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The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?

Peter T. 12 Jan 00 - 07:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jan 00 - 07:22 PM
lamarca 12 Jan 00 - 07:08 PM
Dan Evergreen 12 Jan 00 - 07:02 PM
catspaw49 12 Jan 00 - 06:58 PM
Max 12 Jan 00 - 06:47 PM
Jeri 12 Jan 00 - 06:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jan 00 - 06:39 PM
catspaw49 12 Jan 00 - 06:33 PM
katlaughing 12 Jan 00 - 06:28 PM
Jon Freeman 12 Jan 00 - 06:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jan 00 - 06:17 PM
katlaughing 12 Jan 00 - 06:02 PM
_gargoyle 12 Jan 00 - 06:01 PM
Little Neophyte 12 Jan 00 - 05:58 PM
Jacob Bloom 12 Jan 00 - 05:20 PM
Max 12 Jan 00 - 05:06 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jan 00 - 05:03 PM
Marymac90 12 Jan 00 - 05:01 PM
Lonesome EJ 12 Jan 00 - 04:13 PM
Lady McMoo 12 Jan 00 - 04:12 PM
Chet W. 12 Jan 00 - 04:11 PM
Rick Fielding 12 Jan 00 - 04:03 PM
JamesJim 12 Jan 00 - 03:48 PM
fulurum 12 Jan 00 - 03:37 PM
Jon Freeman 12 Jan 00 - 03:28 PM
Max 12 Jan 00 - 03:23 PM
TerriM 12 Jan 00 - 03:20 PM
JedMarum 12 Jan 00 - 03:12 PM
Allan C. 12 Jan 00 - 02:59 PM
The Shambles 12 Jan 00 - 02:55 PM
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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Peter T.
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 07:33 PM

I'm with your views, Max, completely. I don't believe in the separation philosophically: it undermines both life and music. I have previously suggested that a simple solution would be for people who want their thread designated as a pure music thread should be able to post it in Italics (and maybe that could be made easier). That way it would be easy to spot them, rather than all those acronyms that no one is going to remember, especially new people. But on reflection, I think it would die out quickly anyway.
I think the future is great as long as Max doesn't get bored or sick of it. We all must suck up to Max is a big way (like send more money). I also think the present is pretty great too.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 07:22 PM

Some of the suggestions by lamarca and others make sense, and there's always room for a bit of rtinkering. And Max is clearly an inspuired tinkerer.

But the basic rule must be "if it ain't broken, don't fix it".


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: lamarca
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 07:08 PM

Sub-dividing the Mudcat into different forums might complicate rather than solve our problems - people have a hard enough time naming their threads now, let alone deciding which of multiple sub-forums it ought to be posted to. The easiest way to help folks organize which threads to scan and which to avoid is to have a consistant system for naming them.

The problem with a category system for thread names is that regulars would quickly learn it, but new people coming to the Forum won't know it. Maybe the "Create a Thread" page could have an explanation of the categories and a "required" field to fill in before posting:

Some suggested categories/prefixes:
"MC" for MudChat (instead of the reviled "BS")
"Song REQ" for Song request (instead of the confusing "Lyr req" vs "Lyr/chords req")
"Tune REQ"for tunes only
"ADD Song" (so you can search on ADD)
"ADD Tune" (ditto)
"DEF" for threads seeking discussions of musical terms, like the "Skiffle" or "Modal" threads
"Help" for whatever
and some sort of catchall, like "NOTA" = "None of the Above" for those threads you just can't categorize...

Another thing that would help would be a "NOT" function in the filter. People who don't want to see "MC" or "BS" threads could set the filter to "NOT MC" and eliminate the distraction. (I don't know if that's functionally possible - I don't know the programming involved).

I've also yearned for a way to search for threads from a given time period. Rather than setting the filter to "1 Day", "3 Days", etc., it would be nice if you could filter on a specific date or range of dates - say, only those threads whose first posting was in March, 1999, or whose most recent posting was 30-Aug-99, or every thread that died two weeks ago.

I am on Mudcat less and less these days, because there aren't as many discussions in which I'm interested, but I think things will probably ebb and flow this way over time. I think that giving all the users more ways to filter the Forum would be the best way to make the largest number of people with different interests happy...


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Dan Evergreen
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 07:02 PM

I think perhaps the people who come on here just for the musical information and discussions need to get more vocal. If you hear a new song or album you like, share the information. Voluntarily post up your favorite song with all the chords and words. Don't wait until you need something to do a thread. For example, I heard so much about "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" that I clicked on the green clickey thing and ordered "A Soldier's Song." It is a stunning collection of songs which includes, in addition the "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda": "The Green Fields of France," "Christmas in the Trenches," and "We Danced to an Old Fashioned Tune." Wonderful material.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:58 PM

Yeah, but you have to remember to use it Bert!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Max
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:47 PM

Garg, you say "The role for a Gargoyle is ending"! That doesn't mean that you can go away, you old fart you. We'd have no one to talk about;-)

Personally I like Mudcat the way it is. Just remember that we do have "personal messages" which you should use when you are getting personal and in someone's face.

Also the new thread search will take away the argument that the BS threads slow down our search ability.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:43 PM

The thing that has gone wrong is that there is a community as opposed to a bunch of strangers posting on a common topic. There are spats within communities, and personality conflicts, and people sometimes don't treat each other with the common decency they would treat strangers. I personally love the community, but I think we sometimes take each other for granted.

The BS argument has been going on for ages and never solves anything, just gets more bitter. It's like the "what is folk" argument, only more personal. In both cases, it involves individuals trying to make something be the way they want it. It has no effect other than to create frustration, anger and yes, bitterness. What will be, will be.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:39 PM

You ask something three times, you have to get a reply. "ath" as in "car" and "Tsar" and "aarrgh". Or Gar... There are some funny spellings for Irish words. As for example Kevin spelled Caiomhghen.

Thread drift is the term I prefer. Or occasionally lurch. I think this one was perhaps a lurch. But a lurcher is a dog, not a kat.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:33 PM

What would I like to see? Basically, what Max said about a more sophisticated category system that must be used to create a thread would probably work quite well. I read a lot of threads that I don't post on, simply learn from. There are plenty of each type of thread and I can't see the need for any more "rooms" or forums or whatever. The stuff that interests you is NOT all that hard to locate or trace.

There has been talk of expanding the magazine portion of the 'Cat and that strikes me as a fine idea. With a little focus and thought, I think its easily accomplished...the only practical barrier is Max's time. And that is a valuable commodity to us all. So when you want to start that, let some of us know, and we'll be happy to help.

A chat room will relieve some of the pressure, but not all by any means. Its still something we need as time permits.

All of this focuses quite unfortunately on Max. If there are ways that even the true computer dimbulbs such as I can help, please let us know.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:28 PM

Please, it is kat with a small "k"; there was another Kat already when I signed on as katlaughing and she does post sometimes.

McGrath, so it is McGrar?? Is it the same way my English landlady pronounced law, which was lawr? Over here we have a government cartoon character called McGrath, a dog dressed up like Sherlock Holmes, who is used in public service announcements to combat crime. Of course his name is pronounced McGra (as in cat)th (not silent). The slogan is "McGrath....takes a bite out of crime."

Sorry for the threadcreep, Shambles.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:20 PM

I can't believe I've just read this and can't resist this comment. Have I just read 2 of who I consider to be "extremists" (Kat and Gargoyle), one on each side of the BS fence both saying that they are happy after all?

Jon


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:17 PM

Thanks kat - but you might still be sounding the "th" - which is silent (except in the American Newport I gather.)

And I was glad to see the post just before yours. Touch wood.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:02 PM

Sounds great to me, Max! Jacob, I agree with you about the analogy; no one is compelled to listen (read) what some of us may be going on about in whatever type thread there is. ChetW, LeeJ, well put.

The only suggestion I have, which might make it easier for those with limited time, like Rick, to browse and who are most interested in music threads is to use a prefix designation for them, too, such as MR- for Music Related.

BS/OS threads are easily identifiable now because we usually use those at the beginning of the title. It would be just as simple to use MR at the beginning of every music thread, as a quick and easy way to identify them for quick browsing.

Of course using the filter, find function, detrace and trace as McGra(r)th **BG** (see, I am pronouncing it correctly, now!) pointed out works well, too.

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: _gargoyle
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 06:01 PM

Liam..... I agree!

Max - you have sculpted an OUTSTANDING monument to your profession and skills!!!

Like the end course of a fever-dream, the MC balance and momentum have shifted back from critical (where it could have gone another direction) to a musical energy and momentum that will carry it beyound all future threats.

It appears (thankfully) that the role for a "gargoyle" is ending.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 05:58 PM

Though I would have accepted it, I must admit I am happy to hear that Max does not want to have multiple forums. The way it is set up now, for me, going from one thread to another is like walking from one block to another. Having multiple forums reminds me of a big city with many suburbs. I would get lost easily.

I would like to see a rule of thumb where, if a thread posting count reaches 100 postings, it is custom to start Part II.
Shambles, thank you for starting this thread.
BB


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Jacob Bloom
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 05:20 PM

Hi,

I discovered the Forum only a few weeks ago. I've checked it regularly since then, especially the requests for lyrics. The amount of time I have for browsing is limited, so I generally have avoided threads labeled BS.

There is something about this thread that I don't understand: some people have implied that creating BS threads or posting to them inconveniences other Mudcatters in some manner. I get the impression that some people feel obliged to read every thread. Is that the case?

Since I regularly pick and choose which threads to read, I'm not concerned about the ratio of music-related threads to chatty threads. And, while I don't have time to chat myself, I certainly don't have any objection to other people doing it!

The message from The Shambles at the top of the thread seems to be comparing chatting in the Mudcat to talking out loud during a performance. That is not a valid comparison. Mudcat is much more like a party after a performance, in a big house with lots of rooms, and a different conversation going on in each corner. We're all welcome to listen in at any of the conversations that interest us, and to speak up with our own thoughts whenever we feel like it. What's more, we can speak up without worrying about disturbing the other conversations, because the only people who can hear (read) us are people who have gone out of their way to hear that particular conversation.

I'm not trying to say that anything should or shouldn't be done. I'm just trying to explain why I don't understand what the problem is.

Jacob


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Max
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 05:06 PM

Couple things. First, I am currently VERY against anything that will create multiple forums, and for a lot of reasons. For one (reasons), you all know how thread creep works, and even in BS threads does damn fine stuff come out, and in music threads, BS happens. Second, I can clearly imagine hunderds and thousands of links and references to the "Other Forum" which ever the "Other" is in that case. Can't you? I won't have that.

Censorship will not happen. I do admit to deleting something here or there, but the ONLY two ways that will happen is if personal or delicate information is mistakenly posted and either I see it or the SUBJECT or POSTER requests that I remove it. The second way is if I feel like it (This is half a joke, the temptation as "The Man" to remove downright garbage is just too tempting sometimes, and I do reserve the ability for EXTREME situations, ex. Telling one to go ahead and do it in a suicide thread.)

Now having said that, don't think that I am giving up. I will never stop using technology for all its worth and then a little bit more. An integrated chat may cut on some chatter and BS, a more sophisticated category system may help one avoid what he/she doesn't like. (If you would all just have this little chip installed in you molar, I could do much better).

Besides, Isn't Folk an artistic representation of Life? Or is it just the LIFE you want to see?

Oh, and I've been here longer than any of you, and I am only 27. And I still get around fine.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 05:03 PM

I just checked, and of the first 20 threads on the Forum page, there's only one that isn't about music (apart from this one - which is in it's way about music after all), and rthat's about flu, and is full of folk remedies, and has one song link so far.

It just isn't the case that there is an enormous excess of non-music threads, call them BS or OS or whatver. They tend to go on longer, so it takes time to read them and keep up with the discussion, but that obviously should only effect people who who like going to them (including of course a few people who seem to spend an awful lot of time saying how they hate them, which seems a bit inconsistent - and I'm not putting Shambles in that category.)

I find the key to saving time and chasing up the things I'm looking for is to make good use of the Find facility on my browser, and the Trace and Detrace facility and so forth. I think that some kind of user's guide to the Mudcat might be useful for people who don't like trying to find out the wrinkles themself.

What is going to change the Mudcat is that it's going to become bigger, and that's going to bring problems of crowds and oldtimers feeling pushed out to the edge. And that's likely to be painful.

In a way it's a bit like what happens to folk festivals in England anyway - they get bigger and less persoanl, and little festivals grow up to provide what the bigger ones have lost, and the big festivals develop sub-festivals inside them. I reckon something like that will happen with us.

In the meantime I think we're still in what in few years people will be talking of as a Golden Age. Which is just what people are saying about the Mudcat of a couple of years back.

And I'm sure they're quite right. Just check out some of the great threads to be found in the SuperSearch - but when you look at the dates you find that some of them only date from last year.

We've got a very foreshortened sense of time here. I'm reminded of a TV show I once saw about skateboarding. "And here comes one of the real veterans, the Grand Old Man himself" said the commentator. And out rolled this bloke aged 28. Twenty-Eight - and he could still get around unaided!!


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Marymac90
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 05:01 PM

Well, Shambles, If you've been in a sort of self-imposed exile, I want to welcome you back, and ask you to please stay around! I know you well enough to know you're a good person, and I want as many good folks around here as possible!

In the short time I've been here, Mudcat has become an important part of my life practically every day. The threads that are not strictly related to music don't bother me at all, but if there are those who would like to have music and not-music on separate mudcat pages, I could live with that.

I would be very pleased if people would try to give their threads very accurate titles, because with an antique computer like mine, moving from one thread to another can be extremely slow.

I think having a place to express controversy and disagreement is important, so I favor continuing that, in a respectful manner. When you're disagreeing with someone, besides checking your post for insults and obvious disrespect, we should also read them over to see if they sound patronizing, for that can be just as insulting as put-downs, in a more sneaky way.

It's very exciting to hear that Max has improvements in store for Mudcat, and I'll be happy to hear what they are. It's true, nothing ever stays the same, and it's also true that Mudcat will be whatever WE make it. Let's make it something GOOD!!!

Mary McCaffrey


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 04:13 PM

Shamb, I agree that it's worth considering what kind of direction we want Mudcat to take. The community I live in is one of the most beautiful in Colorado, but change is inevitable as more people are drawn here by the beauty of it. It only makes sense for my community, and this one, to plan for the future.

I am not in favor of any sort of censorship in this forum. However, I do believe in peer pressure as an antidote to transgressions. If someone repeatedly steps out of line, most people here are not shy about bringing it to their attention. As to the presence of a clique or "in-group", there is a core of long time posters who have come to know and feel comfortable with one another, and a certain amount of joshing and banter is to be expected. I don't think that the "insiders" here are exclusive.

I do retain the right to tell anyone here that I like them, even though I may refrain from telling certain others that I think they are jerks.(by the way, Shambles, I like you and consider you a friend, even though you are a typical emotionally-inhibited Brit). And arguments? As long as we steer clear of personal insults, I love them, and think that the more heated disagreements are the best threads.

To the Future

LEJ


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 04:12 PM

Thank you The Shambles for starting this thread. As a "music nut" I visit the Mudcat every day, sometimes several times a day and browse mostly the music and technical threads which are hugely informative but sometimes also the so-called BS ones. I only post occasionally and, unlike some here, have been very surprised at the tone of (thankfully) a relatively small number of threads and posters. I would be the last to want censorship imposed but the other side of this is that all should respect the right of others to express views that they don't necessarily share. As an Irish citizen I was particularly struck by the vehemence of some posts in threads like Bobby Sands and some earlier ones I subsequently looked at, but deliberately stayed out of the discussions.

All in all Max does a splendid job on this site and maintains just about the right "feel", and the 'Cat remains one of my favourite places on the web and is a tremendous resource to boot. I'm personally prepared to tolerate the very occasional regrettable but ultimately inevitable boorish and opinionated posting (given human nature)to reap the benefit of the overwhelming goodwill, knowledge, good humour and helpfulness of the vast majority of 'Catters.

Peace and goodwill to all,

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Chet W.
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 04:11 PM

I like it the way it is, wart-infested or not, depending on your point of view. I have gotten into about as many arguments as anybody, I guess, but I can't remember not parting on a friendly, or at least civil basis. The thing that makes this different from a chatroom is that we do have something to say, more relevant than "Have a beer!", and people respond in a way that reflects their own personalities. If someone is caring and nurturing, they will be here. If they're butthole retentive, so will be their posts. I think it's going pretty good.

Chet


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 04:03 PM

In the past I've felt that having any kind of separate page for "community stuff" was uneeded, and have said so here, but I think I've changed my mind on the issue.

I consider Mudcat part of my daily living experience now, and would be sad to have to leave, but business concerns, family matters, and learning a new instrument (jazz and blues fiddle) have cut into my on-line time substantially. I can usually manage about half an hour a day (down from an hour plus) usually broken up into 2 or 3 segments. Sometimes this changes (usually one a week) and I browse and post for a couple of hours...but I'm never sure when I'll get the time for that to happen.

I'd love to see some of the music specific threads hang around longer, and attract the real "music nerds" like myself a bit quicker. Of course, as I've stated MANY times, the sharp wit, personal disclosure, and political opinions often found in the erroniously labeled "BS" threads make this the "perfect all around site" for me.

If I've only got 10 or 15 minutes though, I'd rather just visit the "music" threads where I may have answered a question for someone, or am looking for an answer myself. Being terminally curious, if I'm confronted with threads named "UFOs visit Mudcat" or "Is Catspaw the Devil?" or "Will Armageddon start in San Diego?" I'm just too weak to pass them up!

If it can be done without HUGE problems, I'd be in favour of a separate "Community Interests" section. I think it would cut any current disatisfaction with balance, overposting, and spiritual issues by 9/10ths. The other 1/10th? Screw 'em if they can't take a joke!

Rick Fielding


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: JamesJim
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 03:48 PM

Right on Max! I am new to this forum and am enticed to visit every day (sometimes 2 or 3 times). What a wonderful bunch of people. "VIVA MUDCAT!"


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: fulurum
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 03:37 PM

i think mudcat will be aound for a long time. I was listening to a psychologist on a television show one night and she made the interesting statement that the family who doesn't fight is really the dysfunctional family. I come from a family of six kids,and i learned early on in life that we weren't, nor wanted to be all the same.The world wasn't going to be centered around me. Mom and dad never really got involved in our disagreements, nor did they allow them to get to out of control. Eventually we all learned what the words opinion and compromise meant. Now that we are older, (in our 30s and 40's) we still argue from time to time, but we know when to stop before it goes to far. We live in a country full of people who have left other countries because of some kind of oppression. They now enjoy freedom of speech, and the freedom to go on mudcat to express thier opinions, and most, not all, of the people here know that they have the obligation of decency if they are going to express thier opinion here or anywhere else for that matter. As long as we keep the decent side of ourselves showing in the b.s. section, and more importantly , the music side of this in full swing, mudcat should survive as long as we do. Well thats my opinion. Sorry its so long winded. And you konw what they say, We put the fun in dysFUNctional. PEACE

fulrum


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 03:28 PM

In the few months that I have been reading Mudcat, although there have been a few small flare ups, there has only really been one issue that has repeatedly caused trouble and that is the BS issue and it seems to me that the "extremists" on both sides get more and more bitter about the whole thing.

We can all agree to be on the side of Max and Mudcat but the problem is that Max basically says there are no rules and it is up to all of us to get along... which is probably correct and in fairness, we should all be able to do that (at least most of the time).

The more I think about the BS issue, the more I lean towards the idea of a separate page, call it the Mudcat Community page or something and I think that will resolve a lot of the feuding that has been going on.

It has been mentioned that music does sometimes come from the BS threads but even with 2 pages, there are 2 ways of looking at it: 1. A musical question that arose could always be posted back to the main forum and 2. If people don't want to read the BS threads, it is their loss if something musical did crop up and presumably these people who are objecting to the BS are already missing out.

Jon


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Max
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 03:23 PM

Thank you Shambles. I think some may not catch what your trying to do.

The Mudcat's gonna grow. There will be a lot more content, a lot more people, a lot more posts, a lot more media, a lot more songs. We can't stop that now. But does this change anything? Some of us may get nervous that our happy world here may change, but what ever stays the same? The Real World is what it is, as is the Mudcat, and both are changing and growing everyday. Fear not the future, fear not the growth, fear not the change. It all comes down to one simple thing:

It will be what we make it... PERIOD


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: TerriM
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 03:20 PM

Here, here, Liam. I have read with increasing bewilderment this talk about abusive or boorish behaviour on the 'cat but have come across no examples in my browsing of various threads.... quite the contrary in fact. I am puzzled as to why the future of the mudcat needs discussion when it is clearly fulfilling a perfectly adequate and appreciated function just as it is. When it fails to do so, people will vote with their feet. There have always been people ( contributors) who come and go on sites such as this as other things in their life take precedence. I wouldn't have found it at all except for a prolonged bout of illness that has kept me from other things. I'm very glad I did but, much as I enjoy it, other things are going to creep in again and I won't be around as much, isn't that true for most people?


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: JedMarum
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 03:12 PM

Where's the rub? I read through that entire post and couldn't figure out what the basic complaint was! You claim have left the Mudcat in your recent (July) "goodbye" but have made at least 60 posts to threads since then. You seem to imply there is some ground swell of discontent that is somehow kept silent and that Mudcatters feel repressed; I say bullshit! Where is this illwill, frustration, fear and anger. People here come and go as they please, and speak their minds freely.

I don;t need traffic cops to monitor my web behavior, nor to protect me from someone who might offend. Mudcatters are, on the whole; generous, outspoken, intelligent, and normally civil with one another - even when they disagree fiercely. Certainly there are exceptions, but civility is the general tone here. We are primarily music focused, and primarily kind in our treatment of one another. We don't need a lot of rules to know how to behave.


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Subject: RE: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: Allan C.
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 02:59 PM

As for the future of the Mudcat, I want to go on record as being totally in favor of it.


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Subject: The future of Mudcat. What do YOU think?
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Jan 00 - 02:55 PM

This is a genuine attempt to start a sensible and continuing debate about the future of the Mudcat Forum and to involve and invite some of the more hesitant contributors and lurkers in an attempt to unite us all, rather than create more divisions. Hopefully this thread can be a place where ALLl will feel safe enough to air their views and where those views may receive criticism but the poster will not. It has been my, often-stated belief that the worst thing you can do on the forum is to do anything that may inhibit someone else from making a contribution. Some of us will never be inhibited from making a contribution but that does not make that contribution any more worthy than one from someone who is more easily put off, or who may not feel part of some real or imagined, 'core group'.

I have not really posted here for some time, after explaining my reasons in a thread called A Warm Goodbye From The Shambles, a thread (and I think the only one ever) that was actually censored! I have recently taken the opportunity to read carefully (amongst others) The Bobby Sands, The Compulsive Posting and The Threadiquette threads. It is quite obvious, from reading those threads that all is not well here but when I look through the rest of the threads, it is business as usual, if not better than it has ever been!

Part of the problem, I think is that we thought this place was different to other web places, when in fact it has all the problems of other sites, newsgroups and of course, the world. There has been an element of turning a 'blind eye' and hoping that by saying how wonderful things were, they would be so. To some extent it has become like a family but an unbalanced one. It appears to be OK to get to know each other on the forum and to say nice things and hug but not to recognize that when we do get to know each other better, that we may find each other extremely irritating as well. We do find that, don't we? If we are really honest posters, we will admit to that? If we do admit it, I think we can move on.

Why if we can say ingratiating things, like "I love you guys", can we not say things like "I think you are a pompous asshole"? I find them both equally offensive and for different reasons but that is probably partly my English reserve?

If I go to a club or a concert to listen or to see someone perform, I may, in the interval see people that I would like to be more friendly with or meet an old friend there. I would probably speak briefly to them, to make arrangements to continue our discussion some other time or by some other means and get on with the main business of being there, the music, for that's why I came. I would not shout out private jokes to them and laugh loudly during the performance. Why then should the forum be any different? It is a great place for making friends and I feel that I have made many here but are there not better ways of chatting with those friends, once made, or is it more important to be seen on the forum to have those friends and to belong? I am not knocking the need to belong, for the forum serves many purposes but surely, to belong here, it is as simple as saying, if you want to belong here, then you do? Do you really need to try that hard?

As for taking sides, for I feel we should and I don't just mean BS v music (for we can have both), I am on the side of Max, music and The Mudcat, which will be as good or as bad as we all can make it. What's gone is gone and what's done is done but what is important now is where do we go from here? What do you think?


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Mudcat time: 31 October 3:22 AM EDT

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