Post questions, concerns, suggestions that you believe will contribute to the improvement of our communities, the tools we use and the Transition Movement in general. All items will be vetted and incorporated as resources permit.
Also, use this repository to record what you are doing locally. In other words, instead of describing in detail what you are doing in a note to Les or any other individual, publish your gems for all U.S. communities to emulate. Your idea is the spark that ignites the whole.
david, are you talking about the index with links to ALL alphabetized initial ning state site? groups do not populate very fast in beginning. On my MN site, I tried to get three well known transition oriented groups to join and takeover first. Had email list of fifty people. Now, the site INVITE might have failed. I went back and found the email list deleted. But, no groups arrived. When I had a large pool of individuals to start a site, this worked far better. TN and MI pulled together fast with some help. i am going to have to check in on them on occassion, and they know i am there for support.
I think the initial page should go to main page, and some real thought go into that page with something like LOCAL ADMININISTRATORS NEEDED, PLEASE APPLY. and, MEMBERS NEEDED, PLEASE REGISTER. or make it like a JOBS or OFFER list. Dunno, just throwing out some ideas for other to build on. some idea might surface at some point. Otherwise people will be completely confused.
i am totally confused by the tabs here, i find it impossible to follow the tabs which is the MOST IMPORTANT FEATURE, and should have LOTS OF THOUGHT put into it. i have strived to simplify TN, MN, and MI TAB subdirs to only what makes complete sense, and has good function with the least amount of space, and I create new tabs for all other. STATES and COUNTIES has an ALL that goes to addable pages. the initial WHAT YOU CAN DO part should be better organized and thought out. Less is always better. Concise and precise, as my english teacher always said. clear organization or outlines essential.
i rewrote the WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY to include instructions regarding reporting issues, central support site, and inviting people to join their states. i found more issues, like the wrong instructions on how to place INVITES, etc. i have gone over this, tightened it up, etc. so many times. it has to be close to perfect. can be copied and pasted into any site, as long as the layout it the same, no changes are needed because it only refers to the subdirs and not the full URL.
I'm new to this network, but I'm wondering since we are a large country with many smaller communities and bioregions, and we clearly love the small is beautiful meme, can we set up a space for the larger whole where we can have "Best Practices". This could be also perhaps in alignment with the pattern language of solutions (in relationship to problems). I believe we are in a web of relationships and we are slowly learning to see this web as apart to seeing small parts of the whole and isolating them and think we have solved a problem. If we can create best practices and link them to a pattern language of solutions, it could be a lovely template for supporting more viral replication at local levels.
First step, set up a forum for best practices and perhaps discussion around minimum elegant criteria. Or leave off the criteria. We did something like this for Indymedia when it was growing virally globally and it is helpful. It means we are a learning community at a quantum level :) I want to learn quickly and create a community of practice and collaboration.
i should have been more clear. i am working on MINNESOTA, TENNESSEE and MICHIGAN prototypes and I am experimenting, consolidating and rewriting a lot so they are overall easier and more stealth - and more useful for networking and information gathering. Our networkers need tools.
on those sites you will see a box with a specialty search and recommendations. the search covers all transition sites. i also setup a translator box. google and others have widgets and gadgets and tools that can be used wtih ning
this ning software is free, completely free. we have little control over it and have to use the tools, gadgets and widgets available for it. though, programmers could be hired to do special stuff, nonetheless, i would recommend that only on a very very few base sites, because the seductive ease of the free nings taking off like wildfire and proprietary programmers would just be to expensive unless they could supply widgets, tools, and gadgets that were portable that other regions could download/copy and apply to their sites. i like the portable widget/gadget/tool designs idea.
what I have seen in past programs is an ability to vote on forum and blog entries, and then, if one wanted to only read the most recommended, they can re-order and skip over the rest. this is a feature ning might develop at some point, or it could be developed already.
in terms of germination or viral contamination, i would like to also start an RSS feed where our best material is reproduced and distributed broadly, first and foremost on the hundreds of sites we setting up now. it would be great if everytime a piece was starred for recommendation that it was queued to go into the RSS feed. RSS feeds can be advertised in many spots for pickup. i have a collection of about 15 really good RSS feeds and would like to find a page where i could demonstrate them all. people that are good readers could pluck out best reading for transitioners too. in Europe, though, we have issues regarding language, but translators might be doable.
Yes, I hope to see progress toward a forum like this, Sheri. Reports of practices undertaken and their results, feedbacks and learnings -- the "gems" Les is suggesting above -- could help us all speed along as we evolve our intelligence collectively. Is this suggestion box the place?
whoops. spoke too soon. i have not been using IE because it was always crashing and moving too slow. i just now looked at everything in IE, and found a few more problems/issues that needed fixing. now it has been thru firefox, opera, ace, google chrome, and IE and appearance of these to main page intro text boxes seems to be uniform. warning, administrative editing in google chrome has some failures, though it is a faster browser otherwise.
also, you US badge/banner, the medium one with a message in it, somehow someone chose BLACk for background and the message is not readable. a member cannot change this. i even tried downloading and tweaking with no luck, still it is blacked out. please, this is third time i have written this site to fix it. i would prefer to use this med size one on my other web sites but had to use the small one that i retweaked.
not sure why you are messing with another search engine when i have one designed and ready to run. i can sign anyone up to add links to it, and new links can be RSS feed as well. i need your full name and email address to send invitation from within google cse COLLABERATION feature so you can add weblinks. I cannot copy and paste the entire search box here, it gets corrupted, but you can go to minnesota and michigan and tennessee where you are an admin and just go in and copy it. i recommend the entire box. Green Maven is fab. if you want i can add all the other states now if you want. my search includes all pages from transition sites, plus all the sites they are linked to, and wiserearth and idealist and treehugger so far. i will figure out how to do a selectable google window at some point
The best way to "subscribe" groups is to add each group as a Group. Each group then describes itself, and provides a link to their own local websites. In Ohio there must be hundreds of "green" groups. When these are set up, by clicking on Groups on our main menu you would see a list of hundreds with brief descriptions of their relationship to Transition. I'll be glad to walk you through these details.
If they are believing that we are yet just another organization, then they are completely getting the wrong message. If they believe that we are just re-inventing the wheel, then perhaps we are not conveying the message correctly.
This is a NETWORKING COALITION, or a COALITION NETWORK. I have not made up my mind yet. They have to get over their competitive inclinations and isolationistic inertia to become collaborative coopertive participants of these open forums and local initiatives - many which could be their very own! Whatever fears there are possible or imaginable are out there, from their monetary base, members, or fears of absorbtion.
Most transition groups are so fragile, bearly surviving all these years. They have to be discovered, dusted off, and brought into the daylight as a certified transition local solution. This is the place where local networkers identify and collect their regional teams, roll up their sleeves, and strart doing the real work. We are also partly a certification process.
I have been through this so many times before, stating from 1989 when I deliberately attempted to form a broad coalition - Macrocosm USA - and encourage regional engagement. Later, everyone said I had attempted to do the right thing, only a few years too early for the zeitgeist. FYI, one of those was EARTH ISLAND INSTITUTE, who attempted to groom me to do another book, but I was too busy having a nervous breakdown.
I got some interesting letters and non responses. Not even when it was in their own self interest could they reach out to another organization. But that was after 10 or more years of Reagan and Bush. I have even found people who running this show are acting in much the same ways. Old habits are hard to break.
Some sort of perfect WIN WIN relationship letter should be composed in order to get these organizations to understand this is an educational and local organizing coalition - and umbrella whereby groups and organizations are identified and broadly advertised as contributors to local self reliant transition oriented solutions. If these groups are not advertising or advertising, then what are they doing? This is an advertising, educational, networking coalition devoted to local transtion solutions.
So, has anyone here wrote that perfect introductory letter that could bypass all the fears and misunderstandings? Or, how about that perfectly composed/crafted article sent to about 3000 progressive periodicals - many which come out of organizations? But, if these groups somehow read into the letter or the articles that they are considered/diagnosed as designated local champions, they will respond or reprint it.
This is de ja vu for me. I was mailing and advertising similar PR in 1989-90 with same appeal and approach. It might work now.
Can we set some of these FORUMS to THREAD instead of being flat? Can it be set to have last message first? I think so.