790 forum section?

Discussion in 'Parallel World (790/890)' started by Andy_L, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Sfcootz

    Sfcootz fap:hoon Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Would you like an FAQ sticky, mate? I'm the mod for this section since I'm a total fan girl. Let me know what you think will help it be most useful and user friendly.
    #61
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  2. [Art]

    [Art] Been here awhile

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    Hey @Sfcootz, I manage the FAQ at 790adventure.net, and its content was born from the wisdom on advriders mostly. It's probably good to have a sticky with a link to the FAQ just to avoid the same questions over and over again (Not that this will stop the expected tyre thread…)
    #62
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  3. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    How about all of the Big Four's many adv bikes being crammed into the single Land of the Rising Sun subforum? I hope the powers that be can turn their attention to that section next and at least divide it into brand-specific sub subforums.
    #63
  4. sledneck

    sledneck Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks!!!
    #64
  5. coloktmGS

    coloktmGS Been here awhile

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    Any reason why I can't post new threads in 790 section? Is there a moratorium on new stuff or I’m just in timeout?
    #65
  6. chippertheripper

    chippertheripper motorcycle junkie Supporter

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    Personally, I’d like to keep the stickies as few as possible, but a link to the FAQ is absolutely worthy.
    Also, starting new threads in here is still on lockdown (for us non mods), I assume while you guys prune all related 790 threads from the rest of the board and move them in here.
    Cheers
    #66
  7. oldfuddy

    oldfuddy Long timer

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    Concur on limited stickies... think FAQ is a must for a stickie and meets the requirements in my book.
    #67
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  8. Sfcootz

    Sfcootz fap:hoon Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    I spent 30 minutes last night moving 790 related threads. Y'all can help with that effort by reporting or linking those threads here. I'll ask when this thing will be opened fully and report back.

    Got it. Like I mentioned, any one can link up threads that answer those FAQ's and I'll make a sticky icky with links to them.
    #68
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  9. [Art]

    [Art] Been here awhile

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    I'm not sure I understand ? You want one entry per FAQ article? That's a lot of stickies: there are currently 68 articles in the FAQ

    It would it be simpler to just make advrider.com/f/threads/790-adventure-faq.1390568 a stickie and be done with it. Note that the FAQ is not trying to compete with forums like this one: There is no forum equivalent on the FAQ on purpose.

    If you are worried of traffic moving off site, I can always make the FAQ send traffic back here, aka I can create a non-sticky thread per FAQ entry, and link back here for discussion.

    Anyway, I'd be happy to work with you on that one. Let me know.
    #69
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  10. chippertheripper

    chippertheripper motorcycle junkie Supporter

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    Will do. Thanks again to all the staffers here.
    #70
  11. Baldy

    Baldy Founder of ADV Administrator

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    Hmmm, I kept waking up last night thinking about this post. The biggest thing I didn't consider for some reason is having the highest level do more work. The section Bikes was chosen in 2001 to differentiate it from Riding and Gear and off topic. Somehow my mind never considered changing the top level.

    I'm worried about exploding the Bikes top level into too many options like Trials Bikes because we could end up with one of those overwhelming home pages you see on forums where n00bs take one look and give up because it blows their minds as they try to scroll and figure out where to go.

    How about something like this?

    Large Adventure Motorcycles
    Smaller Enduro Motorcycles
    Street & Classic Bikes + Scooters

    At first I thought it could be:

    Multi-cylinder Adventure Motorcycles
    Single-cylinder Enduro Motorcycles
    Street & Classic Bikes + Scooters

    But the electrics are coming and will soon be an alt for every class of bike, no? So cylinders as a classification won't age well.

    I feel like the term Adventure is pretty clear but dual-sport is less so. What about Enduro?
    #71
  12. oldfuddy

    oldfuddy Long timer

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    It’s a moving target. Don’t think there’s a perfect solution. Think you’ll always need to adjust as needed. As an analogy, when they first came out years ago, B-52’s were categorized heavy nuke bombers and placed in that category, then years later, conventional, and again years later close air support. I’m sure more than one designer rolled over in their grave on that and others still alive baulked at using a Buff in CAS. Can’t please everyone. It’s a moving target and hard to pigeon hole these bikes into the perfect category. I just watched a video of a gxr in street trim running a muddy hare scramble. I’m sure if you thought too hard of where to place that your head would explode. I’m confident you’ll figure it out as you’ve led us this far. Thanks for everything you’ve done and continue to do in bringing us together in our like minded craziness while putting all the noise and distractions in everyday life aside while we are here.
    #72
  13. JETalmage

    JETalmage Been here awhile

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    Baldy,

    I appreciate your taking my multiple posts on this matter seriously, rather than taking offense at their deliberate (yet well-intended) passion.

    I apologize in advance for the length of the following.

    As you related in one of your responses, this started out as a simple idea and then 'evolved' into the...well...mess that it is. That's the problem with 'evolution': it's not a mystical power that always (nor even usually) advances toward improvement; it's an unthinking random process. Thankfully, motorcycle development is not. It's a progression of intelligent and deliberate and directed design. As should be the development of a web forum about it.

    As you have observed, this site suffers from remnants of that initial "playful" randomness. Those remnants are not minor problems. They are the huge stumbling blocks which confound every attempt to improve the problem.

    This is your site, not mine. But since you seem open to advice, I hope you'll take the following to heart. I've taken a considerable portion of a holiday weekend to offer it. I don't claim to know it all, but by profession, I'm a "two trick" pony: Graphics and database development. Having made my living doing them for about 44 and 20 years respectively (not sequentially, but one having expanded to include the other), neither are mere jobs. Both are, along with motorcycling, passions.

    So I'll leave the "philosophy" and speak to basic principles of practicality:

    In order for a special interest forum to be useful, it has to be intelligibly navigable. That requires a hierarchical organization scheme; a drill-down structure ( the universal structure for a forum site on any large and growing subject, be it graphics software, database development, or motorcycling).

    A familiar construct in database development is the common report. You see it everywhere. A huge mass of data...let's take as example motorcycle parts in a catalog...are organized under sub-headings like, say, Assemblies. Assemblies may in turn be listed under Systems, which may be listed under Models, which may be listed under Years, which may be under Brands.

    The same basic structure is used for reports in any other field. Sales may be organized under Departments, Departments under Divisions....

    But even in things so seemingly obvious, there is more than one way to organize it. There is no law that says that Models always have to come before Systems. Or that Sales are not organized under Products. That's why the database developer often structures multiple reports (or catalogs or web sites) using different hierarchical drill-downs deemed appropriate for the specific user cases. The drill-down appropriate for the Customer is not the drill down appropriate for the parts Buyer.

    But in all cases, each level of the drill-down has to be as unambiguous as possible. This is not always easy. Is it best to organize a parts catalog by functional system, or by physical location? What about a service manual? Does the Adventurer broken down on the side of the road in Argentina, whom you're ostensibly serving, find the clutch cable on the clutch assembly diagram or on the handlebar diagram? (Hint: you certainly don't want to have to look for it under a completely arbitrary topic called "Things You Could Hang Yourself By," no matter how "fun and clever" it may have once seemed to be.)

    Here's the thing most end users don't know: From the users' perspective, the report is a drill-down. But from the developer's perspective, it is a bottom-up structure. The data table upon which the relational logic of the drill-down is actually based is the lowest (e.g.; Parts), not the highest (e.g.; Brands). Why? Because a specific Part is the entity which the user is actually interested in. And because the goal is to "use up" as few of the available levels of drill-down as possible.

    So you have two basic issues here:

    Ambiguity. Think of following a map. The earlier in your travel you take a wrong turn, the more off-track you will likely be. In other words, the higher the level in which you encounter ambiguity, the farther you will potentially end up from your destination. In this site, the greatest ambiguity is at the highest levels of its pandemic disorganization.

    Top Down Design. You have a limited number of hierarchical levels in your drill-down logic. In designing your drill-downs you have not been thinking like the developer, starting at the bottom level which is the actual target of interest: where the user is able to contribute to a conversation. No, you have been "developing" like a happy-go-lucky browser who just stumbles across things that might be of interest, and tosses them into arbitrarily labeled jars.

    The result is upper levels of the drill-down being logically ambiguous: For example, is a KTM 690 a KTM (Orange Crush) or is it a Thumper? That's an illogical question. It's the logical equivalent to asking "Are you a Man or are you a Human?" Worse, that illogical titling occurs at the upper levels of the drill-downs first, and thereby not just uses up, but in too many cases wastes whole levels. This results in the actual users of the site being left with only one level of participation, in which there needs to be two for this kind of site.

    So how do you fix it?

    First, the ugly truth is, it's gone too far for too long. It will not be fixed by mere "tweaks." It will be impractical, if not impossible, to "rescue" the existing legacy content. That would require actually dissecting too many bottom-level existing threads which contain thousands of individual posts which are actually individual comments on hundreds of separate conversations, all mixed up. The only practical way to salvage that stuff is probably to simply archive it separately, allow access to it, but disallow adding to it. (It's an inelegant solution, but other large sites have had to do this. Rebuilding a foundation after the building is built is never pretty.)

    Then you'll need to start fresh. You recently tried to do this in an attempt toward commercialization. Frankly, that should have been postponed until after re-working the foundation. But here's how to start fresh with the forum:

    Remove Ambiguity.
    Remember: The higher up you are in the drill-down, the more crucial it is to avoid ambiguity. So, for example, while it may be more fun and arguably appropriate and (let's be honest) sound more subject-driven erudite for a site claiming to be about the special set of motorcyclists called "Adventure Riders" and their bikes, using motorcycle genres as the upper-level of the drill-down is problematic. Why? Because the community at large aided and abetted by this very site has largely rendered genre terms meaningless.

    You essentially said it yourself. Originally, you thought organization would be easy because you knew what an Adventure Bike is: A large BMW made more rugged than the conventional-wisdom touring bike. But the touchy-feely sentiment that "one can have an 'adventure' on any bike; therefore all bikes are 'adventure bikes' therefore all motorcyclists are 'adventure riders'" has been allowed to become so pandemic that there is now little agreement on what each genre means.

    Understand: I am not saying the terms have lost their meaning. I said there is little agreement nowadays on their meaning. Truth is still truth. Words still mean things. For example, like it or not, an actual Enduro bike is a competition bike which may or may not be street-legal. But it is not the same thing as a Dualsport bike, which is not purpose-built for competition, regardless of whether it has the "E word" slathered across its body panels as a mere model name. (Yeah, I'm pointing at you, KTM.)

    And neither Enduro bikes nor Dualsports are really Adventure Bikes in the original and meaningful sense. The fact that a rider can use a street-legal Enduro or Dualsport as his or her "adventure bike" to engage in whatever he or she considers "adventures" does not change that historic fact.

    So while you could use legitimate genre terms as an upper-level organizational distinction, doing so would require consistency. That would allow you to continue to cling to the subtle "knowledgeable insider" flavor of the site. But it would also require your effectively enforcing the original meanings of those genre distinctions. Frankly, it would require more diligence and discipline than is evidenced anywhere in this site.

    The easiest, clearest, and least ambiguous upper-level differentiator (for everyone; users and developers alike) is simply Brand-Model. I hyphenate it because that can be accomplished with either two levels or just one. Think of organizing directories on your own computer:

    Kawasaki KLR 650
    Kawasaki Versys 650
    KTM 690 Enduro
    KTM 690 SMC

    ...is just as unambiguous as:

    Kawasaki
    KLR 650
    Versys 650​
    KTM
    690 Enduro
    690 SMC
    In database terms, the former is an example of a composite key: Two or more values comprising a single unique identifier.

    Now, is it necessary, in a motorcycle forum, to enclose all those Kawasakis and KTMs in a separate drill-down level called "Bikes"? Of course not. Unless, of course, the site contains other kinds of subject matter (Trips, Camping Equipment,...), which this forum does. Such divisions can be accomplished by either a drill-down folder-like interface (if the subject-levels drill down structure provides enough levels), or by a menu at the top of the Forum home page.

    But now for the real crux of the matter:

    Bottom-Up Development. Who is served by the Bikes portion of the Forum portion of the site? Owners of a specific bike and motorcyclists interested in a specific bike. What do those forum users contribute? Discussions pertaining to aspects of a specific bike or Comments pertaining to an existing Discussion.

    Did you get that? A special interest forum must allow the visitors to create two things: Discussions and Comments. That requires two and only two levels of the forum content structure.

    How it should be:

    Kawasaki KLR 650
    Discussion: The Infamous Doohicky
    Comment: Mine broke. How do I fix it?
    Comment:How do I know if it's broken?
    Comment:It seems to be better in the 2008 and newer models.
    Comment:Yeah, but it's still not as good as an aftermarket one.​
    Discussion: Which Luggage Should I Get?
    Comment: Depends on the trip.
    Comment: Soft, definitely.
    Comment: Hard, definitely.
    Comment: I made my own.
    Comment: You should thoroughly describe it in its own thread.​

    KTM 690 Adventure
    Discussion: That 2X4 They Call a Seat
    Comment: Seat Concepts is HUGELY more comfortable.
    Comment: You exaggerate. It's somewhat more tolerable.
    Comment: Oh yeah? You're a sissy.
    Comment: I bought a Wings and saved 150 Pounds!!!!!!
    Comment:
    Start a different thread, you dolt! This one is about seats.​
    Discussion: That Nuclear Reactor They Call an Exhaust
    Comment: I bought a Wings and saved 150 Pounds!!!!!!
    Comment: You exaggerate. More like 5.
    Comment: Oh yeah? You're a gunky.
    Comment: Did you weigh them?
    Comment: No, but I can feel it.

    How it is:

    Bikes (one whole drill-down level wasted)
    Thumpers (two whole drill-down levels wasted)
    Discussion: KTM 690 Enduro
    Comment: Seat Concepts is HUGELY more comfortable.
    Comment: I bought a Wings and saved 150 Pounds!!!!!!
    Comment: You exaggerate. It's somewhat more tolerable.
    Comment: Oh yeah? You're a sissy.
    Comment: Oh yeah? You're a gunky.
    Comment: Did you weigh them?
    Comment: Did you weigh what? The seats or the exhausts?
    Comment: No, but I can feel it.
    Comment: You exaggerate. More like 5.
    Comment: You feel what? The seat? The exhaust? Old?
    Discussion: KLR 650
    Comment: My doohicky broke. How do I fix it?
    Comment: I made my own luggage.
    Comment:How do I know if it's broken?
    Comment: The luggage or the doohicky?
    Comment: It seems to be better in the 2008 and newer models.
    Comment: The luggage or the doohicky?
    Comment:Yeah, but it's still not as good as an aftermarket one.
    Comment: The luggage or the doohicky?
    Comment: Which Luggage Should I Get?
    Comment: Depends on the trip.
    Comment: Soft, definitely.
    Comment: The luggage or the doohicky?
    Comment: Hard, definitely.
    Comment: I give up.

    Do you see? Because the site "uses up" two whole levels of potential organizational structure with two needless terms (Bikes and Thumpers), the users are forced to waste the first of their only two opportunities (Discussions), not to create a Discussion, but to create a space for a Subject (Brand-Model). So all comments for all discussions about either a 690 Enduro or a KLR 650 have to get thrown into a single, mixed up grab-bag.

    Worse, that missing organizational level (Brand-Model) is a level which forum users should not be allowed to create in the first place! That's how you end up with multiple entries for a single Subject (e.g.; the two equally un-navigable monster threads on the 690 Enduro). Inevitably, one grab-bag creates such frustration that some well-meaning user tries to address it by starting another grab-bag that becomes just as bad and further exacerbates the overall problem.

    In summary:

    Step 1: RESERVE the two bottom levels of your drill down for the users. These are clear: They must be Discussions and Comments.

    Step 2: Working your way upward from there, define the fewest possible higher levels required to "back out" to the forum home level. Painstakingly check each level along the way for any ambiguity or broken logic. That's the part that requires the most effort. Those levels are precious. Don't squander them. The required effort will save you immeasurable problems downstream.

    JET
    #73
  14. Baldy

    Baldy Founder of ADV Administrator

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    Thanks, Jet, I really appreciate the thought you've put into this. The two things you've said that have me thinking hard is (1) a heading like Bikes doesn't narrow things down enough and (2) some topics like Orange Crush are unclear to a n00b.

    One thing we have to deal with is we are not a database, we're dealing with human emotion and one of the first things I always hear about ADV is how the inmates love the clever names: oddometer, Orange Crush, Old's Cool, etc. Yes, it requires some exploration until you get it, but once you do, 80% love it and attribute part of our popularity to it. You're also right that it makes some people very mad, but I have to focus on the 80%.

    What I did do, tho, is clarify a couple of the categories like Orange Crush by adding (KTM). What still isn't clear is that it's for the big KTMs. If Orange Crush (KTM) fell under a top-level category of Big Adventure Bikes, would that not make sense?

    Doing the arithmetic of model-based organization like you've suggested seems like it would make an eye chart that a computer would deem logical in a database but a human would say is an eye chart, no?
    #74
  15. JETalmage

    JETalmage Been here awhile

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    Worse, as already explained, it needlessly wastes a whole level of your drill-down.

    Then why do you insist on it? Are you trying to create a clique that repels newcomers at the door?

    Nonsense. You are a website. It's functional back end is a database.

    So what? I read a lot of Tom Clancy. Somehow, he manages to hold my attention while 'unemotionally' calling a submarine a "submarine," a fighter jet a "fighter jet," an aircraft carrier an "aircraft carrier"...

    So let me relieve you of that burden: You don't have to call motorcycles anything other than "motorcycles" to stir up my "emotional" attachment to motorcycles, because my emotional interest in motorcycles is not derived from interest in your site. It's quite the inverse. The only reason I care one whit about the disorganization of this site is my "emotion" towards motorcycling.

    Well, just so you know, I'm not an "inmate" and am not particularly fond of being referred to as one.

    You have to "focus on the [dubious] 80%" at the risk of making 20% "very mad"? You can't just say "BMW, KTM, Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, Moto Guzzi, Ducati, Beta..." without somehow making very mad your claimed 80%? You mean those same members of the 100% that actually spend their hard-earned money on things labeled by those very same presumably "offending" terms?

    C'mon, Baldy. Is that data from the forum "poll" toy? That's just rationalization, and you know it. It exemplifies what I meant when I said I doubt the necessary conviction to consistently stick to organization by legitimate genres.

    Here's a genuinely accurate statistic: I'm pretty regular here. But I've never come here for the cutesy section names. But, of course, how would you know that? I've never entered that fact into an objective scientific study. How many other people have also never come here for the "thrill" of reading those oh, so clever quips for the hundredth time? How do you really know 'only 20%' of your site visitors don't come here for that? What single question has ever been answered by 100% of this site's visitors?

    Common sense should tell you that even if I found it funny the first time I read "Orange Crush" here (it wasn't invented here, you know), it probably isn't after something like 10 years. And I happen to be a KTM owner who actually owns an Orange Crush T-shirt and wears it to work on dress-down Fridays.

    But that doesn't matter, because you're still missing the point: Clever or not, Orange Crush is one of the very few brand-specific spaces you designate! By what logic are there brand-specific spaces for KTM and BMW, but not for far more broadly owned brands? If you're so convinced that quaint "cleverness" is so much the warp and weft of the appeal of this site, then go right ahead and use those precious silly quips as the editorial style by which to implement a logically consistent brand-based structure.

    Your appeal to need for humor still fails to explain why there are no corresponding Green Envy, Better Red Than Dead, Fearless Yellow, or The Blues Makes Me Feel So Good sections at that same drill-down level. Instead, all those other brands get dumped under completely ambiguous terms like Thumpers, Road Warriors, Beasts, ad nauseam, where it (again) becomes left up to the site users to create spaces for every other specific Brand-Model bike, thereby causing every individual DISCUSSION about any specific bike to get thrown into the same "thread."

    Oh sure, I know. And by doing so, you also effectively orphaned the 790 until people pointed that out to you, just as you still effectively rule out all other KTMs from the "Orange Crush (KTM)" section! So answer the question: Is no single-cylinder KTM a real KTM? The drill-down certainly seems to suggest as much, despite the addition of the "(KTM)" and (1090-1290), etc. suffixes.

    Moreover, finding it necessary to add those explanatory parentheses just bolsters my point. The 'clever' names are just like the all-too-common problem of icon glut in software. If an icon requires a text label to clarify its meaning, the icon is not even doing the job of an icon.

    Really? The issue is still not clear?

    Yes, if you must say "Orange Crush (KTM)" instead of simply "KTM" and yes, if you want to add yet another unnecessary level above that called "Big Adventure Bikes (1000cc and Above)" that much all by itself would make sense. But it does not exist all by itself. So it would still fail to make sense unless there are other corresponding sections right next to "Adventure Bikes (1000cc and Above)" similarly named for all the other combinations of the new "Genre (displacement)" scheme. And within each of those, you would still need right next to "Orange Crush (KTM)" similar treatments for other brands; "The Blues Makes Me Feel So Good (Yamaha)", etc., etc.

    Once again: It's not about style. It's about logical consistency within any given single level of organization. Displacement is a perfectly legitimate organizational criteria. But you still can't logically mix different criteria within the same organizational level. So yeah, if you find it most workable, designations like this make sense:

    Under 125cc
    Over 125 up to 300 cc
    Over 300 up to 650 cc
    Over 650 to 1000 cc
    Over 1000 cc

    Something like this, however, does not:

    Under 125cc
    Over 125 up to 300 cc
    Over 300 up to 650 cc
    Over 650 to 1000 cc
    Over 1000 cc
    Singles
    Twins
    Multicylinder
    KTM
    SWM

    The logical problem of that should be obvious to anyone. Yet that is the very same kind of logical fallacy easy to spot in the current Bikes section (KTMs. Thumpers. BMWs. Beasts.)

    Is no KTM or BMW a "Beast"? Is no "Thumper" a KTM? Is no Trials bike a "Thumper"?
    Given that a "Thumper" is a four-stroke single, why is there no space for "Plonkers"? Are none of any of the above "Old's Cool"?

    No.

    JET
    #75
  16. TrailTrauma

    TrailTrauma Nemophilist

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    Why so abrasive?

    We all *cough* look forward to visiting your perfect little forum some day...
    #76
  17. dsrtuckteezy

    dsrtuckteezy BLEEDING ORANGE

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    5 years later and this dude is still here and "active." Isn't fond of being called an inmate? Really? You can F off whenever buddy. This is your forum run it however the hell you want to. Change is fine, but stick to your roots and keep your own vision. Seems to me things are pretty successful around here
    #77
  18. braaap!

    braaap! Long timer Supporter

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    @JETalmage I truly admire your logic, really, but... There is chaos beneath everything.

    I reckon you’re probably a really nice bloke, but if I got sat next to you on a long haul flight... I’d smash a window for me and the rest of humanity :)


    Kidding aside, ADVrider.com has always been a little unkempt. That’s its appeal for me and many (no I haven’t taken a poll)...
    Noob confusion, who the frick cares! The world is way to ‘ruled’ by a minority who profess greater insight... They can all go and find a black Dog!

    When a question is asked here in any thread for the 205th time... Someone will pipe up and point in the right direction... Gotta love that!
    Less order, less policing, more chaos. Tick.
    #78
  19. JETalmage

    JETalmage Been here awhile

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    It's my style. 80% of my readers love me for it. It makes 20% very mad, but I have to focus on the 80%.

    JET
    #79
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  20. chippertheripper

    chippertheripper motorcycle junkie Supporter

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    Looks like our little corner here is fully open for business now. Let the new threads flow like water.
    I’m very grateful to have this little space as our own.
    #80
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