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The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?

The Shambles 12 Jan 00 - 02:55 PM
Allan C. 12 Jan 00 - 02:59 PM
JedMarum 12 Jan 00 - 03:12 PM
TerriM 12 Jan 00 - 03:20 PM
Max 12 Jan 00 - 03:23 PM
Jon Freeman 12 Jan 00 - 03:28 PM
fulurum 12 Jan 00 - 03:37 PM
JamesJim 12 Jan 00 - 03:48 PM
Rick Fielding 12 Jan 00 - 04:03 PM
Chet W. 12 Jan 00 - 04:11 PM
Lady McMoo 12 Jan 00 - 04:12 PM
Lonesome EJ 12 Jan 00 - 04:13 PM
Marymac90 12 Jan 00 - 05:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jan 00 - 05:03 PM
Max 12 Jan 00 - 05:06 PM
Jacob Bloom 12 Jan 00 - 05:20 PM
Little Neophyte 12 Jan 00 - 05:58 PM
_gargoyle 12 Jan 00 - 06:01 PM
katlaughing 12 Jan 00 - 06:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jan 00 - 06:17 PM
Jon Freeman 12 Jan 00 - 06:20 PM
katlaughing 12 Jan 00 - 06:28 PM
catspaw49 12 Jan 00 - 06:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jan 00 - 06:39 PM
Jeri 12 Jan 00 - 06:43 PM
Max 12 Jan 00 - 06:47 PM
catspaw49 12 Jan 00 - 06:58 PM
Dan Evergreen 12 Jan 00 - 07:02 PM
lamarca 12 Jan 00 - 07:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jan 00 - 07:22 PM
Peter T. 12 Jan 00 - 07:33 PM
Terry Allan Hall 12 Jan 00 - 08:51 PM
BDenz 12 Jan 00 - 09:17 PM
Mudjack 12 Jan 00 - 09:37 PM
Susan A-R 12 Jan 00 - 10:13 PM
_gargoyle 13 Jan 00 - 12:14 AM
WyoWoman 13 Jan 00 - 12:29 AM
Rick Fielding 13 Jan 00 - 12:34 AM
WyoWoman 13 Jan 00 - 12:40 AM
Zane 13 Jan 00 - 12:55 AM
catspaw49 13 Jan 00 - 01:14 AM
Zane 13 Jan 00 - 01:24 AM
Llanfair 13 Jan 00 - 05:06 AM
Dani 13 Jan 00 - 08:08 AM
Blackcat2 13 Jan 00 - 09:29 AM
Ringer 13 Jan 00 - 09:47 AM
JedMarum 13 Jan 00 - 09:53 AM
Max 13 Jan 00 - 01:09 PM
Eric the Viking 13 Jan 00 - 02:07 PM
Blackcat2 13 Jan 00 - 02:43 PM
MMario 13 Jan 00 - 02:49 PM
Rick Fielding 13 Jan 00 - 03:15 PM
katlaughing 13 Jan 00 - 04:15 PM
catspaw49 13 Jan 00 - 04:25 PM
Bert 13 Jan 00 - 04:40 PM
The Shambles 13 Jan 00 - 04:43 PM
Bert 13 Jan 00 - 05:00 PM
lamarca 13 Jan 00 - 05:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Jan 00 - 05:21 PM
The Shambles 13 Jan 00 - 06:22 PM
DougR 13 Jan 00 - 07:11 PM
catspaw49 13 Jan 00 - 07:18 PM
_gargoyle 13 Jan 00 - 07:28 PM
Max 13 Jan 00 - 07:40 PM
Mudjack 13 Jan 00 - 07:42 PM
Peter T. 13 Jan 00 - 08:21 PM
Big Mick 14 Jan 00 - 12:04 AM
katlaughing 14 Jan 00 - 12:13 AM
Wolfgang 14 Jan 00 - 06:02 AM
Micca 14 Jan 00 - 06:47 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 14 Jan 00 - 09:03 AM
Art Thieme 14 Jan 00 - 09:23 AM
Roger in Baltimore 14 Jan 00 - 10:32 AM
The Shambles 14 Jan 00 - 03:31 PM
Lonesome EJ 14 Jan 00 - 04:10 PM
katlaughing 14 Jan 00 - 05:04 PM
Rick Fielding 14 Jan 00 - 07:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Jan 00 - 07:44 PM
The Shambles 15 Jan 00 - 10:28 AM
Frankie 15 Jan 00 - 10:51 AM
JedMarum 15 Jan 00 - 12:00 PM
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Subject: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 02:55 PM

This is a genuine attempt to start a sensible and continuing debate about the future of the Mudcat Forum and to involve and invite some of the more hesitant contributors and lurkers in an attempt to unite us all, rather than create more divisions. Hopefully this thread can be a place where ALLl will feel safe enough to air their views and where those views may receive criticism but the poster will not. It has been my, often-stated belief that the worst thing you can do on the forum is to do anything that may inhibit someone else from making a contribution. Some of us will never be inhibited from making a contribution but that does not make that contribution any more worthy than one from someone who is more easily put off, or who may not feel part of some real or imagined, 'core group'.

I have not really posted here for some time, after explaining my reasons in a thread called A Warm Goodbye From The Shambles, a thread (and I think the only one ever) that was actually censored! I have recently taken the opportunity to read carefully (amongst others) The Bobby Sands, The Compulsive Posting and The Threadiquette threads. It is quite obvious, from reading those threads that all is not well here but when I look through the rest of the threads, it is business as usual, if not better than it has ever been!

Part of the problem, I think is that we thought this place was different to other web places, when in fact it has all the problems of other sites, newsgroups and of course, the world. There has been an element of turning a 'blind eye' and hoping that by saying how wonderful things were, they would be so. To some extent it has become like a family but an unbalanced one. It appears to be OK to get to know each other on the forum and to say nice things and hug but not to recognize that when we do get to know each other better, that we may find each other extremely irritating as well. We do find that, don't we? If we are really honest posters, we will admit to that? If we do admit it, I think we can move on.

Why if we can say ingratiating things, like "I love you guys", can we not say things like "I think you are a pompous asshole"? I find them both equally offensive and for different reasons but that is probably partly my English reserve?

If I go to a club or a concert to listen or to see someone perform, I may, in the interval see people that I would like to be more friendly with or meet an old friend there. I would probably speak briefly to them, to make arrangements to continue our discussion some other time or by some other means and get on with the main business of being there, the music, for that's why I came. I would not shout out private jokes to them and laugh loudly during the performance. Why then should the forum be any different? It is a great place for making friends and I feel that I have made many here but are there not better ways of chatting with those friends, once made, or is it more important to be seen on the forum to have those friends and to belong? I am not knocking the need to belong, for the forum serves many purposes but surely, to belong here, it is as simple as saying, if you want to belong here, then you do? Do you really need to try that hard?

As for taking sides, for I feel we should and I don't just mean BS v music (for we can have both), I am on the side of Max, music and The Mudcat, which will be as good or as bad as we all can make it. What's gone is gone and what's done is done but what is important now is where do we go from here? What do you think?


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Allan C.
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 02:59 PM

As for the future of the Mudcat, I want to go on record as being totally in favor of it.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: JedMarum
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 03:12 PM

Where's the rub? I read through that entire post and couldn't figure out what the basic complaint was! You claim have left the Mudcat in your recent (July) "goodbye" but have made at least 60 posts to threads since then. You seem to imply there is some ground swell of discontent that is somehow kept silent and that Mudcatters feel repressed; I say bullshit! Where is this illwill, frustration, fear and anger. People here come and go as they please, and speak their minds freely.

I don;t need traffic cops to monitor my web behavior, nor to protect me from someone who might offend. Mudcatters are, on the whole; generous, outspoken, intelligent, and normally civil with one another - even when they disagree fiercely. Certainly there are exceptions, but civility is the general tone here. We are primarily music focused, and primarily kind in our treatment of one another. We don't need a lot of rules to know how to behave.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: TerriM
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 03:20 PM

Here, here, Liam. I have read with increasing bewilderment this talk about abusive or boorish behaviour on the 'cat but have come across no examples in my browsing of various threads.... quite the contrary in fact. I am puzzled as to why the future of the mudcat needs discussion when it is clearly fulfilling a perfectly adequate and appreciated function just as it is. When it fails to do so, people will vote with their feet. There have always been people ( contributors) who come and go on sites such as this as other things in their life take precedence. I wouldn't have found it at all except for a prolonged bout of illness that has kept me from other things. I'm very glad I did but, much as I enjoy it, other things are going to creep in again and I won't be around as much, isn't that true for most people?


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Max
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 03:23 PM

Thank you Shambles. I think some may not catch what your trying to do.

The Mudcat's gonna grow. There will be a lot more content, a lot more people, a lot more posts, a lot more media, a lot more songs. We can't stop that now. But does this change anything? Some of us may get nervous that our happy world here may change, but what ever stays the same? The Real World is what it is, as is the Mudcat, and both are changing and growing everyday. Fear not the future, fear not the growth, fear not the change. It all comes down to one simple thing:

It will be what we make it... PERIOD


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 03:28 PM

In the few months that I have been reading Mudcat, although there have been a few small flare ups, there has only really been one issue that has repeatedly caused trouble and that is the BS issue and it seems to me that the "extremists" on both sides get more and more bitter about the whole thing.

We can all agree to be on the side of Max and Mudcat but the problem is that Max basically says there are no rules and it is up to all of us to get along... which is probably correct and in fairness, we should all be able to do that (at least most of the time).

The more I think about the BS issue, the more I lean towards the idea of a separate page, call it the Mudcat Community page or something and I think that will resolve a lot of the feuding that has been going on.

It has been mentioned that music does sometimes come from the BS threads but even with 2 pages, there are 2 ways of looking at it: 1. A musical question that arose could always be posted back to the main forum and 2. If people don't want to read the BS threads, it is their loss if something musical did crop up and presumably these people who are objecting to the BS are already missing out.

Jon


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: fulurum
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 03:37 PM

i think mudcat will be aound for a long time. I was listening to a psychologist on a television show one night and she made the interesting statement that the family who doesn't fight is really the dysfunctional family. I come from a family of six kids,and i learned early on in life that we weren't, nor wanted to be all the same.The world wasn't going to be centered around me. Mom and dad never really got involved in our disagreements, nor did they allow them to get to out of control. Eventually we all learned what the words opinion and compromise meant. Now that we are older, (in our 30s and 40's) we still argue from time to time, but we know when to stop before it goes to far. We live in a country full of people who have left other countries because of some kind of oppression. They now enjoy freedom of speech, and the freedom to go on mudcat to express thier opinions, and most, not all, of the people here know that they have the obligation of decency if they are going to express thier opinion here or anywhere else for that matter. As long as we keep the decent side of ourselves showing in the b.s. section, and more importantly , the music side of this in full swing, mudcat should survive as long as we do. Well thats my opinion. Sorry its so long winded. And you konw what they say, We put the fun in dysFUNctional. PEACE

fulrum


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: JamesJim
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 03:48 PM

Right on Max! I am new to this forum and am enticed to visit every day (sometimes 2 or 3 times). What a wonderful bunch of people. "VIVA MUDCAT!"


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 04:03 PM

In the past I've felt that having any kind of separate page for "community stuff" was uneeded, and have said so here, but I think I've changed my mind on the issue.

I consider Mudcat part of my daily living experience now, and would be sad to have to leave, but business concerns, family matters, and learning a new instrument (jazz and blues fiddle) have cut into my on-line time substantially. I can usually manage about half an hour a day (down from an hour plus) usually broken up into 2 or 3 segments. Sometimes this changes (usually one a week) and I browse and post for a couple of hours...but I'm never sure when I'll get the time for that to happen.

I'd love to see some of the music specific threads hang around longer, and attract the real "music nerds" like myself a bit quicker. Of course, as I've stated MANY times, the sharp wit, personal disclosure, and political opinions often found in the erroniously labeled "BS" threads make this the "perfect all around site" for me.

If I've only got 10 or 15 minutes though, I'd rather just visit the "music" threads where I may have answered a question for someone, or am looking for an answer myself. Being terminally curious, if I'm confronted with threads named "UFOs visit Mudcat" or "Is Catspaw the Devil?" or "Will Armageddon start in San Diego?" I'm just too weak to pass them up!

If it can be done without HUGE problems, I'd be in favour of a separate "Community Interests" section. I think it would cut any current disatisfaction with balance, overposting, and spiritual issues by 9/10ths. The other 1/10th? Screw 'em if they can't take a joke!

Rick Fielding


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Chet W.
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 04:11 PM

I like it the way it is, wart-infested or not, depending on your point of view. I have gotten into about as many arguments as anybody, I guess, but I can't remember not parting on a friendly, or at least civil basis. The thing that makes this different from a chatroom is that we do have something to say, more relevant than "Have a beer!", and people respond in a way that reflects their own personalities. If someone is caring and nurturing, they will be here. If they're butthole retentive, so will be their posts. I think it's going pretty good.

Chet


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 04:12 PM

Thank you The Shambles for starting this thread. As a "music nut" I visit the Mudcat every day, sometimes several times a day and browse mostly the music and technical threads which are hugely informative but sometimes also the so-called BS ones. I only post occasionally and, unlike some here, have been very surprised at the tone of (thankfully) a relatively small number of threads and posters. I would be the last to want censorship imposed but the other side of this is that all should respect the right of others to express views that they don't necessarily share. As an Irish citizen I was particularly struck by the vehemence of some posts in threads like Bobby Sands and some earlier ones I subsequently looked at, but deliberately stayed out of the discussions.

All in all Max does a splendid job on this site and maintains just about the right "feel", and the 'Cat remains one of my favourite places on the web and is a tremendous resource to boot. I'm personally prepared to tolerate the very occasional regrettable but ultimately inevitable boorish and opinionated posting (given human nature)to reap the benefit of the overwhelming goodwill, knowledge, good humour and helpfulness of the vast majority of 'Catters.

Peace and goodwill to all,

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 04:13 PM

Shamb, I agree that it's worth considering what kind of direction we want Mudcat to take. The community I live in is one of the most beautiful in Colorado, but change is inevitable as more people are drawn here by the beauty of it. It only makes sense for my community, and this one, to plan for the future.

I am not in favor of any sort of censorship in this forum. However, I do believe in peer pressure as an antidote to transgressions. If someone repeatedly steps out of line, most people here are not shy about bringing it to their attention. As to the presence of a clique or "in-group", there is a core of long time posters who have come to know and feel comfortable with one another, and a certain amount of joshing and banter is to be expected. I don't think that the "insiders" here are exclusive.

I do retain the right to tell anyone here that I like them, even though I may refrain from telling certain others that I think they are jerks.(by the way, Shambles, I like you and consider you a friend, even though you are a typical emotionally-inhibited Brit). And arguments? As long as we steer clear of personal insults, I love them, and think that the more heated disagreements are the best threads.

To the Future

LEJ


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Marymac90
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 05:01 PM

Well, Shambles, If you've been in a sort of self-imposed exile, I want to welcome you back, and ask you to please stay around! I know you well enough to know you're a good person, and I want as many good folks around here as possible!

In the short time I've been here, Mudcat has become an important part of my life practically every day. The threads that are not strictly related to music don't bother me at all, but if there are those who would like to have music and not-music on separate mudcat pages, I could live with that.

I would be very pleased if people would try to give their threads very accurate titles, because with an antique computer like mine, moving from one thread to another can be extremely slow.

I think having a place to express controversy and disagreement is important, so I favor continuing that, in a respectful manner. When you're disagreeing with someone, besides checking your post for insults and obvious disrespect, we should also read them over to see if they sound patronizing, for that can be just as insulting as put-downs, in a more sneaky way.

It's very exciting to hear that Max has improvements in store for Mudcat, and I'll be happy to hear what they are. It's true, nothing ever stays the same, and it's also true that Mudcat will be whatever WE make it. Let's make it something GOOD!!!

Mary McCaffrey


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 05:03 PM

I just checked, and of the first 20 threads on the Forum page, there's only one that isn't about music (apart from this one - which is in it's way about music after all), and rthat's about flu, and is full of folk remedies, and has one song link so far.

It just isn't the case that there is an enormous excess of non-music threads, call them BS or OS or whatver. They tend to go on longer, so it takes time to read them and keep up with the discussion, but that obviously should only effect people who who like going to them (including of course a few people who seem to spend an awful lot of time saying how they hate them, which seems a bit inconsistent - and I'm not putting Shambles in that category.)

I find the key to saving time and chasing up the things I'm looking for is to make good use of the Find facility on my browser, and the Trace and Detrace facility and so forth. I think that some kind of user's guide to the Mudcat might be useful for people who don't like trying to find out the wrinkles themself.

What is going to change the Mudcat is that it's going to become bigger, and that's going to bring problems of crowds and oldtimers feeling pushed out to the edge. And that's likely to be painful.

In a way it's a bit like what happens to folk festivals in England anyway - they get bigger and less persoanl, and little festivals grow up to provide what the bigger ones have lost, and the big festivals develop sub-festivals inside them. I reckon something like that will happen with us.

In the meantime I think we're still in what in few years people will be talking of as a Golden Age. Which is just what people are saying about the Mudcat of a couple of years back.

And I'm sure they're quite right. Just check out some of the great threads to be found in the SuperSearch - but when you look at the dates you find that some of them only date from last year.

We've got a very foreshortened sense of time here. I'm reminded of a TV show I once saw about skateboarding. "And here comes one of the real veterans, the Grand Old Man himself" said the commentator. And out rolled this bloke aged 28. Twenty-Eight - and he could still get around unaided!!


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Max
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 05:06 PM

Couple things. First, I am currently VERY against anything that will create multiple forums, and for a lot of reasons. For one (reasons), you all know how thread creep works, and even in BS threads does damn fine stuff come out, and in music threads, BS happens. Second, I can clearly imagine hunderds and thousands of links and references to the "Other Forum" which ever the "Other" is in that case. Can't you? I won't have that.

Censorship will not happen. I do admit to deleting something here or there, but the ONLY two ways that will happen is if personal or delicate information is mistakenly posted and either I see it or the SUBJECT or POSTER requests that I remove it. The second way is if I feel like it (This is half a joke, the temptation as "The Man" to remove downright garbage is just too tempting sometimes, and I do reserve the ability for EXTREME situations, ex. Telling one to go ahead and do it in a suicide thread.)

Now having said that, don't think that I am giving up. I will never stop using technology for all its worth and then a little bit more. An integrated chat may cut on some chatter and BS, a more sophisticated category system may help one avoid what he/she doesn't like. (If you would all just have this little chip installed in you molar, I could do much better).

Besides, Isn't Folk an artistic representation of Life? Or is it just the LIFE you want to see?

Oh, and I've been here longer than any of you, and I am only 27. And I still get around fine.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Jacob Bloom
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 05:20 PM

Hi,

I discovered the Forum only a few weeks ago. I've checked it regularly since then, especially the requests for lyrics. The amount of time I have for browsing is limited, so I generally have avoided threads labeled BS.

There is something about this thread that I don't understand: some people have implied that creating BS threads or posting to them inconveniences other Mudcatters in some manner. I get the impression that some people feel obliged to read every thread. Is that the case?

Since I regularly pick and choose which threads to read, I'm not concerned about the ratio of music-related threads to chatty threads. And, while I don't have time to chat myself, I certainly don't have any objection to other people doing it!

The message from The Shambles at the top of the thread seems to be comparing chatting in the Mudcat to talking out loud during a performance. That is not a valid comparison. Mudcat is much more like a party after a performance, in a big house with lots of rooms, and a different conversation going on in each corner. We're all welcome to listen in at any of the conversations that interest us, and to speak up with our own thoughts whenever we feel like it. What's more, we can speak up without worrying about disturbing the other conversations, because the only people who can hear (read) us are people who have gone out of their way to hear that particular conversation.

I'm not trying to say that anything should or shouldn't be done. I'm just trying to explain why I don't understand what the problem is.

Jacob


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 05:58 PM

Though I would have accepted it, I must admit I am happy to hear that Max does not want to have multiple forums. The way it is set up now, for me, going from one thread to another is like walking from one block to another. Having multiple forums reminds me of a big city with many suburbs. I would get lost easily.

I would like to see a rule of thumb where, if a thread posting count reaches 100 postings, it is custom to start Part II.
Shambles, thank you for starting this thread.
BB


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: _gargoyle
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:01 PM

Liam..... I agree!

Max - you have sculpted an OUTSTANDING monument to your profession and skills!!!

Like the end course of a fever-dream, the MC balance and momentum have shifted back from critical (where it could have gone another direction) to a musical energy and momentum that will carry it beyound all future threats.

It appears (thankfully) that the role for a "gargoyle" is ending.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:02 PM

Sounds great to me, Max! Jacob, I agree with you about the analogy; no one is compelled to listen (read) what some of us may be going on about in whatever type thread there is. ChetW, LeeJ, well put.

The only suggestion I have, which might make it easier for those with limited time, like Rick, to browse and who are most interested in music threads is to use a prefix designation for them, too, such as MR- for Music Related.

BS/OS threads are easily identifiable now because we usually use those at the beginning of the title. It would be just as simple to use MR at the beginning of every music thread, as a quick and easy way to identify them for quick browsing.

Of course using the filter, find function, detrace and trace as McGra(r)th **BG** (see, I am pronouncing it correctly, now!) pointed out works well, too.

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:17 PM

Thanks kat - but you might still be sounding the "th" - which is silent (except in the American Newport I gather.)

And I was glad to see the post just before yours. Touch wood.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:20 PM

I can't believe I've just read this and can't resist this comment. Have I just read 2 of who I consider to be "extremists" (Kat and Gargoyle), one on each side of the BS fence both saying that they are happy after all?

Jon


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:28 PM

Please, it is kat with a small "k"; there was another Kat already when I signed on as katlaughing and she does post sometimes.

McGrath, so it is McGrar?? Is it the same way my English landlady pronounced law, which was lawr? Over here we have a government cartoon character called McGrath, a dog dressed up like Sherlock Holmes, who is used in public service announcements to combat crime. Of course his name is pronounced McGra (as in cat)th (not silent). The slogan is "McGrath....takes a bite out of crime."

Sorry for the threadcreep, Shambles.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:33 PM

What would I like to see? Basically, what Max said about a more sophisticated category system that must be used to create a thread would probably work quite well. I read a lot of threads that I don't post on, simply learn from. There are plenty of each type of thread and I can't see the need for any more "rooms" or forums or whatever. The stuff that interests you is NOT all that hard to locate or trace.

There has been talk of expanding the magazine portion of the 'Cat and that strikes me as a fine idea. With a little focus and thought, I think its easily accomplished...the only practical barrier is Max's time. And that is a valuable commodity to us all. So when you want to start that, let some of us know, and we'll be happy to help.

A chat room will relieve some of the pressure, but not all by any means. Its still something we need as time permits.

All of this focuses quite unfortunately on Max. If there are ways that even the true computer dimbulbs such as I can help, please let us know.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:39 PM

You ask something three times, you have to get a reply. "ath" as in "car" and "Tsar" and "aarrgh". Or Gar... There are some funny spellings for Irish words. As for example Kevin spelled Caiomhghen.

Thread drift is the term I prefer. Or occasionally lurch. I think this one was perhaps a lurch. But a lurcher is a dog, not a kat.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:43 PM

The thing that has gone wrong is that there is a community as opposed to a bunch of strangers posting on a common topic. There are spats within communities, and personality conflicts, and people sometimes don't treat each other with the common decency they would treat strangers. I personally love the community, but I think we sometimes take each other for granted.

The BS argument has been going on for ages and never solves anything, just gets more bitter. It's like the "what is folk" argument, only more personal. In both cases, it involves individuals trying to make something be the way they want it. It has no effect other than to create frustration, anger and yes, bitterness. What will be, will be.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Max
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:47 PM

Garg, you say "The role for a Gargoyle is ending"! That doesn't mean that you can go away, you old fart you. We'd have no one to talk about;-)

Personally I like Mudcat the way it is. Just remember that we do have "personal messages" which you should use when you are getting personal and in someone's face.

Also the new thread search will take away the argument that the BS threads slow down our search ability.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:58 PM

Yeah, but you have to remember to use it Bert!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Dan Evergreen
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 07:02 PM

I think perhaps the people who come on here just for the musical information and discussions need to get more vocal. If you hear a new song or album you like, share the information. Voluntarily post up your favorite song with all the chords and words. Don't wait until you need something to do a thread. For example, I heard so much about "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" that I clicked on the green clickey thing and ordered "A Soldier's Song." It is a stunning collection of songs which includes, in addition the "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda": "The Green Fields of France," "Christmas in the Trenches," and "We Danced to an Old Fashioned Tune." Wonderful material.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: lamarca
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 07:08 PM

Sub-dividing the Mudcat into different forums might complicate rather than solve our problems - people have a hard enough time naming their threads now, let alone deciding which of multiple sub-forums it ought to be posted to. The easiest way to help folks organize which threads to scan and which to avoid is to have a consistant system for naming them.

The problem with a category system for thread names is that regulars would quickly learn it, but new people coming to the Forum won't know it. Maybe the "Create a Thread" page could have an explanation of the categories and a "required" field to fill in before posting:

Some suggested categories/prefixes:
"MC" for MudChat (instead of the reviled "BS")
"Song REQ" for Song request (instead of the confusing "Lyr req" vs "Lyr/chords req")
"Tune REQ"for tunes only
"ADD Song" (so you can search on ADD)
"ADD Tune" (ditto)
"DEF" for threads seeking discussions of musical terms, like the "Skiffle" or "Modal" threads
"Help" for whatever
and some sort of catchall, like "NOTA" = "None of the Above" for those threads you just can't categorize...

Another thing that would help would be a "NOT" function in the filter. People who don't want to see "MC" or "BS" threads could set the filter to "NOT MC" and eliminate the distraction. (I don't know if that's functionally possible - I don't know the programming involved).

I've also yearned for a way to search for threads from a given time period. Rather than setting the filter to "1 Day", "3 Days", etc., it would be nice if you could filter on a specific date or range of dates - say, only those threads whose first posting was in March, 1999, or whose most recent posting was 30-Aug-99, or every thread that died two weeks ago.

I am on Mudcat less and less these days, because there aren't as many discussions in which I'm interested, but I think things will probably ebb and flow this way over time. I think that giving all the users more ways to filter the Forum would be the best way to make the largest number of people with different interests happy...


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 07:22 PM

Some of the suggestions by lamarca and others make sense, and there's always room for a bit of rtinkering. And Max is clearly an inspuired tinkerer.

But the basic rule must be "if it ain't broken, don't fix it".


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Peter T.
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 07:33 PM

I'm with your views, Max, completely. I don't believe in the separation philosophically: it undermines both life and music. I have previously suggested that a simple solution would be for people who want their thread designated as a pure music thread should be able to post it in Italics (and maybe that could be made easier). That way it would be easy to spot them, rather than all those acronyms that no one is going to remember, especially new people. But on reflection, I think it would die out quickly anyway.
I think the future is great as long as Max doesn't get bored or sick of it. We all must suck up to Max is a big way (like send more money). I also think the present is pretty great too.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Terry Allan Hall
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 08:51 PM

A nice place to hang out...let's just agree to disagree sometimes and enjoy life.

As Hank Williams Sr. once (alledgedly) said, "No-one gets out alive!"...maybe that was Hunter S. Thompson...


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: BDenz
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 09:17 PM

I've been on bulletin boards for over 10 years now and was a SysOp for the Music roundtable on Genie for years. If there's one thing that experience has taught me, it's that some people are horribly inpatient with topic drift and some can't live without it. My theory is that no matter what the topic, eventually someone is going to make it about music. That's why we come to Mudcat in the first place.

Mudcat will be here so long as people love and are curious about music. AND so long as they are made to feel welcome and there are people to talk to who respond to them.

From my own relatively limited experience here so far, I've noticed two annoyances.

1) People who don't have a name next to "from" who start giving me grief about doing typical newbie things. One thing Sysoping has taught me -- NEVER treat anyone like s/he is stupid. That's the quickest button for a flame war.

2) People who try to drag topics where they aren't ready to go yet, thereby stifling the interaction that IS there [and driving people away]. To nudge is good. To drag is, imho, not.

fwiw.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Mudjack
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 09:37 PM

The MC is a time consumer and after spending far to much time being a part of the MC community, I have finally brought myself to a point where I can thread creep and respond on occassion. I use to believe that the MC was a healthy hang out but the sense of community comes and goes.
To my dissapointment, I have communicated to our leader requesting some feedback on auctions, no response, Have contacted the other(DT) leader about offering some used LPs, no response. The sense of community seems to be limited to an East coast clickish group. (my percieved opinion).
The Internet does allow us all the opportunity to participate and be a part of the community. Another dissappointment came to me by way of a thread that cried, "WOLF"? We all spun into a furry with the threat of legal actions from the Fox Agency. A big move to panic and most responded to sending money for legal defense. Did I miss an explanation of what happened? (Must have)
The future will survive because it really is a comfortable place to settle in and relax with folks that have the same common interest you have. I am listening to the "live" radio show and finding it VERY GOOD and really appreciate the non-commercial approach and the live music is like being at a Song Circle. The music is real and offers a good many songs you will never find on the money motivated air waves.
To sum it all up, there are far more positve reasons for survival than dissappointments. The MC will be around for a long time. With or without Mudjack or any one else who visits from time to time.
Mudjack


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Susan A-R
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 10:13 PM

Mainly, I just like it here. Some nights I go straight for the BS, sometimes music and BS, I work alone, and the community is important to me. So is the music, although I do get a creepy feeling that I spend way too much time here, and not enough time making music. Anyway, I like the mix. I find that I can self sort (I am not that much of an addictive personality yet) and If the Garg gets growly, so what. That's his or her perogative. I'm an adult (Not so's you'd always know it) and I can pick and choose. I do appreciate the BS designation. It does help me to sort through somewhat. I'd rather not see separate sections of the Cat, because I don't always know what I want until I see it. Well, enough ramblings. On to find a few threads.

Susan A-R


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: _gargoyle
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 12:14 AM

Lovely LaughKat - let's just stick with B.S.

There is no need for calling the others Mental Retards.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: WyoWoman
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 12:29 AM

And in the rooms, the women come and go, talking of Michelangelo...

I like best the analogy of Mudcat with a big house with people jamming in some rooms, talking quietly in others, and standing around the kitchen, as people always do, drinking and laughing wildly at one thing or another.

The 'Cat is a pretty big house, and I visit various rooms at various times. When I'm busy and just want info on a song, I buzz in and buzz out and usually find what I need. When I'm feeling sociable and want to play, I drop in for some BS and hang out a while (I don't take offense at that designation, but have no strong feelings about what it's called. I do like some way of deciding if it's just a thread for schmoozing or a more serious thread -- but again, it's ALL music, because music is about life).

I've gotten acquainted with a handful of people from some of the threads and when we want to visit with each other in a way that doesn't take up everyone else's time, we send each other personal messages.

So what's the problem? I'm happy here and grateful for the resource. I just find it tedious to keep going over this same territory incessantly. Why do people find it so necessary to pick at things instead of going with the flow and seeing where it takes us?

WW


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 12:34 AM

I humbly bow to the will of the majority. (and I'd never go mano a mano with Max...he's just to damn young and quick) Of Course it will mean I have to spend an hour less "quality time" with Heather and the cats every day, but they can watch "ER" in the basement/music room, and reruns of "Law and Order".

Rick (who's seen the error of his ways vis. separate forums)


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: WyoWoman
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 12:40 AM

It does sometimes require an act of will to unplug from the 'Cat. But that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it, just that we have playful natures and there's damned little playfulness in the Real World sometimes...

so play when ya' can and don't when ya' can't.

Ta-DAH! The Wisdom of Wyo...


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Zane
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 12:55 AM

I am sure what I am about to say will be controversial....but I must tell all of you, having silently lurked here for several months now, that what keeps me coming back here time and time again are......

_gargoyle's postings

....It is my observation that for better or for worse, he is by far the most fascinating and intriguing personality here....and I would HATE to ever see him leave, or, change.

He is both the Pathos and Ethos of this Forum.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 01:14 AM

Geeziz, ain't self-aggrandizement great? Give it a break garg.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Zane
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 01:24 AM

Spaw.....I can assure you that _gargoyle did NOT write the above msg.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Llanfair
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 05:06 AM

Well, welcome back, Shambles, the cat's back amongst the pigeons, I'm pleased to say!!
I have no real opinion about this issue, because I believe in acceptance, and the importance of listening to everyone, even if what they say is incomprehensible/trite/inconsequential or inane. Everyone has their point of view, and everyone should be valued.
Having said that, I avoid anyone who deliberately causes pain or makes people unhappy.
I haven't found anyone like that here, just people with knowledge, experience, and opinions.
The future of Mudcat? Who knows, but I'll be around to take part.
Hwyl, Bron. ,


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Dani
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 08:08 AM

I just want to know, Max, is that chip only available from you? Can we order it through the 'cat, or will my dentist have it in stock? Will insurance cover it?

Will it be standard issue at the asylum?

Dani


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Blackcat2
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 09:29 AM

Just about everything has been said and i don't have anything new to contribute - I just want to register my opinion.

1) No division. If you think the music threads disappear too qiuckly, set your page to pull up more than 1 day - it just takes a moment and maybe there's a way to do that permanently?

2) It's Max's web page. Whaever he says goes.

3) Ignore everything you're not interested in.

4) Sorry to bring up Bobby Sands Threat again, but if you look, many of the comments in that thread were compliments to the vast majority of the posters, thakinging them for keeping it a civil, intelligent and honest debate. It was a remarkable discussion - one in which I am proud to have been involved.

5) Ignore the people on the fringe if they bother you. But remember the fringe has made some radical changes for the good throughout history (and for bad too).

pax yall

Blackcat2


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Ringer
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 09:47 AM

It's OK as it is


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: JedMarum
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 09:53 AM

Max - in truth you have done an outstanding job creating and running this place! The website itself handles volume very well, everything works (well) the rich set of features are well ordered, easy to find and easy to work - and (most importantly to us) the site has drawn a moderately sized regular usership. These are no small feats in the world of Internet Technologies. I know for the most part our focus here is music - but this venue Max has created and operates; runs beautifully - and I am sure all agree.

Like Max, I believe a second forum for other purposes is counterproductive. Even in this thread we've crept into the area of music - we're such an undisciplined lot; how would we ever keep the music out of the bullsh*t and the bullsh*t out of the music! ;-)


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Max
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 01:09 PM

Mudjack, I was ready to get defensive and apologetic citing the over 125 emails I get a day, my busy schedule, my personal problems, the real job that I put off to manage the Mudcat, but then I found in my OutBox that I responded to both your emails the same day you sent them to me, so I am not sure of what you refer.

I personally don't have any preference to east coasters. In fact very often I do not know where you folks are from. I respond mostly to those most active and who contribute the most, more content than financial, but both. A lot of the east coasters have personally met each other at various festivals and gatherings. That my be what you are noticing.

There was no crying of "WOLF", the HFA and NMPA is still looming. On last weeks radio show I read there last letter which was another threat and a list of songs. I meant to put it on the Cat as well, but forgot. Perhaps I will start a thread today. I am trying not to guess at or resent the implications you are making. This is the first of MY HOBBIES that I've been threatened criminally and civilly for, and I am sorry that it may have annoyed you.

Oh, by the way Mudjack, I played "Shady Grove" off the tape you sent me on the Radio Show last night, thank you, I enjoy the whole thing.

Dani, You can only get it from me, and we're waiting for the patent to go through before we install it. Catspaw (as if you didn't notice) is currently testing one of the prototypes. We discovered a major glitch in it though (as if you didn't notice) which set back production as well.

I was afraid that this whole thread would turn out to be another list of things for me to do (lamarca), but I am glad to see you are helping me by noting your collective behavior. I will continue to do what I can with the organizing and technology and such, but remember I can only do so much, and only have so much time. My dream come true would be able to work the Mudcat full time, but the Mudcat generates less than $1000 per year, and that wouldn't cut it.

Thanks everyone that said kind things, reminded folks to not take this FREE site for granted, and recommended sending money, love, and content contributions.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 02:07 PM

Aw come on guys! (Did that sound American?) Seriously does it really matter what people say or do on mudcat as long as it does not set out to cause real offence or harm? Keep it a folk interest, interested organisation.I only read the threads I want to, if it looks interesting or fits what I want to see at the time I see it, then I'll read it and add to it if I feel like it. You could put a thread telling me to shove off but it don't mean I will take anymore notice of it than listing the best/worst folk singers in the world. I might find a lot to agree with or disagree with, but that doesn't mean I would take offence. I haven't been insulted yet for anything I have commented on,,even by the guy who thought(ha) Brendan found America before Lief,(See nothings that serious) and I hope I never offend anyone else. As for censorship I am against it mostly, unless what is written is deliberatly designed to instil hatred and violence on another person. Life in the non cycber world is hard enough don't make it so here. Cheers. Eric


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Blackcat2
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 02:43 PM

Warning thread creep beginning (an on a subject probably hashed out before) . . .

Why, oh, why is it at all important to figure out which Eurpoean found the Americas? None of them were the first.

Just asking . . .

pax


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: MMario
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 02:49 PM

blackcat - we want to know who to blame.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 03:15 PM

I thought the Chinese got here first. Well they might have, if they'd wanted to.

Rick


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 04:15 PM

Eve set the whole thing up and then split for the Garden so that Adam could live out his little fantasy!


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 04:25 PM

Actually, Adam was busy inventing beer so Eve went down to the river to bathe and now all the.............

(Now y'all don't need to be goin' "Oh, you're so nasty Spaw"....What else were you expecting from me after a setup like that?)

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Bert
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 04:40 PM

I think that these last few posts indicate that the future of Mudcat is assured!


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 04:43 PM

Blackcat2 said. "4) Sorry to bring up Bobby Sands Threat again, but if you look, many of the comments in that thread were compliments to the vast majority of the posters, thakinging them for keeping it a civil, intelligent and honest debate. It was a remarkable discussion - one in which I am proud to have been involved."

I am sorry Blackcat2, this is not a personal attack on you or your pride in being involved, but I have seen it said so many times how wonderful this thread was but just by saying it and repeating it does not make it so. The fact that it may be seen as a civil, intelligent and honest debate is mainly due to the restraint of the majority of Mudcatter's who did not contribute to it (not because they do not find the subject of interest) and the great care taken by those that did.

The main reason I stopped posting regularly here was because I did not think that the issues arriving from all the conflict in Northern Ireland could be discussed here in the same way that we were able to treat other equally divisive subjects, a fact that saddened me greatly. As I said in the first post, I have read that thread very carefully, in the hope that we could now manage to do that very thing. It is with great regret and disappointment that I have come to the conclusion that we still cannot. I may hold a minority view (as I note that many of the contributors took great pains to state what a great thread it was) but that does not make me wrong.

The best evidence, I would suggest, is not in the number of Mudcatter's that did contribute but in the number that did not. Despite it being stated in the thread, by Big Mick that he did not believe that people were afraid to post their views there, I can assure him that I for one was. I don't know if afraid is quite the word. I don't think I was prepared to be either patronized or bullied in the way that many that did contribute were. I would also refer you to the comments made earlier in this thread by mcmoo.

There were some fine contributions made there. There was one, brave posting, which made me cry but received generally, a pretty hostile reception, which I found very puzzling. Maybe someone could explain that reception to me? I greatly regret that I did not read this until the thread had ended for I would have supported those views. It was as if actually describing the horror of witnessed events resulting from the conflict of views, was somehow 'below the belt', when surely this kind personal testimony is exactly what threads like these require.

Again what's done is what's done, the only thing left to do is to learn from it, so we can do it better in the future. That can only be done if we are honest.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Bert
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 05:00 PM

Shambles, I'm inclined to agree with you, I'm one of those who didn't post. I have very mixed feelings about the situation and felt that any comment of mine would only stir up trouble on both sides.

It took a great deal of restraint, but I kept my opinions to myself. If anyone is interested they can send me a personal message.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: lamarca
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 05:08 PM

Sorry, Max - just wanted to make sure you wouldn't get bored...Seriously, we are all very lucky that Max is willing to share so much of his knowledge and skill in making this a really neat place to be!

As one of the perennial privacy advocates and etiquette noodges, I wish that all Frequent Users of Mudcat could take some of Shambles' words to heart:

"Why then should the forum be any different? It is a great place for making friends and I feel that I have made many here but are there not better ways of chatting with those friends, once made, or is it more important to be seen on the forum to have those friends and to belong?"

I would be more comfortable here if people would take more time to:

1. Read the previous posts and try to understand the questions being asked or the statements being made. Too many of the hard feelings have been roused by people making arguments against something that wasn't what the original poster said at all. Too much wasted space is taken by people who don't read the question being asked, and offer their "answers" - lyrics to the wrong song, redundant answers, etc.

2. Think your reply through before typing and posting - try not to post in anger or complete reckless abandon. Try to think of both your impact on the person to whom you're replying and whether what you're typing SHOULD be seen by everyone with access to the Web.

3. In discussion threads (as opposed to "chat" threads like the tavern), don't just post for the sake of "joining in" and getting your name on the thread. Too often threadcreep results not from an interesting digression from the topic, but from people trading joking insults and trying to "one-up" each other with clever banter.

4. Remember - what's on the Mudcat is visible to more people than just the regulars who contribute here. Everything you post can be read by anyone, anywhere in the world. Try to use private E-mails and messages for personal comments; don't post info or rumors about third parties without their knowledge or consent. One of the responsibilities that go along with the right of freedom of speech is self-governance of that speech.

If we are not going to have separate forums for chat versus discussions (and Max has convinced me it's not a good idea after all) , I would like to see the "Mudcat Regulars" (or Mudcat Irregulars - wouldn't that be a good band name!) try to keep playful banter primarily on "chat" threads, and resist the impulse to turn every thread into a silly exchange of wisecracks.

Amen, brethren and sistren, I'll get down off my pulpit now...


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 05:21 PM

Shambles, you say that there were "some fine contributions" in that particular thread and that "it may be seen as a civil, intelligent and honest debate is mainly due to the restraint of the majority of Mudcatter's who did not contribute to it (not because they do not find the subject of interest) and the great care taken by those that did."

And then you say at first that you didn't contribute to it because of a unease about being patronised or bullied -but then that you would have contributed to it if you'd read it while it was going on.

I think there are some inconsistencies in there. Though I don't think that's a crime. As Walt Whitman said

"Do I contradict myself?
Very well, I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain mulotitudes.)

A free discussion setup like this can't avoid tensions and failures, above all when we are dealing with subjects where people feel strongly and which matter desperately. After all, if tempers can be raised about things like "what is folk?" or "is there too much BS?", it's not surprising that when we talk about the Irish troubles people can get heated.

I think that the Bobby Sands thread kept on the level remarkably well, far mre so than you'd expect to find in print or in broadcasting. It could have been better, most things can be better. It would have been better, I'm sure, if The Shambles had come in on it. (And that is not sarcasm on my part.)

But speculating as to why some peiople contribute and others didn't is just that, speculation.

Sometimes I don't post because I don't follow a thread. This may be for all kinds of reasons - I think it's probably going to be going over old ground, or I'm too busy, or I don't see it. Or it's not something I feel involved with, or its something I'm too involved with. And sometimes I follow a thread and don't post because someone else has made the points I'd make, but better.

And I'm wholly with The Shambles on the last point in the poist: "Again what's done is what's done, the only thing left to do is to learn from it, so we can do it better in the future. That can only be done if we are honest."


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 06:22 PM

There is a history. I did not intend to post to that thread for I have been there before, there is a pattern to it and I wasn't prepared to pay the price required. As I said I hoped that it could be dealt with better this time, the only way to see was to wait until contributions to the thread had ended. When I saw the treatment that the poster I referred to had received, I regretted then that I had not taken part. If that is inconsistent, so be it. It is nice that you think it would have been a better thread if I had taken part but I fear it would have become just another slanging match.

As for speculation as to why others did not post, yes that is up to them to say but there is no speculation as far as myself, Bert and mcmoo, we have stated our reasons. Only three of us, I know.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: DougR
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 07:11 PM

Jeeze Max, you can't make it on a $1,000 a year? My dad fed a fair sized family in 1930 on only $1,200! :>) Seriously, Suzan A-R and several others said it for me. I like Mudcat the way it is and I'm sure many improvements will be forthcoming without changing the format. You've done a great job and I think we are all grateful to you for founding the Mudcat and for all the time you devote to it.

DougR


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 07:18 PM

Exceedingly well stated Doug!!! Any possibility we could let Doug's post sumit up for us?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: _gargoyle
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 07:28 PM

MAX

It would be fascinating to read the "banned songs" list, please post it.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Max
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 07:40 PM

OK, OK, I will tonight. I'll start a HFA NMPA round 3 thread.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Mudjack
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 07:42 PM

Max,
Thanks for addressing the Fox issue, I really was curious to the present status. I guess I might have sounded a bit dubious but was wondering why not much is said about it after all the hoo-ha, but more importantly, the future of MC is in good hands and I'll try to keep a civil tongue when posting.
Mudjack


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Peter T.
Date: 13 Jan 00 - 08:21 PM

Max, since you seem to be reading this thread, can you answer the question about what will happen to contributions from us to things like record or concert reviews, articles, or whatever (I raised it again in the Mudcat Cafe for Kids threads)? You recently sent out a request for contributions, but I have no idea what their resting place would be. I have contributed this sort of thing from time to time to a thread, and it disappears after a day or two, so I stopped. I imagine other people would contribute too to a Mudcat magazine -- there are the places on the main page. Can you give us some idea if there is, or would be some dedicated space, magazine like, where we can contribute this sort of material and it won't go into general threads?
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Big Mick
Date: 14 Jan 00 - 12:04 AM

Well, Rog, I guess I just don't get it. Seems to me the Mudcat was doing fine before you ran off, survived your departure, and is doing fine since you have come back. Don't take me wrong. I am glad you are back, because you are a valuable contributor. But the Mudcat survives just fine with or without you or me or anyone except Max. Now if I can just figure out what you are saying here, I will be fine.

I am trying to understand. Please believe that. But I am compelled to ask a question. Why is there a need for you, or anyone, to say that just because the participants in a debate, for the most part, felt that an intense debate on a sensitive issue (that has spawned several genre's of music) felt that it was valuable and went well but in your opinion that was not a fact. I believe that you said, "saying it doesn't make it so". Well, for the most part the players felt it was so, and quite frankly I tire of the constant attempt to change that. I would reiterate. If you are not comfortable with the topic, stay out. I don't blame folks that do this. In fact I applaud them. I think Bert's response was the exact correct one. He didn't feel comfortable so he went to "another room".

As for your "crying" over the post of the horrible scenes of the conflict, I understand. I have seen these scenes in other venues. But I need you take take off your "feeling" cap and put on your "intellectual" cap for a minute. You have debated with the best of them in some earlier threads. I have seen it, and been very impressed by it. I know that you know what demagogery is. It is easy to come up with stories of experiences to make any point. But we were faced with a person who sought to put forth the view that we were all out of line for discussing an issue because we had no way of relating to because we hadn't experienced it. She sought to make this point because she had seen this horror. She made no cogent arguments in support of anything that we were debating. Just a "shame on us" for even talking of this thing. I never sought to insult her, rather point out that this wasn't germane to the discussion at hand. The only point made by her post was something that all sides were in agreement on. We all agreed that there were horror stories, but the point is?????

I will restate it again. The events that spawn the feelings, and hence the music are fair game here. If a thread makes you uncomfortable, you are doing the right thing by moving on. But if you engage in the discussion, then your views are open for rebuttal, at times fierce rebuttal. If your response to that is to run off, we will miss you. But this community will survive just fine thank you. It is much bigger than any of us.

Now send the damn checks. Max, I will send another in a few weeks. That is a tangible way to express ones concern for the future of our village.

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Jan 00 - 12:13 AM

Or auction items....it's empty at the moment.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 14 Jan 00 - 06:02 AM

Mick, I know well that Roger can respond for himself and with much better words than I, but I respond nevertheless to a part of your post to Roger. The reason for that is that I felt an uneasiness similar to Roger's to join that thread. I am reading books about that topic (NI) at a rate of two per month right now, and that's books from all sides. "If you are not comfortable with the topic, stay out.", you have written. That misses the point, at least for me. I am not uneasy with the topic but with the way it is dealt with in that thread. If I had joined I would have had to write about selective memory (of incidents), selective reading (of posts) and the 'yes, but...' attitude, an expression with which I mean that the 'yes' part swiftly brushes away what the 'opponent' has written or said without a serious attempt to understand the feelings or arguments of others, whereas the 'but' part with many more words attempts to impress the 'opponent' with a story of an incident or of general misdeeds that are at the basis of one own's feelings. I've read many interviews with actors from all parts and too many of them show exactly that 'yes, but' attitude. 'Yes, but think of what they did to...' 'Yes, but think of the brutality of the...' 'Yes, sure that's sad for any family, but haven't you ever considered that...'. I do not want to say that the content of the thread was full of such examples (it was not, and I personally think it was better than other threads on NI), but there was just enough of that attitude to make me not want to join the discussion.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Micca
Date: 14 Jan 00 - 06:47 AM

To refer back to the" house with many rooms and conversations" post, I agree with this, with one addendum, everyone is conversing in sign language, to hear what is being said you have to look. I think that is the key, I like the 'Cat, as it is and applaud Max also for the work he puts in and if I ever get to his neck of the woods will buy him a large beer/drink of choice. I am relatively new here but feel I belong nonethe less but would admonish you with a sying from my (Irish ) grandmother,( the blind woman who lived next door to Frank McCourt in "Angelas Ashes") " For an insult or slight to hurt, you have to accept it" That is receive it in.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 14 Jan 00 - 09:03 AM

Remember the old Irish saying; "when everones chasing the poor bloody fox, tis best to be dressed like a hound"

I love this site very much, and for the most part all the people on it. Although many of us would not meet or have social interaction under normal circumstances, we experience to a certain degree a pleasant human community here; based on our mutual love of music. It is both refreshing and informative, while sometimes controversial. The odd time a thread turns personal, or too disturbing, one can leave it and chat elswhere. Should the subject matter be offensive to you, by all means aknowledge it and register your disgust; but one should respect that others do not share similar opinions. This site has a wonderfull moderator, like the channel on your TV, you can change it at the click of a button; or by not clicking on submit. Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 14 Jan 00 - 09:23 AM

People,

Seems to me that, as someone said earlier here, "the shape we want mudcat to take" (whatever that might be from ALL our perspectives)will invariably NOT be the path it takes. It's the way of the world---and the universe---and life, for that matter.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 14 Jan 00 - 10:32 AM

Rick (and perhaps others),

I know full well your fear that you might "miss something" on the MC. Seems like only a year ago I could log on and read all of the threads. There are just too many now. And so, I do miss somethings.

If you want to follow up on music requests you might try typing lyr in the filter and set the age for whatever length of time you want to cover. It brings up most of the music related threads.

I ignore some threads based on title. For example, I have not logged onto the Bobby Sands thread. Having read comments about it here, I am glad of that. It was about what I would have expected.

Occasionally, I will skip a thread and then get "suckered in" because the number of posts keep growing. I guess I'm thinking "Could that many people be wrong?" Well, yes, sometimes they can.

I have skipped the Mudcat Tavern and it's relatives, because they seemed to be clearly a "social" thing. Of course, I have missed out on Jello wrestling and the velcro wall of death because of that. I have also missed out on a few postings where I would have wanted to reach out and comfort someone in as best a cyber way as I could.

In my life, I have learned, as Art might say, "I can't have it all."

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Jan 00 - 03:31 PM

Mick

I will respond publicly to you here once only. Out of respect to the other contributors to this thread any further personal conversations between ourselves I will conduct using, Max's personal message system.

When I 'ran off' I sent a very long personal message to you and all the other people who were kind enough to contribute to the 'goodbye' thread, explaining my reasons for leaving and to which you chose not to reply to.

For I could have only stayed at that point if I was prepared to continually challenge your behavior and attitude to other posters on any thread that involved the subject of Northern Ireland. It was not due to any lack of courage on my part. I was not prepared to do that for the divisions it would create. For the issues would have been lost and it would have become a popularity contest with you, in which I would come a very poor second. I think now, that was a mistake, I could have handled it better then. I am now prepared to do that. I suppose I hoped that someone else may have challenged you and I am a little surprised that no one has. They may be have but I doubt if you would have taken any notice. You probably will not take any notice of this anyway but I feel I have to at least try and get you to understand.

I think you are a very nice bloke, a good contributor to the forum and generally a good influence, except when it comes to this subject, which seems to bring out all of your personal 'Achilles heels'.

Well as you say in my absence, The Mudcat has continued. Did you seriously think, that I would think it would do otherwise? Why don't you try the same thing and just refrain from contributing to the Northern Ireland threads for a short period and see what happens? For I do really think that we all do know what your views are now (as indeed you know what mine are on this subject). I have found that just by lurking and really reading the threads, without being tempted to post, to be a better way of understand the whole dynamic of the subject being discussed. It could be a measure to take, that may enable you to "get it", as you put it. The concept of commenting constructively ON a thread, after it has ended, rather than commenting IN that thread, is something we might all try from time to time?

Mick even if only ONE person said that they were inhibited from contributing, by the tone of the debate, should you notlisten to that? You just seem to dismiss it, in the manner that Wolfgang refers to and which caused him not to contribute. It is not the topic that people are uninterested in or uncomfortable with, can you not see that? You admit that it is a sensitive subject, the nature of which means that the majority of contributors do 'walk on eggshells', I do not think that you recognize that they are mostly, doing that and that you, in my opinion, certainly do not take any extra care.

You talk about "fierce rebuttal". Why? Can you not see that there is never a need here for such thinking? It is not a personal battle, just a difference of views, all the more so in what you admit as a sensitive subject. You may disagree, but why would you ever need to be fierce in that disagreement and to what end?

Yes it was a valuable thread but that was despite you, not because of you. It could have been even better. Why should contributors to a thread need constantly be congratulated or be congratulating themselves on what a wonderful job they are doing and how wonderful their writing is? Is not a respectful and informed debate pretty much the normal course of threads on The Mudcat? Is that not why the disrespectful threads stick out so much? What is the point of stating that you have received an E Mail, expressing concerns, if you are just going to ignore those concerns and plough on anyway? Mick why don't you just stop talking, for a while and justLISTEN? Then you may just 'get it'.

Lamarca, in this post (and elsewhere) has taken the time and trouble to make a list of simple measures designed, if followed to make it possible for this forum to involve everybody on any subject. Others have also made many good suggestions as to how The Mudcat can be a better place in the future. Please read them. It would be nice to see any indication from you that you may consider for one moment that you may have made mistakes in the past and that you may be prepared to try and do things better in the future. That is pretty much all I would ask. Is it really too much?

"I Think, Therefore I Am (A Pain In The Arse)"


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 14 Jan 00 - 04:10 PM

Good points, well made, Shambles.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Jan 00 - 05:04 PM

Ah, Mick, looks like it's your week to wear the sackcloth and ashes...here ya go, I've done with them.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Jan 00 - 07:09 PM

Jeez, Mick. Pick a topic. I'll disagree with you.

Rick


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Jan 00 - 07:44 PM


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Jan 00 - 10:28 AM

Yes Kevin?

Or has this thread been censored too?


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Frankie
Date: 15 Jan 00 - 10:51 AM

I just want to duck in under the fire and toss in my .02. I agree with Mc Grath's philosophy of passive maintenance, this place is running just fine and improvements like the super search make it all the better. Kudos, Max. I also like kat's MR idea. My time and access are limited and adding a Music Related prefix to threads whose names are somewhat ambiguous coupled with some encouragement to use prefixes on the Create a Thread page a la Lamarca's idea could be a real time saver. I know this would create more work for you Max and it's something I can live without as this is a pretty magnificent place in it's present state.
Also Sandy Paton, in an earlier posting, said something to the effect that it was rude to mention a song and not post the lyrics in the database. That seems like a good idea and I'd be happy to do so but is it officially (or unofficially) encouraged? Anyone?

Off to the Mudcat store to buy something, Frankie


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: JedMarum
Date: 15 Jan 00 - 12:00 PM

shambles - I agree with your comment on the Bobby Sands thread ... there were very very strong emotions expressed in that thread by Mudcatters with opposing points-of-view. And perhaps some of the reading was 'hard' - but most of it was civil. When in battle of words, where personal relationships are to be preserved, you can still fight fiercely if you attack your opponents views and comments; not his/her person. Some of the Bobby Sands comments crossed the line, but I think most Mudcatters tried their best to respect the humanity of their adversaries. Seems to me Big Mick is one of the masters of that approach, but others did a good job, too.


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