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Announcement: Changes to All Together Now
5 March 2018
7.20pm
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meanmistermustard
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I am not and will not be in favour of a private ATN sub-forum. I don't like the idea of a separate sub-forum on here where certain members can sneak off to and discuss life and interact with each other whilst others are pressed up against the hall trying to find the hidden door handle. We should be all as one when communicating not having some kind of elitist set-up where entry is granted after so many posts or minutes since you joined the forum. The reviewer's section was entirely different, lasted a very short time, and is no longer active (I believe). 

 

The idea of bringing more mods in to handle ATN would not address the issue of ATN needing heavily trimmed, it's just hiring more gardeners to tend to the ever-growing and expanding weeds (weeds being unwanted plants for whatever reason).

 

No need to apologise to me, @SpecialCup, but thank you. I get your reasoning and better to state your thoughts here so we can discuss openly and freely than hang back.

 

In regards to the contributions made to the forum, we are always very mindful of the time, effort and input people put into not only posting but making the forum what it is, be it if the individual has been here for 1 minute or since the forum started (except for pesky spammers - they can go and swim in a vat of flaming pot noodles blue-meanie). We mods do consider how our actions will affect the board and how members will feel when we do act, it's why we explain our decisions where we feel it's the right thing to do and why this discussion is happening. It is often a very easy forum to moderate, and we are very grateful for the effort others put in to maintain that, but we do have to address the issue of ATN 's continued expansion. At the very least, even if people don't like what we are doing, think we are going to destroy the forum and end up with 3 posts a year, hopefully, they can recognise that.

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"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

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5 March 2018
7.22pm
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vonbontee
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Like several others, I simultaneously lament and understand this decision of Joe's to pare down the ATN section, which threatens to overtake the forum entirely - the forum which itself threatens to overtake this wondrous and invaluable website. (A gift to the world!) As before the 2014 purge, there are indeed many navel-gazey threads, to which I've contributed my share of pointless posts; absolutely nobody needs to know that I'm eating yet another Granny Smith apple right now....

...but damn it, I've got to do a bit of special pleading on behalf of the non-Beatles music threads. (Or at the very least, two of them.) One of the obvious things this community has in common is that we all love music, even if there exists as few as four musicians out of millions that we all agree upon. But I know that there ARE more than four, and that number can only grow when we know what each other likes...

(sorry, longish post in progress temporarily stalled...to be completed and edited, bear with me...)

...anyways, I'm hear to make a case in particular for the "Turn It Up/Down" and the "What are you listening to now?" threads. Both provide a valuable insight into and examples of participating forumers' likes and dislikes, which are never less than interesting and occasionally revelatory - I find them both together almost an alternative radio station-like entity, programmed entirely by-and-for this wonderful community! Too few of 'em imo - I'd love to see more forum regulars like Starr Shine or ewe2, or Pineapple Records or our hardworking longtime mods or (especially) @Joe himself show up more than occasionally to post a favourite. And maybe a few words about what it means to them. 

(Also, in the case of the listening thread, I like to think I've made a genuinely useful contribution to the site by turning all my posts in that thread  into defacto "This date in Beatles history" hyperlinks-to-the-appropriate History page based on recording date, which I always painstakingly provide! I love the concept of 60s music synchronicity - it thrills me to contemplate the fact that music as timeless as "Can't Buy Me Love " and Eric Dolphy's Out To Lunch LP were created on the very same day, it does. And each post hopefully drives traffic to the History section (except for the rare pure-joke ones, the ones that fall outside the timeframe - they don't link to nuthin.) The Beatles' entire story deserves to written down, and Joe did just that, and it deserves to be read.)

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Someone said 'What were you gonna do when it's all finished,' and I said 'I don't know but it'd be good fun being a DJ.' And since then I've become a DJ, only by word of mouth, you know. SO any minute now you'll read, 'Ringo leaves to become a DJ' but it's not true. - Ringo Starr

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5 March 2018
7.40pm
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Ahhh Girl
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If the private forum would be for anyone who wants to join, except spammers of course, I wouldn't have a problem with it. That way, only those who want to see non-Beatles threads would see them. Of course, I defer to Joe's call on the idea.

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5 March 2018
9.21pm
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Ahhh Girl
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Ahhh Girl said
If the private forum would be for anyone who wants to join, except spammers of course, I wouldn't have a problem with it. That way, only those who want to see non-Beatles threads would see them. Of course, I defer to Joe's call on the idea.  

I will say, though, that I would be in favor of leaving out and not make new Philosophy, news, and controversial ideas threads. If folks want to talk about those subjects with other forumpudlians, use Starr Shine?'s forum.

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5 March 2018
10.06pm
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Starr Shine?
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The idea of bringing more mods in to handle ATN would not address the issue of ATN needing heavily trimmed, it's just hiring more gardeners to tend to the ever-growing and expanding weeds (weeds being unwanted plants for whatever reason).

Using your analogy, this could be setting fire to a garden to get rid of the weeds while the town folk rush in to save that favorite growths.

Some get burned, others succeed.

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WeepingAtlasCedars

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5 March 2018
11.23pm
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WeepingAtlasCedars
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I respect Joe's opinion and can see where he's coming from, however, I believe that the removal of the majority of ATN would hardly be "getting better". @SpecialCup and @Starr Shine? (her latest comment) have already put it very well.

No, this isn't my forum, and no, we really shouldn't have a 'which shade of green is your favourite' thread, but the possibility of having much of ATN locked feels like a punishment for something I'm really not guilty of. I can remember many bad days in the past two years when visiting the forum cheered me up and distracted me from what I was upset about for awhile. This forum is like my escape, and to have part of it that I really love taken away feels like much more than a kick in the pants. It hurts; it really does. Even though this is a personal part of it, I'm sure many others here have had those days when the forum helped them, too. Some people just don't have another place like this.

My suggestion is that we do something like restricting the number of posts someone can make in, say, a week in the 'what are you listening to' thread; leaving the thread open, but also cutting down on the extra non-Beatles-related discussion. Whatever it is we do - and I am open to alterations of my idea - it can't be this drastic.

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5 March 2018
11.54pm
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The Hole Got Fixed
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Wonderfully put @WeepingAtlasCedars.

Yes, this is a Beatles forum, and I'll concede there's probably slightly too much non-Beatles chatter. But without ATN (or without the majority of ATN ) it would lose the sense of community, the sense of interacting with real people. Sure, the What Are You Eating Right Now thread can be inane, but without it, I wouldn't know that RN has gourmet meals on a semi-frequent basis, or that Martha (a-hard-days-night-john-3) and WeepyC have an obsession for Lebkuchen. Without that, I feel the forum will lose that important aspect of any good community - the small things that seem insignificant are actually the most important, and same goes for a conversation. I know many, if not most, conversations I have had involve some aspect of bizarre detail that really help me to get to know the other person - just this morning, I was talking to an acquaintance about food, and we went off on a slight tangent, to find we both share a love of chemistry (link: chemicals added to processed food). We will probably both share chemistry jokes with each other now, but without that bizarre conversation, which in theory was useless, we wouldn't have this new found passion. Same goes for this forum - if we aren't allowed to know what everyone else eats, reads, or what their view on politics is, we wouldn't have this wonderfully close knit community. I came to this forum because I stumbled across the Picture/song game, and really wanted to participate. Quickly, I branched out and talked lots of Beatles, but I probably would have lost interest after a while because I would have got frustrated that it seemed like I didn't actually know anyone if I didn't have ATN

I guess what I'm trying to say is, in theory it's a decent idea, but still very drastic. In practice, it will take away that extra 10% that is so often sought after that so many places/communities/forums strive to get. We have it, and if we lose it, it just won't be that special. 

But, at the end of the day, you've made your decision Joe, and no amount of bargaining or reasoning or essay writing or pleading or begging on my bended knees or frustration or imploring or beseeching will change your mind.a-hard-days-night-paul-10

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Oh, by the way, this post was made by The Hole Got Fixed!

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6 March 2018
4.27am
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Joe
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OK, I've read the many messages posted since I last logged on yesterday. Thanks to those who were understanding, even if you didn't like the proposals.

I'll reiterate that we are absolutely going to try to find a middle ground where the majority of people are reasonably happy (because, as we know, you can't please all the people all the time). I'm also not underestimating the importance of the community that many people here love.

Equally, I don't want this to be purely a Beatles forum. I have many other interests, as do we all. The main problem, I think, is that while the Venn diagram has a big space for The Beatles in the middle, the rest of it looks something like this:

Image Enlarger

The conundrum remains how to deal with all this. @The Hole Got Fixed put forward some good suggestions on what else to keep, and I'm open to other ideas. @vonbontee (or @Von Bontee) asked for non-Beatles music threads to remain. Again, I like the idea, I just don't yet know how to do it. It might be that we create a sub-forum for other music which remains largely unmoderated. I think we can agree that music brought us together, so there's common ground worth exploring, in a way that I don't think is necessary with food or sports or the many other personal passions that people might have.

At the moment it's looking like I'll lock and archive some of the older, unused and minor threads. This won't really affect anything because nobody contributes to them, but it'll give an idea of how things might go. For the rest, I'm not going to rush into anything – I'll mull things over a while longer, keep listening to you all, and work up a plan that I think will work.

Everyone, do please chime in with a list of the threads you'd rather not live without. I think it's fairly likely that the ability to create new ATN threads will eventually be removed, to avoid some of the more niche or arcane or barely relevant/interesting discussions (that damned what-are-you-eating thread, sorry, it's got to go), but we'd absolutely like to facilitate quality chat wherever possible. Let's work together, please.

Some people mentioned threading within a thread (ie the ability to have your reply nested below the one you're responding to, rather than at the bottom of the thread). I trialled this again last week but couldn't get the reply buttons to work effectively. I'll test it some more today to see if it's viable.

Thanks for the discussion. It's been good.

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6 March 2018
4.44am
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Vera Chuckandave
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Firstly, I thank Joe for such a wonderfully presented, user friendly and informative site....john-lennon-salute_gif

I'm aware that feedback is only regarded as constructive if it's what a person wishes to hear but I'll put my tuppence worth in anyway...
I feel that by blocking threads where members can discuss things that inspire and motivate them (art, literature, ALL music, films, plays, etc....) they are being denied an outlet for freedom of expression and individuality. This is only doing both them, and the forum a disservice.
I thoroughly enjoy reading the I read the news today thread and feel that members should have a corner where everyday world events can be discussed. People will disagree, and it may become rather heated at times but surely that is how passionate informed debate should be. Any unnecessary malice or character defamation can and should be moderated.
My concern is that by discontinuing all or some of these outlets, this section of the forum may simply become an extension of Facebook. This, in turn, could create a kind of forum parochialism and discourage others from posting, or indeed joining in the first place.

Thanks...paul-mccartney-thumb_gif

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6 March 2018
6.00am
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Joe
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@Vera Chuckandave said
I'm aware that feedback is only regarded as constructive if it's what a person wishes to hear but I'll put my tuppence worth in anyway...
I feel that by blocking threads where members can discuss things that inspire and motivate them (art, literature, ALL music, films, plays, etc....) they are being denied an outlet for freedom of expression and individuality. This is only doing both them, and the forum a disservice.

That's a fair comment. Any limit would undeniably deny people that opportunity for expression. The fundamental question I have is whether we *should* be the place that facilitates all those things, or whether there are more appropriate places on the web for them.

I thoroughly enjoy reading the I read the news today thread and feel that members should have a corner where everyday world events can be discussed. People will disagree, and it may become rather heated at times but surely that is how passionate informed debate should be. Any unnecessary malice or character defamation can and should be moderated.

Yep, we can and should prevent defamation and malice. But that's not often a problem here, thankfully, and it's not the motivating factor for these changes – it's the way the forum has become all-purpose and too wide-ranging (in eyes of mine and others).

As an example, I'm politically-minded, broadly left-wing, anti-Brexit. But I don't have the remotest interest in discussing any of that here, because to me it doesn't feel relevant or appropriate. People will never agree, we'll get very surface-level arguments, and it'll probably end up with a poisoned well. If I wanted a better discussion I'd join a political forum, Twitter thread or subreddit where people are there for that specific purpose.

My concern is that by discontinuing all or some of these outlets, this section of the forum may simply become an extension of Facebook. This, in turn, could create a kind of forum parochialism and discourage others from posting, or indeed joining in the first place.

Thanks...paul-mccartney-thumb_gif  

That's interesting, because by continuing all or some of these outlets, I genuinely think this section of the forum risks become ever more like Facebook. How can it not? We're only ever one new thread away from "Post your cat memes!" or "Here's a thread about my love for Person X and our wonderful holiday together" (and we've been far too close to the latter before).

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6 March 2018
6.21am
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Starr Shine?
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That is why I suggest making ATN a hidden forum. Create some pretty requirement on who can enter, establish a thread creation rule and if it isn't followed, then they person could be temp/permanently banned from that section.

With an added flood gate of members and initially hidden nature, it can't overpower the Beatles. And with the established rule from the get with the shorter member base can make moderating much easier.

Like how less cars on the road is directly preportonal to less traffic.

Also, I think it is a good time for mods to state what types of topics they don't like.

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6 March 2018
7.07am
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Zig
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WeepingAtlasCedars said
I can remember many bad days in the past {enter your duration here} years when visiting the forum cheered me up and distracted me from what I was upset about for awhile. This forum is like my escape... I'm sure many others here have had those days when the forum helped them, too. Some people just don't have another place like this.

Whatever it is we do - and I am open to alterations of my idea - it can't be this drastic.  

Well said. We can all relate. Our love of The Beatles brought us here. The sense of community keeps us here. We have all had those days when The Forum gave us some relief from whatever was dogging us. That is why we talked about keeping the vital threads like introducing, sharing what's going on in your life, etc... I also like the fact that we are trying to make something work in regard to music - love of music is essentially what brought The Beatles together after all. 

@WeepingAtlasCedars , this may seem drastic, but it's not. It has been a long time coming. Personally, I am encouraged by many of the suggestions I've read, but mostly encouraged by the fact that we are taking our time with this in order to get it right. We can't do this without everyone's help.

Thank you.

mal-evansapple01

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6 March 2018
7.08am
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Joe
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Starr Shine?, I'm not convinced that's the answer, and I don't know what the entry requirements would be. Also, I'd rather there was one rule for all members, rather than different levels of access.

Another complication is that only I (as an admin) can map forum members to user groups, which is what this would entail. It's slightly complicated to move people around, and their credentials and eligibility aren't something I'm able to keep track of at this moment in time (and I don't think it's something I ever want to get bogged down in administrating, frankly).

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6 March 2018
8.17am
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penny lane
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Joe said

That's interesting, because by continuing all or some of these outlets, I genuinely think this section of the forum risks become ever more like Facebook. How can it not? We're only ever one new thread away from "Post your cat memes!" or "Here's a thread about my love for Person X and our wonderful holiday together" (and we've been far too close to the latter before).  

Agree with that Joe. But  wouldn't choosing 3 or 4  threads which steer away from that help?   perhaps 1 that  has more of  social slant for those  who enjoy that.

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Vera Chuckandave

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6 March 2018
9.03am
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Vera Chuckandave
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Thanks for the response Joe...

Yes, I agree with the point you made regarding the I read the news today thread. The BB forum should not be the platform for intense, philosophical and/or political debate and I was not suggesting that it should be.

As regards my reference to Facebook, I feel what I said was misleading. I wouldn't have an issue with the discontinuation of the majority of ATN threads as many are (in my opinion) uninteresting with a contrived Facebooky feel to them.
However, I do think there should be, perhaps 2-3 threads dedicated to music, art, literature films etc....where people from all corners of the globe can share knowledge interests and ideas. (And I don't mean discussing in what key your dog breaks wind.....!!). paul-mccartney

And my bird can't sing......!!

6 March 2018
9.50am
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Evangeline
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Would nesting posts to the posts they are responding to, mean a lot of posts would be unread as they would be pages behind other current ones?
Then us people that are interested in reading that specific type of post would have to trawl through pages and pages to find the correct subject, and THEN find the right post?

Also, (maybe it's just me) I haven't noticed over the past few months many mundane asinine threads popping up. So I don't know why people keep going on about them when they're not even in use. a-hard-days-night-paul-10

In keeping a list of threads, core threads that promote human interaction are good. (All Purpose, In My Life , Beatle Bible House, Writing thread, etc...)

I also agree with @Von Bontee for keeping the Turn It Up/Down thread. I've found so many great songs from posting in there and I hope that others have found good music from my posts. I think it's a vital musical output thread (more so than the Listening thread) as people have to actually press play on the video you've posted and lay down a verdict on the song you've chosen.

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6 March 2018
11.20am
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Starr Shine?
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Though for the political/news/philosophy,
there are Beatles related threads that discuss these things like John's politics and etc, how should we handle those?

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6 March 2018
12.04pm
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Ahhh Girl
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I've stated the topics I don't really like on the forum: News, Philosophy, and List Five Controversial Opinions. Actually, I am interested in what *most* people have to say on those topics, but I'd rather those be on your forum, @Starr Shine?. I don't want them on the BB forum.

As to the other threads, professionally, as one of Joe's chosen mods, I will back his decision 910%. The decision is ultimately his to make from the input we all give him.

Personally, those three threads I listed are the ones I want to see go elsewhere, and I don't want lots of more fluffy threads created. As @SpecialCup pointed out, threads that aren't popular just sink to the bottom and aren't used. As far as making new threads, people could float their ideas to Joe and the mods for consideration. I don't read all the ATN threads all the time. If a thread is populated by **those of you I trust**, I know that you will bring any infractions to our attention so I only pop into those occasionally to make sure everything is running smoothly.

In mod emails I have stated that most threads don't bother me...people who go too far do. You should see the howls of indignation from me in mod emails regarding the race for the roof between Annadog40 and Mr. Kite. I wanted to squash that behavior because it brought frustration to many forum users. I wanted to ban Dark Overlord from almost the get-go over his behavior. If I had been a mod back when a certain person had multiple accounts so she could talk to herself, I would have worked to get that behavior stopped. Let's all be glad I never bucked up against Mr. Big and paulsbass. Luckily, for the most part, we have excellent members here that don't need to be told how to behave.

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6 March 2018
12.46pm
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Starr Shine?
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So more inward focused threads and non-Beatles debate thread should be out then. Any other types of threads/specific threads that users don't want to keep/be recreated in any forum?

I think having some basis for liked and disliked threads can make this forum better.

I like more creative type threads like Fan Fiction where people share Beatles stories is nice. The New York City thread is interesting. Also ones about the Beatles as people are cool. It can be silly but I do like the PiD thread at times.

Anyone else have thoughts on the good, bad and the other?

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6 March 2018
4.01pm
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Ahhh Girl
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Remember, we are only dealing with threads in All Together Now .

The New York City thread is in Yesterday and Today and PID is in the Paul forum.

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