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david

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Reply with quote  #1 
It has been noted that the tone of the board has been declining for a bit. We have had troubles with threads being hijacked, with threads degenerating into flame wars, and with a small number of users monopolising threads with occasionally less than useful posts.

It has always been my philosophy not to interfere with posters, however the rec.music.indian usenet group has always hung in the air like a grim reminder of what will happen if things are left completely unmoderated. Therefore it was with great sadness that I have been forced to make some major deletions.

There have been a number of good threads that were hijacked. I have neither the time nor the inclination to go in and expunge the off topic, bilious posts that began to dominate the discussions, therefore entire topics were removed.

Most notable will be the absence of a few posters. I felt that I was forced to go in and deactivate the accounts of a number of members. This was personally the most loathsome experience, because these were some of the forum's greatest supporters. Furthermore these are people that I have come to truly like over the years. However they just could not get along with each other, and I could not have their personal differences continuously overflowing into the forums.

These forums are intended to be a vehicle for the constructive (I emphasis the word constructive) exchange of ideas, and the place were beginners can receive constructive advice that will aid their progress. It is vital that this be done in a friendly, supportive atmosphere. Whenever topics or individual personalities get in the way of this goal, I feel that I have no alternative but to start making deletions.

For those that feel they have been hurt by these recent deletions, you have my deepest apologies. I have been struggling for a long time to see if I could come up with any alternative, but I just could not think of anything. I am truly sorry.

David Courtney
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #2 
Right on David.
Thanks for all you do.
I appreciate everything you put up with while running the forum.
It is a VERY useful place to learn especially for the newbies.
Where else can you get advice and answers about this stuff.
Anything you need to do to keep it running smoothly I support 100%.

Now I ask everyone to join me in donating something to the cause.
In the left hand bar there is a "Make a Donation" button.
You can pay by pay pal.
Running the forum costs David money and if you enjoy the forum, make a donation.

Thanks again,

Carleton
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Hamletsghost

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Reply with quote  #3 
Brother David,

This is indeed a sad day - So sorry it came to this - This was indeed the point I tried to make in my last post that the key to a successful forum does not rely on the moderators but indeed that we moderate ourselves - even in a heated disagreement. I have tried to learn from my own past flaming discussions I hope all can learn from this.
In the end it's not just our forum but YOUR forum and you have run it with a deft hand for a long time now.
We may never get past a topic of major differing opinions and topics BUT the key is to again respect those who disagree and always defend their right to thier differing opinions (god if only the world could learn this)
Please all those here lets keep this most usefull - enjoyable - & informative tool a place we all want to share.

Thanks again as always for providing us this most wonderful outlet.

Your Friend
Brian 8)

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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #4 
PHEW!!!!
I'm glad I'M still here anyway so thanks for that, David.
I fully understand why things go the way they do sometimes. We ALL have such a passion for ICM &, for some too, ALL things Indian.
I'm quite prepared to defend myself against some of the more vociferous here, as I did recently. Although we DO need to feel responsible if we take it a little far or too personally.

'Water off a duck's back' is a great attitude to take, in these kinds of circumstances.
PMs are a better way to tackle a comment thought to be taken 'too far'.

Nick
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #5 
With all due respect I understand this is your sandbox David and that certain behaviors should be followed but I feel Keshav shouldn't have been kicked off. He just posted about it all being boring, etc., I don't feel it warranted such treatment unless there are other posts that I missed, I usually stay far away from posts like the recent ones for good reason but in this case I think someone should stick up for Keshav and urge you to reinstate him please? I don't want to make a big deal out of this but if anyone else agrees please say so......I know you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. Maybe a daily post limit would help as it seems that 90% of posts have been by just 2 to 4 people which does make things less than interesting IMHO. I've been around this forum for maybe 10 years now (I forget), things will sort out. The tabla forum used to be quite crazy and now seems settled down, things just go in cycles but please consider a posting limit and perhaps names being required to be a forum member. I've been on other forums where this has worked very well actually ( http://www.paraglidingforum.com ) . I hate censorship in all forms, I was kicked off a forum ( a harley forum!!) once for using the word 'sucks' if you can believe it? No reply necessary as I've taken all the other posts into consideration, just my 2 rupees worth.....

Thanks

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david

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Reply with quote  #6 
Dear Lars

It is interesting that you bring that up. Setting a posting limit was the first thing that I thought about. Obviously if one is limited to 2-3 posts a day you will think very carefully about what you post. Most of the problems stem from people posting without thinking how it will be interpreted or what the repercussions will be.

Unfortunately I went up and down the whole list of setting that the software gives me and that was not an option.

Peace

David Courtney
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #7 
I would agree about Keshav.
I don't remember him being difficult or inflammatory.
Maybe I missed something.
I was very surprised when he was kicked out.
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Hamletsghost

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Reply with quote  #8 
Guys,

I too was saddened to see Keshav go as well as ALL the rest - BUT as you said it's Davids sandbox and ultimately his decision. I don't think it's up to us to take up the cause of one and not all. In the past I have had heated lively engagements with just about all involved with the most recent debacle, and there were some pretty nasty exchanges this time. I hate to see any & ALL go - Aanaddha and I have disagreed on numerous occasions - this time I happened to agree with the basic premise he was ON about. This does not change the fact that we must moderate ourselves - and as you well know I have been pretty passionate in the past - now I try my best to take a more pastoral approach to disagreements - While this can in some cases become dull - I think in the long run as I said before even when disagreements on topics arrise - we need to re-read --- proof read --- and ask ourselves - am I respecting this persons right to a differing opinion :?
I believe the best course for those now banned who may wish to return is for them to start a personal dialogue with David thru his regular eMail account and if they can convince him they can govern their passions in the future - they can then be reinstated - But even tho I like Keshav a lot - It is highly unfair to say he is more worthy than any of the others.
My 2 shekels
Brian

PS - Sorry this was my 4th post 2day

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povster

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Reply with quote  #9 
An alternative to banning is to make a temporary ban for a particular duration. I know message boards that do this and it can work.

Basically a member is banned for a week, or two, or even a month. Then they are alloowed back on. Don;t know if this message board has that ability but some do and it is apparantly a button type thing.

Sometimes folks need an enforced cooling off period. The message boards I have seen using this has a "three strike rule" meaning that after the third "strike" (aka temporary suspension) then they are gone permenently. This is adveritsed on the boards and members who get a "strike" know what is in store.

If there is nothing automated in this software it would be more of a chore for David than he may want. Cannot blame him for having to keep track of such. But if it IS available as an option then it may be worth considering.

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Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
Panini - the official bread of ICM
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The Rover

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "cwroyds"
I would agree about Keshav.
I don't remember him being difficult or inflammatory.
Maybe I missed something.
I was very surprised when he was kicked out.
Agreed. He can be helpful to newbies looking into isntruments.

Raj

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John

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Reply with quote  #11 
I see the 'Sympathetic Strings' thread has been locked and many posts deleted. I am curious to know why...

I fully respect the Mod's recent decision to take action over the general tone of the forum. I for one was put off posting to and even reading some of the threads. However, this time, I believe the censorship was a little overzealous.

One of the greatest things, for me, about ICM (and music in general for that matter) is it's ability to bring together people from all walks of life. This naturally leads to debate. If the posters in the thread in question were sat around a table discussing the subject, I would fully expect it to go off on a tangent. Is that not one of the greatest things about conversation, digital or otherwise? Resonance is a deep subject, especially in this context.
There is really no escaping the spiritual aspects of this music, it is so intertwined that you cannot really discuss one without the other without being purely academic and that, in my opinion, just isn't what music is about.

Forgive my ranting, I usually choose not get embroiled in such things for fear of speaking out of turn.

Best wishes,

John

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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #12 
I haven't looked at the locked post yet. Some posts were talking about the, shall we say, 'spiritual' side of the effect of sympathetics.
Why these should be the cause I've no idea but if this kind of mod action starts to POISON the threads & OVER ZEALOUS MODS START DELETING POSTS, I might feel I'm due for a nice LONG holiday myself & not bother posting until AFTER I get back from India in April NEXT YEAR!!!!!!!

And NO, I will NOT be putting up a post saying...

Look at me everybody!!! I'm leaving now. Come on, wave me goodbye. I really AM leaving now etc etc!!!

Nick
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Hamletsghost

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Reply with quote  #13 
NO TRIPPY - FOR MONTHS :!: :?:
:!: :!: OH NOOOOOOOOOO :!: :!:
WE ALL NEED OUR MONKEY FIX FROM TIME TO TIME ops:
DON'T GO FROM HERE :arrow:
'TWOOD BE A BORIN' PLACE FOR SURE LADDIE WI-OUT OUR MAJOR MONKEY
I think I speak for most when I say we were REALLY looking forward to your next road journal and of course your regular post's - music - advice.
PLEEEEZE DON'T GO SIR TRIPSTER - would be a black day for sure :roll:

Hamletsghost 8)

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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #14 
I think we need a little balance here.
If threads are going to be thrown out any time there is a whiff of conflict then there is no point in posting.
The whole reason for the forum is discussion, debate, and opposing view on subjects.
We are all human and certainly conflicts will erupt from time to time.
But usually the problem people are slapped down by a more reasonable person in the threads.
We can usually take care of it ourselves.
Occasionally there will be a need for moderators to intervene.

But that thread that was just locked and purged about Sympathetic strings had no real serious conflict going on.
It would have sorted itself out.

If posters feel they cannot have a reasonable disagreement with others in a thread they might just not post at all.
Have you seen any good posts since the recent big purge?
No is the answer.
Heavy handed moderating has put a chill through the forum.

I have been on the forum for a while and it has been working pretty well up 'til now. There are a few trouble makers who cant seem to converse without being confrontational, but there are only a few. Lets just keep an eye out for the trouble makers, delete them when needed, and get back to healthy debate and discussion.
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david

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Reply with quote  #15 
Dear Brothers and Sister.

First of all I would like to thank you all for your patience through the last 6 weeks. I would also like very much to give you some information that will place things in some type of perspective.

The general perception is that you come to a forum and you talk about subjects and that is that.

Unfortunately this is FAR from the reality. You are in a sense all on one big "reality" show. Here are the numbers. On a typical day we get about 15 to 20 posts. Generally about 5-10 people are responsible for these 15-20 posts. However on a typical day, these forums pull over 500 visits. This means that the ratio of posters to lurkers is around 75 to 1. Remember that this is on a daily basis. The posts will hang around for a long time, sometimes years. Anything you say will be examined by people perhaps for the next 10 years. It will definitely be read by thousands of people.

Therefore when you are carrying on a conversation, you are actually performing. If a person gets excited and says something on the spur of the moment, it can come back years later and haunt them.

Now I have to say that you guys are some of the best people that I have ever seen. The overall ratio of useful information to BS is I believe is some of the the highest of any forum that I have seen.

But sometimes people miss the point that they are actually performing before a LOT of people. They get excited and start saying things that I know are potentially embarrassing. My first response is of course to remove the posts. Unfortunately the way the internet works, this is not enough. I have to remove all references to the posts. The moment people realize that something hot and juicy is going on, they can always bypass these forums and check-out archived material on the net. It is in the process of removing all REFERENCES to the post where I feel most people feel slighted. I apologize, but this is the only way that I know to save some people embarrassment later.

Now sometimes simply removing posts is not sufficient. Now remember you are in the middle of a big reality show. If people consistently post material that is a turn off to the audience, or consistently embarrassing to themselves, then it is best just to deactivate their account. This is a process that I never enjoy.

Now that brings us to the subject of being "on topic". You may think that you are engaging in a conversation, but in reality you are performing before hundreds of people. If the topic veers a little off it is OK ,but if it gets WAY off, this starts to turn these hundreds of people off. Furthermore, because the posts are read for a long time it can turn a lot of people off for many years.

Remember I set up an "OFF TOPIC" forum. Use it! If it looks like something is veering way off, move it to the "Off Topic" section. By the time it reaches that stage it is seldom more than three or four people, so this should not be too difficult.

If it looks like things are getting hot and you really do not wish to air you dirty laundry in front of thousands of other people, move it to the PMs.

I hope that this clarifies things. And always remember, I will do anything that I can to keep you from embarrassing yourself. But please help me in the process.

Peace

David Courtney
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