• I'm intrigued by the added "whisper" field.

    Along with other improvements, it has been suggested that a "rating" poll be added to postings so that people may show their support, or lack of, for comments. I think that this is a great idea.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Both ideas sound to me like a way to increase drama and partisanship and decrease scholarship on this forum. If you want a "like" button and private messaging, there's always facebook.
    Thanked by 1ryand
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    I'm not even sure I know what whisper does. This was just added by our developer. We can remove it.
  • Gavin, people do not post because they are afraid of being attacked.

    People can form the direction of a forum by rating their reaction to posts without stepping into the fray.

    People posting, like myself, can see what the general population thinks and be encouraged or discouraged as a result. Otherwise, a forum becomes a jousting match for a few and the most vicious can take over. This should encourage scholarship and discourage pettiness...

    Here's an example. You and Jeffrey posted right after this topic popped. Hundreds of others did not. How many read this topic and had a comment but did not post?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,900
    I agree with Gavin. Some posts are, I think, deliberately provocative and designed to start an argument. Ratings would only make matters worse.
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    I'm afraid that a polling system would start turning into a popularity contest, which would just make a lot of this stuff worse. It is better for those who have something to say to say it. If people are lurking, there is nothing wrong with that, and they will come out of their lurking when they feel the need; we don't have to reach out to them in their anonymity.

    Rather than adding that feature, we should rather work on ourselves so that people aren't afraid of posting anymore. If we can cut out the backbiting, the provocative posts, and also extreme sensitivity to posts and disagreements, then we won't need to fear scaring people off.

    As for the whisper feature, I don't even know if it works, but let's give it a try. Perhaps it'll cut back on chatter between two or three people and keep threads on track. Since this forum does not have a PM feature, whispering is probably a good idea.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    I think a Rating feature would be useful.

    I read a Discussion title and the author comment.
    I respect the framework and direction of the author.
    I refrain from commenting outside the box, because I can create another discussion for another direction.
    I do not create another discussion because the exercise makes me realize
    my comment is tangential and of low value to CMAA goals and the other Forum readers. This is self-governing.

    Lots of comments are made to a discussion that are off-topic.
    A rating feature would help background the off-topic comment
    without further dragging the discussion off-topic
    by those who feel compelled to comment on the off-topic comment.
  • I suggest that if one likes another's comment, they can click on an "Amen!". Conversely, there could be an "Anathema sit!" option.
  • It's just my two cents, but I think if we're trying to label off-topic posts, the button should say exactly that: "flag post as off-topic" (though I am HIGHLY amused by the "Amen" and "Anathema sit" options!). Voting something down in a rating doesn't usually indicate it's off-topic; it usually indicates a significant level of judgement and disapproval, even above mere disagreement with the message contents.

    I, too, worry that anything less specific than "flag as off-topic" would simply fan the fire.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,100
    Flagging posts as "Off-topic" wouldn't hurt.

    Also, it could be good to allow a favorable rating ("kudos") without offering any negative option.
  • I have at least skimmed all the comments above and I still have no idea what "whisper" is or does. Is this my usual density when faced with high tech? Unless I have really missed something, it looks to me like we ought first to know exactly what "whisper" is, and then decide whether to keep it. What is it?
  • Some modern bulletin boards will offer a whisper feature, so that one poster may direct his/her comments to another poster without the knowledge of the entire group. I'm going to test the feature on you, Joseph, let us know if you get it!

  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    Actually I think the whisper option would actually cut back on off-topic posts more than a rate function. That way if I want to ask a certain user a bit off an off topic question, or make some sort of chatter with someone, only the two of us need to see it. You'd just need to pay attention so you know if someone has whispered to you or posted to everyone, so you don't respond to the wrong person or people.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,100
    Good point!
  • I moderate on another forum that used to have + or - points for posts... the negative points got out of hand. It was used by folks to hammer a post anonymously while never even participating in the discussion. We ended up eliminating the ability to give negative points entirely. The + points, on the other hand, seem to be used in a very fair way by people to encourage the things they like.

    Just my $0.02.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Perhaps... people are afraid to post because they risk getting a response of "You're Eastern Rite/Orthodox/Protestant/Not in a cool enough parish, so your opinions are irrelevant and your traditions an affront to God. Get off our forum." Or maybe some self-proclaimed King sinks a topic because everyone's not agreeing with him. Or maybe it's the anger directed against the composers whom it's ok to hate, thus making anything but "may they and their seed for five generations rot in Hell!" into heresy punishable by a 25 post pile-on.

    I myself HAVE refrained from posting what were (IMHO) intelligent and charitable comments due to the following fears:
    - Attacks on the basis of my protestant religion and employment (even while the topic is my former employment in a Catholic church)
    - Moderate comments along the "can't we all just get along" line, or supporting the work of some composer which is a respectable example of the pop-influenced style, will be attacked by extremists
    - Expressions of any piety short of uber-traditional Latin Rite piety could be attacked
    - Strange compulsions of a few to contradict anything I say. If I say Skinner is the greatest organbuilder, I get told his instruments are all tubs. If I extol trackers, I'm guilty of overusing zimbels that leave the congregation deaf

    To some extent, this is necessary. This forum, although open to all, is primarily for CMAA members and furthering its good and holy agenda, and comments by those who don't share in the traditional Latin Rite or moderate that agenda DO distract from the great work that you all are doing in your parishes. So I don't resent my self-moderation in those areas, and I hope others will exercise the same restraint in similar problems that pop up from time to time here, be it uncharitable attitudes towards other musicians who aren't on here, extremist positions, political commentary, personal drama, or whatever.

    I reject this idea of a tragic poster frightened to solve the Church's problems by being challenged online. As Jeff O. demonstrated in his comments on Paul Innwood, we CAN challenge ideas without being hostile to the presenter. As the remaining comments demonstrated, that's easier said than done, but I believe we can all commit to making this board a friendlier place for anyone who wants to join the discussion. But publicly stated innovative positions DO call for response, such as the ideas presented by Innwood.

    Making the board a better place doesn't require ratings or whispers (the very idea conjures up a notion of gossip). All it requires is a commitment from EACH member to concentrate on the matter at hand and follow the principles outlined in the forum etiquette.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,900
    I was thinking of "whispers" as comments to someone I know, that wouldn't be of interest to anyone else. I haven't tried it yet, to see if it works.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Dear Gavin,

    I have been disturbed by the tone of several of the posts on the forum lately. I had a phone conversation with someone about this late Sunday night.

    This forum is simply too awesome to start allowing nasty comments from ANYONE.

    I think it would be amazing if we could all renew our good resolution to always be professional, respectful, and friendly.

    I also think much trouble could be avoided if people simply REFRAIN (no pun intended) from responding to comments that they feel are mean, dumb, etc.

    I think this is the most powerful governing force we have.

    If someone posts something you think is bad, ignore it. I promise: it will help.
  • Jeff O. and Gavin are both quite young and young people are known for rashness. But their postings above prove both of them to have wisdom beyond their years. I, myself, will take their words to heart. Thanks.
  • Erik P
    Posts: 152
  • Should someone post a poll about offering a positive button? I think that it is a great idea.
  • Ach. I got the two comments whispered to me, and they were on lavender stationery. I replied to both. Now I see what I sent to Amanda on rose stationery, and that to Jam on white.

    Now that I know what "whisper" is, I am for it. There are many legitimate reasons why one might want to reply only to a commentator and not to the whole world.

    In my capacity as a professional programmer, I will pontificate and say that a label that describes succinctly, like "private reply", is to be preferred to something cute but vague, like "whisper".
  • Now my reply to Jam has turned rosy.
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    The colors are a good thing: if you're reading a post in a funky color, you'll realize that it is directed only to you and not to everyone else. Then you ought to likewise reply in another funky color. That's a good element of this function, I think, so that no one replies to the wrong folks.
  • Jam, on colors: Agree.
  • And while we're discussing features..... wouldn't it be fantastic if comments had permanent time stamps, or another variety of permanent identifier? I would like to be able to cite a particular post without actually quoting it. As it stands, it is very difficult to cross-reference. ("George, Sarah addressed your concern already in post #5.")
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    Could somebody send me a whisper? I suspect that I won't see it because I do all my reading through an RSS reader - it's much faster for me.
  • Carl D -- I just sent you a whisper
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,900
    Carl D, I sent one, too.
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 468
    And while we're discussing features..... wouldn't it be fantastic if comments had permanent time stamps, or another variety of permanent identifier? I would like to be able to cite a particular post without actually quoting it.
    This is an awesome idea. I've often thought of sending links to people who don't actively participate here, but frequently haven't because I can't link directly to the post in question.
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    As expected, those whispers didn't show up in the RSS feed. Thanks, all!
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 754
    Beware the heavy hand of moderation, except to deal with the most egregious cases. This community works - don't spoil things by trying to fix it.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,531

    10 is Excellent
    3 is Suspect, but your thread would remain posted here.

    When the rating of a thread goes to 2, it would automatically be moved to a whole new forum... We can call it the "CMAA Fringe Society". You will be invited to become a member (and that requires extra dues). That membership comes with "Fringe Benefits" however.

    If the rating goes to 1, your thread is excommunicated and it disappears into the ether world. Your CMAA membership card gets a little paper punched punctum (or should it be a bow tie?) for each offense. After enough offenses, your card and your membership will literally disappear too!
  • francis
    Posts: 10,531
    Can we change the litle box to say "Whisper your comments but not your gossip"? (just kidding)
  • Ian W: Hear, hear!

    Adding a private reply box seems innocuous enough. Time stamps and direct links would be dandy.

    But the forum itself does not need fixing.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,900
    It ain't broke, so....
  • G
    Posts: 1,396
    Does the "whisper" function still exist?
    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,100
    It's called a "conversation" now. You can find the button for it on your "inbox" page.
  • MarkThompson
    Posts: 768
    I kind of miss Whisper. Sending a PM seems so intrusive; it's like the difference between sending someone a text and going over to their house to talk to them.
  • Scott_WScott_W
    Posts: 462
    Both ideas sound to me like a way to increase drama and partisanship and decrease scholarship on this forum.

    Woo hoo! Make it so.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,486
    Whisper used to occur within a thread--different from a PM.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Yes, I liked that.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,100
    Remember the "whisper" option fondly if you like, but I didn't consider it all that great. It was better than nothing. Yet you could only contact one user at a time, and only in the context of a thread. The "conversations" service eliminates those limitations. And the name "whisper" was vague, as Joe Mansfield observed above in 2010.

    This is a normal pattern in open source software projects: some individual contributes code for a functionality not provided in a software package. (That's how the "whisper" function came to exist.)

    Eventually the mainstream developer group adopts the idea, more or less, and makes a similar functionality part of the standard system, and the perceived need for the add-on software goes away. So nobody is offering a "whisper" add-on anymore.
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 854
  • BenBen
    Posts: 3,114
    The whisper was a completely different idea than a "conversation". I'd like to have both.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    TMI, RC.
    Of course, TMI is my metier.