I Wish FAWM Was Properly Archived Rather Than Wiped Clean Every Year

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  • @johnstaples  Mar 2

    I am NOT trying to start trouble! I did see that other thread that got locked. Not trying to revive that sentiment. BUT...

    One of the wonderful things about an online community is the history as it grows and evolves. I fully understand that FAWM is intended to provide a place to write some new songs during February but it has become so much more than that. It has become a true community!

    There are amazing people here. And there are informative and meaningful conversations that occur here. There are in-depth gear discussions and useful advice shared. Songwriting conversations happen where tips and tricks are exchanged. There are good-natured debates about stuff and even a fight or two. There are support threads for a variety of issues.

    And, of course, there are the songs! Tons of wonderful music that could be accessed and listened to throughout the years.

    But, 11 months later it is all erased! Wiped clean. Gone forever. I find that sad and unfortunate and unneccesary.

    It used to be we could use the internet archive to look at the historical record but lately that service and FAWM do not seem to play well together.

    So yeah, I'm certainly not saying it is a "fkn bunch of hassle" or anything like that but it sure would be nice if everything was archived and available down through the years. Web space is dirt cheap and traffic would be very low so those would not be a problem.

    Just a wish from a happy FAWMer!

  • @rayboneor  Mar 2

    I never really thought about it, but I would be willing to pay for that. I have no idea what I did a decade ago, but I do remember that finding fawm was a life-changing experience for me, in all seriousness. It might be fun (and cringe-inducing) to take a stroll down memory lane. There are lots of fawmers who are no longer with us, for various reasons. It would be cool to revisit their stuff as well.

  • @johnstaples  Mar 2

    @rayboneor same here! I was just starting to write songs...had a dozen or so done. Then I discovered FAWM in 2013 and it really changed me forever!

    To be clear I am NOT complaining! And I have the archive of my own songs from all of those FAWMs but I would love to be able to revisit those times in context of the site with the songs and comments of other FAWMers who were there.

  • @evinwolverton  Mar 2

    There are probably a couple songs over the years that I'd love to revisit the origin of, but overall I'm actually thankful that I'm not leaving a Google-able paper-trail for long as I experiment and occasionally embarrass myself.

  • @johnstaples  Mar 2

    I just discovered that the original FAWM is archived!


    And I got a big kick out of perusing it!

  • @dasbinky  Mar 2

    I'm with @evinwolverton. I prefer the ephemeral nature of FAWM. Every year is brand new, and that's a beautiful thing.

  • @elesimo  Mar 2

    I think that a lot of people take (subconscious?) comfort in the fact that it wipes every year. It gives you freedom to experiment and put out "bad" songs.

  • @fuzzy  Mar 2

    Well said, @postcardhelicopters!

  • @candle  Mar 2

    I'm of both camps, really. I completely understand the desire to go back & re-read old conversations. But at the same time, the "finiteness" of the yearly FAWM cycle is a charm in & of itself.

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @ustaknow Mar 2

    +1 on that postcard there, lit by that candle, to read while still here πŸ˜‰

    It is why FAWM works, and is a theme in a few threads this year.

    - Unintended consequences are amazing things to observe

  • @sheilerk  Mar 2

    There are definitely songs I wish were accessible that I downloaded from the site at the time and are no longer playable, probably wiped out when the site changed for a new year. There were a couple of wonderful ones with choruses including many fawmers (including me) that I don’t have copies of because of only having gotten them off the site. Someday I need to track them down! I can see the advantage of both sides of the archiving question, but doesn’t keep me from wishing.

  • @klaus Mar 2

    I think @burrsettles has all Fawms in his personal archives. He studies them and takes notes. Or was it just that one Fawm that he did a sociological study on?

    With this, I don't mean that he should put it on internet somewhere, but maybe you can work out something, @johnstaples

  • @plainwhitetoast Mar 2

    it would be a shame to start history now, or worse, in the future

  • @johnstaples  Mar 2

    Yes, I know, "FAWM is perfect don't change a thing!" 😁 But I still wish there was an archive of past years' conversations.

  • @vomvorton  Mar 2

    FAWM is not perfect and there are a bunch of things I hope get changed (all of the important ones I believe are already on the radar of the people with the power, gimme those sweet multi-way collaborations, oh yeah).

    I have to agree with the Ephemeral Posse on this one though, it's so lovely to have a blank slate and not feel the weight of history every year. And I feel like it's more welcoming to newcomers too.

  • @johnstaples  Mar 2

    Yes I know, "FAWM is not perfect (but really it is don't change a thing!)" 😁

  • @elainedimasi  Mar 2

    FAWM is perfect πŸ˜‰ and this is something I really wouldn't change. There's a difference between a conversation and an archive. Do I want the conversations archived from every Superbowl Party I've ever been to? I am actually starting to hate the "bottomless feed" approach of all social media. FAWM is different in lots of ways. I love that it is fleeting.

    And I love that Burr built it in a way that is not easy to capture. It gives us control over our words. We know they'll be up for a year. Only the words we gift each other with as song comments can be archived, and only by the artist they were intended for. That is an oasis in today's world.

    Burr says, "this is a house party in my basement." I don't walk around a party in my basement with a tape recorder to record all the shenanigans!

  • @johnstaples  Mar 3

    I'm seriously enjoying the pretzel logic!

    "Erase everything! Except leave it on a public website for a year first."

    "Start fresh with everything! Except don't erase my profile and don't erase my watchlist. Because that is the *good* history!"

    "Writing things down causes us to not remember them."

    I still wish we had an archive. And maybe I need to stop before the pitchforks come out! Honest I love FAWM too; I'm not a heretic! 😁

  • @plainwhitetoast Mar 3

    sand castles

  • @rayboneor  Mar 3

    Sorry, John, but I’ve switched to the ephemeral camp πŸ˜€

  • @zecoop  Mar 3

    Even if it were properly archived, it would cause problems as many do not want the songs they write here anywhere but here for a temporary time. Rough demos and whatnot - some songs are only posted because 'it is FAWM' and only posted, knowing that they will disappear. That isn't me, as I post all my songs on Bandcamp, but I do know that it is a lot of people's opinion. So, how do you keep everything archived for your enjoyment and posterity without trampling the desires and wishes of others who had no intentions?

    It just gets too complicated - I'm in the ephemeral crowd. (except my stuff... keep all of my stuff.) πŸ˜‰

  • @dzdandcunfsd  Mar 3

    I feel if it was archived it would lead to never-ending self promotion.......oh sounds like something I did 5 years ago....link, or so and so did 11 years ago link, etc.

    The forum would be an absolute mess that I would never think about treading in. Yeah, I would have nothing to do with fawm if it was all archived. It might as well be FB or twitter at that point. I barely even save any of my own recordings I would never expect anyone else to LOL

  • @johnstaples  Mar 3

    @postcardhelicopters I see your point but that whole dismissive thing works both ways, right?

  • @guatecoop  Mar 3

    @johnstaples : this is always a topic of conversation and it does have merit. I’m definitely the type to be happy that my music is not kept from year to year. I want to start fresh and I never want to be burdened by what I did before. I have all of the songs archived in hard drives. I actually go back throughout the year and kind of study my music to see what worked and what didn’t. But, new year=new FAWM for me.
    The funny thing is that every year I wonder why I watchlisted some people.....then I listen to their music and OH YEAH!!! They are AWESOME! I kind of like that surprise too!

  • @johnstaples  Mar 3

    @postcardhelicopters sure whatevs! Who do I see to get the last 10 minutes of my life back? 😁 That is a joke. Not intended to offend anyone! Just realizing this conversation is kinda pointless. And that's OK too! I formally retract my wish! (more joking!)

  • @zecoop  Mar 3

    @johnstaples - but now I am hungry for pretzels... thanks a lot! πŸ˜‰

  • @johnstaples  Mar 3

    @postcardhelicopters dang, ya got me! Are we bored of this yet? I am so I'm done. You can have the last word...

  • @laotranati Mar 3

    I agree with the fact that it would be nice to access info on the forums (there are so many good advice here!) and I would love to have access to the comments of my first FAWM but I didn't archived my info when I had the chance.

    However, I also like not having access to my old songs, so...I think it's OK if the songs and comments are deleted every year.

    It would be nice to "move" some of the very good advice given on forums to the FAQ of the site. For example at the beginning of FAWM someone made a thread about good commenting practices and I would love for that to be on the FAQ. Specially because I did not know that some people had trouble being compared to other (known) artists, and part because getting comments that only said "cool!" were...good, but had a bitter aftertaste and made me think "aaaaand? why is it "cool" AH!?".

  • @apolez3 Mar 3

    @postcardhelicopters - I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on FAWM and the writing thought, I think I have thought that in my past, like if I write it down then I can let go of it kinda a thing, hanging onto those thoughts.

    @laotranati what do and others mean by archiving, copy &paste?

    I think my two wishes would be to fix the @soitworkseverywhere and to allow more than one collab partner on a prodject.

    I also am more in the middle with @johnstaples wish but leaning towards purging everything "mostly"

    Also makes me thing of temporary art, like usually installations. and some even use nature so it just goes away, I mean photographs are taken but the art itself created to be gone forever ...

  • @laotranati Mar 3

    @apolez3 I was thinking of downloading the websites of my songs, instead of copying and pasting, but yes. It would be nice to know what people enjoyed of my songs, to see if I can boost that for future versions of the songs or explore some ideas that I had, etc etc. Specially because the feedback here is very good.

  • @gubna Mar 3

    Once I move my stuff to bandcamp which I’ve already started, I’ll delete the SoundCloud files as I do ever year. I like that it resets. I remove them from my computer too. Maybe this year I’ll leave a link in each description here in case anyone still wants to listen to the weird stuff I make.

    I really appreciate being part of this and look forward to it every year. This was my fourth year. I do mean to get a day of listening hopefully this week as I haven’t taken the time to do so in the last week or so.

  • @apolez3 Mar 3

    @gubna you sound like my son when he was about ten and ripped up all his books that were like journals with such sweet stories and thoughts I would love to be reading them right now even... I mean I'm saving my stuff. But he decided to do that and I let him. He graduated with a psychology/philosophy degree too he's so smart, Guess the temporary for temporal is an in thing nowadays. Instead of looking to save. You just have the experience I would think kinda like the burning man. though I've never been of Course would so go lolz /// though i have done a bunch of artwork and for one reason or another left with barely anything I have done and actually doesn't bother me as much as i thought it would. would rather have them though than not.

    @laotranati Thanks for the info, I was thinking more of the comments of the songs you were talking of I thought.

  • @nadine Mar 3

    I'm somewhere in the middle.

    I dont want drafts to be shown in public for a long period of time but I want to be notified (and let my watchlist and commentators know) when the final version is ready. A list of all music I'd like to download when finished would solve that problem. If that existed I won't give my stuff for free download as long as it is not finished.

    Another feature I'd appreciate In that context: A gallery where you can link to your previous FAWM albums. Most if you use bandcamp but maybe other use YouTube or Soundcloud playlists.

    I'm totally in for saving the comments and soundboard so I'll do this manually when things settle. But I can understand why this site is wiped clean. Otherwise you won't be able to distinguish between old and new stuff and get spoiled.

  • @timfatchen  Mar 3

    @laotranati The "archive" button on your page allows you to download an archive of your song page AND everybody's comments on that song, so that can be done simply. Not sure that everyone is aware of that.

  • @apolez3 Mar 3

    @timfatchen I see it now lol, thanks, not really on the page tho it's through clicking your profile on top right and in the drop down.

  • @klaus Mar 3

    I wouldn't mind Fawm Site Archives on internet. As a librarian, I value the past. History is important. I'd even donate, say 25 dollars, for it each year.

    @johnstaples has a point about the funny logic of letting songs stay public for a year but not for longer. One year seems a bit arbitrary and comes from the site's needs, not necessarily from each individual Fawmer's needs. And I think eleven months is long enough time to rewrite the song and update the demo. You can always delete the demo if you don't want it archived.

    But I suppose to start archiving now would mean a certain type of Fawmers would leave and some new people would not come at all. It would be a too radical change. In that sense, I'm a bit against it.

    ( On the other hand archiving could mean that people would post better ( but fewer ) songs. A bit more quality. That's not a bad thing. "Fawming it" can lead to bad songs, short songs, hasty sketches, quick instrumentals, lyrical ramblings without a song structure, etc. Nothing bad about it if it leads to something better. But for me, it usually doesn't. )

  • @timfatchen  Mar 3

    @klaus I don't know that archiving would mean better but fewer songs. It's the stimulation to creativity that's needed. I write more than my fair share of bad short hasty quick ramblings. Winnowing can then be done! Archived or not, I'd still churn them out so that those grains in the chaff can be later found and grown.

  • @ustaknow Mar 3

    - But, but, it's a write new songs site... ... ..., not -

    "What happens on FAWM, stays on FAWM",

    - the one thing I read, when I came day one and read EVERY single word on the ENTIRE site in EVERY link that existed, (included all attachments, documents and then the research on "that' to vet, too πŸ˜‰ ) - all, *that single line got me interested. Nothing was a surprise to me, other than, - it worked, if folks let it work.

    It, "that", one line, - even caused, one year, OMG, one year... - to finely hone the "collaboration" elements (re: CR elements). Well, for as long as those folks remain to remind, since no archive of it πŸ˜‰ hahhh, and thank God. (I'm sure FaceBook has an archve, somewhere of that.)

    I love the sentiments, *all, authentically. But, like many things in life, not all things warned about, can be explained to make it understood or valid(?). - "Stop playing with matches, you'll get burned", but do all listen? Some do, some do not. And, that is a human element, -- allowing ROOM for *ALL to be whom they are, all; and then fix what may go wrong if can, - with love, authentically. It's a rare thing outside of the loving arms of *Parents, among total *strangers. It ain't perfect, but, oh well, it's pretty good if keep coming back, to authentically engage it.

    - It's actually to bad "people" don't let go of the prior stuff instead of carrying that year to year over life. "This" paradigm Cancells some of that seed. - "history=education=advancing"?

    Hey, one day FAWM may change, - it can happen. "FAWM" would then have been wiped clean, anyway.

    - From someone who's burn a few piles of art work πŸ˜€ and nearly burned down my barn (1x). I love that story, sorry if not shared, but, I can still remember the heat, and fear and "holley krappe" moment, then the relief when *just the art work burned πŸ˜‰ hahhh, I made more.
    - NC Appalachies use Air-dried Yello Pine, which becomes Fat-wood, - not gonna put that fire out. Otherwise the woods pretty gud πŸ˜‰

    Happy FAWM

  • @zecoop  Mar 3

  • @burrsettles  Mar 3

    This is all useful discussion to hear.

    All valid points.

    Some aspects of FAWM are deliberate design decisions, some are pragmatic shortcuts, some are accidents. The annual FAWM site wipe is a mix all three; in what proportions I'm not sure. πŸ˜‰

    I see value in both a historical archive and a fresh-start summer-camp vibe of the annual flush. Someday FAWM will be redesigned and I promise you we'll work hard to strike the right balance between these competing extremes...

  • @spinhead Mar 3

    I save my stuff and anything I really want. I don't have time, space, or desire to accumulate 12,000+ new songs every year.

    I'm a big fan of whatever Burr decides πŸ˜€

  • @scottl Mar 3

    When is the site wiped?

  • @vomvorton  Mar 3

    @scottl not until next January.

  • @nerdjealous  Mar 3

    I'm for in that I'd like to see a text archive that's saved every year, with the option of removal at any time, and I can simply compy and paste to a word document on my laptop for ease of access. I don't mind the site host knowing my data.

    I'm against having the record being seen on a public forum until the site disappears for some reason (I don't wish for this to happen myself!). I've embarrassed myself about two times already and would rather forget those times hehe 😝

    Overall my concern would be privacy and more upkeep to remove off the web on a personal level.

    However I'd happy settle for a simple way to archive, like a text download of some kind which doesn't impact the overall fuctionality. it may be a suggestion to pay for it and be accessible alongside the hosting service.

    It may be something people may wish to have to back it up. I'd like to mention that I have saved my last 50/90 archive by pasting it into a text document and it's on my HDD drive, so i can go back to it. Maybe this would be a solution, of course if you've haven't done this already, if you have then cool! πŸ˜€

    But I'm not tech savvy, nor do I know code. I just know to not embarass myself so often hehe 😝 (and I'm lucky enough to have a memory that works enough so I sometimes forget my embarrassments hehe) 😝

  • @yam655  Mar 3

    @burrsettles Right now the personal archives have room for improvement.

    I think if discussions with other FAWMers were handled differently... maybe if we could mark forum threads as "Add to my archive" even... it would be better.

    Personal, meaningful archiving instead of just the sound board and song comments -- which are frequently just one side of any FAWM conversation. (As the other side is stuck on someone else's sound board and not a part of your archive -- when they're not tied to a totally lost forum thread.)

    I'd go so far as saying that archiving could know about the "okay to download" flag on other's songs. The URLs are all known. A file containing just the URLs and core metadata could easily be generated as an m3u8 file and/or a Podcast feed and then folks could easily remember to download the stuff they loved. (Something archiving the site won't help with when all the song links go bad.)

    It needn't be more complicated to users than the ability to "star" favorite songs. It needs to be smaller than just the full watchlist, though, as those things get _huge_.

    The biggest problem with large archives of data is being able to find personal meaning in a morass of noise. (That and the ability of those who would do us harm being able to -- much more easily -- find things to use against us when it is all recorded and laid bare.)

    If the problem is we want to connect to the personal meaning of an old conversation or thread -- let's actually try to solve that problem. We don't need eternal site archives.

    We can keep the ephemeral nature of the site while also improving the personal yearly archives.

  • @adforperu  Mar 3

    Remember you can pop onto https://archive.org/web/ and find your old FAWM stuff, I do it from time to time!

  • @metalfoot  Mar 3

    @adforperu Everyone poos will live forever!

    I can understand all the pros and cons of the various forms of archiving here; for me, I find the most personally useful part of the archive is the complete song set of what I did, and I do download that every year for my personal archives, so I'm content with how it is; having said that I can understand why some would like less things archivable and some more!

  • @laotranati Mar 3

    @timfatchen Good to know, I was thinking "there has to be a more sophisticated way to do this" πŸ˜€ and it was.

    @adforperu I tried to use archive.org last night but it asked for my login info so I though it was a dead end

  • @wrenarcher  Mar 3

    This part that Vomvorton said, "... it's so lovely to have a blank slate and not feel the weight of history every year. And I feel like it's more welcoming to newcomers too."

    This being my first FAWM, something I noticed was there was seemed to be a lot of folks who knew each other and a lot of "welcome backs", "look forward to hearing what you do this year" kind of conversations as we drew closer to Feb 1.

    But there wasn't so much that I felt left out. I never felt like there are cliques that I had to elbow my way into. Something I keep coming back to is how unbelievably welcoming, accepting and encouraging the community here is. I was quickly brought into the fold.

    Love that aspect, since I'm one who is somewhat shy.

  • @johnstaples  Mar 3

    @adforperu https://archive.org/web/ hasn't worked for FAWM since 2016 as best I can tell. Before 2017, it works but even then is spotty in its coverage. From 2017 to present I can't see anyone's songs pages or forum posts. You can get the song list and the forum list but when you try to go to the song or forum page it is not there. I suspect something changed on the FAWM website in 2017 that kept the wayback machine from storing pages.

  • @nerdjealous  Mar 3

    @johnstaples I had a toot at the link and wow! How awesome it was! I love that old style of site dsgin, takes me back the Microsoft Front-page days hehe 😁 it was such a simple site and worked so well back then! As time has rolled on things have changed. It's cool that the archive was the dates of the weeks as well as the homepage (I think?) being the stats page for what was achieved.

    Just thought I'd say that since I got a nice nostalgia hit there, cheers 😁

  • @lyricslinger  Mar 4

    +1 from me for this suggestion.

  • @ustaknow Mar 4

    *zecoop - hahh, I love that πŸ˜€

    There could be an "opt out" of archive option.
    (Or, better yet, - "Opt-in" so no sad snaffu's like FaceBook-isms πŸ˜€ )

    Webcrawlers gonna get what they get, it is what it is.

    There is a theme, element of practicality some here I "see" in their wise words, and some born after 1995 πŸ˜€ may not yet get. Lot of tech folks here who may be able to expand that, - when your "here" and you use you real information, and so many do, well, uhmmm, I refer back to zecoops post there.

    I will say, and leave that there, - if one goes back to certain "threads" of the past, some did seem to appreciate if not extricate when reminded, wow, real name, business, phone number, google map satellit pics of the house and car and new pool in the back πŸ˜€

    - Just say'n, just say'n, and with love for all, even if you hate it πŸ˜‰ ... nonetheless. No agenda, just reality of what things according to the "science", really are πŸ˜€

    Consider well, that if the Office of Personnel in DC can get hacked, and all my LEO records spewn through china, russia, pakistan, oklahoma πŸ˜‰ hahhh... well, - it's a "write new songs" project and been around for a good while with folks that likely been "here" since pre-browser war days... (I'm siding with the "Belters", - just saying, not an earther, nor martian...)

  • @midwayfair  Mar 4

    I'll hop in the ephemeral camp.

    It encourages me not to put off listening and commenting and interacting with people.

    I think there is also something comforting in knowing that each year, there is no baggage. I might know that I've written songs in the past that I'm not sure I can do better than, but they aren't staring me in the face every year when I log in. I'm also not confronted by my past failures. And I'm sure it's better for newcomers as has already been said. In a way, it's symbolic of the writing process, that we always start anew with a blank page.

    I could see it being an *opt-in* choice for people who donate at the audio hosting tier for the site, though I doubt that the costs of hosting that audio year-round and forever is remotely covered by that little bump in the donation, so people might get the wrong impression from the opt-in choice.

  • @mariekevinkmusic  Mar 5

    @johnstaples Way back does work with FAWMers links

  • @mariekevinkmusic  Mar 5

    @johnstaples ignore that πŸ˜€

  • @johnstaples  Mar 5

    @mariekevinkmusic nope! You can get your main page but your song pages are not there. I checked your first 5. All gone. Here is the link to your first FAWM 2020 song,


    Not there!

  • @mariekevinkmusic  Mar 5

    Yeah sorry. I spoke before I re read your message πŸ˜€

  • @kovbleu  Mar 5

    @johnstaples you could always screen capture any page/ forum discussion/ song comment thread, etc. that you'd like to keep and make your own visual archive for yourself. GoFullPage in chrome is one that takes a capture of the entire page you're on. Just an option.

  • @kovbleu  Mar 5

    For example (copy and paste that in a window you'll see a capture of this entire forum post)


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