Forum improvement suggestions?

Started by lukevintage, June 12, 2022, 03:20:49 PM

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lukevintage

I am so glad this forum exists; without it, I would never have attempted any repair work on my Rhodes. Yes, youtube videos are remarkable and make it all look easy; yet, there's nothing like hearing from someone else who's been through the same doubts.

I spend a lot of time on a guitar forum from the UK (thefretboard.co.uk), a very welcoming forum with lots of advice. And all expertly shepherded by the admins. The amount of guitarists far outnumbers the rhodes players, but that isn't its strength. The members remain the members from far back when it was under another name. Members actively participate for sharing advice, gear and support (even off-topic psychological support). Its strength is supported by an easy interactive forum. It means threads (posts) are answered and completed. Much of the threads on this forum never go anywhere. Many of the most active posters were from 2008-2014.
Does the forum need to rethink its interface? Surely, there must be a way to make the posts more dynamic and encourage the amateur players and repairers to participate where the professional repairers have departed.

spave

Quote from: lukevintage on June 12, 2022, 03:20:49 PMIts strength is supported by an easy interactive forum. It means threads (posts) are answered and completed. Much of the threads on this forum never go anywhere.

One of main the reasons threads go unanswered is probably because they were already answered years ago in a different topic. I've noticed some of the newer members asking questions that have been answered multiple times before or are standard knowledge from the Rhodes manual. There's no problem in asking a question again as the consensus answer can change, but most of those new topics don't quote the earlier threads to show they have at least done the research.

Quote from: lukevintage on June 12, 2022, 03:20:49 PMMany of the most active posters were from 2008-2014.

A good chunk probably went to Facebook and Reddit. The question is, how do we get them back?


Not sure how these issues are going to be fixed but I'm curious to hear what ideas from the other forums you think would work well here
1969 KMC Home Rhodes Prototype
1971 Suitcase Fender Rhodes
1977 Wurlitzer 270

lukevintage

the fretboard forum has many ways to keep members involved and an excellent 'cooler' system for members getting out of hand. This requires admin work. I hope they get some return, whether in gratitude or connections.

There is also a points system where other members can give you points for wisdom, humour. Some members hang out on off-topic chats I assume where they share points freely. Others, earn their points by contributing. It's a little thing but it also helps to get an idea of a person's character. Any glance at their posts or comments will quickly show if they're members just to sell and buy or if they truly contribute to the sharing of knowledge or not.
I have never met some of the members and have been amazed at their genuine kindness and pleasure to share.

The search engine is not particularly helpful, especially since it requires going through half-finished threads before any meat is reached.

A piece by piece manual on how to set up / repair / build a Fender Rhodes, where each contribution goes to building a complete manual, could be a good idea. Rhodes: the ultimate guide.

As much as the Rhodes manual is good and clear, there is much missing. First thing off the top of my head: grounding issues; if you don't screw the harp back onto the supports, the rhodes isn't grounded.

Yes, I imagine the secret sauces come from experience and maybe repairers and techs don't want to reveal their secrets to the world. Well, the world is changing regarding information. Time, equipment and experience don't. A repairman offers these at premium rate. I have spent so many hours working on my Rhodes and playing with the voicing that the bill if charged for those hours would be more than the Rhodes itself. What's more, service parts are available on the internet to one and all, further encouraging every owner to try their hand. However, I am not a carpenter and do not have woodwork tools. I am not an electrician without spectrum analysers or soldering kits or pickup winding machines. Moreover, I don't have the time. I have other obligations.

I have put my own mish-mash of quotes from the forum to support the Rhodes manual. The Rhodes is a finite instrument with few internal changes and parts over the years. Guitars on the other hand have decades of changes and production modifications, not to mention new parts and accessories.

My last point and I have to be honest here, the real reason why I chose to restore my Rhodes on my own: the thought of carrying it down ten flights of stairs, through my building complex, out to my car, fills me with horror, not to mention the 2 hour drive to get to the nearest repairer.

So, my way to get everyone back here is to not be excluded from writing the definitive manual together.