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Northumberland Diary Discussion: 15 December 2011

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200th Edition: A Celebration of Alpines.

Go to latest contribution by Tim Ingram, 16 December 2011, 19:41. Go to bottom of this page.

Contribution from Tim Ingram 15 December 2011, 19:08top / bottom of page

John - from what Robert has said too there must be very many (as they call themselves) lurkers on the AGS website and it does seem a great shame that more don?t participate. I have found the diaries to be by far the most interesting and helpful parts of the website, because as you say, there can be a great tendency for fairly short-sharp interactions (I must apologise if I have been a party to this!) which really don?t provide so much useful information. The practical side of watching a garden develop, what works and what doesn?t, and the thrill that comes from this is where the website can really score.

I have only participated in the various alpine forums in the last year and have felt that the AGS site has a long way to go to really create good communication between members. The NARGS forum is particularly impressive in this regard, and I learn a lot from there. This is because the interaction is more immediate and thoughtful and goes back to my comment elsewhere of the Society being more akin to a University - ie: there is intellectual stimulation between members.

The difficulty of course is in new members coming in to what is a very established culture within the Society, and that can be less than easy, and this must lead to the ?Wow that?s great? type response that you mention. More valuable is when a dialogue ensues and both, or all participants, learn something from one another. Because the Shows are so wonderful and the plants displayed so beautiful, this must tend to always draw the Society very strongly in this direction, and the danger is that we will expect our gardens to have the same perfection. I think this is very real and creates a wrong impression for other gardeners looking in who might otherwise be tempted to join the Society. I have found this exceptionally hard to put across and gain any response, so I am probably right.

But what can one say to your 200th contribution but ?Wow?!

Contribution from Margaret Young 15 December 2011, 22:15top / bottom of page
...there is often a clue...

"At times it seems as if I am addressing a readerless vacuum, but when I visit local groups some people do come up to say that they enjoy it, which is kind. The diary does not attract much discussion, but then again it is spared the meaningless feedback of the 'Wow, thats really great' type that tends to accompany contributions to other websites, less said soonest mended. I do hope I haven't scared away potential commentators in saying this; any feedback, even 'Wow, thats really banal' would be better than nowt! "

Dear me, John, you fall into the trap that catches so many. Surely when you yourself bemoan the lack of response for the Diary you must realise that it is only natural to seek, and value, feedback? That is exactly why the 'Wow, thats really great' replies that you so peremptorily dismiss are the fuel for the continued vigour of other sites.

One is seldom inclined to participate in anything where one is liable to be denigrated for a reply which will be termed "meaningless feedback".

Where that attitude is felt to be widespread, and is even openly stated, I fear there is not likely to be much participation.

Contribution from Martin Rogerson 16 December 2011, 09:20top / bottom of page

'Wow, thats really great'

Well it is, honest! :-))

Now I don't want to be pedantic life as an engineer is all about mathematics, physics and huge amounts of computing power, very little of which is needed to count up to 25. I hope I'm correct in assuming episode 2 follows shortly!

Contribution from Tim Ingram 16 December 2011, 11:37top / bottom of page

Martin - is that really discussion? How do you build things in the future?

Contribution from Ken Curtis 16 December 2011, 14:13top / bottom of page

Congratulations on the 200th edition. Being an overseas member and not able to attend any AGS show or events I find the Bulletin and Members Diary postings of the most value. I am very thankful that you choose to share your experience and expertise with the rest of us. Your entries are wonderfully written and illustrated and always enlightening. Don't think for a minute that it's not appreciated. Some of us just read, learn and are entertained, with no comment needed. Please keep up the good work!

Contribution from John Richards 16 December 2011, 17:27top / bottom of page

Well, thank you everybody, and Maggi, you miss my lop-sided sense of humour. I was trying to say that 'Wow, thats great' is welcome, but interested or informed comment is even better. I am sorry several of you caught up on this issue when it was only half-written. There are 25 subjects there now!

Contribution from Tim Ingram 16 December 2011, 19:41top / bottom of page

John - the 'Wow' was evident from very near the beginning. The plants are just wonderful.

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