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> Is this site too cliquey ?
derekpara
post Mar 5 2007, 08:46 PM
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Hello, Dismuke.

I get the feeling that this wonderful site is rather cliquey- and hierarchical.

I am one of those members who tune in every day just to listen to and enjoy the great music and the occasional video. I certainly can't compete in knowledge with the more prominent members, even though I was born in the time zone in question. I rarely post a comment, but when I have, it seems to be ignored by the more high profile contributors, where some sort of acknowledgement or comment would have been appropriate - or even polite !

I also feel the use of labels such as Newbie, Member, Advanced Member is divisive, and rather belittling. I log on every day and sometimes spend hours going through the links and listening to the music - and love it no less than any 'Advanced' member.

I am, of course, most grateful to those contributors who make all this possible, but surely we don't need what almost amount to hierachical accolades.

Happy listening.

Derek.
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matto
post Mar 5 2007, 10:32 PM
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Hello, You might have heard me on the live broadcasts as "Matt from College Station" and I also contribute to Dismuke's Hit of The Week....I feel this is a VERY welcoming board.

While I am FAR from the most knowledgable person on the board, I do contribute occasional postings.

MANY of my postings go on unreplied to (check the ones I put up this weekend) and some get repiles...It's just the luck of the draw. Some stimulate conversation and some don't....it doesn't make them less interesting or less valid.

I also do not have a problem with the ranking system

First, it is put in place by the Invision powerbaord program and NOT by Dismuke.

Second, It only ranks people on number of postings, not on anything else.

up to 10=newbie
10 to 35=member
35+ = Advanced member

It just identifies ones overall board activity.

The member Roseman, for example is very new but he is very active...that is why he has a high rating.
I have not been here very long (I was just reading the board for quite some time, but now I post semi regularly).

If you MUST (!) have a higher ranking, just post and reply more...if you get into the conversation, you might feel better about this community wink.gif

Sincerely,
Matt


--------------------
Matt "The Ol' 78 Maestro" from College Station.
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Roseman
post Mar 6 2007, 12:44 AM
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Hello Derekpara,

I know you addressed your post to Dismuke, but if I may I would like to comment on your concerns and thoughts about this site. I'm speaking strickly for myself and don't mean to imply that others may feel the same.

First let me say that you and I have a lot in common. I read your introductory post and found that we are about the same age, you being a few years my senior, but at our ages it doesn't really matter. On my next birthday I'll join the 70'ish generation. We also joined the forum about the same time, you in May '06 and I in Jul '06. I too like 1920's New Orleans Jazz and the dance music of the 20's and 30's, with that happy, uplifting beat. Boy do we need it in this world today!! Boogie Woogie and Ragtime are also favorites of mine.

You mentioned that you had some 500 78's in your record cabinet. You got me there. I don't own a single 78. But guess what? I bet that neither one of us enjoys this music any more than the other. I sense that you have been in this music far longer than I and far more knowledgeable. The board status may have me an advance member, but I'm a NEWBIE. I just enjoy following the various post and trying to learn as I go.

There are many levels and fields of expertise on this board and that I believe is what makes it great. We can learn and share togeather. Every now and then I find something that I enjoy and will post it in hopes that others may also find enjoyment. I know that a lot of my post may consist of songs and things that may have been heard by some a thousand times over, but I also believe that there are others that it may be brand new to them.

Yes it feels good when someone replies with a compliment, but I don't expect a reply every time just as I don't reply to every post that I may find particularly enjoyable. If others have replied in advance and it reflects my sentiments, I will let that suffice.

So my advice is that you not give up on this board. There's a great bunch of people here and you're one of them. Let's hear from you. I'd like to know what's in that stack 78's.


Cheers and see ya later,

Don...
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tferbe
post Mar 6 2007, 12:50 AM
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I joined this board in July of 2005 and was a complete novice who only knew I liked the music and was amazed at the beauty of the machinery. From day one I have felt completly at home here and have made personal contact with several of the members. I am still a novice when it comes to the technical stuff but this board has been extremly helpful and open in educating me. The more you participate the more at home you will feel. After all the source of greatest pleasure to a collector is to share his hobby with others. How about letting us know what you collect or like or dislike. That's a great place to start. biggrin.gif
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Ian House
post Mar 6 2007, 01:02 AM
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Hello Derek,

I agree with Matt, Don and Ted before me. This board is an extremely inviting meeting place. Please allow me to remind you -and others- that this community is not just strictly dedicated to music. If your knowledgebase is more in tune with other aspects of early 20th Century culture, you should feel encouraged to contribute to the "General Topics" forum as well.

I would guess that the majority of our members are younger than 65 (just a guess!) ... This would mean that the primary ways for these people to express their interest in the Jazz Age is through enthusiasm, curiosity, technology, personal collections and KNOWLEDGE. But, fortunately, this board also attracts those who have firsthand living experiences from the "Greatest Generation" and, to a much lesser degree, from the Jazz Age itself. They may, at first, be a little challenged or intimidated by the never-ending technology and the younger energy that embraces it. But, in my opinion, these members are the most valuable asset we have. I would trade all of the KNOWLEDGE based threads on this board for a small handful of conversations inspired by personal memory and EXPERIENCE. If I want to know who played the sax for Cab Calloway at the Cotton Club, I can go to Wikipedia -or some liner notes. It's just data. But we need to encourage our more senior members to share their personal experiences with us as well. Did anybody GO to the Cotton Club to see Cab play in person? What did the room smell like? Good food? Did you take the "A" train to get there?!!

OK, so let's make it personal:

You were born in 1932. Did you live in London? If so, you would have been 8 years old during the Blitz. Do you have any memories of it? You must. Did you get removed from the city and taken to the country? Did you live in the country and receive any families from the city? What radio programs did your family listen to when you were a child? Did you need to use ration coupons? Did any of your family learn to play the banjulele because of George Formby? Was George too cheeky for your mother? Were the London tube cars made out of wood? What was your first experience with TV? What sweets and candies do you remember from your childhood? Do you remember when fish and chips were wrapped in the daily newspaper? Tell us about the Art Deco influences in England throughout the 30's and 40's. Do you dance? You were likely in the arms of a young lady just prior to 1950 - Were they still ballroom dancing in 1950? Did you enjoy any elegant picnics in the countryside? Why is Wensleydale cheese SO tasty?!!

Of course, it is not my intention to solicit an answer to each of these questions -or any of them. I'm just giving you a conversational starting point should you wish to accept it.

My warmest regards,

Ian


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dismuke
post Mar 6 2007, 03:34 AM
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QUOTE(derekpara @ Mar 5 2007, 08:46 PM)
Hello, Dismuke.

I get the feeling that this wonderful site is rather cliquey- and hierarchical. 

Hello Derek.


As Matt indicated the levels that you see are set by default with the Invision Board software and they are based on how many postings a person puts up. I think it is a feature that is pretty much standard with all of the major message board software programs.

I could change the name of the levels to something else if I wanted to, add additional levels and adjust how many postings it takes to go from one level to another - but I have never really attached enough importance to that particular feature of the board to really mess with it. And regardless of what the names are changed to, the levels would still be based on number of postings. Some forums that have heavier traffic levels than this one make a bigger deal out of the levels and some give them names based on the theme of the board. For example, an architecture forum that I sometimes follow calls its highest level "Skyscraper Member."

As for the amount of postings a given individual puts up - well, as with almost any other message board, the lurkers (i.e., people who read the postings but never or very rarely post) are always going to outnumber the active participants by a very substantial margin. There are countless reasons why a person might choose to only observe the conversation here and not participate in it.

As for the board being too cliquish - I am very sorry but I just don't see it.

I have always been amazed at just how nice people are to each other on this forum compared with some of the really nasty and bitter interactions I have seen on other boards and groups I have followed. And I am not just talking about boards where controversial issues such as politics, philosophy and current events are discussed. It is understandable why they might become a bit nasty from time to time. One of the nastiest flame wars I ever followed was on a local history message board.

What I like about this forum is that it has a very benevolent atmosphere - and the credit for that rests entirely with the membership as there is very little that is in my control to bring such an atmosphere about other than to deal with those who might come along and seek to disrupt it.

Regarding your concern about the lack of response to some of your previous comments - I honestly wouldn't read too much into that and regard it as any sort of personal slight in any way.

One of the things that I learned early on when I first came online was to recognize that there are many and very significant limitations and possibilities for misunderstandings to take place when communicating to people in writing. This is especially true with online communications which tend to be informal and composed more or less off-the-cuff in chat rooms and on message boards where one has limited time to subject it to careful proofreading and editing.

Compared with in-person or even with telephone conversations, online conversations put both parties at somewhat of a disadvantage: one lacks the ability to read the other person's body language and vocal inflections, all of which provide a very important context to one's understanding of what another person really intends to say. All one has to go by is the words that they write - and perhaps those words were written very quickly and perhaps they can be read and understood in different ways by different people.

As an example of how such misunderstandings can develop, on several instances, I have received emails from people I know online which indicated that they were rather upset and concerned that I was somehow angry with them or that I wanted nothing to do with them anymore. In each instance I was completely stunned because such was the very furthest thing from my mind. What happened is they hadn't heard from me in a while and, on that basis, their imagination took over and they just assumed that I was angry with them or blowing them off when, in fact, I was simply busy and distracted with other matters.

I think there is a natural tendency for many people, when they have no way available to them to understand what is going on, to simply assume the worst. Therefore, if they send an email to someone and they do not hear back, they assume the worst and think the person is snubbing them or dislikes them. It is natural and understandable in certain instances for such a person to be disappointed.

I have certainly been disappointed when people I have contacted on line for various reason have never replied back to me. On the other hand, one thing I have definitely learned from operating a popular website and online station with lots of traffic is to NEVER assume that it is necessarily the result a negative reaction towards me personally unless I have specific evidence to the contrary.

I am very bad about keeping up with email correspondence - even when it comes to people I know very well and think the world of. I love getting emails - but sometimes I flat out do not have the time to answer them because I have a full time job and an entire life outside of the Internet that I have to keep up with. And when I do have the time - well, sometimes I am not in the mood to spend my free time in front of a keyboard which I do much of my day at work and when I work on my website and station. It has nothing to do with the other person at all - it is entirely about the limits of my time and energy.

For that reason, whenever I am disappointed about not getting a reply to an email I sent to someone - I have learned NOT to jump to the worst possible conclusion. In most cases, I have no idea what is going on in that other person's life at the moment. So, unless I have specific reason to believe that the other person might be upset with me, I simply assume that the reason for it is something other than me.

I think it is very important to take the very same approach with regard to message boards. There are any number of reasons why other members here might not respond to a posting that you put up. Perhaps you made your point well enough that there is really nothing else to add or say about it. Perhaps the person you were expecting a reply from never actually read your posting. Perhaps they were busy for a few days and, when they came back, they never caught up on the postings they missed out on. There are message boards that I follow where it would be next to impossible for someone who did not have a lot of free time to keep up with. This board does not have such high volume - but you never know how many other boards besides this one the members here might follow.

It is true that certain long-time, high-volume posters here have developed a certain rapport with each other and that there are threads with friendly, light hearted banter between them. But I wouldn't call that cliquish - that is simply the natural result of what happens when people with similar interests get to know each other. It is like going to a party or some other social gathering - people who have known each other for a long time are going to act differently towards each other than they will those who they do not know very well. And that is the way it should be. If Ian, for example, were to engage in the same sort of banter with a new member or an infrequent poster the way that he sometimes does with Flapper Girl or with Bob - well, there would be the danger that the other person might misunderstand it and find it a bit odd or off-putting.

Anyhow, those are just some suggestions to keep in mind. Unless you have reason to believe otherwise, try to avoid the sometimes understandable temptation of making assumptions about other people that would somehow cast you in a negative light. Because of the limitations of written communication verses spoken and in-person communication, interacting with people online is a very different experience and has certain pitfalls that one needs to be aware of. Of course, interacting with people online has many advantages that make up for those pitfalls. I live in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States and I only know of a small handful of people in my area who are into 1920s and 1930s music - and, of those I do know, my first introduction to every single one of them was online. What makes boards like this so wonderful is their ability to enable people with similar interests from around the world to meet and interact with each other. But just as there is always the potential for miscommunication and for misunderstandings to develop in in-person interactions, the same is true with online interaction except the potential is many times greater. Simply being aware this is, in my view, the very best way to try and avoid such misunderstandings in the first place.
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Andy Senior
post Mar 6 2007, 06:50 AM
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Yes, I'd rather post (and read other posts) on this message board than most others. The people here are genuinely decent and polite to each other. Perhaps that's true in general of those who love this music. It's a great influence.

I don't sense any political jockeying here at all. It's a true community of those moved by a common interest. It's a haven we should all enjoy, since real life frankly tends to be much less harmonious.
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derekpara
post Mar 6 2007, 09:44 PM
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Thank you all for a wealth of replies. Let me deal with them individually in my own style, thus:

Matto: Thank you for putting me right over the classification system. You have an edge - I like that !

Roseman (Don) : Hello, fellow old timer ! Age contributes to mellow sentiments, wise counsel, and consiliatory judgement as evident in your reply. Blimey, I have no intention of giving up on the site - it gives me my nightly fix, along with my whisky and soda ! Tell you later about the contents of my Pandora's box.

tferbe: . Another warm response; thanks. True words. Sharing equates to happiness. Point taken.

Ian: Great suggestion about getting our older members to share their first-hand knowledge. You've put the spotlight on me. Taught the Charleston at twelve by my mother who once danced the nights away.
Evacuated from London to nine different homes where I was abused, loved, tolerated in various measures. Witnessed Battle of Britiain at close range. Blown off toilet by a near miss when I came home in the blitz. LIstened to Tommy Handley on the Wireless ( not the radio). It was Max Miller who was saucy in those days. Sang ' When I'm Cleaning Windows' as I parachuted into Suez in 1956. Thanks for your salutations.

Dismuke: You get an A grade for that dissertation ! Explains everything - and many suggestions for me to act upon. Thank you.

Andy Snr: Agree with you wholeheartedly - especially your last sentiment. Thanks.

Finally, where does that leave me ? Chastised ? No. Informed ? Yes. Humbled ? Slightly. Warmed ? Certainly. Thank you all - as I said, a Great site ! Speak to all again, soon. Derek.
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Flapper Girl
post Mar 7 2007, 01:35 PM
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Derek,

Sorry for the misunderstanding. Glad you are going to stick with us, as you certainly have much to contribute. We really are a very inclusive lot.

I am certainly happy to welcome a George Formby fan to the board. Anyone who enjoys George’s music gets a gold star in my book. I believe I can count his true fans on this board on the fingers of my left hand (unless I have missed a couple). Unfortunately, many people just don’t understand the fascination we hold for him. His song lyrics were so cleverly written and he seems to have had a very endearing personality. I still have to chuckle whenever I hear “When I’m Cleaning Windows”, “Our Sergeant Major” and “Little Stick of Blackpool Rock”. Have you ever partaken of that sticky treat? “Bless ‘Em All” and “Leaning On the Lamp Post” are also two of my favorites.

Cheerio

Flapper Girl
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derekpara
post Mar 7 2007, 05:21 PM
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Hi, Flapper Girl

Yes, I am a great George Formby fan, and my friends of years ago used to call me George because I bore a resemblance to him. It was the teeth I think !

I don't know what part of the world you are from but there is a George Formby convention in Blackpool every year where hundreds of his fans meet to sing and play his wonderful songs. What an epitaph !
A lot of his lyrics have double meanings, of course, especially ' With My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock'. I have quite a few of his LPs and George can now be seen in a number of clips on You Tube. I believe he used a different instrument depending on a particular key, so he would have about 6 ukes or banjos at every performance. It would be nice to hear some of his early work on here if it would be allowed.

By the way, thanks for your nice comments - very much appreciated.

Happy listening

Derek rolleyes.gif
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gregoryagogo
post Mar 7 2007, 07:01 PM
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This post has been bugging me for a whole week, being locked out of this board because of the hacking thing...


NO WE ARE NOT CLICKEY. WE ALL REPECT EACHOTHER HERE. SOME ARE MORE KNOWLEGEABLE, WHICH IS GREAT BECUASE WE ALWAYS GET OUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED. IF YOU ARE FEELING LIKE YOU AREN'T INCLUDED IT'S BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT PARTICITPATING AND TAKING THINGS TO PERSONALLY. dry.gif


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dismuke
post Mar 7 2007, 07:36 PM
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QUOTE(gregoryagogo @ Mar 7 2007, 07:01 PM) *
This post has been bugging me for a whole week, being locked out of this board because of the hacking thing...
NO WE ARE NOT CLICKEY. WE ALL REPECT EACHOTHER HERE. SOME ARE MORE KNOWLEGEABLE, WHICH IS GREAT BECUASE WE ALWAYS GET OUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED. IF YOU ARE FEELING LIKE YOU AREN'T INCLUDED IT'S BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT PARTICITPATING AND TAKING THINGS TO PERSONALLY. dry.gif




Hmmmm. Gee, Gregory, you know when you type in all capital letters online, that is considered to be SHOUTING! unsure.gif

If you go back and look at derekpara's reply I think he now has a very good understanding of what the board is about. It is very understandable that people new to participating in this board or any other board might end up getting a first impression based only on the experience of putting up a few postings. I, for one, am very glad he let us know about his concerns. Otherwise, we would not have had the opportunity to address them. Most people would simply walk off and never give us that opportunity.
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Flapper Girl
post Mar 7 2007, 07:45 PM
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Derek,

Nice to have another George Formby fan on board. That makes at least three confirmed cases in this forum. I will check out YouTube as I didn’t know there were clips of him there. Hope they don’t delete them, as they have so many other goodies recently. I had heard that he could only play in one key and had to switch to an appropriately tuned instrument each time he needed to sing in another key. Rather awkward to have to carry around so many banjuleles, I would say.

I am from New England and had never heard of George until I married. My husband was originally from Scotland and he had a couple LP’s he played and played (then played some more). After a while I began to acquire a taste for his brand of music and eventually became a dyed-in- the-wool fan myself. One really has to listen and be open to a different style of music to enjoy it.

Have you ever attended the event in Blackpool?

Flapper
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derekpara
post Mar 7 2007, 09:29 PM
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Hello, Gregory, Dismuke and Flapper

Thanks, Dismuke for coming to my aid so promptly. ( A Rebuke from Dismuke ?)

Gregory, Yes, I do resent being electronically shouted at, and my aged hackles did rise a little. Smaller minded people would have taken some measure of revenge my pointing out errors in your spelling and grammar; ('knowlegeable' = knowledgeable ? 'To' = Too ? etc etc ) Anyway, no hard feelings.

Flapper. No, haven't been to the convention but have seen it on TV. Picture the scene; the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool filled to bursting with hundreds of Formby fans, each playing George's numbers on ukes or banjos and having the time of their lives ! Fantastic ! I believe there is a George Formby Appreciation Society of some sort, so why not join and start an off-shoot in New England? I think you would be surprised at how many other fans there were in your part of the world.

Best wishes.

Derek
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Ian House
post Mar 7 2007, 10:30 PM
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You know, I think this thread needs some George Formby music -and fast!:

When I'm Cleaning Windows

_ _ _

Formby Forever!


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