People come in, don't introduce themselves, don't say hello, ask some question about a "gift bonsai (sic) that is yellow/dying/dead", most don't wait long for the answer and are gone for good.
I was wondering if one of the reasons is the forum being so easily available to anyone, perhaps these people don't give much importance to bonsai, to this forum, or to the regular members; they are only trying to solve their problems instantly.
While the regulars keep answering the same old questions every day, questions just only a Google away from the basic answers.
I think it's very boring be here just to answer those questions. AND a waste of time and talent from the members.
I don't mind helping who knows less than I do, but I am one of those who wants to have high level discussions about bonsai, to see good material and plans on how to develop them from other members, and not only search for old threads to find interesting or valuable information; the dynamics (old and now) are different. IF one search those threads, can also perceive that many, many active posters have left.
Why is that so? This is a sincere doubt, I've been here not long enough as to know why.
We live in a fast world, everyone wants everything right now or sooner. They have a quick question, they need solution as soon as possible, then they don't stay because they are not really interested in the first place.
If someone is really interested in bonsai, they will go to exhibitions, workshops, bonsai clubs , read books, look up some expert videos on youtube and they will really try themselves.
Just as myself I started with mallsais then they got spotty leaves and bugs and stuff like that so I came to this forum to get answers. I soon realized this art itself is not really how I imagined. I started to read and watch videos and went to workshops. Now I know the basics and I know which way I'd like to go with this art. But further than that? I don't think one can get more help. It is a forum on the internet. It is limited. You can have some answers and have a rough idea about basics but you need to experience them yourself, which is far more useful than anything else.
I can ask what soil to use and then I could get 5 different answers but I need to test them, I need to work with them first to really decide which is suitable for my tree, for the climate where I live and for me.
So yeah you can get some basic ideas here, but if you really want to achieve something in the world of bonsai you need to click 'close' in the top right corner and get your hand dirty.
Well, I must be wrong.
I really like to talk about the things I like, and just by reading old threads I have learned a lot.
But a Forum is not just for people trying to learn; small talk, serious talk, technical talk and humor, altogether make this a "no-place" where people with similar interests can socialize.
Maybe it's just me being foilish.
I think there are a number of causes.
- People get tired of the same questions every week, and just leave ecause there is too much "don't tell me this is not bonsai" bonsai going on, and they do not like getting into the discussion
- There are too few active participants on the forum. I am not sure of the numbers, but I think there are 1000+ people registered to the forum. Yet there are maybe 10 active posters. If every person READING the forum, would post once a week, this could become a lot more active & interesting
- There is a general tendency to take every post that is not positive about someone plant, as rude. This discourages people to respond. Both by the person who has an opinion on a tree (No-one likes to be called rude), as well as the people with their own trees (Nobody likes to be critisized).
I think this can be added as a resource to questions on the dozens of starters that we get to the site, and perhaps reduce the discussions on whether something isn't or really isn't a bonsai.
Personally, I see a forum also as a means to exchange ideas, fylosofies etc regarding the topic at hand. And I believe you can learn a lot from sharing ideas. But tis needs to happen in an environment where people feel secure to express their personal thoughts without running too much bashing risk. I think this is also a challenge here.
- There is a general tendency to take every post that is not positive about someone plant, as rude.
Well, this is true, but as the same few people effectively reply to the newbies posts, it's tiresome in the long run, and the answers sometimes sound rude because these few members are...fed up with the same questions over and over again.
OK, an opinion. Given a question, I can find any answer from Google. Should I repot today? Next month? Wait ten years? I can find anything, but I am asking because I don't know, and I don't think I am a great source of information so I am not going to reply very often. Some people are looking for one answer, get the answer, and then will come back same time next year with a new question. And, when they do they may have forgotten the userid and/or password, so now every year the count goes up.
There are some questions I might be able to add to, and I will, but only if I think I can add.
And, I can tell the difference between a short answer and an unpolite answer. Answer me however you want to. I refereed adult soccer and had three teenaged sons at the same time. You can't be worse.
Anyway, I understand what you say. There are so many opposite and sometimes misleading information on the internet, that the users want definite straight forward answers because they get lost in the ocean of available information.
But I still say, answering the question here will not help. Look up some old threads. Even some basic questions can lead to three or more different opinions. Which is not a bad thing. There aren't universal answers to everything. One needs to experience him/herself.
You can have some basic knowledge on this website , some more detailed ones on other sites. You will have some idea about bonsai, but from then on, you need to feel it, you need to apply the read knowledge to your trees and to yourself.
The forums? Topics should not be about questions and answers. They should be about opinions and discussions. Some nice talk about bonsai, and if two opinions dont match, that should not be a problem . (And Im not talking here about what is bonsai and what is not,that one should be really universal)
Yet there are maybe 10 active posters. If every person READING the forum, would post once a week, this could become a lot more active & interesting
I don't know. Doing bonsai takes a lot of time. Post every week? nah. Even if someone has a lot of bonsai and materials to work with, you can't post them every week. A few repots and wiring and then you lack topic. You can't just post the same every time. You need to wait years until some progression shows and you can share it again. But this is how it is and thats how I like it.