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BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?

Jon Freeman 15 Jun 02 - 11:02 AM
C-flat 15 Jun 02 - 11:58 AM
Joe Offer 15 Jun 02 - 12:27 PM
Deckman 15 Jun 02 - 01:19 PM
Jon Freeman 15 Jun 02 - 01:42 PM
Jon Freeman 15 Jun 02 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,An enquiring mind 15 Jun 02 - 01:54 PM
wysiwyg 15 Jun 02 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,The English Professor 15 Jun 02 - 02:15 PM
Amos 15 Jun 02 - 03:00 PM
Big Mick 15 Jun 02 - 03:05 PM
catspaw49 15 Jun 02 - 04:32 PM
mack/misophist 15 Jun 02 - 04:46 PM
catspaw49 15 Jun 02 - 04:58 PM
Joe Offer 15 Jun 02 - 05:19 PM
Jon Freeman 15 Jun 02 - 07:14 PM
Gareth 15 Jun 02 - 07:55 PM
Celtic Soul 16 Jun 02 - 12:56 AM
Hrothgar 16 Jun 02 - 05:41 AM
kendall 16 Jun 02 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,Shenandoah 16 Jun 02 - 10:30 AM
Celtic Soul 16 Jun 02 - 10:42 AM
RichM 16 Jun 02 - 10:42 AM
catspaw49 16 Jun 02 - 10:48 AM
GUEST,Shenandoah 16 Jun 02 - 11:25 AM
Steve in Idaho 16 Jun 02 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,Shenandoah 16 Jun 02 - 11:48 AM
wysiwyg 16 Jun 02 - 11:59 AM
Jon Freeman 16 Jun 02 - 12:11 PM
Gareth 16 Jun 02 - 12:11 PM
GUEST,Shenandoah 16 Jun 02 - 12:15 PM
Kernow John 16 Jun 02 - 12:35 PM
SINSULL 16 Jun 02 - 01:06 PM
Joe Offer 16 Jun 02 - 01:08 PM
SINSULL 16 Jun 02 - 01:18 PM
greg stephens 16 Jun 02 - 01:25 PM
catspaw49 16 Jun 02 - 01:30 PM
Gareth 16 Jun 02 - 01:32 PM
catspaw49 16 Jun 02 - 01:51 PM
katlaughing 16 Jun 02 - 02:36 PM
Big Mick 16 Jun 02 - 02:45 PM
Ebbie 16 Jun 02 - 03:24 PM
Nigel Parsons 16 Jun 02 - 03:52 PM
GUEST 16 Jun 02 - 04:18 PM
GUEST,Shenandoah 16 Jun 02 - 04:54 PM
Jack the Sailor 16 Jun 02 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,Shenandoah 16 Jun 02 - 05:06 PM
catspaw49 16 Jun 02 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,Shenandoah 16 Jun 02 - 05:14 PM
GUEST 16 Jun 02 - 05:21 PM

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Subject: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 11:02 AM

I know I'll come in for some stick for starting this one but I've probably gone too far already. I also know I took a different stance last time this subjcet cropped up but in view of talk of Mudcat needing more money, organisations like UK friends of Mudcat, grants being talked about, etc. I will re-raise the issue.

Firstly, I think providing such things would remove a burden from Max, maybe give this place some more direction and perhaps remove some doubts/questions. I for example have some that I can not reconcile:

1. The development cycle here. Without being funny, I would estimate that I could from scratch copy Mudcat and add most if not all of the new features I have seen mentioned and have a stable version running with 6 weeks yet a year ago, a new version was only 2 weeks away. I'm not saying there can't be problems, people should not have their own lives, I don't even question Jeff's programming abilities (in fact I have a lot of respect for him) but the situation does not make any sense to me and I wish I knew why and how help could be given.

2. Mudcat is often talked about as if it is state of the art. The reality is Mudcat is unstable and apparently uses kit that is several years old (e.g. shorty, a 300hz PC). The reasons here are probably financial but what can be done to help and how is the money if any to be spent?

3. On my searching, I found that cognitive science.org shows the same IP address as help.mudcat.org. The most likely reason is that the 2 domains share the same server using a virtual server solution. Onstage Media also, to the best of my knowledge only has one line which Mudcat shares. What part of the total costs is allocated to each company or organisation?

Wouldn't it perhaps make more sense to have a commitee to help steer the direction of Mudcat and to produce accounts so everyone can see what is happening, where money is going and where money is needed? ... and perhaps also give other practical help where needed? Wouldn't a system where everyone could pull together be desirable?

As it stands, to me, I see money (probably not enough) coming in and Mudcat still declining in terms of what it can offer (shory "died", I don't know where loki went or dharma for that matter, radio went, etc.) and no indication of what in terms of regular finaces would be needed to improve matters.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: C-flat
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 11:58 AM

Jon, I don't know anything about the technical side of running this site and, as a new boy to Mudcat, don't know the personalities that drive it either but it seems clear to me that this is Maxs' baby and he regards it as a labour of love rather than a burden. I don't think we can expect to set up a commitee or demand to see accounts, which would surely be a timetaking exercise, in order to take over the running of this site. The recent problems experienced here have been frustrating and a number of us are grateful to you for your own site to fall back on, so I'd be the last person to be critical of you in raising this matter, but if Max wants financial support he knows where and how to ask for it and I suppose we should let him run his site as he wants it to run and offer our support if he needs it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 12:27 PM

Personally, I hate committees, and I don't want to see Mudcat run by a committee. If a committee wants to run a folk music site, they're welcome to - but I see no reason why we need a committee for this site.

No, Mudcat isn't all that it could be, but it hums along quite well, from a technical standpoint. The content is provided by the people who post messages at Mudcat. There is a lot of good-quality content to explore, and more content is added every day.

The technical features will be implemented when Max is able to implement them. In the meantime, I think the site operates quite well.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Deckman
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 01:19 PM

Hi Jon Freeman,

As a very strong fan of MUDCAT, I read your posting with great interest. Like another poster above, I also am not a "puter whiz bang kid," but I can handle my machine adequalty most of the time.

What came to my mind when I read your note was your motive. I mean no dissrespect to you sir, but what are you after?

Not being an 'dot com' guy, but being a businessman, I have always felt that MUDCAT is very ripe for exploitation. It could be structured in such a way that membership fees would be required and banners of advertising could be sold.

I would not like to see this happen. Let me draw a comparison.

Many years ago, several of us in the Seattle area founded the Pacific Northwest Folklife Festival. It has become very successful. So successful in fact, that a few years ago, the Seattle City Council explored the idea of charging an admission fee. When the word of this ploy got out, us singers (is that a term?) all wrote to the City Council. We reminded them that the success of the festival was largly due to the free and voluntary participation of the singers. We suggested that if they try to charge the public for attendance, we will charge them for performance fees. The idea died overnight.

So it is with MUDCAT. We are the site. It's our notes, freely given that make it strong.

Again, I mean no dissrespect sir. CHEERS, Bob Nelson


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 01:42 PM

I'll contine to read most but, Deckman, I will respond to your question now as it is reasonable and I'm aware, particularly as I run an off shoot of this place that my motives can and will be questioned.

I'd first like to describe a little bit of my own nature as it might help put matters in context...

I'm a pretty screwed up person in some ways but I do like to see things done well and like to be involved but my preffered position in life is a background role rather than being a "this is mine", "I'm a leader", type of person so to that extent, I can assure you I'm not interested in a take over bid - it's not my way. I don't necessarly even have any interest in being part of a committee or steering group.

The other side of my own peculiar make up does see things going wrong here which I can't change or even fail to see if I try to ignore and in some ways, I have a "perfectionist" streak in me as well as a desire to be honest with others and to expect honestey in return.

What I see here is Mudcat progressing and thats it. I'd like to see the site be able to react quickly to new needs, be able to host without frequent breakdowns, become a centre of excellence for study as well as what it offers, etc. and although promises such as upgrades are there the gap between delivery and current state of affairs seems to widen.

It would be absolute madness to try to create another music site and Mudcat with money coming in (maybe not enough), a developer, and the hugely important dt has far more advantages than any other site I can think of.

Ultimately I'd like to see the site realise it's potential which is enormous.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 01:44 PM

"What I see here"... I meant "What I'd like to see here"

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: GUEST,An enquiring mind
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 01:54 PM

"I'm aware, particularly as I run an off shoot of this place that my motives can and will be questioned."

What is your offshoot of this place?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 01:56 PM

Jon,

I appreciate your prompt reply to my PM of concern. Now that people have begun posting, of course there is no question now of deleting the thread, even if you were to request it.

What I have noticed over the time I have known you is that you get frustrated when you see a problem you can't help solve, and then when you offer help and it's not accepted, for whatever reason someone might have not to accept it, you feel so unappreciated that you go beyond what would be a resasonable cource of action. Soon people will begin posting "Jon's right, I agree, yada yada yada...." And that will make you feel better for a time, that people agreed with your idea. It's a regular cycle of behavior, with you, Jon, and each time it seems to make sense at the time and then later you realize.... it didn't make sense, really.

But this is not your site to lead. All these threads accomplish, when you start them, is to distract people from the things they are already doing to improve the site, and get others even more frustrated than they already were, about how long that is taking.

Max knows what Max needs to do, and he knows when and how to ask for help. He may, for istance, be in the process of planning whatever governing mechanism would be necessary if he receives grant funding. The point is, it's Max who has to do what makes sense to Max to do, and none of the rest of us knows enough about all the complexities involved to advise him, at this point.

So to offer advice, in such a fashion that it becomes pressure, is just not helpful.

Again, this is not your site to lead, your problem to solve, your area in which to give unsolicited advice. The reasons for that fact should remain between you and Max, and a thread like this does nothing to resolve them.

BUT-- you don't need Mudcat to be anything other than it is, or to get appreciation here. You have your OWN things where you lead, solve problems, and solicit and exchange advice. Could I suggest, as your friend, that you keep your focus there, where you really ARE appreciated more than you know?

love,

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: GUEST,The English Professor
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 02:15 PM

Talk about padding a message. WYSIWYG just used 385 words to say "fuck off" to a guy whose only crime is good intentions. Then she signs off with "love."


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Amos
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 03:00 PM

Jon:

I would suggest if you mean to recommend positive changes that you communicate them to those who can and do work the development and policy issues of the Mudcat.

The reason you might appear to be more of a troublemaker than a helper sometimes is because you are broadcasting your complaints to be those who cannot do anything about the issues except add to the noise factor, really. This takes on the flavor of agent provocateur. It may not be anything at all like what you intend, but you should know that it does come across that way sometimes and perhaps think of a way to address that.

It is possible, being raised in a socialist country, that the ancient tradition of ownership has become a bit obscure to you. The ownershiip of the Mudcat is not in its members -- they simply provide the beauty and the power of their viewpoints in exchange for the opportunity to hear those of others; but the medium -- the service structure, name, code, hardware, design and control of the Mudcat belongs to someone. If you want him to change it, you have to communicate to him, or those he delegates his authority to. Stirring up populist sentiment on complaints is not productive. In fact it is, dare i say it, quite the opposite.

Providing voluntary donations is a free choice; once it is done, those donations are applied to the maintenance and operation of the Mudcat by its owner. We who come here are visitors, not owners, not workers, not members of a society in any legal sense, and we really (IMHO) should not whine about the decisions of our host. It makes us look like flaming assholes when we do. If you want a penny-list of your funds, keep them in your own bank account and let well enough alone. If you don't trust Max, don't send him money -- that's rudimentary.

That said, it may be that some kind of organized fundraising group or resource-acquisition group for hardware might help, but this is a discussion you should have with him, not with some nebulous population of visitors like yourself. You want to build a hardware supply line, go ahead and do so. I am sure Max can speak articulately about what is needed.

The fact that you yourself do not know what happened to Shorty doesn't mean anything wrong was done. You answered your own question, I think, when you said you see insuifficient money coming in and some contraction in the 'Cat's service level. The two seem to be the complete story as far as I cansee -- why would you be inclined to assume otherwise?

A

Do you really think a creature with twenty legs and no eyes (the committee you suggest) would achieve anything? If so I can only suggest you study the history of decisive management, innovation, discovery, and I suggest you will discover, no matter how hidden, that no good thing has ever entered this world except by the act of an able individual.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Big Mick
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 03:05 PM

Ignore the English Professor. That is a blatant attempt to get WYSI to respond and start a fight. There is none to start.

I don't question Jon's motives, as I have "known" him a long time. He is genuinely interested in this place being the best it can be. I accept that. I also accept that he is a very talented programmer and has devised a very nice complimentary annexe to this place. It is a job well done.

But Jon's premise in this thread is faulty from the beginning. His basic premise is that a committee would be more effective and setting up accounts and plans would make the place operate more effectively. The error in that is that it is not his, mine, or anyone else that uses this site, right to implement anything. The place exists only because Max keeps it going. Max keeps it going for several reasons. First, because he loves the place and the music, and is willing to host it IN HIS SPARE TIME in between making enough money to eat and pay bills. Second, out a sense of love and loyalty to those who have shown love and loyalty to him. Third, because Jeff is a talented programmer and agrees to stick around and help AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE in his SPARE time. Fourth, because Joe and his clones agree to help with the day to day housekeeping, IN THEIR SPARE TIME. Finally, because almost but not quite enough of us agree to support the place with our talents, gifts and money to allow Max to operate the joint for our enjoyment. Even though it sets him back a bit financially.

I appreciate Jon's concern, but I don't like the backhanded comments about how fast the upgrade should have and would have been done if he were doing it. That is not relevant. Perhaps Jon's life is such, and his finances is such, that he could do it quicker. It is not his though. And had Max not designed it the way he had, Jon would likely not even have a website of this type. The point is that it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. It is Max's. Stay or leave as you choose, but quit with the nonsense thread's that are nothing more than backhanded attempts to point out what is wrong. I know Jon's intention is that best, but it is not his to tinker with. Leave it alone.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 04:32 PM

So if I just say "Fuck Off," then you nail me for being an asshole in a different way huh Prof? Friggin' trolls...........

Jon, I don't question your motives and I am sure you aren't interested in a takeover.......but even if you were, my response here doesn't change. You run a nice site at The Annexe and what you say about things here are true as well, but let me give you my take for whatever it's worth.

First, MAX: It's no secret that Max has come through some rough times and his time for this place has not been what he would have liked. Fortunately he has some good friends, and one in particular---Pene Azul/Jeff. Jeff has done a ton of work in development of the new site and is investing a LOT of hours himself in getting things right. Jeff isn't the kind of guy who stands out front and takes credit, but I can tell you HE IS THE MAN!!!! I'm sure Max will tell anyone the same thing. Jeff has had a few bad times too of late and I know he has valued having Max around for him as Max has always had Jeff there when he needed him. Two good friends....a rare commodity, but they know each will be there for the other. Jeff has been and continues to work hard both on the everyday and the development work.
Max is out working for someone else, trying to get his life in order, and spending what time he can on this place he loves. To the best of my knowledge, Onstage is basically a dead and gone proposition, living on in name only. When both are satisfied with the new update work and when they can put in the time together, the site will get the update.....and let's talk about that.

RE: The "UPDATE"......Most of it is done and there have been a lot of hours put into it. The new site will satisfy the concerns of most everyone here......A complete change in the PM system which makes it searchable, more manageable, and easier to use; a link maker that works nicely; no line breaks needed anymore, but you can still use html to your heart's content; a posting preview that allows you to edit before you submit as many times as you like; a system that keeps you from multiple posting; search improvement that does still rely on the addition of threads to the data, but it works well; a system for threads over 50 posts to be broken in section for easier loading for all, regardless of their equipment; a printer friendly thread option with the obvious advantages; a BS filter option; and about another 50 or so things already in place that involve both utilitarian and cosmetic improvements.   Additionally, the new site works quite well and is very reliable (the features work).   There are several other things that I have not seen that Jeff is working on with all the spare time he has and I know he would like to include when the update is done. Personally, what's done so far is great and I'd like to see it installed for everyone tomorrow.......but what's the rush? If Jeff or Max want to add a few more touches to satisfy themselves, have at it!

MONEY: (This is not directed at Jon, but on the issue he raises) Well this one strikes me as a "who cares?" of the first order. If anyone wants to donate there is a way to do it. If a person does not want to donate, nobody is twisting any arms. Those that donate have a right to expect the same thing that they should expect anytime they give money to one cause/charity/friend/whatever or another.......absolutely nothing. I learned a long time ago that if I expected something in return when I did "something nice." then I was a fool. We donate because we believe in things or want them to succeed. Mudcat is NOT some charity and all that most of us hope is that our bucks keep things alive here. If someone sends in 50 bucks, Max might rightly figure that a good use would be a few drinks and dinner for he and Jeff. Or he might figure it should go towards something in equipment.........Here's the key---It don't matter a rat's ass. If someone wants a detailed accounting of the 'Cat for a grant, then it's up to Max to get it done for them. BUT, if a member wants a detailed accounting before he ponies up a few bucks, my suggestion would be that he/she does not donate! Anyone so paranoid about where there money is going needs to keep their friggin' money at home in their bank. I'm sick and tired of the bullshit about how money is spent on the 'Cat......if it bothers a person, they shouldn't donate.....Period.

HELPING OUT: By this I mean all the good and well meaning intentions of those like Jon who have things they perhaps can help with but seem to be getting nowhere. I think Max (and Jeff) appreciates any and all suggestions, but if they are anything at all like me, then it is really hard to delegate some task or another to someone else since it probably takes more time and effort than doing it yourself. Now I know that's not a great approach, but there are some of us who'd just prefer to do it themselves and I think it's a lucky break that Max and Jeff CAN work together. What I can also say is that when they need help on an issue, they do ask! Sometimes they ask someone with great knowledge and sometimes they need input from an idiot....like me. I am not real slick with computers and what html and stuff I do know, I've learned here. So if you're wondering how I know so much about the new site, it's because they needed the opinions and usage of it by an idiot.....an average (very active in my case) user who can evaluate what works with the completely stupid and not the good computer guys. I figure they have probably asked a few of them too along with a few more idiots. Other times, when they have encountered problems, they have posted their needs in the forum and gotten great response. So if they haven't always responded......well, maybe they are like me and just want to make it easier on themselves. This isn't the best use of time perhaps, but some of us are like that.

NOW-----....If I have offended anyone or everyone or someone or no one, so be it. I am sick to death of these "Mudcat needs help" things and even when done with good intention as I assume Jon was doing. All they do is draw trolls and flamers and get out of hand. I have mostly stayed away from them and I know this posting is probably a mistake, but I've had it. If you like the 'Cat and you want to send a few bucks or suggestions, feel free to do so and if you don't want to, that's fine too. If you wonder when the update will arrive, my best guess is that you'll see it whenever you see it...relax. If you're all concerned over grants and the like, forget it and leave it to Max...he'll ask if he needs your help. Why not just enjoy what's here and look forward to friends you might make and new songs you can research or learn?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 04:46 PM

Here's a thought. Why don't we all shut up and wait for someone to ask us to help?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 04:58 PM

Amos and Mick......That's humorous! I started writing probably before you did but had to run into town to pick up Michael. I finished when I got back and I guess I should have opened a new window to see what else had been posted.........But I think it's obvious that we are all saying about the same thing. And misophist.....nothing would please most of us more!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 05:19 PM

OK, HELP!!!
There are a number of PermaThreads that need maintenance. All you need to do is consolidate what's already been posted, and post it all in a new message at the end of the thread. I or one of the JoeClones will take what you've posted, clean it up if needed, and move it to the top of the thread.
Another thing people can do is work on or start DTStudy Threads. The idea is to review and research each and every song in the Digital Tradition. Jeff can handle the technical aspect of Mudcat, and he and Max haven't asked for technical help or advice - but we do need help with the content of our site.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 07:14 PM

Joe, I don't feel I know enough about music to attempt a dtstudy thread although I am enjoying reading them and will throw my 2c worth when I can.

As for the perma threads, (and I've been your side of this one) go is it is difficult to understand or know what the originator is thinking in terms of or how to edit and I'm not sure we get the best we can from them...

To that end, I am quite prepared to provide a user with Mudcat like facilites on my site for preparing, editing, etc a permathread that, when completed (or updated) may be transferred to Mudcat as a post or posts and I'm also quite prepared to give help with HTML if needed and I have no problems with a user posting a "what do you think so far?" question here...

It would take some working out but I'm happy to believe that any one who joined any such effort would be doing so a) for Mudcat and b) not abusing my very limited resources.

Any thoughts from other sides?

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Gareth
Date: 15 Jun 02 - 07:55 PM

Well, arising from Max's SOS of last January, some of us UK catters got together and formed Friends of the Mudcat in an attempt to provide our mite of financial support.

Setting it up was not easy given the UK Banking law's but yes it is now up and running and hopefully there will be some regular financial assistance crossing the pond. Sort of "Lend Lease" in reserve

How much, and how often, remains to be seen.

One thing we all insisted upon was that the accounting be open and transparent, to protect those of us involved.

For those UK and Eire, and offshore islands who may wish to donate please PM me, or Micca, or John Routlage, or E_MAIL myself - garethwilliams@gareth72.fsnet.co.uk

Bill Sables has a very effective, and traditional, method of remiting funds stateside.

I don't expect detailed accounts from Max or Joe, or Jeff, but I rather think that we are more concerned with putting a little back into the Mudcat in return for the information, knowledge and entertainment we have received over time.

I doubt if Max, or anyone else, is living in the lap of luxery on donations to the 'Cat - It's a means of showing our gratitude and I fear little spats, which there have been in the past over finance, do not do us 'Catters, or the Folk movement, any favours at all.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 12:56 AM

To cite an example...

The Government has committees and adds new branches and staff every year. It has more and more money that it filters off of tax payers. Does it do any better now than it did when it did not have zillions of branches, departments, staff members and committees? I'd say no. The more complex you make a system, the more apt it is to have *more* red tape, *more* inefficiency, *more* time delays, and *more* expenditures.

What I'd like to know is why anyone needs to have their hands in someone elses website, anyway? Just because it's interactive does not mean that it is not someones property as much as any number of personal sites of peoples vacation, their pets, or their homes (though I'd say it's a heck of a lot more useful).

If anyone has fears about how the money donated is spent, don't send any. You still have access even if you don't donate.

Someone provides this site to the world at large, it is *free*. It may not be state of the art, but I'll be damned if I know of many others that can give me the lyrics I want all in a one stop shop, *and* a forum for sharing information, chat, and questions. And, (as described the last time this came up) it's a free meal. Why not be gracious by eating it and saying thank you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 05:41 AM

Senator Ron MacAuliffe, who hasn't been heard of much outside Queensland, had the right approach to committees: The best committee is composed of three people, two of whom are away sick.

If Max wants a committee, he can ask for a committee.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: kendall
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 09:41 AM

Saying that Max has had some rough times is like saying Maine is chilly in mid winter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: GUEST,Shenandoah
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 10:30 AM

To suggest something like Jon is suggesting isn't casting aspersions on the site owner, IMO. I don't know who the personalities are being discussed. But it is quite clear from this thread that there is a loyal faction of regulars here who act as guard dogs for the site owner.

I also read rec.music.folk. In a recent spate of postings there about Mudcat/Digital Tradition which I wholly concurred with, someone said that Mudcat has an embarrassment of riches being squandered by the site owner. I'd have to agree with that.

There really is no reason why the place needs to be in the run down condition it is, especially with the extremely knowledgeable people who have apparently volunteered to help, but never so much as received a reply from the site owner. That says to me the site owner isn't all that interested in serving the needs of the community this website is here to serve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 10:42 AM

Guest Shenandoah, why not just create a seperate site then? That way, those involved would most definitely have a say, could form whatever committees they wanted, could have spread sheets on cash in flow and out go, and whatever else they might decide would be good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: RichM
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 10:42 AM

I'd prefer if the guardians would not immediately assume that any criticism is intended as a slur on Max.

In reading between the lines, I see a strong dislike for group action--ie, "committees" are bad; the corollary is that an individual in total control is better!

To term this "socialism", as someone did above, is missing the point. Why can't WE participate in improving this site?

Rich McCarthy


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 10:48 AM

Rich, you can in a number of ways just as Joe suggested. I didn't feel I was "countering a slur" on Max in my post, just trying to state the facts as they are. Most of the updates which will get here whenever they get here are in response to input which Max asked for and you can help on innumerable projects that are ongoing around here besides the ones Joe stated.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: GUEST,Shenandoah
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 11:25 AM

The issue of "create your own site" that doesn't work has to do with the value of Digital Tradition, not the forum.

Those of us with a serious interest in the music aren't particularly enamoured with the forum, it is the database of songs we are interested in seeing improved and maintained to a high standard. In fact, if you are looking for information about songs in the database in the forum archive, it is just plain frustrating to use. And the amount of uncorrected errors in the database, which have been there now for years, is really inexcusable.

For this site to be truly useful to the constituency who would like to use it for serious music research, the BS threads are what should have gone to an annexe long ago. The main forum should have been limited to discussion of the content in or to be added to the database.

The truly sad thing about this website is that all of these positive changes, which could and should have been made long ago, were stubbornly and obnoxiously resisted by the site owner. The amount of work to whip the site into shape now makes it a much more daunting task than it ever needed to be. And the new bells and whistles which are supposedly coming won't deal with the core problems here. DT Study threads can't fix those, and nor will BS filters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 11:40 AM

"Serious music research." Hmmmm - That probably accounts for about 1/1000 of 1% of the world of musicians. I play because I like to. I come here because it's an online community that appeals to me.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: GUEST,Shenandoah
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 11:48 AM

Norton1, when you are looking for lyrics for a song to sing, and want some background information on that song, is that not to be considered serious?

I disagree that the problems here can be non-chalantly dismissed because it Mudcat isn't intended to be an academic site. Nor are any of the best folk music sites on the Internet.

Or are defenders of Mudcat suggesting we should just accept the shoddy standards, and join the BS Shatner threads if we want to use the site?


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 11:59 AM

Jon, see what I mean? All we have now is polarity.

Shenandoah, take a reality check. You and anyone else can download your own copy if the DT any time, and get it from Numachi (the mirror site) any time too. You are merely stirring shit here.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 12:11 PM

I don't agree with BS should have gone to the Annexe on the grounds that I'm not even sure that the Annexe should exist. My own preference does remain that Mudcat caters for music and community (although I do have questions about the cost of BS). I also believe that the BS filters can work. My frustration is the delays.

The DTStudy threads are a good idea but I don't know whether they will really take off or not. If they do, I forsee the problems of editing them with Joe and the Clones being overworked. An alternative approach would be to try to draw up a team of interested people who know a lot about music and to devise a means of them editing these threads. Maybe in time these sort of moves will be made here, I don't know... Currently though, the way I see it is that if anyone suggested that sort of tech change to allow limited editing rights on a certain group of threads or suggested that the number of editors may need increasing, it would be taken as treading on toes or interfering...

It is a shame about the errors in the dt but I'm not sure what can be done about it. I'll mention my own proposal again though. It would involve co-operation between Max and Dick Greenhaus. The idea would be to build up (or use the existing) team of harvesters but to have the Mudcat version of the dt online updatable by these people. This would share much of the load of adding songs and ensure that the most publicly viewed version of the dt was always pretty well up to date. Any copies for downloadable versions could be taken periodically from the on line version.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Gareth
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 12:11 PM

Hmmmm ! On a personal note, well one of the major points is that this is "The Mudcat Cafe" The headers Bs etc. are designed to alert to the content. There is no obligation to click on a BS thread, or post to it. I do not think that discusion, properly contained within the parameters of decency does any harm at all.

The fact is that serious questions are dealt with usually within 24 hours, but admitedly it can be as long as 2 or three years. But it is answered.

To take a recent thread on Paul Robson - may not be pure music but information was circulated.

No, long may the Cat continue.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: GUEST,Shenandoah
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 12:15 PM

Susan, I don't know who you are, or who you think you are, but to suggest that a poster voicing an opinion different than yours is "merely stirring shit" is way out of line.

The criticisms I and many others have of this website is perfectly legitimate and wholly warranted. The only people who seem to disagree with those criticisms are people who use the forum as a BS litterbox.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Kernow John
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 12:35 PM

Susan I think you let him off lightly, for sheer bloody arrogance this takes the biscuit
"For this site to be truly useful to the constituency who would like to use it for serious music research, the BS threads are what should have gone to an annexe long ago. The main forum should have been limited to discussion of the content in or to be added to the database."
How many times do people have to say it. THIS SITE BELONGS TO MAX IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT DON'T USE IT.
Who are these amazing people that know the definitive words, music, timing etc. All we'd finish up with are people arguing over which is the right and which is the wrong version.
I get the feeling this site is peopled mainly by performers amatuer or otherwise who enjoy singing the songs and are not to worried if a couple of words are out of place.
We have folks like Malcom Douglas who point us in the right direction in a kindly non pompous manner if we are to far off course and will chip in when we are asking the more serious questions.
And no I am not a lover of BS threads but I wouldn't ban them I just usually stay away from them.
I hasten to add that none of the above is aimed at Jon's first post.
John


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: SINSULL
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 01:06 PM

"THIS SITE BELONGS TO MAX IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT DON'T USE IT."

The concept is so simple. Only Max has the right to decide what "should" be done. If you don't like his decisions, go somewhere else or PM him about your concerns with the understanding that he is under no obligation to follow through on your proposals.

I don't doubt that it must be very frustrating for Jon and others whose suggestions (whether technical or regarding content)for improving the site are ignored, but if Max chooses not to follow those suggestions, it is his right. Meantime, in my opinion, Max and Jeff and Joe deserve a resounding "Thank You" for allowing us to play in their yard.

For the record: I am a Jon Freeman fan. He is a valuable member of Mudcat who has always been available to offer technical help and advice as well as the warm welcome and helping hand. I use the Annexe and appreciate his efforts there. His suggestions are valid; his intentions legitimate. It is absurd to suggest that Max needs a loyal guard to protect him from Jon or anyone else. Nice try, Shenandoah.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 01:08 PM

What Jon and most of the others complain about so incessantly is that a long time ago, Max promised an update of technological aspects of Mudcat, and the addition of a number of new features. Situations changed, and the changes were not implemented. Ever since, our beloved trolls have ragged on Max and Mudcat for this failure. It has been announced that we're sorry the changes have not been implemented, and that we do not know when the changes will come online. So, why are people still complaining about unfulfilled promises? The criticisms have been expressed time and time again, and the promises have been withdrawn.

The fact of the matter is, technological changes, no matter how nice they may be, will have very little effect upon the functioning of Mudcat. If you don't like "BS" threads, we already have a filter available that will allow you to bypass all the BS. If you think we don't have up-to-date information on a song, you can refresh or start a thread on the song and post the information and solicit more - or you can start a DTStudy thread and have something that will be edited down to a solid, permanent record of the information about the song. If you think information is hard to find, post an index. If you think the DT has incomplete information about a song, start a DTStudy instead of wasting your time complaining about it.

Max is the owner of Mudcat and has control over the technological aspects of Mudcat - that's the way it is. We, the users, have control over the content of Mudcat. We can do far more than we have done, and I think it's a waste of time to complain about the "shortcomings" of Mudcat until we have made a significant contribution to its content.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: SINSULL
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 01:18 PM

Well Joe. I have to admit that I too am somewhat frustrated. Max has ignored my PMs as well. I feel that my suggestion that he dump his girlfriend and move in with me would solve all of his and Mudcat's problems. As an older woman with a steady income and money in the bank, I represent financial stability for Mudcat and emotional stability for Max. If he does not allow me to make a "significant contribution", what can a girl do but complain incessantly?????

Sorry - I just couldn't help it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 01:25 PM

at the risk of stating the blindingly obvious: I see words in this thread being used about Mudcat and its organisers such a "obnoxious", "inexcusable" "shoddy" etc. I'd just like to add"funny" "informative" "thought provoking" "addictively enjoyable". There are many other sites to visit, particularly designed to help those keen on solitary activities, so if you dont like Mudcat go and visit them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 01:30 PM

So Sins, how about you move in with me and I'll takeover Mudcat from Max. Wow...what a plan!!! Of course there is Karen to consider as well and having two women around here would be bigamy......and it would be big of me, I mean what with having to give up the extra bathroom time and all............

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Gareth
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 01:32 PM

Spaw - just remember what the penalty for bigamy is - Two mothers in Law !

Gareth **BG**


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 01:51 PM

Geez Gareth.....In that case it would be REAL big of me!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 02:36 PM

Have some patience, the upgrade Spaw mentions will be worth it; contribute by way of Joe's suggestions; and, quit bitching about what is offered free of charge.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 02:45 PM

Well, Shenandoah, I will disagree with you and tell you why. The whole tone of your post is that you just think it should be what you want it to be. You are unaccepting of it as it is. No one asked you to come here (that is merely a statement of fact, not a perjorative), rather you chose to come. I note that the substance of Susan's post was that your main contention of having to come here because of the DT was not true. You chose to ignore that. It is a fact. You have no need to come to The shoddy Mudcat to get the DT. This thread has given you several alternatives. Instead you choose to complain. Fair enough. But remember this. The thing that brought some of the most illustrious voices among us to this place was the sense of community, and the dialogue. That is what you call BS. There are plenty of sites where one can get lyrics and pure background. Please, if you don't like this version, just go there. Mudcat has, is, and always will be about the music, the issues that will spawn the folk music of the future, the characters that inhabit our various genres, and just about everything else in sight. Folks will come and folks will go, but the Mudcat will be here.

Insulating Max? Protecting him? Yep, and happy to do so. He has given us a gift, ably assisted by the likes of Jeff and Joe.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 03:24 PM

Several years ago I started a newsletter for family and friends, with a mailing list of almost 65 people. At the moment it is far overdue, due to some changes I am planning. If anyone of those 65 people started harassing me (which they NEVER have)as to when it should come out or what should be or not be in it, I would tell them: Start your own.

Ownership has autonomy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 03:52 PM

Guest:Shenandoah: I think your earlier post puts things clearly in perspective, and should be carefully read by all those providing Max with 'guard dogs'.

"To suggest something like Jon is suggesting isn't casting aspersions on the site owner, IMO. I don't know who the personalities are being discussed. But it is quite clear from this thread that there is a loyal faction of regulars here who act as guard dogs for the site owner.....

the site owner isn't all that interested in serving the needs of the community this website is here to serve."
Who, but the 'site owner' decides what community the site is to serve? !!


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 04:18 PM

It's so feckin' simple yet for some so hard to grasp.

It is Max's site.
He provides it FREE.

To chastise it and its owner because you have problems with it is the epithome of gall and arrogance.

It's like being offered unlimited free meals and full run of the house and complaining that you don't like the food or the accommodations.

Get real or get stuffed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: GUEST,Shenandoah
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 04:54 PM

I find it quite interesting that those who are so quick to come to the defense of this website are talking about the forum, which I know is of value to them as their online "community". I don't doubt for a second that is the case for the majority of people regularly posting to the forum.

Where I disagree with you is on what I value here, which is the Digital Tradition, NOT THE FORUM. The reason I don't value the forum is because a decision was made (apparently quite some time ago) to allow the forum to address any topic under the sun, rather than just folk and blues music. I can go to a million chat sites on line, but there is only one Digital Tradition--the resource which initially draws everyone to this site. I also know that the Digital Tradition is work that was done by Dick and Susan, not Max.

I would have much preferred that when the Digital Tradition came to be housed at this website, that an agreement had been made to reserve the main discussion forum for on-topic discussions of the music. Those of us who come here looking ONLY for information in the DT and the discussion forum about music have had Max and the "Mudcat regulars" thumb their noses at us and tell us, essentially (or literally in some members' cases) to FUCK OFF.

Now, those attitudes do not contribute a thing to the online folk and blues music community. Maybe that is because people here wish to preserve their own insular community, rather than serve the needs of the greater online community, and the music itself.

The only thing of true, lasting value here to the folk and blues music world is the Digital Tradition. The standard of maintenance of the Digital Tradition has been appallingly low, and people here seem to be JUST FINE with those low standards, because the forum feeds their online addiction needs.

That there has been this embarrassment of folk and blues music riches squandered doesn't seem to be a matter of concern to the regulars here. But then, most the regulars don't seem to care near as much about the music as they care about maintaining the ability to exploit the Digital Tradition to keep their own little chat forum for internet junkies going strong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 05:00 PM

Guest:Shenandoah, and Jon do raise some interesting issues. I've been avoiding this sort of discussion for six months because it never seems to change and because It aways seems to lead to name calling of one sort or another. I hope this criticism is constructive. I am going to be very honest and blunt.

Let us take a step back and examine what is best for the site.

Is the site owner interested in serving the needs of the community?

I sent a $100 check with a personal note, because I thought this was a community and Max and I were both members Max being the much more senior one. The only response I got back was a cancelled check.

Was Max within his rights as laid out by the "guard dogs" on this thread? Yes! Will the lack of response affect any future donations? What do you think? Could Max have done better?

I'm saying this not to ask for credit, One hundred dollars is not a big deal. But I get thanks if I hold a door for someone. I know I have the choice to go elsewhere. It is not good P.R. and not good business on Max's part not to say you thank for $100.00. I know that Max is busy, but he probably can use some help in relating with his subscribers.

If Max is going to get grants or Tax-free status then accounting is necessary. Also , opening the books to donors, if the books are as we all expect, will tend to increase the size and regularity of donations. It would be good for Max to have accounts. But as you say, it is his choice.

It is an excellent point that Max owns this. What is to prevent him at any time from going commercial and charging a fee or subscription for DT? If he does he will be within his legal rights to charge money for your work. That is the way it is things are set up. Take it or leave it. Who knows if the site would grow if DT was made public property?

Shenandoah: I am against making DT more academic. Unless it is the only way Max can get a grant to support the rest of the functions. Right now it is the result of a community effort, shared experience, opinions and knowledge. I do not see how it could be otherwise without professional editing. And I doubt that many of us have the time or the means to do research to come out with the "right" answers.

Mick, Spaw, Susan et. al

Maybe you should rethink your reactions to criticisms of Max and Mudcat. You all seem to jump in so quicky and so hard that it is difficult to have a free discussion. I am confident that the points you all make will be made by others and a feeling of community will be fostered. Why don't we try to eliminate the appearance of cliques. I don't see how perceived "insiders" such as yourselves, telling us what you are sick of, appointing your selves guardians and telling people to "f" off, is helping Max. Often times less is more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: GUEST,Shenandoah
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 05:06 PM

Big Mick, Max, Jeff, and Joe did not give us the gift of the Digital Tradition, they've just managed to screw it up, possibly beyond redemption.

I am not here complaining because this website isn't giving me what I want. I'm here complaining because this website owner has squandered the opportunity to do something of real value for the online folk and blues community, which could serve the folk and blues music community for years to come. But rather, he chose to selfishly take control of the painstaking work done by many, many others who have both collected for and contributed to the Digital Tradition, and keep it as his own. That is cultural theft of the worst kind, IMO.

Given us a gift? Fat chance. He stole what was never his, and refuses to open it up to those who are truly willing to make the DT something really special for the good of ALL folk and blues music lovers, not just the handful who inhabit this forum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 05:07 PM

LMAO......You're a real riot Shenny!!! Your concern is just soooo touching........Yes, it's truly wonderful to see the complete and total dedication you have to improving this site............Somebody get me a hankie, I'm completely broke up here..........and help me up off the floor too.........Shenny if you are concerned about the BS here than you need to stop posting such complete bullshit!!!

Yeah.....you care, I can tell..........LMAO...........You may be more completely full of shit that anyone who's posted here in....like......ever!!!! Thanks for the laughs!!!!!!!! Feel free to post some more crap.......Great stuff!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: GUEST,Shenandoah
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 05:14 PM

Jack, I never said I wanted the DT to be more academic. I said I wanted it maintained to a much higher standard. I refuse to accept that because something is a collaborative effort, it must be done to a lower standard.

There are many examples of truly exquisite folk and blues music websites done to a very high standard online by amateurs. Imagine how wonderful this place could be if even a handful of those gifted and talented folks were given a chance at salvaging the Digital Tradition, and transforming it from it's current sad state.

Because something is grassroots and collaborative doesn't mean it should be substandard.


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Subject: RE: BS: Mudcat accounts and commitee?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 02 - 05:21 PM

Shenandoah,
I said I wanted it maintained to a much higher standard.

It has NOTHING whatsoever to do with what YOU, Jon Freeman or anyone else other than Max, want. (What part of the preceding sentence don't you comprehend?)


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