Useful titles for threads

Discussion in 'Forum Announcements and Feedback' started by KarinL, May 10, 2006.

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  1. westcoastgarden

    westcoastgarden Active Member

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    This is the most well organized forum I have had the pleasure of belonging to.

    I appreciate the new rollover length. I appreciate the responsiveness of community members.

    I marvel at the amount of time Daniel must spend keeping things running smoothly.

    I even enjoy reading some of the differences of opinion and back/forth.

    But mostly, I enjoy the renewal of my gardening energy every time I visit.

    Cheers,

    WCG
     
  2. vizion

    vizion Member

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    Good question.

    In those circumstances (a one to one interaction) I would probably seize an opportunity to encourage by example.

    However can you agree that this particular forum discussion is not a simple one to one interaction of a personal nature?

    In a broad and general discussion such as this, when there are no personal slurs being cast, I would see no danger of reasonable people taking personal offense at the general proposal that it may be, generally speaking, more constructive to "lead by the positive" (or by example) rather than by the negative..

    Why should someone who is giving advice for free ignore the fact that most people respond better to encouragement and appreciation than to personal admonitions and negativity?

    Going back to your original question my response is: would you continue to employ a car mechanic at $75 an hour if s/he was rude enough to imply (subtly or otherwise) s/he thought you were stupid to ask your question that way or your question did not deserve an answer? Would you feel that car mechanic was both professional and in healthy control of his/her own emotions?

    Might you not stay with that mechanic if the reply to your ill phrased question was in the form of "I did not understand your question do you mean 'this' or 'that'?" ?

    My questions are simple:

    If we give feed back in a harsh or negative way do we not loose respect?

    If we give a good example is there not a good chance that people will follow and we will gain respect?

    Why should the transitory nature of forum attendance, or the voluntary nature of contributions, be sufficient reasons for encouraging actions that are harsh or negative?

    Thanks for continuing to think about this one.

    David
     
  3. bonsai

    bonsai Member

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    I wholeheartedly agree. I work for the Department of National Defence, and the dept spends lots of money on personal development courses, the overall message of which is this;"...everything I need to know, I learned in Kindergarten !" Good listening skills, being courteous to everyone, all the time, cleaning up your own mess, and just generally playing 'nice' with all your mates (what they call Team-building) is the way to, not only personal success, but also the best plan for the progress and health of the Unit. When someone seeks advice, the worst thing you can do is rudely spurn that which is offered. On the other hand, the 'expert' who offers free advice, should not be condescending or patronizing, if they want it to be followed, and to be respected as a knowledgable, sage advisor. Most of the time it's not WHAT you say, rather, it's HOW you say it! And I have been on both sides of that one! By the way, we Dockers say "an "Expert is simply a Drip under Pressure!" bonsai, MD (me docker)
     
  4. hortfreak

    hortfreak Active Member Maple Society

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    Bonsai, your comments are well taken. I think if we all were just a little more circumspect in speech and action, the world might be a better place. I am sure that I am just as guilty as anyone else in being "snippy" on occasion---not because that is my nature, but because sometimes fatigue or a problem or whatever just gets in the way and makes us react in a way that we would not normally. I try to take a deep breath first when I know that I am a bit "off".

    Sometimes people ask a question that someone else might consider foolish, but that person has a genuine interest in the answer or they wouldn't have asked it in the first place. I think all too often, we tend to forget that we all asked "foolish" questions once upon a time. And yes, perhaps they could google something for themselves, but so many people don't really know how to do a proper search and end up very frustrated. So, those that do have the skill could perhaps show a little more tolerance for those that don't.

    By and large I have not found rudeness to be a problem on this forum, unlike others. Sometimes I think we may react as if a posting were, when it really isn't---just maybe a bit terse.
     
  5. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Daniel, as an addendum to clear thread titles, I wonder if some tweaking with forum titles would also help. There is one in the plant ID forum today that asks "what is this thing?" (which is at least a title likely to be different from other threads, even if it is not very descriptive in itself) but what's misleading is that it's in the Plant ID forum, not in the INDOOR Plant ID forum. Yes, the rollover could help if I were in the habit of using it, but the fact remains that it's in the wrong forum. I think when new posters with indoor plants come along, they see "plant ID" and that sounds to them like they're in the right forum.

    (Like report cards nowadays, in which a moderate performance is termed "meets expectations" and as a parent you can feel great about this, not realizing that there is a better level called "fully meets expectations").

    So I wonder if the Plant ID forum should be named somerhing like the OUTDOOR Plant ID?
     
  6. Daniel Mosquin

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

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    I view this, in part, as a design problem. I think it is not easy for newcomers to understand a) where they are and b) what related options might be more relevant

    I do have a draft under review for a fundraising proposal to redesign the site, including developing a customized interface for the forums to make them more user-friendly.

    In the meantime, I'll consider the suggestion. I'm trying to recall some of the plant ID questions that don't fall neatly in either an outdoor plant ID or indoor plant ID forum (such as IDing from drawings), which would be an argument for retaining a more generic plant ID forum title.
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    And then there's people from the tropics posting pics of their outdoor plants, that temperate folk would consider indoor plants . . .
     
  8. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Daniel,
    Would it be possible to allow the starter of a thread to edit the title after the thread has been posted? As with other thread operations the ability to do so could be restricted to Contributors only. Mistakes find their way no matter how careful one is.
     
  9. dmurchie

    dmurchie Member

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    We could change the name of this thread to "Make work for Daniel" =)

    Another option, if re-programming time/money was available, was perhaps some topic or "tag" words could be appended to the subject when being displayed in certain locations. Sort of like a subject addendum which can also be a guide when a thread may have more than one interesting item discussed. This way the subject stays pure and innocent, and the guts of the discussion can be discerned.

    ie. Topics added in brakets
    Subject: "HELP!!" (Topics:house plant, bugs, mites, insecticides)
     
  10. vizion

    vizion Member

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    "This message has been deleted by Daniel Mosquin. Reason: I don't believe anyone here has ever complained that other posters are idiots. I don't like the allusion that someone would. "

    They may not have used the precise terminology -- but there have been occasions when people have been negative towards others - for no reason other then a posting complained of did not reach their own standards. In my view that does leave an impression of arrogance in relation to the intellectual performance of other parties. IMHO that comes pretty close to calling the other party by a derogatory term in relation to their mental performance <chuckles>.

    Certainly there were no personal references in my posting that could have given offence to anyone (unless they thought themselves guilty of making an individual aspersion).

    With respect may I say that I object to having any posting censored unless there is an unwarranted personal assault upon an identifiable individual and even then I am most doubtful of its efficacy. The circumstances, IMHO, need to be most extreme.

    Could you not consider that a thoughtful response inviting some reconsideration of a posting might be more appropriate and efficacious in all but the most volatile of situations?

    My posting was expressed in a reasonably humorous, throw-away style. It was censored by someone who seemed to believe that was the best course of action rather than responding in a thoughtful and carefully argued manner. With respect I cannot agree and censorship is, in my view, an unbecoming response.

    When postings are deleted are not members of the forum denied an opportunity to consider them and respond in their own way?

    They are only left with your comment, which is in my opinion unfair and does not reflect, what I believe was, a posting in a throwaway quasi-humorous style. I feel confident that members of the forum are mature enough to have perhaps chuckled or if they felt my posting was inappropriate, they could respond freely in their own way.

    Is it unreasonable to believe one person's dislike, however intense it may be, or however powerful the person may be, grants no moral or intellectual justification for censorship?

    Do not members of the forum have the capacity to sort out the merits and demerits of my contributions? Do they really need a censor/protector?

    Indeed is there not a fair chance they might be more irritated by the action of censorship than my hurried, light-hearted comment?

    Does not deletion/censorship encourage arrogant rather than thoughtful responses?

    Will you please reinstate the deleted posting and give others their chance to respond without censorship?

    My two pennorth.

    Even though I am not with you on this one, I thank you for all the things you do that I, and everyone else here, value and appreciate.
    David
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2007
  11. Daniel Mosquin

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

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    The only way to do this presently is to make those folks moderators with a limited amount of permissions. I'm not certain of the implications of that, though.
     
  12. Daniel Mosquin

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

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    This would be possible with one of the hacks for the forums that allow tagging. I'll consider it, particularly if it can produce an RSS feed of tagged messages.
     
  13. Daniel Mosquin

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

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    vizion, I don't think I can give you the argument that you seem to be wanting, partially out of fatigue, but mostly out of disinterest.

    These forums are here for people to talk about plants.

    If you'd like a pedestal from which to express your views and questions, I can suggest Blogger. If you'd like to discuss the finer points of forum administration, check out The Admin Zone forums. If these forums aren't meeting your needs to talk about plants or if you feel you aren't being adequately heard here, I provide a list of other garden forums that might be more suitable for you.
     
  14. alex66

    alex66 Rising Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi I 'm very happy when by Italy read and write in this forum ,for me is the only web strument for news about trees and plant(in Italy haven't similar forum on web)for me Daniel is a "MAGNO" manager ,the only manager that reply a private message directly!! this forum have fantasy; and special man (R.B, M.F)write every day whit passion!!this forum is fantastic ,also when "the titles for threads" aren't correct, like my english CIAO Alex66
     
  15. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Thanks for the compliment. R.B.
     
  16. vizion

    vizion Member

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    Argument neither sought nor needed.

    This forum is what, as you can see, I and many other people appreciate. As this thread shows there are many views here about administration of the forum we are all interested in.

    My only point, made as someone with a lot of forum management experience, is that censorship is something to be used with extreme caution -- and certainly not for trivial matters or when one is fatigued or disinterested.

    I appreciate why you devoted precious energy to provide the links.

    Lets leave it at that shall we.

    David
     
  17. bonsai

    bonsai Member

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    Hear, Hear ! Bravo! Time to move on to some gardening. It's beautiful outside,sunny and warm. THE BIRDS ARE SINGING! Let's get out there & prune, rake and clean it up. bonsai
     
  18. KENNETH5636

    KENNETH5636 Active Member

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    As a New boy on the Block", I find I am guilty of a possible inane Title!

    The problem with the written word is that one cannot see the expression on the face of the writer, or, the mood in which it is written.

    One has to be very careful when communicating with the written language.

    An unfortunate choice of word can alter the whole meaning or slant on a perfectly innocent posed question, and cause others faces to become red with rage and incur vitiolic responses out of all proportion to the unintended offence.

    I read in one of the posts that the writer gets impatient with certain subscribers.

    Well, all I can say is perhaps they should just bite their tongue and let someone else answer the question, even if the answer to a posed question is as plain as a pikestaff on ones face.

    For myself, I am intelligent enough to know there are things I do not know, whereas, there are others whom do not know what they do not know!

    So, guys and gals out there, be a little patient with those whom have little or no knowledge of the subject they are trying to get a handle on.

    All those Gardening experts out there would soon get the hump if their Garage mechanic treated them in the same manner,......on reflection,.....most garage Mechanics do treat me like an idiot,......until they find out I know more than they do, so the jury will disregard this last paragraph!

    Remember,....."Seriousness is the last refuge of the shallow", and "Genius is oft accompanied by a sense of humour"!


    Nice to meet you all!
     
  19. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The basic point it to use descriptive terms in the thread titles. The rest is side issues.
     
  20. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    I did think the expression "get the hump" was quite descriptive, though I'm not sure what it means. Perhaps you could work that one in, Kenneth:-)
     
  21. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Maybe use it as a thread title.
     
  22. KENNETH5636

    KENNETH5636 Active Member

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    Re: "The Hump"!

    re:Gordo:

    Hi Gordo, "Get the Hump" is an English colloquialism for miffed/take a mild offence/etc, etc, etc!

    Hope that clears it up Gordo!


    Best regards,

    ken.
     
  23. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    So maybe a thread title like "I'm gettin' the hump over me tulips" might work. That's kind of like a local colloquialism here. (a small town in Washington named Humptulips.)
     
  24. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Humptulips are those which don't come up after planting.
     
  25. KENNETH5636

    KENNETH5636 Active Member

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    Re: "Humptulips"!

    Hi Gordo,

    I guess that would be o.k, provided persons knew what the "double entendre" meant!

    PS. I see R.B has stuck his oar in uninvited! ("Stuck His Oar In" is another English colloquialism for "Poking Ones Noses In" !

    Yuk, yuk, yuk!

    (I knew he would,.....he just can't resist it, it's the nature of the beast)!

    Bestest Regards,

    Ken.
     
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