Re: OT: iris-list lurking
I suppose I am what you call a lurker. Maybe some of us don't contribute
because we would feel like a dummy, compared to you more knowledgeable
growers. Some of us are just beginners and don't even know the terminology.
Others don't know how to use the computer very well, and then there are
those of us that find these contraptions intimidting. On top of all that
trying to figure out all the abreviations, where to put them and when makes
things even more confusing. If past conversations are in the archives
regarding answers to the beginners questions, maybe some of the more
knowledgeable growers could go through the beginners questions and answer
them a few a week. Then those of us would get our questions answered,
become more knowledgeable and then be able to chat with the rest of you
>From: "Jan Clark" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: [iris-talk] OT: iris-list lurking
>Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2000 23:43:56 GMT
> >Don't we already have this? Iris-talk, Lairis, JI-talk, Friday Nite
>Don't forget Sib Rob, Iris-photos, and the iris forum at the garden web.
>These used to be all together. If you add up the traffic on all of these,
>is quite substantial.
> >I do not know how you get people to chat. We have over 500 on iris-talk
> >now, but I think 490 are lurkers. It is left up to just a few to suggest
> >topics, most of which are really good but many times
>0don't get answers or follow-ups.
>490? I counted 99 contributers in the last 2 weeks (from the mallorn
>archives) That makes nearly 20%. I'm sure there are many more than this,
>contribute once in a while.
>Compared with other lists I am involved with, percentage wise, that is a
>little low, but in sheer numbers quite high.
>With 500+ people on the list it appears there are over 300 lurkers.
>Perhaps we need to ask ourselves why?
>Some reasons I can think of are:
>1. Just like to read, and not participate.
>2. Wish to remain anonymous.
>3. Only read their archives once a week, and any threads they might have
>contributed to have run thin.
>4. Have difficulty with subject headings and fear reprimands.
>5. Are afraid of asking stupid questions.
>6. Have set no mail, rather than unsubscribe, and only appear to be
>7. Could answer a question but don't have time, or think someone else might
>be more knowledgeable.
>8. Have become so hooked on irises through their participation on this
>that they no longer have time to write to the list :-)
>People do still ask plenty of questions. There are a lot of iris lovers
>asking questions on the iris forum, and many of them never get an answer.
>They are the same old things that have been done to death on this list -
>when to divide, how to remove stalks, iris borer control, 'my irises have
>all turned white', cutting back foliage, where to obtain certain varieties.
>We might get more participation on this list, and you might get more
>membership in iris societies, if occassionally some of the more
>knowledgeable people on this list had a quick read through the forum
>questions and shared their knowledge with those less informed.
>If each of us visited there, and answered a couple of questions, even once
>month, this would help. Some already do this, I know.
>There is an obvious reluctance on this list to rehash the same old issues
>over and over. Some list members don't want to be bothered with
>the amount of mail this would involve.
>Our archives are a fantastic record of past discussions, but I think if
>people can see that they are not going to get a better answer than a
>referral to the archives, some will stop asking.
>It comes down to trying to please all of the people all of the time - an
>impossible task. So we have a few very interesting discussions on this
>and people who can't cope with the depth of some of these discussions can
>ask questions on the forum, and maybe get an uninformed answer, or even no
>answer at all.
>What do other people think - especially lurkers? Why are you out there
>lurking and not writing occassionally?
>Now is your chance!
>Cheers, Jan Clark
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