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Thread: PE's Continued Appeal?

  1. #1
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    PE's Continued Appeal?

    We will hit 20 in a couple years and it amazes/pleases me to see us still at it all these years later.

    Anything that lasts a couple decades on the 'net is no flash in the pan.

    So tell me, what keeps you coming back in this day and age when FB has plenty of music discussions?

    Is it the long form format here where people can go into a lot of detail with longer posts?

    Or something else or in addition to that?

    How do you think the tone is around here all these years later?

    What would you tell our detractors that write us off as a place with a toxic atmosphere? As you know, for some no forum is kind enough, yet I think we try to keep the tone above the belt here. Still we do have a rep outside these walls and it's not all positive because we have always allowed all opinions on artists to be shared. No matter how well articulated a lot of folks just don't like to read negative things about their "heroes". Do they?

    I occasionally run into a batch of former members, all grouped together, discussing what an awful place we are/were and I wonder.... Were they even reading the same site? Or am I just so close I'm oblivious? (I don't think so)

    What's the positivity VS negativity ratio around here anyway and has it changed much over the years?

    Curious your thoughts on this...
    Last edited by Sean; 04-25-2017 at 05:53 PM.

  2. #2
    PE as a interweb destination...


    Since i'm not on FB, this IS MY PLACE for relevant music news.

    I'm ALWAYS learning about bands I've never heard of before.

    I'm always learning about local concerts I might not have otherwise heard about.

    I block the haters and really strange goofballs so the toxic, acid-spewing dolts are dealt with.

    ...on a minor down-point.....the topics are starting to recycle too quickly.
    G.A.S -aholic

  3. #3
    Member TheH's Avatar
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    Although I see FB as most important for getting Information straight from band themselves, I don't see FB as a Plattform for
    Music discussions.

    PE is about the only relevant Prog discussions (with maybe PA) site for me.

    There are a lot of other Prog Forums, but most of those have hardly any traffic or are just a Troll Meeting Point (Snake Oil etc.).

    Although there are times where there is hardly any Topic I'm really into, there are at least sometimes and that's more of what i could say
    about any other Forum.

    I have no idea why anyone should leave here wounded or hurt, I haven't experienced any (to) harsh tones here.
    Last edited by TheH; 04-25-2017 at 05:19 PM.

  4. #4
    Studmuffin Scott Bails's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    We will hit 20 in a couple years and it amazes/pleases me to see us still at it all these years later.

    Anything that lasts a couple decades on the 'net is no flash in the pan.

    So tell me, what keeps you coming back in this day and age when FB has plenty of music discussions?
    I've never felt that the Facebook format was very conducive to the kinds of conversations that you can have on a message forum. And the "new" software here is fantastic, IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Is it the long form format here where people can go into a lot of detail with longer posts?
    That helps. Some of these threads go on and on, and beat the dead horse into glue, but there is a lot of knowledge and passion here, and I never cease to learn new stuff, find out about new music, and it's fun to interact with people from all over the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Or something else or in addition to that?
    For the most part, this forum just has some very knowledgeable and cool people. There's good humor, most of us "know" each other after all of these years, but I think that newcomers are welcomed, if they're polite and respectful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    How do you think the tone is around here all these years later?
    I feel like a lot of the riff-raff has either dropped off or been banned, so it seems to me that there is less of a need for moderation. The extreme majority seems respectful. Some get a little snippy from time to time, but we all have our bad days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    What would you tell our detractors that write us off as a place with a toxic atmosphere? As you know, for some no forum is kind enough, yet I think we try to keep the tone above the belt here. Still we do have a rep outside these walls and it's not all positive because we have always allowed all opinions on artists to be shared. No matter how well articulated a lot of folks just don't like to read negative things about their "heroes". Do they?
    Anyone who thinks this place has a toxic atmosphere either hasn't been here in a while or is over-sensitive, IMO. Criticism, as long as it's constructive and not personal, should always be welcomed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    I occasionally run into a batch of former members, all grouped together, licking their wounds and discussing what an awful place and I wonder.... Were they even reading the same site? Am I missing all the mean, toxic posts?
    Sounds like sour grapes

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    What's the positivity VS negativity ratio around here anyway and has it changed much over the years?
    I don't really see any negativity. And on the rare occasions that I do, usually the forum members all jump-in and "self-police."
    Music isn't about chops, or even about talent - it's about sound and the way that sound communicates to people. Mike Keneally

  5. #5
    Member rickawakeman's Avatar
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    In my dozen years here, I have come to feel as though I'm part of a community of like-minded souls, as well as relying on the site for news of the prog world.

  6. #6
    Great place. I'm not overly sensitive and I appreciate honest opinions.

    There's no way to have a substantial discussion about anything on Facebook or Twitter. The appeal of both is limited to me since I can't bear small talk.

    I still think a vBulletin format like this is best for people to get into serious nitty-gritty information and opinion exchange. For people who don't want to reach beneath the surface of the music they listen to, Facebook is fine. But when I want to read something more in-depth, but not necessarily from journalists or the established gatekeepers, this place fits the bill far better than anywhere else.

    I also don't like the way Facebook scrambles the different parts of one's life together. For decades, I've worked in music-related professions. My Facebook image needs to stay pretty professional. So discussing, say, the middle section of "Brown Shoes Don't Make It" doesn't ever seem like the right way to go on Facebook.

    I think the fact that so many cool artists like Mikes Johnson and Kennealy, Alan Benjamin, Mattias Olsson, etc continue to check in here says it all. There's just a great balance of music practitioners and fans on PE.

  7. #7
    So tell me, what keeps you coming back in this day and age when FB has plenty of music discussions?

    I'm not on Facebook and don't ever plan to be. I like the format of this site from a technical perspective. It makes sense to me and is comfortable and easy to navigate, and doesn't have a lot of crapola like Facebook.

    Is it the long form format here where people can go into a lot of detail with longer posts?

    That's probably part of it too. I think the quality of posts here is generally pretty good. I can't really compare with FB, but I do peruse PA occasionally and I prefer the posts here, but I don't say that to knock PA. This just suits me better.

    Or something else or in addition to that?

    Familiarity has created a certain comfort posting here. I've been here over 10 years now, and it's a place I feel comfortable and is part of my routine.

    How do you think the tone is around here all these years later?

    To me, it hasn't changed all that much in the 10 years I've been here. There are always some strong personalities who have their agendas they push ad nauseum, and a host of people who express their opinions as facts. These are the things that I think create most of the arguments. It's OK to disagree with someone, but some find it really hard to do that respectfully. And I'm not immune to falling into that trap occasionally myself. The players have changed somewhat, but the basic issues are the same.

    That said, the good far outweighs the bad, and most of that noise is largely avoidable, and people have proven they are willing to forgive and move on, or at least move on, if poor behavior changes. I think the mods have been a bit more active recently dealing with things as well, and that has helped.

    What would you tell our detractors that write us off as a place with a toxic atmosphere? As you know, for some no forum is kind enough, yet I think we try to keep the tone above the belt here. Still we do have a rep outside these walls and it's not all positive.

    I hate to say it, but I love the brutal honesty that is mostly on display here. If you can't stand to hear that someone doesn't like a band or album or artist that you super duper love, or your own music if you are an artist, then maybe this isn't the place for you. I like that there are people here who know MORE than I do about certain things, and from their honest opinions I gain a better understanding of music. Sometimes it pains me to hear they don't like something I do, but if their opinion is expressed respectfully and they back up what they say with a good rationale, I think the value of learning something or thinking about something differently outweighs the need for constant agreement or the sense that everything has to be tra-la-la sunshine. I don't get nearly this sense of unrestrained honesty from other sites I've visited. PE more resembles RMP to me, before that went to hell in a hand basket.

    I think some people take it too far, and some could use a lesson in how to express their opinions in a less dogmatic way. Dealing with those issues I think would cure a lot of ills. But I think it's great that people are passionate enough about the music to express themselves openly, and I've learned a ton form this site, even from those with whom I sometimes disagree.

    So I'd say to them the detractors that this sense of "toxicity" is probably overblown as a rule, though there have been some admittedly ugly incidents. I'd say the good outweighs the bad and there is a ton to learn here and the discussions are almost always interesting, but you do need to be able to deal with some level of disagreement. If you can't, then this probably isn't the place for you.

    What's the positivity VS negativity ratio around here anyway and has it changed much over the years?

    There are different ways to measure that. Most threads generate little controversy. It's only a few that seem to explode, sometimes most unexpectedly. But on the other hand, there are some prominent members here with strong opinions or agendas that post in a lot of threads that seem to have a larger impact on the site overall. It's hard because as was stated in a thread recently, if the posts are "on topic," so to speak, as moderators you don't want to stifle discussion and be too heavy handed. But if people aren't comfortable posting here because they're afraid some prominent member is going to jump down their throats or carpet bomb the thread with Youtube videos, then that is a problem. So you try to strike a balance. By and large, I think PE does a great job, but nothing is ever perfect or 100%.

    Bill

  8. #8
    Parrots ripped my flesh Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    I can't think of anywhere else on the net that overlaps so closely with the music I like. The steve hoffmann music forum is accepting of the same audience and types of music, but it's overwhelmingly populated by people who are mostly obsessed about holy grail vinyl pressings of Monkees mono LPs with certain engravings in the runoff and what-not, and anything interesting is in the distinct minority.

  9. #9
    totally personal reason but for reasons unknown to me PE is one of a very select websites that is not blocked at work. so please don't change anything behind the scenes that will get it categorized with other forums!

    so I use the site a lot for news and happenings that I can't get otherwise (phone service is garbage in my office) and I also have found people here to be knowledgeable and respectful for the most part so appreciate reading what they have to say.

  10. #10
    Member Yodelgoat's Avatar
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    Without this site I would have quite a few more dollars in my wallet. But I would also be wondering why there isnt any good music being put out any more.

    I think that pretty much sums up why I am here.

  11. #11
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    As a relative newbie here I cannot comment on the past behavior of forum members here - only that in the 3 or so years since I stumbled onto this site I have never felt out of place or dumb. And that's really saying something. There's been no elitism or disparaging going on.

    I realize that others have a far more extensive knowledge of progressive music than I possess and yet everyone here has been helpful and I've discovered so much music that I didn't even know existed. (Thinking Plague and Kenso are two example of this...)

    Even the "snarky" comments that show up on every Yes thread don't bother me - at least intelligent people are discussing my favorite bands here with passion and expertise.

    Love PE!!!
    The Prog Corner

  12. #12
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    I've participated to some 15 to 20 different discussion forums - not all of them music (I'd say that's 33% of them) - since the millenium and this is the only one were I've been postng constantly over the years, with PA a distant second (I've had up abnd down, but mostly linked with my overall tiredness, than for personal reasons... BTW, no fb or twitt or any other kind of social network.

    Yup, this place has a reputation that's not really flattering, but personally, I've never had a real problem with anyone here (past & present). I certainly wouldn't call this plac e toxic, but some newcomers can find the welcome rather glacial, which can be a reason of the site's reputation. It's clear that unlike RYM or PA, one needs a certain level of knowledge to survive and enjoy the place.

    I find the general level of discussion about music statisfying, though as I'm no musician, some threads are flying over my head.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    Without this site I would have quite a few more dollars in my wallet. But I would also be wondering why there isnt any good music being put out any more.

    I think that pretty much sums up why I am here.
    Well, here and PA anyways, but I wonder how much I wouldn't have discovered through other channels at my disposal (paper press and buddies, mainly)
    Last edited by Trane; 04-25-2017 at 07:19 PM.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  13. #13
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    PE's continued appeal to me is it's vast and knowledgeable member base sharing the latest news and info on the music we love.

    If more bandmembers would visit/post here it would be cool too, but that rarely ends up a good thing, damn Yuppets...get off my lawn !! Here, I got a Gentle Giant album for you...

  14. #14
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    We will hit 20 in a couple years and it amazes/pleases me to see us still at it all these years later.
    Woot -- that is pretty amazing, considering it's the interwebs and all.

    Like others I don't go to Facebook unless I want info on a specific band/artist. This is by far the best resource for timely info about stuff I care about. In fact, I'm always a bit smug when friends of mine pop up on email with "So and so is touring!" and I get to reply "Yawn... yup, already know."

    And don't worry about the detractors. This isn't the place for everyone and that's OK. And believe me, the atmosphere here isn't anything nearly as toxic as lots of other forums I've seen. I am curious, though, where this other place is that hosts former members collectively licking their wounds (Yesfans?)

    Here's the main challenge I see confronting PE in the future:

    I have a sneaking suspicion this community skews older. I'm 52 and I know from being here a while that I'm somewhat in the median of the demographic of the site (maybe even a bit on the younger side). If Progressive Rock as a genre, or -- more importantly -- progressive music as an art form is going to continue it needs forums (fora?) such as this to help a relatively small and geographically far flung audience stay in touch with each other and the artists they care about. But I worry about how many of us will still be here in another 20 years, or better still 20 years after that. I don't get the sense there's a lot of youngins coming along to help keep things rolling.

    For this reason I do hope PE is willing and able to evolve in terms of the music it focuses on. That's not to say there hasn't been discussions about this that and the other band or kind of music that seems to have a younger audience (the Deer Hunter comes to mind), but it usually gets pushed off the first page pretty quickly by Yes thread #XX,XXX.

    Or it may be that younger folks consider a forum such as this as too old school, or out of step with their online habits. If that's the case I strongly recommend PE find out where these folks are and try to reach them. The content to attract their attention will also be needed so some sort of parallel intelligence gathering will be required. Anyways, it's not what I'd consider a dire strategic threat to PE, but if I were you guys I'd start formulating some kind of plan for the future.

    My only other recommendation? You might want to update the site logo/graphics at some point. And I don't know how current vBulletin sites are but the tech feels a bit... out of date. I'm not a developer though through my work I come in contact with web design on an almost daily basis and I know for a fact that PE's visual experience is not as current as it could be. I get that this is an all volunteer, donor supported endeavor so take that critique with a huge dose of "You guys have done an awesome job!"

    Thanks for all the fish.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  15. #15
    Positivite:
    For me there are a number of reasons I return here daily, while I don't necessarily listen to a great deal of what is discussed here any more, under the banner of 'progressive' there may be five or six threads dotted about the main two pages about stuff I really do listen to, from all across the musical spectrum. Seems that a lot of people on here have similar tastes to me, and it's lovely to get a perspective on, say, Autechre, Melvins, Bartok, Van Halen and XTC from fans of progressive music, rather than just fans from the genre that each band sits most comfortably in.

    On top of that a great many bands that are discussed here A LOT are bands I have really loved at some point in my life even if I don't particularly listen to them anymore or like what they are doing nowadays. Because of that I still feel a connection with them, having once invested something emotionally and even if I don't like the music anymore I can remember why I liked it back then. For some curious reason reading long threads discussing their new album/ direction/ line-up etc. is a way of me to still keep a connection with the band somehow.

    I like to chime-in on the Cardiacs thread now and again if there's something that needs clearing up or some bit of trivia or information I can help with. It's also beautiful, for me, to read the Cardiacs thread and witness post-by-post people not quite getting it then a few weeks later having their 'road to Damascus' moment. Some of the folks on there are just like me when I discovered the band and became absolutely evangelical about them.

    I like that a few of my friends in real life from the world of music are on here, be they fellow musicians, writers or record label guys. I value their opinions so it's nice to read their take on stuff that I might not necessarily feel well equipped enough to wade in on.

    Negativite:
    Could do without the old-fashioned attitude towards women and dismissal of 'non prog' music that some contributors have.

    Doesn't stop me from coming here one bit, though. Thanks for having such a unique place, Sean, Duncan and all.
    Last edited by Kavus Torabi; 04-26-2017 at 09:47 AM.

  16. #16
    Geriatric Anomaly progeezer's Avatar
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    I'll never be on FB, so this is it for me, period, and it's all I need other than email.

    Several people I consider friends, most not just virtually after 11 years here & going to festivals, don't post much or at all anymore. and that's too bad. I have noticed some of these folks have eased their way back recently however, which is a good thing.

    I'm also loyal to a site that really did change my life and circle of friends for the better those 11 years ago. I only occasionally lose it with the very small segment of brain-dead here, and even then it's cathartic.
    "My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician, and to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference"

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  17. #17
    Member
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    I'm not on Facebook, and almost all of my friends that were into prog have died. And of course, I get a lot of useful information here. That's why I love PE.

  18. #18
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    Because you and Duncan have created an amazing site. For 15 years, I've logged on, with minor exceptions, every day. I still learn plenty from PE members who have a vast knowledge on prog and can articulate their ideas very effectively. I think the tone is excellent.

  19. #19
    The post-Usenet, pre-Facebook era of the internet was a golden age of internet discussion boards. There could be pure discussion of issues - at whatever level of openness/anonymity that the user preferred - that didn't have to bleed over into social networking or anything else other than topic discussion. These platforms had a better build than Usenet, which was technologically primitive and also subject to spamming.

    PE seems a holdover from that era, and the people who are on it probably prefer it the way that it is. The people who preferred something else apparently have moved on, as the references to Facebook would seem to indicate.

  20. #20
    Traversing The Dream 100423's Avatar
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    I'm just here for the women.

  21. #21
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    So tell me, what keeps you coming back in this day and age when FB has plenty of music discussions?

    This is the main place I come to on a daily basis for music discussion, I'm also on PA & Udi's FB Avant group (both are good but not as important to me as here). This to me has the right balance of membership with plenty of knowledgeable members, band members and people in the biz. The level of conversation is usually interesting and entertaining. I've been here probably 10 years and consider a lot of people here friends either just on the internet but also through meeting in real life at festivals and gigs. As an avant lover this place has the best mix of people interested in the type of music I explore. The amount of music I've discovered here has been phenomenal.

    Is it the long form format here where people can go into a lot of detail with longer posts?

    The long format certainly helps, you can drop in & out of threads and pick up bizarre sideways moves. I love when they go completely off topic. Some threads seem to blow up quickly into hundreds of posts (usually Yes threads) but generally they seem to develop at a pace that is good for me to follow.

    How do you think the tone is around here all these years later?

    Mainly the slightly cynical acerbic attitude with a lot of straight honesty works well for me. It never really gets nasty and there is a fair amount of self policing of the occasional troll who stops in for a while. It actually seems quite gentle compared to a lot of the internet.

    What would you tell our detractors that write us off as a place with a toxic atmosphere?

    To be honest I have little time who find it too hot here, it's seriously not that hostile, its just not a lovefest all the time, that would get extremely boring very quickly.

    What's the positivity VS negativity ratio around here anyway and has it changed much over the years?

    I reckon its probably 80:20 +ve to -ive. The stuff that doesn't work for me I can easily skip and its easy to bookmark threads I'm in so I generally read those first and then see what other threads are out there. I don't lose any sleep about people who may annoy me. Its too easy to just skip those and move on.

    Can we have the polls back please? I do miss those, they were fun.
    Ian

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  22. #22
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NogbadTheBad View Post

    Can we have the polls back please? I do miss those, they were fun.
    Yup, they were a reference to me...

    And them reviews, if possible , too.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  23. #23
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    I like that we can like or dislike any music discussed here. I was a member of some band, specific sites many years ago. You kinda have to walk on egg shells at those forums. I couldn't care less who likes what I like or not. I need this forum because I can discuss classic rock and the big prog names we all know. Coming here keeps me interested in Yes, Genesis, etc. I get a lot of news here too, like who died recently.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by mozo-pg View Post
    Because you and Duncan have created an amazing site. For 15 years, I've logged on, with minor exceptions, every day. I still learn plenty from PE members who have a vast knowledge on prog and can articulate their ideas very effectively. I think the tone is excellent.
    I can't say it any better than that!

  25. #25
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    I'm definitely here every day, it's the single best place for prog (and other forms of) music discussion. I like a lot of the people here. There are a few who I'm not wild about, but that's to be expected with any large group of people. The 'long form' is definitely a plus. I like Facebook groups (obviously) for the ease of photo sharing, etc. but I also like the 'white paper' format here. Best of both worlds for this guy.

    The bad reputation is something I've seen mentioned here quite a bit but I remain oblivious to it somehow. It's of no importance to me, as there are more than enough people here anyway, to be honest. Some people just aren't cut out for socializing, whether in person or behind a computer keyboard. Screw 'em.
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk and former scribe at Classic Rock Society. Only vaguely aware of anything other than music.

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