Corny and cliche as it may sound – and it actually is! – the best thing you can do is just be yourself. People can just exist and have their opinions, therefore you can too.
A lot of forums/groups I’ve been to were like petty little churches, everybody preaching to the converted, too damn like-minded and too damn full of themselves. Whenever someone posted a song or something, there were 3 spineless “good job!” comments and a few people here and there asking about how did they set it up, but not one honest appreciation of anyone’s job. True, you don’t have to like stuff that you don’t like nor pretend to, but to give people some props doesn’t hurt.
I think the real strength of this community lies in the fact that MOD devices can be used by a wildly broad range of musicians and therefore this breadth is represented here: guitarists, noise makers, DJs, double bass players, singers, synth folks, sweet and mellow nylon-stringed acoustic guitar bossa nova players, crazy 8-string fan-fretted death metal guitar players, people who bought their MODs yesterday and are already jamming internationally with it today, doofs (like myself) who still have no clue what to do with it, big time live performers, studio-only folks, hardcore programmers creating their own plugins, old-timers trying to recreate the 1965 Fender Bassman sound, and the list goes. If I’m not mistaken, most people at MOD are musicians (I know for a fact that Gianfranco and Jon are guitar players), so they think a bit like us.
Therefore, there is less of that little town, everybody knows everybody and knows about everybody’s life type of thing that you might have faced in your other groups, whereby people either criticise harshly or flatly fall envious of other people’s work. I was part of the digital guitar groups since the mid 90s, when it was hosted at a US university, then eGroups, then Yahoo Groups and then it died altogether. Back then, some of the most brilliant people in that area were regulars – Andras Szalay (inventor of the Shadow, Axon, Fishman Aura and Fishman Triple Play), Richard McClish (RMC pickups), Rolf Spuler and Matthias Grob (Paradis Guitars), just to name a few. They ALL left within a few years, because it was too much blah blah blah and very little expertise.
So, the best we can do here is to help each other, respect each other, share our findings, point others to the right resources, and so on. It may not look or feel like it, but in the end the success of someone is also your success – a bit of a Buddhist discipline. If A can help B do something, then maybe B will inspire C to achieve something else, C will assist D in sorting out some problem and D will help A to build a certain pedalboard A needs. So it comes around.
You do not have to thank me. You earned it. It was another member who called that song the “Dwarf Anthem,” so you see that people genuinely appreciate your work.
Then, there might be some who don’t. Fine. No need to pretend they do, and much less manifest their dislike.
If I ever have the discipline to record something, I bet my life you’ll be snoring before the 16th bar…