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artofbonsai.org :: View topic - The Problem With Bonsai Forums
artofbonsai.org
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The Problem With Bonsai Forums
http://artofbonsai.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=3088
Page 1 of 4

Author:  Will Heath [ Sun Apr 26, 2009 12:07 am ]
Post subject:  The Problem With Bonsai Forums


Author:  Richard Patefield [ Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Problem With Bonsai Forums

tl;dr

When you write something like this do you stop to think about how many people are actually going to read it?

There may be some interesting points in there but seriously... waaaay toooooo looong.

Nearly 13000 words- average reading speed is about 230 a minute.

Cliff's Notes pls.

Author:  Irene Britton [ Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Problem With Bonsai Forums

A lot of venom behind the writing.
Although I see many of the people in here that are on all the forums, I do question the negativity behind the words. I also am left to wonder just where you place yourself in this Article/Thoughts.
Irene

Author:  Ben Cutts [ Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Problem With Bonsai Forums

You have missed www.Ausbonsai.com

Author:  Richard Moquin [ Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Problem With Bonsai Forums

???
Too lengthy and verbose. Do you actually believe that an article such as this belongs on this particular forum? Please tell me it isn't so.

Author:  Emil Brannstrom [ Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Problem With Bonsai Forums


Author:  Will Heath [ Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Problem With Bonsai Forums


Author:  Editorial Staff [ Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Problem With Bonsai Forums

Before this goes any further, please take a moment to review our policies as listed under the "guidelines" link on the top right of your screen. Discussing the subject matter of this article is encouraged, discussing the author is not.

Please feel free to debate the content of the article politely and intelligently as much as you would like. Off subject, insulting, or attacking posts will be deleted without warning.


ES

Author:  Vance Wood [ Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Problem With Bonsai Forums


Author:  Chris Johnston [ Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Problem With Bonsai Forums

For the most part, I thought this article was a poorly thought out screed filled with self-justification. Not to make a personal attack, I would much prefer to take the article section by section and present a rebuttal.

I would do so in this venue if I could be assured of two things: My rebuttal of each chapter would receive its own thread (so that all might be done decently and in order). I would begin the thread by quoting the section rebutted, then providing my rebuttal. Mr. Heath could then respond. Following that, others could respond either in the positive or negative as they see fit.

The second assurance I would want is a fair hearing and moderation. That would mean no editorial decision in any of the threads could be made by Mr. Heath or anyone named "Editorial Staff." If there is a moderator of this forum who could feel objective enough to do so, I would consider the opportunity to respond to this article.

Chris Johnston

Author:  Will Heath [ Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Problem With Bonsai Forums


Author:  Vance Wood [ Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Problem With Bonsai Forums


Author:  Rob Kempinski [ Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Problem With Bonsai Forums

I find the nature of the article to be somewhat revolutionary - a critique of bonsai forums. I have never seen such a report and so it is innovative. I suppose the internet had to come to this point eventually.

In general though, the critique of a forum over a period of years has to be based on generalities and as such will be tempered by the lens of the viewer. Therein lies the rub, each viewer will react differently based on their perception. In evaluating some sites with unvarnished truth as perceived by the author there will be visceral reactions. As an example, take Chris Johnson's immediate rebuttal. One has to sense there's more to the words there; something layered but really intended to be a personal attack.

This is a good concept however, it needs to be done more objectively as is done in other art forms. For instance, focus groups, or users surveys, such as the Neilsen ratings, would give a more objective evaluation of the forums.

I don't believe one can discuss the article without covering its length. It's too long. I would take out half of the content, especially the anecdotal evidence. The analysis would be tighter and more effective. Also the images chosen are rather lame.

Author:  Rob MacGregor [ Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Problem With Bonsai Forums

I very much enjoyed the article Will. I feel that your comments were meant to compel all who practice bonsai to think about their reasons for doing so.
I believe if it is not done for pleasure and personal satisfaction one is missing, what I think, is the spirit of bonsai, which is I believe to honor nature in general and trees specifically, not for polishing one's own ego or for financial gain.
In reading the other responses to this post I was surprised that so many seemed to be on the defensive. Perhaps they feel as if they have been accused. That is a shame.
As for the idea that the post is too long or "wordy" for most to read, well, that may be true. I read the whole article and found it very useful and encouraging on many levels.
I have been working with bonsai since 1971 and have never entered a contest. Now I very much want to. I hope others feel the same.
Thank you very much for your effort.

Author:  Mike Smith [ Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Problem With Bonsai Forums

To begin with, I believe Will has shown a lot of courage raising this series of emotive issues, even in a rather protracted way, but hey, they like things big in America :-). Never mind, for the best part the majority of us would agree with Will’s remarks, it just remains to tease out each issue and debate them separately if that is the purpose of his post, and if there is anyone out there who wants to go down this route. So perhaps we could do this in chapters.
But what is the objective of this discussion? Is it merely to air some views, get something of our chest, share a piece of insight or is it to find a solution a problem? I would suggest that before starting on a long and winding discussion we need to decide where we want to be by the end of it. Finding an objective is always a good start in my view. If the purpose of the discussion is merely to pass a comment on Will’s article then it is way too long and what follows is superfluous.
Keep it in perspective. Bonsai is our leisure pursuit, most of us who visit these forums do not earn our living by it, if they do then I might suggest that another form of marketing is in order, one that is likely to have a wider audience perhaps. That aside let’s lighten up but remain enthusiastic.
Since on-line censorship by overzealous moderators has already been raised perhaps this is a good a place to start as any. I do not wish to monopolise the discussion but perhaps an objective here might be to agree some forum etiquette to which each of works in the future. It is unlikely that we will ever change the behaviour of most folks on-line but we can at least change our own approach and this itself must eventually have an impact.
Moderators
In Wills article this is covered in his section called ‘Moderation, although there are other comments throughout.
In his response to some initial replies, I think Will would be the first to agree that he might have shot himself in the foot in this respect, a bit like flying Airforce 1 around New York escorted by a fighter without telling anyone:-). Will is human too I suppose...I think.
Forum etiquette
When does a discussion Forum become a Blog? Probably when there is only one viewpoint, I suppose. When this viewpoint is given greater weight by poor moderation then the of course the forum loses credibility.
There is indeed enormous power given to a moderator whose actions can misrepresent the wider view by censoring posts that do not agree with their own view of the world. It takes great patience, broad mindedness, transparency, openness, impartiality, wisdom and understanding to become a good moderator. They are the chair person who is charged with encouraging the timid while restraining the vociferous.
When contributing to discussions, there is a duty on us all to treat each other with respect especially during the times of inevitable disagreement. This does not mean that there cannot be blunt, honest, open discussions but one must accept that on occasions there might be strong disagreement that bruises ones feelings. It is after all a discussion forum otherwise it would be a Blog, Twitter or merely a library.
Good posting begins with good manners; good moderation begins with integrity.

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