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Chat report (What's next for Z)

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  • jmac_han
    G Day mates, I don t know if Kiwis greet each other this way but I thought that I d say hello in honour of the LOTR, The Return of the King and it s 11 Oscars
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 1, 2004
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      G'Day mates,

      I don't know if Kiwis greet each other this way but I thought that
      I'd say hello in honour of the LOTR, The Return of the King and it's
      11 Oscars last night. I didn't watch any of it but instead
      rented "Lost in Translation" to see what all the fuss was about.
      Frankly, I don't see why it was even nominated (boring, technical
      errors, bad sound recording, no story and deadpan acting that any
      actor could do in his sleep). The good thing about this major OT
      commentary is that were lots of trains in the story which was set in
      Japan! This brings me to conclude that Z needs more high speed
      trains like the Shinkosen (sp?), the TGV and so many others. It is
      such a thrill to see those sleek electrics snaking along
      mountainsides and the Japanese coast. Hypnotic!

      Did I say something about a chat report? Oh, yeah. Yesterday's chat
      session started at 1pm Eastern on the dot with the question of the
      hour being, "What does the Z community need to grow?" and sundry
      variations.

      We had a super participation with 19 members from Finland, all points
      of the US and Canada joining in. I had asked the chatters to stick
      to the theme for the first hour and I am pleased to report that my
      colleagues were remarkably disciplined. The discussion was wide-
      ranging but relevant to the theme.

      Here are the major conclusions.

      - the growth of Z in NA is being driven by greater visibility
      generated by the creation and actions of modular groups, the more
      frequent presence of Z in the mainstream model railroading press and
      the development of a wider range of products to satisfy runners and
      layout builders.

      - Ztrack Magazine has offered to continue to provide support to
      groups wishing to promote their activities and to modellers who wish
      to start a group in their area. Send along your info to Rob Kluz at
      Ztrack @ aol.com and Rob will forward the mailing to subscribers in
      the target area.

      - high profile activities like NTS (National Train Show) have
      generated major good will and respect for Z among the established
      modelling classes. Many N scalers have joined Z after encountering Z
      at NTS where they observed the reliable running of Z material and
      opportunities for large modular layouts in Z.

      - as NTS is a focal point of Z promotional activity in the US, a
      large part of the chat was directed at how to capitalize on NTS and
      to encourage more Z modellers to attend. The invitation to bring
      layouts to the NTS2004 Seattle BYOZ (Bring Your Own Z) was repeated.

      For 2005, Ztrack gave more details on the proposed Z convention to
      precede NTS. The Z convention will take place in Columbus, OH (2
      hour drive from Cincinnati) July 5-6. NTS takes place in Cincinnati
      July 7-8-9. Day 1 of the convention will include clinics,
      socializing, demonstrations, socializing and socializing amongst
      other things. Day 2 will include layout tours, socializing and other
      train related things including socializing. No doubt a banquet and
      socializing will be organized. Preliminary plans also call for an
      area map providing locations of Z-stocking hobby shops. All of the
      above is subject to change and confirmation by Ztrack. Contact Rob
      Kluz for more info.

      - the importance of attracting new Z converts through the model
      railroading media, specifically Model Railroader Magazine, was
      mentioned a couple of times. We've been getting good coverage in
      Scale Rails Magazine (5 articles in the last 18 months and more to
      come). Scale Rails is delivered to 15,000 members of the NMRA and is
      read by approximately 25,000 model railroaders via club and municipal
      libraries. Model Railroader Magazine has published 2 Z items out of
      4 promised for 2004. In order to maintain this type of coverage, it
      is imperative that Z-scalers continue to provide quality material to
      the magazines. So send in your photos, World's Greates Hobby
      anecdotes and feature articles to MR.

      - chatters also mentioned the support they hope to receive from Micro-
      Trains Line in order to promote Z. Barry Carpenter, MTL's director
      of marketing, was recently quoted as promising to help groups with
      promotional material. Send your requests to MTL via email info @
      micro-trains.com

      - what else? Hmmm....well, I did ask if there was any interest in
      forming an association but it was lost in the conversation. I'll
      bring this idea up again some other time (wink, wink).

      I'm sure that I'm missing some key points as the group had a lot to
      say and made some terrific points and observations especially about
      how we need to redress the image Z has in some circles of being a
      collector scale.

      The time for the theme flew by and the chatters were anxious to be
      let loose to enjoy the general chat. Once again the chat lasted for
      several hours (I checked in from time to time).

      ***** Technical tip for chatters *******

      We have become accustomed now to being booted by Yahoo from the chat
      about once every 45 minutes. The quick return technique is the
      following:

      Yahoo displays a general chat error message and asks if you want to
      rejoin the chat, Yes or No? Answer NO. Yahoo immediately closes the
      chat screen and opens the Yahoochat page. Use your BACK button to
      return to the previous page where Yahoo will reopen the chat and log
      you back into the chat. Takes about 30 seconds. Note: if you answer
      YES to the question, Yahoo gets confused and it may take a computer
      reboot to clean up the memory and java entanglements.

      Conclusion: the chat was informative, well-behaved and great FUN.
      Join us for our next Sunday chat when Rob Kluz will be our special
      guest and our theme will be "What do beginnerZ need?"

      Ciao,
      Jeffrey MacHan
      Moderator
    • jmac_han
      I forgot to mention that we had chatters from the Netherlands and Germany as well, at least while I was logged on. Don t want anyone to feel left out! :-)
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 1, 2004
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        I forgot to mention that we had chatters from the Netherlands and
        Germany as well, at least while I was logged on. Don't want anyone
        to feel left out! :-)

        CheerZ,
        Jeffrey
      • Reynard Wellman
        Hello Jeffrey, You must have got ahold of a pirated copy of Lost In Translation . I enjoyed my rental. None-the-less some folks don t go for that sort of
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 1, 2004
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          Hello Jeffrey,

          You must have got ahold of a pirated copy of "Lost In Translation".
          I enjoyed my rental. None-the-less some folks don't go for that
          sort of movie and that's the way it goes. I thought "Spellbound"
          (about kids' spelling bees) from last year was a bore.

          As for the high speed Shinkansen; hey! we need some right here in
          North America, not just on our layouts. I'm tired of driving and
          flying around. I'd like to get into some poker games with my fellow
          passengers so that I can pay for the ride.

          Best regards as always,
          Reynard
          On Monday, March 1, 2004, at 09:26 AM, jmac_han wrote:

          > G'Day mates,
          >
          > I don't know if Kiwis greet each other this way but I thought that
          > I'd say hello in honour of the LOTR, The Return of the King and it's
          > 11 Oscars last night.  I didn't watch any of it but instead
          > rented "Lost in Translation" to see what all the fuss was about. 
          > Frankly, I don't see why it was even nominated (boring, technical
          > errors, bad sound recording, no story and deadpan acting that any
          > actor could do in his sleep).  The good thing about this major OT
          > commentary is that were lots of trains in the story which was set in
          > Japan!  This brings me to conclude that Z needs more high speed
          > trains like the Shinkosen (sp?), the TGV and so many others.  It is
          > such a thrill to see those sleek electrics snaking along
          > mountainsides and the Japanese coast.  Hypnotic!
          <edited
          > Ciao,
          > Jeffrey MacHan
          > Moderator

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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