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An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS

Max 10 Feb 02 - 11:51 AM
Steve in Idaho 10 Feb 02 - 11:56 AM
Bill D 10 Feb 02 - 11:56 AM
Amos 10 Feb 02 - 11:59 AM
sian, west wales 10 Feb 02 - 12:01 PM
Giac 10 Feb 02 - 12:03 PM
Don Firth 10 Feb 02 - 12:03 PM
Deckman 10 Feb 02 - 12:16 PM
SINSULL 10 Feb 02 - 12:17 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 10 Feb 02 - 12:18 PM
DonMeixner 10 Feb 02 - 12:20 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 12:23 PM
Peter T. 10 Feb 02 - 12:23 PM
GUEST,Rollo 10 Feb 02 - 12:24 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Feb 02 - 12:32 PM
DMcG 10 Feb 02 - 12:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 10 Feb 02 - 12:40 PM
Justa Picker 10 Feb 02 - 12:41 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 10 Feb 02 - 12:56 PM
Max 10 Feb 02 - 12:56 PM
catspaw49 10 Feb 02 - 12:58 PM
Musicman 10 Feb 02 - 01:02 PM
Bill D 10 Feb 02 - 01:05 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 10 Feb 02 - 01:06 PM
NicoleC 10 Feb 02 - 01:08 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 10 Feb 02 - 01:09 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Feb 02 - 01:25 PM
MMario 10 Feb 02 - 01:36 PM
Jeri 10 Feb 02 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,Paul 10 Feb 02 - 01:55 PM
Les Jones 10 Feb 02 - 01:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Feb 02 - 01:56 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Feb 02 - 01:57 PM
GUEST,Win Grace, pgrace@coin.org 10 Feb 02 - 01:58 PM
Lin in Kansas 10 Feb 02 - 02:01 PM
Jeri 10 Feb 02 - 02:02 PM
katlaughing 10 Feb 02 - 02:05 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Feb 02 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,Paul 10 Feb 02 - 02:15 PM
Les B 10 Feb 02 - 02:31 PM
wysiwyg 10 Feb 02 - 02:33 PM
fat B****rd 10 Feb 02 - 02:34 PM
artbrooks 10 Feb 02 - 02:45 PM
Banjer 10 Feb 02 - 02:47 PM
Rolfyboy6 10 Feb 02 - 02:51 PM
Max 10 Feb 02 - 02:52 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,Paul 10 Feb 02 - 02:57 PM
Cobble 10 Feb 02 - 02:57 PM
Jeri 10 Feb 02 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Some cute hoor 10 Feb 02 - 03:21 PM
wysiwyg 10 Feb 02 - 03:23 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,some cute hoor 10 Feb 02 - 03:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Feb 02 - 03:50 PM
Jeri 10 Feb 02 - 03:51 PM
Annie144 10 Feb 02 - 03:56 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 04:03 PM
Clinton Hammond 10 Feb 02 - 04:06 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 04:07 PM
GUEST,Paul 10 Feb 02 - 04:11 PM
Kenny B (inactive) 10 Feb 02 - 04:13 PM
Blackcatter 10 Feb 02 - 04:23 PM
Gareth 10 Feb 02 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,THOSE people 10 Feb 02 - 04:38 PM
53 10 Feb 02 - 04:42 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 04:44 PM
kendall 10 Feb 02 - 04:48 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 04:50 PM
Nemesis 10 Feb 02 - 04:56 PM
Deckman 10 Feb 02 - 04:57 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 04:58 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 05:03 PM
GUEST,That's right loverly, that is 10 Feb 02 - 05:05 PM
Mark Cohen 10 Feb 02 - 05:08 PM
Mary in Kentucky 10 Feb 02 - 05:09 PM
DougR 10 Feb 02 - 05:15 PM
Big Red 10 Feb 02 - 05:16 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 05:24 PM
Deckman 10 Feb 02 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,Rumplestiltskin 10 Feb 02 - 05:35 PM
Max 10 Feb 02 - 05:46 PM
Jeri 10 Feb 02 - 06:10 PM
Gareth 10 Feb 02 - 06:10 PM
Deckman 10 Feb 02 - 06:11 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 06:16 PM
katlaughing 10 Feb 02 - 06:19 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 06:19 PM
Max 10 Feb 02 - 06:21 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 06:22 PM
harpgirl 10 Feb 02 - 06:27 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 06:28 PM
katlaughing 10 Feb 02 - 06:29 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 06:32 PM
GUEST,fuckhead guest 10 Feb 02 - 06:37 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 06:43 PM
artbrooks 10 Feb 02 - 06:43 PM
Deckman 10 Feb 02 - 06:44 PM
RangerSteve 10 Feb 02 - 06:44 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 06:44 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 06:45 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 06:56 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 06:58 PM
Jeri 10 Feb 02 - 07:01 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 07:07 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 07:10 PM
Max 10 Feb 02 - 07:21 PM
Bill D 10 Feb 02 - 07:22 PM
Clinton Hammond 10 Feb 02 - 07:23 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 07:25 PM
Clinton Hammond 10 Feb 02 - 07:28 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 07:29 PM
Don Firth 10 Feb 02 - 07:32 PM
Peg 10 Feb 02 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,Arkie 10 Feb 02 - 07:34 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 07:35 PM
Max 10 Feb 02 - 07:35 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 07:36 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 10 Feb 02 - 07:37 PM
Chris Amos 10 Feb 02 - 07:38 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 07:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Feb 02 - 07:50 PM
PaulM 10 Feb 02 - 07:51 PM
GUEST,No Surrender 10 Feb 02 - 07:52 PM
GUEST,The Mudcat Four 10 Feb 02 - 07:56 PM
Clinton Hammond 10 Feb 02 - 07:57 PM
Clinton Hammond 10 Feb 02 - 07:58 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 08:03 PM
Don Firth 10 Feb 02 - 08:03 PM
GUEST,Reeferee 10 Feb 02 - 08:09 PM
Bill D 10 Feb 02 - 08:11 PM
Clinton Hammond 10 Feb 02 - 08:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Feb 02 - 08:21 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 08:22 PM
Hollowfox 10 Feb 02 - 08:25 PM
Clinton Hammond 10 Feb 02 - 08:27 PM
53 10 Feb 02 - 09:35 PM
jacko@nz 10 Feb 02 - 09:53 PM
Rolfyboy6 10 Feb 02 - 09:54 PM
GutBucketeer 10 Feb 02 - 10:10 PM
DougR 10 Feb 02 - 10:14 PM
Devilmaster 10 Feb 02 - 10:43 PM
GUEST 10 Feb 02 - 11:18 PM
GUEST,catspaw50 10 Feb 02 - 11:21 PM
Rustic Rebel 10 Feb 02 - 11:46 PM
John in Brisbane 11 Feb 02 - 12:21 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Feb 02 - 12:41 AM
GUEST,And Toto Too 11 Feb 02 - 12:50 AM
Mark Clark 11 Feb 02 - 01:14 AM
Haruo 11 Feb 02 - 01:43 AM
Ebbie 11 Feb 02 - 01:51 AM
JudyR 11 Feb 02 - 03:21 AM
Peter Kasin 11 Feb 02 - 04:11 AM
Dave Bryant 11 Feb 02 - 05:12 AM
GUEST,Jabjo 11 Feb 02 - 05:28 AM
Jon Freeman 11 Feb 02 - 05:41 AM
gnu 11 Feb 02 - 07:01 AM
Zipster 11 Feb 02 - 07:18 AM
nutty 11 Feb 02 - 07:37 AM
Dave Bryant 11 Feb 02 - 07:56 AM
Jon Freeman 11 Feb 02 - 08:12 AM
sophocleese 11 Feb 02 - 08:52 AM
RichM 11 Feb 02 - 08:55 AM
GUEST,Catscradle 11 Feb 02 - 08:57 AM
Teribus 11 Feb 02 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,Catscradle 11 Feb 02 - 09:28 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Feb 02 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,Catscradle 11 Feb 02 - 09:40 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Feb 02 - 10:19 AM
Kim C 11 Feb 02 - 10:23 AM
annamill 11 Feb 02 - 10:30 AM
Jeri 11 Feb 02 - 10:30 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Feb 02 - 10:50 AM
Devilmaster 11 Feb 02 - 10:59 AM
Steve Parkes 11 Feb 02 - 11:01 AM
GUEST 11 Feb 02 - 11:19 AM
katlaughing 11 Feb 02 - 11:38 AM
allanwill 11 Feb 02 - 11:57 AM
GUEST 11 Feb 02 - 12:03 PM
wysiwyg 11 Feb 02 - 12:13 PM
katlaughing 11 Feb 02 - 12:21 PM
SharonA 11 Feb 02 - 12:22 PM
GUEST 11 Feb 02 - 12:34 PM
catspaw49 11 Feb 02 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,And Toto Too 11 Feb 02 - 01:03 PM
Bill D 11 Feb 02 - 01:13 PM
Cappuccino 11 Feb 02 - 01:26 PM
Clinton Hammond 11 Feb 02 - 01:36 PM
Bill D 11 Feb 02 - 01:53 PM
M.Ted 11 Feb 02 - 02:41 PM
GUEST 11 Feb 02 - 02:52 PM
Clinton Hammond 11 Feb 02 - 03:03 PM
Mooh 11 Feb 02 - 03:19 PM
gnu 11 Feb 02 - 03:37 PM
The Shambles 11 Feb 02 - 03:45 PM
annamill 11 Feb 02 - 04:36 PM
GUEST 11 Feb 02 - 04:47 PM
GUEST,No One Wins a Flame War 11 Feb 02 - 04:51 PM
GUEST 11 Feb 02 - 04:52 PM
Wesley S 11 Feb 02 - 05:04 PM
GUEST,misophist 11 Feb 02 - 05:04 PM
Clinton Hammond 11 Feb 02 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,Just Amy 11 Feb 02 - 05:08 PM
GUEST 11 Feb 02 - 05:23 PM
RichM 11 Feb 02 - 05:36 PM
Stilly River Sage 11 Feb 02 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,No One Wins a Flame War 11 Feb 02 - 06:20 PM
artbrooks 11 Feb 02 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,No One Wins a Flame War 11 Feb 02 - 06:28 PM
M.Ted 11 Feb 02 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,No One Wins a Flame War 11 Feb 02 - 06:35 PM
Clinton Hammond 11 Feb 02 - 06:40 PM
Rollo 11 Feb 02 - 06:43 PM
Gareth 11 Feb 02 - 07:14 PM
Lepus Rex 11 Feb 02 - 09:06 PM
Gloredhel 11 Feb 02 - 09:32 PM
GUEST,Oulmole 11 Feb 02 - 10:35 PM
Amergin 12 Feb 02 - 01:01 AM
The Shambles 12 Feb 02 - 03:06 AM
Dani 12 Feb 02 - 03:57 AM
Clinton Hammond 12 Feb 02 - 04:19 AM
Hrothgar 12 Feb 02 - 05:28 AM
Zipster 12 Feb 02 - 05:33 AM
Fossil 12 Feb 02 - 06:52 AM
GUEST 12 Feb 02 - 07:34 PM
GUEST 12 Feb 02 - 07:47 PM
Bearheart 12 Feb 02 - 07:51 PM
vectis 12 Feb 02 - 08:01 PM
GUEST,Melani 12 Feb 02 - 08:03 PM
GUEST 12 Feb 02 - 08:12 PM
Art Thieme 13 Feb 02 - 01:21 AM
John Routledge 13 Feb 02 - 01:51 PM
GUEST 13 Feb 02 - 06:50 PM
JeZeBeL 13 Feb 02 - 07:29 PM
kendall 13 Feb 02 - 07:52 PM
Gypsy 13 Feb 02 - 10:59 PM
GUEST 24 May 02 - 07:02 PM
RichM 24 May 02 - 07:21 PM
Devilmaster 24 May 02 - 07:26 PM
GUEST 24 May 02 - 07:27 PM
GUEST 24 May 02 - 07:30 PM
GUEST 25 May 02 - 02:03 AM
Barry Finn 26 May 02 - 06:22 PM
GUEST 26 May 02 - 06:32 PM
katlaughing 26 May 02 - 10:45 PM
Barry Finn 26 May 02 - 11:44 PM
Celtic Soul 27 May 02 - 01:45 AM
Nigel Parsons 27 May 02 - 04:33 AM
John J 27 May 02 - 07:37 AM
GUEST 27 May 02 - 07:54 AM
RichM 27 May 02 - 08:18 AM
Jon Freeman 27 May 02 - 08:42 AM
GUEST 27 May 02 - 08:49 AM
Jon Freeman 27 May 02 - 08:52 AM
kendall 27 May 02 - 09:03 AM
GUEST 27 May 02 - 09:09 AM
RichM 27 May 02 - 09:19 AM
GUEST 27 May 02 - 09:21 AM
GUEST 27 May 02 - 09:35 AM
GUEST 27 May 02 - 09:41 AM
Celtic Soul 27 May 02 - 09:55 AM
GUEST 27 May 02 - 10:01 AM
RichM 27 May 02 - 10:31 AM
Celtic Soul 27 May 02 - 10:37 AM
Guessed 27 May 02 - 11:50 AM
DonD 27 May 02 - 12:28 PM
John J 27 May 02 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,Sonja 29 May 02 - 02:02 AM
GUEST,Guest 29 May 02 - 03:15 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 29 May 02 - 06:23 AM
GUEST 29 May 02 - 06:52 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 29 May 02 - 01:10 PM
53 29 May 02 - 01:33 PM
katlaughing 29 May 02 - 02:05 PM
Barry Finn 29 May 02 - 08:31 PM
toadfrog 21 Feb 03 - 03:35 PM
Hippie Chick 21 Feb 03 - 06:17 PM
Sam L 21 Feb 03 - 06:34 PM
Hippie Chick 21 Feb 03 - 06:45 PM
Strupag 21 Feb 03 - 06:49 PM
Lepus Rex 21 Feb 03 - 06:53 PM
Cluin 21 Feb 03 - 06:53 PM
Amos 21 Feb 03 - 08:06 PM
Bill D 21 Feb 03 - 08:23 PM
Richie 21 Feb 03 - 09:48 PM
Neighmond 22 Feb 03 - 12:43 AM
Biskit 22 Feb 03 - 03:22 AM
GUEST 22 Feb 03 - 08:41 AM
GUEST 22 Feb 03 - 08:59 AM
Big Mick 23 Feb 03 - 11:22 AM
Amos 23 Feb 03 - 11:34 AM
Joe Offer 23 Feb 03 - 12:09 PM
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Subject: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Max
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 11:51 AM

Dear GUESTS,

The Mudcat is a place that like minded people communicate and share their knowledge and their lives. We come from different backgrounds, different countries, different ideals, different religions, morals and lifestyles. With these differences, it amazes me that we have so much in common. The format, technology and philosophy of the Mudcat design have been carefully crafted for almost 6 years to facilitate this very diverse community. I have steadfastly or stubbornly held to an ideal of openness since our beginning because I thought that was what was necessary to mimic the real world and to make it easy and comfortable for new folks to discover and learn about our community and ease their way into it.

For the first time since I started this whole thing, I am very thoughtfully considering an alternative.   With GUESTS posting as they are today, I have no interest in continuing as I have. You are hurting me. Not just my feelings or my pride in what we have accomplished here, but also in a real concrete way. As many of you know, the economy is in the tank, and Onstage can no longer finance the Mudcat. The members have contributed a great deal of money, in January specifically, that will keep us running for at least 6 months to come. We are up for 2 grants from Folk Song Societies come March and April. All of our sources of financing are highly deterred by the behavior and ability of GUESTS. Probably about ¾ or our income comes from people and organizations that care about us because we are a Music Resource with no equal. The other ¼ is because of the community. Zero is from GUESTS. So, in these times of necessity, I need to prioritize in gratitude for those who care about the Mudcat in real ways. Real ways are the contributions of money and the contributions of knowledge. Neither comes from GUESTS.

Please stop this behavior, I ask nicely, nay, I beg of you. There is no point to this. This forum is not just words on a page; these are people behind these posts. People who are here to share themselves, their knowledge, their time and even their homes. What you are doing is littering in the park. A free place we can all come to and do our thing, whether we want to meet people and discuss our interests or just sit on the benches and read. You are also personally attacking me. This is my creation, and you are ruining it. You are jeopardizing the only financing we have. If you do not hear my plea, and find some human compassion and stop this now, I will have no choice but to put a fence around my park to keep you out.   

Flamers and Trolls of the past always seemed to want something. They would flame BS, Prayer, Healing, etc. threads in protest that this should be a Music-Only Web site. Or they would pick on specific people they did not like. I cannot figure out what you GUESTS want or why you do this other than some egocentric joy from destruction. If I knew what you wanted I could deal with this issue in a surgical fashion and address only those issues without changing one of our core philosophies. But, I do not expect that you want anything. Nor do I suspect you will grant me my plea to please stop this. If that is the case, I have no choice but to implement measures to deal with you. That is, no anonymous postings. At a minimum, you will have to be a member, you will receive your password via a valid email address and your IP address will be recorded. Any behavior that I don't like (no jury, no trial) and your cut off. A technological challenge that I am looking forward to.

MEMBERS: We are discussing our options and our technology now, and will post an Open Letter to Members in a week or two to explain what we have decided. There will be no debate, I've heard all there is to hear about this issue. I will do as I see fit.

Sincerely,

Max D. Spiegel
Publisher


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 11:56 AM

Go Max -

Steve


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 11:56 AM

thans, Max.......it needed to be said...I hope the soul behind that message is heard.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Amos
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 11:59 AM

Big Guyt, we're behind you doing whatever you need to.

A.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: sian, west wales
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 12:01 PM

Bravo.

sian


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Giac
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 12:03 PM

Unfortunate that it had to come to this. Whatever you decide will be best for Mudcat.

Mary


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 12:03 PM

You've expressed the problem clearly, Max. Whatever you feel is necessary, I'm with you.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Deckman
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 12:16 PM

You have my thanks and my support, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: SINSULL
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 12:17 PM

Do what you have to do Max. I will support it.
Mary


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 12:18 PM

Best for Max certainly, and that's his entitlement. It's his show and he can take his toy home whenever he likes. Maybe best for Mudcat too, but I doubt it. Putting a fence around will kill off at least half the value, and expose more of the trivial (though harmless ) natter that goes on between people who know each other, more or less.

Having spent minimal time here in recent weeks, I'm surprised to see this issue on the agenda right now. To me, Joe Offer's is the acid test: what kind of shop window do people see when they just call in for some info? Last night, out of many dozens of threads, no more than a handful were wholly unrelated to music. Admittedly one of those with a music link was some guy asking the world whether he should have been offended by someone else's behaviour, but still there was a hell of a lot of music/song-based info to dip into. And of course there were the brilliant Drumcree campsite threads, which without guests would never have happened.

Maybe I was just lucky when I dropped in, but I certainly didn't see a forum that was ruined by anonymous bile. Nor even one unhealthily preoccupied with discussing itself. I've seen both characteristics more strongly evidenced in the past two or three years.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: DonMeixner
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 12:20 PM

Max

Count on me Max, Philosophically, financially, and contributorially. The threads that deal with physical disability and musicians have been a valuable help with the population my job serves. This is the only place where such help is given so freely.

Don Meixner


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 12:23 PM

Max you`re the man! Save our little world of music!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Peter T.
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 12:23 PM

A bit of ecology here. The Mudcat is what is called an "open commons" (like the internet and the ocean). Like all open commons, people who come and go have no stake in it, and therefore can exploit it, fish it out, or dump pollution in it, or write graffiti in it. The result is what is called "the tragedy of the commons" -- a fine public idea or space is wrecked by a few. The way the open spaces of the earth are being wrecked by greed and self-interest. The only way such an open commons can work is if there are enough resources set aside for janitors to wipe off the graffiti, police to throw out drunks, etc. These resources, here, are currently being supplied by Max's time, patience, and the assistance of volunteers. They have reached the end of the line.

There are two alternatives: one is privatization -- private property, so individuals defend their individual space, thus eliminating all public space entirely. The other is the creation of a "closed commons". Every workable commons that has lasted -- tribal fishing grounds, hunting territory, common meeting space -- has to be able to police itself, and the behaviour of its members -- this is usually done, not with formal rules, but with ethics, peer pressure, and manners. Mutual coercion mutually agreed upon. If not, it descends into the "tragedy of the commons" again.

This place has had (endlessly) to debate the merits of keeping it an open commons, or having to create a membership structured closed commons. It has hovered between these two approaches because of the ethical imperatives of the folk music community (exemplified by the Digital Tradition) to mutually support each other, and organically accept contributions from almost anyone. But this cannot work forever. Someone has to clean up after the concerts.

Up to this point, the keeping it as an open commons -- where people can come and go with no stake in the place, which is endemic on the Internet -- has been sustainable, on the backs of Max and the volunteers. If the continuation of the place requires the movement to a closed commons -- and it appears that it does, I support that change. We will lose some freedom, but better that than losing the space entirely.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Rollo
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 12:24 PM

Huh? Cookie Probs? Twas me, Rollo, posting last message!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 12:32 PM

Max,

I run a scholarly discussion for the iniversity library where I work, and anyone is able to read the open archives, because they are maintained on the university's public listserv server. But because of the nature of the list (for information dissemination by the library to users) outsiders don't post to the list. Any attempts to do so come to me, and I politely explain what the list is about. I answer questions, and I forward questions I can't answer to the librarian who might be able to help. My list is very small, only posted to a few times a semester. But I know of similarly moderated lists that, while they are a lot of work for the owners, keep strictly to the subject of the list. You should be able to reach some kind of point with the membership that enables outsiders to read discussions, and to email you or Joe Clones personally to ask questions or to join, without the present carnage on the lists.

In the next few months I will finally be able to unpack 40 year's worth of music collecting work I from my father's estate, and will look to Mudcat in many ways to identify, organize, and manage this material. I plan to have a piano worked on, possibly do some of it myself (but sound advice from Mudcatters has convinced me that I would do the piano a disservice to try to do it all myself).

In addition to being a member with a cookie, I would be willing to be a subscriber; perhaps this could be managed by having a print document (newsletter) that goes to subscribers as a token and for keeping track of subscriptions. I, like a lot of folks, can't afford a lot, but this is an important site, and to keep it here, like PBS, I'm willing to do my share. All of these little contributions add up, as you discovered in January. And on this site, like PBS, non-members can observe. You've been far more patient than I could ever manage when facing outsiders who would foul the pond strictly for their own amusement.

My two cents.

Maggie


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: DMcG
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 12:38 PM

Full ahead on this, Max. Just one question: I use DMcG here and 'Guest, DMcG at work' when I'm at work (smart, huh?). Do you think we will be able to do something similar in future if we have to move to a members-only forum?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 12:40 PM

DMcG: All he needs to do is set up a logon screen so if you're not at your computer the cookie won't stay put. A Proxy server is how a lot of places do it.

SRS


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Justa Picker
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 12:41 PM

Bravo!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 12:56 PM

What great news! When I first joined Mudcat, I started reading some of the Guest threads that had turned ugly. At first, I added my appreciation for Mudcat and new-found friends. But, after a few weeks, I just got sick of all the transparent attempts to offend others and haven't bothered to post responses, or even read the threads any more. But, I know that a little drop of poison can spoil the whole brew, and I've been concerned that people would get turned off by all of the trollers. That would be a great victory for those who desire to bring the Cat down. I'd love to see Mudcat do what it does best... share information, music, encouragement, support and a lot of laughs. I'd encourage you too, that if people become members so that they can continue to upset everything, get rid of 'em. That would sure please me, a new member.
Jerry


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Max
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 12:56 PM

Just to be clear, this effort is not to eliminate or even reduce, BS, our filters will handle that. This is to eliminate anonymous personal attacks from GUESTS.

Most forums that I visit require some sort of registration before you post, so I don't think this is an unreasonable concept. Nor do I think that I'm closing the system, simply taking names at the door. People will be held accountable for their actions now, whereas currently they are not.

Sure, there are some negatives to the idea, but because of the recent activity and, frankly, absurd behavior of GUESTS, the positives are beginning to outweigh the negatives.

Yes, there will be a login screen so you can post from work with a valid membership.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 12:58 PM

Extremely well stroked Max. Like others, I hope the heart that is behind your message shows through for all, but cynical ol' Spaw kinda' doubts it. With no member messages on this thread, you would still know that you have the support of this community to make any changes that are needed. You are well aware of the community you have built here and how much we do care for it.......and for you.

Do what you feel needs be done.......and here is another in the series of "Bravos" from me too. Like you, I am sorry it has come to this, but some of this comes with growth......growth that has come because of what you designed. Oddly enough, I won't even suggest a kick in the balls for you......I think you have proven yourself to be a qualified ball kicker.

Thanks.......

Spaw


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Musicman
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 01:02 PM

Max... do what needs being done... Paul (aka musicman)


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 01:05 PM

I would LOVE to see a simple login setup, so that any member could access Mudcat from any computer

...but I would also like, if possible, access for those have a sincere need to be briefly anonymous..(to share info on delicate medical conditions, for example).

It is sad that 3 to 7 people have brought us to this awkward situation, requiring extra work for Max & Jeff...but the recent glee exhibited by trolls who brag about their ability to cause uproar have brought us to this.

ONWARD!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 01:06 PM

Requiring registration is the logical first solution.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: NicoleC
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 01:08 PM

Bravo, Max. I'm still fairly new, but the incessant "GUEST" battle has nearly caused me to go packing more than once out of sheer annoyance. I am sure we will lose a few of the non-troublesome GUESTs who simply don't want a cookie... but I think you are right in thinking it's worth it.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 01:09 PM

Count me in too, Max - why should anyone's "right" to be anonymously hurtful and destructive be protected? That sort of thing is about as good for Mudcat as a virus.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 01:25 PM

Thanks, Max. It sounds exactly like what we need.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: MMario
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 01:36 PM

I can't add much more than a "ditto" to the comments.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Jeri
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 01:55 PM

Well, I'm not entirely sure the biggest pile of recent anonymous trolling hasn't been somebody trying to eliminate non-member posting... "Hey, look at what someone could do if they're as much of an asshole as I am."

Max, I hope you can find a way to do this without cookies. Helluva thing to boot out folks who can't or won't accept cookies. No more postings by GUEST, visiting musicians, Drumcree threads, no more Cletus. Of course, the good points include no more sniper attacks or trolls by people who only do it because they don't think their own personal life will be affected by what they do...and no more Cletus. (Just kidding, Spaw.) It's one tough decision, and I'm glad it's you that's making it.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Paul
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 01:55 PM

I have to agree with Fionn, here: "Putting a fence around will kill off at least half the value, and expose more of the trivial natter that goes on between people who know each other"

As far as I understand the measures suggested, any determined GUEST could easily circumvent them.

Setting up a 'valid' but false email address is very simple, and using a proxy to hide your IP address is hardly rocket science.

A lot of guests post here. 95% are genuine, decent people. Most of the 5% who want to be nasty will find a way to get through anyhow.

To say, as Max does; that GUESTS never provide "contributions of knowledge" is totally inaccurate.

However, I think the biggest potential loss is those members who cannot have cookies at work or wherever. It would be a great shame to lose their often useful contributions.

It's a shame it's come to this

However, it's Max's party, and he's heard all he wants, so I'll shut up

Paul


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Les Jones
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 01:56 PM

Sorry I didn't join earlier. It would be bad to exclude people but can guests not be re-routed to the joining page in some automatic way or presented with a roll over explaining why joining supports the site?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 01:56 PM

A pity, but that's how it goes. I concur with Bill D's request that there should if possible be some mechanism for people to post not under their normal name or pseudonym, because circumstances can arise where that would be helpful.

You'll be hearing from the Friends of Mudcat which was set up at Stony Stratford as a mechanism to make it easier for people in the British Isles to provide more reliable financial support. We didn't get to discuss this latest development from Max, since it hadn't happened. But I'm sure we'd have agreed it was a good idea, even if regrettable.

Of course the pillocks responsible will no doubt be preening themselves on a victory of sorts. That's a pity too.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 01:57 PM

I want to add one request: Please keep it very easy for strangers to request song lyrics or chords.

I have spent lots of time helping such people, and I would be happy to continue. It is one of the main things that keeps me interested in Mudcat. Answering such requests is my main way of promoting folk music.

Requests for lyrics are nearly always sincere. (But this could change….)

Many an interesting music thread has been started by a stranger who asked for help.

It would be a shame if the number of requests dropped off because newcomers were intimidated by the sign-on procedure. The result would probably be even fewer music-oriented threads.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Win Grace, pgrace@coin.org
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 01:58 PM

Hi Max --

So sorry -- did not mean to hurt you by posting as a guest. I know how it feels to do something that is a great contribution to the music community or to any community and to feel unappreciated and even taken advantage of.

I'm a little confused about how to do this, was just quickly trying to find some lyrics. I did this once before -- perhaps I am already a member. I don't know. I will try to figure out how to submit properly next time.

I do appreciate all you do SO much!

Peace, Win Grace pgrace@coin.org


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 02:01 PM

Go, Max. Seems eminently reasonable to me.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Jeri
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 02:02 PM

Paul, if you expect to receive your password by e-mail, you're going to need to receive e-mail at that account. If a person behaves badly, they get their membership yanked. They might be able to re-register (maybe not with the previous e-mail address), but they'd probably do something to get that membership yanked and give up after a while if they couldn't consistently control themselves.

So yeah, it would probably not completely stop the flames, but it would cut them down to a level that wouldn't seriously interfere with the "mood" of Mudcat. At least I don't think so.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 02:05 PM

Well said, Max. You know you have my support and deep gratitude.

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 02:09 PM

Win Grace: I don't think Max's remarks were intended for you. (See my message right before yours.)

We have been having a lot of trouble lately with a very small, persistently vocal minority of guests who just want to complain, provoke arguments, and insult people.

I know that's probably hard to understand for someone who wouldn't think of doing such a thing themselves.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Paul
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 02:15 PM

Jeri,

I hesitate in answering this, in case it gives people ideas...

It is however, very easy to set up 10, 20, however many you need, new and valid email addresses every day.

Getting that number of different proxy IP addresses isn't difficult either.

My worry is that the really nasty flamers will find a way through anyway, but the nice innocent guests will suffer, and lots of new people won't bother with the site any more

People who like to 'hack' enjoy it more if it's a challenge...

Paul

Email: pmcfadden@ntlworld.com IP Address: 62.252.192.5


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Les B
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 02:31 PM

Max - glad to hear you're going to unlimber the old fly swatter! My only concern is that at work my log-on has to be prefaced by "guest", and I like to check in once or twice a day from there. Keep up the good fight.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 02:33 PM

I won't comment on whether I think this is a good development-- that's Max's lookout and I appreciate that he indicated clearly that it is not open to debate. VERY smart approach. He's heard all the input up to now, and that's what a leader does-- integrate inputs from all sources including his/her own personal observation, and then DECIDE and set the course.

So then the question is, how might I help? However asked-- and that's always a given. In addition, if it would be useful, count me in as a volunteer willing to have my e-mail appear as a link for people who must be cookieless... or to share rotating responsibility for a general "music help by e-mail" option.

I would so it by posting whatever is requested and mail back the URL to see the results.... I would not serve the requests personally by e-mailed reply. Maybe someone (or several someone's) whose membername is ADMIN would do that to toss the requests/questions in for discussion. The requestors can surely view the results without an endless stream of e-mails about it, once it's posted. *G* I shudder to think of the waste of effort and knowledge if answers were to disappear into cyberspace and not get posted to the threads. Because even when the only "answer" is a link to an existing thread or DT entry, it's the thread being seen in the threadlist that invites continuing discussion as only Mudcat can have it. That is so much a part of the gift we give one another, and others to follow, here at Mudcat.

Like all things in process, like life itself, Max et al will think through exactly how to do this as flexibly as possible; we will all use it and see how it works; and it will continue to evolve.

I'm glad it's Max having to address this. Cuz... he's MAX. "Al" does good too. *G*

~Susan


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: fat B****rd
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 02:34 PM

Excellent Max, I would be very upset if I could not have my daily/nightly look at the 'Cat. I hope you don't have to resort to any complicated measures or whatever but lately the amount of negative postings has been (to me and obviously many others) getting out of hand. I'm not referring to disagreements but the often cruel and totally unnecessary comments from various people. Good luck and please don't go All the best from the fB


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: artbrooks
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 02:45 PM

I agree that its needed (and probably past time), but I also agree that there HAS to be some easy way for "strangers" to ask questions. Except for the mythological "inner core", I'd guess that most of us originally came to Mudcat that way, and the rapid and helpful response of a member (or of many members) is what made us stay. Also, if technologically possible, could the DigiTrad stay outside of the closed section? I have a number of friends who go there regularly for songs, but have no particular interest in participating in any of the discussions.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Banjer
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 02:47 PM

I too am glad to see that Max has finally taken the bull by the horns....As fo 'no Cletus', I suspect that 'Spaw could always forward his letters to us....


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 02:51 PM

My support too. I became a member as soon as I realized that there was a problem with the Guest postings. Some boards have a section where those without cookies can post. As WYSIWYG notes, there are other solutions. I don't understand the personality problem that the flamers and trolls have. I don't see why this board has to endlessly waste space on them. I much prefer talking (or arguing) about music and telling stories (Manatees, f'instance).


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Max
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 02:52 PM

Paul speaks from experience.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 02:54 PM

artbrooks

the "innercore" isn't totally mythological

A member only forum will simply increase the occurence of friends chatting amongst themselves.

Mudcat will die as a useful folk music group

New and interesting people won't bother anymore

Remember BruceO?

He always posted as a guest


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Paul
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 02:57 PM

Indeed I do Max,

that's why I might be worth listening to...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Cobble
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 02:57 PM

With you all the way Max.

Cobble and Mr's C.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Jeri
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 03:10 PM

Bruce O argued that e-mail addresses should be on every post, which is a little MORE revealing that forum membership. I don't quite understand why he argued for identification data but remained a guest himself. Maybe he just wanted identification enforced rather than volunteered. I doubt he would object to this.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Some cute hoor
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 03:21 PM

Well, I've been anon and posted under many pseudonyms here. I am part of the problem, the thorn in the side of Max and Mudcat for daring to criticise some things around here I felt needed some critical feedback. Joyously and anonymously participated in the Drumcree threads. Contributed to many a music thread.

Won't bother me a bit if there is an email log-in. No different than posting in usenet, where you need an email account to post from. It ain't gonna solve flamers and trolls. Why? Because you've got plenty of members already who are flamers and trollers. Max will have the satisfaction of booting out anybody who's posts he doesn't like. So Max--you gonna throw your friends out of the forum for bad behaviour?

"Members only" ain't gonna make this a better place, just more incestuous than it already is, is all.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 03:23 PM

Well Bruce's input, some given intentionally and perhaps some given unawarely, has gone into Max's decision. As he says, it has come down to the practical matter of resourcing Mudcat.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 03:34 PM

Some cute hoor,

hear, hear


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,some cute hoor
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 03:42 PM

My favorite Mudcat double standard has always been the one where the Joes zap those "personal attacks" on Mudcat members, but sanction and often contribute to the personal attacks on guests with pseudonyms by members.

I'm sure now it will be a hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil of Max and his 'Catters. No news but the good news of the day!

No critical thinking allowed! CensorshipIsUs!

Up the 'cat!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 03:50 PM

...but while it may be a pity it's come to this, won't it be great not having some of these jolly souls cavorting around?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Jeri
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 03:51 PM

Of course, it would have been better if we'd all just learned to ignore the silly trolls instead of needing to be protected from them. Too much to ask for, though.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Annie144
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 03:56 PM

I needed a nudge to get me to join!! Off to the Paltalk singalong now. This is a great site folks.

Congratulations despite all the problems.

A.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 04:03 PM

There are certainly double standards here.

If some of Catspaws more 'colorful' comments had been posted by a GUEST, then they'd have been censored, or at least moaned about.

As it is, they are seen as wonderful.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 04:06 PM

Pffft... internet security... what a laugh... it doesn't exist... there's NO such thing...

And well, that last thing this place needs it to flash up a whole tonne of black ICE and draw attention to itself online...

What did Paul say above about people who hack for the joy of it?

Members only or not, Mudcat won't change... Look at any other MB online, and you'll see that EVERYWHERE else is dealing with the exact same problems as Mudcat... Trolls, flamers, anon. personal attacks, all that crap is, apparently, part and parcel with the internet...

You either suck it up and cope, or ya drop out of cyberspace...

"your IP address will be recorded. Any behaviour that I don't like (no jury, no trial) and your cut off. A technological challenge that I am looking forward to. "

Great plan... but "Tech challenge"??? Hell, ANY message board moderator can do that easy peasy... But remember, valid email addys are a dime a dozen, and any halfwit child can mask his IP...

Best of luck to ya Max, but I hope yer not fooling yerself...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 04:07 PM

I don't think all you members have done your obligatory kissing Max's ass in this thread, now have ye?

Line up to the left there now lads, and pucker up.

And when yer done, get on over to the DT thread and lick the Big Dick's boots clean.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Paul
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 04:11 PM

Well said, Clinton

I've now got a completely different IP Address by simply walking downstairs...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Kenny B (inactive)
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 04:13 PM

Good for you Max, although I hope you can find a way of not deterring people who are genuinely interested in music or verse from being able to ask for words/music and contributing information.
Maybe I'm a bit slow sometimes, but it took me at least 6 months of visiting the site before I made a posting and it was thro my first or second posting that it was kindly pointed out by a member the advantages of being a member. Probably because I was using my email address as a guest identifier. I find the PM facility and 'Messages since last visit a great help' IMHO anyone who posts and does not want to be identified in any way does not deserve a reply.
Apart from halloween anyone who 'wears a mask' has a genuine fear of being identified and is up to no good.

Best of luck with any changes you have to make to keep the Mudcat reasonably close to its roots.
TTFN Kenny B


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Blackcatter
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 04:23 PM

Do what you need to do Max.

As for the recent GUEST comments in this thread - Ya don't like the place? - Leave. Simple as that. None of your whining is going to imporve things, but of course you know that. pax yall


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Gareth
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 04:31 PM

It is a pity that it comes to this - but some of the comments in this thread confirm my view that it is a neccessary evil.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,THOSE people
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 04:38 PM

Upstairs, downstairs, from the laptop, the palm, and then entire computer labs full of IPs from which to post at work, at school, at the library, at the cybercafes...

Many, many merry free email accounts...

Mailers for disguise...

Yah sure, you betcha, Maxie is gonna keep all the bad, bad guests away and keep the 'Cat safe for him and his friends, right Max? A nice private little forum for you and the flame warriors who love you. No more irritating guests. Just your safe, cozy little Mudcat world for wannabe folk stars, sparkling in their dark and distant members-only cyberspace.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: 53
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 04:42 PM

Well said.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 04:44 PM

53,

Who 'said well?'


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: kendall
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 04:48 PM

Sure it's only 5 out of 100 who "Piss in the pool" but, do you really want to swim in a pool that ONLY 5 people have pissed in?

Like it or hate it; the fact is, this is Max's site, and he is justified in doing whatever he thinks is necessary. If you like the change, stick around; if you dont, piss off. What could be simpler?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 04:50 PM

Max D. Spiegel, Publisher sez:

All of our sources of financing are highly deterred by the behavior and ability of GUESTS.

Oh really? And just how does that work? Sorta like the DT indexing system?

Seriously Max, I don't suppose you are willing to explain just how guests of Mudcat are depriving you of your income, because YOU FUCKING CAN'T BLAME OTHER PEOPLE FOR YOUR MONEY PROBLEMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyone wondering how Mudcat ever got this dysfunctional need only look to it's source.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Nemesis
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 04:56 PM

You have my support Max for whatever you decide to do and it seems entirely reasonable (to me) to have people sign up, etc, before they post..... Hille


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Deckman
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 04:57 PM

Max, do we really need to wait a couple of weeks? Bob


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 04:58 PM

I have been around the Mudcat for nearly two years and I yet to see any Thread come close to The Campsite at Drumcree. This was absolutely brilliant, by far the funniest thing I have come across on the web and the major contributors were GUESTS,it seems a pity to lose such wonderful harmless fun. Ard Mhacha..


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 05:03 PM

Deckman said:

Max, do we really need to wait a couple of weeks? Bob

LOL, Deckman

You obviously haven't been here long. Getting anything within 6 months of it's promised delivery date is astonishing.

Don't hold your breath for [I]will post an Open Letter to Members in a week or two


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,That's right loverly, that is
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 05:05 PM

Subject: RE: File anonymous guest complaints here From: GUEST Date: 14-Aug-01 - 02:11 PM

It's dysfunctional if the negative side of anonymity is always the focus.

Anonymous guests also cannot be held accountable if they do something positive, like supply an answer to a question, or if by chance they compose a beautiful piece of music or solve the mystery of the universe ... all of which makes accountability a moot point and content the important thing.

The issue of accountability deals with assigning blame or credit for something to an 'identity,' and treating that identity with animosity or respect, accordingly. Identity, blame, credit, respect and animosity don't matter to some people in this (and other) forums. They are less important to some than the content and composition of the information, ideas, or thoughts being expressed.

Granted, the contents of some anonymous messages are designed to inflame, provoke, and/or confound. Whether the objective of these messages is met depends in part on the composition and content of the message, but also on the attitudes of the reader.

On the other hand, the contents of some anonymous messages are designed to assist, inform, and/or enlighten. Whether the objective of these messages is met depends in large part on the composition and content of the message, but also on the attitudes of the reader.

Or as has been stated before, it's not who says it that's important, but what is being said, and how the reader lets it affect him/her.

Then again, it all boils down to what you want to believe. Not much anyone can do to change that, in either direction. So what's a mother to do?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 05:08 PM

I think the fact that people are so emotional about this -- including the GUEST flamers -- indicates the high quality and staying power of this site. You're not going to please everyone. I'd like to second two suggestions that were made earlier, which Max may already be incorporating.

First, the capability for a registered member to make a temporarily anonymous post -- for example, when discussing a personal issue (which could be related to music!).

Second, a way for new visitors to post a request for a song without registering first. These could be screened to verify they are bona fide song requests (I'd be willing to take a few a day*, and I'm sure plenty of others would) and then posted as a regular thread (not a PermaThread or other separate collection), under the name of VISITOR REQUEST or some such. This would preserve one of the best parts of the 'Cat, namely, the wonderful discussions that often ensue when someone makes a song request. You might give the visitor an option of posting his or her email address, but I think it would be better to explain that answers will be forthcoming in the Forum. I suppose if you wanted to be fancy, you could have an automatic acknowlegement email with a link to the newly-created thread. That would be friendly, and I imagine not too difficult.

Aloha,
Mark

*I would envision a file like the Help page, that would be accessible to administrators and volunteers. Each request would be followed by a link that says "Post this request". Whenever I logged on, then, I'd check the request file and review as many as I had time for.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 05:09 PM

And doooooooowwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnn came the good fairy...

Bop!

Zap!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: DougR
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 05:15 PM

Right on Max. I don't know whether what you have in mind will take care of the problem or not. But whatever you do result in some improvement. The "againers" are already relishing the opportunity to beat any system you devise, it appears.

I do believe, though, that we could help a lot if everyone, Guest and Member alike, would not post to threads started by Guests that are clearly intended to flame or troll from the get go. I suggested this a few weeks ago and I have practiced it since that time.

I cannot imagine why anyone who enjoys visiting the Mudcat would object to becoming a member. I suppose it allows them to be bad boys and girls without anyone knowing who they are. Big deal.

DougR


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Big Red
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 05:16 PM

Max--You have my full support in whatever decision you make. Long live Mudcat!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 05:24 PM

As ever, Mark, you talk an enormous amount of sense.

However, the nature of the 'net will (for the foreseeable future) allow people to abuse others trust.

A perfect system doesn't exist, and anyone who is seriouly motivated in a desire to 'wreck' certain threads on mudcat, will succeed.

Your ideas are regrettably pretty much unworkable, I think.

A real shame.

What will we get?

More cliques, more flames, less new songs...

Oh well

ps Mark, how do I get you as my GP?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Deckman
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 05:24 PM

Brings the ballad of "Sam Hall" to mind. CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Rumplestiltskin
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 05:35 PM

Who is to blame for turning Mudcat into a paradise for trolls and flamers?

Why it's YOU, the members of Mudcat.

A troll or flamer might strike once or twice and get no response. When that happens, they move on to somewhere else. However, at Mudcat, trolls and flamers could always count on getting lots of responses from the members.

Many times, braniacs like Joe Offer would tell you not to respond and they'd go away. But did you ever listen to the braniacs? Of course not. You were incapable.

Don't blame the trolls, don't blame the flamers, IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Max
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 05:46 PM

God, you fuckhead GUESTS don't even bother reading things carefully before you start spitting bile. My post started with a very polite and humble request to chill out. I'm not surprised by your disdain to this idea, only those with something to lose would be opposed to accountability.

You are here. This place obviously means something to you, don't you care? We are not in financial trouble, we just need funded to exist, and your asinine behavior and childish quibbling are hurting that. No money is coming out of your pocket, is it? Yet you take advantage of this place. You want to criticize me for funding Mudcat, damn near single handedly, for 6 years and then losing that ability? Fuck off.

There is a difference between criticism and spite. Have some common decency. If anyone can take criticism, its me. You all give me enough of it to fertilize the pastures of plenty.

Censorship? Max's unfair policies? Worry about me wielding my power for anything other than the good of us all? Find one example of anything even remotely questionable that I have done in 6 years to set a scary precedent for the future of the Mudcat. Find one, and I'll shut the fuck up. Just remember, I've been the biggest supporter of the open forum, and stood up for anonymity above all others. Turn it around any which way you want, but the fact stands that you fucked that up.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Jeri
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:10 PM

Max, it's a TROLL! At the end of the day, you get to think about how many of us care about this place and you. You get to think about all the meetings that have happened - the new friends, music partners and loves - you can think about all the music that's been posted here, you can remember the music of the past and dream of what's to come. In short, you get to feel good about who you are and what you've done here.

What's a troll left with? Nothing I'd personally want.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Gareth
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:10 PM

Max.

Concur

Gareth


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Deckman
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:11 PM

Hi Max ... "You all give enough of it to me to fertilize the Pastures of Plenty" ... and I said "reminds me of the Ballad of Sam Hall!" I guess they can get our dander up, but they'll NEVER take the folksinger out of us! CHEERS and THANKS, Bob9deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:16 PM

No Max, anonymous guests didn't fuck up anything. Your double standard of acceptable behavior, one for members and one for guests, is what has fucked this place up. Your two-tiered log-in which privleges members above guests fucked it up.

Maybe you wouldn't have the problems you have if *you* treated everyone fairly, instead of just your members.

I've said this before. Mudcat is one of several folk music forums/lists I frequent. I don't really care whether it is here tomorrow, and I don't mean that maliciously. Keeping free internet discussion forums afloat is just very low on my priority list in life.

If you aren't going to do anything about the rude and obnoxious behavior of your members, which is all too often at the expense of your guests, then your forum deserves to fail.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:19 PM

Just to keep the record straight: Bruce O always posted as a member, under that name up until the latter part of January 2000.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:19 PM

And BTW Max, calling people who criticize you "fuckheads" makes you part of the problem with Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Max
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:21 PM

How are GUESTS depriving Mudcat of support? Because these people and organizations that contribute see your stupid, spiteful posts and question the value and purity of information here. No one comes here for you. They come here because there is valuable knowledge within our threads. Your sputtering just makes it harder to find, and far less pleasant to try.

Yes, please do look to the source of Mudcat. I am very proud of it, for everything it is. Considering 1.8 million hits per month, 650,000 messages on 43,000 topics, 9000 members and countless GUESTS from all different countries and backgrounds, religions and ideals, I'd say we get along pretty damn well. It is an honor to be the source of this dysfunction.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:22 PM

Kat,

the latter part of January 2000

was when GUEST was imposed

go figure...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: harpgirl
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:27 PM

...gee Max what happened to your Buddha nature? LOL I may not like the changes (naturally) but I'm glad you're finally allowing yourself to get pissed off. That Emily must be a cool chick! hg


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:28 PM

Max,

Do you really think all the spite comes from GUESTS?

Do you really think everything that GUESTS say is stupid, useless and wrong?

To my mind, some GUESTS have said some quite honest and useful things in this thread.

Whatever, it is, as you say, 'your forum'

Do whatever you see fit, I wish you well.

Personally, I don't think that it's the best solution


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:29 PM

I am well aware of the significance of that date. FWIW, I've recently told Max I think he should get rid of the Guest login. At the time, I was very grateful that he implemented it, as it was my identity which was stolen. It has served its purpose. That it has been perverted for use by slime who don't give a dman about this site and the music, means it is time for something else. Still behind you 100%, Max.

kat


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:32 PM

the value and purity of information here

Ever read any of Liz the Squeak's posts?

I'm sure potential funders would find Liz's posts a great reason to fund a Folk site


Personal attack - please delete


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,fuckhead guest
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:37 PM

And what solutions hath been put forth by ye Big Dog Max for members of the fuckheaded persuasion?

It seems Max knows full well I'm neither a troll nor a flamer. I'm simply someone who dares to lodge legitimate criticisms of Mudcat and DT here where it belongs, Mudcat opinion be damned.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:43 PM

Kat,

Proof that 'terrorism' works.

I started the 'mouse healing' thread to get rid of your stupid healing threads. It did.

I'm now trying to get rid of 'guests' Seems like thats working too....


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: artbrooks
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:43 PM

As with Mark, I'd be glad to "adopt" some occasional legitimate inquirers if that's what it will take to get questions answered.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Deckman
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:44 PM

We shall over come, we shall over come
We shall overcome, some day,
Oh, deep in my heart,
I do believe
We shall overcome, some day
br>CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: RangerSteve
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:44 PM

Max, do what you have to do. I'm with you all the way.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:44 PM

Yes, I'm sure catspaw's posting etiquette is a big recommendation for funders too. Especially those "kick Max in the balls" sorts of thread names. And then there are all those racist threads preserved "for our own good" while posts saying "so and so has a fat ass" get deleted.

kat--there is a slight problem with your logic. Folk music lovers can easily hate this site because of bad mannered members, particularly their illogical "guest" vitriol (which they apparently learned from Max).


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:45 PM

now if only I could get rid of McGrath....

joke *grin* etc


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Subject: RE:
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:56 PM

It was the warm and fuzzy and opening, where Max so nicely and politely told us that we guests suck, and would we please just feck off, so he can make some money off the site.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 06:58 PM

More proof that terrorism works--Max is considering relenting, and getting rid of the jackass two tiered log-in that members keep using to fuel the flamewars against guest posters.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Jeri
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:01 PM

"Please stop this behavior, I ask nicely, nay, I beg of you. There is no point to this. This forum is not just words on a page; these are people behind these posts. People who are here to share themselves, their knowledge, their time and even their homes. What you are doing is littering in the park. A free place we can all come to and do our thing, whether we want to meet people and discuss our interests or just sit on the benches and read. You are also personally attacking me. This is my creation, and you are ruining it. You are jeopardizing the only financing we have. If you do not hear my plea, and find some human compassion and stop this now, I will have no choice but to put a fence around my park to keep you out."   


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:07 PM

Thanks, Jeri, but we read that the first time, and weren't convinced


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:10 PM

This reminds me about the time when Max said on the radio "I know more about you than you realise"

Maybe you do, how much of it is useful?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Max
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:21 PM

Your comparison of members and GUESTS is completely wrong. Which is the point. If you have a membership, you can send and receive Personal Messages. When a member gets upset, uses poor judgement, bad language, makes a personal attack, or anything that may cause grief to anyone, we communicate with them via PM. I cannot do that with GUESTS. I have had several interventions and discussions with Member Flamers and Trolls, and resolved them like adults. As I mentioned before, most were being belligerent for a reason and we discussed them maturely and actually formed some resolution.

You quibble about the technology of accountability and correctly recognize the futility. However, you have completely missed the point (again). I don't want you to register so that I can email you or track you down or call the FBI if you piss me off, I just want others to be able to communicate with you via PM. That way we keep the forum clean of disagreements that don't need to be in public.

Accountability means that someone can contact you in a safe and secure way, free from your email or any form of your true identity, when you insult them or disagree with them or whatever happens. It is still anonymous.

Try it, you might like it. Create a crazy codename, use a fake email address, whatever. Register as a member, continue about your business and check out some of the PM's you get. Who knows, maybe fighting with people in PM will be even more enjoyable than in the forum.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:22 PM

my, oh my, oh my...how they sputter and whine and rail when their ability to foment disharmony from behind a curtain is threatened!

Since I can't tell 'em apart, I can't really speculate on who, or why, or how 'they' came by a different attitude than 99% of the non-disruptive folk who come here.....(just as I can't comprehend the minds so full of rancor and hate that they blow up innocent people to 'show' the US that they disagree with us.)

Some 'guest' back up there claimed that WE, the members are to 'blame' for responding to trolls and flames...yep, 'tis true, we didn't keep our collective mouths shut when bullying trolls nit-picked and sometimes were just plain vicious!....I wonder if those same trolls tell their kids to 'just take it' when school bullies harass them week after week and month after month? More likely they are parents OF bullies who claim that the little wimps deserved it .....damn it, at least when school bullies do their stuff, you KNOW who they are!

I, myself, have made my opinions known about Mudcat, but I am HERE...out in the open. And, I am smart enough to see that there comes a point when you just have to shrug and understand that it is pointless to bitch when it is not YOUR decision!

Criticism of "Mudcat" as an entity, because it doesn't suit your .....ahem..."finer sensibilities" is like criticism of "America" or "England" or "Muslims"

wow, I do ramble, don't I? (Maybe I worry that I won't have 'guests' to kick around any more in a few weeks...*grin*)


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:23 PM

"You are jeopardizing the only financing we have"

Horsepucky!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:25 PM

Max sez:

"How are GUESTS depriving Mudcat of support? Because these people and organizations that contribute see your stupid, spiteful posts and question the value and purity of information here."

So apparently Max has invented yet another new magic tech fix for Mudcat, whereby the stupid, spiteful posts of members are digitally stored with invisible pixels so the funders only see stupid, spiteful posts from guests.

About the human compassion thing there Max--some of us have been waiting for some human compassion to be shown to us guests who have been badly treated, insulted, and flamed by members here, but then hell froze over.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:28 PM

I just hope no one spawns a part 2 to this thread... let it pile up until it's so big that no one will WANT to open it...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:29 PM

Thank you, Max

Your last message was eminently sensible


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:32 PM

The behavior of GUEST on this thread more than amply demonstrates the problem.

Max is the captain of this ship and he makes the rules.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Peg
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:32 PM

Hmm...ironic, isn't it, that the self-centered ARROGANCE that has these dumbass GUESTS posting willy-nilly to this thread in a gambit for attention, is yet not quite strong enough to get them to identify themseves? It is tempting to just think of these poor souls as terrified and perverse...

...but now I see them as childish, above all else.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:34 PM

I don't have hours to spend at the computer each day and I visit Mudcat not out of any desire for community or relationship but for information and amusement. I am not amused by someone being cruel to someone else. Nor am I amused by setting animals on fire or walking down a street with a baseball bat looking for someone to hit. As a rule I ignore threads like this one, and in threads I do check I usually move pretty quickly from comments that are intended to insult or inflame. I have skipped quite a few in this thread. But I do appreciate the many good things Mudcat has to offer. It has been a good source of reliable information and interesting opinions and is far more user friendly than any such sites I have seen. It is the only one I visit with any regularity. I guess my only real complaint would be the frequency with which I lose my cookie, and I have been too lazy to reset it. I have never understood or been too sympathetic for people who engage in vandalism or random violent attacts whether it be with rocks or words. If Max chooses to deal with it, it is his call. Mudcat may lose something, but I suspect that it will be a better place. I have never found civility to be an awful thing. The thought of excluding those who have no purpose for being here other than to vandalize and terrorize is not that awful either.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:35 PM

Please continue in Part 2


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Max
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:35 PM

Any Part II to this thread will be deleted as promptly as we can manage.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:36 PM

BillD, it was Jeri who pointed out the lack of self-control on the part of Mudcat members responding to troll bait by flaming, not a guest.

Max, there is no forum accountability when you keep all your members' dirty laundry hidden in the PMs. Forum accountability demands that readers see problems get resolved and dealt with publicly.

Sure, with your 1.8 million hits per month, 650,000 messages on 43,000 topics, 9000 members you are the Enron on the internet folk music block Max. And you're acting like it too.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:37 PM

Max-whatever you decide to do, is the right thing, this is your site, I have been here nearly 1 year.This was the first website I ever looked at, and, I still check in here almost every day, this is oneof the best websites on the whole internet, I have noticed a lot of really offensive things posted by guests recently, and I have reported them to Joe, I agree with you the time has come to say that's enough.john


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Chris Amos
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:38 PM

Hi,

Mudcat is a wonderful resource and has spawned a number of other sites that probably would not have happened without it. If the behaviour of certain gusts/ members is limiting the funding then Max is perfectly right, in my book, to do something about.

The net is a huge place there are plenty of other sites were flamers and trolls can go and be infantile to their hearts content, don't fell hard done by boys, but some of us would like to see the cat develop and go from strength to strength and not get bogged down in name calling and pissing about.

Regards

Chris


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:41 PM

Agreed, Chris Amos,

but how are we going to persuade Catspaw49 to leave?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:50 PM

The other day upon the stair
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today.
I wish that man would go away.

Is there anyone out there who posts with a name, and who disagrees with that? One single person who would say that they appreciate the presence of our faceless friends?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: PaulM
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:51 PM

Yes, me

I do

I've had loads of help, lyrics answered etc by them

Are you a racist too, McGrath?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,No Surrender
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:52 PM

Yer man Max sez:

"Any Part II to this thread will be deleted as promptly as we can manage."

And he will continue to exercise his cultural traditions by throwing petrol bombs at the terrorist guests until they accept Mudcat rule!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,The Mudcat Four
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:56 PM

Sure now PaulM, ye wouldn't want to be puttin' out the welcome mat out fer the likes a' us. Haven't ye been reading the warnin's they've been puttin' out on us? Made us an illegal sort of Mudcat poster. Next thing you know, they'll be hirin' actors to post to the forum to protect ye, so's the lot of ye don't get corrupted by our terrorist influence.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:57 PM

Thanx Max, re no part 2...

.-)


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 07:58 PM

"until they accept Mudcat rule!"

You seem to be labouring under the misconception that Mudcat is a democracy...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 08:03 PM

Nah, Clinton Max is the one labouring under the misconception that he is running a fair forum.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 08:03 PM

Max has said his say and GUEST is soiling his/her/its pants in terror. So sad.

Hey, folks, there are a lot of good music threads out there. Why are we wasting our time here?

Don (off to the music threads) Firth


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Reeferee
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 08:09 PM

No Part II you say? Ah, now that's a shame. Max and his Mudcat Storm Trooping Hardshoe Dancers were so much more entertaining than the Drumcree Megasession guests, I was hoping you'd go to at least a Part VI.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 08:11 PM

"BillD, it was Jeri who pointed out the lack of self-control on the part of Mudcat members responding to troll bait by flaming, not a guest."

pooh..I was responding to "Rumplestiltskin" and one other un-named

Jeri is also correct, but when she says it, it doesn't mean quite the same thing...*wry grin*...(and if you don't see that, then you just don't)


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 08:17 PM

"fair forum"

Where the hell is it written that it is supposed to be fair?

Give yer stupid head a shake eh...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 08:21 PM

By our "faceless friends" I don't mean people who post in good faith as contributors to the Mudcat, asking real questions or supplying real answers and so forth, whether they come in as GUESTS or as members.

I mean the petulant and insulting ones we've had in this thread we've had in this thread. Though very likely of course it's only one person. One too many.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 08:22 PM

Right then, let's put it in the Newcomers Thread "Where the hell is it written that Mudcat is supposed to be fair?" Good on ya there Clinton. T'anks fer pointin' that one out. We wouldn't want a fair forum, anymore than the members want to have a fair fight with guests, now would we?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Hollowfox
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 08:25 PM

Max, I've always seen the 'Cat as a party, and you as the host. The only problem with the analogy is that it's not as easy to identify and possibly eject obnoxious participants. You've been the soul of rectitude all these years, and a lot more patient than I would have been. Your construction and maintenance of this site are nothing short of phenominal; it's a site that I recommend not only for content, but for the nature of it's construction. Do what you must with my blessings, because you're right and these rude people are wrong.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 08:27 PM

Fair is non-existant... Especially in cyberspace...

It's also unimportant... Especially in cyberspace...

Max... do what ever ya gotta do mate...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: 53
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 09:35 PM

Max, we are with you on this.

Glenda and Bob


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: jacko@nz
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 09:53 PM

Power to you Max

Jack


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 09:54 PM

Whee, paranoid personalities on display. Pull the plug Max, what's so hard about being accountable? I'd be honored to be on the list of helpers for guests with legit questions if that's what's decided.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 10:10 PM

Max:

Make the changes... please!

It takes only a moment to register. Your "real" identity is still not public. As people have said, there will probably also always be ways to register under different aliases and names. However, It does provide the ability to send PM's to people that are being jerks. It should also make those that are intent on posting truly nasty messages, threats, or other bile to pause for a moment.

I am a member of several email lists, and yahoo discussion groups and have participated in Newsgroups in the past. It seems that there is little lost when you must register. What is gained is civility and IMHO a higher level of discussion.

I don't see any downside to this! It is to your credit that you have tolerated behavior that no one would allow to take place in nursery school between toddlers if they the caregivers, much less in gatherings of adults.

JAB Jim Bunch Gutbucketeer


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: DougR
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 10:14 PM

I fear many of you, my friends, are playing the game the dissenters want you to play. Do not lose thy cool! Nothing anyone says will satisfy them, and there is no point getting a stroke trying. Their goals are different from ours. They get their kicks keeping you out of sorts. You know that. Act accordingly. Avoid replying to their devisive messages!

Peace! (Now who would have ever suspected a hawk like me signing off like that?)

DougR


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Devilmaster
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 10:43 PM

Ya know, I'm pretty sure Max thought long and hard about this. I also suspect that Max truly belives in free speech.

But, (and ya all knew a 'but' was coming...) free speech with accountability is still free speech. I support this change because although it's a fact trolls and flamers will still get online, the powers that be now have the ability to dump member accounts that are here to only flame and troll.

Remember people, we are visiting a website owned by one person. It is not a democracy, as CH mentioned.

Hey Max, do what ya gotta do. I enjoy coming here and sure I will still enjoy it without guests. (Maybe even more so)

Steve


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 11:18 PM

Yes please Max, hurry up and change the log-in so we don't have to listen to the membership drivel on for another decade about guests and the need for a benevolent dictator to make the members do what they can't make themselves do, which is ignore the trolls.

I'll say a rosary for ye, too if you'll just bloody change the fuckin' log-in thing by tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,catspaw50
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 11:21 PM

How about getting rid of stupid ass threads like "chest hair or no chest hair" and "kick Max in the balls". It's the public stupidity of the site that is embarrassing and will lose your "funding".


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 11:46 PM

I just said this in another thread but when I saw the animosity towards guests, I became a member. Now weather I am a member or guest, it does not change my opinions or what I feel I have to say. I feel fortunate to have stumbled into this site. It is a great place. The threads about shit I just leave them alone. They bore me. Max if you do change things please make them easy for I am a computer illiterate! Thanks Rustic


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 12:21 AM

Hi Max, yet another gratuitous piece of advice! Close Mudcat down for 12 months! The n'er-do-wells will find another site to despoil, and the Forum-addicted can go to rehab. You can have a break to re-charge your batteries and really find some quality time to stitch up future funding.

By Feb 2003, Dick G will have caught up with DT updates and no longer will anyone take this place for granted.

Just for good measure only allow Forum write access to paid subscribers. You'll figure out a way to ensure that song requests from non-members are satisfied. Email could work just fine.

See you in a year from now.

Regards, John johninbrisbane@lycos.com


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 12:41 AM

Time Out!

There are members of this list who like to discuss purely musical topics, and other members who like to discuss music along with some chat of the day. There are Guests who like these same things, and then there are a the few immature guests who can hold everything up with flaming and arguing. All parties are here on this thread.

Most of the posts today have been in support of Max; take heart in that. Others have pointed out that even with logon protocols that some of the obnoxious guests will return. Yes, but they'll be filtered out and perhaps will get tired of trying after a while. I'm not going to goad them on. Some of this appears to be the result of disturbed minds, and they are to be pitied (and filtered out!).

Max, you'll drive yourself nuts if you read all of this. You've created a site that is powerful and enduring. And is in need of adjustment. Do what you must to keep the site you envisioned going strong.

SRS


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,And Toto Too
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 12:50 AM

I vote yes for John in Brisbane's ideas. The forum addicted need some time in detox over in the Internet Addiction Support Group.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Mark Clark
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 01:14 AM

I've been away and just noticed this. Max, I'm sure you know you have my full support.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Haruo
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 01:43 AM

Yet another message of support.

Liland


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 01:51 AM

I suspect it's the GUESTS who are the most addicted ones!

Go, Max.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: JudyR
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 03:21 AM

Whoever silently sang "We Shall Overcome," let's follow that. I'm rather new, having only been here a few months, yet within a week of posting on here last fall, I knew I had to be parat of what's going on in a legitimate way. So thrilled was I to get the answers to my questions and to find a place like this -- and purely by accident! Why can't others do the same? It's such a little thing -- registering -- and it shows respect and gratitude for all that you're getting here for nothing.

Also, from other forums I've been on, I'm aware that the moderator always has the last word -- forget your cliches about "free speech" and "democracy"-- all they are is transparently self-serving (and erroneous, to boot). In a privately-run website, of course, the moderator can do anything he wants.

I also know that the fastest way to encourage trolls and flamers is to keep answering them. I don't know if anyone has suggested this, but I suspect, as before, it's pretty much the same GUEST weighing in here! Such an amazing coincidence that every GUEST resists joining, in the same rather disrespectful way, and with the same irrelevent objections -- that it won't work, etc.

You got a friend, Max. Go for it. We need you and this forum. With few exceptions, anything worth saying is worth signing.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Peter Kasin
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 04:11 AM

Max, it's too bad it's come to this move, but you've looked at the pros and cons of it from many angles for awhile, and I trust your judgement on this. I'm with you all the way on this. If only the anonymous flamers could have been starved out of the forum by boycotting their threads - but the self-policing just didn't take hold, so it's come to this. Well, if that what's needed to be done, then bravo!

Best,

chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 05:12 AM

I realise that you are very upset about this issue Max, and I would accept virtually ANY ruling that would keep the "Cat" alive. However, there may be some consequences of instigating too draconian restrictions on guests.

Someone has already mentioned the Lyric and Music required threads. Restricting a guest from replying to these, might mean that a valuable response never gets posted - after all they would be required to join up to do a "catter" a service. How about allowing guests to reply to these postings, but limiting the number of guest postings in such threads to a specific number. If the answer hasn't been received in the first 10 or so postings it's not usually found. It's at that point that the thread is in danger of getting hijacked.

The idea of recording IP addresses, could pose problems for users like me who do a lot of their postings from a workplace network where IP addresses change all the time.
I also access the "Cat" from a desktop at home, a laptop, and my PDA - so this could cause me problems.

I used the "Cat" for several years as a guest (I used my e-mail address) and probably would not have become a member otherwise. I wonder how many prospective members would be deterred if they didn't have a chance to find their feet as a guest.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Jabjo
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 05:28 AM

Dave,

You wouldn't be stopped from posting because you had a different IP address.

The idea of tracking the IP addresses is to 'identify' you.

However, as others have mentioned above, it's pretty ineffectual.

I totally agree with you about it stopping new members joining. When I think of all the sites which tell me they'll email me a password, I just think 'sod this' and move on.

I fear the 'Cat will suffer in the same way

Jabjo


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 05:41 AM

I am very sorry to see this and certainly can not convince myself that, overall, it is a move for the better.

Having said that, it has always been my understanding that Max has been heavily in favour of the open format so I'm sure it's not a decision he is taking lightly. I also appreciate that someone (i.e. Max) has to set the rules round here and that at times hard choices have to be made.

I guess my overall comment is I'm dissapointed but still wish Max and Mudcat well and hope that in the long term it is proven that my doubts are unfounded and that the move does help.

Jon


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: gnu
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 07:01 AM

157 Posts ! And this is not a democracy ! I read the thread when there was only a few posts and went away... not my place to comment. When I saw 157, I knew I didn't have the time to read it all, so, I just read Max's posts and I think I caught the gist of it all.

My only comment is to Max... thanks again. You're doing a great job with a great site. I'll be sending another donation this year no matter what you (don't) do.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Zipster
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 07:18 AM

For what its worth...

I have come very recently to the site and am rapt with admiration at what you do here. I have not seen abuse to which the members have referred, except for one recent thread which seemed to be strongly critical of how the forum was run/digitrad was updated. I was somewhat surprised at the strength of the criticism, but agreed, as anyone over the age of 5 would, with the suggestion made that if they felt that strongly they should go off and start their own.

I'm not sure about your "troll" and "flamer" terminology but I think lumping all guests together can't be accurate. I was a guest myself. I think if we looked at how members got involved, they probably guested initially, before joining. Many guests are here to discover the community benefits that the site offers.

The others, those guests that seem to be causing the problems will fall into 2 camps, those that feel they have a genuine contribution to make, and those that whose interest and amusemnet is based in jerking the forum's joint chain.

The first group I think have potentiallya valuable contribution to make. They should be encouraged to keep it positive. There are benefits to letting people get things off their chests, the forum doesn't need to act on their opinions. As has been said above this is not a democracy, but for a community to exist/succeed this kind of emotional ownership is essential and should be respected. I don't understand the benefit they get from anonymity but this group could perhaps be encouraged to become members.

That leaves those who's intentions are just badness. It would be great to be able to identify and exclude these. As most of us know these guys are not unique to this site but their life blood is the reaction they achieve, and as many people have said the type of actions being considered will be viewed as a great success. The advice given elsewhere is to ignore them and they will go away, it does work, I've seen it, because it denies them what they want, childish entertainment from heated reaction.

The problem with the suggestions as they stand are that they will have most impact on well-intentioned guests and those who care about the form. Actual flamers will feed on their success, join the forum, spit their bile, and then what? Max get t'd off feels powerless to control and closes the website?

That way we all lose out. I'm not in a position to judge how bad its been but I would advocate caution in excluding guests.

Remember sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me, a rhyme handed out to kids to help them deal with abuse. Its good advice.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: nutty
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 07:37 AM

You have my support Max

The only people who need to fear identifying themselves are those with something to hide.

And the wishes of the minority must always be secondary to the wishes of the majority ......now that is democracy.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 07:56 AM

I just want to say, look on the plus side Max. Just see how many of the current threads are performing a valuable task in diseminating information, keeping people in touch, helping to organise events (just look at the various Stony Stratford threads - to find a success story) and all the other wonderful things that are possible because of your creation. Don't let the small percentage of "Unwanted Guests" spoil all that. If you are forced to close or make drastic changes to "The Cat" then you will have handed a victory to those very people. Speaking as a web user for many years, it was only after reading threads on "The Cat" that I enquired into the "netiquette" section to find out the definitions of "Trolls" and "Flamers" - they're not regular terms or problems for most of us in the UK. I think that the proliferation of threads on the subject just makes the problem worse -it's very like a virus reproducing itself.

Let's all just get on with ENJOYING "The Cat" and all the benefits that it brings.


Jabjo, depending on how it was implemented, the IP address tracking could present problems to me when I am logged in from work as I am now. Due to our network, the IP address is constantly changing - which means that I can't login to my online banking account from here. I could find that I have the same problems with "The Cat"


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 08:12 AM

Just thinking more on IP tracking, I wonder how many UK visitors like myself use Freeserve (one of the UKs largest providers) dial up connections for example. While IP tracking could eliminate certain people from "suspicion", short of checking with an ISP (assuming they can and will provide info), it is also capable of putting innocent people under "suspicion".

Jon


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: sophocleese
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 08:52 AM

"Guest versus non-guest" is a silly way to regard the problems here at Mudcat. Rudeness has always been a problem from members and guests alike. If you want a place without an obtrusive moderator people have to moderate their own behaviour. If you want to start moderating moderate actions not signatures.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: RichM
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 08:55 AM

I am one of those who defended "Guest"(s)right to be treated respectfully. After all, a guest is someone welcomed into your midst. But-call me old-fashioned-guests also have a responsibility to act politely.
It's too bad that many guests think the anonymity of the internet is a license to be rude.
I support Max's pending restrictions on guests; rude guests are responsible for bringing this down on themselves.

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Catscradle
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 08:57 AM

There are a number of ways that the forum log-in could be changed, if that is the technological fix Max wishes to pursue. There seems to be an assumption that making the log-in member only is the only solution. It isn't. It is entirely possible to eliminate log-ins with emails and passwords altogether, and allow anyone who wishes to post, to post. Nor does no user name/PW log-in necessarily mean the other membership options would have to be scrapped.

I think this entire "fuckhead guest" issue is the result of a bad choice by Max to deal with the hacker who stole what was it--one Mudcat regular's name? And look at the problems it has caused. A case of the cure being much worse than the disease.

Put an end to the member/guest log-in however you want Max, bit please do it soon. This hatred/paranoia of guests has poisoned the forum, and made it a troll and flame paradise for members and guests alike. If there are no more guests to hate, then all you'll have left to deal with are the member flamers and trolls. And I pray you finally do deal with them with an even hand, and get this forum cleaned up once and for all. In addition to the log-in change, I'd also like to see that no more "engaging the trolls by flaming them for our amusement" gets tolerated here either.

Of course this place isn't a democracy. But if users don't see Max as playing fair, even the changes in the log-in won't stop the slide into internet discussion forum graveyard this place seems to inexorably be on of late.

I'm fine with BS remaining if we can get filters that work most the time. I'm fine with log-in being changed. What I'm not so sure about is whether you plan to deal with the problem members. If that doesn't happen after the change of log-in, I think you may be opening up an even bigger can of worms than has burst forth here in the last couple of years since the member/guest log-in was instituted. Making the log-in change without dealing with problem members, it seems to me, will only make the problems worse.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Teribus
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 09:21 AM

Having read through the above, it is obvious that Max feels that he does have to do something and he has evidently thought long and hard about it. If this site is to be maintained Max deserves the support of those wishing to use it.

I have been using the forum now for about half a year, signing on as a named Guest. The help and assistance I have received from both Members and Guests has been second to none. This is certainly one source of information that I would not like to be cut off from and have therefore joined Mudcat as a new member


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Catscradle
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 09:28 AM

That's fine that you choose to become a member Teribus, but the suggestion seems to be that anyone who posts as something other than a member is automatically to be viewed with suspicion, and treated with derision. I think that is a large part of the problem, not the solution. Like sophocleese says--if Max would moderate rude behavior of problem posters who refuse to moderate their own actions, be they members or guests, the majority of the rudeness and bad behavior will go away.

But it seems to me Max is looking for a tech fix, so he won't have to moderate. I don't believe that will solve anything, and may actually make it worse.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 09:32 AM

Noone is paranoid about GUESTS as such, and no matter how many times this gets repeated, someone always comes up and laments about how it makes them feel unwelcome to have all this "hatred/paranoia" about GUESTs.

It's the ones who come in and as GUESTS behave in a generally unpleasant manner who get people annoyed, because that's what they are trying to do. Essentially there are GUESTS and there are GHOSTS who haunt this place.

If interfering with the nasty little games of the GHOST GUESTS messes up the freedom of everyone else to come in as GUESTS without registering, that is a pity, but it's been forced on the Mudcat. It hasn't happened quickly, after all. And registering doesn't involve much, when you think of it - and it doesn't in any way interfere with anybody's wishes to keep their details private.

(As for Dave Bryant's problem - anytime I've had to log on from a strange computer, all I have to do is give pretty minimal details, and the cookie is back once more. Maybe there are some office computers where that doesn't work, but I'd be surprised if there isn't a painless way round that.)


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Catscradle
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 09:40 AM

McGrath, I'll say it again. The piss-poor quality of discussions in Mudcat isn't due to guests' bad behavior. It has to do with problem posters, some of whom are guests, and some of whom are members.

Why, when no one has a problem admitting that problem guest posters are part of the problem, are so many of you, including Max, having so much trouble admitting that problem member posters are just as bad, and just as detrimental to Mudcat?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 10:19 AM

If a member posts a message that you feel needs disputing or criticising, you can do it in a PM, without getting involved in the kind of circular dispute which gets in the way of the enjoyment of other people posting on the thread in question.

I don't think Max is under any impression that what he is planning will solve all the awkwardnesses that arise in any kind of social environment. The hope is it will get rid of one unpleasantness which has got on his nerves and on the nerves of a lot of people.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Kim C
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 10:23 AM

I belong to a list that requires registration to post, and one of the rules is, You Must Sign Your Full Name To Every Post. People who continually refuse to sign their name have their posts removed.

The other side of the coin is - and this is the part I don't like - if the moderators don't like what you have to say, they'll edit or delete your posts. Now, I can see editing/deleting posts that don't follow the Rules of the Forum. But just because you don't like what the person says? No - unless it's riddled with profanity or vulgarity or something like that.

I don't care if someone wants to be a GUEST - what I don't like is when said GUEST's only goal is to get under someone's skin. And as some have already stated, sometimes there are members who do the same thing.

I'm not against mandatory registration. I also think people should just be nice to one another. :-)


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: annamill
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 10:30 AM

You do what you have to do, Max. It'll be good to know who I'm talking to and hearing from.

Love, Anna


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Jeri
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 10:30 AM

Bottom line, in my (cynical) opinion:

One guest of dubious sanity trolls.
40 or 50 (number pulled out of ass) members and maybe a couple other flamer-guests get involved respond.
This repeats, often with the same troll re-worded.
People still respond, over and over.
It seems there are folks far more concerned with their right to get their .02 in than what they could be doing to the forum. It's not going to change. It's the Internet after all, where it's more important to make a noise than to listen, more important to stand up and be counted rather than withold comment for the greater good.

Max has made a decision to try to stop it.
He can't get the huge mob of us who respond to each and every fucking troll to shut up, so he's trying to kill the "seeds" of the flame threads.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 10:50 AM

Jon Freeman does bring up a good point. Depending on where the computer is operating, at home versus within a large institution, the IP address can be meaningless. When I dialup from home I am assigned an IP address, different each time I logon. I prefer this to having to deal with a permanent address and the associated firewall software that I would have to use to preserve my computer and privacy.

When I log on from the university I'm using one very busy permanent IP address; the way we make so many subscription databases available to university users is to have an IP-specific setup with suppliers. They recognize those who are coming from this system and don't require a logon. Those who wish to use subscription material from off campus go through a proxy server. If we end up with some twit on campus here flaming a thread at Mudcat, could the entire address could end up compromised as far as a filter system? To my way of thinking it is better to use an individual logon and cookie approach. (Mudcat is listed as a music resource link in library publications for the Fine Arts library, so it is quite possible that many people from here are on the list).

Finally, I noticed that that darned Microsoft XP or whatever it is preserves the history in such as way that it isn't easily erased. I logged onto my personal web page on a different campus last week, one that uses the newest software, and after I logged out, when I typed up the general web page for my internet provider, there was my personal web page, where anyone could edit it. I'll cross my fingers that it is dropped off of a list out of sight pretty soon, but I may not be so lucky. Microsoft is just too smart for its users' good most of the time.

SRS


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Devilmaster
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 10:59 AM

Ok, catscradle, let me see if I got this right.....

When the problem of the problem.....no wait

When problems of the posters poses a problem..... no wait,that ain't right either.......

When posers pose on a posing problem.......arrgh!

When the problem of posers posing on playboy 'pose' their problems...........I'll get it, I'll get it







*sigh*

So all i'm asking is what's the guy's name on first.
No, what is on second...
I'm not asking you who's on second
Who's on first!
I don't know.......
Third Base!

Steve


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 11:01 AM

For what it's worth, I'm backing Max. It's a shame, but if it has to be done, then it has to be done. We wouldn't stand for that sort of behaviour in the pub or the library or any other place we go to meet friends and/or get information: rude noisy people would soon find themselves in the street. Since we can't easily eject offensive people from the Cat, barring them entry seems like the only solution; it's a pity if it keeps out proper visitors.

Steve


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 11:19 AM

The guests are backing Max too Steve, so what does that tell you? That the current log-in is nearly universally loathed, except by members who wish to retain the ability to log-in as guests when away from their computers with the cookie. Who seem mostly to want to be able to continue to post from their workplaces without the boss finding out.

Now the question is, how will barring entry to guest users solve the problem of offensive members stirring up and poisoning the atmosphere at Mudcat?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 11:38 AM

Give a Guest a bone and it just keeps gnawing away.

Max already answered that, (my emphasis):

If you have a membership, you can send and receive Personal Messages. When a member gets upset, uses poor judgement, bad language, makes a personal attack, or anything that may cause grief to anyone, we communicate with them via PM. I cannot do that with GUESTS. I have had several interventions and discussions with Member Flamers and Trolls, and resolved them like adults. As I mentioned before, most were being belligerent for a reason and we discussed them maturely and actually formed some resolution.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: allanwill
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 11:57 AM

I've just joined as a member and would urge all legitimat guests to do the same so that we can get rid of the moron who caused all this.

Allan


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 12:03 PM

Right kat, I read Max's explanation too. But I wasn't satisfied with it.

IMO, keeping members' dirty linen hidden in the PMs doesn't make them accountable to the forum, only to Max. And therein lies the true "accountability" problem here, IMO. If forum readers never see problem posters be held accountable for their irresponsible and/or reprehensible actions, how will a standard ever be established?

If Mudcat is going to made an enjoyable, pleasant forum again, we need to hold ourselves and one another accountable for our actions, not our signatures, as sophocleese wisely pointed out. There really isn't a need for the sysadmin to come in as the heavy. They need only make themselves known in the forum when a user gets ugly. But if the sysadmin always handles things through back channels (the PMs) and never notifies the forum that the problem poster has summarily been dealt with, there is no holding people publicly accountable for their actions, and the credibility of both sysadmin and the forum itself is shot.

I believe Max and the Mudcat Mafia are responsible for having created both an accountability and credibility problem here. But rather than facing up to the fact that they've created a forum which is perceived at least by some as elitist and too often rude, arrogant, etc. they continue to play the blame game. They continue to make themselves out to be victims. Those sorts of passive/aggressive dysfunctions are easy enough for some of us to spot, and we know it is all smoke and mirrors. When we say so, it enrages a number of regulars (including Max), and round we go again.

Max showed he wasn't going to play fair when he instituted the member/guest log-in to appease his friends in the forum, and not long after that, Max and the Mudcat Mafia demonstrated the unfairness of the playing field as the Mudcat standard by ruthlessly tarring and feathering Bruce Olson before running him out of the forum on a rail.

But of course, I'm only telling one side of the story, right?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: wysiwyg
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 12:13 PM

Bruce ran himself out. Nice try at revising history, though.

~S~


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 12:21 PM

What we got here is a failure to communicate in a truthful, non-twisted way! I hope someday the GUEST/s will outgrow their desire to play victim/s and just get on with life.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: SharonA
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 12:22 PM

Well said, Jeri.

Max, I agree with what many have said, that it's too bad that it had to come to this, but a necessary evil is better than an unnecessary one.

I'm assuming that when Secret Santa time comes around again, we'll be able to log-out temporarily to post as "So-and-So's Secret Santa" to post messages to our Santees. My only other concerns are: (a) will I still be able to go to the library (and I go to more than one in the area) and post as a member from there?; and (b) will people who "lose" their cookies be unable to post until the problem is rectified, or will there be a way for them to post temporarily also?

I have to say that when I first checked out the Mudcat Forum, I did post as a GUEST until, as someone on this thread says, I got my footing. After a few posts, one of the long-time members thanked me for using a consistent "handle"; I didn't understand that post at first, till I saw firsthand what some of the anonymous GUESTs (and some GUESTs with spurious "handles") were doing to wreak havoc and cause such ill feeling among the membership.

It's regrettable that, with the impending change, people with all the best intentions will not be able to freely post and get the feel of the place without registering personal info that they might feel uncomfortable revealing to strangers; but I hope that those people will read enough of the new "flame-retardant" threads before registering to feel trustful and comfortable becoming Mudcat members.

As the song says, "It's your thang, do whatchoowanna do..." !!!

Sharon


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 12:34 PM

I agree kat, you, Max, and a number of others here are communicating in a dishonest, disingenuous, dysfunctional way. Which is your style, as well as your level of awareness.

It is the "long-suffering members" playing the victim card, not the other way around. And Max's "open letter" is a prime example of it. It was a sympathy ploy, aimed at the #1 member hot button on Mudcat. And predictably, on board climbed all the usual suspects, saying "oh, poor, pitiful Max--sure we're behind you, get rid of the guests."

Susan--there is more than just the Mudcat version of history. Folk music is one way of challenging official histories, like the official history of what happened to Bruce Olson here.

There are those of us who actually witnessed that history as it was being made, and we damn well know better. But certain Mudcat members will keep suppressing that history, to keep newcomers from finding out where the bodies are buried, who murdered them, and how it was done.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: catspaw49
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 01:01 PM

Please don't feed the trolls.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,And Toto Too
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 01:03 PM

The Sycophant Chorus presents...

The CyberSisters

http://www.winternet.com/~mikelr/flame4.html

with the Bliss Ninnies!

http://www.winternet.com/~mikelr/flame24.html


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 01:13 PM

the trolls are surviving on stored body fat right now, they don't need 'feeding' to continue,,,so:

"ruthlessly tarring and feathering Bruce Olson"....." like the official history of what happened to Bruce Olson here. "

hmmmmm...I talk (like, in PERSON)to Bruce on a fairly regular basis. Bruce is a folk music scholar, one of the best there is, and I KNOW that he has a pretty narrow idea of what he wants to do with his time & energy, and got tired of wading thru so much social chatter and BS topics.

however, Bruce and his resources are always available when anyone has questions and issues relevant to his interests, he just does not by his own choice care to wallow in the pit with the rest of us an a daily basis! (If you are reading this, Bruce, forgive me for presuming to speak in your behalf)...

anyone who doubts me can simply post a message or request about some obscure old broadside, and watch how an informative answer..probably WITH tune, gets posted in reply!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Cappuccino
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 01:26 PM

Max, you must have the patience of a saint.

Best wishes, - Ian B


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 01:36 PM

You all really do take this internet thing WAY too seriously eh...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 01:53 PM

ah, Clinton..if it were ONLY a fantasy game, you would have a point, but these are real issues. There are real people wanting songs and answers and doing real things. And Max is a real person, using his spare time to make this place for them.

And many of these real people have met in real time and have literally had their lives changed by some of their experiences....

if you are immune to this sort of thing, then you are either very fortunate...or very UNfortunate, depending on viewpoint and personality.

When I read a post...I see a person there...some are kinda vague and hard to put details to...others, like Clinton Hammond...*grin*...are fleshed out in detail and easy to imagine right in the room with me.

There are some folks I'd love to spend time with....and others I'd just like to get 20 minutes alone with...once!

sorry, but after 56 years of life and other people being face-to-face, it IS now the case that part of life and others is the internet...and we'd better learn to cope!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: M.Ted
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 02:41 PM

Well, it is true that there has been a lot of anonymous flaming lately, and Max, I have solicited support from the funders that you are talking to, so I understand the position that you are in--but we have had a couple of nice music threads--from my point of view, anyway, which is that questions were asked that drew out answers that ended up helping others to develop their playing skills--not by providing encouragement, but by saying, "Do this, then this, and you'll get this"--and actually having people do it, and say, "So that's how you do it!", and that ought to carry some weight with them, as well--

Still, there are a few people(both anonymous and not anonymous) who find it necessary to take potshots at the people who ask the questions and the people who answer them, and it is troubling--I do remember BruceO's last fairwell, and there was a particular person(a full-fledged member, not an anonymous GUEST) who mounted an astoundingly vicious and abusive attack on him--you won't find it, because it was deleted, but not before the damage was done--

It is not much of a secret that BruceO came back as a GUEST, without a handle, and vented a bit before he left--maybe not the best response, but an understandable one--for some people, at least, it exposed the fact that angry GUESTS often are active participants who have been hurt enough to want to hit back--Sadly enough, Bruce's actions are remembered, not those of the member who attacked him--

If an underwriter is hesitant to put their money on the line unless they can be assured that situations like this will not occur in the future, I can understand that, as well--


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 02:52 PM

Well said, M.Ted

Sadly enough, Bruce's actions are remembered, not those of the member who attacked him

Members are good, GUESTS are bad.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 03:03 PM

"are fleshed out in detail and easy to imagine right in the room with me"

Live in fear Bill... live in fear! :-)

See... I know what yer getting at, but that's not how I cyberspace... I don't even WANT to cyberspace that way... I keep relationships like that for meat space where they belong... Cyberspace is too ephemeral, too fluid, too interpretive...

And well, as I've said before, web sites come and web sites go... and while it IS a good one, Mudcat is just a website...

"if it were ONLY a fantasy game"

To a lot of people, (I'd imagine anyway) it IS just a fantasy game...

"And Max is a real person"

I believe Max was grown in a vat by the KGB... :-)


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Mooh
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 03:19 PM

Wow! I go away for a couple of days and return to a new world order! Well, not quite, but I understand.

I have broken the "read the entire thread before posting" rule because this one is very long and I have inadequate time to digest it all. I read the first very many and a few throughout the list however. Please forgive.

I will support Max in any decision he makes on our collective behalf. My feeling about becoming a regular poster a couple of years ago was that everyone here was a sort of guest of Max since this was his party. I still feel pretty much the same. Max is the best kind of host because he lets us all be ourselves, at least until someone is hurt. (In my dayjob workplace nothing changes until someone is hurt, killed or sued, or management needs money. Max is acting proactively before that.) In the meantime, we are self-policed for the most part, and that works for me, but it doesn't appear to work for party crashers. I approve of the Max plan and its rationale.

I can't offer any more constructive advice than what's already been said.

God bless you and the work you do Max.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: gnu
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 03:37 PM

As far as I am concerned, the only reason to continue this thread is to break 200 posts. Has this been done before ?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 03:45 PM

unnamed thread

Jeri said: Of course, it would have been better if we'd all just learned to ignore the silly trolls instead of needing to be protected from them. Too much to ask for, though.

Is it really?......... Is it really too late?

How about giving it one last a real try?

All is needed is for YOU to use this restraint and there is no problem..........LOL.............


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: annamill
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 04:36 PM

DO IT NOW MAX!!!

L.A.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 04:47 PM

gnu, we've broken 400 posts before...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,No One Wins a Flame War
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 04:51 PM

I gave some links to very high quality websites regarding message board management in The New Mudcat Order Thread. It seemed like a positive, proactive thing to do.

Sometimes we all just need to take a deep breath, and reimagine what our cyberworld could look like.

If people are as committed to helping Mudcat as they say they are, then they should be looking for solutions, not someone to wag their fingers and thumb their noses at, methinks.

Cheers!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 04:52 PM

DO IT NOW MAX!!!

Very easy for you to say annamill, what with your big house and general riches...

Out of curiousity, when was the last time that you posted something useful in a music thread?

Go on, don't be shy.... tell us


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Wesley S
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 05:04 PM

Just think what a better place the world would be if all of this energy was being spent on something that really mattered like feeding the hungry or housing the homeless.

Go for it Max. And thanks for what you do here.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,misophist
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 05:04 PM

200 well broken now. Everybody happy?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 05:07 PM

"No One Wins a Flame War"

bollox!

the flamers do!

;-)


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Just Amy
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 05:08 PM

Dear Max,

I'm sorry that I didn't read all the thread but this is an answer to you. I am a guest now because I am at work. I have a regular "from" at home that automatically shows up when I post from there, but that is seldom. I think several people have this same situation. I have donated money and bought items from Mudcat. I love it when a new thread offers new items to buy.

I am in the music world as an organizer and I think Mudcat is a wonderful site. Perhaps the open letter would have been more positive if you had asked "Guest" sign ons to send in a donation evertime they reply to a thread (just an idea).

I really love Mudcat and it is an important forum for musicians and all us outsiders. Thanks for having us.

From: Just Amy, because my last name is too hard to spell and pronounce.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 05:23 PM

Perhaps the open letter would have been more positive if you had asked "Guest" sign ons to send in a donation evertime they reply to a thread

Amy, I hope you're not quite as stupid as your idea...

Jeez


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: RichM
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 05:36 PM


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 06:18 PM

Well, it looks like our unnamed Guest has gotten everything he could hope for--lots of Mudcatters responding to his nagging and sniping.

You log onto this thread first thing, right, GUEST, just to get the gratification of all of our responses? I'd guess that for you, this is as close to sexual gratification as you'll get as long as you're addicted to hanging around the virtual corners of the Mudcat Cafe, pouncing on posters whenever you feel like it. I doubt there are very many "GUESTS" of your ilk, quite possibly just you, but you've discovered how to push this large group of people toward critical mass and would love to see if you can push it over the edge.

I have enjoyed most of the other GUEST posts on threads at Mudcat, and don't want to see contributors offended because they choose to remain anonymous.

Obnoxious GUEST, I'm sure you'll have something particularly snide to say in response. You're so predictable that it's a sad, sad thing. Go get professional help.

Meanwhile, this thread has gotten too long. I'm outta here for a few days. Max, it's your operation, your energy, and as someone has said, it's your party. Anyone who thinks a democracy is run all out in the open and that everyone's vote counts equally is wearing blinders. For a privately run list this has been remarkably open. Do your best to keep it that way.

SRS


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,No One Wins a Flame War
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 06:20 PM

I've now posted some excerpts from the wonderful Internet Tips & Secrets website about moderation of website message boards to the Open Letter from GUESTS to Max thread. I hope some of you will take the time to read it, and share comments, feelings, and ideas there (this thread is getting a bit cumbersome for those without high speed access) that could lead to some lasting solutions to Mudcat's problems which could be implemented for the good of all.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: artbrooks
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 06:20 PM

A basic rule of dealing with people, at any level, is "praise in public, criticize in private". Suggestions to members regarding changing their behavior is most appropriately done in a Private Message. Max started this thread as a letter to our Guests, so I guess its OK to feed them here. I'm pleased to see that their typical reaction has gotten Mudcat a couple of new members. Keep it up, guys...you're only helping us and hurting yourselves.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,No One Wins a Flame War
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 06:28 PM

I don't know if Mudcat is gaining more people than it is losing in these flame wars or not, artbrooks. Could the problems here be more complex than a couple of bad apple guests?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: M.Ted
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 06:29 PM

It doesn't register with a lot of people that, far from being a discorporate entity in cyberspace, the Mudcat forum and all of its associated stuff reside on a group of servers (most of us even know their names) that exist in Max's living quarters--when he had his business, they the overhead was covered---basically, it was donated by Max, and he called the shots(or such shots as there were)--now, with new funders, Max won't call all the shots--the funders will expect that the forum addresses their goals--

I don't see many funders having tolerance for any of the flaming, the abuse, or even the flatulence jokes--furthermore, I don't see many funders allowing much room for the random clowning, joking, and non-music threads--Indignant GUESTS, particularly the Max Attackers don't seem to realize that the antics and rantings(not just theirs) could have been cleaned out long ago, had he wanted to do it, if he had wanted to censor, he could have done it at any time, and there would be no trace of any of the controversial posts--

The free speech, fair and impartial discussion doesn't really matter--there is no free lunch, and Max isn't picking up the tab any more--for better or worse, the forum will change to meet the expectations of the new funders--


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,No One Wins a Flame War
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 06:35 PM

Actually MTed, many of the cyberspace websites like Mudcat are done as home businesses out of someone's house, or as a passionate hobby. I don't think Mudcat is too unusual in that regard.

A visit to the Internet Tips & Secrets for Message Boards here:

http://www.internet-tips.net/Msgboards/index.htm

offers lots of good ideas.

If Mudcat is on the verge of change, being proactive and positive could mean that the changes will not only be for the good of all, but could also make Mudcat better than it has ever been, couldn't it?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 06:40 PM

"(this thread is getting a bit cumbersome for those without high speed access)"

Turn off yer images, and the text only will load faster...

.-)


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Rollo
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 06:43 PM

Leave it alone folks. We all know there is just ONE bastard pos(t)ing as the OH SO HURT guest, don't we? We have told Max how glad we are to be invited to this wonderful site, we have also pointed out the flaws and merits of his decision, and there is no discussion about it as Max pointed out. We only give more ammunition to this little creep who probably masturbates everytime he gets another angry reply to his upsetting statements.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Gareth
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 07:14 PM

Dear Max, and MudElves,

A number of European based Catters had a very good meet/sing along/instrument session/ p*** *p at Stoney Stratford this week end.

Some practicle decisions were made as to how we could channel support into the Mudcat to ensure its continued succes and continueation.

If you want the rough minutes of what was decided, and how, please PM me with your E Mail address, as there are still a few rough corners to smooth out before we go fully public

We were not aware of the threads starting with Max's open letter - and I doubt that they would have made any difference to the decisions, or consensus.

Firstly the overall consensus was that if we wanted the Mudcat to continue it was up to Catters to put something back. It was not just that Max and a handful of others continue to subsidise the research, information, and (speaking personally) the hours of entertainment that the Mudcat has given us.

Secondly. that any fundraising activities were to be open and accountable, and audited. Why was this a key factor ? Simple, there are enough flamers, trolls and lurkers out there who would have great pleasure, as "Anon Guest", in accusiung anybody handeling cash, in fiddelling, self importance etc. Whilst years, wearing other political hats, have inured me to such accusations, others may not be so thick skined, and I have no intention of exposing others to such hurts or accusations, without a means of defence.

Thirdly there was no mention of any attempt to equate financial contribution with control, and speaking again personally I will not be a party to that.

It's Max's site, his forum, and he has a right to demand certain minimum standards. It is a pity that some guests, and members have abused that. Perhaps I am sometimes guilty of breaches of politness and netiquete. If so I deserve any PM's I receive, or more public, but polite admonitions.

I do not know what Max has in mind, I wonder if at this specific moment wether his own mind is confident on which route to take ?

But it's simple - If Max gets it right the 'Cat and the Dt will survive and grow - If he gets it wrong then the 'Cat will follow the Dodo. But I am afraid that the present situation can not continue - Guest status, and I suspect that part of this is Members logging out and reposting as "Anon Guest" - is being abused.

And speaking "ethnically" if theres one thing that units 'Catters, or us Welsh, its an attack on one - Try this song, and think about it.

Humbly

Gareth


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 09:06 PM

I like these proposed changes. Good for the Mudcat, good for all those decent GUESTS, who currently have to wear a label that has been tainted by the actions of a few anonymous dickweeds. So... Yeah, again, I like. :)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Gloredhel
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 09:32 PM

Max, you've created a good place. Do what is necessary to keep it here.

Much Love, Colleen


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Oulmole
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 10:35 PM

Jaysus.

Such an uproar. This is all so terribly sad.

I've only visited the 'Cat in the last year or so; and (timidly) posted to the forum only quite recently. But I've liked this place and learned from it, and value it highly. I sure hope it doesn't go smash with all of this.

Well, Economic Democracy or no, I guess there still ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

Guess us Guests gotta join or go away. Can't argue with it. Damn shame when the few spoil things for the many. It's true that many Guests are well-meaning and make good contributions.

--Joe in Connecticut


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Amergin
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 01:01 AM

yes guest it is very true that most are...but unfortunately the ones who aren't have the loudest voices...i disagree with the idea of making a fence and requiring folks to join....but then it ain't my board....

there have been a few times where i have posted as guest...mainly to ask questions for advice...cause my anxiety would not let me ask and be known.....


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 03:06 AM

Jeri said: Of course, it would have been better if we'd all just learned to ignore the silly trolls instead of needing to be protected from them. Too much to ask for, though.

Is it really?.........

Max did not want a part 2 to his thread and he also indicated there that a letter from Max to members was on the way.

Perhaps we members should wait until that thread comes along and read what he as to say, we could then possibly have as many parts to that one as we wished?

And even those with slower PC could read it all?

LOL Roger


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Dani
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 03:57 AM

I am so saddened by all of this.

I've tried to ignore the crap that has exploded onto the scene slowly and inexorably, but it's getting harder and harder. When a gathering is taken over by people with no manners, and with only their own selfish entertainment at heart, and only their base needs to fulfill greedily, it's time to go home.

I saw a good analogy up there somewhere about a storefront: good point. I used to recommend Mudcat often to musician friends. No more. How would they find anything of worth? Why would they bother to try?

One waits for one's host to clear the room, or call the police, but eventually, you head out the door and hope to meet up with some of the people you enjoyed at another time and place.

I have no lofty illusions about my own value to the community of Mudcat, but grew to love it, and many of you, and felt at home. But now I just feel uncomfortable, and wanting to move on. Doesn't this sound like one of those Dear John postings we've seen over time? As in, "please beg me to come back"? You know that's not what I mean. Just want you to know that here's one person who mostly doesn't bother to come around anymore.

Max, I hope you have the will to clean house. You know I'll do anything in my power to help and support the effort.

Dani


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Subject: A quote to add...
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 04:19 AM

Added by request, so the Mods can delete the thinly veiled part 2

Subject: Why have 'guests' anyway ??
From: technission
Date: 11-Feb-02 - 11:34 PM
Shop: O Day

I wanted to post to the thread, "Open Letter from Max to GUESTS", but I can't get the whole thread loaded - maybe because bandwidth of my connection is measured in one dimension, or it's a Mac problem. (PC'rs commence gloating) Anyway, I've crashed my browser too many times to try further. If ANY Mudcatter wants to copy this post to the end of the open-letter thread, I grant my proxy to do so and show my handle on it.

I can't access much of the "Open Letter" thread, but I think the size it has amassed in less than two days time is a testament to support from serious and well-mannered Mudcat users and >supporters< Now, what the all-fired heck GOOD are guests anyway? I say if >>anything<< they do jeapoardizes Max's funding, build the fence, shut - nay SLAM the gate - and what on earth is lost? I only discovered the 'Cat a couple of months ago, and haven't seen much flaming, and I know I am naive about internet security, but WHY does anyone with a sincere musical interest or question even WANT to post without becoming a member, or with any more anonymity than a screen name provides? What is the paranoia fueled by?? Enlighten me, I beseech you all! I could only read the first 30 or so messages out of 218 posted at that time to the "Open Letter" thread, but some member who posted that early in the thread did express the opinion that something would be lost from discussions if anonymous guests could not post. I think I saw a "GUEST" imply that there would be fewer lyrics requests from his or her point of origin. OK, folks I'm serious - guests and members alike, *please* explain what the advantage is, to the entire Mudcat community and/or to the posting party, in allowing completely anonymous postings?? It takes minimal time to join. What HARM can Max or Mudcat or nameless big-brother security programs do, that causes such fear to parties who wish to post, that they will only post if they can keep their identities secret from Max and his volunteers??

And GUESTS, read on. When I joined, I elected to allow members access to my email address - yet that address is not shown anywhere on the site. After the prompt action I got from Jeff sending a calendar and posting my picture, I seriously doubt my email is missing by his oversight or backlog of work; it is not there because I have not specifically asked him to list it - so he didn't list it without my express request to do so. Now, I just resubmitted the membership form, requesting that my email NOT be available to members. >>> So GUESTS, or fellow members, can you please demonstrate my vulnerability by sending me a message to my email address, consisting of the word "gotcha" and stating the time and date shown as the posting time of this thread post? If you can prove to me that you can locate me, and you are not a Mudcat staff volunteer, I will concede that you might share similar vulnerability - but I still want to know what difference it would make to (the collective) you, and what you're so scared of. Are you in a witness protection program? Are you a tax protestor? Shock me! Tell me your horror stories, explain why you must remain anonymous if your only criticisms would be constructive ones. Justify yourselves, I double-dog dare you.

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Subject: RE: Why have 'guests' anyway ??
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 12-Feb-02 - 12:15 AM

I am not going to get into this discussion with you I just thought I would tell you I tryed to get into 'letter from Max' also and couldn't do it, but I went to the thread 'guest to Max' and there was a thread link on about fourth post and I got into the entire thread, Rustic

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Subject: RE: Why have 'guests' anyway ??
From: CarolC
Date: 12-Feb-02 - 12:28 AM

This is the only thing I am going to say on this subject, here or anywhere else. What I have to say is not directed at you, technission, or any person in particular. It's just my general contribution to the subject in question, and I have chosen to put it here.

This whole hullabaloo is not about GUESTS, or members. None of it is. It's entirely about people. All of it. Just people. That's all.

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Subject: RE: Why have 'guests' anyway ??
From: Sorcha
Date: 12-Feb-02 - 12:32 AM

Almost, Carol, almost. It is about people who choose to be assholes. It is about people who choose not ignore assholes. It is about people who think responding to assholes is fun.

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Subject: RE: Why have 'guests' anyway ??
From: CarolC
Date: 12-Feb-02 - 12:35 AM

I agree with you Sorcha. Now, if all of these different kinds of people could remember that we are all still people, maybe we could get someplace.

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Subject: RE: Why have 'guests' anyway ??
From: Sorcha
Date: 12-Feb-02 - 12:49 AM

Yup, and Mudcat would win. I guess I should suggest this elsewhere, but what about a required, valid e mail addy for any Guest? That way, we could send an answer for requests and Max and the Elves/Clones would know where the Flaming Troll lives.........

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Subject: RE: Why have 'guests' anyway ??
From: technission
Date: 12-Feb-02 - 02:18 AM

I believe the consensus here (and if it is I agree) is that a genuine troll is best ignored, not to give 'em the satisfaction of a debate etc.- they're not worth the keystrokes! My primary concern is that as a newbie I could be overlooking some legitimate value to a serious/polite but anonymous post, and if there is a good reason for nurturing those I'm seeking that explanation to fill in my missing clues....Also it seemed from Max's Open Letter that some potential site funding might be withdrawn because of frivolously vicious posting or something...? Rustic, thanks for the tip, maybe I can fill in some gaps to satisfy my curiosity. Hey CarolC, not trying to tease you into saying anything further, just want to say re: your 02/12/12:28, that wouldn't offend me even if it was directed at me, and re: your 02/12/12:35 I think you nailed the basic human stupidity there that keeps us from giving peace a chance! But since I'm a glass-half-full kinda person I keep thinking maybe each day a few more people will remember the golden rule...And Sorcha, I agree the jerks don't deserve a response - but isn't it useful to have an occasional one show up? That way even if I'm bitchy I still look good in comparison! <8)# Ann O'Nymous

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Subject: RE: Why have 'guests' anyway ??
From: The Shambles
Date: 12-Feb-02 - 02:58 AM

Jeri said: Of course, it would have been better if we'd all just learned to ignore the silly trolls instead of needing to be protected from them. Too much to ask for, though.

Is it really?.........

Max did not want a a part 2 to his thread and he also indicated there that a letter from Max to members was on the way.

Perhaps members should wait until that thread comes along and read what he as to say, we could possibly have as many parts to that one as we wished?

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Subject: RE: Why have 'guests' anyway ??
From: ClintonHammond
Date: 12-Feb-02 - 03:59 AM

1) this is really just a part 2 to the whole thread... So with that and what's coming after considered, I hope it gets deleted...

2) Only Max hurts Max's chances at financing... a few banner adds on a separate Mudcat page, with an open invite for people to click away would solve 98% of the $$ problems this place has... but Max doesn't want to do that, so... fair enough... this is where the fact that it's not a democracy cuts both ways... Max can run it how ever the hell he wants to.. but apparently that involves passing up readily available sources of income...

So it's HIS choice... There are PLENTY of funding options open to him, but Mudcat is HIS baby, so he can do with it what he decides to do...

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Subject: RE: Why have 'guests' anyway ??
From: technission
Date: 12-Feb-02 - 04:13 AM

Big 10-4 on the waiting, I started this thread and hereby respectfully request it be stopped at this time. I would still rather it be attached to the 200+ post thread and be assimilated there without resistance. I just couldn't post there myself due to some failure (unprecedented!!) of my revered Mac to finish loading the whole thread. (kept getting error messages that a server somewhere had timed out after 120 secs.)

Can I hijack my own thread? >>> Does anybody know why I can't load the big thread? Mac is pre-G3 but not THAT primitive and I've never had this happen before, was it me or was the ether just too busy for my share to come through fast enough?

---------------------------------------------------------

:-)


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Hrothgar
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 05:28 AM

Max, it's your game, so you make the rules.

A couple of observations, though...

I just checked that excellent "Analysis of Raglan Road" thread. I think this is what the whole Mudcat Discussion Forum is supposed to be about.

There are 129 postings, Of these, there were 30 by Guests. Of those 30, 22 gave their names or nicknames (almost like being members!). This leaves just eight who didn't want to either join up or give their name/nickname/nom de plume/whatever. Now, those eight all made positive contributions, but if losing them is the price of getting rid of a lot of the rubbish that's going on, so be it.

Wouldn't the Drumcree thread have been dull without the Guest postings!

These people giving grants aren't the only source of funding. There are a few of us out here who willtry to find something any time you need it.

I resented (on your behalf) the suggestion that you were trying to change things to make money. If I could set up somthing like this, I'd be using the skills somewhere where they would make me some real money.

And lastly, if it's a troll, don't bite!!!!

LOL


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Zipster
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 05:33 AM

I'll keep this brief.

I spent all day Sunday walking in the hills in the Scottish borders with 2 non-musos, telling them about this great site that I had come across.

What was key to me was the feeling of inclusion, I couldn't believe when I first posted (as a guest)that no-one said "who are you" or "bugger-off" this despite the fact that I asked some pretty stupid questions. I felt genuinely honoured that I was obviously sitting in hte company of some serious players, in both senses.

The worry has to be that in changing, the forum doesn't lose something important. At teh end of the day does Mudcat want to be an exclusive gathering or a community performing missionary work for the music. I had thought the latter.

I would still like to know why good people ( and they are the majority ) want to post anonymously. SO far I ahve seen two reason to avoiid embarassment at asking stupid q's (this from a member) and a general internet security issue of not wanting to exchange details.

I am absolutely sure that the die is cast but I'm going to give my thoughts, because I care.

If we new why people post privately it can be addressed, eg above perhaps the security surrounding members details could be published to reassure this guest. Embarassment... well thats perhaps something that individuals have to deal with. If this is a genuine community then free-exchange should be possible.

Rules for teh site more clearly diplayed, including and perhaps most important of all astrict rule not to post or respond to deliberately provocative posting.

With problems I always think the code is determine what the problem is, minimise it and address whats left.

Its great here, lets keep it great.

PS stop slagging each other it looks really poor.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Fossil
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 06:52 AM

OK, I have now given in and got the OK to put a cookie on the PC I use at work. So I can now drop the dreaded "GUEST" appelation and post under my real (?) identity.

My 0.02 euro's worth on this sorry saga: the GUEST mechanism has in fact worked reasonably well for most of the time. There seems to have been a problem recently, but I'm not sure the juvenilia of a few warrants the problems that would be caused to the vast numbers of people who regularly "lurk from work" and occasionally GUEST post if they have something to contribute. Like I used to.

And - I'm an adult, I don't like everything I read here but isn't it like watching TV? There's an "off" button. You don't *have* to read boring, tedious or rude stuff. No-one makes you do it. Personally, I like the Mudcat, warts and all, I've been looking at it for three years now on and off and I'm quite capable of deciding whether someone else is trolling, flaming or just having a robust discussion about something they care deeply about.

And having come rather late into the "Campsite at Drumcree" threads, I'd have been very sorry to lose the possibility of having another of those few days worth of glorious madness just for the sake of a few eejits.

I agree, Max, it's your site, you call the shots. But you have to ask yourself how broken it really is, before you start in on fixing it.

I'm not on the inside, I don't know. Maybe there's stuff going on the average member doesn't see, because the site monitors get to it first. If that's the case, then maybe the Mudcat really *is* broken. I sincerely hope not.

OK, that's it. Best wishes to all Real (and Provisional) Mudcatters and thanks for giving us a great place to be.

Yours ever, Berilac Gamgee from Whitfurrows (see the Inner Hobbit/Let's waste some time thread), formerly GUEST - Tony from Brussels, formerly (and now again) Fossil.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 07:34 PM

OK, Max

Do what you will.

You ain't seen nothing yet.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 07:47 PM

"There is nothing more fraught with risk than an idea before its time, nor is there anything more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Anonymous


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Bearheart
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 07:51 PM

(I had to respond to this thread despite a major respiratory flu, so please bear with misspellings etc.)

Well, I got half way through this thread and decided not to bother reading the rest. I don't have the energy for it. I just have a comment or two to make. This is a music site, first and foremost. That's why I come here. It's usually pretty easy to see which threads are inflammatory. I avoid them. In fact I probably only read about a 1/3 of the music threads, on a good day, because I am primarily a Celtophile and while I like most folk music I don't have time to hang out here all day. I come for the stuff I'm most interested in. It so happens that I've met a lot of like minded folks on the Cat. Folks who share not only my love of music but my brand of spirituality, and my love of the earth; who are interested in healing (thank you, Kat, for bringing it here), gardening, and all the other things we Catters sing about. Of late I have had less time to devote to the Forum, and even less time to share my thoughts. I've had my share of painful experiences here--- attacks on me for my interest in astrology for instance nearly drove me away at one point. Then I thought-- Why? -- It's the music I went there for originally. Sure there are intolerant people there, but I can avoid them by being selective, and also by being tougher skinned. More importantly, when one person attacks another, we're really only showing our most vulnerable side. Most of the posts by guests that I've read (and I won't dignify that appellation by CAPS) sound like they were written by attention-hungry powerless bored people who have no friends (and perhaps a poor relationship with their Dad). It's just obvious. Why else would someone get his jollies by antagonizing others. Most of us have got lives, friends and something to live for. We don't have time to waste on poison. If Max were really the power monger he's accused of being this site would never have been built, because he wouldn't have had time to do so. Or probably inclination. Frankly Max I think your only real failing is that you care too much. But I respect you all the more for it. I think that you over estimate the power of these people to harm the Cat though--- there are too many of us who care about it. Maybe we need to do more to help you keep it alive. Just know that this is the ONLY site that I bother to visit regularly. For ME. I do a lot of social and political action, and alot of scholarship in many different areas, and the web is where I go for some of that. But the Mudcat is my spiritual HOME...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: vectis
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 08:01 PM

Sorry that it has to be done but as things have got to the present state then so be it.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Melani
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 08:03 PM

Just to clarify it for those of you who might not know, I am a registered member who is not at my home computer at the moment.

I gave up reading every post about halfway down. First, I can't imagine why anybody wouldn't want to register in the first place--we all have screen names anyway, and people only know as much about you as you tell them. So what's the problem? Second, in response to a comment above, Max is not trying to make money off this forum, he's trying to get enough financing to keep it going--did you guys think the Internet Fairy was paying the bills?

Do what you have to, Max. A login screen would be fine.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 02 - 08:12 PM

Yes, and a log-in screen that actually works would be even better.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Art Thieme
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 01:21 AM

I just got home and found this thread. Max, I'm with you all the way.

Art


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: John Routledge
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 01:51 PM

"If it were to be done t'were well that it be done quickly" John


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 06:50 PM

One more vote in favor of Max. Now if I can just figure out why I'm posting as 'Guest'

Chicken Charlie


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: JeZeBeL
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 07:29 PM

Thank you Max. All three of us here in this house in the middle of nowhere will support you. This is a lifeline to the rest of the world where we can talk to people with similar interests, whether we're talking about serious music, needing advice or giving advice, or just having a bit of a laugh with our friends to keep our spirits up cos we can't go anywhere, it helps us a great deal. Without this forum I would not have met so many wonderful people and musicians as I have done, or started learning a new instrument, or generally found people who I get along with so well.

Guests who make unwelcome comments are only here to cause trouble, or just don't understand what this forum is to some people, like us. we have one car between the 3 of us, and only get to a session once a week at the jug, so it's nice to be able to come on here and be with friends.

Thank you again big guy, you truly do not know how greatful we are for this site. Do whatever you have to do, you have our support 100%.

Yours truly,

JeZeBeL, catsPhiddle and Chris2far aka emma, cat and chris xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: kendall
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 07:52 PM

Dani my dear, years ago, the wife of a friend of mine upon finding out that I am not a religous fanatic like she is, said to me "If you let the hypocrites keep you out of church, they will also keep you out of heaven." I will not allow any foul mouth unruly guest to run me off. I love it here, and I'm staying.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Gypsy
Date: 13 Feb 02 - 10:59 PM

I repeat what both Nutty and Melani say. I also add, that it is indeed Max's playground, and i don't blame him for wanting to keep it pristine. Or something to that effect. I think this is the ONLY BB that DOESN'T make you register. And i like the idea of newsletters for donations on a yearly basis...would give me a jumpstart, certainly. Add me to the mailing list!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 24 May 02 - 07:02 PM

From max's initial post in this thread:

MEMBERS: We are discussing our options and our technology now, and will post an Open Letter to Members in a week or two to explain what we have decided.

Almost 4 months down the line, would it be unfair to ask what's happening?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: RichM
Date: 24 May 02 - 07:21 PM

Surely not... send a PM to Max...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Devilmaster
Date: 24 May 02 - 07:26 PM

*yawn*


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 24 May 02 - 07:27 PM

Have done, numerous times. All remain unanswered...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 24 May 02 - 07:30 PM

You sound tired, Devilmaster.

Perhaps you should go to bed?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 02 - 02:03 AM

GUEST - move to a static URL from a dynamic - there is a mirror and a screen - notice the "absence" of Max's Mullah's????

Reactivate old cookies or log in under a new personae.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Barry Finn
Date: 26 May 02 - 06:22 PM

Hi Max,
After being on Mudcat close to 5 1/2 yrs & having met you along with accomplices Dick & Susan, Joe Elf & probably near a hundred other mudcatters (all thanks to you) it is YOU who has made this place into a folk community with absolutely no comparison. I couldn't have had a better shot in the arm & a boost in spirit while on my death bed than from those here. I know & see you as the builder/driver of the vechical that allowed this to be. I see no better time than now to take it out of the tail spin that ABUSING guests have seem to be wishing for. The changes that you've made here over the years have always been for the better of all & for the continual survival & enjoyment of the mudcat. NONE has put the TIME, MONEY, BLOOD, SWEAT, EFFORT & PASSION into this site. There are always those that'll bite the hand that feeds them or shit where they eat. We all benefit & are the better for your endevors. Not only is the ball yours to do as you see fit but it's also your court housed in your dwelling. We have for the most part been extremely aware of each other here & indeed have given those that are respectful of this neighborhood the respect due them in return. If you want to run off the bulling guests so be it, it's been a long time coming. Thanks for continuing to make this a better neighboorhood. Barry


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 26 May 02 - 06:32 PM

Please Barry!

If supine adoration suits you, fine. But may I ask a question?

So what has Max done recently to make this a 'better neighborhood?'

Promising things for a year, and not delivering?

Ignoring most people who email suggestions?

Not bothering telling the membership where things are going?

Or have I missed something?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 May 02 - 10:45 PM

What you've missed is Max doesn't owe you or any of the rest of us a damn thing, including an explanation. Get a fucking clue and find something else to do with your time.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Barry Finn
Date: 26 May 02 - 11:44 PM

Dear Guest, you don't deserve an answer nor any respect. Good day & goodbye. Barry


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 27 May 02 - 01:45 AM

There was this woman, no 4 star chef, but decent and desirous of giving it her best. She was willing to feed just about anyone that asked, and it was common knowledge that her home was open to all. Many people would come and bring a loaf of bread, or a bottle of wine to share. Some of the people she liked, some she had no real affinity for, some even urked her some, but she wanted everyone to feel at home, so she turned no one away. A stranger, complaining of being hungry, happened by. She set about the task of doing her best, though it took her some time. She set the meal before him, feeling as though she had done a good deed, and happy to have been able to provide the stranger with nourishment. The man then proceeded to critique her hard work rather harshly. He, a total stranger to her. He said that he could get better swill from a garbage bin, and asked when she was going to serve a better meal than this? He harshly told her she should try harder, and that it should be forthcoming immediately. It wasn't as if she could possibly have anything better to do, and it was obviously not as if she didn't have the money to do so. He complained that she took too long to bring it. He complained that the seasonings were wrong. He complained that she used cheap ingredients. He complained that she was not forthcoming with ideas for how she was going to do better next time. He complained that her home was not neat. He complained that she had not offered him her best china. He complained that she had not offered him a bed. He complained that she was nicer to the people who had come over more often. And he was angry when she got upset and asked him to please be a little more appreciative, and a little more polite in her home. He was even surprised and more angry when she finally lost her temper and asked him to leave.

Sound familiar?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 27 May 02 - 04:33 AM

Missed this thread when it started, and just read it (the whole shebang!)
Max: I'm with you all the way!
As someone pointed out halfway through this thread, the posts from some of the "Guests" in this thread make it quite clear your actions are justified.

Que Sera Sera!

Nigel


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: John J
Date: 27 May 02 - 07:37 AM

Go for it Max, you have my full approval to do as you think fit.

Your record shows you are a most considerate person who would not criticise, condemn or complain about others and their behaviour without substantial justification.

John


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 27 May 02 - 07:54 AM

Celtic Soul,

Your analogy doesn't ring true.

Continuing with your metaphor, the hostess has asked which china to use, how best to season the dish etc.

Many have gone out of their way to look up recipes, find china catalogues etc.

The hostess has then said that the meal will be ready very soon.

Everyone is hungry and getting ready to enjoy the meal. The meal doesn't turn up, so the people wait a bit longer, then longer still. Everyone is getting very hungry. Eventually, someone tries to find the hostess, nowhere to be seen...

Sound familiar?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: RichM
Date: 27 May 02 - 08:18 AM

I get impatient with guests too, sometimes.
But telling someone to get a fucking clue, is over the top. Is ANYONE in the inner circle in touch with the wizard these days?

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 27 May 02 - 08:42 AM

OMG, here I go again...

Unfortunately again I find myself biting at member comments once more.

I think if most of us were honest, if we made a public statement indicating we would do something (regardless of whether we were obliged to do it), we would expect to be taken to task if we failed to keep our word.

Jon


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 27 May 02 - 08:49 AM

Jon,

To my mind it's not the failure to do it that irks.

It's the complete lack of communication.

A message from Max saying, 'sorry, I'm busy, the upgrade is on hold' would be fine by me, and I suspect everyone else.

And Kat, yes I do think that Max owes us that much


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 27 May 02 - 08:52 AM

Agreed guest.

Jon


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: kendall
Date: 27 May 02 - 09:03 AM

While we are on the subject, guest, what have YOU done to make this a better site? Many of us know what Max has been up against these past couple of years, and, we know that pleasing the nit pickers is not a priority for him. You have a right to express your opinion here, but, so does one who suggests that you "bugger off". It's that free speech thing.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 27 May 02 - 09:09 AM

Right you are kendall--telling people to bugger off is a real meaningful contribution.

Isn't this a bit ludicrous people? This thread is 3 months old, and over 250 posts. It was refreshed by a trolling guest. Wouldn't people's time be better spent either ignoring this thread altogether, or at least creating a "continued" thread that is manageable for most people to read?

Damned if I'll read 250 posts vitriol being spit between members and guests. But then, some of you can't seem to get enough vitriol in your internet diet.

Sigh.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: RichM
Date: 27 May 02 - 09:19 AM

I get impatient with guests too, sometimes.
But telling someone to get a fucking clue, is over the top. Is ANYONE in the inner circle in touch with the wizard these days?

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 27 May 02 - 09:21 AM

Guest,

The reason why this thread is so long is that Max said (way up earlier)

Any Part II to this thread will be deleted as promptly as we can manage

Hence the current length...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 27 May 02 - 09:35 AM

Hey other guest, thanks for the info. But that said, why not just start a new thread then? wouldn't be unprecendented, after all. We've seen many "what is happening to the Mudcat upgrade" threads here, which inevitably turn into the "Max doesn't owe you guest losers a thing" threads.

If people REALLY wanted to discuss the upgrade, what is stopping people from just starting a new thread with a blue clickie to this one if they so desire?

Or do you suppose that Max means that the questions about "where is that upgrade you promised us months/years ago" will be deleted promptly?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 27 May 02 - 09:41 AM

I'm not starting a new thread as it would inevitably mean McGrath bumbling in and telling us (with his vast experience, of course) how Mudcat is the zenith of all web discussion rooms etc.

No thanks


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 27 May 02 - 09:55 AM

Guest replied: "Continuing with your metaphor, the hostess has asked which china to use, how best to season the dish etc. Many have gone out of their way to look up recipes, find china catalogues etc. The hostess has then said that the meal will be ready very soon. Everyone is hungry and getting ready to enjoy the meal. The meal doesn't turn up, so the people wait a bit longer, then longer still. Everyone is getting very hungry. Eventually, someone tries to find the hostess, nowhere to be seen..."

The Hostess is feeding you for free...If her seasonings aren't right, who are you to critique them? If she says she'll be ready in an hour and it takes 4, who are you to critique her? If she serves it on paper plates, who are you to tell her where to get china?

If you don't like the way she runs her kitchen (note, kitchen...NOT restaurant), go home to your own and do better.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 27 May 02 - 10:01 AM

If her seasonings aren't right, who are you to critique them?

Because she specifiaclly asked me (the membership) to critique them, then said she'd take my ideas onboard, then seemingly buggered off.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: RichM
Date: 27 May 02 - 10:31 AM

alright, I'm outta this thread.
It's too long, it doesn't reflect well on guests, members or the Wizard....sometimes pissing in the pot is unproductive when the pot's already full.

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 27 May 02 - 10:37 AM

Perhaps she *did* ask. It's still her kitchen, and it's still her choice, and it's still her timeline to set. If you want a meal you can critique and participate in, open a restaurant or invite others to your house.

If I went to the home of a veritable stranger for a *free* meal, even if she did ask my opinion, I would not expect her to use it, I would not expect her to have a timeline, and I would *never* *ever* think of criticising her work.

If I want it my way, I'll go to Burger King.

And now, I'll follow Rich M's sage advice.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Guessed
Date: 27 May 02 - 11:50 AM

Kerb the guests I say
except me of course - honest broker I be.
I have to say it will not deter tose few determined trolls but the average folkie I find (and I was no exception - even as a PC literate) posts first and joins second.
We will not get the second post if the first is too difficult.
trolls will know how to delete their cookies but then naive users are unlikely to so they can be monitored. Tough one Max, big brother and all that. With you whatever you decide.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: DonD
Date: 27 May 02 - 12:28 PM

Missing from the generous hostess analogy is the greeting at the door: "Hello, come in to our open-house: who are you?"

To which the response is, "Never you mind who I am! Your house is ugly, your idea of interior decorating sucks, the temperature in here is too hot or cold and you'll never be able to get it right, I don't like the other people here (those who aren't ignorant are vulgar) and I don't like you especially, since I suspect that you are only having this party for secret venial reasons -- NOW where the *@#* is my dinner?! And by the way, I know where you live and you can expect me to drop in any time I damn well feel like it to raid your fridge and then complain about the contents. You can live with it, or move out of town, or -- put a lock on the door."


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: John J
Date: 27 May 02 - 12:39 PM

".....And Kat, yes I do think that Max owes us that much" posted by 'GUEST'.

Don't be bloody ridiculous, if you had half a brain you would realise WE owe Max.

John


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Sonja
Date: 29 May 02 - 02:02 AM

Max, I totally understand your frustration and irritation and the practical issues (e.g., potential funders being dissuaded by the trolling and flaming posts). So do whatcha gotta do.

FWIW, I have posted and answered requests for song lyrics and other music-related info, contributed to Song Challenge!s (even won a few B.L.O.B.s and Cow Chips from Áine), and posted parodies and other songs that I have written and occasionally contributed to a silly non-music forum discussion (e.g., "Funny Names of Towns). I don't believe I've ever been guilty of what you would call trolling or flaming. (If I have ever crossed the line, I'm confident it was only a teensy bit. I never post obscenities or insults.)

And, oh, yes, I have contributed financially to Mudcat. (See related PM as to how I did this.)

I guess I could become a member--I do have an email address. However, becoming a member could be misleading (again, for reasons explained in a PM).

So, if you go to a "members only" posting policy, Sonja (and her song contributions) will probably disappear from Mudcat.

Meanwhile, some Mudcat members will continue to post rather mean-spirited, presumptuous ad hominems that tend to derail legitimate music-related threads.

I don't envy your dilemma, Max. One way or another, though, I'll support whatever decision you make.

Sonja

BTW, FWIW, I'm at my laptop, away from my home right now. I can walk across the room and log in on the desktop computer without logging out or resetting my cookie, because there are cookies on both computers. So, I could post twice in a row with different IPs.

AND As several of y'all have reiterated,

WHY IS IT SO HARD JUST TO GIVE THE TROLLERS AND FLAMERS A GOOT LETTIN' ALONE?

GAWD, I don't even open up 70-95% of the BS threads, and if I do open one (jusst to find out what it's about) and it doesn't interest me, I don't post to it. Othewise, I'd never get any work done!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 29 May 02 - 03:15 AM

I signed in just as "Guest" to make a point:

I am not any of the "Guests" who posted above, but if I don't put any identification on my post, folks will probably connect my posted thoughts with those of any and all other "Guests" in this thread.

I like the idea of guests being able to post--ir members posting as "guests" if they have a legitimate reason for not wanting a (non-inflammatory) post associated with their name. But perhaps they should be required to post SOME SORT OF NAME --be it Hieronymous Bosch or Wanda Jam, or whatever--so that multiple guests posting to the thread will not automatically be presumed to be one and the same.

Is it feasible to require "Guests" to put some kind of name in the blank, even if not their real name or regular Mudcat name (if they are members)?

Calico


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 29 May 02 - 06:23 AM

Though this issue has become polarised into Guests vs. Members, the real trouble is flaming/trolling vs. censorship. I have seen plenty of guest posts which are interesting, amusing and enriching, and I have seen nasty and pointless posts by members. There do seem to be more guest-flames than member-flames (though I haven't tallied them) but I don't believe for a minute that it's because members are of superior character. It's just that having an exclusive identity – even a pseudonym – which people can reply to and trace does tend to act as a behaviour brake. And, let me tell you, writing under your own full name concentrates the mind wonderfully!

Since one of the basic conflicts is the question of freedom of speech, what about setting up a perma-thread and then transferring all the insults, rebuttals, name-calling and fights from every thread into it, regardless of the sender's status? People can then slug it out as much as they want but not dilute the original thread with off-topic distractions; and it would be irrelevant who is a member and who is a guest. The thread-name (or at least its key words) would have to be included as part of the header of each new message, but that doesn't seem to be an insurmountable problem. I know it's a bit inconvenient for the flamers, but it would still give them a forum while keeping the initial subject on course. Where a flame was first posted in a particular thread, the space could be retained but the text transferred to the perma-thread, with a standard notice redirecting the viewer to it. It may not be immediately apparent that a flame-war is going to ignite, but once it has, all contributing parties can be moved en masse, with a notification of where to look if you want to read it.

Yeah, I know: Who decides when something is a flame and when it's simply healthy dissent? Somebody has to, and own my feeling is that he who pays the piper… But at least everyone would be able to see how the judgements have been made, and they all have the chance to speak freely. Also, these consequences are a result of something which one has chosen to do of his/her own will (i.e. post a particular type of message), not something that he/she IS (i.e. A Member or A Guest) so an element of control lies with the sender. This should help ease the division because the perma-thread would not be populated exclusively by one "side" or the other.

I'm sure someone is bound to comment that it's too much like being made to sit in the corner facing the wall. But what are the alternatives? Ongoing pollution with negative energy? Censorship? A widening shell-scarred no-man's-land between members and guests?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 29 May 02 - 06:52 AM

Yeah, I know: Who decides when something is a flame and when it's simply healthy dissent?

Exactly.

Your suggestion would simple cause huge resentment and thousands of flames.

Bad Idea. A Miss


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 29 May 02 - 01:10 PM

And what are we getting now?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: 53
Date: 29 May 02 - 01:33 PM

Still well said Max. I enjoy the cat and for those who don't well you know where to get off. Bob


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 May 02 - 02:05 PM

Bonnie, we members have tried something like that before with specific threads for just ranting, but it inevitably spills over. The other thing is it would take several joeclones being constantly vigilant to spot all of those types of postings and get them moved. I don't think it would be feasible for that and several other reasons. Max has some good things planned, from what I know, with the upgraded version which will help with some of this.

kat


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Barry Finn
Date: 29 May 02 - 08:31 PM

It's not all that hard to become a member, no harm in it & not at all painful either. On the other hand Max is jumping through a ring of fire just to keep things on an even keel, FOR US & taking quite a bit of abuse to boot. Give him a brake & post as a member. It's a hard enough task just to keep this site up & running never mind trying to be on top of all the personalities, improvements, begging for civility, updating the site constantly & etc, etc, etc, etc....... He's doing all the hard work & we reap. Becoming a member like he's mentioned is the least we can do, even if it's only out of respect. Barry


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: toadfrog
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 03:35 PM


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Hippie Chick
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 06:17 PM

Sounds like the best choice to me Max.   This is too good of a music information site to have to worry about flaming and whining shutting it down.

Hippie Chick


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Sam L
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 06:34 PM

Thanks for refreshing this. I was unaware of the concerns here.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Hippie Chick
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 06:45 PM

It's important. I love seeng the variety of different opinions, but those who post purely to belittle, deride, and otherwise mock, they should be banned. IMHO. I don't mind that people disagree with me. Some of my closest friends disagree with me about quite a bit. But abuse, rumor-mongering, character defamation, etc. are really uncalled for.

HC


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Strupag
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 06:49 PM

I don't know how I misssed this thread but 240 postings or so later could I just say that I support Max 110%.
Slainte agus sith!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 06:53 PM

Wow, this thread was a year ago? I thought it was longer ago than that... Well, since this has been refreshed, I officially withdraw my meaningless support of Max's never-implimented reforms. I started changing my mind about the whole "anonymous GUEST" issue soon after this thread appeared, and realised that the larger problem was members with weird hang-ups about anonymity (myself at the time included). I think, uh, a few people might disagree with me on that. :)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Cluin
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 06:53 PM

Because it's an old thread from last year.

But still current in its concerns.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Amos
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 08:06 PM

Lepus,

I would like o offer a thought -- the point has never been hangups about anonymity. There are only two problems associated with the AG syndrome. One is that as a rule, the AG is usually the signature of choice for people who would rather spew than communicate. They may do this for personal reasons or personality disorder reasons, i don't care. It means that you don't know to whom you owe the honor of being flamed or slung poo at. This demoralizes those who are astill trying to maintain a modicum or rationality around here.

Second of all, because there are no distinguishing features from one AG to the next, it is confusing to sort out who is saying what, and this undermines the communication power of the firum, which is antisocial and is not done unknowingly. It is the kind of thing the immature often do, just before puberty, but why should it be added to the ordinary work of commubnicating here at the Cat?

Aside from these two issues which are communication issues, I have no complaints about anonymity. There are dozens of handles in use here for which I know NOTHING about the oowner -- you're aohng them. You're perfectly anaonymous as far as I am concerned, because all I know of you is the fictitious handle. But at least I can talk to you and feel like I am speaking to one person on a consistent basis.

A


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 08:23 PM

to those who still want to be anonymous, in spite of everything:

the point is, it is rude to BE 'totally' anonymous, except temporarily or by accident. Therefore complaints about rude responses to continuous anonymous posts are silly and miss the point.

If you are playing loud, disruptive music at the beach you might expect to get less than genteel remarks...and if you then walk up and down the beach bitching about how YOU were mistreated by those remarks, you simply don't comprehend common courtesy. (Remarks about 'public beach' and 'just ignore it, if you don't like it', just further show that you consider your self interests above the interests of the majority.)


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Richie
Date: 21 Feb 03 - 09:48 PM

The Mudcat is simple a great research tool and as a professional musician- a great place to share and receive ideas with others.

I agree that some the GUEST posts have been out of line at times but it doesn't bother me. Having outside GUEST posts are a good way to get new people involved. Some GUESTS have added a lot to threads.

I wonder what Max thinks now...almost one year later.

Max?

-Richie


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Neighmond
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 12:43 AM

As guests in another's house (it even says in the heading that you are "Guest") it is only good manners that you abide by the rules of the house. If you cannot abide by the rules of the house the time will pass when you cease at being a guest and begin to be a pest. Remember this simple childhood doggerel:

When you roam far from your home be a guest and not a pest.

I am sure they taught deportment in school, if only certian of our number would have stayed awake and availed themselves of it, how wonderful it would have been.

Chaz


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Biskit
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 03:22 AM

MAX!
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all that you've done. I've not had the time I used to have to visit the Mudfolk, but I still check in from time to time. I'm sorry you're havin' such a hard time with rude people that can't seem to comprehend the written word.
But some people just aren't happy unless they're stirrin' up shit. I know in the past I've managed to piss some people off, but at least I signed my name to'er. and if I found I was wrong, or if I got to feelin' guilty 'bout somethin' I said, I apologized promptly an' I signed my name to that too!... So do what ya gotta do man, I'd appreciate it if you'd include me on your list "to keep" though,...
I think I'd really miss this place.
PEACE!(through understanding)
~Biskit~


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 08:41 AM

Well, I've just read this entire thread. I found only one post that is worth repeating for it's sense, wisdom, and knowledge of this forum. Here is is:

Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: sophocleese
Date: 11 Feb 02 - 08:52 AM

"Guest versus non-guest" is a silly way to regard the problems here at Mudcat. Rudeness has always been a problem from members and guests alike. If you want a place without an obtrusive moderator people have to moderate their own behaviour. If you want to start moderating moderate actions not signatures.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 08:59 AM

I also noted that this thread was refreshed by toadfrog, who in the "Cut and Paste Prohibitions" thread, seems disturbed by the double standards for regulating bad behavior in the forum--one standard for guests, one for standard for members.

I don't know what your motives were for refreshing this thread toadfrog. I don't know that most people will bother reading this long a thread. It is a good illustration of a serious problem in Mudcat which still exists. Max made the same threat Joe Offer is now making on his behalf, in the "Cut and Paste Prohibitions" thread. Neither have made good on their threats to get rid of the guests.

So what does their (Max & Joe Offer's) anti-guest vitriol accomplish? I think the answer is, it maintains the forum hierarchy. Why they feel they need a forum hierarchy that allows members' shit to roll down hill onto guests, I'll never know. But maybe they like the power buzz they get by being the group's alpha males. Over and over again, you read posts that say "as soon as I saw how guests were treated here, I joined right away". That should tell the Big Dogs something--like the member/guest log-in system has created a sub-class of posters, and that sort of dynamic isn't a healthy, positive one.

Lepus Rex is right. Some members here really do have a dysfunction about anonymity. But the member/guest problem here goes much deeper than that. Max & Joe's behavior is textbook male dominance. It is about power, dominance, subordination, and hierarchy. And there is a very dark side to that. Very, very dark.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 11:22 AM

Matriot WAMSO, that is a load of aul shite. Once again you try and focus it off to the wrong issue. No one cares about anonymity, per se. It is when you use you supposed anonymity to post flame posts, oft times acting like you are two or three different people, and you do this just to stir trouble. As to the supposed "hierarchy", that is a load as well. What you call the hierarchy are folks who have a history of helping financially, and with the duties, around here. The place would not exist without them.

Just the very act of creating false predicates in these threads shows what your intent is. The very act of taking the kernel of a legitimate criticism, and turning it into something destructive indicates what you are about. Do us all a favor? Try taking up a musical instrument..............and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.

Mick


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Amos
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 11:34 AM

Guest Matriot,

What you are doing is actually destructive in nature.

While it is not very effective, the intention behind your actions is a serious question.


It is time for you to face up to the fact that you are in the throes of a harmful intention, and are dramatizing it. Until you do face that, you will be unable to escape the issue, and dramatizing it further, with all the rationalization you are so good at, will simply make your entrapment more solid. You really need to get wise to yourself, pal. Start now.

A


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter from Max to GUESTS
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 12:09 PM

Gee, I hate it when people refresh these old, contentious threads. There was one thread going on the subject, and that's enough. Our defiant Guest taunts that while Max threatened controls in times past, he didn't bring them into effect. Our Guest thinks the same thing will happen with what I've threatened, and I hope that's correct. We do our best to control this Forum as little as we can, hoping that people will be civil and police themselves. Generally, it works.
We get no pleasure out of controlling the discussion here. We don't want to do it. I'm still hoping things will settle down.
If you want to discuss this matter any further, please do it in the current thread on the topic, Cut-and-Paste Prohibitions.
-Joe Offer-


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