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MMD > Archives > February 2016 > 2016.02.11 > 06Prev  Next

Threaded Discussion Groups for Mechanical Music
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All, As someone who 'plays' in both the MMD world and the
Facebook world, I find them totally different.  For the most part, the
MMD gets down into the meat of a subject and elicits thoughtful and
thorough responses from the authors.  Then, as everyone has previously
noted, that information goes into a searchable Archive that is
available to "anyone" who wishes to spend the time researching a topic.

By contrast, Facebook requires that you be a member of Facebook, so
right there you've limited the number of people who have access to
whatever information gets posted.

On top of that, you've got all of these 'niche' groups that are
focused of various individual aspects of mechanical music.  That's
fine if you're only interested in a few aspects of the field, but
what if you're interested in all of them?  Well, you have to become
a member of every group.  I only belong to about a half a dozen groups,
but I can tell you it gets somewhat confusing from time to time.
I find myself saying, "Didn't I just write about that somewhere else?"

Admittedly, what I find encouraging about Facebook is the fact that
a person can get an answer to a question very rapidly.  However, I've
also noticed that the answers they get don't always agree with each

 [ I've noticed disagreement in MMDigest, too!  -;)  -- Robbie

Another downside is the fact that to be 'involved', you have to be
'involved'.  Unless you're online, signed in, and following a thread,
you never even hear about it.  In other words, you have to stop
whatever you're doing, read through all of the previous posts on a
particular thread, and then decide if you have something worthwhile
to post.  That's very time consuming, and often a waste of valuable
time because you get down into the thread and find that someone has
already posted a good response.

Also, Facebook does seem to draw in newbies.  However, due to the
fact that it's difficult to find previous threads about a topic
(because the threads aren't "topic based"), the same questions often
get asked repeatedly.  And, while that also happens in the MMD, it's
easy for the editors to post a link to that subject in the Archives.
What I often do at Player-Care is respond to questions with a short
comment and a link to a web page, and it saves tons of time.

So, in my opinion, the MMDigest should stay just the way it is
because it wasn't designed to be a "quick fix".  It was designed to
allow subscribers members to exchange information, ideas, procedures,
technical data, and so much more across the entire realm of mechanical
music.  And I can't imagine how many Facebook groups I'd have to join
to get that same kind of coverage.

Bless Jody and Robbie and all the others who make the MMDigest

John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA

(Message sent Thu 11 Feb 2016, 05:41:32 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Discussion, Groups, Mechanical, Music, Threaded

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