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Why did RMorg not yet prosper in English?

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Forum » In General » Why did RMorg not yet prosper in English?
           
Ernst Erb
Ernst Erb
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09.Jan.05 09:46

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This organisation www.radiomuseum.org was founded in Switzerland and covered first the German speaking countries Germany, Austria and Switzerland by a rather "most complete Radio Catalogue" (I published "Radiokatalog" as a book in 1998 - some years after "Radios von gestern"). Therefore also the forum started rather good in German. But I have built this to be international and interlingual.

Also the functionalities seem (to me) very unique - for instance the circumstances that one can and should post via model page if posting something about a certain model. Therefore in the future we might have a lot of very interesting data - at least for popular models. And such data are not lost in the depths of a forum but directly accessible through the model page. But RMorg is also a big "Radio-City" where one finds the way only by reading some maps, the blue info buttons …

By all means: It is not one of the places where people in a masked way (anonymous) can play around in the forum. It is the opposite, we see this as a journal with editors and controlled by moderators - at least now in the German section. I'm aware that this is not everybody's style - on the contrary. For the long run I think quality is better than quantity. But we have to do something to get the "quality collectors" on board and active … Here I might tell that I am the fool who started this and invested quite a fortune into this idea and all my time for some years. Well, because I know that we have no pockets when we go from here. I only have to be concerned that this goes on when the time comes.

I have asked a member in the US, a University Professor who originally came from an other country/language, to give me his opinion to "Why does RMorg not make better progress for English speaking members". His answer is correctly one sighted not giving the pro's. I have to admit that my English is not good enough to change some things which might be obvious. But some bilingual members will finely do this, I'm sure. Anyway I will now publish his answers.

There are surely things we can and do change and some things we can't. I just do not want that this finding of him will be lost. I added some short remarks from a British member (6). I hope we can make some progress in 2005 and that we can discuss then  - in a years time what has been changed. Thank you for offering some help if possible. If yes, then feel free to act independently and to ask for certain tools like rights, addresses etc. I think we have finally to find a body of officers for each language. RMorg should be able to run without me. Within "Stiftung Radiomuseum Luzern" (public foundation - but I'm the only donator) RMorg should be able to keep itself also financially. Therefore it must have very good information to attract many members who once are willing to either be active in also "bringing" information or to pay a small annual fee. For any "thinking person" this is evident - but many will then quit.

End 2004 we counted 1920 members who entered as such - plus some new or completely inactive, summing up to 2104 Members. 1549 opting German as language, 341 English, 90 Spanish, 72 French and 52 Italian. By Country it is Germany 1153, Switzerland 164, Austria 162, USA 109 (but 27 inactive), The Netherlands 85, Spain 66, Italy 58, France 43, GB 35, Belgium 30, Canada 27, Poland 18, Finland 17, Sweden 16 etc. in total 52 countries.

Every reader who is bilingual or has selected English as language is welcome to bring in questions and answers in English. Use this thread please if you wnt to take up some defined activity for RMorg - or write to me. I wonder what the year 2005 will improve to this situation.

I think that Konrad Birkner (Germany) has done a great job on Atwater Kent, Zenith (mainly pre war) and "United ...". Hans Amberger has searched for pictures and has loaded them up to many of those models. He is also German - not from the US. See those models please. Who - from the USA - would like to join and help to get this done? Or is the Professor's judgement right?  

***** Here the answer of said professor. Thanks for his valuable work  *****


Hello Ernest:
It is not an easy thing to evaluate, but the lack of success that you experience in attempting to expand the Radiomuseum to the US may have a number of causes, none of them in itself sufficient to explain what is happening, but all together can contribute to the failure.  Let me give you my ideas about what may be happening:

1
American collectors are mostly older people, those who worked or were associated with radio as it was in the 30's to 50's.  This people have, in general, a dislike for Germany, Germans and the German language as a result of WWII.  The fact that Radiomuseum is in Switzerland makes little difference to them.

2
I think that Americans would be somewhat suspicious of an enterprise like yours that is not commercial, why does he do that?  Where is he going to make money to keep it going?  If it were a commercial venture and members would stand the chance of a profit or benefit from using it, Radiomuseum would likely be more successful here.

3
All the Radiomuseum Web pages have a certain tone in the language and structure that sounds quite foreign here.  It is done with a different frame of mind, it is fairly complicated, with all kinds of possibilities and results that appeal more to the central European frame of mind than to the average older American person. 

4
There are a lot of web pages already put up by individuals here to show their collections, they do not need to upload the pictures abroad.  Schematics for everything can be obtained for free through the internet. Communication between collectors is quite easy, in person or through telephone or internet. 

5
Cataloguing the complete production of radios in this country is an immense task, although you have done it for a similar region in Europe.  I do not think you will find anybody that can spend the time in that endeavour that you have spent in yours.  Only if it were for profit, you could find some people interested for a few years, mostly retired people that will disappear sooner or later, leaving the whole thing hanging.

6
A British view:
There are already well-established Usenet groups and forums for English speaking collectors - he writes and goes on with:

"I also think that many English-speaking users, especially where English is their only language are very parochial and will be wary of multilingual sites, despite the excellent English on RMx.org; this is a great pity but sadly it seems to be the "English way". Many English collectors, if they expand their collections beyond England, tend to look to America and seldom Europe. I know of only a few collectors of German sets here in the UK, and only one who is as serious about the research and history as I am - and he is not an Internet user. He soon will be, so I shall recommend his joining RMx.org as soon as he is "online".

The sad thing is that without exception, RMx.org is the best vintage radio website in existence and it is such a pity that more do not participate from the UK at least."

Mario Coelho
Mario Coelho
 
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12.Jan.05 02:42

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Reply  |  You aren't logged in. (Guest)   2  Dear Mr. Ernest Erb 

 Yes, I also think that:

Generally in USA:
1- Some oldest ones have a dislike for Germany;
2- People would be somewhat suspicious of an enterprise that is not commercial;
3-They may feel that Rmorg is fairly complicated;
4-They do not need to upload the pictures abroad;
5-They don't understand how to find anybody that can spend the time in that endeavour that you have spent in yours.
Generally in England:
1-English is their only language and they are very parochial and will be wary of multilingual sites;
2-They tend to look to America and seldom Europe.

My modest comments:

I think Rmorg is not comparable with other Usenet groups and forums. 
Rmorg is a Global Radiomuseum.
This is its great merit. I think also that's why a lot of Radio-friends become a member and had chosen to participate here.
But, there are also short and egocentric minds who thinks that:
 "My country is the continent and the other countries are the overseas"; "Everything we do must make money",
 Frames of mind, I say. Those frames we can't find in Rmorg.
Open mind makes a great difference in a global world.
 I think Rmorg had chosen the best way.  I also believe that there are Projects which worth more than money and no money can pay. This is one.

But…..
If we have a look at a Quality Table we see that "to ignore or to refuse costumers complaints" are not acceptable.
So, if we want to change minds we need to know them and their needs.
So I agree that there is a lot of work to be done yet.
The first steps were already made by you Mr. Ernest Erb:
To pay attention;
To analyse causes;
To go into action (to invite all members to a "brainstorm".)

My opinion Mr. Ernest Erb is that Rmorg should evidence its best merits, like:

1- The Vision of Rmorg is worldwide, so is  not concerned only to a country or to a language. Its choice is not a handicap, it is an advantage: In Rmorg one can see radios from a lot of countries without leaving the site. Also you can see in Rmorg rare or unknown sets which were made only to export to a lot of different countries.
2 - High technical performance and good will from Rmorg staff, ensures earnestly "worthy of credit" data
.
3 - In discussion Forum, Hi-qualified Technical open mind members, may help you to identify or to repair your set.
4 - There is a personal Net page for each member and personal interactive archives.
5 - Continuous information search improvement, text and pictures upload....
Etc..Etc......

PS: The pity is that German articles are not translated at least to English. I think those articles (the majority in Rmorg forum) contain a lot of very interesting technical information.

Cordially

Mário

This article was edited 12.Jan.05 02:45 by Mario Coelho .

Ernst Erb
Ernst Erb
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12.Jan.05 11:38

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Dear Mário
Thank you very much for your very devoted reply in spite of the fact that your mother language is not English. This shows the spirit of a committed member of Radiomuseum.org. It is always good to see both, the worst case and best case. I'm aware that one can always find a "typical behaviour" for the population of a certain country - at least here in Europe. But at the same time we have to be aware that this often strikes only a minority. I have not lost confidence by getting the thesis above. And the professor as well as our British member had to draw the worst case - to provoke an improvement.

In April Nedstat showed 2.9 % visits from the USA. Now it is 7.1 %. In reality - for the first 10 days of this year - it is 11 %.

For comparison: Switzerland 8.3 and Austria 8.0 % by "total over all". For 2005 it is 7.3 and 6.8 %. For GB it is 3.3 % (1.7) and for Canada 1.22 %. These three largest communities for English speaking members sum up to 15,5 % which is not that bad after all. And there is 13,3 % visits from other countries where English is at least the main choice.

You are perfectly right that we are lacking translations - at least into English - mainly of articles in the FAQ boards. I'm positive that this year some members with German and English knowledge will take this up and translate some articles. At least Peter König has done so for some texts within the CMS (Content Management System = more than 500 pages !) and Alfred Zeeb in Canada has translated some other articles or given me a hand to do it.

We have quite some members in Italy (4.2 % visits), The Netherlands (3.2 %), Spain (2.8 %), France and Belgium (2.3 + 1 %). And I can imagine that there will be members who can and will take up some translations into their language from English (but not from German). Sometimes the task is not so easy because of links which have to be changed etc. In other words it is often not enough to just translate but to translate in correct correspondence (to links etc.). That can be difficult.

Please be aware that much here has to come out of active members. Such task has to be done on their own initiative. In the future I should concentrate in functionality and general outcome. I'm sure that 2005 we will gain internationality as well as acceptance of our approach.

This article was edited 12.Jan.05 11:49 by Ernst Erb .

Robert Sarbell
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12.Jan.05 17:59

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Reply  |  You aren't logged in. (Guest)   4 Dear Ernest and Mario,
This observation applies to all members who have a genuine interest in espousing
the goals and objectives of RMI, and who are resourceful enough to discover the means to translate other languages in order to fully integrate themselves into the organization. I have personally used the free online Babelfish translation software to help me realize the full potential of the members postings to the various forums. When it comes to the technical graphics of schematics or alignment procedures - or tube forums - there should be no "communication" problems. It becomes a very simple procedure to "copy" various entries posted within the forums, and "window" to the Babelfish translator, then paste the item into the small block provided - NOTE: The translator recommends that approximately only 250 words be inserted. . . . . However, I realized a long ago that it will accept MUCH LONGER blocks of text. Since then, I use the software every day, and it allows me to select the languages that I wish to be converted - Spanish to English, German to English, Italian to English, or English to German, English to Dutch. The translations may not be nearly as accurate as we would like; however, I have been very pleased with the results.

The individual efforts expended will be as varied as the individual members. I have "reviewed" nearly EVERY posting to the forums since joining, and urge every individual who sends an email directly to me (from one of the most active message boards - www.phonoland.com) to visit the web site at radiomuseum.org if they are interested in joining a virtual international radio museum. In most instances, the individual is interested only in learning about the radio that he or she has recently purchased, or was given by a close relative (parent or grandparents). Or, the person is interested in my "evaluation" of his/her radio for selling purposes only. Occasionally, I receive emails from individuals who are interested in "sharing" their interests with members of an international community, or have a specific interest in the European or German radios.

I am so very appreciative of the statistics from Mr Erb as they relate to the relative increase in "hits" from various "communities" during the past 10 months. I also know that I take too much of his extremely limited individual time sometimes with innocuous remarks or minor observations.

I have followed with great interest the individual attention to details that is given by Herr Knoll to Mario regarding restoration efforts on different projects. Herr Knoll is just one of the many outstanding active members who is "International" in membership . . . in addition to having the "patience of Job" with members like myself who have such great curiosity, and even more questions.

I totally agree with Mr Erb, and have always been an advocate of Messrs Maslow and Herzberg as they professed MANY years ago the many and various levels of need in their Motivation theories. The motivation for each of us "comes from within" - the most effective members of any organization are those who seek fulfillment from sharing their treasures with others who are willing to share also.

Many will be called upon, but those who serve and share willingly will do so. I resolve to be a member of this collaborative team effort, regardless of individual observations and statistical inferrences.
Respectamente y
Viele Grüße und,
Vriendelijke Groet e
Sincerely;
Robert



Paul E. Pinyot † 2013
Paul E. Pinyot  † 2013
 
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Now that I have posted a new topic "grundig: 5088 USA componant and alignment question", I have some thoughts that may or may not help.

It was a bit difficult figuring out how to post a new topic.  I bounced between pages for the better part of an hour.  I am tenacious and did not give up.  Perhaps others are not so patient and just abandon the attempt.  Suggestion - Have a button or direct link (at least on the English (US) registrant's page) that helps us (me) get started. Perhaps a small tutorial or an obvious link to the example that I stumbled across.  I followed the example with success.  I was lost with out it.  Locate it in the "i" information pop-up.  That is the first button I tried when posting a new conversation.

I also read the other comments and would like to politely and respectfully add my thoughts: 

I appreciate a free, non-commercial, site as much as the next gentleman.  Charging a fee does not reassure me or stimulate my participation.   I am finding information here that is not present on the US web sites.  If I were a professional business, tube radio repair person I might expect to pay a fee for a service that enhances my revenue in some way (speed, knowledge base, direct fixes).  But, I am not in business and only a hobbyist.   That is why I am participating and appreciative.  Thanks for being here!

I sure hope bigoted people are a dying breed.  I rarely meet people with prejudice against European countries.   I have not met any in this "tube" field (on-line) as of yet. There are exceptions! 

I simply think participation in Radiomuseum is mostly a matter of need.  Most Americans do not collect and even less restore non-North American radios.  As an extreme example, European PAL tv is even less available or even practical to collect, repair or restore.  Unless I saw, liked and acquired the two Grundigs, I would have not found this site. 

In summary - I appreciate the presents of Radiomuseum.  I intend to participate and upload information and ideas as I acquire them. 

I wish the best of luck to Radiomuseum and will pass the word.

Kind Regards,

Robert Sarbell
Robert Sarbell
 
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25.Jan.05 20:37

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Reply  |  You aren't logged in. (Guest)   6 Welcome onboard, Paul.

I would have been most pleased to greet you via email, and explain to a greater degree how magnanimous are the gentlemen of the radiomuseum - however, none of us can contact you directly with your profile not yet completed.
Respectfully,
Robert Sarbell
PS: I believe I am the Oldest USA member. . . . .not the senior member.
Best of success with your 5088 - with the assistance from Herr Knoll you should have no problems with the proper repair.
Paul E. Pinyot † 2013
Paul E. Pinyot  † 2013
 
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16.Feb.05 04:26

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Robert,

An administrator (Ernst Erb) did send an email welcome some time back.  However, there is additional information added to the profile optioned for member viewing.

Everyone has been helpful.  Hans has posted numerous informative and helpful replies relative to the Grundig 5088.

Regards,
Paul.

This article was edited 16.Feb.05 04:27 by Paul E. Pinyot † 2013 .

Robert Sarbell
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16.Feb.05 13:38

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Reply  |  You aren't logged in. (Guest)   8 Greetings again, Paul
I have been following all items that our colleagues in the Administrative, Technical, and moderator sections. . .as well as our most esteemed Engineers Emeritus. I would be terribly remiss, and would deserve criticism, if I neglected to pay a special courtesy to several special individuals who have gone "out of their way" to demonstrate the positive aspects of our great organization - Mr. Ernest Erb, Herr Hans Knoll, Herr Konrad Birkner, Herr Hans Kamann, and to a very diligent young man Herr Michael John who has been so helpful to me.

Also, thank you so much Paul, for the profile update.

Lest I forget, the always invaluable services rendered by our team of the Technical Papers section who provide the highly informative Funkschau periodicals; last but not least, the respected resident Rohren historians, Herren Jacob Roschy, Gunther Denoth, and Jens Dehne. . . and others.

I have received much valuable insight from these professional gentlemen, and continue to learn much from them - especially since I am nearing completion of final cosmetic repairs to a lovely Imperial 6024W which uses the rimlock tubes not employed within the radio-TV industry of US manufacturers.

Respectfully,
Robert

This article was edited 16.Feb.05 14:29 by Robert Sarbell .

Ernst Erb
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13.Sep.06 22:14

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We have the data - but not the manpower to fill in the model pages with "bones without flesh".

We want to methodically change this - and still hope that we also get help from US members - up to now in vain ...

Götz Linss, again a German member, was so kind to ask me if he could help and I showed him how to do it. Now he wrote to me that he has finished the maker

Detrola

In fact: Yes, one can see many red dates in the hitlist after writing Detrola to the advanced model search (maker) - and most of the models bear a star (*) behind the date, indicating that the model page shows the tube line up. But it is also a fact that we would need more than 10 years for getting in the data without further help (of you?) - not included uploading schematics and pictures ...

Who ehlps us? Please tell me by eMail or here. Thank you.

Maitiu Standun
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14.Sep.06 00:51

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my dear ernst , 

                          short of putting advertisments in newspapers or television adds , i dont see how a faster growth of english speaking members can be achieved, trouble is nobody knows about the radiomuseum forum  s existence , i my self only stumbled into the site by accident , let me say ernst that i think uve done trojan work building up this wonderful facility,

we in ireland only have a relativly small population in comparison to the rest of europe or america, so we dont have the capacity for a forum like this , though we do have an irish vetern radio and sound society, that meets every month , some of my british friends that i told about ur forum are now up loading material to radiom useum , notably howard craven ,and mike phelan , so not all the british collectors are anti swiss - german , i also have great friends in the uk forum , really this second world war thing is history now , allthough there was an aversion to philips radios over there , and still is for some reason , there my favourite set s , keep up the good work comrades and remember rome wasent built in a day , fondest regards  Maitiu Standun.

Ernst Erb
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14.Sep.06 07:21

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Dear Maitiu

Thank you for your kind answer. I think there are two different things: One is the forum and the other is the data base for models and for valves (tubes) etc. As a forum it is very much understandable that English speaking countries have ther own better forums. I think we can be strong on the data base by some reasons. One is our programs which allow a quite unique way to concentrate valuable data to models or valves, the other the impressive amount of data - for a few countries, not yet GB, Ireland - or say most of the countries ...

I'm glad having just read from Alessandro De Poi, a student from Italy who is actually our "motor" for Italy, that we display now more than 2000 Italian radio models. I had a closer look and it is even better than he reported: Almost all of these models show the tube line up (you see a star behind the date of the hit list) and even schematics. We can see in his profile that he alone has entered 1522 new models and changed 3732 fields of existing models.

This has been done in the last months (I believe) by a few Italian collector friends like Alessandro De Poi (899 pictures, 1077 schematics uploaded), Pietro Gallia (163, 503 plus 198 new models), Guiseppe Antonio Tusini (119, 45 plus 49) and Frederico Valdameri, Rino Ferro, Paolo De Pasqual - just to name the ones who have uploaded more than 50 pictures each. By the way: Guiseppe Tusini is only a member since May of this year!

All together we count now 184 Italian members and 34 have at least uploaded a picture. For Austria and Switzerland we count about 250 members (each) but for the last months Italian guests and members visited RMorg more often than one of these German speaking countries. Something is moving!

Nicolangelo Lomabardoni was so kind to lend out his books: "D.E. Ravalico - Schemi di apparecchi radio - Ulrico Hoepli, Milano, 1953" and "Collezione di Schemi, Scuola Radio Elettra 1953" and Alessandro used his books "Corso Radio Riparazioni - Scuola Radio Elettra", "D.E. Ravalico - Il Radiolibro - V Edizione - Ulrico Hoepli, Milano" and "Catalogo Generale Radioprodotti Geloso 1954-55". Those books contain many schematics and therefore were also a source for new models.

At the moment I can definitely say that Italy is the most active country here if we do not count the German speaking countries. USA with about 450 members can not compete because I could not (yet?) find a "multiplier" (or "motor") there. We clearly see that this is the most essential point, having for each country somebody who really likes to move things, getting in contact with others, having the brain, some time and the energy (bite?) to move things by motifiying others. I wish RMorg more of those characters.

This article was edited 14.Sep.06 08:12 by Ernst Erb .

Thomas Albrecht
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16.Sep.06 06:53

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There are several reasons why RM has not yet "caught on" with Americans:

1.  Nostalgia Air already has the complete set of Rider schematics online for free, covering 95% of the schematics needed by collectors of American radios.  No similar service exists for European radios, making RM a very valuable source of schematics for European radios.  Therefore, most Americans don't need to seek out RM to find a schematic.  Looking for schematics is one of the most frequent and basic activities involved in radio collecting and restoration.

2.  There is already a popular and well-accepted forum at www.antiqueradios.com .  This all-English forum, with its somewhat informal style and inclusion of social (see "Radio Clubhouse") as well as technical topics, feels very comfortable to Americans.  There are several very active participants who are extremely knowledgable and provide top-notch technical advice quickly.  That leaves little incentive to look elsewhere for advice and answers to questions.  I know that forum well, having posted over 3000 times on it over the past several years (and I'm not one of the most active participants by any means).

3.  Cultural issues:  Most Americans only speak English, and are in fact uncomfortable in an environment where other languages are present.  Not a good thing, but true.

4.  Fee:  My understanding is that there is now a registration fee for joining RM.  Particularly for Americans, this is a significant deterrent.  Many Americans will not bother trying something if they have to pay a fee to access the interesting features.

Regarding the reasons mentioned above, I can add a few comments:

1.  "American collectors are mostly older people"  My estimate is that 75% are over 55, 25% under.  I am 43.  "This people have, in general, a dislike for Germany, Germans and the German language as a result of WWII.  The fact that Radiomuseum is in Switzerland makes little difference to them."  I think this factor isn't very strong anymore.  Even WWII veterans today are likely to have reasonably positive feelings about both Germany and Switzerland.

2.  "I think that Americans would be somewhat suspicious of an enterprise like yours that is not commercial, why does he do that?"  Nostalgia Air is a similar endeavor of love for a hobby.  It is well financed, but free.  And very popular and successful.  This doesn't really seem to be a factor.

"All the Radiomuseum Web pages have a certain tone in the language and structure that sounds quite foreign here."  This is true.  It may be possible to make some changes that don't detract from the high quality content offered here, but make things appear more user-friendly to Americans.

4.  "Schematics for everything can be obtained for free through the internet. Communication between collectors is quite easy, in person or through telephone or internet."   I believe these are the factors that have slowed the acceptance of RM the most.

5.  "Cataloguing the complete production of radios in this country is an immense task"  and even when it is completed, the value over and above what is already available on Nostalgia Air won't be as attractive as what you now have for Europe, since schematics are not easily available elsewhere.  On the other hand, RM's inclusion of photos of models, and linking of forum comments to specific models are very valuable features that are not available at www.antiqueradios.com .

6.  "There are already well-established Usenet groups and forums for English speaking collectors"  True.  RM can only displace these if it offers better content, and people know about it.  This will take time.

All that being said, I really like RMorg and find it to be a valuable resource.  Its structure as a highly organized database gives it features and value that no other radio-related website has.

I do try to mention RMorg and promote its features from time to time on the forum at www.antiqueradios.com .  See for example http://www.antiqueradios.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=59458&highlight=radiomuseum

There you can also see a few comments from people about things they find challenging with RMorg. I was surprised more people didn't try RMorg and talk about what they found.

If there are things I can do to help RMorg prosper with English-speaking users, I am willing to help.

Best regards and thank you to the entire RMorg community for making this a great site,

Tom

GR: With of text adjusted.

This article was edited 15.Jul.07 19:20 by Georg Richter .

Job Goudie
 
 
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17.Sep.06 03:52

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Dear Mr. Erb.......First, let me say that I am enjoying this website and I am surprised that more Morth Americans have not become members. I certainly don't think it's because of any negative feelings towards Europeans but it could be because this website is not what I would call user friendly. Personally I am a little intiminated when it comes to seeking information because it is so easy for a new member like me to make "stupid" mistakes and although I love my radios and like working on them I find that seeking information here is difficult.

I don't want the above comments to indicate that I won't become more envolved since I have every intention to learn to navigate through the more difficult sections of this site and hopefully I may be able to contribute meaningful to this website in the future.

Please don't be discouraged and thanks for the help I have so far received.

Sincerely

Job 

Ernst Erb
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17.Sep.06 11:24

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I'm very glad that you wrote so many answers to this difficult question with many aspects involved. There are showing also different opinions - as it should be with something like brainstorming. I think that at last Thomas Albrecht has thought over each of the points and brought them to the point. It is good to have some common opinion now.

There are only few reasons which we can eliminate. The most important is surely content in respect of quantity and quality. This, members have in their hands.

The second is elimination of all strange sounding texts. There I can announce that Howard Craven has already begun to work within the CMS to change some texts. Thank you very much, Howard, I think you are very familiar with the US und British terms since you worked with IBM software and manuals for 30 odd years.

I have to tell that Howard nearly gave up entering data a few months ago because there were misunderstandings between him and model admins - mainly due to language problems. Only thanks to his very good character I could persuade him to go on - and now he is even helping in general matters! I could not yet find model admins with English as mother language. This is also something only members can solve.

It is quite sure that RMorg faces the problem that I did not construct a bicycle or perhaps a car but rather an aeroplane. In other words RMorg is not simple but rather the opposite. This we will not be able to change for some reasons:

1. Quality
Since I wanted to build something which could end in a general and good  "work of reference" for radio collectors I had
a)
to build a mechanism which includes many selection fields with quite a list of choices instead of free lines and
b)
to foresee by programming that two model admins have first to agree or to send questions or denials if they don't agree.
I know very well that we are still far from having good quality but we have the tools and hopefully also the members who will get nearer and nearer to that goal - within time.

2. Complexity
Since I tried to show as many aspects somebody needs having a model to identify or to judge for price, age, technique or for restoring the whole application has grown complex. The data you see comes from many tables and there are many links - like to pictures, schematics, tubes, prices, private cards, collections, members, makers, countries, other programs etc. You see the same thing with tubes and with the forum: Many possibilities, combined matters bind together to get a general picture.

3. Mass of information
If we would not have this mass of over 100 thousand models from many countries and thousands of manufacturers with more than 210 thousand pictures including 88 thousand schematics the search would be much easier.
You can use the "simple search" and write ONE term to it and get your single result by selecting from the hit list. But as the blue info buttons tell: You CAN (but it is not a must) search very refined by choosing many parameters - like the tube line up (alone).

Since we can compare this application with an airplane or better a "big Radio-City" where you need plans if you don't live there we can't help that we will get different opinions about this undertaking RMorg. I'm aware of the fact that my brain and character is not easy going and I thought we have thousands of easy going, sometimes really very well done HPs - but all have to me there limitations on getting good answers to good questions.

4. Multilingual
Today I see it as an error that I dragged myself so far to foresee not only 5 languages but also to admit members for each language.
I should have accepted two languages only for membership, English and German. Now I'm trapped having to work far too many hours every day for RMorg. And I have to apologize to the admins that they have to face language problems also. It was and is my aim that we have a "big boss" for each of the languages - or even for bigger countries. We have that not even for the USA ...

We would need a coordinator/multiplier for English, maybe a team, maybe a "motor". Each language should be self organised - I should be able to "vanish" (slowly). It is my aim and it sould be yours - without vanishing RMorg!

5. Limited strength
We face the problem that this application and organisation is funded entirely by me - except the entry fees we get since February 2004 which pay Mrs Monique Ehrat who does come in twice a week to deal with the new members. Since we really get now more than 50 members each month it does also cover the housing cost. In other words: RMorg is financially independant if we would think of the running cost only. There are always changements necessary in the code by many reasons and I would like to hire a programmer again for a full time job, having to track down a long list of programming work. This would include the possibility of a yearly moderate fee for those members who do not contribute at all or very little. Only this would let RMorg live without me ... I will first have to sell a house to be liquid enough (again) to do this.

It is clear that an annual fee is not welcomed by most of the members - even the one time fee is giving concerns. I sometimes get something like that (3 days ago): Gittan Svensson: "Greedy devil! ... MONEY MONEY MONEY.. Internet is for free!  I'm nicht going to join your "museum": go fuck yourself! Gehen fucken Sie ihnen bitte".

I then often think: "Why do you not give up an entry fee: It is only a drop on a hot stone and does not change the amount you spend?". But I'm sure that then RMorg would be lost when my funds have to stop. Reason: We would have "the wrong members". Also the spirit of "radio collectors help radio collectors" would vanish (a bit).

I can assure you that I try to change things according to my somehow limited possibilities. It will take time. Please see also what you can help for RMorg. I clicked the link Thomas Albrecht has put into his post and was very astonished how positive the questions and answers were towards RMorg. We have to be aware of the fact that RMorg can also be seen as competitor by organizers of other "big" sites or of other organisations. In German speaking countries this is quite different and we had and have not only welcome!

Fazit (final result):
Complexity and having to pay will always be very much limiting. Only real treasurers of radio or more deeply interested collectors will probably join RMorg. Hopefully this is enough to carry RMorg into the future in spite of the fact that good other sites will grow too - or even copy some of the advantages of RMorg. They then come into the same problems ;-)

This is only a general answer and I will have to check point for point to find out if we can improve certain things without loosing the USP (unique features). I can't promise when time allows me to do this and if I find the members necessary  for points which I have to delegate.

John Turrill
 
 
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17.Sep.06 16:32

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Dear Ernst,
as I may have said before, I would be only too pleased to fill in
the details on lots of British radios and valves, etc., and I have
now retired, which should give me the time,- snag is I've now 
been stricken with poor health which limits my abilities.
I'll have to keep taking the tablets and hope!
Kind regards,
                      John Turrill.
Ernst Erb
Ernst Erb
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17.Sep.06 19:31

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Dear John

Sad to hear that your health is not good. I really hope that you get a better stage. Unfortunately I know what illness means. In 1978 I had changed my life and was anxious to get the right food in the right composite. I first studied on what we as humans have grown up since millions of years ..

You have already brought in 4 models and changed 30 lines on models etc. Please do just what you feel is good for you. You are naturally invited to bring in more British radios and you will get help from Howard Craven who has already brought in 158 models if you face any problems.

I would be glad to assist by giving some advice for your health. Please eMail if you like.
Cordially,
Ernest

Thomas Albrecht
Thomas Albrecht
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17.Sep.06 22:25

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Ernst,

I'm very sorry to hear that you sometimes receive abusive e-mails like the one you mention above.  For all the work you and your colleagues have done, you deserve a lot better!

If we have a few concrete suggestions for changes that might fix specific problems, what is the best method to bring them up?  Should we mention them to Howard Craven?  Or send them to you?  Or mention the ideas here on the Forum?  (We probably don't want the Forum to fill up with an endless list of ideas that far exceeds what can really be done...)

Most of us realize that not everything can be perfect, and that making changes takes time and expense, and often may not be practical.  There may be a few good ideas, though, that can make a big difference.  If we are able to reduce misunderstandings when entering model information, in the long run it should reduce the workload for the administrators, since there would be fewer errors in submissions.

Keep up the good work, and I hope you never get discouraged by negative comments that happen from time to time.

Ernst Erb
Ernst Erb
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17.Sep.06 23:34

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Dear Thomas
Good idea: For linguistical suggestions I hope it is good to write to Howard Craven. If you don't get a response please use the Contact Form here or on each page in the bottom link "Contact".

Some texts are not in the CMS or are part of rules or politics for RMorg. Then it is preferable to write to me - but please one thing at a time and not posing problems but solutions. I know that you have been (and still are) in the same "life school" than I was and that you know the term "perfect staff work" ;-) but I write this for other members.

The same thing is for other matters (for instance inducing programming) but I fear that in the next few months I can only solve the most critical points. We have a board for officers and therefore I would like to invite you to be a member there since you are capable of writing in English and German and since I saw your very well thought out text etc.

PS: Change of 28th July 2007: Introduced the Contact form (instead of an eMail address).

This article was edited 28.Jul.07 07:08 by Ernst Erb .

Howard Craven
Howard Craven
 
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19.Sep.06 15:13

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Hello,

I have started rewording the texts on the English language webpages, and two are now complete, the New Pictures page and the Market Place page. I hope that you will find the English there is more readable now and I have used US spellings rather than those used in the UK. I have also updated any statistical fields (eg: 91000 radio models now), added a bit more detail where I thought it was needed and dropped one or two technical terms in favour of simpler terms (eg: topology is now layout).  While performing this task I always bear in mind that a lot of people visiting the site are not familiar with technical or IT terms !

I am only changing texts on webpages and standard Emails at the moment, not functionality.  Do send me any suggestions for improvements or changes to the wording on the remaining pages.

Regards.....Howard

Surrey, England

 

This article was edited 19.Sep.06 15:16 by Howard Craven .

Mike Phelan
Mike Phelan
 
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20.Sep.06 18:19

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Dear Ernst

I  just spotted this post, so I thought I would add to the Professor's comments about English collectors, or at least, my view, which may not be shared.

A British view:
There are already well-established Usenet groups and forums for English speaking collectors - he writes and goes on with:

"I also think that many English-speaking users, especially where English is their only language are very parochial and will be wary of multilingual sites, despite the excellent English on RMx.org; this is a great pity but sadly it seems to be the "English way".

I do not really find that at all - as we are nearer to Europe, we do tend to encounter peoples of other languages and customs. 

Many English collectors, if they expand their collections beyond England, tend to look to America and seldom Europe. I know of only a few collectors of German sets here in the UK, and only one who is as serious about the research and history as I am - and he is not an Internet user. He soon will be, so I shall recommend his joining RMx.org as soon as he is "online".

The research and history thing is but one aspect of old radios, and I find this to me more on an American thing.

The sad thing is that without exception, RMx.org is the best vintage radio website in existence and it is such a pity that more do not participate from the UK at least."

Yes - agreed.  It has the right balance of humour as well - not too silly, and not totally serious; the latter will drive English people away!

The perceived quirkiness of the site will fix itself when more of us are here.

 It is wonderful to see Howard, whom I have met, on board.  His restorations are superb!

 

This article was edited 20.Sep.06 18:21 by Mike Phelan .

Ernst Erb
Ernst Erb
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14.Jul.07 09:22

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Two and a half years ago I posed this question: "Why did RMorg not prosper in English?". There have come up interesting answers and I understand now better why. Nevertheless the growth of RMorg is still going on. We have passed 4000 members and we show data for more than 115 000 radio models - and also more than 280 000 pictures. With 500 000 hits per day our second SUN server has "full hands" and we get still a big increase of about 60 % compared to 2006 in traffic.

There have even been a few days where I saw in the thread list of the forum more other language posts than for German. We have not yet reached the critical mass to really "fly" for other languages than German yet - but hope is here to stay ;-)

What we are lacking is certainly motivators (or motors). We need to have somebody "responsible" for a language ...

On the other hand I'm amazed what one person can achieve with a team. Roy Johnson, GB, took the initiative and told me that he could scan thousands of data sheets about tubes/valves but he would not able to upload. Fortunately his or my call for help was followed by several members from different countries. Pius Steiner, Switzerland, made the dispatching and Roy just told me that Emilio Ciardiello, Italy has loaded up by far the most sheets to the tubes/valves. In a short time the team managed to upload more than 2500 Mullard valve data sheets. I believe that 6 countries were involved. Thank you for all those gifts you have made to the friends of tubes/valves and tube radios - and I have heard from Roy that there is still much more to come!

I'm very glad  that by now our tube pages are really containing very good data by now and I'm glad that I gave up the idea that we should copy data from data sheets to fill into fields with all the hassle and possible errors but to have now original data sheets with all relevant figures.

Keith Staines
Keith Staines
 
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15.Jul.07 18:51

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I think it is normal that most people start collecting sets from their own country, and naturally they find sources of information locally. My first foreign sets were obtained whilst visiting other countries, mostly whilst on holiday. However being that I can only speak English I was usually unable to acquire sets in non-English speaking countries. Even so I still considered my North American sets to be very different from British sets, & I even had difficulty understanding some of their methods & terminology.
 
More recently I have been buying foreign sets from Germany, France & Italy thanks to eBay with the help of on-line translators. I suspect many other collects are doing the same. Once I started to expand my collection I of course needed schematics etc which I could not obtain from my local sources, this is how I discovered RMorg. Now RMorg is my most important resource for information, & I don’t know what I would do without it. With the help of RMorg I now have the confidence to expand my interest into other nationalities. This has given me much enjoyment, especially discovering alternative design techniques. I admit it can be a little difficult especially communicating with administrators who do not speak English. However I am very grateful to the administrators who have been very patient & helpful persevering with me in English, which is not their language. I now feel a little guilty at my limited skills, but impressed by the support & goodwill given.
 
I am optimistic I think others will expand their collections like me, & inevitably end up at RMorg. This is its strength, it may not be the best for any one nationality, but it cannot be beaten for its ability to give international/multi lingual access. This is true for collectors of any nationality, & no doubt there will be expansion in other languages too. I am thankful that Ernst Erb had the foresight & determination to create such a unique organisation. THANK YOU ERNST.
 
Now the difficult bit, what can I do!
 
I fear my skills are too limited for anything grand, but I will ensure all items in my collection are in the database with photos, also I will up-load schematics in my possession especially those which are listed as wanted. This of course is only what any good member should do. Although I still have much to discover about Rmorg I am happy to share my experiences/knowledge with any English speaking members who want help.
Mark Andrews
Mark Andrews
 
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27.Jul.07 23:22

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I would agree with Keith in that I started naturally collecting British sets. Foreign ones came later once Ebay and the Internet took off.

What I would say is that after many years collecting without the internet, I suddenly found that there was information and radios out there never heard of before. However after searching for info on certain models, RMOrg was the only site I found which proved to have the necessary info. This is why I joined as I felt that only RMOrg could service my hobby properly. I liked the international aspect also. I don't know about these 'so called' established forums etc.. I must have been looking in the wrong bits!

My opinion is that RMOrg is a professionally run site with a definate commitment to documenting radios from a past era be it GB sets, USA sets or German sets, they are all important in some way or other. It is an ideal medium to share personal collections and find out more. The only complaint, if you want to call it that, is knowing how to upload information. I have figured it out now but it took me some time to work this out.

I would just like to add that Ernst has done a great job and I for one will continue to help out when ever possible.

 

 

 

 

Ernst Erb
Ernst Erb
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22.Aug.07 16:38

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Reply  |  You aren't logged in. (Guest)   24 This thread was started at the beginning of 2005 and we had then about half of the number of members. Today we count something over 4100 members. There are 396 US members active plus 258 who made only the first step. This is nearly 10 % of our members and much more than the 82 plus 27 members we had when our size was half of today.

Compared with the 300 000 pictures we show all together it looks very different but I see also progress there. Here a hit list. I post it because the top uploader of pictures to models is only member since 9 months and I think only since a short time he became aware that uploading of pictures to models is easy and helps a lot for other collectors.

If we look only at pictures, Robin Roeckers from the State Kansas and member of the "Mid American Antique Radio Club" (MAARC) is the top uploader - with 251 pictures plus some other activities like putting in some new models and loading data to others etc. I wanted to add his club to the clublist here (despite that their link list does not show RMorg yet) but I found that under MAARC we list Mid-Atlantic Antique Radio Club. Perhaps Robin tells me if there really are two clubs with the same short name?

The second place on pictures holds Thomas Albrecht from California - with 213 pictures (but also 36 schematics uploaded) who is also an officer at RMorg. He has written many good ^technical articles here too. He is a member of the California Historical Radio Society (CHRS) which features a banner for us.

Third place takes Marvin J. Glassman from California - with 210 radio pictures. He is also member in CHRS but also in the Southern California Antique Radio Society (SCARS). What a pity that we are not on their link list (yet).

By clicking the names you see their wonderful collection here - but you can also just type the name to Google and you have them also on top place (number one).

Robin Roeckers
Robin Roeckers
 
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27.Sep.07 15:46

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I am honored to be among the top information providers for the website.  I have always been a very visual person so I find it easier to bring pictures more often than the other details.  I have had some formal training in radio theory but that was in college in the late 1970s and much has been forgotten and the books were not kept.

I have been trying to relearn it but I can't seem to get back the ability to look at the underside of a radio chassis and see how it matches up with the schematic.  Is there a book or website that has this information?  Sams PhotoFacts are good in this respect because they have the schematic and a picture of the chassis as it should look when correct.

The local radio club I belong to is generally located in the Kansas City area and can be found on the Internet at www.geocities.com/maarc1974.  We have the same acronym as the Mid-Atlantic Antique Radio Club.  I will ask to have the RMorg website listed on our link at our next meeting.

Thank you again for allowing me to become a member of your group and I will continue to strive to add as much information as I possibly can.

Robin

Omer Suleimanagich
Omer Suleimanagich
 
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08.Feb.08 19:47

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We had a couple of good threads lately!

There seemed to be active participation from all over the place for just a speaker repair.

In addition, EBay sellers seem to quote information from RMorg when they auction their wares.

I think that RMorg finally has established itself in the English speaking world!

Ernst Erb
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11.Dec.08 22:50

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My start page for the browser is
http://www.radiomuseum.org/dsp_newestimages.cfm

Therefore I often see new pictures - normally there are about 100 a day or more and I see only part of that - depending how the pictures admin does the acceptance work.

Lately I often see pictures uploaded by Robin Roeckers (has by now uploaded 947 pictures, next is 238) and Meyer Rochwerger (Brazil, uploaded 472 pictures, mainly for the USA).
The difference to the most pictures is twofold:
They do not only upload pictures from their own collection (Code 1) but also get the permission from guests (courtesy remark in the picture legend) to upload pictures of given models which show none yet.
Well done indeed!

On top of that I saw today that both of them also use the link below in the model page:
"Add information or ask a question .." to add missing data for such a model.
This is real good work!


See for instance the log of changes by going to this model Crosley 129.
Then click the link below (scroll down please to the link bar): "Suggest change".
This will bring up the model history of that particular model.

To see the living process you can also click the link Pending Models on the search page.
There you see the huge lot of work the model admins do every day!

You will also often see the work done by Thomas Albrecht who methodically works through Philco.
He is now the one in the USA who has uploaded more than 1000 schematics. This all is real work done by US member for US models.

Besides that there are many members from Europe who add data, pictures and schematics. I would need a list from Hans-Joachim Korn to really be able to name all these helpers (and not forget one) ...

I think we see now a substantial change - even if it is a very few members who do this change - out of now more than 600 US members (Total is nearly 5260). It is a good beginning. Thank you for the efforts for all radio friends with US radio models.

Michele Denber
Michele Denber
 
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11.Dec.08 23:32

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"I am only changing texts on webpages and standard Emails at the moment, not functionality.  Do send me any suggestions for improvements or changes to the wording on the remaining pages."

Huh?  I thought I just finished doing this job!  Over the course of the last two months I went through every single web page in CMS (hundreds of pages), corrected spelling, patched up syntax (eg. putting verbs in the right place), replacing various nationalisms (like using "No." for "number" instead of "Nr."), and translating a number of fields that were showing up on the English page in German.

Did I miss something?  I'm not particularly looking for credit, but I am starting to wonder what's going on.

Martin Bösch
Martin Bösch
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12.Dec.08 00:02

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Hallo Michelle,
it's great to see how You did that job. Sometimes, when I check some functions of the site using the browser set to english, I found some strange expressions, thanks to Your help, the site is becoming better and better.
I'm not sure, whether You have seen, that the text You have been quoting from, is two years old. And today, English wording is much better, then it was in 2006. Bet there are still plenty of interesting texts to translate in both directions german - english, english - german, the same with french, italian, and so on. But it's great to work in this international community.
Kind regards from Switzerland Martin

Michele Denber
Michele Denber
 
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12.Dec.08 02:21

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Thank you very much, Martin, for so kindly explaining the error I made.  I had assumed (and you generally get into trouble by making assumptions) that the date under the person's name was the date they had joined RMorg.  If I had looked at the date under my own name, I could have seen that that is not the case, but then I usually have no reason to look at my own name.

Also, I assumed that since this thread suddenly appeared at the top of the Forum, that it was new.  If you look at the "Recent articles" dates on the Forum page, you will see that this thread has today's date on it.  Now that I look at it, I see that *all* of the articles there are over a year old, with the exception of Ernst's "Congratulations" post, mine, and then yours.  I *thought* that a thread only popped to the top of the list in the Forum when there was a *new* post there.  Apparently, this is not the case, since the first post in this thread is nearly four years old!

It was an interesting thread, I had never seen it, but I didn't know I was reading very old news.  I'm still not quite sure how or why this suddenly reappeared after so long.

In any event, this is a good example of some little "funny things" that happen in RMorg that don't quite seem to make sense.  At least in English.  At least just to me.  In my opinion.  Most of the time.  So I guess this all leaves me as confused as ever...

And just so this doesn't seem like nothing but complaining, I'd like to offer some help in doing translations.  For me, the easiest is probably French to English, followed by German to English, and then English to French.  My German isn't good enough to attempt English to German.

 

Mario Bermejo
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12.Dec.08 02:18

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Dear Michelle: you have done a terrific job! I am of course not a specialist and English is not my first language but I do see the change as very positive. An important thing for me (and I am sure for others as well) is the consistency of the terminology used throughout the pages.

I did the same for the Spanish language and although it took me a lot more than two months, I am very happy with the results (although some help texts can still be improved).

Thank you for the great job and congratulations!


Mario

Michele Denber
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12.Dec.08 02:51

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Thank you, Mario, for the kind words.  You also bring out an important point which is that English is not only the language for people from the US, Canada, and the UK, but often also for people whose countries are not in the RMorg "Big Five".  It may be more probable that someone from Russia, Hungary, or Japan will know some English, than German, French, Italian, or Spanish.  For whatever reason, English today is the "common language" in international commerce.

I am happy to see speakers of other languages looking at the English pages.

Ernst Erb
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12.Dec.08 10:17

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Dear Michele
I thank you here too for your big work which helps "prospering in English" ,dear Michele Denber I also give my thank here to Mario Bermejo (for Spanish), Alessandro De Poi (Italian) and Vincent de Franco (French). You can now imagine how difficult it was for me to enter (at the beginning) all languages in the CMS which is all the fixed content. The selected variables - for instance for model pages are in separate containers. Only the member's texts in the notes, in the forum etc. are direct. But since about two years I can't manage all and I write in German and English only to enable the other language admins to translate. My ability for languages is limited and I'm glad that we have this big help.

One thing I have to correct, dear Michele, since you addressed it here:
Your words: "In any event, this is a good example of some little "funny things" that happen in RMorg that don't quite seem to make sense. ... So I guess this all leaves me as confused as ever..."
In a forum you have the possibility to bring threads in a list for telling: "there is a new post". Besides you have separate containers called boards which you can organize in folders as we did when I constructed our forum, together with Ueli Kurmann who programmed it. In the boards we can arrange the threads in three manners: last up, first up, alphabetic.

If you read professional forums elswhere you will see that it is most common to get "last = up" for having the newest POSTS on top, not regarding how old a thread is. We have only a few boards like the FAQ where it makes sense to have the threads in alphabetic order. I can imagine also a fourth system: order by quality (which I never have seen yet).

In short: It is quite common and it is quite obvious that a new post has to come on top - how else would you find it? What often members forget here: We want to bring knowledge etc. which is something else than news and we try to stick to the topic and we don't want to have one of the many chat forums. That is the reason why I also deleted an off topic post from Omer here and that I close now this thread.

   

 

Ernst Erb
Ernst Erb
Officer
CH  Articles: 5582
Schem.: 13736
Pict.: 30884
30.Jun.09 09:56

Count of Thanks: 13
Reply  |  You aren't logged in. (Guest)   34

Dear readers
I looked at our topic half a year after writing the last post. Something is changing!

First: Our peak in new members I thought would have been in 2006 - but in this first half year 2009 instead of 601 (2006) we received 621 new members.

Second: There are 108 new members from the USA in this period - and in June (total 107) we greeted 29 new members (27 %) from the USA and half a dozen from other English speaking countries, summing up to about the same figure as for Germany (33 persons 31 %).

So something IS moving ...
This may be the result of joint efforts to improve some of our many (60 000) US radio models including pictures and schematics (now mainly SAMS Photofacts) and improving English texts, some programming and some new translations. Now we have not only German speaking members working for the database of US models but also a few from the USA - plus members who do translations. This helps a lot to be widely accepted as a place for well organized solid information. Here I don't name some members but you can also see that technically interesting articles come now also from the USA. We have a lot of work in front of us - but we are on the right track - and moving. Thank you for the effort done.

Stuart Matousek
Stuart Matousek
 
GB  Articles: 40
Schem.: 4
Pict.: 8
22.Jan.10 15:24

Count of Thanks: 12
Reply  |  You aren't logged in. (Guest)   35

I was just looking through this while trying to learn to find my way around this site a bit better, have not read the entire post but thought id add my comments. I must say when i first joined this site I found it quite offputting firstly because of the complexity and rigidity in how things should be done, secondly I found it quite strange that it is counted how much members upload. I am used to a more "good will", easygoing type of thing without the need to police it, and would have still uploaded things when I felt I had something worthwhile rather than for the sake of the points. This is,  as eluded to earlier a very cultural thing and this site has a certain culture, once I came to understand it better i then appreciate it for how it works , being such a great resource. I fear however that many that many are not so willing to expand their cultural horizons , thereofore will give up on this site. Hope this helps.    

  
rmXorg