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Gardenweb Forum

I read that Gardenweb sold for only $900,000 to iVillage.com. That is very little money for what was the worlds largest forum devoted to the world's most popular hobby.

I think Spike got ripped off, if you ask me. I'm not sure that iVillage realized that Gardenweb had so many male members, either. iVillage as you may or may not know positions itself as a portal for women.

There was an article published that mentioned a small uprising from male members last year at the time of the sale because iVillage was feminizing the site's home page, and making them feel unwelcome.

Anybody else hear about that?

I have to add that the Helpful Gardener welcomes all current and former members to hang out at our gardening forum if the flaming at Gardenweb gets too bad.
Last edited by webmaster on Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:43 am, edited 3 times in total.

evavega
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Location: Carrollton, GA, USA

I used to visit gardenweb in the past... like in the early 90's when I was single and didn't have any other responsibilities other than personal endeavours. I liked it's no-nonsense appearance, scarce (if any) advertising, and sense of ownsership empowered by the users. There were seasoned gardeners offering wealth of information to anyone who asked.

Lots of us have been on the internet for years and might remember when ivillage made its mark with a website catering to women. Even more of you might remember that unmistakable bitter taste left in your throat when you visited their uniquely assembled 'webvertisements'. I feel like ivillage was started for the sole purpose of generating click-through and commissioned based sales... not for the purpose of filling a need. Now, several years later ivillage is still around, still doing the same stuff. Only now they realize they need valuable content and instead of growing it organically, they choose to buy it.

Recently I visited gardenweb again and noticed the unmistakable commercialized appearance and flavor of ivillage. Complete with overpowering advertising and evasive navigation. I was completely turned off. Yes, I am female and I do like pretty things and ivillage does have a talented web design team. However, I do not want to wade through advertisements to find my content. Some people might like ivillage... I am just one of those who do not.

I agree that the demographic of the old gardenweb was male dominated, and offered the wisdom and knowledge of 'old school' gardeners with their time-tested practices. Not that women can't do that too, just that I believe a large portion of this population segment was lost due to oversight, perhaps.

As a website visitor I can say this: As long as a webmaster does not detract from its main purpose, forget its users, and make a 180 degree change overnight, it will maintain a faithful following of dedicated supporters.

Regardless, I have found my new gardening website! Thanks!

grandpasrose
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I am not familiar with ivillage, I guess I'm not one of "those" women, :lol: but I do know that earlier this year, before I became involved with Helpful Gardener, I had visited Gardenweb a few times. It was not an enjoyable experience (probably why I didn't stick with them). It is a very busy, overwhelming, confusing site. And I agree, it was like having to wade through the muck to get to the good stuff.
For me, I don't really care what gender gives me the best advice I'm going to find about gardening, as long as it's good advice! I think Helpful Gardener fills that description, but also has an open, caring, friendly feel to it, that is not intimidating.
Good Job Guys & Gals!!!!! 8)
Val
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evavega,
That's a great post! I appreciate all feedback from our members, and if you feel there's room for improvement feel free to send a PM to any of the moderators or myself.

In fact, most if not all the changes we've made to the forum this past year has been in response to community feedback. So keep it coming!

Among the things we are vigilant about are:

Keeping this forum easygoing, relaxed, and comfortable
We are focused on making this community a comfortable place for people to ask questions about gardening or express their opinions. Courtesy to one another is promoted and we have zero-tolerance for any member who is being rude to another one. If you see any bad behavior feel free to report it to one of the moderators by PM and we'll get on top of it fast.

Community Focus
We are intent on building a community focused on easy to find information, as well as cultivating the friendliest environment for gardeners to come together and discuss what's on their minds.

Well Organized Forum Threads
Most forums do not adequately moderate their forum threads. The result is epic size threads diverging into a myriad of off-topic discussions. The signal gets lost in the noise. Those kinds of threads are difficult to read and ultimately lose value to those members who want to research gardening by simply reading the posts.

It's a lack of moderation for keeping threads on-topic that causes that to happen, but not here. Keeping posts on-topic is so important that we'll cut a discussion out of a thread and create a new discussion out of it. Being a moderator here is not a symbolic role, it's a real responsibility. I'm proud of our mods because they do a lot for keeping this forum focused.

Noise Free Forum
We are also vigilant about whacking any posts that are self-promotional or created solely to promote a product or another website. We want our members to be able to click on a post and read helpful information. We don't want them to find a marketing message.

Most forums ignore self-promotional posts, choosing to focus on quantity of posts over quality. We are focused on creating a quality community for gardeners.

So if any member feels that they have a good idea for improving the community, please PM one of the mods or myself and we will definitely consider implementing the advice.

Thoughtful Moderation and Member Participation
Although Scott does a lot on the forum, the moderators do an amazing job in making sure everything is running smoothly. But of course the heart of this community is the members themselves. I can say with confidence that the great majority of our members are really nice people who enjoy gardening and have great questions, advice, and comments to contribute.

While Gardenweb may be big, I think their moderating style has less focus and purpose to it, resulting sometimes in a wild west atmosphere that turns some people off.

As comprehensive as Gardenweb may be, we feel there is room for a forum like ours that focuses on quality by encouraging threads focused on the topic of discussion, keeping out useless marketing posts, and promoting a comfortable place for nice people to congregate and discuss gardening.

Our ears are open to whatever advice you, the member of this forum, want to contribute in order to help make this a nice place to hang out.

opabinia51
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This is all news to me. I hadn't even realized that GardenWeb had been sold. Though, I don't visit gardenweb that often anymore.

They do have some great articles that I have put links to from this website. And the articles that I found were easy to find by just using the search engine on their site. (at least, it used to be on their site. I don't even know what the web page looks like now).

As far as it being male dominated; I didn't know that and personally don't really care if it is or was. I also wouldn't care if gardenweb were female dominated either.

Not that there is any domination here but, 3 out of the 5 moderators (including the helpful gardener) are females here and it's just great. I don't judge people by their gender or any other inconsequential attributes that they may have.

Anyway, keep up the good work Roger. The site here is great and I really and truly love it. I also think very highly of our two new moderators and thank them whole heartedly for all that they have provided for the site and it's community.

grandpasrose
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Thanks so much Opa! That's very kind of you. I try to do the best I can to make people comfortable and welcome being here, and keep them encouraged when they are feeling like they are the world's poorest gardeners! We've been there!!
Opa, you have such an incredible knowledge, and work so hard on your gardens, I don't know how you do it all, and school too!
I think all of us compliment each other here, and each have something to add, that the others don't, which makes us a stronger forum!
Great work, Roger, Scott, Opa, Newt, and Grey!! (and me :lol: :lol: )8)
Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

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Grey
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Thanks all!
I think we do have a great site here. What attracted me here over GardenWeb was the organization. It's easy to find what you are looking for.

There was also some petty bickering at the other site, so I guess that wore me out too. Gardening is a peaceful pasttime - there should be no room for snide remarks or snottiness. That's also what makes this site so nice.

I hope the site does better with its new owners, I really do.

opabinia51
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Ugh! I finally went over to the GardenWeb to look at the Canadian seed trading area and YUCK! I see what you mean. I hate it when sites get all commercialized like that. They've totally ruined a perfectly good site (that as I have said in the past had it's problems).

The Helpful Gardener
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It's a shame that Spike's hard work is being desecrated like that, but it's still busy (I did notice a lot of the old guard are slipping off to other pursuits) Here's hoping Spike is on a beach somewhere anyway... :P

And Opa, wherever did you get the idea I was female! I have been accused of being metrosexual, but that's as close as I get... :?


Scott

grandpasrose
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Scott, I think she was meaning you belonged in the group of five, not that you were female - trust a man to defend himself against that one!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

opabinia51
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The question is: Where did you get the idea that I thought that your were a female? Oh, I get it. I thought this might happen.

Yes, when I said "Including the HG" I meant that you were included as one of the moderators. Not as one of the female moderators. I'll have to change the wording back there.

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Grey
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lol - I DID read that line twice - "Scott" is not a common female name! hehe.

opabinia51
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Oh my goodness, here we go. Val, I am also a male. That's funny, Newt thought that I was a female as well.

grandpasrose
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Now this is really funny :lol: :lol: because I didn't even notice that three out of five left two, and Scott was only one, I was just clarifying to Scott that you didn't say HE was female!!!
I did think you were a female - I don't even know why - I think because Opa sounded feminine :? :oops: Anyway, it really makes no difference to me, as I said about the Gardenweb, I don't care about gender, as long as I can get the information I need, and as long as we compliment each other as a team on the forum, then it shouldn't matter who we are - even if I'm ALF!!! :lol: :lol:
Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

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So 2 males, 2 females and 1 alien? :?

:lol:

Scott

opabinia51
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This has got to be the funnest thread we've ever had.

(I'm laughing and smirking so much as I read the posts that people are looking at me)

Anyway, yes I agree. I could care less what gender a person is. All I care is that there is pertinent information on a website and that it is easy to find.

For this reason, I really like this website because if you ask a question: it is easy find your question again and easy to find an answer.

I really like the fact that we found that STICKY option where we can post the answers to commonly asked questions or especially pertinent information.

I hope our community likes this site as well. I'd love to hear what people think about the site.

grandpasrose
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Scott - I am pretty flexible, I can be whatever you need me to be - just say the word! :lol: :lol:
Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

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Just got back from a trip to Garden Web and the revolt is on! The new policies state that any post becomes the intellectual property of said site, and some of the regulars have had it. I have dropped some heavy thoughts on there, but never thought I'd lose the rights to my own thoughts by doing so...Seems a darn shame..

I sure do miss Spike...

I will try to post an invite to a bunch of the old guard, but that'll get zapped. I'll do some e-mailing...If you are just dropping by here from there no one is more bummed than me...

Scott

kec01
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Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2006 4:23 am
Location: greater Chicago

no more Garden Web

Yes, the revolt is on and I'm one of those who is bailing on that site and iVillage.

Hope I can keep learning and sharing about gardening with all of you!

grandpasrose
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You're more than welcome to join the forum kec!! Feel free to chat, ask questions, or enlighten us - we're a pretty friendly gang, so jump right in! That's what it's all about. 8)

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

The Helpful Gardener
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Location: Colchester, CT

My buddy Herb from GW Japanese Garden Forum posted here. Talking to some of the other crew and even trying to get Yama (ghosted by Cady) to write an article for us. Here's hoping...

Scott

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koiboy01
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Location: U K

Hi,
I too have left Gardenweb never to return, I have posted their for about five years but reading all the rubbish and the auguments of some of the posters ,also all the pop ups and adverts they will eventually kill it off themselves, you just ask yourself who needs it ,not me.
George.
anyone who never made a mistake never made anything.

grandpasrose
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Hello George, and welcome! You are certainly more than welcome to join in our forum, the more the merrier! We have tried to make a casual, friendly place for freshstarters and experts alike to feel comfortable. I hope you enjoy it!! Welcome aboard!! :wink:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

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Hear Hear! :D

Glad to have any of the old guard here, George, and you certainly fit that profile! 8) May your gardens be an inspiration to others; we are happy to give you a place to show them off...

Scott

Herb2
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Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:20 am
Location: Victoria, B.C.

I'm posting this here because I don't know where else to put it & I can't find an e-mail address for the webmaster or anybody else at the forum headquarters.

This morning I got 2 e-mails from Scott - they were headed 'Topic Notifications'.

When I clicked on the links in the e-mails all I got was a message saying -

"The topic or post you requested does not exist".

Yet when I went to the threads concerned ("Capturing Nature" and "Outdoor Rooms") there were the replies! At least I assume they were the ones.

Then I noticed that George had remarked that some of his postings were being deleted.

So, taking all this together, it makes me enquire - is there some kind of computer glitch at the HG site?

Herb

grandpasrose
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Hi Herb - I have alerted the webmaster to your post.
Regarding being able to contact anyone, at the bottom of a post by the person you are trying to reach, there are two buttons - one says profile, the other says pm(private message). You can use these to contact that person. Hope that helps! :wink:

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

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Grey
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Hey Herb - we have had some odd glitches lately, but the webmaster's been working on them. Sorry for any confusion. Just part of the fun of a forum I suppose! :lol:

FairyDust
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Location: Browns Mills, New Jersey
Contact: Yahoo Messenger AOL

webmaster wrote:evavega,
That's a great post! I appreciate all feedback from our members, and if you feel there's room for improvement feel free to send a PM to any of the moderators or myself.

In fact, most if not all the changes we've made to the forum this past year has been in response to community feedback. So keep it coming!

Among the things we are vigilant about are:

Keeping this forum easygoing, relaxed, and comfortable
We are focused on making this community a comfortable place for people to ask questions about gardening or express their opinions. Courtesy to one another is promoted and we have zero-tolerance for any member who is being rude to another one. If you see any bad behavior feel free to report it to one of the moderators by PM and we'll get on top of it fast.

Community Focus
We are intent on building a community focused on easy to find information, as well as cultivating the friendliest environment for gardeners to come together and discuss what's on their minds.

Well Organized Forum Threads
Most forums do not adequately moderate their forum threads. The result is epic size threads diverging into a myriad of off-topic discussions. The signal gets lost in the noise. Those kinds of threads are difficult to read and ultimately lose value to those members who want to research gardening by simply reading the posts.

It's a lack of moderation for keeping threads on-topic that causes that to happen, but not here. Keeping posts on-topic is so important that we'll cut a discussion out of a thread and create a new discussion out of it. Being a moderator here is not a symbolic role, it's a real responsibility. I'm proud of our mods because they do a lot for keeping this forum focused.

Noise Free Forum
We are also vigilant about whacking any posts that are self-promotional or created solely to promote a product or another website. We want our members to be able to click on a post and read helpful information. We don't want them to find a marketing message.

Most forums ignore self-promotional posts, choosing to focus on quantity of posts over quality. We are focused on creating a quality community for gardeners.

So if any member feels that they have a good idea for improving the community, please PM one of the mods or myself and we will definitely consider implementing the advice.

Thoughtful Moderation and Member Participation
Although Scott does a lot on the forum, the moderators do an amazing job in making sure everything is running smoothly. But of course the heart of this community is the members themselves. I can say with confidence that the great majority of our members are really nice people who enjoy gardening and have great questions, advice, and comments to contribute.

While Gardenweb may be big, I think their moderating style has less focus and purpose to it, resulting sometimes in a wild west atmosphere that turns some people off.

As comprehensive as Gardenweb may be, we feel there is room for a forum like ours that focuses on quality by encouraging threads focused on the topic of discussion, keeping out useless marketing posts, and promoting a comfortable place for nice people to congregate and discuss gardening.

Our ears are open to whatever advice you, the member of this forum, want to contribute in order to help make this a nice place to hang out.
I just wanted to say that when I was on here last night reading, I was thinking to myself that wow this really is an awesome forum. Its very helpful, everyone is very nice and its clean. You don't need to sift through a lot of garbage to find answers. That is rare on a lot of forums. It always seems like a forum is either rude (especially to new people), or full of off topic posts which turns a thread that could've held some good information, into a junk thread instead.

I just wanted to say thanks to you moderators who keep this forum in such great shape and for everyone being so friendly. This is the best gardening forum I have found, hands down! :D

grandpasrose
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: Quesnel, BC, Canada - Zone 4a

Thank you very much Fairydust! I'm glad you enjoy the forum that everyone, Scott, Roger, Grey, Opa, Newt and Grandpasrose, try hard to keep comfortable yet informative! It's not just us, but the great posters like yourself that make it a great place to be! Thanks for the pat on the back, it's nice to hear! 8)

Val
VAL (Grandpa's Rose)

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