Share Your Tips & Progress – a new forum for Model Railway Builders

You can now share your trials and tribulations, layout progress, photos/videos and tips and ideas and chat with friends and thousands of other model railway builders.

As Model Railway Engineer.com has grown, I’ve been pondering how to let fellow modellers share their tips, ideas and layout progress reports more easily. It’s something I get asked about a lot and  I’ve been wanting to do for the longest time but have struggled with a suitable format.

At last, it’s sorted.

I’ve considered opening up this website to allow others to upload articles and photos but for security reasons ruled that out. I take security very seriously and although creating an upload facility on the website would be the most obvious solution, doing so introduces a lot more risks to the site that I wasn’t prepared to countenance.

I also thought about traditional forums but felt these were too limited and, to be honest, a bit old-fashioned.

In the end, I’ve opted for a social media and a Facebook group.

My reasoning is being:

  • Photo sharing: You can upload photos and videos quickly and shared on Instagram easily,
  • Ease of use: It’s easy to use; sharing and commenting is second nature to anyone already on Facebook (and let’s face it, who isn’t),
  • Plays nicely with my FB page: It integrates well with the existing Model Railway Engineer.com Facebook page which already has a staggering 9,000 followers,
  • Reliability: It has Facebook behind it so reliability and availability won’t be a problem (which can be an issue with forums),
  • Security and anti-spamming: As you can’t get to it without a Facebook account it won’t suffer from spamming and bot posts that plagues many forums admins. It also means you don’t need to keep and remember yet another login.

It’s obviously early days yet but already many modellers have joined and shared their work.

So why not join me and other modellers in the Model Railway Engineer community. It’s a safe, family-friendly community where you share your progress, problems and successes, photos/videos of your layout and trains, ask for help and chat with other model railway enthusiasts.

To do so, just head over to FB and search for the Model Railway Engineer Builders community; click on the Groups tab on my Facebook page if you already follow me or simply click on this link and hit the ‘Join’ button.

See you there.

Andy

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5 comments
  1. It’s unfortunate but given recent revelations about FB, my pre existing prejudices have been confirmed. I shan’t be accessing the account.

    • Hi Mick, I understand and appreciate your choice and I did give factor the recent FB news into the platform choice. In the end, I decided to go with FB on the basis that while I wouldn’t want to share further personal information or likes of newspaper stories with FB I don’t see an issue in sharing friendly chatter about model trains. Regards, Andy

  2. I understand everyones concern about the “new” revelation about facebook farming all your personal info. The real news is that all online activity is farmed by everyone and sold on the open market. I dunno, im just a simple man and if Big Brother wants to track my train hobby habits and my postings to my church groups i’m cool with that I just hope they send me a grant to finish my projects after realizing how poor I am..lol. I’m not really ok with their farming but I have nothing to hide and post wisely.

  3. We do not use or intend to join FB, and many older people share the same thoughts. Many sites use their own quorims ? with the dedication to the particular interest, such as model rail, much better than open FaceBook, with its rip offs.

    • Hi Kevin, thanks for your comment. I understand your and others concerns but setting up and hosting a system with the features and level of security for users I want would be demanding and expensive (I pay for all the hosting and costs of running this site out of my own pocket!). During the day I manage the technology and infrastructure for large websites and forums and know only too well the never-ending time, effort and cost that owners of large forums and communities have (behind the scenes) in keeping their users safe, dealing with spammers and handling security issues.

      While I appreciate many people have issues with Facebook and it’s not perfect, it is by far the most popular platform and approaching 20,000 people follow MRE via it and its sister Instagram. It’s also secure (in the sense that it’s not hacked – like many specialist forums) and the user registration process is robust which helps combat spammers. As such it allows me to provide a community facility where followers of the website and like-minded people can get answers to their problems and share their progress, do so securely and lets me try the concept out without the cost of first building and maintaining a dedicated facility.

      If the MRE community takes off – and it’s already proving very popular – I’ll certainly consider building a dedicated service outside of FB. Watch this space 🙂

      Andy

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