UK Veg Gardeners

A few weeks later than planned, on behalf of myself and the Admin team, can I just wish all members of UK Veg Gardeners a Happy New Year.

Not being a fan of 'junk mail' myself, I thought long and hard before deciding to both post this on the Forum and Message all Members directly. With the new growing season fast approaching, I feel it is time for us to breathe some new life into our forum, which has been (to use a horticultural term) "declining in vigour" of late. We all know it is difficult to keep up enthusiasm through the Winter months, but as the weather improves and focus returns to the garden it is time for UK Veg Gardeners to do what they do best - share knowledge and have a good natter on the forum!

The membership of the forum includes a very wide range of people - some of them gardeners of many years' experience, and some of them first-timers, but the reason for existence of the forum is to provide a means for these people to interact with one another, and share their experiences and love of a very absorbing hobby. This can only happen if there is a good level of input from members. Recently however, input has taken a downward turn, and most of it comes from a small number of enthusiastic members. It would be great if we could turn this around, and all it takes is a few minutes of your time every now and then...

Just so that you know, the forum is run (if "run" is the right word!) by a small team of volunteers who devote some of their personal time and energy to keeping things going for the benefit of all members. The team currently consists of:

  • Me - (Stephen Shirley) - Through my company, Victoriana, I pay the running costs of UK Veg as well as take care of overall administration. I consider myself the 'Custodian' rather than the 'Owner' of UK Veg Gardeners.
  • Victoria Wildman (Southbourne Gardens) and Trevor Alun Davies who kindly moderate the forum - approving new member applications and photo submissions, as well as keeping a general eye to make sure we are being nice to each other.
  • Andrew Goodall and Mark Willis - Tweeters on behalf of @UKVegGardeners. (Victoria also tweets for us).

As you can see, this is a very small team.

So What To Do With UK Veg Gardeners?
Quite simply, we would love YOUR ideas on the direction in which the forum should be heading and any changes you would like to see! You may have seen Mark's earlier postings with regard to Groups, and this has been something that we (the admin team) have been discussing for a few weeks now. Effectively many of the groups are 'dead' at present, and perhaps this is because some of them are just a little too specific? We are considering closing some of the Groups with few members and no recent activity, and feel what is needed is for each remaining Group to be sponsored and led by its Creator, who should be responsible for giving it some life and keeping it active. If you feel able to fulfill this role either in an existing group or have an idea for a new group, please contact me. (Send me a message or comment below)

Finally, let me give you an assurance that neither I nor any of the team wish to take over the forum. Our motive is simply to re-invigorate it and make it a fun place to be.

Happy gardening everyone! Let's hope that 2014 will be a bumper year for all of us!

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Stephen, good post and I personally enjoy the forum although have not had as much time over the last few months as I have had previously.  I enjoy the friendliness of the forum and there is a great mix of people involved.  I'm sure, as you say, with some fresh impetus, it will be a successful 2014.  Thanks to you and the volunteers for maintaining the forum so well.

To be honest, it has always been successful and you know the old saying, if it isn't broke don't try to fix it

I think sometimes people with to try to either put their own stamp on things or change things for the sake of it.

The formt works, it's one of the better gardening forums, so I personally think if it changed it may be for the worse, as it would be hard to improve what we already have

Well said, Stephen!

I agree with Blicky that we shouldn't (and don't need to) change the style of the Forum which seems to work well as it is. We just need more input from as many people as possible. I agree that some of the under-utilised Groups ought to be decommissioned. I propose that those with fewer than 10 members and no activity for 6 months or more should go.

 

On behalf of all our members, I'd like to say how much your sponsorship of the Forum is appreciated. Truly, without you, the forum could not survive.

De-clutter is the term I like to use

Agree less is more as far as the groups is concerned and would help stimulate focused topics for discussion.

I agree this is a great forum. I do not think any major changes are required. It is very friendly and there is a tremendous amount of knowledge available to tap into.

It is good to see the events facility being used. I have advertised the Gardening Group that I chair. Green Fingers. It would be great to find out about more clubs which I am sure many of us belong to. We could perhaps share notes on speakers, we are always on the look out for new and interesting speakers.

What do we think?

Stephen,

I am a member of the National Veg (you also have a number of other NVS members in your membership), I personally think you have the mix just about right,  and as Blicky says if it's not broke why try and fix it? If only the NVS had the membership you have!

I have always found this forum excellent and very well informed, OK things go quiet in the Winter months I'm certain all forums also go that way. My thanks to you for sponsoring the site and anyone who volunteers for keeping it going lets hope it continues in the same vein.

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