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I worry that any time soon, this forum will cease to function. Would Mander forumites mind suggesting other sites where organ discussion takes place? As a long-standing member of this one and someone who has followed and been interested in Mander Organs since the announcement that they were to rebuild the St Paul's organ in 1972 - (I was able to undertake an O-level Music project on this topic) - I am greatly saddened by what has happened.

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It's a good question which I've been pondering on as well, doubtless like many other members.  This is the only forum I belong to, so if I want to continue to air my views I'll have to find another I suppose, though this is an obvious opportunity to consider whether to join one at all.  However, I like the ABRSM affiliation of their 'Viva Organ' forum, and have often wondered why it has been so little used for quite a long time.  Some members here post on it occasionally.  As far as I can see it also exists without having to rely on advertising, other than the ABRSM banners. The Magle forum is also a possibility, but IMHO it suffers from the opposite problem - it could be said to be over-subscribed. Both forums cover a wider field than this one if only because they permit discussion of digital organs for those so inclined, without being dominated by them as at least some of the alternative options seem to be. 

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1 hour ago, michaelwilson said:

Another is The Organ forum, a sub-forum of The Choir forum on the Radio 3 listener's forums:

http://www.for3.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?103-The-Organ

I do favour the Radio 3 forum - well I would say that wouldn't I?!  But if it was well subscribed and used, it may help to persuade BBC Music that there is still an active interest in the organ and a continuing demand for its music to be broadcast. 

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If you want to keep it the same, i could host one under one of my various sites. The overhead is so small there would be no cost involved.
I could create the same topic structure if that's what's wanted or could adapt it to whatever the majority want.

Thoughts?

Steve

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13 hours ago, Tony Newnham said:

There's always "organ Matters" (https://www.organmatters.com/) run by David Pinnegar.  I'm one of the moderators.

Every Blessing

Tony

Yes.  I have it as one of my 'tabs' and have a look every day.

Unfortunately, every time I look no-one has posted!   Of course, with our help that could change!

On the other hand, this forum is still going, thankfully, and may yet continue.

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2 hours ago, Steve Goodwin said:

If you want to keep it the same, i could host one under one of my various sites. The overhead is so small there would be no cost involved.
I could create the same topic structure if that's what's wanted or could adapt it to whatever the majority want.

Thoughts?

Steve

Wonderful offer Steve, thankyou. Many of us would like to keep the same format I guess. However may be good to quickly start a new thread where we can air our views on what changes or additions would be interesting to add.

Could be of course that there may be moves or offers behind the scenes by XYZ etc to keep this forum going as is?

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6 hours ago, Cantoris said:

Wonderful offer Steve, thankyou. Many of us would like to keep the same format I guess. However may be good to quickly start a new thread where we can air our views on what changes or additions would be interesting to add.

Could be of course that there may be moves or offers behind the scenes by XYZ etc to keep this forum going as is?

Yes, thank you, Steve, for offering this. I would certainly appreciate it hugely. I would be happy to keep the same format/headings and I imagine that that would be simpler and less time-consuming for you. 

Thanks again;

Martin.

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I too would appreciate keeping the format close to the current one and add my thanks to Steve for the offer.  Some years I used to look at the Radio 3 forum as a non-registered guest but didn't like it a great deal due largely to what I felt to be an unpleasant atmosphere created by one or two  of the elder statesman there. 

If any costs are ever involved with keeping this forum going I'm sure that regular posters could afford a few pounds per year each with any excess perhaps going to the NPOR.

 

 

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I, like many others, have been wondering when this forum will (may) be no more. I can perhaps understand the Mander policy of keeping it pipe only, but times are moving on and reputable pipe organ builders the world over are acknowledging that digitally produced sound can prove to be a saviour where space is at a premium and a hybrid organ is the best practical solution. (I sometimes wonder how many organ builders kicked up a stink when the diaphone appeared on the scene?} 

Steve's offer is most generous. The only addition I would make would be the facility to register approval of a posting by a simple tick.

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2 hours ago, Barry Oakley said:

I, like many others, have been wondering when this forum will (may) be no more. I can perhaps understand the Mander policy of keeping it pipe only, but times are moving on and reputable pipe organ builders the world over are acknowledging that digitally produced sound can prove to be a saviour where space is at a premium and a hybrid organ is the best practical solution. (I sometimes wonder how many organ builders kicked up a stink when the diaphone appeared on the scene?} 

Steve's offer is most generous. The only addition I would make would be the facility to register approval of a posting by a simple tick.

I'm not sure I have fully understood Barry's final point here, but I think his idea that we should be less reticent about discussing digital instruments is well made and I support it. I absolutely realise that digital instruments are a turn off to many - and pace to all Mander folk - but the digital world is full of interest with many interesting installations going on, and there are still thousands of interesting pipe organs in the UK to catch our interest and attention. I was hugely taken with Anna Lapwood's Bachathon this year through Pembroke, Cambridge, whereby all the Bach organ works were played in 24 hours, all over the world, in lockdown, with many eminent organists playing digital instruments - David Briggs, David Hill, Will Fox, Richard McVeigh, Daniel Cook, Anna herself, and many others besides. Where would everyone be without digital home organs at the moment? I know I would have been absolutely lost without mine all this time. 

I think what I am proposing - and what I take Barry to mean - is that we might carry on as now, but under Steve's auspices... with discussion tabs as now - Nuts and Bolts, Organ Music, etc... but we have a further tab called Digital organs. Would that be the end of things as we know it in a serious way?

 

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Martin, you fully understand my point. And, yes, have a section on digital organs, providing it does not become a blatant advertising platform for manufacturers of some of the so-called digital organs.

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One of the important aspects we have not yet mentioned is the mass of valuable information that exists in this forum's archive.  It would be dreadful to lose it all at the flick of a switch.  How feasible is it for the whole forum to be transferred complete to new ownership?  With over a thousand members it would surely be possible to invite sufficient donations to pay for the forum to continue uninterrupted, if a suitable moderator was available? 

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This forum uses Invision forums on a commercially hosted basis. It's unusual in being one of the very few non-free forum systems!
If we could find who runs it, we could probably take it over but it's not cheap. Looking at their price list, I'd guess we're talking $45 - $70 per month. There may well be enough members to fund it, but who is going to take on all the hassle of running a membership/accounting system?
On the plus side, we'd keep all the content.

An alternative system could cost almost nothing BUT we'd loose past content.

The welcome page says to email admin@newvalleywebdesign.com but that domain no longer exists! However, there is a 'Staff' page and the "Webmaster" link does show that he/she has visited the site over the last week or so and I shall message them and make enquiries. (Also a 'Staff' member is Geoff McMahon but he does not appear to have been online here for over a year.)

I have created the bare bones of a forum which anyone can play with if they want to but I'll report back here on any response I get from the webmaster.

[Edit] I've also discovered there are commercial services that will convert IPB (Invision) boards to other formats like phpBB (which doesn't cost).

Steve

Edited by Steve Goodwin
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Many thanks for the message Steve and I thought it might be easier to reply to the forum so all are aware. I am the web designer that looks after this forum and also the Mander Organs web site.

The future of this forum lies with the liquidators. I have been in contact with them and am waiting to hear their views. Practically I think that it cannot continue to be funded by Mander Organs as they are no more so the options are as you say - funds are raised through crowdfunding to pay the monthly bill of $45 - or a forum is set up by someone elsewhere and if possible, the posts from this forum added to it. Adding the posts from this forum to a new one will cost but I suppose it comes down as to who will pay for doing it. 

It would be helpful to know the appetite for members here to contribute towards keeping this forum going ? If many are willing to help fund it then that is obviously easiest option. I can set up a fund raising page if this is thought the best way to go. 

Failing that, then a new phpBB forum or something similar will suffice but the functionality is unlikely to be as good as this forum and of course someone needs to set it up and run it.

I will try and find out when funding will stop for this forum and post it here. We may need to move quickly on this as the forum may cease with little notice. My email admin@newvalleywebdesign.com is working and now also the domain.

Best wishes to all during these difficult times. 

Stephen

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Do we have any estimate of costs for transferring all the current content to another home (e.g. a free phpBB)?

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8 minutes ago, Web Master said:

 

No - but suggest £300 - £400 would be a realistic approximate figure.

Thanks, Stephen.
I'm sure I'm not alone in hoping that (a) this much-valued Forum might be able to continue, albeit probably under another name, and (b) that all the current content could somehow be migrated. There is so much useful knowledge and interesting comment accumulated over so many years, and it would be a real shame to see all that irretrievably lost.
How many members do we have, and how many of us would be willing to contribute a share of the kind of costs that Stephen has suggested?

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Stephen can probably tell us how many members there are.  However, if it's like every other forum I've been involved with, a large proportion will be inactive!

I'm sure crowdfunding could raise money but it needs to be ongoing ($540 pa) which is never on of crowdfunding's strong points.
We need a supportive, rich organist. (... although I'm not sure you can use the words 'rich' and 'organist' in the same sentence!)

Steve

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All that has been written above is most helpful and interesting and I certainly wouldn't be against the idea of paying to be a member. BUT... I think this will prove to be our downfall over time and new people won't join. I was amazed to read that there are 1000 or so members - it seems to me that only an infinitesimal proportion of these ever contribute though it has been good to welcome new contributors recently - bravo! However, I suspect that when push comes to shove, many of our 1000 members will head for the hills leaving the 20 or so of us who are regulars to foot the bill.

I, too, had wondered about all the posts from the past - lots of wisdom and experience there from the likes of the late David Drinkell and others that we will not have access to. But, in all honestly, how often do we go rooting back? It's a bit like chucking out your lifetime's collection of Musical Times or Choir and Organ. You think you will always need them and can't live without them, but, actually, is it really like that? And, let's face it, with a lively/livelier forum, you can always ask again - who is going to object? New people and new 'stuff' is always coming along, after all. 

In sum, as things stand, my hope is that this forum will be replicated under Steve's kind auspices, but with the addition of a digital tab... and leave it at that.

As has been mentioned by Stephen, our current webmaster, our present forum may close at any moment so I think we need to crack on. 

I think the next step is to hear from a few more of you - the 1000 members - about your willingness to pay for the forum, though we would be mad to reckon on more than 20% (if that) of the current members being willing to pay... and we have to remember Steve's point, that all the accountancy side of this and forum editing and supervision would need to be taken on by somebody. I still favour the 'free' route.

Martin.

 

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5 minutes ago, philipmgwright said:

Am I alone in being surprised  that there is no white knight riding from Durham or Malvern to come to the aid of the forum? ..if the stated costs are believable

I doubt they know we exist!

Anyone with any good contacts could always ask....

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