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Speculation in Absentia

No, not the TV series. This poll is speculation about why most technical people do not participate on element14. The absentia part is because by definition those people are not hanging out here to provide feedback. My motive for exploring this topic is I think the forum would be even more interesting and beneficial to everyone if there was more participation, and I definitely don't understand the main motivations and value systems at play here.

I'm sure their reasons are as varied or even more varied than the reasons why people do participate here. It could be anything from not wanting to endure the possibility if criticism to having more interesting things to do to simply not knowing about the forum. I know many more technical people who do not participate than the number I know who do. But I do not get a clear picture of why any of them do not participate. I will pose some poll options, but expect the comments will highlight many more motives than I can postulate.

First I want to explain something I noticed when I first visited England as a young boy. As a hint about how long ago that was, one leg of the trip was flown in a Vickers Viscount and one was a Stratocruiser. You can imagine how long that trip took - from Jamaica to London, but you would probably underestimate. Another hint about the era of the flight - the pilot let me sit on his knee for part of the flight. One final contrast with those times is something my Dad just related to me. He carried his handgun on the aircraft and asked the crew if he could clean it during the flight - and they let him. One of the crew came and chatted with him while he was doing it, but that was the extent of security. He wasn't a law enforcement official - he was an articulate engineer from a colony. But obviously a very trustworthy individual.

As  a youngster, many things about England impressed me (we were there for 3 months I think), but just to mention 5 of them:

  1. ice cream sandwiches - I had never had one before - now they are still a favorite of mine
  2. castles - we visited a bunch - I still like castles a lot
  3. penny arcades - they just blew mind - I'm obviously still interested in clever technology
  4. the blue whale at the Natural History Museum - I went back to see it a couple of years ago - it is still there, but surrounded by a bunch of other animals
  5. everybody in England seemed to have a hobby - miniature boats, miniature towns, miniature everything, models of everything, gardens everywhere, whatever, they all seemed to have interesting hobbies. Every park had people playing with hobby items. I didn't see this in any other country.

My question out of that long story is what motivated so many people to take up hobbies at that time? Is it similar to why members here do hobby electronics? Does it provide any insight about what type of people or what value systems or what circumstances to target for more members?

Poll question:

Which reason below do you think is the most prevalent reason why technical people do not participate in this forum?

Poll Results
  • They do not know about the forum (4%)

    1/23
  • They feel electronics is their job, which is work and they don't work for free (0%)

    0/23
  • After doing technology all day at work, they need to relax in front of the TV (4%)

    1/23
  • Technology is just a job, they have other interests they would rather be doing (17%)

    4/23
  • Participation risks criticism (9%)

    2/23
  • Introverts choose technical careers, the forum is for extroverts (17%)

    4/23
  • The competitive nature of road tests and design challenges is distasteful (0%)

    0/23
  • There is a perception you need to be a guru to participate (4%)

    1/23
  • All of the above (9%)

    2/23
  • I have no idea because I see no downside to participating (9%)

    2/23
  • Other - please explain below (26%)

    6/23

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