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User talk:Chriswaterguy

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Welcome to my talk page
Feel free to leave a comment or question. If you are not registered with Appropedia, you can either register, or leave a comment at my Wikipedia talk page.

Hi Singkong

Thank you for your very thoughtful contributions so far. I am very impressed by your sound thought, intention and technical ability (and recipes). Are you interested in being an administrator on appropedia? I am not sure when that will help what you do here, but I definitely would like to remove any obstacles to your input. --Lonny 22:54, 30 June 2006 (PDT)

Welcome to adminship. --ATSysop 02:36, 1 July 2006 (PDT)

Rainwater Harvesting and Blogging

Please feel free to move your personal blog here. I think that appropedia should serve as a blog space and social networking site (more on that later) for those working towards change.

I hope you don't mind but I googled you. And found your work on Vadgam rainwater catchement. I have had some success using wikipedia:Ferrocement rainwater harvesting with little noticeable taste. Here are some links you may find useful... I should probably add some of these to appropedia and wikipedia accordingly. It looks like the ferrocement page at wikipedia could use some help.

The documents seem to be missing right now... but should be up soon I hope.
In this urban Zambia project they picked ferrocement as the most cost effective.
Nice 24 page rainwater harvesting document from Practical Action. Inculdes ferrocement tanks.
The Ajit Foundation, Scientific Resource Centre, Jaipur
SimTanka: software tool for rainwater harvesting performance modeling. This software has meet some common international development problems, read more about it at the link.
Jal-Chitra: software tool to create an interactive water map of a village.

In addition, the great and short documentary A Quiet Revolution has a piece about a village in India digging rainwater harvesting swails for ground water recharging. I believe there is a viewable movie at that site, but if not I can put it on a server for you. I am emailing the producers to ask for what they think about hosting the video on google video or the such.

I think I have some homemade movies on ferrocement as well. Please let me know if you are interested.

I posted those videos and a rough powerpoint with some photos to the password protected http://www.appropedia.org/tempshare1/. These files are very unedited and unprofessional, but they are hopefully somewhat educational. This project was only the second time this person ever built a ferrocement tank, but the first time was very successful. I emailed you the password. Please ask before sharing these files as I need to get written permission from the author (I have verbal permission). In addition, I will be asking the author to make an appropedia page on this process and to fix up the videos, which I will then put on Google Video. --Lonny 18:49, 4 July 2006 (PDT)

From the appropedia html sister site (mentioned here just for fun)

Whimsical page about at home rainwater harvesting with ferrocement (this system is not for drinking).
The system is small and uncovered and the pictures are oversized. But still fun.
Plastic tank rainwater harvesting for a Community Resource Center in an effort to water a community garden that would help span the cultural gap between the Latino and Anglo members of their community.

Hmm... Sorry if none of that is usefull, I just got a little excited about the project. --Lonny 22:54, 30 June 2006 (PDT)

Thanks for the interwiki link tips!

I assume that was prompted by all the external links I added to the ruleset page. I looked at the interwiki help for some guidance as to how to use an interwiki link with an explanatory text, but could not find it. Maybe it doesn't work? In the Ruleset, there may be a couple cases where "Wikipedia:xxxx" would be acceptable, but several others where it doesn't work. I didn't like the external links when I was done. It occurred to me at that point that the better result would be to revert back to the original with deadend links, then go create those pages, stealing (with pride) from the content on Wikipedia. (If that's allowed, in which case I guess it ain't stealing.) Opinions? ["Steal with pride" was a commonly used phrase within Intel about 8 years back, for some reason.]

FYI, I plan to speak live on the phone (what'll they think of next?) with Lonny this Friday morning. Maybe you and I could talk later on my Friday / your Saturday morning? I can imagine a weekly or biweekly call being pretty productive. After all, you've got a greenhorn here. --Curtbeckmann 22:28, 13 September 2006 (PDT)

I want your thesis paper, plus blog thoughts

Hi Chris! Just came across Water_management_and_culture_in_Indonesian_cities, and I'd love to read it! Seems like a book-sized topic... I almost encouraged you to write a book, but 2 things stopped me. First, I'm sure you'd have to give up Appropedia, and second, the content probably belongs in Appropedia. :-)

The blog thought is related to Lonny's comment earlier that suggests blogging in Appropedia. My opinion is that blogging on a wiki is a strain. Good blogging sites have several advantages: each blog post can have it's own semi-permanent link (which you could do on a wiki, but there would be a fair amount of overhead to accomplish it), and blog sites help you be visible in blog searches, which is half (or more) of the point of blogging! At least for me. So I'm still interested in joining forces in blogland. I think we could very easily experiment if you create an account at blogger.com. Let me know. --Curtbeckmann 15:11, 17 September 2006 (PDT)

I want to check through my thesis before posting, in case there's formatting issues etc... And I need to take a wikibreak for a few days, as I have much to do. I'll check back in a few days and see what's been happening, especially re some of the questions at the Village pump.
I agree re blogging - will attend to this soon.
Missed your chat message a few minutes ago - I was in a different browser window and didn't see. --Singkong2005 talk 20:57, 17 September 2006 (PDT)
Sounds like a good decision. Blogging will not be encouraged on Appropedia, but encouraged and linked to off site in blogland. --Lonny 10:50, 18 September 2006 (PDT)
Yep, still interested in co-blogging! I'll go poke around about how to invite you onto the team. Hope that personal friend situation works out...kind of missing you. By the way, your picture at http://www.nabuur.com/userinfo.php?uid=6488 seems perfectly good for the short term. --Curtbeckmann 14:13, 7 October 2006 (PDT)

Fixing Math

Thanks for fixing the parsing error from the math code on my talk page. --Lonny 10:53, 23 October 2006 (PDT)

Nudge, nudge

Hi, Chris. I nagged Lonny so only fair I nag you too. Please prioritize some attention on the vision / mission effort :-) Thanks, --CurtB 12:41, 9 November 2006 (PST)

Yes, keep meaning to, but getting distracted. A bit of promo would be much more strategic... --Singkong2005 · talk 15:43, 9 November 2006 (PST)

Reminder: strategic

  • Vision / Mission
  • Worldchanging
I'm trying to focus on my CV/jobs stuff at the moment... but in the process of looking, and networking, I keep finding stuff to put on Appropedia. That explains my recent activity. Will try to get to the WorldChanging stuff soon. Have been thinking about it though (e.g. plan of attack, leaving some really good stuff out e.g. re porting, so that there's enough to justify a second article at a later stage.)
Of course we can always comment there, too, if we have something on Appropedia relevant to a WorldChanging article - and it can be motivation to create the article. --Singkong2005 · talk 16:46, 15 November 2006 (PST)
No problems. I'm a believer in the squeaky wheels theory. I notice you're active, which means you must have a bit of time, and just want to nudge/nag to be sure you're thinking of the strategic stuff as well (mostly because you mentioned an interest... if you hadn't I wouldn't bother you about it). As for the next submission to WC, I figure we can't even imagine the great newsworthy things that will come in the next 3 months. I believe a big "hockey stick" is just beginning. One thing I'd really like is see more porting helpers... I'm beginning to find more content and can well imagine a strategy where those of us with an eye for good material spend time finding it (and getting permission to republish), and, in parallel, people with good editing skills spend the time porting it. But if I was really thinking that strategically, I'd have tweaked the main page to try to capture more porting helpers! --CurtB 17:28, 15 November 2006 (PST)
Any news on a Worldchanging submission? Were we both waiting for each other? You mentioned recently that you're going to be busy on other stuff... Would you like me to take the lead on this submission? --CurtB 14:05, 4 December 2006 (PST)
Will try and make some time for it tonight, about 8-9 hours from now. --Singkong2005 · talk 19:07, 4 December 2006 (PST)
Dealing with a bit of an urgent matter, should be managed soon, will try to get to this by Friday. I want to allow for an hour or two to focus on this WorldChanging promo thing before sending it. --Singkong2005 · talk 05:24, 6 December 2006 (PST)
Ahem. Avoidance-detection circuit has lit up. Not sure this is a 2 hour problem, but if it is, the only way to get there is to give it priority. Sorry to be a nag, happy to simply take it off your list if you prefer. --CurtB 07:38, 9 December 2006 (PST)
Working on it tonight... I spent 15 minutes on it last night, and it looked pretty close, then I had a computer crash and lost it :(. Re avoidance, fair call. I decided earlier today to not look at anything else on Appropedia till I've attended to this. --Singkong2005 · talk 02:16, 10 December 2006 (PST)
This Worldchanging submission is looking pretty close. Awesome work. BTW I use sessionmanager and Firefox, that way when my computer crashes my windows, tabs and unsaved text data are usually recovered. Thank you for your superb activity here, --Lonny 22:34, 10 December 2006 (PST)
Thanks, Chris. Of course, your responsiveness only encourages my pest behavior :-) BTW, Lonny found that a (somewhat late) comment on Worldchanging resulted in 8 short term hits. I'm very pumped about what an actual article could do! Let me know if there's anything (final check, whatever) that you want from me. I'm also fine if you're happy and want to simply shoot it off! --CurtB 06:56, 11 December 2006 (PST)
Actually, I just read it through again, and it looks great! The editors at Worldchanging are going to put their fingerprints on it anyway, so unless there is some big wart that you can see, I would say it's ready for submission! --CurtB 07:02, 11 December 2006 (PST)
Yep, it's not bad... I'm still not quite satisfied. See the Submission guidelines, esp:
3) Pithy Writing... we aim for short recommendations, no more than three paragraphs (some things take longer to explain, and sometimes you'll want to review several related items in one recommendation, but the denser and pithier the writing, the better)...
4) Excerpts... a great excerpt illustrates the nature of the resource you're recommending and also provides an interesting thought or crucial bit of information for the casual reader who won't follow the link. Cherry-pick, in other words: pull the best quotes from the resource as excerpts in your recommendation.
I've made it pithier, but adding some very brief examples of content would be good. Unfortunately I'm going to have trouble spending much time on a computer in the next 2 or 3 days, so if you guys want to make a final judgement and send it in, I'm cool with that. --Singkong2005 · talk 06:04, 12 December 2006 (PST)

Working at cross purposes?

Hi Chris, I created the Appropedia:Categorization page before noticing Help:Categories. When I saw the latter, I copied all of the former into the help page, intending to remove the Appro:Catzn page later. I was going to remove Appro:Catzn, then noticed that you (I think it was you) linked to it from Cat:Cats. So my question is, do you think it is appropriate to include Appro:Catzn into Help:Cats? Or should they be kept as separate pages? As you can tell, I'm inclined to merge them, and drop the Appro:Catzn page. --CurtB 07:37, 15 November 2006 (PST)

I think merging is a good idea - didn't mean to step on your toes! Some of the information about how categorization works is a bit out of date, but as we haven't resolve exactly how it does work, I'm not worrying about updating it just yet. --Singkong2005 · talk 15:41, 15 November 2006 (PST)

Your Question about Coordination pages

Hi Chris,

Regarding your question about coordination pages, such as J Point Donations. I think that we should make a Template:Infobox_Coordination similar to the Template:Infobox_Project that we are developing for project pages. This Coordination Infobox could contain the orgainzaiton name (but this may put extra work on, and neccesitate more wikiknowledge of, the page creator), or the template could just say, "Hey this is a coordination page....". I am also looking at ways (using hooks or bots) to automatically put this type of static infobox on any page with a specific category, such as Category:Coordination. Another idea is to have Coordination pages located at Your organization name/Collaboration name in order to make it clear what the collaboration is part of, and to leave room in the root level article namespace. --Lonny 11:38, 8 December 2006 (PST)

I did see your comments from Dec 8

Hi Chris. I did see your comments from 12/8 at the "porting/Titles of documents" section. But I (obviously :-) didn't reply. I have been acting in accordance (I believe) and didn't have much else to say, but I should have acknowledged your input. I've also been too busy protecting original pages (wanted to finish that), and haven't created the editable pages yet. (I did take a moment to port a couple more pages...we were at 199 for a couple days and it was bugging me...then we were at 200 and that was almost worse...made it look "approximate".) I plan to make editable pages for the "how to" type docs... I'm still sort of pondering the ported project page question.

By the "ported project page question" are you referring to Appropedia:Porting pages, or the title question, or something else? Let me know if there's a specific question you want input on. --Singkong2005 · talk 15:05, 13 December 2006 (PST)

I've also been spending some energy around the Topic categorization happiness. I like my new table approach. Perhaps you've commented on that (I haven't checked as I write this). I feel fairly strongly that things like "Adobe" should not be categorized directly as topics, but should be under earthen construction under alternative construction.

Strongly agree. I hadn't noticed this work (haven't been watching so closely the last week or so) - I'd had some similar thoughts, and Lonny & I had discussed related issues in the past, but not reached a clear resolution, I think (or I didn't quite understand Lonny's vision). I didn't want to change things if I was the only one who thought that way. --Singkong2005 · talk 15:05, 13 December 2006 (PST)
Just checked Category:Fundamental & Category:Topic - still looks inconsistent. Last time I looked, I was unclear about how we wanted to deal with this, so I didn't fix up too much. My strong feeling is that categoriess like Appropriate technology & Electricity belong in Topic, whereas cats like How to, Resources, Issues, Organization and Program belong in Fundamental. Not sure about Countries - probably in Topic. How does that sound?
I still favor plural forms for categories (e.g. Category:Topics) - but we haven't reached consensus on this yet. It's worth deciding this before doing lots of edits to cat tags. --Singkong2005 · talk 15:58, 13 December 2006 (PST)

Putting it another way, since this topic stuff is meant to aid in navigation, if a subject is listed at the topic level, it should not need to appear again lower in the structure. Regarding topics that "sit on the fence" between two (sometimes 3?) topic subcategories, I believe that those topics should be categorized in all relevant subtopics.

Agreed, again. --Singkong2005 · talk 15:05, 13 December 2006 (PST)

On a different note, the site is really rocking. Users and hits and pages are all growing nicely. Lots of infrastructure looks pretty good. (The topic stuff has been bugging me for a long time, hence my recent focus.) Hopefully WC submission causes some big boost. --CurtB 06:41, 13 December 2006 (PST)

Yep - I'm excited about it. Your work and enthusiasm has been a big part of this growth - kudos. --Singkong2005 · talk 15:05, 13 December 2006 (PST)
Thank you and serious kudos are due to you as well. Lonny deserves it, perhaps more because a lot of his work doesn't show up on "recent changes". I'm thinking of some promotional stuff (which we both do, of course) but also all the analytics. But, hey, founders aren't supposed to need encouragement, right? In addition to the earlybirds, I'm very impressed with several new users really kicking butt.
One cool thing is how the natural interests tend to overlap somewhat, but not too much, which leads to pretty good coverage. For example, you invest way more in templates, which I benefit from though I'm more passive there. O would say I fuss more about strategic (wonder what's gonna happen with Mission/Vision?), which probably has some benefits, but you can't spend your whole life there :-) Hope the WC thing comes through. I kinda wish I'd added something like a cover letter, saying stuff that we didn't want published, but which nevertheless justified the new article. I'm thinking "look, those other wikis have pretty much died...; look at the stats and you can see that Appropedia is doing the hockey stick thing and the concept can really leap with a bit of awareness" I've been pondering sending a followup with that basic content. What the hey, there are real humans reading this stuff and making decisions... --CurtB 16:44, 14 December 2006 (PST)

Living space, culture

Hi Chris, You moved "cities" and "alternative building" under "living space". I'm struggling with that because several things under "alternative building" are not living space (ovens, greenhouses, etc), and I think cities aligns a little better with "culture and development". Before getting into a reversion war (not like that's really gonna happen with us) I thought we'd have a chat. What do you say?

Hi Curt. Well spotted. How's "Built environment"? Still not quite right for ovens etc, but closer. Other thoughts, or do we put them both in the Topic cat? --Singkong2005 · talk 06:00, 15 December 2006 (PST)

While I'm at it, I'm tempted to move "culture and development" plus "culture and community" under "culture". There are some subcategories that seem to overlap, e.g. Male contraceptives seems to go either way. (It's close to the "gender and development" article or category.)

Hmmm... I don't know what to make of Category:Culture and community , as it currently has no content - I'd be inclined to wait for the content to make decisions relating to that cat. Anyway, I'm happy if you play around with categorization. --Singkong2005 · talk 06:00, 15 December 2006 (PST)

All this stuff is a judgement call, of course. The "right" answer for me is whatever is likely to make for easier navigation. I don't know if you've written much software, but there is this concept of "balanced trees". I'd love it if categories broke out nicely into 10 to 15 subcategories and/or 10 to 15 articles. Just a few layers gets lots of content :-) But this must be traded off against some kind of "natural" (i.e. intuitive) structure as well.

I think we should wrestle with this topic categorization a little aggressively now (similar to the singular/plural argument) since it will be harder later. It'll be case by case, I expect, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong.

By the way, I noticed a category called "issues", which currently holds two articles that also appear under another category (forget at the mo'). There are also "Appropriate technology" and (empty) "Sustainable development" categories, which could easily be tucked under "issues", IMHO.

Good idea. --Singkong2005 · talk 06:00, 15 December 2006 (PST)

I think "issues" is very interesting. I kind of think of it as a "public policy" but that suggest government, and "policy" by itself sounds like Appropedia policy, so I come back to "issues". I think topic has evolved into "subject", whereas "issues" may capture what Lonny was initially thinking of with Topics, i.e. discourse. What other words could be used for an "issues" category (which may deserve listing on the nav page)? Maybe "debate", "rhetoric", "opinion", "controversy", "argument", "analysis". Some combo could work well, like "Issues and analysis", or maybe "Issue discussions", or "Discussions and analysis" or "editorials" or "Op-Ed"... Damn! Anyway, there is a category that is not yet well developed.

Yeah. Issues seems okay to me though, so I'm happy to leave it till as that, and change it if and when there's a light bulb moment of inspiration. --Singkong2005 · talk 06:00, 15 December 2006 (PST)
I forgot to mention why I didn't like "issues" by itself. Perhaps the nuances in Australia are different than here, but "Issues" as a single word has so many meanings (like problems, possibly construed as "bugs", as well as Issues of a periodical, etc). One of the meanings is exactly the one we want, but for me, without context, that correct meaning doesn't leap out. And that's why I was tacking on another word. As long as the new word doesn't make things worse, it seems like it can add clarity. If none of the above work, then perhaps "Issues forum"... Well, no rush. There aren't many articles yet. (Note, I will comment on the WP template talk page in a mo'.)--CurtB 07:56, 15 December 2006 (PST)
As Giles said of Buffy, "I believe she is having what you Americans refer to as issues." :) I'm cool with a change - I like Lonny's idea (via email) of putting theses and well thought out opinions into one category, but I don't have bright ideas on a category name. --Singkong2005 · talk 19:15, 18 December 2006 (PST)

I'd like to read your thesis

Would that be possible?


Hey Chris, send me email at ericblazek@ou.edu re: wikigreen and I will fill you in on what we are doing. I would like to talk more about what we could do together.