For example, which types of topics would interest you:
1. science-related facts and research including distillation, farming, composition and analysis, journal articles, discussion of species differences, how geography effects scent, etc. Would you be willing to look for info on the Internet to share?
2. storage and usage including how to care for and age oils, where to buy products, personal application habits, coworker’s reactions, etc
3. philosophical and socio-cultural ideas and information- how oud is used in different countries and cultures; why we like oud, etc
4. oud as a perfume oil- blending with other essential oils, how natural oud compares with Western oud fragrances, etc
5. oud as a business- oud agriculture, marketing and promotion issues
6. product reviews and “what should I buy next”. Just a personal note- I’d be interested in reviews that described a particular oil, but not in reviews that threw around a bunch of superlatives or derogatory adjectives
7. What else?
Should all of topics be on the same thread, or should there be different threads for each of them?
Are there certain topics or behaviors you’d like to see “off limits”. Obvious ones, for example, would be insulting another member or pitching one's own product.
Would you want the group to be open to all, or by invitation only?
Should sellers be allowed to participate?
Just some things to think about.
What happened to our Agarwood oil discussion thread??
I would like to discuss all of the above except oud as a business. I think this is what got the thread in trouble before. I would like more reviews of particular ouds.
See Mr P's post, AZsmells.
Personally, I think all of the proposed sub-topic ideas are great.
I think that having separate threads for the different sub-topics (under the Oud umbrella) is a good way to keep things focused and organized. The varying sub-topics would each likely see different levels of interest, participation, and passion, but it just seems like a more controllable way to proceed, rather than one blanket thread, as was the case (for the most part) before.
All topic suggestions are welcome and anyone should feel free to start a thread.
Aside from the obvious, I'm kind of wondering where the old thread "went wrong". Maybe it's just tough to carry on a thoughtful and fulfilling discussion when people have such different interests and levels of experience. I agree that having different subtopics might be helpful. Breaking things into more specific topics might attract different participants with shared interests and might keep the discussions more focused.
I like the topics!
Stuigi said we need volunteer moderators. These would have to be people who are willing to be firm and subjected to a little flak if they try to redirect inappropriate posts.
MrP- YOU know, better than most, why finding volunteer moderators might be hard.
Thanks Bluemoon for your great suggestion about the subcategories which seem to be quite comprehensive already. You had mentioned that you were wondering where the old thread "went wrong" and I think it did because of the product reviews! For while they might be useful for someone who is tying to asses what to buy next or just simply curious about a certain product others take issues with certain reviews because they are simply different than theirs or because they might feel that the reviewer is biased toward one vendor or the other. That is why I would humbly suggest to isolate the product review on a separate Thread where vendors are not allowed or simply not allowed to comment and maybe a certain decorum or format followed for reviews (staying away from throwing around a bunch of superlatives or derogatory adjectives:-) . Otherwise I would also recommend that the reminder of the categories be kept together simply for the ease of use and for the economy of time. Certain issues will ebb and flow according to the collective interest of the Group., just as in life. Additionally it will be very difficult not to over lab between subcategories, as an example we could be discussing Oud as chips for burning and someone would ask if there is an oil that smells like the chip burning and next thing we are talking about Indian ouds! There was something exciting about the dynamism of the follow of the previous thread.
I think sellers should be allowed on the thread specially if they're clearly identified but will not be allowed in the product review area as I mentioned above. They give us, consumers and enthusiast, an angle and a point of view that we might not be privy to and personally I like knowing a little bit about the Business of Agarwood from the vendor, distiller and growers point of view. It is all part of my curiousty about Oud. and finally and this is meant in good spirit is that may be we should stay away from cynicism because it kind of poisons the atmosphere.
Those are all good points, masstika. I agree that the reviews were problematical for the reasons you said. Sticking to a particular format, as I noticed you sometimes did in your own reviews, could solve that.
I hope more people chime in. We're being given the chance to reassess what we'd like in terms of organization and content. These should reflect the desires of the majority, IMHO.
I would go for no 1 since so many myth that related to this holy wood also for no 3. Safer for the thread let alone promotion outside the thread. Google is huge area.
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