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Bruce

Balletco Forum Available Again plus Opportunity to Discuss Future

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Many people have said how much they appreciated the forums and hoped something could continue. Ditto for other things Balletco do. The problems with the old forum have robbed people of a place to talk about things and for the community to see how it might go forward with Balletco itself going into archive.

 

What I have done is set up a forum with a specialist provider (I have nothing to do with the technology you will be pleased to hear!) and I will pay for the service for 3 months - until 20 March 2012

 

You can see the new forum here:

http://www.balletcoforum.com

 

The prize is that the community draws together and creates something enduring in the spirit of Balletco's forums or more.

 

There needs to be some overall direction and sifting of ideas in the discussions and I am forming a committee of established forum/Balletco users who will ultimately take a decision within the 3 months available about taking a community-driven intuitive forward or, in the worst case, not. I will give the benefit of my views/experience to the committee but ultimately it will their decision on how things proceed. They may decide that this forum at this new address is great or they may decide some other way forward is better - we will see. A number of people with technical ability have also indicated that they could help and it will be for the committee to review what's possible with what would be desirable and make decisions on who might do what to run it all effectively in the future. The committee will be announced early in January - in the meantime, all Balletco regulars do say what you feel about all this.

 

I think there is much good will and there is a very real opportunity for the community to pull together and create something unique, better and more responsive than before - I most sincerely hope something comes out of it.

 

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Besides creating a space for people to talk about a better future there are the realities of today and the new forum has the following areas for people to use:

 

Ticket Exchange - always been popular and trusted because of the need to register.

Doing Dance - has been a very active community and very UK focused with much self help etc.

News - for people to put news items

What's Happening - for people to talk about performances and for now, everything else.

 

I could add in all the other forums we have had but I think initially at least that gets people going and provides a tight focus.

 

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Forum Acceptable Use Policy etc.

This will be initially as for the old forum. The committee will be able to change the policy as it sees fit and things unfold. I will moderate initially but over time the committee, or moderators appointed by them, will need to take over.

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Bruce - I haven't had time to give this much thought but I just wanted to give you my heartfelt thanks for setting up this new forum. I hope everyone who uses this resource will play their part. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

 

As the saying goes - use it or lose it. I don't want to lose it again.

 

Very best wishes,

Janet

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With the potential of a way forward for the Ballet.co forums it now REALLY seems like Christmas ... and a much happier one than it might have been otherwise.

 

Bless ALL.

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I agree with Janet. I have so enjoyed my daily fix of ballet.co in the last few years and reading the opinions of those who really know their ballet. I have missed it so much in the last week or so. I can't offer any technical expertise sadly but I really would hate to see this die altogether. I have viewed several other ballet websites in the last week or so and nothing compares with ballet. co for depth of knowledge and unbiased reviews.

Edited by patsomerset

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I'll second Meunier's comments. This is the best Christmas present you could have given us. Thank you! Let's hope we can all make it work.

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I have missed it so much in the last week or so. ... I have viewed several other ballet websites in the last week or so and nothing compares with ballet. co for depth of knowledge and unbiased reviews.

Oh, I so agree! The last few weeks have been incredibly frustrating. Not only that, but the other forums I've looked at don't really cover what we cover at all, so there was just no feedback on what I wanted to read.

 

And, Pat, don't worry about your lack of technical expertise. Support can be provided in many other ways too, such as actually posting and so on :). Actually, I noticed you've managed to add tags to one of your posts, so you're obviously ahead of me there!

Edited by alison

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So fine to see balletco forum is back ! The new dress looks fantastic :)

Just in time to send warm Christmas wishes to everyone, not at least to Bruce & co : hope you can slow down a bit now

after this hectic year !

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Christmas has truly come early this year!!!! I am just so pleased ballet.co is back again in whatever format. Can't thank Bruce enough for making this possible. All the best to you for Christmas and have a wonderful New Year, you're a real star and have really made my Christmas!!!!. If I can help in any way in setting up a new forum in the new year I'd be only too happy to help though I've no technical expertise. I'd hate to go back to feeling bereft again like it's been in the last couple of weeks! Joan

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Agree with all that is said above and am happy to donate towards the fees to keep it going. SO HAPPY the forum is back and I like the new set up too very similar to other forums I use. This is lovely Christmas present and big thanks Bruce for making it happen!

Best wishes everyone.

Edited by Don Q Fan

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Thanks from me, too, Bruce for having this go forward. Hope everyone is having a warm and merry Christmas.

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Going back to the first post - BRUCE IS PAYING THE FEES for this service for 3 months. This is an extremely generous gesture but obviously cannot continue. I don't know the costs involved in being a member of the IPS community but perhaps a small registration fee for members would cover it - if members were prepared for that to happen. I know the last fund raising effort was not taken forward but everyone has said how much they have missed the forums so perhaps things will be different this time. We have relied on Bruce's generosity for far too long (I know I am a total dork but it had never occurred to me until someone put me straight that someone (Bruce) was incurring not inconsiderable costs to keep the site up and running).

 

I'm quite happy to stand up and be counted. Are you?

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The last time there was a fund raising effort - I did participate - and would again.

 

In American dollars it came to something iike (if memory serves) $18.00.

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Finances are obviously important, but so are contributions in other respects such as time, too, including actually posting (lurkers please take note :) )

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I would also like to thank Bruce for setting this up. I really missed the forums in the time they were down. I hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas - it's been great to have somewhere to check in for ballet news and reviews, and I'll look forward to the Balletco community continuing in 2012.

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Going back to the first post - BRUCE IS PAYING THE FEES for this service for 3 months. This is an extremely generous gesture but obviously cannot continue. I don't know the costs involved in being a member of the IPS community but perhaps a small registration fee for members would cover it - if members were prepared for that to happen. I know the last fund raising effort was not taken forward but everyone has said how much they have missed the forums so perhaps things will be different this time. We have relied on Bruce's generosity for far too long (I know I am a total dork but it had never occurred to me until someone put me straight that someone (Bruce) was incurring not inconsiderable costs to keep the site up and running).

 

I'm quite happy to stand up and be counted. Are you?

 

I quite agree. I would be happy to pay an annual fee. :)

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I just saw this thread and wanted to say that I would be happy to contribute in whatever way I can, which would probably be primarily through a membership fee since I don't have any useful administrative skills. Also, since I don't live in the UK, I don't get to see that many performances of the RB, BRB et al and that naturally limits how much I can actually post as against how much time I spend lurking :-(

But I really missed the forums, so I hope they will continue and I'm here to stand up and be counted.

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Let it be known that Trog is willing to continue in his behind the scenes roll as system administrator (aka technical support).

 

 

Hopefully the committee are considering more than just a forum for the future. If ballet.co is to continue as just a forum, there are lots of hosted options available, with costs ranging from free to paid. This board is currently on a paid hosted forum service. As I see it, the problem here is that if a hosted forum service is used, and the decision is made in the future to include more than just a forum, the site will have to move to a hosted web site. Migrating the forum postings might be difficult, if not impossible, thus the forum will need to remain with the forum host, and a link placed on the new site, which is messy. I believe that the committee should commit to a hosted box even if just a forum is used.

 

I would recommend a LAMP platform (Linux, Apache, MySql, Perl/PHP) and be sure to insist on root shell access. If these is a problem with the site, shell access enables interrogation of the log files, which gives a huge clue as to what is wrong and how to go about fixing it. I would not recommend a WAMP platform (Windows, Apache, MySql, PHP), as the Windows log files tell you nothing useful if there is a problem. Avoid a Microsoft platform (Windows server, IIS, Microsoft Sql, .NET/VBS) at all costs! These boxes are a pain to support; experience has shown that almost nothing can be fixed when it goes wrong and a reinstall is the only option.

 

Sadly we cannot continue with the old DCForum software for the forum. Although it has served us well in the past, the recent attacks against the site have (IMO) rendered this to be not an option. There are a huge number of forums that use phpBB, and I believe this to be robust.

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You will have seen from the "Balletco Community Committee Formed" thread that Bruce has asked a number of users to form a committee to discuss a potential successor to ballet.co. You will see a wide ranging set of terms of reference for the committee in that thread.

 

The committee will appreciate the assistance of all members of the community who used or continue to use the various facilities of ballet.co, whether it be technical assistance such as that which can be provided by Trog (thanks, Trog), as sounding-boards when we meet informally at performances etc. or generally in providing input and ideas.

 

The committee will have its first "formal" meeting this weekend, although various intra-community discussions have already been taking place. With that in mind, I think the committee would be grateful for feedback from the ballet.co community as to which facilities of ballet.co they used or use regularly (e.g. the forum, the picture galleries, the magazine, the interviews). All input will be invaluable in assisting the committee.

 

Best regards

 

Lee McLernon

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The thread about the formation of the Committee is here:

http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/58-balletco-community-committee-formed/

 

It also has important information on the Background and context of this as Balletco itself is going into archive. Also included is my open advice - it predates Trogs post and I see things a bit differently.

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Hoorah, Bruce! This is the first great news of 2012. I am so happy to see the return of a 'Balletco' forum, albeit with a slightly different look.

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The committee will have its first "formal" meeting this weekend, although various intra-community discussions have already been taking place.

 

Good luck.

 

With that in mind, I think the committee would be grateful for feedback from the ballet.co community as to which facilities of ballet.co they used or use regularly (e.g. the forum, the picture galleries, the magazine, the interviews). All input will be invaluable in assisting the committee.

 

I've just checked, and, as I suspected, this forum has a poll facility (it's actually to the right when you start a new thread). A poll might be a useful way of finding out which parts of the site are most important to visitors.

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Just want to thank all the committee members for giving their time & energy.

 

I am willing to help or contribute should volunteers be needed.

 

In response to Lee's request for feedback on areas we regularly use:

 

I particularly appreciate the immediacy of the Forums for the latest news, quick responses to those casts or performances I've been unable to see, the invaluable ticket exchange for both finding those elusive tickets & also selling.

 

I love being able to use Today's Link's to find reviews, hear about new books etc rather than searching wildly. Sadly, I realise finding these links is a time-consuming task.

 

I eagerly await the photos from Rehearsals being posted, thanks Dave.

 

Hope this sort of comment was what you meant.

 

Good luck.

 

Carol

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I am willing to help or contribute should volunteers be needed.

 

Ditto, insofar as circumstances permit.

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I have been off air for over two weeks due to my computer dying on New Year's Day. Do these things always happen on a Bank Holiday? Anyway I now have a new computer and am back in touch again and enjoying catching up on the News and What's Happening. These are the two areas which I use nearly every day. I particularly value the views of those who live near enough to be able to see several different casts of a particular ballet and on performances which I have not been able to attend

 

I was delighted to hear that a Committee has now been formed to try to take Balletco into the future. I cannot offer any technical expertise but I will continue to post from time to time when I feel I have anything to say, and would be happy to pay a sub should this be the way forward

 

I should also like to record my thanks to Bruce for keeping the forum going until March

 

best wishes to all for a happy future for Balletc

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I would more or less echo what Carol said regarding the parts of the site I use most.

 

I'd also be happy to pay a subscription fee to keep the site running.

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When things get going and plans solidify - would it be possible to consider a forum like "Not Dance." There were some interesting discussions in that forum in the "old" Ballet.co.

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I just posted this up on Balletco, but a copy here would be useful...

 

DanceTabs: a new Magazine

 

This is the last thing I expected to be announcing – a new magazine called DanceTabs that will live at www.dancetabs.com (nothing to see yet folks so no need to click!)

 

I think my post about Balletco going into Archive captured many of my feelings after 15½ years following through on many different aspects of what a ballet/dance website could be… and the sheer workload making it no longer possible or fun. But it was great fun when I started and over Christmas I thought much about what I am passionate about in dance and could I nudge things forward in a way that is both fun and productive.

 

Balletco started very much because I felt fans and the audience needed to have a place to talk about ballet and dance. That’s so much the case now wherever you look on the net. What drives me now and has this last year or two is providing a place for professional criticism and coverage of dance/ballet. It’s a shrinking world for pukka criticism and I really worry about the professional voice being lost in a sea of much social happiness.

 

DanceTabs is just going to be a magazine – no forum, no TodaysLinks (and its huge attendant database) – just Reviews, Galleries, Interviews and News items. The contributors will largely be names you know already and to which I look to add - I continue to want it to take a world view. It will use technology similar to the Balletco redesign but will be hosted in specialist space I don’t have to worry so much about. The gallery area will be hosted differently. Time is short – the launch will be in early February and while I would like to do different designs I may just use the recent Balletco ones with a few light modifications.

 

None of this should impact on the work of the committee looking to take the community spirit of Balletco forward and which increasingly focuses on the forum aspects. It also does not change Balletco going into archive – that will still happen.

Some of you may think that this was all part of some grand strategy known at the outset – it wasn’t and I didn’t expect to do anything substantive again in dance. It will be interesting to see where this initiative gets to – it’s not a popular thing to do, to concentrate on professional views, instead of looking to be a big social cheese(!), but it’s something I’m passionate about and want to see done right by – or as right as I can make it.

 

I’ll say more later; in the meantime I hope you will celebrate with and for me and I wish you great dance in 2012 and beyond.

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While all this sorts out....and my question may be premature...please forgive me ......where does someone like me who (because of health issues) only critiques professional dance taking place in the San Diego area, post up the critique? Do I post it into "What's Happening" as with the old Ballet.co forum - and then it is formatted into a magazine? Or do I send it directly to Bruce...or someone else?

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Anjuli: For now at least, if you have anything to post, please use "What's Happening" as of old. And don't restrict yourself to critiques if something else of potential interest crosses your horizon. Without trying to anticipate what the outcome of the next 2 months' worth of pre-paid time for the Balletco Forum package will be, I suspect that as a regular user you will have observed that use of "What's Happening" and "News" has reduced appreciably over that last year or so. (There are some clues to the current situation in the Topics & Replies statistics on the Forum's frontpage.) It may be that former regular posters now find Twitter and/or Facebook more to their taste. Perhaps so, but if the current relevance of the forum to active users is limited, that fact is bound to weigh heavily on decisions concerning what can happen beyond 20th March. (Regular lurkers might like to consider this and perhaps become active users.)

 

Beyond that, as I understand matters, this package is primarily designed to provide a community forum and I am not at all sure that a 'magazine' format would be compatible with that. I see under the "Pages' button that there exists a possibility to promote certain posts to 'Article' status, thereby conferring some additional significance on them, but I suspect it is not enabled at the moment.

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