TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Summary
Author  :  R. John Howe mailto:%20rjhowe@erols.com
Date  :  10-20-2001 on 06:43 a.m.
Dear folks -

In this salon, we have looked back over the approximate three years of Turkotek's life in its current incarnation, have asked some evaluative questions, and encouraged site visitors to post, sharing their experiences here and their impressions of it.

I saw us as collecting data on the questions posed, not making decision within the salon. The "gang of eight" will now repair to a quiet internet space to consider what actions, if any, we should take on the basis of the views and suggestions recieved.

I will not in this summary attempt to detail or to acknowledge all the very useful things that have been said here but will rather cite a few things that attract my eye, even before our more considered contemplation.

First, the consensus seems to be that we are on, balance, often having the more serious sort of rug discussions to which we aspire. Our ability to share information, opinions and color images (sometime close-up) internationally and with great speed, works often to make it possible to achieve here things that would be difficult to achieve in print, or even in face-to-face meetings, and that our doing so does not usually entail the public display of such modest levels of rug knowledge as to make such display unseemly.

We seem to feel that both the salon and the show and tell boards are working well, although we need a greater variety of hosts for the former and want to have a much larger number of folks posting on both of these boards. Some ideas were offered for increasing such participation.

We were especially glad to hear from Jane Collins and Greg Manser with regard to the show and tell board. Jane (and some others) would like, sometimes to be able to hold onto the information in some show and tell threads a bit longer. Steve talked about the difficulties associated with archiving show and tell threads.

Daniel suggested that perhaps we might establish a place where salon ideas might be suggested (even by folks who felt unable to develop an idea they have or to serve as a salon host) and it is true that it is often as hard to come up with a new and useful salon idea as it is to develop, present and host it.

There seems considerable interest in Richard Farber's suggestion that we establish a kind of "book review" board. Reviews of books thought to be particularly useful and that might serve as a basis for extended discussion would be posted there and left for an indeterminate period but more than two weeks. If we establish such a board, someone other than Steve will need to perform the administrative duties associated with it.

We considered whether the board on which we currently collect ideas for designs for rug club meetings should be retained given it infrequent use. The tenor of comment seemed mostly to suggest that it should not, but there was at least one indication that it is sometimes useful to new folks in ways somewhat distinctive from the purpose for which it was originally established.

We talked openly about the heavy work load associated with the functions Steve Price performs as administrator and agreed that this work load is unfairly concentrated and the situation is one of great vulnerability for Turkotek itself.

I personally, need to "pull up my socks," so to speak, and make a more resolute effort to acquire more of the administrative skills so that I can at least sometimes alleviate this burden.

But we encourage others who might be inclined in this area to talk to us. Geography is not a limitation here.

We considered whether a FAQ might be useful for less experienced visitors, but both Steve and Marla shared views and data that suggest that FAQs are not visited much and may not, often, be worth the very real effort they require to establish and maintain.

Greg Koos and Ken Thompson both indicate that one of the strengths of Turkotek is that we have managed to conduct what is usually a good-natured but serious conversation about the rugs we collect in which, to use Greg's phrase, "no one is try to get over on another." He suggests that we may often achieve here an "openess and genuine spirit of inquiry and sharing" that "is rare today."

I would certainly settle if we can achieve that.

Thanks a great to all of you who commented in this salon. The "gang of eight" will consider what you have said seriously as we mull what Turkotek should do and be in the future.


R. John Howe

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