how i see personal forum progression

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how i see personal forum progression

Post  marcus watts on Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:39 pm

My personal observations of the 'E'bonsai world...

I think members evolve as they remain on a forum. There are initially 2 basic groups - those wanting to learn as much as possible, and those who know a little or a lot. Most (but not all) of the 2nd group initially like to show their work.........this can be for pride, ego, personal or proffessional gain, to instruct or recieve comment. Quite quickly their reasons become apparent though as some only show their work and soak up praise - never adding details on technique, never contributing to threads by members asking for help, in fact never doing anything very helpfull........like starting interesting threads that dont involve their latest work!

Other members do the opposite - they have trees that prove their methods and advice work so showing them adds weight to any help they try to give. This is essential as many 'E'bonsai Experts will give great advice that they just read or thought about doing, and this mis-information can ruin a trusting readers tree. There are some very experienced low key people in a minority that do not show trees but offer help with such clarity and sense that you know instinctively they know the subject - you can spot these easily if you read their posts properly

It also is essential to understand a persons experience when deciding how helpfull their criticisms are.........a good artist saying "first branch should go and a tilt to the left" is something to consider.........while our laptop bonsai masters saying "chop off first tree branches and jin the top" or "you've ruined it" etc etc can be filed in the appropriate place - but you always need to remember criticism and observation are very different, I consider all observations, and study criticism closely if it comes from someone with suitable experience.

It does seem a percentage of the unhelpfull group 2 dont like critique or constructive observation though - you can sense it, they appear to get very defensive or just throw their toys out the pram Smile Does a forum need them? probably not. Sometimes the blame lays with the thread starter though - I started one or two before the trees were ready to be pictured really, but then a minority of readers understood what 'work in progress' is while the "you've ruined it" brigade could see no further than the fresh raw work.

Then evolution continues and some long standing good guys fade away - and I seriously doubt it is because a few people critique a tree or two - if I could see a potential solution, obvious faults that could be improved etc I would say so - even if the tree belonged to the highest level master to grace our pages-----why go "ohhh how amazing, you are a bonsai god" , if the tree is wired to look nice from one exact angle and is just rubbish from the other 364 degrees. The amount of times I've gone back to my trees and worked harder after recieving quality critiques .......it helps to improve our work and continue the learning process. The reason a forum loses older members.....often because very little new happens in the hobby, and after a few years they probably cant take another soil, fertiliser or twig conversation................but evolution kicks in and new blood picks up the reigns. these guys dont actually go away either, they read lots, say little.....

This was meant to be a conclusion to my thread asking why so few people had started galleries, but its now locked - funny though as we gained some fantastic new galleries since i started the thread - - nice to see who is happy to share. i wish it had been around when i had just 3 trees - the progression sequences would have been priceless.

how do others observe the 'e'bonsai world?

thanks Marcus




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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:10 am

Why do folk come to the Internet if they already have clubs in their areas?
I ask myself this all the time.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  stagz on Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:28 am

ive been waiting for this thread. i wanted to start one myself but didnt know how to approach it nor felt it was my place to. i feel as though misinformation is the biggest problem i see along with peoples ego and crankyness, and ive only been a member here for a couple months and i already know whos post im gonna read and whos im gonna keep scrolling over. just my observation-i see alot of people giving people advice on things when in fact they have no idea themselves, but have heard/read from someone else so they feed them that information. its a vicious circle and thats why i think bonsai is progressing so slowly in America. look at europe, they are progressing in this art faster than i can shake a lambs leg. european people are just an awesome breed. im not saying america is at a snails pace, yes there are amazing artists, nurserys, talent here, but when it comes down to it everyone knows theres a gap in information when it comes to us. AHHHH America THE BEAUTIFUL!, we're some arrogant cocky sons o' %$#&@es. but i love this forum, dont get me wrong and i love everyone here regardless of whether theyre the red headed step child of the IBC. amen

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  coh on Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:30 am

The personal observations of the "ebonsai" world are pretty consistent with my observations of the e-world in general. I've been a member of many forums over the years. What I've noticed is that people tend to be most comfortable with the group of posters who are active when they join. No surprise there. Little groups or cliques form. Then there is a natural attrition over time, members leave for a variety of reasons and new members join. The new members bring new ideas, new attitudes...some of the pre-existing members are able to adapt to this change and others are not, and this leads to friction and conflict.

One thing I've learned over the years is to not disregard someone's comments or criticisms just because they are less experienced. Sometimes a person with an unbiased eye or viewpoint will see something that all the "masters" missed, or that the masters couldn't or wouldn't take the time to really evaluate.

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  0soyoung on Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:09 am

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Why do folk come to the Internet if they already have clubs in their areas?
I ask myself this all the time.
Later.
Khaimraj

Local clubs are often lacking in horticultural skill and/or artistry, not to mention inconvenient. One might think of each "ebonsai" forum as a world-wide club and one with which there are better prospects of some real artistry and horticultural knowledge being shared - I do. The principle downside of "ebonsai" is the same as the internet, that one must sort through a lot of worthless crap to find the few things that are worthwhile.

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  Poink88 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:31 am

Pretty much what is said above.

Of all the forum I have been, this (bonsai) is probably the most "challenging". It involves the usual type of people Twisted Evil with a twist of; artistry, craft, skill, horticulture, geography, weather, etc.

I thought bonsai folks will be more sedate than they really are. It really surprised me that shooting aficionados and hunters are so much nicer! Shocked The woodworkers are by far the best based on my experience. Less "star" syndrome (on both) and they are less compartmentalized as well (less cliques).

IBC has the best bonsai pool of talents but it is not a community (for me at least) yet. We chat, share, etc. but no cohesion as a whole (yet). In smaller groups I see it though (yey to the European's on this). In my other hobbies...we share more than the hobby, we know their families and share both their laughter and pains. All this despite the fact that we argue and disagree as well...just like real family and friends.

I wish IBC will be like this to me also.

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  Sakaki on Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:09 am

I usually log in to IBC at least 2-3 times a day especially to read discussion, question and progression forums which include the information I need.
I dont visit Galleries and Diseases forums so frequently as I can find inspiration sources and disease-recovery solutions/advises easily through internet or in my local club or from some professional friends...

No need to classify newbies since marcus already did it well. I just want to make a classification about those experienced/masters:
- Those who only show their trees, do not write something or help someone in any thread (they probably store their know-hows for money-making activities),
- Those who show many trees and instruct newbies to go coast and play with sands through some stereotype instructions,
- And those who do not show their trees much (or show only a few) but do help newbies through their article-like posts (like marcus, etc.) and even give extra advises through PMs.

So is it a new situation? NO!
These people classified in this way are everywhere in our life! So why we argue this issue?
Today's newbies will be included in one of these classifications in the future also, hahaha Very Happy

I've posted a few of my materials but saw that just 3 or 4 different persons commented on my materials.
Can I accuse those masters who are not commenting or advising? NO! They dont have to!
They were probably browned off due to stupid questions or words by previous newbies Very Happy And they probably consider and classify me as one of those newbies.
I can see that they are here NOT to advise newbies!!!

Marcus has never commented on any of my materials nor advised me for any of my questions, but I learnt and still learn many things from him.
Now I stopped posting my materials and asking many questions, I usually try to follow the works, posts, discussions, etc. of experienced people and masters.

Marcus, btw, I am really curious about which group you put me in? hahaha lol!

Sakaki
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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:30 am

Dario,

IBC is pretty decent as a forum goes. I have been with them from the time when they were an e-mail list. I still talk to many of the older heads who no longer post.
I used to draw an image for suggestions on designs, but I don't have that amount of time anymore.

Additionally, though I have about 5 years of apartment living in a zone 7, and have grown trees indoors and outdoors in winter, I live in the tropics. I can't really advise anyone on matters dealing with Tropicals in the zones, especially since I never grew a ficus overseas. Laughing
Took the Chinese sub-tropicals home, but grew the local stuff from both sides of the, as they say pond.
Later.
Khaimraj

* By indoors I mean, next to the window in winter, never used artifical lights -.e.g. contorted willow

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  my nellie on Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:28 am

marcus watts wrote:I think members evolve as they remain on a forum.
Or at least they should... but let’s take it for granted so the conversation can further advance.

marcus watts wrote:There are initially 2 basic groups - those wanting to learn as much as possible, and those who know a little or a lot.
I rate myself as one who wants to learn as much as possible and this is perhaps an answer to Khaimraj asking why people join internet fora.

marcus watts wrote:this can be for pride, ego, personal or proffessional gain, to instruct or recieve comment. Quite quickly their reasons become apparent though
Yes, indeed they become apparent so it’s quite obvious for members included in the first group to whose posted words they can rely on. Just read what stagz just wrote above:
stagz wrote: ... ... and ive only been a member here for a couple months and i already know whos post im gonna read and whos im gonna keep scrolling over.

marcus watts wrote:There are some very experienced low key people in a minority that do not show trees but offer help with such clarity and sense that you know instinctively they know the subject - you can spot these easily if you read their posts properly
Even if they do not show their trees their attitude as a whole speaks about them. Nevertheless, members included in the first group should evolve the proper criteria in order to take advantage of those low key people.

marcus watts wrote:It also is essential to understand a persons experience when deciding how helpfull their criticisms are.....
Proper criteria as above

marcus watts wrote:but evolution kicks in and new blood picks up the reigns. these guys dont actually go away either, they read lots, say little.....
And when they decide to say something their saying scales weighty. But then there come those members who judge them not for their sayings themselves but based on personal disputes of the past.... Absolutely counterproductive.

marcus watts wrote:how do others observe the 'e'bonsai world?
It’s a nice world overall. People are humans everywhere and they drag their human weaknesses along. The secret is: let’s put more effort for evolution, as humans and as bonsaists (me not included in bonsaists yet). Most of all, e-bonsai world has offered to me a handful of foreign friends. Friends are surely wealth!

I am sorry for the long post.


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too late???

Post  JudyB on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:24 pm

I often wonder these days if I was too late for the "golden age" of internet bonsai forum/websites. I read about what a different place it was a few short years ago. How helpful and courteous everyone was to each other. How you could ask and receive direction from a master or very knowledgeable individual, and they would give it freely and non-judgementally. I've seen hints of this and have had very nice people answer some of my questions, and I'm grateful for that. And I ALWAYS thank them... But sometimes, I post and see basically no replies except for posts from people on my level or folks who know me from other forums. So that reaching out seems to be fading away.

I was recently thinking about this very topic a couple of weeks ago when there was a blowup on another site that I've been far more active on, and started searching for other options. I happened upon a very lengthy (it's a few years old) article/post about bonsai forums by Will Heath on AOB. Though the tone of this article is derogatory in the bulk, there are some salient points made through the long text. It started me thinking that I was just too late to the table. Am I???


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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  Poink88 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:36 pm

Judy,

Once bitten twice shy. Some masters had bad experiences online (be it here or somewhere else) and they change (understandably). Such is life but it can be changed with new people like you, Marcus, Russell, Joey, Jay, (and so many others). I disagree with JKL on some issues but one thing that I admired most about him is his willingness to share with everyone...anywhere.


Last edited by Poink88 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:07 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  JudyB on Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:05 pm



Agreed, although there are some people who will reply to anything, you can trust JKL's answers to be accurate and with long experience to back it up.
Thanks again to all the people who have given me help and guidance over the past years, here and other places.

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  JimLewis on Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:23 pm

I read about what a different place it was a few short years ago. How helpful and courteous everyone was to each other.

That's a bit like one of us old timers reminiscing on how it was back in the "Good Old Days." You tend to weed out the bad memories.

Just remember that the term "Flame War" was invented back in the 80s.

The internet has always been prickly. It always will be.

And, Jeeze, "nicey-face" is SOOOOOOO dull all the time.

The IBC is not much different than it was when I typed my first post there/here in the early 1990s. Some of us were cantankerous then; some of us still are. Many have left, a few have returned, even fewer have stayed the course. ALWAYS, the ones who regularly offer help are in the minority; that minority seems to have grown a bit since we started being able to post pictures -- but then, membership has grown as well.

So no need to fuss. We'll survive.

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  Poink88 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:19 pm

marcus watts wrote:...funny though as we gained some fantastic new galleries since i started the thread - - nice to see who is happy to share. i wish it had been around when i had just 3 trees - the progression sequences would have been priceless.
People share in various ways. Pavel for instance say little but by sharing his progression photos (which are priceless), he is educating some of us. He is one of my "idol" and try emulating some of his techniques on mine (I really need more pines and junipers Razz ). Oddly, I hardly comment on this threads Shocked though I am in awe by most of it.

You are right, some great bonsai artists don't really educate, they show great trees but that is almost it. I understand that not everyone is cut to teach so that is fine too, the nice trees work as inspiration at least.

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  Guest on Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:17 pm

I am sure many people would like to teach, or participate in conversations a whole lot more than they do, I am a such person.....
I speak danish, and written english does not come easy to me....Talking is MUCH better.

On the suisekipage is it clear to see, people want to speak much more, but they dont know english.

So dont judge people if they only post photos, and hardly speak.....and please dont say use google, it gives crasy replies, I know.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  Poink88 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:36 pm

Yvonne,

Good point. We sometimes take it for granted that we are using English language here and forget we are international. As I said, pictures help as inspiration by themselves anyway.

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  GašperG on Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:18 pm

Yvonne Graubaek wrote:I am sure many people would like to teach, or participate in conversations a whole lot more than they do, I am a such person.....
I speak danish, and written english does not come easy to me....Talking is MUCH better.

For my part that is the biggest problem, although I speak fluently, it takes me ages to put something on "paper" and war is usualy over, before I even come to the battlefield...maybe that is good sometimes Very Happy In other cases I wish I could comment and participate more....

Best...

Gašper

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  Levi on Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:15 pm

Hi everyone,

I just want to say that I come here everyday and read almost every new post that I can. For me, I love this forum. Coming from other sights online, I do think there is a really nice atmosphere here. People have disputes and disagreements, but in general I find them quite tame and they can be quite engaging for a beginner such as myself to follow. I mean have you ever read any of the horrible comments on sites like Youtube? And mentioning other forums in comparison, unless they are other bonsai forums I feel like its apples and oranges because things like hunting don't have much in the way of artistry and the goals are simpler, and art in any form will do everything from inspire to stir up emotions/debates, just the nature of the beast. Yes, sometimes advice/comments may be questionable and the source should be taken into consideration, but that's why I don't post unless I really feel like I have some experience and authority on a matter. (Probably why most of my posts are actually trying help someone with a question on Asian languages, as that is a field in which I can contribute with confidence that I know what I'm talking about.) And since I'm so new to bonsai, I rarely post, although I do really hope to more in the future as I gain experience. I need this ebonsai space for many reasons, the biggest being that I started learning about bonsai in 2009, planted crazy amounts of seeds and left them growing in the ground when I headed out to start grad school and then immediately moved to China afterwards. All my material is in a different place waiting, and here I don't have the space or time that I can invest to actually try much out. I've learned a lot from this forum and very happy its here, its kept the spark alive for me and given me a lot of lessons or things to consider when I finally go back and have lots of fresh stock to work on. I do agree that there are many different motivations for posting and gratification may come from many different sources depending on the person, but it seems to all have a place, even if its just something you choose to skim/skip over. But someone just showing off, regardless, it may give others ideas for future designs and inspiration, or have some other unforeseen result, who knows? I think that this is an organic and evolving forum and as time goes on it makes sense that many topics will have been discussed and rediscussed so much that people might get tired of them or that there may not be much more that can be said on a topic. That said, there are still posts that surprise and intrigue me regularly. And I do agree that with many, there is a real language barrier too. I don't know, I guess there is always room for improvement, but I'm happy overall and since its just people volunteering their words we can do little more than post and comment what we can in the most productive way we know how I guess. I have really enjoyed this forum for the last year or so and look forward to using it for a long time to come.

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  JudyB on Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:38 pm

Yvonne (and all the other language speakers), thanks for taking the time and trouble to craft english answers, your input is valuable.

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  Orion on Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:52 pm

Excellent discussion.

Sometimes I go through the "unanswered" section to see if there are any topics that I may be of help and then generally feel bad if there is nothing to contribute and that's because I know nothing of the topic or species they are inquiring. Where I cannot help is if someone asks for "virts" right off the bat. I do understand that "virts" of style ideas may be the result of language differences and a pic. would help in a much more effective way to communicate ideas, yet I think that sometimes the requests are a bit premature since it seems that what some of the original posters really wants is for their material to be styled virtually from start to finish for them; that's a bit too much.

One thing to keep in mind is that this forum has, imo, the best collective bonsai and related experience by far; there's always something new to learn. When I'm logged on I spend most of the time going through old posts through the "search" feature since I've found that many questions I have or various techniques used by others in order to help me along have already been answered or explained. Yet, sometimes I've noticed some have a shorter fuse when questions are asked that maybe redundant. Give the questioner more of a break and the benefit of the doubt since they may not know that some topics have been discussed in detail already; be patient.






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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  Guest on Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:07 am

JudyB wrote:Yvonne (and all the other language speakers), thanks for taking the time and trouble to craft english answers, your input is valuable.

I love this one...." craft english answers". I am sure GasperG, and many more, does too Smile

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  Tony on Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:30 pm

I have contributed to Bonsai forums for over 10 years and IBC IS the best for solid advice and friendliest. As an Old timer (like Jim) I can recall fierce debates on other Forums such as BonsaiTalk between quite a small number of individuals. Some having been 'banned' from many sites. what members here on IBC have is an active group of Moderators who know their Bonsai stuff AND... AND... do not tolerate bad behaviour.

I was surprised at reading a post: “Where is Tony Tickle?” questioning my level of posting on IBC when ‘statistically’ I am the 4th most popular starter of Posts responsible for 9% of new content.

The time you spend on Ebonsai should be a fraction of the time you spend on Real Bonsai

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:49 pm



tony wrote:As The time you spend on Ebonsai should be a fraction of the time you spend on Real Bonsai


Amen! Preach on, brother!

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  leatherback on Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:13 pm

Russell Coker wrote:

tony wrote:As The time you spend on Ebonsai should be a fraction of the time you spend on Real Bonsai


Amen! Preach on, brother!

Yeah, but with the weather as it has been lately, I also like to be comfi inside on a warm sofa, instead of with blue wet fingers in a shed ;D

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

Post  Poink88 on Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:29 pm

tony wrote:The time you spend on Ebonsai should be a fraction of the time you spend on Real Bonsai
True, but some of us don't have enough tree to keep us that busy. Not yet ready to be worked on at least...so we are learning through eBonsai. Very Happy

While this is true, it is just an excuse. Some (like me) are just plain chatty actually. LOL Bagpiper lol!

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Re: how i see personal forum progression

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