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Discussion in 'ASW Announcements' started by John N., Jan 10, 2017.

  1. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Folks!

    If anyone is interested in helping support and grow the ASW community, feel free to send me a PM or post here. Although the mod team here does a great job with keep tabs on the community, spam, and other things, we could also use some help and new ideas.

    Thanks,

    -John N.
     

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  2. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    John

    I certainly agree new ideas would certainly be welcome.

    I recently received a PM asking was there a "Beginners" Topic? I had to refer them to the Introduction but that person has not come back.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  3. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    That's a good place to start. I would say General Discussion is also another catch all category.

    -John N.
     
  4. flchamp89

    flchamp89 New Member

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    This site has some great formal aquascapers. Ill see a new member stroll in and get beat on because his tank does not fall within a style of aquascaping, rule of thirds, or whatever. Im sure then they go to a different forum (beginner). I belong to 7 forums. I enjoy reading the posts here but I have little to offer as I could care less if my or someone elses tank meets certain standards.

    There far more people out there that just want a healthy beautiful tank than want to win a competition. I consider this a professional site so to speak which is great and fine. But if admins/mods want more members make it less abrasive and more general in its approach to GENERAL aquascaping.

    Im sure this wont sit well.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
     
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  5. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi FLChamp, I think you make some really good points. As a whole, it applies to the entire ASW community and not just the volunteer moderators/administrators who help run ASW (whom by the way do a stellar job at helping and commenting where they can).

    To your point - I have always wanted ASW to be a site to be first and foremost a community and home for aquascapers, no matter the skills set. It just happens (in a good way) ASW does draw in some really talented aquascapers that are truly focused on the art, highly experienced, and want to spread that artistic concept in the "proper" direction. ASW is one of the rare places that take planted aquariums to the next, next level of art (if you will).

    I have incorporated a NEW "Beginner's Corner" forum that I'm hopeful will be conducive towards encouraging questions and welcoming towards any emerging aquascapers who are feeling uncomfortable in any way. Everyone is welcomed here at ASW!

    I sincerely appreciate your comments and perspective.

    -John N.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
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  6. flchamp89

    flchamp89 New Member

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    Sorry I was not clear. I was referring to the members not admins. When I joined I went to intro section posted a couple times and was asked to post picture of my tank. First comments were rip out half my plant mass. Well maybe I like it like that lol. Point is no comments were made on health and vigor of the flora or fauna.

    Not many enter the hobby and crank out world ranked scapes. So even if that is the desire of a new member I think we need to put more value on the basics and principles of building and maintaining health tanks.

    Im off soap box lol.

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  7. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    You know me @John N. I'm always up for something. Let me know what I can do. I'd like to see the homepage updated regularly, but I think you've explained how to go about that so I will try to keep a featured journal up there at the least.



    Sorry to hear this was your experience...but also glad you shared your thoughts. I can only speak for myself. In general my goal is to understand the goal of the poster and offer suggestions on how they can reach that goal. I think your comments are valid and have shared some similar concerns in the past.
     
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  8. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    I updated the settings so that the homepage pulls from the "Aquascaping Showcase" forum as well. So it'll be self- updated with some of the final products that the many aquascapers here have to offer!

    -John N.
     
  9. Orlandog7

    Orlandog7 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Great updates on the homepage. Thanks to all the admins and moderators for the hard work.

    I'm a beginner and received similar advice as @flchamp89 but I took the advice and didn't go to another forum. Why? Because I was interested in the rule of thirds, competition, etc. I believe everyone's advice was well meaning and it didn't turn me off. Almost a year later, I'm still here and haven't joined any other forums. But I do believe, when a beginner comes asking questions such as "what do you think of my aquascape", we should be more careful about what the posters goals are.

    I would like to see this forum continue being a community aquascapers. And yes, sometimes the feedback can be a bit abrasive; but I know it's well meant.

    Thanks,

    Orlando
     
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  10. flchamp89

    flchamp89 New Member

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    I didn't leave. This was last forum that I have joined as of late. This thread is about how can we get more members and make it a valuable place for all.

    The thing is in other forums there actually plenty of scapers that are highly skilled as well. Some have 30k members so its law of large numbers. What does this forum want to be? Whats its identity? If it strictly formal landscaping make it known. If it for all then welcome the guy with a plastic tank pink gravel and a spongebob pineapple lol. And....treat him the same.


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  11. Orlandog7

    Orlandog7 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    That is the million dollar question. From my experience, it's just a handful of the same members replying to posts. Dedicated guys, invaluable advice given. But can this forum really be a community for everyone? Do we have the membership numbers or the inclination to support the guy with the spongebob pineapple? Obviously, we shouldn't make fun of the pineapple, that much I know (not that I've ever seen anyone making fun of others here; just a form of expression on my part).
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
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  12. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Membership numbers do not mean a thing I can name several Forums that have very high numbers BUT and a massive BUT they are dead and will not lie down.

    Yes similar questions are often asked and when given a honest construction reply it is sometimes not liked my answer is the poster did ask.
    If the poster had said "This is my first tank and I am very happy with it." The reply would be completely different.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  13. Shane P.

    Shane P. Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with Keith on that one. This forum has raised me well, from a beginner to moderately experienced. I still have a ways to go but am confident that I can be supported by all of the members here.

    I have been on other forums where moderators are not nice, and have really screwed up my experience. For example, on The Planted Tank, a moderator failed to help me with an issue and imposed a suspension on my account for a rather than fixing the simple thing. I am glad to say that the community on this forum is completely different. Here, criticisms are constructive. Everyone is knowledgeable. Many of us come from geographically diverse locations. There is a lot of beauty in that to me. For example, nicpapa and mevenpl are both fantastic scapers and seeing their experiences in a different place really intrigues me. Similarly, Keith living in Australia, has to deal with brush fires rather than snow causing school closure. The greatest thing about this forum is that everyone cares about the art of aquascaping. Everyone cares. Caring is important, and the reason I first joined this forum rather than others is because I could see the care and constructive criticisms, knowing that they would help me improve my tank(s).


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  14. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Shane

    Maybe its the old technical trade school teacher still in me. That is where I was taught how to give constructive criticism to students and student teachers where I had to write a full page on the lesson that they had just given.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  15. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe a section could be added called "Critique my aquascape" where the implication of posting there is clear. It may help divide up the folks who just want to share their journey in the journal section from those who want to have their setup critiqued and develop as an aquascaper in that regard. Just a thought...

    I can echo what others have said in terms of the reason I liked ASW so much when I first started was the small dedicated community which happened to have some very talented knowledgeable folks. I think we see lots of various users join, but some very similar individuals stay. The ones who stay tend to be very active and I love seeing them develop as scapers. I can think of four off the top of my head right now. I think we should give ASW some credit for the role it has played in those folks as aquascapers.

    Look at @J Art , he showed up wanting to learn and went on to start The Aquascaping Podcast an idea that was born and nurtured here. ASW inspired him and he has been a great addition to the Aquascaping community.

    Look at @Shane P. , a new member who has put together a couple scapes and is moving through the journey progressing with each one. He is spreading the hobby by setting up a tank at his school and teaching others. ASW, too had a role in inspiring this new young hobbyist.

    Another example, @BigAL777 , he's been an avid poster and scaper for a while. He's scaped a tank for his boss and is determined to become a good aquascaper. A lot of that journey has been shared on ASW and helped along by what ASW provides.

    Truthfully, I was ready to write ASW off...its been a little dead and the Spam has been killing my resolve. Its renewed thinking about these things...the great thing about a community like ASW is we can make this place what we want it to be. Forums like ASW are a good place to learn and the great thing about ASW is that idea has persisted and been borne out in many hobbyists, including myself.

    Keith hits upon this idea of membership volume as an inconsequential indicator and I agree. I've posted journals on APC and have seen barely any interaction on those journals. The forums are flooded with the temporary new guy who just wants someone to tell him which light to buy as opposed to the introductory scaper who is interested in being engaged and developing....and most of all sharing that journey with the community. This is what ASW does better than ANY other forum. Lets think of ways we can build upon that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
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  16. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    If we could only encourage new members to stay on and encourage others over the years many members have just drifted away after many replies have helped them, for one reason or another they are not prepared to help other members.

    Its not only happening in this Forum I have seen it happen in other forums not necessarily Aquarium based knowledge.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  17. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    This is a very thoughtful discussion, and one I honestly didn't anticipate. I'm VERY appreciative to hear the positive spirit and energy towards making ASW better. We have a lot of members from the very beginning of ASW in 2007, who are still around (many of them lurkers now - you know who you are *grin*), and many new folks that continue to support and be active members of the site. I appreciate everyone who posts to support and share with each other, and anyone who continues to patron ASW (even as lurkers) despite all of the many social media options out there.

    For anyone not familiar with the history of ASW - This forum was built by hobbyists from the ground up and continues to be that way today. It's run by volunteer hobbyists, and financially supported by hobbyists (i.e. me). It was and still is intended as a global place for aquascapers to come together to discussing this very niche aquatic art form..experts, beginners and skill levels in between. I'm thankful we have a dedicated team of volunteers that offer their personal time to keep up the community and encourage discussions/feedback.

    I have to agree with much of the above - without this venue I don't believe we would have the likes of so many aquascapers develop as they have done. In fact, we've been fortunate this site offers the ability to connect internationally and gain insight and perspectives not otherwise considered.

    I mention all of the above because ASW is a full on community effort and future/purpose is completely depended on you. It will always be what folks want it to be. Help each other, share with each other, and guide each other to make this an aquascaping forum, community, and resource that all can enjoy.

    -John N.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  18. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    John

    I hope to contribute as long as I can, some days its a big strain on my one good eye. The personal satisfaction I get is when a new poster asks for help and you slowly rebuild their Aquascape until every one is very happy with the work they have just completed, then all of a sudden they are offering helpful suggestions to new members.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  19. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks and Amen.

    -John N.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
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  20. Zeus

    Zeus Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Would be happy to help out where I can depending on the level of commitment required also with my limited experience also.

    Was planning on doing a newbie guide to substrates and flow suitable for newbies to follow, being a newbie myself I have recently been though the substrate choice and the reasons for high turnover rates so might be in a good position to put something together which may help others. Might need a proof reading or two but I know a fe gurus on the net who could check it over for me maybe ;)
     
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