Digger, that sounds petty to me, I am half Yorkshire and heard it all, big oh the arm big oh the head tight oh the pocket, you laugh it off.
This week the regulars including me replied to a lady with a broken tree, Various compost and leaf mould queries, Chrysanthemum and lawn plus how to take cuttings and should someone plant a Victoria Plum and it is only Thursday. Many other queries got multiple replies and yes there was some chit chat at the same time, if you had ever been on an allotment you would know that they work hard and talk often, as they have a communal tea break every subject under the sun comes up as well as gardening. When I write in reply I do not expect any come back though it is nice to get a thank you which often happens, three times to me this week. The colleges now know this forum is a hot bed of information and again this week we were asked for information from a student who got lots of answers. Clique? a harsh word not earned by the people on here who give time and patience answering the same questions over and over why? because we too were once rookies.
Do you think your response to Dane made him feel welcome Digger?
I've been posting here some time now and I regularly give advice to newcomers. So do Verdun, Dove, Nutcutlet, Frank and many others.
I have to say this thread is getting ridiculous. If people did really feel intimidated or threatened then I'm sure they wouldnt hang about.
The fact that we have gained so many forum members this year disproves that theory.
This is a wonderful forum and you shouldnt be thinking otherwise.
You're right Matt, we don't need to defend ourselves. It won't suit everyone but that's life
I've been a member of these boards since the original BBC gardening message board days. Am on my third name as I so rarely post that I keep forgetting my log-in. i do pop in every day though. I've seen "cliques" , for want of a better word, come and go and have never found any of them to be unwelcoming. Some people have more time, energy and commitment to these boards than others. If you take away the so called cliquishness away - all we would be left with would be a series of questions and answers. We would also lose the friendliness, caring and compassion (of which there is a lot). The message boards would be quite soulless and all the virtual (some of which become real life) friendships would not exist.
There are groups of us that meet up for garden visits; these are always publicised on the open forum and all are welcome.
Some of us have made some very good 'real' friends through these visits
It would be very sad if these outings were seen as 'cliques'.
What a long discussion! I was quite saddened reading it through.
As somebody who has gardened since being a toddler, and has learned as I go along, now well into retirement, I love this forum. I dip in and out, ask about things that puzzle me, make suggestions to identify plants and am happy when someone else has a different suggestion. I don't have time to read every thread so just click on those that sound of interest.
Sometimes I think things are irrelevant to me - so I don't read on. Some people have a lot of experience, some have little , but we can all learn from what others say. Nobody has ever made me feel unwelcome - nobody ever welcomed me to the forum - what does it matter? We look at the forum because we are interested in gardening and like to share our passion with others.
As a 'newbie' I have found the forum nothing but helpful and friendly. Prompt and informed replies and suggestions are great and even if forum contributors have different information/experiences it helps me make informed decisions. I use Google a lot and have got a whole pile of books and magazines but you can't beat the instant and personally relevant information obtained by a two way (and more) conversation.
Also good to see posts where other people are having same issues as you and see how they go about resolving them.
A little bit of friendly chat doesn't harm anyone, nice to get the 'back story' sometimes.
I do think though as others have said, the written word doesn't convey the full meaning and can sometimes be misinterpreted. Below is a little chart I used to use when teaching - it illustrates the point very well.
There may be some mean spirited comments on occasion, but that is human nature and I think very unfair to lump people together and accuse all of same thing. 'Bonding' is a much better way of saying 'clique' and obviously some people will bond better than others.
I enjoy reading the posts, contribute when I feel appropriate and most of all am very grateful for all advice offered.
GW is the only forum I bother to read regularly or post on. My OH belongs to several others to do with his hobbies & he regularly comments on the rubbish posted on those & the unpleasantness that arises on some threads.
I have always found this forum to be friendly, inclusive & informative. I post to request help, give help and have a chat. I have met some lovely people (both virtually and in real life) which I wouldn't have done without the forum. I really like some people's postings and get irritated by others - exactly the same as in the real world.
If you want only 'sensible' postings I suggest you stick to the top of the main forum board. If you want to indulge in a little light bantering (which may or may not have anything to do with gardening) then look at the Talkback & Potting Shed sections. If you find the 'chat' threads cliquey (they're really not though - you just need to join in) why bother to read them & get wound up? - life really is too short to get upset by sites that do no harm but are not to your personal taste.
This forum operates the same as the TV & radio - it has an 'Off' button! If you don't like it - don't bother reading it - simples