Help with general GardenWeb question please...

bananastandJune 25, 2013

I know this is a bit off-topic, but to keep it related let me explain. This is the growing tomatoes forum. I know it's active and there are people who check here and post here. I have posted questions about tomatoes here and I get good responses within a day or so. And I try to contribute to other conversations. But to illustrate my point, if I was a new person visiting this website, would I find this particular forum easily? There is also a Vegetables forum. There is also a Large Vegetables forum. There is also a forum for my particular state (where I'm sure people are growing toms and may have region-specific info.) There are probably a dozen other forums where a user might post a potential question........ but since not all the forums are as active as this one, a lot of posts might never get seen by anyone.

Do any GardenWeb veterans/pros have tips on the following? Have the people who created/manage this site ever entertained solutions to these issues or do you guys have thoughts on them?

1. Some way to know which of the MANY available forums are "most active" forums where people are checking/posting/answering questions regularly. It seems the bulk of them are so micro-specialized, that they are not used all that much and posts in them are rarely seen.

2. A way to winnow the list of available forums down to the few you visit most? I know there is a feature in the profile to pick your top two forums, but I am yet to find a quick and easy link when I log in to show me those two. Instead you have to scroll endlessly until you find the forum you want. I've gotten good at the mind map of how long to scroll and where to move the mouse to find this one. :-)

3. Knowing what questions fit in what category... if I have a question about tomatoes, I know to post here. If I have a question about basil that I am growing in a raised bed with Mel's Mix, there are at least three or four different places I can think to post that question. Has there been a larger discussion of winnowing of the sheer number of forums at all?

4. A post history for specific users? I hate to admit it, but sometimes I post a question first thing in the morning before leaving for work, and then it might be days before I remember to navigate back to that forum and check replies. Yes I know I can activate email notifications for every reply, but on other discussion forums I use, you can go to your profile page and see a quick and easy list of recent posts. I would love something like that here to stay on track!

Thanks and sorry for the slightly off topic post. Again to be back on topic, my tomatoes are doing great! :-)

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

One thing that helps with navigating between forums is using the Related Forums links provided on each forum. Very few seem to pay any attention to them yet that are a very effective way to get around.

For example, this forum provides direct links to Pest & Diseases, Vegetable Gardening, Harvest, and Heirlooms. Vegetable Gardening provides direct links to Asian Vegetables, Tomatoes, Alliums, Herbs, Organic Gardening, Four Season Gardening, Giants, Hot Peppers, Fruit & Orchards, Harvest, Heirlooms, Beans, Peas & Other Legumes in its list of Related Forums.

With a bit of exploration you can quickly determine the path to your favorite forum just by starting with one bookmarked forum.

As to finding all your posts - just type your user name in the forum search bar and it pulls them all up for you.

Not perfect but not too bad either.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 9:39PM
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zeuspaul(9b SoCal)

Clippings can be a useful tool. Clip your own post or a post in a thread you want to track. Then go to *My Clippings* to see the list of the posts/threads you are interested in.

Zeuspaul

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 9:58PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

but on other discussion forums I use, you can go to your profile page and see a quick and easy list of recent posts. I would love something like that here to stay on track!

&&&&&

GW uses different software than most message sites where I read and post, which use V bul software which does allow you to see a member profile and info about that member and when joined and recent posts also, as you mentioned.

it's always been that way here ever since Spike started GW all those many years ago. It's changed hands several times and never will the software change either.

It's also the only site where I read and post that does not allow you to mention another message site, or you can be banned, last I knew ,although I've tried to clarify that several times with no luck.

So what you get here at GW is what it already is and is not going to change.

Carolyn

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 12:07AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

When I sign in GW, its the home page. Then I open "Forums" page. There you have all kinds of listings of the forum, alphabetically, by name,....you name it.

But, to me most things that gardeners grow(not landscaping, not flowers, ..) fit into VEGETABLES. There you can see a bigger crowd talking about all kinds of vegetable(including tomatoes, peppers ,.. herbs)

The next crowded(w/most participants) and lively forum is "Growing tomatoes". No wonder b/c tomato is the most popular vegetable grown by gardeners across USA and elsewhere.

I personally, also visit the following forums regularly:

--- Herbs
--- Alliums
--- Asian Vegetables.
--- pumpkins, squash...
--- beans, .., legumes ...

I also do go to my regional gardening group forum on occasionally. Not very often, because I am not interested in shrubs, landscaping etc. I already know enough about them and it is not something that I have to deal with everyday. Also, I have no interest in issues like container gardening, harvesting,

All in all, there are many forums for just about anybody who wants to learn or contribute.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 3:37AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

It's pretty easy to tell which forums are more active by looking at the dates of when the threads were started and when the most recent was posted, which is part of the info shown for each thread on a forum's page. If they were started in the past day or so and answered in the past day or so, the forum is pretty active. If a thread at the top was started last fall and the most recent reply was 2 months ago, the forum is not very active.

I find my posts using the search function, if I need to. Just do a search for your username. You can narrow the results by going to a particular forum and using the "search only this forum" option.

There is crossover between forums, so just ask your questions where it makes the most sense to you to do so. A question about frowing tomatoes in your area will likely recieve a good answer if it is posted here, or vegetable, or in your regional forum. If you have two favorite forums that aren't related to each other, set them in your profile and just go to your member page and click on them.

Cheers!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 9:54AM
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bananastand

Seysonn, thanks for the list of forums you've noticed that are more active. That is really helpful and I appreciate it! Others, thanks too for the feedback and tips. Gardenweb is a really helpful community and my questions/issues are really only minor. I'm glad the forum is here. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 10:35AM
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donna_in_sask

Is there any other way to give feedback, report spam, ask forum related questions, other than using the Contact Us route?

Sometimes it takes a really long time to log on to the forum, and I've had double posting issues this past while. Is it a server issue? I must say, it's quite frustrating.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 12:51PM
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ffreidl

I didn't realize you could search your own name. I usually save my posts in a folder in my browser favorites (named "Posts" ha!). I date 'em so I know which are most recent.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 11:30PM
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robeb_gw

"It's also the only site where I read and post that does not allow you to mention another message site, or you can be banned, last I knew ,although I've tried to clarify that several times with no luck."

Ok, let's see if I get banned for mentioning another site...I've always been curious about this.

Another great discussion forum: T o m a t o v i l l e. Had to do the letter spacing to avoid the "spam" police.

If I don't post again soon, you'll know they got me.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 11:58PM
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