Tue, 22 Jan 2013 07:54:07 PST
Thank you Mary Sue for all your work.  I like PBS the way it is!  

Colleen in NE CA that doesn't begin to match the new heat map!

-----Original Message-----
From: []
On Behalf Of Mary Sue Ittner
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 7:06 AM
Subject: [pbs] List/Wiki/Facebook/Forum

As it was the last time that Facebook was discussed on this list, there is
obviously a lot of passion about this subject and I rather suspect there
would never be consensus. I've been the administrator for the list and the
wiki since the beginning of it on ibiblio. I've had and continue to have
excellent co-administrators to help me make decisions. During the time of
our existence a lot has changed about the way the Internet works and
technology has improved. I suspect things would be different if we were to
start again today. However, some of our purposes remain the same.

When we started, we wanted a place for people to come who wanted to talk
about bulbs. We didn't want it to be an exclusive group. 
Everyone was welcome including people who knew nothing about bulbs but
wanted to learn. And we wanted the conversation to be in one place. We
didn't want people with slow connections or limited storage space who would
not want to receive attachments to be left out. But we did want people to be
able to share their photos with others. So we created the wiki as a place to
do that. I was frustrated by seeing pretty pictures on the Internet that had
no information attached so I'd have no idea if I could grow that plant so in
setting up the wiki we asked for people to write about their photos and
tried to organize it in a way so that people could easily find the pictures
later without having to search for a link to them in an old email. Because
there were not so  many other places to add pictures a lot of people took
the time to learn how to use the wiki and added photos. That isn't true
anymore as now there is Flickr, Picassa, Photobucket, Facebook, the Scottish
Rock Garden Forum, individual and group websites, etc. as places photos can
be added. So we don't get a lot of new people learning how to use the wiki
as there are lots of places they can add their pictures quickly and easily
without having to write about them. We have always encouraged people to
share the link to other places they have added their photos and people can
choose to look at them if they wish. We hope those links will not be to
places where you have to be a member to see the photos. So if people want to
add photos to their Facebook page and share them with the group that is
fine, but please only add links for photos that non Facebook members can
see. We hope there still will be people willing to learn how to use the wiki
and add their photos, so we do send information about how to do that to
those who ask.

When people suggested that we become a forum instead of a list as they
wanted to be able to post photos we suggested the Scottish Rock Garden forum
as an option since they were already hosting a wonderful forum. People could
join both or either depending on their preference. Both are open to anyone
and are free. We weren't interested in competing. They are much bigger than
we are so obviously there are a lot of people who love that format. But
since only a few members of our list post on a regular basis you might be
surprised to know that 788 people are subscribed to this list. We have
slowly grown over time. If there are already bulb groups on Facebook it
would seem that option exists if people prefer to have their discussions

We know it is impossible to keep people from stealing photos from the
Internet. We do write on the wiki that photos belong to the photographer and
we do have a lot of requests from many sources about using them so a lot of
people do ask and we send the message on to the photographer for a response.
And sometimes they do pay or provide a copy of a book or magazine if that is
where the photo is to be used. I have received many of these, sometimes in a
foreign language. 
Many people want to have a higher resolution photo than is on the wiki, so
that may be one reason they ask.

Those of us who attended the Pacific Bulb Society gathering in Berkeley last
year can testify that we had a good mix of ages in attendance. I was happy
about that. And we have managed to get a few young people to help us. Jen
Hildebrand who does the layout for the Bulb Garden and is a Board member
joined the Board shortly after finishing her college education and before
she started teaching and our President is juggling his duties as President
and wiki administrator while finishing his. One of the reasons we made the
list free and  open and our web site/wiki open for viewing to non members
was because we wanted to provide information about bulbs to the world and
hope to encourage an interest in them. I think that this has worked.

Mary Sue

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