I'm not at all optimistic about any changes to the format. It would, however, help a great deal if the Moderators would take charge more often instead of leaving it all to members to sort out.
Some official direction on how to use the forums would be a start. One only has to look at today's threads posted in inappropriate places to see there is a major problem looming. If no-one puts these people right, if no-one helps them, they will continue as they are. It's not our job to do this. It's a Moderator's job.
I may aswell get my coat now. I feel an email may be on its way to me!
Hi all I never meant to offend anyone and sorry if I did and there are fair points on both sides.
I am excited about the Osprey Season starting and the forums will get busier without a doubt.
Maybe the problem is the forums cannot get separated and I can see a different side now. It does work both ways as Community threads can get lost and vice versa :)
I will not say another word and I apologised to Sparrow as with some comments I was upset too.
Sometimes things get taken the wrong way and as I said I do enjoy reading your posts on here very much.
I certainly do not want a debate as it will not do any of us any good.
You're probably quite right - the format is unlikely to change but long-term it is short-sighted on the part of the RSPB. A good forum attracts members - it is why I joined the RSPB last year BUT for everyone like me who 'enjoys' battling through the complexities of the site, lots of others will be lost. Also, of course, the lack of organisation means the forum will increasingly become a hotch-potch of postings.
This forum is unusual in that most are in fact run by members - people who are long-established, respected and visit the forum on a daily (hourly) basis. My only real experience of a forum is one which I belonged to for ten years. I eventually was invited to become a Moderator, a job which I shared with eight others. It wasn't onerous and between us we kept things running relatively smoothly. The Mods on here are busy people who visit rarely compared to the most enthusiastic members and they don't see or hear a lot of what is going on.
It doesn't seem that the 'feedback' which is invited on the website is read or responded to - who at the RSPB has responsibility for the website/forum? Someone must have that job. It would be good for a group of the established members to have an official dialogue with that person.
It is a brilliant forum - but oh so frustrating to use. :-)
GeoDaveThe Mods on here are busy people who visit rarely compared to the most enthusiastic members and they don't see or hear a lot of what is going on.
I don't know for sure, but I get the impression that the moderators on this site have the moderation duties tagged onto their workload- like an extra thing to bother about. However, over the past few months the overseeing of the forum has improved greatly in comparison with a year or so ago.
One thing which concerns me a bit is that, while acknowledging the work of the RSPB, the forum is ultimately there to promote their membership, aspirations and philosophy, and that can be rather inhibiting when controversial issues crop up.
That went off topic, sorry, but it might be a good idea to have an established member sharing moderation with the PTB and helping to focus member's concerns.
1- EVERYONE is a newbie at first :)
2- How about forums for :
A - RSPB special protected breeding species news
B - Garden Birds
C- British Birds ( foreign birds could go in WTW birds abroad)
E- Where to watch birds
Personally, not being a 'wildlife' expert and this being the RSPB ( note last letter) I sometimes I find it difficult to know where to post about birds specifically . As the RSPB has expanded over the years Wardens ( Reserve Managers?) now need a degree in wildlife studies / countryside management etc which is great and useful as the reserves are havens for all forms of flora and fauna but it does mean there can be people out dealing with visitors on reserves who know diddly-squat about anything other than basic birdwatching.
I just have to post and the" sorry I am angry" was meant to be light humoured and I should have put a smile after it. It was due to posts getting lost :) That is my mistake for not being so careful.
If you read below you can see I was trying to be nice and it just proves how things can be taken in the wrong context.
I wish you all luck and I think an index could be a good idea, that's only my oppinion :)
I must go and just wanted to clear up what does look like it could be bad but it most certainly was not meant to be.
Look on the bright side "newbies" for across the Atlantic you're commonly referred to as "noobs". I agree with the sentiments expressed in sparrow's original post.
Suggesting a format change can be a hazardous occupation. On another major birding forum I once had the temerity to suggest that there should be a dedicated "webcam observations" forum because the "Birds of prey" forum was getting so cluttered up with bazillions of posts every time Barney the Barn Owl of Westbury sneezed or whatever that I was frequently failing to spot the good, interesting posts. Anyway - the shells starting raining down so hard that I had to go and hide out in a virtual bunker on a remote island for about 6 weeks. (I hope I won't have to do that again now for it was a lonely, dull sort of place.)
As with sparrow's post I wasn't suggesting that the avid webcam watchers should take a hike, merely that they needed their very own special place. I'd probably visit it myself sometimes as I too watch webcams occasionally.
Maybe the community home page needs three columns. On the left would go a list of all the fora, in the middle would go the header line of the latest post, and on the right would be the name of the latest poster with time and date of post.
I have mixed feelings about locational (reserve) sub-groups. I often see people posting ID help requests on them which can only get replies from sub-group members. Not ideal I'd have thought.
I'm rambling now aren't I...........?
As a 'newbie' (who is not easily offended by the title) I found Sparrow's post quite useful and have learnt from it. I was one of the guilty parties and often posted threads to the wrong place. I've explored a bit now and hopefully I am now posting correctly.
My partner belongs to a 'car forum!' and the moderators are volunteers from the forum, they monitor the site and move threads to the most appropriate forum...any volunteers?
I would agree, t he problem is some members tend to think that because they have been a member longer, they know all the answers, I am sorry that is not always the case, and if established members are aware of a problem, why start all the arguments over the weekend when they know full well it will not get picked up until monday B & B Please stop opologising, you have honestly done nothing wrong, yes I agree with what the original poster was trying to say, but I feel it should be put straight to the mods with any surgestions.then you would not get new members feeling guilty, and then afraid to post, as that is not the point of this forum. Alan
Maria, you should not feel quilty for posting in the wrong places and I honestly wish this thread had never been started as it is so upsetting.
I just wish I had never replied as this has spoilt my birthday and many other's day no doubt.
It really should stop and I think the mods do a good job and what everyone has to realise, It is a priveledge to have a forum to talk on in the first place.
A lot of sites do not have this facility and I do not want to lose it and I am sure none of you do either.
Thank you for your comments. Moderators do read them and take on board every suggestion. If threads are in the wrong place they can be moved easily by Moderators so by all means flag this up with us and we can move them. We do ask anything to be reported using the report buttons so we can take action when necessary. Due to this post now becoming off topic and disruptive, we have decided to lock it.