Site Talk forum: Sticky notes on forums

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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Sep 28, 2019 1:52 PM CST
I was just wondering.....since there are so many questions about the same plants over and over and over, on Ask a Question and Houseplants, would it help to make a sticky note thread for each of the 'high traffic' plants so that people could read through some of the hundreds of posts that address their concerns and not repost a new thread about the same plants and problems?
I'm not trying to start a war LOL but it seems like no one bothers to look to see if there are threads where these questions have been answered that might be the exact thing they are asking, some times the similar threads are just a day or less apart. I mean it would save space and bandwidth or whatever
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Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest
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Bonehead
Sep 28, 2019 2:17 PM CST
I'm not a fan of the sticky notes (cluttery in my opinion) and I have poor luck searching. So I may well be one of those who ask questions that have already been answered. Sorry for any inconvenience. Sometimes folks will link a prior thread that addressed the issue, which is always helpful. I don't really know how to do that either. On the other hand, common questions often draw a wide range of answers, some of which may not have been addressed the first time around. Scrolling past is also an option.
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Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Sep 28, 2019 5:54 PM CST
Forum moderators can make *stickies* that appear at the top of the forum as shown here on the Orchid Forum: https://garden.org/forums/view...
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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zuzu
Sep 28, 2019 6:23 PM CST

Plants Admin

I doubt that your suggestion will start a war, Big Grin Gina, but I have to disagree with it. We're trying to attract new members, especially in the Ask a Question Forum, and the suggestion that people should look up their own answers doesn't sound particularly welcoming. A personal response is far preferable.

When we NGA members discuss other gardening sites that we found unappealing, one of our frequent complaints is the condescending way in which we were told to read through the other posts before asking simple questions. It can sound hostile, as if the person asking the question is bothering the other members.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Plumerias Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers
Greenhouse Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums
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Ursula
Sep 28, 2019 6:48 PM CST
Personally I think stickies are great to have! Ideally one might first answer the questions a new member brings forwards and then in addition refer to the wealth of informations stored in those stickies. Make it a combination of both!

Adding - in a perfect world, the new member reads everything first and then posts perhaps into said sticky or other appropriate threads, but this happens rarely. So, back to above! 🤔
[Last edited by Ursula - Sep 28, 2019 8:12 PM (+)]
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Sep 28, 2019 8:34 PM CST
OK well that is that
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Plant Database Moderator Region: California Cottage Gardener Roses Clematis Garden Photography
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Calif_Sue
Sep 28, 2019 9:17 PM CST

Plants Admin

Also I do believe the new members don't actually look in the forum list for the Ask A Question forum, not exactly sure how they arrive there but it has to do with a new visitor that is not a member yet. If you click on the AAQ link at the very bottom of any page, you see that it opens up into a single posting box, they never see the entire forum.
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Sep 29, 2019 6:36 AM CST
Ursula said:Personally I think stickies are great to have! Ideally one might first answer the questions a new member brings forwards and then in addition refer to the wealth of informations stored in those stickies. Make it a combination of both!

Adding - in a perfect world, the new member reads everything first and then posts perhaps into said sticky or other appropriate threads, but this happens rarely. So, back to above! 🤔


Well I think the Orchid forum is the most organized and informative forum that I visit with any regularity on the site. Your sticks about basic orchid care and supermarket pals etc right there at the top answer a lot of people's questions so they don;t have to post about that but can contribute other things
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Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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Australis
Sep 29, 2019 6:47 AM CST

Plants Admin

I think stickies have their place, but it's also not great when there are too many of them. Zuzu is right about the Ask A Question forum, since it's designed to be one of the easier forums to use for new members, so any stickies would have to be handled very carefully to avoid the problem she highlighted. On the other hand, the Orchid forum (and a few others I frequent) generally manage to keep a few stickies organised so that frequent topics of discussion are easily accessible.
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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Plumerias Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Ursula
Sep 29, 2019 6:49 AM CST
Smiling We try!
Gina, exactly!
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Sep 29, 2019 11:37 AM CST
What are forums all about? I think of them as a way to pass along knowledge and to gain knowledge while at the same time having some social interaction and a little fun and entertainment. I am not a big chit chat person, but I am glad that a lot of the forum members are, that is the entertainment and fun part.
I think one of the best ways to limit the number of people in a club or a forum is to make people feel they should have all the answers before they join in. I think the best way to increase participation is to welcome the new people with the old questions, and one of the best ways to kill a club or forum is to drive those people away because they are made to feel unwelcome and stupid.
It might be alright to have a few forums for just the experts and know-it-alls, but what would the point be...each of them would already know it all. I well remember being full of questions and very low on answers...I still am. It just seems the more I know the more I realize how little I know. If the same questions are not being asked over and over, then there is a good chance no new people are joining your club or your forum...if it is open to the general public. As the newbies learn the answers, let them answer the repeat questions and let the others do what ever it is the older members do.
Now there is nothing I would enjoy more than a forum just for experts...If I were allowed to join in with all my silly novice questions.
Stickies are fine, they have their place and can be very important in guiding newbies and helping them feel welcome. But I learned when I first came here that nothing is more welcoming that a friendly welcome and an answer to a newbie question.
[Last edited by Seedfork - Sep 29, 2019 11:43 AM (+)]
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Plant Database Moderator Region: California Cottage Gardener Roses Clematis Garden Photography
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Calif_Sue
Sep 30, 2019 2:17 AM CST

Plants Admin

I do understand your frustration though Gina, it can be mind boggling at the shear number of fig tree problem questions! Seems some plants are notorious for giving folks growing issues, after a while you can get just sick of the same repeated questions! Blinking
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Sep 30, 2019 6:00 AM CST
Well it is kind of tiresome having to skip through all of the separate (but literally almost the same) questions about Monstera adansonii, Fiddle Leaf Fig, and Monstera deliciosa. If all the threads concerning just those 3 plants were 'corralled' into one thread titles something like 'Post your Fiddle Leaf Fig issues HERE' and 'Post your Monstera deliciosa and Adansonii questions HERE' it would be a little more accessible to the new members and centralize the advice given about these plants in one place.
Its not an issue about 'know it alls' and 'experts' (after all, no one here on this site is really an expert, we are just growers of varying lengths of time and experience levels).
Having the threads for plants that generate seemingly 100 posts for help a week all ion one place would give people who have the same questions a chance to read the advice already given to other people and possibly also see how that advice panned out for them, and decide how they want to proceed. It was just an idea.I knew when I wrote it it would be shot down.That's fine. Just a suggestion.
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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Plumerias Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers
Greenhouse Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums
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Ursula
Sep 30, 2019 6:48 AM CST
Gina, we have the Phalaenopsis! I do understand! Smiling
Surely most of the newcomer's questions on the Orchid forum are about that particular plant. Through the years so much knowledge had been collected, that I went through a couple of years' posts and linked them to one thread. I repeated that at a later time and need to do that again. It would be a shame to just see these threads disappear with time. I see nothing wrong with a dedicated sticky like that and I don't see why the idea might be dismissed? Btw I see the amount of Jade questions, to me that one screams sticky! Hilarious!
As said previously, it would be lovely if newcomers might peruse those first and then happily communicate and perhaps ask some more or perhaps even participate right there into the same thread, and then take it from there. One hopes to strike some middle ground.
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Sep 30, 2019 7:21 AM CST
I like how Ursula handles the Orchid Forum with the informative stickies at the top of the main page. Every so often, I enjoy refreshing my old memory by reading the information contained in those stickies! If we had an active moderator for the Philodendron forum, he/she could incorporate all the Fiddle Leaf Fig threads, Monstera adansonii and Monstera deliciosa threads into single stickies ... it makes it so much easier to find pertinent information.

I think there are a couple of forums with specified moderators listed but those moderators are no longer active on the site. For instance LariAnn is still listed as moderator for the Philodendron/Aroid Forum and threegardeners is still listed as the moderator for the Houseplant forum but I haven't seen either of them post in a very long time.
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Plant Database Moderator Region: California Cottage Gardener Roses Clematis Garden Photography
Houseplants Foliage Fan Keeper of Poultry Hummingbirder Bee Lover Butterflies
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Calif_Sue
Sep 30, 2019 10:19 AM CST

Plants Admin

Like I wrote above, if you click on the Ask A Question at the very bottom left in the blue section of this page, that is how new folks see the AAQ forum. They do not go directly to the forum to see the whole list of threads.
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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Plumerias Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers
Greenhouse Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums
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Ursula
Sep 30, 2019 11:17 AM CST
Sue, yes!
And when one has answered the question in that Ask a question forum, then one can direct them to more information if there seems to be an interest or actually, as the mods of the forum do many times, transfer the asking thread to the specific forum.
I simply don't see a problem, unless people don't want to go through the "trouble" of collecting a bunch of links and start a new thread with that. If that is the case, why not farm that job out to a willing person?
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Sep 30, 2019 11:50 AM CST
I just realised (realized??) that the Ask a Question forum was not on my favorites. It is now!

Stickies have their place, but I think most folks like the social interaction that transpires when a subject is brought up.
Vickie
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Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest
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Bonehead
Sep 30, 2019 2:26 PM CST
I have noted (and greatly appreciate) some of the plant-specific forums have general info either in the right hand box or as stickies for common acronyms. That is very helpful to those not familiar with all the abbreviations, societies, etc. that are referenced often. I still wish folks would follow old-school language arts and write out the full phrase followed by the acronym in parentheses, but alas. That practice seems to have fallen by the wayside.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Judy
Mid Atlantic Coastal Plain USA (Zone 7b)
Butterflies
MariposaMaid
Oct 2, 2019 4:24 PM CST
An alternative/supplement/companion to 'stickies' is an article on an oft repeated topic that references and summarizes and includes useful links. ie, if one finds oneself answering the same question, maybe it's time for an article!

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