|Author||:||Richard Farber mailto:%email@example.com|
|Date||:||10-08-2001 on 01:59 a.m.|
|Dear Mr. Howe,
Other points that might be raised are:
The site offers a challenge to collectors to formulate ideas and examine experience in the preparation of a salon.
The site offers to those outside of the centers of carpet and textile information a chance to remain in the scene and contribute.
The site challenges collectors to look at an area of their collection in comparison to other collections posted.
The site occasionally produces outstanding work of outstanding insight. One needs go no further back than the contribution of Ms. Mallett and Mr Deschuyteneer.
The cooperation and assistance of Steve Price is amazing, as is his determination to show that some application of scientific method would be to the advantage of collectors.
The exchange of information about books is impressive and perhaps should be included in a new category along side of "show and tell".
I have found that questions or comments provocative to the orthodoxy have often been neglected.
I have found that the imput to questions raised by the salon host or show and tell participant is often not commensurate with the work in writing the essay or preparing the show and tell item. People out there are rarely prepared to rise to a challenging question or to help search an unknown.
As to the question of a meta discussion board, I believe that a discussion about discussion is a serious endeavor. Some of the most important artistic works created incorporate the artist?s search for understanding of the media he or she is working in.
I believe that the major challenge to the "directors" of the site, if that"s the word, is to induce people with knowledge and method to write regularly on the site.
|Author||:||Steve Price mailto:%firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Date||:||10-08-2001 on 06:33 a.m.|
Thank you for the kind words, of course. You raise a lot of cogent suggestions for things that would improve the content of the site, and I agree with all of them.
But how to implement the changes? Adding book reviews would be relatively easy, and I would be happy to have people "Show and Tell" books as well as rugs. My memory is that this has happened once or twice, but not nearly as often as we might hope.
The more difficult objectives are to get more and even better input to the discussions and to get more people preparing Salon topics.
The first depends to some extent on people actually having information or meaningful questions. Some of the topics (mine on Laotian textiles, for instance) are far enough from the mainstream that most of our readers don't know anything about them and can offer little more than whether they like the stuff or not. I feel like I've accomplished something worthwhile by just increasing the awareness of the existence of these things.
The second one - getting people to prepare Salon essays - is one that we pursue constantly. The only incentive we can offer to the authors is self-satisfaction. We don't pay anything to anybody (our annual budget, for anyone who's interested, is less than $300 per year), and you won't even find a copy of the site on the shelves of the Library of Congress. A few of our Salons and some of the discussion has found its way into the print media, though; perhaps this is relevant. There are two major reasons why we want more Salon authors. One is to reduce the demands that writing them puts on us - as you may have noticed, there are only four "in house" Salon authors. More important, the breadth of topics is tremendously dependent on the number of people from whom they originate.
Again, my thanks for all you do,
|Author||:||R. John Howe mailto:%email@example.com|
|Date||:||10-08-2001 on 06:51 a.m.|
|Dear folks -
A salon of this sort could be seen as a self-serving exercise in which we are mostly fishing for complements.
While it is true that most of us would like to feel that we are in general doing well in any endeavor we undertake, Richard Farber's thoughtful and carefully composed post above is a near model of the sort of thing we hope that others will share with us.
Richard points to some things that he finds useful, makes some observation about places where things could be improved and ends with, what seems to me, a "dead-center" challenge.
His post also reveals a structural difficulty that this salon seems likely, unavoidably to face: the fact that several of his comments seem to deserve threads of their own for focused response.
I am not sure best how to handle this problem but will experiment with it a bit by establishing his ending challenge as a new thread and asking folks to contribute ideas about how we might, in fact, increase the number of salon hosts.
And because it deserves special comment, I am going to make a separate post elaborating on my own views of Steve Price's work as site administrator.
I will look at what Richard has written here repeatedly as we go along to see whether other threads should be started based on one of more of his comments.
R. John Howe