TopBand: Survey on Reflector Content (LONG)

Bill Tippett btippett@CTC.Net
Wed, 03 Dec 1997 18:00:25 -0500 (EST)

        Here's some raw data first.  My final totals did not add up
to 100 since some folks had sent responses in two parts, some did not
give callsigns, etc.  

>1.  Do you agree with the Reflector Purpose?  YES 88   NO 3
>2.  If NO, what would you change?  Be specific about what you would add
>or delete.  The 3 NO responses as follows:

**** Bill, the only change I would suggest is removing/modifying
that portion dealing with wants/sale of equipment. Seems to me that posts
regarding specialized 160Mtr hardware are appropriate. For example, 
discussion/availability of Slinky's..Another example might be cheap
sourcing of particular balun/transformer core material. How you would "police"
the topic is the real question, might turn into another swap/shop disaster.

I would then add some wording to encourage more technical exchanges. The
preamble is a bit bland. I would also eliminate the suggestion to reply
privately and have a summary. That requires extra effort by one person
and is subject to severe editing, etc. In other inhibits the
free flow of information.

I would allow comments and info on 80m as well.  I know very little
about either band, but the little I do know says that there are many
similarities (propagation, antennas, operating techniques) and that
maybe some synergy could be exploited.  It would (presumably) expand the
audience.  DXpeditions seem to now treat 80/160m together as an
objective, a number of operators operate on both bands, and it just
seems to me that expansion in that direction would be consistent with
the overall intention of making lowband operation more fun, interesting,
and rewarding.  (I already said no to this one)

>3.  Is W4ZV administering the reflector OK?  YES 85  NO 4

>4.  If NO, what would you like him to change?  Be specific.  
The 4 NO responses are as follows:

Be less tolerant of those who post cheap shots, and non relavant BS!

AMPS serves a very needed purpose. Your comment about zero administration
there is BS. It just does not show on the surface. That list continues to
grow at a good pace even if a few do get a "bit" repetitive.  BUT the
language remains civil. 

You need to accept the fact that people do not all fit into your mold.
Restraint of an individuals way to express himself is wrong. Sarcasm and
humor are established journalistic tools. Personal attacks, X rated
language, etc are not acceptable.  (Humor yes, sarcasm no because it incites
more negative responses) 

All OK, Bill, except I feel you should crack down harder on the

Manage it like Rudi manages a pile up. If the message does not fit the
PURPOSE statement then don't let it get posted. A rejection notice to the
sender should
occur also so there is no mistake about the meaning of "this does NOT belong on
here."  (It really doesn't work that way unless I go to a digested version and
I have no intention of doing that for timeliness reasons.)

>5.  Who would you like to hear MORE from (i.e. your favorite posters)?
>Give specific callsigns and responses will be rank ordered.

14:  W4ZV  (Polling bias due to my name being on the survey!)
13:  W8JI
12:  K1ZM
11:  KM1H
09:  VK6HD, NM7M, N6TR
07:  VK6VZ, W3LPL
06:  ZS6EZ
05:  "ALL DX", K0HA
04:  K6SE, N7CL
     K0EU, W7TVF, K2WI, W0RI

>6.  Who would you like to hear LESS from (i.e. your least favorite
>posters)?  Give specific callsigns and responses will be rank ordered.

        After thinking about this, I do not feel it is in the spirit of
160 or this reflector to publish calls.  If any of you are interested, I
will forward only the comments received about yourself with the identities
of respondents removed.  However, this may take me some time so be patient.
I will try to summarize the general comments below but here are some quotes 
covering the major areas of concern:

"What bothers me most is the volume of "Top band here last night" stories
that have become the norm. They are too often for rather mundane openings
for "ordinary" DX. I realize this is a matter of perspective, but I wouldn't
think of posting a report of every JA or VK opening on the band, while many
West Coast and Midwest stations find it necessary to give us a detailed
report every time one of the Gs or DLs pops through out there. A glance at
the OH2BUA cluster can give essentially the same information for those who
want it."  (East Coast USA)

"A while back I saw a piece entitled something like "How many internet
reflector posters does it take to change a lightbulb?"  I removed myself
from the DX reflector because I got tired of those who throw in a
response just to be heard.  There has been some of this on the Topband
Reflector, more in the past few months.  I suppose reflectors are now a
world wide forum for anybody with computer access and gives everybody a
chance to see their names in print.  I would hope there is a way to
encourage those with worthwhile (whatever that is) responses to post and
the rest to refrain.  Those who post just see their name/call in lights
should not."  (Midwest USA)

"Would it be possible to make it clear that a lot of folks do not want to
"re read" a whole message thats being replyed to, but just the "relavant
parts" of the original message?
If we take XXXXX as an example he mostly quotes the whole orgianal
message underneath his comments. This would cut a lot of unnessasary 
bandwidth. I for one get my mail from an Inet, gateway via RF links and
considering the fact that i am not alone on the freq, it can take quite
some time.                    

"Here in XXXXX we have to pay for our time on line, downloading this
kind of stuff costs us money !!!!!!!  (Both from Northern Europe)

"All of us have egos, some come accross stronger than others, but if we have
complaints we should direct them to the indivual by private mail, in a
respectful manner."  (Southern USA)

"Of course I don't like the personal attacks or the recent gripes between
XXXXX and XXXXX and every kind of behaviour not in accordance with the
GENTLEMAN BAND."  (Southern Europe) 

"I am absolutely tired of the need for XXXXX to respond with his
personal insults to every other reflectees posting.  It's way out of hand. 
Not far behind him are XXXXX and the XXXXX reports.  I mean we
could all do a report on any given night!  Finally, I dont see the
need to tell every tale of woe from the West Coast as to how difficult they
have it working EU.  In my 15 plus years on 160, I have never even heard a
whisper from JD1 KH2 DU BV BY YB or UN5J.  I am not sure I will ever have
the opportunity to work some of these countries but I surely dont whine
about it every season.  (East Coast USA)

"A quick generalization:  the least liked people and messages are
those posting comments with a hostile tone.  It doesn't matter
who's correct on the disagreement, it's not a civil response.  
Maybe an old cliche should be added to the reflector guidelines:
"If you can't say anything nice about someone, then don't say
anything at all..."  (Midwest USA)

"Stations that argue back and forth should do it in private. 
Then, if it is thought to be of interest to the group, a 
smmary of the discussion could be put on the reflector.  This
would reduce several postings to one."  (Western USA)

        Well there you have about 2% of what I've received, but I
think these comments all boil down to one very simple concept:


1.  Always show common courtesy to others.  Technical disagreements
are fine but personal insults (veiled or direct) and snide sarcastic
comments are not welcome.  

2.  Consider the guys who may have bandwidth limitations, or who
may not want their mailboxes filled with useless garbage.  Is what you 
are posting really relevant to the other 687 on the list or just an
individual?  Have you condensed your thoughts succinctly?  Are you
editing out the irrelevant part of the post you are responding to?
Is it really informative?   

3.  Nobody likes whining.  If you are on the GentleMAN's band, act
like one and accept the things that make it a challenge.  Accept the
challenges of QRN, QRM, weird propagation, etc that make the band the
special place it is and make the best of it.  Nobody said it was 
easy and that's probably what attracted most of you.  Enjoy the challenge!

        I may modify the purpose statement slightly and I've gotten some
very good ideas about how to better handle some of the problems we've had.
Hopefully everyone will take this feedback to heart and I won't have to get
involved.  Let's just try to treat everyone the way W1BB considerate,
helpful and encouraging to everyone.  End of thread.

                                          73,  Bill  W4ZV

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