Appropedia:Village pump/Archive1

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(archived by --CurtB 16:07, 31 October 2006 (PST))

I haven't worked out if these organisations are notable enough for inclusion in Wikipedia. If not, they might at least deserve a mention here. E.g. we could have a table of organizations, with category, place of origin & operation, brief comments/description, & links to Wikipedia where appropriate. (Have link to the Wikipedia article in name - but only if there is actually a Wikipedia article, as a dead link doesn't show as a redlink for interwiki link).

--Singkong2005 t - c 05:44, 30 June 2006 (PDT)

I think a table of organizations is necessary. In addition the the items you mention, we should include a link to the organizations webpage and the organization name should be a link to their appropedia page (if they have one). Inappropriate additions to wikipedia such as Wikipedia:Appropriate Technology Africa are a great example of a purpose that appropedia should serve. Maybe would should have a template on wikipedia along the lines of "This page is not in accordance with (some link to what wikipedia is not in reference to promoting your organization), please consider moving this page to another wikimedia project such as Appropedia where it is more appropriate." --Lonny 13:00, 30 June 2006 (PDT)
I'm finally getting around to this topic, and I think it's a good one, in part because I know of several organizations that I am tempted to make note of. I'll look into what you've already done with orgs, but also want to ask if this is effectively a policy question? That is, shall I move to the policy page? I already moved what I was pretty sure about... --Curtbeckmann 12:58, 2 October 2006 (PDT)

Server performance took a dive?

(archived by --CurtB 16:16, 31 October 2006 (PST), since problem was fixed by server move at same hosting service) Most of Sunday (Pacific time) Appropedia's server seemed to be extremely sluggish. I can imagine a couple of possible explanations.

  1. We're getting so much traffic that the server is struggling. Solution: upgrade server (that would be great!)
  2. I noticed a bunch of image uploads. Have we exceeded some threshold for storage or other resource that's causing a problem?
  3. It has nothing to do with Appropedia, but instead the issue is some other application that we are sharing the server with is becoming a resource hog, in which case, the other application needs to get it's own server.

Anyway, if this persists I would say it's definitely not acceptable. What metrics / diagnostic tools are available? What options are there? --CurtB 21:30, 22 October 2006 (PDT)

approx Sep-Oct 2007

Agroinnovations: Call for Collaborators

At Agricultural Innovations, we are trying to find ways to leverage communities like Appropedia to do real time development and deployment of appropriate technologies for development projects in the Third World. Our focus is Bolivia, South America, a fantastic place but the poorest country on the continent. We believe that through decentralized, network-based technology development we can provide better services and products more cheaply and efficiently than would be possible through a traditional top-down approach. Help us make this dream a reality.

The Project

Our project has multiple components, but the central thrust has three primary objectives:

  1. To develop a model for community-based technology centers, with a focus on tech transfer using appropriate technologies that can be prototyped, validated, and commercialized for future business and community development
  2. To focus on the rehabiliation of degraded and eroded lands, with a special focus on soil and water resource management
  3. To develop a North-South axis of interaction, where Northern professionals can provide technical and financial resources to Southern tinkers and innovators

Technological Possibilities

We do not want to limit potential collaborators to a specific area of intervention. The needs are so vast, and the model open enough, that good ideas will find traction and move forward. Here are some areas of interest that we have worked on in the past:

  • Hydraulic Ram Pumps
  • Ferrocement Tanks
  • Beekeeping Technologies (Improved Hive and Implement Development)
  • CINVA Ram Block Press
  • Aquaculture
  • Microlivestock
  • Animal traction implements
  • Play Pump
  • Windmills
  • Water Catchments
  • Rainwater Harvesting
  • Grey Water Systems
  • Biogas
  • Mushroom Production
  • Geographic Information Systems and CAD for permaculture design

This list is far from exhaustive. If you feel you have an idea that could have an impact, let us know. This call for collaborators is preeliminary. We WILL build and document a model for eroded land rehabiliation, and we will document it online. Please see,com_zoom/Itemid,131/catid,8/lang,en/ for some examples of how CAD and GIS can integrate appropriate technology into a geospatial land rehabiliation scheme. If you are interested, get in touch with me. frank [at] agroinnovations dot com. The revolution is now.

Solar hot water

I added this to Solar hot water on Wikipedia:

Simpler designs suitable for hot climates can be much simpler and cheaper, and can be considered an appropriate technology; however they will not work very well in temperate climates.[citation needed]

If anyone knows a good source for this, please add it. Our own Solar hot water page could be used as an additional reference, if it is expanded to include an explanation of how to make a very simple solar hot water system. (For someone with very few resources, it shouldn't take much more than a black hose in the sun, I'd imagine.) --Singkong2005 talk 21:45, 10 September 2006 (PDT)

Sustainable Energy booklet

An Australian group is developing a booklet, so I invited them to do it here. It's at Sustainable Energy booklet, and any input would of course be appreciated.

I think this is a good thing for Appropedia to do, and also a way to help people find out about Appropedia. --Singkong2005 talk 19:18, 11 September 2006 (PDT)

some test

How to monitor changes

I've started a page, Help:Monitoring changes, which might be useful to people here. I've set my preferences so I'm notified by email when pages on my watchlist are edited.

H:MC will work as a redirect, (though I'm still figuring out {{shortcut}} template, for displaying the shortcut on help/project pages - something went funny when I copied from Wikipedia). --Singkong2005 talk 20:22, 11 September 2006 (PDT)

Google Grants give free advertising... but must be a registered non-profit

Something that could be relevant to promoting Appropedia...

While we were exchanging emails, Curt mentioned, the philanthropic arm of Google. One interesting thing on that site is:

...the Google Grants program, which gives free advertising to selected non-profits. To date, Google Grants has donated $33M in advertising to more than 850 non-profit organizations in 10 countries. Current Google Grants participants include the Grameen Foundation USA, Doctors Without Borders, Room to Read, and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. For information about the Google Grants program, please visit:

One requirement (for U.S. organizations) is having 501(c)(3) status - I don't know whether that's difficult. --Singkong2005 talk 18:46, 12 September 2006 (PDT)

I bought some books on creating a 501c3 corporation with the purpose of enable grant applications to folks like the Gates Foundation. It's a little bit involved, but obviously people do it all the time. I'll be meeting with someone in the morning who has either done it or is in the process, and I'll ask. Previously when we discussed this, she proposed that her non-profit could get grants on my behalf to save me the trouble of doing the 501c3. I'll ask my daughter (who works at Google) to see if she can get more info on their guidelines. For example, would it work for another 501c3 to talk about Appropedia?
This leads to additional questions about where to host if we choose to go the route of a 501c3. I love this discussion, since to me it suggests that we're thinking big and long term. Thank you! Curtbeckmann 20:31, 12 September 2006 (PDT)
Let's continue this talk about the 501c3 route. I am very interested, and we just received an small donation offer, but the donor assumed and needs us to be a 501c3. --Lonny 23:38, 10 October 2006 (PDT)
WOW WOW were you busy last night! And got a ton done in 2 hours! I went to the EWB-SFP and I almost feel like I should write a "trip report" or something. One thing I took away was a similar thought about 501c3, in our case it was relevant to the free google advertising, which would be extremely cool. Also learned why they want the private wiki; a previous public wiki accidently (as wiki's go) posted $100,000 instead of $10,000 and the target village in Africa got a seriously wrong impression, much to everyone's upset. Seems a reasonable incentive to privatize. Nevertheless, I will soon begin working on their wiki (which is unfortunately Twiki-based), and will do what I can do to clone some of their stuff and move it to Appropedia, with their blessings only, of course. But since I (accidentally) attended a fundraising committee meeting and will likely be a member of that, I will highlight the advantages of public. They acknowledged the value of public wikis, and the need for a unified one, so it's an easy sell. Here we go! --Curtbeckmann 06:23, 11 October 2006 (PDT)
Yeah, last night/this morning has seen a build up of tasks addressed.
Thanks for the update on EWB-SFP. One big pitch for public wikis for EWB: Partner connections. A public wiki would allow for questions, comments and updates from partners afar. Please keep me up to date on any 501c3 progress. Thank you. --Lonny 07:10, 11 October 2006 (PDT)

We can write something for - see Submission guidelines. Let's edit it here, at Worldchanging submissions, and then submit it. --Singkong2005 talk 03:35, 15 September 2006 (PDT)

It was partly thinking about these promotional efforts that got me started on the "building a cathedral" mission statement stuff, which I added further down in this page. A sentence or two about our mission could fit pretty well into the promotion. --Curtbeckmann 16:23, 30 September 2006 (PDT)
Just asked AIDG to add a link to Appropedia (which is why I invested in adding them to the Orgs list) and they very kindly came through! See: --Curtbeckmann 11:52, 12 October 2006 (PDT)
Hi Curt, Great work. We should keep up these types of linking requests and we should really start working on the article for Worldchanging submissions as Singkong suggested. --Lonny 12:19, 12 October 2006 (PDT)

Appropedia:About or Appropedia:About_Appropedia?

Both of these pages have interesting content, but seems like there should only be one page. You can get to the "About" page by following the link in the footer of every page (misleadingly labeled "About Appropedia"), and you can get to the "About Appropedia" page via the navigation bar on the left.

For a check on convention, I went to Wikipedia, and found Wikipedia:About. There is no "About Wikipedia" page. Based on that, I'll start to migrate the distinct content on Appropedia:About_Appropedia to Appropedia:About when I have a good chunk of time. Presumably I can figure out how to redirect after that, or may need some help there, or perhaps the old page can go away and the nav link can go directly to About...

Appropedia:About is definitely the page we should keep as far as the title, as well as content, is concerned. The content on Appropedia:About_Appropedia is now outdated. It was more of my original thoughts/words, but needs to be updated. I am still working on some technical aspects, such as citations, interwiki links, google sitemapping and rank, statistic analyzing and such... but I will start working on new content to replace the stuff at Appropedia:About_Appropedia that needs to move to Appropedia:About. Some of this information is spread throughout other conversations, especially those between Singkong2005 and me --Lonny 02:31, 1 October 2006 (PDT)
So is the best short term action a simple (what the heck, seems simple to me) change of the nav bar to point to Appropedia:About, so it is in sync with the link in the footer? --Curtbeckmann 18:27, 1 October 2006 (PDT)
Done. I will keep working on more updated content. --Lonny 18:34, 1 October 2006 (PDT)
Thanks! I guess this topic is not quite closed, so I won't delete it for a while, despite my aggressiveness in scrubbing various pages :-) --Curtbeckmann 12:53, 2 October 2006 (PDT)

News? Wind? Transportation?

Just saw this amazing claim, and if it's legit it is a great example of Appropriate Technology, and aimed at an unexpected place:

Wind aided container ship propulsion. Massive sail, nearly a hectare, provides 10,000 horsepower. Hope it's real. I went to stick it under Topics, which seemed appropriate. Maybe transportation, but didn't find anything associated with Wind (is wind considered a form of solar?). Mostly I put it here because it seems like news. I'm thinking that some kind of news section (maybe "recent events" or something) might bring people back to the site. It would be a good page for occasional visitors to "watch". It would also be a good page for a content-weak contributor (like me) to add to :-) All this reminds me of the interesting new fan patents that I heard about in Mill Valley or Sausalito or wherever (which I can't quite recall, but may have sent out). --Curtbeckmann 11:56, 10 October 2006 (PDT)

I think that we can make a page named News Review and/or Link Review. We could archive older threads and encourage comments. This could look a lot like book reviews. I use something like this on my Moodle (private) site, and would rather have it here. In addition we could run a pligg, but hugg already has something like that.
I like the News review idea. Perhaps with a separate commentary section (e.g. on same page, with commentary after the news item). This would enable us to point out, for example, whether something is proven, unproven or wildly speculative. But we need to think more about this - I'd like to ensure we don't replicate something that hugg is already doing well. --Singkong2005 · talk 19:01, 10 October 2006 (PDT)
BTW Check out this kite/wind technology.
We do need a Category:Wind Power topic category.--Lonny 15:53, 10 October 2006 (PDT)
We have Category:Wind power (different capitalization) but it's only got one article.
Curt: I remember reading about cargo ships with sails to reduce fuel consumption in Popular Science mag in the 1980's - Popular Science is probably not the most reliable resource, in hindsight (more sensationalism than hard science), but the idea's been around for a while. I'm not sure how high fuel costs would have to go before this becomes more cost effective than conventional fuel, as well as biodiesel. If there are differences in speed, that would affect the trade-off as well (time is money). Love the idea though.
I couldn't play the video (even when I looked the video up on other sites) - my version of Linux probably doesn't have the codecs for that video. But I read the summary, and it does sound like quite a different version from what I read about all those years ago. --Singkong2005 · talk 19:01, 10 October 2006 (PDT)
The german firm SkySails ( will build something similar. The site is in german, but they have a video ( ) also in german, where a small version of the system is seen in action. You have to wait until 1:30 minutes to see the actual kite. They will build systems up to 5000KW. First system are scheduled for beginning of 2008. —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs) 17:52, 22 August 2007

Refining Newpageresource template & others

As we're now using certain templates on every page, we need to work on them to make them as helpful yet unobtrusive as possible.

{{Newpageresource}} could be made briefer and easier to create new pages if we had the "inputbox" code working here, as at wikia. Any chance we could do that? (Lonny, Goodsignal?) --Singkong2005 · talk 22:56, 15 October 2006 (PDT)

Brilliant. I think I remember you suggesting this before... but here it is - Appropedia:Temporary_wikitests#Input_box. I am very excited about this addition. I think that this will make the process clearer, less intimidating and it allows us to have different text automatically show up in the edit box. --Lonny 01:04, 16 October 2006 (PDT)
The {{Newpageresource}} is only being used on topic categories.
The {{Createnewpage}} is for the area categories.
I am working on answering your other questions clearly as well. Will get back to you soon on those. --Lonny 01:04, 16 October 2006 (PDT)
Good work at Appropedia:Temporary wikitests#Input box, Lonny. Re the Input box array, though, I'd be strongly inclined to just have the one box, and a link for further information on editing. Some pages will miss out on the automatic categorization, but we will generally pick those up in the usual ways, and fix them. --Singkong2005 · talk 00:59, 16 October 2006 (PDT)
I agree with your sentiments in most ways about the input box array. But the array would allow for more than just automatic categorization, it would allow for the empty edit box to be filled with a specialized template to start out editors. I was thinking about the array on just one or two help or call-to-action pages about creating pages. --Lonny 01:09, 16 October 2006 (PDT)
Ah, fair enough. If it's only used a few times it could be useful (and help new users learn about categorization and whatever else is in the template. Sounds good. --Singkong2005 · talk 01:20, 16 October 2006 (PDT)
I'm still getting caught up from my break, and BOY do I like this! Like Chris, I'm happy if the array doesn't appear too often. Sounds like the plan (when we all love the strategy?) is to add these input boxes on the various key category (i.e. "area") pages? And those pages could intelligently prepopulate the page with categorization and maybe some hints about content etc? Like "<!-- If you've got some timelines, you might want to put them here -->" or whatever. That would enable us to remove the "suggestions" box on the main page and replace it with a one-line "Useful Tip". --Curtbeckmann 18:44, 17 October 2006 (PDT)

New page templates - slim down?

More good work happening at good speed, with the default pages such as {{NewOrganizationpage}} and {{NewProjectpage}}. I would suggest, though, that we keep those pages as simple as possible. Wiki newbies could easily look at all the comments and explanations and feel very daunted. I think as long as we've already explained (in {{Newparampageresource}}) that people should "not worry about formatting or completeness, others will help and changes are easily made" we should give them as blank a slate as possible to work on.

Perhaps this info could be moved to Help:Contents where needed, and the default page could just have the suggestion "<!-- For help, click "Editing help" below this edit box. -->" --Singkong2005 · talk 18:46, 18 October 2006

I did shrink the preload text somewhat, and am open to additional shrinkage... Actually, feedback generally about the current "create new page" arrangement is welcome. --CurtB 22:48, 21 October 2006 (PDT)
Hmm... actually I'm still inclined to keep it as simple as possible, only adding one to three lines, e.g. a predetermined category and little if anything else. We have ways of keeping an eye on uncategorized pages, so I'd be inclined to rely on that for pages that miss out on cats when created.
But it occurs to me that we each have ideas on what is most user-friendly, but I can't say for sure that I'm right. What we really need is some real-world testing with people who don't know wikis. I'll try and get Michelle to sit at the computer and try to create a page. (Michelle is the gender and development person I've mentioned by email.) --Singkong2005 · talk 16:11, 12 November 2006 (PST)
Be bold :-) Shrink them more if you prefer... Be great if we can get some feedback! We ask, but... --CurtB 14:59, 21 November 2006 (PST)
Haven't had time to address this yet... Joshua has mentioned this, so perhaps we can work on it together, do some slimming down, but just as importantly create appropriate structure (Do we do this in the page, or on a separate guidelines page?)
Do we want to aim for something like wikiHow's multiple text entry boxes, to create structure? They would have to vary according to page type (and, like wikiHow, have an opt-out to allow editing without the imposed structure.) --Chriswaterguy · talk 23:02, 30 October 2007 (PDT)
I like the idea of different templates based upon category and/or user choice (think how to mostly words vs how to mostly photos templates). --Lonny 23:20, 30 October 2007 (PDT)