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View Full Version : Recurring threads bringin' ya down?? (1st uke, Strings, LowG etc)



NotoriousMOK
05-15-2008, 02:37 PM
What kind of ukulele should I buy?
What are the best strings?
Re-entrant or LowG tuning?
Is NotoriousMOK really THAT notorious?We've all seen threads with the above (and similar) titles, and I've noticed a colorful mix of responses when they come about. Some who have been around a while have commented on this redundancy with varying levels of concern or even frustration, so I thought I'd stand on the box for a moment and express a few thoughts on this subject.

This site and this forum exist to encourage people to recognize the ukulele as a serious and versatile musical instrument AND to help those same people establish and hone their playing skills. WE ALL SHARE a common love for this 4ish-stringed little wonder, and have a desire to express ourselves through the music an ukulele will help us create. So please remember that this is why we are here and why Ukulele Underground has been and will continue to be successful to this end.

Okay, so Joe FirstUke (our model for this thread) starts a thread with a question that has been 'done before'. He searched the web, found our site and even survived the registration process. Our boy Joe has demonstrated an ability to navigate the web and use some form of search tool. If, or more importantly, HOW we respond to this first(ish) post will form the BASIS of Joe's opinion of our community.

"BUT we could well end up with lots of these types of posts!!" -- SO WHAT? Really now, what is the worst that could happen here (be realistic)? I guess what I'm trying to say is if you don't have something constructive to offer or new friend, Joe FirstUke, to greet him by making him feel like a jerk for asking question #1 does NOTHING for you, and tells poor, vulnerable Joe and his delicate feelings to go piss himself. He certainly does not refer Jane FirstUke to come check us out either (and rumor has it that she's pretty HOT).

-OR-

You can choose not to respond at all. This saves Joe's feelings and allows you to get on with your day. We are 2000+ registered users strong now. 'Fret' not, somebody here will help quench Joe's thirst, and the world will continue to spin.

-OR-

You can greet Joe with a hearty welcome and help him. Often times, people don't even know their needs and need somebody to help them discover what they are. Joe's happy and well on his way to ukulele greatness (just like me), you get a warm-fuzzy for helping somebody, Joe FirstUke goes on to refer all his friends and the forum continues to grow like crazy, producing the next generation of people who can answer these types of questions so you can take a break.

A really cool evolution that I have noticed within this phenomenon is that, with this practice, we as a group are becoming much more efficient and informative as the forum grows. Joe FirstUke can be referred to a wide variety of past threads, uke reviews, or even our own videos that cover these subjects in great detail, or he can get the input from somebody with a fresh and exciting spin on what seemed 'old hat' to others. I think this is awesome! Through sharing, we are becoming better musicians, better educators, and better representatives of this exciting community.

UU is a very inviting environment, people want to join in, and in some cases I'm sure this type of question can just be their way to stand up and say hello, reaching out to engage in any form of conversation with this wonderful group.

Again, this is why we are here, this is why we are successful, and this is what turns 'guests' into 'registered users'. I'm happy to have found this site, and proud to be a part of this community.

SPREAD THE LOVE - REPRESENT :rock:

deach
05-15-2008, 02:40 PM
http://pic50.picturetrail.com/VOL435/10947091/19540705/317347218.jpg

UKESTAR
05-15-2008, 02:42 PM
I feel that just giving the new member the link to the previous thread will help them go in the right direction and get them lots of useful info on topics such as strings and first uke advice..:)

Guting
05-15-2008, 02:47 PM
gonna start seeing the big forum problems if this keeps up.....

ie. mass spam ads and porn links. :(

backdoc972
05-15-2008, 02:52 PM
This forum has so much less activity and so many fewer new threads than the other (non ukulele) forums I frequent, that it doesn't seem to be that much of a problem to me. New threads are easy to ignore or take a quick look at and respond to if so inclined.

I am glad I got some friendly answers the first time I came around. :music:

deach
05-15-2008, 02:55 PM
I feel that just giving the new member the link to the previous thread will help them go in the right direction and get them lots of useful info on topics such as strings and first uke advice..:)


I'm still new and still have a ton to learn so I know what it's like having a ton of questions but....

If it's a very specific question - how would a 1993 Kamaka Soprano with a tenor neck sound with Aquilas on the first two strings and Worths on the the bottom two string, played lefty, in the rain, on a roller coaster, then it's ok.

Questions shouldn't be too general - what ukulele should I get? That's too general. How about some parameters - size preference, price range, do you need electronics, etc.

JoeFirstPost - Anyone have tabs for the following 85 songs? Google is a wonderful tool. Sites like chordie actually convert guitar chords to ukulele chords. seeso should get paid for every tab he does.

Plainsong
05-15-2008, 03:02 PM
A bigger "big forum" problem are the typical trolls and 13-year olds at heart. Those are tougher to deal with than just deleting spam posts and auto-banning those spammers. My original "home" forum is overrun with them. :(

This isn't said as nicely as it was in the OP, but here's the ever-classic Posting and You flash that was made for another forum, that just seems applicable to forums everywhere. :)

Posting and You (http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/posting).

deach
05-15-2008, 03:06 PM
Plainsong - That's an awesome link!!!!

Poi Dog
05-15-2008, 03:19 PM
BWAHAHAHA!! Plainsong that was hilarious!! Good find!

BTW - here's a pretty good one too.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=4Xs8HWN6UyE

Valerie
05-15-2008, 03:44 PM
I've been wondering this for a while.

If the regulars are so sick of answering the same questions over and over. Why don't we make a sticky thread called "FAQ"?

It could include a general buyers guide to ukes (a bit about different sizes, the importants of trying before you can buy whenever possible, MGM as an alternative for those who can't try before buying, and a link to our review section.) Then there could be similar breakdowns for strings (which are brighter, which more mellow and discovering via trial and error which work best for your particular tastes... etc. etc. etc.)

Other than that, I think another common post is "What do you think about this uke?" Why not make a sticky call: "What do you think about this uke? POST QUESTIONS HERE." and have people post links and get feedback all in one place?

All in all, I've nothing against multiple posts. But I am also against snarky remarks from fed up people.

So... that's my two cent idea of a solution.

deach
05-15-2008, 03:51 PM
Valerie - great suggestions.

Sorry about my snarky remarks, I can't help it, I'm a snarky kinda guy.

Lanark
05-15-2008, 04:26 PM
Stickies FTW

With YMMV disclaimers all around because 9/10ths of choices in ukuleles and strings and scale size and tuning and the rest of the whole nine yards of Ukuleledom is entirely subjective and what works for one might not for somebody else.

Stickies as a resource for people to refer to in order to make their own informed decisions.

tad
05-15-2008, 04:35 PM
What's interesting to me is that the same questions often end in very different discussions...

Not to say that recommending the Kala KA-S over and over again (just 'cause it was my first, and I think it's a good beginner instrument...) doesn't get old...

But-- in academics, people always worry about getting "scooped"-- if you find out there's another academic at a university across the country working on the same topic as you, you tend to panic, and think you can't work on it anymore, or that if they get theirs published before yours, you'll be dead in the water.

But the thing is, no two people, even if they're looking at all the same data, will come to the exact same conclusion. Plus, they'll probably be working with some data you don't have, and vice versa. The end results will be pretty different, and as long as that's the case, the argument that what you're doing is relevant will only be helped if there's other people working on the same thing.

This is all long and tangential, but the thing is, while "what's a good ukulele" is a pretty broad and oft-repeated question, once you coax a bit more information out of them, it can go in 1000 different directions-- how much are you willing to spend? What size appeals to you, and why? What kind of music are you looking to play?

It would be nice if we could get people to just start out with that information, but even if you post an FAQ, it's not always going to help. New members are the hardest to train-- they don't always have a sense of forum etiquette, a good idea of what questions have been asked a million times, etc.

I understand the frustration, but I hope we don't become a place that's hostile to newcomers...

(This is what I said in the post about the new beginner's section, and I hope it doesn't upset or offend...)

-----------------------------------

How many mods are there? Given UU's near-exponential growth, might it be a good idea to add a couple more, so as to lessen the load of those who currently (and capably) perform the task, moving threads, etc.?

brokenwing
05-15-2008, 04:36 PM
Plainsong – LOL. That should be required viewing for EVERYONE new to forums.

My only cautionary note is that when anything gets too big it becomes unmanageable. like the trade deficit. We will just have to see where the UU Kingdom leads.

As to the OP, UU is very active and with time zone differences there is always something/someone new popping up. So, many noob's will be answering the newer noob's questions. That's great and allows everyone to feel involved.

But if you have an insight, even tho you've got 23,248 posts to your credit, it's always a pleasure to help where and when you can. Afterall, that's why we're here.

brokenwing
05-15-2008, 04:43 PM
How many mods are there? Given UU's near-exponential growth, might it be a good idea to add a couple more, so as to lessen the load of those who currently (and capably) perform the task, moving threads, etc.?
Volunteers? All management has to do is say the word and I'm sure they'd get some "air" support.

rayan
05-15-2008, 06:00 PM
Is it that hard to just link the person asking the question to the appropriate thread? I'll probably end up making a "Buyers Guide" Board so people can ask their uke buying questions but until then, be gently with the people new to the board. We were all newbies here at one time.

UkuLeLesReggAe
05-15-2008, 08:17 PM
Is it that hard to just link the person asking the question to the appropriate thread? I'll probably end up making a "Buyers Guide" Board so people can ask their uke buying questions but until then, be gently with the people new to the board. We were all newbies here at one time.

this seems to be a better option, rather than sending links to something different... I been here for like 5 months and i still ask the same stuff because i either forget or sick of looking for the thread for an hour and loose my temper -.- still improving :)

Kaneohe til the end
05-15-2008, 09:35 PM
i agree in saying that people should search before they ask questions, but the minimum 4 letter search requirement makes it a smidge difficult.

Plainsong
05-15-2008, 10:58 PM
Oh yeah, I agree. So many forums using the same software with that limitation.

14twelve
05-16-2008, 01:00 AM
Also, if we all posted reviews of our ukes in the Reviews section of the website, we could post links to them when anyone asks about that particular uke instead of having to write about it again and again. I noticed when I posted my second review that there aren't many there yet, and that section would be so helpful for new players.

ichadwick
05-16-2008, 02:34 AM
I'm a newcomer here and quickly getting the 'stay away' feeling from some of the longer-term residents. :(

Imagine when you first started playing. You were eager and excited. You wanted to learn everything you could about the ukulele. So you registered on a forum and started looking for answers. Let's say you want to know what is the best kind of string to buy for your precious new instrument. But when you type in a search term like "strings" you get 20 pages of threads! If the thread isn't titled something like "what are the best strings for a tenor" you may simply give up. Too often the answers are buried deep within a thread that starts out with an entirely different topic.

It's intimidating for a newcomer looking for advice, help and answers to try and parse through several hundred threads looking for answers. A simple FAQ might alleviate the stress, but often there isn't one. Besides, with new users and new products coming online all the time, the answers may change frequently. Getting personal comment or recommendation is always helpful.

Try it yourself. Look up "best tenor ukulele" and see what you get. What advice is buried in a thread titled "Ukulele Porn (post your uke pics here...)" or "Official Bay Area Meet Up *read 1st post for updates*". Both of these open to more than three pages of posts. It's not easy for newcomers to sort through everything to get answers.

And this message is really helpful: "The search term you specified (g) is under the minimum word length (4) and therefore will not be found. Please make this term longer. If this term contains a wildcard, please make this term more specific." How do I make the "g" in "low g" or "high g" any longer than it is?

Getting criticized for posting a topic that long-term readers have all commented on many times is very disheartening. It's a "bugger off" message that makes me - and possibly others - feel very unwelcome.

A link back to a similar post would certainly help and be more than welcome. But being flamed or criticized for asking a simple question isn't. We come here to learn, to enjoy and share - and make new online friends. Please help make us feel welcome, not like idiots, or unwanted guests who crashed a party.

I run a fairly successful forum myself and see the same sort of common questions frequently. The nature of a bulletin board is that they get asked a lot. Plus older answers may get pushed to a back page by other, newer threads, and newcomers simply don't see them when they post their innocent question. My and my moderators' approach is to welcome the new person, be friendly and point them to a similar thread if necessary. We also have the power to merge topics so these things stay together.

But sometimes a well-worn question re-opens a stimulating discussion and we all learn from it. My approach is: if I don't want to participate in that thread, I just don't post to it. I won't post scathing comments, criticisms, scream at newcomers in extra-large type to "SEARCH" or post other 'get lost' messages. I let those who wish to answer - often other newcomers who are eager to share their own experience but have not participated in the previous threads - do so. Everyone is made to feel welcome and no questions are scorned.

menehunenyc
05-16-2008, 03:01 AM
[LIST]
UU is a very inviting environment, people want to join in, and in some cases I'm sure this type of question can just be their way to stand up and say hello, reaching out to engage in any form of conversation with this wonderful group.

Again, this is why we are here, this is why we are successful, and this is what turns 'guests' into 'registered users'. I'm happy to have found this site, and proud to be a part of this community.

SPREAD THE LOVE - REPRESENT :rock:


Ah, so this is why they call you Notorious....
Well done!!:worship:

menehunenyc
05-16-2008, 03:07 AM
I
All in all, I've nothing against multiple posts. But I am also against snarky remarks from fed up people.

Snarky?! Is that like snotty + malarky = snarky? Sounds like another word being verbalized (ie deached).lol

menehunenyc
05-16-2008, 03:17 AM
I'm a newcomer here and quickly getting the 'stay away' feeling from some of the longer-term residents. :(

Imagine when you first started playing. You were eager and excited. You wanted to learn everything you could about the ukulele. So you registered on a forum and started looking for answers.

But sometimes a well-worn question re-opens a stimulating discussion and we all learn from it. My approach is: if I don't want to participate in that thread, I just don't post to it. I won't post scathing comments, criticisms, scream at newcomers in extra-large type to "SEARCH" or post other 'get lost' messages. I let those who wish to answer - often other newcomers who are eager to share their own experience but have not participated in the previous threads - do so. Everyone is made to feel welcome and no questions are scorned.

Bravo!! I think we have the answer right here. In my humble opinion, if you are annoyed by a question, don't feel obligated to answer it or flame the person, just move on. There are lots of other users who would be glad to answer the question, strut their stuff. Lets keep this forum he warm and fuzzy place its always been for uke players. WE ARE DIFFERENT from other musicians, lets show the world why!!!

seeso
05-16-2008, 03:36 AM
Is it that hard to just link the person asking the question to the appropriate thread?

Well, yeah, it is kind of hard for the average user. Most of us are ukulele hobbyists, not internet professionals. What seems like child's play to you or me may be difficult for someone else.

Most of us don't keep bookmarks of relevant threads to link to. We have to use the search function to find the relevant thread(s), which is what the poster should have done in the first place.

Besides, I think that the general UU member shouldn't have to keep track of threads for the purposes of linking them for new members. That's a mod's job.

I don't mean to discourage new users with my views. For those who feel that way, please take a look at my post history. I'm not a newbie basher.

There needs to be, at the very least, a suggestion for new users to use the search function in the "Ukulele Underground Rules" sticky (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14). Include in this suggestion the tip of surrounding small phrases in your query with quotation marks. This 4 letter quota for search terms issue has come up so frequently that the work-around should be displayed somewhere. To the best of my knowledge, it is not anywhere to be found in any official help documents.

I am also on the side of those who request a FAQ of some kind. It doesn't even have to be a FAQ per se, it could just be a clickable list of frequently posted threads. I would happily volunteer to make this thread.

The inclusion of a stickied FAQ would serve to streamline the board, alleviate some tension, and provide an excellent resource for new users and veterans alike. There is no reason this sticky should not exist.

If you're reluctant to have subjective opinions on strings and ukuleles be taken as official UU doctrine, then disclaimers can be peppered throughout.

It's lovely to see this forum grow. Although I had no hand in its inception, I do feel a sense of ownership about it nonetheless.

When new users are made to feel unwelcome, and veterans are frustrated, my pride in UU suffers. A simple solution to both problems is a FAQ. The amount of frequently posted threads should decrease, and Aloha spirit should continue unfettered.

Frood
05-16-2008, 03:43 AM
Please keep in mind that this is coming from a noob as well...

I'm not sure how this all works from a technical perspective/whether it's possible or not. But for me - I joined the forum and lurked for a good few weeks before i posted. And even then another couple of weeks before i started a thread.
Just an idea - But perhaps - like with the yahoo questions - it could be implemented that you need to have a certain amount (5-10) posts under your belt before you can start a new topic. I know this may not provide always the best posts but it will force some of the more eager/less susceptible to use the search function noobs to look around first. At least a little bit.

Like I said, just an idea.

Phil Major
05-16-2008, 06:29 AM
I can see how people get frustrated with repeated thread topics, but personally, I really don't mind seeing the strings or starter uke questions come up over and over. It just seems like such a minor thing that we can skip over if we don't want to post. I like all the FAQ ideas too, but in the mean time I say let the noobs be noobs (as I too am still a noob) and ask their questions. I wasn't prepared to answer those questions ealier on (say the first 13 times), but now I feel as though I can help out a bit and I can offer some tips on these topics (for the next 13!).

4strings707
05-16-2008, 07:14 AM
A bigger "big forum" problem are the typical trolls and 13-year olds at heart. Those are tougher to deal with than just deleting spam posts and auto-banning those spammers. My original "home" forum is overrun with them. :(

This isn't said as nicely as it was in the OP, but here's the ever-classic Posting and You flash that was made for another forum, that just seems applicable to forums everywhere. :)

Posting and You (http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/posting).

I LOVE THIS!!! So funny