Heads up! In between everything else, I’ve been trying to squeeze in some time to work on a new database slash social networking site (I like to think of it as a ‘Facebook for Permaculture’). This is one of several reasons you haven’t been seeing a lot of full-sized articles from me of late….
It’s not launch date yet, but since all the folks at the Australasian Permaculture Conference (APC) in Queensland are getting a preview this weekend, I thought it unfair not to give you a peek by way of a few screen shots. (APC attendees will see more – they’ll be shown through the not-yet-finished system, but that’s their privilege for attending!)
I conjured the idea of this database as soon as I started working with Geoff, and we’ve been trying to squirrel away finances to build it ever since. Whilst saving our pennies, I’ve had a static HTML project listing (see tab at top) in the interim, but it was always a cumbersome way to display and promote projects of course and over the last several months as I’ve been working on this database, I’ve had to neglect that section entirely. With student attendance on the increase, and the success of the new internship program, we’ve been able to make a start on something much, much better…. (See, your course fees are doing good in more ways than one!)
With this new system you can create your own user profile, and, if applicable, advertise your status as a consultant and/or aid worker. You can add your project(s), of whatever type, be it an urban residential project, or an African or Californian aid project, a Sydney suburbs commercial project or something not even land based – like an economic project (LETS, or similar), or a political activist project, and more. Educational projects get to list their courses.
By adding a profile (People and Projects), you get added to an interactive world map! You can browse projects by their summary cards and filter by climate zone or project type – or just by clicking on the pins on the map. You can find ‘People’ by different criteria also – climate zone, consultants, aid workers, teachers, etc.
You’ll have your own blog with your profile, and if you’re an interesting chap/gal you’ll find other users clicking to ‘follow’ you so they can easily monitor your updates via their ‘dashboard’ – where you arrive after logging in. A flowing ‘Recent Project/People updates’ list will show on panels on our respective PRI websites, so you can monitor those that way also. There will be a blog update rating system, where users can save your update from falling off our main pages, by thumbing them up enough to get them onto a ‘Recommended Recent Updates’ panel above the aforementioned one. The best updates will get noticed by the site editor, and will appear on our main page blog, bringing your work to the attention of even more readers – generating extra interest and/or support.
Other screenshots to view (current state as of today – changes happening by the hour…):
We hope to have a live launch within several weeks. After that we will invite you to join, use, and give us feedback to help us tailor it to your needs and evolve this into some humanity-saving goodness!
Many thanks go out to Geoff and Nadia for their hard work and commitment to see this through, the students and donors who help make it possible, the developers (who have been doing this at a discounted rate and who will remain anonymous for the moment, as I need them to concentrate on this database for now and not take on more customers!), and of course you, the reader, for supporting us with your eyes and mouse clicks.
To those who are as excited about the potential of this as I am, I’d like to put out a solicitation for donations to help us fast-track this and make it the very best it can be. Donate via the ChipIn widget at right, or other payment options here. (If using the latter, please be sure to specify ‘For Database’ to ensure it’s correctly routed.)
[Note: Unless you’re in Australia, please note that Bank Checks are only a viable means of transferring funds if the amount is sizeable. The bank charges AU$25 for processing overseas checks. We’ve had a few people send checks of around $30, and as it’s unethical for most of this money to go to the bank instead of its intended purpose, we’ve returned these to donors.]
For good measure, the following video clip expounds on these thoughts nicely.
Subscribe to our RSS feed via the posts-to-Email option at top right of our site, and you’ll find out about the release as soon as it goes live!