[ Hypnos Forum ]

OTHER THINGS IN THE WORLD THAN MUSIC => Everything and Nothing => Topic started by: mgriffin on September 27, 2011, 04:40:45 PM

Title: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 27, 2011, 04:40:45 PM
I've posted similar inquiries here in previous years, and I'm trying again.

The Hypnos Forum has been around for more than a decade, in various incarnations and versions, and it's gone through periods of thriving, buzzing activity, as well as slower doldrums. This latest slower period is probably less to do with the normal ebb and flow, and more to do with the fact that all over the internet, forums of this type seem to be less busy and active, as many people spend more time and energy on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

While I enjoy those sites myself, I think many of us would agree there's something to be said for a somewhat specifically focused, member-based site like this one. When you visit the Hypnos Forum you can assume a certain common ground with other members. It's nice to be able to post "I think Future Sound of London hasn't aged very well," and know that most people will have heard the albums you're talking about, and many people will have opinions, whether in agreement or disagreement.

I'd love to find a way to enhance this community with some additional features that would make people feel like visiting and posting here more often, without losing the narrow focus that is the whole point of this place. The moderators (APK and JKN) and I have been talking about this a bit, and thought it would be useful to take suggestions from Hypnos Forum members.

Also I've started to feel the Hypnos News page http://www.hypnos.com/news.php is sort of redundant since most news gets posted here. I've considered that maybe an enhanced community might have a series of blogs, not just by myself, and that the Hypnos blog would also be the main news outlet, replacing the above-linked news page.

Many of you are also members of JKN's Relaxed Machinery community on the Ning platform, so you'll understand what I mean when I say Ning comes close to being the sort of thing I envision for a new version of this place -- it's more than just a forum, but also a place where community members can share news, sounds, images and possibly blogs. I'd love for the Hypnos Forum to be more than just a traditional message board, and to allow people to share more than just little time-sequenced bits of text like this.

Let us know what kinds of features you'd like to see, and we'll try to take the wishes of our membership into account.

Is it important to you to see social network integration? Even if you already have a Hypnos Forum membership, do you think it would increase activity here if people could log in using their Facebook or Twitter or Google or Wordpress account?

Do you want to a central area for member blogs?

A shared member image gallery?  A shared member listening area?

We'd love to hear suggestions, preferences, complaints or whatever you have to offer.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: El culto on September 28, 2011, 02:12:33 AM
IMO you should leave it as it is.

No offense to John but look to the result over there. Meanwhile itīs just a place of "listen to this and that", mainly amateurish stuff and/or free downloads + simply TOOOOO much informations. Maybe thatīs what people like in today and iīm just ages behind (lol) but for me it leaves a impression of "quantity support" instead of "quality". I very rarely saw something like this on Hypnos forum, no matter of the section. Also, if John sometimes would not come with new ideas, it would very likely turn into something like Myspace where people just say short phrases.......Also something like RM is VERY difficult to look at and i find myself very often lost on this site, since the new blogs are never jump to the top when somebody posts....its like a jungle at the end. Iīm also prefer a forum like this because i donīt like websites loaded with photos and flash animation - this takes my attention away, slows a website radically and makes a website weaker IMO.

"Less is more"

Cheers,
Tomas

 
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 28, 2011, 05:08:36 AM
Thanks for the input, Tomas.

I agree an interface like Ning (which is what RM uses) is too cluttered.

Still I would ask for input about what features if any people would like to see here. There are all kinds of possibilities for forum enhancements in between this and a fully-loaded interface like Ning.

Of course, it's perfectly OK to say "leave it as it is," as well.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on September 28, 2011, 06:25:03 AM
I would agree the Ning format is confusing and prevents me from posting, and that is any facebook style community.  However that confusion can be visually stimulating which the rM community is.  One of my favorite topics here is "recent purchases" because it really is a celebration of cd cover art.  It is visually exciting to see, and of course shows that the cd format still has some life left in it.

The Hypnos forum is streamlined and its easy to see whats going on within a click or two.... definitely worth holding on to that. 

Blogs....if they lead to what Richard Gurtler has done over at rM with his reviews then yes. Same goes for James Johnson's Studio Build.  If its a more personal blog then its not something I would read.  I do like that moving banner over at rM that highlihts key topics and release....not sure if something like that is specific to the ning format

Youtube direct integration would be great....lots of ambient/electronic music video out there.

Ultimately, whatever creates more traffic through here is a good thing. There are a lot more voices out there that should be heard and it seems they need encouragement.

This forum is a fantastic resource for the ambient music community!  My it continue to grow.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: jkn on September 28, 2011, 07:00:01 AM
Well - we've hit on both the reasons I love ning and the reasons I hate ning. 

I've been working with Ning since early 2008 with the AtmoWorks community.   When AtmoWorks and I parted ways - I started getting Relaxed Machinery (rM) going - and launched the community around March 17, 2010 - and opened it up to everyone and not "just rM". 

So I've been around the block with Ning for several years, have seen some ups and downs - the mass exodus - etc... 

here's what's right about Ning...   images, blogs, videos - easy to upload, easy to feature, and easy to share to facebook, google+, twitter, etc..  It's very flexible - and I turned off a lot of functions that are rarely used.   I've worked like crazy to get that front page less cluttered and easy to find things.

what's wrong...    it's almost impossible to not look cluttered!   the Forum totally sucks - it's not a good forum.   This is why I buried the forum in the background and encouraged everyone to use the blogs. 

There's an element of basic design here at play ... 

1)  you can have everything you want - and then be lost trying to figure it out
2)  you can focus on one thing and do it really well

Hypnos is a forum - and it does that really well.   There's no beating good forum software. 

Ning is a platform to build a social network using a ton of different tools (music as well if you shell out the stupid bucks for a yearly account (it's like $550 a year now... sheesh).   

Mr. El Culto brought up many really good points...  yes - Ning is a pain to look at, easy to get lost, and I've put it up for a community vote last year "should we move" and have multiple community votes/discussions on what should be on the front page - what matters most to people - etc...    My old "feature of a member" every day was a highilight - I did finally stop doing that.    I added the slide show - which allowed me to feature a number of things all at once - and I really like that.    I started featuring new releases - realized I couldn't keep up - and Joel / Crystal Dreams volunteered to take that over.   (Yeaaah!)

I've hit a point in life where I don't have as much time for doing what I was doing with both rM the label and rM the community  -  so my activity has been and will be slowing down more.    I like doing birthday robots - that will continue.

As we've done here at Hypnos in the past - I've tried to goose some conversation - my latest attempt and it's been somewhat successful - is the community interviews... where I'm picking someone kind of at random and trying to get people to ask questions.   It's been going well.   I like it- I think the interviewees like it - and I think the people getting onboard like it.

Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: jkn on September 28, 2011, 07:06:30 AM
Julio asked about the slideshow... it's not ning exclusive - it's a javascript thing that's been tweaked to work within Ning's sometimes weird system.

Big ning downside is it doesn't allow "iFrames" - (then again - neiher does most forum software, Facebook, Myspace, Google+, etc...      Why do iframes matter?   Bandcamp, CD Baby, and Youtube widgets are all iframe.   (note youtube allows you to use the old "object" code as well as an option - so it's ok).

The Hypnos forum will allow bbcode - and thankfully flickr gives you an option of embedding an image in bbcode.

...................................


Ning alternatives...  When Ning announced the move from freemium (free or pay for extra features) to totally a paid system and the mass exodus and cries of people who demanded their free cake...  a ton of Ning competitors popped up.   Every one I researched and looked at was either deep in early beta - or had a "bait and switch" model already in plan.   In otherwords... they already planned to be like Ning with a paid system.   or had "freemium" plans - but the free features were so paltry in the long run that once latched onto new system you'd almost have to pay.

So I stayed with Ning for last year and we reupped again for this year - so we're there until next summer.

..................................

I'm loving Google+ - but as an alternative to Hypnos?   Not yet.    I know some communities left Ning and went to Facebook - ... but to me that really fractured those communities. 

..................................

Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: jkn on September 28, 2011, 07:10:50 AM
Great blogs and great writers... if you can attract someone brilliant like Richard Gurtler's reviews - http://relaxedmachinery.ning.com/profiles/blog/list?user=0oovds8s96edt

or Saul Stokes series on tearing apart his analog travel synth and rebuilding it:  http://relaxedmachinery.ning.com/profiles/blog/list?tag=Stokes

or James Johnson's highly detailed step by step blog on building his new studio:   http://relaxedmachinery.ning.com/profiles/blog/list?tag=jjstudio

Then - having the ability to blog is awesome.   But getting those people, and keeping those people - and having new ones join in...  wow - so difficult to do.   

Richard could post here if it were easier for him to upload an image.   I think that's the main thing that brought him to rM - and then later when I linked all of his reviews together...  that was very cool.   I don't want to speak for him (he's here!) - but I'm thrilled he posts at rM.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: jkn on September 28, 2011, 07:14:42 AM
Tired of me rambling yet?

...........................................................

I've been here at Hypnos since the beginning of the forum (week 1 or 2)...  I very seriously thought about just making Hypnos "home" and encouraging everyone to post here and seeing if Mike would let there be a Relaxed Machinery section (i don't remember if I ever actually told Mike this...)  - but I was so used to the AtmoWorks community and the Ning platform and the very easy ability to do photos and embed youtube and embed music from soundcloud or elsewhere - that I decided a forum wasn't the way to go.

So I launched the Ning and then encouraged any label or community that didn't have a home already to join in and officially be there... 

..............................................................

I'm certainly not opposed to a "joint" project going forward.   Many of us are already in both places (heck, I'm a moderator here!)...  So - I guess my point is I was never trying to take away from Hypnos if anyone ever had that thought.   That's why I feature Hypnos every so often on rM.ning  0- and of course their logo is on relaxedmachinery.com because we partner with them for the label's cdr's!

Ok I'm done rambling now.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: jkn on September 28, 2011, 07:19:28 AM
ok - one last thought...

The problem of one line posts and promotional posts isn't just a problem at rM... it's everywhere.   It's what myspace bacame - I see it on twitter on facebook and on the new google+

I will say that for photography specifically - google+ is a massive awesome superpower.   And I've been watching their rollouts of new features and I thing in a couple years time - g+ will be the "it" place.   Now if we could all figure out what's coming after g+ we'd be filthy rich.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Scott M2 on September 28, 2011, 07:43:06 AM
I enjoy the Hypnos forum as it is - refined, elegant, easy to read and easy to see what's new.

I enjoy the colourful, fun nature of RM but do find it cluttered and confusing.
The contrast with Hypnos is enjoyable. I think the RM site is highly animated by John's
tireless efforts and reflects his personality as, I imagine, that this forum reflects Mike's.

BTW - I mainly follow the RM blogs for Saul Stokes, James Johnson and Richard Gurtler.
Here, I drop into almost all the threads, though my contributions still tend to be limited to
injections of questionable humour and sporadic promotion.

My opinions must be filtered as "old school".
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Seren on September 28, 2011, 07:51:12 AM
I too like both Hypnos and Rm for their differences. I neither go the same restaurant whenever I eat out - nor do I always choose the same meal when I do repeat a visit to the same restaurant.

I also find Rm confusing - I know things are going on and people are communicating - but i don't seem to have enough time to work out how to find out where and how....

I suppose I am saying it might be good to develop things at Hypnos to deepen connection/understanding (a bit like how I feel about album liner notes) without losing the 'feel' of the forum as it is....

I know, I know  - this is actually saying make it different - but keep it the same!! ;D
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: ffcal on September 28, 2011, 08:26:19 AM
I also like the current Hypnos forum site the way it is, without the potential distracting bells and whistles of a social network site.  I like the fact that this site doesn't attempt to tether you to your screen 24/7.  About the only feature I'd like to see (though it's probably something I should just add to my own site) is the ability to easily stream a file of a work-in-progress through an embedded player.  I'm not as familiar with John's site as I should be, but I can tell he's put a lot of effort into it and that seems to be quite a bit of interesting info there.

Forrest
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: jkn on September 28, 2011, 08:32:49 AM
quick summary of a few people's thoughts:

HYPNOS:    current forum format is really nice, uncluttered and easy to keep up with.    would be nice if images and ability to embed a music player here were easy.

RELAXED MACHINERY NING:   a cluttered mess and difficult to read and post at.  But has most of the features people are requesting.

So...  Mike needs to beef up Hypnos and I need to tame down rM.  ;-)
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 28, 2011, 08:50:56 AM
I guess some people might have thought I meant that I wanted to make the Hypnos community like a Ning community, and this isn't quite true. I just meant that I'd consider making it more multi-function in the way Ning is.

John, I don't think anybody's saying the RM community is cluttery because of your setup -- I think it's inherent to what Ning is.

Very simply, I'd love to be able to integrate some extra features to give people a bit more to do, hear, see when they visit. I don't want to take away the good aspects of the Hypnos Forum.

The problem is, very few of us post anything here. If we go through a period of weeks where the few of us who sometimes create new topics are busy with other things, then the forum becomes nothing but a small number of folks posting "now playing" updates.

Now, having said that... whenever this comes up, I think a lot of people think to themselves, "Oh shit, I'd better post more or else this place will die off," and then the forum becomes busy, active and vibrant for a while. And that's great -- I hope we have a great October here! -- but I'm hoping for more long term enhancements to the site that will draw more people to participate, more often, more consistently.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: petekelly on September 28, 2011, 08:51:36 AM
For me, the ability to embed music players - I'm thinking Soundcloud primarily, would be a great boon for the Hypnos forum. I like the forum for it's content (mostly) and the ease in which threads / info can be followed.

I don't have a problem with the look of rM, but there is a lot going on and interesting things can get lost when a new member posts a few things. I was the 3rd person to sign up (from memory) and I knew who most of the people were for quite some time then.

John is right, if someone really wants to go into self-promotion mode and not enter into any debate or discussions, then there's not much that can be done about that. Naturally, thats not confined to this here forum or rM.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: jkn on September 28, 2011, 09:19:34 AM
Sorry if my comments sounded like "Hypnos shold be ning-like"...  I'm certainly not saying that. 

If forum software could be what it is now - and add the ability to easily embed "stuff"... like youtube and soundcloud - you've just pretty much solved the "media" thing right there.   

I think SMF had some add on's or tweaks to enable those when I was tinkering with it a while back.

 
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: El culto on September 28, 2011, 09:26:07 AM

The problem is, very few of us post anything here. If we go through a period of weeks where the few of us who sometimes create new topics are busy with other things, then the forum becomes nothing but a small number of folks posting "now playing" updates.

Now, having said that... whenever this comes up, I think a lot of people think to themselves, "Oh shit, I'd better post more or else this place will die off," and then the forum becomes busy, active and vibrant for a while. And that's great -- I hope we have a great October here! -- but I'm hoping for more long term enhancements to the site that will draw more people to participate, more often, more consistently.

Actually i disagree with this. Silence is not such a bad sign and it doesnīt give an impression that a forum is death. I prefer this much more then to have things like the new "activity stream" on FB where you can see any nonsense what people have to say, like or cook at the moment.

Actually 3 things i would like to see here:

1. Option to add videos and music players
2. A special section/room for possible collaborations (means, where people can ask for something or can offer something)
3. More direct integration of other portals/radio stations/info sites which are into the ambient world (at the end the people donīt care about competitions between labels, musicians or whatever - they simply want to explore this kind of music to find out what suites them most).

Greetings,
Tomas
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 28, 2011, 09:42:44 AM
I don't really have a problem with the forum being "quieter." Some people do, though, and if they don't see much activity for a while, they won't come back.

Some people don't show up to post, but to read things others have posted. So if enough people approach the forum that way, we end up with more and more of the posts being self-promotional and those visitors who mostly lurk can start to become disenchanted.

I don't want to re-invent the wheel, but I'd like to find some new ways to encourage contribution from people who have something to offer. There have been some good suggestions already.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: El culto on September 28, 2011, 10:20:13 AM
I don't really have a problem with the forum being "quieter." Some people do, though, and if they don't see much activity for a while, they won't come back.

Some people don't show up to post, but to read things others have posted. So if enough people approach the forum that way, we end up with more and more of the posts being self-promotional and those visitors who mostly lurk can start to become disenchanted

I really have a problem to follow your thoughts. I mean, lets face it, itīs not possible to please anyone who visit this site - if some doesnīt come back because there is less activity, itīs not the end of the world. These are very likely the people which needs "info drones" all the time and obviously for them FB is a better place.

Also, its not a secret that Hypnos Forum is connected to your label so itīs also kinda seen as a promo tool for you. The same goes for the Non-Hypnos section - but what you would expect to have for post there if not mainly promo post from others outside of the Hypnos circle? Isnīt it the nature of this section to post things like that there?

I totally agree on the point to improve the forum to make it for the members more attractive (which very likely will increase activity).

Cheers,
Tomas
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: ffcal on September 28, 2011, 10:44:58 AM
Actually, I wouldn't mind seeing a little less self-promotional posting.  Topics and interaction are the main reasons I like to visit, not because I am afraid of missing out on a 'great' two-fer deal or the latest review of a previously posted release.

Forrest
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 28, 2011, 10:56:38 AM
I don't mind a certain amount of self-promotion. I get a little irritated with people who just flood the forum with self-promotion and never post anything else, but most people don't do that.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: jkn on September 28, 2011, 11:24:37 AM
Wait!  Dude!  Where's this two-fer deal?    :-X

Forums, communities, etc... all ebb and flow - there are phases inactivity and then all of a sudden a big influx of posts.   It's been that way in every forum, message board, whatever that I've been on.   

However, I think it has slowed down a bit in general across the board.   People communicate differently now... where before - a place like this was a primary place to congregate - now it's just one segment.   The people that know me really well... text me - or message me - or google talk me - or facebook chat me - or rM.ning chat me - live and instant.   Heck some people that don't know me talk to me that way.

Unless someone or several someone's jump in and "drive" conversations...  only occasional posts occur.   

I'm one of those weird "drive conversations" guys - always have been.   I don't always succeed ( I love questions or posts that fall so flat no one answers at all.. ha) -

Sometimes it's nice to just say "hello" to people even if there's nothing to talk about.   :-)

Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: APK on September 28, 2011, 11:54:46 AM
Actually, I wouldn't mind seeing a little less self-promotional posting.  Topics and interaction are the main reasons I like to visit, not because I am afraid of missing out on a 'great' two-fer deal or the latest review of a previously posted release.

Forrest

I would be for having more main topics so that, for example, self-promo posts have their own designated section. You go there, you know what to expect. Could have another for independent reviews. Etc.

The virtue of a forum like this is clarity and ease of finding stuff and knowing what you will find in each section. I think having more, and more well-defined, topics would help. For example, the Hypnos section could be a few sections. One would be New and Upcoming on Hypnos.

So I'm certainly for expanding the menu.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: drone on on September 28, 2011, 12:24:01 PM
I would like to see more reviews here in general.  Lots of CD's coming out that never get a mention here at all, and I miss that, as when I started posting around 10 years ago it seemed there were more topics started about albums and lots of reviews, even if just a few lines of general impressions.  I thought the monthly links to electroambientspace were excellent.   
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: phobos on September 28, 2011, 01:01:18 PM
I too like the Hypnos Forum as it is, it is clear and organised and not "in your face"
But I also like the suggestions to be able to embed Soundcloud and You Tube and I like Tomas' suggestion on a section for collaborations (a Hypnos Forum collaboration CD might be a good idea?)I know EM Portal did something similar.
The forum can tend to be quiet, I have noticed particularly at weekends, but that is because people have other things to do as well as visit here. I would also think as most of us are musicians and have full time jobs, making music not being the full time job, when you do get your free time you tend to use it by spending time with family, wife kids etc, making music and visiting forums to catch up. Being quiet is not a bad thing as I like to catch up on posts that are months, even years old to see what I have missed. You don't have to comment every day. I tend to comment if I feel I have something useful to say or add, like now, for instance. The self promotion thing kind of tends to happen with every forum I am a member of, and probably goes on in lots of other forums too, not just EM, lets face it, this is such a small field, how else are you going to let like minded people know about your latest masterpiece, take out ads on TV or in the lastest fashionable mag, I think that is beyond most if not all of us here. The self promotion I see here, and yes I do it as well, is not excessive and is generally well handled. I am going on a bit now, so to sum up,

Hypnos is great the way it is, it would be nice to embed music and video, a section for collaborations/ideas would be nice and a collaborative Hypnos Forum Members CD would be nice too (which actually doesn't involve a change in the forum as that could get underway now) :)
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Bill Binkelman on September 28, 2011, 01:20:24 PM
While I think there are things here that could do with some tweaking, overall, the Hypnos forum seems fine. It is relatively uncluttered, but I also don't think RM is "cluttered" as much as it is what it is...a NING community. I joined it, and two "new age music" ones but left the latter two when ALL they were was either self-promotional or discussions that started but never went anywhere. RM, at least, seems interesting...although sometimes the variety of people who post is a bit staggering (to me). I'm used to smaller communities.

I also think that, while there has always been ebb and flow in online forums and communities, I think we are in a paradigm shift (I know, I hate that term too  ::) ) I have NEVER seen the ambient@hyperreal list so dead. Part of this is that some live wires simply have faded away, both here and elsewhere. But, as Mike stated (I think somewhere earlier), people are re-aligning their online communication relationships, whether it be through Facebook or whatever. Again, the ebb and flow is natural, but I also think if you plotted the traffic here or other venues from, say, 2000 to now, you'd see a steady downward trend, irrespective of the ebb/flow.

Another thing is this...and it's just my opinion...ambient is no longer "new." Meaning it's been around now for over 30 years. I remember how exciting it was when, e.g. Strata and Soma came out, i.e. the first two collaborations between ambient wunderkinds Roach and Rich. Part of that was because it was all so new. I'm not saying that either (a) no one is making great music anymore or that (b) there are no "new" talents around. It's just that the element of "new" is relatively gone. And with it, a sense of excitement which led people to discuss more.

Also, (and sorry this is turning into a Binkelman treatise), with the exception of a few newbies now and then, most of us really KNOW each other pretty well, esp. from a music standpoint. Again, once we know our likes and dislikes, it leaves a lot of discussion moot, IMO.

I think it's VERY telling that one of the most discussed topics over the last few years are people dying, e.g. Jim and Barry. It's almost like we suddenly become aware of a world OUTSIDE the minimal discussions here. I know I am in the TINY minority who misses the contentious days of the Everything and Nothing being no-holds-barred and I understand no one wants that any more. But, again this is only my opinion, I can only read so many "currently listening" posts or posts about new releases that, if I had the time, I would buy and listen to (my reviewing backlog is so monumental at this point that buying anything but the occasional soundtrack is pointless).

Maybe nearly everything relevant to ambient music has simply been discussed..."what is ambient?" "how are new age and ambient different?" "does ambient have beats?" "is Eno relevant any more?" etc etc etc.

OTOH, for me personally, I just am not all that interested in some topics and even when I have opinions, I seldom post them. One is because I feel detached from the entire community anyway, and the other is because I don't see the point....by that I mean, a discussion on the merits or downsides of CD-Rs...I mean, so what? Artists will do what they will, no matter who says what. Sometimes, I think some discussions are almost on the level of whining, but that's just me.

Wow, I am in full on rant mode now and LOL'ing to myself. Sorry to all the old timers who know me well from the past. I don't mean nothin' by it. Maybe I just don't like getting old! ;)

Mike, you have done wonders keeping the Forum alive all these years, with John and Anthony's help. Frankly, with everything else you got going, I say leave it as is. My only suggestion is to consider taking the "currently listening" tab and whittle away the really old stuff. Does anyone go back to page 3 or 4 and read it?  ::)

I wish I could get reignited and feel connected to not just here but the ambient community in general...time is just so short but I do hope to once again, at some point, contribute something of worth.

Thanks for indulging me.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: jkn on September 28, 2011, 01:20:36 PM
I tend to post my "now playings" on google+ now.   I used to mainly post them to twitter (whcih I've almost 99% dropped). 

Why?  Super easy to grab an image of the cover on amazon - and upload it to google and do a quick "now playing" wiht some thoughts about it.   Sometimes details on the album, sometimes links, sometimes just oh man I love this flippin albums it's the bees knees.  :-)

i could post here -b ut I have to admit - I like seeing the cover art.  :-)

I do not like the idea of Facebook auto posting ever single thing I listen to on spotify (well ok I don't have a spotify account - but still...)

But then again - wasn't that what scrobbling on last.fm was all about? 
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: ffcal on September 28, 2011, 01:20:47 PM
I agree that in general the posters here are very considerate and not excessive in promoting their own music.  What I am thinking of are the few who have periodically bumped a subject to the top to simply repromote one of their own releases.  I remember that Low Point did this a while back and it was pretty irritating. 

Reviews in general are also not a problem for me, but I think it can be tricky when posting reviews of your own work.  As a potential consumer, I'd rather hear from the listeners or reviewers directly.

Forrest
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: jkn on September 28, 2011, 01:25:35 PM
" a Binkelman treatise "

Frankly - we need a few more of those.

And yes - losing Jim was probably the biggest blow to the community here... he always had a way of jump starting the conversation even when in full on silly mode.   

My main suggestion to Mike is to figure out how to do images easier and allow embeds of soundcloud and youtube.   Beyond that - I don't think Hypnos needs "fixed". 

Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: El culto on September 28, 2011, 01:30:56 PM
I too like the Hypnos Forum as it is, it is clear and organised and not "in your face"
But I also like the suggestions to be able to embed Soundcloud and You Tube and I like Tomas' suggestion on a section for collaborations (a Hypnos Forum collaboration CD might be a good idea?)I know EM Portal did something similar.
The forum can tend to be quiet, I have noticed particularly at weekends, but that is because people have other things to do as well as visit here. I would also think as most of us are musicians and have full time jobs, making music not being the full time job, when you do get your free time you tend to use it by spending time with family, wife kids etc, making music and visiting forums to catch up. Being quiet is not a bad thing as I like to catch up on posts that are months, even years old to see what I have missed. You don't have to comment every day. I tend to comment if I feel I have something useful to say or add, like now, for instance. The self promotion thing kind of tends to happen with every forum I am a member of, and probably goes on in lots of other forums too, not just EM, lets face it, this is such a small field, how else are you going to let like minded people know about your latest masterpiece, take out ads on TV or in the lastest fashionable mag, I think that is beyond most if not all of us here. The self promotion I see here, and yes I do it as well, is not excessive and is generally well handled. I am going on a bit now, so to sum up,

Hypnos is great the way it is, it would be nice to embed music and video, a section for collaborations/ideas would be nice and a collaborative Hypnos Forum Members CD would be nice too (which actually doesn't involve a change in the forum as that could get underway now) :)

Someone still complaining the forum is not active? LOL

Well written Phobos, i agree on anything you said!

To be a bit more precise about this "collab section" iīve mentioned...appart from the idea of Phobos i see it more "open". For instance, i often like to include some real instruments in the music i do and iīm sure even here are some musicians which are playing an instrument very well (cello, guitar or whatever). If there would be a section this musicians could simply say this in a post...for instance: "iīm a xxxx player and if someone is interested i can provide...etc" - or the other way round, if iīm searching for a particular instrument i can see such people which are open for it and i can simply contact them! IMO this would be a huge tool for this forum, especially since people will only provide because they are into or love this music. Makes a huge difference in comparison to find players anywhere else which are mainly in a particular style.

Cheers,
Tomas
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: ffcal on September 28, 2011, 01:38:03 PM
" a Binkelman treatise "

Frankly - we need a few more of those.

Hear, hear!  :)
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Bill Binkelman on September 28, 2011, 02:06:57 PM
" a Binkelman treatise "

Frankly - we need a few more of those.

Hear, hear!  :)

Be careful what you wish for.... ;D
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: El culto on September 28, 2011, 02:20:55 PM

Reviews in general are also not a problem for me, but I think it can be tricky when posting reviews of your own work.  As a potential consumer, I'd rather hear from the listeners or reviewers directly.

I was reading this several times and still donīt understand it.

The usual progress is: reviews are made from 3rd persons like website, blogs magazines etc....so, it makes a difference for you if a customer or the reviewer post the same review instead of the artist?  ???
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: ffcal on September 28, 2011, 02:26:13 PM
Maybe I could have worded it little more artfully, but I think there is more of a danger of the artist's own selectivity (or, to be more blunt, posting only positive reviews) if the reviews are filtered through the artist first.  Who would want to post a negative review of their own work?

Forrest


Reviews in general are also not a problem for me, but I think it can be tricky when posting reviews of your own work.  As a potential consumer, I'd rather hear from the listeners or reviewers directly.

I was reading this several times and still donīt understand it.

The usual progress is: reviews are made from 3rd persons like website, blogs magazines etc....so, it makes a difference for you if a customer or the reviewer post the same review instead of the artist?  ???
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: El culto on September 28, 2011, 02:42:01 PM
Maybe I could have worded it little more artfully, but I think there is more of a danger of the artist's own selectivity (or, to be more blunt, posting only positive reviews) if the reviews are filtered through the artist first.  Who would want to post a negative review of their own work?

Forrest


Reviews in general are also not a problem for me, but I think it can be tricky when posting reviews of your own work.  As a potential consumer, I'd rather hear from the listeners or reviewers directly.

I was reading this several times and still donīt understand it.

The usual progress is: reviews are made from 3rd persons like website, blogs magazines etc....so, it makes a difference for you if a customer or the reviewer post the same review instead of the artist?  ???

True, agree on this point!

On the other hand, critical reviewers are very care in today...actually i got a very "nice" response back after asking for sending demos. I will be "fair" and not mention the name here, even a lot of people know this person and the radio station behind but the answer was...yes, sent me your stuff, but i charge 10$ for each review...isnīt it a great answer? Just imagine what happened if iīve sent 30$?  ;D ;D

Useless to say itīs not worth to support this nonsense.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Bill Binkelman on September 28, 2011, 02:48:25 PM
On a totally random tangential note here, and I do mean random and tangential, John's earlier statement: "The people that know me really well... text me - or message me - or google talk me - or facebook chat me - or rM.ning chat me - live and instant. "
prompts me to ask the following:

How many of us IN THIS COMMUNITY (and I also include members who only occasionally or even never post here but are mentioned here frequently, e.g. Robert Rich) ever talk by phone any more? Back in the days of W and W the magazine and even the early days of the website (2000-2002), I FREQUENTLY spoke to folks on the phone. During the magazine, I think Mike and I talked at least once a month. I know I spoke to Howard Givens at Spotted Peccary, Jeff Pearce, Barry Craig (RIP), Lloyd Barde, and many more on a regular basis. But how many here still do that? Do members, who have known each other for years, ever call each other any more or is it all via electronic media? I think the ONLY person I speak to on the phone any more is the promoter Ed Bonk, Jamie Bonk's dad, who runs Lazz Promotions.

Frankly, I miss it. It's ironic (or is it? maybe... after Alanis M, I can never be sure) that I FINALLY got Comcast digital voice with unlimited long distance and now I never have to call anyone!  ::)

Back in the magazine days, my long distance bill was HUGE every month.

Just curious....is it all text, email, FB, etc? Do we reserve our personal contact for the rare face-to-face? My last contact face to face with ANYONE in this community was with SunDummy when we had a beer together then attended the Robert Rich concert at the Cedar Cultural Center in Mpls at least 6 or more years ago...hell, it might've been 8 years.

Gee, I'm rambling again...see? You get what you wished for....as Gene Wilder said to Terry Garr in Young Frankenstein...."HAPPY?"

(http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l92/billbink/youngfrank89.jpg)
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 28, 2011, 02:51:17 PM
Jeff Pearce called me about a half hour ago, Bill, and we talked about you!

 :)

Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 28, 2011, 02:52:36 PM
I should add... I almost never talk on the phone. With my schedule, there are very few, brief openings for communications like this. It's usually more convenient to communicate here or by email or on Facebook PM, so I don't have to be available at the same time the person I'm talking to is available.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Bill Binkelman on September 28, 2011, 03:00:05 PM
Maybe I could have worded it little more artfully, but I think there is more of a danger of the artist's own selectivity (or, to be more blunt, posting only positive reviews) if the reviews are filtered through the artist first.  Who would want to post a negative review of their own work?

Forrest


Reviews in general are also not a problem for me, but I think it can be tricky when posting reviews of your own work.  As a potential consumer, I'd rather hear from the listeners or reviewers directly.

I was reading this several times and still donīt understand it.

The usual progress is: reviews are made from 3rd persons like website, blogs magazines etc....so, it makes a difference for you if a customer or the reviewer post the same review instead of the artist?  ???

True, agree on this point!

On the other hand, critical reviewers are very care in today...actually i got a very "nice" response back after asking for sending demos. I will be "fair" and not mention the name here, even a lot of people know this person and the radio station behind but the answer was...yes, sent me your stuff, but i charge 10$ for each review...isnīt it a great answer? Just imagine what happened if iīve sent 30$?  ;D ;D

Useless to say itīs not worth to support this nonsense.

I hate to say it but I have heard of this practice and it saddens me. I have been paid to write liner notes and press releases and bios, and in fact I actively solicit the opportunity to to do so (in case anyone needs something done) as I think I have a knack for it, as well as layout skills for one sheets. But I have never taken a dime from an artist or a label for a review and never will.

I wouldn't criticize a reviewer if he/she asked for a fee IF they are not being paid to review, and most are not...but it does cast a suspicious light on the nature of the review - obviously.

I also understand that when artists post reviews, it can be the case of hand-picking the best...but on the other hand, some reviewers simply don't circulate their reviews either. Some artists ask me to post my review on CDBaby or Amazon and others do it themselves or don't post it period. I don't mind being asked to do so and am surprised more people don't ask. Sometimes, I think my posting reviews seems, somehow, that I'm blowing MY horn, not the artist's! (okay...poor choice of words on my part  :o ).  So I don't post many any more. I have reviewed some ambient CDs for New Age Retailer, e.g. The Road Eternal, but I guess I'm afraid that since the review is in New Age Retailer, people here wouldn't be interested in what I wrote....guess I've gotten insecure in my old age.

Bill
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Bill Binkelman on September 28, 2011, 03:04:14 PM
Jeff Pearce called me about a half hour ago, Bill, and we talked about you!

 :)

I figured it would be Pearce....I've been waiting for that sonuvabitch to invite me to Indiana for a beer for over a dozen years. But no! Well, I'm done being his lackey. He can just get someone else to provide hero worship, admiration, genuflection and worship...

Just kidding, Jeff.....need your car washed?  ;D
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Seren on September 28, 2011, 03:04:53 PM
lots of interesting comments and suggestions.

I too like the idea of a 'collaberation' section.

I live in the UK - if anyone wants to call me feel free - just check time differences first - I'm usually around between 6 and 11 pm uk time....
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Altus on September 28, 2011, 06:09:35 PM
Sometimes, I think my posting reviews seems, somehow, that I'm blowing MY horn, not the artist's! (okay...poor choice of words on my part  :o ).  So I don't post many any more.
That's so curious you'd feel that way, but I can understand why.
Let me say that having a reviewer such as yourself post on a third-party website, such as CDBaby, brings with it an extra layer of "authenticity" that can't be matched if the artist just posted the review themself.  I would say that you posting it would mean a lot more to the artist and listeners.

Someone (yourself or anyone) taking the time to write their thoughts and feelings about a release to share with others is gratifying and humbling to an artist (to me at least).  Even if the review isn't glowing, which I think folks would agree is a nice change of pace, a productive review that makes valid points should be embraced not shunned.

Back to the original topic:  I have to agree with the majority that changing this forum would cause more harm than good.  There's nothing wrong with it.  Why change it?  Ebb and flow happens to all forums and sites of this nature.

I admit I'm very much a lurker, but then I'm generally a man of few words in person so that's my excuse.   ::)
I enjoy the conversations on this forum, and there's just enough content to not get bogged down by visiting every other day.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: jdh on September 28, 2011, 10:44:04 PM
Some interesting suggestions.
As a listener and not a creator,I would like to see more reviews and not ones created by the artist,who will always say how great the release is.I find there is too much self congratulation or the same by close peers here.Sorry not every musician or piece brilliant.there is not enough criticism now in most media.not nasty or cruel criticism but constructive.
Self promotion is ok but only one post.
Also,more live reviews.even if is not strictly ambient or in your city.are you interested in Roger waters? Robin Guthrie,sotl,m83 and so on.I have posted in the past some shows or bands playing to no avail.
More links to where you can purchase your latest now listening or recently purchased.I have seen on hypnos some music that sounded of interest only unable to find it anywhere as it is obscure.
You tube links are of interest.
This is a small community and if we can expand it through new features,all the better.
I very much enjoy the hypnos site and the lay out as is. 
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on September 29, 2011, 05:08:53 AM
I wonder if it might help if we showed some links here to other forums that exhibit good and not so good aspects of what could improve the Hypnos forum.

Heres a link to the 12k Forum.  It is similar in its approach to Hypnos but I like the diversity of Forum topics.  Might be a little too much production & gear sections for some.  It is clean and easy to read and you can get to what you are interested quickly or just aimlessly cruise around with easy   http://www.12k.com/forum/ (http://www.12k.com/forum/)
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: jkn on September 29, 2011, 05:34:13 AM
I love 12k as a label...  I didn't 'click' with the forum.  doesn't mean others won't.    I also found the forum super tiny - and always had to boost up my viewing size (old eyes...)

Bill asked about the dreaded PHONE.    I hate talking on the phone.    I have for many, many years.    The ability to talk to people in a slightly detached way... especially instant messaging or chat - is awesome to me.  Because I can type something and if the other person is busy - they can respond later... and vice versa.   

My wife hates using the phone and in general it's up to me to make just about all the phone calls.

...and more than half of strangers assume I'm a woman on the phone which just adds an extra layer of annoyance every time I talk to someone on the phone.   

Ack.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 08:06:07 AM
I love the 12k label but to me their forum seems more narrowly focused, if anything? Where are the forum sections for talking about NCAA football, salsa recipes, and jokes?
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: LNerell on September 29, 2011, 08:24:52 AM
Bill asked about the dreaded PHONE.    I hate talking on the phone.    I have for many, many years.    The ability to talk to people in a slightly detached way... especially instant messaging or chat - is awesome to me.  Because I can type something and if the other person is busy - they can respond later... and vice versa.   

I love talking on the phone! Can we have a Hypnos phone bank app?  ;D

As other have stated being able to add audio or video to a post would be great.  A few weeks ago when I made that A Produce/Loren Nerell podcast I found it a bit madding that I couldn't embed it here at Hypnos but could at RM. And speaking of RM, the one thing that I find I use the most is the chat window. Did Hypnos have that at one time? My brain seems to think it did but I never used it then.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 08:37:52 AM
We did have a chat feature years ago, in the PhpBB software version of the forum. It was glitchy and awful so I ended up removing it.

I'll consider trying one of the newer SMF forum chat plugins and see what people think.

I'll also look into media embedding, if it can be done without turning this place into a mess.

It sounds like these two things would satisfy most people's desires without transforming the forum into something unrecognizable, so we'll start there.

Thanks for the input so far... keep the suggestions coming.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on September 29, 2011, 08:46:48 AM
Mike, I like your sense of diversity  :)......I should have been more specific such as 12k's dedicated forum for art, one for self promotion etc. all within the forum bounderies.... Sound . Art . Recording . Culture .

The Everything and Nothing forum here does cover it all and pigeon holing it to specific forum topics might not work or it might help to guide people to areas of interest. 

Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 08:55:44 AM
I'll say it again -- I love 12k -- (and furthermore I love Taylor Deupree's designs just about 100% of the time) but that forum hurts my eyes.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: jkn on September 29, 2011, 09:22:20 AM
Ha!  didn't realize 12k forum as SMF also.  ;-)

Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 10:16:36 AM
Testing YouTube embed.........

Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 10:17:40 AM
Testing Vimeo embed.........

Omnisphere 1.5 Demo from Spectrasonics on Vimeo.

Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 10:21:02 AM
Testing Soundcloud embed...............

Through The Lens Of Love by Steve Brand
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 10:23:20 AM
Before everybody starts getting excited and trying the above embedding methods, I should mention that at this point it's only something moderators can do. Not that I'm trying to withhold this ability from everybody, but the forum allows moderators and admins to include HTML embeds by using BBcode tags at the beginning and ending of the HTML code.

I just wanted to test that out, and will work on a more permanent, widely-available solution.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: APK on September 29, 2011, 10:31:20 AM
The next trick will be to stop the forum from being plastered all over with mindless videos and sound-clips !   ;D
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 10:35:57 AM
Yes indeed. It'll need to be within certain limits or rules otherwise it'll be nothing but kitten videos and clips from The Office.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: APK on September 29, 2011, 10:46:00 AM
And,  listen to what I just created using only one chord in Omnisphere plus a broken bicycle bell !
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: APK on September 29, 2011, 10:47:50 AM
Ah, the potential horror !!!
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: jkn on September 29, 2011, 11:08:58 AM
oh man I love lolcats and kittens!
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: LNerell on September 29, 2011, 11:36:29 AM
Can we make an exception and allow as many Monty Python clips as we want?  ;D
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: petekelly on September 29, 2011, 02:21:51 PM
I love the 12k label but to me their forum seems more narrowly focused, if anything? Where are the forum sections for talking about NCAA football, salsa recipes, and jokes?

I think that forum is rather inaccessible in my view - style over content ?

Cool to see the Soundcloud/Youtube embeds, is this a new thing or could it have been included before ?
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 02:40:23 PM
It's actually not too easy to set up soundcloud & youtube embedding. This forum software makes it easy for the forum administrator to do it, and nearly impossible to grant the ability to regular members. I'm still working on it.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 03:18:29 PM
Testing soundcloud embedding tag...

This is an instance of using the soundcloud BBCode tag
[soundcloud]http://soundcloud.com/stevebrand/through-the-lens-of-love[/soundcloud]


This is an instance of using the cloudset BBCode tag
[cloudset]http://soundcloud.com/stevebrand/sets/steve-brand/[/cloudset]
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 03:24:55 PM
OK, that worked. I'll make a more formal post about how to use this, but for now there are two ways to embed soundcloud materials.

The soundcloud tag is for linking to a specific soundcloud track.

Code: [Select]
[soundcloud]http://soundcloud.com/artist/trackname[/soundcloud] - just copy/paste your track link between the tags.


The cloudset tag is for linking to a soundcloud "set" or playlist

Code: [Select]
[cloudset]http://soundcloud.com/artist/sets/setname[/cloudset] - just copy/paste your track link between the tags.


The above examples are:

Code: [Select]
[soundcloud]http://soundcloud.com/stevebrand/through-the-lens-of-love[/soundcloud]

[cloudset]http://soundcloud.com/stevebrand/sets/steve-brand/[/cloudset]
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 03:28:01 PM
Last thing before I move on to YouTube embedding... I need to get tiny little icons for the soundcloud and cloudset tags... at present there are two "broken" icons to the left of the 'Insert Image' icon in the "Posting" window.
 
You can click on those, and they work -- the first one on the left is  soundcloud and the next one over, beside "insert image," is cloudset. By the time you read this, those may be fixed anyway.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 03:36:14 PM
OK, the SOUNDCLOUD and CLOUDSET buttons are working on the "Post" screen. The SOUNDCLOUD one is orange and the CLOUDSET one is green, just because I didn't know how to differentiate a cloudset and I don't have time to create an icon from scratch.

If anybody has a GIF format icon 21x20 pixels suitable for "cloudset," let me know.

I'll worry about YouTube embedding tomorrow!
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 03:55:58 PM
testing youtube embedding...

Usain Bolt 9.58 100m New World Record Berlin [HQ] (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nbjhpcZ9_g#noexternalembed-ws)


Note: in some cases, the video won't come through, if the video's owner disabled linking of this kind
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 03:58:42 PM
boring the crap out of everybody with tests (I'll delete all the failed ones later)

Omnisphere Visualizer - Burning Piano (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=md9ZPUyGZXk#ws)
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 04:01:07 PM
OK, the trick to embedding YouTube videos is... there is no trick.

Don't use embed code, don't use any funny URL other than what appears in your address bar when you're viewing the video on YouTube.

I added a media sharing plugin for this forum that will make sense out of browser URLs that contain YouTube or other media formats.

Numina - Drift catalyst (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMlwIpulIqU#)
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 04:06:09 PM
Vimeo link test

Robert Rich Live @ Klusa Daba Festival 30.08.08 (http://vimeo.com/2195315)
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 04:09:53 PM
Google Maps embedding -- same as with YouTube and Vimeo, just copy/paste the URL out of your browser window. 

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=google+maps+timothy+lake+oregon&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x54be39696339efeb:0x7013708f2d9af9ce,Timothy+Lake&gl=us&ei=gvqETqzrLojKiAKi6dzWDA&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CCEQ8gEwAA (http://maps.google.com/maps?q=google+maps+timothy+lake+oregon&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x54be39696339efeb:0x7013708f2d9af9ce,Timothy+Lake&gl=us&ei=gvqETqzrLojKiAKi6dzWDA&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CCEQ8gEwAA)
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 29, 2011, 04:52:27 PM
I've created a "sticky" topic for instructions on the Soundcloud and YouTube embedding functions, so I suppose we can redirect this topic back to other suggestions for features not yet implemented.

Thanks again, everybody, for all the input.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Jeff Sampson on September 29, 2011, 05:06:41 PM
Yipes! I stray away for a few days....  ;)

...and I don't have much time at the moment so I'll try to be concise (here comes the Reader's Digest version?)

I like Hypnos like it is/was - didn't need the Soundcloud or YouTube embeds as I don't mind clicking through... but the tests look pretty cool. :)

Not interested in seeing the place become FB/Ning-lite.

More, concisely defined, topic areas? Yes, please.

Love the idea for a collaborate/help-me-with section.

Very much miss phone conversations - that's one reason why my phone number is in my email sig. (Hey, Jeff! add it to your sig here. D'oh.)

Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: El culto on September 30, 2011, 02:21:31 AM
We did have a chat feature years ago, in the PhpBB software version of the forum. It was glitchy and awful so I ended up removing it.

I'll consider trying one of the newer SMF forum chat plugins and see what people think.

I'll also look into media embedding, if it can be done without turning this place into a mess.

It sounds like these two things would satisfy most people's desires without transforming the forum into something unrecognizable, so we'll start there.

As far as my counting is not messes up, I havenīt seen so much people asking for chat  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: jkn on September 30, 2011, 05:46:02 AM
Dude, like I totally love chat.  :-)
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: hdibrell on September 30, 2011, 10:42:28 AM
  I type too slow to chat  :(  Like a lot of others here, I like the forum pretty much the way it is. Some of the changes such as embedding music and videos sound pretty good, though. I also like rM for what it is. I didn't join it to get the same experience I get from Hypnos. It can be fun and there are some interesting people on it as well. I'm just glad we have these options. I can remember the days when I thought I was the only person listening to ambient music because I didn't know anyone else that did.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 30, 2011, 03:09:48 PM
I've created some new topics, and slightly rearranged existing sections and topics. Maybe this will stimulate a different sort of discussion.

These are by no means permanent, though. Let me know what you think about these, suggest others, or point out ways in which the new sections are completely pointless and stupid! It's not too difficult for us to move threads around from one topic to another, so if one or more of these doesn't work, we'll move the topics out of it and rearrange around it.

I haven't gone through and started moving old threads to more appropriate topics, but may do so soon, depending on reaction to the new categories and topics I've created.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 30, 2011, 03:21:54 PM
On second thought, I may start moving around a few threads, so some of the new topic sections are populated at least by something.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 30, 2011, 03:39:31 PM
I'm afraid I'm making a mess with all these redirects. When I move a topic, should I just move it and forget the redirect?
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: APK on September 30, 2011, 03:40:54 PM
Yes.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 30, 2011, 03:47:22 PM
I thought so!  :)
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on September 30, 2011, 05:17:24 PM
I've been moving lots of threads into sections that fit better, now that we've created more finely-tuned forum areas. There's no possible way I'll get this done, so it'll be an ongoing project.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: richardgurtler on October 01, 2011, 12:43:52 AM
I didn't have enough time to take part in this discussion during the week. So few words now, I really enjoy Hypnos Forum the way it is. But of course I don't have any problems with some ongoing updates. Mike & Lena are doing fantastic job with the whole Hypnos, my big thanks to them as well as to all those who are contributing to this forum, I am very happy to be here!!! And when mentioning Relaxed Machinery, I can say just the same about John and the whole community involved. I am not going to campare them, because each of them has its own identity, and that's what I like on these two forums. All the best and keep on going for many years to come!!!

Richard
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: El culto on October 01, 2011, 01:05:27 AM
IMO itīs now a bit messed up...

Hypnos Relateted activities - donīt understand the deeper purpose of this. When a Hypnos artist releases anywhere else, from my logic, this should be then in "Other ambient" section too. Otherwise you expect from people to know what are all the "Hypnos" artists. Beside from this aspect i believe this section will be finally stay quite empty - there is simply not much what can be added there.

Greetings,
Tomas
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on October 01, 2011, 09:35:48 AM
It may be possible that we've ended up creating too many sections, but it's easy enough to backtrack and trim one or two.

We needed an area for artists who have released on Hypnos to announce their non-Hypnos projects, so that we can have an area reserved for Hypnos releases only. You say those posts should go into the "other" section, but we will see. I think that section will have a lot of activity.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: El culto on October 01, 2011, 10:38:18 AM
It may be possible that we've ended up creating too many sections, but it's easy enough to backtrack and trim one or two.

We needed an area for artists who have released on Hypnos to announce their non-Hypnos projects, so that we can have an area reserved for Hypnos releases only. You say those posts should go into the "other" section, but we will see. I think that section will have a lot of activity.

Yes, the activity there will be more there. I just think that most people at the end will not care about a section "Hypnos artist with releases outside of Hypnos" and those releases  of these artist might get lost at the end because people will likely go into the "other" section since they expect to find them there.

The easiest might be to ask all the Hypnos artist what they think!

Cheers,
Tomas
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on October 01, 2011, 12:14:30 PM
Everybody is free to give input -- Hypnos artists, other artists and labels, DJs, reviewers, fans, lurkers, whatever. I'm trying to take in to account the wishes and preferences people are expressing here.

At least at first, I'd rather err on the side of creating one or two more sections than we need, and if some of those are extra we can clean up and consolidate later.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on October 01, 2011, 03:02:21 PM
Generally I like where the forum is going...a few thoughts

You might consider putting the Hypnos Forums in there own section.   So the first main header would be Hypnos Recordings contain the 3 sub section: News, Releases & Activities.  The the next header.....Music, Ambience & Sound Art.  This might help to visually break up the first section and also it is the Hypnos forum and should have its own area away from the "masses".

To me there seems to be a gray area between the Hypnos Related Activities, Forum Members Project & Other Ambient Music Forum.  Each makes sense its just I have a bit of work to do  (maybe this is a good thing)  I have decide what Im looking for and then figure out where within these 3 sections do I go to find it because they sort of overlap...... Perhaps we should just test drive it for a while and see if it feels right.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: APK on October 01, 2011, 03:11:05 PM
Hmmm, yep, I agree, its perhaps a good idea to have a separate Hypnos main section.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: ffcal on October 01, 2011, 10:24:03 PM
I like the new direction of the forum, too, though I think may be a few too many topics at the moment.  I'm not sure I would break out Forum member music from non-Forum member music.  When artists hear that their music is being discussed and join the forum, the topic would be in the wrong place.   Also I'm not sure I would create two separate topics for gearheads.  Maybe a subfolder or two separate threads under a single topic?

Glad to hear about the embedding, though I hope this doesn't create too much "My Space-ish me-me-and three" posting.  Thanks, Mike for your tireless work in bringing this together.

Forrest
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: El culto on October 02, 2011, 01:07:29 AM
I like the new direction of the forum, too, though I think may be a few too many topics at the moment.  I'm not sure I would break out Forum member music from non-Forum member music.  When artists hear that their music is being discussed and join the forum, the topic would be in the wrong place.   

Yes, i thought about this point as well and indeed from the perspective of a visitor not really comfortable to look what is the right place - also it messes up if a lets say, a forum member post something  (seen as self promotion) and maybe some days later another member start as well a topic about the same issue (seen as discussion)....very confusing....as example Anthonyīpost:

http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?topic=3992.0 (http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?topic=3992.0)

Should be in "Self promotion section" . but what if "Richard" write a review? Obviously this review should be then placed by Richard in review section....at the end itīs more complicated then before.

Cheers,
Tomas
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: jkn on October 03, 2011, 06:29:38 AM
all change takes a bit of getting used  to ....  I'll have to wander around a bit and see what's up! 

Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on October 03, 2011, 08:33:54 AM
I'll do a few more adjustments today. The goal is to give people more options and clarity of organization (as this may encourage people to post more or at least visit/lurk more often), not to make it difficult for people to figure out where to post things or look for things.

I just want to say again I appreciate all input, and even if I don't act immediately on a suggestion I take them all into consideration.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on October 03, 2011, 02:08:53 PM
After consideration, I agree that the two forum sections, one for "forum member self promotion" and one for "non-Hypnos activities by Hypnos artists" can be combined. If a Hypnos artists does a non-Hypnos album or video or soundtrack, they can publicize it in the "forum member self-promotion" area well enough. This should help clear up confusion about where postings should go.

I admit there remains some potential for overlap between the "forum member self-promotion" area and the "other ambient music" area, especially if someone's work is being discussed and they show up and become a member.

To me the key distinction is creating a topic to announce or promote your own project. If somebody wants to talk about Steve Roach, and after two pages of debate Steve shows up here to comment, that doesn't mean the topic is suddenly self-promotion. Yes, in many cases a topic ends up being "visited" by the person it's about, but I don't think that's a problem. The bottom line is that I think there's a big difference between some listener talking about music they enjoy, and some artist or label promoting their own project. That's the difference between those two sections. If once in a while some topic shifts from one to the other, it won't be a big deal to move it.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: jkn on October 03, 2011, 02:31:48 PM
The difference is...

a)   here's my new album please buy it!

b)  wow guys, thanks for talking about me for 18 pages, that is really really cool, I'm honored!  ... lemme splain about that can of beans i was using for the rhythm part in track 5.  YOu see the size of the spoon hitting the can makes a big difference - and I used a mic placed about 18" away for that natural can of beans thwack ... 
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Scott M2 on October 04, 2011, 08:13:41 AM
I'd like to "promote" retitling "Forum Member Projects and Self-Promotion" to
"Forum Members' Projects - Promotion and Discussion".

In the world of ambient, small labels and self-publishing are the norm and
therefore self-promotion = promotion, other than reviews and fan commentaries.

I understand wariness about over-promotion whether self or otherwise
but I think it's past time to treat self-publishing (and therefore self-promotion)
in ambient music the way self-publishing is treated in book-publishing - 
as "vanity projects" instead of as 100% self-created, 100% self-controlled
and 100% pure-vision.

A significant part of this forum was created for "self promotion" by Hypnos
and it's positive and effective.

One wants and expects labels and artists to promote their works
so we can learn about them and to set the balls rolling.
It is their duty to their art.

steps off milk-carton



Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on October 04, 2011, 08:41:03 AM
So Scott, just to make sure I understand, you're just objecting to the term "self-promotion" and not so much to how the sections are broken down?

I personally don't have a problem with self-promotion either, at least within reason -- I just ask people who are going to self-promote to make some effort to contribute in other ways as well.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Scott M2 on October 04, 2011, 09:09:53 AM
Yes - I'm just objecting to the term "self-promotion" because really it's just "promotion".

BTW - I'm also tired of people apologising for "self-promotion". What are you? Canadian?
It's part of your new-world job-description to promote your art so people can know about it.
Apologise for not promoting.

As for the way the sections are broken down - I appreciate that you're re-consolidating now,
as I found there were a few too many categories for a quick browse - but wanted to live with them
for a while before commenting. Cheers!
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: APK on October 04, 2011, 09:32:03 AM
Plus other people can promote albums in this section too, so it not just for "self-promotion".
I'd also be from dropping "self".
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Seren on October 04, 2011, 09:37:12 AM
some very sensible suggestions here...
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on October 04, 2011, 10:00:27 AM
I guess I see less value in separating out discussion of forum member music from non-forum member music, and more value in separating "here's my new CD" announcements from discussions of music that arise out of listener interest.

What does everyone else think?
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Julio Di Benedetto on October 04, 2011, 11:42:21 AM
There are people who come to this forum and really add to it and make it an interesting place....some of those people are musicians that are not affiliated with Hypnos and use the forum as a promotional tool, they give and take so to speak.  Others come here just for "self promotion" and offer nothing else.  Personally Im cool with it all, so I would prefer the forum dedicated to non Hypnos new releases, where guest, forum member, passer by or whoever promotes his or her new music, other than Hypnos release which have their own section.
Im interested in discovering new music...my own taste will determine what I buy.  I do like the "Other Ambient Music" forum.  I think that will work well and kept discussion & promotion somewhat organized

I dont think I answered your question Mike.....just some more thoughts.

Also the 2 gear forums as Forrest suggested could become one.....for me sound sources, pre amp or mixer, fx, monitors and cables are all part of the same long chain. I suppose a discussion of where to put microphones on a marimba could warrant being placed in a dedicated recording forum, not sure how much recording technique type discussions we have here.

All in all the forum is coming together nicely......Thank you Mike
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: phobos on October 04, 2011, 12:51:37 PM
I am amazed at the speed the changes have taken place, it must have been a hell of a lot of hard work. Well done all concerned.
I must admit when I first saw the new look and all those headings I thought "Oh no where do I find stuff", but over the last few days things have settled down, the headings have been trimmed down and it is looking really good.
I do agree in general that the 2 gearheads sections could be combined into 1 section, therefore trimming the headings down a little more.
On the whole then very successful and as I said earlier, well done :)
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: hdibrell on October 04, 2011, 01:06:02 PM
I came home after a few days away and found the changes to the forum. It was a little confusing at first, but not too much. I like the way it is evolving now. Shows a lot of thought and work is going into it. It also shows that Mike is listening and responding to what others are saying and want. Thanks Mike for all of the effort here. It's looking good.  8)
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on October 04, 2011, 01:19:25 PM
You're welcome!  :)

Just keep on making your suggestions and we'll try to modify things just enough to make the forum more useful and inspiring, and not so much as to make it confusing or overwhelming.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: Scott M2 on October 04, 2011, 09:03:56 PM
I guess I see less value in separating out discussion of forum member music from non-forum member music, and more value in separating "here's my new CD" announcements from discussions of music that arise out of listener interest.

What does everyone else think?

Yes, perhaps just a New Releases section or an equivalent.

When you think about it, you have to join the Forum to post - so all posters are members
(at least until you delete them).  ;)
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on October 05, 2011, 09:07:54 AM
It's true of course that anybody has to be a member to post.

I'm wondering if I'm the only one who sees a difference between a member (whether they're a musician or not) posting about someone else's music they've discovered and enjoyed (or just have questions about), and a member posting what amounts to a press release about their own work?

I see a huge difference between these, and I hate the idea of sincere inquiries and discussion about music from a listener's perspective being snowed-under by the much more common and frequent self-promotional posts. I'm trying in a sense to reward honest discussions from the fan or enthusiast's point of view by giving them their own space, apart from self-promotional announcements by artists and labels.

If I'm the only one who sees or cares about this distinction, of course we can combine them.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: ffcal on October 05, 2011, 09:27:13 AM
I agree with Mike that the self-promotional posts should be separated from the listener posts.  But I also agree with Anthony and Scott that promotion is probably a better and more neutral term than self-promotion.  I tend to associate the word self-promotion with spam.

Forrest
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: El culto on October 05, 2011, 09:31:31 AM

I see a huge difference between these, and I hate the idea of sincere inquiries and discussion about music from a listener's perspective being snowed-under by the much more common and frequent self-promotional posts. I'm trying in a sense to reward honest discussions from the fan or enthusiast's point of view by giving them their own space, apart from self-promotional announcements by artists and labels.

Why there cannot be a honest discussion in a thread someone posted as self promotion? This is more or less what you say and i disagree. IMO people donīt make a difference in this. Also, the scenario youīve mentioned will happen anyway since not all discussed music are made by members. In your example also Hypnos releases have to be discussed in the "other section".
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: jkn on October 05, 2011, 09:36:00 AM
actually that whacky Canadian Scott has a good idea... drop the "self".

I think I may stop saying that over on rM also.

I "promote" for a lot of stuff that really isn't mine.  Heck, I've even promoted Scott and Mr. El Culto.  ;-)
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on October 05, 2011, 09:41:59 AM
I've renamed that forum section to change "self-promotion" to "news and promotion."

I never intended "self-promotion" to signify an equivalence to spam. I guess I've been in the music business long enough that I see self-promotion for what it is -- necessary, inevitable and completely reasonable as long as it's tasteful or somewhat restrained. There's no need to apologize for announcing your own project, and I think most people are actually eager or at least receptive to the news.

Most people only become annoyed when someone loses all sense of proportion and goes over the top, flooding people with persistent or repetitious announcements and updates. That's not a problem inherent to self-promotion, though. Some people just become over-eager, throw all restraint out the window, and end up irritating everyone.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: El culto on October 05, 2011, 09:48:37 AM


Also the 2 gear forums as Forrest suggested could become one.....for me sound sources, pre amp or mixer, fx, monitors and cables are all part of the same long chain. I suppose a discussion of where to put microphones on a marimba could warrant being placed in a dedicated recording forum, not sure how much recording technique type discussions we have here.

I totally agree on this!
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on October 05, 2011, 09:57:54 AM
Why there cannot be a honest discussion in a thread someone posted as self promotion? This is more or less what you say and i disagree. IMO people donīt make a difference in this. Also, the scenario youīve mentioned will happen anyway since not all discussed music are made by members. In your example also Hypnos releases have to be discussed in the "other section".


Of course there can be honest discussion in a thread that begins as self-promotion. I hope there WILL be honest discussion in threads like that.

You seem to believe that having separate areas for different kinds of discussions is harmful, while most of the input I'm getting from other forum members indicates that organizing the forum into sections for different topics is helpful so long as the areas are well considered. No matter how a forum is organized, you could inevitably suggest examples of discussions that could go into more than one area. Does this mean we should have no organization or categorization at all, and just have one big central area where everything gets posted?
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: mgriffin on October 05, 2011, 09:58:30 AM
I have consolidated the two "gear talk" forum areas as there really wasn't any reason to separate them.
Title: Re: Any ideas what we could do to improve this place?
Post by: El culto on October 05, 2011, 10:28:23 AM

 Does this mean we should have no organization or categorization at all, and just have one big central area where everything gets posted?

Nah Mike, now you are black or white  ;)

I didnīt mean this at all. I just say, that i think people like to see and discuss things in a specific thread for a release (and again this doesnīt interact with the other post when people speak about other release which are NOT posted here). It seems logic for me that several threads talking about the same are just confusing and making things more messy. Is it not better people speaking/discussing in mainly 1 thread of a new Hypnos release instead of several posted in different sections?