The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #124638   Message #2753823
Posted By: Jim Dixon
27-Oct-09 - 03:39 PM
Thread Name: The Curse of Digitrad
Subject: RE: The Curse of Digitrad
Databases don't curse people. People curse people.

(That's based on a slogan I heard somewhere before.)

Here are my thoughts on the DT.

The DT has been a great boon to the development of Mudcat. Dick and Susan had been collecting song lyrics for several years before Mudcat even existed (1988 vs. 1996), and they have collected from many sources besides Mudcat.

I figure that in the beginning, Mudcat got a great jumpstart by having the DT. It must have been the main thing that attracted people to Mudcat. Maybe it still is.

It is possible to search the entire Internet for lyrics using Google, and land directly on a page in the DT. A person who does this might or might not discover that other discussion pages exist.

It is also possible to search for lyrics with Google and land on a different "lyrics" web site that has no discussion threads at all—because many of those lyrics web sites have incorporated their own copy of the DT.

And for some reason that I haven't figured out, the DT (the copy that is accessed through Mudcat, I mean) is often the LAST page that is listed by Google. See these search results, for example. In order to make Mudcat appear at all, I had to click the link at the bottom of the Google results page that said "repeat the search with the omitted results included."

Even now there are lots of songs in the DT that have never been posted or discussed in Mudcat threads. And there are lots of songs in threads that have never made it into the DT.

That used to bother me; I used to think it was important to get as many songs as possible into the DT. Now I don't care. As long as a song can be found with a search engine, how is it better to find it in the DT than in a discussion forum? Actually, if I have a choice, I'd rather find it in the forum, because there I'm likely to find the song in a context of discussion, where people are talking about the history of a song, or the people who sang it, comparing different versions, explaining terminology, and so on. In short, I learn a lot more if there is a lot of discussion.

This thread is inspiring a lot of thoughts that I don't have time to write down right now. I'll be back.