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kitkat
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Purpose of this board

#1 Post by kitkat » Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:55 am

I refrained for months from making this diatribe because it doesn't have any artist commentary, album recommendations, or "this song is good because..." in it, which makes the very post itself chock full of hypocrisy. Things have gone so far, though...it's ridiculous.
Apologies for putting this non-question thread here...it's just the only place I could think of to comment on the board itself.

Why does the "Too much groove for me, lately" thread have 8 pages and the "Count Basie: Your Favorite Songs" thread have 4? Lots of people still like "groove music," but they haven't helped Nina Simone's thread get over 2 pages.

Last summer I lurked on this board for a month or two, reading every thread in Swinging Music: writing down album/song recommendations and learning about musicians. It seemed 90% of them were useful for the former, 10% for the latter.

Now it seems well over half of everything said on SwingDJs is opinionated theoretical talk or discussion of philosophies of DJing. People keep expounding on what kinds of music they like...and yet, I'm not even more educated about what kinds of music people like than I was last summer. You can pick that up by reading whose music a DJ talks about.

The board hasn't gone the way of Yehoodi or JJ yet; it's still unique because it's filled with people who actually listen to a lot of music. Still, that doesn't make the stuff these educated people have been saying lately at all useful, and much of the time it's hardly even interesting.

I don't know about everyone else, but I'd like to see more practical/trade talk and less theory/philosophy talk.

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

Addendum after reading the first 4 replies: I am not advocating new "rules" put into effect.
I'm asking for self-moderation. I'm asking people to think before they type--are they really saying something that either enriches readers or asks a valuable question from enriching posters, or are they just writing a post to up the quantity of posts on "their side" of some head-in-the-clouds debate and throw support one way or another?
Last edited by kitkat on Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#2 Post by Nate Dogg » Tue Apr 20, 2004 12:38 pm

A few of wondered a few months ago if the Board had any kind of guidelines or stated purpose. All we have in that regard is a technical FAQ. I imagine it is because nobody wants to open that Pandoras Box, we seem to have a enjoyable group as is, even if some of us (like me) are a bit too open in sharing our opinions.

Similar questions, inspired by your rant:
Where is the Swing DJ line drawn? What if a overtly West Coast DJ wanted to discuss West Coast Swing music on this thread, would he be violating a rule or something. It is implied that we are a lindy centric group, but since we don't have it written down anywhere on the website, who is to stop somebody from pushing it.

Promoting activities, some people take offense, but there are no guidelines saying you can't promote something on this Board (see a recent thread involving Greg Avakian's whereabouts, various Exchange threads over the past few years, etc..).

I am not saying that we should find a solution, since such a solution might be worse than the problem.

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Ron
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#3 Post by Ron » Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:16 pm

I don't think there's a big problem. Some of the other threads are very good. In fact, the 50's bands thread is 12 pages, and that's very focused on music.

The thing is, when talking about a specific artist, everyone will exchange recommendations and then there isn't a lot more to be said. There's no controversy. Controversy is what inspires the long arguments, but if they get too tedious, I'd recommend just skimming them or skipping them.

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Re: Purpose of this board

#4 Post by julius » Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:24 pm

kitkat wrote:Why does the "Too much groove for me, lately" thread have 8 pages and the "Count Basie: Your Favorite Songs" thread have 4? Lots of people still like "groove music," but they haven't helped Nina Simone's thread get over 2 pages.


Because quality is not related to quantity.

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Mr Awesomer
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#5 Post by Mr Awesomer » Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:26 pm

I appreciate the need and desire to vent, but I don't see any problems with the focus and direction of the board in it's current state. It is, after all, a discussion (consideration of a question in open and usually informal debate) board, not specificly an information (the communication or reception of knowledge or intelligence) board.
Reuben Brown
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Swifty
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Re: Purpose of this board

#6 Post by Swifty » Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:51 pm

kitkat wrote:Why does the "Too much groove for me, lately" thread have 8 pages and the "Count Basie: Your Favorite Songs" thread have 4? Lots of people still like "groove music," but they haven't helped Nina Simone's thread get over 2 pages.


To respond to this question specifically, I think it's because the "Too Much Groove..." thread has bounced between multiple topics and the "Basie" thread has stayed on topic.

The "Groove" thread has touched upon "groove" in the Florida scenes, the relative "fastness" of 200 BPM, ability to dance/teach fast, physical limitations and other reasons for not dancing fast, race/culture & influence on tempo preference, the definition of a "casual" dancer, how tempo relates to neo/classic swing, etc, etc. Granted, it hasn't been the most eloquent conversation, but it's been a discussion with a natural flow and progression.

How much room for discussion is there after everyone lists their favorite Basie songs?
Last edited by Swifty on Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Purpose of this board

#7 Post by gatorgal » Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:52 pm

kitkat wrote:I don't know about everyone else, but I'd like to see more practical/trade talk and less theory/philosophy talk.


Some things to consider...

The number of posts and people who post them can't possibly represent the majority of folks on this board. There may be a silent majority of folks who feel the same way you do, but simply don't have the time or inclination to express it.

It may harder for folks like me, who are relatively new, to contribute to in-depth discussions on music or DJing simply because we're not musicians and we haven't been DJing that long. But hey, everyone has an opinion. :)

And while the philosophizing can get a bit repetitive, or just downright nasty (some of you boys are simply worse than the cattiest woman on the planet), I still find it interesting and if I look hard enough, can find some bits of information or ways to evaluate what I'm doing, whether we're talking about DJing or dancing. Like watching a train wreck, reading some of the debates here can be very entertaining.

And like you said, it could be worse, but I'm not unhappy with the amount of debate on the board. Not yet anyway. :)

Tina 8)
"I'm here to kick a little DJ a$$!"
~ Foreman on That 70s Show

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JesseMiner
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#8 Post by JesseMiner » Tue Apr 20, 2004 2:05 pm

The purpose of this board is to bring together DJs who play for Lindy Hop dancers, and the focus is on discussions about swinging music for dancers. Since there are several other closely related dances (Balboa, Collegiate Shag, East Coast Swing, etc...) done to the same or at least quite similar music, discussions relating to them are welcome as well. Radio DJs into similar music are equally welcome, as they are music lovers just like us dance DJs, but they must remember that most of the perspectives on this board regarding music are related to the dance.

This is not a discussion board focused on DJs who play primarily for West Coast Swing dancers. Those DJs have a very healthy discussion group on Yahoo.

The reason why there are no guidelines or FAQ written up currently is because we haven't found the time to do so. If anyone wants to help draft up an FAQ or at least pose some questions that should be answered, feel free to send me a private message.

As for the current discussions, I don't see a problem. Sometimes they will be focused on the philosophy (which IMHO is very important), and sometimes they will be more about different musicians and recordings. Both are great to have and are necessary for us to grow and improve as DJs.

Regarding "Upcoming Events", this section will be revamped soon and its purpose clarified.

Jesse Miner
SwingDJs Administrator

julius
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#9 Post by julius » Tue Apr 20, 2004 4:24 pm

i don't see a need for guidelines or a faq about the board's purpose, since the owner of the board (jesse) reads it regularly and can clarify as needed, which he does.

i could write guidelines for you though. heh heh heh.

julius
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Re: Purpose of this board

#10 Post by julius » Tue Apr 20, 2004 4:26 pm

kitkat wrote:Addendum after reading the first 4 replies: I am not advocating new "rules" put into effect.
I'm asking for self-moderation. I'm asking people to think before they type--are they really saying something that either enriches readers or asks a valuable question from enriching posters, or are they just writing a post to up the quantity of posts on "their side" of some head-in-the-clouds debate and throw support one way or another?


Not sure everybody has seen this.

Yes, I need to self-moderate. I'm just getting my verbiage in before I vanish for two months, OK? OK?!

I think it is human nature to comment repetitively on issues that concern them a lot. I also think sometimes new facets of the issue are exposed that haven't been discussed before ... admittedly, not often.

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#11 Post by gatorgal » Tue Apr 20, 2004 4:34 pm

kitkat wrote:I'm asking for self-moderation. I'm asking people to think before they type--are they really saying something that either enriches readers or asks a valuable question from enriching posters, or are they just writing a post to up the quantity of posts on "their side" of some head-in-the-clouds debate and throw support one way or another?


I really think you need to post this on the aforementioned "groove" board. :) Seriously, that's a good reminder for us all, myself included.

BTW... thanks for bringing this subject up.

Tina 8)
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~ Foreman on That 70s Show

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#12 Post by yedancer » Tue Apr 20, 2004 6:12 pm

I would prefer for people to not do the following things:

1) make obvious statements in response to others' posts
2) make tengential assumptions
3) make passive aggressive comments and veiled sarcastic jabs
4) make arrogant posts that state your opinion as though it were a basic, well-known, accepted fact that everyone should believe
5) Do #2, #3 or #4 and then add an emoticon to make it seem like you were joking
6) write posts that take longer than a few seconds to read

Of course, I won't get my hopes up.
-Jeremy

It's easy to sit there and say you'd like to have more money. And I guess that's what I like about it. It's easy. Just sitting there, rocking back and forth, wanting that money.

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Re: Purpose of this board

#13 Post by djstarr » Tue Apr 20, 2004 10:30 pm

Swifty wrote:The "Groove" thread has touched upon "groove" in the Florida scenes, the relative "fastness" of 200 BPM, ability to dance/teach fast, physical limitations and other reasons for not dancing fast, race/culture & influence on tempo preference, the definition of a "casual" dancer, how tempo relates to neo/classic swing, etc, etc. Granted, it hasn't been the most eloquent conversation, but it's been a discussion with a natural flow and progression.


Swifty - this is awesome. I think we need to hire you to do summaries for all the long threads on the board......

and Kitkat, the signal to noise ratio is still pretty good on this board --- we've even got Jerry uploading clips for us which I think is awesome - I think the discussion around the mystery clips has been very focused on music and what people like/dislike for dancing.

you gotta take the good with the bad; just make sure to skip all threads with "groove" in the title ;-)

p.s. i just caught up with the forum, I had missed the resurrection of the usual suspects debate; those should be flagged with a little red hazard mark for the unaware.....

p.p.s. very cool Doug and Ron have uploaded some clips too - I'm enjoying them.
Last edited by djstarr on Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#14 Post by Zot » Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:06 pm

Forums going off-topic is a common problem, and one that needs to be actively pursued if people really do want a useful "signal to noise" ratio.

My own experience tells me that the very best online forums in this regard have active, hardworking and intelligent moderation in place.

This means that moderators play a role in facilitating the discussion.

It's not surprising, to me, that a (largely) unmoderated Forum has a lot of stuff that people consider to be off topic.

This means that Administrators need to make a choice between running a looser, less structured Forum that may run into the trouble of having more noise, as compared with attempting to find moderators who actually facilitate the discussions.

Again, being a good Moderator takes a lot of hard work and fairly specific skills, so this may not be easy. But I'd offer it as a tried and tested option.

I realise that some may think that by Moderation I mean censorship -- no way... I'm talking about people doing the sort of thing that Swifty did in this thread -- intelligent summarisation, encouragement of people to consider the issues raised in a topic, and pointing people in the direction of existing topics, etc. I know this happens in an ad hoc way from time to time here, but in all honesty I think the job is bigger and requires more active work.

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#15 Post by szarka » Tue Dec 14, 2004 7:10 am

JesseMiner wrote: This is not a discussion board focused on DJs who play primarily for West Coast Swing dancers. Those DJs have a very healthy discussion group on Yahoo.
Link please?

(Yeah, like I have time to read another list. In fact, I should be preparing for a meeting with a client right now... LOL!)

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