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Re: AIS: REF: Anner's Bulletin Suggestion

Anner a very good post and I agree with almost all of it. And I only had to use the dictionary once. :-) I like you suggestions for articles the most. I tip my Diet Coke to you and Mrs. Figge.

Mike Greenfield
----- Original Message ----- From: <ChatOWhitehall@aol.com>
To: <iris@hort.net>
Cc: <bfilardi@comcast.net>
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2006 9:44 AM
Subject: [iris] AIS: REF: Anner's Bulletin Suggestion

In a message dated 2/13/2006 11:35:56 PM Eastern Standard Time,
jbruce1@cinci.rr.com writes:

<<<Anyway, I guess my long winded post is saying maybe we have to work
harder to set the hook in new members, and since the Bulletin is the main conduit,
we need to make it a bit more symbiotic.>>>

This seems a reasonable statement. Symbiotic is the right word all right. My
own path of development as regards the Bulletin contents more or less
mirrors John's, except that I read the first minutes and so forth avidly, trying to
learn everything I could about the group as fast as I could. No one
recruited me to AIS, you see; I found my way independently at a public library. I am
still pretty independent.

I am not convinced the Bulletin is a problem with regard to new members
dropping, especially the business parts of same. Nor do I think it is safe to
assume that new members are novice Iris growers, or novice gardeners, or flower
society novices. I am getting the feeling, however, that some old members are
getting bored with the Bulletin. I've said for years the rag needed a gossip

But doing something special for new members would certainly not be amiss,
especially if it was also something which was not boring to old timers. This is
entirely feasible, and my suggestion won't cost one red cent.

I think an ongoing column called Newcomer's Corner might be highly useful
and nice. If it were only one page it probably could be in every issue and not
freight the system overly. I see one, or two pages occasionally, in which the
columnist talks in an informal conversational tone about or around an issue
newcomers could reasonably be expected to run into, always wrapping up with
an invitation for members to send in questions or comments.

Topics? Maybe the sorts of stuff that would be a FAQ here, labels; irises
changing color; squirrels and crows; transporting some stalks to the show; when
and if to fertilize; spring weeds in the bed and what to do about them; why
color charts don't work; organic controls of pests and whether they do work;
manures and why all are not considered equal; what to do when your order of
new irises arrives; the pros and cons of buying at a local sale...and then
some Society stuff, like what is the AIS Foundation, for whom were the various
medals named, what are Sections and how are they different from Cooperating
Societies...the stuff that folks seem confused or curious about.

Conversational tone, as I said, like Mr. Rogers: no question is stupid and
you are among friends. Maybe a touch of humor? Lord knows there is not much of
that around and we could use it. " I was speaking with Mrs. Figge the other
day about slugs and the sorts of ways people fight them in their iris bed and
this is what we decided just before we drank a beer....."

Just having a column called Newcomers Corner would send a more welcoming
message, to use the term favored by the loathsome politicos of our era. Keeping
it light but not simpleminded would be the way to go.

I think John Bruce should write this column. He writes very well and
interestingly and is very smart and sensitive to folks' feelings and very concerned
about this business of sinking the hook. I'm not volunteering to do it,
although I think it could actually be a lot of fun, because for some reason people
misunderstand things I write; or they think I am putting on airs about
membership; or they don't listen when I speak to AIS membership woes, although I
have spent some time in the relevant trenches.

I am, however, volunteering to copy Filardi on this note.

Happy Valentine's Day, dear loves.


Anner Whitehead
Richmond VA USA
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