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MMD > Archives > August 2015 > 2015.08.18 > 01Prev  Next

The Future of the Mechanical Music Digest
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All, I've been holding off commenting on what Jody recently said
about the future of the Digest because I just don't have enough
information about what's involved in operating and maintaining the
site  to offer any meaningful suggestions.

However, since Player-Care doesn't have any automated features and
every order is handled by me personally, I have a fair idea about the
amount of time that must go into preparing the publication.

Also, I realize that editing, formatting, indexing, and uploading every
posting and webpage is a daunting task.  Then there's the maintenance
of the email subscriber list and the time spent handling all of the
monetary issues.  And, let's not forget the computers, the various
programs, and the ever-changing electronic environment, i.e., a host
of different operating systems and a plethora of viewing devices.

When you add it all together, it's amazing that the MMDigest gets sent
out almost every day and that every member is able to enjoy it on
whatever device they happen to be using this month.

How Jody and Robbie are able to keep up with everything year after year
is beyond me.  When you think about the qualifications and experience
of these two gentlemen, it's hard to imagine how anyone but a twin or
clone could do what they've done and what they continue do every day.

I agree with Jody: it's probably a good time to start a discussion on
"How do we arrange for the MMD to survive us?"  I think a good starting
point would be an understanding of the qualifications necessary run the

John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA

 [ From time to time people ask me "Why don't you use one of the
 [ commercial "forum" services.   In the 20-ish years that we've
 [ been publishing the MMD, there have been more of these come and
 [ go than you can count.  Further, the structure of all of the
 [ existing services are, as far as I know, too far off from what
 [ we do with our articles and Archives.
 [ With that said, I've been hoping that one of the established
 [ content management packages, perhaps with some custom "plug-ins"
 [ might get the job done.  With some automation, the editing could
 [ be distributed among more people and the maintenance MIGHT
 [ be more standardized.   As it is, we have it down to a nice
 [ routine, but it takes a lot of explaining to get either Robbie
 [ or my part done by a 3rd party.  My thanks to Matthew Caulfield
 [ for having gotten up to speed to help cover Robbie's end when
 [ he's gone.  Others, like Joyce Brite (and others -- sorry to not
 [ name all of you) have researched individual articles for us.
 [ The management of the website is technically complicated right
 [ now.  It's well within the grasp of a good programmer, but not
 [ a lay person.  I've had programming help in the past.  My thanks
 [ especially to Bob Fitterman for the software "machinery" that
 [ generates the MMD Archives from the individual articles. I don't
 [ know how many real software developers there are out there that
 [ are willing to make a long term commitment to the hobby.
 [ If we wanted to pay a staff (and that might be necessary some day)
 [ we'd probably have to make a minimum subscription payment mandatory
 [ instead of voluntary.  In a way I hate to do that.  Sometimes
 [ interesting discussion gets generated by subscribers who's only
 [ "donation" is what they wrote.
 [ I hope others write in and share their feelings and ideas
 [ with us.   --Jody

(Message sent Tue 18 Aug 2015, 21:51:41 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Digest, Future, Mechanical, Music

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