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New Policy - All members read this!

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    As many of you already know, lately there have been only a handful of members who bother to spend some time listening and/or commenting on the forum. Participation is unbalanced and unfair, and especially we will no longer tolerate members who come to PS only when they want to submit their new batch of recordings and then disappear again. So we are introducing a new policy, which is this:

    Members with recordings on the main site will from now on have to participate on the forum regularly by not only submitting their own recordings, but also listening and commenting on other members' recordings. At this time we are not going to institute strict controls like counting comments or forcing certain members to take turns listening to all the others. But we do want Everybody to step up and spend a little more time on Piano Society. To show that we are serious, several artists and their recordings have now been removed from the main site due to having a very low number of recordings and also not participating on the forum.

    We all come from different backgrounds but share at least one thing in common - our love for playing classical piano music. It's wonderful that our forum enables us to share our passion, our ideas, thoughts, or questions regarding piano music. So please...lend an ear, share your knowledge, say a few encouraging words. We really want to generate some more action here. Help us to keep the site interesting, vibrant, and fun! Which brings me to this little reminder - besides the Audition Room there are also other forums in which to participate. :wink:.
     
    ivyRS likes this.
  2. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Pianolady wrote:
    I think, principally that´s a good idea, Monica. I hope, it will change a bit the situation, but it´s still becoming a bit better, I think. PS had become too boring and dead due to missing participation, also for me sometimes (if I think f.ex. of all the work I have made with the cuting of audio and video of the Slavonic Dances by Dvorak, played four hands by Chris and me, and the one or two comments, which we received to it). On the other hand, there can be several reasons for us all to have no time (at least for a while). One can have a "tight phase" at the job or need time for the family, lying in hospital, being ill or whatever. So, may be it isn´t too bad to wait an adequate time before deleting a non-active member from the main-site. :lol: But principally I think, it´s a good and adequate decision: who wants to have his recordings here, should also actively take part in the forum (at least from time to time).
     
  3. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica and other readers,

    Promoting more participation in Audition Room and the other forums is not only a positive approach, but essential. I've seen cases in the past where there have been some superb recordings posted here that drew very little response. What could be more discouraging to those artists? I think too that sometimes we tend to respond within a circle of musicians--a comfort zone. Perhaps we all need to make it a point to reach out more to contributors who are less familiar or new to us. That too might spur more discussion and helpful critiques. As Andreas mentioned, there are times when people might not be able to frequent Piano Society due to personal reasons, and we should understand and respect that. But otherwise we should all make a good effort to maintain the success of Piano Society. It's unfair to expect the moderators to carry most of the burden in assessing recordings here. No question, we all need to do our part, myself included. Let's hope that activity increases on the boards, that as a result the website becomes more vibrant, and that we can all continue to enjoy the many benefits it has to offer. :)

    David
     
  4. differencetone

    differencetone New Member

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    I understand your frustration pianolady but I don't think the new policy will alter habits even if it was mandatory. The problem isn't human nature but that there simply isn't enough traffic to this site and even if it was a hugely popular website, there are always some people who comment frequently and most who never do. Perhaps you would have better luck with a Facebook group for pianists.
     
  5. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Rachfan wrote:
    I second this and all what David wrote above!
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Differencetone - you have not been around here for long so you may not know this, but our site is hugely popular. People download between 300,000 and 700,000 piano recordings of ours every month. And ask anyone who has ever stumbled upon PS what they think about our site, and they will no doubt say how great it is to have such a place like ours where one can listen to a vast amount of quality piano recordings offered for free. We hear it often! So there is plenty of traffic to our site (why do you think we need to raise all this money to pay for the high bandwidth usage...). My beef is with the members of PS who do not contribute to the forum.
     
  7. differencetone

    differencetone New Member

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    My apologies pianolady. I was judging it based on the number of new posts I see this section of the website and the number of downloads I got of my music from it. The site is huge, maybe not this part of it?
     
  8. Syntaxerror

    Syntaxerror New Member

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    But be sure to put a disclaimer on the main site, which informs newcomers about the rules!

    Also I was thinking: Maybe each new submission could be sent along with a poll where users can evaluate the pieces in a multiple-choice manner. Like this:

    1. Absolutely fabulous!
    2. Well done.
    3. Could be better.
    4. Well, ehm... nice try.
    5. No way -- another take.
    6. That's like me playing blindfolded with my toes.
    7. It was so awful, I had to interrupt listening.

    That would make participation much easier for everyone, and it wouldn't be so repetitive to retype something like "I liked your playing very much" over and over again.
     
  9. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I think I'd rather get them when they first come onto the forum. Something like, "if you want to become a member, then you have to first spend some time listening AND commenting on other members' recordings. As far as the deadbeats go (those who only show up when they have new recordings), I may tell them the same thing.

    Regarding a poll - we've thought about that before. I'm almost inclined to try it out on a trial basis. But really I think that people will simply click one of the choices without actually listening, just so they can show that they're participating.

    Thanks for the ideas!
     
  10. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    It's not a good idea. First, it's too easy and too anonymous, and can be done too much on the spur of the moment. Second, to know that 3 people loved your recording, 3 people hated it, and 6 people found it passable, is of little use for improving your playing.
     
  11. differencetone

    differencetone New Member

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    They wouldn't vote without listening to it. I think it's a great idea because it's easier than writing a review so it will get more people to participate. The Facebook "like" button is very popular. It would be good it the poll is there automatically there for every audition. Another advantage is that normally, if people don't like something, they don't write anything. This would make it easier to say you don't like it.
     
  12. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    But that's the whole point. What use is it to know that someone 'doesn't like it'. There could be umpteen reasons for that. "So and so many people liked this recording". So what. Billions of flies cannot be wrong......
    Here in PS we value real feedback that enables us to improve our music making. If all someone can say is "I like it" or "I don't like it" they better hold forth, IMO.
     
  13. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist

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    Well said. I completely agree. Something I'd like to add to this discussion is that while there may be some overlap, what we like or what titillates us at the moment and what's good are two different things. When I comment on something, I try to distinguish between those. There's a lot more to good technical playing than just getting the notes and rhythms right, and while in many cases, I may not like an interpretation, I have to admit it's still very good, or at least respectable, playing.
     
  14. Syntaxerror

    Syntaxerror New Member

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    Oh oh, this is really something...

    Folks, the "suggestions" in my last post were really just intended as a joke. Completely. Interesting that nobody got that point.

    Now speaking seriously, I think forcing anyone to write something would only lead to one of two things: 1.) The recordings of people who just don't care will eventually be deleted by the admins. 2.) There will on the other hand be people who really by any means would like to keep their recordings on the site, but still don't like to write. They will eventually start writing anyway, and my suggestion would be that you will clearly recognize the type of "forced" posts which will result from this.

    I would put myself into the first category, more being an observer over the years although I have a handful of recordings here. I admit that 80 or 90 forum posts of mine within four years also cannot be called "active membership".

    The whole thing basically boils down to the question: Who really likes to communicate about different aspects of music, and additionally doing this by means of exchanging messages on a forum? You have to be a fast writer for doing this regularly. The slow ones -- including myself -- eventually realize that the time they spend at the computer keyboard could much better be spend at the piano keyboard.
     
  15. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I often make a joke or tease and nobody gets it (don't know why - I think my jokes are funny... :lol: ) But even though you say your suggestions were just a joke, we have, for real, received suggestions to make a poll several times. Just with different words (although yours are funnier).

    Oh, those poor babies!!! I feel so sorry that they have to take time out of their day to listen and write about someone elses recordings for a change. :roll: (grrr...don't get me started... :x )

    You have 87 postings, so you have nothing to worry about. We are talking about members who only have a couple postings and it is only their own recordings that they post and talk about. They never bother commenting on any other member, even when other members have commented on their own recordings. That's what really bugs me :!:
     
  16. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    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?... :wink: So return the favor, chip in where others need your advice - Participate in the brotherhood of music here on Piano Society. :)
     
  17. Chopinesque

    Chopinesque New Member

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    What a coincidence to see this post - I've just come back here after months (or is it years?) of inactivity, but haven't been removed from the main site because I was never there in the first place. Encouraging participation in this way sounds like a good idea. I remember that the other members were very helpful to me when I asked for advice and posted an awful recording a while ago, so I really value this forum. I will try to visit this site more often and spend less time on Facebook from now on.
     
  18. Mr Duffy

    Mr Duffy New Member

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    while i understand the need for more active participation, and i think to interpretation and technique discussions on the board as an outstanding peculiarity of this website, i would like to point out an obvious thing, that artistic quality has nothing to do with commenting skills. i think everyone is aware that many of the best recordings on this website come from non active posters. i would not be happy if they were to be replaced with lower artistic quality recordings from more active posters! this would turn out in giving overall poorer resources for students an pianists. artistic and commenting skills are totally different matters, and i think this issue has to be dealt differently. well, just my two cents, with no polemical intent of course.
    have a nice weekend
    Mr Duffy
     
  19. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Mr. Duffy. It's been some time since we've seen you! :) And while I'm glad you chimed in here, I have to say that I feel a little bit slighted by what you said. Maybe a few 'not-so-great' recordings have made it up onto the site in the past, but these days we are much more choosy, careful, and accept only very good recordings. I don't believe I have put up a certain member's recording only because he/she participates on our forum, since I strongly believe that PS should host only quality recordings with interpretations at least somewhat close to the composer's intention. Besides that, those members whom we have eliminated were basically one-hit wonders with insignificant recordings. One more thing - several of our 'active' members these days do in fact submit highly-artistic and fine recordings. Which reminds me, will we ever get to hear you play? Come on....don't be afraid....just jump right in! Have a nice week. :)
     
  20. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    May I say something?

    I joined some time ago at first after listening to Bortkiewicz. Having done that I went on to securing his sheet music. In less than 4 months I went from someone who had never even heard the name to being the owner of his complete existing piano oeuvre, a priviledge only shared by Mozart.

    It was also here I managed to hear for the first time a recording of one of Bach's Toccatas - and I have played it now for over 20 years!

    Have I made any criticism of the works here present? Well, no, because I am still hoping to be able to post some of my own recordings, but I am aware that they are not up to the standards required by the site and I feel that to comment on recordings by others I should also be out there to be commented on. As my resources at present are an MP3 portable recorder and an East German upright I wonder If anything will ever be done.

    I must say I am at times surprised by the high quality of some of the new recordings: not only are the pianos in impeccable tune, but the recordings compare very positively to "studio" ones. I am thinking of one of Bortkiewicz's consolations, recorded by Pianolady.

    I would be sorry to be given the order of the boot, though I will understand if it comes.
     

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