Annual General Meeting, Ann Arbor, Michigan May 2015

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

[quote=deesen]

Were I a NARGS member I would have been banging on for some time about this. The SRGC Forum and Web Site goes from strength to strength and the least that can be said is that the NARGS alternative is a considerable disappointment and no doubt a gross waste of member's funds.

[/quote]

 

I banged hard on this issue for a long long, and I finally gave up banging my head against the wall. I do feel this was indeed an unnecessary move and a waste of money. My persistent vociferous objections to the idea when it was first brewed (and as it kept brewing) were flat out ignored, even though I volunteered as Moderator with the previous NARGS Forum for 3 years, I should have had a voice in the plans, there was no need whatsoever to change the forum component of the overall web site.  Nuff said.

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

IMYoung
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-31

It is terribly sad that the NARGS forum is so poorly supoorted these days. There were a great many of us who worked hard in the early days to support and promote it, but, speaking personally, I find the new system to be so bothersome to use that I really cannot spare the time to get involved in any depth. I have even stopped  dropping by to read the posts, for the most part.  A sad comedown for what was a good resource.

 There is still much on the NARGS website that is good but I do not find it to be very "user-friendly " I'm afraid. This may well be due to my shortcomings, I cannot say for sure!

 

Mark is correct in saying that there are large  plant groups on Facebook - but what facebook does not do is provide a platform for any in formation being shared there to be saved and searchable and so accessible to anyone , anywhere, anytime, which is what we work so hard for in the forum format .

 FB is great for simple access but completely useless as a valid resource. Of course, it was never designed as such but the number of folks using it for sharing plant pix and info mean that there is  valid useful information being shared there which is largely kept private and not at all easy to find - since posts may have been made in any of various groups and the ability to track them down is  well nigh zero and anyway, only a chance available to those who are members.   Thankfully the SRGC forum continues  to be busy and I can only hope that this forum will regain its strength at some point.

Certainly, from the SRGC ethos of having information freely available to share the forum system is infinitely preferable to facebook.  I am coming to realise that the desire to truly SHARE information and advice is not terribly strong in a lot of members of all our clubs. Very sad .

The facebook system may be simple to use but it's a dead loss as a repository of  information. I regret that so much  info is , to my mind  "squandered " there.

Not that I can do a lot about it - but I also regret that the changes here have put off so many, like myself, from regular contributions.  I take my hat off to those members still plugging away to use this  system.

 

 

 

Ian  and/or Margaret Young ( -here it is usually Margaret) Aberdeen , North East Scotland, UK Zone 8a

www.srgc.net

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

No argument from me on indisputable value and superiority of forums as a knowledge resource. Also no argument, that the ethereal nature of Facebook postings is "squandering" knowledge based on its fleeting accessibility, versus building compendiums of searchable knowledge on a forum "platform". Unfortunately, it doesn't meet with what's happening. 

I see diminished activity on SRGC as well, but I do maintain my best wishes and encouragement that SRGC will live long and prosper, SRGC is the biggest and the best.  On Facebook, there's an excellent group for Allium, you will find SRGC members who used to post on SRGC, are now posting on FB Alliorum group, not SRGC.  Why is that?

Regarding NARGS Forum, it's frustrating, there needs to be activity, or else it'll see a slow demise (now in process). Often there are 4-5 days without a single post, whereas on FB groups typically there are dozens to hundreds of responses each day, depending on the group, very satisfying.  On NARGS, if it wasn't for 3-4 members who post, it might be weeks or months between posts.  That's not a healthy and "vital" platform, it's rather sad. The utter lack of usage by NARGS members, including leadership that forced the overhaul, is telling commentary.  No one wants to post their comments "to the wind", and not have responses.  There are 135 topics on new NARGS Forum that never received a single response.

New NARGS forum is soooOOOO slow, seems unbearably so when accessing it, compared to almost any other venue. This reality can drive traffic elsewhere, who wants to wait 10-20-30 seconds on every click, when it's instantaneous in other venues, this is 2015. Traffic is so low, to make one's efforts to post seem pointless. The steps to post photos is hard for many people (personally I think it works fine, but I don't dispute it can be challenging).  But traffic and level of response is the main thing... if one posts, then never gets a response, or only gets one response in a week or two or three, then why bother.

The Forum software people should get with the times and start interacting with social media, link to FB, Twitter, and other social network sites, and provide "app" versions that allows forum access from iPads, iPhones, tablets and smart phones; without it the Forum platform is being left behind.

As I'm still the manager of Alpine-L, I have to chuckle, there are still a dwindling number of people who hold onto the old 1980s email-based Listserv software, with no built-in access to rich media (photos and such), which is double dead in my opinion.  If it wasn't your reliable posts on the Bulb Log updates, and increasingly rare Cliff Booker uploads to the adjunct AlpenPix, it might go half a year without any posts at all.  My management of this site is merely deleting spam, has been that for the last several years. 

I would propose that NARGS Forum closes its door, and defer to SRGC.  But heck, this forum is in free-fall, not sure anyone is at the helm, not sure anyone cares.
 

 

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

IMYoung
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-31

Yes, there are people who used to post more often on the SRGC forum who now only post rarely, or not at all -very sad that is too - but I think that the ease of use of Facebook  plus the capacity to have "likes"  is just irresistable to some folks!  The SRGC web team has just introduced a new automatic resizing  feature to the Forum which will make things  even simpler  for people to add photos which we realised was a hitch for some people.  It is hoped that will help.

 The number of NARGS personnel who are busy on Facebook is  more of a shock to me but not really  a surprise given the difficutly here.

The usage of Facebook by the  myriad of  plant "groups"  is, I fear, a case of instant gratification for pretty pictures rather than the  long term pleasure of knowing you have contributed to a public resource. Simple as that really.

That's a sign of the times, for sure, but if one is dedicated to helping a club with a stated aim to  disseminate information and knowledge, then one cannot  bow completely to a throw-away society.   I hope I am able to continue to do what I can for as long as I can.

My technical knowledge is pretty slim ( well, okay, non-existant! ) so I don't know how much money it takes to get "apps" for things but I'm pretty sure that a club with charitable status like the SRGC is not likely to be spending its  money on that any time soon. Seeing the amount spent on the NARGS site to very little effect is not a good advert for such expenditure.

I am very grateful on behalf of the SRGC  to whoever it is who posts some NARGS things on Facebook for sharing the SRGC  posts - I try to do the same but in spite of having my own personal broomstick, I am not always able to be present and  au fait with everything at once!

MY

 

 

Ian  and/or Margaret Young ( -here it is usually Margaret) Aberdeen , North East Scotland, UK Zone 8a

www.srgc.net

Toole
Toole's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-07-02

My '5 cents worth '.....laugh.

Yes it is very concerning that the searchable function of FB is very limited however it isn't all instant gratification and pretty pictures .At least with the 'like' system on FB those folks using it are offering some encouragement ,(one step more I think), then the multitude of people who view pics on ,say the NARGS and SRGC Forums without commentating.

My specific activity initially on FB was to make contact and engage with a number of young local plant enthusiasts in the hope I could entice them along to our alpine garden group.

I admire your passion Maggi and I do think it's worth fighting for ,however I'm not sure how you can stop the diminished activity on Forums like this one.

It's great to see the use of video for Ian Young's Bulb Log and their SRGC link via Facebook/You Tube and the obvious ability to quickly respond to members suggested improvements are to be commended….... However nothing lasts forever and I remember the concern during the change over to the new SRGC Forum when comments were made about the loss of some information that had been posted previously on the old Forum.........

At least one old style server list is reasonably active Mark and that is Trillium L –sure at times there are minimal /no postings, then someone will question whether the list is on life support and then there is a flurry of activity....

In any case I'm already planning for this coming seasons field trips starting in late Oct and am positive enough to think that this forum will still be in existence then,so will be posting them here .

Cheers Dave.

 

 

Invercargill Bottom of the South Island New Zealand Zone 8 maritime climate 1100mm,(40 in),rainfall p.a. Nil snow cover

IMYoung
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-31

It must be remembered that this forum and the  SRGC forum are open to be read by ANYONE and so the vast majority of people viewing those posts are not registered forumists so are unable to comment. In Facebook, not only can only member" like" - for the most part, only members can "see" !

 SRGC and I suppose NARGS, in perhaps a  different way,  have stated committments to further interest and knowledge - so  they must continue so to do. Happily there are still those who believe in this free sharing of information who work to support these aims.

As to how to improve this forum - the speed of use and the ability to have an email notification sent that does not look like this example shown below  -would help!

 

Hi IMYoung,

Toole has commented on: "Annual General Meeting, Ann Arbor, Michigan May 2015"

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My '5 cents worth '......
<p class="western" style="margin-bottom: 0cm">My '5 cents worth '.....<img alt="laugh" height="20" src="https://www.nargs.org/sites/all/libraries/ckeditor/plugins/smiley/images... title="laugh" width="20" />.</p>
<p class="western" style="margin-bottom: 0cm">Yes it is very concerning that the searchable function of FB is very limited however it isn't all instant gratification and pretty pictures .At least with the 'like' system on FB those folks using it are offering some encouragement ,(one step more I think), then the multitude of people who view pics on ,say the NARGS and SRGC Forums without commentating.</p>
<p class="western" style="margin-bottom: 0cm">My specific activity initially on FB was to make contact and engage with a number of young local plant enthusiasts in the hope I could entice them along to our alpine garden group.</p>
<p class="western" style="margin-bottom: 0cm">I admire your passion Maggi and I do think it's worth fighting for ,however I'm not sure how you can stop the diminished activity on Forums like this one.</p>
<p class="western" style="margin-bottom: 0cm">It's great to see the use of video for Ian Young's Bulb Log and their SRGC link via Facebook/You Tube and the obvious ability to quickly respond to members suggested improvements are to be commended….... However nothing lasts forever and I remember the concern during the change over to the new SRGC Forum when comments were made about the loss of information that had been posted previously on the old Forum.........</p>
<p class="western" style="margin-bottom: 0cm">At least one old style server list is reasonably active Mark and that is Trillium L –sure at times there are minimal /no postings, then someone will question whether the list is on life support and then there is a flurry of activity....</p>
<p class="western" style="margin-bottom: 0cm">In any case I'm already planning for this coming seasons field trips starting in late Oct and am positive enough to think that this forum will be still in existence then,so will be posting them here .</p>
<p class="western" style="margin-bottom: 0cm">Cheers Dave.</p>
<p class="western" style="margin-bottom: 0cm">&nbsp;</p>
<p class="western" style="margin-bottom: 0cm">&nbsp;</p>

 

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Ian  and/or Margaret Young ( -here it is usually Margaret) Aberdeen , North East Scotland, UK Zone 8a

www.srgc.net

Toole
Toole's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-07-02

That is one ugly email notification Maggi for sure.

I never read any of the notifications anyway when they appear in my Email InBox ,instead I use that as a prompt to go on the NARGS site and use the 'active topics' box ,(you don't have to log on for this), which brings up the latest postings in date order.

Cheers Dave.

Invercargill Bottom of the South Island New Zealand Zone 8 maritime climate 1100mm,(40 in),rainfall p.a. Nil snow cover

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