly even give up and re-sell it (or worse just dump it).
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Old 13th May 2018, 9:41 am   #5
dave walsh
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Default Re: Members "last activity"

Clearly helping/encouraging those individuals who are motivated to become repairers/restorers is a good thing but sorting them from others with a different approach/agenda is not easy hence all the NSA's [never seen again]. Many of those that do stay on don't understand the ethos and are over persistent with questions-perhaps they confuse a mutual discussion on an enthusiasts site with a computer helpline. I managed to describe the need for a better work/questions balance to someone recently but they've not been back. Others get clear, tactful advice and ignore it or don't seem to realise when their question has already been answered.

Certainly things have changed a great deal over the last few years but I notice that existing members now [finally] tend to respond with what do you know?, what are your skills?, what are you trying to achieve? not assuming the OP will understand a flood of well intended info or why they want it? This is not rejecting anyone, I've never come across a more generous group of people than on here and that should be respected. It's also not a technical issue-just good manners. Significantly, someone wondered whether they were allowed to ask questions at all [in a new thread very recently]. They were then asked why did they ask THAT question and the reply was that other threads are can be very unwelcoming-a bit of an unconcious tribute to the Forum I thought!

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Old 13th May 2018, 11:32 am   #6
Aerodyne
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Default Re: Members "last activity"

Any technical forum is sure to get the people who want a simple answer to a complex question. Those who do not have knowledge of a given subject cannot be expected to understand the depth of skill and technical prowess needed for what they, in their ignorance, think must be a straightforward 'do this, or do that' to put to rights the problem they are asking about.
I do not use the word 'ignorance' in any pejorative sense, by the way, only to indicate that there exists inevitably a sizeable proportion of first-time posters who have no knowledge or understanding of a given technology.

I cannot see any easy way to eliminate or even to minimise this and still remain as friendly and helpful as this forum is. We can hope that in some cases, the enquirer will at the least, learn something he or she did not know before - and of course, we must remain open to all, regardless.

Tony
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Old 13th May 2018, 12:15 pm   #7
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Default Re: Members "last activity"

There's also the moderation to consider. It can be a while before a first post gets approved, and anyone expecting a social media type instant response will be disappointed, and maybe think they've been ignored. Also, some first posters have problems with forum working, and can't find the response or even remember their login details. It seems easy to us, but on top of not understanding their problem, they may be struggling to communicate it.
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Old 13th May 2018, 3:43 pm   #8
dave walsh
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Default Re: Members "last activity"

Well that's all fair enough and it isn't "easy" I agree Tony but an entirely new set of external circumstances have arisen in recent years. It had actually seemed to me that, in fact, it's now being dealt with rather well and consistently by all concerned-especially the Mods. We all want to help and not to exclude anyone but it's a two way street and just asking a couple of pertinent questions back can often make a great difference. We can't expect a new person to know much it's true but preliminary research is so available in the Internet age by comparison to "back in the day".

Perhaps a small introductory [read only] section for beginners, with warnings about what not to do [ie immediately power it up] and a direct link to Paul Stennings excellent long standing guide to buying and working on vintage equipment, might help

Dave
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Old 13th May 2018, 5:34 pm   #9
mickash
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Default Re: Members "last activity"

Thanks for your replies.

Yes, I can understand that some people might check back, take on-board any advice, use it and either forget or can't be bothered to pass on their thanks.

It's also possible they figured something out themselves or got advice elsewhere or just forgot to revisit their thread. It's difficult to tell.

I just wondered if the "last activity" was a good indicator of whether they had called back and even seen the advice.

It's possible they have called back using a different PC/laptop/phone to the one they signed up with.

Michael.

P.S. I agree this is a generous group, well mannered and repectful. Other forums I have viewed (not related to vintage electronics!) have been full of abuse and ridicule of "newbies" asking for advice.
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Old 13th May 2018, 6:36 pm   #10
Mooly
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Default Re: Members "last activity"

I think the 'One post wonders' (I like that) is common across all forums.

One of my pet hates generally on forums (well not hate but you know what I mean) is when you give advice to a newbie and you can see they are not only on line but looking at 'their' thread. As soon as you reply they disappear. I see that time after time after time. Sometimes they do return a few hours later, or even days sometimes to say thanks. And sometimes not.
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Old 14th May 2018, 2:39 pm   #11
Aerodyne
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Default Re: Members' "last activity"

I'm inclined to go along with Dave's idea of a section for 'newbies' to read - safety, link to Paul's info, etc - but the cynic in me says that many won't look or at least take only a perfunctory look, then proceed to ignore the advice contained within it.

Cynic or no, on the basis that even if just a few actually gain from its presence, such a section has to be a worthwhile addition. New posters asking questions that betray their lack of knowledge could be directed to it, perhaps, as well as offering them advice where it is felt necessary.

As far as the attitude of some other forums toward the uninformed beginner, we all have to begin somewhere and this forum has always striven to be fair and open to all. Long may this continue (even though there must be times when the moderators tear their hair out in frustration!)

In fact, I'd like to thank the mods for the great time and effort they expend.

Tony
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Old 14th May 2018, 6:10 pm   #12
mark_in_manc
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Default Re: Members' "last activity"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerodyne View Post
In fact, I'd like to thank the mods for the great time and effort they expend.
Me too. I get the odd post deleted, and I hope I treat it as instructive
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Old 21st Aug 2018, 7:58 am   #13
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Default Re: Members' "last activity"

I look in every morning when I get to work but don't always log in.
I find it a good way to start the day to be honest.
The Admins do a great job on this forum, given the size of the membership it is quite an undertaking on their part.
I've tried a few other forums but this one suits me best, a huge base of knowledge & very helpful not to mention generous.
My knowledge of valved equipment thus far is limited but if I can contribute then I will, my knowledge falls in the realms of digital multi-processor kit, not much use here!
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Old 21st Aug 2018, 8:29 am   #14
robinshack
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Default Re: Members' "last activity"

Yes, I think newbies are after a twitter or facebook speed of response and get fed up waiting.
What annoys me is when a well established member posts a wanted and by the second page of other members replies still never returns, despite forum activity. This happens repeatedly.
If members take the time to write a reply, sometimes detailed and lengthy, it is common courtesy to acknowledge it, even if only to just type one word, "Thanks".
Rob
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Old 21st Aug 2018, 9:56 am   #15
dave walsh
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Default Re: Members' "last activity"

Yes we are in two Universes at once here due to social change. There is the instant gratification aspect, as Rob implies, plus a a difference in motivation for joining since the "retro revolution". This can [sometimes] lead to a very good outcome anyway but also some difficulty, as outlined on this thread.

I think it pays to be circumspect and ask for more info from the OP initially rather than responding "instantly". Nobody wants to be mean spirited in the end [especially on this generous Forum] and I have wondered about that

However, I recall my daughter once saying [after watching an episode of the CH4 TV program] are you one of those "Grumpy Old Men" Dad? Based on what the participants had actually said, rather than the despairing manner in which they often said it, I claimed to be a one of the DOPES instead ie Discriminating Older Persons with Experience and common Sense! Something to try and live up to anyway

Dave W


Oh dear I see I've already been on here in May. Well it shows things are still ongoing I suppose-if not my memory!

Last edited by dave walsh; 21st Aug 2018 at 10:04 am.
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Old 21st Aug 2018, 8:38 pm   #16
mhennessy
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Default Re: Members' "last activity"

So what about the case when established members start threads yet don't come back to answer all the questions that arose or to give feedback on suggestions? Despite being active elsewhere on the forum...

It's not just on forums though. If you contact me via my website, one of the "terms and conditions" - for what they're worth - is that you must acknowledge my replies in some form. I only hear back from about 40% of people. Like Dave suggests, I sometimes send quick replies with requests for more info before getting into the "meat" of the conversation - that at least establishes that email is working, and when further replies aren't forthcoming I know it's not a technical fault (emails aren't 100% reliable by any means, and nor are people when typing and retyping email addresses).

In the past I've produced near-complete designs that were neatly drawn up and emailed to people, and no replies come back. Nor did responses to my "chase" emails - despite the fact emails were successfully exchanged previously. One such example was for a forum member, which shows that this sort of thing is not necessarily a characteristic of the social media generation. We all have limited time and competing priorities, so time donated to forums and email conversations should at least be acknowledged.

I find keeping on top of emails much harder than keeping on top of threads and PMs on a handful of forums. I suggest on my website that people email me again if I don't respond after a couple of weeks. I am human, after all. With that in mind, I always reply to people who ask me questions nicely. You would not believe some of the emails I get!
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Old 21st Aug 2018, 10:54 pm   #17
dave walsh
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Default Re: Members' "last activity"

You seem to have a well thought out approach there. If someone objects to being asked for more info re themselves it might tell us something. You are right that there are all kinds of pressures on everyone and genuine mistakes take place but human nature and good manners are always at the root of the technology. If I post something I think it's important to check back on any responses and engage generally without just focusing on my particular concern!
Most people are very amenable here, despite your unfortunate e-mail experiences and a sense of humour always helps

Dave
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