The website will be one year old in March and we’re celebrating by doing a survey to see how you are finding it. We’ve done a lot of work and it looks like it’s doing its job, so we’d like to know which bits can be improved and what to focus on in 2011.
Please can you help us improve the web project by completing our survey? You can read the information below, or proceed directly to the survey.
We will be emailing all newsletter subscribers on Tuesday 8th February, so if you fill this in before you receive that mail, please ignore that mail.
Please forward this link to your mates and others who use the site!
You won’t be amazed to hear that we hope that the Transition Network website is useful, simple, friendly, and of service to us all as we do our thing. We know what it’s like on the ground doing Transition projects and we want the site to be the best it can be at supporting us all. The main aim is to help you find ‘knowledge’, whether that’s in the people, the projects, the initiatives, the events or the news.
You can read an outline of the web project here; our thinking (significantly informed by our 2009 survey and workshops) is that the best ‘social networking’ is in your neighbourhoods with your neighbours, rather than at your computers with people around the world. However, if one person has learnt some invaluable lessons about setting up a Micro-Hydro Energy Co-operative, then those lessons would be invaluable to someone in another area or country – which is a fantastic use of the web, so we’re focusing on that.
- Get an idea of who you are
- Get an idea of what you use/need from the Transition Network site and newsletter and how they can improve
- Ask what priorities you think are important for 2011
- Get an idea of what you are up to on your own sites
There are references in the survey to some possible tactical paths for 2011 which we have extracted from meetings and workshops and analysed at the ‘web project strategy meeting‘. They are explained (in theory) below. All of these options will require a slightly different form of support – be it co-ordinating, or volunteering, or sense-making, so we’ll bear that in mind too (technology is just technology, they’ll all need a human touch).
- Add evaluation tools
- More process support for initiatives
- Enable Transitioners to share their stories around the world
- Make the site multi-lingual
- Clever-er profile linking on the site
Use the site to gather information on the movement’s progress. Introduce assessment questions on initiative and project and people profiles and ask Transitioners to complete them. Questions could be around community resilience and environmental indicators. Produce reports based on this feedback. Will require Transitioners to fill out the assessments, but would give us all a ‘snapshot’ of action and progress.
Working with our project support co-ordinator, explore and introduce more ways for initiatives to support eachother online with their intellectual and process issues, ranging from conflict to business to whatever. Could be in the form of webinars (online conferences), FAQs, ‘Yahoo Answers’ style community Q&A, buddying people/projects/initiatives. Will require Transitioners to act and react online to eachothers’ enquiries.
There are a great deal of us Transitioners having experiences ‘in the field’, and there isn’t a way of sharing our stories at this point. Steph Bradley found a huge appetite for story-telling (particularly at regional edges) on her walk in 2010 and we’re all very inspired by this. Enable people to write their own stories in blog posts on this site or their own sites, collect and synthesise them all to show a topical and regional map of what people are experiencing. Imagine seeing this mega-story unfold and look around it with keywords, topics, or location.
Since the site’s launch, we’ve been asked occasionally if the site should be in languages other than English. We’re aware that it being in English is handy for English speakers, but not great for those who aren’t great at English. We are also aware that there are National Hub sites in German, Dutch, Norwegian and other languages already, so it may be a national hub’s role to provide services in local languages. We’re not sure. We can translate the site’s functionality into multiple languages, and could help co-ordinate volunteer translators to translate key content into their languages if that was desirable.
The deeper, more relationship-y bit behind the scenes. They call it ‘Knowledge Management’ in some circles, but it’s about working the site’s ‘intelligence’ more to relate the projects to the initiatives to the people to the events to the patterns and so forth. An update to ‘drupal 7’ may give us more ‘semantic’ power like this. A head scratcher. What is knowledge?
Since the site’s launch in March 2010, we’ve seen some great action on the site. Here’s a little overview:
- Total initiatives on the site: 702
- Official: 343
- Muller: 358
- Total projects on the site: 112
- Resources on the site: 48
- Registered users: 9,061
- Facilitators: 569
- Initiative media points of contact: 230
- Speakers: 485
- Newsletter subscribers: 9,849
- Diversity newsletter subscribers: 1,710
- Topics: 118
- Posts: 385
- Total comments on site: 962