As per the request of one of the DanceNet readers, here are copies of the past ramblings of the DanceNet Webmaster.
These businesses must feel that they're getting something for free that might even put themselves in an economic advantage over their competitors. They seem to ignore that they look "cheap" to potential customers who must question the competence and qualifications of a business that can't afford a real website. As I've stated before, a website that allows other people to post their advertisements is losing the "eyeballs", the attention that a reader should be paying to the purpose of the website. In some cases, the advertisements *cover* the content of the website. The advertisements are a distraction to the information that the readers should be getting from the website itself and many times, the advertisement is just a turn-off and the reader will go elsewhere.
One of the benefits of a paid-for website is that the owner of the website pays for the data download of that website and there's no limit to how many people can visit that website. On some of the free websites, such as the Yahoo Geocities "free" webpages, there is a limit on how much information can be downloaded (how many megabytes of data) in a given period. If that quote is exceeded, the readers are prevented from viewing that webpage until a certain amount of time has passed. One has to wonder about the cost effectiveness of a free website if their customers can't get to the website to get the information they need.
By the way, one thing that I would suggest doing is to turn off "cookies" or force the web browser to ask for permission before allowing a cookie to be set on your computer. Then go through your usual surfing and see what websites tries to write or read a cookie on your machine. Then go ask those (dance) websites why they need cookies on their websites.
Am I the only one who thinks that online businesses should not limit customer passwords to only 6-8 *alphanumeric* characters? What's the point of requiring a password for access and then limiting the number of possibilities that a scammer needs to try to get in?
I was at two corporate Christmas parties over the last couple of weeks as a guest at the first one and as the one of the instructors for a dance lesson at the second. The DJ at the first event was the "house dj" while the second was a dj hired for the event, neither of whom was a "swing" dj.
At the first event, my friend and I brought our swing CD's along (I bought my personal 3-CD compilation) and asked the DJ to play a couple of songs for us. My friend's boss had wanted to see us dance so we wanted some music to inspire us. After a while of mindless droning disco, the dj missed a few opportunities to slip in some swing music (after a couple of "clutch-and-drape" songs) but he finally played "Rock Around The Clock" because it seemed to be the only thing he recognized. And then he played that 70's "disco swing" song that lasted about 15 minutes and was too fast anyway. And then he played swing no more.
I suppose I didn't have much grounds to complain since it was a public event with other groups of people who danced to the disco music, but to top it off, when I went back at the end to pick up my music, the DJ raved about the compilations and offered to buy my CD's from me. He said that people have asked for swing music and that he "had no swing music" Besides the fact that it would have been illegal to sell those CD's, they were my only copies. I might have considered giving him my CD's (since I own the original copies of the music), but then I didn't think the one song he played was worth the work I had put into compiling my favorite swing songs.
At the other event, I was helping a friend teach the swing lesson for a corporate Christmas party. People got up to dance before the lesson which I think is unusual for those kinds of events. When we went to teach the lesson, alot of people lined up for the lesson. Even a gay couple had gotten up for the lesson; for a big corporate event, that was really impressive.
However, at some point, probably 20 minutes into the lesson, the DJ told my friend that she should perhaps wrap up the lesson because we were "losing the crowd". We weren't losing anyone who was taking the lesson but perhaps he meant the rest of the crowd. As soon as we finished the lesson, the whole dance floor cleared out and the next couple songs featured an empty dance floor. We probably could have continued the lesson for a while longer and kept more people entertained.
In both cases, there was a hired disc jockey who had his own ideas about what constituted "fun" for his paying customers. While I could understand the DJ at the first event, the dj at the second event clearly stopped a lot of people from having as much fun as possible.
The disc jockey is paid to keep the dance floor filled as much as possible, not to dictate what people can or cannot dance to. The dj should pay attention to what his *customers* want him to do; otherwise, the customers won't want that dj around anymore.
I *almost* made it through this season without stepping into a Crate & Barrel store. Unfortunately, the best parking spots at the Mall at Chestnut Hill are in the garage, closest to the store. Didn't find what I wanted, but walked away with something else. That gentleman at their furniture store was nice enough to *write down* a list of places in Boston where I could find what I was looking for.
When guys go shopping for cologne, it seems rather logical to me as to the correct path to follow: drag along a woman friend who can smell it on you. After all, the guy doesn't need to smell it; he has to make sure that *everyone else* likes it. In my case, it's rather easy: I continue to buy what my last girlfriend bought for me. :^)
Sometimes it's amazing to see the range of possible kinds of human behavior, even around the holidays. It's amazing that some people will exhibit the most asinine behavior while other balance it with extreme demonstrations of kindness and generosity.
At one extreme, my brother-in-law saw some guy drive past his exit on I-95 the other day, missing it by a half-mile or so. This was on that day where we had a sudden cold snow storm. Instead of continuing on for a few minutes to the next exit and coming back the other way, this person decided to back up...all the way to the exit he missed. Not only that, he decided to do it *at speed*...probably 30-40 miles an hour. My brother-in-law drove past him, barely, and looked back, expecting the guy to go sliding around. Sure enough, the guy starts fishtailing and spins out onto two of the travel lanes. If my brother-in-law had been 30 seconds slower, I wouldn't have needed to buy him a Christmas present this year.
Tonight, I was at the Atrium Mall in Chestnut Hill where some guy decided to take his wheelchair-bound father up the *escalator*. I quickly pointed out that the elevators were just beyond the escalator, but they decided to take the escalator instead. The mother threw up her hands and said "...they don't listen to their mother!"
On the other hand, I managed to get a contract job as an "IT Support" person at a small financial company down south of Boston recently. It's amazing how much small companies like that depend on people to come in and "fix things". I'm only temporary and everyone knows it, but I'm surprised that they treat me as if I've been there for years. I've even got a nickname there and as a temporary person, I'm amazed at what they already trust me with. But the thing that really surprised me was that underneath their Christmas tree in the office, among the "presents" they gave out to everyone in the office was a present for *me*. And it was a real present. I only started helping out a few weeks ago and only a few hours a day (I don't even have to be there at a certain time). Imagine that: a company that wants you to feel like you belong there and that you're not a just a number and a paycheck.
I don't think we see or hear enough of such behavior of the latter type these days. I wish we had more comparative examples of the right way and the *wrong* way of behaving in world where there are other people to think about.