xxxxo all, new user here. I have found this BB very easy to use, and quite accessible. I think it is a wonderful idea, a great way for RHS members and anyone interested enough to visit the website to discuss the shows and also share gardening knowledge and ideas. I would love to come to this BB and read posts from other gardeners, ask questions and perhaps help others (although I'm a bit of a novice!). I do have a few suggestions:
* Is it possible for users of the BB to start a new topic themselves? I have found it a little frustrating to find the slightly parochial attitude that permeates the RHS lingering in the BB. Perhaps you would get more registered users if it didn't feel like the society was trying to dictate what was discussed. For a good example, try looking at the Rotten Tomatoes website, which has extensive forums which are largely user-led. I don't know the url off the top of my head, but typing rottentomatoes/forums should get you there by hook or by crook.
* The forums seem to cover a very narrow spectrum of topics. Shows. Shows. The website. Climate change. How about Fruit? Vegetables? Trees? Gardens open to the public? The RHS gardens? Perennials? Cacti? Annuals? Books? DVD's? TV and Radio? I'm sure others also have lots of ideas. Gardening presenters, Magazines, Events, Allotments, Local Socities......Does anyone else have suggestions?
*I can't comment on the link from the home page as I don't remember seeing it when I logged on - I only saw the link when I was searching for advice on Dahlia tubers (which I didn't find, incidentally, which is why I came to the BB). However, it should be easily accessible from the home page.
* The BB has the potential to really include those members (or anyone that wants to register) feel that they can play a part a part in the society. We can't all be nursery owners, or professional horticulturalists, or designers, or professors of botany, or the owner of a large estate. Most of us have small suburban gardens which we try to transform into our own little paradise after work, or at the weekend, whenever we can, fitting our passion in between work, and children, and all the other boring things one must do before one is able to get into the garden. I would like to think the society is committed to reaching out to us.
On a more positive note, I would like to compliment the moderator of this BB, who seems very diligent and replies frequently, more than I have seen on other BB's. Keep it up!