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So - a 'switch' to a more state of the art web engine like Xenforo which is asynchronous (pages are live, update automatically without reloading) would be easy if you start over from zero, just keeping user logins (an empty forum!). The tricky thing would be porting over existing forum structure and posts, which may not translate easily to the new system - it would be a major overhaul, a whole web dev project. It is possible to keep the current system and do incremental feature updates, but that would work only if the admin is a web developer, who likes tinkering and not afraid of bugs (eek!).

So I understand there is inertia, for better or worse. "If it ain't broke don't fix it". You know, the core software for banking system worldwide is still based on COBOL, a 60-year old programming language that is all but obsolete - but they are keeping it, because if they change it and something breaks, the repercussions could be severe (think billlions of $ of bookkeeping suddenly disintegrating).

FWIW I think one feature missing from PW is polls. I think there would be interesting results that could be discovered if we had this capability


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Originally Posted by cygnusdei
FWIW I think one feature missing from PW is polls. I think there would be interesting results that could be discovered if we had this capability
Examples please? (Just curious)


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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by RPA88
A resounding and enthusiastic group vote for the status quo. Amazing.
Why don’t you vote by taking action rather than just complaining? . Start a campaign for users to donate to the forum so upgrades can be reasonably afforded. We can get there from here—. But it looks like we were just waiting on you to raise the funds from other users.
Oh, don’t forget your own donation.

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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by cygnusdei
FWIW I think one feature missing from PW is polls. I think there would be interesting results that could be discovered if we had this capability
Examples please? (Just curious)
Something like, do you play on (1) acoustic piano, (2) digital piano, or (3) both? it is possible to conduct such a poll ad hoc, but a polling system allowing defined choices, automatic tally, enforcement of 1 user 1 vote, and poll closing would be convenient and attractive for the participants.

Or fun quizzes like 'desert island' choices (I seem to remember a recent Ballades vs Scherzi question😆)


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There is a polling thread—- way at the bottom of all the forums— but from looking at it, it doesn’t appear members can start the poll

There is often some thread that would lend itself to an actual polling format—- favorite composer, favorite Chopin piece, most difficult xxx

Maybe we can check.

Last edited by dogperson; 10/11/21 03:01 AM.

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The Adult Beginners Forum does an annual survey. My understanding of how it’s run is that one person has created a Google doc that contains the survey. The link to the Google doc is at the beginning of a thread, and people can fill out the survey through the link. The person who runs the survey then posts the results at the end. It seems like it takes a fair bit of effort on the part of the person who runs it, but it does generate some interesting data, and there are multiple years of survey results to comb through.

Personally, I’m not inclined to be critical of the forum infrastructure given that I don’t contribute to the forum financially, and yet I participate. There’s an old saying, ‘don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.’ To the OP - I agree with the sentiment expressed by some that if you really want to work toward getting the site updated, you should contact the site’s owner and also start a campaign toward raising funds for the project (which should also include funds for maintaining the website). I think the resources required for the kind of overhaul you envision would be quite substantial.
Or create your own piano focused website, using your own resources. Either of these avenues would be more productive than comparing forum members to fungi.

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Originally Posted by RPA88
In summary, the obligation of the custodian / caretaker for this site is to provide a tool that supports the needs and desires of the participating community.

The obligation of a custodian / caretaker is to the owner of the property. In this case, they're the same person. He has created a public space for people to use. As long as public safety is maintained, his only obligation might be to paying members, if specific promises are attached to their payment.

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I agree that PW could be improved. I've participated here for a long time. I've seen many members come and go. In all that time PW hasn't cost me anything and I feel fortunate to have this resource available to me, so it's given me plenty of value. I've seen other piano forums and groups and the sheer quality of the participants here, so many industry professionals, makes PW unique in the value offered here. If you do decide to try forming your own piano forum I wish you well but I will not be joining you.

One of the most valuable aspects of PW is the history. There were some threads from long ago that were of great interest, mostly stories. One was what seemed a book about trying to buy a piano from a web site dealer, another had a reference to a Bosendorfer in a hotel room. There was also one that had a very detailed list of what optimal piano prep is. Since these were so long ago it's hard to find them, so the search feature could be improved. Certainly posting pictures could be improved, but beware, when large pictures are posted a lot of scrolling is involved to view them. There is no automatic sizing for your browser. Perhaps the size limitation was put in to make the site easier to view, by eliminating larger photos. I remember when there was a like feature, it didn't add anything and caused some contention. I do wish the login aspect was more secure and perhaps that would be a good place to start. So those are some of the things I wish were improved here.

I wish to thank the OP for starting a conversation about how OW could be improved. We fossils may have gotten a bit complacent with this forum. I also understand that Frank Baxter is pretty much a one man show so the site owner has his limitations. Some good ideas have surfaced in this discussion and I hope Frank is watching. I would be willing to contribute to an effort to improve this site, but I have no idea how to estimate the funds that would be needed. Let's continue the discussion because as I stated above one of the strengths of PW is the knowledge of its participants.


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Why does any of us need to estimate the cost of updates? If all the regulars here contributed what they can through subscribing, that would generate a generous fund that could be used.


"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
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by RPA88
A resounding and enthusiastic group vote for the status quo.

Amazing.


Why don’t you vote by taking action rather than just complaining? . Start a campaign for users to donate to the forum so upgrades can be reasonably afforded.

We can get there from here—. But it looks like we were just waiting on you to raise the funds from other users.

Oh, don’t forget your own donation.

I think you confuse directing focused criticism as "complaining".

I am a community team leader on another (unrelated) forum. And I do contribute heavily to that forum, both in participation as well as financially.

It would make sense that those of you with a lengthy vested interest in this site sort through the related tasks to upgrade it.

What say you long-time Piano World forum leaders? Fix it or just keep "clinging to that old log"...?

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Originally Posted by dogperson
Why does any of us need to estimate the cost of updates? If all the regulars here contributed what they can through subscribing, that would generate a generous fund that could be used.

Wouldn't that be the sort of thing to do, AFTER the owner presents a plan for improving the site, stating clearly how much additional money will be required to implement the plan?


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Originally Posted by RPA88
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by RPA88
A resounding and enthusiastic group vote for the status quo.

Amazing.


Why don’t you vote by taking action rather than just complaining? . Start a campaign for users to donate to the forum so upgrades can be reasonably afforded.

We can get there from here—. But it looks like we were just waiting on you to raise the funds from other users.

Oh, don’t forget your own donation.

I think you confuse directing focused criticism as "complaining".

I am a community team leader on another (unrelated) forum. And I do contribute heavily to that forum, both in participation as well as financially.

It would make sense that those of you with a lengthy vested interest in this site sort through the related tasks to upgrade it.

What say you long-time Piano World forum leaders? Fix it or just keep "clinging to that old log"...?


"Directing focused criticism" is one thing - referring to PW members as "stagnant, status quo minded fungi" is quite another. Some updating to the forum may be beneficial, but there is no need to insult people. A little more dolce please.


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May be some want to "woke" Piano World.....


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This "stagnant, status quo minded fungi" finally took the leap and just became a subscribing member.

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2306943/can-you-will-you-help.html

I get the impression that the site owner is doing everything he can with the resources available to keep the site going in its present form. I commend and thank him for it.


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I was wondering what all those GOLD, SILVER, PLATINUM icons stood for. I thought it has something to do with how much someone posted.

A forum is only as good as the members who post and I think many us try to contribute and in that regards don't we also help keep the forum going? It just seems kind of odd that one be paying for putting their own time in.

Maybe Frank should leverage the great amount of traffic he already gets on this site and somehow direct that traffic to a Pianoworld YouTube page that could generate a bit of revenue with some informative videos posted on this site. Maybe videos on how to buy your first piano or a video about the Pianobuyer magazine. As this is THE forum to go for any piano questions any topic regarding the piano can be linked from this forum to a Youtube page. That oughta generate a lot of hits (=revenue) but I'm not exactly sure how it all works. So maybe someone could explain it all.


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Here's some info on free versus subscription based forums: Subscription Business Model.

In regards to the YouTube idea above. I think videos on "frequently asked questions in regards to buying a piano and caring for a piano" should be in Youtube form and linked. I think most new users who go to Pianoworld are in the market for buying a new piano. Most of these people are probably just lurkers but there could be thousands of them.

Franks greatest asset is the traffic he generates. His other best asset are forum members who create the content for him. I think he needs to take better advantage of the traffic not the members directly unless he plans on losing a bunch of them. He needs to get the lurkers to support the site by their clicks.

Last edited by Jethro; 10/11/21 12:29 PM.

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Originally Posted by Adagiette
Originally Posted by RPA88
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by RPA88
A resounding and enthusiastic group vote for the status quo.

Amazing.


Why don’t you vote by taking action rather than just complaining? . Start a campaign for users to donate to the forum so upgrades can be reasonably afforded.

We can get there from here—. But it looks like we were just waiting on you to raise the funds from other users.

Oh, don’t forget your own donation.

I think you confuse directing focused criticism as "complaining".

I am a community team leader on another (unrelated) forum. And I do contribute heavily to that forum, both in participation as well as financially.

It would make sense that those of you with a lengthy vested interest in this site sort through the related tasks to upgrade it.

What say you long-time Piano World forum leaders? Fix it or just keep "clinging to that old log"...?


"Directing focused criticism" is one thing - referring to PW members as "stagnant, status quo minded fungi" is quite another. Some updating to the forum may be beneficial, but there is no need to insult people. A little more dolce please.

Not the members themselves - just the mindset.

Dolce I'm sure would never have an affect.

Agitato - maybe...

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Thus far we've identified the following "wants:"

1) Improve loading of images

2) Eliminate (or reduce) limits on personal messages

3) Make site easier to view and navigate on mobile phones

4) Improve site security

5) Ability to conduct polls

6) Produce PW sponsored videos on YouTube

7) Ability to measure the "value" of individual member contributions by likes and dislikes

IMO the first four "wants" are definitely worth pursuing in the future. The remaining three "wants" would be nice to have (if enough folks wanted them) but aren't really essential for the improved functioning of the site.

The true value of the site is the user generated content - which has obviously flourished for many years under the present site structure.

What other REAL VALUE would be added if the site were to be completely overhauled?

Last edited by Carey; 10/11/21 03:41 PM.

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Originally Posted by RPA88
...In my view however, the site is structured and operates with little imagination...

Imagination comes from the participants, not the software. And there's been plenty of creativity and imagination at Piano world over the years. Even some fussin' and fightin'.

Check out the Adult Beginner's forum, and see what they have done with the recitals. maybe, as you say, there are software limitations, but i they've created something that has lasted and improved, even long after the originators have moved on.


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A lot of antiques are extremely prized, highly valued and very loved. And Frank offers us all of this free of charge. Have some appreciation and show some respect.

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