I am well versed in the forum genre, but not extremely up to date in permaculture issues.
I honestly can't believe that there is not a beginners forum where lowly indiviuals ask stupid questions that are greatfully answered by unfortunatley nice and possibly time unconstrained individuals. I am also surprised that there isn't a more specific geographical tinge to the forums. I understand that permaculture can work "almost" anywhere but the ideas that pertain to differing geographical and climactic locations should certainly be priority one in my humble opinion.
As a sight for great knowledge on these subjects I suppose you are winning but as an electronic library type forum, I think you are losing a battle.
I am new so maybe my ignorance is the problem, but please someone guide me to the way out of this conundrum; if it exists.
The thing that strikes me about the regional/geographical idea is, there are people here from all over the world with various climates and growing conditions which may be very similar, though they live in different geographical zones. So questions tend to be about conditions ("hot,dry" "cool, moist" etc) rather than about regions or geography.
That's very true H and maybe the regional issueis not as simple as I first may have assumed. There could possibly be something refering to certain zones though so that people looking for information in deserts could avoid some references to strongly wintered habitats. Just a suggestion though, and definitely something that at first glance seemed more straight forward; as is often the case.
The newcomer thing I still feel stands though, most forums I've been on have atleast some small area for people coming fresh to the information. With so much information out there it can be very intimidating to begin to climb that mountain. Also the majority of people on here are seemingly very intelligent and often times the conversations get so specific and precise that it takes far longer to just get a general grasp of topics.
I just feel that it could be counterproductive to growing the community if there isn't some place for the less inclined and far less experienced to dip there toes in. Maybe I haven't looked close enough but there doesn't seem to be a FAQ anywhere and that can always be helpful to beginners and it also avoids some amount of post redundancy. I'm sure the Mods have plenty of other things to do with there time so I'm not trying to step on any toes. Just throwing out some info coming from someone looking to enter the community.
Ok I've descovered a bit after doing a couple days of looking around and reading on this site.
First thing is that permies.com is not the first thing that pops up when you google things like permaculture forum or the like. You are directed to permies.com's forum but you miss the actual opening page of permies.com; I would suggest linking to the permies.com page from the peries forum with a reason of why to go there. Even clicking the home button brings you to the home of the forum.
I feel like what most resembles a FAQ is the topics and articles section of the permies.com home and this is information that is unnecessarily hidden due to whatever is happening in google search. Don't wate your time blaming google, cuz I'm pretty sure they have "bigger" problems to think about. But I do feel like you should be responding to the environment around you and building your site to suit- pretty sure this makes sense to anyone involved in permaculture.
Sorry to keep wining but I do feel like you are losing a big segment of atleast faux permaculturalists because of simple ease of use problems.
I have found your site easy enough to root through but that doesn't meant that there aren't thousands of people who don't feel they have the time or energy to invest.
Also now that I'm thinking about it and not to be a total dick but I really feel like a subsection for city dwellers is very important. I am biased because I live in the city -though hopefully not for too long. But the bulk of humanity is running towards citiies and -just to prove I have been reading I understand that Paul Wheaton is not much of a city fella- there are plenty of us out here looking for advice on shaping our communities around sustainable plant/earth based agriculture. Once again you are if not ignoring, atleast not targeting urban issues. Also once again I promise I'm not trying to kick up dirt I just want any community I belong to to be the best that I can help it to be.
I'm of another camp on more sub-sections, for instance frugality = repurposing. In the homesteading section just a tag word urban and the ability to subscribe to a thread would keep one in touch with new additions or comments for city dwellers. There are plenty of cross urban/rural issues that are contained in that homesteading category and size or scale, whether an apartment patio or acres of property are shared there.
Our inability to change everything should not stop us from changing what we can.
Keep in mind Paul has a lot on his plate and probably won't be doing a FAQ any time soon (or ever).
Also, if there are too many sub-forums they have a tendency to lay dormant for weeks or months, giving that part of the board the appearance of being moribund. Fewer sub-forums give an appearance of a lot of activity on the board, which tends to encourage people to stay and participate.
It would give a normal human mental abilities to rival mine. To think it is just a tiny ad: