Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Man, That Really Bugs Me

Over on Garden Rant, Elizabeth mentioned that Dave's Garden has been sold, as Dave himself explains, or rather, announces, here.

I like Dave's Garden, always have, (it's chock full of good info) but there is a very fine line between like and peeved with me and this site - I like it until I get peeved. My visitation to that particular site has, shall I say, declined in recent times. Why? The membership 'fee'.

I know gardeners - they are some of the most generous, and not just with their knowledge, people on this earth. Most of the time you can't get a gardener to shut up when they've gotten started-forum, blog, face to face, whatever. And that is a very, very good thing for other gardeners, and even (as yet) non-gardeners, alike. Their generosity overfloweth.

Even a garden center or nursey owner wouldn't charge for answering a question or giving insight on growing a certain plant, or any plant for that matter. Gardeners and plant centers simply want you to succeed at the art of growing. But paying for gardening or plant information?
Unless you're buying a book or hiring a landscaper, I don't believe in such a thing!

Yes, I understand that someone, somewhere, has to make money to keep the site running unless they have some really deep pockets. But, to me, it amounts to a gardener holding out their hand and expecting a quarter to be dropped on their dirty little palm each time someone asks about a plant in their yard.

There is no feeling like clicking on some information and being immediately informed that there are a bazillion answers to the question you've just asked, but guess what - you haven't paid, so you're answerless! Ugh!

Since there is a world of free information out there on anything from asters to zinnias, I'll use it.
My personal first gardening commandmend? Thou shalt not payeth if you don't have to! (because you don't have the money to, anyway!)

Rant over.



Colleen said...

Tina, I am SO with you on your commandment! I've thought that with DG, too. It's kind of un-gardener-like (I know, I know, that's not even close to being a word, but you know what I mean!)

MrBrownThumb said...


I was just talking about DG on one of my blogs with someone who was commenting and I have to say that I've never bothered joining because of that fee and I don't recommend that site when asked because of the fee.

I used to co-own a forum (not about gardening) and I know the money that can be generated by just the members clicking ads and plus there are tons of affiliate programs to take advantage of that can help pay the bills. So charging for a forum especially for gardening information just doesn't sit well with me.

Angie said...

Tina, funny you should mention this as I just wrote in my blog about my disappointment with having to PAY for gardening catalogs, which I will not do! I am with you, I wouldn't pay for gardening info when there is a wealth of free info everywhere.

La Gringa said...

I agree completely. It's just not gardener-like!

Tina said...

And here I thought I was going to get slammed for being a cheapskate. Whew!

Un-gardener-like is so a word! Well, so what if it isn't - In my opinion, it fits DG perfectly. Though, not the members - maybe they don't know any better?

Exactly! Now they've gone and gotten someone else to pay the bills, yet the fee remains, and inklings are that it will actually increase. Well, I suppose if you'd rather pay for info than plants themselves, to each their own, I guess. It's still (as far as I know) a free country.

just read your blog, and I so agree! Maybe there's some upper-crusty allure to having to pay for a catalog? Certainly wouldn't be me!

la gringa,
thanks for stopping by, and I'm really glad you agree.

This whole thing makes me hopping mad. (gee, can ya tell?) It's as if you can't really be the gardener you'd like to be, or your garden will always be half-assed if you can't afford to pay to get the answers to be a successful gardener. Bite me, pay-for-info people, bite me! Hmmmm, bet they'll charge for the 'new' site that's planned for the gardener newbies. Another point that gets me totally hot under the collar, but I've ranted enough.

I wonder what would happen if GW went to a pay service. Maybe I should bite my tongue!

Gardenwife said...

I guess I'll have to be the one dissenting view here. I've been an active member there since 2001 and know Dave and Trish.

This is my logic: DG is a forum, but it is also a business. We don't begrudge a subscription fee for gardening magazines, right? They are charging a fee for viewing their articles and information. Some of the magazines have as many ads as they do articles, and yet they still charge a subscription fee.

DG was free for many years. It wasn't greed that motivated Dave and Trish to begin charging a fee; it was first a means of supporting their family and second a deterrent to those who would register only to post spam on the boards. It was not a decision they took lightly.

To me, DG is a wonderful resource - the sheer number of active participants and the site's high search engine ranking makes it one of the best online places to get fast and accurate answers. There is power in numbers, a wisdom in a multitude of counsel.

Sure, there are many free forums, but how many offer a webmaster who constantly tweaks the site in response to member requests, and which contains such diverse and active content, plus high readership?

I don't begrudge DG a subscription fee at all, considering all of that.