Any possibility BN will ever show user-data to let others know someone's # of trees, or # of years in the hobby? #Likes is a poor metric IMO..

Messages
1,067
Likes
262
Location
FL (Tampa area / Gulf-Coast)
USDA Zone
9b
#1
I realized that, while I prefer this board among all the discussion forums online for bonsai, that we're lacking a very important (IMO) feature and that's any indication whatsoever of someone's "bonsai-chops", on Reddit you've got "flair" that has both years-in-hobby as well as # of trees, I think years-in-hobby is by far the most valuable thing that should be there as there is a wide variety of tree-quantity among similarly-skilled/experienced artists, so # of years is a better metric for how much weight to give someone's thoughts.

Honestly, w/o any metric to let someone know if the person has a good collection or a real time spent in the hobby, the "#likes" data point beside their name could actually be incredibly misleading, a post's tone heavily influences whether it'll get Likes, not necessarily the post's value/information/accuracy/etc, you could legitimately have someone who's been here chatting bonsai for a couple years, they have an incredible %liked for their total-post-#, so when they say something it's subconsciously given more weight by people - and this person may not even own a single tree, they may just like the art and are chatting (not trying to deceive anyone, just chatting & participating) and, if they posted a reply-answer to someone where, instead of speaking from experience they were simply parroting an answer they'd read multiple times elsewhere, then it becomes 'help' that is only as good as that person can imagine (as they've no experience) despite people seeing the high Liked% and subconsciously weighing it higher.

So yeah I'd totally recommend either doing-away with the "liked" metric or, even better, simply adding another metric or two of years-in-hobby and/or #-of-trees, so when talking to someone I/we can get a better idea of just how involved the person truly is, like in a hands-on context!

Thanks for reading/considering this :)
 
Messages
349
Likes
755
Location
St Louis, MO
USDA Zone
6a
#2
W/ Bnut, I tend to pay attention to the "messages" to "likes" ratio.

For example, 1k messages to 250 likes vs. 250 messages and 1k likes. Almost all the valuable posters here have at least a 2:1 ratio of likes over messages.

Tends to show the "crowdsourcing" value of a poster's posts.

That's my $.02
 

Anthony

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,659
Likes
7,224
Location
West Indies [ Caribbean ]
USDA Zone
13
#4
SU2,

[1] I use the - like -to let someone know I was there.
Not as a like, as I said before in I believe a Topic in the teahouse.

[2] We know who the older heads are - Vance, Leo, Al, Mr, Valavannis.....................

[3] If before entering a question - suggestion - read at the archives.

Otherwise the group should be fine.
Good Day
Anthony
 

Adair M

Pinus Envy
Messages
10,377
Likes
20,640
Location
NEGeorgia
USDA Zone
7a
#5
Hmm...

Perhaps some metrics in the profile? Just like we currently have location and USDA Zone, perhaps some data like: Number of trees; Number of show quality bonsai (whether someone shows or not); number of years in the hobby; Member of a club? (maybe even name them); list of shows participated; species specialization.

Just some thoughts.
 

Carol 83

Masterpiece
Messages
2,630
Likes
5,380
Location
Alhambra,IL
#7
I'm not sure that "number of trees" proves any kind of expertise. Someone might have 50 crappy trees, or 2 good ones. Isn't the number of trees one might have a fluid thing, buy a couple, lose one etc? It doesn't take that long reading here to figure out who knows their stuff, and who to disregard. I think requiring all those statistics is liable to intimidate and discourage new, inexperienced members from even joining.
 

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
Messages
8,072
Likes
13,131
Location
OC, CA
USDA Zone
10A
#8
I don't equate "likes" with "experience". Perhaps someone who is brand new to the hobby comes up with a great idea that I never considered? Additionally, just because I respect someone's experience doesn't mean that they are universally knowledgeable, or that what works for them, in their location, with their trees, will work for me.

Some of the members of this forum who have been around the longest were here for years before they could even get a "like" (since I only added the functionality a couple of years ago). That doesn't mean they don't know what they are talking about :) Took me a couple of years before I even got as many likes as posts :) I didn't let it ruin my day :)
 
Messages
4,745
Likes
7,766
Location
on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
USDA Zone
5b
#9
I'm not sure that "number of trees" proves any kind of expertise. Someone might have 50 crappy trees, or 2 good ones. Isn't the number of trees one might have a fluid thing, buy a couple, lose one etc? It doesn't take that long reading here to figure out who knows their stuff, and who to disregard. I think requiring all those statistics is liable to intimidate and discourage new, inexperienced members from even joining.
in this case, my ''like'' is that I agree with Carol, it is caveat emptor, buyer beware when consuming ''free'' information. It is part of growing up to adulthood to be able to discern between facts and fiction. And some people are better at writing, and some people are better at doing. I'm better at writing, but I can do at a medium level.

If one were to list year one obtained their first bonsai, my statistics would be very misleading. I potted up my first tree in 1973, but I was self taught until 2004, and had really missed the point prior to beginning to take classes, my first teacher was Ted Matson. That is when I began filling in the gaps. Really as a self taught bonsai artists I had missed some key points, mainly when techniques are used. So really, I only have 15 years of serious bonsai study. My depth of horticulture info is wide and deep, but bonsai - not quite as much. I ''thought'' I knew bonsai, until I objectively compared my trees to trees at the August, Chicago show. Then I knew I needed hands on, face to face instruction. And Ted Matson was the best. Peter Tea is my latest teacher, and excellent in his own right.

So no matter the statistic chosen, there are issues. I do like the # likes versus # messages, because that is a good indicator of how interested in a post people are.
 

Nybonsai12

Masterpiece
Messages
2,902
Likes
3,484
Location
NY
USDA Zone
7a
#10
There are people here with a lot of likes but without quality trees.

It's quite simple to determine how good someone here is at bonsai. Look at their threads, look at their trees, look at their before and afters. If they aren't sharing much of their trees and their work, well then... there you have it.
 

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
Messages
8,072
Likes
13,131
Location
OC, CA
USDA Zone
10A
#11
There was a time when people were asking for a "dislike" button... or a "you don't know what you're talking about" button. I very specifically avoided anything that would create a negative feedback loop to the site. We had enough people arguing... the last thing I wanted to do was add another layer to it. I could imagine people creating numerous accounts just so they could spam each other with "dislike" votes. Sounds childish - but it would happen.

So in the spirit of positivity, consider the "like" votes simply that - an indicator that someone liked what you posted. I'll leave it up to each member to decide WHY they liked it :)

And actually... there are plenty of posts on this site that I like without remembering to hit the "like" button. It isn't supposed to be a universally infallible measure of likeability.
 
Last edited:
Messages
1,461
Likes
2,902
Location
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
USDA Zone
8b
#12
Years of experience does not equate to knowledge and skill. Could simply be 45 years of repeating the same experience.
Could be attending a meeting once a month for many years.
Number of tree's does not equate either, some people are just collectors and simply provide horticultural care with little or no development or refinement activity.
Show winners are often the product of professional maintenance and assistance paid for by the owner, not produced by the owner. They are often collectors with deeper pockets.
For me the best metric is when one can view the results of the persons own work on the trees they have developed.
 
Messages
325
Likes
425
Location
Tennessee
USDA Zone
7a
#13
As a newcomer to this forum and hobby, I will say that I placed value on a posters number of messages and likes as well as if they had a cool Bonsai nut specific name under their photo. I'm learning more and more that these numbers don't necessarily mean much - and indeed even the guys with super legit advice don't always keep climates outside of their own in mind when dispensing said advice. When I have questions now, I've taken to the following steps: 1) Use the search feature on the forums and try to read through at least a couple of pieces of advice on a given topic to see what jives 2) Search other forums/internet groups 3) Look into straight horticultural info on a species outside of a Bonsai related forum. So far, using this method I've been able to discern the posters who give advice that is both good and geared toward my individual climate.

Of course, now that I'm becoming more and more entrenched in my local club I do send emails regularly to the club teaching members - I just don't want to blow up anyones inbox so I still try to find basic information for myself.
 

Adair M

Pinus Envy
Messages
10,377
Likes
20,640
Location
NEGeorgia
USDA Zone
7a
#14
Years of experience does not equate to knowledge and skill. Could simply be 45 years of repeating the same experience.
Could be attending a meeting once a month for many years.
Number of tree's does not equate either, some people are just collectors and simply provide horticultural care with little or no development or refinement activity.
Show winners are often the product of professional maintenance and assistance paid for by the owner, not produced by the owner. They are often collectors with deeper pockets.
For me the best metric is when one can view the results of the persons own work on the trees they have developed.
Frank, all that’s true.

But, I’m thinking that SU2 is asking for a “bonsai resume” of sorts. While it’s true that someone can “fake it” for a while by buying expensive trees, I’ve found that they either learn the ropes pretty quickly, or blow themselves up. That is, they find that bonsai is harder than they expected, and they start killing trees. And quit.

When I go to a Symphony concert, and they have a guest soloist, they always list in the program where they went to school, and who they studied under, at which important competitions they entered, which orchestras they’ve played with, which conductors they’ve played under. Things like that. Now, it’s not until you can actually hear them play will their true artistry show, but their resume can give you an idea of their background.
 

Adair M

Pinus Envy
Messages
10,377
Likes
20,640
Location
NEGeorgia
USDA Zone
7a
#15
Very funny on some if the attributes mentioned above. Whose are the judges?
Show ready?
Number of trees?

I would like to have Mr. Bolero as one of the judges
This post tells me a lot about where YOUR skills are! Lol!!!

But, let’s be serious for a moment...

Bolero said he won an award at “a very big show” for his seikei. He didn’t specify what show, which award, where, who the judge was, or anything.

Compare that be winning the Atlanta Bonsai Society Show five years straight, all different trees, all under different judges: Kathy Shaner, Suthin Sulkavit, David Jones, Tyler Sherrard, Juan Andrade...

Who do you think would give you better advice?
 
Messages
1,032
Likes
1,410
Location
Houston TX
USDA Zone
8b
#18
This post tells me a lot about where YOUR skills are! Lol!!!

But, let’s be serious for a moment...

Bolero said he won an award at “a very big show” for his seikei. He didn’t specify what show, which award, where, who the judge was, or anything.

Compare that be winning the Atlanta Bonsai Society Show five years straight, all different trees, all under different judges: Kathy Shaner, Suthin Sulkavit, David Jones, Tyler Sherrard, Juan Andrade...

Who do you think would give you better advice?
Give me a good laugh! Thanks.
 

0soyoung

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,217
Likes
7,849
Location
Anacortes, WA (AHS heat zone 1)
USDA Zone
8b
#19
Compare that be winning the Atlanta Bonsai Society Show five years straight, all different trees, all under different judges: Kathy Shaner, Suthin Sulkavit, David Jones, Tyler Sherrard, Juan Andrade...

Who do you think would give you better advice?
It depends!!!
 
Messages
475
Likes
388
Location
Michigan
USDA Zone
6b
#20
I think the basic idea here is to get several opinions and distill what you ultimately like/want/need/whatever. There's always more than one way to skin a cat, and I think most people want to know what the options are, especially as opposed to being told what to do. This is a whole lot more art-leaning than horticultural-leaning. We have artists that want hort advice and hort's that want art advice, and everything in-between. All should be taken with a generous sprinkling of salt...

If someone needs a stated pedigree to add gravitas to their words, then maybe the time spent "earning" that pedigree was wasted?
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom