Closing EQlzr?

Hi,

After four months, EQlzr still hasn’t caught a critical mass of interest and there doesn’t seem to be a change in this trend. I know promotion is the key for any new project, but the responses (or lack of them) that I am getting after contacting many producers and groups are telling.

More and more groups are working on diversity and equality in music, but maybe a forum like this doesn’t fit their needs.

Big social media platforms have a very strong pull. Maybe proposing an independent web forum for a volunteer community to be created from scratch is not a realistic plan.

Maybe I am not the type of person that can drive a project like this successfully. Maybe I’m doing something wrong.

Whatever the reasons, I think EQlzr is not going anywhere as it is being proposed now. If someone has better ideas about driving this project or turning it into something different, I’m happy to proceed accordingly. If a person or a group wants the keys, let’s talk about a transfer. I’m just as interested in music production and in promoting diversity, and I can keep helping in any future plans (or not, if you prefer).

If there isn’t enough interest in discussing alternatives, we can just close the platform. No love lost. :slight_smile:

Be sad to see it go, but it does seem like people either aren’t interested in joining, or don’t really remember to check back in often when they have joined.

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I think it’s a really great concept but maybe for more public interest the interface could be a little nicer presented. I usually don’t sign up to things like this but I thought it is a great concept and isnt worth closing, just rethinking :).

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I think it is hard to build communities like that. And these days. I was always interested in doing that, and many times I failed. There just must be the right time and right way. I have couple of thoughts:

1
Currently I think there are many forums (many of them using discourse too) that cover big chunks of what EQlzr was covering. There’s lines forum, there’s toplap forum (not very active tbh), there’s scsynth for SuperColliders, there’s a separate ardour community… so, in a sense, I felt there’s a possible competition.

2
I did two recent experiments to try to gather together a community. They were both mastodon instances. One didn’t work (yet, now 3+ years), one did. For the first one - a ‘national’ generalistic instance (I had hoped and tried it to be LGBTQI+ friendly, a safe space also for those politically on the left, minorities) - I even “toured” the country with number of presentations about what Mastodon is etc, and many poeple created an account as a consequence but after a toot or two forgot about it. I approached the second one, focused on sound, differently - I figured “it can be only me, and maybe one more person, or two, or it can be more, I don’t care, as long as it’s focused on music, and account can be made by those who really know they want to be here - they need to ask for it, they need to write me an email or send a message”. I think this community works very well. Number of musicians are posting mostly about music. They are a varied bunch, but they are all ok. Couple of lurkers, but completely different ratio than on the former one. Conclusion: a) it started as low ambition, and b) created a barrier to entry that turned away anyone who was not sure that they want to join the community (IF a microbloging site can really be called a community) created a sieve that worked, somehow.

3
From the very begining of EQlzr, it felt - to me, subjectively - like a big endeavor. I personly couldnt find time to contribute a lot to it and I projected that subconsciously to others, thinking, “who will find time to contribute with a lot similar already out there?”. It’s amazing how it looks and it feels like a big site, with a lot of content, a big forum with a lot of different categories, and a quite some posts - but mostly from the creator @icaria36, if i’m not mistaken and very little buzz - or at least that’s how it seemed - maybe the ratio is not quite right - a big site and not so many people chatting away - and so it left me a feeling there’s a lot of empty space that needs to be filled, instead of a backstage room crammed with people who are all … “like me”.

4
and then, the focus always felt to me to be a general music-making one, and I feel a bit lost in this wide net of categories and styles and posts. I’m might not give justice here, and my view is not objective, I admit, but that’s how it feels. I really appreciate the equity and support for minorities, and this mission behind it all, and I even think it was not explicated enough in some way, but on the other hand, I know that these issues should not be explicit “in the wrong way” in the way to promote positive discrimination,… but again at the same time provide this safe space where any hate speech is moderated/banned… I think this was amazing and great and so needed. so, the question here is, thematically, what is the focus, and is this focus ‘the right one’ so that people return and spend time here, does this focus attract enough people?

Just some thoughts, I don’t know if they make sense, but the question ‘how to create a community, online, successfuly’ is a very interesting one to me. And it’s still a mystery to me.

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Hi Lask! Thank you for your comments. What improvements could be made to the interface? What examples could we consider for inspiration?

@lukap thank you for sharing your experiences. I agree about the problem of scope, it is just hard to find the right one. I thought diversity (and especially gender diversity, with concrete measures to promote it and make this a safe space) could be a strong enough center of gravity that would attract a critical mass of curious and multifaceted creators. If I really really have a question about, say, MPC or Bitwig I know I will find an answer in the specialized forums but I have been there on a daily basis and I missed something.

This is also where I very frankly say that maybe I am not the right person to drive such project. I’m not a producer with areas of strong expertise. I am not someone adding much diversity myself either. I’m a “community manager” who likes to learn, experiment, share, and try to be helpful.

This conversation is very interesting (to me at least). As you see, four people have participated, plus a fifth who has contacted me privately encouraging me to keep the project open. I’m not in a rush of closing EQlzr, neither to see it succeed, as long as it is moving and there is some people enjoying it and benefiting from it. As an admin, what burns me down is the silence. :slight_smile:

I think perhaps the interface could do with a revamp and a more brutalist approach (in theme anyway). If the site is directed at electronic music producers you should make it more popping and in your face with a bit more of an industrial feel. The logo as well has a bit of an outdated vibe and if you are calling it EQlzr you should have the logo representing an EQ like what you would have on a DAW. That was its more authentic in my opinion :slight_smile:

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Thank you @Lask. I’m not a designer, and in general we are limited to the possibilities of Discourse (which is a quite flexible platform). I welcome help!

In case it helps, I have re-enabled the main page based on tiles that we had before changing to a more explicit forum design (see the discussion). We can change it again, it is just a matter of clicking a couple of buttons.

The logo is what I could come up with my limited skills. I’m not attached to it. This logo was already contested as soon as we launched, and there were a couple of initial designs, but the discussion didn’t go further.

Although I agree that the design is very important, I’m not sure that it is the deal or break we are suffering here. For comparison, Instagram is as minimalist as it gets, and people don’t seem to have a problem with it. In general, forums, social media and other websites expected to be used on a daily basis tend to have a minimalist design. Otherwise there is a risk of creating more initial excitement but then get tired / look old after a while. This is my humble opinion as a non-designer. :slight_smile: