Great Expectations: is a go!

edited November 2011 in Diversions
Okay folks, step one in our great blog experiment is in the books. Now a new thread for some nitty gritty:

1) As Dr. Mutex noted in the Modest Proposal thread, he is looking for WordPress Admins. If you are interested, let him know.

2) We need writers. Who wants access?

3) I'm going to write an "about us"/mission statement for the blog. As an aspect of that I'm going to be highlighting the diversity of our musical interests and would like to list some of our favorite blogs. Can you please post here what blogs you read regularly? Thanks.

4) If you have any other ideas/interest in a particular duty, please post it up.

This is exciting boys and girls!



  • Certainly exciting Craig! I'm no good on the tech side - I'm a user of ICT, so count me out there. However, I'm happy to contribute and write. Also very happy to check/proof read etc
  • edited November 2011
    As I said in the other thread, I'd happily administer and contribute. I'll whisper by wordpress username.

    ETA: once we figure out all the contributors, we should loosely define the areas of expertise. I figure that BigD and I could handle older music and blues (how does "A Little Scratch" grab you for a column on reissues), Greg, kez and I on folk, GP and BN on post-rock and ambient, etc.
  • Agree, BT. My very early thought was to do the same loose definition so that our legions of future readers can send their home demos to someone who would know what they were listening to. I'm only partially joking.

  • I would gladly listen to all the albums of blues mandolin that are sent in--both them!
  • Yes - my interests are fairly wide spread - certainly Pop/Rock from the 60s, Folk Music, West African Music, British Blues (if that is not a contradiction). Although I am currently lisatening to a lot of jazz I know I am still a 'learner' there!
  • Technologically challenged, but I'd be more than happy to write - especially blues, country, rockabilly, rock'n'roll, vintage R&B, guitar heroes, any music where guitar is the emphasis really.
  • edited November 2011
    Who wants access?

    Should it be direct access or should it go through one of the admins? I'm thinking of a question I raised on the other thread: if we all get inspired in the same week, it might be better to drip-feed the results onto the blog rather than have ten pieces added one day and then nothing for two months. That would imply that someone is responsible for scheduling.

    I will write in due time. I am still in the middle of the busiest stretch at work that I can remember, so it might not be right away, but things will ease eventually and then I'd be glad to pen something. Current interests include but are not strictly limited to ambient, glitch, electronic/experimental, minimal techno, drone, post/neo-classical, post-rock, German music...and just the whole experience of listening to music.

    Another thing I think I mentioned on the other thread - are there any existing longer reflections on this board that it might be worth dusting off/reframing to seed the blog? Or is there enough energy here to cook it all with fresh ingredients?

    Do we want any particular balance between e.g. (a) reviews of new releases (easiest thing to generate in quantity), (b) retrospective commentary on music that's been out a while (c) more general reflections and editorializing on issues, trends, genres etc.? I ask because I think especially in the early going this could influence how visitors see the blog - if the first six pieces are all reviews of new music, then as far as I'm concerned (if I'm an outsider) if I visit it it's a reviews blog, and if the first 6 are not of things that interest me I might not come back.
  • Germanprof - I like all the suggestions. Perhaps the various ideas could be included in the mission statement or some other announcement so readers would know to expect a variety of information.
  • One rather selfish question arises, r.e. Mispriced Box Sets/Mistakes, perhaps Mistakes type entries - if such things are broadcast, to a potentially larger audience, there exists the possibility that someone will rectify them (the prices). So, do we avoid said topic in a larger (hopefully) setting? Or have a time period of eMuser exclusivity regarding such, before passing along? I've seen cases over at eMu where such rectifications have occurred after people put them on the MB.
  • Perhaps keeping the obvious mistakes to ourselves would be wiser. How to shop different services is a topic that comes up frequently, so bringing up prices should be ok. Otherwise, I'd rather just share with the people on eMusers.
  • GP - That's a question I've wondered as well. As I mentioned elsewhere I'm certainly willing to act as a traffic cop to ensure that things are spaced out and mixed up in type/genre. I would just need info if something were time sensitive (e.g. written in anticipation of an artist's birthday or something).

    mommio - That's really what I'm planning to focus on in the "about us". Once I have a draft I'll post it here for comment (that may not be for a day or two though).

    BigD - That seems to me to be more of a emusers post anyway. My thought is to have the two places tied fairly tightly anyway, so I don't know that it would need to be posted in both forums. Anyone else with thoughts on that?

  • I would also rather keep the (too good to be right) bargain talk in-house. Discussion of the art of comparison shopping would seem OK.
  • Something else to consider: how to deal with miscellanea, things like sales, pointers to free and interesting albums or articles that really don't deserve a big write up. On a group blog I previously belonged to, the editor compiled these on a daily basis. That seems like a bit much to burden one person.
  • It's a good idea to do that, though, BT. Perhaps we could divide up the days of the week? So folks would know that if they came across a link for that on a Monday it would get sent to me, on Tuesday to you, etc.?

  • @BigD, BT ... seems to me much of that stuff should/would stay on this forum. If there's enough of it that a short roundup article seems warranted then I would have thought something at a longer interval would be OK on the blog, even monthly or quarterly. This is just me, of course, but the way I have it divided up in my mind/imagination is:
    (a) it's a snippet of info posted on the fly, somewhat tweetish, or a turn in a conversation, or it's really only news this week - still gets posted to emusers.
    (b) it's something I actually sit down to compose and clean up before posting, it's probably, say, 200 words or more, it makes sense outside the immediate emusers conversation and for longer than a few days, or it draws several pieces of information together in a helpful and cogent way (e.g. an overview of a couple of months' releases in a genre) - candidate for the blog.
    Again, that's just me...but perhaps it would be helpful to agree some general editorial guidelines of this nature?
    (Might it make any sense to have a thread here for comments on drafts? Can we set up threads that only members can see?)
  • That makes sense to me as general guidelines, GP. Not sure on the thread question, though.

    Also, I lied. I apparently wanted to waste time at work so I wrote up a potential about us/mission statement:
    "If one plays good music, people don't listen and if one plays bad music people don't talk."

    - Oscar Wilde, "The Importance of Being Earnest", Act I, Part 2.

    Welcome to, where we are dedicated to spreading the word about all that is good in the world of music. As you get to know us you'll quickly learn that our definition of good is not limited to one genre or style. In fact, our writers hail from around the world, have an age range in excess of 40 years, and listen to everything from classical to indie pop, jazz to drone, afrobeat to bluegrass, and every classic and trendy genre in between. The one thing we all have in common is a love of good music and the desire to share it with others. To that end, it is our mission to bring you news, reviews, histories, and stories spanning our varied tastes, and in the process hopefully introduce you to your new favorite artist or song. This massive undertaking is possible for one reason only: Unlike Wilde's characters attending Lady Bracknell's reception, we like nothing more than to both listen to and talk about music, because music is good.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Beatings?

  • Craig, I hope those were billable hours. I think it sounds great.

    I'd be willing to share some occasional jazz thoughts, at least until someone who actually knows what they're talking about comes along. I'd anticipate mainly plagiarizing Jonah.

    Though little or no tech knowledge to back it up, I am educable and might be able offer some time to help with some of the hosting stuff, if needed.
  • edited November 2011
    I like it overall, nicely written, breezy, optimistic. A few nitpicks (very much of the take them or leave them variety) and a question below.

    The vibe it gives me is of the launch of a new magazine. It sounds ambitious, promises much (see "massive undertaking" below). If that is what we want, this does it well. If we want to communicate more modest, rootsy, be-our-buddy-and-hang-out-in-the-smoky-corner aspirations the tone here and there ("dedicated","mission", "massive") might need taking down a notch. So what tone do we want exactly?

    Nitpicks, FWIW:
    Maybe "Oscar Wilde" is enough for the tagline, rather than the full reference?
    Does the first sentence get snappier if you delete "where we are"?
    "introduce you to your new favorite artist or song" - on the one hand this is quite true; on the other I have the nagging feeling it somehow rings of corporate advertising copy for the launch of some new wannabe big online service. Makes it sound to my ear a little as if we want to be the next Napster rather than have a cool blog. I think the combination of this with "mission" might help produce this sense for me. But I could be persuaded otherwise. Back to the question about tone above.
    Does "massive undertaking" oversell (again see above)? Suggest maybe removing that clause and cutting straight to "Unlike".

    Would it add a sense of personal connection if you added a sentence about how we started the blog because we were talking to each other about music all the time and realized we had things to share? Something that gives a sense of why this started and that it's home grown? ("our mission" sounds a little as if we just started a company or a brotherhood. Maybe we did, but it's also a little more ad hoc.)

    Disclaimer: as a Brit I am pretty much culturally programmed to want to reduce any promotional text to understatement. I have also traveled the world enough to be fine with other voices, so if folk feel we do want a "big" tone, I'm fine with that.

    Disclaimer 2: I edit professionally. I find things to change in any stretch of text. (And by the by, my impression is that many folk here can write, but if anyone wants to contribute but wants their prose cleaned up, I'd be happy to do that).
  • edited November 2011
    @cafreema . . . slapfight.gif
    - this is a great mission statement.
    - I don't know about having a traffic cop responsible for the genre classifications. I for one wouldn't want that job.

    - As I see it, an easy way would be to split it up in contributor segments in the same way as The Free Music Archive, such as

    Cafreema's Corner
    The Danish Connection or Mr. B's Corner
    The Good Thoughts from Bad Thoughts

    - But I'd be happy to chip in with my observations from the music universe in whatever form this will take.
    Please note that I suck big time as a review writer, even in Danish, so it will mostly be copy-paste stuff from people who are good at what they are doing
  • Very good thoughts, GP. I'll give them some thought. My initial intention was to put something in directly referencing emusers, which would do a lot of what you point out, it just didn't come out in the wash.

    I'll see what I can do.

  • How's this?
    "If one plays good music, people don't listen and if one plays bad music people don't talk."

    - Oscar Wilde

    Welcome to, dedicated to spreading the word about all that is good in the world of music. As you get to know us you'll quickly learn that our definition of good is not limited to one genre or style. In fact, our writers hail from around the world, have an age range in excess of 40 years, and listen to everything from classical to indie pop, jazz to drone, afrobeat to bluegrass, and every classic and trendy genre in between. Brought together as a community at we began searching for a way to share our love of good music. What better way to do that then to start a blog? To that end, aims to bring you news, reviews, histories, and stories spanning our varied tastes, and in the process hopefully introduce you to your new favorite artist or song. This is possible for one reason only: Unlike Oscar Wilde, we like nothing more than to both listen to and talk about music, because music is good.

  • I like it, Craig, nice summation. Will be nice to try and present more coherent, comprehensive thoughts on musical subjects, given time to prepare them.
  • Reads great. And to me the changes make it sound closer to what we are. Nice work.
  • Just a thought, and I didn't read the whole thread, so sorry if this has been mentioned, but how about a twitter account for those little thoughts? I just grabbed @mmmusicisgood.
  • Now I read more - very nice statement Craig.
  • edited November 2011
    Folks who want to write, whisper me your email, the account name you want, and the way you want your byline to appear.

    Also let me know if your want to be an editor (I see Germanprof, cafreema). Editors will be responsible for reviewing, editing, and publishing articles. You can also kick the article back to the contributor for revisions.

    I've installed a workflow plugin so I can create the workflow that's been described. This also provides a calender feature so the editors can see at a glance what's in the pipe to publish. Comments can be added to the work-in-progress. Take a look at the Edit Flow plugin page to see what it can do.
  • Sounds great Craig - I like the statement as it now stands, I've already got my first review in the planning stage! I suspect we will have a range of articles - reviews, introductions to genres, reflective pieces and so on. Like GP I'm used to writing at an academic level and in professional magazines, but I haven't written for a wider audience for many years. I'm also used to reading other people's writing - it has been the bane of my life untill recently (graduate and post grad marking) For longer more refletive pieces and any other articles longer than say 500 words are we going to have a peer review system? I'm not thinking of the kind of blind peer review used for academic articles, but a check through to see if it makes sense, are there any basic errors etc. I, for one, would welcome this for anything longer than say a review. But overall this is great, we're taking our community to a new level, and it may lead to new emuser members too
  • I've just looked at the website - it looks great Craig, well done. Are we, eg, going to have any houses rules for reviews? For example will there be a word limit? I could suggest 250 words maximum in normal circumstances. Also what about images - can we include? Again, if so, will there be a size limit. I'd suggest there ought to be a maximum size, not sure what it ought to be though?? I've already got my first two reviews in my head!
  • Craig, great job on the mission statement. A small thing we might want to change on it... having now edited several of my books, one of the things I've come to notice more now is word frequency. The word 'good' keep popping up in that paragraph. I understand it needs to show up a few times, but I would recommend striking it here...

    ...we began searching for a way to share our love of good music.

    And at the very end, capitalize the words for emphasis, as in...

    ...about music, because Music Is Good.

    But like I said, just a small quirk that I've trained my eye to notice. Others may not suffer similar side-effects, etc, etc.

    So, can I admit to a small bit of ignorance... how exactly does this work in terms of submissions? How often are we looking to post material on this thing? Do we want to post new content daily or are we looking to do a new batch of content on the same day every week? A mix of those two?

    One of the things I'm considering submitting is a jazz album duo review... one of my short mini-reviews of a jazz new release paired with a previously mentioned "What My Wife Says" stream-of-conscious review of the album. I'll run it by you guys here first, because I don't think I actually posted any of the material, but it might be pretty whimsical. You can let me know about that.

    Great work, everyone.
  • About bylines...any thoughts on whether we should use real names, emusers handles, or whether it's just up to each writer?
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