Music Composers Unite!
I'm on facebook and thought I'd share with you my experience of fb composer groups, perhaps you can share your experience if you like >
First, general comment: fb is not a very good way to get feedback from other composers, owing to the nature of how posts show up: you post something and if you don't get comments on it right away, you're likely never to get them as the next post and the post after that come in, pushing your composition out of the way. It's very hard to scroll through a fb group page and see older posts, which are displayed somewhat randomly / or based on comments happening after the post is no longer the top post. They are also not a place where a good community can be built, people don't talk to each other or get to know each other, so you won't make many friends this way. That said, here are a couple of observations of some fb groups for composers >
Contemporary Composers Collective (I am a member). About 5,000 members. Music of all stripes, from neo-classical to modern, to avante-garde. This is a largely unmoderated group. All everybody does on this group is post their own works, and it is rare to get comments. I have commented on a number of works on this forum, and often the composer never even acknowledges my comment. Many posters post one thing and then never return. Also a few spam-posters, that is, people who post almost everyday, sometimes multiple times a day. These posters do not comment on anything anyone else does.
Tonal Composers (I am a member). About 2,500 members. As the name implies, this is tonal-only. Mostly neo-classical postings, a smidge of other stuff. This group requires you describe the piece being posted, or it will be deleted. Heavily moderated, in a good way. If you post here, you are likely to get comments if your work is of decent quality. This is probably the best group I have seen.
I have seen many other groups, most of them seem to follow the Contemporary Composers Collective model of high membership, little moderation, and overflowing with self-promotion and no feedback. In fact, many of the posters in CCC also simultaneously post in other forums, in my estimation ruining them.
If you have a fb group you are in, perhaps you could share in a reply to this post -
Many thanks for this info, Gav. It doesn't look too conducive to musical discussion and critique, just showcasing one's work on the offchance someone will listen.
As the days pass I find less and less reason to create a facebook account. Among other things I went to find the T&C and it runs into hundreds of closely typed pages. It still never clarified the rights facebook has over anything, photo, text, the lot, posted by a user.
While I appreciate the sharing of this information, all I can contribute is that I've decided not to have a Facebook account, partly because I spend too damned much time on the internet as it is, partly because I haven't found any composer forums other than this one which are worth participating in. Also partly because evidently you have to actually join a closed Facebook group before you can even look at the activity to decide whether you want to belong.
One reason I find this ning Composers Forum group valuable is that many people give their full real names and location and often even a recognizable photo. I've found in general that the rare forums where people post under their real names are almost always much more civil and valuable than the ones where everyone posts as "Cat Mommy" or "The Cool One" with their image being a cartoon or a photo of one quarter of their face.
Anonymity on the net seems to have become so common that it's considered a cherished right by many people. But I myself don't post anonymously and therefore personally I don't feel comfortable interacting with people who do.
I'll echo and take a tangent on one thing Jon said, about posting under real names, which is really about getting to know people. When people post under their real names and especially when they stick around for a while, you get to know them as a composer across multiple postings. When they put up a new composition, you can view it not only on its own, but in the context of what they have posted in the past. I have seen some people post here who have grown and changed over time, in some cases I would say they have become better composers. I've commented a few times on individual posts about this growth, and it's something that's a real pleasure to see. After all, we are not static, we are moving along through life, and of course we hope we get better as we go. There's little chance this ability to see growth would happen on fb.