Email list and forum

Matt Mattus via pbs
Mon, 13 Feb 2023 10:29:12 PST
Has the board discussed using Instagram?

This is probably a comment for far left field, forgive me, as I'm new to this current discussion...

....but, for me:

The email lists are invasive when most of us receive 100+ emails a day from elsewhere
Then and forums feel like a technology that's quickly becoming outdated as they require more steps and time (navigation and logging in).

I imagine that there are many members already on Instagram, and it's becoming the first plant I look when searching for images of a rare bulb, though my second source remains the PBS. I suspect that I am not alone.

Just curious. If this discussed already, my apologies.

Matt Mattus

Zone 6a
Worcester, MA

On 2/12/23, 11:36 PM, "pbs on behalf of Steve Marak via pbs" < <> on behalf of <>> wrote:

Hi Uli, Garak, and all,

As someone who is known to be skeptical of forums, I feel obliged to 

First, I'll go out on a limb and say that I don't think people are 
complaining that they didn't know the forum was coming, so much as that 
there was really no debate and no one but the Board had any say in the 
matter. That of course touches on the other matter being discussed today.

Personally, I have used forums since very soon after they appeared on 
the scene, both personally and professionally. In the beginning, I also 
hailed them as the coming thing which would surely be a great 
improvement on that (all of a few decades old, at that time) dinosaur, 
the mailing list. Unfortunately, newer is not always better. I'm not a 
forum fan simply because things which were easy and intuitive with the 
mailing list are now painful, and in a few cases apparently impossible, 
with the forum. I can give you specific examples, and will privately if 
you like, but that would be a rather long note. (I know this because I 
wrote it, and after seeing the length, discarded it.)

I can and do use the forum - I worked with IT for many years. I get 
frustrated with its shortcomings and quirks (it seems every one is 
configured differently), but I have no fear of it. I will contribute 
less than I did via email because the forum, even with a browser tab 
left permanently open to it, is a pain. My sense is that a lot of other 
people are contributing less than they used to, too. And I know specific 
PBS members who are simply not going to make that transition at all. It 
makes little sense to me to say "we have to worry about people who can 
post to the mailing list but can't attach a picture" but NOT worry about 
the people we're going to lose entirely, or whose contributions we will 
reduce, if we take the mailing list away. They're less important?

Nothing, forum or email, is completely trouble free. But I'm a member of 
mailing lists that have thousands of subscribers, allow image 
attachments, and rarely have any issues (I know this because I know the 
admins, and in one case have served as an emergency admin myself), so I 
know it can be done. Now, doing it with Mailman, as David is forced to 
do, is much harder; he and I have had some private discussion about that 
already, and there are definitely issues. This should not be construed 
as any criticism of David, by the way - the issues are not his fault, 
he spends a lot of time on PBS, and we're lucky to have him involved. He 
deserves more thanks from us than he probably gets.

(I've been meaning to ping you about a Zantedeschia that came from you 
many years ago, but as a peace offering after this post I'll do that on 
the forum!)


On 2/12/2023 7:21 PM, Johannes-Ulrich Urban via pbs wrote:
> Hello Ottoline, Robert and hello All,
> Having read the comments on the email list in the recent postings, I would like to mention some points.
> It was a thoroughly discussed and long prepared decision of the board to start the forum. Within the email list there was more and more criticism that it was technically outdated and very many people had difficulties in posting pictures or did not succeed at all. Every time this happened the issue was taken on individually by our webmaster David who is working in the background, mostly invisible but still like clockwork. Please consider his workload which had to be reduced. So pictures can no longer be posted in the old email list. The management of an email list is also a time consuming process handled by several members, invisible and in the background as well.
> All this is much easier with a forum, demanding much less manpower.
> Those of you who receive the list in digest form (like me) will have sighed not only once about the chain of replies to replies to replies…… often difficult to find the actual new message; that alone was a reason to do something about it.
> We are aware that the transition to the new forum may be difficult for some participants. Speaking for myself I found it difficult too and I have always liked the email list. My very first start with a computer, internet and email was with this list and the Pacific Bulb Society. I am not the youngest and I am for sure not a computer nerd……
> But now I find the forum easy to use.
> We have offered help, this offer is still valid, please contact one of the board members if you need assistance.
> For those of you who have not yet dared themselves into the forum, it is very easy, just try. I counted the clicks, you need 3 (three) after opening the PBS website. After these three clicks you can see loads of good pictures, or participate in discussions. (Open the website, Click on Forum, then for example on Current Photographs and another click on February Photos will open many current pictures. You can click on any pictures to enlarge it. That would be the fourth click……
> I also needed help several times at some points which was always given in the same friendly way as usual.
> Bye for now
> Uli
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