By Robert Bigio Larry Krantz, the Canadian flute player and teacher, was something of an internet pioneer in the flute world. He set up his Flute email list in 1996 and at the same time started his website, which has become one of hte first ports of call for anyone looking for informaion on the flute. There had been a flute list before Larry started his. This earlier list had been active and very interesting and had been Larry’s first experience with this form of communication. Unfortunately, that list got to the point where a number of people were becoming unhapy with the way it was being run. Larry had some ideas about how such a list could be run differently, so with Nelson Pardee, a computer specialist who had many years’ experience with Listserv sofware, he set up another. ‘By the end of the first day we had 385 members and since that day it has grown to over 2600.’ Larry also ran Sir James Galway’s email list for a long while. ‘I started working on Jimmy’s website in 2000. As part of his site he had a little chat room built-in, which grew considerably. After three or four years we switched to Yahoo Groups. At that point his list became really popular.’ Larry stopped administering Sir James’s website and list two years ago. ‘I did it for seven years. I thoroughly enjoyed it. He was a pleasure to work with and for. He treated me very well and we got along, but I thought seven years was enough.’ Larry’s Flute list is not moderated as such, but he and his fellow list managers (Nelson Pardee and John Rayworth, who is also the BFS membership secretary), do keep an eye on the list to look out for any possible trouble. The Flute list receives on average twenty messages per day. ‘Some people find the list incredibly attractive as a social outlet, so they post frequently. Some of these people tend to forget that we keep a close grip on maintaining flute- related content. We tend not to leap in too soon, but if a subject drifts away from the flute, we step in, usually with a private message, and attempt to get things back on the topic of flutes and flute playing. Some people, though, find everything in life flute-related!’ Occasionally a list member will become agitated about what he or she may consider an attack on free speech. Before the list was even launched, Larry and Nelson agreed this if it was going to work, it had to be focused. The difficulty is in guiding so many people to act in the correct way. ‘I believe in free speech, of course,’ says Larry, ‘but I also believe we got together and volunteered our time to set up a venue which we never advertised and never promote. We have  invited people to join us, like coming to our living room to spend a pleasant evening. We created a list of rules and guidelines which we send to everyone who subscribes. This makes it easier to deal with people who don’t want to play by the rules. If someone doesn’t play by the rules in your living room, then you ask them to leave, or you ask them to be quiet. We don’t have to do that frequently, but we will do it. We feel that if messages drift off to subjects that aren’t flute- related, then we do something about it,’ For an editor like me, Larry’s list is the perfect place to find out who has something to say and who knows how to say it. Our readers might be surprised to discover how many articles in the magazine have been commissioned after I have seen something published on Larry’s list. Larry Krantz’s website is a treasure-house of information and is certainly woth visiting: www.larrykrantz.com Larry Krantz: flute internet pioneer From: Flute (the Journal of the British Flute Society) 'formerly known as Pan’  -  March 2010 British Flute Society Return to Larry Krantz Flute Pages Larry Krantz at his desk, displaying his excellent taste in reading material.