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David Beard
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I actually have never done such a search! :P

But I do understand the difference between software and an owner.  (Woohoo!)

And I volunteer to host the website for a local organization, so I know some of the costs involved (I donate the funds).

What I don't understand though, given the relative popularity of the MN forums, why the rest of the site has been left abandoned.  I assumed it was cost.

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1 minute ago, Rue said:

I actually have never done such a search! :P

But I do understand the difference between software and an owner.  (Woohoo!)

And I volunteer to host the website for a local organization, so I know some of the costs involved (I donate the funds).

What I don't understand though, given the relative popularity of the MN forums, why the rest of the site has been left abandoned.  I assumed it was cost.

I don't know the exact reasons, but there was a major change in direction in the early 2000's.  Poking around in the fossilized sections of the site will yield the info that MN started out to be a one-stop site for violin information, articles, a music collection, sales, etc., and later moved away from all that.  I'm very glad that we still have the very lively forum to enjoy. 

The spotty maintenance is one of the reasons that I suspect that MN Forums is the decorative tail on a much larger and unrelated, but profitable, dog.  ^_^

Just now, Alma said:

sorry i am so stupid.  good thing you are smarter.

You aren't at all stupid, but speculating when one can look things up creates endless mischief on the Internet.  I decided to head things off at the pass, before it got any worse.  Sometimes I just get exasperated, so please forgive my humanity. :P  :)

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My personal thoughts (Not connected to my mod role)

I think most of the other parts of the site aren't really relevant anymore. Since the beginnings of this site in the early days, many other websites have gone on to develop much greater platforms for photo and price history databases etc thus rendering the ones here redundant. Even though some of these services are subscription based, the development of the internet as a whole has come along so far that it is realtively easy to get basic information for free. Previously a lot of that kind of information was just not accessible to the mortal realm (at least not in a focused place online). Therefore the existence of the other sections makes sense given how long the site has been around, but today I'm not sure this site needs them.

The community is a strong and neutral place to discuss all matters of the violin/strings world without commericial influence/interference. That is an invaluable resource. I don't think you could have built such a community if it was attached to (or monitored by) a shop or dealers website. There is such an amazing range of members on the forum, you really do get great information from a diverse range of good (and sometimes comical) sources. 

To have such a melting pot of professional and amateur makers/musicians/musicologists is really inspiring.

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