The Future.....

Robert Pries
Tue, 02 Oct 2012 10:21:14 PDT
Many plant societies were in trouble before the internet. I can remember watching struggles to bring color to the bulletins of various societies. There where always those who were entrenched in doing things the way they had always been done. As more things around became colorful it became harder and harder for these groups to stay the same. Finally they found a way and brought color to their publications.

 I use this as a metaphor for the way things are now. The world is changing rapidly and dramatically. I rarely order plants anymore from venders who ask you to print out the order and mail it to them. It has to be really special. Otherwise I choose venders that have a shopping cart.

 Even though we can not leave existing members behind by making the new way of doing things mandatory, we also can not exclude the digital customers who want to join when the spirit moves them and get immediate gratification.

I believe plant societies are caught up in the transition occurring in society. Unfortunately the digital divide is real, so societies need to appeal to both sides. I feel sometimes like I am standing with one foot in each side of the digital divide and the chasm is growing wider. One side has the accumulated knowledge the other a burgeoning interest but sadly it seems difficult for both sides to communicate.

Many of our older members 

----- Original Message -----
I think Dennis is right that the internet can in some
way supersede traditional plant societies. Those of the latter that can use
the internet to their advantage may be able to prosper -- but let's not
forget the tremendous amount of effort this requires, in our case, to run
the wiki and the seed exchange and the mailing list. That kind of effort
may be in even shorter supply as digital diversions waste ever more of our
time. But I feel sure that there will always be serious gardeners.

Although my parents and grandparents were gardeners (mostly of the
edible/annual variety) I was never particularly interested in plants until
I bought a house of my own, with a yard to plant things in. (My interest in
bulbs originated primarily in this list). My fondest memory of the
childhood garden: being sent out with various "swords" to hack away at a
thicket of Japanese knotweed. Useless for controlling the knotweed, but
effective in controlling the child!

Max Withers
Oakland CA

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