Lack of Interest?

  1. Frankdolin
    I just want to address the recent observation and comments about interest in SAW. Yeah, it's been kinda not so much a "group". How about this. A Bi-Weekly "Theme" based song which would be based on a "word" from a random word generator, ie tree, rock, girl, who knows. Then people can choose whatever they want that fits that word to them. Just a thought.
  2. Bren
    Hi Frank,
    In my case it's not lack of interest, but lack of time to invest in recording.
    But I'm slouching toward ... some sort of set-up.

    This is a pretty lively branch really, with relatively high levels of participation.
    It's understandable that it might tail off a bit in the summer.
  3. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Frank, if I remember correctly Simon posted a thread quite some time ago in which he mentioned the fact that the SAW Group had around 1500 subscribers (just noticed that it stands at 1593 today) but the posting and comment statistics were regularly in single figures. The Official Tune of the Week was getting just a handful of votes, often under 10, and we have since gone from "Song-A-Week" to "Song-A-Whenever" Group under Barbara's guidance - so still the SAW Group!

    For many reasons people do not vote for the proposed Poll Tune Suggestions and there are many more Other Tunes being offered by our small but faithful regular band of posters. Maybe under a dozen of us post here with any regularity, you being one of the most prolific since you signed up. You will see that we are very much posters of our own choices of tune genres with our own styles of playing and even managing to make the videos we post have some sort of individual character to them. You, Christian, Martin, Jason, Simon, Frithjof, John W and I seem to be the regular posters with a few others less frequently and one or two who seem to be on an extended (?) break from posting. We all support each other strongly and in my case I began to feel I was getting into an ever-decreasing circle of looking at the group each day to see what you lot were posting. I just began to feel a distinct staleness as I said in the Caleno Custure Me thread from Christian just yesterday so am taking a wee break - though of course I am here right now responding to your thread. Must get out more!

    I wonder if we regulars have become too predictable in our choices over the past while? I acknowledge my own preference for Scottish tunes of various types and do try on occasions to post something from a different genre. The idea of a random word generator as you suggest might just throw up some interesting ideas and I am going through in my head possible tunes with "rock" or "tree" or "girl". I know that the SAW Group has made me look at and listen to and often attempt a much wider variety of tunes, regularly inspired by a posting from one of the other members. You have branched out with your Frank's Mandolin Kitchen project over on the Videos, Pictures & Sound Files area of the Forum.

    As Bren said yesterday in his reply to Christian's posting "Good weather, maybe"? The group will continue as long as we are posting and keeping it alive, and thinking back to Simon's posting on the participating numbers, some responses came from people who admitted to being lurkers who enjoyed just looking at our postings but did not feel the need to respond or post anything of their own, so we do bring enjoyment to more folk than the immediate small circle who are regulars.

    I am away to play a few tunes right now. Wonder what other responses will come?
  4. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    I think this tends to go in waves and we've often had quiet periods in summer. I've been away on a family matter for the past couple of weeks, but have just recorded another four tunes which I will upload shortly. There is also a fair number of lurkers and occasional posters, although of course not the full 1593 subscribers. It is nevertheless one of the most active corners of the Cafe these days.

    As to range of tunes, I have always been very eclectic but tend to get more feedback on the less obscure choices (at least for this forum) in the US/UK folk and Celtic genres, which in turn makes me more likely to post those here. Privately and with our weekly group, I also play a lot of Italian, classical, baroque and early music and I should probably record more of those again. That said, all four of the tunes I've just recorded are Scottish...

  5. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    My 2 cents: I think it is almost impossible to maintain constant interest and participation in any group. There are too many variables at play. Even though I don't post here on a regular basis I do check in a couple of times a week to see what's going on. There are times when I want to comment but I don't think I have anything new or interesting to say so I don't. I probably should say something!!! I'll work on that. I also don't post my non-mandolin content here because it seems out of place. The other thing is that it's really hard to come up with weekly/monthly tune selections that inspire people to want to learn and post a video.
  6. Alcluith
    Frank I do not have a recording set up so never post any tunes therefore I feel I shouldn't comment on other's recordings. I visit the site most days and listen to the tunes and read the comments. From this I get a lot of inspiration both in sources of tunes and in techniques.
    Living not to far from John Kelly, as the crow flies, you would, I guess, suspect I too play a lot of Scottish Tunes and take a lot of inspiration from John K and my old tutor (not in years, I might add) Nigel Gatherer.
    This site opens up your mind to all styles of mandolin playing some I like and try, others not so much, but I enjoy listening to them all. This is one of the main reasons, I think, it is so popular and most active in the Cafe and I am so grateful to those who take the time and have the skills to record and edit some terrific videos.
    Like David maybe I should try to post more. I do like the idea of a range of songs based on a word rather than a fixed tune which might negate the poll and give Barbara less work. Instead of the Poll the person with the most votes for their tune could set the next word just a thought.

    Drew (Alcuith)
  7. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    It may or not be a reflection of summertime or the freedom of movement we have missed in the last 2 1/2 years and are now making up for it. I mention this only because Facebook is very much the same right now. Regulars have stopped posting - or are taking a break and likes and comments are borderline zero. I am on a break with no set date for return but I have all my subscriptions to you all and listen to your music - although don't often comment. I have some health concerns that are taking priority, as they should, and we will see where that takes me and my mandolin recording. I still play every day. I still enjoy it. And I still enjoy listening to the group.
  8. dustyamps
    I'm still hanging around in the background and enjoy everyone's contributions. While I play my mandolin most days, arthritis is starting to limit my playing time, so I play tunes I already know and enjoy since I will forget them if I don't play them on a regular basis. I occasionally learn a new tune but my simple solo recordings aren't much to share. I like the idea of coming up with tunes associated with a word. Thanks to everyone who posts music here.
  9. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Like Bren I too have a lack of time to invest in sitting down to record nowadays. On top of all the jobs around the farm I've also spent the last year and a half dealing with bereavement (my mum died of COVID last year) and sorting out all the things that go along with that, house clearance and sale etc. I still carve out time to play every day, hopefully I'll get back on the recording wagon when things wind down a bit in the autumn.
  10. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    So sorry to read of your bereavement, Jill. Covid has impacted on so many in so many awful ways.
    I have always really enjoyed your posts over the years and look forward to seeing you back on here again when the time is right for you. Being able to find the time to play daily must be a little bit of light in a dark tunnel at present.
  11. Jill McAuley
    Jill McAuley
    Cheers John, playing music every day has definitely kept me spirits up this past year and a half.
  12. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    You guys are probably wondering “here is Barbara?!?!” This morning I realized that I had probably missed posting the poll winner, logged in, and sure enough, I did. I scrolled quickly through, saw this post, speed read the comments, and will go on to look at the other posts concerning the SAW group, and try to come up with something.

    Maybe what you need is a “leader”’who is more active and involved? I DO enjoy this group (after all, I would say it’s my baby, but I believe it’s almost a teenager now!!!!). My life situation has changed over the years (as have all of ours, I would assume), I find myself almost never even playing my mandolin, and admit that I may not even look at the SAW between times that I post the polls. Most of you are already aware of what’s going on in my life!!

    Like I said, I haven’t read all the discussions that it seems have been going on, on this subject. I don’t know if the general complaint is that we don’t have enough active members voting, we don’t have enough active members participating by contributing their videos on the poll winners, we don’t have exciting tunes in the polls, or if there has been a general decline in overall participation. Over the past few years, most of our activity has been a couple of hands full of regular members, making lovely videos of “other tunes”, posting them, and being commented on. Whenever the subject of our group comes up, the general consensus is that it’s an amazing repository of tunes, that can be viewed, and brought back up to the top, just by commenting on them, and often that brings interest back in those tunes, with new contributions. I do know that we have always had great participation from our regulars, and even within the regulars, there is an ebb and flow. Such is life.

    However, if you guys are dissatisfied with how this group is being managed, I can certainly turn the reins over to someone else, fresh blood with more time! The only reason I am the “leader” of this group, is because, when Scott opened up the section of the website for “social groups”, whoever started a group, ended up managing it. I had plenty of time and ideas back then, and I think I started multiple ones. I’m pretty sure the rest of them sit idle with no participation. This is the only one that really took off. If y’all want someone else to run this group, all we will have to do is find out from
    Scott, just how to go about turning over the reins!!

    Lackluster voting has been an issue for years. That’s why it went from a poll a week, a poll every two weeks, a poll a month, to a poll whenever! When you look at the sheer number of official tunes (560), and then consider how many other tunes (thousands), we have covered, it’s not surprising that we are having these issues! We have tried various things over the years, to increase participation, but none of those really amounted to anything, and were abandoned.
  13. Bren
    Barbara, I am not dissatisfied at all, I am delighted with the way this group keeps going.

    When considering "lack of interest" relatively, one should look at the other MC Social Groups for comparison, rather than past activity on this one.

    The reason being that all web forums have declined in activity over recent years, as people moved to Social Media - type outlets such as YouTub, FaceBook, Reddit etc.
    This Social Group is a hive of activity by comparison to many others.
  14. Frankdolin
    Interesting comments. Not at all what I intended. I 'm not calling anyone out for anything. Post, don't post. That's not the point. Just seeing if there is interest in something new. It's a great group, no reason anyone should feel they have to do anything. The only down side, and it's no ones' fault, is when folks stop posting or commenting because they feel thier over doing it. I think we're fine. Need some young people though!
  15. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    As Bren says, it is not a matter of dissatisfaction and certainly no criticism of you, Barbara. You have done and still do a great job running the group and coordinating the tunes and keeping things up to date. The group is having regular activity even if the numbers of posters are small, and I am sure lots of folk tune in here who never leave a trace of their presence but still enjoy their time exploring the SAW Group.

    I am just going to post a new tune right after I have posted this message! Long live the SAW Group!
  16. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Thanks, guys! The only way that I am able to “moderate” this group, is that you guys just all do it so smoothly, you hardly need me! I DO miss playing my mandolin, and I DO miss having the time to make videos! I miss having the time to do more than just check in and do something once a month for a couple of hours!

    How about this. How about someone start a “challenge” and post a word, theme, etc, and open the discussion for submissions (tunes about Mary, for example.). The first person to submit a video (after the original poster, if they so choose to submit a video in the challenge), gets to pick the theme of the next challenge, to be posted in two weeks (or however often you want to do it.). If there is interest, it will catch on, if not, it will fizzle out.

    If you decide to start this up, to help me with categorizing them and putting them in a table of contents (I have to do that manually), please title the discussion something like “Challenge #1 - (tunes about Mary)”. If you think it’s something that will keep going, I can even create a 4th Table of Contents discussion to put them in.

    It’s worth a try, and it sounds like something you all can carry or without me having to “manage” it, other than the table of contents.

    What do think? Frankdolin, since it was your idea, how about you start?
  17. Frankdolin
    I think that sounds like it's worth a try. So I'll start it with my word idea because I just need a challenge, but I like the idea of the 1st to follow choose the next "theme". With the exception of back to back selections. Themes can run forever and the next up can be when ever the person selecting wants. So my word this morning was "pardon". NOT my favorite word. So I'll have to think on that! Me, I'm in the middle of putting new tires and brakes on my wifes Harley Roadking, while trying not to hurt my hands that seem to get cut just looking at sharp things these days. SAW!
  18. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Thanks for taking this on! The way I imagined it, it will have a different person each time, picking the subject. So, if you are the one who starts, you can either just post the subject, and not submit a video, or do submit a video. But, it’s the first person, not counting you, who gets to pick the next subject. Does that make sense? Let’s make sure we post the guidelines as to how this is working, in each new original post, so that people just happening upon the discussion know what’s up, and make sure that the person that will choose the next challenge, is aware of that! If it takes off, we may tweak how it goes! I hope this invigorates the group like you are hoping!
  19. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    I mean soooooooo hot here that nothing is interesting!
    Britain on first red alert ever.
    I did start a list of the issues involved here on SAW but with the heat, it doesn’t seem important.
  20. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    My rate of posting recordings has certainly decreased, and the main reason is that I lack the ability to let go of older tunes in favor of learning new ones. Ever so often, in a session, they come up with a tune making me think "I used to know that one, how could I forget it?" - it feels like a musical Altzheimer's, and I instinctively try to fight it and keep up a repertoire, perfectly aware that only so many tunes will fit in my head - and I already posted all of them on SAW, and some of them are already lost. Sessions, which became few and far between during lockdowns, have now bounced back into existence and I am now attending an average of 7 sessions per month (as opposed to 2 before Covid). Therefore, learning a new tune has now become few and far between, that's all. I am trying to improve technique all the time, but playing the same old tunes, only better, is no excuse for recording.
  21. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Opposite problem for me Bertram, I now have 1016 tunes printed out and worked up, ready to record.
    It's not gonna happen!
  22. Gelsenbury
    I hope nobody will take this personally, but I think I can provide a reality check. I've just come back to reading this group after an absence of probably about 4 months. A quick scan of activity suggests that about 150-200 threads have been updated since. If around half of these updates contain a recording of, say, 2 minutes in duration, that would amount to around 3 hours of new music. Not counting any posts about lack of interest, of course.

    If that's a lack of interest, I want that lack of interest for my blog, for the work I do in my day job, and for everything else I'd like people to take an interest in.

    We can talk about new games, new ideas, ways to attract new members, ways to stop people like me disappearing temporarily, and many other things that fall under good reflective practice. But a lack of interest doesn't seem to be something this group suffers. I don't know any other group on the web that's more cared about by its members.
  23. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Well said, Dennis! A great deal of sense in your analysis here. Glad you are back too!
  24. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Good balanced thoughts comme d’habitude, Mec.
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