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Andi



Joined: 02/09/04
Posts: 1203
Loc: Berkshire, UK
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Jennifer Jones]
      #939918 - 10/09/11 12:22 PM
Please can we have MRT back as it was?!?

Please.

--------------------
Andi, www.thedustbowlaudio.com Mixing, Mastering, Audio Editing (and articles) at The Dustbowl Audio


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Dave B



Joined: 03/04/03
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Loc: Maidenhead
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Andi]
      #939941 - 10/09/11 03:24 PM
+1 !! with bells on !!

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Veni, Vidi, Aesculi
(I came, I saw, I conkered)


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4501
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Jennifer Jones]
      #942242 - 20/09/11 10:36 PM
Hi all

I'm afraid that I too find the whole 'Recording Techniques' and 'Production Techniques' distinction confusing and difficult to work. While it might be possible to pigeon hole a question into one or other category, it's often rather harder to classify the answer. These things are subject to significant and inseperable overlap, at least in the field I personally work in. I don't know why we needed to separate these things. There seems to be a bit of a contribution drought at the moment and I wonder if it's because of this. Sure, the old title MRT wasn't perhaps the most appropriate, but couldn't we just replace it with a general forum.

Technique, equipment, engineering and production are all now so inexorably intertwined.

J

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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
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Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Jennifer Jones]
      #942317 - 21/09/11 10:37 AM
If we go back to an MRT forum we'll have to split out a separate mics forum and a separate mastering forum and... so I don't think we'll be going back in that direction.

Everything about audio is inherently intertwined to some degree, but the forum divisions are largely notional and symbolic.

There does seem to us to be a logical division between the recording stage and associated equipment/technqiues from the production side, technique and technology... but if a involves both, post it where ever you feel most appropriate.

Looking at the post stats, the total daily numbers seem pretty consistent and stable.

hugh

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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. . . Delete This
Here be Dragons


Joined: 23/06/08
Posts: 3888
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #942338 - 21/09/11 11:52 AM
i have to say i totally do not comprehend the current "logical division"


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6772
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #942340 - 21/09/11 12:08 PM
Quote Off duty BBQ lighter AKA Idris:

i have to say i totally do not comprehend the current "logical division"




TBH I' I am past caring! I just stick things where I think they should go and let the mods move it. Hasn't happened yet.

In general I have come to terms with the changes, NOT because I agree with them or like them, just can't be A'ed to argue anymore (That's how "they" get ya you see, "waterboarding" in print!)

I never did get an answer about the noob removal so I can only go with my original idea that SoS feels it is a bit above that sort of thing.

Dave.


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Here be Dragons


Joined: 23/06/08
Posts: 3888
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: ef37a]
      #942347 - 21/09/11 12:47 PM
no, i get the removal of noob..... Q: why come to SOS forums...? A :: to make use of the collective expertise...


Q: where does the collective expertise hang out...

A: generally not in the newbies forum.





Proposal.... to get the best exposure to the most number of widest ranging experiences, recombine newbies in to main stream forums....


THAT proposal makes sense to me.




what also made sense to me was the proposal to roll DIY, and Mic and parts of MRT in to a Hardware forum... and the rest in to a technique forum....


for the record, this was my proposal

Quote:

what about rethinking the approach a bit ...



1) Music = Theory, performance, Mix review, user soundfiles, song writing and composition.

2) Hardware, = DIY , Mics, Vintage gear, and ALL other hardware

3) Technique. = threads to do with the practice of use of 2, to achieve 1. and general topical discussion....

4) Instrument Technologies. Roll guitar and Synths up together. get some drum threads in there as well....

5) Live Sound

6) Business (and Web)

7) PC, (i would actually like to roll PC and Mac up and see what happened, but that is asking for trouble, that we can happily live without. )

8) Other OS

9) Mac

10) Studio Design & Acoustics

11) Product & Industry News

12) Musicians Lounge

13) Combined SOS feedback and support.... (they really don't need separating out surely?? no one takes much notice of topic relevancy when they post )






clearly it did not get accepted .


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Jennifer Jones
Web Editor, Support & Social Media


Joined: 06/11/07
Posts: 1101
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #942351 - 21/09/11 01:02 PM
Quote Off duty BBQ lighter AKA Idris:

...

for the record, this was my proposal

Quote:

what about rethinking the approach a bit ...

1) Music = Theory, performance, Mix review, user soundfiles, song writing and composition.
2) Hardware, = DIY , Mics, Vintage gear, and ALL other hardware
3) Technique. = threads to do with the practice of use of 2, to achieve 1. and general topical discussion....
4) Instrument Technologies. Roll guitar and Synths up together. get some drum threads in there as well....
5) Live Sound
6) Business (and Web)
7) PC, (i would actually like to roll PC and Mac up and see what happened, but that is asking for trouble, that we can happily live without. )
8) Other OS
9) Mac
10) Studio Design & Acoustics
11) Product & Industry News
12) Musicians Lounge
13) Combined SOS feedback and support.... (they really don't need separating out surely?? no one takes much notice of topic relevancy when they post )





clearly it did not get accepted .




Actually, to be fair, quite a number of those ideas are reflected by the current structure - with the exceptions of the amalgamations, although the Recording/Production and DESDA forums go some way towards what you put forward as ideas. The merging of support & feedback, well, I do believe these are best kept separate, actually - it helps forum members know there is a dedicated place to go for bug reports/errors and help etc., with a separate place again for voicing opinions on what SOS is doing.

Quite a number of people voiced opinions on the structure, and quite a few suggested a whole restructure idea. Nobody's redesign was chosen above all others, taken in its entirety and used as the permanent new structure. And, actually, that's the sign of a good forum - one that takes into account several people's views, and also one that changes after feedback and with time. That's what we did here - consulted the moderating team, changed the structure to reflect a large group of views, then asked for feedback from the community and adapted accordingly.

What I'm saying is - nobody should feel shunned that their ideas weren't all used. It's very difficult to keep everyone happy, as you well know

Obviously we are sorry that we can't please everyone - it would be nice! - but we hope we've managed to address most of the biggest complaints in the most efficient way possible, whilst also retaining the SOS stamp of quality.

--------------------
SOS Web Editor, Support & Social Media
Friend SOS on Facebook | Follow SOS on Twitter


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6772
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #942359 - 21/09/11 01:24 PM
"no, i get the removal of noob..... Q: why come to SOS forums...? A :: to make use of the collective expertise...


Q: where does the collective expertise hang out...

A: generally not in the newbies forum.





Proposal.... to get the best exposure to the most number of widest ranging experiences, recombine newbies in to main stream forums....


THAT proposal makes sense to me."

Unless of course you are a noob. Which of course Idris you are not!

Dave.(close it up a bit mate I get wrapped!)

--------------------
#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 21736
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #942369 - 21/09/11 01:50 PM
Quote Off duty BBQ lighter AKA Idris:

i have to say i totally do not comprehend the current "logical division"




I think the same could be said of many in the mod and managemetn teams who considered your proposals and failed to comprehend your division between hardware and techniques.

The simple and obvious fact is that there are lots of different ways of sub-dividing content but none will satisfy all needs or expectations. We debated many different options extensively and arrived at a solution democratically, that we felt was the best overall compromise. This was subsequently tweaked further to take into account some practical experience and the feedback of an even wider group.

The vast majority of forum users seem to have accepted and are able to use the new structure perfectly well and the moderators aren't having to move many posts about at all.

hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4501
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Jennifer Jones]
      #942438 - 21/09/11 08:19 PM
Well, I have to admit that having spent a few minutes trying to come up with perfectly elegant forum structure that I could offer up before relaxing in the shade of my enormous brain, I see that it's not that simple. I'm sure I'll get used to the existing structure.

Jack

--------------------
www.jackruston.com


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 21736
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Jack Ruston]
      #942504 - 22/09/11 08:58 AM


hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Kevin Nolan
member


Joined: 12/01/03
Posts: 785
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Jennifer Jones]
      #942996 - 24/09/11 08:01 PM
Suggest a forum for Apps (iOS and Android). SOS could lead the way in generating discussion; perhaps helping that industry towards maturity.

Kevin.


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Mike Stranks
active member


Joined: 03/01/03
Posts: 3711
Loc: Oxford, UK
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Kevin Nolan]
      #943009 - 24/09/11 09:57 PM
Quote Kevin Nolan:

Suggest a forum for Apps (iOS and Android). SOS could lead the way in generating discussion; perhaps helping that industry towards maturity.

Kevin.




"Other Computers/OS Music
A place to discuss all other computers and operating systems, including Atari, Linux and mobile app discussions.
"


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Kevin Nolan
member


Joined: 12/01/03
Posts: 785
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Mike Stranks]
      #943011 - 24/09/11 10:27 PM
Atari - and Apps - on the same forum - I don't think so (and in any case you can see it's a sideline forum not used much).

Apps is a vital, current and maturing ares that's becoming more and more important. It's a new paradigm and deserves and needs a forum. I can't believe SOS have not instigated one given their recent upgrades.


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zenguitarModerator
active member


Joined: 05/12/02
Posts: 8766
Loc: Devon
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Kevin Nolan]
      #943015 - 24/09/11 11:50 PM
But to be fair Kevin, there is already a place in the forum for Apps. That it is there already and yet not much used tends to negate your arguments.

If you are developing and discussing Apps, that's the place to use. And don't forget that no matter what forum a post appears in it appears in Todays Active Topics and new posts appear on the home page under Latest Posts.

So, the short answer is; the forum is already there, it's up to you and others to use it.

Andy

--------------------
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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Kevin Nolan
member


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Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: zenguitar]
      #943043 - 25/09/11 09:31 AM
All fair points Andy - can't argue with any of that ( drat - love a good old debate !!) :-)

I suppose in the back of my mind I'm looking for others to take the lead on this. There are a few genuine technical / configuration / "state of affairs" type issues/questions I have on fairly major apps that I haven't bothered to post and will look to post in the near future.

Cheers,
Kevin.


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zenguitarModerator
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Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Jennifer Jones]
      #943050 - 25/09/11 11:11 AM
Thanks Kevin,

and you are right, it is a fast developing area and one that I know SOS is following closely. Both with an Apps column in the magazine and behind the scenes work on developing an App for the magazine.

We'll have a chat in the mods forum and keep an eye on developments. Things aren't written in stone so even if we can't move the furniture again, there's no reason why we can't do a little decorating and freshen that forum up a bit. Replace the dated 80's look with a modern retro 80's look

Andy

--------------------
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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Chris Charles



Joined: 25/01/09
Posts: 108
Loc: Perth Hills, West Australia
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Jennifer Jones]
      #959402 - 17/12/11 03:41 PM
OK, Here’s a pitch for returning the Newbie Forum please.


Newbie Forums are a ‘special case’ on technical sites for the following reasons:


    1. Newbies are the potential future. Not just for the industry in general but for your magazine subscriptions, and your forums, and for the ongoing business health of the advertisers who support you. Any business that overlooks the value of encouraging newbies - however much they may repeat the same old questions - is not being very savvy. Nearly 50 years of successful business experience has taught me this over and over, in many different environments.

    2. Newbies are often nervous about looking foolish, dumb or ill-informed and can be reluctant to post questions in a more ‘high powered’ environment. So they may simply try elsewhere.

    3. Typically, newbies won’t understand a fraction of the answers in the mainstream forums, or even the questions. Again, this is likely to send them elsewhere to look for answers


By contrast, an established newbie forum can provide the following benefits:


    1. Initially, it’s an obvious place to lurk and read answers to questions at the level that they themselves would like to ask, or may soon be asking.

    2. An environment where it is not just permissible, but actually expected, that questions may be naive, poorly worded, regularly asked before, etc and where posters can comfortably ask such questions without some patronising jerk putting them down or posting pathetic things like “Google is your friend” or “Use the search Engine”.

    3. A place where other newbies have a chance to support each other and discuss things in their own ‘entry level’ fashion.

    4. A place where members with intermediate levels of experience and knowledge can begin to share and assist whilst they still remember what it was like to know bugger all. Learning from people who are just a bit further up the track than you are, and who are not yet experts, has proven to be a very powerful way to learn in many fields. The language and knowledge background gap between newbie and expert can be a lot harder to cross than many people realise, once they aren’t newbies themselves any more.



There are always going to be people who are irritated by seeing the same questions being asked by new posters. Giving the newbies their own place means that you don’t have to visit if helping newcomers isn’t your thing.

Conversely, there will always be people who take great pleasure in sharing what they know and in encouraging newcomers. They will still visit a Newbie forum expressly to assist.

Newbies to the wonderful world of sound aren’t all spotty impoverished youths looking for ultra cheap solutions. They come in all ages and with all budget ranges. I've always found that total newcomers are worth respecting, valuing and assisting, not just because it’s a friendly thing to do but because it’s also a sound business strategy. The best way to do that, and to emphasise that SOS is "Newcomer Friendly" and not just for geeks and pros, might be to give them their own forum back.


Cheers,

Chris

Ex Newbie in some sound area - perpetual newbie in others, as yet unexplored.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 21736
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Chris Charles]
      #959405 - 17/12/11 04:09 PM
Quote Chris Charles:

1. Newbies are the potential future.




Agreed... and we're definitely not trying to discourage them -- quite the reverse, in fact.

Quote:

2. Newbies are often nervous about looking foolish, dumb or ill-informed and can be reluctant to post questions in a more ‘high powered’ environment.




You first point is valid -- but rather than offering the rather patronising kindergarten 'newbies forum' we believe it is far better to make the forums as a whole more welcoming and more embracing, and to remove any notion of it being a hostile 'high-powered' environment. And I think we achieve exactly that each and every day here.

Quote:

3. Typically, newbies won’t understand a fraction of the answers in the mainstream forums, or even the questions.




Possibly, but that will encourage them to learn -- and to ask if they don't understand. We would much rather that they participate in all the forums we have to offer where they will benefit from a broad range of help and guidance from a broad range of other forum users. There are plenty of examples of forum threads where the level of the answers has been tailored very well to the knowledge and requirements of the poster.

Quote:

Initially, it’s an obvious place to lurk and read answers to questions at the level that they themselves would like to ask, or may soon be asking.




It might be an obvious place, but it would inherently exlude them from benefiting from the wide
range of discussions at all technical and ability levels that exist on the other forums -- and since most of our more experienced contributors didn't frequent the old newbies forum it would also exclude the potentially very valuable contibutions that would and do appear from them in the main forums.

Quote:

2. An environment where it is not just permissible, but actually expected, that questions may be naive, poorly worded, regularly asked before




We don't have any problems with naive or popular questions appearing in any of the forums, or with questions from those for whom English isn't a first language. And anyone who reacts negatively to such posts will be appropriately reprimanded. As I stated earlier, our aim is to be as all-embacing and supportive as possible. Genuine questions will always get genuine and helpful answers, regardless of the knowledge and experience of the orignal poster -- everyone knows we all had to start somewhere!

Quote:

...where posters can comfortably ask such questions without some patronising jerk putting them down or posting pathetic things like “Google is your friend” or “Use the search Engine”.




To be fair, we know our search engine isn't very good and responses like this were just as likely to appear in a dedicated newbies forum as anywhere else. However, minimising the number of active forums makes it easier for the mod team to spot and deal with inappropriate responses, and the greater traffic of experienced and supportive forum users will outweigh any such negative responses with more constructive ones anyway... which is exactly what we're seeing.

It's also the case that posting in the main forums focuses the mind and so newbies do tend to put in a little more effort and try a little harder to find solution to simple questions before asking in public. Our old dedicated newbie forum was full of lazy, trivial questions -- and sometimes being geninely supportive does mean telling someone to do some simple reasearch on their own first!

Quote:

3. A place where other newbies have a chance to support each other and discuss things in their own ‘entry level’ fashion.




Which they can do perfectly well within any relevant thread in any forum...

Quote:

4. A place where members with intermediate levels of experience and knowledge can begin to share and assist whilst they still remember what it was like to know bugger all.




I think we all remember that feeling... In my experience, the people who know the most are usually the first to offer constructive help and advice. The patronising and negative comments are usually from those who are barely out of newbie territority themselves and have moer interest in 'bigging themselves up'.

Quote:

Learning from people who are just a bit further up the track than you are, and who are not yet experts, has proven to be a very powerful way to learn in many fields.




I disagree entirely -- it's usually the best way to learn the wrong things, because such 'mentors' often still don't understand the big picture and lack the experience to qualify what they think they know.

Quote:

There are always going to be people who are irritated by seeing the same questions being asked by new posters.




Yes there are... but that's what moderation is for.

Quote:

Giving the newbies their own place means that you don’t have to visit if helping newcomers isn’t your thing.




Equally, no one has to contribute to every thread in any of the forums we offer. Most Newbie threads are indeed titled as NEWBIE: -- which serves exactly the right purpose.

As I hope you can see, Chris, that we really do understand all your points and observations. This is something we discussed at considerable length when we started thinking about re-organising the forum structure, and all these arguments were raised then too. But after much thought, discussion and pondering we decided that not having a newbie forum and of encouraging better integration within the forums as a whole was the better solution, and more reflective of the values that SOS holds important.

And so far it seems to be working very nicely.

Hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6772
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Chris Charles]
      #959410 - 17/12/11 04:29 PM
Could not have put it nearly so well myself Chris.

I think that requires a very detailed and convicing defense if a newby section is still resisted.

Dave.

--------------------
#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#


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desmond



Joined: 10/01/06
Posts: 9005
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: ef37a]
      #959412 - 17/12/11 04:41 PM
Personally, I'm with Hugh on this.

I barely even looked in the Newbie forum, but I'm far more likely to comment on a newbie thread if it's in the regular places I hang out. Making a special little room for the newbies to hang out in seems a little patronising to me... if all you have is a room full of newbies - who's going to be in there to help them, apart from the moderators?


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zenguitarModerator
active member


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Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Jennifer Jones]
      #959413 - 17/12/11 04:46 PM
And to add to Hugh's response. When we had a newbies forum many newbies chose to post in the regular forums anyway. They were always made welcome, questions were answered, and the members never sent them packing to the newbies forum.

And, whilst there will always be exceptions, newbies posting in the main forums seemed more likely to keep active in the forums than those who posted in the newbie forum.

Andy

--------------------
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.


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Chris Charles



Joined: 25/01/09
Posts: 108
Loc: Perth Hills, West Australia
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #959458 - 18/12/11 12:21 AM
Thanks for taking the time to respond Hugh.


Quote:


You first point is valid -- but rather than offering the rather patronising kindergarten 'newbies forum' we believe it is far better to make the forums as a whole more welcoming and more embracing, and to remove any notion of it being a hostile 'high-powered' environment. And I think we achieve exactly that each and every day here.





A Newbie forum might seem patronising to an expert, but it doesn't to most newbies - it seems reassuring. That may be why so many people have requested its return on this thread. There's nothing stopping people posting in both environments - I certainly did when i first arrived.



Quote:


It might be an obvious place, but it would inherently exlude them from benefiting from the wide
range of discussions at all technical and ability levels that exist on the other forums




It didn't exclude them (us) before, it simply provided a welcome 'nursery slope' to take their first steps.

Quote:

since most of our more experienced contributors didn't frequent the old newbies forum it would also exclude the potentially very valuable contibutions that would and do appear from them in the main forums.




It didn't seem that way to me. There weren't any walls round the newbie section. When I posted there I got help from some very experienced members, some intermediate level posters and some other newbies. The fact that some 'gurus' didn't post there didn't mean that none did. In fact I found it extremely useful to switch around between the different levels of forums and compare answers on similar topics by other posters.


Quote:



It's also the case that posting in the main forums focuses the mind and so newbies do tend to put in a little more effort and try a little harder to find solution to simple questions before asking in public. Our old dedicated newbie forum was full of lazy, trivial questions -- and sometimes being geninely supportive does mean telling someone to do some simple reasearch on their own first!




That's exactly what I mean - "full of lazy, trivial questions". To you that's a pain and a waste of space, and understandable so. But to many real newbies it's not. You are applying a cut-off point based on your own perceptions (which I'm sure that I would also do in your position.. ) but some of those stumbling 'lazy' posters will still buy your advertisers' products and may still develop into valuable members/subscribers. I can be as elitist as the next man, but I've found that in the long run it's more beneficial to patiently groom and educate the apparently lazy and cloddish than to tick them off or shoo them away, even unintentionally. You can't see the lurkers who vanish and the nervous newbs who you miss because they don't manage to ''focus the minds" enough to get started, but they do exist.


Quote:

Quote:

Learning from people who are just a bit further up the track than you are, and who are not yet experts, has proven to be a very powerful way to learn in many fields.




I disagree entirely -- it's usually the best way to learn the wrong things, because such 'mentors' often still don't understand the big picture and lack the experience to qualify what they think they know.




That's true too, but I believe that it's a risk worth running. 'Expert's can rarely concede that anybody below them might be better at explaining things, but nevertheless it can be true. There's even a research term for it "Coping Model" - which refers to the style of mentor that many people, in real life, actually learn best from. It's typically somebody who is only moderately higher up the mountain than the student, somebody who talks the same language, still thinks in similar ways, and often who has relatively recently learned the answer to the question. It's the mate who shows you a few chords on guitar as opposed to a Segovia masterclass.

There's also the point that experts don't agree anyway, and some of the bitterest disagreements are between rival experts. You can get wrong information from experts too. But even more likely is that you can get advice that is actually 100% correct, and that the student claims to understand but actually doesn't, and therefore goes away with erroneous ideas. There's no single perfect answer, and a spread of opportunities is always good. I know that you'll say that a spread is available in the regular forums - and it is - but the Newbie forum gave it in a very useful way. Sometimes the consumer perspective can only truly be judged by asking the consumers themselves.



Quote:

As I hope you can see, Chris, that we really do understand all your points and observations.




I do appreciate your reading and responding Hugh, but your degree of understanding mostly seems to be employed to tell me at length that I'm wrong. I believe that they are valid points, and that all the others who asked for the return of the Newbie forum might have good reasons too.


Quote:

we decided that not having a newbie forum and of encouraging better integration within the forums as a whole was the better solution, and more reflective of the values that SOS holds important.






That's the bottom line though. It's your show and you can run it how you like. That's the great thing about being in control. If you want to keep the discussions above a certain level the that's fair enough. You are doing a great job, and I regularly recommend SOS on other forums.

However, I'm still happy to politely put a pitch in for the people below that line because there are vast armies of them. They may seem (and indeed be) ignorant and lazy, and they may ask trivial questions, but at some level they do want to learn and, from a business perspective they're worth catering for. I know that you say that the new arrangement does that, but it's a bit like somebody saying that they've bulldozed the local McDonalds and built a better restaurant with classier and more nourishing food, and that it will undoubtedly be better for them. It might be true, but the punters probably won't use that logic (attractive though it might be to me personally...) - and many will just find a McDonalds somewhere else. What appeals to customers is not always about quality, it's about their feeling comfortable.

I think a Newbie forum was a useful addition to your range and that ditching it probably lost more than was gained. But that's just my $9.99 worth (2c worth doesn't buy what it used too... )

Cheers,

Chris


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6772
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Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Jennifer Jones]
      #959473 - 18/12/11 09:00 AM
The responses from "the management" were certainly detailed but, to me unconvincing.

So "they", the know everythings, got together and decided that a newb section was not required? Bit like politicians with a degree in politics and having no knowledge (or have forgotten) of the real world, deciding what is best for "us".

Sure, the powers that be can organize "their" forum anyway they like, smacks a bit of a posh golf club tho'. I frequent other forums and have suggested SoS on occaision but not now to the absolute newb.

However they wriggle on this one I shall always be of the opinion that SoS finds the concept of a newbie section beneath their dignity. I shall stop now lest I, unlike the ever forbearing Chris, say something impolite.

Dave.


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Chris Charles



Joined: 25/01/09
Posts: 108
Loc: Perth Hills, West Australia
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: ef37a]
      #959489 - 18/12/11 11:39 AM
Quote ef37a:


However they wriggle on this one I shall always be of the opinion that SoS finds the concept of a newbie section beneath their dignity.
Dave.




You could be right Dave, but I guess that it's not unusual for magazines and/or forums to want to set their sights above a certain line which is, as Hugh puts it, "more reflective of the values that SOS holds important." It might sound a bit snooty to some, but we still have to accept their right to make the choices they want to. The 'rights' of customers are often confined to either wearing the staff decisions or looking elsewhere.

But it is appropriate for us to ask what they actually mean when they invite us, in the description for this sub-forum, to:

“help to improve the magazine, website and forums, so they deliver what YOU want to see.” (their capitals for YOU)

You can't please everybody, but what does that mean in practice? An answer to these questions might help clarify things. Most businesses, whether they are in manufacturing, sales, services, or whatever, need to ask them at some stage.


    1. Does SOS believe there's any value in paying attention to their consumers' requests and opinions, even though they may not necessarily agree with them?

    2. If the answer is "Yes" then how many people need to make a similar request before you might respond by actually making a change? Five or ten? Hundreds? A numberless horde? Are we getting close or wasting our time?



Cheers,

Chris


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The Elf
active member


Joined: 14/08/01
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Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: zenguitar]
      #959497 - 18/12/11 12:32 PM
FWIW I still feel that not having a Newbies forum probably makes it intimidating for newcomers.

But if SOS's figures show lots of joiners I'm happy to be proved wrong.

--------------------
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 21736
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Chris Charles]
      #959498 - 18/12/11 12:38 PM
Quote Chris Charles:

A Newbie forum might seem patronising to an expert, but it doesn't to most newbies - it seems reassuring. That may be why so many people have requested its return on this thread.




Not many -- I think we've had maybe half a dozen or so people requesting it -- none of whom are newbies! As I said earlier, we've given it a lot of thought and arrived at the decision that it is better all round to make the existing forums appear welcoming to newbies.

Quote:

That's exactly what I mean - "full of lazy, trivial questions". To you that's a pain and a waste of space, and understandable so. But to many real newbies it's not.




I think there is a distinction between asking about something that is trivial but not obvious, versus asking about something that is very obvious and extremely easy to find the answer. We seemed to get quite a few of the latter in the old Newbies forum, and that really wasn't a good thing either for the poster or those who felt obliged to contribute something in response.

Quote:

I've found that in the long run it's more beneficial to patiently groom and educate the apparently lazy and cloddish than to tick them off or shoo them away, even unintentionally.




As I'm sure you know, I spend a huge amount of time here helping as many people as I possibly can at all levels, and with almost limitless patience where necessary. But I don't think it's unreasonable to expect anyone with genuine interest to do at leasy some initial foot work themselves. We seem to see more of that with the current arrangement than with the previous one.

Quote:

There's also the point that experts don't agree anyway




Not just 'experts' -- we are talking about asethetics and preferences as much as technical facts, and there will always be differing opinions on the 'best' way of dealing with any situation. But considering these contrary viewpoints is educational in itself.

Quote:

your degree of understanding mostly seems to be employed to tell me at length that I'm wrong.




That wasn't the intention -- I was trying to explain why we made the decision to remove the Newbies forum. I thought it would help if I offered the countering arguments to your own. Sorry if that came across ina more negative way. All I can say is that we didn't decide to close the Newbie forum on a whim, or just to annoy newbies, or just becuase none of us could be bothered with them! Nothing could be further fromt he truth! The fact is that it was a very carefully considered decisions, and one we are entirely comfortable with after allowing things to 'bed in' and settle down. Your points are valid to some extent... and so too are ours.

Some people may prefer that the forums were arranged differently, or that the content in the magazine was different in some way... but we do the things we do carefully for considered reasons. There are a range of underlying pressures and influences that shape those decisions which may be mostly practical, or ethical, or aesthetic, or the preference of the management team, or feedback from people such as yourself, or whatever. But at the end of the day, this is the product that we are producing at the moment.

Maybe, if we get deluged by people asking for a Newbies forum, and we feel that it is something we should provide, we'll go down that road at some point in the future -- as we did with the Musicians' Lounge forum, for example -- but we're not seeing that level of demand at the moment and there are plenty of newbies posts in the other forums which makes us think our aim of achieving proper integration and mutual support is working quite well.

hugh

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6772
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: The Elf]
      #959501 - 18/12/11 12:51 PM
Quote The Elf:

FWIW I still feel that not having a Newbies forum probably makes it intimidating for newcomers.

But if SOS's figures show lots of joiners I'm happy to be proved wrong.




Can't prove what you never see!

Dave.`

--------------------
#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 21736
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: ef37a]
      #959502 - 18/12/11 12:53 PM
Quote ef37a:

The responses from "the management" were certainly detailed but, to me unconvincing.




Sorry Dave...

Quote:

So "they", the know everythings, got together and decided that a newb section was not required?




There's no need for the 'us and them' attitude -- we're real people, who are reasonably intelligent and do things for genuine reasons after careful thought. You may choose to disagree, and that's fair enough, but at least respect our right to make such decisions.

Quote:

I shall always be of the opinion that SoS finds the concept of a newbie section beneath their dignity.




I respect your opinion, Dave, and I entirely disagree with it. I have spent half my working life helping to train newbies and I'm quite insulted that you feel that I (and we) deem newbies in some way 'beneath our dignity'!

The magazine prints countless articles helping to educate 'newbies'... but in most cases we try to design our articles so that everyone finds something of interest and value in them regardless of their level of expertise. We have always tried to embrace all levels in what we do and that's exactly what we're trying to do here. It doesn't matter what level of knowledge someone has; what's important is that they can post their question in a logical place and get a sensible answer. If you want to know about where to place your mic to record something, you post it in the recording techniques forum along with everyone else.

Hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


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Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Chris Charles]
      #959506 - 18/12/11 01:03 PM
Quote Chris Charles:

I guess that it's not unusual for magazines and/or forums to want to set their sights above a certain line which is, as Hugh puts it, "more reflective of the values that SOS holds important."




You make it sound like we're setting some kind of 'quality threshold', which is totally wrong.

The values we hold important are about the sharing of knowledge and the integration of newcomers into a welcoming, supportive and embracing culture -- not to fence them away behind the padded walls of a dedicated but utterly patronising newbies forum which has the affect of isolating people and possibly creating the impression that they are not worthy of playing with the 'big boys'.

Quote:

But it is appropriate for us to ask what they actually mean




Yes of course it is, and that's why I've spent a chunk of my weekend paying you the respect of answering your question and explaining the basis of our decisions.

Quote:

how many people need to make a similar request before you might respond by actually making a change?




Probably a lot more than the half a dozen or so we've seen active in this and similar threads. it would be a combination of opnions we get here and in direct feedback, as well as impressions and comments gathered at trade shows, seminars, college Q&A events and so on. It's precisely that kind of feedback, amassed over a period of time, that lead to the changes we made earlier this year.

Hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


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Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: ef37a]
      #959507 - 18/12/11 01:06 PM
Quote ef37a:

Can't prove what you never see!




The Christmas Spirit hasn't arrived in your neck of the woods yet, then Dave?

For your (and the Elf's) information:

New users in past 24 hours 4
New users in past 7 days 59
New users in past month 333

Hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6772
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #959510 - 18/12/11 01:19 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:

Quote ef37a:

Can't prove what you never see!




The Christmas Spirit hasn't arrived in your neck of the woods yet, then Dave?

For your (and the Elf's) information:

New users in past 24 hours 4
New users in past 7 days 59
New users in past month 333

Hugh




But what you cannot know is what those figures would be if you had a newbies section!

Yes, Christmas has arrived at chez Dave Hugh and I wish you and all the staff a very happy time of it!

Dave.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 21736
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Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: ef37a]
      #959528 - 18/12/11 03:20 PM
Quote ef37a:

But what you cannot know is what those figures would be if you had a newbies section!




Au contraire, my argumentative friend!

We know what the figures were when we had the previous Newbies section, and there appears to be no significant difference in the volume of new forum members.

hugh

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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The Elf
active member


Joined: 14/08/01
Posts: 9437
Loc: Sheffield, UK
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #959530 - 18/12/11 03:46 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:

Quote ef37a:

But what you cannot know is what those figures would be if you had a newbies section!




Au contraire, my argumentative friend!

We know what the figures were when we had the previous Newbies section, and there appears to be no significant difference in the volume of new forum members.

hugh



Then I'm wrong, but I'm pleased to have been part of the discussion!

--------------------
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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6772
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #959538 - 18/12/11 04:21 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:

Quote ef37a:

But what you cannot know is what those figures would be if you had a newbies section!




Au contraire, my argumentative friend!

We know what the figures were when we had the previous Newbies section, and there appears to be no significant difference in the volume of new forum members.

hugh




Ah! But after the Great Panjandrum of The Changes, potential newbs could have been put off. Had you had a newbs section still the message would have been different.

Who said "A week is a long time in...." Fill in as appropriate!

Dave.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 21736
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: ef37a]
      #959635 - 19/12/11 11:36 AM
Quote ef37a:

Ah! But after the Great Panjandrum of The Changes, potential newbs could have been put off.




... and they might not... We're in Schrodinger's cat territory here aren't we?

The fact is that the number of new members joining the forums has remained remarkably consistent before and after The Changes... which seems to imply that the absence of a Newbies forum isn't putting people of joining and participating at all.

Hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6772
Loc: northampton uk
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #959641 - 19/12/11 11:49 AM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:

Quote ef37a:

Ah! But after the Great Panjandrum of The Changes, potential newbs could have been put off.




... and they might not... We're in Schrodinger's cat territory here aren't we?

The fact is that the number of new members joining the forums has remained remarkably consistent before and after The Changes... which seems to imply that the absence of a Newbies forum isn't putting people of joining and participating at all.

Hugh




But! Put it back and you might get more. What do you have to lose since you say the Newb section did not change things?

--------------------
#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


Joined: 25/07/03
Posts: 21736
Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Forum Changes - Give Your Feedback new [Re: ef37a]
      #959659 - 19/12/11 12:40 PM
Quote ef37a:

But! Put it back and you might get more.




But there is no tangible evidence to suggest that might be the case, and it would still be in opposition to the philosophy that we embrace.

Quote:

What do you have to lose since you say the Newb section did not change things?




We have lost the devisive and patronising separation of newbies from everyone else! And we think that's a good thing even if one or two people don't.

Shall we move on now? I think we've debated this fully around the table and back.

Hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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