There has been a change made to a chat room service that a few people have complained about, so we would like to respond to some of the comments that have been made.
First of all, you need to understand that the chat room, as a whole, is made available to you freely, however, the PJN pays a monthly fee to keep this operational. The network operated without the chat room for quite a few years and can operate without it entirely. The percentage of people who use it on a continuous basis is just a fraction of the total listeners that we have per show. If you are able to appreciate the fact that we can shut down the chat room entirely and still have the network running as normal, then we hope that you can also appreciate the following issues.
Over the past few months, we have received complaints from several IJ’s who have live shows that the chat room, and particularly the sidebar (private chat), has become a distraction for them as they try to do their shows. Why? Because people don’t have the common sense to use it just for a request. No, they feel that since it is a public forum, they have a right to complain about songs being played, to complain about others in the chat room not saying “hi” to them personally, that they are being bothered by so-and-so, and on and on. And we’re not speaking about what is being said in the main chat room, we’re speaking in particular about the sidebars popping up in the middle of an IJ’s screen as they’re trying to monitor sound levels on songs, trying to read the chat room, trying to keep track of e-mails, picking out music and trying to find the songs that people are requesting.
Our IJ’s pay the PJN a monthly fee to do their show. They have the right to play whatever type of music that they want. If you don’t like a song, then we would ask that you just politely listen and not make a big deal about it. If the songs bother you to the point that you find you aren’t enjoying the show, log off! And an IJ is not required to be in the chat room. If they are there and are having a busy night, and are unable to keep up with the dialogue going on in it, then people complain that they were rude, were ignoring them, etc. There is only so much that people are going to take before they just shut the whole thing off. You are not paying them to do the show and the kicker is that many of our chatters have never even made a donation to the PJN, nor have purchased anything that we make available to you for a donation that enables us to stay operational. Many of you like all of the perks without truly being part of the PJN community by also helping us out when you are able.
As for blocking specific people from using the chat room, unless someone is totally out of control, that’s not an option, as it is not up to us to judge who is being annoying, hurtful, etc. One person’s annoyance is another person’s dry sense of humor.
Our job is to make sure that the IJ’s can broadcast their shows in a manner that is most beneficial to them because that enables them to provide the best variety of music as is possible to you. And that’s what we’re here for….to bring polka music to the world. We are not Facebook, MySpace or any other social networking site. The chat room was made available to listeners as a forum to socialize, but unfortunately, it has become a distraction to some of our IJ’s and somewhat hurtful to several chat room participants as well. The PJN has established a board of directors, a group of people well acquainted with the polka industry, whom we are hopeful can broaden the impact that the PJN has on fans of the music. Our first meeting will be held on January 7, and this matter will be on the agenda. Until that time, the sidebar will remain closed. I hope that this explanation has been adequate enough for you to understand the reasoning behind this decision.
Thanks for listening. Here’s hoping that you each have a blessed and happy holiday season!