Site Talk forum: New members, non-active members, etc.

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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Jan 9, 2015 1:19 PM CST
This is difficult to put into word but...

With this recent membership drive I was wondering how 'real' our membership numbers are. If new members sign up and do not even fill in their profile page, do not participate in conversations, how will that help to make ATP a better site?

Also, on the other end, when members have been inactive for months or years, how do we know they are still out there?
Thank You!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jan 9, 2015 1:23 PM CST
I think it is much like gardening, I plant new plants every year with high hopes: some of them do very well, some of them die off pretty quickly and some of them just hang in there. But with out new plants being planted every year the garden would grow stale and boring. I think that is pretty much the same with new members, besides what is the alternative?
Just wanted to edit this to say, I often find new members to be a very stimulative thing for some of the forums. New members are often so excited to find a gardening site like this, and to be able to ask all the hundreds of questions they have, (often the same ones over an over) but many times the same question can be posed in such a way as to make me rethink an issue. I hate to say that I have seen some new members come in that I found very interesting and inspiring, even very knowledgeable and I learned and benefited from them but they soon moved on. I would loved to have had them stay.
[Last edited by Seedfork - Jan 9, 2015 1:31 PM (+)]
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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Jan 9, 2015 1:47 PM CST
Well said, Seedfork!
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Jan 9, 2015 1:57 PM CST
I think new membership is good for ATP, it adds new lifeblood, however as with someone new or still getting to know the site, it takes awhile for some to be actively posting..some will just lurk a little more and just read. People have different ways of learning and sharing. Some are more expressive of their thoughts in writing..some are not. In time, hopefully they will be more encouraged to participate, a little more fun enabling Big Grin I think we all get our highs and lows...so maybe for some months some will stay away..some may return, or some will continue the fun of collaboration and sharing here.

On the other end of the spectrum..well, it is rather hard to really assess and know if a member still is out there or still interested to continue. Life happens. And sometimes as with any group or club we will encounter those that just seek to abuse the group through spamming or what not. So it will be up to us members to inform the rest of us and the admins what is happening if it comes to that point.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Jan 9, 2015 1:57 PM CST
I agree with seedfork too!
[Last edited by Dutchlady1 - Jan 9, 2015 1:58 PM (+)]
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Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
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kylaluaz
Jan 9, 2015 2:51 PM CST
Also, my experience in online groups as well as in person groups is that there is always an active core of around 20 percent of the total numbers, and everyone else mostly watches what goes on, participating only slightly.

That's a very very generalized statement! but there is really something called the "80/20" rule (or maybe it's the 20/80 rule) -- saying that as a rule of thumb in any group 20 percent of the people will do 80 percent of the work or account for 80 percent of the activity or the like.

So I conclude from all that that it's actually healthy for a group to have a sturdy contingent of quiet ones. It might not make rational sense, but it seems so to me. Smiling
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Jan 9, 2015 3:23 PM CST
Once this membership drive ends, can we devise way to encourage the newest members to actively participate?
Since we invited these folks who were brought in under this recent membership drive, I am assuming we know them well enough to judge what might interest them. All new members need an acorn stash, or might like a microbadge.
Perhaps feature an event for 'new members only'. Once they jump in and get their feet wet they may continue to participate.


Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Jan 9, 2015 3:26 PM CST
That sounds like a good idea, greene! And I don't see how it could hurt. Smiling
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Jan 9, 2015 3:34 PM CST
On other boards I read there are several members who like to read and not post so much. I don't think we should pressure anyone to contribute.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jan 9, 2015 3:43 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I agree. It's great to have them as members and if they lurk, that's fine. If they never come back, that's okay. And if they jump in with both feet first that's great, too. Smiling

BTW, every new members is given 5 acorns to get them started.

Region: Texas Daylilies
RockGardner
Jan 9, 2015 4:50 PM CST
Interestingly enough, as a relatively new member to this site, (and a former, occassionally contributing, member of the old site) I missed not having gotten a bigger welcome. I love this site, and hope to contribute at least as often as before. So as a suggestion, maybe we can do even more to make them feel a little more welcome.

I even have a couple of ideas...
1. Have a forum where new members can introduce themselves.
2. And/Or give them a free choice of a microbadge along with the 5 acorns?
[Last edited by RockGardner - Jan 9, 2015 4:58 PM (+)]
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jan 9, 2015 4:52 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Those are good ideas, Gerry.

We did at some point introduce a welcoming committee and they send a "welcome" type tree mail to each member. And we have the Welcome forum but we don't do enough to really encourage people to post there and say hello. We should improve this.
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Jan 9, 2015 5:05 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Every new member is also personally welcomed by our welcoming committee Thumbs up

Most members are consumers- they enjoy the content, but rarely participate in the conversation. That's completely normal and make up the vast majority of members. That doesn't make them non- active....just non-talkative.

For our more chatty members, that thought is foreign to them Green Grin! However, it is not at all unusual for a member to be in the largest number of hits (reading forums, searching the database), yet almost never post. They feel like they know all of you, but you've never heard of them! Hilarious! Certainly that doesn't make them a lesser member, just a different kind of user.

One I happen to identify with, actually. I've been a member of a certain homeschool site for 12 years and have under 100 posts, yet I am an active visitor and consumer of the site! I'm pretty quiet online, even here at my own family ATP site Green Grin!
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
[Last edited by Trish - Jan 9, 2015 5:05 PM (+)]
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jan 9, 2015 5:07 PM CST
I think one of the main reasons I found this site so friendly when I first arrived was the extra trouble people went to to just do the little welcome signs, thumbs and just several little things to let me know I was noticed if nothing else. A couple of members went way out of their way and took extra steps to make me feel welcome and I will always appreciate that.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Jan 9, 2015 5:55 PM CST
Particularly considering that a push has been made to encourage new members, I think @greene had a good suggestion, in general. Some sort of special event just for new members.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Jan 9, 2015 6:15 PM CST
I agree
Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

Tomato Heads
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texaskitty111
Jan 9, 2015 7:46 PM CST
I would have sworn under oath that i have been a ATP member for a couple of years, thats how close i feel to all of you. Very shocked when editing my profile to find I've only been a member since Feb.2014. I figured somehow my join date got messed up, but my treemails, etc. have the same dates.
Shrug!
Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jan 9, 2015 8:14 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

texaskitty111, I remember the day you signed up. It was the exact same day that I spoke at the Athens, TX vegetable workshop event: Feb 22, 2014. Your signup was noteworthy to me because you signed up that same day and I always wondered if you had attended the event, heard me speak, and came home and immediately joined ATP.
Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

Tomato Heads
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texaskitty111
Jan 9, 2015 8:38 PM CST
Yes, i mentioned that on several threads, treemails, etc. but they must be different posts then the ones you read. I really enjoyed your workshop, and learned a lot. I remember i thought your jokes were really funny, too, but i couldnt remember even one when i got home to tell dean. I'm also the member who treemailed trish and asked if she wanted to share a cow.
Cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education (mark twain)
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jan 10, 2015 4:42 PM CST
Often in some of the forums I see a member post and it says something like "New Member", sometimes I see what I feel is a "New Member" posting and I don't see that label. How is that determined? Does that just appear for a week or so, and if the person does not post, the label does not show up when they finally do post say a month or so later?
[Last edited by Seedfork - Jan 10, 2015 6:08 PM (+)]
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