Re: Participation on Piano Society.
Polls? They're a cliche of how society brands things - analogous to sending a knee-jerk quick text message: "Awesome, OK, or Gaff." Then it's end of any further discussion! Music shouldn't be a public opinion poll for a Piano "Society." It doesn't offer the poster a convincing explanation of WHY something sounds the way it sounds. How then can one improve? Or reveal a new discovery? The intent of a forum is to share ideas, clarify issues, etc. There is always room for improvement, and music is no exception. In many ways, people who contribute through participation are providing an unintended service to the original poster, AND to those who are learning passively from the "participation" of many that is taking place. Hopefully, this motivates others to chime in. Surely one can offer an opinion, as in a poll, but a bold statement should lend itself to further discussion based on the basis of history, genre, musicology, and issues relating to style, thematic interpretation, acknowledged intentions of the composer/music based on experience and/or research, etc.
Having a poll places a scorecard on the submitter. The unintended human reaction to polls are that it can induce competition, jealousy, or intimidation among some musicians. This form of pop culture is perhaps more appropriate for youtube. The end result is that it may scare away or deter further submissions, let alone participation. This defeats the goal and this isn't what we're about.
There are a lot of ideas being thrown here by many members. To make sense out of confusion, doubt, disbelief, or frustration, there inevitably is a need at some point to reduce a complex or charged topic to its common denominator. Relating to participation, as can be said of anything that involves human behavior: There are givers and there are takers. There isn't anything we can do to affect a change in attitude of the takers to increase participation as one's behavior is ingrained in the psyche. The "Givers" will contribute through participation; The "Takers" won't contribute, but will expect to receive the "service" upon every submission - another set of ears. I've seen even rude and selfish levels expectations for acknowledgment and appraisal of some submissions. Egocentric and arrogant behavior is the equivalent of the 'common cold' in music. I believe that this characteristic can even permeate into one's recording, heard often as that stuffy-nosed, aloof, impersonal, uninspiring interpretation. This is perhaps even more revealing on a video as body language.
I think the intent for every recording on PS should be communication and evaluation. It promotes dialog and discussion which leads to discovery, dissemination of new ideas, clarification, and improvement.
Moral of the story to the Takers (you know who you are!) It's always better to give than to receive.
Why?... You'll have more real friends here and in real life! It will give you what you're lacking - receiving more unexpected 'services' than expected ones for a change. It's far sweeter to be pleasantly surprised in receiving an unexpected 'service than an expected one from someone. N'est pas?...
So return the favor, chip in where others need your advice - Participate in the brotherhood of music here on Piano Society.