Suggesting use of a Forum was RE: People - please do not reply to "everyone".

Jim McKenney
Wed, 03 Jun 2009 11:15:11 PDT
Citing the Scottish Rock Garden Club's (SRGC later) web-site based forum as
an example, I would say that there are some powerful advantages to that


For instance, that forum uses email notification to alert participants to
new messages. One simply clicks on the link included in the email
notification and then reads the message in question. Older and newer
messages are there with it, in time order. 


Another nice thing about the SRGC's site is the ease with which images can
be posted with messages. These images appear with your message, and - and
this is a very nice feature - the images are clickable to show a larger
image. Furthermore, this larger image is displayed on the same page - you
don't have to back out to continue reading subsequent messages in the same
thread, or to click on other images in the same thread. 


I think there is another advantage to this: I often have images which are
not "wiki quality" - images which might be interesting for one reason or
another but images which definitely are not ready for prime time. I wouldn't
hesitate to post these on the SRGC site (or to include links to such images
in my postings to the PBS forum) - but if they are not wiki quality, I don't
want them on the wiki. 


The PBS wiki is a unique and valuable resource. The PBS wiki is very user
friendly for those who just want to search for information or look at
images. I hope that never changes except to get better. But "user friendly"
is not the first thing I think when uploading images to the wiki is
mentioned. I'm not exactly computer illiterate, but I stumble now and again
when uploading images to the wiki. Uploading images to the SRGC site is
quick and easy. 


With respect to the SRGC site, on the downside I'm not sure how easy it is
to search their archives for particular images. A lot probably has to do
with the way such files are named. If Maggi is reading this, perhaps she
will comment (Maggi Young is the site's apparently indefatigable moderator.)


The system the SRGC uses handles multiple threads extremely well. 



So if the time comes to re-work the way the PBS forum is presented, we have
several other forums to check out for advantages and disadvantages. I would
like to hear the considered opinions of others who participate in multiple
forums, email based and web-based (are there other options?). 


I would be interested to read some elaboration from Jim and Adam with
respect to why they dislike web-based forums. Once we understand those
objections better, it might be possible to design a web-based forum which
gets around them in some way.   



Jim McKenney

Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone

My Virtual Maryland Garden



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