Melodeon.net Forums

Discussions => Instrument Makes and Models => Topic started by: Clive Williams on November 18, 2007, 07:27:56 AM

Title: Admin: Reviews on the old site
Post by: Clive Williams on November 18, 2007, 07:27:56 AM
Dear all,

As you've probably seen, I've updated the new site to include all the content from the old site, *apart* from the reviews - the reviews link now points to this board. Why? Well, all the reviews were 3 years old or more, so I think they're probably due an update. So, if you're the author of an article from the old site and you still think it applies, please repost it to this forum, so that all the reviews can be together in a nice searchable place.

Cheers,

Clive
Title: Re: Admin: Reviews on the old site
Post by: Steve_freereeder on November 18, 2007, 09:00:20 AM
Review of Castagnari Tommy
Clive - I wrote the original review of the Tommy on the old site. Looking at it again, I still think it is very relevant and would request that it be included in the new site. Squeezy made a comment about the adjustable LH wrist strap on the newer models which ought to be added.

The current price needs updating though. Just to give you some idea of the variability, a quick look on 18th November 2007 showed the following ....
Music Room price 1999
Hobgoblin price 2095
Eagle Music price 1899
Thrift Music price 1850

Yer pays yer money....
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Edit:
Full updated review subsequently added to a separate thread in this section.

Title: Re: Admin: Reviews on the old site
Post by: Theo on November 18, 2007, 10:21:08 AM
I have another suggestion about how to handle reviews.

First of all a member posts a review here where members can make comments, point out things they would like to see included etc.   While its here the writer can edit their original post in response to comments, and after a suitable period the edited review can be give a more permanent home on the main site.

I hope that this sort of process would have several advantages the main ones being:

Reviews will have been well checked over,
They will be easier to find on the main site where they can be listed in some sort of organised fashion, rather than just as posted here.
Title: Re: Admin: Reviews on the old site
Post by: Theo on November 18, 2007, 12:03:08 PM
Hi Lester, thanks for reposting that.  I've moved your review into its own topic.  We need a separate topic for each instrument, just so people can find what is there.

I've not read your review for some time and had completely forgotten what it was like.  After reading it again I'd like to propose that there are two (at least) types of article that could be considered to be reviews.

1 a personal report of one persons experience like Lesters
2 a general report of all aspects of the instrument

Both are very useful to a wide audience, but I think they need to be used differently.
With a personal report like this there is obviously plenty of scope for other people to give their views on the same instrument, giving a wider perspective of that model.  For example a player of a B/C Nuage would most likely have different things to say.

So I'd like to modify my previous suggestion and suggest we continue to use this forum to build up reports of personal experiences. A review section of the main site could be used for a more factual description of technical specs, model history, suppliers etc, which could include links to the  personal reviews found here.

This is just a suggestion, please feel free to tell me if I'm talking through my hat.
Title: Re: Admin: Reviews on the old site
Post by: Clive Williams on November 18, 2007, 08:02:29 PM
As you've probably seen, I've updated the new site to include all the content from the old site, *apart* from the reviews - the reviews link now points to this board. Why?

Firstly Steve and Lester - many thanks for uploading your reviews - great stuff.

Now, I *believe* reviews are better served by this forum, rather than the main website. Here's my thinking.

Melodeon.net is by its own admission, a non-commercial informational site. The problem is, when you start sticking reviews on it, regardless of who writes them, it's as if the review is sanctioned by 'Melodeon.net'... so you may end up with a site that seems to love manufacturer A and be critical of manufacturer B. Is that fair? Not really, because we're actually talking about the personal opinions of a few members of Melodeon.net.

I'll defend anyone's right to offer a review on a product they either like, or don't like - and the forum's ideal for that, because a forum posting is clearly not part of the 'informational' site in any way... it's a mechanism for one person to express their opinion, and indeed for open debate on that opinion.

I also have serious concerns about the risk of UK libel law (which is frankly very odd), and how it would apply to any review article that was provably untrue and malicious... e.g. if an employee or agent of manufacturer A decided to write an article about a product from manufacturer B giving false claims with the intention of damaging its reputation (e.g. 'it fell apart after 3 weeks'). Under UK law, not only can the writer be held to account, the publisher (i.e. melodeon.net) can too. Ouch.

As I say, this is my opinion, and I'm open to having my mind changed, and indeed to going the way of the majority if it's opinion happens to disagree with mine.

Any thoughts?

Cheers,

Clive

 

Title: Re: Admin: Reviews on the old site
Post by: Theo on November 18, 2007, 09:08:57 PM
Interesting, I'd not thought of that aspect. 

What I had in mind as a review for the main site would be a description that was simply a description of such things as make, model, tunings available, when it was first made, number of voices, stops, keyboard layout, weight etc so nothing which could be seen as a personal opinion.  So that if someone was interested in say a two row 3 voice instrument with a stop to take out the thirds then they could find all the models that fit that specification.

Now I write it out like that it sounds like a better solution would be a table with a row for each model and a column for each attribute.
Title: Re: Admin: Reviews on the old site
Post by: Peter Brook on November 18, 2007, 10:31:10 PM
Hello Theo & Clive,

You both make excellent points.  If you established the table idea then had a link to a forum discussion on that melodeon (where there was a discussion) you could provide the technical information about each melodeon and then a link to members the reviews - rather like amazon but utilizing the facilities of the forum.

all the best,

Peter

PS This site is a huge credit to everyone who works on it behind the scenes - thank you for putting so much time and thought in to it.
Title: Re: Admin: Reviews on the old site
Post by: Stiamh on November 20, 2007, 02:16:43 AM
But this forum is headed "Instrument makes and models". There are lots of other things one might want to review - books, records, accessories such as mikes and bags, etc.

I'd like to see good, balanced reviews moved to the main site - esp. once they have been subjected to peer scrutiny. And if an entry are unbalanced, actionable or otherwise libellous material, surely the content editor can decide not to post it, or to intervene with the author - i.e. get him or her to express themselves with greater circumspection, on pain of not being published? Without going so far as to remove all comments or accounts that could be construed as negative, of course, that would destroy the point of having reviews at all.

BTW Theo, a table with every possible model and permutation of box seems like a maintenance nightmare. Just look at the Castagnari range alone!
Title: Re: Admin: Reviews on the old site
Post by: Theo on November 20, 2007, 08:59:52 AM
BTW Theo, a table with every possible model and permutation of box seems like a maintenance nightmare. Just look at the Castagnari range alone!

I know it would always be a work in progress.  I have many ideas that seem brilliant at the time, but they sometimes don't work out.
Title: Re: Admin: Reviews on the old site
Post by: Clive Williams on November 20, 2007, 07:29:09 PM
But this forum is headed "Instrument makes and models". There are lots of other things one might want to review - books, records, accessories such as mikes and bags, etc.

I'd like to see good, balanced reviews moved to the main site - esp. once they have been subjected to peer scrutiny. And if an entry are unbalanced, actionable or otherwise libellous material, surely the content editor can decide not to post it, or to intervene with the author - i.e. get him or her to express themselves with greater circumspection, on pain of not being published? Without going so far as to remove all comments or accounts that could be construed as negative, of course, that would destroy the point of having reviews at all.

Yes, there's a good case for renaming this board, or maybe creating a sub-board or two, but I thought we'd see how things went, and what sort of articles appeared. No-one's done a non-instrument review yet, but maybe that's because of the way the board is named?

Re: reviews and libel, it's actually a little bit worse than I said in the last message. Obligatory disclaimer - I'm not a lawyer, but I have just had to take legal advice on all this stuff recently following an incident with a local builder, so I know more than I'd like to know. Here's the full story. The UK has libel laws that are *very* heavily weighted in favour of the plaintiff. We're quite unusual in that regard, I gather. Notably,

1) As I said before, you can go after whoever repeats libel, as well as the original defendant. This normally catches newspapers out, because if they repeat something untrue, even accidentally by repeating something someone else has said, they can get sued for it. Normally, newspapers get round this by saying something like 'Mr X has said Mr Y smells funny.' - that statement is true, whether or not Mr Y does smell, so the newspaper is covered.

2) The defendant (i.e. the person making the original statement), and anyone who repeats it, has the burden of proof placed with them - *not* with the plaintiff.

Oh, and like so many places we have no-win-no-fee lawyers.

So here's the thing. Let's say Mr A says in a review, 'This is a nice box, but build quality has dropped a bit in recent years, and it does show.' Now lets say we take that on trust and publish it. The manufacturer sues for libel... and unless we (melodeon.net) can prove the statement is true, we're in trouble. We haven't seen the instrument being reviewed, so how can we prove anything? Now, I hear you say, how about the newspaper defence? Can't our review says 'Mr A says build quality has dropped a bit' ? No, because we don't actually know who Mr A is for sure, and without taking formal ID off everyone on registration to confirm they are who they say we are, we could never possibly know. Then if Mr A can't be contacted... ouch.

So sorry, I think it's too big a risk for melodeon.net to republish reviews under its banner. UK laws are just too twisted against the publisher.

Now, just in case anyone's worried about the implications of writing a review on this forum, don't be. The laws are not *that* twisted. You're perfectly entitled to express an opinion - that's a defence of 'fair comment'. I can say 'I hate McD*n*lds burgers'. Fair comment,  because I genuinely don't like them. You're perfectly entitled to say your melodeon fell to bits in 3 weeks. Providing it did, and presumably there's a repair bill somewhere, so you could show that it needed fixing. You only get in trouble if your comments are both malicious (i.e. designed to destroy reputation) and untrue.

So, review away people!

Cheers,

Clive
Title: Re: Admin: Reviews on the old site
Post by: EeeJay on November 20, 2007, 08:36:09 PM
No-one's done a non-instrument review yet, but maybe that's because of the way the board is named?

I did post a request for a non-instrument review - see here... (http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,64.0.html)

Seeing as it isn't an instrument, I put it in general discussions. Feel free to shunt it about if an associated/accessories/books category emerges...

So sorry, I think it's too big a risk for melodeon.net to republish reviews under its banner. UK laws are just too twisted against the publisher.

I know of a case where the legal threateners were put on an accordion review - it's still online now, and was written by someone after a particular 'French' sound quality in a Piano box, and concerned the spectrum analysis of audio samples - see here... (http://www.mariobruneau.com/Castelfidardo.html)

One manufacturer (whose products were found slightly wanting) expressly requested that their name be taken off this review, with threat of legal action - here's more details... (http://groups.google.co.uk/group/rec.music.makers.squeezebox/browse_thread/thread/b642f9260be0f7d)

Life is a learning curve, and you can only filter out the crummy stuff based on your own, exclusive experience. I have a personal downer on certain merchandise, but no way should my foibles be set in stone... indeed, they may change again in due course...

One man's sow's ear is another woman's silk purse...

Ed J

(edited to embed links/tweak text)
Title: Re: Admin: Reviews on the old site
Post by: Theo on November 21, 2007, 12:02:22 AM
I did post a request for a non-instrument review - see here... (http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,64.0.html)

I didn't read that as a request!  It just looks to me like you were posting a useful bit of information, and in a perfectly appropriate place.  If we get lots of discussion about mics pickups etc its a simple matter to add another discussion.

Review if CDs would find a natural home in the Recordings and Videos section

Reviews of events also have a natural home in News and Events

Obviously if these sections get overloaded with reviews we can easily split them off into a separate discussion, but we're nowhere near that yet.

Title: Re: Admin: Reviews on the old site
Post by: EeeJay on November 21, 2007, 12:59:29 AM
I didn't read that as a request!  It just looks to me like you were posting a useful bit of information, and in a perfectly appropriate place.

Hmmm - so maybe not a request...

I just had the notion that the topic sort of fell between two stools.

But if it's OK where it is, fine.

Ed J