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Up for a challenge?

posted on #1
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Posts: 2080
Joined: 30.12.10
Yay, you must be a brave person opening this thread :)

I've been blogging, video-addressing and reporting about the challenges that need to be met to keep wikiloops online,
and every now-and-then, somebody shows interest in joining the wikiloops collaboration in some way or the other.
In response to some requests and feedback I received lately, I'll offer a list of opportunities to get involved here today.

Challenge I: Let's get wikiloops and its treasure of music the recognition it deserves
It takes some effort to get recognized - be it as a single artist, or a community of musicians.
If you feel capable of spotting opportunities to "get the word out" to an interested audience and
would like to get involved in getting the relevant people to talk about wikiloops,
then here are some ideas how to team up on that:
- It takes someone to scout opportunities, ranging from webradios that could feature, magazines that may report, music teachers that might mention, radio and TV stations that might be interested to report about us... so, task 1 is to pool a list of such contacts, then
- It takes well prepared info material for anyone who shows interest - ideally authored by native speakers who know wikiloops and who know what the potential contact will be interested in - like telling the music teachers the specific use-options relevant to them, and telling the online radio about the musics background, ideally in an appealing 300-word-max format.
If you feel you are good at scouting and contacting people or if you feel you could easily help on the representative writing, welcome aboard!
- It takes someone to constantly feed the social media threads. If you feel like reviewing some wikiloops albums or tracks and sharing these reviews via the wikiloops FB page, that would serve the "recognition"-challenge just as well. Do not under-estimate the power of a single mention of wikiloops in some active musicians forum or online group you may be part of, these things do make a huge difference.

Challenge II: Let's offer wikiloops in as many languages as possible to make it a truly global jam
- wikiloops is currently in need of spanish- and portoguese speaking translators. If you speak one of those languages and are familiar with the english wikiloops site, then that might be a challenge for you. The process itself is not overly complicated, and you will be "trained" on the job, no problem if you have little experience in translating websites.

Challenge III: Let's make sure wikiloops stays online by teaming up on raising funds
wikiloops does depend on raising funds,
and you are very welcome to join the effort, and may even benefit from that yourself.
The easiest option is to point people who may be aware of wikiloops and its idea, or simply of the fun you've been having here towards the wikiloops donations page - by adding ?support_for=YOURNAME to the link, you will receive free membership credit,
so, an example link to demonstrate this (configured to give Baer the credit) would look like this:
https://www.wikiloops.com/donate.php?support_for=Baer

You may as well create your personal wikiloops fundraising album by selecting your tracks of choice, publishing that as a wikiloops album and promoting that outside of wikiloops. Mind, people who do not hold a wikiloops account may now choose to download that album by purchasing a download ticket, so they could contribute to the fundraising cause that way if you point them at this option.

You may talk to any organization which you deem potentially interested in what we do on wikiloops and point them at the "sponsors pick" / "sponsored square" fields available on wikiloops (these are displayed left of the "supporter statements" shown at the bottom of track pages) -
be sure you will be rewarded for striking any sponsoring deals, let's sort out a comission that works for you.
Again, there is need for informative written material to cater towards the different interests of potential partnering organizations, so, again, besides the "front row" contact scouts, again there is need for back office writing, too.

Challenge IV: Let's make sure new members feel at home and get into the wiki flow well
It's not that hard - just visit
https://www.wikiloops.com/members/finder.php
switch "order by" to "show new members" and check out what the noobs are doing. Say hello, give some feedback, make them feel at home.
It's a challenge, try it sometime, you'll spot some interesting characters, promised :)

Challenge V: Be a critical product tester
wikiloops is cool today, but it could be even cooler tomorrow.
Point towards missing features or things which do not seem solved in a convenient way so far.
Report in about something that possibly looks very odd in your browser/tablet/laptop/wide-screen TV - we can turn your feedback into improvements, so please keep reports and ideas coming via the feedback and suggestions forum.

Expert challenges:
Should you be a php/mySQL person interested to join the development end of things or a graphic design wizard who would like to contribute photoshop hours creating the ever needed occasionla banners and such... get in touch (someone said the rhyming starts when the brain shuts down, I might go for a coffee).




Thanks for the read, and feel free to ask questions or send me a PM if any of the above read like something you might get into.
"Sorry - had to do it!" - Les Claypool

yes, you are looking at the administrators signature.
posted on #2
Member
Posts: 34
Joined: 15.04.14
Wow some great ideas here. I love the suggestion of helping new loopers. First of all one needs a certain amount of skill to participate....an excelkent musicuan perhaps may be up to fantastic playibg but simply has never set up a DAW before. I think volunteer mentors who could act as teachers could create the 'School of Loops'. I realised recently that what we do is fascinating and many people would find it very educational.I am currently making a video/10 minute mini doc about how I go through the process and how much it means to me as a disabled artist. I will then provide a link to donation page.
posted on #3
Supporter
Posts: 59
Joined: 21.11.15
Dick -good to see this and I think many people overlook how many jobs need to be done to keep a place like this going (and how even a few 'small' jobs soon turn into a full-time role!)

I also think Tu's suggestion is excellent - I recently read an interesting thread here about recording drums (something I'm never likely to do but fascinating in its own right and perhaps the kind of thing that as a 'tutorial' might be linked to from outside Wikiloops)

As you know, I'm very happy to report bugs (well, not "happy" to find them, but you know what I mean!) and contribute development effort where feasible. I'm also happy to test bits of the website to try and find issues.

There's a bit of a risk that some of these ideas just remain.... ideas. For example, I know we have some wonderful people here who devote time to welcoming new members but it's not clear that anyone has signed up during December to review new posts for copyright infringements (to pick a hypothetical task that you might be able to offload from your list). As I said before, I fully appreciate that creating such a list is work in itself and surprisingly difficult when most of what you do seems 'obvious' to yourself. There's also no guarantee that more people would volunteer to help if such a list/rota was available but speaking for myself it's much easier to envision signing up for a specific task like "contact these 3 organisations in your country to see if they would fund Wikiloops" when I can see that it hasn't already been done but needs doing.

Anyway, my wish is not to burden you with extra headaches - I'm sure life is hard enough without having to consider how you'd restructure things to turn wikiloops into more of a volunteer run operation. As always, I very much appreciate what you do to keep the lights on :)
Edited by GrooveEnth on 14-11-2017 20:42
posted on #4
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Posts: 333
Joined: 27.02.15
Such a complex set of questions and ones I'm frustrated to not offer solutions to. :(

My experience of professional musicians [drummers] is one of simultaneous joy and disbelief they are where they are. If they can help through friends they know, they probably will so I have to reinforce your message of calling on them.

Sadly, my experience of when I taught in the '90s was less positive. I actively encouraged my pupils playing along to their favourite artists and bringing the bits they couldn't figure out to lessons to work through. I encouraged them to just play along to their [showing my age] cassettes. Other teachers I knew didn't approve of me stepping outside what were 'the rules', if you see what I mean. Basically, I didn't teach to the grades. But that's because, in turn, I was taught to play music, not rules.

Had a resource like Wikiloops existed when I taught, I would've hugely encouraged it. A resource like Wikiloops - where every style and ability was represented - is practice heaven. It gives practice without routine. I cannot tell you, from a personal perspective, the value that gives, both for me and any prospective player.

But being able to play and then upload for the world to hear takes serious, serious balls. I can totally understand players' fear of such things. Being a beginner is one thing, uploading your efforts for the world to pass judgement on is a seriously tough hurdle to overcome. Old hacks like me just don't care (actually, we do, but you know that!) but new players it's a serious fear to overcome.

So my question would be, from a Wikiloops perspective, how do you help players whilst keeping the place running and, of course, paying for itself?

A 'practise engine' is one approach I'd consider marketing. I'm no expert on this sort of thing, but, as a former educator and professional player myself, I'd have given my right arm for a playground where I could indulge the challenges of styles without thinking I'd be judged for it.

I, sadly, have no idea how to take this forward and I'm not suggesting up-front charges for it per se. But is there a way a 'practise' or 'preview' engine could be considered where players could hear their efforts before giving it to the wide world? Perhaps allow designated 'mentors' to listen first? I'm possibly wide of the mark here, but I do feel the depth of Wikiloops talent could help from an educational perspective. This is not 'formal' teaching, more in terms of 'song craft'. I don't know - I'm blasting ideas into the ether here.

Wikiloops, to me, is the finest resource on the internet for helping players move forward in taking on areas they may not be comfortable with. The question is how to give them the confidence to join in properly and realise its collaborative value.

I'm 35 years into playing drums. And this place still astounds me with its breadth of skill and music. But most importantly, is Wikiloops' camararderie. It's this which builds players. My question is whether this can be used to help keep Wikiloops going. But it'll take far greater business minds than mine!

But I genuinely think a USP could be some level of 'real world' education. It is this I spent a year at Musician's Institute being taught. Yes Iwas taught to play rudiments and style, but I was, most importantly, taught to play songs. To look past technique and ability and just play what feels 'right'. You do not have to be a great to play a good song. In the world of drums, I dare anyone to tell me Ringo was a bad drummer...

Let's put it another way: if someone was willing to put $20-30 in to Wikiloops coffers for a couple of hours of me helping them learn or work through a song, I'll do it. I, of course, cannot speak for others. But my time and effort will always be free for Wikiloops.

Am I mad?
Edited by mpointon on 15-11-2017 01:36
posted on #5
Supporter
Posts: 2080
Joined: 30.12.10
GrooveEnth wrote:
speaking for myself it's much easier to envision signing up for a specific task like "contact these 3 organisations in your country to see if they would fund Wikiloops" when I can see that it hasn't already been done but needs doing.


I understand that, and my preferred solution to this is:
If you show interest in joining one of the following "departments",
I will grant you access to the detail-tasks you are asking for.
To publish all of that here and to keep updating the state-of-progress in each field would not be efficient, and some of the information needs to be treated confidentially as well (for example: which companies have been contacted and what were their responses).
So, expect to get the specific tasks laid out, and also be sure we will take care of not getting in each others way (p.e. by contacting the same person three times). I do not see this as too much of a challenge, just think of some access restircted extra forum area in which current tasks could be offered as "open tickets", people could grab such tickets and it would be easy to monitor progress and keep information organized by task.
I'm deliberately offering challenges in the "Creative Writing", "Translation" and "Funding" departments,
because these are the fields where help would be needed the most - you mentioned the "Moderation"-Department, and you are correct:
that also belongs on the list of challenges. However, we have been able to establish a small moderation team earlier this year, so that department is not top of priorities on my list right now - I will add it to my initial post for completion, tho.

mpointon wrote:
am I mad?

I don't think so :) I'll be very bold now and skip going into any of the details you have mentioned and tell you:
If you happen to be familiar with music teaching and the average music teachers approach/attitude, plus you have the ability to foresee what a student may be troubled with (fear of uploading a "try" to the public),
then you have the potential to develop ideas which may turn wikiloops into a tool these two parties will be able to enjoy (one might re-think the private band pages and tweak them a little to become teacher-student exchange areas...),
and secondly I do smell a potential of presenting that aspect of the wikiloops toolbox in a manner that may sound interesting to drumming educators. You know what they want, you speak & write very well, and you know wikiloops.
Then again, you went for the educational aspect and found that difficult (it is) - why not go for something else and switch focus to "how to present the fun factor in wikiloops in an appealing manner" or "how to present the international collaboration mission to people who support cultural exchange".
The beauty of teaming up lies in everybody being able to pick the jobs one feels the most comfortable with (well, all but me I guess),
similar to making music, where you wouldn't want to play the whole band on your drums, you are not asked to deliver the one solution to all issues (including funding) in one go, but are invited to contribute small pieces.

I'll end today by giving you a real-life example:
I recently asked one of our guitar players to please supply me with a list of interesting guitar magazines and online things which he felt might report about wikiloops. I got a very cool list of resources in return, and a friendly statement that the asked guitar player would not really be up to inquire/negotiate with any of those resources, but offered help in writing info material catering towards guitar players.
That is a great offer, and a lot of help.
It does leave the approaching and communications to someone else (that would be me right now, but could be someone else as well). Splitting the aspects "scouting", "creative writing" and "communications" is not that much of a problem, all it takes is some rather public relations/sales-oriented person to handle the communications - and to have that communications aspect resting in someones hands also ensures there will not be multiple outside requests.

I guess what it comes down to is:
We have a few challenges up on that list which you can approach without any need for teaming up - Tu is following one of them, and I am really looking forward to seeing that video!

Then we have the challenges that require some team organization, and I hope you have some idea of how I'd structure that and break it down to small tasks by now. If you feel you are up to some of that, just drop me a line which "department" you'd like to join,
and I'll set you up with the current tasks :)
as always, thx for the read!
posted on #6
Supporter
Posts: 59
Joined: 21.11.15
Thanks Dick. In that case consider me interested in the "testing" and "software" departments. I might also be able to help a bit with exploring funding in the UK.
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