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Originally Posted by Carey
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?

Some of these are easier/cheaper than others and could likely be done incrementally/partially. For instance, eliminating (or at least reducing) the limits on personal messages is likely a 1 line code change. Improving site security could be a decent amount of work - for all I know the user passwords are stored in plaintext and the owner of the site can view them which would warrant all users creating a new password. Improving the experience on mobile phones is likely much more involved - that being said simply updating the css might help some and wouldn't be a ton of work.

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Originally Posted by Carey
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.

Good job, Fellow Fungi! thumb

I must say that of all the insults I have heard over the years, I don't believe I have ever previously been compared to a mushroom. After we get all modernized here, I may change my screen name to PortabellaMento (or the feminine version PortabellaMenta). grin


Chickering Console
Working on:
Bach WTC II Prelude/Fugue XII in F minor

“Truly there would be reason to go mad were it not for music.” – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
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Originally Posted by Carey
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?
If the first 4 can be done with little revenue I guess it wouldn’t be a problem. Ask Frank


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Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
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I've attached a link below to a forum (an actual thread) (non-related to pianos) that I contribute to and am a community team leader on. It has some functionality that I like that could add some convenience to the Piano World site. One such call out is the "Quick Reply" toolbar / text editor - located at the bottom of the page that will load via this link...

Perhaps that could be an item added to the list of possible upgrades to Piano World.

https://rennlist.com/forums/997-forum/1187473-another-oil-analysis-15.html

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Forums are the last living remains from the prehistoric years of the www so they are naturally outdated. It's the way it is. 10 years from now no one will survive. Social media and video are the trend. Someday we will miss these old forums with their outdated functionality, their silence,and calm ( compared to the frenzy on Twitter, even the more ballistic arguments here are smooth and gentle as a chopinesque lullaby)

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Originally Posted by terminaldegree
If I could wave a magic wand, I would love to see the login be secure, the site display better on mobile devices, and for image uploading to be easier. But I know little about owning and operating a forum.

Securing logins and sessions with TLS should be inexpensive and straightforward. Its omission may be a (legitimate) barrier for some to be willing to upgrade to a paid subscription.

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The forum is powered by the latest version of UBB threads. Are there any features of the package Frank Baxter would do well to activate, such as image handling or security protocols? Not sure what the problem is with the mobile software. Much better than say Facebook imho.


Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
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Originally Posted by DiarmuidD
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.

Agreed! Yes, some updates would be nice, but I’m truly grateful for what Frank has built here. I ran a high-traffic “hobby” website for 12+ years. It’s expensive (no matter what others say) and it takes a lot of time. We should all show some gratitude to our host for what he has provided for us.


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2021 Yamaha P-515

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1965 Baldwin Acrosonic (1966-1993)
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I'm grateful for all Frank has done, and still continues to do, and the community here as well. However I think that, ultimately, going it alone isn't the way to do things as it is simply too much of a commitment for anyone to sustain and do well alone, and usually the community itself needs to contribute - more importantly with commitment rather than financially.

I'm an IT professional myself and have built a small business website for my wife but really it isn't my sort of thing or skill set. The best forum I know though is "song of the paddle" which has always been stunning and one I kept showing to the web designers in our company as an example of how they should do it better :-). That site was create initially by one, admittedly well skilled, individual but has plenty of support from its members for anything that needs doing. Just recently after many, many years the SOTP forum has migrated from it's standalone server platform to Tapatalk (a free forum platform) so although it's look and feel is pretty similar it is now thoroughly modernised.

John who runs SOTP is a really nice guy, if I was thinking of rebuilding or modernising a forum I would get in touch with him and ask why he changed platforms and for advice. It never hurts to get guidance from the best.

Last edited by gwing; 10/12/21 04:17 AM.
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I've been a member of various internet forums for about 20 years - automotive, piano and various music, woodworking and other hobbies...

Time and again, I've found the true value of forums to lie in the personal exchange (receiving and giving) of information, opinions, experience, wisdom - but not in any form of Likes or other popularity contest. I've even forged a few rather close friendships through forums, literally across continents and oceans. I've even met some of these people in person, and what a special blessing that was. Every time I tune or repair a piano, I look fondly at some of the materials, tools, jigs and tips that were lovingly sent to me by an Austrian, Bösendorfer-trained technician who tragically passed away some time ago. I sent him a self-made wind chime that his widow still cherishes. While this type of genuine human interaction is fortunately somewhat independent from the exact nature of the technology platform, in my opinion, the bells, whistles, trappings, mods, features, offers (and pressures) of social media tend to drown it out.

So, for as long as they exist, I am a fan of basic forums. Not for the sake of being a technophobe Luddite, but for the love of the human interactions that can better thrive in the absence of too much noise. I don't do Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok...

If that makes me a mushroom, so be it, I've been called much, MUCH worse.

Last edited by Mark R.; 10/12/21 04:24 AM. Reason: minor correction

Autodidact interested in piano technology.
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.
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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.

My impression reading through some of the responses here is that the site as-is, is functioning per the desires of the broader participating community.

In my view however, the site is structured and operates with little imagination; provides a fraction of the value it could; and caters to stagnant, status quo minded constituents.

The image that comes to mind is of fungi clinging to an old log, located in a conifer forest where sunlight hasn't penetrated for decades...

In response to the question - "can this site be elevated into the present and provide its members meaningful value?" The answer apparently is... "You can't get there from here..."

"Obligation" for a free forum? My experience in life is those who do not pay complain the most and the funders of this board keep to themselves. Frank's obligation are to those who fund it, not the complainers from the bleachers. If you want change, great, Speak to Frank and offer a large enough amount of money or find a way to get the money and offer it to him. Then, we can all take this seriously.

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Another forum I look at is the Letters page in The Times, published every day since 1785. PW is basically the same except it posts every letter it receives. It does that well, as do the Times and other newspapers.


Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 140cm
Ibach, 1905 F-IV, 235cm
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Originally Posted by Mark R.
I've been a member of various internet forums for about 20 years - automotive, piano and various music, woodworking and other hobbies...

Time and again, I've found the true value of forums to lie in the personal exchange (receiving and giving) of information, opinions, experience, wisdom - but not in any form of Likes or other popularity contest. I've even forged a few rather close friendships through forums, literally across continents and oceans. I've even met some of these people in person, and what a special blessing that was. Every time I tune or repair a piano, I look fondly at some of the materials, tools, jigs and tips that were lovingly sent to me by an Austrian, Bösendorfer-trained technician who tragically passed away some time ago. I sent him a self-made wind chime that his widow still cherishes. While this type of genuine human interaction is fortunately somewhat independent from the exact nature of the technology platform, in my opinion, the bells, whistles, trappings, mods, features, offers (and pressures) of social media tend to drown it out.

So, for as long as they exist, I am a fan of basic forums. Not for the sake of being a technophobe Luddite, but for the love of the human interactions that can better thrive in the absence of too much noise. I don't do Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok...

If that makes me a mushroom, so be it, I've been called much, MUCH worse.

Well put, and what a lovely story, Mark R. I have similar fond memories of friends I made through a dance forum years ago. Experiences that I will always treasure.

I do agree with those who value the relative quiet of a forum - it is hard to think with all the flashing ads, pop-ups, etc. in most social media. Participating here requires just a bit more effort than slapping on a Like and continuing to scroll. I like that.

I would like to add my thanks to Frank for his work and generosity in providing this forum!


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Working on:
Bach WTC II Prelude/Fugue XII in F minor

“Truly there would be reason to go mad were it not for music.” – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
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Originally Posted by Mark R.
Time and again, I've found the true value of forums to lie in the personal exchange (receiving and giving) of information, opinions, experience, wisdom - but not in any form of Likes or other popularity contest. I've even forged a few rather close friendships through forums, literally across continents and oceans. I've even met some of these people in person, and what a special blessing that was.
My experience as well with PW. These "online" and "in person" friendships continue to enrich my life. smile


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I concur with what has already been very well stated by Rickster, Carey, Steve Chandler, Plowboy, Mark R., Withindale, Adagiette, and several others regarding the fundamental soundness of the current Piano World model. The bedrock upon which the forum is built is the deep knowledge of many members and their willingness to share it. Whether a particular post by a particular member is useful or interesting can be determined only by reading the post. The mere tallying of “likes” and “dislikes” regarding a post would signify nothing that could not be learned far more meaningfully by simply reading the post. In particular, the personal qualities of the members that emerge over time add much enjoyment to the forum, and those qualities are revealed solely through the text of the posts they make. As has been noted, on occasion, members who previously knew each other only online have the pleasure of meeting in person.

The modern acoustic piano has existed with little change for at least 150 years. The keyboard music that many forum members play on the piano is a great deal older than that. Despite the considerable age of both the instrument and the music, forum members derive enormous pleasure from their enthusiastic engagement with these creations of past eras. “Old” is not necessarily “inferior”.

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Newton,MA now there’s a place I haven’t been to in a long long time. Used to live in Newton Center and then Watertown. I miss New England…


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Originally Posted by Carey
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.

I'm sure it is hard to keep up with all of the tasks to run the site, but when I paid for a year membership, I got nothing back to even indicate that the funds were actually received by PW. For all I know, they were not. I don't remember when I did the payment, so I have no way to know when the year is up, which probably means alot of time will pass before I decide that I must be overdue to contribute again.

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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
Originally Posted by Carey
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.
I'm sure it is hard to keep up with all of the tasks to run the site, but when I paid for a year membership, I got nothing back to even indicate that the funds were actually received by PW. For all I know, they were not. I don't remember when I did the payment, so I have no way to know when the year is up, which probably means alot of time will pass before I decide that I must be overdue to contribute again.
Actually, you raise a good point. You might want to send Frank an email. I'll probably do the same just to verify receipt of my recent payment.


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Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by RPA88
Bottom line - Piano World is an antique and needs to be elevated into the current world.

According to who?

I'll admit I'm not much of a techie (or a piano player smile ), and I'll agree the photo uploading process is not necessarily user friendly for new members, but Piano World an antique and not part of the current world? I'm not so sure about that.

And, Frank Baxter, owner of Piano World, has made upgrades to the site in the last few years. This is his Internet Forum, and he has described it as his house, his home, his bar, his pool-room, his playhouse, his domain, and he will decide when major tech changes are needed, and whether or not he can afford it.

As for the "like" button pertaining to various posts, why make Piano World another Facebook or YouTube? If that is the case, Frank could just shut the site down and start a sub-forum on Facebook entitled "Piano World", but I'm not sure how that would affect the advertising that he has here. In fact, there are already a few piano sub-forums on FB.

I'm a proponent of improvements and upgrades, but there is no need to try and "push" the issue. PM Frank and discuss it with him and see what he has to say.

By-the-way, there have been more than a few Piano Industry entities who have offered to buy Piano World from Frank, but he hasn't received an offer he likes, yet.

Maybe I'm old and antiquated, but I think PW is great as-is...

Just my .02, at a discount. smile

Rick
Exactly!

I, for one, enjoy the Forum as it is. I’m a retired IT professional and learned the old fashioned way how to code HTML, Java, and JavaScript. I hate going through FaceButt or YouTube to post anything, and it’s heavily censored. The picture loading can be a bit of a puzzle for newbies but someone could volunteer to make it somewhat easier.

I prefer that the Forum be kept as it is.


J & J
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Originally Posted by j&j
Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by RPA88
Bottom line - Piano World is an antique and needs to be elevated into the current world.

According to who?

I'll admit I'm not much of a techie (or a piano player smile ), and I'll agree the photo uploading process is not necessarily user friendly for new members, but Piano World an antique and not part of the current world? I'm not so sure about that.

And, Frank Baxter, owner of Piano World, has made upgrades to the site in the last few years. This is his Internet Forum, and he has described it as his house, his home, his bar, his pool-room, his playhouse, his domain, and he will decide when major tech changes are needed, and whether or not he can afford it.

As for the "like" button pertaining to various posts, why make Piano World another Facebook or YouTube? If that is the case, Frank could just shut the site down and start a sub-forum on Facebook entitled "Piano World", but I'm not sure how that would affect the advertising that he has here. In fact, there are already a few piano sub-forums on FB.

I'm a proponent of improvements and upgrades, but there is no need to try and "push" the issue. PM Frank and discuss it with him and see what he has to say.

By-the-way, there have been more than a few Piano Industry entities who have offered to buy Piano World from Frank, but he hasn't received an offer he likes, yet.

Maybe I'm old and antiquated, but I think PW is great as-is...

Just my .02, at a discount. smile

Rick
Exactly!

I, for one, enjoy the Forum as it is. I’m a retired IT professional and learned the old fashioned way how to code HTML, Java, and JavaScript. I hate going through FaceButt or YouTube to post anything, and it’s heavily censored. The picture loading can be a bit of a puzzle for newbies but someone could volunteer to make it somewhat easier.

I prefer that the Forum be kept as it is.
I also like the forum as it is. It has an old school feel to it. But I think Frank can keep the same look and user interface but modernize the underpinnings. Like for example making connection to his site secure. That has made me weary of entering credit card information on is site because I'm worried about that information being intercepted.


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Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
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