Big picture - how to inspire participation?

  • Appropedia to have an impact on grassroots action, policy discussion...
    • This requires high visibility and wide participation. Let's say 100 times the traffic and visibility

Goals[edit | edit source]

  • Participation must be fun.
  • Participation must be social.
  • Appropedia must be perceived to be useful (mainly through actually being useful).
  • There must be a more direct connection between when people share, and getting feedback - more like an email list, where members have some sense of knowing those who read and comment (even if it's limited knowledge and a fraction of readers who wake themselves visible). A sense that "people I know will be reading this."

Strategic plan[edit | edit source]

These are my own thoughts - feel free to edit, but we need a separate place to do this collaboratively.

Who participates in the planning?

A:Vision and mission - do we all own this?

  • Mission statement needs: A verb, a target population, and an outcome that implies something to measure, in eight words or less. Bypasses the input-output-outcomes stuff and with a simple question: "How would I best know if I'm fulfilling my mission?" Which leads to the question: If you could measure only one thing, what would it be? The Eight-Word Mission Statement

Value proposition for participants - like Hub Melbourne?

  • Connecting with people who have a similar interests and passions
  • Learning
  • Contribute

Using models:

  • FAR - Flexible, Adaptive, Resilient
  • Model -> Strategy -> Try it -> repeat

Community strategy:

  • Meta level:
    • Name -> Connect -> Nourish -> Illuminate
    • There needs to be a reason they do it here rather than doing it somewhere else.
  • Recruit -> Welcome -> Guide & help connect -> Support & affirm -> Co-learn
    • Recruit: A:SL
    • Welcome: Intern who offers initial suggestions, welcome template with links to start off.
    • Guide and help connect: Brief survey for new users

Support and affirm: vibrant community - mailing list, forums, regular chats

Project support (acting as a "project startup" platform:

  • What's the problem you want to solve?
  • What would the minimum possible solution look like?
  • What resources would you need?

Content strategy:

  • What's our error tolerance?
    • "The best way to get the right answer on the Internet is not to ask a question, it's to post the wrong answer." - attributed to Ward Cunningham.

Strategy and how-to[edit | edit source]

yellow = higher priority

How to achieve these goals.
Goal 2nd-level goal Strategy How-to (specific tasks)
Boost participation Easy, fun participation Easy ways to add something to Appropedia and see a result
  • Easy-add category tools Template:Bm
  • Discussion of articles. (Make talk pages more visible - indicate that comments exist on the bottom of a page? List talk pages like in a forum?)
  • WYSIWYG - monitor Wikimedia Foundation's project, mw:VisualEditor, see if there's a way of getting a simpler version of the new rich text editor, that does what Appropedia needs, earlier. Template:Bm
Sense of community Boost interaction between Appropedians Online events
  • Editing jam - 6-monthly to start? (Brainstorm first, then check Wikia Day for ideas.)
  • Editing jams on specific topic areas? Work with key contributors in each area, see if they're keen.
  • Regular chats - alternate months, when the jam's not on? More strategic than the jam.
Sense of community Improve/add communication channels Online chatroom/channel Establish #appropedia on IRC Freenode - wikipedia:User:John Vandenberg suggested we could get some Australians hanging in the channel, to help with vandalism when needed, or newbie questions. (This makes sense for people who already have various IRC tabs open.) wikipedia:User:Sonia is interested. Update, Aug 2012: some regular hanging out is happening (Danny B., Tahnok, sometimes Chriswaterguy) and we've had our first monthly chat. Done!

Next: promote the IRC chat to friendly people, incl John Vandenberg, Sonia. Template:Do this

  • Develop an FAQ for the IRC, and/or an FAQ for newbies. Done! - at A:IRC (but of course could be improved).
Sense of community Boost interaction between Appropedians Facilitate local connections Participate in local forums/networks?
  • Create ways for people to find other Appropedians. Userboxes? (Not so user-friendly.) Registration questions -> categories or user boxes?
  • When promoting Appropedia service learning, focus on particular cities and regions, so that new Appropedians have more chance of meeting. Start with places that already have some presence by a committed Appropedian, or some other significance. Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Jakarta, Bay Area CA, elsewhere in CA? (Ask Curt/Lonny.) Michigan (where?) Washington DC. Secondary: KL, Singapore,
  • Encourage meetups
Sense of community Communication between community members, especially those with similar areas of interest Brainstorm (break out ideas in following rows)
  • Forum - Appropedia Permies forum?
  • Twitter hashtags?
  • Community managers/interns keeping communication channels open. -> start by recruiting volunteers Template:Do this
  • Newsletters - specific ones that engage people's passions. -> start with outline newsletter. Template:Do this
Sense of community Communication between community members, especially those with similar areas of interest Create an Appropedia forum
Community development Internships Mini internships Me to advertise Template:Do this
Team development Internships Existing internships * Me to follow up Template:Do this
  • Lonny re AW
Visibility SEO Interlinking with Greenlivingpedia, Akvopedia & other friendly wikis * Communications intern, confirming the collaboration (& ensuring there's someone on our side to follow through
  • Content intern (search the green dev wikis in their specific area, edit as appropriate)
Visibility SEO Wikilinking and categorizing within Appropedia
  • Tech intern job
  • Generally increasing editing activity
  • Encouraging the wide use of AWB and Pywikipediabot (or similar tools) among responsible editors
Visibility Media attention - all kinds of "media." Work to get covered in news, blogs, radio programs, newsletters describing gimmicks and collaborations, particularly related to the scope of the publication. (E.g. a local paper is likely to report on something involving local students; an urban planning newsletter might describe a collaboration with a Faculty of the Built Environment...)
  • Develop partnerships, projects... watch out for the newsworthy.
  • Create news events - e.g. competitions
  • Develop press releases, & our Appropedia:For the media page, and share with Lifehack/Lifehacker/Treehugger... And Discovery if there's something new.
Content development Expand service learning partnerships Raise awareness of our internships, classroom programs and the benefits of doing work on Appropedia. * Develop good material explaining/publicizing our programs.
  • Interns/volunteers dedicated to a specific task of contacting universities in certain subject areas.
  • Contacting media - especially for education writers, radio programs, as well as those interested in sustainability/internationl development/appropriate technology/open source.
Content development
Usefulness Categorization People and bots adding and fixing categories Have people running category bots; have extensions to make adding categories a nicer and easier process. --> tech interns. Template:Do this
Usefulness Help readers to draw intelligent and useful conclusions and make better decisions. Overview of pros and cons on articles Encourage editors to be frank about the weak points as well as the strong points of a given idea; have nice, easy boilerplate or templates for pro/con tables. Note Akvo's pages, e.g. -> high level task for communications interns -> recruit. Template:Do this
Usefulness Improve relevance to curricula Identify areas of strength and weakness; Identify types of classes/courses that would benefit from using Appropedia pages as course material. DEPENDS ON:
  • Article rating system (to help narrow down articles) -> tech interns -> recruit Template:Do this
  • Participation from academics and those with an interest in education, and a knowledge of a particular curriculum. -> publicity -> communications interns -> recruit. Template:Do this

Strategic actions:

  • Get more people working on Appropedia - volunteer and paid
    • Internship program
    • Funding
  • Some kind of forum
  • Get feedback - do user testing, do weakness analysis and strengths analysis, keep track of concerns.

Specific tasks:

  • Community:

Communications strategy[edit | edit source]

  • Communications - update on blog, monthly chat, plans for newsletter, printable materials. + Permies forum, [Q&A site, Lonny].

Blog strategy:

  • Create a blog which is followed and high profile in its own right. See Michel's example - noting that he spends 2 hrs per day on social media, and posts often (2 posts per day?) but more curated than original content.
  • Can we post 4 interesting things weekly? 7 things?
  • Content:
    • IM Interviews - our community, supporters, success stories...
      • People & projects that support our own vision (even if they're not supporting Appropedia directly). These could be tiny posts, curated or "About" page excerpts. E.g. PLOTS - "a community which develops and applies open-source tools to environmental exploration and investigation. By democratizing inexpensive and accessible “Do-It-Yourself” techniques, Public Laboratory creates a collaborative network of practitioners who actively re-imagine the human relationship with the environment."
    • News: every announcement, every interesting bit of news, goes to the comms person managing the blog.
    • Appropedia updates - tech, board... (not to much of this - & keep it interesting)
    • Community updates - projects and events
    • New pages - chunks
    • Highlighted pages - chunks. How do we identify these? Rating extension? Reviews by a class in critical reading?
  • Who can contribute items, and how? It's a lot of work for one person to hunt for material, but if Lonny is putting things on StumbleUpon and Joshua, Curt and/or Andrew (and/or other awesome Appropedians or EWBers) are bookmarking somewhere else, we're starting to get enough ideas to make a great blog.
    • Method - comms person follows the various accounts, and/or contributors have a bookmarklet for adding to a shared Appropedia bookmark service, and/or we have an agreed bookmark for "Appropedic" items. (Can I see people's likes or +1's for Appropedia pages?)
    • Items without a suitable link, or where the person doesn't want to share it publicly themselves, can be added to a list in Trello (or whatever task management tool we use).

Jon Minchin[edit | edit source]

M. Sustainable and Emergency Architecture - would like to get us involved in that world. (Work with Jon & a comms intern on this, work with university -> recruit Template:Do this

More than a fan, an advocate. Links with academia, UNICEF... partner unis in Spain:

Do a week course or at least a workshop at the university, involving Appropedia? Lonny? Jon is interested in the AT thing in Spain...

Has a dossier, what they're doing with unis in S America, how the collaboration could work.

Talked about Spanish and Appropedia community.


Networks of philanthropists into social business e.g.

Connected to Fab Labs, thinking about relevance for development. Playing a role in Barcelona's urbanism and architecture. Green Fab Lab? In rural setting.

Pending issues[edit | edit source]

Needing to be addressed by the Appropedia community:

Area Issue Steps, and who is this relevant to?
Appropedia Foundation Board meeting agreed tasks
Communications Appropedia:Newsletter Intern, but who oversees?
Site development
Forum Lonny & tech team
Service learning Mini internships Me:
  • Define a few internships (personal notes, then run by A:VP). Make learning central.
  • Add to relevant internship pages on Appropedia. (Separate subpages and transclude.)
  • Post to FB; refine based on feedback.
  • Get first ads out on intern & volunteering sites (Engineers Australia, UN online volunteering site)
Networking Wikimania submit travel grant applications; Lonny, me...
Service learning Documentation internships
  • Think of a better name. Local knowledge internships? Organizational knowledge internships?
  • Find funding? (A stipend seems appropriate if they're going on fieldwork.)
    • Ask them to do their own fundraising (could be a deterrent ot otherwise good people?)
    • Fundraising campaign
    • Submit proposal to a foundation.
Service learning Travel internships
  • Depends on: mini internships; service learning class programs.
  • Ask Lonny & Joshua for ideas
  • Think: Where would we find individuals of strong character, willing to travel independently and able to manage their own work? (Probably students who have been through the mini internship and a second stage, or an equivalent with one of our partner academics (e.g. Lonny or Joshua)
Content development Content permission
  • Write proposal for ATA & similar orgs.
  • Follow up Practical Action. (Me: waiting on response. Call or ping on Skype) Done!
    • Now waiting for confirmation on their licensing - hopefully CC-by-sa. --Chriswaterguy 02:50, 9 August 2012 (PDT)
  • Shareable: Attrib page; and start with a page or two by Neal; clarify permissions with other authors either in terms of their agreement, or by contacting the authors directly.
Site development Semantic structure User:Lonny, User:Jason Michael Smithson, me, User:Willd, tech interns.
Publicity Run sessions/workshops in public libraries (they have computers and are always looking for things to run, and would be happy to tie it in with a display of books on being green. Jam sessions for university libraries & geeky communities. People in Australia, Europe, US or other places with good public libraries.

Mini internships[edit | edit source]

Internship Mini internship task Subsequent task ideas
Fundraising Make an Appropedia page about grants on sustainability, or development. Esp directories of grants. Identify suitable grants for Appropedia - make a list, with dates where applicable; create draft submissions for one or more grants, and/or draft emails of enquiry.
Communications Promote a page or specific topic area via social media, e.g.:

Or create a page about a "hot topic" currently in the news, or any topic of importance.

* Contact suitable organizations and projects, offering Appropedia as a useful place for information about their work. Start with basic text (e.g. for sites that have decent quality content, invite to "share any story that has significance for sustainability, including sustainable technology. You could make a page about the story on Appropedia, and link to the story on your site. (We don't use "nofollow" so the link has SEO value too.)"
  • Promote the page you created.
  • Find and notify relevant newsletters with information and usable spiel about Appropedia and our programs. (This might not be a great return on effort, but worth a try.)
Content Make an Appropedia page about a topic or project - plan to spend 4-6 hours. * Porting of content that we have permission for, adding attribution notices, and adapting to suitable
Collaboration Work with another organization to clarify a joint project, within your area of knowledge. E.g.:
  • Enviu re design competition (suitable task for a design student)
Continue planning for the joint project or event. (Do not commit to timelines without discussion with your Appropedia mentor)
Collaboration Get Semantic forms set up for permaculture

Board meetings[edit | edit source]

Upcoming[edit | edit source]

December 2012 meeting[edit | edit source]

Deal with (delegate, forward)[edit | edit source]

Inter-org communication. A weak idea, often tried without success, is creating a new platform - an extra thing for people to use. Other ideas:

  • A social media tool with hashtags or similar, and persistent posts (StatusNet, maybe a Planet? Yammer is nice, but proprietary, costs money. Later on: maybe Friendica/Red or Diaspora) which has value for the broader strategy of each org. Say, StatusNet, on-posting to Twitter, where each org has a low volume account for significant updates of interest to partners - could be (using a group or groups, but spam can be an issue) or dedicated StatusNet site with moderated account creation.

November 2012 meeting[edit | edit source]

Template:Colored box

Past meetings[edit | edit source]

October 2012 meeting[edit | edit source]

Template:Colored box

Prep[edit | edit source]

  • Attention:
    • Media (Lonny)
    • Katerva "nominee report" submitted - by Chris, Tim Rayner, Lonny. Victoria was very positive.
  • Conversations about collaboration and licensing:
    • with other orgs: Practical Action, TransAid
    • esp EWB-Australia - Nick's ideas; joint internships - give them our outline by... (September 2012?); EWB Challenge reports, and supporting internships.
    • with other wikis:
      • merge; Vinay's wiki merging in (symbolic significance and some SEO value)
      • Desertec, Practical Plants... any success reaching out to Howtopedia?) What a partnership looks like when we remain as separate wikis. Update on Greenlivingpedia, energypedia,
  • Projects wanting to use Appropedia:
    • Create a project using Appropedia: LINGO (Leave It In The Ground)... possibly TransAid.
    • Use Appropedia as the wiki, embedding editable pages on their own site: How, On Earth, Architecture In Development ("Re-connecting local architectural knowledge to global sustainable development")
  • Community: Expanding the core team:
    • Talk about active contributors
    • Advisory board/Foundation membership.
    • Invite someone from outside the Foundation to make a report at meetings.
    • Interns and volunteers
  • Strategy:
    • Targets. Where do we want to be in 1 year, and in 2 years?
    • communications
    • funding - crowdfunding plans
    • expanded service learning program, including internships
    • admin & planning. How do we prioritize tasks? How do we know what's happening with old tasks? (E.g. development work with Amgine; partner banner, various tech requests.)
    • content expansion. Is there a way we could get to 1000 new pages per month, by early 2013? Major expansion of SL & porting... what else?
  • Task management - getting stuff done and working in sync
  • Communications:
    • Blog, Newsletter, A:IRC, printable materials (business cards, brochures/leaflets/large cards), forums (Q&A, Permies), nice landing pages.
  • Legal: Do we need the separation that the WMF has?
  • Personal commitments. (I have less time, we're all busy.)

Agenda items September 2012 meeting[edit | edit source]

[Have ready: Ap EWB internships notes; knowledge hubs notes (Nick)]

Template:Colored box

EWB Challenge[edit | edit source]

Conversation with Jenny from EWB-Australia. These ideas to be taken by Jenny to the EWB Challenge team in Australia & the UK.

The best first year group reports in engineering are selected by universities, who send their best few reports to EWB. 27 universities with 8000 students, in Australia & NZ, yielding 80 reports. Now 30 universities in the UK.

Each report is PDF format, at least 30 pages, usually 50-80 pages.

We discussed how we could present them on Appropedia:

  • EWB and partners to vet the reports. These are already the top reports, so quality is expected to be high.
  • Ask the selected students to start a page, giving them a link to start the page with boilerplate, including:
    • {{ewb challenge finalist}} notice, including disclaimer, and the logo of EWB and the university.
    • A "draft" notice (to be removed when reviewed).
    • Questions to help the student make a clear & helpful page. (Just putting their abstract on would be the minimum effort.)
    • Where to place a link to the full version on the EWB website.
    • How to add an image, if they wish. (Link it from the start page.)

Let universities know that any submission may be placed on Appropedia in the same way. Set up a different start page and a {{ewb challenge submission}} template.

  • An EWB intern to help get the pages together - preferably with wiki experience.
  • Somewhere for the PDF files to be hosted...
  • Should these be vetted, or is a clear disclaimer enough?

Desired outcomes:

  • Reports in a more accessible form - in particular for EWB's community partners, and making them publicly accessible.
  • Attention for the students, engineering programs, universities and EWB.
  • Exposure (by students, academia and EWB) to Appropedia.

Other EWB notes[edit | edit source]


  • EWB Australia: Challenges of creating a Knowledge Hub. I spoke with Nick - interested in working with Appropedia.
    • He's interested in getting EWB people contributing to a common resource. I'm thinking fact-checking, curating & approval, and gap-filling within articles. Do some jams?
    • EWB-A - Nick: strategic knowledge collaboration group; & "it would be great to establish some form of Australasia & Pacific Knowledge for Development Alliance". (I'm not sure what this means - organizations things aren't my forte.)
      • EWB-NZ? UK?
      • An authoritative go-to place for appropriate technology. Build on Appropedia wiki, collaborating with EWB Aus+NZ+UK (+...?) then curate? Curated authoritative documents (fact-sheets) could be a good hook for partners.
  • EWB Australia: EWB Challenge (design comp) getting a lot of traction with universities. Looking at going international.
  • EWB-UK?
  • (This is a communications task, just mentioning here.) Other country organizations - contact when we have something inspirational put together (updated site and fundraiser/awareness campaign)
    • EWB-US - any contacts?
    • EWB-I - any recent contact? Prospects?
    • Other? Esp Canada, very active.
    • Equivalent orgs - ESW, Architects Without Borders...

News and updates[edit | edit source]

  • Intern program update
  • Intern progress. Tech progress (CAPTCHA...); communication internships.
  • Humanitarian Engineering conference - caught up with Andrew, met Tony Marjoram & Tim Jarvis
  • Permies forum?

Minor news - tools for editors (things to put in a newsletter):

  • {{subst:no ads}}
  • {{welcome2}} - automatically adds your signature without needing to put your username as an argument - {{welcome|YourUserName}} - and there are minor tweaks to the wording.

Attention for Appropedia in media & reports[edit | edit source]

Most/all of these are from Lonny:

  1. Report from Endeva for GIZ (marked March 2012; not yet released as of Aug 2012?)
  2. The Practivistas Dominicana Program (e.g. and [Appropedia was a main part of the curriculum and general sharing]
  3. First annual sustainable construction conference in DR ( and [appropedia was very prominently presented]
  4. A week long intensive in North Carolina on greening the campus - wise water ( [Appropedia was used every day and the teachers were all so excited to learn about it and use it]
  5. Flock House in New York ( [The projects are written up on Appropedia]
  6. Poe Park Presentation on Flock House and Dominican Program -

To-dos[edit | edit source]

Update on to-dos from previous meeting - my tasks:

  • Tweeted about GIL article. Turn into blog post?
  • Send draft dot-point newsletter - Appropedia:The Appropedia Update. (And something about the two-monthly professional-looking newsletter idea. Intern task?)
  • Cat re interns - busy. Note mini internships instead. Done! - no reply but have talked with other people.

Things I'm working on (stalled for a long time):

Other to-dos, of interest to me:

  • GIL MOU,
  • Tech Awards application
  • Kiswahili - & any progress on languages in general? Sam Perry,
  • Kili
  • technical meeting (When? get tech interns happening first? Talk about finding information, Forum, Server speed
  • brochure
  • intern for Andrew (especially a publicity intern)

Notes to self, think about & followup:

  • Andrew, UNESCO
  • Joel/Lonny re Mitra & patents & licensing for developing world.
  • Journals & papers mentioning Appropedia -> tie in to how Appropedia is being used
  • Notes for GIL:
    • sponsorship of travel interns
    • philanthropy: Appropedia's great value for money, Bottom of the Pyramid
    • green business
    • business & Appropedia

Think about:

  • My GIL “3 takeaways”
  • Community strategy

Strategy[edit | edit source]

  • The problem with moderate success. [Not obvious to others that they should collaborate closely; not getting a lot of mindshare, not having the impact we want, yet.) Ways to make a quantum leap...?

Prep for a strategy discussion:

  • What do we want for Appropedia? (Do separately first.)
  • Which are the specific communities we serve? Or interests that we can build a community around?

Communications and fundraising[edit | edit source]

Permaculture engagement:

  • merge.


  • 30-second video: Greens ad. (Hypothetical political ad on Australian television's "Gruen Nation")

Work with storytellers.

Legal/administrative[edit | edit source]

  • License discussions with Practical Action and TransAid
  • Do we in the Foundation need to be careful of editing the wiki, lest we compromise our "safe harbor", under wikipedia:Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act? This seems to be the Wikimedia Foundation's approach.
  • Foundation membership and/or advisory board, and/or "advisory community"?

Collaboration[edit | edit source]


  • EmpowerID (Lonny)
  • How do we work with:
    • Other wikis (including those whose focus area is a subset of ours) & other related website projects? E.g. Practical Plants (see their friendly message to Appropedia), Greenlivingpedia, Desertec wiki, GrassRoots Wiki, energypedia, TTP, Green Wiki... more. (Focus areas; consider SEO - linking to each other, indexing each other's content with brief summary pages?; relationship & community issues. Work with communication interns on this?)
    • Forums, E.g. Permies,
    • Projects using the Appropedia wiki - Locally Delicious, Localpedia, How, on Earth. Invitation to TransAid.
  • Recent conversations: Practical Action, TransAid, Desertec, Permies, permaculture people re's wikidump.


  • UNE, Canberra.
  • What's a nice professional looking brochure, and online "brochure" style page, to direct people to? [[Portal:Service learning] as part of it.
  • What about our alma maters?

Aid programs:

  • Inspire Centre and Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). They are still in discussion as of 10 August 2012 - we're waiting on news.

Tech-level integration:

  • What's the status of the cross-site banner?

See also notes from early in the year, below (& personal notes, #BoD).

Publicity and fundraising[edit | edit source]

  • Do we have a strategy?
    • E.g. make a decent, very clear PR and contact 500 academics, 500 in the media...
    • Publicity or communications team?
    • Funding team? Mailing list

Early 2012[edit | edit source]

Notes from meeting prep, beginning of Feb 2012.

Challenges[edit | edit source]

  • Social media & outreach - need newsletter, need community, make space for people to step up?
  • Have we discuss cross-linking arrangements? Standing offers from 2 green wikis - ~"we have a friends of... section in our toolbar - I'd love to put you in there if there's something similar that you could do for us."; Plus Greenlivingpedia already links us from sidebar.
  • Copyright - still have some ambiguous areas. PA, Locally Delicious book. -> VP re clarifying.
  • International Development Design Summit (IDDS) - are we in touch? Get an intern or two there?
  • Tech development:
    • More action - Wesley's work.
    • BetterMeans seems to be mostly working well for those of us working on tech, but still some issues with having a separate platform - less visibility, some resistance to signing up. Questions about its future; lack of exportability? (for now).
    • What do we need for helping new features move to Live? A process, or just a bigger & more active team with trusted people?

Previous meetings[edit | edit source]

Notes for the next meeting (8 Apr 2011)

  • Personal focus
  • Interns & volunteers:
    • process
    • tracking - quick overview (Camilla...)
  • Funding progress
    • Mention of a UK branch?
  • Community:
    • Online community insight: grow people rather than engaging people established in their field. (Learn & grow together like U2 or the Beatles did.)
    • Internships & volunteers
    • Social media & outreach - need newsletter, need community, make space for people to step up?
      • Importance of inefficiency - let people feel like a community. Interact, develop trust & connection.
      • -> Forum, regular chats (monthly?)
  • How we keep track of meetings, notes, tasks, progress. (Google site, or anywhere.)
  • Partnerships
    • We're connected with through COTW & WiserEarth
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