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mike dolbear
Administrator

2419 Posts

Posted - 14/04/2017 :  08:55:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK so you would have seen that there is now a new mikedolbear.com site, this was very expensive and time consuming and we are still currently moving over around 70,000 pages.

Currently this forum has yet to be changed so here is the question. We all know this forum is not as active as it was before for various reasons but I think the main one being people can now do it on Facebook so do I/we build a new forum and to continue what we have or do away with the forum and add a Facebook group?

I really respect your views on this as some have been here a long time and watched mikedolbear.com grow into what it is today.

It's my website/forum so behave yourself's !

Started November 2000
New Mike Dolbear Web Show https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAGa_4MF8-VD8gvSKB6EcbifVLsl0Saf1

rollingthunder
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
2492 Posts

Posted - 14/04/2017 :  14:42:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I reckon Facebook is probably the way forward. Everybody in the world except me uses it and it would be quicker and easier to build a group than waiting and hoping that a new and probably costly forum will pick up again.
I personally can't stand Facebook, so it would be goodnight from me, but it looks like the best bet.
A bit of a no brainer really.
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Tex
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
2057 Posts

Posted - 14/04/2017 :  16:08:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I tend to keep my facebook contact for friends and contacts (contacts usually alert me to the odd local gig and then we do it all by phone or text). I could be in the minority but I feel that facebook is a general contact / meeting point / marketplace / alcohol free bar / phone tappers and shunters club :) it might be just another place to get lost in.
However, I don't tend to do everything by phone or pad. Although I'm no slouch on those I tend to deliberately keep as analog as possible as batteries have a tendency to run out...
In the context of a forum, by it's nature it may very well suit it.

When setting up the kit and playing one must put the carpet down before the furniture goes on top
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Captain Bubble
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
19675 Posts

Posted - 14/04/2017 :  18:03:52  Show Profile  Visit Captain Bubble's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I would hate to see this great forum go!
I hate to see social media sites taking over everything and getting rich at the cost of forums/independent sites.
Sadly though, this does to be a normal thing...I sometimes post on non-drum forums, and these too have far fewer posts and less chat due to Facebook and others.
This pattern looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.

Marcus de Mowbray
www.330studios.co.uk/marcus
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Pabs
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
1200 Posts

Posted - 14/04/2017 :  18:43:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have to admit I haven't contributed to the forum much lately but still look in every day and catch up.
Just not been playing much recently due to moving house, new job etc etc..but I would certainly miss the forum.
Things are starting to settle down here and hoping to be getting a band project going soon now time is available to do so.

Thing is I don't use Facebook at all , never have and never will. I'm not saying it's not a good thing and understand that
it can be a very useful for people, just not for me.
Never felt the need to let people know what I had for tea, what I'm doing , what I might do, and "hey look at me, I got
loads of friends" .
So it would be a goodnight from me also.

It would be really sad to lose the forum , but I understand why you asked the question Mike.


Highwood Custom Drums
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davidh
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
1363 Posts

Posted - 14/04/2017 :  19:42:45  Show Profile  Visit davidh's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Have to say it but so much that is "new" on the web is one step forward, two steps back. Social media is hectic and stuff flies by never to be found again. Forums like this are more static which I like and I check in regularly still. I also visit DFO which seems to keep pretty busy still with interesting topics and dialogue and gets donations to keep itself going too. To be brutally honest the new Dolbear site is really really slow and has all the hallmarks of "modern" sites which are over-programmed and offer no advantage of what was there beforehand. I have been a programmer for 40 odd years and taught web programming all the way through its evolution watching essentially simple things get covered in layers of unnecessary obfuscation. I think a forum like this could swing towards supporting buying and selling kit - something specifically frowned on here all along - as FaceBook is too crazy a platform to sell anything without a linked back-end for a searchable and more stable classified ads system. I am coming on 67 and not actually too curmongeonly - but for example at the drumarchive site I maintain for Andy we see no advantage to moving it to anything snazzier as it does what it says on its plain tin.

www.drumarchive.com
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neokoenig
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
1236 Posts

Posted - 14/04/2017 :  20:08:38  Show Profile  Visit neokoenig's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I didn't even realise there was a new site as I have co.uk bookmarked, not the .com

Drum Studio Build | I hit this - Kit in Studio | My Band - Munkey
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Booma
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
362 Posts

Posted - 14/04/2017 :  20:45:31  Show Profile  Visit Booma's Homepage  Reply with Quote
...my tuppence...

I prefer the concept of a dedicated forum to a facebook group as it feels more like a (virtual) place to where I make a specific choice to check-in and see what people are up to, rather than a room in another (virtual) building where it's one of a number which I might pass by - ie. when I log in to facebook.

I don't think I've explained that very well and appreciate it's an intangible 'touchy-feely' thing and not very rational. I also understand that the best way forward will be that which encourages most forum engagement and use - so if FB is the way forward then so be it - I daresay I'd learn to live with it :-)

www.bluescalepublishing.co.uk
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scottser
Advanced Contributer

Ireland
735 Posts

Posted - 14/04/2017 :  22:02:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Facebook sucks balls.
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Captain Bubble
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
19675 Posts

Posted - 15/04/2017 :  08:04:41  Show Profile  Visit Captain Bubble's Homepage  Reply with Quote
DavidH wrote: Social media is hectic and stuff flies by never to be found again. Forums like this are more static which I like and I check in regularly still.

That is indeed a great advantage of a Forum over a chat site. Sadly though, providing and maintaining that service for a small number of people must be a problem.

Marcus de Mowbray
www.330studios.co.uk/marcus
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moosetication
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
12709 Posts

Posted - 15/04/2017 :  11:10:16  Show Profile  Visit moosetication's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Why not try both at the same time?

You could set up a page (has to be a page, not a group) on FB that disallows visitor posts. The admin of the page can "share" articles from the main site and threads from the forum to the page, and drive traffic to the site and to the forum.

"It's just a rest, no need to complicate it with monkeys." - sunshinehead
SITMS #31/582 (B'ham) #31/798 (M'cr) | The Blue Road | Bewarethisboy
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mike dolbear
Administrator

2419 Posts

Posted - 15/04/2017 :  14:18:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the feedback, maybe I look back at what this forum used to be like and want to make sure with the investment that needs to be made in money and time is worth it.

As many of you know I am not a fan of Facebook and I am very proud of what this Forum has done to help so many people over the years and I am 99% sure the mikedolbear.com forum will continue instead of a facebook group.

It's my website/forum so behave yourself's !

Started November 2000
New Mike Dolbear Web Show https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAGa_4MF8-VD8gvSKB6EcbifVLsl0Saf1
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Sharklaar
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
2776 Posts

Posted - 15/04/2017 :  20:06:30  Show Profile  Visit Sharklaar's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I love the forum, and I'm disappointed it's not as busy as it used to be. But it doesn't have to be that way... A few years ago, the biggest guitar forum in the world just kinda disappeared overnight, can't remember what it was called. My brother frequented that forum, and he and some friends decided to set up a replacement, "The Fretboard". Now that has hundreds of thousands of active regular users, and is a known name to pretty much every guitarist on the planet. There must be hundreds of guitar groups on Facebook, but my bro's forum is still thriving, despite only being a couple of years old, and despite the competition from social media. It proves it can be done!!

I would love to see this forum being mobile-friendly (typing a post on a phone at the moment is a huge pain in the arse), and I'd like to see a buying/selling section. Those would probably help liven this place up a bit, but iI guess some advertising needs to be done, or something else interesting to attract people here. I'm always interested in people doing things differently, not following the norm in business, taking a couple of risks to help drive themselves forward.

And yes, I've been drinking all day, hence the babble.

But please don't shut the forum down.

http://www.blackhawkdown.org.uk

NEW VIDEO - MUST WATCH NOW! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnT34aJ5hwE
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Sharklaar
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
2776 Posts

Posted - 15/04/2017 :  20:11:23  Show Profile  Visit Sharklaar's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Maybe take a look at other forums that are doing well, check out the format, have a look at what we're missing here. I remember years ago when I first came across this site, I searched something to do with drums when I first started playing, and the MD forum was the top result - I looked, I joined, I got lots of great information and it's been a factor in my continued interest in the sport. I just googled "drum forum" and this place wasn't even on the first page... a new forum that's more up-to-date, built with newer technology and with some decent SEO work will help no end.

http://www.blackhawkdown.org.uk

NEW VIDEO - MUST WATCH NOW! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnT34aJ5hwE
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murphster
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
354 Posts

Posted - 15/04/2017 :  21:31:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I left facebook last year. I'm glad i did but miss some elements like music pages, cycling pages buying and selling etc. I don't miss "friends" bragging/mundane nonsense/dodgy views. Anyway I'd prefer the forum to stay off facebook but understand your reasons for doing it if it happens. I'm a regular looker rather than contributer so maybe I'm part of the problem! So I'll promise to do better from here on!
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hector1
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
2607 Posts

Posted - 16/04/2017 :  12:27:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't do Facebook never have done never will do-so if it did close then that's it from me.But things have to move on but would be real sad to lose it,maybe with the new site as more visitors may start to take a look and also discover the old forum and hopefully join up and you get the viewing and use results your looking for to maintain its future?
Got to be worth a chance Mike hasn't it?

Drumming is like a meeting to conduct business.
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rollingthunder
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
2492 Posts

Posted - 16/04/2017 :  13:51:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm really pleased you're veering toward keeping it going.
What I find encouraging is that although its quieter than recent years, people are reading posts in fairly large numbers, so theres still people around, they're just not posting for whatever reason.
Compared to some guitar Forums I lurk around, this place is an oasis of sanity and it would be tragic to lose it.
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mike dolbear
Administrator

2419 Posts

Posted - 17/04/2017 :  09:21:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So do you think we should allow selling on this forum? If we do that means shops start using it and dont support the site via advertising (although they dont except Bell now anyway!)

Should we left the ban on signatures, again this means companies but hyperlinks into there companies?

Currently people have to apply to be forum members which has cut down on all the spamming, we get about 10 requests a day that I go through.

It's my website/forum so behave yourself's !

Started November 2000
New Mike Dolbear Web Show https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAGa_4MF8-VD8gvSKB6EcbifVLsl0Saf1
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Mmurder
Active Contributer

United Kingdom
58 Posts

Posted - 17/04/2017 :  18:29:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I hate the 'corporate' nature of Facebook and there is so much inane Sh*t on there to wade through. I would certainly resist the world revolving completely on Facebook. I guess it comes down to what the users want a forum to be. We have spam filters, can some devise a Facebook sh*t filter?
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davidh
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
1363 Posts

Posted - 17/04/2017 :  19:23:26  Show Profile  Visit davidh's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If selling was set up for second-hand stuff only, including companies stock and links from and to Ebay, Facebook, Gumtree posts etc it would be great for vintage kit sniffers. And have paid-for company memberships.

www.drumarchive.com
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beezerk
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
30112 Posts

Posted - 17/04/2017 :  19:41:17  Show Profile  Visit beezerk's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Selling in some form should be on here IMO, like Shark says, look at Fretboard, it's a healthy forum with a no fuss selling section which appears to work very well.
Maybe a true trading post on the forum would be a real asset, seems to work at other places.
As for the forum, aaargh not lost to Facebook pleeeeeeez
Oh, and more smilies to choose from, photo inserts etc

http://photobucket.com/albums/c41/beezerkdrums/

https://www.justgiving.com/MartynVaughan
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Sharklaar
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
2776 Posts

Posted - 17/04/2017 :  21:49:09  Show Profile  Visit Sharklaar's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mike dolbear

So do you think we should allow selling on this forum? If we do that means shops start using it and dont support the site via advertising (although they dont except Bell now anyway!)

Definitely. We self-policed the 'no selling' rule for years, we could self-police a '2nd hand/private sales only' rule or whatever.

Should we left the ban on signatures, again this means companies but hyperlinks into there companies?

There's a ban on signatures?

Currently people have to apply to be forum members which has cut down on all the spamming, we get about 10 requests a day that I go through.

Having a "report post as spam" kinda functionality might help?




At the moment, if I have a drum related question, I'll have a poke around here (which I do every day anyway), see there's not been a post for 48 hours and then go and ask it on Facebook cause the answer will come quicker. Also, it's so much easier posting on Facebook from a mobile - it really is difficult on this forum on a mobile device.

If we just all asked our shizzle on here anyway before going off to Facebum, maybe it would encourage some re-growth here..? Let's make MD Forum great again...

http://www.blackhawkdown.org.uk

NEW VIDEO - MUST WATCH NOW! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnT34aJ5hwE
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Unkle Kev
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
2164 Posts

Posted - 18/04/2017 :  23:05:51  Show Profile  Visit Unkle Kev's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Mike, I love this place. But I am seeing much more activity on FB. I joined a drum forum on there firvthe first time recently. I only post answers to questions where I know I can help.

Which is the very reason I joined this forum. To get answers to questions I had.

I guess FB will always win the volume war as it can bring so many people your way by osmosis, accident, and the dreaded pay analytics.

Maybe let Darwin decide. Try both. I'll be on both.
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Mark W
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
1595 Posts

Posted - 19/04/2017 :  09:45:27  Show Profile  Visit Mark W's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A very timely post Mike.
I'm a member of a few forums, the most notable in my mind is a local music forum, when I first joined it about 9 years ago I could sit for hours, literally, contributing to multiple posts and seeing dozens of replies within each thread so the whole process would continue. Nowadays there are sections of that forum with no contributions of any sort for literally months. I'll pop in now and then , go to the three sections of any worth to me and see that months activity within seconds. This site is nowhere near that state yet and I don't think it ever will be.
I haven't used the new website at all, it's not for me and I'm happy with this forum section bookmarked for my daily look in.
At the weekend I deactivated my Facebook account. Too much rubbish, too much time wasted on it, too difficult to find posts that were there in front of my eyes just a minute ago. And because people can reply to individual comments as well as to the thread in an overall form it's far too difficult to keep tabs with what's going on. I've also had experience on some Facebook groups (because they are SO large and difficult to police) where people have given totally incorrect advice/"facts" or things have gotten heated in a way that doesn't happen on a smaller more friendly site such as this. If an idiot was to post something stupid on here it would be quickly picked up on and politely corrected. I would shake my head on a daily basis seeing the stupidity that would go unchallenged on Facebook groups.

Once I've hit it, it stays hit.

http://andromedaband.webs.com/
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moosetication
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
12709 Posts

Posted - 19/04/2017 :  10:23:38  Show Profile  Visit moosetication's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Any redevelopment of the forum MUST be consumable on a mobile device, either through quality responsive design or through an app such as Tapatalk. If it's desktop web only, as this one is, it will fail.

I still think a dual approach is a good idea. A read-only page on FB, to which key site and forum posts can be shared. The page can be promoted and discoverable on FB, and used to drive traffic to the forum proper.

"It's just a rest, no need to complicate it with monkeys." - sunshinehead
SITMS #31/582 (B'ham) #31/798 (M'cr) | The Blue Road | Bewarethisboy
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Soporif
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
7945 Posts

Posted - 19/04/2017 :  11:53:31  Show Profile  Visit Soporif's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I do FB on a very limited basis (joined to sell a kit a year or so back) and would follow MD on there out of loyalty because I know the motivation behind it and have some rapport with its members. That said I much prefer the forum in this form and if it can be injected with some life via sales, mobile access etc. then I'm all for it.

| Me Proud Beauties | Somebody Else's Proud Beauties | MeSpace |
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Gingerthedrummer
Advanced Contributer

Australia
809 Posts

Posted - 19/04/2017 :  14:01:13  Show Profile  Visit Gingerthedrummer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I don't use the forum as much as I used to, partly because it isn't easy to use on a mobile device. I hate to say it, but if it was on FB I'd look at it a lot more.

Everything said here about the good old days is true, But I generally have less time to spend behind a desktop PC than I do a mobile device. For all it's shortcomings, and there are many, a Facebook based forum would get more traffic.

http://www.myspace.com/infamousgingerthedrummer
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anuntutoredyouth
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
1475 Posts

Posted - 20/04/2017 :  14:16:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'd use the forum much more frequently if it were mobile friendly, and I'm sure you'd see an increase in traffic and use if it became so. other drum forums have done it and sustain traffic/conversation.

Food for thought, perhaps.
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Brody
Advanced Contributer

1552 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2017 :  19:41:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very delayed, but here's my two penerth.

I also don't do Faceache. I'm not an anti social media curmudgeon - far from it. I have 3 twitter accounts active for different things and work in an e commerce job where it's a big deal.

However, I resent the fact how Facebook has become a forum for every keyboard warrior to spout off and for vacuous fools to talk ****e. It is however, a MUST for any business and as have others have said, the way things are going or indeed, have gone.

Mike, I'd be sad to leave this forum as it was and still is such a great resource and fun too. However, with my business head on, I just can't see how you would justify investing any money into keeping it going and I just don't think it would pick the momentum lost up again.

Perhaps see how the new site goes and if you have any correspondence off people requesting a forum, maybe one day it could come back. I'm sure we'd all be waiting!

www.facebook.com/Evisorax
www.arendia.co.uk
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Wannabedrummer
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
849 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2017 :  23:52:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think you need to look at the demographics. Something I know nothing about. Who are you attracting? What age group. I have no idea what the youth are using bug it might be twitter, FB or other sites I'm not aware of. Using this forum on a phone is just now doable and is one reason why I barely look at it let alone post. I think I read somewhere that a massive proportion of internet chatter, if not most, is on phones and tablets, not laptops and "normal" computers (showing my age, I think). If your website/forum doesn't work on those formats it wont get seen. It WILL get seen my loyal followers, but not by anyone new...
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andymacdrums
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
350 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2017 :  23:59:18  Show Profile  Visit andymacdrums's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Very delayed from me too - sorry!

IMHO... I reckon FB has had its day. It's full of fake accounts and keyboard warriors. Most people I know are coming off it now. My news feed is filled with adverts and cat videos. I've left a lot of the FB groups as they were doing my head in - they start off great but rapidly deteriorate once they're too big to moderate properly. Don't know what it is about FB but there are some real d1cks on there and you just don't seem to get that (as much) with forums for some reason.

I don't get time to post as much these days but I'd miss it if this wasn't here. Obviously appreciate the expense / effort involved in keeping something like this running so hats off to you Mike for sticking with it this long!

Andy

Free drum stuff for beginners: http://www.beginnerdrums.uk
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Brody
Advanced Contributer

1552 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2017 :  21:48:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In response to your second question Mike (sorry for skimming in the first instance1) I certainly think offering a buying/selling facility for non-businesses/second-hand stuff would certainly help traffic.

Also tablet and mobile compatibility is key. The traditional tower PC is already a thing of the past and though I feel having as work station focuses me, but for casual forum-goers, browsers, shoppers, tablets and mobiles are the go-to.

Like Shark quite rightly pointed out earlier and as you know because you've been doing a very successful site for years, - Google is your friend and your enemy. You need decent SEO and someone taking a look at your analytics to stay up there in the organic searches.

I think have a good buying/selling/advice/chat community people can access easily from their mobile device might just be the thing that breaks the Facebook spell. Though I mentioned earlier I'm not on it myself, I know more and more people are getting fed up with it for all the reasons mentioned above.

www.facebook.com/Evisorax
www.arendia.co.uk
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kruppers
Excellent Contributer

United Kingdom
201 Posts

Posted - 13/05/2017 :  09:11:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not been on the forum for over a year (at least). I'm a Facebook slut I'm afraid. I prefer the visual nature of FB and I like the transient nature of the posts, replies etc. I also like to SEE who I'm talking to which is something I never liked about the Forum.

I'm not sure that 'not liking' FaceBook is a good enough reason not to use it for an MD forum. It is the go-to place for most drummers looking for advice and guidance. Unfortunately, you are going to get dicks on it, but there have been enough appear in this place too. That's life.

On the downside, 'Admining' a FB forum if it gets large can get stressful. Pip Harbon's experience with the BSTD(UK) page is a case in point! I think if you are going with a snazzy website with all the bells and whistles that it can offer, to be absent from social media makes no sense IMO.

C&C, Meinl, Beard
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shoestring
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
3281 Posts

Posted - 14/05/2017 :  12:15:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Hi, long time for me without a post. I think leave it as it is but 100% agree with a buy/sell second hand kit section. Traffic would increase dramatically i reckon.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=1050426
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Shaggi
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
1251 Posts

Posted - 19/05/2017 :  10:38:02  Show Profile  Visit Shaggi's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Facebook is evil and must be stopped.

If you must go the social media route, go the Google+ route. However, this forum is a wonderful searchable archive of great information that would be missed.

Shaggi.uk
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electrosys
Very Active Contributer

120 Posts

Posted - 22/05/2017 :  09:05:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Although I've not been a member here for very long, I have two suggestions which perhaps might help to revive traffic here ...

The first is straightforward - to have a Beginners Sub-Section in order to cater for the most basic of fundamentals, and to help those using so-called 'introduction-level' kits - which, years ago, even professional musicians would have been proud to use (!). I've noticed that many threads quickly vector towards advanced techniques and the use of top-end equipment. Neither of which are necessarily relevant to everyone.

The second is more complex (I assume). Drumming is principally concerned with the medium of sound, and to a lesser extent, vision. But neither of these media are directly catered for within a chat forum. I suppose links to specific Youtube videos are one solution, but I've often thought when reading someone's explanation of a particular cadence: "RRLL-whatever" - of how much more useful it would be to simply open an MP3 file of that cadence, and actually HEAR what the poster is talking about. It's not that I'm against talking - it's just that sometimes the SOUND is what's important. Likewise, when someone is trying to describe a 'buzz' or 'ringing' of some type, or attempting to compare (say) cymbals or the differences between snare drum shells.
So - some means of attaching MP3 files within posts - if possible - might pay dividends.

Regret that's all I have to offer. I hope traffic here revives a little - personally I have no interest whatsoever with FaceBook or Twitter and see the recent upsurge in the propagation of misinformation as being a very serious threat to the Internet, and so believe there's still a future for self-moderated forums such as this one.
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