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Topic Options
#228624 - 06/21/01 11:35 PM Suggestions To Improve This Forum
Brad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 254
Loc: Lexington, KY
To Piano World (a.k.a. Frank):

I have been a longtime reader of and sometime poster at this forum. I read several other forums on the internet related to the piano and this one is by far the best. The reasons is simple. Good people post interesting information. Those who ask questions are treated with respect. Everyone enjoys a spirited debate.

Every once in a while, however, certain individuals have joined this forum to make trouble and be abusive. The good news is that these people have tired after a while and left.

Since this forum is now located at Pianoworld.com proper and you appear to have taken a more active involvement, I have a few suggestions to improve the forum even further.

1. Please make this a moderated forum. Either you, or a few trusted regulars, should have a ability to monitor the posts and delete and edit them as necessary. I am not suggesting a heavy hand, but only that truly abusive posts be eliminated before they become a problem.

2. Require posters to use their real name. In general, those who give real names are more upfront and open and honest and less likely to engage in "flame wars" behind pseudonyms.

I make these suggestions in a constructive manner. My only goal is to avoid a repeat of some of the problems this forum experienced in the past. I welcome any comments.

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#228625 - 06/22/01 12:39 AM Re: Suggestions To Improve This Forum
Eldon Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 597
Loc: Illinois
I personally don't like any of your ideas.
I actually liked the forum lots better the way it was. Just my $.02.

Eldon, Jr. (real name) \:\)

#228626 - 06/22/01 10:11 AM Re: Suggestions To Improve This Forum
All Thumbs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 20
I have to agree with Eldon. If you don't like a post then don't respond. It seems political correctness and sensitivity have gone too far nowadays. Just my .02 cents worth.

#228627 - 06/22/01 10:33 AM Re: Suggestions To Improve This Forum
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5484
i'm only a very junior member but i am a veteran of quite a number of these forums over the years, and i concur with eldon and all thumbs.

people should be allowed to speak freely without fear of being edited by the politically correct. i've seen some boards deteriorate into bland pablum once moderated.

and some of us have good reasons for not posting our real names, and it doesn't make us any the less forthright in our comments.

just my 2 cents as well.

now in paperback:

Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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#228628 - 06/22/01 11:22 PM Re: Suggestions To Improve This Forum
Mat D. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Sterling Heights, Michigan
I wasn't aware that any problems had arisen on this new board yet.

I don't like the idea of censorship at all.

my $.02..again

Mat D

#228629 - 06/22/01 11:28 PM Re: Suggestions To Improve This Forum
Mat D. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 512
Loc: Sterling Heights, Michigan
in my last post I had this to say:

I don't like the idea of censorship at all.

If we had censorship, it may have come out like this:

I _____ like the idea of censorship______.

[ June 22, 2001: Message edited by: Mat D. ]

#228630 - 06/23/01 10:02 AM Re: Suggestions To Improve This Forum
Dwain Lee Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 2419
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
I have to agree with the majority of respondents on this one. It is very nice that, at least as of late, this forum has not had any really nasty flame wars. And I am a regular participant on a forum that occasionally degenerates into a swamp of negativity, when one psychotic troublemaker tries to get everyone upset by insulting everyone in sight. Of course, the people being insulted can only take so much before responding, and things get ugly. It would be nice if one could just moderate out the troublemaker.

Or would it? Today it would be the troublemaker, but who would get the axe tomorrow? I may be on good terms with the moderator today, but some opinion that I pose tomorrow may tick off the wrong person, and I get axed, too. No matter how well intentioned the censorship, it has a very tempting potential for abuse.

Everyone has the responsibility to self-moderate in a forum like this. I finally disciplined myself to not get worked up over the rants of the troublemaker on the other forum. It got easier over time, once I realizaed that the posts were a seemingly scripted, self-referencing Mobius strip of hateful abuse, changing only names and dates. I've gotten to the point where it's very easy to usually not even open posts made by the person, while not actually killfiling him. That's true moderating, without censorship.

Before long, every repeat poster in this or any other forum develops an "identity" that others can usually expect will show up in their comments, and it's easy to just ignore them if you don't like them. It's even easier to ignore if you know that the person *never* makes any meaningful contribution, or can't compose a coherent thought. If they only *occasionally* are abusive, you never know - they may actually say something meaningful to you once in a while, that you would otherwise not have seen, had the forum been moderated.

Just another 4 cents' worth.


#228631 - 06/23/01 10:35 AM Re: Suggestions To Improve This Forum
BruceD Offline

Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 19776
Loc: Victoria, BC
I'm not sure exactly how I feel about this issue.
I will say, however, that night before last (Thursday night) there was a particularly vitriolic - indeed, cruel - post on one of the most popular of the current threads. It was most upsetting to read and, in my view, had no opinion to contribute, just a negative diatribe against a regular member. It quickly disappeared from the thread, I guess removed by the person who posted it; perhaps s/he thought better of what was said in the post. Had the forum been moderated, it probably would not have appeared at all. Would this have been a good thing? I don't know; I guess I'm a real fence-sitter on this issue.
- - - - -
Estonia 190

#228632 - 06/23/01 10:59 AM Re: Suggestions To Improve This Forum
Penny Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2943
Loc: San Juan Capistrano, CA
I have mixed feelings, too. Apparently, I was the target, but it is probably a blessing I didn't read it before the post mysteriously disappeared. My guess is I ticked someone off by actually PURCHASING a piano as opposed to my previous role of so-called "tirekicker."

On the other hand, I'm a free speech absolutist (what else would you expect from a journalist?) and the people here seem smart enough and caring enough to know when to a) ignore a flame or b) defend one's honor.

I think we should require email addies, though. If someone wants to maintain their anonymity, there are more than ample number of free email boxes available.


#228633 - 06/23/01 12:33 PM Re: Suggestions To Improve This Forum
Brad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 254
Loc: Lexington, KY

I will tell you why I posted my earlier suggestion. Right before I did so, I noticed that someone had registered five times under various permutations of the name "tire ticker." Some registrations had no e-mail address; others had clearly false e-mail addresses. I recalled an unpleasant thread on the old forum, which you were involved in, which related to the so-called "tire kicker" issue.

I also recalled that there was a time in 2000 when this forum was seriously disrupted -- almost destroyed -- by one or more trolls. (If you don't think this can happen, ask Steve Cohen about the "Musictown" discussion board and his friend "Hotsey). Despite efforts at self-policing, several of the regulars (notably David Burton) were driven away in disgust. It took a long time for this forum to recover. (I recall some fine Christmas threads which started this process).

Penny, I always enjoyed your posts. My father was a newspaper man (San Diego Tribune) for his whole life. I understand what you're talking about. However, this is not about the First Amendment. (I'm a lawyer, I can quote it). You have an editor who would not allow you to publish anything patently false, defamatory, or obscene. It's about civility.

All I suggest (and its totally up to Frank who owns this place) is that there be some mechanism to control obvious troublemakers and to avoid a repeat of the dark days of 2000.

#228634 - 06/23/01 01:58 PM Re: Suggestions To Improve This Forum
Piano World Offline

Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 6009
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
OK, and now for my opinion.

I'm hoping we won't have to go to a moderated board. The problem I see with having a moderator is that censorship is in his/her hands and they might censor a message just because they don't care for the person posting it.
I realize I could be the moderator, but quite frankly (no pun intended) I don't have the time.
I do try to keep an eye on the posts and yes, I did remove the offensive one (I also set the rouge members account to no posts).

What I would prefer is to have our members police the boards themselves. If you find a post you feel is offensive, please immediately send me an email. I will look at the post and decide if it needs to be deleted. I will also notify the offender.

Brad, thank you for your suggestions. They are valid ones, but I hope we can control our board ourselves.

Frank B.
Piano World
- Frank B.
Founder / Owner / Host
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#228635 - 06/23/01 07:15 PM Re: Suggestions To Improve This Forum
Rich Galassini Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 10214
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Frank and all,

I also feel that a moderated board would take away some of the genuineness of the Forum. I like the idea of real names and email addesses though.

Just my 1 1/2 cents.

Now excuse me while I enjoy a live goldfish.
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834

#228636 - 06/25/01 08:28 AM Re: Suggestions To Improve This Forum
Mike Pappadakis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 207
Loc: Doylestown, PA
This is a touchy subject. I regularly read RMMP, but I would never post there. While I think it is a good forum, it seems there are a few individuals over there (none who post to this forum) who tend to slam, flame, ridicule, etc. valid questions from folks new to pianos (such as myself) that are looking for honest opinions. I often wonder if these same individuals would dare address someone, face-to-face, in the same way as they do on a forum. I tend to like Frank's suggestion.

Rich, that's MY goldfish. Don't you dare eat it.


[ June 25, 2001: Message edited by: Mike Pappadakis ]

[ June 25, 2001: Message edited by: Mike Pappadakis ]

[ June 25, 2001: Message edited by: Mike Pappadakis ]

#228637 - 06/25/01 10:43 AM Re: Suggestions To Improve This Forum
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5484
ok, i'll make it four cents.

i just want to put in the perspective of someone who doesn't use a real name or post an e-mail address. it has been suggested to me that i would have more credibility on the board if i did so, and could open a hotmail account if i didn't want to use my real email account.

i have nothing to hide, and i'm not a flame-thrower, but i do like my privacy. also, there are a lot of crazies out there, the internet is an extremely public place, and i would no more "publish" my real name or email address in a public forum online than i would invite a blind date to pick me up at my home. you meet them in a neutral place, and don't give them the power to do harm until you know them a bit first.

we can all feel very safe with each other here on this forum, but our posts are available to millions.

and frankly, i don't see how a hotmail account solves the problem of spam or abuse, because in order to see if anyone has written to you from the forum, you have to download EVERYTHING that is addressed to you on the server.

fwiw, i don't allow the phone company to publish my first name or even my street address in the phone book. to me, this is common sense for my own protection, not a strategem to avoid detection so that i can abuse others.

i would be very uncomfortable participating here if i was required to use my real name and email, unless it became a secured forum and everyone who used it was screened and had a password. even then.....

i am really enjoying this place and the people here, by the way. i've received so much help and useful advice! thanks to everyone who has given me their time.

now in paperback:

Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

#228638 - 06/25/01 10:57 AM Re: Suggestions To Improve This Forum
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
Ok, knock on wood \:\) I've been posting on the piano world forums for maybe three years now, using my real name and home email address. I've never had a "crazy" spam my home account, write abusive emails to me, or anything else. I think that the ones who get themselves in trouble are the ones who go looking for it.


#228639 - 06/25/01 11:18 AM Re: Suggestions To Improve This Forum
piqué Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/15/01
Posts: 5484

obviously you've never been stalked. your statement that those who get in trouble were looking for it is like saying that women who are beaten by their husbands must have been asking for it. or that women dressed provocatively were asking to be raped.

i have been stalked. i can see where people who have not had this experience might think the precautions to avoid it are overkill. maybe they should talk to their local policewoman to learn more about the risks. i did. her dog was poisoned by a stalker!

now in paperback:

Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

#228640 - 06/25/01 11:38 AM Re: Suggestions To Improve This Forum
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
I was speaking specifically to THIS forum, and to some extent, electronic forums in general. There is no face to face contact, which makes the level of anononymity very high, even if you use a real name and provide an email account. I guess I would not equate a "cyber stalker"/troll to a real life stalker, rapist, etc. I mean, at the worst, all you have to do to get rid of the former is turn off your computer...

I hope that clarifies my statement. I would NEVER suggest that a person who was beaten, raped, stalked, etc. in *real life* did something to deserve it. Those are things you just don't do to other people, no matter what.


#228641 - 06/25/01 01:02 PM Re: Suggestions To Improve This Forum
Brendan Offline

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5536
Loc: McAllen, TX
I honestly don't even understand why this was brought up in the first place...although I haven't been able to read as many threads here as I do on the other side, it seems like the general tone of the forum is more welcoming and friendly than it was around this time last year. Yes, I did happen upon the offensive post, but does that negate the many informative posts that came before it? I think it's asking for it just bringing it up.


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