Jay Gilligan is proposing creating a new on-line centralised juggling focussed hub, he posted his ideas on facebook and agreed they could be shared here (he also compliments the Juggling Edge events listings):
due to some different chattering on various parts of the internet, i’ve finally been inspired enough to write this all down for public consumption. erik aberg has been my partner in crime on this, helping in all the ways possible (even though he warned me against writing this here). we also need to thank emil dahl and cal courtney for helping with some first steps towards making any of this happen!
ever since erik started his work surrounding the definition of juggling, that got me started on some thoughts surrounding the culture of juggling. even as i write this, i already know i have no place to share these ideas. and as such this stops me from writing and sharing many many things that i would like to. i could post this as a facebook status… but then only my friends on facebook (who the algorithm chooses) will see it. i can also cross post it to jugglingrock, juggling home, etc. etc. but as well anything posted there will be buried by tomorrow and if not then, it will certainly be long gone in a few weeks. facebook is also unsearchable in any practical sense of the term. so putting this up on facebook (which i already know i will do, and it feels slightly hopeless) is almost the same as throwing all these thoughts away in the long run. i might do better to have a few personal phone calls with friends. but the juggling community is larger than that!
from looking around i see all these great new things happening in juggling. the juggling world is growing in scope and spreading out into many new locations. lots of new things are happening- new ideas, new structures, new groups. instagram is a good platform to witness some of this growth. i wish to have a central place to discuss juggling with everyone from around the world. i want to have a place where i can share my ideas and hear the ideas of other. i’d like this place to be accessible to as many jugglers as possible, and i’d also like this place to be around for a long, long time. this place should be a resource for juggling information and knowledge for us interested in juggling now, and for future generations who would like to continue that journey. that place does not exist right now and i hope it could be possible to make it.
i thought back to the last time there was a “central hub” for the discussion of juggling in the world. i know it was not perfect for any number of reasons, but for me i think that was rec.juggling as accessed through the internet juggling database (IJDb). rec.juggling still exists, but since the IJDb closed in 2012, rec.juggling stopped having any sort of relevance to the juggling scene at large. there have been several attempts since 2012 to fill in that gap, but there is nothing that even comes close to what we need today. and like i said, rec.juggling as accessed through the portal on IJDb wasn’t all that great, or even close to being ubiquitous so there’s not much of a point in mentioning it anymore, except as a historical foot note in this story.
facebook has a couple of really strong things going for it. in fact, one of those things is the most important factor in any of this: it has the most people there right now! it is without a doubt a community. in fact in regards to juggling it is many hundreds of communities with various degrees of localization and agendas. another nice feature facebook currently provides is the ability to have built in language translation services. i have had several valuable discussions with jugglers from all around the world in japanese, russian, spanish, french, and english… all at the same time! that is pretty incredible to me. after those two points though, facebook is a terrible terrible place to try and archive knowledge. most of the conversations we have on facebook (good or bad) are lost all too quickly, only to surface again in a few months and be repeated all over again. there’s no real continuity, nothing is being built other than a growth in numbers and perhaps enthusiasm? those are not trivial nor bad things, but maybe its time to do something with a vision for all those jugglers who love juggling?
i keep coming back to this in my personal life but i feel like there’s all these people all over the world who are working on lots of the same things with juggling. but everyone is alone with their struggles. or that its very cyclical- one conversation may be sparked which leads somewhere but that conversation never gets shared or saved so that it can be referred to and so the next juggler who comes along has to start from zero. i know there has been some work to counteract this- for example some great guides on reddit by Mike Moore which can be pointed to whenever those topics surface from a new arrival. and for sure there has been other great work by many people here and there. but that’s just the point… its still piecemeal. you can pick apart any of these thoughts here and give counterexamples to the problems or issues. but that’s not the goal. it doesn’t work if all the solutions are just working fragments of other, larger systems which are not ideal. mike is making reddit a better place for juggling. but reddit (as it is now) is not the solution we are looking for. i don’t generally participate on reddit because i don’t feel the payback in the long term is enough in relation to the investment of my time. that goes the same for any of the other number of alternatives, including facebook.
i realized one of the things i want most is a sustainable online place to discuss juggling with other jugglers. there are several other features that an online juggling hub could provide, which i’ll get to later. but having a healthy discussion forum is #1 on my list. that’s why i did a small test with the object episodes forum a couple of years ago. i’m part of an online music community called lines (llllllll.co) which is built on a really nice forum software called discourse. discourse has lots of great features which make it instantly more useful to have a conversation there rather than facebook. of course the problem is that we are all digitally destroyed for time- no one wants more screen time in their lives. so we all go to facebook and no one really wants to have yet another place to visit, yet another place to have to go spend more time online.
my thought with the object episodes forum was that it would be one small part of a larger picture. obviously i put it out without the rest of the picture and while there were definitely some worthwhile discussions there, i realized pretty quickly that its days were numbered in the grand scheme of things. i don’t think the success of a discussion forum relies upon sheer numbers. i think it can sustain on a small but passionate amount of people who regularly contribute. i stopped participating because i knew that investing more time, money, and energy into that forum was a dead end since it was not the complete plan i wished it to eventually be. that’s why i took it offline and chose to try and focus the resources i have for things like this on the real idea. object episodes was a good test, but it was not going to spur the growth of the rest of the infrastructure needed to keep it going.
my idea with erik is to have an online centralized location for juggling which provides enough value that its worth people’s time to visit it outside of facebook (and whatever other online necessities people have). one small example of this could be daily content which isn’t found anywhere else- a picture of the day (culled from erik’s exhaustive historical juggling picture archive), and/or a historical juggling fact of the day. would a bunch of these things be compelling enough to make you think a couple of times a week “huh, i wonder what cool juggling photo is up on the site today, i think i’ll go check it out”? then the front page of the website could have the top 3 most recent subject lines posted on the forum, and maybe the top 3 most discussed subject lines from the forum. if you check out the photo of the day, or check the upcoming festival calendar, maybe one of those subjects from the forum catches your eye. maybe you go to the forum and start to participate in the discussion. does this sound like it might be realistic?
obviously everyone will have different ideas about the details of such a website. i’ll write down the ones we thought of here. to be clear, i’m not proposing that we have a discussion which turns into a contest about what features such a website could have. this is our carefully curated list of ideas which we refined over many too many hours of conversation about what we think might be the most useful to both us and the community at large:
- working title: Juggling Portal (or “the” Juggling Portal), could be JP for short
- the main page easily features all main activities without the need to click through links to reach the start of any of the main areas. i know if i go to a website and sometimes even have to click more than once to find the start of something i’m done and just leave. again, i’m online too much, i have too many other distractions online. i don’t have time to menu dive.
- the front page has: a photo of the day. this photo is sourced from a folder which erik fills once a year with enough photos to last the entire year. this is a sustainable practice. he’s not going online every day to post a photo. i mean he has terabytes of photos. he could fill the folder with 10 years worth of photos tonight. the folder should be accessible to the admin with a simple online interface to drag and drop photos after a login and with some simple dialogue boxes to enter in a caption or other meta information about the photos.
- the front page has: an event calendar link, but it also displays on the front page the title link to next upcoming event (or multiple events if they are on the same nearest day) and a countdown clock to that event. right now juggling edge has the most useful event calendar i know of, is this just a link to them?
- the front page has: a historical juggling fact of the day, again pulled from a database of facts that erik has entered previously. and to sustain that, the juggling portal should also have a publicly searchable database of juggling information. i believe Olivier Caignart mentioned he is working on something like this? as well the interface for making this happen could be an admin login page with a dialogue box which connects to the database both for the fact of the day feed but also for the larger searchable database
- the front page has: a link to the forum with the top 3 most recent subject lines, and the top 3 most discussed posts
- the front page has: a link to the records part of the website. but not just the link, also some curation for the top numbers records. like maybe solo balls, rings, and clubs records for example are listed right there. i mean even a silly thing like this i could use monthly!!! i’m at a show and someone afterwards comes up to me and asks if i can juggle chainsaws and then asks how many balls i can juggle. i could just point them to the JP right away and see that someone from the UK just flashed 17 balls. i’m not personally so into the records thing in terms of posting or logging personal records but 99% of the people i have talked to so far are into it, including erik, so it seems to be something that people are really passionate about and is important to them. then it might be really beneficial to the community if that was a feature of this website.
- the front page has: juggling vendors list link. does it also have a small advertisement there that could rotate through participating sponsoring vendors? maybe. i mean i don’t mind seeing advertisements from juggling manufacturers because i want to know what’s the new stuff i can buy!! and maybe the money helps with the site. i have no idea. how will the website be paid for, i don’t know. so far i was able to pay for all my random projects out of my pocket. probably not the most sustainable if we’re talking about longevity as a goal here.
- the front page has: an online juggling resource list link. this could click through to show juggling club listings (i loved the style of this from the IJDb where juggling clubs were listed with red, yellow, or green traffic lights. a red light meant something like no one from the club had logged in and updated the information in 5 years, a yellow light meant 2 years, and a green light meant that entry was updated that year. or something like that. but i have to tell you, i have many times used “red light” juggling club listings to eventually track down certain jugglers to lots of benefits in the past!), a collection of links to juggling blogs (and here, like everything else on the site- juggling clubs, juggling vendors, etc. this can all be user generated. you get a login when you register for JP. then you can make an entry on this if you have a juggling blog. we have to deal with how to monitor spam and all of that. but its 2020, that’s a thing website people know how to do?), a list of jugglers’ websites both personal and professional (again i used this all the time on IJDb), a list of juggling related resources (for example could have links to external lists like circus schools with FEDEC or whatever, unicycling hub, kendama party, i don’t know what’s out there but we could have a resource of links with descriptions so again its both a place of discovery and a place for reference. and its all searchable. so if i type in “yo-yo” to the JP, then one of the things which pops up is the yo-yo group party link under the online juggling resource link section)
- the front page has: yearly community reading list. i need to explain this- look, here’s the thing. one of the biggest things in the juggling community these days is luke burrage’s top 40 jugglers of the year. its practically an institution at this point. he has been so generous to run it for all these years and it seems to be something that lots of people in the community find to be both valuable and inspiring. though also the criteria of the top 40 voting is generally very open ended, and i can totally respect luke for that. as far as i understand his whole point is that you should just vote for whoever you think is most deserving for whatever reason in that year. but in reality lots of times it turns into a contest of who posted the best youtube video that year. or maybe even from the year before? so maybe it could be fun and drive traffic to the JP to just have a yearly top 3 video contest. that could be part of the community reading list. so on the JP you have the top 3 juggling videos of 2020, and you also have the top 3 juggling videos of all time. each year the top 3 juggling videos of all time is up for grabs, and same for juggling videos made in the current year. as with all of the community reading list content, perhaps the selection is done by nomination along with a jury of peers, and maybe partial popular voting or something. but in addition to the top videos of the year and of all time, there could be a selection of links, books, forum posts, other online content, podcasts, or just anything that would give some valuable content and insight into what juggling is right now. almost like a statement that represents the current state of juggling in the world if at all possible. basically i want something i can refer back to in my own work and also direct others to all the time, be it producers, normal people, or students when i’m teaching. i mean i always thought a great idea would be that in circus school, the graduating jugglers would get to refresh or add to a public website. because back when i used to work at DOCH, the administration did ask me to provide a reading list for every year. as far as i could tell that impetus came from administrative technicalities rather than an actual functioning need for such a list (since it was never put into actual real world use on a day to day level). but having a reading list for juggling resources is a very real and possible thing. so every year that the jugglers would graduate, they could choose which videos they thought were most important to them in their lives, and they could share the links to content which helped them the most. then this website could be a living and breathing documentation of what is happening in the DOCH circus school each year with the jugglers. everyone would ask me what’s going on over at DOCH these days… well, check out this website! you can totally see what the jugglers were thinking about from last year at least. i think that would have been a really cool and useful idea to do. so let’s have it here on the JP. it could be useful to so many jugglers around the world who are trying to interact with other genres in various capacities. i know the IJA sometimes tries to get funding for various things or invites certain celebrities to participate in events. and if they don’t know what juggling is, or what juggling is about today… well, easy- send them a link to the community reading list over on the JP, they can immediately see 6 completely insane juggling videos and there is the surrounding context should that be useful.
- the front page has: the trick database link. the trick database allows users to upload video with hashtags. each user would be linked to this by their own JP account like on instagram for example. you make a new trick, you upload the video and then can categorize it, hashtag it, and it becomes a searchable resource. this part of the portal would be especially important on mobile devices. in fact the trick database part of JP should probably just have its own app. the interface could be very much like instagram but with a bit more editing features in terms of collections of videos. i get it that i’m here writing about making instagram with different features. i know its not very realistic. but maybe some of these ideas would spark something in somebody, and since i’m getting all the ideas out here, i’m not going to stop now while talking about the trick database. on the TDb app from JP, you can shoot video straight on your phone, do basic trimming like on instagram, and upload it straight to the app. it would change the way i juggle in both my personal and professional life. for example, if i make a new 3 ball box trick, i could go to the TDb and search “3 balls, box” and instantly get all the 3 ball box videos (and perhaps with even more search criteria for a narrower selection, like maybe also add “cross-arm” and “box with lid”). i could see that the variation i just made up was actually done in 2019 by ameron. and i could also see 30 other variations from everyone all over the world. and that could inspire me to make a variation from one of the ones i saw and upload it to the TDb. which starts the whole process over again. if someone didn’t want their tricks public, i guess you could also have a private TDb account. like for example let’s say you’re making a new show with 2 friends and you want to have a database of video content which you can organize and search during the creation process. you could share that private content with your 2 friends only if you like. personally, if this existed, i’d keep all my content public all the time. having this resource of technique to search and reference would literally change my entire life. so i’d also want to contribute to the process as much as i personally can.
- eventually daily content could be generated by corespondents from around the world. photo of the day takeovers could be from different countries each week or month. there just needs to be the interface to upload the content in a reliable and manageable way.
- throughout the JP site there could be some “talking heads.” erik had this idea as a fun feature, again as a way to drive traffic to the site. the talking heads could be the picture of a juggler’s head with a dialogue box. that juggler could have an exclusive login to that box to write whatever they want which would then be seen publicly until they changed it. would you go to JP if emil dahl had a talking head there? or lewis kennedy? what if you knew that over on the JP anthony gatto actually had a talking head that he was actively updating… wouldn’t you visit the website then?
- the JP would also have other forms of social media to promote its content. but it would not share that exact content on other platforms! what i mean is, JP should have a twitter, facebook, and instagram account. but the instagram account isn’t going to just show the photo of the day from JP every day! then you have no reason to go to JP. but maybe its 1 post a week on the JP instagram account which sums up an interesting forum post from that week. or gives a shout out to an upcoming festival. or shares a link that was uploaded that week. just as a taste of what is offered over on the site. but again, not as just another copy of the same information. hopefully as a way to drive traffic to the site and keep it alive among all the other digital platforms begging for your attention.
- the website should be in english, spanish, french, german, italian, and japanese at least. sounds like crazy work. but worth mentioning that one of the reasons forums or other websites fail today is because not everyone uses the same language.
- a dream feature of the forum would be to have embedded translation service options like from facebook. i don’t know of any forum software which offers this as an option. but for sure it would really unite all the jugglers of the world if they could all talk to each other in some way without language being a barrier!
- another nice feature for the forum would be to have a siteswap highlighter and embedded animator.
- another nice feature for the forum would be to have a scheduling option for when to post a discussion comment. that way i if i find myself having 5 hours in one day, i can write a bunch of forum posts, and set them to be released at intervals over the next weeks. this can help rhythm of keeping discussion going over on the forum. first of all i won’t flood the forum all at once and overwhelm with too many posts, and make people skip content. obviously this feature isn’t just for my account but everyone’s as well. if i know of something coming up i can prepare content ahead of time and release it when its most relevant. this was actually erik’s #1 request.
the whole point of the juggling portal would be to unite everyone together, not fragment them more. for sure the portal would not need everything i listed above to work or survive. and as i have been talking about this privately for a few years now, i know there are people around the world doing parts of these things as i speak. still, the point is that i think the strength of these things is that they would be integrated all together. a central place where we can all meet, discuss, learn, share, archive, and discover juggling.
Why authenticating from google or facebook? I find that it hardly makes access easier to sites (maybe this changed, I haven't signed up on a website through fb or google in the last 2 years), and I am worried that I give them unnecessary power to track behaviour of users and sites, when a new platform could be contributing to a more diverse, less centralised web!
Especially for services I don't care about with lots of alternatives, I much prefer options that can connect to my existing accounts (I have a garbage Google account I use for exactly this).
While I /do/ care about talking about juggling, I can imagine that others would be on the edge (no pun intended) of interest for this kind of thing.
My main reason would be that handing off authentication to a 3rd party nearly avoids you having to do all the terribly boring stuff of making sure you're storing passwords securely.
But sure, I can see how people would prefer have it self contained.
Storing passwords is nowhere near as difficult as it used to be, with the 'new' password functions introduced in PHP7 it's just a case of keeping PHP up to date (which Dreamhost & most hosts will do for you automatically) & changing the hashing algorithm as they come available. For the Edge I just need to change one line of code.
I don't like using 3rd party authentication because using the same account to log in everywhere is effectively the same as using the same password everywhere.
Relevant xkcd - this being the Edge half of you will know which one without even opening it ;-)
Jay, I wish you well and I hope you smash it. I too sorely miss the glory days of recdot via IJDb, but that's very much in the realm of history now.
Yup. Communication happens naturally where the people are.
rec.juggling succeeded because it was on Usenet, which was where the people were.
Then everyone moved onto the web when that was invented. The IJDb portal succeeded because it was a transition between Usenet and the web, and linked those two communities as they gradually transitioned.
Now the majority of people are on Facebook, so that's where the communication happens. You can't really fight it, although you can still have communication in smaller groups outside if you try hard enough.
What's next? Instagram? Discord? WhatsApp? I dunno, I'm not a teenager, so I don't have visibility of the upcoming communication trends.
But to try to get everyone to move back onto the web is pissing into the wind. "Build it and they will come" doesn't work. "Build it where they already are" is much more likely to succeed.
(Incidentally, I did an internet marketing course years ago, the output of which developed into a successful business. This was the surprising basis of the course: don't build something and then try to attract people to it - instead find the people, ask them what they want but don't have, and then build that product where they already are. It works.)
I wonder if part of the problem is our perverse relation to a forums popularity, sometimes we post on facebook because we want the maximum audience, then we hate the fact our post gets lost in all the other people's postings. We want to see all the posts that we want to see, but it is unlikely any algorithm will be able to 100% second-guess which posts we might have wanted to see today and which not. Facebook is rubbish in many ways, but perhaps also our expectations are unreasonable.
An analogy might be a juggling convention with 1000s of attendees, loads of shows and many many workshops sounds amazing. Then you realise you have to queue hours for shows, everything is so scheduled you are chasing the clock and workshops are full up and opportunities to rendezvous with friends are fewer.
You beat me to it! That comic was my first choice, so I'll settle for my second.
I'd love to see this idea come to fruition!
Even though i only witnessed the last few years of rec.juggling, i found it the best ressource for relevant content. There are many conversations that happened there that were really thourough, and well written, and still to this day, those conversation are relevant and need to be accessible in some way!
Every medium right now has some good and bad stuff, but overall, nearly everyone of them gives me a lukewarm feeling. Facebook and instagram are great to quickly share something, but if you're not logged at the right moment, it gets buried and you'll never know it existed.
Anyway, i'd love to see such website, mainly for discussions and archives, and also for events listing and club listings. Usually, if an event is not listed on the juggling edge, i don't even know it exists because it's lost in somewhere i don't even know of..
Good luck with the project!
To address a few quick points:
The irony that Jay & most of the world probably won't see this because it is not on Facebook is not lost on me.
the main page easily features all main activities without the need to click through links to reach the start of any of the main areas
a link to the forum with the top 3 most recent subject lines
an event calendar link, but it also displays on the front page the title link to next upcoming event
Edit settings > Change home page layout
More sections can be made available on request.
In case anyone doesn't already know you can add events listings using Edge data extremely easily or not quite so easily (give me a shout if you need help).
a photo of the day
a historical juggling fact of the day
Post to the forum use #PhotoOfTheDay, #HistoricalJugglingFactOfTheDay, creating the ability to display the latest post with a hash tag on the front page wouldn't be too difficult.
a link to the records part of the website
juggling club listings (i loved the style of this from the IJDb where juggling clubs were listed with red, yellow, or green traffic lights
the website should be in english, spanish, french, german, italian, and japanese at least
a siteswap highlighter and embedded animator
All already in place except Japanese but I can add that very easily if anyone is interested in translating. Dutch & Russian are also available.
another nice feature for the forum would be to have a scheduling option
If you come back here tomorrow at sometime after 08:00 UTC you will see either:
a dream feature of the forum would be to have embedded translation service options like from facebook
To get this embedded in forum software would breach free usage limits of existing online translation services pretty quickly & get too expensive for the juggling community to afford very quickly. There are many browser extensions available that can do this if the user wants this feature. As for creating my own translation service I am both not smart enough to build it & not stupid enough to try.
It's disheartening just how much functionality of Jay's ideal portal is already available at the Edge.
If you believe that Facebook is a poor platform for discussion, don't use it for discussion.
Everyone believes that rec.juggling was the greatest thing in existence. Everything since has been rubbish.
I question whether anyone really remembers what rec.juggling was. No one is missing rec.juggling. What everyone is missing is the community that used rec.juggling.
rec.juggling was simply a small corner of usenet. The only thing usenet did was distribute text files (or binaries if you didn't mind being shouted at) from you to anyone that wanted to download them. That was it. & it was rubbish, service was patchy, not all messages got through, it was full of spam & MLM scams, archiving relied on the whims of a multitude of service providers, retrieval sometimes involved emailing your mates to see if they still had a cached copy of a post, & there was a constant influx of newbies who had no idea how the system functioned & were trying to work it out. Every newsgroup in existence could have legitimately been filed under the alt.test hierarchy. & for the love of God will someone please tell me if the rare wine red Mugen kendama IS STILL FOR SALE?!
But behind all that were people. People who had ideas. People who wanted to help. People who wanted to make you laugh. & without any fancy software to animate patterns, create causal diagrams, automated polls, competitions, categorised, searchable databases with automated data sanitisation people created STUFF just through swapping small text files.
Long before convenient free to use video streaming sites with infinite storage & bandwidth, & online editing tools existed. People worked together to navigate the minefield of competing file formats that only worked on half the computers, the numerous impossible to use video editing packages, negotiating the sharing of precious bandwidth & storage to host files for everyone to download. Yet we still had the glorious WJVF (anyone know what Arron Gregg is up to these days?) & the Juggletween project for example.
The top 40 jugglers of the year poll started life because Luke bothered to work through dozens of atrociously spelt & formatted answers to a survey by hand. Siteswap became popular due to the efforts of dozens of people creating hundreds of almost indecipherable ladder/state diagrams & number lines in ascii art, which were either works of genius or meaningless crap depending on your computer's default font.
Rec.juggling was fun to hang around not because of the software but because of all the people playing & experimenting & trying something new.
I thought if I could provide enough tools for people to play with I could keep that magic alive, but I was wrong.
Amen, or verily if you prefer, except for the last sentence. Of course one can never supply enough tools for everyone but you and the community supporting you have supplied more tools than anyone else and more tools than most people use, if they are even aware of them. Thank you for your good works.
I'd tell you about the Mugen, but I have no love of jod.
The Edge rocks - thank you.
I agree, it's the people that make a community.
Why are the people no longer interested in this kind of community? Why are not all the people here? :(
Also, I thought this might be a good place to crosspost my comment on Jay's post:
"Thanks for summing up your thoughts Jay!
Let me do an attempt to sum up mine, freewheeling this so it might be a bit chaotic.
Just so everyone knows where I'm coming from: I've probably been part of nearly every (English spoken) web juggling forum. Rec, edge, OE, reddit, fb groups, remember the original Juggle Jabber, the social media website? Well I was there. I've read everything on the WJW and Gatto forums. Oh and of course diabolo.ca, and some Dutch sites such as Prikpagina and Diastylo.
I agree none of them were quite ideal. However, long as there were people, all of them were good enough!
I'm also a loooong term member of a non juggling community for pixel artists (pixeljoint.com). This is a 100% custom platform taylored to the needs of pixel artists, a perfect front page, daily new user content, community activities, news, serious discussions, light chatter etc. However, the platform is dying. I know the community from inside out, and have fought to keep it alive. It's still coping, but most of the community has disappeared, only 1 of the many many features is still actively being used. All pixel artists have moved to Twitter instead. A platform completely unsuitable for pixel art, where nothing is easy to find unless it was posted in the last 24 hours.
Even with a perfect platform, people disappear to these large generic social media sites...
Will a perfect juggling site help? Perhaps. But if people really were interested to connect with each other in this kind of way, Object Episodes and the Edge would have already taken off, and could slowly grow to this ideal juggling site. I don't believe that it could only exist if all puzzle pieces come together in one place.
However, because of my insane interest in these kinds of communities, I'm still happy to keep on trying. I'd be happy to take part in any new project, would be excited to advice and support anyone taking on a community site, and would pour in hours to try and make it work. Because of that drive, I've also created a platform myself, Manipeo.com. I hoped that the video content would draw in people, who could then be lead to the forum and such. However, also there the amount of daily visitors remains so low that it's not worth investing much more energy in, and my attempts at creating a community around it have all failed so far.
But, who knows. I sure would enjoy such a platform. But then again I also enjoy a simple forum, just like I enjoyed the original OE.
I believe that the most important thing you need for a community to function are people. The content and the features will follow automatically, if you can get people together.."
I'm so with you on this entire post. I feel like Manipeo.com is one of the most underrated juggling resources out there. https://skilldex.org/ also comes to mind, as it's the most complete trick list (with tags!) that exists, AFAIK.
Manipeo is in my Message from the Chair section on the IJA eNewsletter this month. We have no data on how many people read that, either, but let me know if there's any kind of spike!
Thanks for the mention! When is that being sent? (And why do those not appear on ejuggle? )
I just checked and there was a huuuuuge spike for today, so for a second I thought your message was super effective, but it turned out that all of that came from my recent facebook post.
For those who missed that one, here is a list of some full shows you can watch, a bunch of them were put online in the past few days:
Seems like there was an error between the editor and I, and an older version of the message was sent out (one that did not contain mention of manipeo :( )
That playlist is exactly what I wanted to send out! I'll have to include it next month.
It was sent this morning. As for why the message doesn't appear in eJuggle: I'd say they're generally not worth an article. It's usually a couple paragraphs about what's on my mind at the moment, in terms of juggling. Sometimes they relate to current events, sometimes not. But maybe having the whole newsletter slotted into the eZine as a designated column would make sense. What do you think? If you haven't seen any of the eNewsletters and are curious, I'd be happy to forward the last few to you. They're not members-only or anything like that.
For example, here's the message from last month:
Forging the Uncertain Path: Finding Direction in Exotic Juggling
Whether you’re many miles from the nearest fellow juggler, or a world-class juggler in a niche area, you’re going to find yourself in unexplored areas of juggling. Places with patterns (and problems) you’ve never seen before! There are some methods that have allowed me to navigate those uncharted waters; hopefully they’ll help you, too.
If you’ve come up with a great new idea, the first step is deconstruction. What makes the idea great? A shape the balls make in the air? Some kind of body contortion? A charming rhythm? Determining the essence of the idea allows you to improve it or concentrate it (get rid of the setup throws).
Maybe the essence can mutate. A particularly efficient way to find these mutations is to try to relate the new pattern to something you already know about. For example, with box: what if you thought about the columns as if they were two in one hand? You could have them as columns, but you could also do fountain. What if you thought of box as a distorted version of 423. If you do that, then all those amazing videos of 423 variations are now things to consider trying with box! One relationship discovery can lead to dozens of pattern discoveries. Others’ discoveries are now relevant, and you’re no longer so alone on your journey.
If you’ve ever made a surprising (juggling) relationship discovery, I’d love to hear about it. Send me an email at [email address].
 Some variations will be obvious: changing a neutral throw to a body throw, adding another ball, etc. This is still useful! Practicing obvious variations will inevitably improve your technical skill surrounding the essence of your idea.
If you come back here tomorrow at sometime after 08:00 UTC you will see either:
The first scheduled post on the Edge
A few posts calling me a moron because it didn't work
Actually, I think Marvin might still be sanitising the oven...
I remember rec.juggling. I remember how full of crap it was and even after the spam filters 95%+ of the posts didn't interest me.
You're right about the people making it. And the Juggling Edge has a mix of people far more tuned to my interests than r.j ever did :-)
I realize my initial message seemed a bit harsch considering i'm posting on the edge, but i'd like to clarify and say that the edge is what i consider the best community juggling message board around right now in terms of functionality and content!
I agree with those who have said the people/community are important, and I think it was Richard that said "build it where the people are". I'd also dearly love to see Jay succeed!
However, I think he's trying to bottle lightning.
rec.juggling (and the ijdb) occurred at a "perfect time" - they were the right tools, at the right time, on an internet which was very different to todays. There were fewer people on the internet, with fewer competing demands on their attention, with much fewer choices for places to discuss juggling, or find other jugglers.
Much like Juggling Magazines (eg The Catch) only worked because jugglers were hard to find, events difficult to learn about.
Today, jugglers are everywhere on the internet that people are! Youtube, instagram, facebook, twitter, tiktok. Juggling is more visible than it's ever been! This is great!
People are learning, sharing and expanding what it means to be a juggler more than ever before, and I think it's amazing. They're doing this with tools that fit their purpose and lifestyle. I don't feel it's stifling or fragmenting juggling at all, from where I'm sat it's quite the opposite.
OK, so some people are reinventing, but that has always happened (we just didn't get to see it) - and the mere fact that they're exploring and creating is more important than "oh, that's been done before"
I consume more juggling content now than I ever did for all those years I was the top-poster on rec.juggling, spewing out all that crap I posted...
Juggling history is more visible now than it's ever been, thanks to people like Eric, Thom Wall, David Cain. So much more richness is available than it ever was in the r.j days.
The sky isn't falling in.
There are lots of things wrong with the internet today, but I don't think there's a vacuum to be filled by a new site.
I'd love to be proved wrong though.
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