The Soapbox Archives:
I just got an email that justifies my policy of requiring the dance organizers to give me a list of the dates that they know they'll be open for business.
Someone sent a note telling me that I could go ahead and list their dance for the last Saturday of every month in 2011. There were two problems with this:
I would have had to go back to correct the listing if I had entered in the incorrect information. That just makes additional work for me and pushes me towards the day when I'll just dump the website and tell everyone where to go.
This was not the first time this happened to me. Many years ago, I was told that Swing City (under previous management) was going to be open every Friday of a particular year. And I believed it. So I listed Swing City as being open that year for Christmas Eve. It was closed that night and the organizer never told me otherwise so people showed up at a darkened venue.
So....I put every dance organizer on notice: if you want your regularly scheduled event to appear on any of this website's calendars, *YOU* have to look through the calendar and get me a list of dates that you know you'll definitely be open. It's not my job to get that information from you or to go looking for it. And if you decide to close on a night that you said you'd be open AND you don't tell me in time to note otherwise, you get the blame if customers show up at a closed dance hall.
See you on the dance floor,
Running the DanceNet website since 1995.
Back issues of the Soapbox are available here.
I spent four and a half hours clearing out after the last snow storm with my snow blower. The person who parks her car in my driveway said she saw me run around like a mad man with my snowblower clearing out sidewalks in front of about 7 houses and a couple of driveways. And I didn't hear anyone once say "Thank You". My next door neighbor didn't come out with his snowblower for a couple of hours so I managed to clear out most of our shared driveway. (The other neighbor *did* clear off my sidewalk at 7:30 am because I cleared out his when he was sick during the last storm). I had to clear off the snow on my car myself after I finished doing all the sidewalks and driveways.
I'm just wondering if some people had said "Thank You" to the back of my head while I was standing next to a 7 horsepower snowblower running at full throttle. Perhaps they did thank me but didn't bother to make sure I actually heard them? And if they did (say "thank you"), did they say "Thank You" to make themselves feel better or to make the person doing them a big favor feel appreciated?
What if they think they said "Thank You" and I didn't hear it over the roar of the snowblower? Would I stll feel appreciated?
I'm going on strike during the next snow storm.
Steve and Deb Carmel are two nice people who are always thanking me for this website; as a matter of fact, Steve just did it at Uptown Swing the night before I published the note above and yes, the editorial can be applied what happens here on the website. I wonder how much some of the organizers would appreciate this website if they had to pay for their listings.
In any case, Steve sent me something after he read the editorial above. I always get the impression that there's so much energy coming out of him that I'd be surprised if his keyboard isn't smoking by the time he hits the "Send" button.
Yes, I to feel the sometimes lacking of polite[ness], I guess I call it behavior of people around you who seem to take for granted the good things that you do for them unasked out of the sense of mindful duty to others, that sense of service to others that some of us have from our up bringing. Or a rescuing gene that is somehow brought out when the need arises. The customers I like best in my business ( home repairs) are those who think to call occasional and say Wow! Thanks for doing that job for me" and heaven forbid that they should ever give you a tip, never happenm or slip you a twenty which you could turn down politely, saying "thank you" for thinking of my value to you as a worthy person.
THANK YOU BENSON SO MUCH FOR ALL THE TIME YOU SPEND ON THE DANCE NET !!! This is me saying to you as I try to do once in awhile to your face smiling with all my heart. The DanceNet [website] is just the cat's meow as my mom would have said, making it so easy to find great places to dance and meet new other dancers..build friendships.getthe feeling of community listen to music and ideas and just have a lovely part of this life of dancing.
I bow low to you
Gossip has it....
Swing City has new management (though same ownership). Word has it that Mike Jonas (of Monday Lindy Hop Practice fame) will be running Swing City with Olaf Bleck retaining ownership. This bodes well for Swing City as the venue will once again be run by someone who is a swing dancer and has a stake in the success of the swing dance community (not to mention knowing if a band is really "swingable").
The first action taken by the new management was to discontinue the use of the Somerville City Club for swing dancing. This has always been a bone of contention in the community which made an early decision that the Somerville location had issues: it was "too far" or "too hard" to get to or was just in a "bad" neighborhood (none of it was really true). Even to this day, dancers describe the City Club as being "smokey" (Well, that was probably true in the beginning). Swing City will be alternating between Fridays and Saturdays at the West Cambridge Youth Center (aka "Huron Avenue"), though it's not clear if the venue will continue to be weekly or biweekly (or some other arrangement). This location has always gotten a bigger crowd versus the Somerville location so the venue should do better there. Since the next dance is on Saturday, January 29, I'm guessing that it'll continue to be weekly.
Note that this is all hearsay as the Swing City officials have not announced this (to me) yet.
Addendum: I got just a list of the probable dates. Looks like the normal Huron 1st Saturday and 3rd Friday dates (and 5th Saturdays).
It's this time of year when I start the arduous task of going through *all* the links on this website to make sure they're valid. Unlike the webmasters of some other websites I can think of, it's important to me that the listings on this website are valid. Unfortunately, I don't make money off this website so I don't have any incentive to do this more than once a year. That's bad enough when you consider that there's also the listing for venues outside New England.
I must have not had much of a plan in the beginning. I just accepted the information from the venues and didn't make a note of the email address of the sender. Some of the listings, particularly those in Vermont, don't have a website. Some of them might not even have a listed email address. Occasionally I got lucky and found an email address associated with that venue so I could contact them. I really don't want to have to call those phone numbers to see if they're still in business.
One thing that annoys me are the venues that changed their website address over the past year and don't tell me. Oh, sure, they're all dying to get their business listed on this website but do they bother to maintain that information? What good is the listing if the reader can't find them? Anyone who runs a business (and changes their website address) should do a search on the Internet to find out who links to their old website so they can be notified of the new address.
Of course, this is a good time to reflect on how long I've been doing this. I can go through the HTML code and get an idea of how old the listings are based on the style of the HTML code. It's also a good time to incorporate newer methodologies in the HTML or reformat the pages as I go along. I still write all the HTML and I try to make it as compact as possible so the pages load quickly. I'm not sure if it's practical to implement Drupal or Joomla. It might be worth trying to figure out how use that technology if I had a reason to, though I'd have to spend a bit of time coming up with a template. I see a lot of websites out there that "feel" the same, like they're all using the same pre-defined templates and I don't want this website to look like everyone else's.
In any case, business owners should not wait for me to get around to checking their listings. There's only one person running this website so if there are any mistakes, there's no one else to check on the checker. Look up your listings on this website and make sure it's correct. Don't wait for me to find it because I might not.
Anyways..back to the task. I'll probably finish going to through all the listings in February or so. I decided to spend some time checking the details of the listings. If someone tells me they have a "dance" during the week and it turns out that it's really mostly lessons with a few minutes of practice in between, well, then it's not a "dance" and I'm not going to allow that sort of switch 'n bait. It's a serious PITA to have to spend the time doing that but that's why I don't allow the venues to write their own listings.
P.S.: If you run a business and you decide to shut down your venue, it'd be polite to your customers and to people like me who advertise your business if you would do a search on the Internet and find out who links to your website and/or lists your business. Help them out by letting them know that they can remove your listing. They did you a big favor by sending you paying customers all this time; help them maintain the correct information on their websites.
Oh crapola! I also have to check the tango pages, too!