Ukulele Cosmos

pondweed

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'Noticed Cosmos was down and the old address seems to have been snapped up so the group may have virtually disbanded now.
It's been an influential place for a few and hence a gathering space hastily/tentatively created (link here below) in case it's not being done elsewhere. Despite being a gentle presence since I first started playing, I've no idea when it first came about now the pages are gone - but those things ought to get remembered. If anyone remembers. It was 'important'.
My gut feel is that it is was slightly modern in its views, eschewing consumerism and seeing things other than the soprano as largely add-ons. And that it may have petered out just because everything has been said.
 
I'd been checking periodically since it went down again, but hadn't seen that the address had been taken. A shame, for all its faults and ups and downs, even if I was always more of a reader than a poster over there.
 
Hopefully John Coulter and Chris 667 will chime in with more details. I’m sad to see the place disappear too, it was un-moderated, polarised and at times plain spoken but despite what others might say - and my own experience there wasn’t perfect - the place had merit.
 
Sad to see this happen but I feel the spirit had gone out of it some time ago. I greatly enjoyed the Cosmos and it embodied some early internet spirit, as a true meeting place where unvarnished opinions could be expressed and (at times) hotly debated. It never felt sanitised, or (as is common these days) like someone's side hustle where industry adverts are being chased and subscriber revenue must be maximised.

But it must be said that some of the locals managed to drive the few women off the message board at some stage, and from that point on it was doomed in my view. A cautionary tale.
 
As for my experience at cosmos, I agree with all of the positive opinions expressed here, although I never felt the negative comments as told here in previous posts. Maybe my elementary knowledge of the english language made me miss some details so I couldn't see the negative finesses, or maybe my sensivity isn't good enough as to detect these negative points. And yes, sometimes opinions were hotly debated, but I see this as a positive point, as was the lack of censorship allowing for free speech, something we will miss these days and years until the pendulum reaches his final point and starts his way back.

As a retired who was 20 years old in May 1968, all I can say is the times they are changing and not everything is better than it was, for sure.

Already miss ukulele cosmos. Irreplaceable.

Ymmv.
 
But it must be said that some of the locals managed to drive the few women off the message board at some stage, and from that point on it was doomed in my view. A cautionary tale.
I was one of those women who was driven out by the rudeness. I kinda slammed the door as I left. They seemed to think that ukulele is a man's world.
 
But it must be said that some of the locals managed to drive the few women off the message board at some stage, and from that point on it was doomed in my view. A cautionary tale.

As a general comment it’s my opinion that pretty much any forum that doesn’t have a mutually tolerant membership and breadth of membership is doomed; and loss of women from it is a warning sign. Moderation, whether by members (of their own posts) or moderators, is important to a forum’s health.
 
I was one of those women who was driven out by the rudeness. I kinda slammed the door as I left. They seemed to think that ukulele is a man's world.
I was a member at the same time as you, my recollection is that gender was totally ignored - indeed race, gender, sexual orientation, wealth, age and pretty much everything else was ignored. Unwelcome comments (ie. ones that didn’t suit the most vocal and long established members) tended to receive responses of a forthright nature and the receiver sometimes needed the skin of a Rhino - well that’s my recollection.
 
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was a member at the same time as you, my recollection is that gender was totally ignored - indeed race, gender, sexual orientation, wealth, age and pretty much everything else was ignored. Unwelcome comments (ie. ones that didn’t suit the most vocal and long established members) tended to receive responses of a forthright nature and the receiver sometimes needed the skin of a Rhino - well that’s my recollection.
I would tend to agree with that.

The fact is there was a different social space on the Cosmos than there was on here. Yes, it was largely unmoderated and the members would let rip at each other, but I think in many ways it was more straightforward and honest than many other spaces. You didn't have to be "nice" on the Cosmos, and I always appreciated that. I like posting here, but I feel that I'm self-censoring sometimes. I always welcome honest feedback, and I don't always feel I get it here.

I learned a very large part of what I know about the ukulele (and life) from the Cosmos and made some lifelong friendships from it which I hope will carry on. Yes, lots of people took offence and flounced off, but that was a certain type of person. It wasn't based on gender, sexual orientation or anything else. There are lots of old threads on this forum where people are complaining that they got offended on something on the Cosmos and won't be posting there again, have a search for Ukulele Cosmos and tell me if the posters are all classified by one gender.

There was an astonishing amount of knowledge on that forum, and it feels like an act of vandalism that it was just removed arbitrarily. I genuinely feel that one of my social lifelines has gone.
 
^^ I would support what Chris has said above. Chris and I have not always seen ‘eye to eye’, we’re not close pals, so I’m supporting the (unwashed and grisly) truth rather than a friend of long standing. That’s true ‘tell it how you see it’, worts an’ all, Cosmos style 😂.

”There was an astonishing amount of knowledge on that forum, and it feels like an act of vandalism that it was just removed arbitrarily.” Yes, it most certainly does feel like an act of vandalism and amongst the other stuff there certainly was a wealth of knowledge there for the sharing. A sad day 😢.
 
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Have been a reader here at UU for years.

Agree with Chris words above, and yes, the times they are changing, people tend to be offended these days by details I can't understand and mostly I believed it was my lack of understanding the finesses of the language that made me wonder what was happening.

I miss the cosmos, miss all those almost unknown friends, miss also the JBoy Shine's comments, that's my point of view, ymmv.
No other similar forum on the web as far as I know of.
 
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You didn't have to be "nice" on the Cosmos, and I always appreciated that. I like posting here, but I feel that I'm self-censoring sometimes.
Sometimes we feel like punching somebody’s lights out, but we self-censor. Sometimes we feel like taking a pee on a public street, but we self-censor. It’s called civilized behavior.

Edit: There was also a distinctly anti-American caste to Ukulele Cosmos, as in this defense of UC that was posted here: “I like UC. They have little time for pomposity, hypocrisy or this fake and nonsensical ’Aloha spirit’. Go there and act like a ‘typical American’ and you'll be carrying your head home in a bag.”

Nobody took UC away from you. It died a natural death.
 
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You didn't have to be "nice" on the Cosmos, and I always appreciated that. I like posting here, but I feel that I'm self-censoring sometimes.

In the online world it is easy to miss someone's intent, not having tone of voice or facial expression to guide us. At the same time, too many people are brave behind a keyboard and seem eager to vent all their frustrations. Many of those people would likely be more tactful if you were speaking to them in person. Yeah, there are jerks in the world and many of us would love to express what inner dialogue we have at any given moment, but I don't think it necessarily makes society or people's daily lives any better.

Not to turn this into some rant about society, but these days there are times where it seems that many people relish the idea of being able to say exactly what they think or feel at any given moment with no concern for "self-censoring" or about how others may react. Yes, sometimes in life we need to have a tough skin, but at the same time, a little thought and kindness goes a long way.
 
Sometimes we feel like punching somebody’s lights out, but we self-censor. Sometimes we feel like taking a pee on a public street, but we self-censor. It’s called civilized behavior.

Edit: There was also a distinctly anti-American caste to Ukulele Cosmos, as in this defense of UC that was posted here: “I like UC. They have little time for pomposity, hypocrisy or this fake and nonsensical ’Aloha spirit’. Go there and act like a ‘typical American’ and you'll be carrying your head home in a bag.”

Nobody took UC away from you. It died a natural death.
Are you saying that there wasn’t civilised behaviour on Ukulele Cosmos? Where you ever a member and if so for how long? I don’t remember you there but feel sure that you could have held your own and then some - certainly managing better than most, I think you’d have slugged it out there just fine 😂.

To my recollection UC didn’t have a particularly anti-American sentiment and it had a significant percentage of members from the USA. Whilst we (wisely) don’t do politics here they did there, the USA has much to be proud of and the converse is true too. Anti-American sentiment or just anti Republican? …. but we don’t do politics here.

You have quoted comments made in a post here but have not included a reference, that’s not the correct way of doing things and you surely should know that. You might also be accused of selective quoting, I think that that selective quoting could be sloppy and biased reporting … again something we don’t want here.

What makes you say that UC died a natural death? What do you know about it? I suspect conjecture on your part but please present your evidence. “Nobody took UC away from you”, how do you know and indeed why be so rude as to say that? Perhaps you should go away and do some self censoring … 😂.
 
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In the online world it is easy to miss someone's intent, not having tone of voice or facial expression to guide us. At the same time, too many people are brave behind a keyboard and seem eager to vent all their frustrations. Many of those people would likely be more tactful if you were speaking to them in person. Yeah, there are jerks in the world and many of us would love to express what inner dialogue we have at any given moment, but I don't think it necessarily makes society or people's daily lives any better.

Not to turn this into some rant about society, but these days there are times where it seems that many people relish the idea of being able to say exactly what they think or feel at any given moment with no concern for "self-censoring" or about how others may react. Yes, sometimes in life we need to have a tough skin, but at the same time, a little thought and kindness goes a long way.
As it ever seems from you: a considered, thoughtful and useful response. Thank you.

Chris must speak for himself, but it‘s my belief that on UC he was both liked and able to speak with the common understanding that his words were heart felt and not particularly intended to be hurtful. You could say that he felt that he was talking to friends (the active membership of UC wasn’t large and many members were personal friends in the real world) and therefore had no need for self censorship.
 
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After many years on the guitar I decided to try ukulele and UU was not my first choice. I joined Kevin Crossett's Uke Talk. I was also on FMM back then. I really enjoyed Uke Talk and after it went away I came to UU.

UU didn't have the same atmosphere as Uke Talk, but it was a good landing place. UU hasn't always been this warm and fuzzy place as the site has had its share of "personalities" over the years. I checked out Cosmos at one time, but never joined Cosmos so I don't have a feel for the tone of the site. For those that miss it, I do hope it comes back, even if it becomes a Facebook group.

I've been on a lot of "activity" based non-music forums over the years ranging from hostile to welcoming. On many sites there will be threads that carry on page after page as different members professing knowledge and experience rage on. Sometimes entertaining, sometimes annoying, many times personal, it was just the way things were. The only problems I found on some of those sites were when the site owner/administrator and their allies would gang up on a member. That was usually the kiss of death for me.

But the equalizers are always age and health. I think we have all seen a brash in-your-face person be reduced to a shell due to illness. This does give me pause to step back and appreciate the civility on UU. Even if the filter is more than some can embrace, I hope it is still there when my lion turns into a lamb.

John
 
There was also a distinctly anti-American caste to Ukulele Cosmos, as in this defense of UC that was posted here: “I like UC. They have little time for pomposity, hypocrisy or this fake and nonsensical ’Aloha spirit’. Go there and act like a ‘typical American’ and you'll be carrying your head home in a bag.”
Patty, I think it is outrageous to suggest that all the regulars on the Cosmos were racist or sexist, or indeed that all the members there were a homogenous group with the same attitudes and behaviour. Did you ever actually join? I don't recall seeing you there.

FYI, lots of our members were proud Americans. Likewise, gay, black, Jewish, Christian, Buddhists and atheists. Even (shock!) women. There was some problematic behaviour from some members, like there is here. But to tar us all with the same brush is really unfair. Even the trolls were often really generous and helpful. I learnt a lot about music from "the Rottweiler", he was a very knowledgeable musician who was battling his own personal demons (they won, things have gone really badly for him since he stopped posting). I can't be happy that he isn't doing what he does anymore, and the stuff he taught me about music is now gone forever, or at least all I have learned from them is now what I remember.

I distinctly remember feeling really unwelcome when I first joined UU. The current mods have done great (and completely thankless) work making this place more welcoming than it used to be but it certainly wasn't the case in the past when I came as a beginner 12 years ago. I made proper, lasting friendships over years with people I've known on and offline through the Cosmos. And now, I don't interact with half of those people anymore, because the service I interacted with them on doesn't exist and I don't have social media. I miss reading what they're up to, and some of the banter.

Lots of people decided the Cosmos wasn't for them and stopped posting. Some people decided it wasn't for them, stopped posting and complained about it on here. All fair enough - I don't think it reflects well on the people who said things about the forum on here, but perhaps that's just me.

Nobody took UC away from you. It died a natural death.
I am not disputing that. It was not used as much as it was and Alli has moved on in her life didn't want to do it anymore, even though I approached her and offered to take it over. That doesn't mean I am not sad that it's gone.
 
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It was not used as much as it was and Alli has moved on in her life didn't want to do it anymore, even though I approached her and offered to take it over. That doesn't mean I am not sad that it's gone.
This is well said. But it is a testament that life changes over time. UU was almost gone at one time, and will probably be gone at some point in time.

Regardless of the sides, people do need to enjoy what they have at the moment for it may be gone tomorrow.

Hopefully Cosmos will be back for those that enjoyed it.

John
 
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