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Ideas of simple tasks that anybody can do at anytime to help Permies.com  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Per Paul's request:

create a thread in this forum (tinkering) asking people for ideas of simple tasks that anybody can do at anytime. Stuff for people just getting started.

 
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A few tasks I've been doing are:
--promoting permies on other sites/blog. This link has some really nice "permies.com" buttons to add to your blog or other online presence: http://www.permies.com/t/26632/tnk/Permies-Banner-Buffet-Eat
--working on gathering the information necessary to do book promotions/give-aways here on permies.com (PM me if you are interested in helping out!)
--writing book reviews of books I've already read
--encouraging people to write book reviews when I read a post where someone mentions a good book they've read. I then PM them with this msg:


Hi [insert name here]:
I noticed you mentioned [insert book title here] and I was wondering if you might be willing to write a review of it for permies.com. We are collecting book reviews in this forum, trying to build critical mass: http://www.permies.com/forums/f-83/books

Procedure:
--If there's not a review on the book in question, start a thread with "Review: {insert book name and author}"
--Insert a pic of the book if possible
-- Give the book a rating "X out of 10" (10 being the most wonderful book ever)
-- Write review

Thanks,
[insert your name]



Other things I've seen mentioned are:
--podcast coordinator (someone please provide info on that)
--podcast reviewer/summarizer
 
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Use a spell checker.

Punctuate.

Do a search before creating a new topic.

Report spam.

Don't hijack threads with commercial offers that only vaguely relate to the topic at hand.

Don't post anything that you don't want to see analyzed, ignored, changed, refuted or snickered at.

If you've been told not to do something or that a rule will not change to suit you, don't create a "grievance thread".

Don't address Paul directly in threads where he has not yet posted.
 
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Dale Hodgins wrote:
Don't post anything that you don't want to see analyzed, ignored, changed, refuted or snickered at.



Hmm - not sure about that one. We really want people with ideas to feel able to post without fear of being 'snickered at' and we try to moderate so that people feel safe to share their views.

All the other ideas are spot on though!
 
Dale Hodgins
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They can't hear the snickering. I'll alter it.
----------------
Understand that millions of people may disagree with you. Some of them may respond to your post. -------- I've created topics celebrating high food prices and one where I advocated for the killing of pet livestock to free up farmland for useful pursuits. Believe it or not, some people disagreed with me.
 
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If you think of something that would make this site easier to use or navigate, post it in "tinkering with this site"! I've actually helped draw attention to issues that only more computer-minded folks could fix...and it made my experience here better.

Give thumbs up to good posts.

I'm going to repeat Dale's request: use the search function! It's so nice to have one thread to read on a specific subject, and not twelve.

Ask questions, even ones you think might be "stupid". That's how we all learn (and I learn something from answering your question too).

Post pictures! Especially when dealing with new technologies or designs, I can understand so much more if there's a picture or diagram included.

Tell your friends about us!

 
Cj Sloane
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Encourage others to check out permies.com! I was surprised at how many people doing geoff lawton's Online PDC were not aware of this site.
 
pollinator
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What I am hoping to gather from this thread are tasks that beginner volunteers can assist with at permies.com. I really feel like I want to contribute, but don't really know what to do. Paul's suggestion was to get a thread going that the permies staff would chime in on. Are there tasks that anyone can do? What can we help with?

Jennifer Wadsworth was kind enough to say she would work with me on this task. THANK YOU JEN!

After items have been identified maybe Paul and the staff could prioritize. Not necessary, but maybe worthwhile?

Then we were thinking we could generate some How To's or procedures on completing the tasks. At first I was thinking maybe some of the tasks would be self-explanatory so a How To wouldn't be necessary. But then I read the thread where Paul asked folks to put a Thumbs Up on the post that matched the types of thumb drives people would prefer to order. .

We could post a draft of the How To and the staff could edit / approve before the final one was posted. (Just tossing out thoughts on this. I am not married to any of the ideas).

Also -- really liked Jen's email template for book reviews.

I'll get started making the list -- based on the feedback so far. Keep them coming!
A.J.





 
Cj Sloane
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A.J. Gentry wrote:
I'll get started making the list -- based on the feedback so far. Keep them coming!



If your list of tasks is complicated enough for instructions, I'd suggest making another thread, keeping this thread for this super easy though maybe not obvious tasks.

Then post a link from this, the easy 101 thread, to the Helping permies.com 201 thread.
 
A.J. Gentry
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CJ --

Good suggestion. Makes a lot of sense. Thanks.

A.J.
 
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When permies was growing, I would try to generate new content each day. And then I would spend an hour going to about six forums that I had been to dozens of times in the past to share the new content. That was six out of a list of 30 or so. I would only post to the forum where it would be appropriate. And for each time I posted, i would try to find one other thread where I might answer a question or somehow participate in other discussion. I would then try to find a place that I had never been to before and share there also - but in a way that would be respectful to the site.

I would then spend several hours trying to be creative in finding a a way to get this new tidbit of information into more brains.

After all, while the new content is usually something that isn't yet on the internet, putting the new content up is just 10% of the work. The other 90% of the work is connecting brains to the tidbit of information while being respectful to the other communities out there. The other communities do want the content. There were a lot of places where the site owner told me "please post here as much as you like."

When adrien started, I thought adrien would take over on this, so I shifted my focus to bigger projects, getting new land, cash flow and stuff like that. And then site growth stagnated.



 
paul wheaton
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I think there are two general branches for this thread:

1) stuff to improve the overall quality of permies.com

2) stuff to help connect permaculture stuff to the brains of millions, a few dozen at a time

2.1) I think it is 10 times more important to infect brains with permaculture ideas than it is to get traffic to permies.

2.2) I think when we get people to come to permies, then we can show them a buffet of permaculture ideas.



 
paul wheaton
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1.1) When you see somebody that is a new poster, welcome them.

1.2) when you see a post that is outside of our publishing standards, please click on "report to moderator"

1.3) new people might not yet be familiar with the search stuff, so please try to be helpful and connect them with the answer. A good response is "I used the search and found this _____ - is this the sort of thing you are looking for?"

1.4) With the book review system coming up, I think that could grow into an extremely valuable resource.

 
paul wheaton
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2.3) There are a lot of sites out there where it would be great to develop a relationship. We could run banners for them and they can tell people about us. For example, I think we have a great relationship with TSP and nwedible.
 
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paul wheaton wrote:2.3) There are a lot of sites out there where it would be great to develop a relationship. We could run banners for them and they can tell people about us. For example, I think we have a great relationship with TSP and nwedible.



If I was to approach someone with this offer - what, specifically, would you want in return from them? A permies.com banner on their website or FB page? What about mention of permies.com in a blog roll? Would it just depend on what they're comfortable with?

I assume we would need to run the organization/person/blog/business by you first to see if you think they are a good candidate? Or if not you - someone else?
 
paul wheaton
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I guess it depends on what they feel comfortable with.

We have about six million pageviews per month. A lot of sites might get 70,000 pageviews in a year. If they have a blog, and list us in a blogroll and sometimes blog about our stuff, I would be willing to give their banner a half million impressions.

I am quite willing to give them more than they give us.

The odd thing is that most sites with 70,000 pageviews a year want a million banner impressions from us in exchange for listing us on a "links" page. I kinda feel like the fair trade for a links page link is that we start a thread for them in an appropriate forum.

Remember the permaculture orchard kickstarter? Olivier made links to me in lots of places and was practically singing in the streets about us. So I did lots and lots and lots of stuff for him. Jack has a massive empire and I think I am falling short on giving back to jack. We should do more for jack.

I get people asking me for help every day. I look up their account on permies - there is no account on permies. They are not on the daily-ish email. Their web site has no mention of us in any way. So I ask about developing a relationship. Nearly 100% of the time the answer is that I have an obligation to support them, and my stuff does not meet their standards to be on their site.

It would be great to forward that sort of thing to somebody that might be able to have the long email exchange that leads to a good relationship.

 
paul wheaton
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I assume we would need to run the organization/person/blog/business by you first to see if you think they are a good candidate? Or if not you - someone else?



Maybe. I think there are only a few resources out there that I would steer you clear of.

Another cool thing would be to find those sites that are already supporters and let's show them our gratitude in the form of banners and threads and mention in the daily-ish and stuff.


 
Cj Sloane
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Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:
I assume we would need to run the organization/person/blog/business by you first to see if you think they are a good candidate? Or if not you - someone else?



I've given this some thought, and I've decided to make the links myself and if others higher up the food chain want to make stronger links they will. An example is this thread I just posted to the cider press, Crash On Demand? A Response to David Holmgren with a link back to The Automatic Earth.

And, of course, I've posted a link to permies.com in the comment section of that article.

What happens now? Doesn't matter. I've executed my "simple tasks."
 
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Sorry Paul people ask you for help but offer nothing in return not even helping out publicise this site?
Er is it just me who thinks this odd?

David
 
paul wheaton
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David Livingston wrote:Sorry Paul people ask you for help but offer nothing in return not even helping out publicise this site?
Er is it just me who thinks this odd?

David



I think this is actually the norm. It is rare that somebody contacts me with a proposal that is either close to fair or outright generous to us. Therefore it is my philosophies that are "odd".

Lots of times they are just getting started and want a mention in the daily-ish email. I feel like I am open to the idea of this. But if they go and tell all their friends and family about 30 different things in the empire for a month it probably still won't be even 5% of one of my quick mentions in the daily-ish email.

Further, some of these people authentically hate me. So it's kinda .... awkward. I'm even willing to support a good idea from somebody that hates me, but you gotta work with me at least a little. Can they post about their stuff at permies? Maybe answer some questions on the topic at permies?

The cool thing about Olivier: when he asked me for support, he already had something like 40 posts at permies. HE'S ONE OF US!! He also already had links to permies from his web site.

I like that there is a thread for stuff at permies. When I announce stuff on the daily-ish email, I think people will expect some pictures, maybe some video, and they know how to reply with an existing account.

In fact, for a lot of tiny web sites (or causes) just getting started, I think a thread at permies will do quite a lot. Even if I don't post to the daily-ish email or anything else.

 
David Livingston
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Nope I understand what you are telling me Paul but dont understand the mentality of those people. Its not logical . I did wonder what standards they were on about ?
and why would they hate you ?
You eat pies not children ,you have this amazing web site and its free !
WTF more would they want ?
You even get people to talk nice to each other .
Even I am on bestest behavior and I am so left wing it scares most americans .
One thing that would help me to make better posts would be simple instructions somewhere on how to add photos and "embed" youtube clips videos etc

David

( I also make and eat pies)
 
Burra Maluca
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David Livingston wrote:
One thing that would help me to make better posts would be simple instructions somewhere on how to add photos and "embed" youtube clips videos etc
)



For youtube this link might help. Or it might not. Get the kettle on before you start...
 
paul wheaton
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Its not logical.



I think that logic and reason are inconvenient to 95% of the population.

I think the #1 reason that people hate me is that I will not obey their commands. Rational people give me license to make my own life choices. Less than rational people expect me to do as I am told. And when I choose my own path, they become angry.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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paul wheaton wrote:I think that logic and reason are inconvenient to 95% of the population.

I think the #1 reason that people hate me is that I will not obey their commands. Rational people give me license to make my own life choices. Less than rational people expect me to do as I am told. And when I choose my own path, they become angry.



That was one of the deepest things I've read in a long time - SPOT ON!

 
A.J. Gentry
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David Livingston wrote:
One thing that would help me to make better posts would be simple instructions somewhere on how to add photos and "embed" youtube clips videos etc



David,

I mocked up a document with screen shots to (hopefully) show how you could add pictures to posts. I assumed you are using a PC and not a Mac.

Please let me know if these instructions make it so that you are able to add photos.

If this is helpful I can create something for youtube videos as well.
A.J.
Filename: How-to_Photo.pdf
File size: 240 Kbytes
 
David Livingston
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Thanks AJ
One idea that might generate some ..... Er .... Whats it called .... Oh yes Money for the Empire
Came up here

http://www.permies.com/t/31510/forest-garden/sell-Food-Forest

What do people think ? For people read mostly Paul
David
 
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Take the time to explore old threads buried in the background . When you find one that is excellent and pertinent post a reply so that it becomes current and moves to the forefront .
 
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One thing I resolve to do more is to share relevant and interesting threads on Facebook and to tag all relevant photos with #permies on both Facebook and instagram.

Does anyone else here use instagram? Maybe not. It's pretty popular here and I see permaculture photos from around the world on there.
 
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I can interview Permies.com members, write up their stories, and find other sites that are willing to publish them with a link back to this site. I'm a freelance writer, so this is a big part of what I do for a living. I can handle about two articles per month right now. I would need the people being interviewed to provide photos to include with the articles.
 
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Bethanny Parker wrote:I can interview Permies.com members, write up their stories, and find other sites that are willing to publish them with a link back to this site. I'm a freelance writer, so this is a big part of what I do for a living. I can handle about two articles per month right now. I would need the people being interviewed to provide photos to include with the articles.



Wow - that's a really interesting idea!
 
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As a newbie on this site, I have only one suggestion at this time that would help me out...

If when registering there was a NEWBIE button there that gave 2 choices: 1.) to dive in immediately, OR 2.) (recommended) wade in the shallows of a guided tour of how to navigate the site, and all it's nooks and crannies, I think somewhere in there could be posted a list of things to generally do and not do (Like Dale's list). The newbie button could be there on the main page for anybody new, or relatively new to check out, and refresh themselves on the particular navigation of the site, and then dive in with that much more ease and familiarity. Not that the site is super challenging... I just don't know it well yet. It's Awesome, and I love the folks on it and the info. Thanks Paul and all others for Rocking it out!

Jen. The review you gave of Fukuoka's Planting seeds in the Desert book was really great. I wanted to comment, but was not allowed to. I'm really looking forward to getting a hold of that book. Fukuoka is a hero of mine, and he was the key to opening the door of my world to permaculture.
 
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I'd love to help permies out on my blog/facebook page, but I would probably want to wait until I get a bit more traffic. It's a new site and I only have about 200 "likes" on facebook. But once I can get some more people in, I'd be happy to write a blog post! (I'd do it now, but I'm just afraid it won't infect enough people)

Last weekend, I shared Paul's keynote speech video from the S. California Permaculture Convergence and it got a like!
 
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wayne stephen wrote:Take the time to explore old threads buried in the background . When you find one that is excellent and pertinent post a reply so that it becomes current and moves to the forefront .




Bump! I love this idea, it seems in line with good permaculture thinking too that sometimes the most overlooked resource is the best one.

I took a peak at the zero-replies link (which is such a great idea !!!) one time and found an awesome thread about biodynamics applications with healing animals, and it looked practical and there was reality-testing in there, so that really brought the conversation forward. I didn't have time to finish reading that post, but hopefully I'll find it again and reply to it.

I'm not making any commitments, but I'll likely do this task, and even if I don't have good answers for people I can at least bump their thread and then someone with more knowledge might see it. Or maybe I can post a link to another thread if I come across one that answers their question.

On another forum I'm on there's a way to see when new members arrive, if there's a thing for that on permies I may try to greet new people too. I'd rather not make a commitment and not keep it so I underpromise.
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
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I think this sort of goes under this heading, though it might be better if it had some discussion and clarification ahead of time.


Jargon translator, More-informative Names, FAQ's?

Just a few brainstorms for things that could enhance this site and its service of its purpose

--a jargon translator page linked from every page, for people who don't know. Every group on the planet develops jargon, it just happens, and it can have people feel alienated or at least a bit confused. What's a hugelkultur? what's a rocket mass heater? what does "permaculture" mean? what's a "sepp holzer" and what do I "Holz" with it? do I need one of these? if I don't have it does that mean I have to do the pig's work? is a chinquapin something I plug up cracks with in my cob house? or do I hang my laundry to air-dry on it?

If you're someone who's been at this for a while and you know what these are, you might forget that the term isn't self-explanatory. To the layperson, a "rocket mass heater" sounds like I'm going into outer space, or like something dangerous. A '"heat your home with 1/10th the wood" stove' is clearer. It's not just clearer what it is, it even tells me how big an improvement it is! Specificity is so awesome and clear and compelling and motivating. "Water capturing and soaking-into-the-soil ditch" is explanatory. Maybe this could even be a function or "app" that you mouse over? does anyone know Java here haha?

--Maybe changing the names of things (I know, there'd be hurdles to overcome) over time in the context to be more understandable, and habitually calling it a "heating my home with 1/10th the wood-er" all the time--at least in the title of a thread. Or maybe the whole section could be titled with an explanation added--e.g., "rocket mass heaters (heaters that heat with 1/10th the wood and use sticks) Forum" It may seem like a little thing, but it contributes to flow, removes another barrier. Web usability researchers look at the decision-points where a user feels it's too much trouble to click through and gives up a search, and it really is a lot of little things. Kind of like getting the little kinks out of your permaculture setup can eventually unblock a logjam and have a big flow. Multiple the the effect by is it 1,000,000 visitors a month, and that could be significant increase.

--And I've been thinking an FAQ would be a great thing (Frequently Asked Questions: Can you do permaculture in a cold climate? do you have to give up your comforts and wear sack-cloth to be a permaculturist? if this is so easy, why haven't people been doing in every corner of the planet for millennia (haha)? does doing permaculture get you in trouble with the law? I don't know what people wonder about, but we could have a thread for people to throw in frequently encountered questions as they run into them.

The difference between the FAQ and the jargon translator would be that the jargon translator / glossary is just to define terms, and the FAQ might get into matters of opinion and so be harder to set up with unanimity. Also, there's definitely an advantage to having a richness of diverse perspectives about what the answers to the frequent questions are, and to have simultaneous invention from many viewpoints all over the globe. Someone may create something new because they don't know how you're "supposed" to do it. I wouldn't want to damage that, but on the other hand some questions would seem to be helpful to have answered. Probably depends on the question. Decentralization and redundancy do make a strong and vibrant culture.

In my experience, it is all working out just fine, I learn what a term means when I really need to know, and over time I am finding my way around here, because I'm so inspired about permaculture and because everyone is very welcoming. These ideas are just a possible add-on to that, so that' my three cents that I wanted to throw at there.

These are tasks anyone could take on at any time, anyone could start a thread. Oh, oops, maybe there already is one, I didn't search, but if there is it's buried. Once it got going and looks useful then someone could make a link to it or a mouse-over-magic thingy as a next stage.

Keep calm and permaculture on!

 
steward
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I know this post is a little bit old but I am going to try to revive it. I really love some of the ideas to come out of this thread and want to hear more! I am going to be working on implementing some of these and actually giving these tasks to volunteers! So if people could keep flushing out more task ideas it would be FABULOUS!

Here are some other ideas to help permies.com and help the movement of permaculture:

- write articles on appropedia
- edit articles on appropedia
- write podcast summaries
- make a list of 100 websites that we could build a relationship with
- install alexa rank and go to permies.com and richsoil.com every single day (this radically improves alexa rank)


So please everyone keep coming up with ideas! I know there are people out there that want to help, we just have to give them specific tasks.
 
Let nothing stop you! Not even this tiny ad:
Two part roundwood timber framing workshop sep 24-29 and oct 1-5
https://permies.com/t/91267/permaculture-projects/part-roundwood-timber-framing-workshop
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