The International Aroid Society is on FACEBOOK!

Discussion in 'Araceae' started by photopro, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Have questions about Philodendron, Anthurium, Caladium, Amorphophallus, Colocasia, Xanthosoma, Alocasia or any of the other aroid genera or 3300 species? The International Aroid Society is now on FACEBOOK and knowledgeable members as well as officers of the IAS Board of Governors are there to help.

    Looking for a source of quality plants? Trying to find out if the name on your specimen tag is correct? Did you see something on an aroid you don't understand? Want to know how to hand pollinate a specimen? Need to find knowledgeable aroiders in your area? Don't be afraid to ask any question...........we'll do our best to find the answer!

    Please sign up as a "FAN"!

    You can post a photo, ask a question or just chat about any aroid species by clicking this link:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/South-Miami-FL/International-Aroid-Society/291094100787
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  2. hydrophyte

    hydrophyte Active Member

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    That's great Steve. Did you set that up? The general idea of Facebook is a little strange for me, but I have been meaning to sign up with a pseudonym and bunny rabbit avatar because it is so handy for networking.
     
  3. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    The setup was suggest by Brian Williams who owns Brian's Botanicals. Brian also serves on the IAS board of governors. We hope this will allow people that have specific questions that may be more technical than they wish to ask on sites such as this to have access to some of the best botanists and collectors associated with the society.

    I too am an old timer and social networking is brand new but I'm now on Facebook as well. Be sure and set up an account and join us.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2009
  4. edleigh7

    edleigh7 Well-Known Member

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    Ahhhh nice one!!! I think I joined facebook under a pseudonym also, I will take a peek...

    Ed
     
  5. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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  6. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

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    Hiya Steve. The Facebook site looks great. :) You know I would probably join if the Society would step out of the dark ages and start a forum instead of that cumbersome antique mailserv. I'd bet it would quadruple the amount of discussion & at least double the amount of people taking part. I sure wish they would consider it. :)
    - Tom
     
  7. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the comment Tom. There are those that hate it and those that absolutely love it.

    The major problem is someone has to volunteer to manage the forum and Steve Marak did that many years ago. To make changes now would likely do more harm than good since there are 14 years of posts and all have been archived so they can be easily found on the IAS site. I use them all the time when I'm doing research.

    We now have the entire history on CD rom as well. The entire collection of Aroideana is now available in PDF format and can be purchased one article at a time for a very reasonable price from www.Aroid.org In fact, short articles can be downloaded free!

    BUT, there is now FACEBOOK as well and we'd love to see more people using that forum to ask short questions. We'd love to have you join us there!

    Steve
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Should call it Spathebook.
     
  9. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I'll send a note to the site owners and recommend they consider your suggestions!

    Great idea Ron! By the way, congrats on all the posts. Very impressive record.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Thanks!
     
  11. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

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    I don't know about "harm than good", Steve. :) You have them archived now, and the forum is separate, just a new link on the home page. There is no reason that the old archive would have to be changed or moved.
    Many other plant societies find their web admin by putting out a general request to their membership, and often one or more will step up if they realize there is a need.
    On the thought that some prefer a listserv, it may be that some vocal few perhaps fear anything new in relation to the internet, but I can't imagine the vast majority wouldn't prefer not to have to wade through buckets of useless text, and headers, and footers, and quoted & requoted emails for every single post. Would you really sacrifice improved discussion and more participation so that just a couple old-timers can avoid joining the 21st century? Surely it's inevitalbe, someday you'll have to switch; isn't sooner better than later? ;)
     
  12. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again Tom.

    I'll gladly pass along the info but this has been discussed profusely and the overwhelming member consensus when we meet to discuss such issues in Miami is to keep the Aroid l forum as it stands.

    Aroid l is an approved forum of the IAS but is not run by the IAS. The forum was begun privately many years ago and is still run privately by one member. If we were to begin another forum someone that is knowledgeable about aroids would have to volunteer to moderate the entire thing and as you likely know, good volunteers that will follow through are not easily found. We often have new members insist we add certain features to the IAS website but when asked if they will help to get the work done just walk away. In any volunteer organization someone has to volunteer to do the work but all too often some just want another person to do the work on their behalf.

    The forum must be moderated before posts can be allowed on the net because it is open to anyone that wishes to use it, not just IAS members.

    In the past there have been unkind posts made because a grower (often a new one) disagrees with one of the forum's experts and attempts to make their point heard despite the damage it could cause to our scientific goals as well as the feelings of others. At least one I am aware of was apparently an effort to intimidate another member that is a qualified expert in an effort to have them leave the forum.

    Although I will never consider myself an expert I do try to study my subject mater before offering an opinion. I have been openly attacked more than a few times on some of the public forums (not Aroid l) because a grower felt their opinion was more valid than the science I attempt to share.

    Were it not for a volunteer moderator the post on Aroid l would have gone live which could have caused other members to leave including one well known botanical authority. Far too many get emotionally involved when they try to make a point without considering the harm they can do.

    For those reasons we must choose to leave Aroid l in its present form despite the fact a few members have asked it go on-line live just as UBC currently exists. UBC has a paid staff to make sure this forum stays in its excellent form but the IAS works totally as a volunteer organization.

    I wish I could offer other alternatives but that is largely why we actively promote discussions on UBC. We've tried to promote a few other forums as well but even some of those have allowed less than kind posts to appear which are often totally opposed to recognized science . When outlandish efforts are then made to make anyone that posts correct scientific information appear to be an "idiot" that defeats the goal of having an open exchange of information that is also scientifically correct. I will agree there are various methods that work to grow a plant but the accepted science still remains correct.

    Please do join us here and on FACEBOOK!
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  13. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks Steve. :) I do also care about the future of the Society, and about the advances in science & understanding that future growth could bring, so I hope you wouldn't mind a little further friendly discussion.
    I wonder if there is a misunderstanding about how much work moderating is. If you have one person moderating now, it is literally no more work to moderate a forum; it's basically the same thing exept that the forum software makes it perhaps a little easier & quicker to do. The only difference in moderating is that changing to a forum would bring more interests & more posts to AroidL... so it's almost like saying we want to limit scientific discussion so we don't have to take the time to censor it.
    I agree a forum admin (a computer tech to get the forum started) is not the easiest to find (who built your IAS website?), but you never know until you try and advertise to the membership. Many, many volunteer plant societies have been successful at finding volunteer admins, for instance my favorite right now, Brugmansia Growers International.
    Forum moderators though are different. They are very easy to find. As a former moderator at two different sites I do speak from experience. Their names are listed on the home page and they have the title "Forum Moderator" under their name on each post. It is generally seen as a position of privledge, and the work is almost nil... just read the forum like you normall do and occasionally send off a cautionary note or a small edit if you happen to catch something before the other moderators do.
    Part of the way modern forums limit the crazies is to require membership to post. Therefore a continued membership, and the ability to continue sharing, is powerful leverage in brining unkind members in line. An added tool is a Moderator's Forum, which is included as standard, that allows the moderators and/or directors to discuss in private problems or concerns about a member or a post before they take action (usually a mod action is not so cut and dry). This forum, and it's heading & links, are not visible to the main membership.

    I do strongly believe that posts should NEVER be edited for scientific content that disagrees with "established science" (that would be outrageous & contrary to the scientific method), only edited or deleted for it being presented in an unkind or beligerent way. So mods then don't have to be experts on aroids, they just follow the standard forum rules about friendly posts, etc.
    In every way, moderating is easier on a forum. You already have one moderator whose job you would make easier, and I of course would be a volunteer, and I nominate you (lol), and others will come.
    The only real challenge is finding a tech-guy, a forum Admin to get it going, and I bet there are some out there if they knew there was a need. :)

    PS - I wonder if your current moderator/admin would consider starting the forum if he were relieved of the daily moderating duties?
     
  14. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    We always appreciate the input.

    I'm going to ask Steve Marak who started Aroid l to respond. Steve is a programmer but as I understand there is well thought out resistance in the society to change the forum. Part of the problem is people must log onto forums like UBC and read what has been posted. In the case of Aroid l you just get an email and respond if you wish and there are lots of folks that like that.

    Since I have my plate full with the time I give the society as well as the effort I put into my own website this isn't something I'd want to take on. The board member that handles the website is also heavily involved in the production of our newsletter other society projects but I will pass this link along.

    Every post can now be read directly from the IAS website page and as long as a forum member has done the proper setup I believe they can also respond from the website: www.Aroid.org
     
  15. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

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    Actually you don't have to keep logging on to a forum. Just like with email, you enter your info one time and the cookies eliminate the log-in process in the future. All browsers now have the ability to acess links quickly in a "Favorites" section, and for those even more concerned about 1 extra click, browsers have the abiltiy to put quick-links to favorites right in the browser header. So I propose it's no more difficult to acess the site, but it is far easier to actually read on a forum without all the extranneous headers & requotes. Searching through archives for difficult questions is also much easier, since the search features are far advanced & more powerful than on a listserv.
    I think perhaps that mistaken ideas about a forum, such as 'you would have to log on to a forum', and 'anyone that wishes could use it', and 'moderating would be more work' highlight my point that the opposition (which might be characterized as a vocal minority) could be more about fear of change than about real preferences.
    Thanks Steve for tolerating my "persistence", lol. ;)
     

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