The Sledgehammer!

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The Sledgehammer!

Postby bruce » Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:08 am


Folks, it looks like it's that time. It is killing me that there are some significant parts of the site that are not working correctly. Killing me! It looks like some major moves are the solution. Instability is the antithesis of a website...I know this, but I just don't see any other way at this point!

To that end, I'm going to take down the non-discussion portion of the website for a bit...maybe a much as a few days (perish the thought!) effective this morning...

For those that care, here's the deal. The site, under the hood, is very complicated. There are lots of interdependencies happening that are persnickety, to say the least. You fix one thing, and it breaks another. Somehow, the package that runs the Facebook-like part of the site has gone badly wrong. Currently I can't create new members, and various other things don't appear to be working correctly. For some time now (since before I stepped in as the site host), whole sections of the site have not been working (e.g., clubs, teachers, etc). This is all an attempt to restore these very important data areas but I'm going to have to apply a tenderly-applied sledgehammer.

I'm going to give this technology another shot for now. Maybe I can make it all work.

While I have your attention, let me tell you what my current thinking is for the future of ED.
I don't get the luxury of maintaining as a full time job. It's very, very part-time. I have a business to run, and we all know that business owners have the luxury of picking which 18 hours of the day they want to work. So, to keep ED as ED, there is a strong pull to make things more containable and manageable. I know that means different things to different people, but here's what I'm thinking.

NOTE: I won't make major changes without plenty of forewarning, so don't worry about that!

What that might look like in the future is (not anytime soon!):

- Keep a fantastic discussion going
- Do a really good job at keeping and sharing repositories of important dulcimer-related info (teachers, clubs, events, tab, etc.)
- Doing fun things like having a contest, interacting with you (chat, video, etc)

- Removing the hard-to-maintain parts like the Facebook-like elements. There are other outlets for that information! Let social media be social media and let us be...well, EverythingDulcimer!

In short, I'd rather do what we can really well, and let what we aren't situated to do fall to those that do it really well.

Anyway, I welcome your thoughts on all of this!

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Re: The Sledgehammer!

Postby dholeton » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:06 am

I like the function for sharing videos and urls.
I like the tab section and the DPN link.
I don't use and don't plan to use the Facebook function.
I like keep it simple especially if it works.
Good Luck and Thanks for your hard work.
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Re: The Sledgehammer!

Postby folkfan » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:23 am

If shutting down sections for a time and simplifying will make it easier for you to function in your life then go for it. As for facebook, I'm not even signed on for that site. The discussion here at ED is what holds my interest. Do what you need to do, Bruce.
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Re: The Sledgehammer!

Postby frets alot » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:39 am

Your plans for the site seem well thought out and very reasonable. I agree 100% about dropping the FB part. Your plans are all about dulcimers, which is what ED is all about. Thanks for all your hard work.
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Re: The Sledgehammer!

Postby strumelia » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:23 pm

Bruce, everything you posted makes total sense.
Do what you need to do and take the time you need to do it. I'm sure I speak for all of us in saying that we deeply appreciate that you are spending your time, skills, and efforts in helping make sure that ED sails smoothly into it's new phase. Take as much time as you need, we know you already have a full time job and then some. I am grateful that you are keeping this discussion forum functioning during all the changes- thank you!
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Re: The Sledgehammer!

Postby cactus » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:54 pm

I too won't be sorry to see the facebook area enter the ether. ED is an important venue for many of us to get information from more experienced players.
Thanks for all you do!
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Re: The Sledgehammer!

Postby KenH » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:39 pm


I've been with ya since the beginnin' :lol: Personally, I think shutting down the "social network" section of ED is a wise move. I never favored it's creation in the first place, found it hard to interface with, and generally ignored it. There are other places for that sort of thing, ED can do without. You can't be everything to everybody all the time. ED's strengrth has always been its discussions and archives of tabs, clubs, and now DPN.

Remember, if you need some professional writer help with that 'other job', let me know. Anything I can do, both there and on ED, just ask.
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Re: The Sledgehammer!

Postby Bonnie in Houston » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:50 pm

Please add my ditto to the above comments. (Yes, I am agreeing with KenH on something yet again, God help me...) Best of luck with your early Spring housecleaning, Bruce! Don't worry about us; we're a patient bunch.
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Re: The Sledgehammer!

Postby Acmespaceship » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:12 pm

I want to be your sledgehammer
Why don’t you call my name;
You’d better call the sledgehammer
Put your mind at rest...
-- Peter Gabriel

Couldn't resist. I'm another user who can live without the Facebook-like functions. Discussions and Archives are the heart of ED for me. We can host pictures, videos and blogs elsewhere. And I always thought Groups were redundant with the discussion forum. Thanks for all your hard work.
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Re: The Sledgehammer!

Postby lrgtex » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:13 pm

I agree with what you have planned, I have always gone to the discussion first anyway. Thats the way it was when I first joined and what i liked most. The tab section has always been great it has helped alot of people to be able to learn the ducimer on their own where there is not other avenues available. Do what is best to keep it a useable site but simple enough that it can be maintained easier than what it has become. Good job and thanks for all you do.
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Re: The Sledgehammer!

Postby Judy K » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:50 pm

I never used the social section of ED except as a way to reach the tab & event information. Having all that attached directly to the forums again would be fantastic. Great plan, Bruce. Thank you!
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Re: The Sledgehammer!

Postby Caroling » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:07 pm

I am SO grateful for all the time, love, and hard work you, Dan, Stephen and others have poured into this website to make it useful and tie the dulcimer community together. It is my GO-TO site for everything. It worked very well for my needs when it was simpler. What I use most are the tabs, festival and event announcements, teachers and clubs,and discussion forums to find answers to questions about string gauges, techniques, et al. The rest was bells and whistles I paid little attention to, so GO AHEAD, dump the suckers, free up your time, and keep it simple.

Big hugs for all you do,

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