Ukulele Cosmos

Yup! The UC travelling Timms ukulele was with me from last november to the New Year, and then I sent it all the way up to Sven in Sweden. Between 2020 and 2023 it was a bit stuck in Japan. It's still in good playing condition, and its back is filled with names, doodles and dates. Actually, that was part of the fun of the Ukulele Cosmos: the camping holidays, the travelling Timms, I even wrote an article with fellow cosmonaut Rufus for the Fretboard Journal. That online forum made actual things happen.

The talk was frank, but rarely abusive - in fact, in 15+ years of being a member (2007-2024) I only remember a few instances of grave offence, one had to do with messages written in a state of mild intoxication and another with rather religious support messages for that certain presidential candidate you all can guess. Each time members themselves stepped in, nobody kept us on a line (or a leash). The moderation was a social one. Alli paid for the site (domain and software) and was good friends with several members.

How frank was the Cosmos? Well, starting a conversation about your preferred strings would set off replies of mild mockery. A post on your latest purchase of a modern factory made instrument would be considered rather pushy and in fact silly. Tin pan alley songs were supposed to have intros and verses, not just refrains. If you couldn't handle that kind of answers from some very experienced folk, then you could indeed feel offended. Religion and right-wing politics were criticised for what they are. And yes, a lot of members had met other members in real life and that gave the forum a certain club vibe.

The Ukulelecosmos never was unfriendly to Americans. In fact, it had a tribute page to a longtime US member sorely missed by all on the forum, Brian N. Some of the most outlandish and wittiest comments came from US members. Most members were male, but the owner was a woman and I never saw mysogene comments on the forum (nore on any other ukulele-oriented forum by the way - ukulele players are not that kind of people it seems).

I've been a member of the Fleamarket Music Bulletin Board, the Fourth Peg (anyone remember that one?), the EZfolk one, Dutch and French ukulele forums past and present. But I certainly do miss the Ukulelecosmos...
 
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Ahh, good to hear the TT is out adventuring and earning its tattoos!
 
I was a member of the Ukulele Cosmos from Day One.

It's a shame it has gone but I'm sure Alli had her reasons for not renewing the forum hosting and domain name.

It could be a tough place to be. I left for a couple of years myself. When i returned it was much quieter.

If you acted like a fool, or continued to post stuff when asked not to you would be called out for it. It didn't matter what gender, sex or nationality you were. I only recall a couple of people being banned and their behaviour was very extreme.

I never witnessed any sexism and racism. I find it deeply offensive that has been implied.
 
Kristian‘s comments above pretty much hit the nail on the head, well for me they do and my own ride at UU wasn’t that smooth - so I’ve a broad and objective view of the place. The guys there - and the occasional lady that spoke up too - took few prisoners, you had to know your stuff and be able to defend your point of view. I’ve no issue with that form of interaction and came away from the experience as both a better poster and a more informed person. We can learn from those who we disagree with and see perspectives that would otherwise be hidden from our eyes - for the adult mind what’s not to like about that?

There was no moderation that I could see and at times I’d have liked some. However, if need be, members were prepared to step in - or pile in - and sort out issues; it worked, though not always in a totally even handed way. ‘Worse things happen at sea’ and ‘what don’t kill ya makes ya stronger’. On the plus side the level of playing knowledge there was remarkably high, those guys really knew their stuff - some might not have suffered fools gladly but they knew their stuff. Cosmos, worts an‘ all, was an experience that I’m glad that I had … pity it’s gone.
 
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Ahh, good to hear the TT is out adventuring and earning its tattoos!
Yes, as I recall it ended up with Sven. That’s a bit like ‘taking coals to Newcastle‘, Sven’s got loads of good Ukes and - as a hobby - builds some excellent and quite sought after ones himself 😁. Argapa, one size louder …
 
If any Timms Traveler uke keepers want to, here’s a thread you can post whatever, photos, ewe-toobs, well wishes, or any rude thoughts (😁) you may have!

 
@Graham Greenbag Just out of curiosity, when you say the playing level at UC is high, are you implying that sort of musical knowledge can't be found here? And if yes, what sort of stuff are you talking about?

I know there's a lot of beginners & hobbyists on this forum, but there's also quite a few posters who know their stuff.
 
@Graham Greenbag Just out of curiosity, when you say the playing level at UC is high, are you implying that sort of musical knowledge can't be found here? And if yes, what sort of stuff are you talking about?

I know there's a lot of beginners & hobbyists on this forum, but there's also quite a few posters who know their stuff.

It’s a pity that you didn’t supply a quote …. What I said was: “On the plus side the level of playing knowledge there was remarkably high, those guys really knew their stuff - some might not have suffered fools gladly but they knew their stuff.”

Some of the guys on Cosmos who really know their stuff include UU members: John Colter, Chris 667, and Prof Chris; all of that group are known and liked here and on Cosmos they weren’t noted for being abrasive - quite the reverse in fact and I think that each of them would have been tolerant with beginners. I don’t recall Cosmos getting any beginners. Cosmos was more of a meeting place for people with a common bond (playing the Uke well and for some years) rather than solely about Ukes … some ‘new’ folk didn’t recognise and accept that distinction or difference and they eventually left.
 
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^ I know what you said. I'm merely asking since you seem to excuse their abrasiveness (real or imagined) as ok since they had high level of musical knowledge.

Anyway, since you've answered that those same posters are here anyway, it doesn't sound like the important stuff wasn't lost with its demise.
 
Is there a suggested time limit before passing it on?
Great question! And Chris is right, no time limit. There’s inherent trust in this thing, as well as not-so-insignificant cost occasionally. Those dang Europeans (said out of pure jealousy) tend to travel a bit more, and can save on shipping sometimes, but whoever is in possession is free to tattoo it as they see fit, use the Traveling Timms as long as they want, and send it to whoever they see fit as well.
 
Anyway, since you've answered that those same posters are here anyway, it doesn't sound like the important stuff wasn't lost with its demise.
With the UC gone, there is no access to the content. Those pages held tons of interesting discussions that aren't here on UU, or any place else for that matter. Those members who are here aren't going to recreate those pages.
 
With the UC gone, there is no access to the content. Those pages held tons of interesting discussions that aren't here on UU, or any place else for that matter. Those members who are here aren't going to recreate those pages.
Isn't all the old UC content available on the Wayback Machine? I thought most everything was, but not sure.
 
Isn't all the old UC content available on the Wayback Machine? I thought most everything was, but not sure.
Alas no. Ukulele Cosmos was closed to the public Internet about ten years ago - you needed a username and password to get on. Nothing after then was accessible through the Wayback machine. Some very early iterations of the Cosmos were there, but there was lots of interesting, useful stuff that's now gone.


@Graham Greenbag Just out of curiosity, when you say the playing level at UC is high, are you implying that sort of musical knowledge can't be found here? And if yes, what sort of stuff are you talking about?

I know there's a lot of beginners & hobbyists on this forum, but there's also quite a few posters who know their stuff.


I never saw Cosmos. Could someone give an example of a post or series of posts that you think is different in some beneficial way from what we see here on UU? Thanks.

That feels rather dismissive, and the question you asked about the "benefit" of the Cosmos is so strikingly similar to @dancephoto 's I question whether you are the same person asking it. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you aren't, but I could direct you to the answer that was given to @dancephoto .

Anyway, since you've answered that those same posters are here anyway, it doesn't sound like the important stuff wasn't lost with its demise.

It may not have been something you liked or used, but lots of people here did enjoy it and get a lot from it. Did you have a presence on the Cosmos?

As @Mike $ says, those of us who are here are not going to recreate it, we couldn't if we tried. And there's lots of people who no longer post anywhere about ukuleles. Some have moved on to other things. Some have died.

I'm really sad it's gone, and I'm not the only one. There's conversations on it which are now gone forever. I've lost the ability to interact with some of my friends which I used to do nearly every day. Not the end of the world, but it's a shame to my mind.
 
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I’m rather surprised by the negativity shown towards it by people who never even visited.
Was its reputation really that bad?
It was a great forum.
Very quiet by the end but it was a fun/informative/silly/educational place to be.
I miss it.
 
I miss Ukulele Cosmos.

It was a great place to lurk and pick up tips and gossip.

It was a great place to chat to people and I have a great fondness for the characters I met there over the years.

I was always sorry I met so few of them in person.

I don't recognise the negativity narrative about the Cosmos described in this thread, over and above the negativity in this thread.

It was a Forum.

Like all Forums you took from it what you want, when it was good it was very, very good, when it was bad I'd go and do something else.
 
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