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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:08 pm
by Ian M
Well, it's good to see Howard has returned. That will help liven things up!

I think Joel was saying that having so many categories dissipates any sense of energy. My guess is that most people will check a few, or even just one, category. This can inhibit any cross fertilisation between subjects and posters. Apologies to Howard, but how would a visitor know who Howard is, and the baroque pleasures that lurk within some of the threads there, for instance? Why aren't they just in the mix of general discussion? I rarely check obits, but if they were also in the general section, there would be more likelihood that a notice would attract some debate about the artists career. And so on.

So I think the debate is less about the fine tuning of categories, than a kind of free flowing anarchy, which may have more energy and sense of liveliness versus a neat well ordered tidiness. When forums are lively, people tend to revisit frequently, and I think that is what Joel is arguing for, at the expense of trying to pigeon hole every contribution. Thus nearly everything barring playlists and gigs maybe, would go into the same pot.

It would be a radical change, maybe too much so, but I can see what he is saying. Other forums seem to have no more than 3 or 4 sections, and seem to manage quite well.

I am not sure myself, but it is worth thinking about.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:31 pm
by howard male
Ian M wrote -

Apologies to Howard, but how would a visitor know who Howard is, and the baroque pleasures that lurk within some of the threads there, for instance? Why aren't they just in the mix of general discussion?


No problem Ian. It's a fair point. It wouldn't be an issue for me to come back into the fold and have all my 'Howard's Views' archived to serve the greater good of the forum.

I think Charlie originally suggested I should have my own corner because I was simply swamping the General section with my stuff. It seemed to make sense at the time, but now we have more contributors, and I have less time to keep feeding you with rants to get miffed about, we should get more stuff back into the General section.

I still think that some of the other quirkier sub-topics should stay though.

Maybe if Charlie just aimed to get it down to 10 headings, rather than the current 24. Then it would be a little less overwhelming to the newcomer.

By the way, Ian. I sometimes feel a little disconcerting when your name pops up in the forum. My fathers was also an Ian M, so for a moment it crosses my mind that the wonderful Internet might also be a porthole onto the afterlife!

Re: Suggestions

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:10 pm
by Martin_Edney
Con Murphy wrote:As for permanently deleting old stuff, other than it being the inevitable consequence of culling sub-categories, one has to ask what there is to be gained from doing this. If I were a new visitor I'd be quite keen to have a good look round to see what the site's been all about all this time.


I definitely wouldn't delete old stuff. If old stuff must be tidied away, put it in some hidden away sub-sub-sub folder called Archive or Old Stuff, but don't delete it.

My reasons?

a) There might be some bit of information in there that would really help someone. There's nothing to be gained (apart from database table space) in deleting things that might be useful to someone.

b) There might be a phrase in there somewhere that will match somebody's search term in a web search engine, and thus draw them in to the site. I'm sure Zee would have thought of this anyway, but it bears repreating. The more relevant words and phrases there are in a web-site, the better the chance of someone finding it, so removing old posts will just reduce the attractiveness of the site as far as search engines are concerned.

(and yes, I do make web-sites and run discussion boards for a living in case you were wondering!)

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:28 pm
by Ian M
howard male wrote:By the way, Ian. I sometimes feel a little disconcerting when your name pops up in the forum. My fathers was also an Ian M, so for a moment it crosses my mind that the wonderful Internet might also be a porthole onto the afterlife!


That's a bit too Freudian for me, howard. But I can assure you, the last time I checked I was alive and well, and planning to stay that way!

As I am sure you are aware, I used your section to illustrate a general point. There area all sorts of useful posts tucked away in seldom visited sections, especially lower down the page. I fear your interesting review about the Camden Art Gallery Show will be missed by many, and thus probably not commented upon. It was only because of this topic that I had a look around to see what else was up, and found it.

The very fact that this thread, like some others, has been moved to catch the attention of people kind of proves the point.

I would like to see most stuff in the main forum, with exceptions for gigs, playlists, archive. So maybe 6 sections or less? It would be great to see more musicians here, as well as posts from Africa, Asia etc in lively mixed-up free wheeling discussions.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:44 pm
by Con Murphy
Ian M wrote:I fear your interesting review about the Camden Art Gallery Show will be missed by many, and thus probably not commented upon. It was only because of this topic that I had a look around to see what else was up, and found it.


I was interested to read this comment from a registered member such as yourself, Ian. Personally, I always use the View posts since last visit option to make sure I don't miss anything. Your comment suggests that this is not the case for your good self. It would be interesting to know what proportion of registered visitors do use this feature. Or maybe not...

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:05 pm
by howard male
Con wrote -

I always use the View posts since last visit option to make sure I don't miss anything


To be honest I didn't know this option existed either. But then I'd never even touched a computer before the turn of the millennium and have yet to develop an intuitive relationship with the Internet and all its little ways.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:05 pm
by Charlie
OK, I've made a start

It seems a bit self-serving to put my playlists at the top, but hopefully first-time visitors will easily find what they have come for, and then look around to see what else is here.

The heading 'General' is a bit vague - what would be better?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:19 pm
by RobHall
Charlie wrote:OK, I've made a start

It seems a bit self-serving to put my playlists at the top, but hopefully first-time visitors will easily find what they have come for, and then look around to see what else is here.

The heading 'General' is a bit vague - what would be better?


"Random Thoughts"?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:01 pm
by Ian M
Hi Con, no i hadn't noticed it. But I wasn't just thinking of myself, but also the unregistered casual visitors.

I like the re-organisation - much clearer. I agree about 'general'. To me that is the main page, so it needs highlighting in some way (even on its own at the top?). how about the obvious "The Sound of the World"? I hesitate to say "world music" though that would also be obvious, in case we start an elongated thread about the usefulness of the term (!)

I would still collapse a few of the categories down, though, so music and non music are less bristling with sub divisions.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:01 pm
by howard male
How about The Arts Club rather than Non Music so that it echoes The Music Room ?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:48 am
by joel
I would not advocate the trashing of old posts as these (well, some of them) are repositories for the forum "wisdom". Let old posts and topics sink gently to the bottom, where they will provide nourishment for internet search engines and forum "browsers" alike.
Culling categories does not mean deleting old posts. Merge the posts into another category and then simply delete the old category header.
So, how about merging posts from the following categories into the "Sound of the World" forum:
Obituaries
Best Albums
Awards
Looking for an Echo
New releases

And possibly off-shore accounts.

Really good threads always come around again, so posts on these subjects won't cease.

I think there is very little risk of a little house keeping causing this forum to become bland and indistinguishable as very few forums have such good writing (Most forums seem to feature either monosylabic grunting or are home to unbearably long-winded and excrutiatingly boring posters) and very few have a "face" like Charlie who is an active and important particpant in debates.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 4:42 pm
by Charlie
joel wrote:So, how about merging posts from the following categories into the "Sound of the World" forum:
Obituaries
Best Albums
Awards
Looking for an Echo
New releases

And possibly off-shore accounts.


I have found all of Joel's comments extremely helpful, even though I still don't know what a sticky is.

But, having now absorbed Awards (and What the Papers Say/Music Magazine/Photographs) into the general forum (as well as the previously streamlined topics ), I find myself unable to abandon the others.

What's the verdict?

I would particularly welcome comments from anyone who has not already entered into this debate, who may be standing on the sidelines.

How easy (or hard) is it for a first time visitor to understand what is in this forum?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 5:46 pm
by Ian M
A 'sticky' is simply a message which stays at the top of the list. Usually they are used to guide new visitors, set the ground rules, make important announcements etc

So, for instance, you could have a message entitled "Welcome, new visitors" and the content would explain the features of the site, topics covered etc and encourage them to register and join in, whilst also reminding them to be polite and friendly (!). I don't know if it could go on the index page, but it could go at the top of the Sound of the World page, if this site has the facility.

regards

Ian

PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 9:08 am
by Charlie
I have just moved dozens of threads from this 'sound of the world forum' section into 'archive of topics that have gone quiet' at the foot of the list.

If nobody has added to a thread in the month since the lasting posting, I'm calculating that it is dormant, and cluttering up this list. But if there is an archived thread that any of you would like to bring back to life, just add your 'reply' ad I will move it back up here.

Incidentally, I'm glad to see that this forum seems to have survived my parting from BBC London - I had been afraid that it would lose its puff without the impetus of those weekly shows.

I am hoping that Zee and I will be able to work out a way that we can link up to one or more download sites, so that at least some of the tracks played on the World Service programmes can be acquired for more permanent listening.

Many peope have requested a podcast version of both the BBC London and now the World Service show, and I understand that the BBC's contractual negotiations with copyright owners are nearing fruition on that front.

But I'm not sure how many of you are potential download customers - or would be, if these tracks were made available for sale on an invividual basis.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:37 pm
by gordonfmoore
I'd pay. So that's one. :)

The great thing about your shows is that you've sifted out the less than successful tracks. I get pretty disappointed when I make the effort to buy an album and find that apart from the played track, the rest is only okay (or worse).

Don't know how that would affect your compilations? I guess they'd be self selecting. And you could host your own download chart! And then do top of the world pops and ...

(Probably good to have an email notification when something new was available to buy.)

Gordon