Some suggestions

subnet_rx

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I would like to make some suggestions for this forum based on my own forum experiences, and what I would like to see in bonsai forums in general (but can't find). I have no interest right now in creating my own bonsai forum and think the administration here is the most open to new ideas. I have leaned towards this site and BonsiteSite.com who is doing a lot of things right in my mind.

1. The number of forums is just too large. With a small community like this, you want it to appear to be tight-knit. The large number of separate forums doesn't give this impression. It gives the impression that you get 10,000 posts a day. I would reduce it drastically (and I know this will seem shocking) to maybe 2-3 forums. Off-topic, Bonsai discussion, and maybe another open spot. How will you categorize? The solution is in the next suggestion.

2. Upgrade the software. This should be fairly simple since you have not made the mistake of putting a lot of addon junk into the software. By upgrading, you can get better social networking going and built-in photo handling (I'd still use photopost though). The other thing you get is tagging. Threads should be tagged with the names of trees and the subject it involves. It should be fairly easy for me to do a search on "juniper davurica" and get all threads about that tree. And not really the loads of junk that you get where it might have been mentioned in any thread in the entire system. With tagging, you end up with better categorization than separating all these forums out where most users are confused as to where their post should go. It's simple. Come to bonsai discussion and post your thread. Come to bonsai discussion to read about bonsai discussion.

3. Regional groups. This would be a differentiation from other forums. What works in the Northwest does not necessarily work in the South. I'd love to connect and talk to people in my region to see what their experiences are with bonsai varieties in my region. This shouldn't be in the form of forums until they get really popular. They should probably be in the form of groups (built-in with this version), or social groups, or sub-forums of a main forum like bonsai discussion.
 

subnet_rx

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Not taking the hosting part into account, vBulletin actually costs $100 per year or $180 + $60 per year for the updates. I still wonder why people insist on using vBulletin when there are so many great free alternatives on the market.

https://www.vbulletin.com/order/

Michael

Because it's the best, and it's $40 per year to extend your license. If this forum doesn't have $40 a year for maintenance, then I retract my statement, this forum will die anyway. It's only a matter of time before the site gets hacked and database compromised.
 

AndyWilson

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You are a cheerful lad arent you?

With advise like that who needs a recession;-)
 

Bonsai Nut

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I would like to make some suggestions for this forum...
1. The number of forums is just too large...
2. Upgrade the software...
3. Regional groups...

Thank you for the suggestions :) When I created this site, I was trying to do something a little different that would address the short-comings I felt existed in other sites. One of these was organization - I wanted a site that was laid out along the lines of the bonsai art/hobby instead of relying heavily on a search function. I was less interested in showing 100-200 new posts per day in a single general forum, and more focused on showing 10-20 really GOOD posts per day scattered throughout the site. The vision is to grow with time and become a categorized resource. It is an old school approach versus tagging and hyperlinking, but it works for me when I think about bonsai :)

I like the regional groups suggestion... though I think the species type trumps the growth region in terms of general care, styling, etc. I would rather people post within a tree type forum with their region, than post in a region forum about their tree type (I hope I am making sense).
 

subnet_rx

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Thank you for the suggestions :) When I created this site, I was trying to do something a little different that would address the short-comings I felt existed in other sites. One of these was organization - I wanted a site that was laid out along the lines of the bonsai art/hobby instead of relying heavily on a search function. I was less interested in showing 100-200 new posts per day in a single general forum, and more focused on showing 10-20 really GOOD posts per day scattered throughout the site. The vision is to grow with time and become a categorized resource. It is an old school approach versus tagging and hyperlinking, but it works for me when I think about bonsai :)

I like the regional groups suggestion... though I think the species type trumps the growth region in terms of general care, styling, etc. I would rather people post within a tree type forum with their region, than post in a region forum about their tree type (I hope I am making sense).

Thanks, that's the kind of reply I was looking for. For a moment, I thought I was totally wrong in thinking someone might listen to my suggestions.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Thanks, that's the kind of reply I was looking for. For a moment, I thought I was totally wrong in thinking someone might listen to my suggestions.

Truth is, this site is a labor of love. As such, it sometimes takes a back seat (technically) to other projects I have going on in real life. It reminds me of my trees - when push comes to shove I know I can leave them alone for a couple of weeks and they'll still be there for me when I come back. :)

I have a long list of things that I want to accomplish with this site - now I just have to find the time :)
 

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