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 Why not add some more categories? 
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Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:41 pm
Posts: 124
Location: Glendale, CA, USA
Post Why not add some more categories?
Out of all the plant forums I participate on, this forum has by far the least amount of categories. I think it might help if more categories were added.

There should definitely be a category for epiphytes! It should be at the top of the list. :D I'm kinda kidding because there aren't too many threads on the topic. Sorry about that! I haven't been posting enough. :wink: Well...actually...if we're measuring quality rather than quantity...then these two threads alone...Drynarias and more Drynarias...warrant the addition of a category for epiphytes.

There should definitely be a category for Tree Ferns. You guys love your tree ferns. Or maybe there should just be a category for ferns in general?

Perhaps there should be a category for the Asparagaceae (Yuccas, Cordyline)? What about cactus and succulents? How about palms and cycads?

I'd love it if there was a category for breeding/selecting for cold tolerance. There should really be a lot more threads on the topic.

Maybe there could also be a category for travel photos.

Having more categories on the main page would greatly improve organization and make threads in popular topics far more accessible. Categories facilitate browsing.

If you get a chance, please check out my galleries on flickr!

Carlos - Epiphytes and Economics

Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:47 am
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 3:59 pm
Posts: 7762
Location: Loughborough, Leics, central UK
Post Re: Why not add some more categories?
Hi Carlos,
We have thought of this before of adding more categories to the forum but found the consensus of opinion between the forum members and David and myself that just the one main board was going to be the preferred method of use.

Just look at the facts, the weather post which every one has to deal with, has had 415 threads against 89,000 on the main board if anything we could have got rid of the other categories.
I find when visiting these other sites that they are too confusing with categories for nearly every plant on earth :lol: and I tend not to use them.
I suppose if your only interest is for a specific type of spp it would be very helpful to be able just to get straight into the category you want.

Axel who runs the Pacific Northwest forum has just amalgamated lots of his categories, through lack of participation, back into the one rather proving my point I think.

I think "Growing on the Edge" is always going to be a forum open to all sorts of differing spp but just on the one board.

Many thanks for your idea's though we are always interested to hear of what members think of how its run.


Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:28 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 4:06 pm
Posts: 4526
Location: Islington, London UK
Post Re: Why not add some more categories?
I'm guessing that by 'categories' you mean 'sub-forums'. Aside from the valid reasons quoted by Kev why they wouldn't be helpful, there is another one that I think trumps the lot. The whole point of GOTE is to get gardeners from different parts of the world, growing widely different plants in varying climates, to talk to each other. If we divide the forum into specialist areas, then the Fernies will talk with the Fernies and the Palmies will talk to the Palmies, which would defeat the object.

'Weather' and 'Photography' are not 'Plants', so they get separate areas. If there is another non-horticulture topic that starts to develop enough interest to merit a sub-forum, then we might start one - although we seem to have fewer discussions about cameras since we separated off photography into a sub-forum. But not for plants.

This also leads me to another topic. The forum software has a very effective search facility. I'd encourage people to use it more for a few reasons, not least because we get a steady trickle of threads started solely to pose a query ('how hardy is my Phoenix Palm', etc.) that could be answered multiple times with one 5 second search.

But another use of the search facility is that it makes sub-forums semi-redundant. If you only want to read about ferns, then search for 'fern' or 'tree fern' or 'Drynaria' and sort for date order.

However, thank you for the input. We always want to read people's ideas for the forum.

51º33'07"N x 0º07'21"W
43m (142 feet) ASL

Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:19 pm

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:41 pm
Posts: 124
Location: Glendale, CA, USA
Post Re: Why not add some more categories?
Thanks for the insight. Personally, I have the unreadposts search link as my bookmark for this forum and all my other plant forums. So even if you added a gazillion categories (sub-forums) I'd still see posts by other people with different interests. I've become quite adept at skimming over them! Hah. But, sometimes I don't have the time to visit as frequently as I would like. When that happens it would be nice to click on an "epiphyte" category and see all the relevant threads that I might have missed. The alternative is to conduct a search for "orchid" and "Coelogyne" and "Tillandsia" and "Bromeliad" and "Fascicularia" and "Sarmienta" and "Drynaria" and "Aglamorpha" and "Polypodium"'s kind of a long list. Sometimes people discuss epiphytes without using the word "epiphyte".

But perhaps it's not as much of an issue for some of the other plant topics.'s probably also an issue if you want to see threads with travel photos. Then you'd have to search for "Madeira" and "Himalayas" and "New Zealand" and "Mexico"'s also a long list. And you'd probably be inundated with irrelevant search results. Same thing if you wanted to search for threads about garden tours. In that thread the word "tour" wasn't used even once but the word "visit" was used four times. Oftentimes we don't post threads with a thesaurus in mind. This means that chances are good that relevant/valuable threads aren't going to be found. Like well hidden eastern eggs.

So I think that there might be certain topics that work better as categories rather than as searches.

What about cold protection? My uncle in Texas recently asked me the best way to protect a marango tree from the cold. I don't know the answer! I don't even know what a marango tree is. It would be nice to simply link him to a category on this forum dedicated to the art of protecting plants from the cold...especially if some of the best threads were "stickied". I don't know if linking him to search results for "cold protection" would be as effective.

I think that breeding for cold tolerance might also qualify as being better suited as a category. Then you could send Bill the link to the category and encourage him to share his perspective on the topic. That guy has a ton of seedlings! That's awesome! They can't all be equally cold tolerant...can they? But has he noticed much variation in cold tolerance? Does he exchange pollen with other people who have exceptionally cold tolerant individuals? Is there much progress being made? Does selecting for cold tolerance fall under artificial selection or natural selection?

"Growing on the edge" should largely be about moving that edge further along. Well...that's just my perspective. Glad that the feedback is welcome.

Carlos - Epiphytes and Economics

Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:46 pm
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