Tidying up a bit

Discussion in 'Forum Announcements and Feedback' started by Daniel Mosquin, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. Daniel Mosquin

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

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    I've removed or merged a few forums. Simplify, simplify, simplify.
     
  2. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    This is not so much of a gripe but the numbers below
    seem to dictate a small bit of oversight in regards to
    the importance of one past UBC Forum of the Month
    that has been denigrated into currently a much less
    popular forum header.

    Here are the numbers: Number of threads on the left
    with the number of posts on the right.

    PHP:
    Fruit Trees           224       899

    Grapes                 98       310

    Fruits 
    Vegetables    94       323

    total                 416      1532 
    I think the numbers above speak for themselves.

    It can be argued that a Citrus forum could have been
    established to coincide with the Fruit Tree and Grape
    forums considering the number of varied responders
    that have been posting in some Citrus related threads.
    There are two Citrus threads in particular that have to
    be close to setting a record in the greater UBC forum
    for the number of posts in a thread.

    Jim

    Please let me know if the table is all messed up.
    Not sure how I will fix it as I could not use a "pre"
    tag instead to place the numbers right where I
    wanted them to go.
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

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

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    If I can figure out a better way to organize the display of the forums, I guarantee Fruit Trees will return to its "top-level" status, perhaps along with a Citrus sub-forum. Right now that middle section of forums is huge - I'm thinking of chopping it up a bit.

    Still a work in progress!
     
  4. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    With some forums there may not be a steady involvement
    as interest may seem sporadic for a while yet some of
    those forums may become popular at some point in
    time later. I would not welcome trying to ascertain
    or envision ahead which forums have the potential to
    become popular later. I can see forums now that I
    just have to shake my head in wonderment why they
    are not flourishing in popularity as it is. There are
    some forums that will be more popular for people
    that are more local to the UBC than here for example
    but that does not mean that people from here do not
    have an interest in those plants i.e. Rhododendrons,
    not so much Azaleas however.

    It can be tough to try to explain details of a plant that
    we have grown for many years here and then learn that
    others including professionals and even some educators
    are essentially beginners with these plants in their home
    areas. I have felt and still feel that someone from Canada
    should be addressing some of the issues that others have
    had with their Fruit Trees grown in Canada as those trees
    in many cases are a different animal than the ones grown
    here for example.

    I do think for the long term that an all inclusive Gardening
    forum may be necessary. The gardening forum can entail
    a new to gardening sub-forum, a vegetable and fruit
    sub-forums as well as an intermediate and perhaps an
    advanced sub-forum whereby we might be able to invite
    Master Gardeners from various locations to come in and
    help out. Even a nursery forum may be in the offing later
    but I suggest that forum be restricted only to members of
    the UBC forum. There is the risk of commercialization
    that I really worried about a while back but there are times
    that naming a nursery such as Monrovia or an online auction
    host like eBay should be named. I was not the person to set
    the precedent for these names to come out into the open I
    might add. I went to extra lengths at times not to mention
    any commercial entity by name but how could we have
    prevented it from happening? All we can do is keep that
    information pertinent and even then I have some reservations
    of people becoming involved in a forum that have an agenda
    to sell plants, even perhaps a unregistered person in the
    Maple forum and that I would not ever let happen. If
    Mountain Maples wants to involve themselves in the Maple
    forum then by all means ask Nancy to come back in as I will
    be glad to see her involvement but a nursery we do not know
    or a nursery without a track record cannot be permitted to
    openly pronounce themselves ready and available to sell
    plants and I believe something similar has happened in here
    already. It might be a different story if they were members
    but still their end game will be figured out by most people
    but not all and therein is the main issue in that they've used
    the UBC forums as their portal to try to sell plants to people
    that may be a little too naive for their own good. We've seen
    enough naivete of buying already just in the Maple forum.

    Daniel, I think a Fruit Trees forum can stand on its own.
    I think the Grape forum can as well as I see much of the
    interest in that forum coming from mostly Canadians and
    that I might add is real nice to see. There has been some
    real and genuine interest in Citrus which delights me to
    no end. I think there will be interest there for quite a
    while, especially when some cultural problems start
    showing up but I must admit I am real proud of some
    of those Citrus aficionados for doing a lot of their
    homework as they are going along, even before they
    bought their plants. Impressive is the best word for
    it!

    Do we trim down the forums now or do we let the
    more popular forums stay as they are? No matter
    which way you turn there will be almost the same
    amount of work involved. Welcome to how it
    was for some of us that lived and breathed Maples
    for a number of years. Do we separate out the
    green dissectums and the palmate atropurpureums
    or do we lump them all together? I might add that
    our separating them out has led to some real long
    term problems in which there unfortunately are
    no good solutions for, it is too widespread now.
    Still, these forums are going to grow at a steady
    pace I would think. I agree it will be tough to
    slow down the runaway train but I think with the
    idea of having a moderator for the more popular
    forums that a lot of the time element involved
    in determining which e-mail questions to post
    and which ones not to can be handled by people
    that have an interest in that forum. Get someone
    like Junglekeeper or the likes to moderate the
    Citrus forum and then you will have the help you
    need but as time passes by there may be more
    e-mails to come in. Personally, I would not allow
    the e-mails to come in at all, I'd block them but
    that is not my decision to make. The hardest part
    is finding someone that will want to become a
    moderator that has the free time to do it. We
    may not get our first choice of whom we would
    like to have do it but we cannot at the same time
    frown upon or yell and scream at someone that is
    willing and able to be the host either. The time
    is not right to be extremely selective in that regard
    but we do need some assurance that the person is
    willing to keep the best interests of the UBC in
    mind at all times. Kinda rules me out as I have
    some rather pointed views to make to some of the
    people involved in the Botanical Garden and
    elsewhere that are listed in the "View Forum
    Leaders" section. I'd like to know why many of
    those people have not been supportive of their
    own forum. Why have they not been posting and
    is it that they do not care about plants or do not
    care about the current members of the UBC forum?
    There are too many names listed that just seem
    completely uninterested in the realm of plants in
    this forum and I wonder why that is. It is not like
    there are not members that are every bit as qualified
    in plants than any of them are. It is sheer lunacy to
    think that they are "better" than the rest of us if that
    is what their thinking is.

    Enough of that.

    I did not call for action, nor did I call for an explanation
    of why the Fruit Tree forum had been displaced but I
    think that forum will become much more influential
    on the internet as time goes by. Perhaps in time we may
    even figure out the right pollinizer for a Pembina Plum
    or a Grenville Plum which has evaded many a university
    researcher so far to date. All it takes is people wanting
    to know and will work on getting an answer for their own
    question and help others in the process to achieve logical
    answers to some of their questions. Involvement and
    initiative are the keys in this forum to success.

    Jim
     
  5. Daniel Mosquin

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

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    Jim, all UBC staff members are members of the forums because we use the forum software for our own internal documentation. As an example, we have a forum for "Library Books - Wanted", or perhaps more interesting, "Travel Reports". When a staff member posts to the travel reports forum, an email-list's forum subscription sends out an email to all staff informing them that a new report is up and archived, which they can then view at their leisure.

    I'm somewhat constrained from asking the horticultural staff to participate in the public forums, as replying to public enquiries is only a very small part of their job descriptions. Any expectation of going beyond the job description would become a matter for resolution under the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the union and the university.

    We have also lost a management/professional position this past year due to having to meet a particular budget (the education coordinator), so assumption of some of that position's duties have been offloaded to others, putting more of a strain on some of the UBC staff who are not bound by the CBA.

    I believe the phrase that encapsulates it is: "Running to Stand Still"
     

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