Is it Downsizing of Bonsai Sites??

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Is it Downsizing of Bonsai Sites??

Post  Dustin Mann on Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:16 pm

I have noticed again the absence of posting on KoB and AoB sites. When I asked Will Heath about it, he was vague and dismissed it. Same holds for other sites. Bonsai Nut- most trees images several yrs. old. The Bonsai Study Group is pretty much just Texas and Kansas/Missouri postings. Well, same for others. Any thoughts?

Dustin Mann
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Re: Is it Downsizing of Bonsai Sites??

Post  Brent on Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:58 pm

I've noticed the same thing recently. BonsaiChat gets less than one post a day. The International forum gets about one post a week! I even took a look at the nasty ole Gardenweb, one or two posts a day. The IBC and BonsaiSite seem to be the most active with multiple posts and threads each day. Bnut was hanging in there until recently but seems now in decline.

There is definitely a lack of contention, which is the real post builder, whether or not it serves any useful purpose. I cruise them all everyday looking for something interesting to respond to, usually in vain. BonsaiSite gets most of my replies these days but it is painfully overloaded with beginners, raw recruits with dying junipers and mangled ficus, or S Chinese elms. How many times can you respond to those? Fortunately, there are a few saints that keep feeding the newbies the party line.

What would I like to see in the forums? I think about this a lot. The most fun I have with bonsai these day (since my health has severely reduced my physical activities) is going to our study group six or seven times a year. We don't meet regularly. This is more fun than even going to the big Santa Rosa club where I get bored with the demos that I have seen dozens of times and am expected to keep my mouth shut, a tough task. At the study group, about six or seven of us get together on sunday mornings and bring lots of food. Then we sit around for about five hours and discuss the plant material we bring. It's not really organized but everyone is expected to speak up if they have an opinion. The owner of the tree is asked it's history and where he/she thinks it is headed and how that will happen. The rest of us evaluate that and look for other possibilities to discuss. It really is like trying to design a tree by committee, but it works. There is some actual work on the trees, but mostly it is analysis and critique.

Now, this kind of thing can, and does happen on the forums, perhaps more so on the IBC than anywhere else, but there could be a lot more of it, at least for me. The difficulty is that in person you can see so much more of a tree than you can in photographs. This can be overcome, but it takes some doing. The photos have to be excellent quality, a good size, and the trees have to be prepared by removing extraneous material, but not useful possibilities. Experienced members know how to do this, but beginners are pretty much lost to this concept.

A lack of decent material is the other thing lacking in most forums, and again the IBC is probably the best at presenting decent material. Virtuals are terrific for those with the time and graphic skills to provide them. Probably the missing key is enough people who are really good at seeing the 'tree' and can articulate it. This lack of expertise is the result of the long checkered past of the forums. Flame wars, hordes of newbies, conflicting personalities, egos, etc, have all been part of the reason that there are very few talented people still around providing this expertise. Again, the IBC is probably doing better than any other forum at still attracting talent, but is it enough?

Brent
EvergreenGardenworks.com

Brent
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Re: Is it Downsizing of Bonsai Sites??

Post  JimLewis on Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:43 pm

I've never been a denizen of many sites-- could never stomach the holier-than-thou attitude at AO and KOB, Could not stand the nattering at BT, B-nut always seemed odd. I frequent BonsaiSite just because it has lots of neophytes, who I enjoy helping -- tho it does get frustrating when so few of them seem willing or able to properly help themselves. I had hopes for the American Shohin Soc. site, but it has never caught.

I wonder if the birth of some of the European, other-than-English-speakiing sites may be contributing to the downsizing of some of the "traditional" sites.

Then again, these things go in cycles. Used to be the IBC was seen as overwhelmingly and somewhat insularly, American; today, it seems it is weighted toward Europe and the UK. OZ and elsewhere in the Southern hemisphere also seem to be playing bigger roles.

And THEN . . . there is just so much electonic you can do these days -- twitter, facebook, Youtube, smart (and stupid?) phones, other hand-held devices with and without cords. I used to be a first-class Geek, but these things have all left me eating dust. I don't understand the call of seeing things on a 3-inch screen, or listening to music (or "music") on crappy little earphones, or (a BIG or) getting virtually violent with so many shoot-em-up, blood-and-guts "games."

I don't see how you can do bonsai, participate in the forums, AND play with so many gadgets. And if you also have a family and have to work . . .

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

JimLewis
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Re: Is it Downsizing of Bonsai Sites??

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