Amberwolf disappearance and newbie help requests :(

neptronix

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AW has been no-contact for about 3 weeks now.
I get a decent amount of PMs asking if he's okay etc and i've reached out to him on other channels but not heard anything.

AW, we hope you are okay! please check in to the mothership when you can!


In the meantime, with Amberwolf gone, we have 33% less posts to the forum 🧐... turns out the guy was the structural pillar we thought he was, and most of what he did was help newbies.

Me and Nicobie decided to start pulling the load helping newbies, but we don't have the knowledge of low end stuff / prebuilt bikes newbies usually come here with. As a result, a lot of n00b questions are not being answered lately.

I was wondering if some members could pitch in with us to help some newbies out in the absence of Amberwolf? remember that most of us ( myself included ) were total n00bs once.

It's pretty easy to find these posts, we have a button for it:

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As for the mod team, if does take constant daily weeding of the garden to keep the forum exceptionally clean of spam, we are pulling the load allright, but if AW continues to go missing, we may be looking for a moderator in the USA too.
 
This post explains why Amberwolf is missing not sure for how long
Later floyd
 
Thanks for that find Floyd!

I'm very relieved to know he wasn't in some mega bike crash or something; you always have to wonder when a prominent member just disappears.

Phew!!
 
I have read the post Amberwolf wrote, and I don't read anything that isn't an actual statement of fact.

I do have my own experience giving and receiving that without tone and context from actual presence that communications can read differently.

But I don't like the thought of Amberwolf tying himself in knots attempting to anticipate any random person's reaction. An unfortunate occurrence.
 
AW is neuroatypical and handles things differently than you and i. His threshold for getting frustrated is lower than most but he still thrives on helping people despite that.

Dude overextends his big heart every once and a while!

It has been a little more stressful here on the ES staff side because we had this crap happen and we are also experiencing a massive newbie flood and also the spam rate has been kicking up all at once.

Some modifications to Xenforo's SEO system has kicked us to the top of many searches about ebikes and we're going through some growing pains.

Our search data from Google, for example:

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Anyway any help with noob posts is appreciated since we have newbies joining at a rate we haven't seen since the late 2000's - early 2010's!
 
AW is neuroatypical and handles things differently than you and i. His threshold for getting frustrated is lower than most but he still thrives on helping people despite that.
He responded to my first post on ES. As a newbie, I literally doubled my ebike knowledge by reading just a few of those initial posts.
 
Yes, Amberwolf has been most helpful.
But on the web you get all types of people. You would think that for the couple-of-plus decades that civilization has been doing this internet forum thing we would all collectively learn not to be a POS.

You try to help, and then you get your hand bit off.
 
Anyway any help with noob posts is appreciated since we have newbies joining at a rate we haven't seen since the late 2000's - early 2010's!
I noticed folks are chipping away at the Unanswered posts, but it's shocking to see how many there are prior to April 24th relative to how many there are after. My thought is that we've (I've) gotten a bit lazy, leaning on amberwolf to field so many of the newbie questions, and placing too much of the burden on one person.

I haven't been a member of ES long enough to see a full changing of the guard, but I have seen several very active members, and some with a very long history on ES, that are no longer active. Some of them were heavy hitters with a lot of experience and varying viewpoints, which I feel create a much better dialogue when it comes to the pros and cons of various topics. Oddly, absent those viewpoints, I almost feel compelled to bring up them up, even if I don't necessarily agree with them. For instance, there was a period where Chalo wasn't active, but if the subject of regen came up, I'd feel compelled to represent the cautionary remarks he usually would provide, although nobody can paint the doomsday picture quite as well as he. Or just having dogman dan around has always been a good reminder that battery fires are a real thing.

Anyway, on the unanswered posts, the thing I relied on from amberwolf the most (besides his breadth and depth of knowledge), was his patience and ability to tease out all of the information necessary to solve an issue from a newbie that might just start off saying "I have a controller, teach me how to connect it" and nothing more. I don't have his bedside manner, so I'd lazily wait for him to ask all of the questions first. I'm OK at trouble shooting when presented with the facts. I've been trying to emulate those traits in his absence, but the bar he sets for himself is so high that all I can do is try. It's a good thing ES has a strong community, since in the short term, it will take a village to fill the gap. It's good to hear we have a lot of new blood joining the forum.
 
Yeah, i see people chipping away at it and i'm overjoyed at the support!

I think a lot of oldtimers had their fun pioneering the ebike and decided to move on to other things, and it's a real shame that newcomers haven't came to fill their place. I think we're at a stagnant point in ebike history ( batteries haven't really improved over the last 10 years ), where there's little pioneering to do left, and prebuilt bikes aren't half bad, so DIY to get a good bike isn't mandatory... which means the big brains don't really have problems to come here to help solve.

I think a community-editable knowledgebase that can be easily linked to post replies would be the ultimate tool for helping out newbies and accelerating the speed which people are educated. I'm hoping that this increases our collective IQ over the time and the questions newbies are coming with are better formulated at least.

Right now we've done a piss poor job of maintaining stickies and ES is functionally deficient without that.

This place has always had a high bar to entry though, which could only be cleared by sheer enthusiasm for the topic. When i came on here in ~2010 i spent 9 months reading posts and educating myself before i posted much. I want to get 'time to educated new user' down to an an order of magnitude lower.

The first KB article should be: "How to ask a good first question" :mrgreen:
 
I think a lot of oldtimers had their fun pioneering the ebike and decided to move on to other things,....
Some oldtimers, not doubt, but I suspect that many have gained the DIY knowledge they needed to solve their own projects, and perhaps don't have the time or inclination to sit at a computer troubleshooting for hours on-end. Especially if there's no monetary incentive.
....and it's a real shame that newcomers haven't came to fill their place.
The flood of ready-to-ride wheels delivered to your front door has obviously deterred many potential grease monkeys from DIY.... not to mention the serious lack of electronic wizardry of most new members. Look at the mayhem electric cars bestowed upon us. I have no idea how many seasoned ICE mechanics were forced to change occupations (or prematurely retire), but I suspect it's more than just a few. The ASE certifications most ICE mechanics acquired 30 years ago... are becoming worthless paper today.

1983, I was a wrench in a highly respected garage halfway between LA and Las Vegas. One summer day, AAA towed in a 1982 z-car that had suddenly just died and wouldn't start. I had NO $75 shop manual for the beast, and diagnostic equipment only suitable for pre-80's domestics. When I called a Nissan dealer for help, he told me that I needed a $3500 diagnostic computer to troubleshoot it. Not long after, I called it quits... and began reevaluating my employment options.

I've mentioned this before... ES is seeing major change in new members - Reads to me it's transforming from "do-it-yourself".... to Customer Service for much of the junk arriving from overseas. No schematics and no easy component pinouts to follow. Sadly, much of Amber Wolf's keyboard time was spent coaxing the necessary details from the noob, before he could even render a reasonably accurate diagnoses.

Electronic technicians need to be engineers to figure much of this stuff out now... Amber is/was one of best, and I'm not surprised at his well deserverd absents.
 
Well i'm personally here for DIY until it no longer exists :cool:

Yeah during covid people bought ebikes like mad. Bike riding was one of the few legally approved activities. So we're dealing with the aftermath of that.

Another thing is that google boosted us to the top of most searches this year. They changed their algorithm. Sites with lots of information, that were fast, and had no ads, AI crap, aggressive SEO work got downranked to hell. We got upranked like crazy.

So welcome to the newb flood of 2024! The year that broke AW's back o_O

On the other hand we've also got some new DIYing members mixed in, and we like that.


We need to come up with an efficient way to play alibaba/abandonware tech support. My best thought is a knowledgebase where you can copypasta articles that people with experience wrote. Maybe i'll even make buttons on the screen and find a way to directly copy paste the article contents into the message. We just need to put heads together and write a couple good diagnostic procedures/self help articles.

If we cannot do that, we should make it clear on/around the entry that this is DIY country, don't expect good help if you didn't build it... and Move said posts to a section called 'prebuilt questions'.

Whaddya dudes think about either route?
 
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We just need to put heads together and write a couple good diagnostic procedures/self help articles.
Diagnostic Procedures? The only DP I remember was hand written on the blackboard in a hydraulic seminar in SLC, eons ago.

1. Understand the system
2. List the symptoms
3. List probable causes
4. Isolate the culprit
5. Take corrective action
 
1. Understand the system
2. List the symptoms
3. List probable causes
4. Isolate the culprit
5. Take corrective action
I wasn't at that seminar, but these are the EXACT steps I take when shooting trouble. I repair landlines and will have 27 years experience this year. Following these steps (especially the first one) has given me high success and confidence to repair other things around the house.

Also really like the idea of a "How to ask a good first question." Also easier to read through. Sometimes I feel like I'm reading a waterfall. Like "WTF did I just read? I wish there were pictures"
 
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