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Re: New model needed

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:11 pm
by kevin
Neil Foxlee wrote:It seems to be dying a natural death anyway.


No one seems to have picked up on the above point or if they have then they have buried their head in the sand.

I agree with Neil. The board is in terminal decline and the problem is since Charlie's passing there is no Great Steersman to keep a light hand on the tiller.

Some of AndyM's comments on the board are in my opinion quite vindictive and only serve to drive people away.

A lot of regulars posters have stopped contributing and if it carries on like this there shall soon only be a cosy coterie of backscratchers and backstabbers remaining and that would be a terrible thing.

I don't know what the solution is but I do know there is a problem.

Re: New model needed

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:51 pm
by Rob Hall
I was actually on the point of replying to Neil's sign-off last night, but then decided not to. Now that you've raised it again Kevin, I'll say what I was going to say last night in response to the accusation that the forum is dying: I disagree. Different people have different views on what this forum is, or isn't, about. For my own part, I think it works best as an information exchange. Other people use it as a shop window for their personal enthusiasms. Experience has shown us that It can be both, and I am sure that there are more variants on how it can be used. If this - or any - forum is to thrive, it will be because of those who are around to contribute to it. I would have thought that stomping off into the wilderness while commenting on the forum's health is a course of action more likely to hasten the forum's demise, so I wonder if the forum's health is of great concern to those who act in that way. You say, Kevin, that there is a problem. Of course there is, there are lots of problems and I don't believe that we shall ever be rid of them. It's how we deal with them that is important. If you are unhappy about something that someone has said, then say so. If you think that there aren't enough threads on a given subject, then start some.

Re: New model needed

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:24 pm
by Jonathan E.
If I'm interpreting Rob correctly, he's supporting a recognition of our diverse styles and interests — and that seems like a good thing to me. My earlier remark that "I live for disappointment" was strictly tongue in cheek. Occasionally, however, it is obvious that the rough and tumble of robust debate, quick comebacks, and entrenched positions offend those of a sensitive nature. What's to be done about it? A new model of human interaction? Sounds ambitious to me. But Rob ends with the sane advice of simply speaking up and speaking out, bringing your own cheer to the party.

Re: New model needed

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:32 pm
by AndyM
kevin wrote:Some of AndyM's comments on the board are in my opinion quite vindictive and only serve to drive people away.


Well if you're going to single me out, petal, you might at least quote chapter and verse.

Re: New model needed

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:39 pm
by gary booth
kevin wrote:
Neil Foxlee wrote:It seems to be dying a natural death anyway.


No one seems to have picked up on the above point or if they have then they have buried their head in the sand.

I agree with Neil. The board is in terminal decline and the problem is since Charlie's passing there is no Great Steersman to keep a light hand on the tiller.

Some of AndyM's comments on the board are in my opinion quite vindictive and only serve to drive people away.

A lot of regulars posters have stopped contributing and if it carries on like this there shall soon only be a cosy coterie of backscratchers and backstabbers remaining and that would be a terrible thing.

I don't know what the solution is but I do know there is a problem.



Terminal decline? I can't say I've noticed. It appears to be the same people doing the same stuff for over 4 years. "Lots of regular posters have stopped contributing." I'm curious to know actually how many? Although I'm a new contributor I'm an old reader and I thought I'd better look at the back pages just to confirm my feeling that it is the 'same people' and just a random look at various threads at the start of the forum meant I got bored after reaching 25 names or more that contribute daily/weekly to this day.

There were spats then, like now, and people leaving often in a huff (or a 'minute and a huff' - courtesy Groucho Marx) and usually coming back - which I hope Neil does very soon.
I'd be interested to know what 'the lots of problems' are that Rob refers to but it's his perogative not to share them. However, I think as well as all the fantastic information and entertainment this forum can provide the occasional (and it is occasional) spat, heated exchange, sarcasm ping pong is meat 'n' drink of forums. and providing it doesn't get abusive or vindictive I believe it's okay. And if and when it does people need to be mature enough to apologise.

Re: New model needed

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:41 pm
by Jonathan E.
AndyM wrote:
kevin wrote:Some of AndyM's comments on the board are in my opinion quite vindictive and only serve to drive people away.

Well if you're going to single me out, petal, you might at least quote chapter and verse.

I think I'd rather eat goji berries than read them again if you don't mind. Many of us are guilty to one degree of another of being offended by others' remarks or opinions and responding with further offense. It would be boring to drag them all out all over again and agonize over them. We have good days; we have bad; something gets under our skin; our fingers are itchy.* Civilization is collapsing — we just don't have time for chapter and verse.

*And — need I mention? — tongues get stuck between teeth. Better to bite one's tongue or leave a distended cheek? Sort of personal preference, I think.

Re: New model needed

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:43 pm
by AndyM
I asked Kevin as I'm geuinedly interested. I know I speak my mind, but with one or two exceptions I don't think I target other contributors, which is what 'vindictive' implies to me.

Re: New model needed

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:44 pm
by Jonathan E.
gary booth wrote: . . . 25 names or more that contribute daily/weekly to this day. . . .

There are as many as 25 of us?!?!

Statistics!

Re: New model needed

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:45 pm
by Jonathan E.
AndyM wrote:I asked Kevin as I'm geuinedly interested. I know I speak my mind, but with one or two exceptions I don't think I target other contributors, which is what 'vindictive' implies to me.

And I don't feel targeted 'cos Andy's such a lousy shot!

Re: New model needed

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:44 pm
by Jonathan E.
Jonathan E. wrote:
AndyM wrote:I asked Kevin as I'm geuinedly interested. I know I speak my mind, but with one or two exceptions I don't think I target other contributors, which is what 'vindictive' implies to me.

And I don't feel targeted 'cos Andy's such a lousy shot!

Just to be clear, this was my obscure way of saying that I don't consider Andy to be vindictive, adversarial as our relationship may be, irritating as I sometimes find his point of view to be, and emphatic as his retorts to me sometimes are. All too often, my aim isn't too good, either.

I think the dance of views is what's interesting — and for that reason I don't think the forum is dying. I don't even think it's on life support as it seemed to be sometime last year, although it may be well into middle age. For a start, most of us can spell.

Re: New model needed

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:54 pm
by Adam Blake
The thing is the life blood of the forum was Charlie and Charlie's show and that's gone. There was a regular turnover of new World Music to talk about and there isn't any more. The forum has changed as a result. Many people thought it would die very quickly and it hasn't done. For myself, I contribute a lot, and regularly, because the forum has been a very good influence on my life and I feel I owe it to Charlie (who asked me on here in the first place) to do my best to keep it going. Not that it's a hardship in any way. I really enjoy the conversations and camaraderie I find here. Sometimes people piss me off, and vice versa. I wouldn't expect it any other way. As someone who has always been 'lost to music' it's a real pleasure to find like minded souls to commune with. I would say there's been too much politics lately, myself very much guilty of this. I would argue that politics is very interesting at the moment but that's no excuse. There are any number of places on the internet where one can talk politics but this is the only place I know where the general musical knowledge and standards of repartee are so high. Long may we thrive, ladies and gentlemen, and may Prof Foxlee feel safe and happy to return soon.

Re: New model needed

PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:55 pm
by Pete Fowler
Forums usually become what they weren’t: they develop organically. Quite often, they die; and those who enjoy them always find somewhere else to rabbit on and sometimes hardly miss the old place.

Charlie was the instigator of this one and it’s practically a year since he died. It can hardly be surprising that when a lodestar fades out that those twinkling in its orbit are left groping to remember the exact route of the pathway: the signs have been removed. The destination is not mapped. The guide has quit the galaxy.

I joined this forum years and years ago, because, like with many others, Charlie mentioned it in a ‘phone call. I never participated because he had taken a musical route that had escaped me and I felt simply not qualified to contribute to a forum that was centred on a topic on which I was an innocent. Naturally, being Charlie, he never once pushed it with me; he simply never mentioned it again; and we might talk every few months, but it was mostly family, kids, films and books and, latterly, bloody health issues.

I remember having a rant with him about Blair; but music fell off our collective agenda. The days when he would ring up simply to tell me – now! – to listen to someone, Bobby Charles, or Jesse Winchester, or Graham Parker’s Fool’s Gold, were over. We still laughed, though, as late as last year, about the time, down in Clapham, when he played me two cassettes he’d just received. Decades ago now. I, with my infinite wisdom, declared that the one (Sultans of Swing) was a JJ Cale rip off and the other (Alison) featured a singer who thought that singing was simply talking with an ugly snarl. That had summed up, in a nutshell, why his ear was somewhat better than mine.

Naturally, I came onto this forum after he died. I needed the solidarity of others; and this was as good a place as any. And I found a bunch of people with whom it was possible to converse. I don’t know why, given it was Charlie’s forum, that I found this surprising, I shouldn’t have done. But there were folk here that were empathetic, which is all you need from a forum.

Of course, if those like me join, the chemistry changes. There’s still the old focal points; but some of those points begin to rust. They could revive, who knows, it only takes a couple of fresh posters – but there is, at this moment, a clear divide between the world music (the SOTW thread) and, say, the politics stuff down below. And one is, at this moment, more populated than the other.

True, I think everyone here has a musical core; but the particular emphasis of Charlie’s last great contribution is not nearly so strong as it should be. But that can only be changed by other voices becoming louder.

As a newbie, with my interests, I’d miss Neil like mad because, now that I’m finally writing again, he gave me so many good URLs. But that’s me being selfish.

And as for the spats, I’ve never known a forum without them. And Neil, come on, you must have been on academic forums: and you must know that these can be vicious. I remember only too well that one of the very first forums on which I participated – it was a teaching and learning forum, run from (I think) the Institute for Education – imploded with people not talking to each other from that day to this. And ‘that day’ was 1996.

Finally, I’ve been on forums that have died. And whilst this one has its issues, and its need to revive its World Music emphases, I do not see this one as ready, yet, for the knacker’s yard.

But then I told Charlie to turn down Dire Straits. So what the hell do I know?

Re: New model needed

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:14 am
by Rob Hall
gary booth wrote:I'd be interested to know what 'the lots of problems' are that Rob refers to but it's his perogative not to share them ... the occasional (and it is occasional) spat, heated exchange, sarcasm ping pong...

That's largely what I had in mind Gary, you've answered your own query. The only other thing that I'd class as a problem is the lack of a regular turnover of new music that Charlie fed to us, as pointed out by Adam. I'm not sure what we can do about that.

gary booth wrote:...And if and when it does people need to be mature enough to apologise.

Bingo. Thanks for pointing this out.

Re: New model needed

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:54 pm
by Chris P
I could drop a PM past Neil's inbox, but why not just post here & say I'm starting to miss his input ? (whether he'll read this or not is another matter)

Re: New model needed

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:24 pm
by Jonathan E.
It would be my guess that Neil is inputting somewhere else 'cos he certainly was interested and had his finger on some pulse. And was generous with sharing his information. Iow, I miss him here too — but, otoh, now I have so much more time to contemplate my navel instead of worrying about the fate of the western economies. I feel quite calm in fact.