Should Composers' Forum Continue?

Hello Colleagues,

Composers' Forum has been around about 12 years and it's now time to consider if it should continue. There are many boards and web sites out there, plus reddit, plus facebook, so there are plenty of places composers can go to to have discussions with each other. Many of these sites offer free membership, as does Composers' Forum. But Composers' Forum is not free to the admins who run it - it costs $599 a year to keep going. Admins have been paying this cost since the site began, out of a love for music composition. We've asked the members to voluntarily contribute each year to help pay for the site, with limited success, amounting to at best about 10% of this cost. So this year is a decision year - it's now up to you, the members, to decide if this site has had its time and should close down or continue if you would be willing to help pay to keep it going. I'm hosting this discussion so you can share any thoughts you have on this. The site license is up for renewal at the end of October, I will make a decision whether or not to renew it sometime in September, in part, based on anything that comes from this discussion - 

Gav Brown
Composers' Forum
Site Administrator

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  • Well, I was going to answer Ingo's questions, but I see Michael has in his own way, summed up how I feel about the site. There are some unique things about Ning which make it an appealing platform and which if it were gone, would make this board just like any other board, and I would lose interest in running the site. As Michael also hints at, there is a community here which I certainly never felt on boards I used to be on or still am on. The site will stand or close as it is presently constituted.

  • I just began with Composers' Forum. All of this type of interaction is new to me, but I am enjoying it. I would definitely be willing to donate to keep it going.

  • I'll happily donate if it keeps the site going. I have no objections if you need to find a cheaper provider, and possibly have to change the layout if it's a necessary consequence. Whilst I don't post much, I am an avid reader and listener. I'm not a great comment contributor because I simply don't have some of the technical knowledge to respond in full and do some of the works justice.

    Is there a way of creating a 'pledge' button where you can show how much is being contributed. Sometimes seeing the donations increase can encourage others to do the same.

  • Thanks to those who have replied so far. In specific response to Graeme, it can be done the way you describe it, with a donate button that shows contributions as they happen. This was tried last year and resulted in about 80$ being contributed total. I also tried this in a prior year with even less result - 

  • My 2p... I don't do social media and the other only forum I belong to is VI-Control. That particular forum is for composers of media music that work primarily with DAWs and sample libraries, although there's plenty of discussion around the technique of composing and a whole area devoted to Notation programs. Anyway, the forum has plenty of publicity, the have three formats, free where developers can post their releases free of charge, a paid announcements which get a special place and also get included in the newsletter and finally proper ads, which get plastered in banners all over the place...

    Now, personally, I am absolutely allergic to ads of any sort (I use an ad block on my browser and a firewall on my phone), but when it comes to VI-Control I really don't mind... The reason? Well the publicity is all for stuff I use and need for my work, all the ads are exclusively either sample libraries or other software that composers use. I know this forum is different, but nevertheless, there are many of us that use sample libraries and other types of programs like notation programs. It might be worth thinking about it...

  • Although I'm not the most active member it would be sad to see it go, its a really neat forum and I'm glad its not a discussion on some Facebook page, I could and would chip in in a minor way towards those 599. Personally, a few adbanners here and there wouldn't bother me (and be totally worth it if that's what pays the bills).

  • Thanks for further replies. Regarding suggestions about turning on ads: this is something which could be done, but it doesn't get past the immediate problem, which is that there is a bill coming up for 599.00 at the end of October. 

  • Yes, it should continue. I'll pay 20.
    Ads would be fine, if they're all music related!
    I still really want to do a contest one of these times!
  • I might get a bit of grief for this, but I would definitely suggest a cheaper server... I just bought a whole package for a company I'm starting next year and it's only $0.50 a month. I'm not well versed in technology to really understand why Ning is good, but personally I find this forum really ugly, albeit practical... Although this is completely irrelevant, but considering the amount of active members I would certainly consider a cheaper option.

  • Well the difference would be that at $0.50 a month I could pay for it on my own... Ha! I wholeheartedly agree with ADD syndrome, one pop-up to disable your ad block should be the ONLY pop-up ever allowed. Once the site is whitelisted you'll never see it again.

    michael diemer said:

    I would not mind ads which are germane to the music technology industry. They would even be useful, alerting us to something we might actually want. Of course, that then gets into the ad-blocker issue. Anyone with even a touch of ADD has a hard time staying focused when things keep popping up on the side, especially if they are animated. I run an ad-blocker, as I find that just getting older seems to bring on a kind of ADD. So, you're reading something on the forum, and suddenly an annoying windows comes up, with a plea to turn off your ad-blocker. So we need to understand how that will change the user experience.

    And as for going to another venue, I thought we had dismissed this idea. If we go to that "boards' place, we will be just another aesthetically unappealing forum vying for attention. Yes there are other more attractive platforms, but I just don't see how it would improve things, other than removing the cost factor. But the money is worth it, it makes this place unique, as well as providing continuity and familiarity. We have survived this long, I'm sure we will continue to keep it going.

    Should Composers' Forum Continue?
    Hello Colleagues, Composers' Forum has been around about 12 years and it's now time to consider if it should continue. There are many boards and web…
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