As per the request of one of the DanceNet readers, here are copies of the past ramblings of the DanceNet Webmaster.
As a result of the various emails I've gotten over the years, I put together a list of frequently asked questions to take care of the same questions I get from a lot of people.
I just got a note from someone who asked why I didn't have on my calendar the June 14th & 21 gigs of the White Heat Swing Orchestra at the Boston Harbor Hotel when the websites of those two venues already had the dates. The hotel and the band had originally scheduled the gigs to start on June 28 and only decided to start on June 14 this week. Since I'm also the webmaster for the White Heat Swing Orchestra, I updated their page right away.
However, I didn't update this website right away because I already have a stated policy of updating once a week, usually on Sunday nights. And it's in writing. Why don't I update every time I get some new information? Well, I get new information several times a day and if I updated the website after every email, I wouldn't have time to do anything else. Since I don't make money off this website, I can't see any incentive for me to do update more often than once a week. I try to encourage people to get their information to me with as much leadtime as possible.
What really galls me is the expectation that I should have this website updated to the moment. Why do some people have the expectation that I have nothing better to do than to maintain this website. I find other websites that have outdated information from many years back. At least I go through all my links every six months or so. This isn't a job for me. If people choose to send me information less than 6 days before they scheduled an event, I *will not* drop everything just to make sure it's listed on this calendar.
To be honest, there are plenty of people out there who appreciate the work that goes into this website. There are plenty of examples of people who tried to build similar websites and stopped doing them, most likely because they realized how much work it was and/or how little they got out of it. And there are still those clueless people who seem to find pleasure in finding and pointing out other people's problems; I suspect that it's because their own lives are so uninteresting that they make themselves feel better by pointing out other people's shortcomings.
I've tried Opera which appears to be a fine browser except that they interpret some HTML commands differently. For instance, if you use the "DIV" tag outside a table and align it to "CENTER", it'll center not only the table but every individual cell in the table; this was not the intended result. Internet Explorer does this too. It took me a while to figure out why the calendars on DanceNet and TangoNet had different results when the base HTML code was the same (I'm the webmaster for both).
The menus on TangoNet appeared differently when viewed with Firefox and Internet Explorer, as it also did on the Next Step page and the unofficial Dan & Suzanne page (I just fixed them). I figured out that IE interprets the HTML code differently if the line break tag is at the end of a line or at the beginning. And you cant't have white space between the line break and the end of the line. That's just so wrong. It's not suppose to matter where the tags are place in the HTML file as long as the tags are in the right *order*. That's "well-formed" HTML.
Writing webpages for Firefox is practical, too. It's the default browser on Redhat Linux's Fedora Project and there's a version for Mac OS, too, so writing for Firefox means the webpages will appear the same on the Windows, Mac OS, and Linux platforms. The HTML code of this website should also appear properly on older versions of Netscape on Unix computers. For best viewing results, use Firefox or Netscape; you'll know that I definitely look at the pages with those browsers. No guarantees on Internet Explorer.
Another year, another great time at the Beantown Lindy Hop (Weekend) camp, held again at Endicott College in Beverly. One interesting aspect was the number of first-timers at this event. A rough show-of-hands showed a quarter or a third of the attendees attending for the first time. This was encouraging news for the long term viability of this world-class Lindy Hop event. The weekend gave a taste of what people got in the weekend-long event and must have tempted not a few people into signing up for the week.
One thing that I noticed was the number of *beginners*. I met one woman who started dancing *at* Beantown. A few others had not danced all that long and it was impressive and encouraging to see at least one class per hour dedicated to beginner level classes. I thought this demonstrated a serious commitment to enlarging the swing dance community.
A couple of us were talking to one new dancer who was concerned about the "etiquette" and/or ramifications of a really good leader asking a neophyte follower to dance; that is, she wondered if she should mention that she wasn't that "experienced" a dancer. One guy (a dance promoter) said the following:
"Some of these guys aren't asking you for a dance because they think you might be a good dancer. They're asking you to dance because they think you're *cute*".I thought there was a hint of truth in that statement, but it was still outrageously hilarious. So did the newbie dancer.
As I was talking to one beginner during a camp dance, I pointed out certain "better" dancers whom I knew were really good to beginner followers. I'm sure 99% of the leaders at Beantown wouldn't turn down a dance except in an unusual situation (extreme exhaustion qualifies), but some leaders stand out as being outstanding with beginners (such Tony Tye and Ben Yau).
Occasionally, some newer dancers might notice that certain dance promoters are seen commonly seen with beginner followers and jump to the conclusion that a dance promoter was paying a disportionate attention to the new female dancers. The truth of the matter was that a dance promoter should be taking his "job" seriously: to bring in new people into the dance and to keep them coming back. This teacher was investing in his dance business. He made sure each new person (follower) had a good time and would think about being a return customer. I know of a few dance promoters who should try it sometime.