Over the past few months i've been working on a proof-of-concept for an archival website..
To capture the wonderful stuff regarding sustainability
Being shared among networks such as this,
To properly attribute & manage the info so that:
1. It becomes accessible to a broader audience; and
2. You can find it when you need it even after months or years have gone by.
The pilot site is here:
please check it out and let me know how you feel about it.
Look at the left & right for slide-in menus.
See the About section if you're getting curious.
This site goes way beyond the confines of standard websites/blogs and pushes the limits for the features needed.
Proud to share it was all done using free and open source technology, namely wordpress enhanced with a platoon of plugins.
The site's USP is a multi-channel filter using which you can filter down to the subject, type, location, level, language etc to refine your search.
The articles can also have features like their own map location and mulitple attachments.
In terms of content focus, my initial idea is that this should be a haystack that archives several short leads to resources, like contact details of a RWH expert in Delhi region, or growing method of a particular millet crop in Vidarbha region, or way to avoid a particular pest attacking a plant in city balconies, etc. Stuff that we usually share on our groups and mailing lists when somebody asks. I'm not looking at having full-fledged well-written articles because I already see some sites like Vikalp Sangam, TheAlternative, Ecologise, TheBetterIndia etc doing a great job with that. Rather we should link to those articles and so help people find them. And geography wise, I'm focussing on material relevant to Indians (which may be international in origin but relevant here)
What's needed now: The Human Component
While technology is important, for something like this to succeed we need many caring hands on deck. Without that, this is just a tool without a master, and there's no way just one or two or people can keep up with the plethora of content being shared nowadays.
At the NPC (National Permaculture Convergence, Feb'16) and since, i got a strong feeling that the time has come, there are many more people coming forward wanting to do this and telling me they need something like this. So hoping to find ways to take this forward! Maybe a group out there with enough hands onboard can adopt this. Or maybe multiple groups can depute people and co-host it. Do reply back if you're interested.
And while the way forward gets charted, the site is LIVE and is open for you to contribute content! And yes, we can handle a flood of content and have ways of managing it effectively so jump right in!
There's a cool Submit an Article section where you can create an article yourself, attach a photo too, and when you submit it, it'll queue up for an editor to attribute, approve and publish. This keeps minimal load on you as a contributor... no need to login etc.
Lastly, this work is shared in the spirit of gift economy. The output is open source and free, while the inputs have been time-taking and a great learning experience for me (am open to web design projects, ahem!). If you liked this initiative and want to contribute towards it in any way, then click here: Contribute