Welcome to the community

Hm, this might get interesting. Roger Smith has announced a new set of forums hosted on and linked to other content at rocketreviews.com. In recent times there have been two major rocketry forums: The Rocketry Forum (TRF) at rocketryforum.com and Ye Old Rocket Forum (YORF) at oldrocketforum.com. TRF covers both model and high power rocketry pretty generally, while YORF is oriented toward discussions relating to classic model rocket kits, though not exclusively so. Partly for that reason TRF has a lot more active users and a lot more traffic.

As mentioned here a little while ago, TRF was bought last year by a company specializing in monetization of online forums, and has started putting non rocketry advertising on its pages. The same company earlier took over the RC planes forum teamflyingcircus.com and if you go, for instance, here (with ad blocking extensions turned off) you can see how heavily loaded with ads it is — not just on the top and bottom and side margins, but within users’ posts and overlaid on top of users’ images. The expectation of many is that this is the way TRF is going to go. I’ve stopped using my TRF account, partly because I don’t approve of this kind of thing, and partly because the administrators (a) are not rocketeers and really don’t care about rocketry and (b) have lied about their intentions. YORF remains in the hands of rocketeers, and has no ads other than some rocketry product banners, so I continue to go there. But the lack of content about high power rocketry and about modern model rockets makes it not a real alternative to TRF for many.

So now along comes community.rocketreviews.com. Is it intended as a shot across TRF’s bow? It’s hard to escape that conclusion. Whether it can succeed is of course a good question. But what isn’t a question is that rocketreviews.com’s status as an established, crowdsourced repository of useful rocketry information and opinions makes it more suited to mount a successful alternative to TRF than anyone else around.

At this writing there are 441 topics in the “Reviews” forum, but that’s just because a topic has been automatically generated for 441 reviews people have posted over the years. Other forums have 0, 1, or 2 topics (all by “Administrator”, that is, Roger), so I may be one of the very first people to look at the site. But Roger’s set up a couple dozen or so of these forums covering all aspects of model and high power rocketry — no specialization here, and a clear indication he wants it to be useful to everyone in the hobby.

Break out the popcorn. I want to watch this.

 

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