List/ Forum/Wiki

Mary Sue Ittner
Sun, 16 Nov 2014 13:24:04 PST
I'd like to correct with Jane posted. The wiki has always been 
available as a place to add photos. You didn't have to be a member of 
the Pacific Bulb Society and for that matter not even to the pbs list 
if you knew someone on the list who was willing to add your photos. 
When we started the wiki, it was the time of slow internet 
connections (still true in rural parts of the United States) and 
viruses attached to spam. We decided not to allow attachments for 
that reason, but still wanted to have people be able to post photos. 
I was frustrated to find photos on the Internet with no information 
about them and thought it would be helpful to have a information 
about the photos and a way easily to retrieve them later. And so we 
settled on the wiki and asked people who added photos to it to write 
something about their photos and add them to a page.

In the beginning a lot of people contributed, but we didn't require a 
password and all kinds of bizarre things got uploaded. Mark McDonough 
and I spent a lot of time removing these things. When the spam bots 
discovered a way to add all kinds of spam to the wiki pages we had to 
add a password as spam got added faster than I could restore pages. 
When that wiki was no longer supported, we needed a new one and some 
people didn't make the transition.

Learning how to use the wiki has been challenging for some people. 
Once you learn it, adding a new photo only takes a few minutes, but 
most people lose interest before they get to that stage. So that has 
left all the work to a few people. Before I retired I was spending 
quite a lot of time each day helping others, fixing mistakes, adding 
information sometimes contributed by others, etc. I expect that David 
Pilling is doing the same now. People are often willing to let you 
copy their photos and add them, but often these photos come without 
any information so it's not just a question of adding them, it's a 
question of doing research about the photo.

If we had started with a forum or two lists with people sending their 
photos as attachments on one, we wouldn't have the wiki now.
So there are trade offs with any decision made.

There is already an outstanding forum for discussing bulbs as many of 
the people on this list know as they contribute to it and it is the 
Scottish Rock Garden forum and as David Pilling says it has an 
amazing woman who manages it. If only we could clone her. The Pacific 
Bulb Society does not need to reinvent something that already exists.

More people want to keep the list as it is than change, but people 
also would like to share their photos more easily than adding them to 
the wiki. I have wondered if there would be a way to make the wiki 
more accessible. I personally like having a link to photos. That way 
I can look at the ones I am interested and skip others. Sometimes 
people have sent links to pictures and posts they have added to the 
Scottish Rock Garden bulb forum and perhaps that would be a solution 
for people who don't wish to learn how to use the wiki or add photos 
to one of the free online bulb storage sites (Flickr, Photobucket, 
Google Images, etc.) and provide a link.

Having more than one way to communicate about bulbs I think is a good thing.

Mary Sue

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