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Do we now sort of suck? :-) #2952412 02/28/20 02:51 AM
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Discussion forums change and evolve over time. That's inevitable.

But, it seems to me that more or less gradually over the last few years, the level of activity here has declined, at least in this section. I don't look at any other sections enough to know if it's been similar in those places.

There has been no new posting at all for the last half-day. I don't remember ever noticing such a lapse in activity before.

Part of it for sure is that some of the very active earlier members have left or have become much less active. (I'm less active than before, maybe we could say much less, but hey, I'm here.) smile
I don't know if we can say that's the whole thing. Is it something about a decreased general interest in discussion forums, or in discussion forums about classical music? Is it that "social media" have sort of taken over more and more, and have somewhat displaced us? (Maybe more and more of this kind of activity has gone to places like Facebook, Twitter, and [gasp] Youtube?) Are there maybe things that the administrators and moderators used to do but haven't been doing?

Or, am I wrong about the level of activity having declined? (I could be, since this has been just an impression. I haven't tried to look at stats or anything like that.)

Mainly just curious what other members might think -- and maybe, if there is indeed some issue, this could go toward helping out.

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Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: Mark_C] #2952426 02/28/20 05:01 AM
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I should have perhaps put the title more elegantly.....

Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: Mark_C] #2952436 02/28/20 05:55 AM
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I think that participating to a forum takes time. There is certainly a competition with other social media. At the end people have only limited time available. The other thing i have noticed and i do not know if that has always been the case is that all in all, there is really not so much in depth discussion about pieces. Many subjects are either casual discussions about clothing, teaching methods, injuries, or technical questions.

Most of the time when there is a lot of discussions it is more a fight of egos (i take my share in a few of those) than musical argumentations. But i guess that is inherent to internet forums.

Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: Mark_C] #2952455 02/28/20 07:46 AM
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The board indicates that there are some 130-odd viewing this subforum right now. Given that a bit of that consists of bots, that's a pretty high readership. Sometimes of course the number is much higher than that. I think some people may just not be thrilled with the idea of actually participating or stating an opinion. Sometimes just doing so ignites a flame war or hair-splitting festival. Though that can be entertaining to read, it's pointless. I've noticed that on quite a few classical music-oriented discussion boards that I've seen, nobody ever really wants to say "I don't know", but rather "look how much more I know than you".

Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: Mark_C] #2952483 02/28/20 09:44 AM
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If this sub-forum is quiet, others like the Non-Classical and Teachers forums are moribund, with hardly any new threads or posts for several days at a time...... wink

But I do get the impression that the regulars here (if there are any left) these days only look at threads in which they have an active interest, whether that's competitions or certain pianists smirk - or threads they started themselves. For instance, the recent thread on Brahms: surely many people here would know and have played (some of) those pieces and have opinions on them (even if Johannes's first name isn't Freddy)?

I can imagine that if people starting new threads which have the potential to become interesting discussions get next to no response, they'd give up - and maybe even post in ABF instead.

Apparently, another piano forum (which I never use) is in its last throes, so maybe that's a sign of the times.....


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: Mark_C] #2952488 02/28/20 09:55 AM
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I think there are a variety of reasons:
- limited response to thread or member recordings
- some replies of ‘did you really need to ask that’ of ‘Is this a real post’. If that were the response you received or even just read, wouldn’t you think twice about posting?
-infighting
- thread hijacking discussions that go on forever and ever and are unrelated to piano


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: bennevis] #2952490 02/28/20 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
If this sub-forum is quiet, others like the Non-Classical and Teachers forums are moribund, with hardly any new threads or posts for several days at a time...... wink

But I do get the impression that the regulars here (if there are any left) these days only look at threads in which they have an active interest, whether that's competitions or certain pianists smirk - or threads they started themselves. For instance, the recent thread on Brahms: surely many people here would know and have played (some of) those pieces and have opinions on them (even if Johannes's first name isn't Freddy)?

I can imagine that if people starting new threads which have the potential to become interesting discussions get next to no response, they'd give up - and maybe even post in ABF instead.

Apparently, another piano forum (which I never use) is in its last throes,

PianoStreet has been dying since I took up piano 2 years ago! It's death throes are long and there has been no death rattle yet. I'd know since I am still a member for the scores, yet I never post on their forum.

Originally Posted by bennevis
...so maybe that's a sign of the times.....

On the other hand, Reddit's r/piano subreddit gets from 100-200 posts per day. Not joking.

And the numbers of lurkers is absurd. It is one of those forums which still have downvotes and upvotes (PW tried this and gave it up, years ago). These downvotes and upvotes can serve as a proxy for the number of lurkers, and not all lurkers, but just the number of "active lurkers" who downvote/upvote posts. I've seen posts about pianos or piano playing (or more likely in the case of this example I am making, a cat playing piano 🤣) on that subreddit which have received over a thousand upvotes in the span of two days!

So if it is a sign of something, perhaps what this is a sign of is that people still do discussions about topics with others, but in the new "social media" way and not the old "forum / bulletin board" way.


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Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: Mark_C] #2952512 02/28/20 10:56 AM
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I've been a long time poster on the "digital piano" forum. I started participating here only recently. I've noticed that the "pianist corner" has regulars and almost nobody else posts. And I think I received any reaction (a reply, positive or negative) to my posts here very rarely. Maybe I am wrong but I think, similar to digital piano forum, there's a core of very well-established and competent people over here who mostly talk between themselves and newcomers are rather ignored. And that's not a bitter comment, I don't care too much smile Just an observation. Which if true though, might explain the initial concern.

Last edited by CyberGene; 02/28/20 10:57 AM.

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Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: Mark_C] #2952514 02/28/20 10:59 AM
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Often in the past, when I considered asking or opening a subject, I found its been addressed at length in the archive. There is so much awesome information posted by everyone. Really helpful . Well, I didn't even register until recently.

So, perhaps some is a sign of this great history?

Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: Mark_C] #2952526 02/28/20 11:28 AM
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It's nothing like it was in the old days. I loved the fights! It's all the brotherly love now.

Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: Mark_C] #2952530 02/28/20 11:34 AM
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It seems to me interest in the forums waxes and wanes as newcomers join and old timers leave. I remember when I joined in 2005 every topic was exciting and fresh, and quite a few members were new to the idea of blogging or participating on website discussion groups. There were no moderators, other than Frank, so it took time to create rules of decorum. After five or so years of participation, most people had said all they possibly could about Steinway or whatever their passion was, and a point comes where all of the posts seem to have been done before. So people drift away, and newcomers discover the Forums and recreate the earlier discussions, introducing their own passions and reframing the usual arguments about what is the best piano, etc.

Having been on the Forum for 15 years now, I suspect there is a new dimension involved - a generational shift away from Baby Boomers to Millennials, Gen-Xers, etc, taking over the Forums. That's great. I learn a lot reading what other generations think about the piano, the shift away from acoustic instruments, what constitutes the classical repertoire, what pieces of music they find interesting, and so on.

For those of us of an older generation still on the Forums, we can contribute more as a link to the past. When pianoloverus recently asked about Horowitz, I was able to contribute my experiences from attending his concerts. There aren't too many people left who have first hand experience with a Vladimir Horowitz recital, so it is important to put something on the Forums when we can. Maybe someone will come across it in the archives a few years hence.

I learned the importance of sharing information about the past from a great aunt who was passionate about the piano. She found out I had an interest and took me to my first concert when I was 10. It was a concerto performance by someone she said was absolutely dazzling and recently allowed to perform abroad by the Soviet authorities - Richter by name. A few years later I went to the classical equivalent of a rock concert, a recital by Van Cliburn. He was a worldwide celebrity at the peak of his fame, and the crowd received him rapturously. He played at least seven encores for an extra 45 minutes of music. Many of them were popular favorites - Liebestraume, a Chopin waltz, the Polonaise Op. 53, and other pieces of music I had actually heard or even worked on. He connected to a lot of budding pianists that night, letting us know there was something exciting and purposeful about the music our teachers were asking us to learn. If the house management hadn't turned the lights on and ended the concert, I image Cliburn would have eventually let loose with Knight Rupert and The Happy Farmer.

During the ride home my great aunt would tell me about her experiences in the 30's and 40's at recitals in New York. These were names that were passing into folklore - Paderewski, Hoffman, Rachmaninoff, Friedheim, Landowska, Busoni, Godowsky and many others. When Horowitz's private recordings of his 1940's recitals were issued on YouTube, I was able to appreciate them more because she had been at several of these recitals and described what it was like, what he played, and why they were so magical. There was also an element to the early 40's recitals that we might miss today - the patriotic programming that Horowitz included to show his solidarity with the war effort. He would begin with the Star Spangled Banner, and often end with his version of the Stars and Stripes Forever. During the war, Americans wanted to show their support and Horowitz was no different. He made national news when he was sworn in as a citizen.

There are some on the Forum now who will be telling their children about hearing Kissin, Lang Lang, or Pollini. They might talk about the Golden Age of pianos, when Steinway, Yamaha, Bosendorfer, Fazioli and other brands created a new standard of excellence. And so it goes. I think the different Forums are in very good hands with the current group of contributors. I wouldn't worry overmuch about the direction of things here.

Last edited by Numerian; 02/28/20 11:34 AM.
Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: Mark_C] #2952571 02/28/20 01:23 PM
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The ABF is still very active. Yes, we tend to discuss the same topics over and over, but there are always new beginners looking for help. Many of the veteran members are now no longer beginners, so there is a good mix of experienced and novice contributors.

And the online recitals are still going strong. We just had our 57th quarterly recital. And there are 4 themed recitals this year - Preludes (already happened), Beethoven 250th, Scarlatti, and "Rare Gems". The themed recitals get a large number of performers that are more experienced.

So if you are feeling lonely in the Pianist Corner, come over to the ABF. I see posts by many PC members over there...

Sam

Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: chopin_r_us] #2952581 02/28/20 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
It's nothing like it was in the old days. I loved the fights! It's all the brotherly love now.


We are becoming snow flakes now! It is a trend though.

Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: Mark_C] #2952590 02/28/20 02:16 PM
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Yes it sucks when there is so much contention everything comes to a standstill because anything you post will be picked apart. So people don't want to post anymore. I have never been to a forum where so many like-minded people argue over what's written when everyone actually pretty much agree. I'll probably be stoned to death for what I've just written here. But in real life most members are probably nice people.

Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: wszxbcl] #2952596 02/28/20 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
Yes it sucks when there is so much contention everything comes to a standstill because anything you post will be picked apart. So people don't want to post anymore. I have never been to a forum where so many like-minded people argue over what's written when everyone actually pretty much agree. I'll probably be stoned to death for what I've just written here. But in real life most members are probably nice people.

I'm collecting the stones right now. wink Don't get too far ahead.


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
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"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: Mark_C] #2952606 02/28/20 03:18 PM
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For what it's worth, I'll say a bit about why I don't post as much as in the earlier days.
First of all, many would say that in those earlier days I posted too much and a "correction" was in order. grin
Be that as it may, a lot of it is what Numerian said, that some or many of us long-time members might feel we've already said just about all we've got to say about the main kinds of subjects, and it's definitely like that for me.

(BTW, the replies here have been terrific.)

But I have to add this other thing, unrelated to music, at risk of getting into a thing that I know the moderators don't want much of but which is a big reason for my not having been more active: political stuff. I don't suspect it's a major factor for many others, but for me it's an 8000-lb. elephant in the room.
Without tipping my hand too much on exactly how I mean it (for the above reason) but I think almost everyone will know exactly, the political situation for the last few years has felt literally like a permanent 24/7 emergency -- and it's hard for me to feel like anything else matters, except the most basic things like family and home. My practicing is affected too, a lot. It has become a standing joke here: I come to the TV, with one of the cable news stations on, and I say, with a smile because I mean it as a joke but it isn't, "I'm never going to get any work done."
A common suggested remedy, of course (not here, because my wife knows it wouldn't work), is just to turn it off; avoid the news. For some people that works. It doesn't for me, because I regard it as critically important, and therefore of great interest -- and its presence makes it hard to feel that anything recreational is that important; putting it in a little hyperbole, that nothing else matters.

And y'know, maybe indirectly this is a reason for there being decreased general activity, related to the "social media" thing, because in these last few years there has been such a burgeoning of social media stuff about political stuff in particular, and not just in its quantity but maybe even more particularly in intensity (and polarization). It could be that people who might ordinarily have spent more of their focus on classical music (and other arts?) are so consumed by that activity and maybe especially the intensity of it that there's no room for involvement in other things.....

I expect that if and when political stuff feels more normal and calm, if there ever be such a time, I'll be more active here again. I'll also be practicing more and hopefully playing better. ha

BTW, notice I didn't mention any specifics about the political situation (although I may have implied it), didn't even use any pronouns for it -- I'm just talking about its impact on leisure kinds of things -- and I'd suggest that's a good guideline for anything else that might be said about it, if anything.

(Need I say, you don't have to.) laugh

Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: chopin_r_us] #2952612 02/28/20 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by chopin_r_us
It's nothing like it was in the old days. I loved the fights! It's all the brotherly love now.

Brotherly love??? mad

Let me find my boxing gloves.....

Originally Posted by wszxbcl
But in real life most members are probably nice people.

Nobody's ever accused me of being 'nice' before, but I'll take the insult, even if it wasn't directed at me whistle.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: bennevis] #2952619 02/28/20 03:57 PM
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You're nice. smile

Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: Mark_C] #2952621 02/28/20 03:58 PM
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I feel the same. It's hard to focus on simple pleasures sometimes. We have someone in our family who has severe emotional and mental problems. They are a source of constant tension, constant demands for attention, constant incitements to argument, and constant drama. It's exhausting, and it's not like you can do anything about it. They are family and short of putting them out on the street, where they would not be capable of taking care of themselves, you can do nothing but steel yourself on a regular basis for the next assault. The external political world is just like that. The head of our political family, some of whose policies I actually like, demands constant attention and there is just no escaping it. Some people can tune it all out, but many others cannot. Playing the piano can be a necessary escape from the outer world, but it is summoning up the energy to get to the keyboard that is the problem.

Last edited by Numerian; 02/28/20 03:59 PM.
Re: Do we now sort of suck? :-) [Re: Mark_C] #2952647 02/28/20 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
the political situation for the last few years has felt literally like a permanent 24/7 emergency --
Only it isn't, really. It's no more an "emergency" than it was 10 years ago or 50. In other words, it's always an "emergency" when one side or other is out of power. Yes, the problem is toxic social media that do nothing but exaggerate divides. Maybe you're a little too emotionally invested in a political agenda. Politics isn't my religion. It shouldn't be anybody's.

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