How many bonsai enthusiasts visit bonsai sites on the Internet?

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Rick Moquin

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PS: Hey! What do you know, a real discussion, and no one interested except me and Will.

... an intelligent and interesting debate/read but not one that stimulates my participation, with the exception of this reply.
 

agraham

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Will said...."The issue we are discussing is why some forums lean toward the loony tune programming, some toward the reality tv, and some toward the Discovery Channel?"

I realise what you are discussing,but thanks for the clarification.The issue is quite straight forward though, and you have answered it youself.I understood you..perhaps you were so busy talking you didn't even realise you had an answer....people want different things and no one site is likely to be all things to all people.

Brent said....."Hey! What do you know, a real discussion, and no one interested except me and Will"

With all the respect that you are due....and for what you have contributed to the bonsai community,it is a considerable amount of respect......perhaps this is part of the problem.I am not a published author,nor am I a "name" in the bonsai world,but I am not nobody.Perhaps you overlook the contributions of the "lessers" or find them frivolous.Not worthy of your time?Inconsequential?

This is the kind of discussion I would expect to find at AOB.Interesting for sure,but not likely to be answered by any consensus.So perhaps it is wasted time and bandwidth for all concerned.As a matter of fact,I would NOT consider it much more important than recognising some nobody on their birthday.I'm surprised that you have partaken,since it is obviously not really artisticly or horticulturally relevent.

andy
 

Vance Wood

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Andy: I think there are a lot of people that have "Bailed Out" of some of the forums because of many of the points listed in this conversation. I for one agree with every word of it, and could tell you some horror stories of my own at the hands of moderators. If you haven't already read my article "The Problem With American Bonsai", you should read it. It is fairly long so I wont go into detail here but I sort out some of the trends in American Bonsai that relate to trends in American social attitudes. Not everything that happens in the Bonsai Forums is about bonsai.

That article is found on AoB in the eristic section if you have not read it.
 

grog

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PS: Hey! What do you know, a real discussion, and no one interested except me and Will.

I imagine the discussion has generated quite a bit of interest. Speaking for myself though I'm sitting in the beginner's seat so don't have a lot to add to the topic. Come to think of it I can remember exactly ONE post that I've made which actually added to a discussion. Not so hot a batting average so far. Anyways, I digress. What I do have to say coming from a noob perspective is Bnut is the best of all worlds as far as I'm concerned. AoB, KoB, and IBC all have some excellent stuff going on but there's no way I'd post on any of them. BC, BT, and BS all have some good stuff every now and then but I think I skip over about 95% of the posts. I'm baffled by the need for people to post their sticks and ask what people think of them. They're sticks.. what is there to think? I have about 60 of those sticks myself and I certainly don't have an urge to ask what other people think of them.

Here I'm comfortable asking questions about the few things I have that are a bit beyond stick phase. I don't feel that my material is beneath other's attention as I would on some sites and at the same time I don't have to worry about someone who probably doesn't know any more than I do tell me what I should do with my tree. (What is with the people who have post counts in the thousands but never have anything productive to say?) The lack of "Help with my dying indoor juniper" posts is certainly refreshing.

I think the two main components that make Bnut comfortable and productive are respect and tolerance. Respect for the people who have been doing this for a while and are willing to help others out. Tolerance by those same people for us noobs when we ask what may be an obvious question but some honest research hasn't found a good answer. I think the key is maintaining those components in reasonable amounts. Without some independent thinking too much respect for experienced practitioners leads to stagnation. Too much tolerance for noobs like myself and we start thinking we know as much as the long term bonsaists. Then we get lazy, are unwilling to look up our own answers rather than waste other's time, and basically just turn into pains in the collective butt. Too much of either and egos become more central than the trees.
 

agraham

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Vance,

I've read it.Thanks.I won't discuss your article here except to say that I don't necessarily agree with all of it.

Obviously not everything in bonsai forums has to do with bonsai.And we all get to choose which non bonsai related posts and activities we participate in.That IS the point.There is NOT going to be a perfect site for everyone.If you let beginners start posting too much(bT perhaps)...the "experts" leave.If you squelch the beginners participation(AOB,IBC perhaps)....the beginners leave.

I have a feeling that what you and Will and Brent really want is to have the final word when dealing with "lessers".I think you want the beginners to follow every word as gospel as you do those of Walter Pall or whomever you think is a more skilled artisan than yourself.I mean no disrespect.But perhaps the online thing is different than a workshop where people pay you for teaching them and your word is the rule.The information that is on forums is free,and whether or not it is good information,it is often valued at the cost.With a little knowledge comes a more reasonable valuation of the knowledge of others.But, it takes time.And, there will always be those just starting out(hopefully).

I participated in this thread.I had something to say.Will thought he had to explain to me what we were discussing.Brent just ignored or discounted my comment.That's fine.You guys can discuss your theories on why everything isn't just the way you want them to be.And I'll accept that you can't please everyone all the time.

andy
 
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...I get the distinct impression from the moderators at BT, BC, and BS. The moderators there seem to pretty much run the show, not intentionally, but they post an enormous number of posts and this sets the agenda. None of these folks seems to be very far advanced in bonsai as far as I can tell. They don't really need to be to be moderators, but domination of the posting by this group really lowers the bar of the quality of the site. I understand the dilemma, one doesn't want to leave a newbie question dangling. I think the better system is to have a benign dictator like Bnut, and let the chips fall where they may. If I ran a forum, that's certainly what I would do.
I have had the same observations and have come to the conclusion that many of these moderators often confuse authority with knowledge and experience. I have noticed that if someone contradicts some of them on advice it can get very ugly quick. Couple this sad state of affairs with the common occurrence that you mentioned above of the moderators posting very often on all threads and that they are usually the first to respond to questions asked or the first to offer advice and you have a serious problem of dilution. It is my personal opinion that moderators should spend their time moderating when needed, I have rarely seen moderators that contribute much to discussions.


...The easy answer here is that Jim Lewis simply won't allow any silliness or personal attacks. Although, I like the guy, his style does have a chilling effect. I have talked to numerous people who won't post there because of some unfortunate exchange, or fear of one. This has dried up a lot of the spontaneity. The IBC still has the greatest number of professional and otherwise knowledgeable bonsai practitioners. It is my hope that it will arise from it's slumber to rule again.
Exactly!

AoB has been up and operational for over two years now, no silliness, no crap, and we have never had to ban a single person either. Why? The tone is set, the rules are plain, the conversation is professional, polite, and straight. Many people have commented on how amazed they are that debates like we have can be had without the heated arguments and attacks that are common on other forums. There are a few examples of exactly the same subjects that were discussed on forums like BT and also on AoB and/or IBC, the difference in tone and knowledge exchanged is absolutely amazing. (Three Dimensional Bonsai, Mushrooms as Accents, etc) The difference is what tone the forum sets and allows, in most cases, the moderators were as much to blame for off topic comments, sniping, or encouraging such themselves.

Jim Lewis can be hard, but when one looks at the results he has accomplished, meaning the polite environment which is used by some of the biggest names in the art, he should be a example, not to follow exactly, but as one where expectations are set and enforced. I like Jim, besides being blind in one eye concerning his own bonsai, he runs a tight ship, he is basically unbiased and will listen to others.


...I won't pull any punches, you can generate a terrific amount of serious bonsai discussion, but your manner has often brought out the worst in people as well, and perhaps the worst in you.
Thanks for the honesty. I am currently looking for the book "How to win friends and influence people." ;)

I need to use my ignore feature more often I think, right or wrong, ignoring much of what angers me seems to be helping. My biggest pet peeve is those who attack the author of a piece and not the subject matter....pointless and counter productive. Please don't critique me, I know my faults and the better half makes damn sure I don't ever forget them. :( Instead critique what I do, what I accomplish, what I create, what I write...in doing so I can learn and become better. Sadly there are a handful of people from BT that are more worried about anything but what I try and contribute. Recently one of these individuals was asked by another person just what exactly he had against me, if I had ever done anything to him personally...they answered no I've never done anything, and they were not sure what they had against me, but if others hated me, there must be a reason right?

And some wonder why my computer has dents on it.


... Beginners bring us rare gems along with tons of pony poop. It's up to us to figure out which is which.
How true. We also need to realize that beginners do in fact bring these gems and that we should not dismiss ideas based only on the persons experience level. Fresh eyes can see many things old eyes can not.


...There was another tutorial on another site that did the same thing with Photshop and GIMP as well, which was great for me because I am on a Linux computer.
Do you have that link handy? I would like to list it as well for others to learn from.


...And look at Gardenweb now.
Unless you are planning to make a tumbleweed bonsai, the place is basically useless now. Pop-ups, extreme ads, banning anyone who linked anywhere, and some questionable advice being posted did the place in. A perfect example of a forum, so hung up with trying to "capture" the membership that they ruined the whole forum.

You can't keep people against their will, they have to want to come back, to check in often for new posts. Almost every single bonsai forum user visits multiple forums, I do. Trying to prevent links such as in your signature or mine is futile, the time is better spent assuring that the forum is suited for discussion and that the silliness is quickly dealt with. Nurture the fruits, pull the weeds, and make sure the ground is fertile....this is what admin or mods should do in order for a forum to be attractive to the serious bonsaist and useful for those who are seeking advice.


Will
 
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....perhaps you were so busy talking you didn't even realise you had an answer....people want different things and no one site is likely to be all things to all people.

.....Perhaps you overlook the contributions of the "lessers" or find them frivolous.Not worthy of your time?Inconsequential?

.....This is the kind of discussion I would expect to find at AOB.

I have a feeling that what you and Will and Brent really want is to have the final word when dealing with "lessers".I think you want the beginners to follow every word as gospel as you do those of Walter Pall or whomever you think is a more skilled artisan than yourself.

Andy,

The real heart of this discussion is how to assure that Bnut succeeds and not fails like so many other forums have. Succeeding means to me..

that the experienced practitioners would want to post here, people like Brent, Walter, Morten, Rob, etc etc etc and not leave like they have other forums. Their knowledge is important, it is valuable, without such experienced active members, what is left? Well, we could all wish each other Happy Birthday, I guess.

that intelligent, professional discussion on bonsai can take place here unhindered.

that people of all levels can feel welcomed and not be dragged through the mud when they post their ideas of efforts.

that values the truth and calls questionable techniques or advice for what it is, while keeping an open mind for new gems.

and that discourages silliness, rudeness, and trivia that lends nothing to the advancement of knowledge.

You are right, not every person wants the same thing, that is why there are different forums, do you wish Bnut to be exactly like another, allowing the same things, or duplicating the same content? if so, which one?

Bnut should be different, it needs to be to succeed, we can see what is happening to some other forums.


Brent, myself, and others are simply discussing forums and what we like or dislike about them..it is related to the topic Bnut originally posted, in regards to there being very few bonsaists that use the Internet forums...and why.

I apologize if you do not like the conversation or if you feel it should not be had on this forum.


Will

(By the way, I am one of the "lessors" but I have never let that stop me.)
 
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Graydon

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Perhaps some of the best indirect bonsai reading I have seen lately. Good stuff, great exchanges on this thread. I got chills several times. Thanks to all of you who posted. This made for some great reading upon return from my out of town job.

I need to read this all again and absorb it - there is a lot of stuff to take in. It was refreshing to see everyone lay their thoughts out over this subject. This is exactly what I want to see on BonsaiNut, this type of discussion.

Again - a deep thank you to everyone who took the time to write a real 'meat and potatoes' post.
 

Boondock

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Most people indeed do visit several forums. And It's true that the moderator and the people who participate in a forum "sets the tone"

I have gained the majority of bonsai knowledge from forums. But when I began reading the forums, I choose bonsaiTALK because of it's mix of practical techniques, quality information, and because sometimes there are posts that amuse me.

I think the moderator here, has done a good thing by creating and sometimes posting in a subforum called "The Karaoke Bar". Sometimes when I post, there is a comical or humerous aspect, and it's usually not subtle.

I agree with many of the people here concerning IBC. I read the forum there on a regular basis. But the "tone" does not appeal enough to me for me to consider it my "home" forum.

AoB has been up and operational for over two years now, no silliness, no crap, and we have never had to ban a single person either. Why? The tone is set, the rules are plain, the conversation is professional, polite, and straight.

If you want a draconian, strict forum, with ZERO jocular content. Well look no further than AOB. A forum is made of people who particpate. And those people have personalities.

The personalities of the people who participate, give a forum, it's unique personality.
 

Vance Wood

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I am starting to see a sea change in the bonsai forums. People are starting to realize that we are a very small and sort of cloistered group of individuals. We have differences of opinion, we have egos, we have strengths and we have faults, and sometimes we have disagreements. This is all well and good but it becomes a real and significant problem when we allow our disagreements to trun into dislikes and worse. When you stop and think about the people you have made angry you have to realize that the "we" has become one less and after all, one more thing we have besides our differences, egos, strengths and weaknesses is---each other.
 
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If you want a draconian, strict forum, with ZERO jocular content. Well look no further than AOB. A forum is made of people who particpate. And those people have personalities.

The personalities of the people who participate, give a forum, it's unique personality.

This is where we differ.

You say a forum is made of of the people that participate, if this is true then the experience of the people who participate must also make up the forum as well. I personally believe that a forum is made up of the content it contains, certainly people play a important role, they create the content.

AoB is not draconian, strict, I don't think so...we maybe have had to moderate 6 or 7 posts in the last two years, we never have banned anyone to date, and warnings...well maybe 4 or 5 total...you see, it's the tone, the content, the atmosphere that does the moderating, that and the real name policy, it is amazing how well most people behave when their real name is attached. I would also argue the point about AoB having zero jocular content, you should read there more often.

Why is AoB succeeding if it is all those things as you claim? Why is the member list filled with the most recognized names in the art? Why do we receive such praise from people who visit and professionals? Why is it that some of the world's best artists feel it is a honor to have a gallery or profile featured there?

AoB filled a niche that was empty before, it appeals to the advanced and to those who see the artistic aspects of bonsai. Before AoB, the content featured there simply did not exist anyplace else. AoB is world wide, our latest contest has the rules in five different languages, all translated by our own members.


It would seem many people do indeed want what AoB offers. But this isn't about AoB, AoB is fine, it will continue to succeed and continue to break records and create innovations.

This is about Bnut and what will separate it from other forums, what will attract not only beginners, intermediate, and advanced users, but also the very advanced. You say it is about the people, yet without quality content and discussion, there will be no people...examples have already been given.


Will
 

Boondock

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Ok, you made your point. But, "there must be a reason" why people such as yourself, who are so involved in another forum(s), spend so much time on other forums.

The niche that AOB fills, must not be a niche that fills your needs. So, you go elsewhere to find a place to have your needs fulfilled.

I have learned alot from this thread. But this thread has NOTHING to do with bonsai. So, it's off topic, maybe trivial, sometimes rude, with a little bit of sillyiness thrown in.

But I learned from it.
 
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Ok, you made your point. But, "there must be a reason" why people such as yourself, who are so involved in another forum(s), spend so much time on other forums.
Why am I a co-founder of two forums, one culivational, one artistic? Why do I frequent IBC and Bnut? Why do I visit bonsaisite, tropicalbonsai, canadabonsai, and browse BT and BC occasionally?

Why am I the webmaster and show chairman of my club? Why do I write articles and submit them for publication both on-line and in print? Why am I on the board for planning a national show in America? Why am I nominated for a board position in another national bonsai association? Why did I create a knowledge base for bonsai information?

You say "there must be a reason" as if there is some sinister plan in the works. There is no such thing, I am greatly involved in the art of bonsai and when asked why do I do so much, I answer...why don't you?

The niche that AOB fills, must not be a niche that fills your needs. So, you go elsewhere to find a place to have your needs fulfilled.
I helped to create AoB from scratch because I and others, had an itch that other forums were not scratching. It turns out that that itch was the need for serious, advanced, artistic knowledge and discussion. Kob came later out of a need for serious, advanced, culivational discussion. Neither AoB or KoB are discussion forums, sometimes I enjoy bouncing ideas and thoughts off other people, in example, this excellent conversation I am having with Brent. This stuff is valuable and it is rare.

Beginners go to where they can get help, most any forum can help a beginner, some fail for various reasons discussed here, some are over the beginners head. Tell me where can the advanced and the very advanced go for peer review, discussion on their own level, without the usual "My Serissa is dying" posts? I can think of just a couple places. Why do we not see more of these very advanced people posting at BT, BC, etc? I have seen Walter, Brent, and Vance post here at Bnut to date, will we keep them, will they move on, will they be ran off so the remaining few can be the forum masters of no talent? Will the next time this discussion happens be at another forum and referring to this site as an example?


I have learned a lot from this thread. But this thread has NOTHING to do with bonsai. So, it's off topic, maybe trivial, sometimes rude, with a little bit of sillyiness thrown in.
Amazing that a couple people have stated how refreshing and good this discussion was and a couple have said how pointless and silly it was....

This thread has everything to do with bonsai...you yourself said that most your bonsai knowledge has come from forums....this discussion is how to assure that such knowledge can be maintained, encouraged, and polished. What better discussion can be had on a forum than how to make the forum the best, enable quality information to be shared, and to keep the static low to assure all can participate?

Off topic? Bnut started this thread, wondering what the percentage of total bonsaists are that use the Internet. The consensus was low and that led to the discussion of why....and here we are.



Static, it will ruin the best of conversations.


Will
 

Boondock

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I am amazed, that you list your resume, with all these accomplishments, and then in response to what I said in line 52, you say...

Static, it will ruin the best of conversations.

amazing
 
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See post #52 and the questions therein.

So do you have a point you are trying to make? Disrupting a discussion, calling it trivial and silly is certainly not adding to the conversation at all. No one is forcing you to read this thread....


Will
 
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nsmar4211

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The main problem as I see it with the percentage of bonsai people who visit bonsai forums isn't the "silliness" turning them off, it's the computer savvyness/lack of time. My local bonsai club, which has many well known/respected/experienced people in it, once asked how many people have email. Most of them do. They also asked how many people go on the forums..... many don't. So I asked a few of them why not, the reasons I got were: They didn't have the time to sit at the computer (too busy doing bonsai or 9-5 jobs or nurseries or their families), email was the only reason they use the computer (i.e. they don't surf the internet), and the internet was just too complicated. However, the only responses I got dealing directly with the forums themselves were that the the forums were too full of people touting themselves or others and not enough bonsai talk, and they read the forums but don't post for fear of being dismissed/ridiculed by the established ones who (and this is their words) "think they already know everything and feel they have to force it on everyone else". Not once did I get the response of , "too much silliness".

And a side note on the deridement of the pipecleaner bonsai contest: Try it. Go get a bag of pipecleaners and make a bonsai. I personally learned rather quickly that there's a difference between seeing a bonsai and saying good/bad and designing one from pure scratch. Would you deride someone who draws/paints bonsai out of their heads? Same idea, different medium, albeit not a traditional art medium. And before the sputtering starts-I told my local bonsai club about it at a meeting, and showed them pictures of several of the entries. They laughed when I named it, but after they thought about it they liked the idea and were impressed with several of the entries. These are not "beginners-with-sticks-in-pots" either!

I am fortunate to be in an area with several bonsai nurseries and a great club, however, I can't visit them at 11pm when I have a spare minute. So the forums are a way for me to get information and ask questions when everything else is closed or people are asleep. Not to mention meeting people from all over the world who share a common interest.

And keep in mind that the "stick in a pot" beginners on forums who you may push away now will be your sucessor... no one lives forever.
 

agraham

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Will

You can "see what is happening to other forums".That is good.But what you or Brent think of other forums does not make any of them a success or failure.

IBC is a success for the people who participate there.The same can be said for bT and KOB and AOB.Could they be better individually?Ofcourse.But as a whole,the people who are complaining are looking for something that doesn't exist.A perfect forum for everyone.

I'm sorry if I missed the 2 lines that the specific discussion of Bonsainut's failure or success was discussed between.But I'll gladly join in if that is what we are discussing.

btw...unless you have a vested interest in Bnut...it doesn't really matter how you define success.How does Bonsainut define it?What does Bonsainut want his forum to be?Let's pretend this is a business venture.What are Bonsainut's goals?What is his perceived audience?What does he want to accomplish?Does he want to generate traffic to generate income?Does he want to generate traffic so as to expose as many to bonsai as he can?Does he want to help beginners?Does he want to promote accomplished artists?Does he want a workshop atmosphere?..or a demo atmosphere?..or a club atmosphere?

I would like nothing better than to be proven wrong....but I don't think you can have it all in the free for all world of the internet.For all that participate in the bonsai forums,there are multiples of those who don't, who see them as chit chat at worst and electronic books at best.The internet will not replace hands on experience,directed doing, and personal results.

There are very good forums out there.They are good because they cater to the people who are members.

So begs the question....where does Bnut want to fit in and to whom does he want to appeal.

Your wishlist for a successful forum is very subjective.Where pros can discuss professionaly and beginners can post without fear of being ridiculed?...that's going to be difficult to achieve.How many pros are going to wade through a mess of sticks in pots?

"That values the truth"? What truths?...give me an example.Truth is a very vague word.I'm not talking moral truths or physics truths.I'm talking horticultural and artistic truths.What is the "truth" about the best bonsai soil?What is the "truth" about "naturalistic style"?Some people think their opinion is the "truth" and others feel their opinion is the "truth".

There's a thread right now on bT concerning a Rocky Mountain Juniper.Walter Pall helped with the transplanting.What if that tree dies?(and I hope it won't).Will it because Walter and the owner did something wrong?Will it because crap happens?Will it be because the owner didn't care for it properly?....what will be the truth?

If I say that many of Walter Pall's trees do not appeal to me,is that the "truth"...or an acceptable truth?

Who is to determine what are questionable cultural practices?Who is to determine who is qualified to answer a question?What criteria do we use?The responder's trees?His years of experience?His fame?

My gosh....Bonsainut has started another thread... http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?t=381 ...it's not bonsai related.The nerve of this guy!...oh yeah...it's his forum.

I'd like to add that my inferance that this thread was silly or off topic was a slightly facetious attempt to point out the irony of you and Brent putting down the "happy birthday" threads at bT.The people who participate there enjoy wishing happy birthday to each other.You obviously enjoy discussing questions that have no real answer.That is fine.Some people feel they are a waste of time even if you deem them important.

andy
 

Rick Moquin

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Most people indeed do visit several forums. And It's true that the moderator and the people who participate in a forum "sets the tone"

I have gained the majority of bonsai knowledge from forums. But when I began reading the forums, I choose bonsaiTALK because of it's mix of practical techniques, quality information, and because sometimes there are posts that amuse me.

However, having said that BT has become a site that I do not wish to frequent because of it's lack of moderation. Personal attacks go unchallenged and albeit some good information can be found there, the flame wars that are often fuelled and re-fuelled by senior members not to mention the ridicule of new members is simply apalling and counter-productive IMHO.

I agree with many of the people here concerning IBC. I read the forum there on a regular basis. But the "tone" does not appeal enough to me for me to consider it my "home" forum.

All forums are different but bringing the tone of BT or any other forum to another, is counter productive. Personally I like the free exchange of opinions and ideas, it offers a different perspective, and although my participation here might seem scarce, I welcome the relaxed atmosphere and intelligent conversation that occurs, even this thread.

If you want a draconian, strict forum, with ZERO jocular content. Well look no further than AOB. A forum is made of people who particpate. And those people have personalities.

The personalities of the people who participate, give a forum, it's unique personality.
... and I believe that it should remain that way, it caters to many folks who may not share your opinion perse. It is a place where some serious debate takes place, without personal attacks, although I have to admit I did see the occasional thread. It is often said "it is better to look like a fool than to speak and remove all doubt". If one cannot carry on an intelligent conversation, or add to said conversation with intelligent thought provoking ideas and debates, then perhaps one should refrain from posting. AoB and KoB have their place on the internet, different strokes for different folks. One thing that cannot be denied is the quality of material found there. Perhaps not something to sink one's teeth in or apeal to everyone, but informative to say the least.

Having said that, does strict moderation remove individual personalities, or does it allow folks the free exchange of mutually stimulating conversation? I believe IMHO that is what gives each forum it's uniqueness, regardless of what outsiders think. Like they often say at BC "Whatever floats your boat" It is further my belief that if a particular forum does not catter to specific needs, then one should seek one that does, and participate constructively on that particular one, vice disrupting the rest, as we do not want (I believe) cookie cutter forums.

I frequent forums were I can grow in this chosen craft and hopefully contribute something usefull in the process.
 
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btw...unless you have a vested interest in Bnut...it doesn't really matter how you define success.How does Bonsainut define it?What does Bonsainut want his forum to be?Let's pretend this is a business venture.What are Bonsainut's goals?What is his perceived audience?What does he want to accomplish?Does he want to generate traffic to generate income?Does he want to generate traffic so as to expose as many to bonsai as he can?Does he want to help beginners?Does he want to promote accomplished artists?Does he want a workshop atmosphere?..or a demo atmosphere?..or a club atmosphere?

BonsaiNut is intended to be an intermediate to advanced technical bonsai site. It serves as a resource for beginners to read and learn about the hobby, but is not targeted at them. Therefore you can think of it as "beginner friendly, but meant for a more advanced audience".

As far as community goes, I definitely want there to be a casual tone at the site with people knowing each other, developing friendships, etc. However bonsainut will never be a "happy birthday XXX" type of site. There is only one forum dedicated to casual conversation, and I expressly kept the general forums to a minimum to try to force people to consider what they were going to post and to try to get them to categorize it into the appropriate forum.

This is not a commercial site, so I am not directly interested in traffic, per se. However I view traffic as a proxy for site quality - the better the site the more traffic you get - so if I see traffic dropping I try to understand why and what I can do to improve the site. However I do not foresee a day when BonsaiNut has 500 people online at the same time.

I want the tone of the site to be knowledgable, helpful, and friendly. Generally speaking, I want people to spend time trying to build and improve upon ideas, instead of tear them down. For some reason this hobby makes it too easy for everyone to be a critic. To read these boards, you would sometimes think everyone was a master and there were no students :) I created this site because I think of myself as a perpetual student, and wanted to attract a community shaped to my liking, where I could continue to learn :) I agree with much of what Agraham is saying, however. "Liking" of a site is subjective - and just because you don't like a site doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of people who do. I try to make BonsaiNut friendly to everyone, but the audience will self-select based on whether they find what they want here.
 

agraham

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That about sums it up guys.That's what Greg wants.How do we go about helping him achieve it?

andy
 
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