Both Montreal and Ottawa have seen lower attendance this fall and we
got word that it's similar in Brooklyn. Are any other local dances seeing
this too? Any idea what might be causing this? Since it happens to both
Canadian and American cities I doubt it's the political climate.
Are the lists of various folk dance groups, including contra and
ECD, on the NEFFA LinkFest "http://www.neffa.org/Top/" still being used?
There appear to be quite a few dead links and I'm wondering if anyone
is still updating these pages.
Caller of Contra, Square, English and Early American Dances
jsivier AT illinois DOT edu
Dance Page: http://www.sivier.me/dance_leader.html
Q: How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
A: It depends on what dance you call!
On Apr 26, 2017, at 1:33 PM, Jack Mitchell <jmitchell.nc(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> There is an extension for Chrome that will go through and check links for a particular page.
> I ran it on the NEFFA Link Fest and this is what I got (or at least is the first screen):
> Purple is sites that couldn't be reached, and red is not found messages of various types.
Thanks for this information, Jack.
The screenshot in Jack's message shows part of the page
In the screenshot, we see 6 purple links, 14 red links, and 31
green (good?) links. Of the 31 green links, the three nearest
the top are internal to the LinkFest, leaving 28 external links
not detected as bad by the link checker. However, closer
examination reveals that about half of those 28 links are in
fact stale. Below is a rundown on the definitely stale ones
plus a couple questionable ones. Let me emphasize that my
point is *not* to whine to NEFFA/Dan about the LinkFest not
being maintained, nor to to whine about the (former?) owners
of the target pages of the bad links. My point is to
illustrate some of the varied ways that links can go stale,
and to ask whether there are automatic tools that can do a
better job of detecting them.
Belgium - World Festival of Folklore
Redirects to a page in the domain www.realtor.com
Canada - index
Site is apparently under construction: "Welcome to
FestivalFinder.com a Diverse, Festival Listing Site
– Coming Soon!" (but what does "Soon" really mean?)
Versions captured in the Internet Archive from May
1997 through June 2015 seem to have been working.
Canada/Alberta - Calgary - Hispanic Performing Arts ...
Redirects to https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com (as do
other geocities sites)
England - Chippenham Folk Festival</A> - In Chippenham
Redirects to an AOL login page. If I got an AOL
account and logged in, it might indeed take me to
a page having something to do with the Chippenham
Folk Festival. I'm not about to try.
KY - Gray Hawk - Stringbean Memorial Bluegrass Festival - ...
Redirects to https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com
Netherlands - index
Last updated 31 May 2011. However, it doesn't seem
to claim to have any regularly updated calendar
information. It just has a bunch of links (some
good, some stale) to other sites.
PA - Elmhurst - Endless Mountains Blues Fest - ...
Now a page full of text in some Asian language.
TN - Sevierville - Bluegrass in the Smokies - ...
The banner at the top says "Bluegrassinthesmokies.com"
but the contents are stuff about bodybuilding and ads
for tree services. (I am not making this up.)
UK - Ipswich - International Country Music Festival - ...
Goes to a page soliciting offers to buy the domain name.
United Kingdom - Stirrings' Folk Festival Newsletter
Goes to http://www.stirrings.co.uk which appears to
advertise live music for weddings and other event. The
current content deems very different from in Internet
Archive snapshots from 10 years ago or so, which show
the online version of a folk, roots and acoustic music
USA - CA - Napa Valley Music Festival - Three days in September
"... The owner of napafest.com is offering it for sale ..."
USA - CA - Old-Time Fiddlers' Convention - also has singing, ...
"This Account has been suspended."
USA - CT - NOMAD (NOrtheast Music And Dance) Festival - ...
"No NOMAD Festival in 2008" -- and if there has been
one since then, the organizers seem to have have been
darn quiet about it on the web.
USA - index - Festival Finder
Supposedly under construction (see "Canada - index" above).
USA - MA - Boston Folk Festival</A> - Mid-September
The site, which seems to be administered by radio
station, WUMB doesn't appear (at the time I write
this) to show any info about a mid-September folk
festival, though it does show info abut registration
being open for summer acoustic music weeks in July
USA - MA - Greater New Bedford Summerfest - ...
"BUY THIS DOMAIN The owner of barrel-of-music.com
is offering it for sale ..."
Oddly, one link marked as red by the checker seems to be good:
movable - Folk Alliance Conference - Yearly conference for ...
There is an extension for Chrome that will go through and check links for a
I ran it on the NEFFA Link Fest and this is what I got (or at least is the
Purple is sites that couldn't be reached, and red is not found messages of
On Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 3:55 PM James Saxe via Organizers <
> I have a question for any of you who are involved with website
> administration (e.g., for your local dance organization):
> Do anyone know of good tools that will automatically go
> through a site searching for stale links?
> I've been prompted to make this query in part by the recent
> messages about the NEFFA LinkFest, which is apparently no longer
> maintained because it got to be too much work relative to the
> perceived benefit (particularly relative to perceived benefit
> for the volunteer maintainer(s)). However, I've noticed that
> many local dance groups' websites include lists of external
> links, and that while these lists are typically much smaller than
> the LinkFest (containing perhaps a dozen to a hundred links vs.
> almost 3000 in the LinkFest), they also often are not assiduously
> maintained and so often include at least a few links that no
> longer point to the expected content.
> I recognize that the automatic detection of stale links may not
> be a trivial problem, since there can be a variety of different
> symptoms. I'e just gone looking through lists of links on
> several different sites. Among the things I've found are:
> * Links that fail with Error 404 (Not Found)
> * Links that fail with Error 403 (Forbidden: You don't have
> permission to access ...)
> * Links that fail because the browser cant find the server.
> * Links that get to the site that apparently used to contain
> the desired page but now show a message like "We're sorry,
> but we were unable to locate the page you requested."
> (Perhaps attempts to follow these links actually produce a
> 404 code even if the text displayed to the user doesn't
> include the string "404".)
> * Links that go to sites offering to sell you the (expired)
> domain name that included the target page.
> * Links to pages that appear to have been taken over by new
> owners and no longer display the original content. Among
> other things, I've found pages full of text in Chinese
> or Cyrillic characters; pages that used to have dance
> information and seem to have been taken over by real estate
> agents or financial service organizations; and pages that
> say "WARNING!! THIS SITE CONTAINS ADULT MATERIALS ..."
> (I did not click on the "Continue" button after the warning
> to see whether it got me to traditional-dance-related
> * Links to pages that admit to being no longer maintained.
> * Links to pages that in turn offer a (possibly good) link
> to a new page with the desired content.
> * Links that go to what seem to be the original target
> pages, but that also seem not to have been updated in
> several years. (For example a site might refer to
> "upcoming" event that are now several years in the past.
> One might then wonder whether there's a new, actively
> maintained, site somewhere with similar, but current,
> If someone creates a link the points to a recent blog entry,
> someone who follows the link several years later might get to
> now-most-recent page of the blog and only be able to reach
> the originally referenced content by clicking something like
> "older posts" a large--and unknown--number of times. Similarly,
> links to online newspaper or magazine content might now point
> to pages that are evidently full of newer content. The old
> content might or might not be available somewhere, but there
> may be no visible advice about how to find it.
> When people migrate their websites, it seems to be common that,
> if links into the old site get redirected at all, they end up
> redirecting to some place like the home page of of the new site
> instead of to the exact page (if one exists) corresponding to the
> old target of the link.
> Despite these comments about how links can go stale in various
> ways that aren't immediately obvious, it seems to me that stale
> link detection would be a useful feature for a wide variety of
> website administrators--and not just for dance organizers. So
> perhaps someone somewhere has put some effort into doing a good
> job of it. I'd be interested if anyone knows of examples.
> Organizers mailing list
Hi Orin, Al, and others,
Al - your Sierra Club Singles newsletter sounds great! I'll ask around in
our community if there's anything similar here. (We've got outdoor clubs
but I'm not sure if for singles).
And Orin - we've tried the Celtic Studies program and the grad
associations. I love the idea of the dance department ... unfortunately we
don't have one in the city. We've tried to infiltrate the swing clubs but
that hasn't panned out yet. But I'll dig to see what other dance clubs are
around the post-secondary institutions.
Thanks for the leads!
Hi Dana (Monteplier) and fellow organizers!
I'm digging back into my inbox for interesting things I had read but
couldn't get to.
Anyway, I think your dance series sounds really innovative and quite neat.
I love the idea of the little skits. We did just one back in the fall on
how to hold your partner... just before the break in the dance. This
because lots of our regulars pull on shoulders etc.... even though many go
to the beginner lesson to help out, we wanted to get the message clearly
but in a fun way out to everyone.
I'm curious - do you have a running list of what you've done for skits? How
you've covered those subjects?
It would be neat to do a group sharing of ideas if others are also
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2017 17:09:02 -0500
> From: Dana Dwinell-Yardley via Organizers
> To: organizers(a)lists.sharedweight.net
> Subject: Re: [Organizers] Organizers meeting at Flurry.
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> Hi friends,
> I missed this session at Flurry, but my co-organizer, Alice Smolinsky, was
> telling me about it! We run the Montpelier Contra Exchange dance (
> www.contraexchange.org) together, along with four other folks.
> We are the series that does half contra, half featured dance. We do contra
> for the first half, and it's a long half: 8?9:45. Then we have a short
> workshop on the featured dance from 9:45 to 10. Then we take a break, and
> come back for 45 minutes of the featured dance (swing, Cajun, waltz, etc)
> from 10:15 to 11.
> We also do the organizer-led skits on various aspects of being a better
> dancer: asking your partner if they prefer twirls, listening to the caller
> and not chatting, being a "dance ambassador" and looking out for the
> benefit of the whole hall, etc. We believe that it's powerful when teaching
> moments come from the "laypeople" ? dancers/organizers ? not just the
> Let us know if you have more questions about our unusual but super friendly
> little dance!
About two months ago, I had mentioned that by-donation models, in my
personal opinion, would be great for folk dancing groups and mentioned one
dance I was organizing in March would be by-donation. A few asked to know
how it turned out.
Well, it happened on the weekend, to great success. The number of attendees
was extremely low, for a variety of reasons unrelated to the price of the
dance. After all, I hardly think a lower price was going to turn people
away! However, many of my musician friends showed up, put on a great set, I
introduced a young fiddler to the stage who performed well, and everyone
had a blast.
Regarding the cost, I believe everyone averaged a donation of 15 dollars -
more money than I had charged for any other contra dance I organized in
Winnipeg previously. My math could be off. However, a conservative estimate
of an average 10 dollar donation is still quite encouraging and promising,
in my opinion. Apologies for inaccurate calculations, but since it was
by-donation, I didn't mark anything down when people dropped money in the
Hope to see more of this in the future! Thank you for your interest.