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Question about Ballet Alert


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#16 sandik

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:43 PM

And I miss Tom Parsons who always had such diplomatic influence on early ballet internet forum discussions.


Oh, I miss him as well -- he was as enthusiastic and inquisitive as he was diplomatic. Ages ago, I wrote a paper about the rec.arts.dance newsgroup (before alt.arts.ballet spun off from it), and one of the things that was so unusual about it was the lack of flamewars.

#17 aurora

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 05:06 AM

I think there is a difference among some different members about what constitute appropriate social behaviour/niceties.

I agree that there is a place for everyone here. From the least knowledgeable to the most.
I fully agree that those less knowledgeable should post and ask questions, but to me, it should be in a reasonable way.

The fact that people who say they don't know much seem to now post more than those who do does seem to pose a problem for the health of the board.

As an academic you have to strive for a balance in classrooms.
You want everyone, even the kid who knows nothing, to ask questions. That is one way they are engaged and learn.
But when the kid who knows nothing talks constantly, day after day, drowning out other conversation and saying the same thing over and over again? It is a horrible classroom dynamic. It discourages others from participating.

Anyway I thought another perspective could be useful.

#18 Birdsall

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 05:51 AM

The difference between a classroom and a forum is that in a classroom someone speaking has to be listened to. On a forum like this it is easy to skim or even scroll down and bypass a post if you're not interested in what the person has to say. Big difference, in my opinion.

#19 Helene

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 09:29 AM

That's absolutely true: in a face to face situation, people can interrupt, drown each other out, and there are social conventions about not ignoring someone who has spoken. On on online discussion forum, there's a subject, and while it can be great when a group has back-and-forth on specific points, there's no reason that the discussion has to be sequential. Skipping posts is generally neutral.

There's no obligation to read anyone's posts or reply to them, and there's a formal "Ignore" feature that allows posters to filter other posters. The "Ignore" feature doesn't suppress quotes from posters on the "Ignore" list, but quotes can be easily skipped: you don't even have to scan left to see a poster's name, because quote authors are in both and scan vertically.

I'm not sure if "Ignore" suppresses posts from Admins or Moderators, though.

The forums are what members make of it. Another difference between Ballet Alert! and a classroom is that the Moderator team isn't responsible for generating content, as a teacher is.

#20 aurora

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 09:45 AM

The forums are what members make of it. Another difference between Ballet Alert! and a classroom is that the Moderator team isn't responsible for generating content, as a teacher is.


That is certainly true! It is a hard enough job without you having to do that.
However in a seminar, while a professor chooses the subject for a class, it is generally discussion between participants, with some guiding by the professor. While, depending on the prof, they may take a more active role, often it is pretty self generated, and in that way less of a strange comparison than it is being taken to be.

(not arguing the point, obviously there are differences, I am just clarifying)

#21 Quiggin

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:13 AM

The fact that people who say they don't know much seem to now post more than those who do does seem to pose a problem for the health of the board.


Aurora makes a good point and this seems reflected in the fact that there are fewer substantial discussions at Ballet Allert than in previous years.

Regarding Helene's comment, it's difficult to bypass a lot of comments which, while they may be charming, don't move the thread along the important discussion points as they are coming to the fore.

Also I think we've gotten a bit stuck in issues such as Balanchine's revision of his early Apollo (what writer or artist has not done that), while ignoring radical aspects of seemingly old fashioned ballets like Ballet Imperial. More discussions about where ballet should be going from here – than about the restoration of the imperial glories of pre-Diaghilev times.

#22 Helene

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:42 AM

A lot of the substantial discussions were early ones, and, frankly, a lot of the core contributors have either said pretty much all they want to say or are saying it elsewhere professionally. That was already true when I joined BA almost a decade ago.

The board is what we make of it. We provide the structure and keep it running, but no one is stopping anyone from bringing up ballet-related topics that interest them. Anyone who expects others to do it, get what they get. Also, frankly, it's BT4D that is the main financial driver, which was not the case historically -- and we and BT4D are very thankful to those BAers who can and do contribute, many year after year -- we are the increment that makes both boards viable, at this point.

We're not a graduate seminar with an admissions policy. That is doable elsewhere, and the technology is simple and the costs low for a small board, which everyone is welcome to start, but that's not what we are.

#23 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:03 PM

...frankly, a lot of the core contributors have either said pretty much all they want to say or are saying it elsewhere...


I miss Patrick...Posted Image

#24 leonid17

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 06:41 AM


...frankly, a lot of the core contributors have either said pretty much all they want to say or are saying it elsewhere...


I miss Patrick...Posted Image


Ditto.

#25 elena

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 09:21 AM

I read this board every day basically and have for a long time though I didn't register until about last year I think. However, I have tried my best to try and only post in things I feel don't require much knowledge (such as tv shows related to ballet, or dancers whom I enjoy which is a subjective thing in the end).

It is good to see those of us with less knowledge are welcome, though on a personal level I try to keep my posts to a minimum to not intrude. I must say though that I do learn a lot from reading BA, and the search function is my best friend. Posted Image

For those of us who still have to learn, this forum is a gold mine of information... so thank you to the people who do not mind answering with their knowledge and who contribute, and also to the beginners who are not too shy to ask the things other people might not dare to ask themselves. Posted Image

#26 little-junkie

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:12 PM

Just to respond to Birdsall's original thread, if you shouldn't be posting anything, I'm not sure a forum member like me should be doing then. So where's the freedom of speech?

#27 Helene

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:40 PM

"Freedom of speech" is not, by default, the underlying principle of a privately owned and funded forum. We could have an application process, require specific credentials to join, etc. and we don't need a reason to block or ban anyone, although we do so only under a few circumstances. We could make all of it visible, but only let certain people post and reply, or we could make it invisible to non-members. We could allow anyone to post, even if they aren't registered. We don't, but we could.

We limit speech on Ballet Alert! -- we don't allow ad hominem attacks, unofficial news, discussing the discussion (except in rare cases, like this one), non-arts-related politics and religion, and non-ballet or arts-related discussions aside from "Happy [Holiday]" and "I've had a baby." That is well within our rights as a private entity.

What we are is a mostly open forum, and unless posting rights are limited by group (New Members) or because of previous violations, the vast majority of our members can post, as long as the posts are within BA policy. What we're not is a place where members harass and police each other through PM, but since we can't read them, we don't know if this is happening until we're told about it, and we can't take action unless we know who is doing so.


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