Refocus: llllllll

happy equinox.

five years ago i wrote this:

this is brian writing. it’s the vernal equinox. we’ve been struggling to figure out how to “properly launch” a new idea in this saturated digital universe. instead of our typical hyper-minimalist handful of undecipherable words, here is a stream of consciousness, with the help of whiskey.

we’ve been fostering what could be called a healthy online community for just about ten years now. the monome community has generated an admirable amount of open-source code and patches, collaborative music releases, and engaging discussion.

the monome community has brought together mostly people enthusiastic about grids. yet much of the content generated has had a valuable, much broader appeal, and we would like to invite a greater audience beyond the (lovingly) grid-minded.

we’re seeking a meeting place for a community interested in sharing meaningful content and discussion. we value the decentralized emergence of information, not simply reacting to a single voice. we appreciate an environment that does not encourage hyper-consumption. we have no intention of being product-focused.

we are confident in this new forum software: discourse . it contains modern facilities for community building and information sorting. it’s fast, it’s mobile, and it has excellent searchability. well-designed community self-moderation is key. category muting allows you to ignore topics you’re not interested in (ie, trade, or monome).

in the end, this place will be determined by those who choose to use it. in these early days, we hope you might help us shape it, setting it on a path to even greater heights.

five years!

needless to say, lines has exploded in size. all of the new energy has been awesome and at times overwhelming. the @moderators have been discussing some substantial changes for months, in an effort to refocus the core mission of the community, which means we’ve all had to figure out what that means. i think the above text actually stands up well.

at the core of lines is respect, sharing, and curiosity— particularly in the realms of music, technology, art, and creativity.

of course many of here have become friends, given it’s been 15 years for some of us. it’s a real community. and we end up wanting to discuss topics off the primary reason for the forum’s existence. and that’s great, and we want to maintain that.

we’re making some changes: (edit: modified these parameters on saturday march 21 in response to various requests)

  • a lot of topics are miscategorized in Open, and we’ll be moving those appropriately to the correct category.
  • Open will be viewable by Members and up. creating a new topic in Open requires Regular status.

what we hope this will do is acquaint newcomers with the quality of discourse we’re trying to foster here, rather than have the gates open for harder conversations to get derailed.

we’ll need your patience in this process. if you spot a misplaced thread, please DM @moderators and we’ll fix it.

if you’re a newcomer and can’t see a thread that you previously were getting into, we’re sorry— stick around the forum for a bit and you’ll regain access.

thank you all for helping build this community. it is real.


might be worth pinning this for a bit?


I think that this is a really good idea, personally; there are a number of subjects on which I would perhaps have joined in more were they not open to the wide wide internets to read and appear in search results for various reasons, mostly connected to privacy; so I this will encourage me to join in in more detail, I suspect.


I don’t seem to be able to reply on Open threads.

I’m profoundly grateful for this community. My history here is young, compared to the grizzled maturity of the forum (in Internet years), and my participation spotty. I’m also not exactly a modal participant: I own no monome devices and relatively little hardware and my music is becoming less “electronic” sounding by the project. Yet, as an artist who struggles with arting, this has been a more inspiring, inviting, and supportive environment than many of the schools, orchestras, bands, and other creative institutions (of any size) that I’ve participated in. Thank you, @tehn and lieutenants, for your tender yet firm guidance of these conversations that allows such generous creativity to flourish.


Likewise. There’s an explanation here in the discourse blog - levels explanations


Yep, that’s definitely a problem with the way the levels are set up, ie that you can lose level 3 trust (Regular) if don’t maintain the criteria. It would be nice if it were possible to have a lower bar for re-entry to that level once it had been previously attained, but I’m guessing that’s unlikely to be possible.


I lost my regular status about a year or so ago for a period of time. That being said, it was much easier to regain it just because I think the rolling history was there even though I took a month or two hiatus. I don’t post often and could certainly be more active with my “likes”. Somehow, I’m still a Regular and I think, practically speaking, it is easier to regain status (unless you leave for 100 days or longer).

1 Like

several months ago we changed the settings so that Regular status persists for a full year, so this hopefully isn’t a problem for people.

if anyone feels they’ve been wrongly demoted by the system, please DM us.


Anyone know the criteria to become a regular or is it posted somewhere? I feel like I’ve been a member for quite a while, reasonably active. But I haven’t hit some threshold yet.

Not sure I’ll try to game it to get there if it doesn’t come naturally but it would be interesting to know what I’m not doing.

This covers the basics, but as @tehn mentioned, some adjustments have been made to the criteria specifically for lines–or maybe just to the duration of one’s “regular” status?


Interesting. I likely am missing on the 3rd and 4th bullets. I tend to just read and participate in the topics that look interesting to me. Guess regular is not in my future unless I do try to sort of game it to get there.


we can adjust the parameters as we see need be. will bring it up with the mods


is there some way to relax the new rules for the coronavirus threads? feels wrong to limit who is able to view/post there.


So this might be a mix of ignorance and the language barrier at work here, but

for a full?

ack, full year :slight_smile:


Yeah I lost Regular when I muted a couple of categories.

I’m not a coder and don’t use any of the gear that’s often discussed here. So to meet those proportion-of-posts-read criteria is pretty unlikely. If that’s at odds with what lines is about, i.e. you want to encourage participation from people who tick those boxes, that’s of course totally fine.

ETA: I also welcome the approach you’re taking, just adding fodder to the mods’ discussion about criteria.


I think this is a good idea, it might limit the derailing and personal attacks if everyone has had at least a year to be acclimated with the other members in the discussion.

This had me look into how many days has passed since I joined, and it seems I’m only 7 days away from reaching the 365 days checkbox, and regular status. It’s hard to believe it has been less than a year since I’ve stumbled in here, I already call this place home.


@Jet , @EqualTemperament

i hear you. those checkboxes are the discourse defaults, and i think it makes sense to change (/eliminate?) the “proportion read” requirements given that the forum includes several pretty independent cohorts of users.

also we probably need to go through and move many things currently in the open category, to more specific categories. (things like release announcements or other publicity stuff,) trying to leave “Open” for stuff that is more susceptible to flamebait or privacy concerns.