Global Swadeshi

because one world is plenty

Accessing Self-Sufficiency Information on Appropedia - We Need Your Thoughts!

Appropedia wants to provide better access to existing self-sufficiency information while promoting easier participation and interaction by users. We would like to get your feedback about structuring access to self-sufficiency information.

Currently, there is a lot of interest in self-sufficiency. My observations (unscientific) across various blogs and social media have identified two broad user groups (if there are more, let me know). One group approaches self-sufficiency as an ideal lifestyle, attempting to bring all activities under the self-sufficiency umbrella. In this group we find idealists, researchers, observers, and so on. They look from the outside in and would be likely to go to a self-sufficiency page or portal and then try to find the sub-topic (for example, self-sufficient agriculture, self-sufficient home building, and so on) that suits their needs. In other words, self-sufficiency is considered before designing, planning, building, and so on.

The second group incorporates self-sufficiency into what they do as they do it or after the project is started or complete. If they are already building a clinic or planting a crop, they consider the task and incorporate self-sufficiency where it makes sense to do so. These users are likely to approach self-sufficiency after they decide what they want to do. While self-sufficiency may be a priority, it is not always the first consideration and in some cases will occur long after the original project is complete.

We are assuming you (both groups) want access to self-sufficiency information. The following questions will help us prioritize and design a structure to help you find or contribute self-sufficiency information. Please take a few moments to answer them and to provide us any additional input you feel will help us:

Describe how will you look for self-sufficiency information?


How do you want self-sufficiency information integrated with the subject you are researching (lighting, building, water supplies, medical clinics, agriculture, etc.)?


Describe how you would use a portal or page that provides a single place to find self-sufficiency information about a number of topics.



Please provide us any other comments you feel would enhance our access to self-sufficiency information in Appropedia. Here is the current self-sufficiency page URL: http://www.appropedia.org/Self-sufficiency

Thanks,

Preston

Views: 10

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Preston,

Recently I was looking at Appropedia for an answer to the question, How can I generate in rural Nigeria enough electricity to power a small computer center. I was disappointed (see Electricity) that I couldn't find any practical information and did better just searching the web on my own.

Might you have a way to navigate your pages in terms of practical questions like that? Given a goal like "generate X watts of electricity" can you break it down into ranges and show the solutions in each range with their advantages and disadvantages? I think that would be helpful for me and others.

Also, I and my lab Minciu Sodas are currently working for Leon Benjamin to engage UK online communities on behalf of Mornflake cereal and their online video contest. We're providing, for free, twenty or so hours by our online assistants such as Sasha Mrkailo who is active here. Please let us know of UK online communities that would like such support, would like to help each other and would allow us to acknowledge Mornflake as we do help. We're pioneering a new way to support our online work and include a sponsor like Mornflake.
Thank you Andrius for your feedback. I will add this to our list of considerations.

Regarding the development opportunities, I'll forward that to Chris.

Thanks,

Preston
Recently I was looking at Appropedia for an answer to the question, How can I generate in rural Nigeria enough electricity to power a small computer center. I was disappointed (see Electricity) that I couldn't find any practical information and did better just searching the web on my own.

We'd love to see that kind of thing, of course. We (i.e. the Appropedia community, including the Appropedia Foundation and any interested person) are doing our best to build the content and improve the site so people can do this kind of search.

On the tech side, I believe semantic features would enable these kind of searches. We're looking for help with adding these (probably a selective use of Semantic MediaWiki) in a way that would be compatible with the WYSIWYG editing that we're trialling. If anyone can help, we'd love to hear from you. Anyone with PHP or MediaWiki experience, or the willingness to learn, would be able to help.
Chris, Thank you for your reply.

I'm interested to think how we might work together.

Minciu Sodas and Worknets are in the Public Domain, except where content notes otherwise. I'm sad that Appropedia and many other sites are not. CC-BY-SA is one of the most regressive licenses there is, and conflicts with the Public Domain even more than regular copyright. I believe it's a dead end!

You're welcome to use our materials. That way our materials stay in the Public Domain. But if I or others work at your site, that won't be the case. So how might we best work together, how might you make the most of our work?
Hi Andrius,

I don't follow why you say "CC-BY-SA... conflicts with the Public Domain even more than regular copyright." Creative Commons licenses can't add any restrictions to copyright, but rather share some of the rights owned by the copyright holder.

There's a good case for using copyleft (i.e. "ShareAlike" clause) to ensure continued sharing, as people (for reasons of commercial interest, fear, or laziness) are otherwise likely to reuse the content but then not share back. E.g. see Share-alike prevents commercial annexation. I'm sure you've heard this argument before, but I'm not clear on why you so strongly prefer the public domain.
Describe how will you look for self-sufficiency information?

I would look for that information in the context of what I am searching. For instance, I have an idea that it would be good to have electric and water self-sufficiency (although both electric and water are locally available from the community). To look for that information, I would get an idea of what I wanted (solar photovoltaic for instance) and then search that on the internet for the best stuff available. Same thing if I was looking for wind generators. I'd use a search engine to see what was the best thing available inside the range of search I can do.


How do you want self-sufficiency information integrated with the subject you are researching (lighting, building, water supplies, medical clinics, agriculture, etc.)?

The self-sufficiency information should just be one of the options available in the context of what I am building. It would be best, of course, if it was the option that made the most sense from a cost/benefits point of view.


Describe how you would use a portal or page that provides a single place to find self-sufficiency information about a number of topics.

It is very likely I would not go to a self-sufficiency portal and search around in there, but rather do a general search on the net and if the portal came up with good fitting information, I would gladly consider it. If it didn't come up, I probably would not know about it.
Thanks Sepp for the detailed response. Your contribution will help us improve availability of self-sufficiency information.

preston
Hi Preston,

Who is your audience? The way you describe it sounds like "anyone who is interested in self-sufficiency".

If I am trying to become more self-sufficient as a suburban dweller in a (post?) industrialised country, then what I am looking for is considerably different than if I am a slum dweller in Mumbai.

I get the feeling, when I read the Appropedia, that it is a mishmash of articles aimed at every possible audience at the same time. I think this weakens the Appropedia to the point of it being ineffective.

I, am of course biased. But I think a narrower approach with a more aggressive focus helps creating good content. Maybe you should pick areas where you have good contact networks and push, prod, beg, connive friends and acquaintances into populating that part of the portal with all the great material which it should have.

RSS

Badge

Loading…

© 2014   Created by Vinay Gupta.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service