Don't read what you don't like. Don't comment if you don't want to .
If anyone's directly rude or offensive - report them and let the mods decide. That's their job.
Digger, you are 100 percent correct. That's why I, and some colleagues, no longer bother with horticultural questions or observations.
I'm sorry you feel that way punica, though I do believe that members perceive from others what they themselves bring to the forum.
As a relative newbie, I state again I see no cliques nor have I since first coming here in the spring. Yes there were members who had very high amounts of posts and were clearly long-time users of the forum. But I've personally never felt excluded. There are members here who welcomed this newbie,offered advice etc. Mike sent my wife and daughter gifts and a regular poster called Lyn has almost singe handedly (with some help from Victoria Sponge and bekkie) furnished my pond with plants,saving me a substantial amount of money. Nutcutlet has gathered together plants for me too, all these people have done this off their own backs and from the goodness of their hearts.
Most of the questions iv asked on here I already have an idea of the answer probably from the net, what im hoping for is a reply from a person who has actually got first hand experience of what im asking, this is what the forum is about for me. Tips from experience and easier better ways of doing things are a great help, and im sure the regulars must really get """Why do I bother """" when people don't even thank you for your time and trouble even though you do get a kick out of helping someone.Once or twice iv had questions hijacked ,ie: a garden question ends up with people talking about there cats names when they gave no help with the original question in the first place. I do rather find that rude but hey in all this forum is a friendly place to be and i can understand Diggers comments ,and its all right saying dont read it then but you have to actually read something before you agree with it or not thats how it works aint it,,iv had so much help from ere and i dont forget the good comments when I was ill,so good luck all, and its a little lighter erein Munds, Pub 2nite folks meat raffle good luck Digger avagooden
Sometimes a thread will go off subject from time to time and I can see that for somebody used to the old BBC messageboard that it might appear out of order - if I've done that to anyone I apologise - however, if no one has answered a query, a little light-hearted banter is an alternative to repeated 'bumping' and keeps the query on the front page of the forum where the thread title will hopefully grab the attention of someone who may be able to answer it.
I spent years on the Beeb boards before migrating here and chats often went off topic. It's all part of conversations evolving and going into asides and jokes just as they do in the real world. Similarly, some close friendships are formed and also some dislikes.
I still come here because I find I still learn and sometimes have useful advice to offer based on my experiences of gardening here in very fertile soil but extreme winters and also in my previous garden in Harrow.
New people come and go all the time. They either stick around to share and learn or disappear when they've got what they wanted. There are givers and takers in every walk of life and every activity.
Some people form close bonds and meet up outside the forum and that's fine. It doen't make a clique. It just makes you comfortable and maybe leads to in jokes and a sort of posting shorthand that can feel exclusive to some. Such friendships can be of great value. I'm still in touch almost daily by email and occasionally meet with people I met on the Beeb years and years ago even tho they no longer post here.
Equally, there are one or two posters here whom I avoid, just as in real life I don't seek the company of people I find irritating or frustrating or stupid or selfish. It's also easy enough to spot a thread that isn't going to be of any interest and leave it to other posters.
You need a sense of perspective on the boards plus a sense of detachment and a sense of humour and shouldn't take any of it personally. It's virtual after all but good fun and, on the whole, is helpful to new and old gardeners seeking advice and support.
The best gardeners have always been sharers whether it be time, plants, knowledge or chat. Let's keep it that way and be grateful for those willing to repeat the same advice time and time again or to go and research solutionsand answers to problems they know something about..
I produce a newsletter for my geology group. I sometimes get people, like Digger, complaining that I'm always publishing stuff from certain members which is of no interest to said complainant. My reply is that if said complainant cared to contribute somethng at all, of interest to anybody, I would be only to happy to publish that as well. Since invariably the complainant has rarely, if ever, contributed anything at all and is unlikely to do so anyway, I feel that they have no cause for complaint. He claims to be a Yorkshireman, well I'm a Lancastrian and I speak my mind as well. Put up or shut up, Digger, you're a troll
Very well put Obelixx
I'm going to save reading this thread late until later, when I have bought the popcorn.