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Balletco Community Committee Formed


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For the context of this post see here:



The committee that is going to look into how the community might go forward is now formed I'm pleased to say. And they are:


Lee McLernon (Chair)

Simonetta Dixon

Ian Macmillan

John Mallinson

Anna Merrick

Dave Morgan


Under my sig I include some Terms of Reference and background/context around all this and which has been agreed with Lee. So the starting position is clear to all.


The committee has only just been formed so it will take a while to get their modus operandi sorted I'd have thought and then I suspect they will make an announcement here about how they will prooceed. Further than that it's not really for me to say.


I'll shamelessly end with the words I used before: 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.


Best wishes and great thanks is due to all involved.


Bruce Marriott











Balletco is going into archive from the end of January 2012. The TodaysLinks service is currently scheduled to close on 21 January 2012.


The aim in going into archive is to present all the old forum discussions (which can't currently be seen but will be), the Reviews Database and its search, all the old magazines going back to 1997 together with other standing information. We plan to lose nothing, though it may take a few weeks to sort out.


This initiative is to see how the community, in the spirit of Balletco, might go forward for itself and follows the regrets of many that Balletco is closing - most particularly the forum area, it has to be said.


To facilitate discussion amongst the community and to enable existing forum use to continue a new forum has been set up at:



Bruce Marriott is paying the hosting costs of the new forum for 3 months - until 20 March 2012. By this date the committee has to have decided what is the best way forward.


This is about a fresh start for the community. www.ballet.co.uk as an address will be retained for the archive and generally the existing content will not be duplicated elsewhere - the archive is the long-term repository of all that has been achieved. The archive will however actively push people towards community initiatives that follow in the spirit of what we have been about.



Work to be done


It's for the committee to consult with the community, co-opt other members if helpful, sift ideas with a business sense and put in place the governance and financial aspects of a community driven future. Assuming a forum is involved, part of governance will be appointing moderators and agreeing the forum acceptable use policy.


Worse case the committee may concludes that there is not an easy way forward for the numbers involved and users will each find a variety of other ways of interacting and reading up on dance.


The committee will cease to exist on 20 March 2012, or before if something else is put in place. Assuming that something goes forward, some on the committee may wish to be involved but it is not mandatory.


A number of people have offered to help - either technically or generally - and these names are being passed on to the committee (together with the brief context of the approach) for their consideration.



Open Advice From Bruce Marriott


Relying on one person has taken the community a long way. On the other hand it can be a difficulty too and I can't help but think a focused community-driven approach might flex better and the community also feel more involved. So I think the prize is to set up something that is run by community representatives.


I would suggest that initially at least this is about putting in place a strong forum for the community. There is an opportunity to change the forum rules significantly so people & institutions can promote/inform of what they are doing perhaps, and for there to be a good number of moderators to encourage discussion and apply whatever the house rules might be.


I personally think it's for the community to decide what it wants to do and for those with technical abilities to help support that rather than lead the way forward. Those with technical abilities can also inform of the possibilities, of course.


There would seem to be a lot of sense in looking to build on the temporary forum at:



It is run on servers provided by the software makers and support should be good. It seems to have dimensions besides the forum in terms of Blogs and Gallery functionality but I have not looked at the capabilities. The servers can scale automatically to cope with growth and you can see costs here:



A number of members have said they would willingly contribute to the costs, though it's not clear if enough would do so and that needs to be evaluated. It may be that a few bear all the costs of providing a reliable forum in year one while a broader scheme is put in place. Advertising may also help cover costs - but will need active management.


It's certainly possible to run forums in very cheap web-space using free software. However if things go wrong it's not always easy to resolve with a mix of responsibilities, holidays and the real-life work commitment of people. Having lived with the stressful realities of nominally having complete control of one's own server space I'm now very much attracted to those who provide a dedicated service such as the new forum. Nothing will ever be perfect in IT but it strikes me as a more perfect way forward particularly re the forum solution.


None of this is prescriptive - the committee need to bring new eyes to how the community can go forward. My pledge (which involves some time and money) is to look after the past properly and ensure that the support and inputs of many towards Balletco continues to be freely available.

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Lee, I've discovered that if you hit the forums tab the "about balletco" thread at the top does not appear but it does if you hit the balletcoforum tab. Of course, if someone posts in one of the other threads in this tab then this one will not appear on the front page.


Edit to say that I have just made a liar of myself. I think what I have said above is what happens if you hit the forum tab from one of the other forums.


Edited to say that I have tried my theory and that doesn't work either. The "about" tab has always now reappeared. If it disappears it does reappear if you hit the balletcoforum tab!

Edited by JMcN
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Bangorballetboy and All


I think you are on a hiding to nothing trying to arrange things so that only one thread of many in each section is seen on the forum home page.


I've not looked to do much with the forum because I only have some responsibility for a few weeks and it may just change. There is much else to do as well! And of course people need to come forward, investigate and help eachother etc. (and thank you for your support in this Janet).


However 2 things I notice that I think all registered users could usefully know and actively use.


When you are logged in then at the top right of the page is a 'View New Content' button. Click on that to see all the threads/conversations that have changed recently.


When you have seen them all, or decided they are not for you, click the 'Mark Community Read' link right at the bottom of the page, and select 'Mark all as read' on the dropdown menu. As a check then go and click on the 'View new content' button again - and you will get a blank page with the text "Sorry, no new content found." - because there hasn't been any since you did the Mark. Come back in a few hours though and do the 'View New Content' and hopefully a thread or two will be shown as changed.


So the general way of operating is to do the View and then do a Mark at the end of looking aorund.


So that's a way of seeing all the action on the forum - good stuff.


I'm sure there is lots of useful things like this and when decisions are made on the way forward those who look after the forum can find the goodies people need and figure how to convey to all.

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Bangorballetboy and All


I think you are on a hiding to nothing trying to arrange things so that only one thread of many in each section is seen on the forum home page...



Thanks Bruce. No so much looking to have only one thread in each section, as trying to work all how to see all the topics in the "About Balletco" section! I'm sure I'll work it out eventually.



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"Thanks Bruce. No so much looking to have only one thread in each section, as trying to work all how to see all the topics in the "About Balletco" section! I'm sure I'll work it out eventually."


You see all the threads in a given Forum by clicking on the forum title - on the left of the listing of fourm. On teh right (for each forum listed) is the thread most recently contributed too in that forum..

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