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Audio Refugees • View topic - so then ....

so then ....

Nicey-nice talk is here.

Re: so then ....

Postby cjdenecia » Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:40 pm

.... fine, whatever .... I'm too tired of this whole discussion to continue ....

here's what I'll do. first, I'll suggest to gregg (after the site move) that we reduce the free uploads to 1 song per account. as well, I'm hoping we can change the wording on each band/account to make that all easier to understand. as well, that will change some existing folks' account balances and they will find that tho they thought they had enough review credits for an upload, now they have to get busy in the review pair world.

but in doing so, that will make the whole fast track idea more appealing.

then, correspondingly, I'll suggest he try to find a way of creating this fast track feature - I think we'll find it's a whole lot more difficult to do than you think it is stebs. between the sql and drupal platform template, this whole thing is a lot more complex and hybrid than you probably think it is, some stuff is automation and some is hard coded (some "for now"). either way, it's not as simple as just tapping into the sql with a few lines. if it were, for example, we'd have already found the fix for the 7 mb upload restriction written into the php ini OR wherever the command override lies.

but it will be a suggestion to gregg. and his efforts must be accompanied by further work on our part to collect new bodies to make it work. and a heads up to older non active members that it exists. on this, we MUST have help. period.

and we need workable ideas up front to make the membership drive work and a commitment from people to help with it. and other things .... and the decision to make it all happen lies with gregg. on his time and on his terms.

that's the best you're gonna get. deal?
you can't handle the truth.

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Re: so then ....

Postby steban » Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:58 am

Deal!

I realize it isn't easy to introduce even minor changes in an existing website, I have written a VB .Net for my company used for 10 years now that is SQL driven, and I get what sound like simple requests everyday- make a value of NONE for a specific account not print at all when usually it printed "Department: NONE" on a form for all accounts. I feel blessed it is VB, which is very very flexible, but still each deviation from the rule creates complexity, until eventually you realize your elegant rules are almost if not all deviations.

If Gregg is interested, though, I will gladly look at the code, maybe replicate a mini test site, and see if I can actually help. My philosophy is getting it to work before it's obsolete, and I'm not too proud to take other people's ideas and develop them. I'm used to working with just one other guy, who is much smarter than I, but he is also much busier, so I do get a lot of practice and guidance when I need it.

To me, the future of our site is going to mean some development, but the hardest work is deciding exactly what we want, being right about it, and then accomplishing it, and thanks to you and Gregg and the others here who are sticking around we pretty much will know what is right.

Everything you said is right on, ceej, and we can use the coming changes to promote the site as a whole. We move the site to a new home, and once moved in we start the improvements, some fresh paint, some new additions, and then the hot tub and swimming pool and big deck.

Meanwhile I will stop harassing you about this and focus on the other things we can do to get more members. Part may be the mundane personal evangelical door banging side that I admit I'm not so great at, and the other is my app idea that would be tied to this site. No, I'm not talking about just making this site look good on a smart phone sized screen, although that might be reasonable to do, but to make a fun and popular app that will entice members to come see the rest of the site.

I've said a hundred times more than I intended, so I'll just shut up now.
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Re: so then ....

Postby charvie » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:28 pm

Hi everyone or at least to those that don't have me on ignore. I hate that you guys are struggling around here, I remember when you folks recruited me from the Taxi and invited me in.


There's so much I want to say but I'm not exactly a genius at putting stuff into the proper words so I'll do my best to post some thoughts, I do think your greatest strengths are your abilities to do excellent reviews, your ability to produce, mix, and give guidance, your deep friendship with each other is not only admirable but rare, and your idea here is genuine and well thought out.

Your strengths are also your weaknesses, the reviews sometimes are way too cerebral, normal musicians that are chilled out and non confrontational don't know how to handle a review that calls their music dated (yup me) or that the drums sound like shit, or the bass sucks. It's not about any of that, it's about the art for of writing songs from their perspective with a little or in some cases (jaymz) a lot of talent and they want to feel good about what they're doing, they want to hear that your hearing the song and the meaning behind it, it's theirs man and it's special to them. I love what you guys do and for the most part how you do it but in some cases your delivery sucks and you freak people out, they bolt!

I know my opinions fall on deaf ears because I really don't have much credibility but I'm telling you the truth. All of you have a ton of talent and if you got past your talent and let others in the circle more often without challenging them (cj) lol you'd have a place filled with people. People want to be heard without being beat on, that's what they face in the world every fekkin day, they want to be appreciated for who they are not who or what we want them to be.

I love you guys a ton and I hope you figure out how to do your thing because the world needs a place like this, it's got to feel safe for them though.

I know how important Indie is to you guys but I also thing you need to relax a little on the signed guys, some sell out and some do their gig, again in the end it's about the music just like the name Audio Refugees. Be a refuge.

I'll go away now, good seeing you guys again. Haven't played in a long time and just wanted to stop in and maybe pick up a little mojo lol.
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Re: so then ....

Postby cjdenecia » Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:12 am

you can't handle the truth.

nor do you want to ...
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Re: so then ....

Postby steban » Sat Aug 16, 2014 5:51 am

Hey charv, good to hear from you! And thanks for your comments, and I know where you're coming from. On the one hand there's the truly technical critical and scathing style of review cj is famous for, boy I've gotten a lot of those! But most of his are not like that. On the other there are the more gut reaction how does it make you feel reviews others give, and maybe sometimes it is hard to take even those if the gut reaction isn't all favorable. When one gets enough reviews, they usually point like a oiuja board in a general direction, and sometimes only one person gets it, sometimes nobody, but even then you learn something.

It does seem like we are as a site anti-signed musicians, I suppose, and that is truly our bad. Truthfully, the biggest names of all time have been largely screwed by the labels and by the destructiveness of success, its fickleness, all the aspects we here envy but possibly have been saved by not having it. So I think we all do feel that, and there ought not be too much ill will toward anyone.

Reviews, when honestly given, often are unpleasant, and I suppose that will be the case here no matter what. This is not the fan club or the myspace or facebook place, and sometimes it gets out of hand. But it is real. We are not just bashers, my friend, and you are forever welcome here, and you know we are not just trying to sell you something or tell you what you want to hear. And that makes us special as a site.

I hope you keep an eye on us because the future of our site may be more exciting than you can now imagine. There will be more collaborations, better than before! And of different kinds! Kim, Ingolee and I even did a 25 minute space opera, which is really crazy and so beyond pop, but it now exists and is actually kind of cool. There are possibilities here for us all. Dreams are entertained, and sometimes made real.

But maybe we will be more civil overall, just worn down by time into maturity, maybe. I think we already are, if just a bit. And maybe we can be that without sacrificing our core values- truth, justice and the British/American way, hey we have great songs in French and Spanish here as well now! Maybe one day we'll have the Kill Them With Kindness forum, where those who don't want to see the wild side can hang out. Anything is possible, and we after all are a community, so we can have a place like that, too. We can ban cj from it! Who knows, maybe that would bring a lot of strangers out of the shadows....
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Re: so then ....

Postby charvie » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:46 am

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Re: so then ....

Postby charvie » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:49 am

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Re: so then ....

Postby cjdenecia » Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:49 pm

oh and btw, I really don't give a rats ass about the forum. not really ..... hell, I'd give somebody trusted an admin acct in a heartbeat. ban me please.
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Re: so then ....

Postby Krispy » Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:57 am

Pretty sure my free ad drummed up absolutely no new interest whatsoever. The vast majority are just not interested and I don't really know why.
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Re: so then ....

Postby cjdenecia » Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:53 am

you can't handle the truth.

nor do you want to ...
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Re: so then ....

Postby charvie » Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:21 pm

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Re: so then ....

Postby ptalbot » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:31 pm

Hum... as a new member here, it seems I'm coming at a bad time...
I haven't read all the posts on this thread but I get the general feeling that there's not much going on here...
Going circle with the same people reviewing?

A shame really.
I agree that this can only work with as many reviewers as possible, and people willing to give at least as much as they will take.

I'm coming from another forum where the focus is more on the engineering side and it works quite well because there's a lot of people and there's been a constant renewal, but this came from a lot of effort from the existing members and the site owner...
Still there's quite a lot of people coming there to take and not ready to participate, we learn to live with it.

The thing is to make people realize that the review process (at least how it's done in that other site) is as much beneficial to the reviewer than it is to the reviewee (is there such a word? - sorry I'm French!): It takes years of critical listening to be able to apply that to oneself. It's very true for mixing, but I think it's also true of songwriting/arrangement/production in general.

The thing is: you should learn to be your worst critic!
You should always try to improve and not be lazy and self absorbed and ready to put the hours in...

How can you improve in this game if you're not willing to take criticism?
Hell! If all you hear are false praises you're up for a bad awakening when you will try to hit a real public...
The attention span for music nowadays is probably around 10s... Either you make it past that or the listener is already listening to something else.
You got to be good. No. You got to be amazingly good. This doesn't happen in a day.

In my reviews, I'm ruthless generally, and I have no intention to soften the blow, because I strongly believe that this will be a disservice to the people who are reading my reviews... You have to be tough in this game. So I tend to concentrate on the flaws, because I think this is what can help, because all to often we are so buried in our own projects that we don't realize them after a while. This is where some external POV is helpful.
Have your girlfriend/boyfriend/significant other/family/friends give you the praise you want. But come here for the truth.

Of course this is often a matter of taste, and if you've listened to music for years you should have some strong taste. And no music is universal, so we should learn to live with the fact that not everyone is going to like everything... it doesn't matter. This is why we should concentrate on what could be improved and be honest about it. To the reviewee to take it or live it...

I really hope everyone here shares these ideas, more or less, and that this will continue to live and get bigger!
-Patrick
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Re: so then ....

Postby ptalbot » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:33 pm

I see that posts from newbies are moderated by default... this is one bad move IMHO.
You should leave it wide opened, and only ban people who are spamming or crossing the line.
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Re: so then ....

Postby ptalbot » Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:20 am

OK, so I've read the whole thread and passed quickly on the various personal arguments that don't say much to me except that there is some history and quite a few bitter things going on... I ignored that.

Now I agree with cj that this site needs more members. BADLY.

How many ACTIVE members are there anyway, for real? A dozen or so???
Well, this is not sustainable and if this is the case then this site is indeed nothing but a "vanity site for a handful of well wishers", and if so, I'm going to be out of here quickly... I can't think of any newcomer who will stay long in that case either.

The suggestion to get members to pay to get review is going completely backwards. I'm not convinced people will pay to get bashed.
The truth is you will need to pay for new members to come.
Not pay as such but reward them one way or another...

One possible way to do that would be to create contests. You already have a fair game review engine, I just reviewed a fair amount of songs myself and I find it pretty well done (with a few missing things though - was part of another post :D).

What I suggest you do is to organize contests, often, have them run for a month or a couple of month... a relatively quick deadline in any case.
Offer a plugin to the winner or something related to audio recording, tutorials, whatever, I bet plugin companies would be willing to offer something if you display their ads or do a deal with them.

To be clear I'm coming from a forum that did just that, in 2012 they organized a mixing contest where the winners would get a Slate Digital plugin each month and a final contest where the big winner would get all Slate Digital plugins for life...
This drained quite a lot of people to the site. The idea was that you could submit one mix (and one only), it would be rated by others. But your final score was a combination of the ratings you had on your mix + the effort in rating and reviewing others. People got quite passionate about it. They still talk about it nowadays... most of the participants are still there and active.

They organized another competition lately where you had to submit a song that contains a few word to promote a plugin (didn't matter in what order or what context), this worked pretty well at least and some newcomers appeared during that contest. Some didn't stay. Some did.

The stats as of now (middle of the night) are:
There are currently 248 users online. 18 members and 230 guests.
Most users ever online was 757, 07-19-2011 at 02:01 PM.
Threads 52,732 Posts 459,822 Members 100,302 Active Members 869

It's pretty quiet lately, but it could get back to very active if the site admin creates a new contest.

Looks to me that with your review system it should be pretty easy to build a contest engine for one.
Then advertise online, through your sponsor and every social media, ask the active member to spread the word as well...
I'm no marketing expert (my ex-wife is! :P) but my bet is that you would get new members this way.

Anyway... just a thought...
I find this to be a pretty cool site and has some great ideas behind it, and some passionate people around.
I would hate to see it stays mostly inactive for long.

Wishing you the best,
-Patrick
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Re: so then ....

Postby Krispy » Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:04 am

Thanks Patrick, I think that's the most interesting and constructive post we'd had in a very long time.

To be continued...
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