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Help: Shall I volunteer to help 'Cat by...

wysiwyg 14 Feb 00 - 01:57 PM
SeanM 14 Feb 00 - 02:13 PM
Amos 14 Feb 00 - 02:26 PM
GUEST,T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 14 Feb 00 - 02:31 PM
wysiwyg 14 Feb 00 - 02:33 PM
Sorcha 14 Feb 00 - 02:56 PM
wysiwyg 14 Feb 00 - 03:02 PM
John in Brisbane 14 Feb 00 - 06:08 PM
Áine 14 Feb 00 - 06:10 PM
Susanne (skw) 14 Feb 00 - 06:16 PM
wysiwyg 15 Feb 00 - 02:27 AM
Joe Offer 15 Feb 00 - 06:26 PM
wysiwyg 15 Feb 00 - 06:38 PM
GUEST 16 Feb 00 - 12:10 AM
Crowhugger 16 Feb 00 - 12:16 AM
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Subject: Shall I volunteer to help 'Cat by...
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 01:57 PM

I think the first time here as a Guest I had no idea what the site was about, posted a lyric request or a question, and received an instant really nice reply. I promptly joined. Now that I've been here awhile, I've noticed that sometimes guests don't get prompt answers, especially to lyric requests, which I find completely understandable now that I've had a share of finding some of their desperately-wanted songs in the database. It's easy to see the DT resource when you're new, but not so easy to note that you can find zillions of non-DT lyrics in the Forum. But if you come back to check if your thread was answered, and it's way down ther eon the list with no reply, I would find it pretty discouraging. I also wasn't online at 'Cat daily at first, so after I joined, by the time I would come back to look, there would be so many new postings that mine would seem meaningless against the flood of other traffic. So I think we will gain a better number of new members if we provide at least a response indicating their post was seen. And I am willing to work on that.

So I've been checking for unanswered threads posted by guests and replying when it seems to make sense, just so they may have a better chance of discovering all the resources here. Soemtimes I see soneone else has provided that, but is it organized at all? Is there anyone else already doing this, and if so, shall I quit? Is there a way to do it better?

It especially concerns me when the Guest post asks that the song come to them thru their e-mail, because when I was new I had no idea that wasn't how it is done-- that it was an imposition. My whole e-world then revolved around my e-mail. Where these guests have asked for an e-mail response I have sent one indicating to return to the Forum for the reply they wanted.

If I am going to keep this up I will go ahead and learn the blue-clicky technique so I can start them with some of the excellent advice you ole 'Cats have already written and connect these newbies with their own ability to move around in here. But do any of you think I should just leave it alone?


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall I volunteer to help 'Cat by...
From: SeanM
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 02:13 PM

Go right ahead. Anything that helps the requests we get around here is on principal a good thing.

Most of the new people get the "Lyr Req:" headers fairly quickly, and if they don't, sometimes we do the service of restarting the thread (with appropriate notation) under that title. At that point, setting the filter to look for just "Lyr Req" threads will bring them all up, and you can then check through to see who's been answered, who's been waiting, or who's just been plain forgotten.

The Blue Clicky Things are worthwhile to learn, but not entirely needed. Posting the entire address is more than enough for most. The rest of us just like showing off.

M


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall I volunteer to help 'Cat by...
From: Amos
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 02:26 PM

An easy way to do clicky things and all other HTML, Praise, is to start a blank page in Netscape, use the link button to define the link on selected text, format it as you wish, and when it looks the way you'd want the post to look, jump over to "View Source" and copy the HTML pertaining to the text (not the /head and /html, etc parts which define page start and end).

Then you can go to your post and paste the source HTML into it and it will display as it did on your Netscape page. I assume the same capability exists in IE, which I don't use myself.

A


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall I volunteer to help 'Cat by...
From: GUEST,T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 02:31 PM

It's good of you to respond to orphan threads, but don't feel obliged to respond to every last one. There's no need to quit, but don't let the weight of it crush you, either. It's entirely at your discretion. I suspect (this is pure guess, however) that if no one responds to a lyric request, it's because those on-list honestly don't know the requested item, or where to find it. In a few cases there may be indications that the request is some sort of prank, or otherwise not offered in good faith. I have never seen a lyric or tune request of this sort, but I don't look at them all, either. Anyhow, it's something to keep aware of.

T.


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall I volunteer to help 'Cat by...
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 02:33 PM

Yeah, I have let some of the slide. I'm not out to censor but although I can tolerate nearly everyone, and welcome most, I do have a good Bullshit Detector and I don't plan to encourage anything that will tend to limit the loe and creativity that flow so well here.


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall I volunteer to help 'Cat by...
From: Sorcha
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 02:56 PM

My problem has been that some of these folks "WANT DESPERATELY!!"--i spend time and find it, but they don't ever come back after it. Looks like lots of people need to get and learn to use a good (mulitple)search engine like Cpoernic 2000 or Webferret.


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall I volunteer to help 'Cat by...
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 03:02 PM

Or they don't acknowledge, but still then we all get a new song for your efforts.


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall I volunteer to help 'Cat by...
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 06:08 PM

Damn good point Praise! Please maintain your enthusiasm. Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall I volunteer to help 'Cat by...
From: Áine
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 06:10 PM

Dear Praise,

There are a few of us that try to keep an eye on such things as orphan threads; but, we're always glad of another helping hand. Thanks so much for jumping in here and becoming one of the family!

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall I volunteer to help 'Cat by...
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 06:16 PM

A really nice thought, Praise, and apart from being helpful to newbies would, I'm sure, be helpful to us all. I sometimes miss a thread I'd have liked to contribute to although I do check the Forum every night. Don't know how it happens. Still, I'd agree with Okie - don't feel obliged. Everyone can only do so much. Thanks! - Susanne


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall I volunteer to help 'Cat by...
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 02:27 AM

Thanks for all the input. My plan is to draft a couple of items to paste in, mark these threads to tracer so I check back to see if the poster has returned, and let 'em jump in on their own from there. I will write these as a friendly word from a fellow visitor, not like I am representing the Mudcat-- I like the creative chaos as it is!


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall I volunteer to help 'Cat by...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 06:26 PM

Hi, Praise - I suppose you notice that I repeat myself quite often. I have a text file with standard Forum and e-mail responses to the problems that crop up on a regular basis, and I know how to do blue clicky thingies in my sleep and in Technicolor. There's room for a lot of this kind of help from people. Although our guests sometimes do things that seem reeeeally strange to us, I would hope that Mudcatters would continue to be kind and patient toward them. Still, I really would like to understand why people put song requests in the Help Forum or in HTML practice threads - there must be a logic there, but I don't understand it.
I suppose it might be helpful to list a few good things Mudcatters could do:
  • If a song request has no replies and it's getting down to the bottom of the Forum Menu, post a "refresh" message to bring it to the top. Four or five "refresh" messages in a row don't do any harm - the Joes or JoeClones® of the world will eventually get around to deleting them, if there's a need.
  • If somebody asks for an e-mail reply to a request, try to send an e-mail reply, in addition to posting the response in the Forum - and be sure to include in your Forum message that you have replied by e-mail. Max has done a good job of reducing the number of generic "desparately seeking lyrics" requests (they never spell "desperate" right), but we still see some song requests lost in threads where they'll never have a chance of being answered. If you see that, start a new thread with a good title, and copy the request message over into the new thread. If you can, post a message in the old thread, directing people to the new one.
  • If you see duplicate messages or problem HTML, post a message about the problem in the Help Forum, so Joe or the JoeClones® can find it. If you are able to take care of the problem somebody else noted, post a reply in that Help Forum thread, saying that you've taken care of it.
  • Stop in at the Help Forum and help answer questions. I usually stop there every day and take care of things, but I wouldn't mind sharing the burden. I guess the registration problems have to be handled by Max or me, since we're the ones who have access to registration information.
  • Keep an eye out for songs and tunes that have been posted, but that have not appeared in the Digital Tradition Database - put a link to such songs in a general thread that lists unharvested songs - I think the most recent such thread is titled "songs you've posted" - it would be a good idea to resurrect that thread, rather than starting a new one. If a song is marked by a birdie ( ^^ ), that means it has been "harvested," and will appear in the database if the Powers That Be so deign. Also being experimented with is a three-winged birdie ( ^^^ ) to mark posted songs that are already in the database (the extra wing is redundant, and that may or may not mean that posting the song was redundant - sometimes, Dick and Susan decide that 53 versions of Child Ballad #316 are quite enough).
  • If you're posting lyrics, follow the Digital Tradition Format - title in all caps, songwriter in parentheses in the second line, no indents, notes and your initials and any other helpful information at the end of the lyrics. If you like, you can include the DigiTrad categories your song fits (with @ at the beginning of each category name), alternate titles for the song, and names of related songs and Child or Laws or DT numbers.

Well, I think that's a pretty good start. If you want to help, try to do so in a friendly way, and without appearing condescending. The latter borders on being impossible. If you know something somebody else doesn't or can do something somebody else can't, that somebody is very likely to think you condescending, even if you have the humility of Gandhi - I know that from personal experience.

-Joe Offer®-


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall I volunteer to help 'Cat by...
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 06:38 PM

Thanks, Joe Offer. I can do some of that now and more as I learn more. I welcome anyone's input if I do anything wrog, wrongly, stupid, stupidly. I would suspect the e-mail replies would be the best thing to do for a start becuase hey! They're a pain in the neck, and they should be done by someone new enough to still be wildly abd deliriously excited about the existence of the 'Cat. It's low-level stuff I can do and maybe it will free some of you more highly evolved beings (big kissing-up here) to operate at a higher level thus benefiting us all.

And more new members who want to be positive, contributing citizens like our own twisted selves.


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall I volunteer to help 'Cat by...
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Feb 00 - 12:10 AM

You could also trace


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall I volunteer to help 'Cat by...
From: Crowhugger
Date: 16 Feb 00 - 12:16 AM

Praise, your generosity is a wake-up call to me.

GUEST, yes, that would be a handy way to keep track of what we've noticed could use some attention.

Why dontch-y'all row your dory out to Mudcat Island. There's ballads and jigs, pipers and more...there's a safe harbour and shellfish and music galore!


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