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Thread: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic
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    Lightbulb I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    Even though I haven't been the most active member, I've been a member of CPF for a long time. One of the things I've noticed is how well it works.

    What I mean by that is that when I want to know what's going on in the world of flashlights, this is the place to go. Most of the time, I can get caught up just by reading up on recent discussions. If you have a question that hasn't already been answered, you can ask and get a in-depth informed answer. The forum is welcoming to newcomers.

    Also, what I mean by that, is that for a long time, CPF has managed to go on without falling into the various dysfunctions that lots of other groups do. Discussions don't devolve into flame wars. The forum doesn't become dominated by only the expert experts who will make fun of you if you aren't at least machinist or an electrical engineer. And the forum stays active, so people always have a reason to come back.

    I am planning to write an article and post it on LinkedIn about factors that make some online discussion groups work while others don't. I plan to use CPF as an example of a group that works and try to learn some general lessons from that.

    While I've been around CPF for a while, and I could write something just based on my own observations, I would really like to hear what you all think. What makes CPF function?

    Is it the topic? Is there something special about the topic of flashlights that just elicits the right kind of participation?

    Is it the rules? Is there something special about the rules that keep the forum functioning?

    Is it the culture? Is there something special about the people that got CPF going that just manages to keep things functioning? Is there something special about the tone or community norms that have been set that keeps the forum going?

    Is it the people in charge? Does CPF work because it is run especially well?

    I assume that it's some combination of all of the above, and more, but I would really like to hear from anybody who thinks there is some key point that is and has been critical to CPF developing and continuing to be a healthy community.

    I'd love to quote your insightful answers. If you specifically don't want to be quoted, feel free to let me know that. If you are interested in seeing a draft of the article before I publish it, I'll be happy to share a link to the draft via PM and welcome your comments and suggestion.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    It's the moderation; other sites just don't use the manpower needed to keep threads on-topic, so more threads become more off topic more often, which lowers the standard for what is expected to be moderated, and it devolves from there.

  3. #3

    Default Re: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    Part the moderation as previously mentioned, but also the immense databank of knowledge of all the people gathered here. Even if 95% of the site doesn't know the optimum operating voltage of an obscure incandescent bulb only available in northern Africa between 1965 and 2003 you can bet that someone will know which one it is, have a few spares, and take the measurements needed to find out the answer as well as keep it up here so the next person wondering in 10 years can also find it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    I've never given it much thought, but, perhaps it's the matter at hand. It seems most people that love flashlights are pretty nice people. Of course, we're all human, and being so we rub each other the wrong way every once in a while. But we always come back to our common love of all things illuminating.
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

  5. #5

    Default Re: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    *large quote removed. Not necessary for a simple 4 word reply. OH! - and that's one of the reason's CPF works... Admins and Mods clean up unnecessary stuff that causes excessive scrolling.

    CPF works? Interesting observation.
    Last edited by Greta; 06-25-2019 at 11:08 AM. Reason: Not necessary to quote long OP just to make a 4 word reply

  6. #6
    Flashaholic Mr. LED's Avatar
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    Default Re: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    We have a lonely hobby, a weird hobby to most people. We have to treat each other well here, because here is the place we come to talk about our flashlights that give us joy. I don’t have and never had one single friend that I can talk to about flashlights, never had the opportunity to go out to test flashlights with a friend who’s into the hobby. And this is sad. Coming here reminds us we’re not alone in this weird world.
    The darkness is afraid of us.
    Flashlights are cheaper than therapy.

  7. #7

    Default Re: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    I could probably write up a whole story on why CPF works but here are my main thoughts on why it does:


    Topic. I don't know of any kid who didn't like to play with flashlights. It removed the dark and made it less scary. It invoked the imagination. Anyone thought of a flashlight as a light saber? A flame thrower? A way to make shadows and shadow puppets? A thing that helped your dad work on the car when it needed to be fixed? So the topic invokes a very personal association that was developed in our childhood, and what adult doesn't long to be a kid again? CPF fulfills that desire by providing a place to discuss such a topic.


    Fanaticism. If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing. That's the saying, right? And what better example of overdoing something is having a handheld flashlight that lights up a football field, or a flashlight that can light up a water tower a mile way? Or make a personal object out of metals that is normally used in space, nuclear power generation, and art? CPF provides a place to show off that fanaticism.


    Science and engineering. Most people don't think of this aspect, but if you look at circuit designs, User Interface development, material science, design and machining, and electrical and mechanical engineering, it's all practiced in designing a flashlight. CPF provides a place to apply professional disciplines to something a little more personal to ourselves. Though, I do have to say this aspect has been taking place on other forums and social media more so over the past few years.


    Operation. The moderators of this forum are subject matter experts and they are dedicated to maintaining it. The most apparent example of this is the automotive lighting section. This section gets the least amount of traffic, yet the moderators there reply with meaningful and accurate information in a very timely manner. They also keep this place very family friendly. I would have no issue allowing my kids to visit this forum, unlike most of the other edc and automotive forums.


    Timing. I think CPF was THE place to go when it came to flashlights, and it was the right place at the right time when all of the development, customizations, and culture was being established. Even flashlights today, whether custom, mass produced, or budget, follows some mold or model that was developed and nurtured right here on CPF.


    I'll probably add more to this later, but I's gots to go!
    Who needs to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you have friends on CPF?
    My flashlight videos: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...9TIYcGeuBXa5m0

  8. #8

    Default Re: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    - Moderation keeping the train on the tracks.
    - Family friendly conversations.
    - No drama
    - Flash light junkies.

    Bonus: grandson pix.
    John 3:16

  9. #9

    Default Re: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    Quote Originally Posted by badtziscool View Post
    I could probably write up a whole story ....
    It might be the vodka talkin, but ... I love you, Bro!
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

  10. #10

    Default Re: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    Organization.

    I recently spent some time attempting to follow three different sales posts on FaceBook.
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

  11. #11

    Default Re: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    I really think the owner(s) or administrator(s) are great people! (Greta, ...).

    The original one(s), and the current one(s).

    After all, who chooses the moderators? Or supports the technology which works so well? (and tech that had to be upgraded, with coding involved, to deal with the higher volumes and of course dealing with images, search, etc.).

    The forum could have gone in very different directions if it wasn't for them.

  12. #12

    Default Re: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    There's an iPhone app. ⊙_⊙
    John 3:16

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* LeanBurn's Avatar
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    Post Re: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    Family friendly, controlled advertisements, mods keep everything civil, so much to learn about what appears to be a simple concept.

    When I first joined I used to think that the transportation lighting section was moderated and patrolled by a bunch of anal retentive know-it-all's. It seemed that anyone who even hinted about changing their lighting systems to anything not stock was corrected immediately and fairly sternly (ok...pun intended).
    Then after reading a little more, transportation lighting is all about safely lighting the roadways for both the driver, oncoming traffic and pedestrians and that whole sphere of lighting, which needs control and legal binds to keep everyone safe. Now I am an advocate about proper automobile lighting and urge others to keep within the legal limits. Perhaps we can influence people and keep passing correct information on.

    From my observation and experience, the strictness of the transportation lighting section is such that anything outside an inquiry and the requisite response from the moderators with pure data supported by government regulation has lead me to only visit and observe.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    i'm a member of few flashlight forums USA based as well as Russia based, as well as member of several cars\bike forums,, you will not believe it, but they all work.

  15. #15

    Default Re: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    Honestly, I'd say the #1 thing is the respectful and respectable members/regulars on CPF. With moderation coming in a very close 2nd. Thankfully almost all of them do a fantastic job without letting their limited power go to their heads, and egos getting inflated. So hats off to those moderators who work hard to keep things on track.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    I published the post I was working on about online groups and CPF. Your input was a big help, and I quoted a few of you.

    Have a look: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-...roup-david-max

    Feel free to critique the final product. I will be happy to make any corrections if I have gotten something wrong.

    Thanks everybody!

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* KITROBASKIN's Avatar
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    Default Re: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    I read the LinkedIn article; good job!

    Please, I would like to reaffirm that flashlights are not nearly the kind of macho magnets that guns and knives and fast cars can be. For lack of a better word, the 'nerds' can really shine here on CPF. Flashlights can be modified for not a whole lot of money, and although they can be spendy ($3000+), for the most part do not break the bank. Perhaps the lower cost keeps the egos from getting too self righteous.

    Regarding moderation: We are fortunate to have the quality of people working for no money. That is also a glowing reflection of the leadership, choosing the folks who keep things clean and clean up messes. But I would submit that the personal oversight of our moderators allows some members to flex the rules, actually making the place more interesting and broadening for the mind.

    Membership: They provide the content, for the most part. We have some good minds who also happen to be articulate. As well, some small manufacturers are just jewels, and it is a true pleasure to be a part of their extended community. In addition, the world wide manufacture of flashlights promotes innovation and competition; Oldtimer talk about the good old days but there are plenty of newer members who are quite enthusiastic about our choices.

    On a final note: You did discuss how our focus is narrow; portable illumination, but we talk about all kinds of things within our community. We have a moderator initiated thread about the Apollo mission of the 60's and 70's for instance. Camping and travelling get their due. Because of our respect and civility, we can discuss manly things without too much cascade of anger and resentment, but we do get pulled in when religion and politics get too bubbly.

  18. #18
    harro's Avatar
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    Default Re: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    As others have said,
    A broad cross section of the global community, with a common interest,
    Members respectful of others opinions, and willing to take on new ideas,
    Moderators who keep a reign, not a stranglehold, on proceedings,
    And, a great platform to use for the advancement of our interests.
    Just my $00.02 worth.
    Cheers from the Antipodes,
    Mike.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: I want to hear from you: What makes CPF work?

    Quote Originally Posted by KITROBASKIN View Post
    On a final note: You did discuss how our focus is narrow; portable illumination, but we talk about all kinds of things within our community. We have a moderator initiated thread about the Apollo mission of the 60's and 70's for instance. Camping and travelling get their due. Because of our respect and civility, we can discuss manly things without too much cascade of anger and resentment, but we do get pulled in when religion and politics get too bubbly.
    That's a great point. Thanks for mentioning that. I added another sentence or two to explain that a forum can accommodate "off topic" topics too. All of your other points are also well-taken.

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