Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #31   Report Post  
Old 07-11-2013, 10:49 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jun 2011
Posts: 272
Default At the risk of being unpopular

On Thu, 7 Nov 2013 David in Normandy wrote:

On 07/11/2013 10:47, David Rance wrote:

Ok, so we have a URG web site. Why don't we use it? Not much has changed
for years apart from keeping some of the FAQs up-to-date. In fact, it
probably suffers from a lot of the formatting and colour problems that
others have mentioned. It needs a good overhaul. We could keep a blog
going on that. There could be several blogs. Has anyone the vision to
make use of http://www.u-r-g.co.uk ? URG doesn't *have* to stay as a
Usenet group.


URG would be a good base to start from. As it stands the site is
read-only and has no features to support any dialogue.


Quite! It was first designed by Cormaic before such facilities were
available.

I've just looked at Sacha's suggested site and that appears to have
the same limitation too - neither is designed for discussion. The u-r-g
website would need completely redesigning, perhaps with a phpbb forum
being set up on it so people could create threads and hold discussions.


I quite agree, which was what I was suggesting. What I was saying is
that we are not *using/developing* a facility which we already have at
our disposal.

Somewhat ironically, the site that does offer a means for people to
participate and post is the Garden Banter site! Much bemoaned by some
of the URG regulars for "stealing" posts made on URG. Those of us who
remain in URG could simply move and relocate there?!


Some already have (brave people). Doesn't Janet sometimes write from
Gardenbanter?

David

--
David Rance writing from Caversham, Reading, UK

  #32   Report Post  
Old 07-11-2013, 11:05 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,129
Default At the risk of being unpopular


"Sacha" wrote in message
...
I'm concerned for the future of this group which I've enjoyed hugely for
16 years. Some have been here longer than that. But given the number of
those who used to post and who lurk (I know of a few, not many now) the
response to the suggestion that we widen our horizons, look at a blog and
consider looking at others and discussing their content, were - forgive
the pun - seeds on stony ground. I don't know if this is because of
disinterest, complacence or a belief that urg will continue into the mists
of time. It won't. Sacha
www.hillhousenursery.com
South Devon
www.helpforheroes.org.uk

You have a point Sacha. C ouple of NGs that I have posted to have declined
dramatically or gone to the wall. As you say, Facebook has taken over quite
a lot, and although I have jined it I can't say I enjoy uing it.

Nick who posts on this NG must surely have noticed the decline in
correspondence in the Walking NG - it is largely subscribed to by technical
questions about gear. A Fishing NG has just about finished, not having had
a bite for a couple of years. An American NG - at least largely subscribed
to by Americans, has slipped out of sight into Facebook.

I have often said I'm no gardener compared to the contributors to URG, but I
can sometimes offer suggetsions (though not intellectual gardening stuff)
and enjoy receiving advice whenever I need some. The "old hands" are needed
as reference points for us gardening dumbos.


Bill


  #33   Report Post  
Old 07-11-2013, 11:13 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Sep 2013
Posts: 767
Default At the risk of being unpopular

In article ,
David Rance wrote:

I said that it was the first *general* means of electronic
communication. By that I mean available/affordable to all. UUCP may well
have predated it but UUCP was not available to all because of the high
cost of getting connected to the Internet, certainly in the UK, until
1992 when Demon first made it affordable here.


UUCP predated the 'Internet' by some years, and relied on nothing
more than a telephone line and someone who was prepared to talk to
you. Cost was not the issue; the public's perception and lack of
nous was. By the time that Fidonet actually became 'general' (1985),
UUCP was quite widespread among the general public. No, I don't have
figures, but it wouldn't surprise me if UUCP didn't have more members
of the general public using it than Fidonet did until about 1990.
There were versions for MS-DOS by 1985. Of course, their users came
from different communities, so each was and is unaware of the other.

Anyway, this has nothing to do with gardening, so I shall stop here.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
  #34   Report Post  
Old 07-11-2013, 11:49 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jan 2013
Posts: 144
Default At the risk of being unpopular

On Wed, 06 Nov 2013 23:18:50 +0000, Bob Hobden wrote:

"Jake" wrote (big Snip))

And there ARE good gardening blogs/web sites. Start with somewhere like
http://www.thinkingardens.co.uk where the discussion, surprisingly about
gardening topics, is active and interesting. Though probably you won't
like the layout or something.

But after many happy years of Usenet, URG is now the only group I
follow. And I too will ask myself the question "Is it worth it?" when
my annual Usenet provider account is due for renewal. The honest
answer is "Probably not."



I've just spent some while looking through that Forum and found it
everything about forums I don't like.

No, if Ngs fold then I'll just do more Sudoku in the evenings and garden
quietly on my own.


I've just looked at it and as far as I can see at first look it isn't a
forum at all.

It seems to be a site with links, plus contributed articles.
There is a section on garden reviews, but I don't spend my time visiting
gardens so that is largely wasted on me.
Others who do will no doubt find it a useful resource.

Certainly I can't find a register/login function.

So, please, where is the active and interesting discussion?

"Mission Statement

thinkinGardens seeks to explo

The contemporary aesthetics of gardens
Gardens as they relate to other arts, and garden makers as they relate to
other artists
The value of gardens to non-gardeners
The importance of gardens to society
The relationships between gardens and contemporary philosophy including
scientific philosophy"

So this is a very specific resource for publishing articles on gardens
with a leaning towards artistic and social comment, as opposed to a wide
ranging discussion on gardening topics(which generally involves topics and
multiple responses).

"Though probably you won't like the layout or something."

Well, this looks like a bit of prejudiced pre-loaded bias - seeming to
suggest that if we don't like it then it will be for some trivial or
unimportant reason.

I don't dislike it, per se.
It just isn't relevant to me.

What I do dislike is people patronising me because I don't agree with how
they think the world should be.

Regards

David
  #36   Report Post  
Old 07-11-2013, 12:07 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,026
Default At the risk of being unpopular

On 2013-11-07 10:39:36 +0000, David in Normandy said:

On 07/11/2013 10:47, David Rance wrote:

Ok, so we have a URG web site. Why don't we use it? Not much has changed
for years apart from keeping some of the FAQs up-to-date. In fact, it
probably suffers from a lot of the formatting and colour problems that
others have mentioned. It needs a good overhaul. We could keep a blog
going on that. There could be several blogs. Has anyone the vision to
make use of http://www.u-r-g.co.uk ? URG doesn't *have* to stay as a
Usenet group.


URG would be a good base to start from. As it stands the site is
read-only and has no features to support any dialogue. I've just looked
at Sacha's suggested site and that appears to have the same limitation
too - neither is designed for discussion. The u-r-g website would need
completely redesigning, perhaps with a phpbb forum being set up on it
so people could create threads and hold discussions.

Somewhat ironically, the site that does offer a means for people to
participate and post is the Garden Banter site! Much bemoaned by some
of the URG regulars for "stealing" posts made on URG. Those of us who
remain in URG could simply move and relocate there?!


Lol! Do you think they'd welcome us, David?! Your thoughts about the
urg site are good ones and may be a real option, if others agree, or
are interested in participating.
--

Sacha
www.hillhousenursery.com
South Devon
www.helpforheroes.org.uk

  #37   Report Post  
Old 07-11-2013, 12:09 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Sep 2013
Posts: 767
Default At the risk of being unpopular

In article ,
Janet wrote:
In article ,
says...
"Sacha" wrote a message ...

Sacha - just because not many here falls for your "thinking gardens" bait,
then it does not follow that we as urglers are dying !
I am one of those who is quite happy with the status here as it stands.


Quite. I've been posting to urg for 15 years and it is ALWAYS quieter
in winter. Real hands-on gardeners are busy with wintergardening chores,
and interests they don't have time for in the growing season.


Nah. We just go dormant :-)


Regards,
Nick Maclaren.
  #38   Report Post  
Old 07-11-2013, 12:15 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,026
Default At the risk of being unpopular

On 2013-11-07 09:15:32 +0000, Peter & Jeanne said:

"Sacha" wrote a message ...

Sacha - just because not many here falls for your "thinking gardens"
bait, then it does not follow that we as urglers are dying !
I am one of those who is quite happy with the status here as it stands.

Pete


Calm your conspiracy fears; thinkingardens is nothing to do with me. I
know slightly the person who runs it and that is my sole connection,
along with a few replies I've sent there - perhaps 4 or 5. But if urg
is to rely on your infrequent contributions and help in advising
'drop-in' visitors with problems or who need a plant id, it is indeed
moribund.
--

Sacha
www.hillhousenursery.com
South Devon
www.helpforheroes.org.uk

  #39   Report Post  
Old 07-11-2013, 12:16 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,026
Default At the risk of being unpopular

On 2013-11-07 09:32:19 +0000, David Hill said:

On 06/11/2013 23:43, Sacha wrote:
On 2013-11-06 21:14:26 +0000, Jake said:

On Wed, 6 Nov 2013 17:50:07 +0000, Sacha
wrote:

I'm concerned for the future of this group

Come on Sacha, we know this topic is just a plant to get something moving.


We need to get to the root of the matter.
--

Sacha
www.hillhousenursery.com
South Devon
www.helpforheroes.org.uk

  #40   Report Post  
Old 07-11-2013, 12:25 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,026
Default At the risk of being unpopular

On 2013-11-07 10:33:42 +0000, David in Normandy said:

On 07/11/2013 00:43, Sacha wrote:


And there ARE good gardening blogs/web sites. Start with somewhere
like http://www.thinkingardens.co.uk where the discussion,
surprisingly about gardening topics, is active and interesting. Though
probably you won't like the layout or something.


I just took a look at that site but it doesn't appear to actually be
open to posts from the general public; unless there is some hidden
submission process followed by editorial review prior to publishing.
Such a site, while interesting, does not appear to be a place for
having an easy dialogue between gardeners.


You have to register, afair. But I wasn't actually suggesting replacing
urg with such a site. I was intending to commend gardening blogs to
urglers so as to broaden the base for discussions here. It isn't my
intention to see urg close down in favour of a blog type format - quite
the contrary! I suppose what has struck me rather forcibly is that,
despite most newspapers carrying a weekly gardening column, or the many
blogs available, we so rarely take any of those subjects or themes and
talk about them here. I may be quite alone in this but my own feeling
is that our focus is narrow and repetitive. Having joined urg in 1997,
I am beginning to feel that there are only so many years in which one
can actually enjoy discussions about vegetables not growing, gluts of
plums and attacks of lily beetle, along with why lawn mowers won't
start. All these are certainly subjects for discussion but it is simply
my view that we've got rather stuck in that rut! Thank you for
considering this intelligently and helpfully, David. The matter is
surely worthy of some consideration or discussion, I think.
--

Sacha
www.hillhousenursery.com
South Devon
www.helpforheroes.org.uk



  #41   Report Post  
Old 07-11-2013, 12:30 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,026
Default At the risk of being unpopular

On 2013-11-07 11:05:38 +0000, Bill Grey said:

"Sacha" wrote in message
...
I'm concerned for the future of this group which I've enjoyed hugely
for 16 years. Some have been here longer than that. But given the
number of those who used to post and who lurk (I know of a few, not
many now) the response to the suggestion that we widen our horizons,
look at a blog and consider looking at others and discussing their
content, were - forgive the pun - seeds on stony ground. I don't know
if this is because of disinterest, complacence or a belief that urg
will continue into the mists of time. It won't. Sacha
www.hillhousenursery.com
South Devon
www.helpforheroes.org.uk

You have a point Sacha. C ouple of NGs that I have posted to have
declined dramatically or gone to the wall. As you say, Facebook has
taken over quite a lot, and although I have jined it I can't say I
enjoy uing it.

Nick who posts on this NG must surely have noticed the decline in
correspondence in the Walking NG - it is largely subscribed to by
technical questions about gear. A Fishing NG has just about finished,
not having had a bite for a couple of years. An American NG - at least
largely subscribed to by Americans, has slipped out of sight into
Facebook.

I have often said I'm no gardener compared to the contributors to URG,
but I can sometimes offer suggetsions (though not intellectual
gardening stuff) and enjoy receiving advice whenever I need some. The
"old hands" are needed as reference points for us gardening dumbos.


Bill


Thanks for contributing to the discussion Bill and the same to John. I
think those of us who enjoy urg and want it to continue have to look at
introducing other topics. And we can do that by looking further afield
and coming back here to discuss and learn. The number of regular
posters here is now rather small and I have seen just the same on the
uk food group. Numbers are way down. Yes, I think Facebook has taken
over to a large extent and as discussion groups can be formed there, I
think that will continue to be the case. To keep a newsgroup alive and
an interesting place to be, we have to have more and more interesting
topics but that is just my opinion. If others don't want that it's a
group decision.
--

Sacha
www.hillhousenursery.com
South Devon
www.helpforheroes.org.uk

  #42   Report Post  
Old 07-11-2013, 12:37 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jun 2011
Posts: 272
Default At the risk of being unpopular

On Thu, 7 Nov 2013 Jake wrote:

On Thu, 7 Nov 2013 09:47:14 +0000, David Rance
wrote:

I've been reading URG for around eighteen years, I think. Even when I
started at least one of the stalwarts, Chunky, who helped create URG had
already left - I never saw any messages by him. And Cormaic last only
another five years or so before he found that his business left him too
little time to contribute. But Cormaic was a great encourager. It was he
that persuaded me to post a regular welcome message and he still hosts
the URG web site.

Ok, so we have a URG web site. Why don't we use it? Not much has changed
for years apart from keeping some of the FAQs up-to-date. In fact, it
probably suffers from a lot of the formatting and colour problems that
others have mentioned. It needs a good overhaul. We could keep a blog
going on that. There could be several blogs. Has anyone the vision to
make use of http://www.u-r-g.co.uk ? URG doesn't *have* to stay as a
Usenet group.


A well-thought contribution David. I have visited the web site quite a
few times and have referred to the FAQs when responding to questions
from "visitors" though I think I'm the only one to have done so
recently.

OTOH, the web site is rather out of date. I don't mean design, though
that does scream out for updating: the underlying appearance is 90s
and the presentation of content can be difficult to follow.


Thanks for your comments, Jake, with which I whole-heartedly agree. Just
to answer one or two of them

More fundamentally, many (I think the majority) of the external links
no longer work. In one FAQ there is reference to using Armillatox to
kill vine weevil. Yep, lots probably use it for such purposes but
doing so is illegal and advocating doing so could have repercussions!
There are also references to other products which have been withdrawn
following EU dictat. So someone does need to go through it and remove
the inconsistencies and repair or replace the links.


About three or four years ago a couple of us (RG and me) were given
write access to the site with a view to repairing links which didn't
work and adding any new FAQs. To rescue some of them I had to go to
sites that cache pages but I think we got them all back. But that was
three or four years ago and so obviously it needs looking at again.

There was something also called the "web-ring" where contributors' web
sites were linked in by a sort of "ring". However we couldn't get the
software for that going again.

It also needs a new domain name. "u-r-g.co.uk" conveys nothing to the
uninitiated.


That's true, though there's little we can do about that as it belongs to
Cormaic.

It would need some sort of discussion facility to be any "substitute"
for the newsgroup. The present site seems to have been (at some time)
operated on the basis that you emailed Cormaic and he put your
question/contribution on the site.


Yes, that was how it worked but latterly RG and I to did that. However
none of the older urglers who knew about the web-site have contributed
anything recently. The last was Nick.

I agree that an interactive page or pages are needed. I actually set up
Wordpress on my choir's website a year or two back when I was DoM at All
Saints', Wokingham, but it's not necessary to host the Wordpress
software on one's own web site.

Put this together and I guess we have a non-starter. I doubt there
would ever be agreement on design; the task of initial updating will
not be a small one and I wonder how many here will know how to do it
and/or be willing to learn, let alone devote the time.


Though perhaps we ought to have some sort of whip-round for Cormaic -
just maintaining the domain name is costing him money.


I think Cormaic now acts also as a small ISP so the cost to him is
minimal. He said that he's willing to host it free of charge to us as
long as we need it.

David

--
David Rance writing from Caversham, Reading, UK
  #43   Report Post  
Old 07-11-2013, 12:59 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
external usenet poster
 
First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Jan 2013
Posts: 144
Default At the risk of being unpopular

On Thu, 07 Nov 2013 11:13:31 +0000, Nick Maclaren wrote:

In article ,
David Rance wrote:

I said that it was the first *general* means of electronic
communication. By that I mean available/affordable to all. UUCP may well
have predated it but UUCP was not available to all because of the high
cost of getting connected to the Internet, certainly in the UK, until
1992 when Demon first made it affordable here.


UUCP predated the 'Internet' by some years, and relied on nothing more
than a telephone line and someone who was prepared to talk to you. Cost
was not the issue; the public's perception and lack of nous was. By the
time that Fidonet actually became 'general' (1985),
UUCP was quite widespread among the general public. No, I don't have
figures, but it wouldn't surprise me if UUCP didn't have more members of
the general public using it than Fidonet did until about 1990. There
were versions for MS-DOS by 1985. Of course, their users came from
different communities, so each was and is unaware of the other.

Anyway, this has nothing to do with gardening, so I shall stop here.


[Danger, Will Robinson, long post!]

Just to add a +1 {blush} to the UUCP debate.

UUCP was one standard way of interconnecting Unix computers before we had
ISPs.
[Unix to Unix Copy - does exactly what it says on the tin.]

Slow propagation of data across multiple hops and relying on someone
having a telephone line or two spare (for at least part of the day).

Usenet was suited to this because of the text based postings which could
maintain threading even if they took a while to arrive.

The technology is well out of date.
The structure may not be.

The main strength that I see it that there is a managed hierarchy.

To become part of Usenet you have to make a case for a new group and have
it voted on and approved.

This usually means that for UK based recreational gardeners there is only
one uk.rec.gardening and if someone doesn't like what it is discussing
then they are free to say so, ignore posters, or even leave.

If there is a real problem and enough people vote on it a moderated
version can be set up.

All your News Groups are handled by your News Reader and you can easily
see where there has been new activity, and skip between them at the click
of a button.

Contrast this with web based fora - where there is no regulation (good
thing) but endless fragmentation.

Where do you go for a gardening forum, or a computing forum, or a health
forum?

Google will show you loads of fora with very similar names running very
similar software, a very similar look and feel and if you want to ask a
question and get a considered answer you probably have to join half a
dozen and post the same question to them all.

If you don't like any forum, is costs about £10 a month to rent space on a
server and mount a free discussion forum of your own. There, you can
promote your own views and moderate or bar anyone you don't agree with.
There is a certain natural selection here, as overly moderated fora will
not gain users. However, as I say, it is so easy and cheap to set up a
forum that loads of people do it and it makes life very confusing.

The main downside of Usenet is the lack of graphical content.
This can be viewed as a blessing but the current generation have been
brought up with graphic rich feature rich social media services and
probably want what they are used to.

The main problem with modern social media sites is finding the content
amongst all the background noise.

I find I can't get on with Facebook fora (and I have tried) because the
format seems to be centred on 'look at me now' posts with loads of
pictures instead of a structured set of discussions. Yes, you can comment
but I find it very hard to track up and down over a couple of weeks to try
and find relevant threads. You also have to find the correct Facebook site
as well. Very good for disseminating information but not so good as Usenet
for long discussions. The comment threads seem to be one long stream, not
answer linked to question.

I've tried a bit of Twitter but I struggle to find a structure - which
#taginterestingtopic should I be following and how do I find it? I have a
Twitter account but as nobody I regularly chat with is using it I
generally communicate group information over Facebook with friends, and
specific one-to-one information over the Chat function in Skype.

If I am looking for information and advice I go first to Usenet because it
is structured to make finding resources easy.

Then I use Google and look for a forum, and asses the frequency of posting
and the apparent quality of the answers. If it looks promising I join.
However there are loads of fora where I joined to ask a specific question
then have not visited much afterwards - and I haven't found any
aggregating function to let me watch all these web fora for activity apart
from subscribing to email updates.

I use uk.rec.gardening and uk.d-i-y (amongst others) because they are good
resources and I haven't yet found anything better.

If uk.rec.gardening dries up then I will look for another resource (almost
certainly an online forum) which offers a similar level of knowledge and
helpfulness.

I note that nobody so far has pointed to any site (apart from the much
maligned GardenBanter) which offers a similar discussion forum to here.

If there isn't one, that might be a project for someone?



Finally, accepting that we are mainly old farts who grew up with the
technology and may well have first investigated Usenet because our first
PC came with Outlook Express with a built in news reader and our first ISP
provided a free news server I don't think that this is the only reason
that interest in gardening is dying.



As a home owner for many years I have seen the same size garden morph from
being described as 'small', to 'good size' to 'large' over the years, and
new builds being more and more packed in with smaller and smaller gardens.

I don't think that many people under 30 are really interested in gardening.

I say this from observing my own kids (now over 30), their friends and
neighbours, and our neighbours.

The garden proud generally tend to be of our age group.

There is so much to occupy the younger generations, from eating out to
films, music, gaming, TV that relaxing in the garden or de-stressing
through a bit of gentle weeding is not part of their lifestyle.

A garden is something that must be easily (grudgingly) maintained and is
viewed as somewhere to have friends round for a barbie in the summer or
sit out in occasionally but not as a main focus of pride.

I must also say that it isn't only gardens - this spills over into
cooking, cleaning, house work, all the background 'maintenance' things
which contribute to home life.

People want convenience and their focus is on social activity outside the
home.

I was brought up in suburbia where there was much pride in the gardens,
and gardens were all well maintained because that it what you did.

We live in a different society now, with different priorities.

So in conclusion I thing the declining interest in URG is at least partly
because it reflects the declining interest in gardening as a whole.

Cheers

Dave R
Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
At the risk of being a bore... Broadback[_3_] United Kingdom 67 21-12-2014 08:33 AM
At the risk of being unpopular John Rye[_2_] United Kingdom 2 10-11-2013 06:12 PM
RISK ASSESSMENT STRATEGY FOR BT CROPS IN THE NETHERLANDS David Kendra sci.agriculture 0 16-09-2003 03:07 AM
kombucha at home: health risk? miss j Plant Science 2 27-08-2003 07:34 PM
New Scientist - glyphosate, increases the risk of fungal infections dave @ stejonda United Kingdom 34 19-08-2003 04:29 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 02:31 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2020 GardenBanter.co.uk.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about Gardening"

 

Copyright © 2017