<How do you cope with this giant flood of (often) valuable information?>
Greetings from Gloucester, Virginia.
You're right! These messages, and the archives containing them, are a
GOLD MINE! They are a tap root into hundreds of years of collective
experience and knowledge.
Here's what I have been doing, I hope you and others find it helpful. It
is very time consuming, but extremely rewarding.
I subscribe to the digest form of the reflector, which combines all the
days' messages into only 2 or 3 email messages. I open my word processor
with a file named TOWERTLK (sorry, still only 8 characters on this old
'puter) and keep it in the background whilst I peruse the messages. Each
time I see a bit of useful information, I cut/paste it, or paraphrase the
information and put it into the word processing file with sections
according to the subject. Sometimes I scrape the meat from several ideas
together into just a few sentences to summarize the good stuff. There's a
lot of wheat among the chaff, and occasionally, some real gems, especially
when some of the professionals in specialized fields take time to
My objective was to learn how to erect and care for a guyed tower
properly. I started with the very first archives, reading each and every
message in spare time each day. So far, I have read through to the 12/97
archive. My summary document (Wordperfect) is now 35 pages long, with
chapters on every popular thread about guyed towers, but not specific
antennas or rotors.
I have sections on tower type selection, materials for masts, booms,
insulators, guy wire, guy installation, tensioning, concrete,
bonding/grounding, lightning protection, calculating wind load areas, etc,
etc. I think you get the idea. It's practically a tower book now.
No, I don't plan to write a book. Steve, our moderator, is doing that.
But I have my own personalized reference built from only those topics that
I am interested in. I will refer to it when building my tower and helping
my friends build theirs. I will probably draw information from it to write
tower articles for our club's newsletter, which is posted on our website
(see us at http://www.qsl.net/mparc).
So, start a document, divide it into sections of interest to you, and
squirrel away all those nuggets of wisdom, way cool tips, erudite essays,
phone numbers, and web sites. Then, you'll have your own personal
database, searchable in any word processor with the FIND menu option.
Hope this helps,
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