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First impressions of Mudcat

Jim Dixon 11 Jan 11 - 02:12 PM
Max 11 Jan 11 - 02:50 PM
Sooz 11 Jan 11 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,SteveG 11 Jan 11 - 03:21 PM
Beer 11 Jan 11 - 03:42 PM
Bill D 11 Jan 11 - 03:53 PM
Bill D 11 Jan 11 - 04:01 PM
Tootler 11 Jan 11 - 04:13 PM
Joe Offer 11 Jan 11 - 04:38 PM
topical tom 11 Jan 11 - 06:44 PM
Leadfingers 11 Jan 11 - 07:39 PM
quokka 11 Jan 11 - 08:40 PM
Leadfingers 11 Jan 11 - 08:42 PM
open mike 12 Jan 11 - 12:35 AM
Richard Bridge 12 Jan 11 - 01:16 AM
framus 12 Jan 11 - 03:23 AM
robstott 12 Jan 11 - 04:39 AM
GUEST, topsie 12 Jan 11 - 06:38 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 12 Jan 11 - 07:08 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 12 Jan 11 - 07:29 AM
Old Vermin 12 Jan 11 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,LDT 12 Jan 11 - 08:44 AM
kendall 12 Jan 11 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,glueman 12 Jan 11 - 10:14 AM
caitlin rua 12 Jan 11 - 11:43 AM
Crowhugger 12 Jan 11 - 01:09 PM
VirginiaTam 12 Jan 11 - 01:51 PM
Bill D 12 Jan 11 - 01:59 PM
Fergie 12 Jan 11 - 02:19 PM
G-Force 12 Jan 11 - 02:29 PM
Herga Kitty 12 Jan 11 - 02:50 PM
Joe Offer 12 Jan 11 - 08:33 PM
Effsee 12 Jan 11 - 10:21 PM
Georgiansilver 13 Jan 11 - 02:06 AM
My guru always said 13 Jan 11 - 03:52 AM
Charley Noble 13 Jan 11 - 08:24 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 13 Jan 11 - 08:38 AM
GUEST 13 Jan 11 - 09:34 AM
C-flat 13 Jan 11 - 12:22 PM
GUEST, topsie 13 Jan 11 - 12:58 PM
Mr Red 13 Jan 11 - 12:59 PM
GUEST, topsie 13 Jan 11 - 01:02 PM
Jim Dixon 14 Jan 11 - 12:06 PM
Jim Dixon 14 Jan 11 - 12:20 PM
Bill D 14 Jan 11 - 12:37 PM
GUEST, topsie 14 Jan 11 - 12:51 PM
Jim Dixon 14 Jan 11 - 01:16 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 14 Jan 11 - 01:25 PM
kendall 14 Jan 11 - 01:41 PM
GUEST, topsie 14 Jan 11 - 01:54 PM
gnu 14 Jan 11 - 02:02 PM
gnu 14 Jan 11 - 02:21 PM
Ebbie 14 Jan 11 - 02:38 PM
Georgiansilver 14 Jan 11 - 04:15 PM
kendall 14 Jan 11 - 04:51 PM
GUEST, topsie 14 Jan 11 - 04:55 PM
Jim Dixon 14 Jan 11 - 06:59 PM
John J 14 Jan 11 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,Morgana 14 Jan 11 - 09:44 PM
katlaughing 15 Jan 11 - 02:45 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 15 Jan 11 - 05:33 AM
Mo the caller 15 Jan 11 - 06:53 AM
MartinRyan 15 Jan 11 - 07:12 AM
SPB-Cooperator 16 Jan 11 - 06:57 AM
framus 16 Jan 11 - 02:58 PM
Taconicus 16 Jan 11 - 03:11 PM
Jim Dixon 16 Jan 11 - 08:48 PM
Jim Dixon 17 Jan 11 - 04:07 PM
Dorothy Parshall 19 Jan 11 - 05:22 PM
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Subject: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 02:12 PM

In another thread, Beer asked (I'm paraphrasing): Why does it happen so often that people start threads to ask questions, and then we work hard to provide answers, but the original questioner never comes back to thank us?

That definitely does happen a lot.

Then Alan Whittle posted a surprising answer:
"When I first came to Mudcat … I didn't know how it worked. I was looking for [lyrics]. I thought [they] would whiz straight up. I didn't realise you had to wait for replies. It wasn't till about two years later that I made a second visit."
I looked back at the thread he was referring to. His question was answered about 2 hours after he posted it.

I suggested that maybe people came back, but didn't know how to find the original thread after it had dropped off the front page.

Then a guest, Topsie, said something even more surprising:
"For a long time I didn't even know there were more than one thread, never mind more than one page - or BS! I had looked for a song in a search engine and found a current thread offering variations on the words, and I just kept going back to that one thread to see what had been added."
I'm interested in hearing more "first impression" stories. Especially, I'd like to know, what misunderstandings, false impressions, or false assumptions did you have when you first came to Mudcat? What features of Mudcat were troublesome for you before you understood them? How long did it take you to figure out what you needed to know?


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Max
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 02:50 PM

I got a plan to improve this, in fact several usability issues we have. Just need some time to pull it off. Thanks for bringing this up Jim, I will enjoy following this thread.

Don't send money... send time.

Nevermind, send both. :-)


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Sooz
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 03:10 PM

I've noticed the same phenomenon on another forum which I've joined recently and am surprised that some people seem to expect personalised magic! I know I lurked for quite a while here before I joined in - trying to learn how the site worked.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 03:21 PM

My only problem was I came to Mudcat 10 years too late. If I'd have met some of the marvellous people like Malcolm earlier, who knows what projects would have got under way.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Beer
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 03:42 PM

My problem was learning the Blue Clicky thing. I tried and tried got S... from one member saying that I have been here long enough and should know how to do it. Then Bobad showed me. Once you know how it is great.
ad.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 03:53 PM

Since I've been here from right at the beginning...(one month in)... I got used to each change as it happened.

The one thing I miss right now is that we used to have a couple of the important 'permathreads' in a different color...permanently at the top... with lots of 'how to use the site' info.
The 'quick links' box if fine...when & if one knows about it and uses it...but maybe little text OUTSIDE that box, highlighting it, with☛these☜ would help...or maybe a slightly different design or location.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 04:01 PM

Joe Offer posts exact instructions for making links...it seems every few weeks...and in the 'FAQ', the technical help section, it's all there. Trouble is, almost NO one reads anything labeled FAQ, because most sites and programs don't actually HAVE useful info in FAQs. We do...but it's hard to 'see' that little thing at the top.

It's also the sad truth that many people NEVER look around at all the drop down menus and help files until something doesn't work, or they need something specific...which is why I advocate some easily noticed **READ THIS** pointer to all the stuff folks oughta be aware of.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Tootler
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 04:13 PM

Similar to Bill D:

One very useful thing I have seen on a couple of other forums is a "How to use this site" thread permanently at the top with just one or two messages with the key information for newcomers and links to other important info including site etiquette.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 04:38 PM

Sometimes, people post a request for lyrics in a thread that already has exactly the lyrics they seek. That makes me think that what they're looking at is an incomplete version of the thread through a search engine, or something like that. Sometimes, Mudcatters respond harshly to newcomers who don't seem to see the obvious. I think that newcomers have a different perception of what we see here, and it's important for us to understand what they perceive.

I think most of us agree that we need to do something more to control our Guests. I really like Jon Boden's A Folk Song a Day project (and the favorable mention they continually give to Mudcat). The project, which is technically masterminded by Simon Holland of propergandaonline.com, has a very nice forum for discussing each song. The forum asks the poster's name and e-mail address (which is not displayed in the Forum). Some posts are not displayed immediately, and the forum shows that the message is being held for moderator review - I'm not sure what triggers the holding for review. Whatever the case, requiring a name and e-mail address for Guest posts would allow us to contact requesters to ensure they get the information they request.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: topical tom
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 06:44 PM

What impressed me the most about Mudcat was the friendly give-and-take between members and the amazing speed with which I could discover the melodies and lyrics of obscure songs which I had loved. Like Beer, I did have a problem learning to make the blue clicky, but I finally mastered it. I hope to get help from Mudcat in digging out yet more melodies and lyrics in the future. Mudcat also has given me folk news that I would otherwise have not known. Overall, Mudcat is a wonderful institution.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Leadfingers
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 07:39 PM

I am with Tom - SO much help and friendliness , which doesnt seem to be the case as much now !


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: quokka
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 08:40 PM

It took me ages to really get a handle on how things work on Mudcat, and when I made a few mistakes at first, Mudcatters were very good at helping me find what I needed and giving valuable advice. The incredible generosity of spirit and sharing of knowledge is just amazing. Thanks to all those who work so hard to keep this site what it is.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Leadfingers
Date: 11 Jan 11 - 08:42 PM

Yes ! Jumping on someone who has just joined for posting something that has been said before doesnt do any good !!


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: open mike
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 12:35 AM

when i see a post with a question which asks for the answer to be sent to them by e-mail, i realize that person is so new to the site they are not sure they will know how to find the reply. If that does happen i try to send them an e-mail but also post here, so that everyone can
benefit by learning the answer...or adding more info..


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 01:16 AM

Why make blickies the hard way when there is a blickifier?

I found it very instantly intuitive and still think it is the best and easiest to use on the internet so long as "search" is working.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: framus
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 03:23 AM

I agree that a "How to use this site" guide would be invaluable to we newcomers. I regularly use chat, but get lost all too easily in the other threads, or sometimes can't find them when I come back. Nice people though, mostly, and helpful when you can keep in touch.
Very useful would be an indication that somebody was in touch on another site - y'know a bing-bong sort of thing.
Dave.
,


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: robstott
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 04:39 AM

Hi,

I'm a relatively new Mudcat member. I find it an amazingly useful and informative place. My only criticism would be it's look and feel - I think it'd be a lot easier to use if it adopted one of the many free bulletin boards out there such as http://www.phpbb.com/about/ You'd also have the advantage that it'd be instantly familiar to people who used other boards.

Not a massive criticism - on the whole, the site's usefulness vastly outweighs this!

Rob


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 06:38 AM

Most boards I have seen are horribly cluttered.
Mudcat is wonderfully clear, with only two colours on the screen most of the time, and no background tints - just calm white.

I tried the URL robstott suggested but I was asked to register before I would even be allowed to see what it was like - an immediate barrier, whereas Mudcat is instantly welcoming.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 07:08 AM

I first heard about Mudcat from a guy I played in a regular session with (south coast of Ireland) who is mad into blues. He was always after chords & song lyrics, some of which I could give him. But one particular number stumped me and the following week he said he'd found it in the Mudcat Café (which it turns out he was a regular user of, though I've never seen him post). Where?? I asked, so he repeated the name and gave me the web address. I was pretty new to the whole internet at that stage, so had a bigger learning curve than just this site.

But, having said that, I didn't find it particularly difficult to use - it was mainly a matter of clicking around and exploring before jumping in. I found everybody friendly & helpful, though that may partly be because I knew a lot of people from my days in the British folk scene, and since I post under my own name they recognised me and gave a lovely greeting.

I wasn't on top of things like HTML or making clickies for awhile, but it was just a matter of taking my time and easing in, learning as I went. So my experiences were pretty much 100% positive. I've also tried to contribute information or lyrics where I can, though lately have had less time to spend here.

I do hate it when people jump all over someone for asking a question that's already been answered or has a visible solution. It's not obvious to them, or they wouldn't ask. (And a lot of standard internet-speak baffled me at first, so even when someone did reply to a question I wasn't always clear on what they meant.) Any of us can miss something when reading through those long threads - I've certainly had my share of D'OH! moments.

I've also known, or known of, quite a few folks who get their feelings bruised simply from the innocent blunders of a newbie, and then don't come back again, which is a shame & a loss to us, so it would be good to stay patient and mind manners. The friendliness & accessibility of the moderators was - and is - also a huge plus point, (See, Joe, we love you really...)

I suppose this isn't a terribly useful answer because I didn't really have criticisms. Most of it was just a matter of learning at one's own pace. There are some features I think could be a useful improvement, but these have been discussed in the thread specially devoted to it. Otherwise, for me it was thumbs up right from the start.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 07:29 AM

PS: Agree with Joe 100% about controlling guests a bit more. Too often they're aggressive and permanently frighten away people who would otherwise make interesting and productive regulars. (I suppose extensive pre-modding would quadruple the workload, though.) But taking a firmer line with passing outsiders would certainly enhance the health of the site.

Instead of just a sign-a-user-name-or-we-delete-you rule, maybe put up a clearly-visible behave-yourself-or-we-delete-you warning. This would make it clear in advance that the mod is the final judge of what constitutes "behaviour", and no arguing. I know that a lot of monitoring is done already, but perhaps make this an officially stated advance condition, so visitors know before posting that they do not have the automatic right to just spew whatever they like here. Trolls do abuse Mudcat's freedom, to its own detriment, and I'd be in favour of taking a harder line.

But then, I don't have to do the modding work...


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Old Vermin
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 07:40 AM

May I say that I have used the Mudcat blue clicky device once or twice when writing in the Guardian's Comment-is-free section because the device on that website doesn't seem to work with Firefox.

Mudcat seems actually to be pretty robust once you've sussed out where things are and what it all does. I'm still learning after getting on for two years.

Interesting that what may have looked like drive-by postings may simply have been lost by their authors.On the current Classical Music thread Guest, Neophyte has revisited and made further contributions which is good.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 08:44 AM

-The signing up process looks rather confusing. I can't keep cookies as I use a public network/computer and I'm not sure how it would work on my mobile phone.

-Having been used to more...moderated forums. I was quite surprised that some threads weren't locked after straying from the point into an argument.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: kendall
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 09:33 AM

When I first came to Mudcat I posted a question and was jumped on, as Leadfingers mentioned, and I considered just walking away. I'm glad I didn't for two reasons; first, I am not one to walk away, and the second is, the one who jumped on me for asking an old question is now one of my favorite catters.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 10:14 AM

The software feels like some early generation stuff invented by a computer buff. The lack of any editing facility has gone from curiously old fashioned to a PIA.

It can be aggressive and cynicism attacked me early on but that's because folk means different things to different people. Some are lifestyle folk festival types, others are professional musicians looking for gigs and wondering why less talented people steal the attention. Then there are the self appointed guardians of 1954. There are sufficiently well intentioned souls not to let the vested interests spoil a good online resource.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: caitlin rua
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 11:43 AM

The message that followed my first post (back in my Guest caitlín days) was something like "Don't wrestle with pigs because you'll get covered in their shit" or something along those lines. Must say, it took me aback.

Turns out he was addressing someone else, LOL. Mudcatters don't mince their words sometimes. :-)

Didn't put me off, though.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Crowhugger
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 01:09 PM

Agreed about making FAQ/Read This info quite a bit more obvious, more easily found.

I really like the way the Mudcat threads work. The thread set up is easy to follow, it makes more sense to me and has a cleaner appearance than most any other forum I've visited. As long as I don't have a brain cramp about order of operations, complex searches here have worked well for me. Needless to say, I don't 'get' what it is that people find difficult about the thread layout here. I imagine it's partly what one is used to; no question I'm used to this place as is and will adapt when changes are made.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 01:51 PM

I don't have any real issues with how it works now or how it looks. I agree with Topsie on the simplicity of layout and navigation.

I am starting to think that since Mudcat has been around for so long, that it is wrong to change it much, for historical reasons. It would be kind of like editing the original Magna Carta with a permanent marker.

re the problem of forum manners, I don't think much else can be done than is being done. I wouldn't want too much moderation. But I would like to see some arbitration if one feels they have been unfairly moderated.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 01:59 PM

Because Mudcat was written 'from scratch' instead of being just a template copied from some standard design, it has its own 'feel', and has been widely praised for its uncluttered, fairly easy to follow design. We regularly get suggestions that we 'adapt to the norm', but the list of thing we would lose seems to far outweigh what we would gain.
I realize that grouped 'topics' might be easier in some ways than just top & bottom (BS) could have some advantages, but this has served pretty well for 16 years.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Fergie
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 02:19 PM

Best site on the whole internet with great members who are always ready and willing to share their knowledge, expertise and experience. Wouldn't change a thing except maybe add a spellchecker.

Mudcat for ever

Fergus


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: G-Force
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 02:29 PM

I don't think we ever found the site difficult to use and over the years have found it very helpful and informative (and sometimes great fun too!). Our initial surprise was the sheer aggressiveness of a few of the posts. Surprised because we have always found folkies to be nice, friendly people, but happily the site mostly echoes this asssumption.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 02:50 PM

I too got jumped on early on by a long time Catter for some unintentional breach of etiquette...

It's helped a lot that BS is now below the line, I think, and that posts from unnamed guests are no longer allowed.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 08:33 PM

Bill D, I'm not sure of this, but I think the basic outline of the Mudcat Forum comes from ColdFusion, the database software Max uses as the basis for Mudcat. In days gone by, I'd occasionally come across a forum that had an appearance similar to Mudcat. The basic format of Mudcat hasn't changed much since Mudcat began on October 1, 1996. I happen to like Mudcat's format, but maybe that's because I'm so used to it.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Effsee
Date: 12 Jan 11 - 10:21 PM

If it ain't broke...don't fix it!


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 02:06 AM

Like everything else in life.. I believe we shouldn't rely on first impressions. When new in any situation.. ease your way in and be aware of all that's going on around you... it is up to the individual to decide whether they want to be part of any 'social' situation and the only way to make an informed decision is to spend time learning the written and unwritten 'rules' and some of us rushed headlong in and learned from our mistakes.. I sure did!!.. That's life!!!!


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: My guru always said
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 03:52 AM

It took me a while to figure things out here but I agree that exploring is the best way to get sorted, and by learning from our mistakes.

Once upon a time I wrote a set of 'how to get started in MudCat' instructions (probably out of date now) which I've sent to countless friends over the years who didn't seem to understand how to use it. They must have got on OK after that coz they're still here.

Yes, a much clearer pointer to 'how to get around' for New Catters would be good! Sometimes I don't realise how tricky is is to find your way around.....


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 08:24 AM

It probably took me a year or so to settle in here. And I was unsettled by the reaction of one person who misunderstood the "joking behavior" of two posters from Maine but she may have been relatively new too.

I do think all members (not guests) should have the ability to edit or delete their own posts. That's possible with a number of other forums that I've active on. It's also possible here if one gets permission to begin a perma thread.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 08:38 AM

I started here because some of my friends told me that they used it. I soon found that several of my other friend used it too.

One problem with the anonimity of user names is that when we get an Obit I sometimes find out days later that it was someone that I knew.

I did make a request that people tried to give a link to a photo in an Obit thread, on the the grounds that in the folk world we often only know a first name, or not even that, of a friend.

I do try to avoid asking questions that have been asked before, but it is easy to "miss" the search phrase that would find them.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 09:34 AM

It always seems a bit odd that you are permitted to make an anonymous post which will then be deleted because you did just what the program lets you do. Making the From field mandatory isn't exactly a big deal.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: C-flat
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 12:22 PM

With regards to the format that Mudcat uses, I can only say that it's the only message board I've consistantly logged on to for a period of approx 10 years.
I've used other forums but never found one that didn't involve awkward text boxes, background colours, obtrusive advertising, etc, etc.
Mudcat is easy enough to use but it depends what sites you're coming from as to what your expectations are regarding the pace of conversation.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 12:58 PM

Another advantage of the plain white background is that if you want to print out the words of a song it doesn't waste your ink.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Mr Red
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 12:59 PM

most of the techie forums I use send e-mails when a reply is posted. Guests would have to offer e-mail addresses. And I imagine that this represents a lot of programming for Max.

Maybe newbies and guests could get an onscreen reminder (cookies would drive this) that they have to keep looking because e-mail notification is not part of the process.

A floating message layer hidden and popping-up would address this. Not that difficult - I do it for drop-down menus on my site - though I haven't messed with cookies yet.

My cousin tried posting and assumed this was a UK based forum. He lives in T'ronto. People approach everything with some pre-conceptions, the trick is guessing them and addressing the most common.

Topsie - you can choose not to print backgrounds in most browsers I use (& I use as many as I can to check my site).


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 01:02 PM

I've come across some that offer a print version, but I've never known how to do it otherwise.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 12:06 PM

Here's another relevant comment from Gurney, copied from the other thread:
Well, I have been guilty of exactly what this thread is about, asking for lyrics, getting them, and not thanking the poster. I know I've done it at least once, and I was so delighted to find the song after so long, I got the guitar out...and forgot to say thanks...and by the time I remembered, the thread had fallen way off the bottom and I couldn't remember the title, and didn't know how to get it back.

I apologised on another thread later, but the likelihood of the poster actually seeing the apology is remote.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 12:20 PM

"Very useful would be an indication that somebody was in touch on another site - y'know a bing-bong sort of thing."—framus/Dave

I have no idea what you're talking about here. What's a "bing-bong sort of thing"?

Urban Dictionary didn't help.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 12:37 PM

Every post has a link to 'printer friendly' right under it...and every printer I deal with has an option to just print in black & white.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 12:51 PM

Jim Dixon - You mean 'bing-bong' doesn't mean there's an Avon lady at the door?


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 01:16 PM

"I agree…about controlling guests a bit more. Too often they're aggressive and permanently frighten away people…."—Bonnie Shaljean

That almost never happens in the threads I frequent—I mean the threads where people ask for information in the Music section. Guests often start those threads, and they are nearly always well behaved. There is no need to control them.

However, there is a big difference between threads that are all about information and threads that are all about opinions.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 01:25 PM

Toooooooooo true! There's certainly a need for controlling them in a couple of the threads I've seen lately! Anything abstract just gets turned into an opinion-barrage sooner or later, however much the OP may plead for objective information.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: kendall
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 01:41 PM

Fergie if you mis spell a word a squiggly red line will appear under it. All you need to do is put you cursor on it and right click. A box of possible spellings will appear and you just click on the one that looks right to you.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 01:54 PM

The red squiggly line works in Word documents, but not in the Mudcat posting square, at least not on my screen.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: gnu
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 02:02 PM

You can type it in a word processor, copy and post it.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: gnu
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 02:21 PM

I was looking for a recording of an old Irish song and found Mudcat. I posted. In little time, I had many answers... even one that named a movie with detailed info as to what time it was sung in the movie. I was stunned and, as I read more threads, I was amazed at the knowledge, the diversity, the friendlieness, the caring... and I enjoyed the humourous banter the most.

To comment on one "problem" encountered by some newbies - over the years, there have been some very unfriendly people here but they fell by the wayside, one way or another. Of course, I am guilty of being "very unfriendly" in return but that's because I don't know any better yet. >;-) Although, I must say I am far more tame than I used to be. Perhaps some don't notice this because I don't get involved in adversity as much... unless it involves myself or my friends. (Seroiusly, and you know who youse are, I have written a number of "testy replies" and not hit submit. What are you laughing for?)


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 02:38 PM

"I considered just walking away. I'm glad I didn't for two reasons; first, I am not one to walk away, and the second is, the one who jumped on me for asking an old question is now one of my favorite catter" Kendall

And had you walked away, Kendall, you may never have met Jacqui. :)

I have very few reservations about the 'Cat; I'm just glad it is here. And now that it is reliably here, I live without fear. :)

FWIW, the last few years whenever I quote something I found here to music friends, I always say: It was on 'mudcat.org', on the assumption that some will check it out. We should all be so lucky as to know about the Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 04:15 PM

The large majority of people on here are 'Folkies' from divers parts of the world.. and it is such a wonderful place for researching Folk songs/tunes.... along the way we may venture into BS and have a heated or wrangling discussion but I have found most people are friendly and open minded. I did have an early problem with a certain M....n G....n from Chicago but even found that in PM'sthat he and I had some things in common. This has to be the BEST place for finding what you want to find re Folk related stuff... so compliments to the Management (Max/Joe etc etc)... who make this a site worthy of attention. Thanks Folks!!!


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: kendall
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 04:51 PM

Right clicking on the squiggly works for me. Hmmm, curious.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 04:55 PM

But do you get the squiggly in the mudcat reply box Kendall?
It works for me in a Word document but not here, though the 'Preview' is useful as you are more likely to spot typos if you use that before hitting 'Submit Message'.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 06:59 PM

"I believe we shouldn't rely on first impressions."—Georgiansilver.

I believe we have to rely on first impressions most of the time. There simply isn't enough time to do otherwise. You go into a bookshop or a library and you see thousands of books. What do you do? Do you open up the first book you see, and start reading it? I'll bet you don't, and I don't either. If I see a book with a title like Chicken Soup for the Babysitter's Soul, I'm pretty sure it's a book I don't want to read. I hate to break it to people who believe in proverbs, but I have just judged a book by its cover.

And there are probably more worthless web sites than there are worthless books.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: John J
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 07:38 PM

I was a little apprehensive for my first few months on the Mudcat, preferring to watch rather than take part at first. But now you can't shut me up - I think the Mudcat and the good people on it are the dog's danglers.

I spend more time on the Mudcat than any other website - it's very friendly, incredibly informative....and just downright good!

And if it wasn't for Max it wouldn't be here - so three cheers for Max!!

JJ


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: GUEST,Morgana
Date: 14 Jan 11 - 09:44 PM

I first came across mudcat a year ago by googling lyrics for a song, but I didn't start posting until a couple of months ago. The first time I saw this site, I didn't realize it was a forum, but once I followed a link to the home page I was able to navigate it easily. In my personal opinion, posting, making links, etc. have been pretty self-explanatory here. I would not change anything.

I think this is a helpful site, and a genius idea. I don't post a lot online, but I have tried to check back here once in awhile and add to threads if I think there is something I can genuinely contribute to somebody's question. It's my way of trying to pay you all back for answering my questions.

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 02:45 AM

As someone who has been here for over twelve years, it's been fun and interesting to follow this thread. Thanks to everyone for sharing.

As for the spelling thing, as far as I know, you have to have a small program added, which BillD recommends and/or , if you use Firefox, they have a small app you can download from their main page at Mozilla which has little red squiggly lines that show up for your transgressions.:-)

Welcome, welcome, welcome as Max used to say on Mudcat Radio. And, please don't hesitate to holler if you have any questions or need help.

kat, also a mod


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 05:33 AM

Mudcat's been great fun & a fine resource besides - worth it for the archived posts of the late Malcolm Douglas alone I shouldn't wonder. I don't like the PM thing at all (which is why I rarely sign in) nor do I like Joe Offer's Papal Infallibility or else the secret policing that goes on by way of moderation. More worrying is that most people here seem to think this in some way justified and comply accordingly even to the point of apologising! Free speech is a wondrous thing, folks - frank exchange likewise, all the more so when rooted in genuine passion for the subject - but it's not the once one has wandered in the realms of the Unmutual (or been named Troll) simply for expressing an opinion. Sad really, as we've have some great threads here - amongst my personal favourites was The re-Imagined Village, a general discussion on the nature of English Culture, Music & Folklife which was bounced down below the line by Pope Joe without a word of explanation after nigh on 900 posts.

Is it true that Mudcat is some social experiment along the lines of The Prisoner / Wicker Man? An online virtual religious community / personality cult that also serves as a fine resource for people genuinely interested in Folk Music? Here's a tale - I once unknowingly met a Mudcatter in the flesh at a festival / folk club / singaround and we got on like a house on fire, exchanging pints, songs and stories like we'd known each other all our lives. After a few hours the talk turned to Mudcat, my new friend asking me if I'd heard of it, and me telling him I had and what name I posted under. At this point his demeanour changed completely and he wandered off never to be seen again. Even last year I was openly talking Mudcat with fellow festival punters & performers, but this year I've resolved to rely on good old human contact; seems we folkies are weird enough anyway without the Mudcat factor getting in the way.

Times I've vowed never to post here again, and for very good reason (more free speech / PM issues!) but there's always something to come back for - and some fine & erudite people posting here who are a pleasure to read. People drift in and out, as people do, but at its best - and most human - it's a very good place to drift in & out of.

The people, Lord, thy people... etc.

S O'P


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Mo the caller
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 06:53 AM

When I first had a computer linked to the internet and asked my daughter what to do with it she signed me up to Mudcat (hence the daft username).
One of my first questions was about easy music for another daughter learning the fife and I was staggered when someone offered to post me a booklet all the way from America.
So my first impression was helpfulness.
I've since learnt to be wary of threads once they get long since they often get argumentative and repetitive.

One thing would be helpful, the top of the page looks almost the same if you are a member or logged out (so I've recently been posting as 'guest' without realising it). If the top were different for guests it might be easier to signpost the essential info for novices. Even when I did realise I had to search around to find where to log in - as it's not something I often need.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: MartinRyan
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 07:12 AM

One thing would be helpful, the top of the page looks almost the same if you are a member or logged out (so I've recently been posting as 'guest' without realising it)

I think that's a very fair point. My own workaround has been to always leave one PM unarchived. That way, if I'm logged in when I arrive, I see the "You have 1 Message" highlight at the top of the page and it reminds me!

Regards


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 06:57 AM

One thing I've noticed is those that complain about a subject having already been discussed still want to get their ten-pennerth in. Simple solution, if an individual is fed up with a discussion subject, then don't participate in the thread.

This one is only an idea thrown in the pot. Could there be a third 'section'. One section on folk & blues related discussion, the BS section, and a third section for information requests on the understanding that it doesn't matter if questions have been asked/answered before?


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: framus
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 02:58 PM

For Jim - sorry for the delay.
My bing-bong might not have been my most profound analogy ever, but I just meant an audible indication, or even visual I suppose, that someone elsewhere is trying to contact you.
FB does it when I am tabbed between there and here, for example.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Taconicus
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 03:11 PM

It's not at all obvious how to find one's way around in the Mudcat forums. It took me quite a while to figure out that (and how) I could locate something called "Mudcat Site Map and PermaThread Index" which would (if I scrolled down) take me to an area called "Finding Your Way around" with links to different form areas.

Most people are used to the type of online forum where there is a main forum page that lists all the different forum areas, right off the bat.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 08:48 PM

A lot of sites that have a log-in function also have a prominent message on every page saying either "You are logged in as [username]" or "You are not logged in."

Advice to Max: If you're serious about having a policy that people should not be "unnamed" then you should make it impossible to post without putting something in the "from" box. It's silly to have Joe go around nagging people to do this when you could easily force them to do it.


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 04:07 PM

Some people do sort of miss the point of what Mudcat is all about. [I will provide examples in a separate message.]

Maybe we need some kind of mission statement.

Don't laugh. When a search engine takes me to an unfamiliar web site, if the site looks interesting, if I think I might want to bookmark it and come back someday, I usually want to know: What is this site all about? Especially, what is its scope and purpose?

I will usually click on the "home" page of the web site. Most sites will have the word "home" somewhere in the upper left corner of every page. (Mudcat doesn't)

Once I'm on the home page, I look for a link that says "about us." (There is no such link at Mudcat.) That usually takes me to a page that tells me things like (1) who owns the site (2) what its purpose and scope is (3) whether they allow users to contribute, and if so, what kind of submissions do they want (or not want)?

Here are some things I like to see in an "about us" page (although not every site provides it):

(4) Some information about the history of the web site. Who founded it, when, and for what purpose? (5) How big is it? (Not how many gigabytes, but how many songs does it have?) (6) How was the information collected? (7) How can I contact the owners/administrators of the web site?


Here are some examples from web sites I like and use a lot:

The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music:
The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music consists of over 29,000 pieces of American popular music. The collection spans the years 1780 to 1980, but its strength is its throrough documentation of nineteenth-century America through popular music. The collection is especially strong in music spawned by military conflicts from the War of 1812 through World War I, and minstrel music is also well-represented....
IN Harmony (at Indiana University):
IN Harmony: Sheet Music from Indiana is a search and discovery system for accessing sheet music from the Indiana University Lilly Library, the Indiana State Library, the Indiana State Museum, and the Indiana Historical Society. Funded through a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), IN Harmony features Indiana-related sheet music - sheet music by Indiana composers, arrangers, lyricists or publishers as well as sheet music about the state....
Bodeian Library Broadside Ballads:
The Bodleian Library has unparalleled holdings of over 30,000 ballads in several major collections. The original printed materials range from the 16th- to the 20th-Century. The Broadside Ballads project makes the digitised copies of the sheets and ballads available to the research community.
Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
The Irish Music & Dance Association:
The Irish Music and Dance Association is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit cultural and educational organization established to support, coordinate, encourage and promote high quality activities and programs in Irish music and dance in the Twin Cities community. We hope to foster greater awareness, understanding, appreciation of and participation in the traditional arts of Ireland and related cultural traditions.
CD Baby:
Who are we?
The Short Answer:
CD Baby is the largest online distributor of independent music. CDBaby.com (the site you're on right now!) is our quaint little record store where we hope you will discover your next favorite artist.
[In•de•pen•dent: (adj.) Not having sold one's life, career, and creative works over to a corporation.]
The Long Answer:
From our humble beginnings more than a decade ago....
honkingduck 78s:
78s on honkingduck
Audio
Listen to over 700 recordings of Old Time Music from the original 78 rpm records....
Discography
View lots and lots of discographical data on 78s....


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Subject: RE: First impressions of Mudcat
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 05:22 PM

I was not terrifically internet literate when I chose to find mudcat at someone's suggestion, less than two years ago. I was at sea and drowning so I asked someone for HELP! My frustration was so great this person kindly suggested this might not be the best place for me. Because I knew it was important to someone who is important to me, I persevered.

I find it interesting, helpful and oft times enjoyable. I used to be most annoyed at "silly" posts, argumentative posts, "how can they go on and on like that?" threads, etc. Recently, I realized that I need to "trace" when I post so I can go back and see what happens next! Terrific! And I do not have to read that which is, to me, ..... And I can respect that some people are actually enjoying those.... having fun with them.

But most importantly, I have found this a basically caring community to the point that I mentioned it at Quaker meeting a few weeks ago. No matter what someone says or how annoyed people get with some posters, when the chips are down, people CARE how that person is doing. This may not always be true but it is more true than not. And that makes it a very special "place" to be.

I am still not ready to try a blue clicky. Maybe next week.


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