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 Post subject: Re: The Problem With Bonsai Forums
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:57 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:25 am
Posts: 3
Location: North Wales, United Kingdom
I can only comment on the accuracy of the description of the IBC, the forum that I run and help moderate. The first four bullet points are largely accurate, though we do pride ourselves on catering for raw beginners too.

The rest is largely incorrect or completely out of date

* Weak Points: Advertisements, pop-ups,

are only there if you are not registered, and should soon be removed completely.

and a expressed dislike of linking to other sites or articles.

This dislike is only expressed when the material is copyright or when our forum is used as an advertising medium for other fora. If you have something to say, post it on the IBC.

More into showing pictures than telling how, the unwritten rule is to post nothing without a picture.

That was the case with the old Gallery, but the function of the gallery was for pictures. It no longer exists. Pictures are usually useful when discussing bonsai but not essential, it depends on the topic.

* Summary: After being down and losing all past threads and posts,

Soon to be revived, it takes time and skill to recreate a corrupted Mysql database and web space to re-host it.

IBC came back loaded with advertisements

They go away when you register.

and an inability to host pictures,

The picture hosting function is perfectly simple once you have read the tutorial on site.

users must now put up with ads, popups,

Both disappear once you register.

and using a hosting service or hot-linking to images, creating an environment in which pictures will disappear from posts in the future.

Only if the user chooses to use an unreliable picture host or deletes their own pic. Our "tied in" hosting service is proving reliable, fingers crossed!

IBC now resembles GardenWeb with its ads, pop-ups, and no link policies.

Refuted above. The repetition of falsehoods doesn't make them true.

IBC has a vast number of experienced bonsaist that post there, but the forum itself is set up to be a gallery, not a learning environment. Discussion there can be advanced and much can be learned, yet the moderation seems to work against a learning environment and the goals of the forum seem to be more show and tell,

Untrue. We have a very active and highly commited membership who all pitch in and for the large part require no moderation. A massive amount of advice is traded and the learning environment is being developed all the time. Most of our moderation efforts are in deleting the occasional spam or posts suggesting illegal activities.

this is not the case in the stone section, which is by far the best on the web.

Thanks, (Chris Cochrane is responsible for this) and agreed, but what about the Potters section? What about the Pests and diseases section with Dr Nina? What about the Bonsai Questions section with answers from internationally respected experts?

Moderation can be one-sided and blind, in fact, more than one experienced person has told me personally that they quit posting there due to the moderation, or more specifically, a moderator.

One sided and blind. That is is so insulting, it is almost libellous! The moderators group are 9 people, all working together. Decisions are taken after consultation and agreement, unless a post is obviously spam or illegal when it is instantly zapped.

There are, occasionally, people who will not get on. Since we restarted, I've had to ban 2 people out of a membership of over 1800 for posting insulting or annoying material. No other moderators have banned anyone. If someone chooses to leave, that is their prerogative.

“Lastly, there is the poor old IBC, the group that started it all. The Listserv group still has the greatest number of artists and experts, but practically no one else, and is also virtually moribund these days with only a couple of posts a day. In the glory days, there were over 100 posts a day. The IBC website addition a few years ago was great because it allowed the use of images, but the setup is clunky and the gallery can ONLY be used for pictures (which is vigorously enforced). The text is another gallery which is also nearly moribund. Still, the IBC has the most potential to be THE best forum, with the most professionals with a friendly format, if only they could get their sh__ together. But they never will because it also is dominated by a few users with very strong opinions of how it should be run.” – Brent Walston

The Listserv group slowed down due to the old IBC website taking over its role. It revived briefly while the IBC was down but was disbanded shortly after the new site started up, as the server it was running on closed permanently. The rest of this is talking about the old IBC site, that disappeared due to hackers two years ago, so this is all irrelevant.

We hope that as much as possible of the content from the old IBC site will be back online soon and there will be new initiatives in the pipeline thereafter.

Sorry to add so much to this burgeoning thread, but in the interests of accuracy, it was essential.

 Post subject: Re: The Problem With Bonsai Forums
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:22 pm 

Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 11:24 am
Posts: 8
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
I'll add my 10 cents to the IBC comments, Kev submitted.

It seems to me that the person who reviewed the IBC must not have bothered to look too deeply -- as in he or she apparently didn't bother to register. Because, once you register, the ads vanish.

On the link issue, the only time I recall a major problem regarding links to other sites was when a couple of sites blatantly used the old IBC to repeatedly push their agendas. I think if anyone had bothered to read the current "announcements" forum they would have seen a number of references to other sites.

Kevin mentioned the Bonsai Questions form, and the "Bugs" forum, and the pots forum -- and I'm glad he did, because the reviewer appeared not to have seen them. Those forums are quite educational -- and useful and interesting. No mention was made, either of the many progression series on tree building in the main, Bonsai Section.

We are, incidentally, actually proud that we cater to beginners as well as experts. The sport needs beginners -- even stick-in-a-pot beginners. And who better to advise them than folks who know what they're doing.?

As an irrelevant aside . . . Yeah, the article was much too long. Brevity is, after all, the soul of wit (I think Shakespeare wrote that :-)). It was interesting, but as usual with many articles here, it wandered from pillar to post and could have used a good deal of professional editing.

 Post subject: Re: The Problem With Bonsai Forums
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:58 pm 

Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:35 am
Posts: 731
Location: Southwest Florida,US
There is nothing wrong with The IBC forum, other than it is the best forum on the planet!!!!!!!!!!


 Post subject: Re: The Problem With Bonsai Forums
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:41 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:11 am
Posts: 6469
Location: Michigan USA
Kevin, Jim,

Thank you for your rebuttals.

It should be noted that the review on IBC in the article was posted on Apr 25, 2009 after a crash and recover and many of the issues listed have been addressed since.

IBC still remains one of my favorites.


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