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This whole monstruousity was originally conveived February through March 2001 by the members of The Big Note - a Frank Zappa YahooGroup. After an arduous gestation period, this site was birthed on April 11 2001. True to the essence of collaborative effort, these people are held responsible.

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© TheBigNote 2001-2004
unless specified otherwise.
Speed will turn you into your parents.


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For Unto Us A Webring Is Born

(ahem) Thank you...
Is this thing on???
Friends. TBNers. Ships at sea - arriving to late to save a drowning witch... All ye who bare these presents, greetings.
There are a couple of things happening in the group right now, which require the attention of the entire membership. The first is a legacy, and the second is an opportunity. The Big Note is growing and some pains are being felt. We want to establish a groundswell of support for these ventures, lest we bring shame to our good name...
First, our legacy. Steps are being taken at this very moment to create a website under our auspices. Most of the major components are in place, construction on the site has begun, and the site should launch soon. I don't want to give too much away before the launch, but we will have a very artistic and entertaining website. The emphasis will be on Frank, of course, but the site will feature artistic endeavors in music, computer graphics, literature, & visual media. This site will exist for the members of TBN (a very talented lot, IMHO) to share their creative expression with the world. I will keep you posted on the site's progress.
Second, the opportunity. I do not know how many of you have ever heard of the "Zappa Web Ring". This site (I believe it is supported by Yahoo) provides links to ALL of the Zappa themed sites on the web - or, at least those that link to the web ring, which is all the good ones. Anyway, the web ring has recently lost its Webmaster. After searching the entire FZ community, our very own Yellowmud Shark was chosen as the most appropriate successor. Yellowmud has conferred with me, and has requested help from TBN in order to accept the position.
Hence, this appeal...
People create websites (much like we are doing), and want other people to see them (much like we do). To facilitate this, people submit their web addresses to web rings - so that other people can find them more easily. {Bring the band down behind me, boys} Now, If our group - TBN - is charged with judging and accepting/denying applicants to the oldest and most popular FZ web ring on the net, well I think that adds just a little extra prestige to our membership. It will also, most likely, increase traffic to our page - which is a good thing (or so I've been told).
The job of visiting and critiquing the many Zappa pages out there can be daunting - for a lone Webmaster. But if this task is divided amongst 25 people, it shouldn't be any kind of burden. Besides, we admittedly enjoy the subject of the web ring - or we wouldn't be here now. So I am asking the good members of TBN if we are up to this task. Can we show yellowmud our support? Do we wish to become - as a group - players in the FZ fan world? Personally, I'm ready to go. But that's just me, of course.
What think ye, brethren and cisterns?

Count me in. Oh, and as VE too.
El Wazoo Grande

Count me in for all.

You can count on me too!!

I'm willing to help with the webring reviews but I'm not exactly sure what I'm to do.
I'm not 100% sure on that either, Mr. Pugh, but here's how I understand it.
First, the site has been a bit neglected lately due to this "shift change"; so all the links there have to be checked to make sure they're still valid. It is not our place to "judge" these links; we merely verify that they still work.
Secondly, the webring receives "new" links for posting (soon they will receive TBN's). These new links need to be checked out to:
a) verify they work,
b) contain Zappa content &
c) do not contain anything contrary to the webring's terms of service - i.e. illicit porn, spamming opportunities, or questionable commerce (example: it's okay to have a site based on concert tape trading, but not one based on concert tape selling bootlegging).
Other than that, we are to collectively sit around and look cool, yet sensitive.

This is a tough question for me. Do we wish to become players in the FZ fan world?
Yes and no. For one thing, I think we already *are* players, albeit small ones. One thing I know is NOT my goal is for TBN to become another AFFZ (
Firstly, they're already doing a fine job of it. Secondly, I don't believe that bigger is always better. (Gasp! What an UNAMERICAN thing to say!!!) That's one reason I have never made any great effort to recruit "numbers" for the group. And, of course, it dovetails nicely with my natural laziness.
I must say that I really like the current TBN website project. I think it will be a great expansion of the ways in which we can enjoy our group. On the other hand, I would probably be dismayed if it produced a flood of new members, swelling our ranks into the hundreds. That's what AFFZ is for. They fill a need, but I feel that TBN fills a different need. A group that is more intimate and, in my own opinion, friendlier. To put it another way, AFFZ is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. To paraphrase the subtitle of a book on economics entitled "Smaller Is Better," I want "a fan group as though people mattered."
However, though I did start this group, the group is not just me. I would like to hear the thoughts of any and all that have an opinion on these matters. Particularly I would like to hear ideas on how we can expand our scope in the future and still remain a relatively close-knit group as we are today. To borrow from yet another source, "Backwards into the future!"

Esteemed small furry canine, et al.
I believe it can all be summed up thusly: WE's gonna have us a website.
That doesn't mean that there has to be ANY mention of this group on that website. Let people visit the site, see stuff about FZ, and wander on their merry little way... and keep The Big Note separate from

Hmmm, actually I hadn't thought of that. Since many of our sub-pages are labeled "Member" this or that, I figured that the group name would make an appearance - along with a brief explanation of who we are...

I still do not share the great one's worries about becoming too big...
Not mention our name at all??? Hmmm.
We always have the power to deny entry - that's the Lumpy Gravy way! I am not overly concerned about becoming too big. I think that we can do this without losing the intimacy we've developed.
The only way we'll know is to "check it out a coupla times".

I wouldn't want theBIGnote to turn into another affz, but I don't think these latest developments need to lead to such a situation. The FZ-webring is primarily hosted at yahoo, on our site there would only be a form where people who want to add their site to the ring can send in the info. This page would also contain the webring banner-code, which each member of the ring needs to put up on his/her site.
Thanks to all members who have volunteered to co-run the ring btw!
The webring would however give us more traffic. I don't think we can 'hide' what/who theBIGnote is. There will be member's pics, artwork, essays etc (without wanting to give away too much) so you'll know there's a group of some sort behind it when you visit the site.
As Sofa stated, there might be more applicants for TBN, but we have the LG's to take care of this - and perhaps there need not be an online form where LG's can be sent, so that Sofa doesn't get flooded with applications. Also, we can still keep certain things private on the site; stuff for member's eyes only (I leave it up to your undoubtedly vivid imagination which files would suit this type of restriction).

I think I would favor some sort of middle ground on this. The appearance of the group name and explanation of who we are should present no problem, but I think we should stop short of having invitations to join and instructions on how to do so. That way only the most interested will figure it out.
We could always get a little stricter with our Lumpy Gravy's as well. So far the main qualification has been "Hey, they actually answered us!" though I do recall one recent LG that was so bad we actually said no. I say we take it as it comes and decide how to handle thing as we go along. My main reason for bringing the subject up in the first place was simply to make everyone aware of the possibilities and get a consensus on how the group felt. For those I don't hear from, I'll conclude that their view is to let the rest of us decide.

I'm all for the website and I agree with you in principle, Poodly, that there shouldn't be any sign-up instructions or enticements. I liked the notion put forth by the Hovering Portly One regarding the webring duties, i.e., sitting around, looking cool.
But then, I look at the example of Yellowmud's well-maintained, well-organized FZ website and think, well, one of the things we need fear least is mobs of F-Zealots banging on our door at all hours of the night, demanding entrance into our cozy, 20 little-cigar club. So basically, I'm open to whatever comes my way...

That's a very correct statement, eff (and thanks for those kind words regarding Barry). About 55 ppl. visit the Barry-site on a daily basis. I have two messageboards running there, and get a post there about every two weeks...
I don't think we'll need to fear a mob of savages trying to break down the walls. We can host a form for the LG's on the site, but have it password-protected. It would be a first buffer, and we'd be able to sit around and look even more sensitive...

Frank Zappa

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