Monday, February 23, 2009

The Shaku-OUCHY Forum and other tails, February 2009

For those of you coming here in search of answers as to why the Shakuhachi Forum is on hiatus, I have absolutely no inside news. :) They say it well enough themselves on their new homepage.

Hopefully they will be back in full swing as of the first week of March.

Using the Papal "We" ... _we_ have to remember as members of forums and mailing lists that these sites exist for recreational and educational purposes ... at the pleasure of the people who host them. These sites were never designed nor intended as free-for-alls for sectarian bickering, pissing matches or unabashed self-promotion. That's what USENET is for.

Unfortunately, I think (and I don't know) that Shakuhachi Forum has become a very high maintenance item for its owners.

My fear is that it may be more trouble than it is worth.

If it isn't staying ahead of the game technically with service providers and Web site security issues like spammers (or worse), it is time consuming and energy sapping playing referee to warring members and strident idealogues.

Certainly I couldn't give it the time and energy it needs. I can barely keep a single blog updated once a month. (See my posting before this one with a personal note on that.)

I would very much hate to see Shakuhachi Forum go. You may be able to dictate _with_ common sense (and the 'benevolent dictators' of the Shakuhachi Forum have done a pretty good and thankless job of that) BUT, you cannot dictate common sense itself.

The USENET term Eternal September refers to "continuously degraded standards of discourse and behavior" in Web newsgroups and on forums. Let's hope this is not an Eternal February for Shakuhachi Forum.

Shakuhachi Forum and the the Shakuhachi Mailing List have been vital in allowing sincere students and enthusiasts a place to communicate across borders. Even when the forums suck or the members suck or the economy sucks, these places on the Web do and will enhance the long tradition of shakuhachi just by being there. Temporary burps, starts and restarts notwithstanding.

I encourage people to make comments here to share their thoughts and ideas.

Perhaps Shakuhachi Forum needs to go subscription, five bucks a month to a PayPal account. A percentage of the proceeds can go to a bamboo grove preservationist group in Japan or to buy a sandwich for a starving gray whale.

Perhaps screening prospective members DNA samples ...

No, wait. Scratch that.