Suggestion to forum makers: Vegetable review forum

ju1234((8 Dallas TX))June 22, 2014

It would be nice if you had a "review vegetables" forum where people can write reviews of various varieties of veges from their own first hand experience.

reason: the seed companies never give full or accurate picture. I have not found a seed about which the seller did not have all the good things to say and none bad. They don't really give information as to where (area) it does or does not do well etc etc.

I know there are reviews of stuff on this site but they are scattered all over. At least I can never find what I am looking for via the "search function". That is another issue I have with this web site. The search function is extremely poor. Here are examples: I searched for "review vegetables" without quotes and these were the top 4 results:
Garden web forums-
Garden exchanges and trading and swapping
What books are recommended for new england
what are the requirements to become and stay certified as MG

I am sure the word "review" or "vegetables" has appeared in more than one "subject line" but none came up.

Next search: "Peas review for texas" and "peas for texas": Here are the top 3 results:

Garden exchanges
Childhood memories
My stupidest mistakes

Searching for members on this forum: unless the GW name is exactly the same, nothing comes up.

Now there is a lot good on this web site and this is my favorite gardening site. But I think it can be made even better.

Thanks.

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bman123(7b/8a DFW TX)

You're very right! I think GardenWeb should implement this too.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 12:25AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

The terms you are using to search with are very broad, very non-specific. So no, I wouldn't expect the search here to come up with much. Plus you need to first know where on the forums to look.

First, because there are no pea varieties that are specific to Texas or anyplace else. Even a search on the Texas Gardening forum, which pulls up over 10 discussions about peas, are all about when to plant them (fall not spring) not about varieties.

Second, because "vegetables" is a BIG category that covers many things but most families of vegetables have their own forum (Legumes forum for peas) where specific varieties are often compared. But even they don't go into geographical limitations because geography determines planting time, not variety used.

Third, one thing I have learned here over the years is that most people don't post "reviews" and when they do it isn't about "vegetables" it is about the specific vegetable. They use the titles "favorite" or "best" or "worst" attached to the name of the specific vegetable.

So better search terms are "best pea", "favorite peas", "favorite pea variety", "worst pea variety", etc.

Hope this helps.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 10:12AM
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ltilton

What GW needs is a better search engine.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 10:52AM
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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

I know it's an extra step but if you do your search on Google and include "GardenWeb" (including the name of a particular forum will help even more) your search results will be a lot better.

I've had instances where I would type the exact subject of a post into the GW search but I wouldn't be able to find the post. Do the same thing on Google and it's the first search result.

Rodney

This post was edited by theforgottenone1013 on Mon, Jun 23, 14 at 12:34

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 12:32PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

Ditto on what Rodney said!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 1:05PM
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ju1234((8 Dallas TX))

I do not know most of you guys. Is any of you the managers of this web site? I was hoping to hear from the managers. Some thing like: yes, we will do it, no it is too difficult or the reason we don't have a good search engine etc.

Thank you for the input by all.

Digdirt: I don't think you are acknowledging the obvious problem which some of the others have. Poor search function on this web site.If Google searches the entire internet universe and comes up with better more relevant answers than GW itself does then there is a problem.

Following your suggestion I used the search terms. Here are the results (I am listing only top 3, which shows total irrelevance):

"Best pea":
Childhood memories
My stupidest mistakes
What are benefits of cover crops

"favorite pea"
Childhood memories
What can you tell me about variety X. Is it determinate or in..
My stupidest mistakes

"Favorite pea variety"
What can you tell me about variety X
What can you tell me
some little known plants for fall garden

Should I go on.

Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 5:23PM
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loribee2(CA 9)

I've hated that "My Stupidest Mistakes" thread for years. It's been coming up on my searches forever.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 7:20PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Digdirt: I don't think you are acknowledging the obvious problem which some of the others have. Poor search function on this web site.If Google searches the entire internet universe and comes up with better more relevant answers than GW itself does then there is a problem.

I am not denying that the search engine couldn't be improved but after over 10 years here using it I have figured out some of its quirks so have no real problems with it. This assuming you are using the forum search and not the site wide search.

But you aren't the first to bring up the issue, either on the forum or by contacting the forum management directly as provided for with the "Contact Us" button at the bottom of each page.

I also know from past experience that there are valid reasons (which have been explained several times in the past) as to why the changes in the search are problematic. Add to those problems the very unrealistic expectations some have for a forum search engine and you begin to see the problems.

So if you wish to have a discussion about it with the management then just use the Contact Us button at the bottom of the page.

Should I go on?

I'd suggest you scroll a bit further down the page than just the top three listings> Read the blue framed posts/discussions rather than just looking at the FAQs framed in brown.

Dave

For example:

What is your favorite kind of peas?

Have you pulled peas and which was best?

Peas please in Texas?

Are peas worth growing?

Can't seem to grow sweet peas

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 7:55PM
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Daisyjoy5(7 _ NW GA)

I have to say, as a member of several other forums, this is one of the worst managed ones.
The search feature is lacking, yes, but my bigger issue is that you can't really keep up with your recent posts, or "unread" posts, or any number of other features that are easily available on some of the more basic forums.
I deal with it because there is a plethora of information available here but it can be incredibly frustrating to find what you're looking for. Hence so many repeat threads, I gather.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 9:31AM
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planatus(6)

You might like Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners, sponsored by Cornell University. Use the panel on the left side of the page to peruse vegetables. If you register, it will sort results for your state and do some other tricks.

Here is a link that might be useful: veg varieties for gardeners

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 6:27AM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

I was going to mention the same site as planatus. And I hit upon doing exactly as Dave said on my own years ago: using better search terms. If you want to see what people thought of "Brandywine tomatoes" search that. If you want to know their favorite tomatoes, search that. And if you want to start a discussion on the pros and cons of different tomato varieties, start a thread and you'll likely get plenty of feedback. We all love to talk about our favorite things! :)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 10:11AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

[delete]

sorry.

[When I tossed them they looked like pearls.]

This post was edited by albert_135 on Thu, Jun 26, 14 at 15:04

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 4:12PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

Sunnibelle, BUT many times a certain subject will come up and people will insist you do a search!
I've DONE a search and come up with some word that rhymes with......
I usually try to do a search before I ask, and get this gobbltygook hodgepodge of answers that will come up with any word that appears in the search!
Ha! Somebody look up hodgepodge or gobbltygook! and I will be #10! ;) Nancy

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 9:00PM
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lurk_and_kibitz((?))

*bubble_up*

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 11:18AM
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donna_in_sask

As far as I know, there is no way to look up your most recent posts...you have to remember which specific forum you posted in. Also, there is no report button for those times when you encounter spam. If there is a "problem" post or thread, it just evaporates out of thin air, with no explanation. There is no sense of mods being active on this entire forum and no idea who they are either.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 2:59PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

As far as I know, there is no way to look up your most recent posts...you have to remember which specific forum you posted in. Also, there is no report button for those times when you encounter spam. If there is a "problem" post or thread, it just evaporates out of thin air, with no explanation. There is no sense of mods being active on this entire forum and no idea who they are either.

To find your posts all you have to do is type your user name in the search bar and it will pull up all the posts you have posted or replied to (assuming they are still on the server).

You also have the option any time you start a new thread of checking the Email me Replies box below the Message box. Be sure your email is set to accept emails from Garden Web rather than route them to your junk box.

You can also "Clip" all your posts by using the "Clippings" button to the right of every post and up to 50 of them are saved to your Member Page until you remove them. You can also email them to yourself or anyone else you wish. You can reach your Member Page by clicking on the Member Pages button at the bottom of every page or by just clicking on your member name in any post or by clicking on the Tools % Resources button at the top of each page.

To report SPAM you just click on the Contact Us button at the bottom of each page, a drop down menu appears, click on Abuse or Violation of forum, copy and paste the URL of the spam post in the box and hit send. When a problem post disappears it is because someone has done that.

The primary forum administrator is Tamara who posts throughout the forums now and then and can be reached with the Contact Us button too.

The Contact Us button also links you to Suggestions, Technical Issues, and Plant database.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 4:30PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

The only thing Dave has said that I can disagree with, is that it's 'simple' to find all your posts by typing in your user name in a search. Yes, it does bring up all your posts, but it doesn't bring them up in chronological order. If you've been here for years as many have, you could have many pages of posts to review before you might stumble upon your most recent posts. I gave up on trying to find my posts in that way.

I did decide to 'check the box' on each thread I post to, so that it will be sent to my email. That was not easy either. I had to contact support because after repeated efforts to set my account to allow emails, it wasn't changing it. Once I did contact Tamara, they did change it and now I do get emails for the threads I'm following. But, I don't always get them and sometimes they come into my email box days later. lol But, for now, that is working the best so far for trying to keep up with threads I am following. But my email box is now needing a lot more time weeding out.

I use the Cornell site to read reviews on different vegetable varieties and like that site.

I have however started following others' suggestions that Google/Gardenweb searches turn up better results than GW and have found that works better for me sometimes.

I try the search function and if the results are just too random and I find myself *sighing*, I just start a new thread and ask for what I need.

edit: I see someone above has said, that sometimes other members 'insist I do a search'. I have rarely had that happen to me, thankfully. My way of looking at it is, that every subject we discuss is a repeat of some earlier discussion. Some of the forums, especially over the winter, are so inactive, that any discussion is a bonus, even a repeat one. If we all did searches and found the answers we needed, we wouldn't need to be discussing live every day. And btw, even if you find posts on the subject you are looking for, they are not always giving you what you want. Sometimes there will be 3 posts on a thread. Or the exact question you wanted to ask was not discussed. Or the person on the forum with the most experience was not on that day.

This post was edited by prairiemoon2 on Fri, Jun 27, 14 at 17:07

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 4:53PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

To paraphrase Abe Lincoln You can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time.

**grins**

Dave

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 5:07PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Very true, Dave. :-)

Unfortunately, there is another garden forum site, that requires a fee for membership, that I tried for awhile. I did get spoiled in a lot of ways. Maybe because of the 'fees' they collect, they are very well managed and offer so much organized content, search function and ways to customize your own account, that it's like night and day to the experience in that regard that you have here. So it can be done and done very well. And as far as fees go, I assume that GW collects money from advertisers, and would not hazard a guess as to whether that should be adequate to bring the website up to speed in those regards. The other difference between that site and this, is that it is managed by the owner who is very organized and invested in the site.

But I am here and not there for some reason. :-)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 5:23PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

I was the one who said people insist that you do a search....And I do!
The problem is that either you get a thread that has 150 responses, or the threads turn into a telephone/telephone game! Squash-squash game- games-solitare-cards.......
It can take hours to research a question........, or ask it again!
If the "experts" are irritated by people who are not experts.....don't answer! Let the regular people figure things out!
I'm in no way an expert, but if I have info that I know, I'm happy to share. Even if I have to do it over and over and over!
I think I've just talked myself into taking the Master Gardener class next year! LOL Much to learn AND teach! Nancy

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 9:36PM
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loribee2(CA 9)

I like GardenWeb and am very indebted to all the great people who helped me out when I was starting to garden (and still do!). This forum is even better than it was a few years ago because it seems to have lost a couple bad seeds who were unnecessarily snarky to everyone. I don't miss them and hope they don't come back.

I do admit though, sometimes I wish there was a "pre-screen" folks had to go through before posting. It would be titled "this is normal, your plants are fine" and would contain photos of all the standard plant imperfections new gardeners freak out over (myself included). LOL It would save a considerable number of posts, haha.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 12:29AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Loribee, I've also had a lot of help over the years from other members of GW, that I am thankful for and still do. I would say that's the main reason I am here and not on another garden forum website. :-) I haven't posted to this forum very often until recently, so I don't remember any past members who were snarky. I guess I came at the right time. [g]

The discussion about the way the website functions has nothing to do with the members who are here that are always helping each other regardless of the technical issues on the site. I hope everyone realizes that.

Since I haven't spent much time on this forum, I can't address this issue of lots of posts on the same subject. I assume that it isn't that you want to reduce the amount of threads on the forum. It's about the repetitive concerns that many people ask that maybe always have the same answer, is that right?

You wish there were a 'Pre Screen', and the FAQ comes to mind. Maybe what you mean, is that if there was a response as you describe, containing photos with explanations of what you want to say to newcomers in the FAQ, that you could just direct people to that. That is what 'frequently asked questions' was designed for, right? Maybe you could prepare such a response and whoever has the ability to add to the FAQ could add it. Or you could start the thread on the forum to collect the right responses from members and when it was complete, that could be posted to it. I've found that helpful on other forums.

edit: And come to think of it, a section of recommended vegetable varieties could be added to the FAQs too, if there isn't one there already.

This post was edited by prairiemoon2 on Sat, Jun 28, 14 at 4:41

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 4:37AM
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melikeeatplants

Gardenweb is good because of the people and they content they create. The layout, search engine, and relationship with the site owners is terrible IMO.

Some of the guys who like tropical fruits started their own forum due to lack or response to feedback from GW regarding this site. Waiting for the day that happens with vegetables :)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 1:08PM
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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

All right, I hate to do this but I do have a complaint (my previous comment wasn't meant as a complaint, it was a solution to an issue). My complaint is that entire threads are gone/missing. None of the other stuff that has been mentioned bothers me but the missing pages are frustrating. I was just reading a thread from 2002 on the Garden Experiments Forum about preventing fungus issues with corn meal. In that thread there were links to other GardenWeb discussions relevant to the topic and when I clicked those links it goes to a missing files page that says "Oops! Sorry, this page isn't available."

Rodney

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 9:19PM
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