"We are Luddites" - Peter George's article in RGQ 70 #1

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Sellars
Sellars's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-29

Lis:

Alpine-L postings are archived.  The Search function is simple and works well so your postings can always be found ;D

http://mailman.science.uu.nl/pipermail/alpine-l/

It really is a unfortunate that Alpine-L is still used as it reflects technology of the late 1990s.  There are many good discussions there that would enhance this Forum.  We are too small a community to Balkanize.

Regardless of the limitations of Alpine-L, I think it is more intimidating to post there than in this Forum for the simple reason that essentially everyone subscribed reads your posts on Alpine-L.  On the NARGS forum your posts are mostly only read by those interested in the topic.  Plus you can soften your comments with pictures which everyone likes!

David Sellars
From the Wet Coast of British Columbia, Canada

Feature your favourite hikes at:
www.mountainflora.ca
MountainFlora videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/MountainFlora

IMYoung
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-31

Quote:

the SRGC (where I still feel very new).  

Maybe quite new, Rick, but nice, shiny new, not strange, odd new! ;) :D

Quote:

I'm sure Maggi can offer up a better description that I can about how the idea of "community" works on SRGC Forum.

Mmmm, I  can try, Mark.........fact is the SRGC forum ( not the SRGS as is so often written in the listserv messages  :-X )  was begun as a way to give the world wide membership if the Scottish Rock Garden Club a place to convene for plant talk and for social gatherings which would otherwise be few and far between for most of us.  We've had the forum open to anyone from the beginning, on the grounds that if one is hosting a great get-together, the more the merrier and so it has proved to be. New membership to the Club comes  mostly via the web, even from UK folks who would also have a local group to attend.
 The chatty, conversational nature of the threads means that folks don't feel they need fifteen botany degrees to take part or that a "beginner's" question will be laughed at or dismissed.  
(I must say here that personally I have never liked the listserv system because "conversational" is the last word I'd use to describe them. I have never been able to search the archive effectively, either, I'm afraid).

Without doubt the threads on the SRGC Forum that are almost entirely "social" are hugely popular and the "human interest" aspect of the popularity of the forum in general is evidenced by the enormous numbers of "hits" that photos of people get, versus views or plants!

All that illustrates the value of the forum for making existing members feel more included in a club that is based thousands of miles away from a  great many of them and for bringing in new members to keep membership bouyant.  On top of that we have built a resource that is lead by the members who include some of the world's experts, posting alongside nwwcomers who have only just discovered "our" kind of plants and all can learn from each other and have all their posts and photographs archived there, searchable and accessible.
We do not restrict what type of plants can be discussed in the pages.... leading to an extension of interest for many members and the drawing in of others who discover new things altogether. We do not berate folks for "off-topic" posts... in fact there are, at times, considerable digressions... but that is how life is.... that is how conversations and social intercourse face to face happens. Not with each item in isolation. All that adds to make a friendly, welcoming forum with more plant and habitat photos and advice than one could hope to find in one spot... and all interactive so question may be asked, clarification sought and so on. ....  a proverbial 'win-win' situation.  

Ian  and/or Margaret Young ( -here it is usually Margaret)

Aberdeen , North East Scotland, UK
Zone 8a

www.srgc.net

Robert Amos
Title: Guest
Joined: 2012-01-31

This topic is one that has become near and dear to my heart over the past six months or so (there might be slight exaggeration there!)

First let me introduce myself. I’ve been a member of the AGS since 2005, first getting involved via the Bedfordshire Group, which I will become the Secretary of in October and have since taken on a more active role. In July last year I became the Society’s Local Group Correspondent, charged with promoting and improving interaction between the local groups and the membership. When I’m not busy with AGS ‘stuff’ I am studying for my law degree, which I will be completing this year.

Much of what has been said here has been repeated to me by almost everyone I’ve spoken to. Local groups tend to be struggling and parent organisation membership is both falling and aging. The only way to reverse this is to get our message across to the wider public. Speaking from my own experiences of running the Bedfordshire Group’s local show, I know that adverts in newspapers are very expensive, but well worth the investment. Last year, thanks to a generous bequest, we were able to invest in two weeks adverts in four newspapers – turn out increased from twenty-five to 150, profits went up from £50 to over £200 and we recruited three new members. 

A much cheaper and potentially greater advert is websites. This is equally true for local groups as it is for the parent societies. I have encouraged all of the local AGS groups to consider developing their own website, whether it is by creating an independent site such as the Bedfordshire Group’s (www.bedfordshirealpines.com), or by taking advantage of the mini-sites that are offered by the AGS (http://www.alpinegardensociety.net/groups/local/websites/).

The AGS website can be criticised (and fairly criticised) for being Show-orientated. Whilst this is an important aspect of the AGS they will not be what a large percentage of the public will be interested in, at least to begin with. We need to showcase the other elements: the local groups, the publications, the seed exchange, the opportunities to travel and of course gardening. To try and accomplish this I have introduced a new diary, written by a nurseryman about what he grows and how he grows it. I’m hoping this will be more user-friendly than some of the other diaries, which are often quite technical. Also later this month I’m hoping to have the first article in a new ‘Garden of the Season’ section of the AGS site, which will be written by members about how they incorporate alpines into their gardens.

Facebook is a fantastic way to connect with younger people and I’d be interested in hearing about other people’s experiences with running gardening-related pages. I plan to upload photos from various AGS events to the Society’s page but beyond this I am bit stuck on how to develop the page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alpine-Garden-Society/239451772739772).

Apologies for the missive, I’ll try and keep my future posts much shorter!

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Welcome to the forum, Robert!

It's hard to find a gardener that rambles, and you are no exception.  Your entry is not massive at all. [Oops! I misread "missive"!]  Still, I am thankful for the time authors spend to produce such "prolific" writing on forums like this.  (You will find we have several such members here.)  I'm always grateful for all the information and insight, and usually end up hoping for more!  Again, Robert, you're no exception.

Please stop in, when every you feel the urge!

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Maggi, thank you for an excellent summary!

Robert, I second the Welcome to NARGS Forum, and thanks for the thoughtful contribution to this topic.

David, I agree with your perspective, but allow me to add a bit more to the Alpine-L business. When Alpine-L moved to a new hosting location by Eric Gouda (because previous hosting location was retired), the full Alpine-L archives moved as well. However afterwards, the new hosting server software did not have built-in "search" functionality, so the ability to search 15+ years worth of messages was lost except by "hand picking" through messages one at a time. Each monthly archive can be sorted by date, author, & subject, but still requires opening individual email posts to read message contents. Many posts are hard to read, because the hosting location has difficulty formatting email messages correctly, with messages often appearing as a single line of text requires scrolling WAY to the right.

The full Alpine-L archive is available in the link David provided, here it is again:
http://mailman.science.uu.nl/pipermail/alpine-l/

Shortly after the Alpine-L hosting change, I took on Alpine-L list-owner responsibilities, as Eric was searching for a volunteer.  A few weeks after, I established a 2nd Alpine-L archiving solution called The Mail Archive.  As of January 22, 2011, this new archive service became available for Alpine-L messages subsequent to that date.  This secondary archive solution does have built-in searching (it is fast and effective) for any message sent after 01-22-2011.  It can be reached in the link below.  It also preserves readable message formatting, and has built-in message-thread links inside each message; very handy.  Whenever I respond on Alpine-L as list-owner, I always have all pertinent Alpine-L links in my signature block, including both archive venues.

For searchable Alpine-L archives starting 01-22-2011 until current:
http://www.mail-archive.com/alpine-l@science.uu.nl/index.html

Listservs function in a simple linear way, subscribe to a maillist and you will get each and every message posted, whether of interest to you personally or not; it's just how it works.  The following selected Alpine-L message deals with the common complaint of listservs where too much mail is received, particularly those caused by off-topic email bursts which infuriate some participants, sending them running for the exits, sometimes unsubscribing.  I tried to use an analogy that describes the maillist conundrum:
http://www.mail-archive.com/alpine-l@science.uu.nl/msg00111.html

Besides my silliness in the link above, here's some actual suggestions for Alpine-L members to deal with too much mail and overflowing email inboxes:
http://www.mail-archive.com/alpine-l@science.uu.nl/msg00109.html

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Sellars
Sellars's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-29

Thanks for the update Mark.  I didn't know the entire archive search capability on Alpine-L had been lost.  Shows how long it has been since I posted there. :-\

But all is not lost.  You can still search the full Alpine-L archives using Google.  For example if you want to see all postings on Lewisia tweedyi in 1997 you would use the following search string in the Google search window.

http://mailman.science.uu.nl/pipermail/alpine-l/:  site:mailman.science.uu.nl "lewisia tweedyi" 1997

Thus, if you want to find all Alpine-L postings of an individual you can search on any persons name.

David Sellars
From the Wet Coast of British Columbia, Canada

Feature your favourite hikes at:
www.mountainflora.ca
MountainFlora videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/MountainFlora

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

David wrote:

Thanks for the update Mark.  I didn't know the entire archive search capability on Alpine-L had been lost.  Shows how long it has been since I posted there. :-\

But all is not lost.  You can still search the full Alpine-L archives using Google.  For example if you want to see all postings on Lewisia tweedyi in 1997 you would use the following search string in the Google search window.

http://mailman.science.uu.nl/pipermail/alpine-l/:  site:mailman.science.uu.nl "lewisia tweedyi" 1997

Thus, if you want to find all Alpine-L postings of an individual you can search on any persons name.

Thanks so much David; I haven't explored the advanced search options in google, your example is awesome and eye-opening, I am duly educated on a most viable way to search within an otherwise unsearchable site.  Not as easy as simply "googling", and it will elude many users who will not begin to have the savvy to do that type of searching, but it will be added to my arsenal of search tools; I appreciate the education.

By the way, I also submitted to another message-archiving site that Eric Gouda suggested, that would take the entire 16-year archive and index it and make it all searchable; they agreed to the request, but never enacted on the request and don't respond to email enquiries.  Would still like to find a site that would make the archives easily accessible, with the need to use advanced searching techniques. :D

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Sellars
Sellars's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-29

Mark: Being a bit of a Luddite myself I am only just figuring this stuff out.

I have realized it is actually a bit simpler.  In the example to find all the Alpine-L postings on Lewisa tweedyi in 1997 you only need the last bit of the string in the Google search window:

site:mailman.science.uu.nl "lewisia tweedyi" 1997

David Sellars
From the Wet Coast of British Columbia, Canada

Feature your favourite hikes at:
www.mountainflora.ca
MountainFlora videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/MountainFlora

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

David wrote:

I have realized it is actually a bit simpler.  In the example to find all the Alpine-L postings on Lewisa tweedyi in 1997 you only need the last bit of the string in the Google search window:

site:mailman.science.uu.nl "lewisia tweedyi" 1997

Cool.  It's even easier; no need for quotes.  And unless one is actually looking for information from a certain year, just omit the year, and it'll find all Alpine-L messages about keywords entered.  The following line works just fine:

site:mailman.science.uu.nl lewisia tweedyi

...and this line finds my specific 3 posts on Lewisia tweedyi:

site:mailman.science.uu.nl lewisia tweedyi mcdonough

Reminder folks: this can be entered right in the google search field, not in the URL address bar.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

maggiepie
maggiepie's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-12-15

Well that works, well.
First try for Geranium farreri came up with this.

http://mailman.science.uu.nl/pipermail/alpine-l/2002-September/007150.html

Very interesting read  ;D

Helen,
New Brunswick , Canada
zone 4b

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