continuation of "input re: 3 forums to maybe re-open?"

Discussion in 'Forum Announcements and Feedback' started by Daniel Mosquin, Aug 18, 2010.

?

What 3 forums should be added to the proposal?

Poll closed Aug 25, 2010.
  1. Annuals / Biennials / Perennials

    3 vote(s)
    9.1%
  2. Araceae

    17 vote(s)
    51.5%
  3. Citrus

    8 vote(s)
    24.2%
  4. Fruit and Vegetable Gardening

    9 vote(s)
    27.3%
  5. Garden Pest Management and Identification

    14 vote(s)
    42.4%
  6. Grapes and Grape Vines

    3 vote(s)
    9.1%
  7. Gymnosperms

    9 vote(s)
    27.3%
  8. Propagation

    8 vote(s)
    24.2%
  9. Small Space Gardening

    7 vote(s)
    21.2%
  10. Woody Plants

    14 vote(s)
    42.4%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    This is a continuation of this thread.

    As part of a proposal I will be making to re-open some of the archived forums, I am asking for your input on three additional forums to add to the 2 I will already be suggesting, Indoor and Greenhouse Plants and Plant Identification.

    (this all assumes I'll be able to find moderators -- I've had a couple volunteers for Plant ID, none for Indoor and Greenhouse Plants so far)

    Please vote in the poll = I've given it 10 options instead of 8, since that's the maximum (and those are the ones all mentioned in the previous thread).

    You can vote for multiple options (i.e., you can select more than a single forum when voting).
     
  2. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    done! :)
     
  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Are we supposed to select up to three forums from the list?
     
  4. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Voted!
     
  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Nope, vote for as many as you'd like -- just don't vote for 10, since that won't really help..
     
  6. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Hey, Daniel---how about posting a list of the expectations, requirements, and responsibilities of being a moderator? Perhaps this would encourage folks to say 'Hey, I could do that!' and volunteer for the job. Eh?
     
  7. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Good suggestion.

    Moderators:

    • read and review all postings in their sections
    • handle minor disagreements through diplomacy
    • make admins aware of major disagreements or poor behaviour
    • keep postings in a thread on-topic
    • move threads to different forums if original post is off-topic
    • unapprove (hide from public view) spam posts so admins can deal with them properly
    • add or correct thread prefixes
    • help guide new members on expectations and technical issues
    • curate resource links / FAQ sections (if present)
    • help tidy the forums overall (in terms of location of threads, or removing dead threads e.g., ID questions where a link to the plant to ID is no longer valid)
    • participate in the Admin & Moderator forum to ask questions / discuss problems

    And, at this point, it looks like "Woody Plants" will end up being in the top 3, so if someone wants to consider moderating that area, please send me a private message.
     
  8. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Thank you for the information, Daniel.
    3 questions, to wit:

    1. Any way to estimate what sort of time commitment this would involve...? Like, in round hours per day?

    2. Any requirement for applicants as to tenure of Forum membership, or their number of posts? Can a newly-joined member with 3 posts be chosen as a moderator?

    3. Who makes the choices? Are moderators chosen solely per your fiat, or do you have a conflab with other UBC staff before making your final decision?

    !----GO ARACEAE!!!----!
     
  9. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Daniel Is there still an aroid list? This has become an upgraded interest since my mobility is curtailed for the time being. I have not been on list for some time so am out of touch.

    Regards
    Liz
     
  10. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Woops sorry it's already on list unless I have that wrong "Araceae" ????????????
    Liz
     
  11. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    It might be helpful if I share my experience.

    I find the main time commitment is simply however long it takes to read all new posts in the section being moderated. That depends how active the individual forum is, and can vary from dozens of new posts to one or none. Generally there is nothing extra to be done on a day to day basis, but usually any additional tasks are not time consuming. For example today an ID request needed to be moved from the Maple photo gallery to the General Maple Discussion area, and an identification prefix added, all of which took less than a minute. Unapproving a spam post takes a few seconds.

    It helps if you can check for new posts several times a day. I know some moderators choose to receive email notification of new posts in their forum.

    If you are likely to be reading all new posts in a particular forum in any case, the extra time commitment is minimal. It seems most people who visit the site are well behaved and normally there is very little actual moderation to be done. If you do encounter a heated disagreement it will take some extra time to sort out, but I find these situations virtually non-existant in the Maple forum.
     
  12. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Yep Liz The family Araceae is the group we know as aroids. I'm delighted to see the number of those still interested in the family is so good!

    Steve
     
  13. Fen Sandar

    Fen Sandar Active Member

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    All of these sound wonderful! Especially the aroids and indoor gardening!

    -Fen
     
  14. hydrophyte

    hydrophyte Active Member

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    I voted.
     
  15. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    The poll can get fairly slanted via a few people sending PMs to others to vote for one category, whereas another might be more popular but lack a voting campaign.

    Seems that the most logical way to approach it would be too look at the number of posts and replies for each of those. Hands down, Gymnosperms has proven to draw the most interest and participation. Woody plants proves good past participation too.

    Makes sense too, since Gymnosperms are a large part of our west coast forest canopy too, in addition to landscape garden use.

    Afterward, I'd just look the number of posts and replies that already exist for 2nd and 3rd. In other words, the real poll has already been taken, preserved in the stats.

    : - )
     
  16. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Here's another consideration. Going strictly by the number of votes, there seems to be an interest in fruits and vegetables but spread out over three forums: Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable Gardening, and Grapes and Grape Vines. The number is higher than that for any one forum. Fun with numbers.
     
  17. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    'Statistics are no substitute for judgement.' ---Henry Clay
     
  18. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Another consideration. Many regulars that normally post in only one or two areas have all but left the UBC forum since their favorites have been eliminated. I can think of several high volume users that never or rarely post any longer (Joclyn, Trikus) because their favorites no longer exist. In the case of "campaigns", I would encourage anyone that favors a particular forum to get "on the horn" and spread the word there is a possibility of bringing an old favorite back. If the participants have otherwise left UBC then why should they even know this vote is underway?

    Aroids are among the most popular of all house plants in the world and it would be quite logical for the forum Araceae to be popular as well. Just look at the reader counts on many of the posts! They number in the thousands. I did a casual count of the top 15 posts on the main page and got well over 30,000 reads! Obviously, aroids are popular with the public. http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=272

    I can recall some posts at the end of the "old way" of doing things that stated they would never be back since a forum had been eliminated. If that is the problem in low votes for one of the forums listed above it is up to those that love the forum to let people know it could come back. I will quickly admit I have sent mail to four people that used to be regulars on the Araceae forum but don't participate on UBC at all any longer.

    If you want something back it falls on those that want it to push for it.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  19. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Because I am overly curious I elected to go back and add up all the times the first 30 posts on page one of the forum have been read.

    That totals over 62,000 times, or some 2000 times per post. I am not sure if Araceae has been singled out since it has climbed so quickly on this poll but I would say the sheer numbers of people that read the posts on the aroid forum indicates it is very popular.

    That is simply because lots of people grow houseplants that are in the family Araceae. it has nothing to do with anyone doing self promotion to try to force a perceived "unpopular" forum into the top simply because the word "Araceae" is not a popularly known term.

    The plants in the family are extremely popular and can be found in many homes and yards: Philodendron, Anthurium, Alocasia, Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum), Flamingo Flower, Colocasia, Amorphophallus (Voodoo lilies), Calla Lily, etc. Those are only a fraction of the 3500 species found in 117 genera.

    However, Araceae cannot easily be totally lumped into Indoor plants since they are so varied and many are never grown as a house plant. The only factor that makes an aroid unique is the fact it produces an inflorescence that contains both a spathe and a spadix in order to reproduce. And yes, it does produce seeds inside a berry unlike those plants that produce seeds in other ways as do the Gymnosperms.

    Steve Lucas
     
  20. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    WORD!

    Hmm. As to the 'logic' mentioned in post #15:

    How can the poll be 'slanted' by any number of PMs? Each member is permitted one vote only: each member decides on her or his own how to cast it. Free will does exist.

    If a certain member feels that 'the real poll has already been taken', why does this member nonetheless spend valuable time in criticism of unreality?

    'Gymnosperms has proven to draw the most interest and participation.' Any facts---or yea, verily, STATISTICS---to back up this bald and startling statement?

    One detects a soupcon of sour grapes, eh? (No offense, JK.) As the song says---if you love me, let me know! We are witnessing a demonstration of aroid love from the UBC membership, and I accept the results of this poll...which seems plenty real to me...with enthusiasm, both for Araceae and for the renewed growth of the UBC forum.
     
  21. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Well, using a metric similar to photopro's (I'm not sure I understand exactly what he counted), the first page of thread views in Araceae, after sorting by Views (so one page worth of threads with the highest number of views) totals 48,398 views. The sticky threads are on that page, so I included them; generally, their numbers would be among the highest view numbers. The first page of thread views in Gymnosperms of threads with the highest number of views totals 386,023. I didn't include the Announcement threads in either count. Photopro, I think you might have included those.

    My method was to hold the Ctrl + Alt keys, then select all the Views column numbers; Copy that, and Paste into word. That gave a string that I split up into one total per line, based on where the commas were. Then I selected the list, did Tools|Calculate and pasted the result.
     
  22. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    My calculator and I stand corrected. I over counted by 15,000 (approximate) views.

    What I did is not difficult. I added up all the views in the vews column for the entirety of the first page, not counting the announcments at the top. Only what people had chosen to read. No magic, no gimmicks, nothing deceptive, just numbers for a single page.

    Just see what I noted in red in the photo below.


    Then go add up all 31 view totals on the first page here: http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=272


    . Aroids is without question popular with the public.

    I tried the same thing for Gymnosperms and can't find a way to get over 300,000 views for the first page but I am obviously not a meth teacher. i just grow and study plants. I also have no reason not to want Gymosperms returned, I just think if a method of selecting what gets returned is laid out and discussed for some time before the vote was taken we should follow the formula. http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=64637
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  23. Fen Sandar

    Fen Sandar Active Member

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    I don't think it really matters if people are sending pm to others trying to get them to vote a certain way because in the end, those people are informing others that this is actually happening and draw them here where they encounter their options. It is their choice to vote for whatever they like and who else is going to know who specifically voted for what unless they are a moderator. Once they are here, I suspect many of these people actually take the time to read through, look at the categories, and vote according to personal preferences albeit possibly biased by what their friends have interests in (an enthusiastic friend can get someone interested in many things they may not have payed as much attention to if they did not know much on the subject though so it is hard to tell when they do vote as their campaigning friends asked whether they were doing it as a proxy vote or a genuine interest).

    As far as plant posts go, I've seen alot of gymnosperms, aroids, and citrus as well as other things. Personally as a relatively new user, those three and the houseplant posts are what I read the most of when browsing for interesting topics to look at or possibly respond to. I am biased towards these because I have citrus and houseplants, used to live in an area with many gymnosperms and miss it, and was introduced to aroids by someone so enthusiastic about them that it is hard not to also be fascinated.

    -Fen
     
  24. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Fail to comprehend this tempest of controversy.
    The poll has been officially created: membership votes for its favorites: top three vote-getters are reinstated.
    Simple.

    Yes, it is a popularity contest---as are all elections.
     
  25. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: 1. - 5-10 minutes / day, unless spending the time to do some of the clean-up. Clean-up isn't a high priority, though, so that can be done at the person's leisure.

    Re: 2. - Regarding tenure, yes, I have to "know" the person, either through the forums or in-person. Other qualities include a history of non-controversy on the forums (no drama).

    Re: 3. - I wasn't going to worry about this unless there were an overwhelming number of requests to be a moderator (there aren't).

    Top three vote-getters go into the proposal, assuming moderators can be found. If no moderators can be found, then maybe 4th or 5th spots will find their way in (if moderators are available).

    Even then, there is no guarantee -- perhaps a go-it-slow approach will be taken or perhaps decisions will be made to reinstate forums that are of special interest to the garden (as an example, my director asked me to give some thought a while ago as to whether the Japanese Gardening forum would be useful going forward, given UBC Botanical Garden's participation in the North American Japanese Garden Initiative). *shrug* I'm soliciting input and passing it along, as well as the statistics on differences in new threads / new posts from pre- and post-changes.
     

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