I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
- infecting brains with permaculture
- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
- gambling distraction
- an hour or two of reading
- find the needle
- find the 26 hidden names

clickity-click-click

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Saskia Symens
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Follow up thread generated in "Permaculture and Money". Look there if you want to know how we got to the idea for creating a permaculture PDC wiki page

regretsHD wrote:
... Where the concern in my opinion comes in is editing in this format.  So much of permaculture information is debatable; this is why we even have a forum.  Who do you get to edit the wiki, how do you police the editorial staff, and most immediately are you going to be able to raise enough money to pay for an editorial staff.  It seems like a self policing community based on such wide ranging ideas could be very unpredictable and the last thing you want to do is dissiminate incorrect of inconclusive information. 

I think that you are on the right track to getting out important information to the masses but unfortuanately 3 pages of forum jargon is not enough to support a well oiled "company".  I will be the first one to throw in what short supply of funds I have to make this a reality, but more reasearch into what it would take to make this a solid practical documentation is definitely needed.


Yes, we don't want to add one more messy and unreliable website to the existing chaos .

But let's see what we set out to do...

From the discussion in the "Permaculture & Money" thread it seems:
- There is a desire for information content similar to what is given out in the PDCs (Is that the 72 hour one or the 2 year program? I don't even know )
- The available information on the internet is either paying or not structured in a way that is immediately useful to people desiring to learn permaculture and apply these principles at home
- The majority of those here feel that this is a situation that should be corrected, in other words: permaculture should be available to all, even those who don't have the money to take the courses
- The proposed solution is a wiki page

It therefore seems clear to me that the direction to take this in is a wiki with a format like the PDC course, with a program to follow from A-Z.
This doesn't exclude that once the complete program is online various other uses are possible, for instance a database, keyword searches, links to articles on various subjects, etc.

I don't think a paid editors' team is a reality in the beginning stages. Neither do I think one is necessary now.
The way I see this is that people contribute what they know works. A structure needs to be thought of and set up to accommodate this. I'm willing to do this, and wouldn't mind the help from a couple of other "structured thinkers", and/or people who have taken the course (hands up those who want to help?)

The structure must be set up in such a way that we separate all the levels of information and make it clear what is fact and what is conjecture.

For instance:
1. FACT: undeniable proven methods and facts. This will mainly be permaculture thinking and principles à la Mollison. How to apply them. Drawings, photos and videos if necessary. Benefits and consequences. People should come away from this intrigued to find out more. THIS IS THE FIRST SECTION TO DEVELOP for every page, immediately followed by:
2. EXAMPLES: Some real life examples of applications from the people on the forum who have been succesful at putting the principles into practice. Lots of pictures, minimal text probably. This should ideally empower people who see the pics to go "Ah, now I get it! I can do this!!!"
3. CREATIVE EXAMPLES: What people have tried in their gardens and what worked for them: variations on the principles, or particular combinations or solutions valid in certain circumstances etc. The use of this section is to show that permaculture is more than a set of rules, it's a way of thinking. It should ideally give people ideas on how they can tinker or modify the system to adapt it to particular situations and STILL get it to work excellently. This will be highly motivating and empowering section. Also probably high on pictures, or maybe lists.
4. POSSIBILITIES: what people think might work, what they have read/heard or concocted but has not been verified in practice (Anything here can be upgraded to Creative examples once there is proof that it can work)
5. EXTERNAL LINKS
 
Sam White
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Thanks for starting a new thread saskia.

"saskia" wrote:It therefore seems clear to me that the direction to take this in is a wiki with a format like the PDC course, with a program to follow from A-Z.
This doesn't exclude that once the complete program is online various other uses are possible, for instance a database, keyword searches, links to articles on various subjects, etc.


This is what I envision when I think of a permaculture wiki. I'd love to see swathes of information on different plants from around the world as well, which is what I think you mean by a database?

"saskia" wrote:I don't think a paid editors' team is a reality in the beginning stages. Neither do I think one is necessary now.


I'm with you on this one. If we have to start paying people to edit, or more than a very small number anyway, we'd probably have to monetize the wiki which doesn't exactly fit in with the thinking that brought about the concept of the wiki in the first place. Yes, we may need to generate a little income to support hosting costs but I'd rather we got that through sponsorship and donations.

Speaking of hosting, the cheapest that I've found (that professes to use renewable energy to power it's servers) is £30 a year for it's smallest package. A domain name might cost anywhere between £10 and £20 for two years. We just need to decide on what the domain will be. Options that I've come across include:

  • [li]permaculture-wiki.org/info[/li]
    [li]perma-wiki.com/org/info[/li]
    [li]permaculturewiki.info[/li]


  • I quite like perma-wiki personally but feel free to post other suggestions Once we're in a position to get things rolling I'll I start buying stuff. I still need to talk to cholcombe as well.

    "saskia" wrote:The structure must be set up in such a way that we separate all the levels of information and make it clear what is fact and what is conjecture.


    The structure for the wiki pages that you propose looks good to me and would appear to address the issue brought up by regretsHD nicely. It strikes me as being an easy format to regulate/edit/update as well.
     
    Saskia Symens
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    Sam wrote:
    Speaking of hosting, the cheapest that I've found (that professes to use renewable energy to power it's servers) is £30 a year for it's smallest package. A domain name might cost anywhere between £10 and £20 for two years.

    Ah, I didn't realize the price was that high (relatively speaking). Since I already have a hosting account and am already paying for a package for which it is possible to add another domain, I can buy the domain for just the cost of the registration, that is 10$ (USD) per year for each of the ones you mention. No renewable energy servers here though...

    We just need to decide on what the domain will be. Options that I've come across include:

  • [li]permaculture-wiki.org/info[/li]
    [li]perma-wiki.com/org/info[/li]
    [li]permaculturewiki.info[/li]


  • I've got no preference. Let the people who have any express themselves in their replies...
    I think the shorter the better though, that would be another one in favor of perma-wiki.
    .org or .info are both fine for free services. I would avoid .com because that makes us a commercial undertaking, and we're not...

    The structure for the wiki pages that you propose looks good to me and would appear to address the issue brought up by regretsHD nicely. It strikes me as being an easy format to regulate/edit/update as well.

    Thank you for your positive words! Looking forward to a long and fruitful cooperation with you and the other wiki contributors. Who else is interested?
     
    Dan Poole
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    I think this is a great idea. There is no really good permaculture wiki resource. Appropedia maybe comes close, but it's not focused on permaculture and information can be a bit hard to find.

    One thought I had is that it would be nice to have a list of necessary inputs for a certain design component and the produced outputs. For example: chickens.

    Inputs - food, water, etc......
    Outputs - manure, eggs, eats pests, etc...

    Its easy for people to add to these lists, and list elements can be linked to their own pages if appropriate. Another useful resource could be this plant database that a forum member is working on. It's similar to a wiki in that everyone can contribute.

    http://www.permies.com/bb/index.php?topic=8838.0



     
    Saskia Symens
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    Dan Poole wrote:
    One thought I had is that it would be nice to have a list of necessary inputs for a certain design component and the produced outputs. For example: chickens.
    Inputs - food, water, etc......
    Outputs - manure, eggs, eats pests, etc...
    Its easy for people to add to these lists, and list elements can be linked to their own pages if appropriate.

    Yes, I was thinking along similar lines. Only thing is, I know of no free resource that lets a number of people add database elements and create linked pages, and if it did exist it could probably become messy very quickly.

    A member on the previous thread where this whole discussion originated (permaculture and money) said he had posted on appropedia, but I saw that his contributions had promptly been removed by the people who felt themselves "in charge" of those pages, so I don't know at this point whether appropedia is a good idea. You will of course always run into people who feel they own a topic and are extremely protective of it...
     
    Dan Poole
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    I don't think it even has to be as complicated as a database to be useful. Simple links between wiki pages would be adequate. The page would be about some design element, and people could add inputs/outputs, interesting observations or considerations for various situations, etc. If those added items warrant a wiki page of their own, then it is linked to. It might look like:

    Cow

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle (why not leverage existing, constantly refined information?)

    Permaculture related considerations:
    Inputs - Grass -> (links to page about grass or specifically to information about Joel Salatin's grass mix/growing methods)

    Outputs - poo -> (links to page about cow poo, its uses etc.)

    Maybe also listed are ways that they can be used in permaculture designs, e.g. in Salatin's farming method they cycle nutrients and give chickens bugs to eat from the cow patties.

    It could take some work to keep this organized. If the proper structure is imposed on it from the beginning it should help, but people might still have to watch the pages for changes to make sure it maintains the desired formatting.
     
    Hugh Hawk
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    The question seems to be what sort of information are we trying to store and how best to store it and make it searchable if need be.

    If we are trying to produce a plant library then a way of storing information in searchable fields would be necessary.  For instance, sunlight: full sun, part shade and/or full shade.  But Plants for a Future already does this job quite well, and it would take years of user submissions to recreate this data, and for what purpose?  As Dan Poole points out, we should leverage existing, maintained information.  However, since PFAF is open source then it is possible that this permapedia (name idea?) could pull plant info from it, but then allow users to add their own extra info like plant guilds, how they have used the plant, etc.

    If we are trying to produce a collection of information about permaculture technology, how to use different elements together, and examples of working systems, a wiki seems highly appropriate.  A wiki could be linked to automatically pick up info from PFAF for entries about plants.

    About editorial control, I think like wikipedia does, and like other posters have commented already, we'd need a strong emphasis on accurate representation of information, i.e. a clear declaration of what is generally accepted fact, anecdotal evidence or pure speculation.  As far as I understand, wikipedia does this by engaging community members to volunteer rather than paying them.
     
    Saskia Symens
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    hughbert wrote:
    The question seems to be what sort of information are we trying to store and how best to store it and make it searchable if need be.


    The whole discussion started with the specific goal in mind of creating a free PDC (see originating thread "permaculture and money", so with the purpose of covering all the info that would be likely to be transmitted in a permaculture design course.

    I think at this point a very fundamental question needs to be asked: What is the desired outcome of this free PDC wiki?
    Do we want people to browse the site to quickly find the info they need, to apply it in their own spaces (wiki as a reference)
    OR
    Do we want people to do an A to Z of the site content where they will learn permaculture THINKING (wiki as a learning tool, which might of course include some handy reference tables)

    I think the wiki as a reference has been done over and over again, and it can never complete (and very often these efforts are abandoned midway when someone or everyone realizes there is no end to the info you could put up).

    The really new thing would be the free online course... So - you guessed it - I'm in favor of this option 
     
    paul wheaton
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    I set up the username "permaculture" and the password "hugelkultur" on the permies wiki.  Y'all have a good time.  If things get wonky, I'll just change the password and dole out individual names and passwords.

    http://www.permies.com/permaculture

    So it's there if you want it.  If you set up shop somewhere else, I understand.

     
    Saskia Symens
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    Thx Paul!

    I just modified the main page from the previous wikipage experiment (everything else of the old stuff is still there for the moment).
    Who's interested in cooperating?
     
    paul wheaton
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    I am totally cool with you guys doing your thing there.  Just don't make it the only thing.  When Jami and I put all that time into getting the software running, it was with the idea that there could be a summary on some topic that was born from some huge thread.  I really like that idea.  In fact, some people reading this thread might like to do that at the same time.  The wiki should be able to hold all of that.

    And there is a page there about missoula that I would like to keep and tinker with myself.

    Oh, and I know I've said this three times already, but just to be clear:  the publisher has the final say.  There are a few things I don't want on my site.  Those of you that have been here a while probably know what those things are and that is probably perfectly aligned with what your stuff (or you probably wouldn't still be hanging out here).


     
    Dan Poole
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    Thanks Paul. I had seen mention of an existing wiki on this site, but had never been able to find it.

    I suppose I am in the other camp as far as the desired outcome of the wiki goes....or maybe a hybrid camp. There is lots of information out there about applying the principles of permaculture in general terms. Yes, some of the books are expensive, as are the courses, but there is also a lot of free information. I don't have a problem with an open source sort of design course, in fact I think its a good idea, but in my mind a more useful resource would be real life examples. There are certain knowledge barriers, and what seem to be voids in the collective knowledge, that slow down the effective implementation of permaculture principles.

    For example: what is a tried and true pecan tree guild for central texas (where I live so my mind jumps there first). Sure, people can figure it out given enough research, study of existing pecan trees, and trial and error, but there must be people around who have already done this and know the potential pitfalls. I could at least get a good starting point by looking at what someone else has tried. What if its a more obscure plant? What could go in a sapodilla guild? Maybe no one knows.

    Again, we should leverage existing knowledge to the best of our abilities.

    I suppose, Paul's original intent for the wiki is more along the lines of what I'd like. There is a ton of information available on the boards here, but it can be pretty tough to sift through it and determine what bits of it are worth paying attention too. I wonder if it would ever go anywhere though without some people obsessive enough to essentially write summaries of board topics.

    I don't see why the wiki couldn't be both things (and Paul wants to keep it that way anyway it seems), that is a free PDC and a distillation of board topics. The main barrier to the wiki being something useful seems to be getting people to contribute to it. Maybe if it had a more obvious link on the main page?
     
    Saskia Symens
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    paul wheaton wrote:
    I am totally cool with you guys doing your thing there.  Just don't make it the only thing.  When Jami and I put all that time into getting the software running, it was with the idea that there could be a summary on some topic that was born from some huge thread.  I really like that idea.  In fact, some people reading this thread might like to do that at the same time.  The wiki should be able to hold all of that. And there is a page there about missoula that I would like to keep and tinker with myself.

    OK no problem. We'll keep the old info and split the wiki up into as many parts as people see a need for and are willing to contribute to.

    paul wheaton wrote:
    Oh, and I know I've said this three times already, but just to be clear:  the publisher has the final say.  There are a few things I don't want on my site.  Those of you that have been here a while probably know what those things are and that is probably perfectly aligned with what your stuff (or you probably wouldn't still be hanging out here).

    Paul, I have no problem with you having the final say on content, but it would be very helpful if you could provide a (non exhaustive) list. We could then incorporate this into the guidelines for the wiki and you could add to it as you see fit?
     
    Saskia Symens
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    Dan Poole wrote:
    The main barrier to the wiki being something useful seems to be getting people to contribute to it. Maybe if it had a more obvious link on the main page?

    What about all of us who are involved with the wiki having an inviting link into our signatures? See below... It can only grow this way...
     
    Dan Poole
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    That sounds like a fine idea Saskia. Signature added to my profile as well. Hopefully when I get more time (thats the catch!) I will work a bit on condensing some of the board topics that i find interesting. Maybe eventually others will do the same.
     
    paul wheaton
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    saskia wrote:

    Paul, I have no problem with you having the final say on content, but it would be very helpful if you could provide a (non exhaustive) list. We could then incorporate this into the guidelines for the wiki and you could add to it as you see fit?



    Politics and religion for starters. 

    I suppose one sensitive spot is that some folks think that permaculture means embracing lifelong poverty.  I definitely don't want to publish that message.  I want the message to be that permaculture can be a path to making big bucks, or to feeding the masses on the cheap.  Up to the permie.


     
    Saskia Symens
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    OK Paul, I get you. I've put up a small notice on the main wiki page. It's pretty general at this stage. Will put something about not allowing politics and religion also.

    I've created some (pretty bare so far) pages for the "Reference" wiki (see for example Reference Section/Animals/Birds). Just trying to set up some kind of logical structure + experimenting with an in-page structure, so that things are easy to follow for everyone.

    I would like to invite forum users to upload some of their pictures at some stage to enliven the pages (an image says more than a thousand words and all that). But I read on the PmWiki docs that administrative setup is required, and a password and all kinds of things. The doc page is here http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/PmWiki/UploadsAdmin
    Would you be willing to set that up so the wiki is not doomed to be pure text, with reasonable file size limits (100 or 150K per image?)??
    (edited: I saw too late you allow uploads, but max file size is 50K. Would you consider upgrading this?)

    Someone said you never read your private messages, I don't know if this is true or not. Is posting here the best way to communicate about the wiki with you?

    Thx for allowing this, it's greatly appreciated!
     
    paul wheaton
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    Dan Poole
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    So we have a login that Paul gave for general wiki editing, but would it be possible for everyone to just use their forum name and password for the wiki too? I tried mine and it didn't work. I know it might be a thing that's easy to say, but not so easy to implement, but it could ease contributing to the wiki, making the chance of success higher.

    Also, might it allow the ability to track who changed/added what?
     
    paul wheaton
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    Dan Poole wrote:
    So we have a login that Paul gave for general wiki editing, but would it be possible for everyone to just use their forum name and password for the wiki too? I tried mine and it didn't work. I know it might be a thing that's easy to say, but not so easy to implement, but it could ease contributing to the wiki, making the chance of success higher.

    Also, might it allow the ability to track who changed/added what?


    Are you a php developer?

     
    Dan Poole
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    I am not, which is why i didn't want to suggest that it would be easy to do. I do have a programming background, and I'm sort of half software engineer for a living, so I could learn it given enough time to play around.
     
    Saskia Symens
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    Paul,

    There are a number of wrongly placed files and erroneously created pages already. In the long run this will eat unnecessary server space and it might make finding things more complicated...

    I think it would be useful to have some kind of superuser with the ability to move and delete that kind of thing, so as not to bother you with this the whole time... The password need only be given to a very few people, preferably those who know what they're doing more or less! (I'm glad to hear you are doing backups  )

    Secondly I think a max-file-size upgrade would be useful. From the examples I've seen people are shrinking their pics to fall below the 50000 byte limit but they some of them are coming out quite distorted making it not very clear what we were meant to observe. Ideally I would like 150K, but that's an ease of use issue. I will be happy already with 100K or 75K. Most pics can be resized to 60 something K while keeping relatively good quality.

    Rgds
     
    Chris Watkins
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    saskia Hatfield wrote:
    A member on the previous thread where this whole discussion originated (permaculture and money) said he had posted on appropedia, but I saw that his contributions had promptly been removed by the people who felt themselves "in charge" of those pages, so I don't know at this point whether appropedia is a good idea. You will of course always run into people who feel they own a topic and are extremely protective of it...


    That would be winsol3's comment, after Paul had been saying nice things about the Appropedia folks (blush):
    winsol3 Hatfield wrote:You're right Paul... a few days after i posted on Appropedia (community microgrids)  i got a personal note (imagine getting that at Wikipi ) and asked me to move my stuff over to



    Something got accidentally deleted in that comment, but I know about this. Winsol3 put some good content on microgrids on Appropedia, but on a portal page, rather than on a new page where it would fit better. Honest mistake, and not a problem - the idea of a wiki is you can try stuff, fix it, and repeat...

    Anyway, someone on Appropedia reverted the edit, maybe not looking at it very closely, but I happened to notice that. So I left a friendly note for winsol3. Winsol3 had got in there and edited, and we appreciate that, so I wanted to explain what had happened. I didn't want to just move Winsol3's content myself, because then my name would be in the history page, and I'd rather the credit went to Winsol3, where it was due.

    Anyway, that's the personal note that Winsol3 referred to above. And sure enough, up went Winsol3's new page, Community microgrids - thank you Winsol! I added some categories and did some tiny changes, and I hope others contribute too.


    Edit: had to edit Winsol3's comment to say "You're" because the two-letter abbreviation used in the original comment has been banned from the forum. Paul, now I see what you mean about your iron fist .
     
    Fred Winsol
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    Thanks for the kind words about my posts... yeah I try... but most of the times I get a bit frustrated with all the clicks and menus and stuff... like this new permies forum look... just when you get used to something it changes.... guess it keeps us on our toes.

    I am putting a lot of my stuff to blogs.. but still find this permies forum filled with great people and great input. The wikipage thing was a nice 'flash' when i first saw it, and for some reason I haven't been able to get back to it.... just too much stuff out there.

     
    Chris Watkins
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    Hi folks - how's the Permies wiki going?

    I tried to check the Recent Changes link at the top of the wiki, but it redirects to the forum. I also couldn't find an "All Pages" link.

    Btw, we have a page on Appropedia about How to make a successful new wiki - I started that (and others have helped edit it) because we've seen so much effort spent starting new projects that don't go anywhere. It's quite frank, based on 6 years of hard work on my part, a report I was commissioned to write on UNESCO's dime re open collaborations on appropriate technology, as well as the experience of other wikiholics. I hope someone finds it useful!
     
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