Mary Sue Ittner
Tue, 22 Jan 2013 07:05:52 PST
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 there.

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

More information about the pbs mailing list