Jim McKenney jamesamckenney@verizon.net
Wed, 05 Nov 2014 16:12:50 PST
I'm sorry to read that Ina has given up on the PBS Forum. I'm sorry, but I'm not surprised. 
In the mid-1990s, when workplace email access became common, I had older friends who were retiring. We kept in touch over the years, but it became obvious that they had missed the electronic revolution which was starting. They never got comfortable with email (which they eventually got in response to the clamor that "everyone has to have email"), never discovered the innumerable doors which Google would open. I felt sorry for them. 
Now, twenty years later, I'm in the same boat. I'm still on a computer. Family members are telling me I have to get an iPhone - I'm still on a land line.  When I was out in the working world, the only people who had wireless communication devices were the janitors. I used to think "I'm sure glad I don't have to have one of those things with people bugging me all day and night". My senses of privacy and personal space are evidently very old fashioned. It's not uncommon now to step outside and hear one of my neighbors discussing financial and other personal matters in a loud voice on their front steps (the reception inside is not so good), matters which I would be mortified to reveal to neighbors. 
Every day the daily newspaper provides plenty of evidence that the grammar and spelling conventions I grew up with are changing rapidly. 
I've been marginalized, and I'm sure it's just starting.  
A little voice keeps telling me "Get used to it". 
Many of the old horticultural organizations are all moaning about dropping membership and the lack of younger members. But some of those same organizations refuse to read the writing on the wall: they continue to try to publish expensive paper journals and hold meetings so sited that the membership has to travel across a continent to attend. They could save loads of money by putting their journals on line and using modern telecommunication innovations to conduct meetings. But they're balking. 
And while they balk, they overlook what is really happening on the ground:  there are in fact loads of  people with a keen interest in horticulture,  people who for one reason or another did not participate in the old-style forums.  Evidently Facebook gives them the sort of platform they want. 
The old ways of doing things are fading away. I read recently that Yahoo is starting to distance itself from the Yahoo groups many special interest groups depend on for communication.
I may be getting old, but I still want to be able to be current, to be able to keep an eye on what is going on. 
Maybe it's time to get an iPhone and check out Facebook.

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, not that any of that is relevant to this topic.

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