This is tough to explain quickly. But lets just imagine we want to create a resource that is grassroots community driven gathering and organizing of information My take on this is a community would be best served by focusing on the food cycle and health The resource could be organized by a fairly extensive utilization of outlining a large amount of categories so that people can find things by subject and not relying on Wikipedia search by term A map is basically what I am suggesting I do have a site that is not pretty and is just text, but I feel the layout of the menus and some of the information give a pretty good idea of where the site is aiming to go
A simple example of part of how it would work is that you develop the mapping functions with menus you then just list a good podcast episode that is relevant to the topic listed Sorry if this a pretty limited attempt at an explanation I have spent 5 years on focusing on the project so I do feel my understanding the intricacies of this idea, but explaining quickly remains a challenge
I build websites and have thought of this too. It's an enormous amount of work though for one or two people to put together. For community driven there's an issue of quality and consistency. You would have to develop a workflow so that everything can be checked by other people to keep up a standard. Organization and features for that amount of data would be a trick. That and if it ends up being huge and wildly popular, then there's a whole slew of new concerns including costs to run such a site. Your database has to be optimized and if it gets big enough, has to be split up onto different servers. Wikimedia, the software behind wikipedia, has it's limitations as far as features and navigation sucks as it's meant to be pages found via search engine or internal search because navigation for that amount of data is near impossible to design. Three or four clicks is the general rule, anything past that and people can't be bothered or will just get lost. Same with almost any pre-made system. None of them are built to do it all. Now we need a custom built web application. The cost of that would run into 5 figures. There's some distributed network systems that negate most of the huge single database and server load concerns but they're mainly for social networking and none of them are lickety split installations that work on cheap, shared hosting. Plus, with a distributed system, you lose control of consistency and quality.
The internet itself is the largest community driven dataset there is and most anything can be found. It's mostly a matter of knowing how to search and get quality results but sadly, what should be such a basic understanding of using the internet as a resource, isn't something a lot of people have a grasp of. That and profit based concerns tend to have more exposure than quality because they have the knowledge and put the effort into being seen. It's kind of the way of the world.
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posted 1 year ago
I appreciate the response and your expressing that this is an idea you have considered. I very much appreciate your advice on the digital hurdles in terms of capacity of large amounts of data. I agree and have considered the workflow question and standardization and fact checking systems
My response is not going to be so much about the goals, and technical hurdles of my site but rather how the goal of the site is to activate a community or communities through the organizing of information in a largely digital format A big part of this equation will be what information will have value now or in the near future. Value can be a loaded term, but lets just say health and access to healthy food is intrinsically related to value for humans Perhaps I did not mention the sites focus is food and health and maybe this tempers the overwhelm of data question a bit. Anyway the equation I am suggesting is any community who creates it's own open sourced collection of relevant information on food and health has an economic advantage over other communities who will pay for it from entities outside that community Additionally the process any given community would go through in the organization of such a database would create relationships basically outside of the market and regulatory paradigm and might be a key to snap the spell our minds seem to be under in the current paradigm
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