Jam Rooms

posted on #1
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I've wondered why there are 1600+ members but basically only 16 or so members who participate. Could it be that it feels crowded here? Everyone is trying to find space on the front page but people are posting so often that your track quickly gets pushed off the front page and forgotten. How can we create more space for people to fit, to be visible, to feel part of the community?

How about this: Create Jam Rooms

A Jam Room is a place where musicians who enjoy a particular style of music go to jam together. On a given Jam Room page (The Rock Jam Room for example) would be listed the latest rock track which could be played, thumb up'd, commented on, downloaded, etc. as well as a list of the last 5 Jams for that style of music (and a link to all the Jams of that style). The same could be done for Funk, Blues, Punk, etc.

By Creating Jam Rooms you enable people to post a new jam and have it stay visible for a while instead of getting pushed off the page because of all the new posts from all the different styles available here.

In addition, the Wikiloops Front Page could be changed so that you could scroll down the page and see a list all of the Jam rooms and the latest track for the style of music in that room. That way all the latest tracks from each style are visible on the front page. You'll be able to see what is going on across all of Wikiloops just by scrolling down the page to get an overview of what is going on in each Jam room.

Right now there is a nice little community of musicians on Wikiloops who all seem to enjoy each other's company. Maybe you don't want to mess with that. By creating Jam Rooms you risk dividing everyone up into different styles. But, if you want to grow the website and get more people involved then I think you may need to create more space for people to fit in.

Personally I'd love to see more space. It would make me feel like I have more of an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the community. Right now there are enough good drummers on the site that I'm not needed. If there were 19 jam rooms (one for each style currently available on the site) then I'd probably be able to find a place where I could help out.

Just a thought. Hope it helps.

Layin' down the beats like a novice
posted on #2
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Poor Dick!
That would be another hard work to restructure everything.
But ernestly: I get your point. That is a real problem with the increasing community, that every upload gets lost and forgotten so quick and easily. This will be a limit for the growth of wiki in the future.

Is it the right way to make the site even more complex? I doubt.

I had one idea which is surely political incorrect and which you won't like maybe:
We are uploading too much!
If we could find a rule to limit the number of uploads, your track will have more chances to be recognized for some time and get the deserved attention. And maybe the overall quality of tracks will still increase. Something like "not more than 3 uploads per week".

Now you will want to beat me... B)
posted on #3
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hmmm. I will have to think about this a little longer, but basicly what you are talking about is what happens when you visit the search page,
set the filter to "latest jams" and then set a style filter

- the results shown are exactly what you describe you'd like to have in a jam room.

Maybe the styles shown on the startpage (to logged out visitors that is... maybe theres a mistake? theese links are replaced by the upload option for logged in members...) should be linked to the latest jams instead of the best rated, so you wont have to set any filters manually to achieve the result desired.

I do get your point, and its not a bad one, in my opinion, wikiloops is not a platform for self-showing in the way you'd like to be exposed more... (bad english sorry, second attempt...)
I know everyone likes to get their stuff checked out, sure, but wikiloops is more about working together than about presentation and being admired by others.
It makes you want to get better, and it makes you think about what a track really needs, its a kind of learning site to those who participate more than a way to promote oneself.
I think its the rather bad tracks that will get you the feedback and food for thought you need to improve next time around... so as you see, I have a diffrent view on things, but I am one of the active people on here, too.

Your unique style is needed. Of course it is, no one else will have your sound or feeling, so lets see where we will end up :)

So we have a little diffrent understanding of "significance" as you put it.
Is there any kind of website where your content seems to be needed more? Stuff gets lost on Facebook, Youtube or soundcloud just as bad as here, or am I wrong in saying that?

this will get interesting, I do understand many people are scared off taking part, because they think you really need to be good so people will take the time to do a remix. There is some thruth in that, and as the offered tracks are getting more and more, it will be harder to stick out with something, all I can say is:

Its OK to suck on wikiloops (simmerdown)

thx for any thoughts n feedback :)
posted on #4
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lol @ Lutz, yeah, other communities have done this, it may be thing to do, but I dont really think thats the point. Actually, the dislay of new jams on the startpage does group new jams by the uploader, so no matter how many jams you post, only one will be up there, laving space for two other fresh jams by other users. Mybe we should just make that 6 latest jamming users on the frontpage, that might be a good idea.


I think the one thing new users should do to get noticed is: post remixes instead of templates. The users you remixed will surely check your stuff out, and if they like it, they wll start looking for your tracks. Its a s simple as that to get into the jam, and it worked well for tinkeround, whos next remix I'd definetly want to hear. see?
Edited by Dick on June 22 2012 19:47
posted on #5
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I guess most registered users are curious one-time visitors although I expect there's a significant number of people who only register so they can download backing tracks to practice with and don't want to post anything themselves.

It does get busy (although I remember quiet days too) and I know I miss loads of good stuff on here, someone suggested bookmarking the latest jams page a while back - it's a good way of catching up with the latest jams.

I'm wondering how difficult it would be to separate the backing tracks and finished songs aspects of the community? Maybe separate is the wrong word - differentiate?
posted on #6
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I totally understand the reluctance to make the site more complex. That would probably only make things harder and more confusing for everyone.

Maybe a better question to ask is "How can visibility of new tracks be increased without increasing the complexity of the site?"

Certainly everything is visible right now. All you have to do is look for it but I wonder how many people look for tracks once they've been pushed off the Front Page.

Maybe everyone looks for everything even if it's been pushed off the front page. I don't know. But the feeling is once a track is off the front page it's gone. And maybe that motivates people to post remixes quickly instead of really investing and making their remixes the best that they can make them (The concern of Mr. Lutz) I don't know. I'm just speculating.

I don't think people want to show off. They want to share their music. And, they don't get to share it if they post it and no one gets to hear it because it disappears off the front page after 45 minutes or at least that is how it feels. That is why people use the shoutbox to bring attention to their tracks. They are afraid their tracks will be forgotten or missed all together. The only way to fix that is to increase the visibility of the new tracks.

Maybe simply expanding the "latest uploads" list to include the 10 latest uploads would address all of the concerns. I guess that is pretty much what Dick said. Makes sense to me.

Even if nothing changes this is a great site that anyone can use to grow as a musician and make friends with and be an encouragement to people all across the world. Maybe the old phrase "If it isn't broken, then don't fix it." applies.

Edited by Tinkeround on June 22 2012 22:14
Layin' down the beats like a novice
posted on #7
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I like Dick's comments and ChrisB also.
I have never really taped myself much in the past.
This tool has made me listen to myself.
I also can say, this run I used in this loop worked and revisit that loop.
The tool or loop is on my page I hope until I remove it.
I would like to be noticed more. Yet, This is a tool to better yourself.
Yes it is nice to be recognized not sure it is important. I have noticed the people who do tune into what you are doing, give you the thumbs up are your friends and they are encouraging you.
If I were to listen to every loop (on the page)I would have less time to Play and practice my music. I do listen tho. Many times to loops over and over trying to do my part in that group. Trying to come up with something that will better that song. How I pick out my loops is when someone gives me a thumbs up, I try not only to listen, but to join the group, they are in and jam with them.
Enough said.
Thank you Wikiloops for my play time.
Thank you to all tho's who tune me in and give me my encouragement.:)
posted on #8
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Very cool comments guys! Thanx for all!:)
posted on #9
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From a Architectural CAD Draftsmen’s view, I also see the bottom line may be “real estate” when working on large projects I need every inch of screen I can get.. So getting bumped off the welcome pages latest contributions “3 latest jams” my be due to uploads, but also due to the amount of information and visuals displayed for each session in the following linked search engine page.
I personally listen to the radio page a lot. Its surprisingly easy to navigate and find what I want to listen to, but still keep up on the latest contributions if I want. There are 23 latest contributions listed on one page right now. Dare I say this could be expanded to include much more with little coding and it still has a lot of info as well, Just at a smaller format and without aviator or pictures of coarse but it does list thumbs and compliments. Some of the Radio Channels expand up to 80 sessions on a page. Maybe a combination of expanding the radio and linking it to the front pages “more latest contributions” could accomplish what your suggesting without a lot of coding aggravation. not sure if setting upload limits would actually increase a new or old users to participate in the jam more. Of coarse there would always be the search engine page but Ultimately its up to the newbie’s to use the awesome search engines already in place. I’ve kicked the tires on a lot of “cyber jam websites” and this is the one that fit me best. I’m sure like you said there are many new users just kicking the tires and it may not be there thing.
Hey I’m playing on the Radio woo hoo for me..lol :D:D:D
Great topic guys.
posted on #10
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One thing I really like about WikiLoops is how a song idea may start out as, say, "hip hop" and end up as blues or rock or etc, depending on who's remixing the track and adding their parts! There are no jam room walls isolating the track from other genres. :) Openness is good.

And as for the number of active participants versus the actual number of members ... par for the course, with online website membership in general. I think people join thinking "Oh! What a great idea!" and then put that great idea on the back burner of life. Getting a recording set-up together does take a bit of effort, as does actually recording something. Some people just procrastinate too much and for too long!

Hopefully some of the many lurking WikiLoops members will come out eventually and show us what they've got!
posted on #11
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... just did some quick rearrangements on the frontpage,
hope this will change the "stuff is lost too quick"- feeling a little, still open to other approaches.
Its a good thing to talk about how the site "feels", thats really important, no matter if its always rational.

I guess its a thing that changes with community growth, from a certain point on, people dont expect their content to be found "by itself" but know its up to them to get it noticed (you wouldn't mind if few people watched your YoutTube video, you know its one of millions) - thats still a little diffrent on wikiloops, but with the community growing, all "latest jams" lists, may they be divided by styles or whatever, will some day be too short or changing too rapidly to be sure to get attention... its a fine thing for now, but it ends somewhere I guess.

I believe the featured jam thats back on the homepage might be improved, so that every active member is featured after another (it used to feature random tracks, so very active members were on there more often than people with just a handfull of tracks...)

lets keep thnking, I'm open to making stuff even better you know
posted on #12
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Hey Dick,

This whole discussion is helping me think differently about how to use the site. Maybe instead of relying on Start Page presence to get a track noticed, I could just post a new jam and send a message to my friends to tell them it's there. Having my friends hear my jams is what really matters to me. If other users hear it and appreciate it too then that's great. But, what I'm really looking for is feedback from my friends.

Is it possible to send one message to multiple people? Creating mailing lists would probably be a huge pain and, in my opinion, would be unnecessary but being able to add more than one address to a message would be great!

Of course, this idea is sort of redundant because anyone who has me as a friend already gets notified when I post a new jam.

Hey! Just had another thought...if things feel differently for new users than it does for experienced users then maybe you can help new users out my creating a "New Artists" list on the start page. That list will display new artist jams with "new artist" defined as anyone who has posted 5 or fewer jams. By the time they've posted their 5th jam they will be familiar with how things work, will have made friends, and won't be dependent upon the Start Page to get involved. Maybe that would help out the new guys.

Well, that's it for now. Who knows what I'll come up with next. :D

Layin' down the beats like a novice
posted on #13
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it would be nice to have more of those 1600 active

it takes a certain kind of person to just jump into the fray here though

we are the 1%, lol
posted on #14
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I think for many "life" gets in the way when it comes down to it. A few I think have mentioned already...it DOES take a bit of effort to put together a good recording setup and I think the average rule of thumb when "really recording" can be in the area of an hour of time per minute of end product.

It also takes a little something also to put yourself "out there" and can be intimidating. I can honestly say that I cringe a bit when I put something less than perfect up because I know there are guys here like Cosimo, PeteSilence, Davebee, PeteV, Lutz, Felix, FastFrets, Tadoom (and so many others) who may be hearing it. Despite that EVERYONE here has been positive, respectful and constructive....you still get that feeling sometimes when you hit the upload button.

Personally I have come to love the site solely for the feedback and ability to "jam" with so many varied players from all over the world...something I could never do before finding WL. It's nice to get a lot of plays/thumbs, but I think it's nicer when another of your peers gives some positive feedback, sends you to the woodshed with one of their tunes or exposes / educates you on a style, technique or recording / mixing tip. The exchange of ideas and learning is truly awesome.

The following is not meant to be negative in any way, but if you think about all the people you know who play an instrument compared to how many of them are in a band or recording writing their own stuff...I would say the numbers here of total members to contributions probably hold pretty true? A lot of time is needed to do what we all love to do.

I think if there were one thing that could be altered that MAY increase participation would be the ability to upload a completed work. But I think this is contrary to what WL is all about...I think it would increase submissions though. Some folks may just not want others to jam on "their" stuff or depending on how you record, it may be difficult to break things down.

I think the first / hardest thing to do to understand the # of members to # of contributors question though is to survey the user base. Is it intimidation? If so then perhaps a "novice" section could be made. Is it time? Nothing Dick or anyone can do there unfortunately. Is it that people aren't finding their style of music to jam too? Maybe a request system could be set up...etc.

Just some thoughts...honestly I love it the way it is and am happy I found it and thankful to Dick for putting all that he has done into it!

Dan S
posted on #15
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hey fellows,

I mean, look at this thread, the quality and respect of interchange happening - that is great by itself, and I'm proud to have founded a place were this is possible. I dont realy need more active people all that bad when thinking about this, look at more crowded places and the darker sides of social behaviour one crosses on the web every now and then. No, I'm not considering running wiki as a closed shop, but if the system "as is" is not so interesting to those who would upload crappy tracks or flaming comments, whats bad about that?

I do +1 the idea of featuring the new active members until they got known a little. Had a quite similar idea, but tinkerounds is getting down right to the point there. I'll do it, please be a little patient with me.

a clear NO towards finished jams within the system - present them in the forum, on soundcloud or wherever, its just a diffrent thing to do.

a friendly correction to simmerdown: if you take commenting or leaving thumbs as being active, wikiloops has around 8% active members. You are right about the 1% posting music tho.
One doesnt have to record at all to feel it would be cool to download a backing to practise, so I dont think there should be too much thought wasted on why they dont participate. I'd rather think how to make people leave a friendly thumb before rushing off with their download. (thats why theres the "like a jam / leave a thumb" campaign continues...)

As for group-mailings, I have felt there is a lack of this option myself. Wall-notifications are nice, but a PM to a certain group would be, too.
Not sure how easy this will become, it might be giving SPAM-bots the dynamite, too tho. Imagine every newbe sending out a "welcome" PM to everyone with some simple clicks... I'll have to think about that one.

As FastFrets brought to my attention, there are some bad bugs in the band segment, wich I have left out of updating for quite some time. The band feature was intended for exactly theese smaller circles, maybe we will use it more when its better bugfixed and the open place gets too crowded one day.

Changing things will continue, thanks to all who participate in the ongoing search for the solution thats best! Sorry if I dont reply to every aspect mentioned, I better get back on the code, got some fixes to do :)
posted on #16
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I so appreciate the wisdom and thoughtfulness with which you manage this site. You are very careful about what you do making sure not to screw up what you've already done. I had to laugh when you said:

"if the system "as is" is not so interesting to those who would upload crappy tracks or flaming comments, whats bad about that?"

That's so true. You are doing a great job. You've built something awesome here. You are right to be proud of it.

Edited by Tinkeround on June 26 2012 18:57
Layin' down the beats like a novice
posted on #17
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I totally agree with Tinkeraround in his initial post in this thread. I think it would help improving the site in usability. I never used the search function, besides the one for going to a jam number directly. And I would like to have a one click access point to the latest metal or rock tracks.
The search function would do it though, if there was a way to save a search.

-The computer should be doing the hard work. That's what it's paid to do, after all. - Larry Wall
posted on #18
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@ kaptain:

I added the "whats new in my style" links to the startpage bottom...

saving a search would be another challenge, it may be done one day tho
posted on #19
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Dick, I checked the 'what's new' feature: it's great, thanks.
-The computer should be doing the hard work. That's what it's paid to do, after all. - Larry Wall
posted on #20
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I want to thank Danalyze45 for including me in his statement but I must confess!!!!!!

I have not made much in the way of loops. I use it like my third date. Where can I go to play music with those you mentioned not to mention the world. WOW!:)

I use to, surf the web looking for loops. Most were blah. The other loops you had to buy and became boring after 10 times or so.
MrAdAMS puts new meaning to (I'll have what hes having.)
He is doing what it is all about. Making loops. Irren too.
I wonder how many downloads of music are going on. Students and people learning, sitting in the basement, at midnight, burning oil.
I know I am. Thanx to (all) that do the real work for my enjoyment.

Just a thought!
INSTEAD of the top 100 songs where the top 100 songs are played. How about the 50-100 top Musician played once per Musician as it plays. MrAdams has 1000 songs but plays one/100.
Unless he is featered in someone elses song. Random pick out of the 1000 songs that MeAdams has done. MrAdams is on the radio many times yet other Musician are reconized more too.

Tip for those who like to listen to the radio on wikiloops sign in twice. Use one for the music and the other for surfing inside WIKILOOPS. As I write this to the forum, I have been listning to Danalyze45 5090.
Good job Danalyze45. Thats a loop.

It also takes a little something also to put yourself "out there" and can be intimidating. I

can honestly say that I cringe a bit when I put something less than perfect up because I

know there are guys here like Cosimo, PeteSilence, Davebee, PeteV, Lutz, Felix, FastFrets,

Tadoom (and so many others) who may be hearing it. Despite that EVERYONE here has been

positive, respectful and constructive....you still get that feeling sometimes when you hit

the upload button.
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