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Re: We need to get more people on this site 10 years 1 month ago #1081

  • Pinkham
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in order to get more people to join this forum...and stay here there should be a few rules...oh wait there are.
No but seriously, don't respond to a post unless you have something to add. Not just a pat on the back. Don't reply to a question unless you can answer that question.Don't respond with something like,"I don't know.Sorry I couldn't be more help" or "I don't have any experience doing that".It's kind of rude.People post questions EXPECTING answers. If you don't know, don't respond because it makes everyone in this forum seem stupid.
I don't mean to be harsh, but that's where we should start.
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Re: We need to get more people on this site 10 years 1 month ago #1082

  • Leslie
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Hmmmmmm...I do recall doing just that a few times...not being able to answer a question however, at the same time showing my interest and support. If I may share a personal story...

I've been a member for about two years on an extremely large, popular, active and highly respected public forum for "Woodcarving Illustrated". The forum was created by Fox Chapel Publishing who also is the Publisher of the "Woodcarving Illustrated" magazine and many other popular magazines and publications. Their membership is in the thousands, some of whom have been members for many years with skill levels ranging from beginner to highly experienced and world renowned professionals. Even with the vast numbers, the forum is run like a very tight, well-oiled machine with many monitors, super monitors and rules to follow. However, if there is one thing that makes this forum really stand out is the strong feeling and acknowledgement of, not only community but of belonging to a unique family in which all share one common interest. There is a section named "Off Topic" where we share every thing from gardening, to favourite recipes, to what the dog did this morning and, many members (especially the long timers) share their personal trials and tribulations in life with their fellow members who respond with amazing support and compassion.

My point is, rather than have someone begin a thread and not receive a response perhaps in days, it's nice know that someone is paying attention and shows interest in their topic, even tho they may not have an answer.

This is my point of view. Thanks for listening. :)

Leslie
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Re: We need to get more people on this site 10 years 1 month ago #1085

  • BassandBonsai
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I personally agree with Leslie. Even if no one has an answer, it's nice to know you're not all alone and that others care about your particular problem. That's the main reason I post. I am a 16 year old girl, and no one at my school cares about bonsai. I got a "That's nice." when I told my Japanese teacher, and the horticulture club thinks it's neat but too difficult to try and do. But when I post and read responses on Bonsai Empire, I get that special feeling of being with people who understand. That I'm not the only one excited about a tree, formerly doing poorly, that bounces back. That I'm not the only one grieving about a tree I killed because I lacked the knowledge to save it. That I'm not alone in frantically researching ways to prevent that. That there are people who don't think I'm crazy because I'm writing a post at 3:00 a.m. about a new branch on a potted plant.
It's not the knowledge I'm after. I could honestly just go find a Wikipedia article, or buy another bonsai guide. I'm after that flesh-and-blood sense of community, made no less real because of the distance between our locations. A wise, anonymous person once said, "Wisdom is knowing how much you don't know." None of us have all the answers. Most of us have few, if any, answers at all. But it's not about that. It's about us all not having answers together. It's about sharing what we do know.
I suppose it is a matter of personal preference, but not everyone posts here expecting answers. I post here to get a different perspective. And to me, every "I don't know, but good luck!" is just as precious as a lengthy dissertation on the best potting soil. I understand if this annoys you, but you don't have to read those posts if you don't want to.
And as for the forum looking "stupid", there are many things that are "stupid" that are quite popular. Lolcats? FailBlog? There I Fixed It? Heck, making our pages more stupid might make Bonsai Empire even more popular! :P
Last edit: Post by BassandBonsai. Reason: I misnamed a website.
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Re: We need to get more people on this site 10 years 1 month ago #1087

  • Pinkham
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Hey Ladies :)
My intention was not to offend.
Sharing stories and opinions are what makes any forum work. I do like reading them.that's how we all learn. If I were a "fresh boarder" and posted a few questions here, and just got responses like "I don't know,sorry" or "good luck" I would give up on this forum and go to another.
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Re: We need to get more people on this site 10 years 1 month ago #1088

  • Leslie
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Hi Lance,

Absolutely no offence was taken...:) ...I simply have a different view point. I *was* a fresh border only three weeks ago and I'd rather receive an un-educated post acknowledging my question and offering a bit of encouragement than getting no response at all.

The few posts I commented on from fresh and, not so fresh, borders, I have welcomed them to the forum, admitted my inability to answer their question, made a positive remark about their photos or efforts then reassured them that there are more experienced members here who will be able to answer their question. To me, that is being supportive regardless of whether or not I can answer their question. I believe support and encouragement are very important elements in the success of any forum.

I have recently read a couple of posts made by the more experienced to a fresh border where they were given an educated answer however, I felt the criticism was overly harsh with no positive words of encouragement or support. Now *that* would turn me right off and cause me to leave a forum.

Again, this is simply my perspective on the topic. ;)
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Re: We need to get more people on this site 10 years 1 month ago #1090

  • Oscar
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Interesting discussion, and I can see the point you make Pinkham. Its good to be critical and to think about these things. Quality answers are central to any question that is posted.
I do agree though with Leslie that the sense of community, someone who cares (even though he/she cant actually be of much help) really helps to make this forum a place to come to. Perhaps a balance between the two goals is what would be optimal; a quality answer and a great community feeling. This is what I would love to achieve, and Im so glad to hear your story Bassand!

Thanks for your inputs! And thanks for making this place rock ;)
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Re: We need to get more people on this site 10 years 1 month ago #1091

  • Leslie
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Hi Hannah,

Thanks so much for your passionate response. I was a little shocked at the lack of interest shown by your Japanese teacher and Horticultural club.....it must have extremely frustrating for you. Here's a thought...why not *educate* them. Go to your principal and say you want to do a small seminar on the art of Bonsai, expressing the educational and cultural value of the topic. How could you reach the greatest number of students and teachers...school assembly? Have a display set up so people can get up close and personal with your trees at various stages of progession, each with a brief discription.

Every since meeting you I have sensed your level of maturity is well beyond that of the average sixteen year old and I really enjoy and value your contributions here on the forum. Keep up the great work! :cheer:

Leslie
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Re: We need to get more people on this site 10 years 1 month ago #1114

  • Leslie
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Awhhh...really? We make this place rock??? :blush:

Thank you Oscar for your support and valuable perspective.

I think too, that it's really important for us to remember to offer "constructive" criticism by offering information that kindly explains the risks of taking a certain action with one's bonsai and then offering an alternative action. Then conclude our reply by making a positive, supportive comment about the tree or of something that person did that was beneficial for their tree.

You can tell me if you think I'm being too "picky". ;)

Leslie
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Re: We need to get more people on this site 10 years 1 month ago #1120

  • BassandBonsai
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Sorry, I did get a little carried away there. :blush: And I do agree there should be some moderation between a pat on the back and information.
That seminar might be cool, if I had any bonsai that I could show off as the final stage. I don't have anything really impressive at the moment. However, I did meet with my Japanese teacher today, (I got my schedule. School starts Monday. :angry:) and apparently there's a big difference between "bonsai" and "bansai", depending on how you say it. I guess she really didn't know what I was talking about! :lol: Just another measure of my newness, having learned the word by reading it. She has other things on her mind, though, because Japanese is being phased out. :( She's going to start teaching Spanish. Anyway, I could see the wheels turning in her mind, especially since the head of the Indianapolis Bonsai Club lives in Greenwood. I'm thinking about seeing if he could do a presentation!
But back to the subject, if we keep posting, whether it's just a "Good Luck!" or a list of places to get akadama clay, people are bound to notice.
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Re: We need to get more people on this site 10 years 1 month ago #1128

  • leatherback
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Leslie wrote: Hi Lance,
I have recently read a couple of posts made by the more experienced to a fresh border where they were given an educated answer however, I felt the criticism was overly harsh with no positive words of encouragement or support. Now *that* would turn me right off and cause me to leave a forum.


THat might very well reflect some posts I have made. I am on fora to learn from others, and share what I know to others. Not per-se to make people feel good of themselves when they clearly do silly things. If I think a person is being overly hasty I will say so. Especially since every single bonsai guide you pick up will tell you: Take your time. one of the books I have been reading expresses the need for a minimum of 12 months between root-pruning and foliage work. Then I come here and see people clipping half the roots off, and removing the foliage, and wiring all in one week. Then being surprised the plant suffers. Well.. For me that is hardly the time to give someone the pat on the back. But that is me. Maybe I have just had harsh teachers in my life.

However, I find that on antoher forum I am active on , being direct in how to deal with a situation works well, and almost every person that comes there with a problem leaves with a solution. It is however a harsh learning environment when you first arrive (I know I had to swallow my pride when I arrived as a fresh programmer some 9 years ago; However, after the first 2 posts there I reworded my questions, and found a wealth of information stored in the community, and stuck around.).

I find that the information I look for in a forum on bonsai is not really here yet. As I mentioned before: The forum would improve a lot by getting some more experienced bonsai-ers on the site. Currently there is a lot of [overly] friendly encouraging happening, but it lacks somewhat the people with experience & knowledge that give solid advice on which route to take, based on experience. So for me the forum does not bring a lot of info to the table where I go and say 'Oh that is a great tip, wouldn't have thought of that'. Which kind-a defeats the purpose of the forum for me.

I think that there is a fairly cruucial choice to be made on the direction of the forum: Should it be a forum with a lo of friendly people that do a lot of encouraging & learn by doing & sharing, or are you after a forum with a bulk of knowledge, where people can learn from the mistakes other people have made 15 years ago, sort of like a bonsai club online.
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