Recruiting new BCSS members from Reddit

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HaoBao
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Recruiting new BCSS members from Reddit

Post by HaoBao » Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:21 am

I read a comment from Colin, the president of the BCSS, on a different post saying that membership renewals might be down because of Covid, lockdown, delivery issues etc.. and it made me think I’d ask here again if anyone uses Reddit or is aware of the cactus and succulent community on Reddit?

Reddit is what started my interest in succulents, from browsing the general pages there, sometimes, something from www.reddit.com/r/succulents would be so popular it entered the general feed of random news, events etc.. for that day. After seeing these posts and joining r/succulents as it’s referred to there I saw all the different types of plants that I could grow and collect and it led to me visiting the Birmingham Branch show in 2018 and getting hooked.

Near the start of the year I requested control of www.reddit.com/r/bcss and got it, but I haven’t pushed it or advertised the bcss through it, mainly because I’m just a member, (for some reason it still shows me as a guest) and haven’t got any authority to act in your name.

Since I joined the succulent group there, probably just over 2 years ago, the members have grown from about 180,000 to 372,000 now. The uksucculents group ( www.reddit.com/r/uksucculents ) has grown from about 3,000 to 6,800 members in the last 8 months too.

There are regulars there who are mad about cacti and succulents and I’ve been surprised a couple of times recently that they are so into the hobby but yet they haven’t heard of the BCSS. Which is a shame because I think the Reddit people could use your collective knowledge and the BCSS could probably benefit from new enthusiastic members.

I suppose I should add some photos to make it more interesting haha

Edit: Why does it always rotate the pictures?
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All my plants are kept indoors and I started collecting in August 2018. Favourites are Pachyphytum, Echeveria, Haworthia, Mesembs and oddball Cacti.
edds
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Re: Recruiting new BCSS members from Reddit

Post by edds » Sun Dec 27, 2020 8:12 am

Never used it and just had a look and found it utterly bewildering but I hav signed up and joined the BCSS page and then tried to post up a photo and failed miserably to work it out! (Very little sleep thanks to nearly 1 year old daughter!). Will work it out later.

I would have thought, if you are offering to administer the page and as long as you agreed to post up what was requested that the society would snap you hands off as it is free publicity with no extra work! I notice there isn't a social media officer listed on the website and the marketing post appears empty (though I think that page isn't up to date).

Perhaps emailing Ian Thwaites directly about it might be a good idea in case he doesn't see this post on here?
Ed

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Terry S.
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Re: Recruiting new BCSS members from Reddit

Post by Terry S. » Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:09 pm

A majority of BCSS members are rather ancient like me and to a large extent have no interest in social media. Even if they have, it is probably confined to Facebook, which no youngster would want to be seen viewing by his or her peers.

However, even I would concede that social media have a vital part to play in getting potential new and younger members to get interested in Society activities. Portsmouth Branch doubled its active membership a couple of years ago because one member was versed in using social media and made good use of them. I also believe that the particular member has also has done some tutoring on the topic at a more national level. However, her name is not mentioned in any of the Society publications so presumably she is not available to consult generally on these matters. I could find no mention of a social media co-coordinator and the Marketing Officer position is vacant.

I have been told that frequent postings are needed to maintain interest so if anyone such as you HaoBao can make contributions on a platform such as Reddit, I think that it would be a great service to the Society
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MatDz
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Re: Recruiting new BCSS members from Reddit

Post by MatDz » Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:32 pm

I suppose mentioning BCSS from time to time on the r/uksucculents (or even r/succulents) couldn't hurt, but running, and keeping alive, a separate subreddit (subgroup) is quite a substantial workload.

Edit: Terry replied while I was writing my comment, and he said it all in his last paragraph.
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D^L
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Re: Recruiting new BCSS members from Reddit

Post by D^L » Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:50 pm

I largely agree with Terry, but I would point out that there is a huge and very active community of C&S enthusiasts on conventional social media platforms (Facebook, twister, instahram etc). Many of them members of the society and some posters here too.
I am not familiar with reddit, but engaging with it sounds good and volunteers are also good.
Contacting Ian Thwaites so it is integrated and on brand would be the best way forward.
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David Lambie
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Colin Walker
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Re: Recruiting new BCSS members from Reddit

Post by Colin Walker » Tue Dec 29, 2020 6:06 am

Like Terry I too am well past my sell by date although as yet I wouldn't describe myself as being ancient. :shock: :shock: :shock:

Age is very much a part of what's being discussed here.

I bought my wife a copy of How to Adult for Christmas and I've read it before she has. BTW between us we have quite a pile of new and indeed secondhand books to read. My birthday also comes just before Christmas, and the birthday fairy also bought books. I also have a 1,000 piece cactus jigsaw puzzle and a tree ID game that includes a baobab.

Anyhow, back to being an Adult. This book told me some stuff I already knew, but other takes on growing up and older were newish.

On the social media front, Terry's already said that youngsters, i.e. those not even trying to be Adult, wouldn't now be seen dead on FB. I have an account there but haven't posted for years. So maybe I'm not as old as I feel sometimes. :grin:

I also have an Instagram account where I browse daily but never post. I love following our local takeaway, David Attenborough, Kew Gardens, Karoo Botanic Gardens, Hortus Botanicus (Amsterdam), Monty Don and his dogs, etc. etc.

In contrast I've never gone anywhere near SnapChat, Twitter or Reddit. But the BCSS should be engaged on all these platforms in a formal way and indeed we are in some/most of them.

So, we do need guys who are still on the path but not yet reaching Adulthood to engage with this digital stuff. Reddit sounds great, but it's not for me 'cos I'm well and truly Adult, or more or less.

BTW, non-Adults apparently eat too much pizza, chocolate and spend all night on devices. Well, I do like chocolate and Santa was kind on that front too. :grin: With lockdown and all the extra cooking we've been doing in house instead of dining at our favourite cafes and restaurants, we've increased our pizza intake. So lockdown has in this respect at least made us younger. :grin:
Cheers,
Colin

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HaoBao
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Re: Recruiting new BCSS members from Reddit

Post by HaoBao » Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:16 am

I did contact Ian Thwaites regarding this early in the year and he thought it was a good idea to promote the society and I don’t mind helping out with it as much as I can but I wanted whatever it was called to be approved in some way. I think the first hurdle to start with back then was deciding on a name to use as the BCSS has a few different identities going on with CactusWorld, CactusSucculent and BCSS and I think Bill Hildyard was going to look into it. Since then, unfortunately, someone else has registered and started using the name ‘cactusworld’ on Reddit so that’s not available unless we ask the person to hand it over. I don’t know who they are or if they are aware of the BCSS. I haven’t tried to contact them but they are active on the site so they should be contactable. (For what it’s worth the name cactusworld doesn’t seem quite right to me to cover all the types of plants. Was the Succulent part of BCSS added afterwards? I’m sorry I don’t know the history of it. It seems like it would have been a cactus society, hence cactusworld started and then succulents was added on after)

Reddit is the only social media I like to use, and I only use the App version on my phone. The website version isn’t very nice to be honest. The good things about it are that it can be as anonymous as you like, unlike Facebook. It also has a nice order to it, unlike Twitter. The whole site is ordered by votes and breaks down into sections, so if you looked on the cactus section www.reddit.com/r/cactus you can see the most popular post of the day, week, month etc.. and if you look at the posts the comments are ordered using a voting system so good comments tend to appear at the top, for example if someone calls a euphorbia a cactus they can be downvoted to oblivion. Instagram is nice for photos but I tend to find the comments are basic and shallow. This BCSS forum seems like the opposite of Instagram, the comments usually come from very knowledgeable experienced people, unless the topic veers towards politics etc.. but for uploading and viewing photographs and videos it is lacking. Reddit is a like a blend of all the good aspects of each.

The section or subreddit I registered before was www.reddit.com/r/bcss if you would like to have a look? (British Cactus and Succulent Society had too many letters for the title). I noticed Edds post on there (I’m not sure what happened with the Google photo, I use the Reddit App and upload photos and videos straight from my phone) Each subreddit can have multiple moderators so it doesn’t have to be the job of one person to oversee what’s going on there. And for the content, allowing anyone to view and post content would open the way for novices, and potential new members, to ask for an ID, or ask for advice on soil etc... Posts can also be cross posted which is a good way to get people to notice and visit your section. An example would be say someone posts a picture of a plant or an advert for an event to r/bcss, they then cross post it to r/succulents where there are 380,000 members or r/cactus with 102,000. Anyone looking at those sections can then see where the post came from and are more likely to check the content on r/bcss and therefore more likely to see reasons to join the society.

In terms of looking after a subreddit I don’t think there is that much work involved. Like this forum some posts can be stickied to the top, but as anyone can post, and the posts get sorted by the voting system, it pretty much looks after itself.
Plant sales: www.CentralSucculents.etsy.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/CentralSucculents
Reddit: www.reddit.com/u/CentralSucculents

All my plants are kept indoors and I started collecting in August 2018. Favourites are Pachyphytum, Echeveria, Haworthia, Mesembs and oddball Cacti.
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MatDz
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Re: Recruiting new BCSS members from Reddit

Post by MatDz » Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:28 am

HaoBao wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:16 am
The website version isn’t very nice to be honest. The good things about it are that it can be as anonymous as you like, unlike Facebook. It also has a nice order to it, unlike Twitter. The whole site is ordered by votes and breaks down into sections, so if you looked on the cactus section www.reddit.com/r/cactus you can see the most popular post of the day, week, month etc.. and if you look at the posts the comments are ordered using a voting system so good comments tend to appear at the top, for example if someone calls a euphorbia a cactus they can be downvoted to oblivion.
The description of Reddit above is quite simplistic, but I guess it carries the right message. Just worth mentioning is the ordering can be done by date as well, and people in general tend to downvote comments they do not agree with, not the ones that are factually wrong, or simple questions or mistakes like calling an Euphorbia a cactus :mrgreen: which then discourages new users to post or comment at all, so a huge effort goes into keeping this in check.
HaoBao wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:16 am
[...]
In terms of looking after a subreddit I don’t think there is that much work involved. Like this forum some posts can be stickied to the top, but as anyone can post, and the posts get sorted by the voting system, it pretty much looks after itself.
Just playing the devil's advocate here, but I think you massively underestimate the need to keep the social media channel active to get new users and keep the old ones, especially at the beginning. Reddit is a sort of discussion board, so people have to comment under posts for other people to even bother posting. And then, after reaching the "critical user mass" for it to stay alive without much effort, the moderation becomes a huge burden.

On the name, BCSS seems perfect as this is the Society's acronym, not sure how the "Cactus.Succulent" on Facebook happened, and a "CactusWorld" is the journal title, so also not ideal.
Mat
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Paul D
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Re: Recruiting new BCSS members from Reddit

Post by Paul D » Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:24 am

Well done for setting up the reddit group. I joined it (AylosteraRebutia) but it won't let me post a picture. So I tried posting just text but it comes back "your post must contain flair". But there are no suitable flair words. I don't seem to be able to add flair words. Clear as mud! I think I need a 14 year old to help me out.
Paul in North-east Scotland (Grampian Branch BCSS)
National Collection Rebutia, Aylostera & Weingartia (inc. Sulcorebutia). Also growing a mixture including Ferocactus, Gymnocalycium, Lobivia, Mammillaria, Asclepiads, Lithops, Crassula, Gasteria, Haworthia.
http://www.rebutia.org.uk
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Colin Walker
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Re: Recruiting new BCSS members from Reddit

Post by Colin Walker » Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:48 am

Paul D wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:24 am
Well done for setting up the reddit group. I joined it (AylosteraRebutia) but it won't let me post a picture. So I tried posting just text but it comes back "your post must contain flair". But there are no suitable flair words. I don't seem to be able to add flair words. Clear as mud! I think I need a 14 year old to help me out.
Great to know Paul that I'm not the only Adult here who hasn't a clue what a "flair" word is. :shock:

I won't be flairing, that's for sure, 'cos I need to go to bed way too early (i.e. before midnight) to give up screen time for flairing. :shock: :shock: :shock:

So HaoBao enjoy flairing, having cornflakes for lunch with a side of chocolate and make sure you don't hit the sack before 3.00am at the earliest. Otherwise you'll be with the rest of us old codgers, i.e. you'll have reached Adulthood with a high degree of Adultness. :grin: :grin: :grin:
Last edited by Colin Walker on Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Colin

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