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BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads

SeanM 12 May 00 - 12:46 PM
MMario 12 May 00 - 01:08 PM
SeanM 12 May 00 - 01:27 PM
MMario 12 May 00 - 01:37 PM
SeanM 12 May 00 - 01:57 PM
Jim Dixon 12 May 00 - 02:57 PM
dick greenhaus 12 May 00 - 03:07 PM
SDShad 12 May 00 - 03:08 PM
katlaughing 12 May 00 - 03:31 PM
Malcolm Douglas 12 May 00 - 04:44 PM
SeanM 12 May 00 - 05:05 PM
MMario 12 May 00 - 05:23 PM
bbelle 12 May 00 - 06:15 PM
SeanM 12 May 00 - 06:28 PM
Malcolm Douglas 12 May 00 - 09:47 PM
katlaughing 12 May 00 - 11:01 PM
GUEST,mary g 13 May 00 - 12:14 AM
Liz the Squeak 13 May 00 - 03:07 AM
dick greenhaus 13 May 00 - 04:50 AM
GUEST,ernest c 13 May 00 - 05:55 AM
The Shambles 13 May 00 - 05:57 AM
The Shambles 13 May 00 - 06:04 AM
catspaw49 13 May 00 - 09:47 AM
McGrath of Harlow 13 May 00 - 01:45 PM
Joe Offer 13 May 00 - 07:16 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 May 00 - 08:06 PM
Art Thieme 13 May 00 - 09:03 PM

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Subject: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: SeanM
Date: 12 May 00 - 12:46 PM

OK, I've written and rewritten 4 times now, and can't quite get it right, so I'll keep it simple.

I, {state your name}, do for now and the future resolve to attempt to encourage discussion on all lyric request threads, regardless of whether it's the 8 bazillionth time we've answered something about "7 Drunken Nights".

I resolve this in an attempt to make the 'cat a friendlier and more knowledgeable place, and to let some of the newer people show off their hard earned anecdotes and lectures in a new forum.

I also resolve this in an attempt to let the "GUESTS" posting these requests know that we care what they have to add, or at least what the people who chime up after what I say have to add.

Thank you.

M


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: MMario
Date: 12 May 00 - 01:08 PM

In principle I can agree with this, but on the other hand, a request for lyrics is not always a request for discussion of the lyrics. in fact, frequently it is simply a request for the lyrics. Nor should back-linking to previous discussions be considered lack of encouragment.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: SeanM
Date: 12 May 00 - 01:27 PM

K... how about "I'll take a shot at trying to provide back links as a source of additional info, rather than the end of the topic, and will attempt to start conversations on lyric requests that interest me"?

M


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: MMario
Date: 12 May 00 - 01:37 PM

or that I have some sort of knowledge about?

Sean - I am not trying to be argumentative...really...but whereas *I* do NOT have the knowledge to contribute to a lot of lyric discussions, I CAN search the forum or DT and link back. or link to something I find on the web.

And the presence of a link certainly doesn't preclude anyone from adding their own comments. As far as I know there is no known technique that accomplishes that, [unless Max can mark threads "read only"]


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: SeanM
Date: 12 May 00 - 01:57 PM

Sorry... just got my dander up from a couple of my friends who I'd convinced to come by, and they commented that they felt kinda put off by the lyric requests that were answered with just "The lyrics are in the DT" and nothing else. The one comment that really hit the mark was that they felt that the responder was more or less stating "been done, now go away".

It's not aimed at any one person... several people (myself included) have due to lack of time, lack of energy, or what have you, dropped the one line and fairly brusque answer...

And I agree. Not every thread should be a discussion. But I'm all for giving them a chance to become one. 'specially if it's a topic that interests me.

M


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 May 00 - 02:57 PM

Since no one has any obligation to post anything at all to this forum, those who do post prompt, brief, polite, and informative replies to inquiries are doing something much better than nothing and therefore are to be commended, not censured.

People who feel that more expansive "friendlier" replies are called for, are certainly free to provide them themselves.

People who interpret brevity as personal rejection are their own worst enemies.

People who find nothing attractive about Mudcat other than the opportunity for friendly personal conversation are probably in the wrong place.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 12 May 00 - 03:07 PM

Puts me to mind of the lady in "White Men Can't Jump"--the one whp berated her boyfriend for responding to her "I'm thirsty" by getting her a glass of water. Seems she didn't want him to solve her problem; just wanted sympathy.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: SDShad
Date: 12 May 00 - 03:08 PM

I do usually try to give a link to where the song is in the DT when I reply to a Lyr Req, which I think is a little more engaging and friendly than just plain "it's in the DT," but I can understand doing that as a quick one-off response.

I also try to include a friendly and helpful "and hey, at the top of this page is a place where you can do your very own lyric searches" sort of a bit as well.

But Jim is right on the mark above with this: "People who interpret brevity as personal rejection are their own worst enemies"--although I'm probably guilty of that reaction myself from time to time. That goes double for people who are put off by an even briefer "it's >here<" with a link to the song.

Chris


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 May 00 - 03:31 PM

I usually try to include directions as to how they can learn to access the DT, themselves, so that might entice them to come back again, and again.

It only takes a second or two to add a "Welcome to the Mudcat" and, if appropriate, a "check back often, it might take a day or two to get an answer" to any reference to where they can find lyrics.

When I type in a welcome, I always hear Max's voice in my mind, opening the radio show with his distinctive "Welcome, welcome, welcome to the Mudcat Cafe!" katlaughing


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 May 00 - 04:44 PM

Like Kat, I usually try to explain how they can find the information for themselves (no harm in expecting a little effort), though sometimes I'll just provide a link; unless I'm pretty sure that they already know how to search, in which case I may just tell them it's there and leave them to it.  Mind you, half the time somebody else turns up and re-posts the lyrics that I've already pointed to, because they haven't bothered to read what I've said; that seems to be a common experience for most of us!

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: SeanM
Date: 12 May 00 - 05:05 PM

The complaint I heard from my friend was more a matter of the feeling that the threads were running into a "We've already talked about it, case closed" feeling.

But you know what? Really doesn't matter. We're still going to do what we do, regardless of who says what. Forgive me for venting some second-hand steam. Besides, if they were chased away by that, I just thank the gods that they didn't run across 'spaw... then they probably wouldn't even talk to me any more. ;^)

M


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: MMario
Date: 12 May 00 - 05:23 PM

Sean - valid point...I for one will try to remember that when I link to an old discussion to invite further commentary...can't promise I will as the "Can't remember" syndrome is chewing up more and more of my limited braincell, but will try.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: bbelle
Date: 12 May 00 - 06:15 PM

Asking people to "vow" to anything on the mudcat is inappropriate. This is obviously a free-will site and people do whatever they please, whether it's related to music or not. If your friends wanted music lyrics and they were told to go to the DT, that was a better response than no response at all. If they had specific questions about the lyrics, those who had answers would have responded. Forcing people into a defensive position is not a good thing and will only serve to label you a whiner ... moonchild


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: SeanM
Date: 12 May 00 - 06:28 PM

OK! OK!

I surrender.

I'd re-written the original post a few times, and probably should have tried a few more...

The sum of the original point is that for someone on the outside, the "it's in the DT, and we've already discussed the matter on these threads" will occasionally stifle new discussion on these matters. I chose a poor way to state it, apparently.

Oh well. As I said earlier, doesn't matter anyway. The particular people who'd commented on it aren't coming back in any case, and I've apparently stepped on a few toes I didn't expect would be out there to be stepped on.

My apologies, and let this thread die.

M


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 May 00 - 09:47 PM

M:

You've made some good points, and I do see what you mean; it can be quite discouraging to be told that a particular subject has already been dealt with; still, if it has, it's fairly pointless (and self-indulgent) to repeat comments that other people have already made.  Further discussion is welcome -and frequently valuable, as it can provide new insights- provided that contributors take the trouble to find out what has already been said.  Most of us, as newcomers, have failed to do this from time to time; it's quite difficult to sort out the technicalities of searching the Forum, for one thing!  In the end, though, people who want to join a club -or use its facilities as guests- do have to understand that there will be generally accepted procedures that we either go along with, if we want to make the best of it, or don't, if we can't be bothered.  Learning curve stuff, really.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 May 00 - 11:01 PM

SeanM, I think what you posted was fine and very valid. It can be discouraging to be a newcomer and get told "been there, done that". With the SuperSearch up again, it is easy enough to point someone in that direction so that they can get a feel for the threads and maybe see what has been said before, as well as to invite comments. If we want to be open to new members, we should show some interest and courtesy in what they have to say, as long as their tone is reasonable and not an obvious flame or troll-type.

Hopefully, when Max makes some more additions, putting the FAQ's Joe has been gathering in a promonent spot will go a long way in alleviating some of the problems newcomers may encounter.

I hope your friends will give it another try sometime. Sometimes ya gotta stick more than a toe in to see how the water is.*BG*

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: GUEST,mary g
Date: 13 May 00 - 12:14 AM

I like fresh new discussions...this is only a personal preference..not a moral issue...when a topic comes up and people say we've already discussed and here is the link..I think so...it's sort of like going to a party and someone saying we already discussed that and here is a tape of the conversation...go listen to it...

mg


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 13 May 00 - 03:07 AM

Hey, sometimes it isn't obvious that something is in the DT and you need that little bit of confirmation, and possibly an alternative title. But just putting "it's in..." is a teensy bit abrupt, so how about getting a standard message along the lines of "the song you have requested can be found in ...... Thank you for using Mudcat and please come again..." a bit like the one my credit card Co. use when I want to phone them at 7.45pm like they do me.......

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 13 May 00 - 04:50 AM

Why not just refresh the old thread and add to it?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: GUEST,ernest c
Date: 13 May 00 - 05:55 AM

I think the old threads are there to be used as a resource. They should be thought of in just that way, a resource, not the final word. If they are of no value to the new poster, then we might as well let the powers that be dump everything over a year old or some other arbitrary time. It would sure make things easier for them. If a certain person posts a brilliant discussion of a particular song, why not point the new person who asks about it in that direction? I can see why that particular person would not want to go through it all again. Been there, done that is appropriate sometimes. I completely agree with those who suggest that a polite pointing in the right direction is adequate. It is an act of politeness in my opinion that someone took the time to tell the new person where the information is. It would be pretty easy to just ignore the "8 bazillionth 7 drunken nights" request. If someone doesn't care to read that earlier work, some of which can be thought of as definitive scholarship in my opinion, let them dig up the facts and write their own. I am sorry if that sounds rude. I don't mean it to be. If you check you'll see that there are lively discussions that have been going off and on for a long time. People old and new add to the knowledge, sometimes in old threads sometimes in new ones. Another choice would be to throw the old rascals out and let the new pups take over. Would that be the solution? I don't think so. I read a whole lot more than I post and I learn from what I read, both old and new posters, old and new threads. Let others do the same. When I think I have something to add to the discussion I will add it. Here's another thought along the same lines. What do we do when we've got all the songs? Not really all the songs, but maybe all the songs from a certain song book, from a certain writer, from a particular singer, what then? Do we just close all the threads and say here it is? No, there will always be something worth talking about. Try harder to get along with each other and the way things work. It is still the best there is. You won't find it any better somewhere else.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 May 00 - 05:57 AM

Refreshing older threads, rather than starting a new one, is probably the best thing to do. Of course some of those are a bit big now, to add to and you have to do the work of looking first. With the new search, it should not be too difficult to do however.

The subjects may not be exactly the same either, but just overlapping. In those cases, and where the old thread is too large, a link to to older threads should be seen as being helpful to the debate, rather than an affront to the poster of the new thread.

I don't think the intention is often or ever to say 'been there done that', it just looks like it sometimes.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 May 00 - 06:04 AM

A resource yes. The key, I think is to look at all the threads in the forum as more valuable than the the one you started/contributed to or are personally attached to.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: catspaw49
Date: 13 May 00 - 09:47 AM

Ernest, that was a wonderful post. Shambles, you too hit it very much on the head, and it wasn't painful!

I have always enjoyed the previous threads because of the collective wisdom/opinions of the many who have contributed. Sure there are some discussions that have been rehashed ad infinitum, but there are always new people who have worthwhile things to say on the subjects too.

I think the flip side is the aggravation I feel at times when someone blatantly says (either directly or "in so many words") that they don't have the time for reading all that "other stuff" and then proceed to post their info as though it were a personal message from God. I started a thread which ran last week on the subject of some who don't even bother to read the thread they are posting to...........Yeah, I know. Its a pissant little thing, but it bothers me and a lot of others as well because in essence, what they are saying is, "Your thoughts don't count, MINE DO."

Sorry about your friends Sean.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 May 00 - 01:45 PM

One thing to remember is that for most of m us it may be the "8 bazillionth 7 drunken nights" - but for somebody it might be be the first ever request for this unknown crazy song they just heard some fella singing, and he muttered someting about the Mudcat before falling over and passing out.

And "What the hell is this folk anyway, when it's at home?" must have been a new and fascinating question for most of us at some stage of our life, even if it seems a long and weary time ago, and we wishg we'd never raised it maybe.

If we didn't have new people waltz in here without a clue about how it works and what it's all about, the pond would silt up.


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Subject: RE: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 May 00 - 07:16 PM

I guess the thing that bugs me most is when somebody gruffly to a song request with "check Cowpie" (or the DT, OLGA, or whatever) - and then it turns out that the song isn't in the source the grumpy guy cited. I figure that most people post a song request because they're having trouble finding it. If I post a reply, I think I have an obligation to provide helpful information. I guess that when I'm feeling particularly virtuous, I provide both a link and search instructions - and just a link when I'm being lazy.

Generally, I don't like to see people post guidelines on how Mudcatters should behave. It's like the priest getting up on the pulpit and telling people how to dress for church. The only ones who listen are the ones who don't need to be told.
But I'll say what I think, anyhow. One problem with Dick's suggestion that we refresh old threads, is that then we have two threads going on the same subject at the same time. That's confusing. Generally, I don't like to see discussions split into several different threads, because a lot of good information gets bypassed that way. I've been adding links to related threads when I find them. Sometimes, I'll combine threads when there are two discussions going on at the same time - but it's a real hassle to do that, so I don't do it very often.
Maybe a nice response would be: "We've been discussing the song in this thread (click), but we haven't come up with such-and-such. Why don't you drop in and join that discussion?"
Trouble is, if you're too nice, you sound condescending. Maybe it's best if we just try to be ourselves and do things with a civil tongue and a gentle sense of humor and a helpful attitude.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 May 00 - 08:06 PM

I've never known a priest try to tell us how to dress for church.

Mind there's an allegedly true story of a missionary in some part of the world where the custom was to go naked, and he passed the word about that some of the congregation were getting distracted by people wearing clothes clothes in church, so would people please refrain from doing so, especially at the Consecration. (Well a Jesuit told it in a sermon during a retreat, so it must be true...)

But I suspect Joe is right, and they took no notice of the poor man.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Purpose of Repeat Threads
From: Art Thieme
Date: 13 May 00 - 09:03 PM

Joe Hickerson has been adding to his collection of "OUR GOOD MAN" ("4 Nights Drunk") variations for 50 years. If similar threads can show us new versions of old songs, that's just that much better.

Sean, Saying it's in the DT is not a turnoff here. It is simply a way to say politely that we have a fine way to find things at this site. So please realize that an actual person must type out and send every song that is available at Mudcat. Some ballads are 100 verses long. Also, every book of folksongs already in your own personal library probably contains at least one version of "4 Nights Drunk". I always try to Check those sources before I even go to the Digital Tradition. That way there's no need for anyone to feel guilt over not wanting to type out "This Land Is Your Land" yet again if they'd rather not.

Just a personal opinion.

Art Thieme


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Mudcat time: 25 October 4:22 AM EDT

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