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HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)

LaMarca 02 Mar 97 - 02:57 PM
Rodney Rawlings 02 Mar 97 - 06:16 PM
rich r 02 Mar 97 - 06:46 PM
dick greenhaus 02 Mar 97 - 07:03 PM
Martin Ryan 03 Mar 97 - 05:49 AM
04 Mar 97 - 09:25 PM
SSWINNEY@worldnet.att.net 05 Mar 97 - 01:43 PM
Will 12 Mar 97 - 10:29 AM
dick greenhaus 12 Mar 97 - 11:08 PM
ezio 13 Mar 97 - 02:45 AM
belter 18 Mar 97 - 08:32 PM
Allan Samuels -allands@msn.com 19 Apr 97 - 06:00 PM
BillD 20 Apr 97 - 01:31 PM
dick greenhaus 20 Apr 97 - 03:15 PM
LaMarca 18 Jul 97 - 11:05 AM
Jon W. 18 Jul 97 - 11:47 AM
Bert Hansell 18 Jul 97 - 12:50 PM
dick greenhaus 18 Jul 97 - 06:04 PM
LaMarca 21 Jul 97 - 01:46 PM
GUEST 08 Nov 01 - 01:10 AM
lamarca 08 Nov 01 - 10:41 AM
MMario 08 Nov 01 - 11:39 AM
wysiwyg 08 Nov 01 - 02:19 PM
Bill D 08 Nov 01 - 02:42 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 08 Nov 01 - 11:16 PM
Joe Offer 09 Nov 01 - 12:00 AM
Wolfgang 09 Nov 01 - 05:09 AM
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Subject: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: LaMarca
Date: 02 Mar 97 - 02:57 PM

Folks, it would be lots easier to scan this discussion list, and folks would find their queries easier to answer if we could adopt a few conventions about naming threads. A generic name "Lyric request" doesn't tell folks reading the thread list much about what you're looking for, or allow you to track your particular query amidst all the others also just titled "lyrics needed", "Song needed", etc.

If you post a new thread looking for a particular song, try titling the thread "Lyrics:Song name here" or "Key word or phrase in song" if you don't know the title. If you're looking for several songs by a particular group, artist or type, give that info in the thread title; examples that work are "Maritime music", "Kingston Trio lyrics", "Celtic fiddle tunes", etc.

If you're answering a query about one song, don't introduce a query for a completely different song in that thread; start a new one! For instance, someone asked for lyrics to "Tinkerman's Daughter" in a thread looking for "Getting in the Cows"?!?...

Dick, is there a way to have a short blurbie or link on the thread list page that gives simple instructions? There's been some discussion about people looking for pop songs or artists' stuff on a mostly folk/traditional discussion group; one person suggested folks should just ignore threads that didn't interest them. Without some sort of thread naming conventions, though, that method of user screening can't work. We can all have more fun with this if everyone takes a little thought in making this group easy to use.

Thanks, I'll get down off my soapbox now...


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: Rodney Rawlings
Date: 02 Mar 97 - 06:16 PM

That's a very good suggestion. I quickly decided to follow much the same policy once I started posting regularly.


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: rich r
Date: 02 Mar 97 - 06:46 PM

This seems like a good idea. I would add that since the thread list truncates the subject line, putting the word "lyrics" at the front uses up line space that could be devoted to more of the title or key words. If designating the thread is desirable, perhaps a list of abbreviations at the top would work, e. g. L = lyric request, T = tune, C = composer, A = artist, etc. or something similar.

rich r

My comments are free, but then I don't have the responsibility for maintaining the database & discussion.


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 02 Mar 97 - 07:03 PM

Hi- Good idea. How do y'all feel I should make suggestions-- as a voice separate from the forum, or in the context we're dealing with now?

I maintain the database; the forum, as it stands, maintains itself.

One strong suggestion: one song request per thread. A second one: try looking for the song in the database before posting a request. Or responding to one.


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 03 Mar 97 - 05:49 AM

Not sure a letter code will work where lots of people drop in occasionally. "Lyrics?:"Tune?" etc. might shorten the lines enought! Otherwise the suggestions int his thread make excellent sense.

Regards


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From:
Date: 04 Mar 97 - 09:25 PM

this is a post to move this very impostant proposal back to the top where it may get read by more people!


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: SSWINNEY@worldnet.att.net
Date: 05 Mar 97 - 01:43 PM

I agree with listing valuable data in the thread title. I have to admit that I am a little uncertain that a code would be very effective, i.e. L=Lyrics. I think to keep the user friendly "community" feel of this great resource we should just challenge folks to be as informative as they can be and we should agree to be cheerfully forgiving of those among the uninitiated. I also question the value (you see, I too, carry a soapbox with me from time to time)of trying to narrow the definition of what song requests genuinely belong on a folk/traditional discussion group. I belong to the school of thought that generally feels almost any song can fit into the "folk" category under certain circum- stances. But I don't want to start that debate...the point is...different people have different criteria so lets try to accomodate.

My opinion by me,

Scott


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: Will
Date: 12 Mar 97 - 10:29 AM

Let's keep it simple and friendly. And if a title isn't clear, then let's just go on to the next one.


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 12 Mar 97 - 11:08 PM

Some thoughts: The trouble with codes is that---they're codes. If you don't know what a code means, it doesn't mean anything. On t'other hand, "WORDS (or even WORD} is a lot shorter than LYRICS:

And please, please, please, don't introduce something new to an existing thread: it's easy enough to start a new thread, and post a cross-reference in the original thread.


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: ezio
Date: 13 Mar 97 - 02:45 AM

Prevalent opinion here seems to be that codes are confusing - and I agree with this. One major improvement to could be to EXTEND the length of the subject string showed. Now it's only 35 characters - therefore subjects are often truncated.

Regards


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: belter
Date: 18 Mar 97 - 08:32 PM

I just had a thought. It might help if people put the title first, and then anything else they want in the subject line wich is not absultly needed. It would be easyer to go back and find a thread if you could look for the title right at the start of a line, and the title would not get trunkated very often.


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: Allan Samuels -allands@msn.com
Date: 19 Apr 97 - 06:00 PM

HELP!!!! I've been trying to post a new thread and keep getting an error message.-- URL not found. I have made a few responses since I bookmarked this GREAT site a week ago. Hope Dick Greenhaus sees this and can help me.


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: BillD
Date: 20 Apr 97 - 01:31 PM

What has happened?? No new threads and everything from 4/9-4/15 has dissappeared!!!!


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Apr 97 - 03:15 PM

We are having, to coin a phrase, technical difficulties. WE hope to have them cleared up soon. If you think you're uset, think of how WE feel!


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: LaMarca
Date: 18 Jul 97 - 11:05 AM

This problem keeps coming back to haunt us as more and more people discover this site, but don't know how to use it. I'm re-posting this back to the top as an aid for newbies, but I really think it's time to have a "How to" or FAQ link on the discussion page so's those who are inclined to read instruction manuals (not, I realize, a large proportion of our population...) can get some help. Two hard and fast rules that I think EVERYONE agrees to are:
    1. Name your thread with as specific a song title as possible, not vague generalities (see discussions above)
    2. DON'T introduce requests for new items within a thread for another song. START A NEW THREAD! (Yes, I'm shouting; I'm Italian-American and do this occasionally).

It would also help if regulars to this forum ignore requests for new songs within old threads; if you give people disregarding this fairly simple and courteous practice what they want, they'll never stop doing it wrong...I'm not saying we should be rude in return, just make part of your response to ill-named requests or digressions a polite suggestion that the person will get better results if they try it THIS way. Some folks already do this, but not everyone. If we are not going to be restrictive about song types in this forum, the ONLY way anyone has to filter out the stuff they're not interested in is if threads are named in some intelligent fashion. This won't happen consistantly unless this site offers some guidance about how to do this...


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: Jon W.
Date: 18 Jul 97 - 11:47 AM

How about helping some of the newer kids out by starting a new thread for them? For example if in the middle of a thread on "Skip to my Lou" someone comes in with a request for "Go Tell Aunt Rhodie" the person to come across it starts a new thread "Words?Go tell Aunt Rhody" with a copy and paste. That will set a proper example.


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: Bert Hansell
Date: 18 Jul 97 - 12:50 PM

Good idea, Cos I'M not going to be the one to tell Dick to start a new thread for "London Derriere"

So I'll start one for him.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Jul 97 - 06:04 PM

Thanks Bert, he said with a blush.


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: LaMarca
Date: 21 Jul 97 - 01:46 PM

Jon W., I think that's a great suggestion! And Dick, have you ever heard Pierre Bensusan's version of "The Town That I Loved So Well"? Irish English with a French accent comes out sounding like
    "Zer was music zer
    In ze Derrierre..."


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 01:10 AM


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: lamarca
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 10:41 AM

Boy, was I startled to see this blast from the past...I still stand by my diatribe, though!


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: MMario
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 11:39 AM

and a very nice diatribe it is, too!

Seriously - sound advice, well put.


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 02:19 PM

One thing I think newcomers miss entirely is that almost everything you see at Mudcat is the result of people working it out over a long period of time. (Take the BS: prefix for instance.) I think it ought to be in the FAQ that Mudcat "accepted" practices are what have evolved as a result of group activity and discussion... not some crap imposed by someone who Knows It All.

~S~


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 02:42 PM

*nodding wisely*...sounds like a metaphor for life, hmmm?


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 11:16 PM

Subject string should be longer. After putting in the title, often there is no room to categorize (Irish, humor, spiritual, etc.). Adding more divisions to the broad group (BS, Lyr Add, etc.) may just add confusion.


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 12:00 AM

It does take a little thought to come up with effective thread titles - but I'd prefer thought rather than rules. One way is to start a thread with a general title (but not TOO general), and use a more specific title in the individual messages.

Some people think we should have rules for everything in the FAQ, and others complain that the FAQ is already too long to read. Generally, I think it's best if we give general guidelines in the FAQ, and let people figure the rest out themselves. I think it's best for most people to learn by exploration, rather than being told what to do.

Yeah, we could have room for longer thread titles, but maybe brevity is a virtue. If our thread titles were longer, it would wreak havoc on services like WEBTV that don't allow for high-resolution screen displays.

If the thread titles are really bad, Pene and I add to them to make them more clear. We used to try to nag people into making decent thread titles, but that never seemed to work. Then Max set it up so Pene and I could rename threads, and that seems to work pretty well. We would rather not receive requests for thread renaming. We monitor the Forum and make changes when we see a need. We don't really have time to follow up on requests.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: HOW TO TITLE THREADS (A modest proposal)
From: Wolfgang
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 05:09 AM

May I add that most of the good advice above is valid for the titling of links just as well. I appreciate to be informed about what I shall see if I click on the link. I strongly dislike links titled for instance
Look what I have found
click or
you MUST see THAT
except if the context makes clear what is meant.

Wolfgang


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