ICON Mailing List - Listing of all Public Opinions

68 Total Opinions; 55 Public; 13 Private

Why don't you express your opinion too?

Please note that the replies are Bill Meier's personal opinion, and may not result in any actual changes. However all input will be considered when making a decision.

Comment #68: December 12, 2004 11:18 AM; by Mike Doyle; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

The for sale pages issue is growing. It is a tgreat service as it stands. Works for me. And, it's FREE! However, it's either too limited as in the For Sale picture poster or too complicated as in the Insulator finder.


Dump the two for sale sections that exist and start an on-line auction. Take up a collection for the software. Charge an annual membership ($20 for buyers - $50 for seller/buyers) Link it to PayPal - simple and nearly fully automated - I'lll administrate it if you don't want the hastle.

Comment #67: January 26, 2004 5:48 PM; by ;

i have no complaints but can you do something about the duplicate listings. your doing a great job the subject but is there anyway the iconers can get those jerks that are selling stained insulators of the ebay insulator site.. thanks mike randall................

Comment #66: January 4, 2004 7:21 PM; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

Harvest is over and now I have all this free time. But enough about my problems....... Bill I'm not sure why a person would belong to icon and choose not to receive single message or digest. I can fully understand why a person would resign from icon. Many days it seems like I am reading a days old chatroom script between two or three bored members. Not what I'm looking for, fur sure ! And I am beginning to understand why people change their email address.....spam. But then you get stuck with undeliverable massages if they don't update their profile....... So. IF, if it was a requirement of icon membership that you must post once every six months that would , 1- keep membership and email delivery addresses updated; 2, add more variety to it's content. ( one would ass-ume that each member is actually interested in insulator related stuff and should have some comment to contribute.) 3, limit Brents postings to every Wednesday so he can get some work done at home :)) and a personal grievance of mine. Sometimes I really wonder if it's somehow personal. Over the years I have posted good ideas and great websites to check out. A month ago I found a site that had video footage of workers installing and repairing suspension lines 300 ft in the air. This footage is breathtaking, yet not one comment was posted or sent to me privately. not one. . A week ago someone posted a picture of what, a steam engine, and received several oh's and ah's. a year or so ago I posted a website for satellite imagery. You could zoom in close enough to see insulators on the poles but not close enough to id CD#. A great asset for planning hunts and covered 90 % of the us. I recieved ONE acknowledgment. just one. I think my parents raised me right. I used to hold the door open for people and then a year or two ago I noticed that thank yous were few and far between. I started counting and 27 people passed me through the door I was holding for them before one offered a halfhearted thanks. I no longer hold the door for the average person. As well, I am no longer posting anything more than chatter to icon. Sorry, but unless members appreciate contributions....... I'm sure I'm not the only one to feel this way. I don't think I have to point out to you how unappreciative the members are. I am amazed that you continue to contribute your expertise and time and server etc. I would have given up long ago. and without you looking, no, I have not contributed as much as a nickel for your support. It is on my to-do list just as soon as my records indicate that I have made even a small profit. James ps. With regard to last months soap-opera about sueing icon (you) and or certain members, I pose this observation. Is there any difference between icon and a telephone pole. Both are used for the average person to post their wants/needs/comments. and so, can you sue the telephone pole any more than you could sue icon, (you) ?

Comment #64: December 27, 2003 9:38 PM; by John Wilson ; digest mode subscriber;

Hello Bill, I really don't have any complaints about ICON. It seems to work very well and easily. I find that having each persons' e-mail address as a hyperlink on the header of their posting is quite convenient. Thank you and the reviewers for the great, and difficult, job you are doing. John W.


Don't recall when I joined ICON, that's why I haven't selected anything on the legnth of membership question.

Reply by Bill: January 5, 2004 11:54 AM

You are welcome! Wetry to keep ICON on track, and for the most part, I think it has worked. You can find out how long you, or anyone else, has been on ICON by going to the ICON search page off of

and searching for someone. That page will show when they joined. For you, that shows Sept 2001.

Comment #62: December 21, 2003 8:30 PM; by Montie McDowell; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

1. I would like to see an Insulator Photo of the month category. The best photo submitted to Icon photos during the month graded on quality of photo and imagination of the photographer. The winning photo can be chosen by a panel of ICON photo experts or voted on by ICON members. We also need a reference site where data can be compiled from ICON members on how to take insulator photos and novices like me can learn to take good photos with whatever equipment we may be limited to. I really enjoyed the info and links supplied by Bill Ostrander and other ICON members and it would be great to learn more especially the simple tricks which the experienced take for granted. 2. I would like to see a ICON topic(s) of debate submitted weekly and encourage all the oldtimers and lurkers to chime in at least once a month when a topic comes along that turns their crank and share it with new collectors in the hobby. How to generate topics? Well if your birthday falls sometime during the week write in on Monday to ICON about what topic you want to hear about.

Comment #61: December 20, 2003 7:07 AM; by Denley Bryson; joined less than two years ago;

ICON is fine , and your doing great as far as i can see. I read it every day, Maby Mike should open his owne political forum that the democrats can follow. Let the icon get back to insulators.

Comment #60: December 18, 2003 7:15 AM; by Edward Brown; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

Only one complaint: Let's stop hammering this ridiculous NIA "re-disticting" subject to death. It is getting VERY tedious.


Gerrymandering. it works for politicians, it can work for NIA.

Reply by Bill: January 5, 2004 11:55 AM

This has stopped now, and the people discussing it are working on it privately and submitting a proposal to the NIA.

Comment #59: December 16, 2003 5:52 PM; by Guy M Clegg ; joined more than two years ago;

Love ICON but the proublem is I some times stray over to ebay. Readers should be warnned daily what kind of scum rob you on ebay. As if you dont have enough to do Bill it would be great if ebay sellers had some grading guide line to go by. Im tired of buying vnm garbage!!! Also looking for supporter`s to start insulator museum, Have several prospect locations, Would like ICON Retirement got borring. The nation loves education by hands on viewing.interested partys please contact me and we can kick it around a little. p/o box 374 Lovelock Nevada 89419 is just for ICON members to reply,DONT SEND MONEY OR INSULATORS just comments or suggestions. TNX Guy M. Clegg

Reply by Bill: December 17, 2003 8:31 PM

If you are looking to start an Insulator Museum, pleae contact the NIA. -- They have done a lot of research on this topic.

Many eBay sellers are not formal insulator collectors, and of course their colors, descriptions, and damage information is probably not what we are used to from other collectors in the hobby. Buyer beware on eBay...

Comment #58: December 15, 2003 10:25 PM; by Gary Kline; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

I'd like to see a quick reference area for important link and email information pertaining to ICON. Everything in one place. Email addresses for mailing list,problems, review team, etc. (I do think you have been slowly moving in this direction with your site). I favor an uncensored digest except that all posts should be insulator/hobby related in some respect.


Many voices are heard through the ICON daily emails. Let's hear you folks REALLY speak now and become monetary sponsers of this fine site. Yearly contributing $10 or more is a great a great way to help Bill keep going what we all have come to enjoy. For all of us (including me): Quit complaining so much. Give others a chance to voice what is important to them, and listen. If you must debate, do it with respect. Read what you like, skip over the rest. Share with each other what is enjoyable and fun about our collecting and encourage one another.

Reply by Bill: December 16, 2003 3:17 PM

At least with respect to ICON, everything is available from
Yes, I wish everyone shared your solution, because then we would have no problems! I also agree with the insulator related posts. Sure, a question about a bottle or other items are fine. There is a great pool of knowledge amoung all the ICON members that is not specifically insulator related, and sometimes ICON is a good place to ask questions about something a little different.

I was thinking the other day, that I haven't really seen any "original posts" that have been all that bad... 95% of the time it is with the replies where things get out of hand...

Comment #57: December 15, 2003 2:39 PM; by Judd Moody; digest mode subscriber; joined less than two years ago;

Daily digest is great. The great melting pot that is the ICON reader base will always give a wide variety of views and opinions. The efforts of the review team have been noble and worth the effort. Suggestions: 1. Format the daily digest so that each posting is easily seperable from the next. 2. Picture gallery --- sort the main gallery listing page by category with the most recent update. (Currently there are two shows at the top -- then the regular galleries are alpha) Putting those with the newest picture date at the top would speed looking for new pictures.

Reply by Bill: December 19, 2003 6:54 PM

1) I do hope to improve the formatting of the digest so messages are easier to see, and so one can reply to a message more easily

2) The gallery is sorted by album name (numbers just happend to sort before letters), and I think for consistency the display of the order of the albums from day to day should be the same. However, I will consider an option to sort by any of the three headings.

Followup: December 19, 2003 6:54 PM

2) I have implemented the sorting on the main album page. The default is still the same, but if you want to book mark rather than just the pictures area, for you, they will always come out sorted by date updates. Give it a try!

Comment #56: December 14, 2003 8:59 PM; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

It was said... "Some people just don't see to get it... what's insulator related and what is garbage.. What is a valuable comment and what is not..."


Skip the warnings and suspend those who don't seem to get it. Even the delete key needs a break every once and a while.

Comment #54: December 14, 2003 2:19 PM; by Craig Johnson; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

I don't have any real complaints or problems with ICON or the way it's administered. But to be honest, I don't read them all since getting out of the hospital earlier this year - don't see so well anymore ya know.


Just wanted to say "Thank you" to Bill, who tirelessly administers the ICON mailing list, the photo gallery, and the insulator web site.

Comment #53: December 12, 2003 6:42 PM; by Mike Guthrie; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

Occasionally I find a post in the digest I would like to reply to but the format requires that I copy the posters address and rewrite it into a new message. Is there any way to post these messages to digest mode that allows for a single click reply to any of the posts??

Reply by Bill: December 12, 2003 7:34 PM

I am working on a new digest format that will allow "one click" replies to a specific message. Click on a link, and you will be brought into your mailer with a message addressed to ICON and with a subject of "Re: " whatever that subject is of the message you are replying to. Can't get much simplier!!

Comment #51: December 12, 2003 3:27 PM; digest mode subscriber; joined less than a year ago;

First I would like to say, I enjoy reading ICON - good job Bill and everyone who submits stories, questions, & answers. Maybe this should go under "Posting Etiquette" My biggest complaint has to do with how some ICON posters reply to a post and add their two cents. Many ICON'ers copy and repost the entire post they are responding too. This results in some extremely long drawn out posts! I would encourage everyone to refrain from this practice as it makes reading ICON very tedious - especially if you are in digest mode - you have to go through something you have already read (maybe several times!) to get to the next subject. For example, if someone wanted to respond to this entry - I believe they should say something along the lines of: I am responding to Rob Gilkerson's post of 12/12/03 on "Posting Etiquette" then give their two cents, and not repeat my entire post. Thank you, Rob Gilkerson

Comment #50: December 12, 2003 12:48 PM; by Andrew Gibson; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

Posting multiple images to the Photo Gallery is, well, not difficult, but certainly could be improved. Lee Brewer posted a similar feedback, though his suggestion is a bit different than mine. The problem is two-fold (in my opinion) -- if you are linking, you need the ID, which you can't get unless you go back to the gallery and select your image; and if the order is important, when you upload them you need to do that in reverse order so that the displayed order is correct.


1) On the page displayed when an image is added, display the photo ID. 2) On the upload page, provide an option to upload multiple images. Provide multiple inputs for title, description, and file. When upload, upload in reverse order (so that the display order is exactly as entered). Provide an option to automatically link them all together (i.e. append a Next going to the next image in the sequence to all except the last one).

Comment #49: December 12, 2003 10:18 AM; by Ed Holland; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

ICON is my favorite place on web and is the only listserve on chat group in which I'm currently active. Overall, the tone and level of personal respect among participants is better than other groups I'm familiar with. ICON flames really are minimal, and I think that the Review Team (of which I'm a member) process has contributed to this. My goal is for the Review Team to be perceived as a constructive and necessary feature of ICON -- rather than as a Big-Brotherhood of nameless bureaucrats. What I like about ICON: informational posts, GOOD photographs, occasional witticisms, spirited but respectful debate, good fellowship, contact with other collectors, etc. What I don't like: repeated references to painted or suspect insulators (ENOUGH already!); excessive and inane off-topic messages; poor quality photographs in the ICON gallery. What I don't like:


ICON Review Team messages should be as casual, conversational, and matter-of-fact as possible in order to soften the perception that the Review Team is claque of nameless mindless regulators.

Reply by Bill: December 12, 2003 11:46 AM

I'm a member of the review team too, and I agree with Ed that we need to have the review team feel more like "real people", rather than a bureaucratic group of invisible people. We are insulator collectors just like you, and regularly participate in ICON discussions.

Comment #48: December 11, 2003 9:55 PM; by Eddie Lewis; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

I previewed the new "Price Guide Browser and know I'll enjoy it when completed, however found it hard to read without scale drawings or pictures. I hope you will include all the cd listings pictures in the browser.

Reply by Bill: December 12, 2003 11:42 AM

While this is not a specific question related to ICON or it is a project I am managing, so I'll give an answer. CD drawings will not be included in the initial release. It is something I may be able to do in the future. John McDougald is concerned about releasing the scale drawings, and he stated that we can not release them with this first version, so I am bound to his decision.
However, we may be able to work something out where the pictures are available only on the web, accessed in a more secure manner. SO, if you are connected to the Internet, you can view them, and if you aren't you will not be able to, although all the other functions will work.
Any updates like this which are done, will be available at no charge to those who have purchased the initial Price Guide Browser.

Comment #46: December 11, 2003 5:15 PM; by Caleb T.; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

I want to be sure to thank Bill for all his hard work at developing, maintaining and now his ongoing efforts to improve this site. I'd like to find easier access to all the cool links and gizmos he creates for us ICON folks to use. For example, he often creates clever software tools to make our lives as collectors easier and privately sends us the link. But in my case, my computer crashed and I no longer have access to a link to a photo editing tool he developed. I know there were several other links he sent out on ICON like this the web address tool for making smaller links to send out to others, etc. I can't think of them all but I had been saving them until my 'puter went south. Thanks.


Perhaps have a 'techie' links page or section on the website to find all these software tools he develops and offers us on ICON. Thanks again Bill you are truly appreciated.

Reply by Bill: December 12, 2003 7:38 PM

Yes, I admit it... There are some useful tools to resize and optimally compress JPEG images, tools to encode an email address on a web page so spam-bots can't get it and the "ICON power toys". Some of these are more hidden than they could be, and I will try and make them more public! (I'm planning on moving one of the tools so I'm not going to give you a specific link now)

Comment #45: December 11, 2003 2:29 PM; by Rick Soller; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;


I would like to be able to download the list of insulators for sale into my own database so I can save it forever. Is that possible? Can you provide some instructions on how to do that?

Reply by Bill: December 11, 2003 8:10 PM

There is no easy way to do this at this time. If you know some html, and have a text editor (or MS word) it isn't too had to strip off all the tags in the html file listing of the for sale list. Although the information is "public" I'm not sure all the sellers would like this information downloaded into a master database. Of course, I have a master database to be able to generate the lists. Why don't you poll some of the sellers, and see what their opinion is about having their list turned into a database?

Comment #44: December 11, 2003 11:24 AM; by Martin & Brenda VandeVoort; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

I have a couple of items. First , we try from time to to time to sell off some insulators, to thin out our collection and when it comes to pricing we really struggle. We view all of the current lists on Icon and Ebay but still feel as tho we are in a guessing game. Our price objective is simply to be at or near market value, if there is such a thing. As you all know,Variations in color,markings, mold lines etc.,etc. all have a direct impact on the price range but how much do these variations actually impact the value? We have the current price guide but no one seems to follow it. I doubt if there is a single solution but any assistance would be of value. Secondly, It would ne nice to see more information on antenna strains, again leaning toward their value.

Reply by Bill: December 17, 2003 8:09 PM

The variations you talk about, from simple things like different embossings to obvious things like color can significantly affect the value of an insulator. In some extreme cases, the difference between a Hemingray Blue insulator, and a Peacock Blue insulator can be a factor of 200!! (from $50 to $10,000) Of course, damage decreases the price, but how much? There is no magic formula, but the price guide is a good start for a ball-park estimate. You really don't know the market value until you sell it. You can approach this in three ways. One, start high and lower the price until it sells. Two, pick a price which you will be satisfied with when it sells, even if its not "top dollar". Three, put the item up for auction. There are market variations, especially with auctions on eBay that can change the selling price by a factor of 5 or more from day to day! Personally, I'd advocate option #1 or #2.

As you know there is a brief go-withs page on radio strains. There is no reference quick reference as to what variations exist, nor what their values are. Your best bet is to contact someone who is familiar with radio strains such as Dan Howard. Look him up on the ICON search pages. (I don't want to post an email address here)

Comment #43: December 11, 2003 9:54 AM; by Randy Wesner; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

Eliminate the email all together.


There is a site that I visit everyday, actually several times a day. It's a bulletin board. There are several catagories to choose from and countless topics in each catagory. For example,you could have catagories for glass, mud, "fakes" alerts, what I'm selling on ebay, what the heck is this thing?, and off topic postings, and so on. Pictures can be posted along with your posting as well as an assortment of those annoying smiley faces to express yourself. If you don't care about mud?, do go there, don't give a hoot about fakes? don't go there either. Responses to posting are immediate, and a little flag can light up in front of the title to notify a new posting on that topic. The site is called Go give it a look, when the main page loads click on bulletin board and search around a bit, see if you like the way it's laid out. Bill can still send out an email everyday with a link to the page and the titles of the previous days postings. Just a thought.

Comment #42: December 11, 2003 9:42 AM; by Bob Roehrig; single mode subscriber;

I do get tired of posts about fake insulators on ebay. But since this seems to be a fairly big problem, I am surprised there is nothing about it on the web site.


Put a section on the web page talking about ans showing examples of fake/altered insulators.

Reply by Bill: December 11, 2003 8:30 PM

There is a very complete reference book on-line about this topic on the books page. In addition, typing in 'fake insulators' or 'stained insulators' into the search engine on the site (both on the home page directly, and from a link on the home page) will yield the information you are looking for.

Comment #40: December 10, 2003 9:58 AM; by John Wise; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

There are far too many posts about stained or colored insulators for sale on e-bay. Also there have been a few topics where a specific item was just beat to death. As an example, remember how many days were consumed by a Brookfield signal, i think it was a CD 162.1. Also, even though it is probably risky, I would have liked to see some names of those responsible for the phony ECM's instead of them just being referred to as "The Dealer."

Comment #39: December 9, 2003 7:04 PM; by Randal Wickersham; digest mode subscriber; joined less than two years ago;

I have no complaints with ICON. I would like to see more insulators in the wild if photos exist like Kansas City cobalts in the 1960s, E.C. & M s in the desert, Jumbos in the subway, mickeys on the interurban and candlesticks on the rooftops.


Perhaps a photo contest or cash honorarium to the photographer for sharing their images on the ICON net.

Reply by Bill: December 11, 2003 8:33 PM

Of course, I can only post what people give me. Something like a "best of the web" photo contest may bring out some choice shots. Of course, be sure to see the "Insulators in Service" section of the photo gallery.

Comment #38: December 9, 2003 3:44 PM; by Paul Deriso; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

I would like to see more in depth threads about various insulators. Past topics like leakage paths, number of dots and is it a 162 or 162/1, as well as the hunt stories, are the posts that I enjoy. I skip over the arguments, name calling and fussing about the fakes. I do not know if others share my view, or if they prefer the current mix of posts. However if others would like more "insulator threads" a suggestion follows.


Perhaps a permanent or rotating "committee" could meet via email to develop a list of topics that hopefuly would generate discussions on a periodic basis. Maybe a "ICON topic of the week" feature could be initiated. At the conclusion of the week, or whatever time period is chosen, the committee may want to recap, or just accumulate all of the posts, for future reference on the subject.

Reply by Bill: December 12, 2003 8:00 PM

You have some good ideas. Areas I'm looking into are 1) having a topic of the week, 2) have a knowledgeable person in a specific area post some educational material with some leading questions, 3) have some one be able to collect and summarize the posts on any "good" topic, and this would be archieved on the web site for ICON and others to refer to and 4) try to get some of the "old timers" to share some of their knowledge with us, and/or share some collecting stories that will make you wish you were back in the 1970's or 1980's !! Each of these areas could involve a dozen or more people.

Comment #35: December 9, 2003 11:39 AM; by Arthur McConnachie; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

Non-insulator-relating postings, including the virus warnings and patriotic contributions. If it isn't about insulators, it doesn't belong on ICON.


One warning, then banishment for one year for the second offense. I am not sure how the list server works, but some bulletin boards allow members to 'ignore' all postings from specific users. This may be beyond the functionality of the list server.

Reply by Bill: December 11, 2003 8:26 PM

What is a non-insulator post can be hard to define, and I don't think we should come up with strict definition of what is and isn't insulator-related. I personally prefer not to see virus warnings (that seems to have gotten better), nor religous or patriotic contributions either. The list server does have the functionality of setting a member "read only" where they are able to read all the messages but is unable to post any to ICON. I do feel that the "two strikes and you are out" you propose is a little harsh.

Comment #34: December 9, 2003 11:08 AM; by Lee Brewer; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

When using "sort by name" in an ICON photo gallery listing, one needs to hit the button a lot of times to see what Zachary Zithman listed as the entire list needs be gone through to get to Z's.


How about a pop up menu on the 'name' link that is already there so to allow a choice of which letter of the alphabet to start listing from?

Comment #33: December 9, 2003 10:56 AM; by Lee Brewer; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

Minor difficulty in posting and linking series of pictures to the photo gallery. Finding the links to use the [id=nnnnn] numbers to use requires a reload of each picture.


Attempted pseudocode follows, Bill! Put a check box at the start of a posting (on the ‘get info from user about posting page’ - hereafter noted as 'Getpage') which asks "Do you intend to post a series of pictures"? It automatically defaults to "NO" (accomodating so most people NOT to have to make an additional click). If, before the upload, the YES option for this question is chosen: 1. The program flags the computer to store the ID's of the about-to-be uploaded pic in a buffer 2. The program adds a question to the Getpage: "are you finished with the series posting"? The Default is "NO" thereby eliminating a click on "NO" for each time a new pic is to be added. 3. The program to add a new line/link to the Getpage which says "click here to link pictures together" (hereafter known as the “ID-page”) From the option taken in number 3, have a link/selectable list of ID numbers allowing linking of pics together (allowing any combo of interlinking). Links are appended to text body included with the picture or - for the fun of it (hey all programming is fun...right?), have the program give a (click here to edit text) option to edit the newly appended text so statemetns may be added in the HTML window such as "{id=nnnnn] for another picture of this wonderful insulator!" thereby producing text on the webpage of: “Click here for another picture of this wonderful insulator!” the ‘click here to edit text’ option should show the final output and bring you back to the ID-page (when you tell it to).

Comment #32: December 9, 2003 10:18 AM; by Redmtnman : Ken Rawles; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

My PRIMARY complaint is that: THIS is a Great Collectors site!Why not keep it the way it is and ( NEGATIVE people - please remember the amount of time put in by BILL .Instead of spending your time on " 1/2 Glass of water criticism!Consider the good that the sit does in keeping us ALL imformed on the subject of Insulator collecting!Keep up the great Job BILL & Happy Holidays!

Reply by Bill: December 12, 2003 8:14 PM

I have to agree with you. Probably no one other than my wife Jill, knows about the enormous about of time I put into the web site and some of its neat features, as well as managing ICON. I have had many compliments that this is one of the best hobby sites they have seen, and also that ICON is a great resource for insulator collectors. If some people would just think of this wonderful free resource they have access to before they make ICON posts, the resource would become even more useful! Sometimes people take all this for granted, and don't realize the significance of it all. Imagine being able to ask questions and have some of the leading authorities in that area answer them for you. Or share in the thrill of following the adventures of a young collector from Hungry, and seeing what insulator collecting is like over there. Take a look at his website!

Comment #31: December 9, 2003 10:16 AM; by Lee Brewer; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

I realize this is an opinion & therefore I am sticking my neck out. We live in a world where things are not going to be perfect and i can live with that. I very much would like to let my children read ICON and get involved. However, NO FINGERS BEING POINTED, sometimes the ‘language’ is a little more than I can allow my kids to read. There are some general words that some people consider acceptable. This is their business and I will not look down at anyone who has these standards - a lot of these people are my friends and can attest to my not letting anything like this stand in the way of our friendship. Somehow people just pick up that I do not use anything that people/students/children may find offensive. I do not think I have ever mentioned it to anyone (?). I am an owner of a TV Guardian so my children are not exposed to 'colorful metaphors' (as Captain Kirk would say - and, BTW, I heavily edited/cut scenes from this film for my family to see). I figure when they are on their own they will get enough of it.


A scanner for the incoming email to replace questionable language (let's not split hairs - waste of time - just anything that is seen and known to be a legit curse word - even if accepted by TV) with 'symbolism like the "Tasmanian Devil' is drawn with (although I do not think Warner was having 'Taz swear. This is just for the sake of younger people who do not need more of this. I guess the teacher in me is showing once again - but so is the father! We want young collectors - this would make it, at least, so maybe some youths would have a 'safer' environment. A filter has problems with discerning which type of dam a person means -- 'legit' for water -- or otherwise. Maybe a "Child-User Friendly Clause" could be added to the rules for the reveiwers to filter and this way no one need take offense at an edit occuring manually? I know I have a difficult time explaining to my kids why there are things they should not say and then calling something 'adult' which does says them periodically.

Comment #29: December 8, 2003 10:44 PM; by Dick Mallory;

I don't care if people vent, If I don't find it interesting, I just skip over it. I am more interested in reading stories from oldtimer lineman, or enthusiastic young folks, (like Zoltan and Barrett) who are in an area where abandon glass is still to be had

Comment #28: December 8, 2003 10:40 PM; by dick mallory; joined more than two years ago;

I have no complaint, it is near perfect. Sorry that I have been busy with other things and haven't been too active, but I am deeply gratefull for what you are doing

Comment #27: December 8, 2003 10:12 PM; by Pat Scott ; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

My biggest complaint is simply the length to which the bashing threads can go. When people talk about a bogus eBay auction and stray further and further off topic, I find myself deleting before reading. Being on single mode, I have this option. That being said, I tend to dwell on the positives of ICON more. Without it, I can not tell you how many people I would not have met, either in person through arrangements to get insulators, or just those people you know well from bring on-line with them. I've many times noted to myself and a friend of mine on ICON that it seems we can complain about eBay or an alleged seller of fakes for days on end, but when it comes to posting a story about a hunt, or asking a question about an insulator, or letting everyone know of a neat find, there is little reaction. It was so refreshing lately when started a thread about chair leg insulators, and it went on for days on end. That hadn't happened with an insulator related thread in some time. If something needs to be dragged out, that is what it is.... a talk about insulators. While some people may be bored after a while, or may not care about the subject in the first place, at least it is about insulators, and if positive, constructive, and related comments keep going on that subject day after day, then I guess people still want to talk about it, so why stop it? So, basically, I suppose it is just the negativity that has crept into the board that has me most irritated. But, I still have never had the inkling to drop off ICON, and still pay my 10 bucks a year each October (aside from this October, ooops, I forgot, and I'll send a check right away. I'm out of the labels anyway.) Take another example of the current thread of the Coolie drip points. What a great thread. It has been going on for a while, doesn't look to be giving up yet, and although I personally couldn't care less if coolie drip points are square, it is about insulators, it asks questions, gains insights, starts theories, and I read it regardless of my lack of tangible interest in Coolie hats.


What can be done about this? Well maybe you need to just step in when things get too far with these negative subjects, and tell people to move on. Period. And don't worry about wielding too much authority. Yes, maybe that will require you to wear some stripes of authority on your sleeve. But I'll bet many more people would respect your wishes when asking to stop bickering than they would when asked by some mysterious review team. People see this as your site, because you put the work into it. Review team or not, I think you probably command more authority anyway. You've put an end to the bickering in the past from time to time. Maybe just do that more often, like every time it needs to be done, and that will help quell the fires. And, perhaps a big list of insulator related questions at one's side may help redirect the attention. Let's say you get on and say "OK guys, enough talking about this subject, it has gone on long enough, and it is very negative. Instead, how many people here have.....?" and you ask a question about hunts, or what is in people's collections, or what have people found recently at flea markets, etc. Basically, stop the garbage, here's a thread to change the subject.

Comment #26: December 8, 2003 8:31 PM; by Bill Haley; digest mode subscriber; joined less than 6 months ago;

I have only been an ICON member for a few months. I get the digest every day and prefer to receive it in one e-mail. I certainly am not interested in everything anyone has to say, but I read most of it. I love stories about hunts, finds and have even enjoyed the recent thread about date codes on Hemingrays. I almost quit subscribing awhile back because of all the whining about ebay. I say if they don't like it, stay off it! I especially dislike seeing personal attacks on people perceived as offering tinted, stained, altered stuff. A couple of the people I've seen mentioned are guys I've bought insulators from on ebay and at insulator shows and I've always been completely satisfied with the deals. And they weren't fakes of any kind! I feel there is no room for such personal attacks where someone is singled out for persecution. If a person likes gaudy, weird and unnatural colors...I guess that's what they prefer to buy. They probably wonder why some crazies would fork out hundreds of dollars for a rare old AQUA insulator when they can have some really pretty ones for much less.


Continue asking people to stay away from personal attacks on other contributers. It has no place in discussions about insulators. There is such a wealth of information out there and so many people who share it freely. That is the real strength of the ICON forum. As a newcomer, people have been extremely friendly and helpful with answers to my questions. You are doing a great service to collectors and a great job.

Comment #25: December 8, 2003 8:13 PM; by Mike Whitaker; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

Beating a dead horse has got to be the #1 problem with the Icon forum. If the topic is constructive and of a historical, informational or research nature I'm all for long threads. When I have to scroll through a dozen replys to"Look at this fake insulator on Ebay" I get tired of reading that days digest and usually delete it possibly missing some useful information.


If you feel you absolutely must resond to Joe Smoes comment about the "painted insulator" either do it in private emails or at the very least cut out all the other text from the previous 25 people that just had to comment about the"painted insulator". Also don't make it a back and forth bickering match, make your point and move on. Human nature is difficult to change but a gentle shove in the right direction goes a long way.

Comment #24: December 8, 2003 6:32 PM; by Le Roy Niemi; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

The Format on ICON is perfect. I am using the single mode and by using this, I can keep the info I want and delete what I don`t want. I learn something new every day even if it isn`t Insulator related. Thank You Bill

Comment #23: December 8, 2003 5:38 PM; by Pope Pius X; digest mode subscriber; joined less than two years ago;

None ! You're doing just fine, Bill.

Comment #22: December 8, 2003 12:45 PM; by Dwayne Anthony; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

In some situations there are topics that come up that could be best addressed with a polling or survey page, rather than have myriads of individual replies with similar answers. Polls and surveys may also encourage more participation from the lurkers, since the input is easy and anonymous.


Set up a page with a form (similar to the one used for this opinion poll) where members can easily post questions, then provide single or multiple choice answers. Once a given poll or survey is constructed and submitted to the "ICON Survey Page", members click on their answer choice(s). A running tally provides the current results. Here's a mock up example: (Question): I have a photo posted in the photo gallery (provide link) of a Coolie Hat with round drip points. Is it your opinion that these are: (clickable choices)1--Underpoured sharp drip points. 2--Actual factory round drip points. 3--Round drip points caused by aftermarket alterations. 4--None of the above.(end) Depending on how creative our webmaster wants to get, such polls and surveys can be used in many beneficial ways, including the gathering of historical data, etc.

Comment #20: December 8, 2003 11:52 AM; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;


I couldn't survive without ICON and my morning cup of coffee! Bill, you are to be commended for your diligence and "stick-to-ativness". ICON is such an excellent source of info for those of us who are semi-new to the hobby. My daughter and I have learned so much, attended shows and tailgaters and met so many wonderful folks because of ICON. I appreciate when an insulator on Ebay is said to possibly be a fake. While I rarely bid at that site I certainly can't rely on my limited judgement to know and I suspect this is true for others. Keep up the good work!

Comment #19: December 8, 2003 11:31 AM; by Gary Gaz aka Doc Rock; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

I have no complaints with ICON. Bill you spend a lot of time and offer a place to "congregate." Unfortunatly it has been my experience that no matter what group you put together there are always a few that spend way too much time minding others business, self proclaimes experts. As the recent discussion on "lawsuits" is an example. The real experts post on insulator facts. Not opinion or speculation and never about people, unless its a compliment. Because of that you have instigated the review board, which I personally don't like but I do hope it does some good.


I doubt if it would be possible but if there was some way you could allow people to squelch who they want. Not knowing a lot about computers I would assume this wouldn't be possible without at least a lot of work. Thanks for all you do and allowing me to enjoy it.

Comment #17: December 7, 2003 10:10 PM; by Dale Stevens; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

It seems that most of the current suggestions are for others to change the way they act/post to the mailing list. I admit to being mostly a lurker - only about 3-4 messages in as many years. But I *Always* enjoy reading my morning digest - regardless of the content. As for ICON, I can think of no complaints or suggestions for improvement. I enjoy this resource very much!


Many of the mailing lists I have been on in the past have been very uncivil. On ICON, things flare up, then they die down. It is part of the natural order of these sorts of things. Personally, I plan on showing my continued support of Bill and ICON by being the first to donate $$ for 2004. I challenge all who read this suggestion to try and beat me to it! :-)

Comment #16: December 7, 2003 6:40 PM; by Scott Morrell; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

When people post links, especially to ebay auction items, they typically don't work for me. Usually I find the ending bracket ">" is highlighted as part of the link, rendering the link unusable. If I really want to see the link, I know how to cut, paste, and remove the bracket. But I usually don't bother unless I am very eager to see the item.

Comment #15: December 7, 2003 2:38 PM; by Bill Ostrander; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

1) Too much complaining. 2) Possibly too restrictive with the ICON review board. 3) I think overall it has been a very POSITIVE tool for the hobby!


1) Probably never solve this "problem"...and maybe it really isn't a problem. After all, people express themselves differently...some meekly and quietly, and some loud and brash, though they each might be trying to say the same thing. 2) I think the review board has been doing a fair job. However, I was disappointed that the photo for the suspect pink hat was removed from the photo page. I don't know the circumstances, but information like that is very important for the hobby's discussion. Perhaps it was just in the way it was a factual fake, with people being named and accused without proof.

Comment #14: December 7, 2003 11:27 AM; by Jim Decker; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

I have no complaints about the list at this time.


I would like to say THANKS to Bill for creating and maintaining something that is an asset to the hobby. We all need to remember that as long as humans are involved with anything, it will not be "perfect". I support your efforts, keep up the good work!

Comment #13: December 7, 2003 10:47 AM; by Justin Stoudt; single mode subscriber; joined less than two years ago;

None really, I just have an idea to get more info to the public. As a solution with the non-sence posts, I say just delete them and move to the ones that matter.


As a web designer and fellow insulator collector I have been thinking it would be good to see a website with just "facts". When there is a good conversation on the ICON mailing list there is usually good facts that more than likely will be forgotten in a few weeks by most members. Thus having some sort of way for ICON members to add content to with facts ex: about the date codes (yes there is an article about it already) but it could go more in depth. Make a research database where everyone can participate in the study and add there findings and everyone can see the results. I hope you understand what I am trying to say, (one of those things that ya know what you want to say but cant spit it out in an understandable way lol) Feel free toemail me if you have any questions!

Comment #12: December 7, 2003 4:35 AM; by DRH; single mode subscriber; joined less than two years ago;

My biggest concern is what I see as....lets say, backstabbing....hard feelings....big egos. Everyone is allowed there opinion, but theres way too much arguing, fighting and general disturbances. As far as I'm concerened the ICON mailing list and the rest of is wonderful, but everybody needs to just get along! Were here to help one another, but it seems theres "hidden feelings" out there, swirling around until somebody gets upset.


It's pretty much up to the members of iCON to put there toungue in cheek and stop being so darn defensive/offensive about things. Accusations are wrong, but remember, if you aren't guilty, why let them bother you? I'd almost suggest small one day "suspensions" for non consructive arguments and flat out disrespect. I have a feeling it would reduce the numbers on ICON, but the ones leaving would most likely the ones causing the problems!

Comment #11: December 6, 2003 11:54 PM; by Carol Kerns; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

In digest mode, it's difficult to scan effectively -- it all looks alike, so it all runs together. I think this contributes to the complaints about snippets and one-liners, so I'd really like to see it solved...those casual comments are often the best part of ICON!


Is it possible to apply some formatting? It would be great to alternate background tints, or at least use horizontal lines, to show where one post begins and another ends. Within each post, could the poster's name be larger than surrounding text? And could quoted text could be italicized or bolded? I think these changes might make it easier to quickly interpret what's what.

Comment #10: December 6, 2003 9:39 PM; by Chile; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

People who don't follow rules and complicate ICON.


Use Your delete button if you don't like it

Comment #8: December 6, 2003 2:02 PM; by Bill Kemp; single mode subscriber;

Posts sent in with the complete message they are replying to. Waste of bandwith Also posts with silly snipets referring to another post.


The word snip works. Sent a reply to the other party direct.

Comment #7: December 6, 2003 1:57 PM; by John Rajpolt; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

One of my thoughts is to have a better way to search the photos. Sometimes, I like to see what photos I have posted - especially in the 'For Sale' section so I can remove/update them. Also, sometimes I know I have posted a photo in the Collections section and I would like to point it out to someone. It is hard to find them without manually looking.

Comment #6: December 6, 2003 1:52 PM; by Gene Hawkins; digest mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

Beating dead horses gets pretty old, but unless someone has the good conscience to not add to whining, the'll post them. Most people have the courtesy not to add. Long digests (50 posts or so) do take a while to read through. I sometimes delay reading for a couple of days until I have time to do so. Short digests are quickly read. Some long digests have great topics in them, with lots of info, so I'm not willing to NOT read them.


I honestly think the good outweighs the bad. I just fastforward through the garbage to look at the gems. I don't think limiting posts or any other thing I've heard is worth it. The freedom to post is worth putting up with the detractors.

Comment #5: December 6, 2003 12:51 PM; by David Wiecek; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

Quanity vs.quality of posts. Some folks like to post 1 liners with no real value added or to just make unnecessary comments. Sometimes I think they just like to see their name in print or to stir the pot. I am in single message mode so read and delete is easy. Its just more of an annoyance at times.


Give subscribers a monthly message limit with 'no rollover minutes'. If you use up you allocation for the month, you can't post anything until the following month. It might encourage some to think and ask themselves "do I really want to waste one of my messages with this useless comment" before they hit the send key. Programmatically, this should be too difficult.

Reply by Bill: December 11, 2003 8:37 PM

I think the one line posts and some of the off-beat snippets don't add to the content, and just increase the number of messages. Of course it is harder for the digest mode people to skip over these messages... I don't believe a monthly message quota will solve the problem, but with some gentle reminders I think this can be reduced.

Comment #3: December 5, 2003 9:49 PM; by Debbie Kinloch & Mike Csorbay; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

The most aggravating thing to me is the people who complain and whine. If someone posts about fakes, or cautions the membership about something (or someone) and it's insulator-related, you get 5 people who write in to say, "I'm sick of so many posts about this or that". To me, these are truely posts that contribute nothing to ICON, and takeup our time to read (unnecessarily). I don't think I've ever complained about an original post; I just read and delete what I don't want, and keep what I consider to be good info.


Direct the complainers to address the Reviewers. The Reviewers can let everyone know when a certain number of negatives have been accumulated, and then there will be only *one* post, from the Reviewers, saying, "it's time to move on", or "our attention has been called to this". The Reviewers could have a form letter to acknowledge receipt of complaint related e-mails, to save time by not having to author individual responses.

Comment #2: December 5, 2003 7:57 PM; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

A) Certain members waste our time with too much nonsense/pointless posts. B) Too many experienced old-timers are lurkers-only when they should be more vocal & post more great info for the rest of us!! C) The great majority of ICON members(new and old) never post anything. Go ahead, don't be shy, ask questions, and get some good threads going! (Sorry, can't limit it to just one item!)


I honestly don't have an answer for that, other than posting these observations/suggestions/gripes for all ICONers to see!

Reply by Bill: December 12, 2003 8:05 PM

Yes, it's often hard to "beat a post" out of some of these people, but I think when they see the quality of ICON (as it's improving), I hope they will be more inclined to post something. Have some members approach a friend of their's and ask "Why don't you post something about XYZ?" For the newcomers, as they say "there are no stupid questions" and for those of you who remember, at least ICON has stopped responding with the answer "Get the book!"

Comment #1: December 5, 2003 5:56 PM; by Bill Meier; single mode subscriber; joined more than two years ago;

Stop all the accusations that occur that only hurt others


Have this specific case well defined in the guidelines, what is an accusation and what is not, with examples. When violated, as soon as this is noticed by the reviewers, they will send a message to the person (and ICON). No further action will be taken at that time.

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