harp-l meta discussion

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El Rey de los Super Mochomos

Aug 22, 2014, 11:08:51 AM8/22/14
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Several people recently signed up.  No discussions initiated so far.  Don't be waiting on the list owner to start a discussion for you.  I did notice that a couple of people who signed up appended that they were looking to help migrate list platforms.  Someone else wanted a web interface.  An easier to maintain platform was also mentioned to which I would respond; have you ever maintained a Mailman list?  It's hard to imagine an easier to manage interface.  It sure wouldn't be Facebook.  

The one direct response I will make to something posted on harp-l is regarding the assertion that Mailman is an obsolete interface.  Well no, it's currently still being developed for.  As for search, the absolute best search I've ever encountered is Google's and guess what?  Harp-l's search is a google custom search and it's indexed.  

Better organised?  In what way?  Oh you might mean the web page.  Harp-l is not now and never really has been about providing content.  It exists to allow like minded people to find each other and aggregate.

 Right now, as in today 10 seconds ago the harp-l subscribers number 2400 which is as near as I can remember as high as it has ever been.  It's certainly not a declining number.  Posts are down but then signal to noise is way up.  

Harp-l is not run accidentally or haphazardly, you might not always agree with the focus but there definitely is one.  There is a very focused philosophy behind the software choices and the supported services.  If you host your group on a forum site like Google Groups or Yahoo Groups you lose control of your content.  You also subject your users to advertisements.  Plain text by it's very nature, small, is green.  While none of us receive a bill for what it costs to run all these servers scattered around the world the energy costs are real.  That data centers are located adjacent to hydro electric plants is no accident.  There is no such thing as a free lunch but harp-l is as close to one as you're ever going to find on the web.  

Regarding Modern Blues Harmonica, it's a logical extension of Adam's excellent youtube series of teaching videos.  A provocatively run list run by a strong personality.  That there are choices is important.  The Balkanisation of the online harmonica community was inevitable and in fact it's completely philosophically in line with why harp-l was created, to allow like minded people to find each other so they can collaborate musically and intellectually.


Aug 23, 2014, 11:41:19 AM8/23/14
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As an instigator of this most recent discussion - I should say that although Facebook was brought up I think THAT would be a terrible idea. I was thinking more about forum software along the lines of http://www.simplemachines.org or https://www.phpbb.com

I ALSO want to re-state that "you're managing HARP-L - you get to make the decisions." I HAVE had forum administrative duties before and I know it is a pain in the butt. 

You say "Harp-l's search is a google custom search and it's indexed" -  but you have to go to the web page to use it. I believe most people interact with HARP-L via email and may not be aware of the search function at all. Here's a suggestion - why not add a link to HARP-L email digests (where the others are, like "Send Harp-L mailing list submissions to
har...@harp-l.org") Call it "Search HARP-L" and take us to a simple page with nothing but the search form. 

Forums allow organization by topic and support embedding of photos and videos. I think that makes them much more interesting. (It can also be overdone - slidemeister, for example, has WAY too many sub-forums. I think simple IS better and would have only one. The forum still provides organization by thread. They do NOT have to have advertising, however if Harp-L had a forum and WANTED to,  I would advertise there - no better audience for me, and that helps offset the costs. 


El Rey de los Super Mochomos

Aug 23, 2014, 3:06:23 PM8/23/14
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Mailman does have an editable footer feature in which a link to a specific separate search page could be included.  While my experience tells me 95% of users won't register that it's there I can certainly add one and see what happens.  The only hard part would be creating the separate page.  

I've looked at simple machines and phbb in the past but I'll look again.  That said I personally don't care for a bulletin board format my objection being one of process/product.  In my experience almost all bb forums have a similarity of responses.  The same is true of almost all mail lists.  I find the bulleting board foum niche is pretty well covered by Modern Blues Harmonica and I suspect that migrating to direct competition with them would be a path to harp-l's eventual demise.  That whole style of posting, embedded videos to make points is a little too obscure for me.  The sharing of content on the other hand is one I can enjoy.  I'm not sure that I understand the difference between an included link you can click and an image of an included link that you also click on to get a video to play.  

El Rey de los Super Mochomos

Aug 23, 2014, 3:17:42 PM8/23/14
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Actually it was Neil who initiated the discussion.  I think if you have decided that Facebook is the place to be for harmonica discussions then go for it.  

patrice rayon

Aug 24, 2014, 6:28:58 PM8/24/14
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Thank you for the link about meta-discussion :  http://www.fitz-claridge.com/node/18

Myself I manage Harmonicaland the oldest french ( No relation at all with a shop of the same name created after :/ !... ) speaking mailing-list and I think I will translate it for mine because it sounds quite good.

Now about HARP-L versious Facebook or other platform. There are some people who prefer to keep to be simple, and also happy to concentrate on harmonica, without publicity around... I believe the risk is to lose the spirit of the mailing list.
There are so many plateforms and Facebook groups or from other places kinf of forums about harmonica... The problem I notice is that they all finish to disapear, while HARP-L is still there...
And a reason for that is perhaps because it keeps to be simple, that you can still find messages from 20years ago... It is then possible to search for old messages. The reminder can keep to post the link of the HARP-L interface every month...

Every new interface looks great, magic, but I am afraid that there are so many on Internet, that finaly you don't know where to go...
This is why I consider HARP-L as being THE reference for discussion with the rest of the world, because for me it is the oldest, with the biggest experience and never mind if it looks for some people as too basic. For me it is not basic. That is the principle of a mailing list... I would be surprised to see less and less members registered on HARP-L... I believe that is just the society which is changing...People are more and more consumers...they are reading but majority of them keep to be silent, I guess more than before where the culture was perhaps more to participate actively...

(Sorry for my english...not my mother language ;) ...)

Patrice Rayon

El Rey de los Super Mochomos

Aug 24, 2014, 8:01:03 PM8/24/14
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Patrice, my French is far worse than your English.  That Sarah Fitz-Claridge article on meta discussions changed my life.  It is the single most significant reference I've come across in terms of bringing clarity of thought to the philosophy or moderating an internet discussion list.  
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