Death of a Forum.

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The Forum Problem

Providing a large and captive audience for those who feel their views and talents do not get the recognition they deserve in the real world, the internet is an irresistable magnet to the kind of people most of us would run a mile to avoid. Consequently forums are overun by, sometimes run by, them. It’s not a peculiarity of this forum. People who gave up on Gramophone in frustration have also given up on other classical music forums. This one has been moribund for some time but some of the others aren’t far behind.
It’s a pity. In most fields, connecting with others whose interests coincide with yours isn’t too difficult without resorting to communication through a forum. Finding others who share not only a broad interest in classical music but a taste within the genre that matches your own, is not easy. They’re spead pretty thinly across the world and the internet should be an ideal way to bring them together. Active, skilled and sensitive moderation might have saved Gramophone’s forum at one time. That time has probably passed. If you look back over its history this forum has hosted no end of interesting, informed and enthusiastic music lovers. It has taken a few years, a few posters, plus disinterest on the part of Gramophone itself, to bring it to its present state.

shamrock wrote:Within the

shamrock wrote:

Within the next week there will be a get together in London of members of the H forum, most of whom were previously avid posters on this forum many years ago......

I am sure they will all have a lovely time - as long as they don't have the temerity to disagree with the Big Boss.

Attaining high goals...

Apparently, you do not see the ramifications of your statement, Craig. (However, you are always welcome...to Enlighten us).

Parla

Vic's reply to me on previous page

I respect your views, Vic, and can't argue with your feelings - but ultimately can't agree with your conclusions. If any real sense of community had been developed, no hostile intrusion would have been tolerated for long. Parla wasn't a founder member, so there was time to construct something before his arrival; Brodsky was later still if I remember rightly. More to the point, Parla isn't even a formidable opponent. I've easily crushed him several times, including on his beloved Mozart, without pretending to be any kind of expert. His whole philosophy of music, which he's refrained from expounding too much recently, has always been patently absurd. That such a person can wreck a forum can only be due to lack of community spirit, something which can't be artificially created by moderators (pace Tagalie) or anyone else. I rest my case.

The "community spirit" and the...philosophy of music.

I have never felt that my contribution here should or even could be considered as a "duel", where one has to "crush" the other (and rather easily). I never presented "my" views (let alone my philosophy) but rather what I have learned and found out over some decades of dealing with Classical Music and some people deeply involved in it. If you found them "absurd", I'm not surprised. You are not the only one...However, some others, even of this forum members, might have a different view. The issue is whether you are happy with the state of affairs in Classical Music and its future.

The "community spirit" cannot save the not so bright developments...in music and not only.

Good luck anyway!

Parla

guillaume wrote:

guillaume wrote:

I respect your views, Vic, and can't argue with your feelings - but ultimately can't agree with your conclusions. If any real sense of community had been developed, no hostile intrusion would have been tolerated for long. Parla wasn't a founder member, so there was time to construct something before his arrival; Brodsky was later still if I remember rightly. More to the point, Parla isn't even a formidable opponent. I've easily crushed him several times, including on his beloved Mozart, without pretending to be any kind of expert. His whole philosophy of music, which he's refrained from expounding too much recently, has always been patently absurd. That such a person can wreck a forum can only be due to lack of community spirit, something which can't be artificially created by moderators (pace Tagalie) or anyone else. I rest my case.

I think you are being a little naive here, to say the least. Even after all this time, you obviously don't understand just what kind of game has been played on this forum. The idea that you could "crush" Parla is just absurd - laughable, really. You were the one who was crushed, simply because you engaged with him. That was the game - and you thought it was something different............

skin of a rhinoceros

guillaume wrote:

 If any real sense of community had been developed, no hostile intrusion would have been tolerated for long. Parla wasn't a founder member, so there was time to construct something before his arrival; Brodsky was later still if I remember rightly. More to the point, Parla isn't even a formidable opponent. I've easily crushed him several times That such a person can wreck a forum can only be due to lack of community spirit, something which can't be artificially created by moderators 

 

Fair enough, Guillame, but I can't really agree with much that you've said. You're right in that Parla wasn't a forum member from the start but he was certainly in here very early. He was welcomed at first. If you dig back you'll find I was one of his apologists, believing his unique style of communication was a function of difficulties with a language not his own. When it became inescapable that he was, still is, a polemical junkie, he lost just about all support on this forum. But how do you 'not tolerate' - to use your words - such a person? He engages in every discussion whether or not he knows the slightest thing about the topic. He has been caught lying several times, shamed continuously, exposed as a fraud. The result? He's still here, those who can't tolerate him have left. You haven't crushed him, nobody has. His claim to fame is that he's the only one left standing at a scene of devastation he created almost single-handedly.

I agree that moderation can't create an atmosphere artificially. That isn't its job but it needs to offer guidance and step in when things get out of hand. Things have long been out of hand on this forum and moderators, if there are such, have been just about invisible. Brodsky made a mockery of it by appearing in a new guise every time they booted him off it, until they finally recognised that banning the IP address rather than the forum ID was the way to do it. That took a couple of years. I suspect Parla gets away with his antics because he doesn't break any rules of decorum, just manages to be perpetually and pervasively infuriating, a kind of white noise that doesn't hurt but drives everybody out of the room.

What am I doing here, then, knowing any mention of his name is meat and drink to him and he'll outlast me every time? With a garbage game of football on TV, this is as good a way to get through 120 minutes (one shot on target) as any. Now that it's over, I've got better things to do.

reply to jane and tagalie:

janeeliotgardiner wrote:

 

:

I think you are being a little naive here, to say the least. Even after all this time, you obviously don't understand just what kind of game has been played on this forum. The idea that you could "crush" Parla is just absurd - laughable, really. You were the one who was crushed, simply because you engaged with him. That was the game - and you thought it was something different............

So, Jane, have you never engaged with, and therefore been crushed by, Parla? It seems to me that you have - and more often than me. I simply meant that I've pointed out to him that he was wrong and he's had to acknowledge that fact. Others have equally exposed him as a plagiarist. That he's been able to shrug this off and continue to pontificate, I'm sorry to labour the point, I think can only be due to lack of any real community spirit here. Moderators might have been able to deal with the plagiarism but not with Parla's "and with one bound Jack was free" strategy when cornered. Only ridicule could do that and you may argue that Parla is impervious to ridicule. Not so, in my view - he does seem to have done away with the much-derided committee of old professors, musician friends etc that used to feature heavily in his posts.
Even before Parla got into his stride, quite a lot of people came and went or contributed only very sporadically. I suppose that might be par for the course for any new forum but it just seemed to me that no permanent core community was ever formed - just temporary ones around certain topics. In any case I think it's ridiculous defeatism to blame everything on Parla.

guillaume wrote:So, Jane,

guillaume wrote:

So, Jane, have you never engaged with, and therefore been crushed by, Parla? It seems to me that you have - and more often than me. I simply meant that I've pointed out to him that he was wrong and he's had to acknowledge that fact. Others have equally exposed him as a plagiarist. That he's been able to shrug this off and continue to pontificate, I'm sorry to labour the point........

Yes, I have certainly been "crushed" on many occasions. On balance, I don't think my behaviour on this site has been entirely rational in that regard. 

I am not convinced by your "community" theory, though I certainly understand the point you are making. I apologise for putting this somewhat bluntly in my earlier text. I should have taken the time to present a more considered and respectful view. I think, perhaps, the crucial difference is that between an internet community and a "real" one - i.e. one enacted in the flesh. Internet communities are just inherently more unstable and vulnerable to attack. If someone sets out to destroy a forum, I think this is generally pretty easy without active moderation. There are even specialist sites on how to achieve for this. All it really takes is persistence. You poison every thread with your nonsense, set up false and enticing debates and so on. Then you pick off the "weak" members, entangling them in infuriating arguments. You create secondary identities ("sockpuppetry") to invent allies. (I think Parla is right!) One person leaves, there are recriminations, bitterness rises..........You begin again, more absurd arguments and so on. It is practically a science.

Being in good spirit...

I think, Jane, you see imaginary enemies and indulge in conspiracy theories. As far as I am concerned, I care for this site as any other member. That's why I stay here, although I have been attaqued so far, almost on a regular basis.

I believe that we cannot achieve a "community spirit", since we communicate in anonymity. However, we might achieve a community of spirits which can communicate by tolerating, if not accepting, each other.

Parla

 

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