Posted by Danny Mehra on 11-07-2003 08:53 PM:

Anniversary congratulations to you all!

Steve, Filiberto, John, Jerry (sorry I don't know who the other founders are) -

Congratulations to you all for floating and keeping this channel up and running for the past 5 years! I personally have learned a lot from it.

What might be some other creative ways you all are thinking about -- to expand scope and coverage -- over, say, the next 5 years?

I was intrigued to read Jerry's comment on the size of rugdom to be somewhere between 5-10,000. I had no idea it was quite that small.

Best wishes

Posted by Steve Price on 11-08-2003 05:22 AM:

Hi Danny

Thanks for the kind words.

You asked where we are likely to go next. We don't plan such things very far in advance, but tend to go where the opportunities lead us. Looking back at the past five years, the moves we've made have been driven by technology advances, especially in costs. Here are some examples ofwhat I mean:
1. Five years ago we were paying $20 a month for 25 MB of server space. That severely limited our ability to archive images. Web space has gotten progressively less expensive. Now we pay a bit less than we did 5 years ago, and we have 500 MB of space. Storing stuff is no problem at all - we currently occupy only about 250 MB.
2. Message board software is dramatically better now than it was five years ago, and managing four forums now takes much less time than managing only one forum (the Salons) did five years ago.

3. Web editing software is much better now. It makes my job and Filiberto's much easier. Considering what we're paid, this is important.

4. Scanners have become very inexpensive, and lots of people have digital cameras and image editing software. If you compare the overall quality of images that were posted here five years ago with what has appeared within the past couple of years, you'll see a big difference.

You asked for the names of the management group. In no particular order, the Gang of Nine is: Filiberto Boncompagni, John Howe, Jerry Silverman, Irwin Kirsch, Marvin Amstey, Saul Barodofsky, Daniel Deschuyteneer, Larry Joseph and me.


Steve Price

Posted by Danny Mehra on 11-08-2003 01:45 PM:

Thanks, Steve. I'm happy that technology is helping you all keep this up so effectively. I hope more advances in the future will help make Turkotek even more robust.

As a novice, what I have enjoyed is the opportunity to learn. Hopefully there is more that could be done to energize your novice readership to both contribute questions and ideas and learn from those with more knowledge and experience in this esoteric field. Maybe an online library of some sort, pictures, text, etc. could also be effective...though it may take up valuable storage space.

All the best to you all. Thanks

Posted by R. John Howe on 11-08-2003 03:26 PM:

Hi Danny -

Steve and I gave a presentation at The Textile Museum a couple of weeks ago on "Rug Sources on the Internet."

One of the members of the audience volunteered that he felt that the order of knowledge reflected in the posts on Turkotek is advanced enough that he (as a new person in rugs) would be reluctant to post. This suggests that our problem with attracting additional posters is not entirely a matter of attracting more experienced folks.

I said in that session that I felt that his reluctance was a sign that we had failed in some sense to create on Turkotek an environment that would be experienced as hospitable to those newer to rugs and textiles. I argued that we try to be gentle and not condescending to folks who are visibly new, BUT his indication is, on its face, evidence that we are not always succeeding.

Some are intimidated and I don't think we want that.

I would be interested in other views of how we currently respond to less experienced posters and how such responses might be improved.


R. John Howe

Posted by Danny Mehra on 11-08-2003 05:39 PM:

Hi John,

I personally have no issue with that. Posting style is just that - a matter of personal style - and I think you all do an effective job moderating, where necessary.

My point about attracting novices is to potentially have additional material - I don't quite know what that may be - through which less experienced folks could learn more.

No changes needed...just more good thoughts for the future.

One idea, if it makes sense, is to serve as an exchange for novice-expert meetings if travel or other reasons for geographic contiguity make that possible. Face to face friendly chats (over tea or coffee), supplemented with live examples of textiles, could be quite rewarding. Just an idea.


Posted by Jerry Silverman on 11-09-2003 03:01 AM:

If that's how you feel, Danny, then I suggest you consider attending the next meeting of the Chicago Rug Society. It's right around the corner: November 21, 2003.

Our president, Suzanne Kaufman, will be talking about her trip to Afghanistan in 1976 (before the Russians, Taliban, and US military blew up anything worth blowing up). She has slides, textiles, and jewelry and encourages the rest of us to bring related tribal rugs, textiles, headdresses, etc. for the show and tell.

The location is a restaurant: Cousins, 2822 N. Broadway, Chicago. (773) 880-0063.

Cocktails: 5:30 - 6:30. Dinner: 6:30. Followed by the lecture and show and tell.

Contact Suzanne to make your reservation: Suzanne Kaufman (815) 963-6543.

Naturally, this invitation is open to all those who want to attend.



Posted by Danny Mehra on 11-09-2003 04:40 PM:

Jerry, thanks a lot for the invitation. I have virtually relocated to San Francisco and am not able to get back to Chicago much. If my travel plans work out, I would love to meet you all on the 21st. If not, I'll try and join one of your next meetings in the near future.

Thanks, again

Posted by Steve Price on 11-09-2003 05:12 PM:

Hi Danny

There's also a very active rug collector group in San Francisco, the San Francisco Bay Area Rug Society. You can find their contact information at the ACOR site, which is on our Links page.


Steve Price

Posted by Danny Mehra on 11-09-2003 05:20 PM:

Thanks, Steve. I should do that too.

Best wishes

Posted by Chris Countryman on 11-09-2003 05:49 PM:

Newcomers and Turkotec

Hi everyone,
Longtime reader first time writer. I appreciate the question about how relative newcomers to the rug world experience Turkotec. In short, I learn a lot by reading the various salons and discussions.

I run into the same problem with the rug sites that I do in the rug world. It is a knowledge gap that is very hard to bridge. At times in the websites and at our local rug society (a wonderful group that I am very happy to be a part of) I have this creeping sense that others know a lot more than I do. This includes a deeper knowledge of colors, design, etc, as well as a much better insight into rug identification.

While I have read many of the rug books and have a wonderful dealer-friend who has taught me a lot, it seems like my learning has leveled off. This may reflect my neurological shortcomings or my lack of financial resources to purchase rugs and study them.

I find Turkotec a healthy challenge. I learn even when I don't understand it all. Please keep it up and help us newby's stretch.

Chris Countryman

Chris Countryman

Posted by R. John Howe on 11-09-2003 08:39 PM:

Hi Chris -

Glad to see your voice.

About apparent differences in knowledge and experience. There can be such, but often they are not what one might think. I had a grad school prof, 30 years ago, who suggested that, in his experience, the line between the top students and the rest were not like this:



But more like this:



About reading rug books and finding one may not have absorbed much: I dispair myself of ever becoming knowledgeable about many of the distinctions between high quality Persian "decorative" rugs (some of which are collected avidly). I read Cecil Edwards, periodically, but not much seems to stick. I think I need about 30 years experience handling them in the bazaar.

So do not fear to speak up to make your comments and/or to ask your questions.

As I recall, you swing a pretty fluent exhibition mounting hammer. That's an experience many have never had.


R. John Howe