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Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now

GUEST 01 Oct 01 - 06:59 PM
Bruce O #2 01 Oct 01 - 07:50 PM
CarolC 01 Oct 01 - 07:56 PM
GUEST 01 Oct 01 - 08:06 PM
John Hardly 01 Oct 01 - 08:08 PM
CarolC 01 Oct 01 - 08:11 PM
Amos 01 Oct 01 - 08:21 PM
GUEST,Shenandoah 01 Oct 01 - 08:27 PM
John Hardly 01 Oct 01 - 08:28 PM
Steve in Idaho 01 Oct 01 - 08:34 PM
AliUK 01 Oct 01 - 08:37 PM
wysiwyg 01 Oct 01 - 08:38 PM
Amos 01 Oct 01 - 08:42 PM
Deckman 01 Oct 01 - 08:57 PM
Bill D 01 Oct 01 - 08:58 PM
Jon Freeman 01 Oct 01 - 08:59 PM
GUEST,chrisj 01 Oct 01 - 10:39 PM
Deckman 01 Oct 01 - 11:05 PM
Rick Fielding 01 Oct 01 - 11:19 PM
Jon Freeman 01 Oct 01 - 11:30 PM
Deckman 01 Oct 01 - 11:36 PM
SINSULL 01 Oct 01 - 11:45 PM
Blackcatter 01 Oct 01 - 11:53 PM
Bert 01 Oct 01 - 11:55 PM
DougR 02 Oct 01 - 12:00 AM
Troll 02 Oct 01 - 12:04 AM
Rich(bodhránai gan ciall) 02 Oct 01 - 12:12 AM
RWilhelm 02 Oct 01 - 12:20 AM
SeanM 02 Oct 01 - 12:45 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 02 Oct 01 - 12:58 AM
GUEST 02 Oct 01 - 01:00 AM
Amos 02 Oct 01 - 01:06 AM
Liz the Squeak 02 Oct 01 - 01:09 AM
Snuffy 02 Oct 01 - 01:21 AM
Melani 02 Oct 01 - 01:23 AM
Liz the Squeak 02 Oct 01 - 01:28 AM
Don Firth 02 Oct 01 - 02:32 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 02 Oct 01 - 03:54 AM
Wolfgang 02 Oct 01 - 05:44 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 02 Oct 01 - 05:47 AM
Wolfgang 02 Oct 01 - 06:07 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 02 Oct 01 - 06:08 AM
Wolfgang 02 Oct 01 - 06:14 AM
hesperis 02 Oct 01 - 07:06 AM
kendall 02 Oct 01 - 08:01 AM
LR Mole 02 Oct 01 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,Russ 02 Oct 01 - 08:52 AM
Greyeyes 02 Oct 01 - 08:54 AM
GUEST,Den 02 Oct 01 - 08:54 AM
Big Mick 02 Oct 01 - 09:05 AM
PeteBoom 02 Oct 01 - 09:32 AM
Mooh 02 Oct 01 - 09:46 AM
Jack the Sailor 02 Oct 01 - 09:51 AM
Skipper Jack 02 Oct 01 - 09:56 AM
Cappuccino 02 Oct 01 - 10:00 AM
Jon Freeman 02 Oct 01 - 10:18 AM
Bat Goddess 02 Oct 01 - 10:25 AM
GUEST 02 Oct 01 - 10:27 AM
LR Mole 02 Oct 01 - 10:45 AM
The_one_and_only_Dai 02 Oct 01 - 10:48 AM
Bill D 02 Oct 01 - 11:27 AM
GUEST 02 Oct 01 - 12:14 PM
wysiwyg 02 Oct 01 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,Candidate for Lobotomy? 02 Oct 01 - 12:31 PM
GUEST 02 Oct 01 - 12:34 PM
Ebbie 02 Oct 01 - 12:40 PM
Jack the Sailor 02 Oct 01 - 12:51 PM
GUEST 02 Oct 01 - 12:53 PM
catspaw49 02 Oct 01 - 01:12 PM
selby 02 Oct 01 - 01:24 PM
Little Hawk 02 Oct 01 - 01:27 PM
Puflet 02 Oct 01 - 01:31 PM
GUEST,Celtic Soul 02 Oct 01 - 01:40 PM
mousethief 02 Oct 01 - 01:51 PM
Wyrd Sister 02 Oct 01 - 02:00 PM
Justa Picker 02 Oct 01 - 02:22 PM
Jeri 02 Oct 01 - 02:44 PM
mousethief 02 Oct 01 - 03:23 PM
Mooh 02 Oct 01 - 03:29 PM
Little Hawk 02 Oct 01 - 03:44 PM
Steve in Idaho 02 Oct 01 - 04:18 PM
Steve in Idaho 02 Oct 01 - 04:30 PM
Steve in Idaho 02 Oct 01 - 04:41 PM
RWilhelm 02 Oct 01 - 05:19 PM
Joe Offer 02 Oct 01 - 05:52 PM
SharonA 02 Oct 01 - 05:53 PM
IvanB 02 Oct 01 - 06:02 PM
curmudgeon 02 Oct 01 - 06:04 PM
GUEST, I, hurricane 02 Oct 01 - 06:15 PM
catspaw49 02 Oct 01 - 06:45 PM
Amos 02 Oct 01 - 07:02 PM
DougR 02 Oct 01 - 08:12 PM
Jon Freeman 02 Oct 01 - 08:16 PM
GUEST, I, hurricane 02 Oct 01 - 08:31 PM
Little Neophyte 02 Oct 01 - 11:25 PM
Joe Offer 02 Oct 01 - 11:35 PM
Amos 02 Oct 01 - 11:41 PM
GUEST 02 Oct 01 - 11:44 PM
Rick Fielding 03 Oct 01 - 12:01 AM
DougR 03 Oct 01 - 12:49 AM
Joe Offer 03 Oct 01 - 01:19 AM
DougR 03 Oct 01 - 01:28 AM
MudGuard 03 Oct 01 - 04:34 AM
Jon Freeman 03 Oct 01 - 06:37 AM
GUEST,Ed 03 Oct 01 - 07:52 AM
Jon Freeman 03 Oct 01 - 08:07 AM
Mooh 03 Oct 01 - 08:40 AM
GUEST,Ed 03 Oct 01 - 08:44 AM
IanC 03 Oct 01 - 09:10 AM
Jon Freeman 03 Oct 01 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,Motley Crew 03 Oct 01 - 09:55 AM
Jeri 03 Oct 01 - 09:55 AM
GUEST 03 Oct 01 - 09:59 AM
Jon Freeman 03 Oct 01 - 10:06 AM
IanC 03 Oct 01 - 10:08 AM
GUEST,Kaiser Bill's Batman 03 Oct 01 - 10:10 AM
Jon Freeman 03 Oct 01 - 11:30 AM
GUEST 03 Oct 01 - 02:09 PM
Ralphie 03 Oct 01 - 08:27 PM
GUEST 31 Jan 02 - 09:41 PM
GUEST,Luke 01 Feb 02 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Luke 01 Feb 02 - 08:22 AM
jeffp 01 Feb 02 - 09:42 AM
GUEST 01 Feb 02 - 11:28 AM
Dave Wynn 01 Feb 02 - 12:10 PM
jup 02 Feb 02 - 03:22 AM
John Routledge 02 Feb 02 - 08:50 PM
Little Hawk 02 Feb 02 - 09:09 PM
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Subject: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 06:59 PM

Before I make my points (hopefully serious), I'd like to make a couple of things clear:

The more observant amongst you will have noticed that I'm posting as a 'GUEST'

I could quite easily have spent 2 seconds becoming a 'named' guest, or spent a couple of minutes registering in order to become a 'bona fide' mudcat member. The fact that the perception of any comments I have to make may be affected by such considerations strikes me as being so completely absurd, that I choose not to bother.

Those of you who have 'vowed' never to read or respond to anything posted by a 'GUEST' should stop reading now.


To the rest of you,

I have been at Mudcat for a long time. Over 4 years.

Mudcat has changed a great deal since I first came here. Of course, things change. Of course things evolve. Only the dead want things to stay the same.

I'm not complaining about that.

Many people have left this forum in the last couple of years as the focus has drifted more and more away from traditional music. I don't blame them

I've stayed around, agreeing with the idea of letting things evolve.

I have to say that I'm really sad in what it's evolved into.

I don't want to pick on anyone - tell somebody about a great secluded beach, and it'll be full the next morning...

I am a little sad that this place has turned into a chat site, but that's progress I guess.

Anyway, I've posted long enough.

The people I care about here know who I am, and what I think, so I'll leave it at that.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Bruce O #2
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 07:50 PM

Too true, my friend
Bruce Olson, a member of the Folklore Society of Greater Washington, has used the name "Bruce O" at Mudcat for several years. I contacted Bruce, and he said he's not the Bruce who posted this message as "Bruce 0" - since the name is so close to the name of a known personality here, it could be misleading. I have asked "Bruce 0" to select another name.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 07:56 PM

I sympathise with what you are feeling. But I would like to ask you a question.

My musical focus is primarily traditional music. But it is instrumental music. I don't have much, if anything, to contribute to discussions about lyrics. And lyrics is most of the musical discussion that happens here. Lyrics, and technical aspects of playing all kinds of instruments other than the one I play.

I'm a relative beginner on the instrument that I play, so I can't really conduct very much discussion about it, and there aren't very many other people in the Mudcat who play my instrument, or who want to talk about it.

If I need a tune, I can search for it myself.

But I am interested in words. And words as they are used by many of the people who seem to gravitate to this forum. I like the way many of the people here play with words, make puns, write poems and limerics, and do other kinds of creative things with words.

It seems that the tendency to like to play with words, and an interest in songs, lyrics, and song writing, seems often to be found in the same people. So this is where I find people whose minds, intellects, and creative capacity are interesting, stimulating, and fun to me.

And I like that I am making contact with other people who share some of my musical interests. People from all over the world. And through some of the chat, I find myself learning a lot of things about the music and cultures of contries all over the world.

I try to contribute to this place in whatever ways I can. I send money when I am able, I have contributed to the calendar, I help people when I have the opportunity to do so. I don't start very many threads, and I usually think very carefully prior to starting the ones that I do. And most of my threads have had a musical component.

Music is about much more than just lyrics, but if you can't discuss lyrics or guitar chords, it's very difficult to participate in very many of the musical discussions here. What would you have someone like me do? Is my contribution less valid just because it's not about lyrics?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:06 PM

Carol,

I have nothing against people like you. You sound both intelligent and interesting. I don't suppose I ever will, but I'd be more than pleased to shake your hand.

It's the increasing number of totally inane non-music threads which are threatening to completely over-run, a once musical forum that have caused me to throw my towel in.

Trust you understand

(just wait for for the "hurray: guest isn't posting any more" replies - they'll make my point)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: John Hardly
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:08 PM

I think it's in a bit of a recovery right now.

I also very much agree with Carol's assessment of the attraction of this site to people who like word-play. I've burned my hand on that stove one too many times here so I don't do much of that cooking, but I sure enjoy the meals!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: CarolC
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:11 PM

Well, thanks for your kind words, GUEST. Sorry you feel you need to throw in the towel.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Amos
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:21 PM

And where do you draw the line? When you say "degenerated into a chat group" is it the Song Challenges that discourage you? The Mudcat Taverns? The function threads? The discussion of the 9-11 catastrophe and its ramifications? Obviously you seem to have an ideal in mind whihc constrains people in their communicating to some point in the spectrum from the purely technical aspects of music to the historical, the wider contexts of hsitory and meaning of song, and the creation of new songs, new performances, and on into less and less directly related things -- such as sharing feelings and thoughts, as Carol points out. I'd really like to know.

Whenever someone starts sniping about the "degeneration" of Mudcat into more and more "social" kinds of conversation less anchored to music -- including Song Challeneges and fiction threads -- I get both guilty and irritated. I get guilty because I probably post five times to social or humorous threads for each time I find I can contribute to some purely musical one. But I have always found myself welcome to do so. I get irritated because of the degree I treasure the dialogs and exchanges of information -- for example, the discussions about physics with Bruce O -- as well as the interchanges of creativity, humopr and affection which usually characterize this forum. The irritation comes from thinking that someone might feel that it was "improper" for me to enjoy these friends so much or to threaten the nevironment in which it is possible.

As far as "relevance to blues" and "relevance to folk music", I think there are two ways to interpret that notion. One is relevance to form. This would limit the site to studies of preexisting music, maybe occasional new candidates carefuly screened, emphasis on technique and technical aspects of music, song history and related things. It is clear these are the core that makes the Mudcat what it is in a purely quantifiable sense.

But the other side of that equation is that the reason many of us are folk musicians is out of a deep resonance with what i can only call the spirit of blues and folk music. This spirit is what makes Mudcat feel the way it does,as far as I am concerned -- a happy irreverence, a ready sense of humor, a strong historical perspective informed by the incredible range of past poetry contained in our folk and blues legacy, and a feeling for the long truths that emerge from that legacy over centuries rather than merely weeks.

What would the benefit be of curtailing that spirit for the sake of academic focus? I just don't see it. ESPECIALLY since participation in any one of the many dialogues going on here is completely optional, which leaves you not only in the position of saying that you don't want that kind of thing in your life, you don't want anyone else to have it either!!

That strikes me as an extreme stance to adopt just for the sake of Mudcat "purity". Another question. Assume that those who enjoy a more generalized broad-spectrum approach to things are a bit put off by the academically pure threads -- perhaps they get impatient with efforts to untangle whether "Waly, Waly" first surfaced in the first or second decade of the eighteenth century, either in Scotland or Northumbria, no-one is quite sure, because...

Yet no-one complains that this purist focus dampens the spirit of folk music as it is lived at the 'Cat. They are tolerant enough to ignore the threads that annoy them, read those they love, and get on with life.

Please be assured I in no way intend this as an ad hominem argument. Life is too short! :>)

One final thought. I suspect when you bemoan the passing of the "real" Mudcat of the past that what you are msising is a particular dialogue -- or a particular person. Now that I can understand -- not having someone to talk to with whom you really enjoyed talking is enough to make ya bitter.

But if that is the case, don't spread it over the whole site. If you get the right cause behind the sadness identified, you might even be able to do something about it that would remedy it!!

With best regards,

A


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,Shenandoah
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:27 PM

No Amos, I draw the line when the site maintainers are feeding both trolls and flames--especially when no one else will.

I just looked in on Mudcat this morning for the first time since 9/11. I always stay out of the on-line discussion forums during a political crisis--things get way too ugly, reactionary, and jingoistic for me.

And what did I find? Same old shit, with flags.

I'm right behind you guest.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: John Hardly
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:28 PM

Amos,

Great post! And may I say, please don't "feel guilty" about participation in the "writing" threads----it's your posts in such threads that make me at least 25% more likely to keep returning to the mudcat!

I think Amos may also have touched on what is really missed about the goodle days---missed people. But I think it may be simpler than that. It may just be missing the enjoyment of hashing over memories, music and philosophies of those the first time. Sadly, one finally runs dry of multiple new topics to discuss. And re-hashing the old ones ain't th' same!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:34 PM

Interesting concept - quit. I've done that a few times in my life - probably more than I'd like to admit. But the things worth doing I've determined to keep at my side. I also keep my quits along with them, my victories as well as my defeats, both can be my allies when I need them.

And I certainly understand the "What/why" of which you speak. But many have stated it before, and most likely will again, read what interests you, respond to what delights or impales you and realize that this is the "Mudcat Cafe; lyrics, forum, and chat." Probably the last bastion of pure unadulterated free palatable speech.

I, like my friend Carol, and others, utilize this forum for so much more than a place to get lyrics. I can get those at a music store. This space in time has piqued my interest in music again - Folk, country, bluegrass, old time music all requires passion and this place is full of it. It is the heart of what I believe the Mudcat to be. It is the heart of what music is for me.

If you are the "notorious guest" that catches a bit of flak from time to time I will miss you. I've gone to mostly posting to the musical parts that catch my fancy and an occasional foray into the netherworld of these asides when they are from the heart. But I read nearly all of the posts on this site unless they clearly have nothing to do with what I care about. And I give them their space. So if you go Guest - go in peace.

Peace - Steve


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: AliUK
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:37 PM

well, this is a suprise. Someone sounding off about how they believe that the 'cat has wandered from its origins. Having been around here for the last five years I think, I have seen it become a forum of people with a common interest discussing things that interest them. Sometimes people disagree, I certainly do. Sometimes people talk about heavy things, and sometimes people light to lighten things up a bit, recently I've contributed to threads as divese as "east Texas Red" the 9-11 tragedy and a thread on farting. This is the spirit of the 'cat as I have known it over the years. Full of good people and good things, what a shame that you feel the need to criticize it.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: wysiwyg
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:38 PM

I think people who are concerned about whether Mudcat is still a music site might like to see what is shaping up in cross-referencing what is archived here at Mudcat. And you might enjoy seeing the spirituals project now under construction.

If you looked at those things you would see some good things evolving while you continue to focus on your upsets. One thing you would see is several new and knowledgable members.

I can tell you a lot about how to reach out to people to involve them... if you want to write to me off-threrad to talk about it, you might be surprised how easy that is.

I think what you have not allowed for in your thinking about all this is that the Net itself has changed a great deal since Mudcat began. People who want to know a lot about something don't have to sit at an expert's knee the way they once did... there is so much searchable text on the Net, and so much searchable here at Mudcat thanks to the generous sharing of people in its beginnings, that Mudcat has to become something else.

But what it will become could be affected by your participation, if you would leave off looking backwards and roll up your sleeves and look at the present and the future. It will be equally affected by your departure. It's up to you which direction you put your energy-- but if you put it into leaving, you will not be able to have a positive impact on something you clearly love a whole lot.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Amos
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:42 PM

I absolutely concur about trolls and flamers. Their pettiness and oppressive immaturity is the only thing that has ever made me want to back off from my favorite web forum anywhere. I stay because I figure I can keep making the 'Cat too good for the likes of them to hang around. In my experience, the nastiest ones tend to fade out quickly when they discover they just can't stop others from communicating.

Me, I like to see others communicating, even when I have no interest in the subject, because I know they are enjoying and thriving on it.

A


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Deckman
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:57 PM

Relax Kid! (smile) We've all had a horrible shock. I, also, want to get back to what I love most, besides BRIDE JUDY. It will take a while. I think that this might be a "telling" question ... when did you pick up your guitar and sing a song that felt good. We had a hoot last Saturday night. As I was setting the house up for the gathering, I realized that I hadn't felt like singing since Sept 11th. Relax ... we'll all get back to normal ... in a bit. LOVE YA, Bob


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:58 PM

I've been here longer..4 1/2 years or so...and it is not exactly what I'd like.

But listen....how in the hell can ANY forum suit everyone all the time? IF IT IS OPEN it will allow almost anything. That is both the beauty and the detriment of 'openess'....and if it was highly moderated and controlled, with "chat cops", some would bitch about 'those narrow-minded, unfriendly, cold so-and-sos who can't allow discussion or an off-topic remark'..You KNOW they would!

How can anyone pick JUST the right mix of chat and song searches? You wanta be in charge?? You think YOU can satisfy everyone? Pooh!! The internet/WWW is a big place...raise a few $$$ and start a site that YOU run and see how it goes. Yeah, the signal to noise ratio gets a bit lopsided sometimes, but if you HAVE a music topic, it WILL get addressed.

For God's sakes---many of the obvious directions and questions were asked and answered 3 or 4 or more times, and can be found with Supersearch!....But those who asked and those who answered found out they could also meet new people and trade idea...as well as keep up with events-both musical and otherwise- among themselves. Yes, that means asking about a song one day, and trading cookie recipes the next!!!!!

So...what do we have here? We have more than a music database and song search forum...we have PEOPLE who have varying interests in music who also have other interests in life and each other!...That is called a **community**....and in a community, you get neighbors you enjoy and respect, as well as some you don't!.......and let me make the point that it is MUCH easier to ignore the ones you don't like here than the ones who live next door to you!

Not good enough?? You want everyone to 'behave' just like **you** define good behavior? Fat chance!

I could type till my damn fingers fall off trying to make the point that Max has decided that an **open** forum is what he wants....and there'd still be the anonymous whining and flaming & trolling!! If Max asks me, I'll tell him that I'd like ro see some things done a bit different....but ****I**** can live with it as it is!! It is STILL one of the most amazing places on the WWW, sort of resembling a large family that is forever wrangling about where to go and what to have for breakfast...but always getting the needed stuff done!...

I can find a song, make a joke, complain about the president, get sympathy for my sore toe, find out how to re-string a harp, compare notes on wood, find a place to stay in Colorado, ...and yes, get RELIGION, if I've a mind to...and I can complain about religion, or songs ..or YOU and what passes for YOUR attitude.

But, if I complain or help or just nod wisely....it will be Bill D...that's Bill Day, Wheaton MD...doing the talking, unless the subjest is so personal that I need temporarily to ask a question anonymously...(that has happened ONCE in 4 1/2 years!)....I made my early pleas to limit the forum to mostly 'folk/trad' music, and now I just shut up and sort thru things...and I still get a lot of good here.

Now, I suppose that there have been 14 more posts since I started typing this...and I'll confess to a morbid curiosity about which 4 year member felt the need to start ONE MORE useless thread saying "but Mudcat used to be SO much nicer"....but I'll live with my curiosity, just as I live with Mudcat not being exactly as I'd wish....crap...the USA and my Mother and Sears-Roebuck and SEX are ALSO not always exactly what I'd wish, but they're all pretty damn good!......

Think about it!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 08:59 PM

I'm not convinced that Mudcat is in a bigger mess than when I first started here. The patterns a circular and the same rows crop up. One side will eventually get upset as they feel there is too much "nonsense". The other side will protest with every reason why all conversation should occur. Trollers well aware of the rift frequently stir matters up. Attitudes generally harden and people tend to join one camp or other... (although the last time round, I did observe a little more concern regarding the loss of musical contrbuters - although at the same time I noticed more of the "oh not the same old shit type comments).

If my assessment of the situation is right, this pattern will continue as it has done in all my time here. No prizes for guessing what I believe (as I did early on) is the solution...

Jon


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,chrisj
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 10:39 PM

I for one hope the mudcat never changes. Its just like a local pub. I can drop in any time and even though i'm not a regular(ie,a member) i've gotten to 'know 'quite a few of the patrons and what to expect from them. If at any time the topic bores me or becomes too heated or too technical i quietly slip along to the next group/thread. If i feel angry or insulted i have the option to reply in reasoned tones or with a withering(hopefully) repost, or i can retire from the field so to speak. Sure not many regulars will bother to respond to my contribution but thats not why i'm here anyway. Like others have said above, i'm fascinated by ideas and opinions, the more the better, and i'm almost certain that if i have a genuine query i'll get an answer - i've seen the mudcat in action!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Deckman
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 11:05 PM

Yes ... I LOVE your analogy comparing MUDCAT to the local pub. If you find something interesting and meaningful, then jump in. If you don't, switch tables, or drink your beer in private! But, it's comforting to know that the tavern is always there. By the way, I've always felt that the definition of a "TAVERN" is a gathering place ... just like us mudcatters. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 11:19 PM

Since this is still pretty polite (and I avoid the "yer an asshole" type threads) here's some thoughts.

Three years and a couple of months ago I discovered Mudcat and practically fell out of my chair! I simply couldn't believe that there were actually 50-100 folks who were almost as obsessed with unpopular music as I was....and were willing to talk about it. What blew me away was that opinions were given based on the information that folks had IN THEIR HEADS!

I was also knocked out at how kind people were in sharing information, and before long I'd formed some interesting long distance relationships with people who actually KNEW a fair bit about rural music. As Sandy Paton said, "it could take YEARS to meet this many knowledgeable people.

The evolution into a much more general forum was absolutely inevitable. We've had dozens of discussions about small (music) groups, sessions, song circles etc. that simply get too general to keep the original fanatics interested.

When it comes to "real life" musical gatherings I'm often one of those fanatics. If it's a bluegrass gathering, I don't want to hear John Denver songs, I want people to care about things like tuning, and in general the "etiquette" that goes along with the musical genre. Same with "Old time rural" music, swing, or blues, or jazz. Unaccompanied ballads are not my forte, but I want to continue to learn as much as I can, and once again, it's fun to be around people who treat the style with respect, and show that they've taken the time to "invest" in the music. In the "real life" world, if a gathering gets too chaotic for my taste, I just bugger off and find another one..or start my own. On the internet, it's much more complicated.

I've gotten to know so many fine people that I care quite a lot about how their lives are unfolding. I simply wouldn't have the time to keep in touch with that many folks if it weren't for the "new" Mudcat. I think a lot of people here are in this situation.

Every so often someone asks in a thread "how to 'fix' us", and my vote ALWAYS goes for a "split forum" (separate music and social sections). Needless to say, very few agree, and the friendly Mudcat gets larger and larger.

This year I started several threads on artists who are HUGELY influential and interesting to me. They are pretty obscure in the "real world" but I had hoped to find more than one or two folks here that would enjoy a discussion. Some catters were quick to provide internet minutiae and websites...that's the kindness part...but I guess what I wanted was a bunch of "like minds" chatting about what these artists "meant to us". Internet info I can (thankfully) now find for myself.

That aspect of the "old Mudcat" (for me) is now gone for the most part, but I can't just find "another group" that's into discussing obscure twenties rural pickers and singers. None exist. I'm not going to get my shorts in a knot about it though (well, maybe when I see an idiotic thread with a hundred posts and one on Asa Martin with five, I'll swear under my breath)...nope, I REALLY like the folks here, and that's still worth my (almost) daily visit. I don't have lesser expectations, just different ones.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 11:30 PM

Glad your opinion is the same as mine on the split Rick. I know it is a "no-no" but I think the "split" could not only ease the reccuring problems but help the community develop further (at least among those who want that side of things - and I am one of them - even if it doesn't always seem that way and I seem to fall out more with people who like me like some BS that I do with the other side...).

Jon


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Deckman
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 11:36 PM

Hi Rick ... I also feel somewhat frustrated. Over the last year I also have started several threads that went blank. They were usually threads searching for some lost, and mostly obscure, music friend. Just as you, I was hoping that someone would jump in there and say something like, "Hey man, I had breakfast with him this morning!" Oh well, such is life. And, like you, I'm beginning to appreciate mudcat for what it is ... an open forum to cuss and discuss things revolving (mostly) around tradional folk music. By the way, I do indeed enjoy your postings. CHEERS. Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: SINSULL
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 11:45 PM

How very odd: after 3000+ postings as Guest,Bruce O, Mr. Olsen finally decides to become a member. Even odder, after six months of silence, his contribution is "Too true, my friend".

Or is this a different Bruce O? It would be an ugly business if someone were trying to use his identity for their own purposes.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Blackcatter
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 11:53 PM

Greetings all

I just checked - the first time I posted (as Blackcat2) was on Oct, 21, 1999. So, I've been in and out of the Mudcat for around 3 years.

I am a limited musician - often times made to feel that way at local jam sessions and open-mikes - but around here I've rarely, if ever, been made to feel that way. Everytime I have asked a question about music is is answered. The answer isn't always helpful, but the answerer always is. (does that make sense?)

One time I asked for Irish lyrics to "Jingle Bells" and got a response from someone in Ireland who asked a friend while attending a play that night.

I engage in some of the "serious" discussions, but I'm no expert and rarely contribute much, but I do learn a lot.

I engage in some of the "BS" discussions too - and fairly often contribute. I doubt that I've ever started more that 2 BS threads (and maybe 5 or 6 "serious" ones)

Do I think there are too many "BS" threads? - Yes, but I don't really care - those threads are easy to ignore if I chose to do so - even the ones without "BS" in the title. I also find it easy to ignore "serious" threads that are likely to be outside of my areas of interest.

I remember that soon after discovering the Mudcat I began to see regular discussions of how Mudcat is changing that are identical to this one. I really don't get it. Unless someone goes back and checks the files - how does anyone know if it really has changed. As long as I've been here there have been flamers and other idiots. There have been song challenges. There have been any number of non-music threads at any time. And there have been people who have said they are leaving the Mudcat because it has changed. Yet when I look at the posters, many people that were regular posters when I discovered the Mudcat continue to post today.

To me it is simple -

1) - the longer any webpage exists, the more people will discover it and get involved.

2) - The longer sites like Mudcat exist, the more questions they answer and the less "serious" discussions probably occur (how many times have we seen - "check out this previous thread for the anwer to your question.")

3) - if you think there are too many "BS" threads, why not start even more "serious" threads?

Pax, yall


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Bert
Date: 01 Oct 01 - 11:55 PM

You know, Mudcat was great until people started complaining about it. Mudcat is what you make it, and it seems that Gutless has, for some time now, been intent on making it his own.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: DougR
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:00 AM

I think many of you, who are professional musicians, might not realize that there are many of us here who read musical posts, and find them interesting, but don't have a lot to contribute to them. I enjoy them, but I also enjoy the interaction with others on political threads (and if you are into folk music, how can you not be interested in politics?).

I could get by pretty well without the "Farting in Public" threads and silly stuff like that, but if members of the community enjoy it, okay by me.

I guess I agree with Bill D. Anyone who finds that the Mudcat isn't pleasurable, SHOULD tune out. No hard feelings, no recriminations, just slip softly into that good night. Who knows what the Mudcat will be a year from now? It's a constantly changing community. DougR


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Troll
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:04 AM

Mudcat is like a bar. As long as I feel comfortable here, i'll hang around 'cause theres always something happening. If it changes in ways that I don't like, I'll go someplace else.
I was looking for something when I came here. I can always look again.

troll


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:12 AM

Every now and then, I'll log on and there isn't a single thread that catches my interest, and then I log off and come back in another day or so and this place is great. Informative threads mixed with humorous threads and everything in between.


In the meantime, until I come across a site called

www.everythingrichisinterestedinandnothinghesnot.org

I think I'll stick around here. I've made som great friends here. I've shared some laughter and some pain here. I've learned of some artists to look for.

I've read some of the music threads that I din't have anything constructive to add, and was content to learn.

And when I was a guest, I was a gracious one at that.

Rich


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: RWilhelm
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:20 AM

Actually, I think Mudcat is just beginning to bounce back. There have always been strong opinions here about politics, religion, and everything else and there has always been a certain amount of flaming. I feel, though, that, at least in the music threads, a lot of the gunslingers have left and there are a lot fewer "farting in public" type threads than there were 6 months ago.

Two things I wish would happen at Mudcat: 1) There were enough music threads that people who came here by accident would know right away it was a folk site. 2) Some of the posters of the past, who really know what they were talking about, would give us another try.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: SeanM
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:45 AM

It's simple enough. It's always easier to stand on the side of the pool and piss in it than it is to break out the gear and keep the thing in good shape.

Simple. Trolls live off the principle, and that's simple, too.

M


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:58 AM

Stick around GUEST

We need more folk like you. The "regulars" need to "police" this site by consistantly refering "out-of-MC-topic" posters to e-mail, chat, and other BBS's which can fulfill their needs

The "healing circles" have departed the MC, there is HOPE

Sincerely,
Gargoyle
Proud prophet of the curses of profits through public Parading


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 01:00 AM

Sinsull,

That was Bruce 0 (zero) posting above, not Bruce O (Oh). Could be the same fellow.

The real Bruce Olsen sure knows a lot about early songs, and I preferred it when he used to share that knowledge with the rest of us.

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Amos
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 01:06 AM

Second that. He wasn't half bad for a science feller...s


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 01:09 AM

ER... am I missing something here?

It says at the top Lyrics, Forum and CHAT.....

When I'm at work, I don't talk about work all day, and I bet no-one else talks exclusively about music at various gigs either.

Maybe there should be a separate page for lyrics, but then you'd only get the people not interested in socialising there. I've contributed some lyrics, but only because I happened across a thread that I recognised as something I could contribute to. If it had been on another page, I wouldn't have looked. I tend not to.

I've watched Manitas read his Morris discussion list. It's all music related, not a great deal of life studies or moving moment or political ravings, but he deletes about 2/3rds without even reading it, because it doesn't catch his interest. Put beer or farting in the title and I bet he reads it!

I'm happy with Mudcat as it is, I like the 'pub forum', I've been able to share my wisdom (alright, pontificate), learn new useless facts, drink myself under the table or sit here naked and post, all without major embarassment or being asked to leave. And I know that there are some lurkers of musical reknown who find it just as refreshing and post to the non music threads more than I do!!

It is better to keep quiet and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Snuffy
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 01:21 AM

Are you an early riser, Liz? Or have you been up all night like me? I've spent the last 6 hours reinstalling Windows and video drivers and all that crap.

One of the side effects was that it also gobbled my cookie, which is why I appear as a guest above (too tired to notice).

Still it's good practice for singing into the wee small hours at Llanstock. Having just changed the calendar from June to October, I see that it's now only 10 days away. Whoopee!

Wassail! V

(well I did put a little bit of music-related stuff into my thread-creep)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Melani
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 01:23 AM

I love this place. It's always fun and interesting. And remember, when someone acts like a jerk on this forum, YOU CAN IGNORE IT. It's only words, after all.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 01:28 AM

Who said that?

Yes, I have been known to be up at the crack. I am now going to be late for work and it will cost me a bar of chocolate!!! Damn you all!!!!!!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 02:32 AM

My main focus is folk music. That's what drew me to Mudcat in the first place, and it has proven to be an incredible rich resource. I have learned a great deal by browsing posts, I've clicked on links that people have posted that have led me to more resources (such as websites other than DT where lyrics and MIDI files can be found) . . . in fact, I have found so many things of value to me in just music alone, that it would take me all night to come up with a partial list (and it's after 11:00 p.m. PDT here and I'm getting pretty sleepy). The base of knowledge and expertise here in many areas is mind-boggling. I know that if I have a question about any phase of folk music (or many other things), I can post a question, and there is a whole think-tank of knowledgeable people out there who will either give me an answer in a surprisingly brief time, or will take a helluva crack at it, or will put me in touch with a website or other reference where I can find the answer. And it has given me an opportunity to contribute whenever I feel I have something to offer. Believe me, to an old folkie, this is manna from heaven.

The Mudcat forum has informed me about all kinds of things in addition to folk music (more information and thoughtful opinions on 9/11 than I could have ever found in the news media, for example), and has also given me a chance to blow-off and exchange opinions and information on a whole variety of subjects, not limited to folk music. Politics, religion, Star Trek, joke threads, all kinds of stuff.

This, I believe, is one of the strengths of Mudcat. On another thread some time back I drew an analogy between Mudcat and hoots I have been to (and will keep going to). It's nothing original with me. Basically, it's the same as the tavern or pub analogy. At hoots, there are a batch of people in the living room making music. There are also a few people in the kitchen, having at the chips and dip and talking about a variety of things. As the evening progresses, people move back and forth between the living room and the kitchen. Song Circles are great. Their purpose is exclusively making music, and if that's not what you're there for, there's no point in you're being there at all. I like Song Circles and I go to them when I can. But I prefer hoots. I go because my friends are there, and I go to make music and to listen to others make music. But I also wander out into the kitchen to take a break, get a fresh beer, and see what's going on out there. Sometimes there are a lot of people are in the kitchen and not very many in the living room. But during the course of the evening, we shift back and forth. I like hoots the way they are.

And I like Mudcat the way it is.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 03:54 AM

As I have nothing to contribute musically and most of my postings have been requests for info or bad jokes, I couldn't possibly criticize anyone elses's postings. I don't get dragged into circular arguments or flames and have stopped reading poltical or religious threads. It seems that the number of active threads per day is increasing to the stage when I only look at a couple and probably miss a lot of interesting musical things as a result. However, as long as I get free access at work and manage to grab a few minutes to check the threads I'll do so, there is still a lot of interesting stuff here. i don't feel I have to read or be interested in everything posted.
RtS (but what do I know.....?)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Wolfgang
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 05:44 AM

No, Mudcat is definitely not like a local pub for me. I can easily find people in a local pub who'd like to discuss Afghanistan, the latest elections, next weeks weather with me or share jokes. But the chances are extremely low that my next neighbour at a bar knows something about folkmusic in the English speaking world. The common knowledge on a special field in this community is what I mainly come for. Everything else is easy to replace for me. I'm surprised by several posts that don't even mention music as a reason for their coming here.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 05:47 AM

Well, Wolfgang, it's like my local pub...


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Wolfgang
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 06:07 AM

Dai, too far for me.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 06:08 AM

Shame, matey, but one day, eh?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Wolfgang
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 06:14 AM

Sure.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: hesperis
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 07:06 AM

LOL, the same old argument, over and over. Might as well start a thread to complain that mudcat NEVER changes!

As for me, I came for the music. I stayed for the company. (At least, I came back for it, lol.)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: kendall
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 08:01 AM

The music is what drew me in the first place, but, I do enjoy discussing other subjects just as I would at a "picking party". Those gatherings would be pretty dull if no one did anything but play music.

A word to the folks who dont like the changes here, I was married to a "control freak" key word WAS. Know what I'm saying?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: LR Mole
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 08:49 AM

Flipping through the channels this Sunday I came upon a talk by David McCullough on his new biography of John Adams. He said that because Adams and his wife Abigail wrote letters (1,000 we have) on good rag paper, the historian can actually hold their words, and he observed that the act of writing clarifies what we think.The Cat frequently functions like that for me.Getting an entry ready for the readers here forces me to (frequently) get it a little cleaner and straighter, and thus to discover what I think. But also there's time to just be foolish.The mudcat is really quite a thing and seems to have reached critical mass and is now creating itself.Hmm.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 08:52 AM

Mudcat isn't always exactly what I want it to be. Occasionally there are long droughts where threads which interest me do not apppear. However, for what it does it seems to be the only game in town. I cannot find a comparable substitute.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Greyeyes
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 08:54 AM

I first stumbled on Mudcat looking for the lyrics to a song. I found them fairly easily using a forum search and didn't need to ask for help or start a thread. Once here I lurked as a guest for a while before realising how interesting and fun the forum is. My interest in folk music was minimal, and I found most of the music threads pretty much incomprehensible. I stayed almost exclusively in the BS threads, enjoying it enormously. Occasionally I would stumble into a thread discussing the provenance or interpretation of a song I recognised, and I started to become really interested. Once or twice, I even managed to post to a music thread without making a complete prat of myself. After a time I realised that as a librarian I might actually be of some use finding links/lyrics/information for people, and gradually a change of emphasis began to occur in my Mudcat habits.

Now, after just over a year as a member, I cannot say that my interest in folk music is minimal, it is becoming one of the passions of my life, and I spend less and less time on BS threads. Were it not for their existence, however, I doubt I would ever have returned after my first visit. Now I am a convert.

I understand people's frustration with thread topics, but it is called a Café intentionally. There is no café in the world where conversation is restricted to only one subject.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,Den
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 08:54 AM

I tend to agree with Rick and Jon and before I get anyones's back up, I've been hanging out here for a long time too. I've contributed when I can, positively. I've tried to help people who ask for help wherever I can. I was drawn to this site for the music and I have on occasion joined in non music related chats. I've probably started a couple. I've never started a thread to deliberately provoke anyone or waste anyones time. I have argued and replied sometimes in anger when I felt I was being insulted or patronized. I tend to stay out of threads that don't interest me but I'm a firm believer in freedom of speech (I grew up in N.Ireland) and I think that its great that people can feel that they are encouraged to speak their mind. But it saddens me to see that good music discussions can disappear pretty fast when they are pushed further down the list by some threads that (only my opinion) are pretty inane or just provocative for no good reason. I believe that the two tier system could work. People would still be free to contribute to either. There's no perfect world but this might be a way to address this particular debate. Again just my oppinion. Den


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 09:05 AM

Mudcat has changed FOR me. Get the distinction? I don't post as much as I used to when I was just a guest here. I don't post as much as when I joined. I find myself starting posts and then realize that what I am saying has been said already. But I read most threads that deal with subjects, songs, or picking styles that I am interested in. If one were to check my tracer list, they would find threads on breath control, singing technique, picking styles, etc.

The so-called "glory days" were what they were because we were all just finding each other, and discussing topics that hadn't been discussed before. As Rick and Sandy point out, one could spend a whole life building a network of knowledgeable people such as we were able to put together over a period of about 8 months. That network was, and is, an amazing resource. I am a folkie with eclectic tastes. Can you imagine being able, with a phone call, to speak with some of the most important people in any number of folk genre. When I think about the resources that I now count as personal friends, it is amazing to me. If you would but stop and think in a serious way about the people you are exposed to here, then you would get a sense of it all.

With regard to the chat, it is one of the few places that Rick and I disagree, but not a lot. There are those "folks" that since they have arrived, the chat has gone from discussion of the issues that spawn the music, to general chit chat. I have participated in a fair amount of this myself. I don't do much of it anymore, mostly because a lot of it has become selfserving. I have seen a little more of the "purity of thought" bullshit than I care for. BUT, it always comes back around to the music and the issues that spawn the music. The odd silly thread doesn't bother me. I remember the "condom" threads. They were hilarious. So were many of the early pub threads. I think it was because they were fresh and inventive and that is what this place really was about. Creative people running with whatever was presented. Unfortunately, but predictably, it has lost its freshness. But it is still the best place on the net, and I love it more now than ever.

It is what it is, and that changes from time to time. Enjoy, my friends. There is no place else like this.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: PeteBoom
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 09:32 AM

Yeah - What Mick said. With this further comment.

Everyone was new at SOME point. I'm still quite new - lurked for a while then finally registered, etc. For people coming in, some of whom don't catch the hint about checking the FAQ stuff and the helpfull perma-threads, they will invariably ask the same sorts of questions. Life happens, no?

For new people, it is VERY fresh and refreshing.

For haggard veterans, well, how many times can you debate origins of Molly Malone or Streets of Laredo or what type of vessal was the Mary Ellen Carter?

Is it Mudcat that has changed, or what you personally are getting from it that has changed? I forget who mentioned above that there are days when there simply are no threads at the top that are of interest to them. If there is nothing of interest today, is that the fault of ANYONE? Maybe - then again, if you have no musical questions, I expect you are able to provide all the answers, no?

Pete


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Mooh
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 09:46 AM

Part of the reason I visit here is there appears to be nowhere else on the net where I even remotely fit. Much of my life has been lived on the fringe, politically, spiritually, occupationally, and musically. Having been brought up a musical slut of sorts, with an active interest in and appreciation of various music forms, I've always felt I encounter less musical prejudice here than elsewhere. I enjoy who I am, don't like forcing my opinions on others, but thoroughly enjoy listening to the opinions of others (whether or not I agree). I like to think I'm tolerant, though I often discover I haven't completed that journey.

I'm not entirely sure now how I first came here, but I was looking in maybe 3 years ago for lyrics, then lurked for a long time before I signed on as a member.

What keeps me here has less to do with the Mudcat and more to do with me. The older I get, the less appreciative I am of pop culture. Pop culture, to me at least, has become irrelevant and entirely driven by corporate and consumer interests, not a social conscience influence in sight. Not so folk music and culture. I like to watch the social influences act on relevant culture, even when they are not my own influences. Songs are still being written about real life, just as they've always been. So, though I will always listen to my '60's and '70's favourites, I am no longer interested in the current counterparts (and I will debate that there are any), and instead look to the history of music and new music which is meaningfull to me. Mudcat has more of this than I've found elsewhere.

Yes, I'd prefer less BS messages, less inanities, less flaming, and more of what I (!) want, but it's not entirely about me, or you, or the other guy. It's about us and what we do together. (I like the idea of a dual forum, with music listed apart from the non-music discussions.) If it gets unappealing around here, I guess I'll move on as I've done with other relationships in my life. Lately there's been alot of discussion I'm either not interested in, or don't have the time to indulge, so I just don't get involved. That'll change, I think, when the pendulum swings back towards me, and in the meantime I can wait, I've got other things I can do. I sometimes feel like the tired guest who falls asleep at a party.

I'm no scholar, I'm here to learn, and toss in my two cents once in a blue moon. I like the guitar stuff because I'm a guitarist and can converse with reasonable authority on some aspects of guitar life. I like other topics because I can learn something, isn't that enough? But like anywhere else in education, I can choose which topics to study.

This is the longest post I've written in ages, discussing something I didn't want to discuss, and I'm not so sure I've made my point very well. However, suffice it to say that that's about par for me anyway.

Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 09:51 AM

In answer to Big Mick, As a relative newcomer I still find a lot of things fairly fresh. It seems to me that new blood is always showing up. My two pet peeves, if you want to read them are

1. Jaded "veterans" pointing out that something has been discussed already. This doesn't happen all that often but someone popping into a thread to say something like "WE talked about that already MY comments on banjo playing in the rainforest can be found here...." Well its just selfserving as Mick said. Please politely and enthusiastically join the conversation or don't join it at all.

2. All of this BullShit whining and navel gazing like this thread. Topics discussed seem to be by volume 1. music 2. what is wrong with Mudcat 3. everything else. Common folks, ignore the attacks and get on with your lives.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Skipper Jack
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 09:56 AM

I am inclined to agree with GUEST regarding the subject matter that pops up all to often on this forum.

I am a member purely because I am interested in folk music - in all its forms.

There are other chat lines on the web that one could use to discuss other matters.

There now I have said my piece, I'll sit back and wait for the flack!!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Cappuccino
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 10:00 AM

Absolutely nothing to complain about, and sincere regrets to anyone I may have annoyed on the occasions when I've posted something when, in retrospect, I should have kept my mouth shut. But where else could I have found, on my first visit, a record I'd been searching for for twenty years, then a series of songs which have transformed my 'repertoire' (!), support when things have gone wrong, congratulations when they've gone right, observations which have made me laugh out loud and make everyone look at me, and - though it's a terrible example to give - the most incredible 48 hours of international debate that anyone could experience, early in September. And all that in the last six months or so... amazing.

My compliments to Mudcat Central, and one day I will work out who's who in doing the clever bits that make this thing work.

I resolve not to say anything stupid from now on... or at least, I'll try!

- Ian B


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 10:18 AM

Pete, I don't doubt that many of us change over our time here and I'm pretty sure our own frustrastions become part of the being "haggard".

I have my own likes and dislikes with threads, probably in the same way as most people do. In my case, I loath many of the jokey type and silly threads which quite frankly I find inane. I particularly dislike silly threads that spawn additonal silly threads and the fact that things like "farting threads" seem guaranteed to make the 100+ posts. But that is just me - these threads are obviously enjoyable to some here...

What gets me down more is that I see the repeated pattern here: The ammount of BS rises or there is a particular outbreak of silly threads or a number of BS threads of one type, then there is the protest, the row, things cool down, the BS causing the annoyance drops a little, we get the build up...

I know some will argue that people should just carry on and ignore the chatter but the fact that it does trouble some people does concern me - particularly as it does have a cost in terms of musical contributers. Also I believe that if it weren't for the occasional arguments on this, the BS would just continue to rise.

As I said earlier, I believe the solution is to split the forum to make it easier for those who prefer the music only to cope, as well as make it easier for some of the music threads to remain visible without getting swamped by and pushed down the list by BS threads.

The other way is for people to try and be a little more restrained about posting and perhaps consider other options. I have for example seen threads which seem to contain a small handfull of people exchanging jokes, witicisms, etc amongst themselves. One could try asking is it really of intersest to others or are we using this place as our own private chat room? If it is the latter, why not use ICQ or Paltalk, etc. instead?... There are plenty of options avialible...

Finally for those who say it's like a pub, the session in the pub is a good analogy. Ideally, those that want a bit of a chat move away, perhaps to another bar or an area of the room far enough away from the musicians so that they can talk freely rather than interfere with the musicians. Failing that when there isn't that much space to move, well mannered people tend to limit there conversaion more and talk very quietly.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 10:25 AM

Don Firth, Hesperus and Kendall pretty much summed up anything I have to add. I'm here for the music AND the community, and, like our parties and down at our pub, it all runs together (along with good food and good beer, but the techno-geeks haven't figured out a way to do THAT via the internet yet).

BTW, I was sucked in originally via a BS thread on thanatolithogy (or at least gravestone symbolism).

Bat Goddess


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 10:27 AM

My beef isn't with too many B.S. threads. My problem is that Mudcat seems to have become a gathering place for people who hate the same things.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: LR Mole
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 10:45 AM

I want to know about that banjo playing in the rainforest thing.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 10:48 AM

Well, GUEST, I've been here a while, and I'm a human being believe it or not, and there are some things I'm really scared of and therefore could be said to 'hate'. Early in my 'catting career I fell victim to my own prejudices and made one or two postings which offended people; but only in response to things I found offensive, I hope. In all these cases an exchange of PMs swiftly broke down the fear and ignorance on both sides - abracadabra, two slightly wiser people.

But, as I've said in other threads, there is one thing which brings us all together on Mudcat.

That thing is asparagus.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Bill D
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 11:27 AM

I have refined my earlier thoughts and now try to put it all in perspective:

"Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now"....yeah, and probably always will be in many ways..but where else will I go?

"My house is a bit of a mess right now"....yeah, and probably always will be in many ways..but where else will I go?

"My country is a bit of a mess right now"...yeah, and probably always will be in many ways..but where else will I go?

"The world is a bit of a mess right now"...yeah, and probably always will be in many ways..but where else will I go?

"The internet/WWW is a bit of a mess right now"...yeah, and probably always will be in many ways..but where else will I go to do what can be done here?

do we detect a pattern here?...Can we TRY to do the best we can to just be reasonable people and make all of these a little better? This means, in my view, EVERYONE trying to tone down the things they do that irritate othes. Less bitching from trolls and 'guests'..less *TRULY** BS from those who tend toward it. More use of PRIVATE MESSAGES for stuff which does not interest the group as a whole.

You can supply other ideas easily. I also agree with several others that separate, parallel forums for chat and music would help....but...*shrug*...(heck...I want separate forums for traditional music and all that 'other stuff', but I am a purist-snob *grin*)

still...we have an upgrade coming and this forum AS IT IS is wonderful....I am truly sorry that some people cannot adjust to the vagaries that prevail in a free and open forum: I miss some of the departed ones a lot.

Not a lot else to say...........


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:14 PM

Rainforests are the DEVIL!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:27 PM

I was thinking about all the posts I had read earlier this AM, as I caught up with everything people had said since yesterday.

I was thinking about Greyeyes' post about how he got here and how he has changed as a member. And then I realized that to know if Mudcat is now a music site, or a BS site, one needs only ask, "To whom do you recommend the site?"

I have LOTS of BS friends in my life, and a few music friends. I can't recall every saying to someone, "Whoa, check out www.mudct.org for great political debates" or "Yeah we were debating that issue at the Mudcat place I know about, you should come over and join in."

I can't recall ever encountering a good resource, music or political, online, and writing them a message like "Come argue that philospohical thought over at Mudcat."

The only invites to Mudcat I have ever issued have been to the wonderful resource of musical information, and the forum as a means of discussing it... And I don't recall ever making an invitation like that and worrying that the recipient may see some BS at the top of the list and run off.

Changing? Yes, all things do. But Mudcat is still the only place I know where you can find AND discuss the information one wants as a musician. Those two facets of the site are, IMO, what makes Mudcat Mudcat. Not so much the people-- they come and go. But the structure of being able to discuss what's here, so easily-- THAT is still uniquely Mudcat.

And I would also like to remind people that even our most frequent BSers are MUSICIANS. They may not write about music much but I have heard their music, and they are just as wonderful in their music as those who post only about music.

So perhaps we might consider looking at Mudcat as a MUSICIANS site rather than a MUSIC site. It would be more honest.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,Candidate for Lobotomy?
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:31 PM

Why do so many idiots feel obliged to draft longwinded sermons about why this site is going to hell. There is a shitload of posts that relate directly to music. There are posts that mix politics and music. There are posts that don't have anything to do with music. So the hell what!! If you don't like a thread, go to another one. If that upsets you so much then perhaps your hyper-anal personality is not suited for Mudcat. Good bye and good riddance, moron!!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:34 PM

Question...if bin Laden played the guitar and sang Saudi folk songs, would people forgive him?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Ebbie
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:40 PM

Another analogy:

The Alaska Folk Festival each year hires one guest artist group to perform. The group does two concerts in the course of the week and on the weekend conducts workshops on individual strengths within the group.

In return, the group is paid $1000 each member, is put up at a local hotel, taken out flying, fishing, sightseeing, home for dinner, and embraced by the whole music community.

Over the 27 years of its existence, guest artist genres have ranged from Irish to bluegrass to country to electric blues to Cajun to Canadian folk to backporch groups to instrumentalists to klezmer to slack key to Appalachian to - you get the idea.

No one in the community expects to feel the same about each group, but that's fine because next year they may press your button. In any case, the magic of the festival is always there.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:51 PM

Like the pine trees lining the winding road,
I've got a name
Like the singing bird and the croaking toad
I've got a name

Sitting in the middle of a rainforest playing bluegrass favourites with a clawhammer technique. I lay my banjo down and a mudcat jumps out and says.

"You see that monkey hidin in that tree. He doesn't want anyone to know who he is. He just sits and shits and tosses the products at us. He laughs when we try to clean it up. We say, "Come on down here and join the party." He thinks "No I'll probably be eaten alive." He doesn't think he's ready to socialize on a mature level.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 12:53 PM

He's pleased with himself now that he's discovered opposable thumbs!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 01:12 PM

Geeziz.......and to think I bitched about the proliferation of threads on Songcatcher or Seagull Guitars................

From a post by the pretty smart kid that owns the joint, one Max Speigel, in January of 2000:

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

Works for me.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: selby
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 01:24 PM

The Mudcat will ALWAYS change and evolve we are after all folkies. When I meet friends we talk about everything and somtimes we play our instruments and sing.Some of the threads maybe just talking but I think that is important. If you take some of the gatherings that have taken place in the UK and the individuals then comunicated away from the Mudcat, how would new people get involved, how could they share their experances.There might be on occasions things that don't intrest you as an individual if thats the case then dont read them.A group of us have just had great fun with a Kazoo orchestra at a small festival we have shared that on the mudcat, not for everyone but for those that saw the event highly funny and maybe somewhere else in the world it will happen again but remember you don't have to read the thread. To end my ramblings don't forget we are a world comunity and cultural diffrences and country size do have an effect. Keith


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 01:27 PM

So is my hair. And my desk. I wonder if there's a connection? Maybe "gargoyle" can help resolve this...(NBL!).

- LH


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Puflet
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 01:31 PM

I fell into Mudcat almost, as it were, by accident because - gasp! - I was after the lyrics and music of a song which is out of print. I found what I was looking for, but so much more ... I was absolutely captivated by this site, which covered not only the music I was interested in, but so many more topics. Maybe people who are involved in the creative professions share more than just their creativity, as part of a more general outlook on life, and it has been so thought-provoking to look at different viewpoints on issues which concern all of us.

I still think that members of the Mudcat Cafe have more in common than we have dividing us - not every topic interests me, but I can choose whether or not to engage.

Finally, what's so wrong with being a bit of a mess? Sometimes a really uncontrolled mess, be it with painting, thoughts which are coming too fast to be processed, experimentation with music, dance or whatever - can provide a fertile breeding ground for all sorts of creativity.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,Celtic Soul
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 01:40 PM

I had to skip some of the responses for time, as I am on a break at work, but I wanted to post some thoughts. I hope that they can help.

I am at work. I like my job. I like the people I work with and I like my customers. I care about them. They come in, and they know they can ask me anything about the services my company provides, but they also know that they can come in and bitch about their day or cry about a lost loved one or laugh about something funny they heard. They know that, no matter what else maybe going on in their lives, they can come in here and get a smile and a warm greeting. Some people want to come in and be very businesslike and simply get done what they want done or ask their questions and then leave, and we are more than happy to accomodate this, but *not* at the expense of those who would rather be treated more like a friend.

The majority of our customer base stays with this firm because they *want* to be treated like they are cared for.

Most of the people I know, me included, would rather be in an environment that is caring and friendly and more casual. I can sympathise with those who would prefer a more businesslike atmosphere here at the 'Cat, one that sticks to topic, but I can't personally empathise with it.

Many others have already raised very valid points. Things like their relative level of experience/knowledge, etc. not being enough to allow them to contribute to the majority of on topic threads. And maybe this next one has already been stated, but it bears repeating.

This place, like anyplace on the web, is what you make of it. If you want more on topic threads, why not post some on topic threads? If you don't care for the ones that are not on topic, why not avoid them? Leaving is not the only solution.

I am sure each and every one of us would be able to list at least a few things we'd like to see done differently here, and for that matter, in other areas of life.

Happiness, however, is not getting what you want, it is wanting what you have.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: mousethief
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 01:51 PM

I think the phenomenon of Leaving Loudly should be better investigated. There are people who show up some place, decide it's not for them, and leave quietly. There are others who like it and stay. Then there are this group of people who stay for a while, decide they don't like it nearly as much as they used to, and Leave Loudly.

Why?

What do they gain by bitching and moaning all the way out the door?

Are they sticking it to those who (in their opinion) have ruined the atmosphere they once so enjoyed? Are they so full of themselves they can't imagine that people don't want to hear their reasons for leaving ("You're so vain you probably think this post is about you!")? Are they trying to destroy the place ("If I had my way....") because if they can't have and enjoy it, nobody else should be allowed to either?

A very curious phenomenon.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Wyrd Sister
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 02:00 PM

"But the other side of that equation is that the reason many of us are folk musicians is out of a deep resonance with what i can only call the spirit of blues and folk music. This spirit is what makes Mudcat feel the way it does,as far as I am concerned -- a happy irreverence, a ready sense of humor, a strong historical perspective informed by the incredible range of past poetry contained in our folk and blues legacy, and a feeling for the long truths that emerge from that legacy over centuries rather than merely weeks." Thanks Amos. I've copied this bit cos it seems a long way up the thread. I'm new to Mudcat, though I first heard about it years ago. I sing very little, with less accuracy. I play - almost, slowly, and not by ear. I have danced, for about ten years. BUT I have been brought up on traditional music, ritual dance, the rhythms of customs throughout the year, and value the links these make with the past in an almost spiritual way. All day I speak with, listen to and attempt to find common ground with people who find me at best a little odd, at worst an easily-dismissed subject of ridicule, simply because of these interests. At least here that is not an issue. So it's fun to 'talk', listen, joke, moan, laugh, argue and on and on, knowing there is one point of contact between us all. And that's why I seem to contribute to chat threads. Though I read many more, others have much more knowledge than I, so I keep quiet.(Unusual, that, actually!) So thanks, all of you, for also being weird.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Justa Picker
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 02:22 PM

Firmly in the camp of a split forum.

Two links side by side below Thread Name.

Music-Related and General Chat.


I'm not naive enough to think that this will ever happen here. It's been brought up and suggested before. There is only 1 person here with the power to make these changes, but I do respect Max's decision not to, even if I happen to disagree with it.

I try to contribute what I can and when I feel inclined, and take what I want from Mudcat and leave the rest.

No one ever leaves "Hotel California". They just resurface with a new name. That alone, is testament to the compelling, addictive nature of this one-of-a-kind forum, cyber warts and all.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 02:44 PM

Alex, I believe they leave loudly because Mudcat was special to them, and they've become disillusioned. Folk can just wander off and not feel bitter if they never felt connected here. People who are bitter are bitter because they feel hurt. Likewise the people who get so upset and defensive when anyone complains do so because they identify with the forum.

There are two extreme ways to view the forum. You can look at it as a bunch of people you can influence to do what you want, or you can see it as a force of nature that's beyond anyone's control. The truth is somewhere in between. You can sometimes get some people to agree with what you're saying, but it's a fantasy to think everyone will. It's a fantasy to believe any one person can determine which direction the forum goes.

Mudcat just rolls like a great big river, and you can go along for the ride or get out on the shore. Just don't try to get the river to go where you want, or you're apt to get very frustrated.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: mousethief
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 03:23 PM

Well said, Jeri

Alex


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Mooh
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 03:29 PM

I guess there's more music threads now than in the beginning. N'est pas? Self edit the rest and there's a pretty good music site here.

I'm still reeling from a Tony McManus show last week. Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 03:44 PM

And then there are those who ARRIVE LOUDLY. The really odd thing is, some of them do that...and then they hardly ever post again. I think one or two of them may have never, in fact, posted again.

Now that's an even stranger phenomenon, if you ask me.

Maybe it's Sudden-Mudcat-Death-Syndrome or something...

- LH


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 04:18 PM

"Happiness, however, is not getting what you want, it is wanting what you have."

Amen - Steve


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 04:30 PM

And another thing, he said, if the music threads are of primary importance - how come there are only a few folks responding to the call for performers at the winter gathering of "Cat concerts" he asked with a glimmer in his eye?

Broken pick syndrome?? *BG*

Steve


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 04:41 PM

Or just go here - http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=39525&messages=22


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: RWilhelm
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 05:19 PM

There are NOT more music threads now than the begining, either by count or percent of total.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 05:52 PM

I suppose I'm known for my occasional rants against the idiotic subjects many Mudcatter choose to post about. The alignment of the moon and stars is not quite right for me to make another rant, so I won't. I don't really mind anything that gets posted here at Mudcat - as long as it's posted in moderation. Birthday threads and healing threads and prayer threads bug me mostly because they're always the same thing, multiplied exponentially. There's nothing essentially wrong with them, but the quantity gets mind-boggling. Even the World Trade Center discussion has reached the point of saturation.

So, where do we go? Which direction do we take things to try to keep some semblance of sanity? How do we keep ourselves from smothering in our own Spam?

I think we have a problem with people who have a compulsion to create threads. I don't have solid statistics, but I'll betcha that a very small number of Mudcatters create a very large number of threads - and many are on topics that already have existing threads. If one thread draws a number of posts, then some idiot has to start a copycat thread that draws repeats of the posts from the first thread. Soon, our cleverness seems to start fading into babble.

I noticed a sad message from somebody who claimed to have been insulted by the way some Mudcatters had reacted to him, and he seemed to be saying that he was leaving us. Maybe it's not so bad he's leaving. I checked his posting record - and he had never once posted to a music thread, and yet he started seven threads on the World Trade Center in a two-day period.

Generally, I think that if you create more than a couple of threads a week, you may have a problem. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or narcissism, or something Freudian. Next time you start a thread, ask yourself if your starting of the thread is going to make thousands of people think you have a really kinky sexual disorder. If you stop to think about that for just a moment each time you start a thread, maybe that would balance out our thread-creation process a bit. Hey, maybe we could have a little window that pops up the third time in a week a person starts a thread, and require them to pass the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory before allowing thread creation.... (that test really bugged me - why did it keep asking me about my bowel movements?)

But, anyhow, since I wasn't going to rant, what I meant to say is that I've found some very satisfying music threads amidst the much this week - Even if you have nothing to contribute, take a look at some of them. In fact, if you have nothing to contribute to a music thread, please resist the temptation to post.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: SharonA
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 05:53 PM

I came to Mudcat because Marymac90 nagged me! (...and she nagged me because she knew I would enjoy it!) It wasn't until she (literally) kicked me in the butt that I figured it would be less dangerous to check out Mudcat than not to!! :^)

As for Leaving Loudly: As has been pointed out above, that makes one less person to answer a music question or discuss a music topic, which is a pity. On the other hand, if one complains that one cannot FIND enough here to interest him, then how much of the responsibility for that situation falls upon that person for not CONTRIBUTING material that interests him and may spark the interest of his fellow musicians? Don't know about anyone else here, but I don't own a silver platter upon which to serve people such as the Loudly-Leaving GUEST what they want.

I'm another Catter in favor of a split forum, simply for the ease and convenience of finding music threads without scrolling through the BS, and vice versa! I'm here to enjoy both, and I realize that music threads creep into BS, and that BS threads often make reference to music, so the Forum would never TRULY be "split". I like the setup of Jon Freeman's Annexe (by general topic), which is yet another alternative to Leaving Loudly.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: IvanB
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 06:02 PM

I've participated in Mudcat for a bit less than 2 years now, and, yes, it has changed in that time, at least in my perception. But, increasingly I find, when doing a search on some song or other musical question that has come to mind, that the answer to my search has been discussed within that two year period. Perhaps I missed it when it was current because I just wasn't interested at the time, which, of course, implies that I've probably changed within the past two years as well. What a radical idea!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: curmudgeon
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 06:04 PM

What's all the fuss? Mudcat is, period! I'm a relative newcomer. In fact, today is the first time I've signed on independent of Bat Goddess's aegis in over a year. (Thanks Joe for the tips) But it's a rare day that I don't find at least one thread to pique my interest. And if I don't, it's no big deal.

There are many threads that do not have any appeal to my varied interests, but they do appeal to others, and for that I hope they continue. I suppose it's like television (haven't watched it in nearly twenty years), if you don't like what's on, change the channel. On the other hand, it's better than TV because you can create your own channel and if no one else tunes in to it, so be it.

And if there is a thread that you are really interested in, add to it. Threads only atrophy from lack of attention. Don't bitch on the threads that offend you, ignore them.

And in conclusion, aside from providing an exciting source of information and discourse, musical and otherwise, Mudcat has enabled me and Linn to meet so many warm, wonderful people over the course of the past year; at Barry Finn's, at our house, at the Press Room, at NEFFA, and most recently at the Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival May these meetings never end.

Don't change a damned thing, just let it evolve -- Tom


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST, I, hurricane
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 06:15 PM

I'm a pure B.S.'r in favor of the split page design. I stumbled in the back door through google only a few weeks ago, and posted to a music thread, not even knowing about the rest of the forum. The people and responses were wonderful. Then the WTC attack happened, just as I discovered the BS political threads, and I certainly enjoyed hearing a lot of thoughtful comments in those confusing days. But even before Joe Offer mentioned it immediately above, I realized my posting days are numbered, since this is best viewed as a musicians' site. I see from searching the word "clique," that you people have been hashing out the same old arguments about cliques and non-music and trolls forever, though. The pity is, I will, on such short duration, already miss the thoughtful musings of many such as CarolC, Jeri, Amos, troll and the like. (Actually I'll probably stick around and learn a few things, but posting, oh, well.)

(For those of you feeling jittery about stadium gatherings and the like: I'll be setting here on Coronado Island, which isn't an island at all, - - just a sand bar surrounded by earthquake faults, nuclear carriers, two airports and a smattering of wayward terrorists. Wish us all luck. (And thanks.)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 06:45 PM

Over on the accompanying "Rah-Rah" thread that generally accompanies these "Hiss-Boo" threads I said I was reassured that all is okay because we keep doing this as regular as clockwork. Going back, I was tempted to start a few years ago and create links to all the threads similar to this one, but the task was too daunting.

Ya' know, I'm not as active now as I have been at times. I may get that way again or I may fade away entirely.......Who cares? The 'Cat will be what it is and what we make it........Not individually, but collectively. How we take that "collective" is what affects our attitudes......and those that wish to mold the 'Cat the way they want it will always be carping and moaning. Some will leave. Some will stay. If you leave tomorrow, I can't help it and I really don't give a ratsass and if I leave tomorrow, you can't help it and why should you give a ratsass? As Jeri mentioned....the river flows on with or without us.

I have no regrets over losing people who have pissed and moaned about the place even if they were god's own gift of knowledge for all things. Fuck 'em. The entire argument over whether to split or not to split is pretty wasted too because we could have 27 forums and someone would be pissed because someone mentioned Woody in a pure trad forum. If we had 27 we'd need 30....witness how the permathread idea caught on.

Try to enjoy what's here and if you don't try to at least let others. Almost everyone above has said that they find something here for each of them....Great! If you're tired of it, leave....If you love it, stay. The guy Joe mentioned was a pain in the ass because he was completely absorbed in himself. Read the threads and make your comments but try to let other folks do the same.

I suppose that'll do til the next Hissboo thread comes along..........Feel free to disagree. I don't give a shit and you have every right to do so!! Enjoy.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Amos
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 07:02 PM

Hey, hurricane!

Would that be "Coronado Island" just north of the Silver Strand and south of North Island?

Or would that be some other Coronado island?

A


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: DougR
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 08:12 PM

I suppose, Alex, another reason someone might leave loudly, particularly if they post as a "guest," is they know if they have been around awhile, that the thread will attract a large number of posters.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 08:16 PM

spaw, I would think that 2 forums for this place would be quite enough. Having said that, it is quite possible to introduce other forums whith a minimul impact. Have a look at my modification to the code for the Annexe for example, I offer 1 list like here but allow a user to choose whether they want to have certain areas included or not when they view it. Just one of several possible approaches.

The only real handicap other than a user making a choice and setting it, is that a person has to choose on thread creation, which forum to post to - not much more complicated than deciding whether to call a thread BS, or musical, the rest looks after itself.

Thre real sufferers on that and other approaches would of course be those who feel a need to guaranteed being heard in the whole forum. If I was to say "Fuck Em" to anyone, those inconsiderate people would be precicesly my target.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST, I, hurricane
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 08:31 PM

Yeah, that's the one where I spend most of my days, Amos. I'm not in the military though. Evenings I'm just hare's breath downwind.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 11:25 PM

I would like to see a split forum. There seems to be so many threads these days. It makes me feel a bit overwhelmed when I do check in which isn't as often. I'm not around as much partly due to the current forum and partly do to things changing in my own life.

Maybe as time goes by we could start having reunion threads for old timers who don't post as much. Send out an invite through email. We could start an alumni that gets together to talk about the 'good old day'.
That would be funny.

Miss Bonnie
:)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 11:35 PM

The problem with a split forum is that it might tend to take all the life out of the music threads - like, one side is the library and the the other the tavern. The political discussions do have a lot to do with folk music, and so does the humor. Much as I dislike the repetition and mindlessness of some of the party stuff, I'd hate to see the music forum turn stodgy. I think moderation is the solution, not divorce.
-Joe Offer-

(not a "moderated" forum - but every person using moderation and judgment in deciding when and what to post)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Amos
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 11:41 PM

I disconcur with the split forum -- music to the left, chatters to the right, form rows and march. Nahhhh.

I enjoy the mash and its rich overtones of fermented emotion and distilled experience. Aging it in separate casks would turn it all watery, i am sure!

YMMV.

A.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Oct 01 - 11:44 PM

Bruce, the downfall,you know
unfettered by Max or Joe
Began over two years years ago.

In tonight's current Rugby thread
I found blood that was shed
By those who fought to be pure.

The kat with scorched friends
Never have made amends
For the loss of many close friends.

Click here


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 12:01 AM

Joe, if I start more threads does it mean I'll become more sexually exciting? Or at least a bit Kinky?

Dull Canajun.

On a serious note....Joe. Do you REALLY think that a split forum for music threads would "take all the life out of them?"

I think the exact opposite would happen. The people who've gotten so frustrated with silliness that they've resorted to anonymous insults, loud goodbyes (and verrry quiet returns under exotic new names) would finally be able to get back to what brought them here in the first place. The VAST majority here who DO want to learn about music AND enjoy the social aspect, would probably take part in most of the music threads, and the ones (I'm in this group as well) who want to talk politics, or issues without constant flamers, could do it.

I always thought that it couldn't be done because of technical reasons.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: DougR
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 12:49 AM

I didn't realize posting to a music thread with something like, "good thread, or great thread," etc. was taboo. I have done so from time to time, primarily, to indicate to informed music posters that many of us read if we don't post.

Won't do anymore. I'll just read, and enjoy.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 01:19 AM

No, Doug - what I said was not intended to indicate there was a problem. It doesn't happen very often that people take a music thread and turn it into silliness, although there was one this week. Usually, people seem to respect the music threads, and the nonsense stays away from them. I really think that the music threads are every bit as good as they always have been. We also get them every bit as often, but it's just that they get lost in a flood of partytime threads at times.

...but saying thanks or "great thead" (in moderation), or asking questions, is something that keeps the thread alive and shows that people are paying attention. Almost all of the time, the people who post to music threads, make a good contribution by their presence.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: DougR
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 01:28 AM

Okey dokie, Joe. Then if I like a thread, I'll say so!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: MudGuard
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 04:34 AM

The biggest problem with a split forum is - IMHO - that a thread is created in one forum, but after a while the content drifts so far away from the original question/statement that the thread should be in another forum.

What should happen then?

Should the thread be moved?
No, because its start was in the correct forum!
Yes, because its end is in the wrong forum!

Should the thread be split?
No, because whichever spot you take to split it, some messages are out of context or unanswered.

Should the thread be duplicated?
No, because then discussion gets duplicated and/or harder to follow as you always have to look at two (or more if there are more than 2 forums) threads in different forums.

Just keep the forum as it is and simply ignore threads that do not interest you!

MudGuard


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 06:37 AM

Joe, I don't think a split would starve the music but having said that, I guess it is all academic anyway. Assuming the more likely situation i.e. that there never will be a split here, moderation (in posting) is the only answer.

Amos, go to http://www.jonbanjo.com/forum and view say 10 days worth of threads. You will see that there are posts from several forums listed all mixed together. Follow the create/new topic/ list new forums link. You will see the complete list of forums. If you are feeling really brave you could try registering, logging in and going back to create new topic. You will then see a checkbox along side each forum. Check the forums you don't want to view and click update preferences. Redisplay the main forum list. It will list as before but the posts from forums you have opted to skip will not be on the list. In other words, it is quite easy to allow those who want to view everything to do so but also allow those who wish to be more selective to be so.

Rick, fourms like mine use an extra table in the database to allow the creating and grouping of the forums. I doubt that Mudcat will have any such table so I would guess a multi-forum solution would be far more difficult to achieve here. The biggest problem I see though is where would you put all the "pre split" posts? BS or Music or do you try to divide based on the (inconsistent) use of the BS prefix...?

Jon


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 07:52 AM

Given that the 'new improved' mudcat will (unless I misunderstood) will give users options for 'filtering' thread types, then the answer is surely simple.

Make it a prerequisite (rather than an option) to add a preface (BS, Help, whatever) to each thread.

That way, each user would be able to filter (or not) which threads they wish to read.

Or would that be too simple?

Ed


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 08:07 AM

It would help Ed and probably would be the simplest way for Mudcat to implement any solution because of the problem I mentioned above.

I would however like to see users able to filter out more than one prefix and members allowed to set a default filter for thier membership rather than be forced to veiw the lot and then redisplay with the filter applied. Also, I would like the filter to also work on messages since last visit. All of which was impossible last time I visited the experimental site (I can't look any more BTW - they've secured it! - and rightly too!).

Jon


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Mooh
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 08:40 AM

Earl,

I beg to differ...there ARE more music threads. Just because something has fallen from the current list doesn't mean the discussion is over. Many new threads are continuations of, revitalizations of, rehashings of, echoes of, refreshings of previous threads. Each new thread, as I understand it, increases the number.

Is it not so, or have threads been removed forever?

I often search old topics to read what's been said, simply as a matter of research.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 08:44 AM

Jon,

You have an advantage over me, in that I've not seen the 'dev' site.

I had (perhaps wrongly) assumed that the 'filter' would be a 'permanent' thing, based on the users cookie rather than an improvement on the current filtering system.

Mind you, I shouldn't complain. Here's me posting as a GUEST (more out of bloody minded annoyance at the 'anti-guest' regulars than anything else), so any changes wouldn't affect cookieless me.

Ed


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: IanC
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 09:10 AM

What is all this stuff? Mudcat is great as it is. Splitting the site would inevitably rob Mudcat of its essential nature and lead to degeneration from both points of view.

Have you been to a straight Folk Music discussion group recently? ... I haven't because if I want a response within, say, a month I come here. Have you been to a straight chat site? Ugh!

I sometimes get fed up with the number of NonMus threads, but it passes (and so do the NonMus threads). I look at some, and they enrich my ideas about the music threads.

I seldom post other than folk-oriented stuff (click on IanC above to see what I do post in) but I for one am well aware that we need quite a high volume of wide-ranging background information to make sure we don't end up dry as dust because we are that dust.

Mark My Words ... please don't keep trying to fix what ain't broke.

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 09:38 AM

Ian, I fear you miss the point. A forum that looses part of it's membership (particularly key members such as musical contributers in a largely music orientated forum) is broke. A forum where people feel forced to take on strange guest tactics, etc. is broke. A forum where the same rows crop up over and over again is broke.

Please don't get me wrong as overall I like Mudcat and certainly would be contributing to BS threads. Also, in spite of my negative comments about one aspect of the operation of this forum, I acknowledge that Mudcat has some superb features and is very strong in many ways (FAR better than the Annexe in case anyone thinks... well you know). I do however frequently come up with the same questions:

Could we as users all help to make this place more liveable for everyone? YES

Could the availible technology be better used in an effort to assist in achieving the above aim? YES

Jon


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,Motley Crew
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 09:55 AM

For those of you who are upset and bitching about the alleged sad state of affairs here, let me paraphrase a rock song:

Don't go away mad, just go away!!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 09:55 AM

Jon, regarding your first paragraph, it's not the forum that causes those things to happen, it's the emotions and reactions of the people posting. If the forum were split up, people would still do all of those things. Trolls and overly sensitive people would still way-lay threads to be about the method of discussion and their personal feelings instead of the subject. A music-only discussion could wind up being "this song is ___ist" or "are you calling me an idiot because I posted something already in the DT." Easily offended or frustrated people would still get pissed off and leave. It ain't the forum that's broke, it's the way some people start crap and others, who should know better, encourage it.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 09:59 AM

I have to agree with jon.

I have nothing against Max, and totally love what he's done here.

Mind you, have you ever looked at the www.onstagemedia.com website?

It's really very poor indeed.

Max, take a bit more time looking at your business, and less on the Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 10:06 AM

Jeri, if you mean that even the best possible forum would fail if the users were determined to be akward, I would be inclined to agree with you. I do however remain convinced that the nature of a forum design can help in the creation/ relief of tensions or frustrations.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: IanC
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 10:08 AM

Jon

I don't think I do miss the point. I know you've been pursuing your own agenda for a while now, and fair enough. However, if you take time to look around, you'll see that there are some very expert people here, some new to Mudcat in the last few months. Also some of your "experts" have not really left. Some are lurking and contributing perfectly well (just calling yourself GUEST doesn't stop someone's style being recognised). Others were self-opinionated and nasty, unlikely to stay very long in the light - and they're still just as nasty in the folk forums outside Mudcat.

"The same row", kept going by the same people, can easily be ignored. Tell me, what exactly is the row supposed to be about anyway?

Our friend GUEST certainly has his own agenda and has been trying to wreck the basic style of Mudcat for a long long time now. We're getting better at dealing with this kind of thing. Currently, he's reduced to having a conversation with himself in order to keep his thread near the top. Sad's not in it.

The point I'm making is that Mudcat has a unique combination of things which makes the music threads catch fire from time to time. This could never happen in a "pure" music forum.

Personally, I've had Dick and Susan to stay with me for a couple of days, and the opportunity to talk to them about collecting folk songs and 101 other things. I'm corresponding at the moment with Wilfried about a rare German songbook (not what I'd have expected to have even been interested in until recently). I'm contributing to other peoples' research and enjoyment via the Basic Folk Library. I'm even getting near to publishing my first research paper because of the speed of response I get here when I ask a question (before that, years of part-time research was getting me nowhere).

None of these things would I have been able to do without Mudcat AS IT IS. I have no gripe about using technology well. Just consider that you sometimes have to look at what is the purpose of the change you are trying to bring about.

;-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,Kaiser Bill's Batman
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 10:10 AM

I don't think splitting Mudcat into two forums will be enough. I 'd like to propose the following six divisions for Mudcat:

1) Music threads- lyric requests, worship and dissing of Bob Dylan, discussion of obscurities such as whether Robert Johnson's G-string was slightly out of tune on "Love In Vain," etc.

2) Current events threads- Bush, Blair, Bin Laden, etc.

3) Mudcat threads- trolling, guests, Mudcat is great, Mudcat is lousy, etc.

4) Huckster threads- buy my CD, come to my show, etc.

5) Really stupid threads- farting in public, what color is your underwear, etc.

6) Mousethief threads

But, like all suggestions made by anyone else, these suggestions will be ingnored because Max, Mudcat's Supreme Exalted Ruler, has stated, time and again, that Mudcat's staying the way it is.

KBB


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 11:30 AM

Ian, I agree completely with your thoughts on the benifits to many of a forum that is not strictly just music.

Where we seem to differ is that I believe it would be desirable for people to be able to choose whether to join in with the other stuff or not and I see no reason why creating a split forum should prevent those who wish to continue to join both to do so. I also believe that there is absolutely no reason why operating 2 forums (or perhaps as Ed suggested making full use of the filter) should prevent one person reading the mixture of threads and another reading only music.

My agenda, if you want it:

1. Hope for a more peacefull Mudcat and continue to believe/ argue that moderation in thread creation is benifical.

2. Try to provide short term extras for the enjoyement of myself and hopefully for the benifite and enjoyment of others. And to continue to develop alternative or extra solutions where I believe I see shortfalls here, a place for extras, or the possibility of better solutions, e.g.

3. Hope that people see these extras and perhaps see scope for improvement here and that changes are possible - just talking seems to get me know where. I'm under no illusions about credit - not really bothered - just hope that some of the better ideas creep in here - perhaps in a years time, they may even get re-proposed - thought of as a new idea and filter in here. That is where I wan't to see everything and under the Mudcat banner - or more accurately considered on thier merits..

As for 3, I guess it would have been nice to have been part of a team rather than the go-it-alone approach but, when you've had to fight to get a change pushed through to prevent ANYONE from viewing ALL member details - needed the involvement of another member before I was listened to, when at a time when Max had said he was short staffed, offered for free to assist with what skills I had, to not even a reply to say "thanks but no thanks", when you have moaned and moaned about other security issuse here - including a SIMPLE method (probably fixed by Jeff - he did listen to me and has done a lot for this place - I think more than anyone other than me and perhaps Jeri realises here) of anyone posting as anyone - completely bypassing the cookie, etc. You may understand why I eventually decided to take the route I did when it comes to showing how other things can work.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 02:09 PM

Shame on you, IanC!

Jon Freeman is one of the nicest, kindest people around here.

Pease don't accuse him of having an agenda, other than making mudcat better.

Personally, I've had Dick and Susan to stay with me for a couple of days

Bully for you! Talk about name dropping! Did they impart any great wisdom about decent website design? Please share...

As for guests talking to themselves, well I don't know. I choose to post as a guest. Review the lyric requests here and you'll find that henious 'GUEST' has answered many more than you ever have.

I've nothing else to say

Guest

Too gutless (give me a break) to put my made up Mudcat name to this


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Ralphie
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 08:27 PM

Oh Children, Children.....Please Stop!!
Isn't there something rather more important happening just now?
Ralphie
(Maybe this is just a US kind of thing?)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jan 02 - 09:41 PM

Ekh. What a load. Just when I thought I couldn't hate America any more... Seriously, someone from a good country: Adopt me. ----Lepus Rex

Thanks to Jeri for the link to this site.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,Luke
Date: 01 Feb 02 - 08:17 AM

I am 52 years old. I have been singing and playing folk music since I was 12. I have performed since I was 14. I have been to lots of large festivals and performed at them. One thing I always liked about festvals was the late into the night joke swaps. There were always performers there trolling for new material. But also there were people I had seen before at other festivals but never heard from because the did not perform on stage. In this setting they were in their orbit. They were brimming with stuff. Maybe not music related but extremely folky. It is good stuff and folklore and jokelore are as Art Theime has said I think brothers in the same family. You can tell I'm no brainiac but I love smart people thats why I play the music I do and not some other more mechanical tripe. This place is like the festival and it's wonderful here. I can here the music off into the night and I know that we are safe to say what we like.

You've probably all heard the story about the guy stranded on a lonely desert island for 30 years. When he is discovered finally, the people who find him are amazed at the wonderful church he has built. It is beautiful with many fine and rare natural decorations that he has wrought with his own hands. As they rave on he stops them and says " listen I wouldn't be caught dead in that place, that's where I used to go".

I guess it's human nature to find fault and separate oneself and move on. It defines us somehow.

I love this place. It works for me.

Luke


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST,Luke
Date: 01 Feb 02 - 08:22 AM

I used to be a member and thought I was.

Now I'm pissed!! Just kidding.

Luke


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: jeffp
Date: 01 Feb 02 - 09:42 AM

Hey Luke - at the Main Threads page, pull down the drop-down menu to Reset Cookie, click Go and follow the instructions. That should take care of things.

jeffp


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Feb 02 - 11:28 AM

I always thought Jeri was the smart Mudcatter. I couldn't have posted my trolls without her links.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 01 Feb 02 - 12:10 PM

If you are here and either read or contribute (or both) then it's working. Why try to mend something that isn't broken?

Unless it doesn't work for you...In that case don't read , don't contribute and please don't try to fix it coz you will only break it for me!

Well..I know what I mean....

Spot


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: jup
Date: 02 Feb 02 - 03:22 AM

Every time I ask I get an answer.Usually I find what I need in the search eng. THE CAT IS FINE BY ME. IF YOU DON'T LOVE IT LEAVE!!! DON'T TAKE YOUR SELF TO SERIOUSLY,GIVE AND TAKE.

It aint broken yet!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: John Routledge
Date: 02 Feb 02 - 08:50 PM

Listening to the Joe Heaney Mudcat Radio Archive at the moment. Mudcat has never been better. Cheers John


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Subject: RE: Mudcat is a bit of a mess right now
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Feb 02 - 09:09 PM

It isn't Mudcat that's a bit of a mess right now, it's my hair. And I need a shave.

What the hell, it must be the Dylan influence, I guess...

- LH


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