Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Miscellaneous topics on Carnatic music
RSR
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#51 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by RSR »

@50- well said.
Being particularly interested in the kritis of Trinity, I would add the phenomenal contribution of Srvi.V.Govindan in so devotedly having created the blog/site on all the kritis of Thyagaraja Swami with transliteration in English, thamizh, malayaaLam, telugu and kannada. and devanagari script also.
He has created a similar site for SS and MD kritis also. with meaning .
It is for other active members in the forum to give the audio for each song. sangeethapriya site takes that approach but the actual links are not given. It needs considerable labour to do that and will definitely be very valuable. Sri.PB has given links to those sites.
We need everything. The song audio, gist, exact lyrics and translation, finer notes on ragams. etc.
The primary focus however should be on the ragam and layam. Why not strive to make rasikas org the only source for such a consolidated collection, second only to sangeethapriya?

Pratyaksham Bala
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#52 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by Pratyaksham Bala »

I think I have said enough. I rest my case.

RasikasModerator2
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#53 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by RasikasModerator2 »

rajeshnat wrote: 19 May 2020, 12:10 I have a question primarily to srkris and vasanthakokilam only:
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@vasanthakokilam AND @srkris
Let us consider we have the same count of 100,000 readers and how to find a way to increase active writership from say from 250 to 500 . I thought for this extremely difficult problem statement i could think of 2 solutions

1. I was thinking adding illayaraja content will help. I got started but it was discouraged by PBala . I wanted to slowly describe illayaraja the way he handles carnatic music . I am ok to drop this. I typed two contents of illayaraja and i have not posted it yet to rasikas.org

2. I sincerely feel enticing people to write can be done by tactically forcing every one to mandatorily login for them to read

I am not blaming Mods at all that they could have moderated better blah blah . You and VK are fantafabulous there , contextual moderation is not possible in internet. None of use ever discouraged musicians and rasikas here

What is the solution that srkris and vasanthakokilam wants to work to increase writership in rasikas.org . We can form a small team of likeminded folks who have actively contributed in last 10 years to work on adding more writership . I implemented #1 and i think #2 is a great idea. I cannot take reply from anyone that facebook drone and whatsapp spam gaints defeated rasikas.org here.
Rajesh, I'll be honest. We won't be able to beat whatsApp groups or FB in terms of what people can chat and discuss and share. It is pointless to compete with them. They rule the world of live discussions.

But we are sure only few of the talks there are going to be looked back in the long run because of complete lack of a structured approach and accessibility down the road. News feeds and chats are just meant to make stuff disappear quickly. In one post on FB, so. Many commentators will comment that almost no one gets taken seriously and everyone's comments will quickly disappear in the comments feed.

FB will archive stuff themselves, whatsApp chats will disappear every time people clean or change their phones. On rasikas.org what is posted or asked will be here to stay and be easily organized and found. If you want something to stay for posterity, we are the place.

Rasikas.org as a forum has a certain name in the community that FB or whatsApp groups don't. Our strength lies in the depth of writing and our ability to archive music and our writings for another day. The music reviews in FB are quickly forgotten. Not here. Even for artistes and composers, details and incidents of their lives are much easier to scroll through here than on FB pages or whatsApp groups, though FB is king of pics.

We also excel at discussions of technical topics and then leaving it all up here for others to read. WhatsApp groups discussing anything in depth are just between a handful of people.

But on FB every CM rasika you meet is a real person, while over here you sometimes don't know any of the new handles. Most of us are still here because we know each other since 2 decade now.
The living veterans of our forum are still very much here.

In event announcements social Media just can't be beat either. Artistes are able to get their own space to connect to rasikas in ways they could never do here. It is true that the attitude of many rasikas in the past has made sure that this place will be only for rasikas and not musicians, but social media is just way too powerful. Artistes are getting viewerships in lakhs and millions on their pages.

Besides, as one rasika put it, Facebook Gana Sabha is now allowing all the rasikas also to become musicians and give concerts from their homes. They cannot do that here.

If you are going to see our forum participation as merely as a numbers game, you lose out on quality and even the integrity of the postings here. Let's not try to sell, but stick to our strengths and values. We do get quite a lot of members signing up, last month I approved almost 500 of them.

This place is like a nice chamber concert of select invitees even though anyone can sign up and post. We actually like it this way. Most members tell us they are happy to read what our forum veterans are writing. On WhatsApp and FB, it's like a big crowded sabha where most people are outside the Hall and are forgotten. We see just too many parallel discussions. Mods don't bother there because they know everyone will anyway forget everything by the next day.

Our biggest and irreplaceable losses are the loss of the old guard of rasikas who are growing old or who have passed on. There is no substitute for that. We are not going to recover from losing them. The young gens are a generation of breadth and not depth. Unless they have a big project which can only be done here, they won't leave social. Media.

At this point let's just do what we do best - writing and linking. FB and WhatsApp may be used for chatting, live streams, pics, videos and all the rest. YT is going to overtake sangeethapriya in the far future. We can of course find useful links from there and archive them Here.

If you want rasikas.org to become popular on social media, and get more visits, you should all spend more time sharing stuff from here like your writings and reviews etc on social media. Yes Rajesh, you should go to FB and just see the possibilities at last. :P

If you want people to write here, they first need to have the aptitude to write a lot, maybe take up a big project that will keep them engaged for quite a while. Lakshman has reached deity status in this regard. Other rasikas who contribute frequently here are doing so because they're on a mission.

So in cricket terms, rasikas.org is going to be the place for test match rasikas and those who want to cook their own food. The ones who want T20 and Carnatic Premier League and fast food will love social Media. :twisted:

rajeshnat
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#54 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by rajeshnat »

Topics that make people visit rasikas.org :
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Our site has majorly 5 hot topic areas that interests 75 to 90 percent of all participants whether logged in or not . They are not strictly ranked but they are these 5 namely ,Vidwans and Vidushis ,Concert Reviews,Vaggeyakkaras ,Ragas, General discussions(certain threads) are the main topics of interest for majority . They are the meat and that is what excites many and perpetually they come in .This is an absolute fact

Do you agree or disagree Mods on this?

rajeshnat
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#55 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by rajeshnat »

Just imagine this scenario:
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Let us assume Every day like 10 of them are asking Notations , say 10 are asking concert reviews . Few concert reviewers like rajeshnat, crama, srinathk ,srk are not putting content . We only say "Sent" and share the private person a private email. This cycle repeats on.Will that be allowed. No right.

My whole life started with karnatik.com and i have reverence and exteme respect for Lji. WE know each other very well . The reverence respect that we have built in past and present should not clout the right decison for the forum. RIght decision is we are not a key to marry karnatik.com and missing notations.Let them start a support site and share an email , our site is slowly becoming a one time whatsapp ask once and leave support site for many

Have these frequent one liners shared anything like vidwan and vidushi, concert reviews,ragas , vaggeyakkaras. Very very few to mostly none. TO say they are all future saplings that will grow as a tree does not make sense.

Let me run thru a typical cycle of most viewers of rasikas.org:
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1.They login because they have to hit the active topics link once every 3 to 4 days .

2.They screen strain just like whatsapp forward .

3.I have talked with atleast 20 of them who were active posters .They are just saying there are way tooo many personal requests and I am finding it difficult to get what i want and i have lost interest to write and i just occassionally read once in three days.

4.Many have cribbed on some posters who are rambling , but personally i would never blame mods on ramblers etc .Mods are great contextual moderating is not possible.

I would use this rule of thumb, if reply from contributors has actual content please allow them . Lyrics meaning , translation etc have actual content into our site.
Last edited by rajeshnat on 19 May 2020, 17:19, edited 3 times in total.

Nick H
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#56 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by Nick H »

Rajesh... Do you think that this thread will attract anyone to join and post here?

rajeshnat
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#57 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by rajeshnat »

srkris,
All these points of test match vs one day are all bylanes for me . We losing few old aged is just a dent but even in my age plus or minus 10 we have lost lots and lots of active writers. I wish they come and speak as to why they left openly.

Time for you to act tactically and make calls that we are not a carnaticlostandfound.org and we are not running a support site .Donot try to please every one , make priorities and tougher decisons .

I want you to take your time and write please. if i have miscommunicated here and there i am open to call with you, vasanthakokilam etc .

sureshvv
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#58 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by sureshvv »

I have to agree with rajesh that the posts that request Notation and/or lyrics and subsequent replies which just indicate that the info has been emailed is a bit annoying.

This site does have a wiki and it will make sense to put these in the wiki - so that anyone can go to the respective pages and get what they want without the repetitious request cycle.

May be the onus should be on the requestor to create this wiki page as a gift to posterity. :D

Nick H
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#59 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by Nick H »

On the one hand, I think that a forum is for discussion, not for requests for private communication. On the other, I wouldn't try to stop anyone doing that, and some always will.

vgovindan
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#60 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by vgovindan »

Why don't you start Quora type of Questions and Answers?

Ranganayaki
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#61 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by Ranganayaki »

Rajesh,

I am wondering how forcing people to sign in can force them to write, or even encourage them to. Most people just dabble in CM, and don’t have much to say.

In fact it will reduce traffic as a lot of people read without even signing up, and obviously, they don’t want to interact. If they did they would sign up without being forced to.

If only members can read, how will membership ever grow? How will new non-members even know what’s available here?

The translation and lyrics request forum is established for the purpose of doing exactly what it is doing. I hardly ever open any of those messages except for the translations by Ravi. If those lyrics requests annoy, you could just ignore them.

I wouldn’t hanker after visitors , or after more active writers, Let’s just make this a nice place, and people will return. To that end I think something has to be done to stop meaningless tirades and rants. It’s getting very tiring and bothersome and one of our most precious members who contributed the most among us has specifically pointed to this problem as what ruined his experience and drove him away and I can’t believe the mods are not fixing this. How can this continue unabated while we let people we miss stay away?

That said, it is nice that moderators are actually acting promptly and preemptively to stop or prevent those ugly brawls these days. I’m hopeful that we will soon again become a dignified collegial place that we were in the late 2000s (before my time here).

As others have said, Rasikas has strengths that other platforms don’t have. And we can’t be everything to everybody either. Let’s not hanker after growth, let’s just enjoy being here and growth may happen on its own. If we focus on quality, quantity may take care of itself. This is a lean period, so let’s not get anxious.

musicofmdr
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#62 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by musicofmdr »

In general, there is a growing tendency to write less - audio and video is becoming more popular as a communication tool and even when someone writes, it is filled with acronyms and smileys! And I agree with the opinion that these new age communication is not as easy to find/recover later and may not be as lasting as a well written post here. Only people how understand and value this will continue writing.

What can be done is to make that experience better by providing a nice environment where people can interact in a joyous way and discussions can be held without attacking each other/third person. In addition to active monitoring by moderators, I think it is the responsibility of active members to use the feature to "report a post" as and when it is necessary. I feel that this will surely help to speed up the maintenance of decorum.

If there is an issue with private messages getting flooded with personal requests, need to check how that can be addressed (can we disable private messages?). If public posts are hijacked with personal requests, I feel those members should be given directions on how to figure this out by themselves and repeated offenders should be warned by moderators.

#musicofmdr
https://musicofmdr.com

RasikasModerator3
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#63 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by RasikasModerator3 »

These are some additional observations from our end.

We don't want to play the numbers game really. It changes the basic goal of the forum. Then numbers become the goal, not good musical discussions. We can at the most increase our visibility in social media and google.

In the previous decade first sangeetham.com then rasikas.org owned a monopoly in this space, along with sangeethapriya. Then came YT, FB and whatsapp and all. Don't expect those people to write here. No one has enough time for more than one or two apps.

We are also competing with many musical blogs of music writers that an be found more easily.

What I see is that not much discussion really happens between anonymous handles compared to people who know each other well.

Our list of banned troublemakers is enormous actually. We ban many of them before you even get to see them. I think getting rid of anonymity can help restrain some troublemakers. The forum is right now troll free. Our view counts are still very very high, because now rasikas pages can be found by google. Many good threads on topics still show up when you search for the topic on google.

E.g. put "music season venues" in google search. The third result is ours, the links to schedules and the google map of all major venues that we compiled from suggestions forwarded by members. We request you all to send us locations in other cities also.

So people very much read what's here but don't post. Many tell us its because they don't know what more to add.

You all should share our good threads on social media for more visibility.

I have another suggestion to members now writing on ragas, which one member has sent us. "Please mention the word raga in the title before the name so that it will be found on google search more easily." For existing threads it will be quite a lot of work for mods to change the title for hundreds of threads though. Maybe for future threads.

Our reviews are very easy to find On google because you are all meticulously putting details in the title.

I say that looking forward we must improve our visibility in search results and in social media.
Last edited by RasikasModerator3 on 20 May 2020, 12:21, edited 1 time in total.

RasikasModerator3
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#64 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by RasikasModerator3 »

Regarding notation requests and many lyric requests also, a problem is that Lakshman has to retrieve scanned files etc from his database and he cannot upload them on the forum itself. Hence the emails.

You should also understand about the rambling posts. We cannot ban a member unless they have done something malicious that deserves a ban. We can warn them and in worst case give them some detention for a while. Just rambling or a heated disagreement is not grounds for a ban, unless the member has clearly come just for a fight.

Some members however are quite put off by rambling posts with no apparent point. In such cases, we advise using the friend / foe setting by logging in, clicking a particular user's name and adding them to your foes list. That way you won't have to see their posts unless you choose to.

Ranganayaki
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#65 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by Ranganayaki »

RasikasModerator3 wrote: 20 May 2020, 12:04
You should also understand about the rambling posts.
(...)
Just rambling or a heated disagreement is not grounds for a ban, unless the member has clearly come just for a fight.
I do understand now.. Not that I was wishing for an outright ban on anyone. But I still feel very sorry about the departure of one of our friends.
Some members however are quite put off by rambling posts with no apparent point. In such cases, we advise using the friend / foe setting by logging in, clicking a particular user's name and adding them to your foes list. That way you won't have to see their posts unless you choose to.
Oh, That’s new to me. I didn’t know that this was the point of the friend/foe setting.

Thank you for the response.

vgovindan
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#66 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by vgovindan »

In a lighter vein, please rename as 'friend/unfriend' - ie. as verbs.

SrinathK
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#67 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by SrinathK »

@rajeshnat The forum also needs to find some more interesting topics in music to write on (actually there are quite a few of these already where more members can participate like compiling the tamil songs thread, and musicians etc.)

Maybe we can search for other topics that are long buried and could be revived. It is a sad story when only musicians making controversial statements are hot threads isn't it? I think there's no point in feeding more threads like that. It goes nowhere.

A lot of those good topics in the past got exhausted actually. Nowhere else I am sure those topics got discussed to the extent that rasikas forum has discussed them. Some of these threads will again attract views if revived.

Of course I am doing ragas and all of you can help me compile the repertoire from YT sangeethapriya, etc. Due to some constraints I have had to curtail them, but there's a weekend coming. I see they still get good view counts.

Reviews of course will be there forever.

I'll take vk and srkris observation that the long runners here all keep writing because they have a mission - Lakshman does requests, others do reviews, someone compiles songs, others work on tala, vgovindan made a most excellent lyrics blog, etc. In the past MKR was the fabled "man who knew ten thousand legendary tales" and so on.

So all of us can take one topic and work on it in small digestable chunks everyday. Maybe someone else can take over varnams? (I will now approach it indirectly through ragas, can't do too many big projects at once).

If rasikas has to go on, we need to volunteer. That's how it has always been.

rajeshnat
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#68 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by rajeshnat »

@Lakshman Sir
Requirement
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In karnatik.com if we have a link if the song lyrics page has a link to scanned copy notations we are done . Ofcourse Storage requirements could be high. I am assuming there are no copyrights issues for most of those . Can you tell if that only is your requirement , can we crowd source that inititiative so that the work is done . It is html or UI/UX expert and it requires lot of qa work.

Sivaramakrishnan
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#69 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by Sivaramakrishnan »

Writing in rasikas.org is similar to addressing letters among members in a family. I find it extremely comfortable to report as well as read comments appearing in the portal which has been withstanding onslaught of other channels in the social media (as our moderator has observed rightly elsewhere in this thread that we cannot compare/compete with them.). Let us continue our posts and debates without any reservations. Wc were already active when WhatsApp / facebook entered the scene.

I have learnt that many professionals follow our forum but for obvious reasons do not respond. They must be for sure exchanging their views with friends or close rasikas.

Let us introduce the forum to our friends and relatives and encourage them to contribute actively. Review of concerts carried in YouTube ( available in our forum)can be an excellent avenue to exchange ideas.

srkris
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#70 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by srkris »

Sorry @rajeshnat for not responding to your points so far.

I wanted to wait until everyone has had their say. Now that many people have said what they wanted to say on the topic - I have read all of them.

To start with - With all due respect, I believe competition with youtube, facebook, or any other Carnatic Music website - is probably the wrong goal to pursue. Rasikas.org of 2020 can however compete with Rasikas.org of 2019, and try to improve all the time to become a better version of itself. That might be a more worthwhile objective to pursue.

Active writing is going down due to several reasons - one of which is due to me. I am not spending as much time on rasikas.org (due to various personal and professional reasons) as I used to do a decade ago to actively develop the site. That is a major reason. I still have great interest in the development of rasikas.org but my priorities have shifted greatly over the years.

Secondly - and this is also a major reason - different people have different views, sometimes uttered passionately, sometimes bluntly expressed, and these views have led to wars of words and factionalism - and we as moderators have tried to not police as much as possible in the expectation that people should self-regulate themselves. But every action and inaction in terms of moderation leaves behind its own karma-phala - not always what one expects. So some people might leave the site due to what they may consider heavy handed moderation, while others may feel moderation is too light or non-existent. Cant please everyone all the time.

With the above 2 main reasons - I still think (and agree with your analysis) that we still can do major things in the short and medium-term to attract more writers (and readers). I have been thinking whether it may be a good idea to move rasikas.org away from depending on me and a few others - and establish a proper foundation/charity with trustees to make decisions in the best interest of rasikas.org and its members - and take it forward into the future. It could expand its footprint and attract a much more bigger audience, and improve its usefulness to society.

My main fear in going forward with any such broad-based changes is that vested interests may come into play and try to influence the way rasikas.org is run, and ultimately affect the independent voices of the members who participate here.

Please feel free to suggest what we could do - either here or on Whatsapp - I am not against removing myself from the picture if that will bring in fresh minds to improve rasikas.org

SrinathK
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#71 Re: Challenges for Rasikas.Org -Active Writing Is going down

Post by SrinathK »

I would not agree to any thing that sacrifices the integrity and quality of this place for mass reach. Once you do that, you aren't going to see any more detailed discussions.

We are in a way a rasika equivalent of a Dhanammal chamber concert. ;)

I'll tell you what I've got from being here. When I go to a lot of musicians or organizers or rasikas and introduce myself as a writer on rasikas.org, I was very surprised to know that I was actually known and people were paying attention to what we wrote and shared here. Even when they don't participate. All rasikas here are well known.

If this forum ends up as just another social media site, some of us who want to write in depth will end up leaving and hosting our own blogs maybe. But blogs are absolutely terrible for discussion. And we cannot categorize them like here.

@srkris We can't do much to fight off old age and death here. Many old veterans are gone.

But you are to rasikas.org what shadjamam is to music. No way we can think of rasikas without you and vk. So no more mention of you leaving the site to others and walking off, fine?

Good projects are often one person's vision. Once the whole setup becomes commercialized and other things become the goal, then the point is lost.

All of us can put more effort to share good posts and threads and internet resources in social media. Feel free to share your own posts and reviews and contributions beyond writing in FB, twitter etc. That will bring more visibility here.

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