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Gnomon calling Pinniped

Post 1

Gnomon - time to move on

Hi Pinniped!

In reference to your Henry Bessemer entry, are you happy that it has figures in both tons and tonnes? Should we convert them all to tonnes? Or just change the units to tonnes without changing the figures (as many of them are of an approximate nature anyway).


Gnomon calling Pinniped

Post 2

Pinniped


Hi Gnomon

Yes, they should all be tonnes. There's no need to alter the figures, since as you say the ones given in tons are approximate values. "In excess of x tons" is sure to be "in excess of x tonnes" too - it's lucky it wasn't "almost a quarter of a million tons".

I told an Austrian friend that the piece was on the FP yesterday. He's a kind of unofficial historian of the LD process. This morning I found an e-mail in my work inbox, and it seems that my friend once played Bessemer in a photoshoot for an advertising campaign! He's promised to scan and send the pictures. If they're good, I think I might link them in a subcon of the Entry.


Gnomon calling Pinniped

Post 3

Gnomon - time to move on

Thanks, Pinniped. I'll sort out the tons/tonnes. A ton is 2% bigger than a tonne, so you're right, there's no point in converting.


Gnomon calling Pinniped

Post 4

Pinniped

Wo Gnomon
Long time no proverbial. Hope all is well with you.
This is my first time back and yours are the first familiar googly eyes I’ve seen.
I’m realising that the skin we’re supposed to use (Pliny?) is broken and any page I try to access under it just comes up Unavaliable. I can get around somewhat via my own FP, currently using Brunel (the shame...) because Goo’s buttons have adverts plastered over them. Most places I go though are flipping me back into Pliny, making them dead-end pages.
PR is looking pretty quiet. The Who’s On Line list looks relatively healthy but a couple of random clicks suggest that some of the people on it are long gone. No conclusion-jumping yet though, not least since things have always looked somewhat derelict to the uninitiated.
I’m uninitiated now. Could you point me to some good places to get back up to speed?
Thanks
Pin


Gnomon calling Pinniped

Post 5

Gnomon - time to move on

Hi Pinniped

1. h2g2 is a ghost town. Even without the Pliny problem, there are very few people active here. I estimate about 10. There may be others lurking. The entries in Peer Review are almost completely written by the Guide Editors themselves now. There are no other Researchers contributing.

2. If Brunel is flipping you into Pliny, you may be using the wrong link. Are you by any chance using www.h2g2.com ? You should be using h2g2.com without the www.

http://h2g2.com/dna/h2g2/brunel/U183682

This should take you into Brunel and keep you there. Just don't click on the "Front Page" button, as this will bring you into Pliny. There is no Front Page on any of the old skins any more.


Gnomon calling Pinniped

Post 6

Gnomon - time to move on

By the way, there's a meet-up in London next Saturday (27th) to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of h2g2 (Ironic!) if you happen to be in London.

A87931290


Gnomon calling Pinniped

Post 7

Pinniped

That’s better!
You diagnosed the problem perfectly.
Now, as you said, I only flip to Pliny if I select the Front Page button, instead of the whole sidebar.

I can’t make London, I’m afraid. Family’s visiting that weekend.

Sad about the state of things.
Are there any initiatives to try and rekindle it?
(I guess you know what I’d suggest, an explicit welcoming of creative writing contributions, but I’m not asking you to agree with me!)


Gnomon calling Pinniped

Post 8

Gnomon - time to move on

I suggested that one way to get people to use the system would be to fix some of the bugs. I even presented a solution to three if the bugs. My solutions may or may not have worked but nobody ever tried them.

I gave up writing for h2g2 at that stage.


Gnomon calling Pinniped

Post 9

Pinniped

It’s a shame.
So many good people put a lot of effort into h2g2.
If the Community had ever been given the chance, do you think we could have found enough consensus to agree a plan for the site, and set its direction?


Gnomon calling Pinniped

Post 10

Gnomon - time to move on

I always felt that the direction was the right one. The site was killed by

- excessive moderation. Even mentioning certain topics could get postings removed, with temporary bans. This scared off the regulars.

- tech problems with no support. These scared off new users. The BBC sold us the database which contains the Guide and a system which didn't work for accessing it. Pastey did Trojan work getting this up and running by rewriting much of it, but there were still enough bugs to put off casual users.


Gnomon calling Pinniped

Post 11

Pinniped

I bow to your greater experience on the second point in particular.
I felt some of the first point personally, though probably not quite in the way you mean.
I think there was more to it than this though. The core concept became associated with Wikipedia, and soon only Wiki commanded the cachet of a contribution to a truly global enterprise. At the same time, many of the people who came to h2g2 were expecting some degree of differentiation. There were clear possibilities for such differentiation. One was creative writing, a natural attribute of a site founded by Douglas Adams. Another was quality amateur journalism, a natural attribute of a site hosted by the BBC. The would-be practitioners of both these types of writing, and some others besides, might have been more positively accommodated than they were.
I concede that you were always right about the centrality of the Edited Guide, and the necessity of its Peer Review basis. Where we differed, and perhaps still do, was over the breadth of the EG. Even in a world in which the perils of fake news are so clearly manifest, I still think that an adherence to hard facts was arbitrary and limiting in h2g2’s context.
For what it’s worth, I’m still running into similar battles. After a working life in technical research (including journal editing and funding scrutiny, so pretty mainstream) I am trying to minimise the formality of research content in my own postgraduate studies. The result is I’m getting criticised for too much speculation and excessively flamboyant language in my supposedly learned critical essays. Plus ca change!


Gnomon calling Pinniped

Post 12

minorvogonpoet

Hello Pinn. I'm still around.smiley - smiley

I've occasionally put articles on the Edited Guide, though it seems the most popular of mine are recipes. I didn't expect to be seen as H2G2s cook!smiley - chef

There's always a buzz on the Post - edited by Dmitri, of course. Stories, occasional poems (though I don't know how many people read them) Willem's brilliant wildlife pictures and articles, some superb photographs, jokes and quizzes.

And there's been books -'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Earth Edition Space and Space Travel, vol 1'
'Twice-42:Wit and Wisdom from a Mostly Harmless Planet: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Earth Edition'


Gnomon calling Pinniped

Post 13

Pinniped

Wo MVP!

That’s you, Dmitri and GB - at least three other veterans of the Stretcher still around.
Now that would be a summit to regain.

Twice-42 In particular intrigues me. I read something by Dmitri that said there are 60 h2g2 writers included, some of them lapsed. I wonder if I got in?

You’re not saying that the Post is more alive than the EG, are you? Time was I’d have celebrated that. Now I’m not so sure.


Gnomon calling Pinniped

Post 14

minorvogonpoet

I find writing, researching and getting an article through the EG process takes a long time. smiley - yawn

The Post is less formal, quicker, more fun smiley - smiley. Though you might lose something in quality occasionally...

Yes, I'm sure there are some of your things in Twice 42.


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