The Mudcat is a place that like minded people communicate and share their knowledge and their lives. We come from different backgrounds, different countries, different ideals, different religions, morals and lifestyles. With these differences, it amazes me that we have so much in common. The format, technology and philosophy of the Mudcat design have been carefully crafted for almost 6 years to facilitate this very diverse community. I have steadfastly or stubbornly held to an ideal of openness since our beginning because I thought that was what was necessary to mimic the real world and to make it easy and comfortable for new folks to discover and learn about our community and ease their way into it.
For the first time since I started this whole thing, I am very thoughtfully considering an alternative. With GUESTS posting as they are today, I have no interest in continuing as I have. You are hurting me. Not just my feelings or my pride in what we have accomplished here, but also in a real concrete way. As many of you know, the economy is in the tank, and Onstage can no longer finance the Mudcat. The members have contributed a great deal of money, in January specifically, that will keep us running for at least 6 months to come. We are up for 2 grants from Folk Song Societies come March and April. All of our sources of financing are highly deterred by the behavior and ability of GUESTS. Probably about ¾ or our income comes from people and organizations that care about us because we are a Music Resource with no equal. The other ¼ is because of the community. Zero is from GUESTS. So, in these times of necessity, I need to prioritize in gratitude for those who care about the Mudcat in real ways. Real ways are the contributions of money and the contributions of knowledge. Neither comes from GUESTS.
Please stop this behavior, I ask nicely, nay, I beg of you. There is no point to this. This forum is not just words on a page; these are people behind these posts. People who are here to share themselves, their knowledge, their time and even their homes. What you are doing is littering in the park. A free place we can all come to and do our thing, whether we want to meet people and discuss our interests or just sit on the benches and read. You are also personally attacking me. This is my creation, and you are ruining it. You are jeopardizing the only financing we have. If you do not hear my plea, and find some human compassion and stop this now, I will have no choice but to put a fence around my park to keep you out.
Flamers and Trolls of the past always seemed to want something. They would flame BS, Prayer, Healing, etc. threads in protest that this should be a Music-Only Web site. Or they would pick on specific people they did not like. I cannot figure out what you GUESTS want or why you do this other than some egocentric joy from destruction. If I knew what you wanted I could deal with this issue in a surgical fashion and address only those issues without changing one of our core philosophies. But, I do not expect that you want anything. Nor do I suspect you will grant me my plea to please stop this. If that is the case, I have no choice but to implement measures to deal with you. That is, no anonymous postings. At a minimum, you will have to be a member, you will receive your password via a valid email address and your IP address will be recorded. Any behavior that I don't like (no jury, no trial) and your cut off. A technological challenge that I am looking forward to.
MEMBERS: We are discussing our options and our technology now, and will post an Open Letter to Members in a week or two to explain what we have decided. There will be no debate, I've heard all there is to hear about this issue. I will do as I see fit.
Max D. Spiegel