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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Violen, Feb 17, 2014.

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  1. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    I've been monitoring the forums a lot lately, and as such have been a large contributor in posts on the DB Side.

    And wow. Its dead over here. When I first got active about 5(?) Years ago there was a lot more activity. I just perused Doublebasschat and the same is true, they even have a thread about it called Ghost Town.

    Involved in subculture communities all of my adult life, i can tell you that this trend is the norm. For a long time, a community is healthy, and things are pretty great. After a while, Everyone who has been around has said everything that needs to be said, and everyone gets tired of giving the same answers, regardless of the topic. Thus leads to the "did you use the search function?" Posts. It is because we reach a critical mass of information. In essence, it is easy to sum up in "the Conversation is over".

    The other subculture groups i belong in, be it fashion, music, instrument, or other, all but one have pretty much fallen by the wayside. I think this is due to the fact that the internet was still pretty "new" when they started and now its not so much.

    Also, with the introduction of social media, the signal to noise ratio is pretty loud. Instead of a community of people, we have maybe one or two new people who show up in a monthly cycle, show either just have a question to ask, or who are given the information they want then they just go away.

    I think part of this has to do with the death of forums as well. I have seen a lot of the forums i used to haunt for many different topics just die. What i am hoping is that this is because people are getting out, hanging out, and getting off the internet more. The internet on our phones helps us do this, and i think we are finally reaching a permeation of usage. People are getting numb from the technology. In other groups i am in we are seeing a resurgence in local communities and people going, gasp, (Outside).

    Unfortunately I am still an online community junkie.

    This thread wasn't started with the idea of "how can i save TBDB" because frankly, it can't be, without serious new blood, new advertising and an actual deletion of previous content so that it cannot be searched.

    Did everyone migrate to a secret bass forum? Is there a bass Illuminati website? Did we all go to local groups on Facebook? Did everyone just leave?

    I know we had a few more famous posters than people like Paul that got ran off at one point. This thread isnt here to cause spite, vitriol or malice, or to relive old drama. Its to discuss how this community should, if it can, develop next.

    I also humbly request that this thread isn't related to "Basses" This is the most commonly viewed board on the DB side, and to be left here. Kind of like how people leave signs for each other on the Walking Dead.
  2. Most of the regulars on DBC migrated to a Facebook group created by one of the members. It's a much more usable platform, so it just kinda came together.
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    First of all, I've moved this to "Misc" because it's not about basses. Sorry, but that's why we have categories.

    About the general topic, I think there are a lot more online resources happening and people's attention has been spread too thin. I'm always around here, but spend less and less time on FB because it doesn't satisfy my bass fix.

    I think that the previous two posts cite a lot of the reasons for the reduced activity. But another aspect is simply about the people who are participating and how interesting the discussions are. It's pretty normal for older/more original members to drift away when they've said what they had to say. But that doesn't stop folks who are newer to the board from talking about the various issues that they are dealing with.

    Some things I'd like to see are more discussions about music that are outside of classical and jazz. I like hanging out with musicians, but those two things are only two planets in the solar system. I also think that the move to the new forum software that will be happening soon will give us new options to organize information and to share more recordings and videos with each other. What drew me into this site in the first place was always the feedback and help I could get from other players. I would love to see more people putting themselves out there and discussing how to improve what they do.
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    If someone could make an inexpensive DB that was at least gig worthy there would be a flood of activity I have longed for a DB for years but being a casual player couldn't justify the expense and I think many more people are in the same boat.
  5. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Dunno. It comes and it goes. At the moment we are between predictable seasonal upticks for topics such as, "I have an audition in a week -- what tunz should I memorize?" (fall), "What DB brandz r best?" (Xmas), and "Please write my paper about Wynton Marsalis' impact on jazz before tomorrow" (spring).

    I'm still hanging because there's still a lot to learn. But I also hang at some guitar sites because I have been playing more guitar. There is NOTHING slow about guitar gear sites except (of course) some of the posters.

    I am trying so hard not to say, "It must be YOU." ;>
  6. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    People float in and out of forums over time. I stopped coming to TB very often because the BG side turned into a marketplace. I'd come by to check "new posts" and find 800 entries out of which I might find 4 worth reading. The DB side has always had less traffic.
  7. MikeCanada


    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I haven't been around as an active member for very long in comparison to some others. I "lurked" for a very long time when I was in high school because I felt like I had nothing to offer, and didn't want to be one of those people asking the same questions that have been asked a hundred times. Now that I have matured both as a player and a person, I feel like I can ask questions that are a little more outside the box of "just go search" and I can provide answers from the knowledge and experience I have gained.

    While I would agree that a lot has been said, and that there are a lot of questions that get relegated to "do a search" like "I'm new and want to buy my first bass, what do I get?" and "Should I get black or white hair in my bow?" A lot of those people pop up with 1 post, and if we're lucky a followup question in the thread, and then disappear like we're just a bass version of Yahoo or something. We occasionally rope some of them in, but they are usually the people asking the better/more detailed questions. Along that train of thought, I think it would be great to develop the wiki to a point where we could direct people there along with "do a search". Things like the differences between bow hair colours, 5 strings vs. Extensions vs. 5ths, audition repertoire and other questions that have been asked a lot and resulted in some really great discussions could really flush out a part of the site that I think is largely overlooked.

    Do I think everything has been said or the conversation is over? No. Do I think we could/should "resurrect" some old conversations and add some new light? Absolutely. Apparently D'Addario Helicore strings are considerably different (a lot of people say improved) than they used to be, so lets talk about that. The job market/scene has changed a lot "since the recession" and how people make a living (or don't) in this business is constantly changing. A lot of those discussions turn into "back in the glory days" or "you young people just need to try harder" or "the jobs just aren't there anymore" but I think there are some very valid discussions to be had about the jobs and the types of jobs that are there. There are a lot of conversations to be had, but we definitely need the voices to have them.

    I have seen/heard some of the "heavy weight" posters leave. Some did so of their own accord, some were encouraged to go. I am not looking to dig any of that up either as some of that knowledge was accompanied by some powder keg type personalities. There have been a few others that have stepped up, although it would be great to see more highly knowledgeable people join. It can be a tough sell, because a lot of people that have that kind of knowledge don't really want to endlessly regurgitate it every single time "should I play German or French?" comes up. If they spend their entire day working on instruments, teaching lessons, playing in a major symphony, recording in studio, gigging etc. they might not want to spend their whole night talking about bass either. Personally I can't get enough of it, and none of my "normal" friends want to hear about bass stuff or bows.

    I would really hate to see this board die, and I think we are quite a ways away from that. Sure, we go through periods of higher and lower activity and there are a ton of resources on the web, but given the size of what is here and the longevity it has had (1998 is like going back to the stone age of the internet!) I feel like if you want to talk bass, you will still find TalkBass.
  8. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Agree, and Paul assures me that the Wiki on the new forum software will be much easier to use and much more accessible.

    Agree, completely.

    Great points, all. It's kind of like at the university where each class of students moves up and is replaced by another class of students dealing with the same issues at the same level. They are always talking about the same sorts of things, but some of them do it with more insight and enthusiasm than others. But the subjects almost never change.

    Agree again. And I am always open to suggestions about how to change it. Clearly the links threads need to be replaced by wikis. We can make the rest into whatever seems to serve the community best. But in the end, it's all about the people.
  9. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Actually, I would say just the opposite, that it's the noise to signal ratio (both in the digital world at large and here on the site) that's gotten "loud".
  10. Some of us "old guard" posters aren't as active here anymore for specific reasons. Nobody "got ran off" that I know of and yes some of us participate on some social internet groups. Some of us drop by occasionally here (I just posted the other day in the Recordings Forum about Scott LaFaro). Some of my reasons for not being as active anymore are that there are several posters who I consider to be trolls who make a habit of trying to shoot down certain established individuals on this Board. Also, name calling, charging us with being a group of jazz bullies. Another reason, for me at least, is a serious lack of a sense of humor around here as of late. It used to be like a family here, and you know how weird families can be.
    I used to post at least every day, hopefully, with some good solid information tinted with some pretty bizarre attempts at humor and found some life long friends who happed to be just as bizarre as myownself. My biggest reason to pull away was that I was actually receiving threats via PM's from idiots who thought I was being serious, when in truth, I was just ****ing around. Oh well....
  11. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Yup. The trolls won. Esp those who claim they have cred; who won't put up but won't shut up.

    TBDB, except for certain subjects, can get very tedious and annoying. I also blame it on the many of the newer posters who show up here thinking like it's any other type of online hang. That they feel entitled to respect - that it comes for free.

    They don't fully understand the phrase "respect is earned, not given".

    It means engaging the community politely and not throwing a tantrum when someone disagrees with what you have to say as the new person. It's happened time and again with the old timers saying "I had enough of this BS" and leaving.

    I'd say the golden age was around 2004 give or take about 4-5 years. If you weren't around then, sorry you missed out. Those were some good times.
  12. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2011
    Torrance, CA
    I think I joined after the heyday, when Chris was DURRL, and I’ve noticed that many of the threads turned into personal shouting matches.

    Here’s a timely article: New Study: Internet Trolls Are Often Machiavellian Sadists
    *It is hard to underplay the results: The study found correlations, sometimes quite significant, between these traits and trolling behavior. What's more, it also found a relationship between all Dark Tetrad traits (except for narcissism) and the overall time that an individual spent, per day, commenting on the Internet.*

    I used to follow a car-enthusiast site and a similar thing happened - most of the folks I enjoyed hearing from dropped out. I’m not sure why, but my hypothesis is that they got bored and found the trolls made it more trouble than it was worth. Once they were gone, I was gone. I think it becomes a downward spiral as more and more knowledgeable folks are replaced with more new-bys. The creators of the site got out too and sold it to a publishing firm.

    To bring it bring TBDB back, you could try just waiting and see what happens. The community turns-over and if a good mix of earnest students and benevolent sages sign-on, it could be rejuvenated. Otherwise, I think it would take a concerted effort. Both sages and students would have to be actively recruited and smart-questions posted by shills to get things rolling. And Chris’ point about another college class was dead-on, IMO, but without the sages, the students don’t stay.

    Maybe the analogy is a school? Most of the Professor's have moved on and now we’re left with students trying to help other students?
  13. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Setup and repair/KRUTZ Strings

    There's way too much talk about small issues, normally.:(
  14. The good news is that nearly every professional double bassist is aware this site exists. No other online outlets for bassists have this site's presence or ubiquity. Nearly everyone I know has spent at least some time reading posts on talkbass.

    The bad news is that most professionals (that is, those with the most expertise) are not interested in posting here. This site has a reputation, warranted or not, of disproportionately featuring amateur advice, anonymous gossip, bizarre pedagogy, and mean-spirited trolling.

    Why would someone with real-world credibility and stature want to risk their reputation here? Reasonable, intelligent people are wary of leaving a permanent record online.

    It's also worth pointing out that being a regular poster here is time consuming. Why post something for free when you could charge for a lesson?
  15. Not sure the trolls won but they have certainly caused many to ask, "why bother"? There are some people (trolls) who actively try to goad, badger and incite others into becoming irritated and or blow up. They always operate just barely inside the rules and certainly with no sense of camaraderie. It's quite obvious that this activity is enjoyable to them. That article stating that people who indulge in these activities have sadistic tendencies seems to be pretty accurate.

    There are also those individuals who seem to believe that respect should be given automatically; that it doesn't have to be earned. It used to be on all levels, that you had to actually make the team, win an audition or earn an A on an exam. For some time now that practice has changed in the name of building self-esteem. There are so many kids and young adults who now believe you should get 4 gold stars for just showing up. They are shocked when their opinions are challenged.

    There are also those who might be a little delusional in their thinking and want all of us to be delusional as well.

    Over time, these factors seem to wear on the members/posters who have great intentions, good, relevant information and some interesting stories to share.

    For me, it is amazing that so many great people hang around as much as they do. Most of these people have lots of expertise regarding the things they opine about. These members/posters are typically pro musicians who are currently working and/or guys who had solid careers in the music world. They are also educators, scientists, sound engineers and luthiers. Their opinions have weight. They have gravitas. It is very sad to me, but pretty understandable why so many have pretty much thrown in the towel. Who can blame them?
  16. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    For me, being a newer member, this site has changed my life. I learned as much as possible about the DB before I ever bought one, learned how to amplify it, learned its role in the style of music I wanted to play and even got some pointers on how to play it. The DB side of this site is an amazing resource, and the world is much better for its existence.

    I also enjoy hanging out on the other side of the boards. Though there is a ton of "noise" over there, there's also a lot more conversation, some of it quite engaging. I liken it to this comparison: whereas the BG side is reminiscent of a bar or bustling restaurant, the DB side is like a library or a museum. I get the feeling like I'm walking into a quiet room full of super serious people when I come over to the DB side, and at any moment could make the wrong move or noise and disturb the natives. One can only hear "use the search function" or "get a teacher" so many times before giving up on trying to engage folks with discussion. I now generally use the search function and stay as quiet as possible over here, instead going to the BG side for interaction.
  17. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Setup and repair/KRUTZ Strings
    When I came back to DB several years ago, I was fortunate to find this place. It got me on the right track. Certainly, my teacher was much more important to me, but this place helped me.
    Although I don't consider myself to be the level of player of many of the cats here, I've played a few hundred jazz gigs, recorded some CD's and taught several students. I've been fortunate to meet some really great players and learn a few things.
    I feel like the the tide has turned and my contribution here is just that; a contribution. It's a drag to jump in and try to help a young player and get nothing back. Many threads end with either no acknowledgment from the OP or 'thanks but I'm going to do what everybody tells me is stupid anyway. Something like that.

    Who needs it??
  18. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    The library analogy is fairly apt. This is a forum about music, and if you're playing double bass, most of the time you're pretty much going to be serious about it. It's usually not taken lightly this endeavor.

    The reality is also that (gear aside) there is a lot of work needed to get ones playing off the ground. You shed on what you need to work on and only come here when you get stuck. So if you're on here a lot looking to be constantly socializing, well, you should probably be better off practicing and working on your art. Some of us are cube jockeys by day so we tend to spend more time here but even then it can be pretty spotty.

    If you notice, it's usually the younger posters and those from the other side who want a social hang. Most of the old farts are too busy. Waiting for posts to show up has always been like watching grass grow - even in the Golden Age.
  19. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    There is much truth to this. Now that I'm one of the old farts, I'm grateful to have newer folks answering a lot of questions that come up.
  20. ToR-Tu-Ra


    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City
    It's the ciiiiiiiiiircle of liiiiife

    Old farts were newbies too "back in the day" I s'pose.

    Guess we tired them out and the world (or TBDB) will have to wait 'till the young bloods become more knowledgeable and maybe a new golden era will come.

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