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As a moderator, I'm often trying to figure out what forum to put certain threads in...and in in the case of internships/volunteering/work exchanges/etc, I really don't know the distinctions and differenences. I figure I'm probably not the only one.

I'd like to make this thread a wiki for those trying to discern the differences...but I don't know them!

Can you help?


Here's what I've got so far (with links to the forums about such things):

Volunteering: Volunteers do not get paid and do not expect anything in return. There is often room & board, though.
  • Volunteering Forum: For discussing volunteering
  • Volunteer Forum: For those that want to volunteer.
  • Volunteer Offering Forum: For those that want to host volunteers.


  • WWOOFing/helpxing/worktrading: the first 2 are just specific organizations linking people to hosts, ie facilitating work exchanges. WWOOF stands for a few things, depending on the organization; here's some of the terms "Working Weekends On Organic Farms," "World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms," "Willing Workers On Organic Farms". The normal arrangement is room and board in exchange for 20-35h per week. Time frames are often 2-3 weeks. WOOF is supposed to be farms as hosts, Helpx more flexible. There are other sites as well.  
  • WWOOFing Forum: For discussing WWOOFing in general
  • WWOOFers Forum: For people who want to WWOOF
  • WWOOF Hosts Forum: For those who want to host WWOOFers


  • Work Trade: Person works in exchange for room and/or board, and maybe a small stipend.
  • Jobs Wanted Forum:For those looking for either a typical job, or a work trade
  • Jobs Offered Forum: For those offering both typical jobs, as well as work trades.



  • Internship/Apprenticeship: Work in exchange for training and education. Apprentices often get pay, while Interns usually do not get paid.
    Internship & Apprenticeships Forum: For those offering internships/apprenticeships, as well as those seeking them.


    Jobs: Get paid a legal wage for doing contracted work.
  • Jobs Wanted Forum:For those looking for either a typical job, or a work trade
  • Jobs Offered Forum: For those offering both typical jobs, as well as work trades.



  • We also have a Careers Forum: For those discussing long-term work/jobs, usually ones that require skill, training &/or passion.


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    pollinator
    Posts: 786
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    Volunteering: doing something for someone else without getting paid.

    WOOFing/helpxing/worktrading: the first 2 are just specific organizations linking people to hosts, ie facilitating work exchanges. The normal arrangement is room and board in exchange for 20-35h per week. Time frames are often 2-3 weeks. WOOF is supposed to be farms as hosts, Helpx more flexible. There are other sites as well.

    Interning and apprenticing seem to be used fairly similarly. The implications are generally a longer commitment, at least a few months, and a fair bit of learning. Some are paid positions. Some you pay to be there.. there is probably some technical distinction, but the people using the terms don't seem to know it!
     
    steward
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    I spent the last 6 or 7 years of my professional life working with volunteers.

    Like Dillon said "doing something for someone else without getting paid."  Though some of the ones I worked with were given some benefits that amounted to about $300 to $500 a month if money had changed hands. Something similar to "The normal arrangement is room and board in exchange for 20-35h per week"

    Until I looked it up I had no idea what a woofer was.  It sounded like a helper to me though the definition is very specific.

    When I think of Interns, I think of someone being given the opportunity to learn the job while working for free.

    Apprentice in many trades is someone who is learning a trade or skill while working for lower wages.
     
    garden master
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    As someone looking for these, I see the differences like this:

    -Volunteers do not get paid and do not expect anything in return.
    -Work-Trade is usually time spent doing work in exchange for non-monetary rewards, like food and housing.
    -Internships are usually more "professional" and might range from being purely volunteer work to work-trade to getting money in return. I find the distinction of internships to be more of who is providing the opportunity than what the conditions for said experiences are.
    -Apprenticeships, in my mind, are typically geared towards some type of career path and involve someone more experienced and well-known in a field taking the time to train someone less experienced. The exchange here is typically getting the chance to learn from someone so amazing.
     
    Dillon Nichols
    pollinator
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    I mean, I dont see this current version as wrong per se, but it seems to result in too many forums.

    I guess the main gripe I have with all these nuanced forums is that when I have an opportunity it could readily be described as at least 4 things needing to be in 4 forums. I think this isn't uncommon; if I'm looking for labour, it could take many forms. I'd certainly have a Helpx ad up, I'd be seeking longer term worktrade arrangments, I would be open to tenants with a mobile dwelling  paying rent in either cash or work, and if 'volunteers' sometimes get room and board you could slot it in there as well...

    Often things on permies do end up in multiple places. It's not my favorite from a browsing perspective, but perhaps as it's the way things are working here, this aspect is a feature not a bug?
     
    Posts: 246
    Location: Stone Garden Farm Richfield Twp., Ohio
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    Wwoof.org, ic.org, craigslist/volunteers, lots of other "connection" sites all have specific requirements and uses and purposes, ….according to the folks that established them. But what I have found from many years of having folks come to our farm from any of these, is that no matter how people find us they're all pretty much the same. Wwoof'ing (for example) is "supposed" to provide a way for people to make short visits, learn some and move on. But what actually happens is each person does what is best for themselves. Some stay long, some only short, some come and go. It's the same with all of the people from the different sites. The sites are just a way to connect. They are rarely the perfect and intended way to connect, for the people using them. The sites just happen to be the way the seekers happen to find in order to connect.  The individuals do as they and the hosts wish (no matter what the site says you are supposed to do).
     
    master steward
    Posts: 7209
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    Dillon Nichols wrote:I mean, I dont see this current version as wrong per se, but it seems to result in too many forums.

    I guess the main gripe I have with all these nuanced forums is that when I have an opportunity it could readily be described as at least 4 things needing to be in 4 forums. I think this isn't uncommon; if I'm looking for labour, it could take many forms. I'd certainly have a Helpx ad up, I'd be seeking longer term worktrade arrangements, I would be open to tenants with a mobile dwelling  paying rent in either cash or work, and if 'volunteers' sometimes get room and board you could slot it in there as well...

    Often things on permies do end up in multiple places. It's not my favorite from a browsing perspective, but perhaps as it's the way things are working here, this aspect is a feature not a bug?



    We're actually working on trying to make the Experiences forum more "user friendly." Years back there was only one forum for ALL of these threads, the wwoof/organic farm volunteers/interns/jobs forum. It was really hard for people to wade through ALL the different types of threads in the forum, so it was decided to split it up...but since there were SO MANY threads in "wwoof/organic farm volunteers/interns/jobs" forum, it would have taken hours and hours and hours to put all those threads into the new forums...And, well, "ain't nobody got time for that!"

    I can tell you honestly that it would take hours and hours to sort through all the threads (THOUSANDS of threads) in that forum, because that's what I've been doing for the past week: sorting the old threads into the "new" forums. I've sorted through 1,000 threads now, and I'm only 1/5 done. As I've worked my way through the forum, I've noted there's a lot more of, say, volunteer opportunities than there are apprenticeships/internships or jobs offered. So--before the newer forums were made--if someone only wanted to find paying jobs, they'd have to wade through a pages of results to find those threads. It wasn't terribly user-friendly.

    But, I don't know how user-friendly the Experiences category is now. Since many of us moderators don't really use the forum, we don't know how easy it IS to use.

    We do really try to add threads to all the forums that they fit in, so it's easier for someone who's looking for an opportunity to find it. But, it's harder to do this because a moderator has to spot the posting and add it to the forum, and it's easier to spot things that have replies...and threads in the Experiences forum don't usually have too many replies to bump them, and they're often started by people very new to permies and who don't know they can "report" a post to get it added to new forums.

    Anyways, this is all to say we're actively trying to make this forum shine.

    If you (both Dillion and anyone else reading this) could re-work the Experience category's forums, what would you have them be? What would be the easiest for you to use? What forum organization would make the most sense for you?
     
    Dillon Nichols
    pollinator
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    My ideal method for this is probablying not practical from an implementation perspective. I'd love to have all the worktrade, wwoof, volunteer, and jobs lumped into 'positions wanted' and 'positions offered', but with a lot of granularity; people posting would tick boxes for 'volunteer', 'work-trade', 'internship', 'paid internship', 'employment', and provide searchable location information.

    ..of course, once you do that, you're now in the same line of work as Helpx, wwoof, etc...


    More doable option? Consolidate volunteer, wwoof, and worktrade into one set of offered, wanted, discuss forums, as already mentioned there is a lot of blur in practice.

    Im torn about throwing internships/apprenticeships into the same bin, but from a user perspective, if its not included there it should definitely be split into wanted/offered as it's miserable to browse when both are mixed.
     
    Nicole Alderman
    master steward
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    The  internships/apprenticeships forum is actually only a day old. I made it yesterday as I was sorting though the wwoof/organic farm volunteers/interns/jobs forum. We're currently planning on turning the wwoof/organic farm volunteers/interns/jobs forum into a Landshare Opportunities forum, as those types of threads currently have no where really good to go.

    Anyway, what if every volunteer oportunity, WWOOF host, work exchange, internships ALSO got put in the Jobs Offered forum? That way, those that only looking to volunteer could find those opportunities, but those open to more possiblities could see everything in one forum?

    And, all the volunteers/interns/WWOOFers/etc would also have their posts posted in the Jobs Wanted forum? That way those looking for a broad range of applicants could find them easily, and those that only want, say, interns could find them easily?

    Of course, this would require constant effort on the part of 1 or more moderators, kind of like our review grids do, but I'm thinking I might be able to remember to keep doing it.

    I do think that combining WWOOFing and Volunteering into one forum might be a good idea, (1) because there aren't that many threads in them, and (2) they're kind of vaguely named forums. If we do keep them separate, we're going to need some sort of better defined names..but what?
     
    Dillon Nichols
    pollinator
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    It's not just vaguely defined names.. we could get real specific and nail down perfect definitions for all these terms.. but in meat space they're all blurred together anyhow.

    Even 'apprenticeship', which has a very clear and quite specific meaning outside permie circles here in Canada, is hopelessly vague within them. Every half-baked homesteader evidently feels entitled to offer an apprenticeship, even if the only thing they're qualified to teach is a doctorate level course in How Not To Homestead with a special emphasis on Poor Impulse Control.
     
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