Debate Poll

My Feelings on the Recent Debates

  • They made me reevaluate my thoughts

    Votes: 6 13.0%
  • They confirmed what I already knew

    Votes: 5 10.9%
  • I learned something from them

    Votes: 11 23.9%
  • It was nice to see other opinions on subjects

    Votes: 12 26.1%
  • Debates are important to understanding a subject

    Votes: 11 23.9%
  • The open exchange of ideas are what forums are for

    Votes: 14 30.4%
  • They presented multiple views, allowing me to make my own intelligent decisions

    Votes: 10 21.7%
  • We should have more of them

    Votes: 6 13.0%
  • They would have been better if all off topic remarks were deleted

    Votes: 7 15.2%
  • They would have been better if everyone stayed on topic

    Votes: 20 43.5%
  • They were educational except for the bickering

    Votes: 19 41.3%
  • The bickering negated all usefulness

    Votes: 14 30.4%
  • Debating issues has no place here

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • I didn't learn anything from them at all

    Votes: 2 4.3%
  • They were useless

    Votes: 5 10.9%
  • I never read and/or participate in them

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • We should not allow them on the forum

    Votes: 3 6.5%

  • Total voters
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Well, considering the average bickering going on in this thread and the average bickering going on in the other threads I guess the rating for this thread IS pretty unfair, at least in Bnut-standards...:)
 

Bill S

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OK I'll say it.

Jeeeeezus Chris why do you think he posted it, Thanks for redeeming it, left alone this crap goes away.

By the way read the poll results, I'm not the only one getting sick of this. Not any ratings, what the actual words say, as I said it's not just me, seing as you are MENSA rated you should see a light. Didn't Walters recent jab raise any flags? It should have.

Do act this way with your kids??, or at Boons?? or just here??

Someone step up and be Big. We are getting sick of wading thru the doody, so we can tip toe thru the Tulips. It would make ALL our lives a better place.

Wes has a good idea.
 

milehigh_7

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Jeeeeezus Chris why do you think he posted it, Thanks
Someone step up and be Big. We are getting sick of wading thru the doody...
Good word. :D

I am speaking as an objective observer who does not know any of you well enough to take sides.

I have much bonsai to learn from nearly all of you but I am afraid today.

I am afraid that many true masters of the art do not have time nor desire to be around such negativity and thus will not frequent such places such as BNUT for long.

I am afraid that a new generation of artists would feel locked out of such conversations. If they do not have such as you to learn from, where will they go for tutelage? Will they give up the art altogether? Do those of you who have ascended bear any responsibility for your leadership of others?

Based on these concerns, I have a request. For the sake of the art (if not for your fellow person) if someone wise suggests that the atmosphere is becoming toxic, is there a possibility of taking a discussion offline? You may then duke it out to your little heart's content without causing collateral damage.

You can then come back here and teach me how to do this thing we call bonsai... :D

Thank you for your consideration

BTW: Remember, the only true leadership is servant leadership ;-)
 

Brent

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Good word. :D

I am speaking as an objective observer who does not know any of you well enough to take sides.

I have much bonsai to learn from nearly all of you but I am afraid today.

I am afraid that many true masters of the art do not have time nor desire to be around such negativity and thus will not frequent such places such as BNUT for long.

I am afraid that a new generation of artists would feel locked out of such conversations. If they do not have such as you to learn from, where will they go for tutelage? Will they give up the art altogether? Do those of you who have ascended bear any responsibility for your leadership of others?

Based on these concerns, I have a request. For the sake of the art (if not for your fellow person) if someone wise suggests that the atmosphere is becoming toxic, is there a possibility of taking a discussion offline? You may then duke it out to your little heart's content without causing collateral damage.

You can then come back here and teach me how to do this thing we call bonsai... :D

Thank you for your consideration

BTW: Remember, the only true leadership is servant leadership ;-)
I've taken Will's advice, I've changed the channel. I keep twirling the knob, but it's always the same old crap. Reminds me a lot of why I haven't had TV for last nine years. I keep hoping it will change, but search in vain for a decent, intelligent discussion or debate free of the vicious venom that soon crops up.

It's toxic and it may be lethal. The forums are in sad shape these days and getting worse week by week. Most of those who could contribute immensely have just thrown up their hands. There's hardly anyone left.

You all better figure it out soon, or it will be just the blind leading the blind. I hate being so negative, but I am actually getting a lot more done in the nursery and enjoying my own plants a lot more since I stopped staying so invested here.

Brent
EvergreenGardenworks.com
see our blog at http://BonsaiNurseryman.typepad.com
 

darrellw

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It is very sad that the behavior of a few ends up chasing away those that have the most to contribute. I'm not sure what the real issue is. I've participated in online mailing lists, news groups and forums for over 20 years, and there has been a real decline in the bonsai groups, nearly across the board. I have not seen the same issues in any others (British Cars, Photography, R/C models). Maybe some spirited discussions in ceramics, but not anything like I've seen in the bonsai groups. The ironic thing is that in real life, I've never met a bonsai enthusiast in real life that left me with any kind of negative feeling.
 
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I was moved to repeat a point that has been made in the past, crap happens here or anywhere simply because it is allowed to happen.

I hope you don't mind a comment or two on your observations that I have quoted below.

I keep hoping it will change, but search in vain for a decent, intelligent discussion or debate free of the vicious venom that soon crops up.
I can think of at least three forums where civil, intelligent discussion is not only the norm, but is demanded. I can think of at least three where some of the best artists of our time participate, one where Robert Steven actively gives styling advice and critiques on bonsai, one where Dan Barton has begun giving pottery advice and discussion, one where the activity is constantly active and bonsai is discussed regularly.

The claim that there just isn't intelligent discussion to be had anywhere without bickering is faulty in my opinion, I think the problem is that the vast majority of on-line bonsaists don't really want bonsai at that level. In fact, I could make an argument (simply by showing the number of hits and responses that the "heated bickering threads" get here) that the majority of people here actually like to read such exchanges. If we take into consideration the predictable attacks of any intelligent discussion that is attempted, one would be hard pressed to come up with any other conclusion than the majority does not want advanced, civil discussion on any subject.

Although I could understand if you were seeking for for a decent, intelligent discussion or debate on a beginner forum.

It's toxic and it may be lethal.
True and this has been proved on a few fronts.

The forums are in sad shape these days and getting worse week by week. Most of those who could contribute immensely have just thrown up their hands. There's hardly anyone left.
Not all forums and not all who can contribute, there are many left and more are joining the Internet revolution. What I have noticed is a huge influx of beginners on the discussion forums and this will even get bigger as the Internet continues to be promoted as a tool.



The real challenge is what is the solution? Everyone knows what the problem is, but how to correct it is a bit harder of a problem to many. How do you keep major activity while at the same time ruling with an iron fist?

What would you do Brent? If this was your forum, what would you do to act fast?


No disrespect intended, just trying to wrap my mind around your thoughts as I have mentioned to you previously on the subject of forums.



Will
 

Vance Wood

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I think a lot of the problem lies in the nature of bonsai and the growers themselves. Bonsai growers are for the most part made of three distinct categories, and for this discussion I am leaving out a fourth, those who grow bonsai professionally, not because I wish to snub them but in general these people are not at the heart of most of these Internet arguments. They are too busy doing what all of us should be doing, growing bonsai.

Those geeks like myself that are left, tend to be fiercely independent and free thinking, reading much and considering all they encounter. There is another group I call the followers of personalities, where someone else considered a master is adhered to with almost cultish loyalty. The free thinkers tend to have their own ideas and even methods, some tried and proved over many years of trial and error, and some of these ideas are extremely controversial. The quasi-educated believe that they are somehow endowed with the knowledge and authority of their sensi/guru/god. They dogmatically believe that because a certain teacher believes a thing and though they cannot prove
or disprove something to the contrary, will default to what they have been taught as being handed down from God, and will refuse to hear or even consider information that is in disagreement to their point of view or devine knowledge.

Then there are those who think the truth is what they imagine it to be, with little experience or education to back it up. I run into this kind of thinking in my day job. I worked with a person a number of years ago that thought he was one of the really smartest people walking the Earth. His idea of what the law meant was determined upon what he thought it should mean. For this reason he has not filed his in income tax returns for many years. To me this is a bomb buried in the dirt waiting for a shovel to hit the fuse and set it off. My point is, many of these folks think they know this, that or something else is the way it is because they have read a book or they just think it is so. The reasoning; It seems to be reasonable and makes sense to me therefore it must be so. When an error is pointed out, or a flaw in the argument is revealed rather than be proved wrong or admit to being wrong various negative communications are the likely followup.

It is that last bit of pride and prejudice that taints all of our thinking, and colors the nature of these discussions here. A dogmatic, stubborn, intractable adherence to a way of thinking and doing things that may be grounded in something less than hard fought experience, but adhered to like issues of faith in a third world village. In short it is egos that start the arguments.
 

Dav4

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You all better figure it out soon, or it will be just the blind leading the blind. I hate being so negative, but I am actually getting a lot more done in the nursery and enjoying my own plants a lot more since I stopped staying so invested here.

Brent
EvergreenGardenworks.com
see our blog at http://BonsaiNurseryman.typepad.com
This quote pretty much sums things up in my mind. When I first started visiting bonsai websites 3-4 years ago, every day brought new posts by veteran hobbyists or professionals...awesome tree pics, great info filled discussions, good advice, etc. Granted, there would be some heated discussion, and the occasional blowup would happen, but these were a mere fraction of the total volume of material posted. Today, unfortunately, that fraction has grown considerably to the point that today, the majority of posting has little or no value to me any more. The scary thing to consider is that, if I feel this way, I can't imagine how someone like Brent, with his vast experience/knowledge base, would even bother visiting these places anymore. These sites are only as good as those members that are willing to participate, and fewer and fewer folks like Brent are showing up. Truly sad.

Dave
 

cray13

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This quote pretty much sums things up in my mind. When I first started visiting bonsai websites 3-4 years ago, every day brought new posts by veteran hobbyists or professionals...awesome tree pics, great info filled discussions, good advice, etc. Granted, there would be some heated discussion, and the occasional blowup would happen, but these were a mere fraction of the total volume of material posted. Today, unfortunately, that fraction has grown considerably to the point that today, the majority of posting has little or no value to me any more. The scary thing to consider is that, if I feel this way, I can't imagine how someone like Brent, with his vast experience/knowledge base, would even bother visiting these places anymore. These sites are only as good as those members that are willing to participate, and fewer and fewer folks like Brent are showing up. Truly sad.

Dave

Thanks Dave. My thoughts exactly.
 
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These sites are only as good as those members that are willing to participate, and fewer and fewer folks like Brent are showing up. Truly sad.
Dave,

I agree with many of the people who took the time to post in this thread on the points that I think we all knew before the poll, such as debate is important to advancing the knowledge of bonsai, that such debates serve to get us thinking about what we believe and why, that they are educational and would be much better if everyone stuck to the topic, and the bickering was left out. In short I think it is safe to say that debates are educational and should be have in a civil manner in which the subject is debated, not the people having the discussion.

However, like I did with Brent's response, I must disagree with the statement you made, which I quoted above. I don't believe that this is even true for this site, as going back to the beginning, I see no really experienced people that were there then that are not here now. Brent, Bill, and Walter are all here on a daily basis and only Dale seems to have disappeared, but who still checks in now and then.

It certainly is not true on other sites where I see Robert Steven, Matt Ouwinga, Rob Kempinski, Reiner Goebel, Karl Thier, hans van meer, Min Hsuan, and many others posting on a daily basis.

What I do see more of is the experienced people turning to blogs, such as those we host at KoB. I have talked to many of these greats about these blogs and some of the reasons I was given as to why they prefer the blogs are as follows.

  • Total control of content, they can post what they want, how they want, when they want without regard to policies or someone else's layout.
  • The posts remain clean and uncluttered by other peoples posts, debates, or suggestions.
  • They are easy to link to for promotion and the address is far easier to print for promotional materials.
  • It is their own site, all about them and their work.

    And here's the real kicker, a lot of them get more traffic than most forums!

Wow, let's look at that last statement, how could this be? Could it be because the readers don't like the forums? No, not at all, blogs offer what many people seek on-line, good information, excellent content, that is presented in a straightforward manner without being interrupted by pages and pages of discussion, good or bad.

Believe it or not, the percentage of bonsaists that use the Internet for bonsai is very, very low and the percentage of those that do and actually use the discussion forums is also very low. The fact is that people who use the Internet and actively engage in discussion are a very small segment of the community. I came to realize this the first few times I had articles published in print media, BT at that time had 4000 + subscribers and if you added up all the regularly active Internet discussion forum members, you would be hard pressed to get even 500. But Print media does not reach thousands and thousands more bonsaists than the Internet does, even though at first glance it would seem so. The fact is that most of the readers on forums never post, never write, and never participate in discussions, they come, they seek, they move on. This is the nature of the Internet. Most people use the intrnet like a book or magazine.

The blogs and a couple of select forums are perfect for these people, they do not have to sort through endless pages of this, that, happy birthdays, and so on in order to find education, inspiration, or entertainment, a click and "blam" they have it.

Blogs are becoming more popular because they offer pure unadulterated bonsai. On the other hand, discussion forums, by their very nature, will always have discussion, good, bad, experienced, beginning, and they will always have debates, some civil and useful, some just mean and useless.

But there is still a need for interaction, especially with critique, beginners, advice, and this is where forums could and should be focused on. There are many forums that try to be everything for everybody and all that happens is a mish-mash of information and a difficult data base to find anything in. There are too many forums doing the same thing, hell even copying each other, right down to layout, mission, etc.

What the Internet forums need is what our bonsai need, originality, creativity, dedication, care, and the courage to do something different, even if you are lambasted for it in the beginning.

Blogs offer a look inside only the mind of a single artist. Forums offer a look inside many minds, but they allow all minds, beginner, expert, master, idiot, and the resulting mix is not always pleasant.


Just thinking on the subject and enjoying the discussion,



Will
 
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Walter Pall

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Will,

the truth is that I do not really participate in bonsai forums anymore. I am p....d off to see a handful of paranoid lunatics chasing Will all over the forums and seeing Will readily giving them a chance to do so. I am p...d off by a few neolithic bonsai fundamentalists giving their opinion when they wer not asked. I am p..d off by very poorly moderated forums.

A forum is like a bar. You don't have to go there.You got there because you want to. You want to be among people that give you some comfort. You go to the same bar all the time. Until one day the public changes. There is the bloke who used to be a serious sort of person and now gets drunk every night and says nasty things to folks. You try to ignore him. Then there are the juveniles who are way too loud and make it clear that they see you as a fat old fart. So you leave the bar and look for another one.

You like the new bar, but one day this drunkard or his steptwin find the new bar and bother you again. The juveniles have found the new bar too. One day someone spits at you. And the bar owner sees it and says nothing.
So you leave. You find that all bars are not what they used to be. So you stay home and start your blog. My blog btw has more traffic than IBC, BT, Bnut, and few others TOGETHER.

Who's fault is it? Well, it is how life goes. I think mainly it is the fault of the bar owner. If he is not tough and keeps the place clean it will get dirty. He has to make sure the drunkard and the juveniles behave or never come back.

I only read headings on all the forums. 5 % intrigue me and I read more.

I am really sick of all this.
 

Bill S

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that such debates serve to get us thinking about what we believe and why, that they are educational and would be much better if everyone stuck to the topic, and the bickering was left out.

In short I think it is safe to say that debates are educational and should be have in a civil manner in which the subject is debated, not the people having the discussion.

Will
Preachin to the Choir my man.

However, like I did with Brent's response, I must disagree with the statement you made, which I quoted above. I don't believe that this is even true for this site, as going back to the beginning, I see no really experienced people that were there then that are not here now. Brent, Bill, and Walter are all here on a daily basis and only Dale seems to have disappeared, but who still checks in now and then. Will
Can't say as I agree on this one, see Bren'ts, and Walters replies of this thread.

But there is still a need for interaction, especially with critique, beginners, advice, and this is where forums could and should be focused on. There are many forums that try to be everything for everybody and all that happens is a mish-mash of information and a difficult data base to find anything in. There are too many forums doing the same thing, hell even copying each other, right down to layout, mission, etc. Will
Take out the word still above and I totally agree with the statement, thats why we are here.

Blogs offer a look inside only the mind of a single artist. Forums offer a look inside many minds, but they allow all minds, beginner, expert, master, idiot, and the resulting mix is not always pleasant. Will
With this I must agree, but what we all expect is for anyone to put forth thier wisdom, and let the me's digest it and figure out whom is full of prunes. If you disagree on merit, by all means put forth the wisdom, debating semantics when the intent is clear, is the result of being full of prunes.

Just thinking on the subject and enjoying the discussion, Will
Well glad you are(not really although I bet you would guess that), but I will stretch the authority a bit and say WE aren't. What we really want is genuine discussion and advice about bonsai, with the occasional life tidbits, and humor, in the appropriate places.

Most of us here are adults, many times I sit and think what the casual observer must think, and how in such a small world, what these rediculous thread responses do to real reputations. Would it be a good idea to make it required to preview our posts before they can be posted, or what you seem to suggest is that we need to have moderators with full banning powers wielding thier mighty mouses controlling the house.

The real curse of the whole thing is that, it seems to me anyway, that the few that seem to be the constants have valuable assets for this or other sites, and as I stated before, we are plagued with having to wade through the dooddy to tiptoe thru the tulips, it makes it all stink.

May I suggest that we ALL leave egos to your real life, and when you enter the Eworld don't say anything that you wouldn't to someone six inches taller, and 50 pounds heavier than you are, that is standing next to you.

Now what was that that Wes said - oh yea, something about trees:)

Now back to our regularly scheduled program - The Best of Bonsai.

Thank You
 

Tachigi

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I think what some people are forgetting is that this is an unmoderated forum. It was conceived that way by its creator. A noble social experiment, but well after a year since opening its doors not much has changed in how we conduct business. There are moments of relative calm in which this forum is very pleasant to visit, information is exchanged and people learn and grow. Other times we stagnate in a quagmire of infighting and worthless exchanges.

So what surprises me after all this time is that people are upset about the the off topic unnecessary exchanges that take place here. Entering a unmoderated forum is no different than going to a street fight. There are no referees or judges, and no consequence for a persons actions. Yet people return time and time again to wade through the useless nonsense and then get agitated by it. With this as common knowledge, I have to admit I just don't get.

I think Walters analogy of the local bar is pretty much spot on. So that leaves you with a couple of choices. Deal with the drivel and harvest what you can from the conversations. Or two, find the moderated forums Will pointed out. Then make sure they have a stated policy on conduct and a 800 pound gorilla as a bouncer that is willing to enforce it.

The statement, a forum is what the members make it is a true one. However that statement also holds to true to that forums creator. It takes all parties involved to create a environment that is conducive for sharing and learning.
 

milehigh_7

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...I am really sick of all this.

This my friends is what I was speaking of in my post. I remember several years ago when I could ask a question on IBC and have Walter, Herb Gustufson, Colin Lewis, Brent and many others all chime in and give me advice. I am sorry, there is simply nowhere else in the world where that is possible except on an internet forum. (BTW: In my humble opinion IBC is not what it used to be)

I will more than likely never have the privilage to learn from any of these people in person and if swift action is not taken, I may never have the opportunity to interact with them at all. Sure I can read Walter's thoughts on his blog, but if we chase him away can we ever ask him what he would do on our latest attmpt?

This my friends is a tragedy.

I like many of you have a good deal of pride. I even lose my temper when insulted. I confess I have flung my share of poo. To my shame, I did it just yesterday. One thing that joins us all is our love of trees. Let us start there and build on common ground.

We may be able to preserve what is left and with luck regain what has been lost.
 

Bill S

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Tom there is a difference between walking in prepared if you should get in a fight, and walking in expecting a fight. I can deal with either, in real life someone comes at me he goes to sleep for a while, how do you suggest someone knocks someones block off here, cause thats what stops the repeat BS in a bar.

If it's ours to make there is a mechanism to deal, this is it take em to task. Let the offenders reputation be sullied, it's a small world and getting smaller everyday, have you noticed that people on the boards seem to be worlds apart geographically, and find themselves in the same events, or nurseries.

You are correct and it's been said over and over, change the channel, don't look if you're squemish, ignor it, I don't think thats what very many here really want, but I think theres a bunch that wouldn't mind hanging out behind the barn for just one day.

I think Walters point was that he's outta here to get away from it, not to go somewhere else if you don't like it.

Unfortunately I think the ranks have thinned some, at the same time I do not advocate getting totally strict, theres a couple of sites like that, they are social clubs of newbs being taught by other newbs, and some boobs. We've had a few "name" pop in's here and there of late, and I would like to see more of thier presence, but we have had some that just poopoo this kind of crap and probably don't wish to have good names associated with the nonsense.

If it's worth doing, it's worth doing it right. A not so bad way to go thru life. If you like the bar analogy, hows this - New rule - Before you hit send, read it and ask yourself, Self if this guy were 6 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than I am, and he's standing next to me in the dark bar, would i still say it.

It's been more active, but I stop here first, then go to busier places. BNut started to develope nicely, it still can.
 
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.... I am p....d off to see a handful of paranoid lunatics chasing Will all over the forums and seeing Will readily giving them a chance to do so.
I am guilty of giving them a chance, I need to learn to ignore more and use my ignore feature again.

.... I am p..d off by very poorly moderated forums.
This is a very important statement. I have said before that there are forums out there where all parties here are members at and the crap never happens. Tom wisely points out that this is a self moderated forum, grand idea but very little self moderating takes place, instead it is like a grade school classroom when the teacher steps out for a minute....all the kids throwing spitballs ruin it for the rest who also get extra homework.

.... A forum is like a bar. You don't have to go there.You got there because you want to. You want to be among people that give you some comfort. You go to the same bar all the time. Until one day the public changes. There is the bloke who used to be a serious sort of person and now gets drunk every night and says nasty things to folks. You try to ignore him. Then there are the juveniles who are way too loud and make it clear that they see you as a fat old fart. So you leave the bar and look for another one.

You like the new bar, but one day this drunkard or his steptwin find the new bar and bother you again. The juveniles have found the new bar too. One day someone spits at you. And the bar owner sees it and says nothing.
So you leave...
Excellent analogy!

.....have you noticed that people on the boards seem to be worlds apart geographically, and find themselves in the same events, or nurseries.
Yes, I've not only noticed, I am counting on it. ;)

.....Unfortunately I think the ranks have thinned some, at the same time I do not advocate getting totally strict, theres a couple of sites like that, they are social clubs of newbs being taught by other newbs, and some boobs.
Oh, I could name three that are really strict, maybe the strictest out there that are far from being havens for newbies and boobs.



Everyone else,

We have hashed out again and again what the problem is, but what is the solution?



Will
 

johng

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The solution lies with you, Will

Will, my friend...didn't your momma ever teach you that it takes two to tango. I've haven't been privy to all the nonsense that has surrounded you in the past but I have seen some of it here...but its really simple, if YOU would just ignore and not respond to the jabs they will go away. I don't know if you think you are protecting your honor or just trying to use your talents at word smithing to get even but the bottom line is this...stop responding no matter how tempting it is and it will stop. Your predictable responses are the sole fuel for the attacks...its time for someone to be the bigger person.

In relation to your comments about other forums and intelligent discussions, I am sure you aware that for the last 6 months or so KoBs posts were only averaging about 1 a day if that...I see that things have picked up slightly in the recent weeks but certainly not enough activity to for anyone to claim that there are intelligent discussions taking place. I personally won't ever post there again but that is a completely different matter.

I have been lurking around these forums for a couple of years and have tried to make the occasional positive contribution for the last year or so...however recently I have decided that I and my trees would be a lot better off if I spent more time working on them and less time wading through the crap on forums...I think a few other people would be well served by the same decision.

turning the channel,
John
 
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Tachigi

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Hi Bill,
Tom there is a difference between walking in prepared if you should get in a fight, and walking in expecting a fight. I can deal with either, in real life someone comes at me he goes to sleep for a while, how do you suggest someone knocks someones block off here, cause thats what stops the repeat BS in a bar.
As in West Side Story (O' Boy is this going to date me) each character going to a fight had a weapon, yours is the ignore button a form of peer pressure. If you don't respond to the offending individual then eventually there will be no enjoyment in posting the drivel. Unfortunately this requires participation by all.

If it's ours to make there is a mechanism to deal, this is it take em to task. Let the offenders reputation be sullied, it's a small world and getting smaller everyday, have you noticed that people on the boards seem to be worlds apart geographically, and find themselves in the same events, or nurseries.
If Walter, Colin , Suthin did this we would all gasp and your example may work. They are brand names associated with high quality. If Bonsai Joe does it you might get a head shake and a giggle. So our "mechanism to deal with this" ends up with the moderator or the ignor button one. I know will work the other may not.

You are correct and it's been said over and over, change the channel, don't look if you're squemish, ignor it, I don't think thats what very many here really want, but I think theres a bunch that wouldn't mind hanging out behind the barn for just one day.
Unfortunately in an unmoderated setting thats the choices it seems you have. None of us wants that, as we all are looking for the secret to bonsai and we don't want to miss any tid bit. We are constrained by the cyber walls of the forum and some choices in this setting are quite limited.
I think Walters point was that he's outta here to get away from it, not to go somewhere else if you don't like it.
In this instance possibly yes. He obviously has gone from one forum to another searching for the interaction that he desires. I know of one that he is satisfied with as there are never exchanges like this. For the rest of us switching up maybe the answer if "getting a grip" doesn't work.

Unfortunately I think the ranks have thinned some, at the same time I do not advocate getting totally strict, theres a couple of sites like that, they are social clubs of newbs being taught by other newbs, and some boobs.
I would agree, I even find myself cutting back on posts when most every thread strays off topic. I do enjoy this site quite a bit when its focused. However, if it doesn't give me what I need or desire then I cut back and look elsewhere till it comes back into line. As far as strict sites go? I think that the grand experiment has shown what happens when its missing. It would be nice to have our cake and eat it to, but with a mix of so many people, that IMO will never happen. I also gotta disagree with you on "strict" sites being havens for noobs. I can think of three maybe four that are advanced sites offering advanced topics and are far from social clubs.

If it's worth doing, it's worth doing it right. A not so bad way to go thru life. If you like the bar analogy, hows this - New rule - Before you hit send, read it and ask yourself, Self if this guy were 6 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than I am, and he's standing next to me in the dark bar, would i still say it.
Another Bill Maher and a new Rule fan :D That rule is something to take to heart. However, some people incite for entertainment value by there own admission. So that guy thats 50 pounds heavier and six inches taller with the sloped forehead needs to be a mod. because people won't stop if they get pleasure out of it.

BNut started to develope nicely, it still can.
I agree, some great topics and people can be found here. I think its up to Greg now to take it to the next level if he can commit to that.
 

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Will, my friend...didn't your momma ever teach you that it takes two to tango. I've haven't been privy to all the nonsense that has surrounded you in the past but I have seen some of it here...but its really simple, if YOU would just ignore and not respond to the jabs they will go away. I don't know if you think you are protecting your honor or just trying to use your talents at word smithing to get even but the bottom line is this...stop responding no matter how tempting it is and it will stop. Your predictable responses are the sole fuel for the attacks...its time for someone to be the bigger person.
Awhile back I used the ignore feature here and ignored the usual few people and guess what? It never stopped, in fact it accelerated once they learned they could do so without their baseless accusations and groundless attacks being defended against.

Using the bar analogy again, what you and others have said is that I should just sit on my stool and ignore the guy next to me that is spitting at me and stealing my drinks? The owner does nothing, so my choice, according to you is to either leave the bar or to just sit there silent.

I'm sorry, I'm not made of whatever that stuff is. The bigger person is the one who does not start such drivel in the first place. The fact is, it is easy to pull this crap on-line, most would never dare to act this way in person, I'll be banned (and have been) before I let someone talk crap without rebuttal. I am sure most will agree that I seldom, if ever incite, attack, or bait on the forums, a fact attested to by the advice I hear all the time...don't respond, just ignore....the funny thing is I never here these advice givers telling the instigators to stop.

It may take two to tango, but somebody always leads.


In relation to your comments about other forums and intelligent discussions, I am sure you aware that for the last 6 months or so KoBs posts were only averaging about 1 a day if that...I see that things have picked up slightly in the recent weeks but certainly not enough activity to for anyone to claim that there are intelligent discussions taking place. I personally won't ever post there again but that is a completely different matter.
I never knew you ever posted there, I must have missed it.

KoB is a new forum and yes, it is picking up, but notice the quality of the posts, of the information being discussed. Notice the civil discussions, the in-depth advice being given. Notice the experience levels of a lot of the posters....all the experienced people are not giving up on bonsai forums, they are just finding places like KoB where such crap is not allowed. A person doesn't have to ignore attempts to incite or personal attacks there, the instigator is simply dealt with quickly and efficiently.

I disagree with your statement that there is "certainly not enough activity to for anyone to claim that there are intelligent discussions taking place" for many reasons, but mainly because the amount of activity does not dictate how intelligent the discussion is. I'll take quality over quantity any day, in fact KoB and AoB were designed with this as a guiding principle.

But wait, if you go through the articles, profiles, and galleries at AoB you will find threads with over 20,000 views, I highly doubt there is any thread on any other forum that can boast that. A vast majority of the threads there have well over 5000 reads and none of them are heated slam your neighbor threads. Most people judge a forum by the number of posts daily, but fail to mention that 90% of them are by the same handful of people. A forum should be judged by content and how often the content is accessed. This may surprise many but both KoB and AoB had over one million hits each in February of 2008. The popular rumor that AoB and KoB are stagnant is greatly exaggerated.

But I digress, sorry....

So your suggestion on the solution is for me to not respond...isn't that a bit like beating the dog because he bit the man that kicked him? I just left another forum because of that mentality.





Will
 
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