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Aug 23, 2016 11:21 PM CST
Utah (Zone 7a)
Like the Iris Etiquette thread I think it would be useful for members to post here what they perceive is proper Iris forum etiquette. I'm simply asking for each person's insight.

I'm not going to question or intervene on any comments. I would appreciate logical input that is driven by wisdom and not emotion. I would really like to see what the views are and how to align with them.

Thank you. 😊
Aug 24, 2016 3:58 AM CST
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Butterflies Vegetable Grower Keeper of Poultry Irises Keeps Horses Dog Lover
Daylilies Cat Lover Region: Wisconsin Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Sounds like the makings of a new thread. Smiling
Politicians are like diapers, they need to be changed often, and for the same reason.
Aug 24, 2016 4:04 AM CST
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener
Garden Ideas: Master Level Dragonflies Bulbs Garden Art Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Gardens in Buckets
I agree, Tom. Smiling
Thro' all the tumult and the strife I hear the music ringing; It finds an echo in my soul— How can I keep from singing?
Aug 24, 2016 9:53 AM CST
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 6b)
I agree
grannysgarden said:I agree, Tom. Smiling
Avatar is 'Global Crossing' 04-20-2017
Aug 24, 2016 10:03 AM CST
Name: Jan Wax
Mendocino County, N. CA (Zone 9a)
I'm a semi-retired studio potter.
Dog Lover Hummingbirder Organic Gardener Daylilies Region: Ukraine Region: California
Irises Dahlias Garden Art Cat Lover Vegetable Grower Birds
As for etiquette. I guess religion and politics should be avoided here.( With this year's political
climate, I've been sorely tempted.! ) One of the nice things about the iris forum
has been the focus on our favorite flower! ( I've also stopped bloviating about
pesticides and herbicides. To each his or her own! )
Last edited by janwax Aug 24, 2016 10:04 AM Icon for preview
Aug 24, 2016 10:14 AM CST
Name: Greg Hodgkinson
Hanover PA (Zone 6b)
Garden Photography Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises Region: Japan Region: Pennsylvania
Politics !!!!

About the only "good" joke I heard about that is:

With a population of about 324 million people(The United States of America); how did we end up with these two for president?
Aug 24, 2016 10:15 AM CST
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 6b)
Misawa77 said:Politics !!!!

About the only "good" joke I heard about that is:

With a population of about 324 million people(The United States of America); how did we end up with these two for president?

Now THAT politics comment is a-ok by me!! nodding
Avatar is 'Global Crossing' 04-20-2017
Aug 24, 2016 10:52 AM CST
Name: Pam
Cat Lover Dog Lover Keeps Horses Irises Region: Pennsylvania
A good friend of mine uses a tag line that pretty much sums up my thoughts on Rules to Live By both on a daily basis and on public internet forums.

Wag More, Bark Less

For anyone who likes a more detailed list, another friend once posted this on a different forum after some "heated discussion" led to the administrators removing the offending section of the forum.


Internet forums are great. But, discussing the relative merits of hiking boots or skis is one thing and discussing issues that are rooted in our deepest held personal beliefs is another. The question is, how do we discuss things while remaining civil?
Here are a few things I try to keep in mind when entering such discussions. I can't say I always succeed. In fact, I'm not even close. But, I do find these rules to be helpful.

DEBATE IDEAS, NOT PEOPLE - Few of us are really expressing new ideas. More often, we are just mouthpieces for traditions and lines of thought that have been handed down to us. Unfortunately, ideas need people to express them and people are clumsy. Old Joke...

Q: How do porcupines mate?

A: Carefully.

Internet posts can be like porcupines. Focus on the ideas, not the quills. When you read a post, look for the idea that is being expressed. If you respond to the barbs of personal attacks, you have lost focus.

NEVER, EVER PERSONALIZE - Work very hard to avoid making personal assertions about other posters. While it is true that no matter how hard you try, somebody somewhere will take personal offense to what you wrote, still make the attempt to keep it impersonal. In the other direction, ignore personal attacks made against you at all costs. It is a practical impossibility to defend your honor while engaged in a mud slinging contest. Besides, you will find when you meet over beer/coffee/whatever that most of the personal attacks weren't meant. People type and read without the aids of body language and feelings get hurt easily.

LET YOUR IDEAS DEFEND THEMSELVES - Be confident that the ideas you express have a power of their own that will make them capable of defending themselves. This will free you to resist the urge to convince others to join your point of view. Just as importantly, never criticise another's beliefs as inferior or illegitimate. If you can not affirm another's rights to hold their beliefs, you are not prepared to have a civil discussion with them.

CS Lewis said that you defend God like you defend a lion. You unlock the cage and let the lion defend itself. If you can express an idea in a civil fashion, consider it a success. Don't measure success by convincing others. This is unachievable. Instead, remember that while the person with whom you are discussing ideas won't change his or her mind, others who read and lurk will be considering the merits of both sides. Allow the idea to defend itself to those readers.

DON'T TAKE THE DEBATE BACKCHANNEL - Don't take debates to private for channels of communication like e-mail or private messages. This is to be avoided for 2 reasons. First, it changes the dynamic for the listener. The conversation moves from an open discussion in the school lunchroom to a private confrontation behind the school, so to speak. Private challenges are simply ineffectual in terms of influencing people. Worse, they remain ineffectual no matter how hard one works at trying to be reasonable and kind. I have concluded that people can hear me better in the relative safety of a public setting where my words can either be supported or challenged by our mutual peers.

Second, I find I that I do a better job of expressing myself in a positive, constructive manner when I choose to submit my words and my reputation to the accountability of public review. Putting it frankly, I generally conduct myself better in public posts.

BE WILLING TO TAKE ONE FOR THE CAUSE - When you step into a discussion of ideals, you can be guaranteed that somebody will disagree. When you do this on electronic forums, you can also pretty much guarantee that somebody will disagree with you in an inappropriate manner. This is simply the cost of doing business. You must ask yourself 2 questions at this point. First, is the idea you hold dearly important enough that you are willing to voice it while knowing that others will disagree? Second, can you sleep at night and ignore inappropriate personal attacks made against you in public? If the answer to either question is "no", then you probably aren't in the right frame of mind for the discussion.

NEVER WRESTLE WITH PIGS - It is amuses the pig and makes you look muddy. No matter how polite and tactful you try to be and no matter how hard you try to avoid personalization of attacks, you will occasionally run into people who will hold grudges and launch personal attacks at every turn. Ignore them entirely. Never respond to their posts.

DON'T BE AN ARROGANT EXPERT - In many internet forums, there is at least one guy (and it always seems to be a guy) who plays the roll of the arrogant expert. Don't be that guy.

Internet forums are great at bringing together people with common interests. One of the best things about this is the opportunity for novices to learn from experts and for experts to give back to the community by helping novices. In the vast majority of cases, it's a situation that rewarding for everybody involved. But there is also the chance for things to go wrong.

One common problem is a form of teacher burnout. After answering the same basic question for the zillionth time, the expert becomes testy to the next novice who unknowingly asks that question for the zillion and oneth time. This burnout can be exasperated when the expert feels like the novice failed to do a basic amount of research on their own before asking the question. There's an infamous internet acronym of RTFM, which grew out of this type of frustration in the context of technical support. Read the f***ing manual (or man page).

Another factor may be that the zeal for the subject that drove the expert to become an expert also makes him less tolerant of incorrect statements about his beloved subject that are made by those with less experience. In protecting the "truth", the expert can come off sounding rough.

But the most pernicious aspect of expert arrogance is how technical expertise can be used to establish a pecking order within the forum. It is very common to see a novice make a post that kicks off a long debate among the forum's experts. This has little to do with answering or correcting the novice and has everything to with establishing who the alpha males of the forum are.

Anyway you look at it, technical help and advice is great. But rude is always rude.

Dave's Backcountry Skiing Page
Copyright 2005 by David Mann
Aug 24, 2016 11:01 AM CST
Utah (Zone 7a)
Thank you Pam. Thumbs up

That was very intuitive.
Aug 24, 2016 11:12 AM CST
Utah (Zone 7a)
Is there a "Pecking Order" that we all need to be aware of and respect on this forum?

(Just a question.)

(You see... the article says there are always people on a forum who want to establish their "pecking order". I wonder if we will see Any 'peckers' pecking others. I personally think I'm at the bottom of the pecking order on this forum.) 😉
Last edited by SpringGreenThumb Aug 24, 2016 4:57 PM Icon for preview
Aug 24, 2016 11:36 AM CST
(Zone 9b)
Region: California Garden Ideas: Level 1
Yes, everyone's irises belong to me.
Aug 24, 2016 11:37 AM CST
Name: Lyn Gerry
Watkins Glen, NY (Zone 6a)
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Keeps Horses Irises Organic Gardener
Permaculture Vegetable Grower
Be courteous, try to remain relevant to the topic in a thread. If you don't have something constructive to say, say nothing. If your pet theory turns out to be wrong, acknowledge that and move on
Aug 24, 2016 11:48 AM CST
Utah (Zone 7a)
UndertheSun said:Yes, everyone's irises belong to me.

Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up
Aug 24, 2016 11:51 AM CST
Name: Niki
Bend, Oregon (Zone 6a)
Flowers are food for the soul.
Bee Lover Butterflies Daylilies Dragonflies Frogs and Toads Hummingbirder
Irises Region: Oregon Organic Gardener
Thank You! Acorn Pam, Useful information.
"The Earth laughs in flowers."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Aug 24, 2016 12:10 PM CST
Name: Bob
North Carolina (Zone 7b)
Ferns Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: North Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 1 Hummingbirder
Dragonflies Ponds
I have learned in life to pick my fights. It amazes me how many times people can argue over the silliest little thing. Is the "offense" worth arguing?

I have a neighbor who gets his Victoria's Secrets in a twist at any and every little thing; one of his adjoining neighbor's grass gets blown into his yard when it's mown. Police have been brought in for even sillier "infractions". Even if a post is ludicrous in our opinion it still begs the question "is this worth arguing?"

Sometimes I have difficulty getting my words to come out right when presenting a question or comment. It is easy to misunderstand others especially in writing; many times we forget only about 10% of live conversation is words - most is tone, inflection, and body language; written communication losses all of that plus some. Locale, age, and personal "taste" affects our opinion; one person may think Irises are the only flower on earth while my neighbor's 5 year old thinks her dandelions are the most wonderful centerpiece ever picked; the enthusiasm of both is just as avid.

Opinions are just that - opinions. If we will look at them with an open mind we can glean something even if we don't agree. A lady down the street loves pink flowers but pink is not generally on my list, it doesn't make her blooms any less beautiful (and yes there are a few "pale red" blooms in my yard); I have found a couple things she grows that DO come in colors I like - I would never have known about them if I hadn't asked about her pink ones.

Turning things into personal assaults hurts rather than helps. Looking at differences as learning possibilities can change our little worlds in ways we never thought possible.
Last edited by DigginDirt Aug 24, 2016 12:11 PM Icon for preview
Aug 24, 2016 2:29 PM CST
Utah (Zone 7a)
Off Topic:

(Yay! A check I have been waiting for just came in the mail.)

I have $400 now. I know it's a little late. Do any growers here want to sell me some iris?
Aug 24, 2016 2:44 PM CST
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Irises Plant Identifier Hummingbirder Birds
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Butterflies Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Rob, if all our iris belong to you then you should get over here and do some weeding! And bring all their iris friends! These are lonely... Whistling
Aug 24, 2016 5:40 PM CST
Name: Leslie
Durham, NC (Zone 8a)
Garden Photography Cat Lover Irises Region: North Carolina Peonies Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Hurray! Well played Celia! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
"The chimera is a one time happenstance event where the plant has a senior moment and forgets what it is doing." - Paul Black
Aug 24, 2016 6:09 PM CST
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Irises Plant Identifier Hummingbirder Birds
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Butterflies Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Rolling my eyes.
Aug 24, 2016 6:11 PM CST
(Zone 9b)
Region: California Garden Ideas: Level 1
What if irises look like weeds to me? Whistling

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