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Nigel

Changing face of palmtalk

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Nigel

Lately its been apparent to me ( and a few others) that the board has lost the worldwide discussions that used to take place.

It has evolved into a place where only growing in Florida, Texas and similar places is of interest to the majority.

Chameadoreas, New World palms and Trachys growing in Texas are big hits.

Start a subject on anything not involving the southern USA or chameadoreas and the thread dies an instant death.

This is why many of the older members have left, bored with posts about the weather in florida, or growing coconuts in florida, and lack of interest in anything else.

I dont know how we can get the discussions back the way they were, but I feel sad that a lot of my old friends have become disillusioned and left , nothing of interest is posted on the board any more for those wanting to grow cold hardy palms, and when it does it is largely ignored.

Having made several attempts to start interesting discussions over the last few months on subjects of cold hardy palms, and been largely ignored because it doesnt interest the main clique , rather than just fade away like so many others I wanted to highlight to the moderators just how polarised the board has become.

I dont know what can be done about it, but if the board is here for purposes of educating the world about palms , then it is not going in the right direction, and I feel it is failing in its objective.

Its a great place for those living in the southern USA to get together and chat, but the appeal to the rest of us out there is fading fast.

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Really full garden

Nigel, I agree with some of what you are saying.The facts are that the most active members are from California and they are interested in what they can grow there.Its logical.

                                                     Scott

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bgl

Nigel,

I'm truly sorry that some of your friends have become disillusioned and left. The IPS wants PalmTalk to be the most active Forum anywhere when it comes to discussing palms, and would like to encourage participation from as many Forum members as possible, with a wide geographic distribution.

The simple and obvious solution, of course, is not to drop out but to become MORE active. Personally, I have to admit that threads about Washingtonias and Trachycarpus and the Florida weather leave me cold and I typically don't even look at those threads. It would be unrealistic to expect ALL threads to be of interest to ALL Forum members. The fact is, California and Florida have the largest concentrations of palm enthusiasts anywhere in the world (and that's also where most IPS members reside). It is thus also to be expected that a lot of the threads on this Forum will be heavily centered towards CA and FL. For those of us who don't live there it's important to add threads, and participate in threads, about palms that may not necessarily be of major interest to CA/FL members. I've found on occasion that threads about tropical palms, that do well here in Hawaii, receive minimal interest, while a Washingtonia thread may get 3-4 times the amount of traffic. That's not going to discourage me from posting similar threads in the future!

Giving up is not the solution!

Bo-Göran

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Jason in Orlando

Many of the people that no longer post here that I notice missing are from Florida.  Palms are mainly warm-growing plants.  Coming originally from a "cold" place (Pennsylvania, USA), I can tell you that there aren't many people there trying to grow cold hardy palms.  It makes sense that most people growing palms are in tropical or subtropical areas.  My impression of the board as of late has been that the main topics involve trying to identify mystery Dypsis species, Tahina spectabilis, and frankly, cold-hardiness in palms/frost-freeze damage.  There are two Chamaedorea threads on page one.  Hardly a trend.  Several threads are regarding diseases and pests.  One is about someone's trip.  Several are asking for palm IDs.  I too miss the input of many members who no longer post here.  Sergei from Ukraine, Angelo from Italy, Jason from Portugal, Gaston from Argentina, and those who posted about their experiences along the Canadian Pacific coast don't seem to be around anymore (my apologies if you are).  Bashing Floridians is not the way, in my opinion, to bring them back.

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Tad

Nigel, why not give us an in depth look at your operation in the UK?

I mean from the ground up, show us how it's done across the pond.

you never know the lengths you go to to protect thru winter may give inspiration to others.

I agree with what you have said but at a different angle, I dont even look at the dypsis threads,the thought of another ,"identify this mystery dypsis?" makes want to puke, they dont do much for me, I cant grow many of them so they dont interest me all that much.  to counter act that I post annoyingly long and painfully drawn out threads of the farm  :)

instead of moping why not come backand drown us in pictures and the like from what your doing?

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PALM MOD

Nigel,

As one of our more valued members your observations and comments are well received.

I do receive other comments like yours from members that would like the Forum to have more participation from those with similar interests to their own. You desire more cold hardy participation. The Aussie's want less American input, and more international participation. The Floridians think there is too much California. And when I was exclusively in California, I wished there were less Hawaii and Florida, and more temperate information. The attitude that "our own personal" interests are not represented as much as we would like is not new.

Others have already alluded to the fact that for every member in the extreme No. or So. latitudes, there are 50 or more from a warmer location. So it would be no surprise that a greater than 50:1 ratio of tropical/temperate to cold hardy discussions would result.

I am not ready to concede that there is less cold hardy discussions than before. There may be more other discussions, thereby making it seem there is less. It's a fact that people tire of Forums, and growing palms for that matter, but we are admitting new members at a faster rate than ever before.

However, the purpose of my response is not to argue your point, because to increase the participation from others like you would be a worthy objective regardless. And I do understand what you are saying. I am open to any suggestions. However, you yourself state "I dont know how we can get the discussions back the way they were." To eliminate the lighthearted banter between friends will do nothing to increase cold hardy discussions. Besides, I learned early on that the direction the Forum takes is one of it's own. The IPS and I can prevent topics and replies from being posted, but we cannot require the posting of and replies to certain subjects.

I will move this topic to give it more exposure. And I urge the handful of you in the extremes of palm growing climates to realize there is really no better place to share information. But the discussions will eventually live or die on your participation. I am hesitant to create a sub-forum dedicated to cold hardy discussion. I would think our Freeze Damage discussions would hold interest for you guys. But again, I am open for any suggestions.

So, thank you for raising the issue publicly. I appreciate that we can discuss this openly with everyone's input, rather than having to address each member privately with their individual concerns.

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Walter John

Hang in there Nige, it goes without saying that...................Oh, I can't say it now.

There will be more posts from where the majority of members abide, that's obvious, I used to concern about the constant cold weather moaning but I don't know, I don't even mention cold weather moaning anymore, I mean you won't see me writing the words cold weather moaning either.

I have just returned from one of the biggest cities in Australia, that being Melbourne, and as for palms there, all you seem to see are Phoenix canariensis, Syagrus romanceyourpantsoff and Washingtonias, nothing else. Now I spoke to one of the locals there and she absolutely adores the washies, with the way the leaves appear to interweave and when she pointed out one I had to admit, it looked fantastic whilst back home in Brisbane I usually ignore them, so, what I'm saying here is one man's thingy is another man's doovy and let that be a lesson to us all, amen.

And mister moderator, "aussies complaining about too much american input" ? you sure ?

Have a nice day everybody.

Edit, here's a pic of a Melbourne washy in progress, next door to my sister's place.

post-51-1202071644_thumb.jpg

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PALM MOD

(Wal @ Feb. 03 2008,10:47)

QUOTE
And mister moderator, "aussies complaining about too much american input" ? you sure ?

:D   :)  :D

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Palm Guy

To be honest Nigel, I do get where you're coming from, but you will find that many people are interested in palm survival outside of tropical locations. I know I am at least. I found it pretty cool to see pictures of Cyrtostachys renda growing to a decent size in the Canaries (which is only slightly cooler than Bermuda). I'm interested in that particular post because I live in Bermuda and want to recreate those conditions. Its just a matter of whats applicable to you that sparks an interest. Also, there is a guy in New York (I cant recall his name) who plants adonidias and pigmy dates on his property and then digs em up for winter. I know that post got lots of hits.

Here is a list of some possible posts that may have worldwide appeal:

Growing Cyrtostachys renda indoors (which may be possible in the UK)

British Palm Conservatories(many of the first Palm collectors and explorers were British- Ravanea Hildebrandtii was once popular in Britain long ago- now I can't even find seeds!!)

First Palms in the UK

Cold hardiness - (if anybody can test out the true cold hardiness of palms it would be you. Although this might be palm sacrifice which is not condoned!!)

Jubaeas Heat Tolerance?

Snow on Palms - Pics

All these are possible topics that may be relevant to you and will find interest from many of the members.

Cheers,

Mike F

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merrill

Hi, Nigel:

Your threads are the ones I look at most carefully.  Please keep up your excellent posting.  

My Very Best Wishes,

merrill

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DoomsDave

Nigel:

Do please keep up with the posting.

Sometimes I read without replying.  I read everything you post.  It is so cool to grow tropicals as far north as you are.

Take us on a palm tour of the UK?  

I suspect there aren't many species, but I'll bet people there are using them more imaginatively.  

An attorney I'm litigating against jsut got back from England, and noted that palms were everywhere there, compared to the last time he went, which was about 30 years ago.

I wish some of the defectors would return, but that's up to them.

Please don't be one of them.

dave

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Alicehunter2000

I read most of the cold-hardy posts. My imput has been less for a few different reasons. First my desktop computer crashed on me just before Christmas and it took me awhile before I bought a laptop. I am not as fast using the touchpad and I find posting pictures to be more daunting because it doesn't have a camera card port.....and the photo program is different (more difficult).

Second, I have been busy with work and family....end of year inventories, Christmas, New Years, birthdays etc.

Third, losing the Palapa put me off just a bit.....but I am recovering. :)

Forth, I think it was just a down cycle for me where my palm interests wained a bit.....but I was still trading seeds actively.

Lately, I joined the IPS (notice the logo) :) , Springtime is approaching, my computer skills have gotten better, I got a sprinkler system, lots of seedling and my interest are up. So Nigel, please post, because what you can grow there usually can grow here as well.

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PatientPalms

I love the dynamic characteristic of this forum...

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ruskinPalms

Nigel. I love to read about cold hardy palms and pushing the envelope in general. That is what I am doing. It does freeze here yearly! Unfortunately, I AM from Florida and my experiences with growing palms are here in Florida. When I do post in a thread that is largely centered on growing palms in a climate much different than mine, I think my posts get discredited with "well, freezes are different in Florida...It is cool year round here with no real freezes or frosts...Florida has rapid warmups...This is a true tropical climate, not like Florida...There is no heat here the entire year...."  The list could go on. I think my point is that I may be intimidated to post in threads when I don't think my experiences are worthwhile so I guess I spend most of my time posting in Southeast US and Texas threads. But, I do truly enjoy reading about posts from all over the world! Nigel, please don't stop posting here. I think it is fascinating that palms can be grown at all in the UK!

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Ken Johnson

While with Palm Yalk members recently we mentioned many times how cool the posts from other parts of the world were.

Please keep them up.

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palman

OK, I live in florida and enjoy reading a variety of posts. I cannot grow those species featured in the Hawaii posts but enjoy looking at them anyways as I cheer for a fellow palmnut to 'keep it up, attaboy!'

Anyways, many of us on the forum have to deal with cold spells and can always benefit from discussion about what grows best in marginal areas and how to protect them when the mercury drops. You would be an asset in that type of conversation. Show us some pics and let us know what you're growing and how you protect it during the winter. Many of us could not only enjoy that but also benefit from the knowledge. For example, many members in the USA live in USDA zones 7 & 8- they would benefit from your experiences in the UK.

I live in a zone 9b/10a and have been told that trachycarpus does better in a zone 6, 7, or 8. We grow cocothrinax here but I'd like to grow a trachy. I have a friend who grew palms such as trachy outside in coastal New England (about an hour south of Boston, Massachusetts. He had a special way of protecting them with a light bulb, a box and pine straw in the winter! Do you have any strategies along the same lines?

Those Brahea photos from CA are great- we cannot grow those in south Florida but I still enjoy their posts very much.

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Guest briancoconut

I read palm talk most everyday.

I am not a IPS  member

Mainly for imformation!

I rarely post.

I have read everyones post on this subject.

Seems to me this is clearly a numbers game.

Nigel I would think owning your own nursery, you would get the word out about IPS. The more the merrier I say. I  attempt to grow coconuts and many other palms in a area that I should not.  North Port Florida. I am sorry but seems to me you are just whining. If the people on IPS  are not interested in your posts well then your UK membership or interest in IPS is just smaller than in the USA. Its a numbers game. I mean no disrespect!!!

Brian

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fastfeat

Nigel--

As a relatively recent transplant to SoFla from SoCal, I still enjoy readying about experiences from people who grow palms I can no longer grow successfully in"palm paradise" (!?)

Trust me, people like me enjoy reading/hearing about things we cannot grow where we are.

Personally, I just went through some personal s*^t, including the theft of all my palms and cycads, that has kept me away from this and other forums lately, so I don't post as much as I used to. But this place and others are where I seek my inspiration to start again.

So hang in there. Take a break if you have to, but DO come back.

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BS Man about Palms

Nigel,

I would offer that there is a difference between "views" and "posts".  I think MANY threads here are viewed by a wide swath of the membership, BUT, I suspect many others are like me, if you don't think you have anything to offer, you don't post a reply.  I would also suggest a "bump" to a thread if you are looking for a answer or replys.   Every once in a while, I'll go back a day or two's worth of posts and see a thread that "died" that I think would have been interesting, primarilly due to the time of day it was posted "for the rest of the world".

I think as mentioned, a "tour" of your place would generate great interest.

I will add one other thing.  I, and I think a few others am trying to add something else to keep people looking.  Just like the So. Cal. magazine, and a car club or two I belong to, all are looking for articles for their hard copy "outputs".  If they loose articles for that, interest wanes and membership wanes soon after.  I have looked at times to see at least 50 people worldwide viewing at the same time, yet there is no new material to read.  I add stuff for others to look at, I hope in return that it prompts others to add threads.  

I will read some cold weather posts, but just as Tad is not interested in Dypsis, I may have "5" ? cold hardy palms?  No Washingtonias, or Chaemerops, but 2 Trachycarpus, and I do have 2 Rhapidophyllum and maybe some other stuff kicking around.  While I may not respond to the cold hardy palm threads,Please keep posting.

Ken-

Sorry to hear of your theft.

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Tad
:P Ok secretly I do read the dypsis threads but only so that I will know what the enemy is up to, and so I can better plot my revenge later, because when I am king of the world, then you'll all be sorry! ! ! ! :P

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paulgila

tad what do you mean "when" you are king of the world? :D  :D  :D

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fastfeat

Tad's just waiting for that "global warming crap" to reach him :P  so he can grow Dypsis...

Bill--

Thanks.

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Gaston in Argentina

Im still here, but mostly reading the post, more interesting for me now are those about cold hardy Chamaedoreas, Jubaea, its hybrids and the favorite Parajubaeas.-

Hybridation is now my focus with palms, but im not so concentrated as before just for personal purposes, espectating for a baby to come in march 25 th that will be my first son and learning about to be a father at the age of 39 years.....:-) and making some changes in my backyard for be less junglelike for a children to play, yet i dont know if is male or female, if the firs his name will be Maximo Cesar and if the second we are in doubt if her name will be Maria Trinidad, Consuelo or Candelaria.- Spanish names because we are spanish descendants both.- My first intention to give the name of Jubaea if is female, but wasnt agreed by "the partner".-

Fortunately my palms mostly from seeds germinated in 2000 and 2001 years are getting a good size now and the worst time for the seedlings are gone.- Jubaeas planted are speeding their growth.-

Still reading posts.

Gaston in Argentina

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BS Man about Palms

Congrats to you Gaston! Glad you are still reading!

I will add, I will sometimes look on the "profiles" of members and it will tell when they last "logged in". Several folks are still here, just not posting.

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Nigel

(briancoconut @ Feb. 03 2008,21:22)

QUOTE
I am sorry but seems to me you are just whining. If the people on IPS  are not interested in your posts well then your UK membership or interest in IPS is just smaller than in the USA. Its a numbers game. I mean no disrespect!!!

Brian

Well , I was here from the start, and before, on the old palmtalk forum. I know very well what was discussed ,I remember very well many of my old friends who have slowly ebbed away, expressing privately that the forum was no longer is interesting because its like a south USA members club. Well I didnt just ebb away like them, I said something because I care about the forum and apparently I am whining.

Actually I think Briancoconut expressed in that phrase exactly why I am disillusioned. It says it all about how the forum has changed and why people from `outside` are turned off.

Thanks to all those people who say they still read the posts, but for me its about interacting and talking to ones self is no fun.

Gaston ,its really good to hear about your baby on the way , I think your life is going to change big time.

Merrill , without you I dont know what this forum would do, you are one of the remaining and brightest shining lights to those of us from colder places.

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Neofolis

Since I first visited the forum, it has always had more SoCal and Florida participation, maybe more so now, but I enjoy reading the posts whatever.  Anything I can learn about palms and people's experiences with them is fine by me.  I do find that on occasions there will be little interest in some threads I start, which sometimes makes me feel like a bit of an outsider, but then, if most people come from somewhere other than me, they may not have experience of what I am asking about.  Whilst I am in the UK, most of what I grow is fairly/totally tropical, so there are members that may have experience with the palms I am growing, but not necessarily with growing them in an artificial environment.  I often see Robbin start threads that get little or no response and wish I could post a reply, but I don't have anything worthwhile to contribute.

Whatever happens we will all go through unique experiences with palms and hopefully we will all continue to share those experiences.  If at some time they are beneficial to someone else or someone else has already been through something similar, hopefully we will all become wiser as a result.

I received an email from a UK member last week, who said that he didn't want to post here anymore.  I was disappointed, but at least he's still only ever an email away and there is still a large and constantly growing knowledge base for me to turn to here.

I have not been to other forums, but I assume the forums of Palm Societies in cooler areas have much more talk about cold hardy species and possibly less interest in tropical palms.  Personally I like it here and have no desire to look elsewhere, even though I may be denying myself a forum that I would enjoy more.  I like the people here, I like the humour, I am generally interested in a reasonable percentage of threads that get posted and I know that there are enough people that read and post regularly that, if I start a thread, it is likely to be seen.  That's really all I want from a forum.

Whilst this forum is International, the focus will always remain where the majority of members are.

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LJG

(BS, Man about Palms @ Feb. 03 2008,21:08)

QUOTE
I will add, I will sometimes look on the "profiles" of members and it will tell when they last "logged in". Several folks are still here, just not posting.

Wow. That is kind of freaky. You are like an online stalker.  :P

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Nigel

(Neofolis @ Feb. 04 2008,03:10)

QUOTE
Whilst this forum is International, the focus will always remain where the majority of members are.

That is true , and to be expected, but I have seen forums come and go, cliques form, those who feel outside the main clique leave, and the forum goes into decline, and thats what is happening here IMHO.

If you have a huge clique talking amongst themselves and not interacting with outsiders , then the forum is going to polarise very quickly and lose its international appeal.

Like it or not, thats exactly whats happening here. It hasnt always been this way. Palmtalk has a big problem.

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Dave-Vero

Nigel,

Your analysis seems about right--a fairly limited number of people sort of swamp everything else.  The Travel Logs are still bringing us some fabulous habitats and less-familiar gardens.  

Maybe it's time to rearrange the Forum's deck chairs?

I recall that on my first visit to London, around 1990, Trachycarpus were planted conspicuously around Heathrow Airport to assure visitors that things were balmy, if not barmy.  Since then, there's been the breathless BBC report of a fruiting outdoor avocado tree somewhere in the great metropolis.  And those thriving Trachys in Soho Square!

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Paul S

Nigel I think we just have to accept that us cold-hardy folk are in the minority.  How many species of palm are there compared with how many we can grow in the UK?  Does that proportion tally with the ratio of tropical:cold hardy discussions?  Using that perspective I have a sneaking feeling our interests are over represented, if anything.

Keep with it - besides which we have few alternatives just at the moment.  The EPS site is a joke, Laurel and Hardy Tropicals is even funnier and GOTE has lost the UK focus that UK Oasis had.

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Nigel

(Paul S @ Feb. 04 2008,06:07)

QUOTE
Nigel I think we just have to accept that us cold-hardy folk are in the minority.  How many species of palm are there compared with how many we can grow in the UK?  Does that proportion tally with the ratio of tropical:cold hardy discussions?  Using that perspective I have a sneaking feeling our interests are over represented, if anything.

Paul, yes you are right and thats the way it always has been, but there was always enough of us here to have a good discussion.

Lately it feels like I am talking to myself,and I greatly miss the interaction with some of those old friends that have left.

I know from comments made to me by some of the departed that they feel they dont belong any more, and that was what I was trying to change.

The guys here now are not doing anything wrong, its just the way the board has evolved, and my hope was that by bringing the problem to light it might in some way change a little.

P.S. The European Palm Society site has been revamped and will soon go public. It may well rise from the ashes like the proverbial phoenix, I certainly hope so.

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Carlo Morici

Just some mixed thougths....

I love the forum, and I am not too bothered by the "northernamericanity" of many discussions. US politics make me yawn, but palms do not. Nevertheless I understand that local vs. international is a delicate equilibrium.

This is a big issue, hard to solve. It is been one of the weak points of the IPS during all its history. The International "PS" has been all unequally based in FL + CA.

Now the main forum "discussing palm trees" is too variable and the same topic can last days or weeks, according to the general mood of the members (in FL and CA  :;):  )On the other hand "Travel Logs" is the golden section of palmtalk and it shoudl be somehow pampered and advertised.  

The only quick and easy solution that I see is the creation of subforums (-fora?) for the overrepresented topics. For example, the creation of a "weather" subforum, lightened the main "discussing palm trees" forum.

I must also complain about the language barrier. This is an only-English environment that progressively shed all the Spanish-speaking palm guys. All the SP people (many IPS members) now meet on the "illegal" Spanish palm forum, because, the International PS only admits English.

http://www.infojardin.com/foro/forumdisplay.php?f=36

I understand this would involve a lot of translation and moderation, but discussions in 2nd most spoken palm language should be hosted within the IPS, at least in my vision of internationality. Nobody in Babel-Europe would think of facing an international issue with just one language.

In past times, IPS members from the So.US got PALMS and a full world of meetings and friends. IPS members from abroad just got PALMS (and paid a few $$ more).

Now people from abroad just get PALMS and PALMTALK. It is here where the internationality of the international PS should be defended.

How really strong is the desire for "internationality" in the "International" PS ???

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amazondk

(Dave-Vero @ Feb. 04 2008,03:54)

QUOTE
Nigel,

Your analysis seems about right--a fairly limited number of people sort of swamp everything else.  The Travel Logs are still bringing us some fabulous habitats and less-familiar gardens.  

Maybe it's time to rearrange the Forum's deck chairs?

Dave,

How would you suggest to rearrange the deck chairs?  

I look at a lot of the threads in, Discussing palm trees worldwide.  But, to a large degree a lot do not really apply to gardening where I live.  Every once in a while something comes up about a palm from around here and if I know anything I try to contribute.  I have learned a lot in many areas from the forum, which I guess should be it's main function.  Since I used to live in Florida I still relate, somewhat to the place.  I have always enjoyed weather and find it interesting what is going on.  I think I am about the only one from the tropics that contributes to the monthly weather thread.  But, I really don't have a lot to offer since things don't really ever change much around here.  I agree with Tad that it would be nice to see what gardening with tropical plants in your climate is like in photos.  

I have one suggestion for a forum focus which is here, but maybe not as much as it could be.  That is landscaping with tropical (or tropical looking) plants.  One thing is growing a plant, another is how it is used in a landscape along with other components.  Lanscaping from what I see gets mixed into several forums, but it is not a focus of it's own.  What most are looking for is more than just growing plants, but using them to enhance the enviroment we live in.

dk

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Walter John
It has evolved into a place where only growing in Florida, Texas and similar places is of interest to the majority.

Chameadoreas, New World palms and Trachys growing in Texas are big hits.

Start a subject on anything not involving the southern USA or chameadoreas and the thread dies an instant death.

How really strong is the desire for "internationality" in the "International" PS

I've re-read this thread tonight and thought about it some more and with all due respect, I can't agree totally with the underlying messages as quoted above.

What is International on this board is what always was international and will always be international and that is the PALMS themselves. My lil Dypsis doesn't care who talks about him, as long as people talk about him. I didn't think Chammies got much of a show anyway, not while Jay is busy building over in WA.

If I were you Nigel I'd just come at us with all guns blazing on aspects of palms, and just keep bumping it up if you are after some input, people will come Ray. people will most definitely come.

The more YOU mention, "only growing in Florida, Texas etc", the more chance it may polarise the board. I said "may".

You are a champion of the prince of plants in your own right Nige, be proud, be international and if somebody doesn't like it here, well, quite frankly, they're just not reading it properly.

And now a reading from PACSOA

"We will begin with palms, the loftiest and noblest of all vegetable forms, that to which the prize of beauty has been assigned by the concurrent voice of nations in all ages; for the earliest civilization of mankind belonged to the countries bordering on the region of palms and to parts of Asia where they abound."

Alexander von Humboldt, Physiognomy of Plants, 1849.

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Nigel

Gawwwd Wal, it sounds like I am attacking the states, I hope it hasnt come over that way, I am just trying to highlight a problem and hopefully improve the awareness ......

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PatientPalms

I think it's only a problem if those who live outside of the US choose to not participate about palms.  Given that scenario, it would seem that the international members would have forced the society to only be US based.  Please post a picture in this thread and lets get back to the PALMS!

blackchanelpalm.jpg

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Jon North Padre Island

Nigel,

There are too many variables involved in the transition of the forum, from when you were there at the beginning, that have to be considered before repositioning of the deck chairs begins.

I would imagine that the demographics of the membership/participants has changed significantly since the beginning.  The southern/more temperate areas of the USA is, most likely, where the biggest percentage of the current membership lives.  However, that being said, it does not translate that the postings generated by the masses necessarily have any meaning to the world at large and, in fact, a great number of them should probably be deleted before the post button is pressed (Hmmmm?)  ...and that is only one variable, or maybe two.

Many people on the forum understand and feel your pain.  But, the forum does work.  I have asked for assistance with very specific palm anatomy questions and received quick, concise and well illustrated replies.  

Maybe we are sadly back to the adage, that while 'nothing is ever as bad as it seems, nothing is ever as good as it seems'.  One way to lose is to quit and in that case the palm society loses.  

Now, lets get back to those deck chairs!!  I have a collection of those on my deck (no images at this time) and they seem to be in constant motion.

Jon

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toto

I love this board, I am a 9b Mediteranean climate and I find a lot of great info here. If I would live somewhere colder I would be still on this board but I would search for the cold hardy palm  info  on some other boards which are more into the lower zones.

I am not saying that the cold hardy palms shoudnt be on this board but compared the no. of palms which can grow there the number of messages is big. There is also a huge amount of info in the ARHIVE.

One more thing, lot of people on this board make their living with palms and some messages go like advertising for some new model, there are much more new palms for the upper zones......toto

P.S. sorry for my bad english

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PalmGuyWC

Nigel,

I'll join the chorus, please don't leave as I read everything you write, and I think you have taught us more about the genus Trachycarpus than anything I've seen in written material. For some reason, my feeble brain absorbs material better from the screen than it does from written material, and often there are great photos to reinforce what is written.

There have been some great threads on this web site, such as Tim Hooper's very detailed photographic trip on pollenating some of the cocoid palms, and there are many more examples of good information about palm culture, etc. Ken and Jeff's recent visit to S. Calif. allowed all of us to view some first class private gardens that we might not ordinarily see. Even though I can't grow most of the palms found in S. Calif., I get a kick out of seeing what will grow down there.

I've been on this web site for over a year now, and it's certainly been a revealation to me that so many palms are being grown in Europe and the UK, and other places where I wouldn't normally think palms would grow. A web site is like a living organisim, and it ebbs and flows, and sometimes there is not much to interest some of us, but then a hot topic will arrive and there is a huge response. Some topics surprise me with their response......such as the skirt on a Washingtonia. My God, how much can be said about that topic? Sometimes topics get beaten to death, and others that are more interesting (to me) get dropped. I think we have to realize there are new members coming on all the time, and what's old for most of us, is new to them.

As someone suggested, when things get dull, one can always switch over to the travel logs, and there are some great ones, such as Paul's adventures in Mexico. He spent a lot of time preparing his web site, and while mostly about Agaves, it also showed where palms were mixed with the agaves and some beautifull scenery of the Mexican countryside. It's very rare when I can't find something of interest on Palmtalk.

Rather than pull away, we should all post what we think is interesting, and maybe add to the knowledge of palm culture. If a question is asked by a new member, there are usually enough "experts" to give an answer. Maybe things are a little dull now, but it's winter in the northern hemisphere where most palm nuts are, and there is not much happening. I live in a refigerator for several months in the winter, and my palms are hibernating, so there is not much for me to report.

It's always good to hear from our Aussie buddys (mates) and their sharp wit, and I wish we heard more from New Zealand, like how are the Parajubaeas doing down there guys? How about S. Africa? We never hear much from down there.

Nigel, you sound like your in a winter frump, just as I am. Things will look up in the spring.

Dick

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Gbarce

Nigel,

I know what you mean and sort of still feel that way but I still find a lot of good in this forum.  

For me  though, observeing the SoCal and SoFlo folk interacting DOES give an international flavor to this forum.  But I admit that it does get intimidating because these guys are all so famillar with each other and sometimes your inquiry (and even attempts at humor) are not received the way you thought or would want.

Cliques will always form -fact of life I guess  There is definitely a critical mass of forum members in America ( who even live close to one another) but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  It keeps the forum going one way or the other.

I think to make this forum better the answer isn't to lessen the interaction of the Americans but rather to increase the participation of everybody else.  

I know thats kind of hard to do though-- I myself am alone (forum wise) in this part of the world.  Notice how some posts of the Americans are shot out rapidly back and forth like an instant message conversation?  I normaly only respond to my posts the following day because lots of times no one is on line when I am.

But I guess as with most things-- you get the most out of it only after you invest yourself in it.   I learned to look past the general leanings of the forum and concentrated on the stuff that worked or interested me-- so I still get to enjoy Palmtalk.

Just some tips on getting better/more responses:

1) Always use pictures - people just understand what you are talking about better

2) Keep it short and light - Sometimes it about how you phrase or breakdown the post into sizable chunks.  

3) THink about the audience-  Mostly I post questions for specific concerns/problems/questions i have  but some times I post stuff just to entertain or bait the rest of the forum into participating ( biggest head contest--haha but it could also be something more serious)

4) Build your audience too- for the minority groups here- we have to be aware that the rest of the forum probably doesn't know anything about our situation or growing climate (or even culture for that matter).  I think that it is helpful to drop bits and peices of information so that slowly you develop a kind of on line identity  so that other members will eventually know where you are coming from.  I think that's a long process though and requires a bit of participation.

My 2 cents.

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