[Greenbuilding] Conversation/Listserv Format

Reuben Deumling 9watts at gmail.com
Mon Dec 12 13:57:24 MST 2016


I would be pleased to migrate to something more vivacious. One caveat,
though. With all the mention of how many hundreds of groups the platform
can support I'd be concerned that the value of One list: one address: one
group would be lost or undermined. It is great to have state based
discussions of green building, but one of the chief values I've felt of the
greenbuilding list over the years has been the variety of knowledgeable
people who were *not* from the state I happened to live in, whose insights
I have so appreciated.

On Mon, Dec 12, 2016 at 12:50 PM, Allison Friedman <
afriedman at rateitgreen.com> wrote:

> Hi Reuben -
>
> Thanks for the conversation.
>
> Maybe I saw your note a few weeks ago subliminally and that’s why I was
> writing.  These chains get confusing, which is the reason I wrote.  If
> people are going to share their time and wisdom, I want there to be able to
> find the info.
>
> This came up a few years ago. I gave some pros and cons then, and one of
> the cons was that the group risked losing some great people if and when it
> ever moved.  But I too have noted the decreasing frequency of conversation
> on this and on another similar listserv that is all but dead (not sure
> there was a post in 2016 on that one).  And when a conversation gets going,
> I can’t really follow the replies down a long repetitive trail without
> REALLY trying.
>
> Another complication was that our site requires registration.  No $, but
> we do have to set up accounts.  Maybe there’s a way to short that and have
> an account waiting for anyone who wanted, but our registration involves
> creating screen names and such.  So, I don’t know, you’d have to have
> agreement for everyone to start with some default, like using real names or
> last initials and first names..., or to go register new.  I make no
> presumption anyone else wants to consider a move - but it seems worth
> mentioning the option when I really struggle to follow.
>
> As for topics, Rate It Green can host whatever anyone creates or needs or
> asks.  So far, the site hosts what members and even interns have wanted to
> start for groups.  We have a few US states, and a group someone started for
> green building in India.  There’s one topic group, for Affordable Green
> Housing.  Ah yes, and someone started a group long ago for emerging
> professionals, but it has not been active recently.  But, there’s just no
> limit to what the resource can host.  By location or by topic. So if you
> wanted one group to keep everyone on this list together, you’d have it -
> and people could receive notifications any time there’s a post (those are
> all settings).  But if people also wanted to broaden out membership in
> groups along specific topics, that could be done, too.  That’s part of why
> this site took me so long to build (3 different programing languages and
> multiple efforts each time to make it right).  It’s infinitely expandable -
> it’s built with unbounded potential, but…  honestly, I don’t now have the
> budget to market it.  So it sort of makes me sad when I see a great group
> like this with all those email trails, and I do know in theory I can help.
>
> Regarding topics, when someone creates a group (and I can create them),
> all of our product and service categories, and all of our discussion
> categories are already pre-available.  The site’s only showing you what
> people have chosen to activate.  We’ve got 100+ directory categories that
> groups can revolve around, and maybe 50 that were created for discussions.
> A lot of the idea revolves around making it easier for people to find
> information if we do the work up front to categorize it.
>
> You can see product topics here, represented in the directory: http://www.
> rateitgreen.com/green-building-directory/products
>
> Services here: http://www.rateitgreen.com/green-building-directory/
> services
>
> Discussions are here, but most are currently active in “other” and not
> specific product and service types yet:
> http://www.rateitgreen.com/green-building-community/discussions
> http://www.rateitgreen.com/green-building-community/sustainable-building-
> discussions/other-green-building
>
> Articles (new) are so far mostly general and come in here and there:
> http://www.rateitgreen.com/articles
>
>
> And current groups, as you saw.  These are completely customizable - Take
> something over and use it as you wish.  This is what the flexibility was
> built for:
>
> http://www.rateitgreen.com/green-building-community/
> sustainable-building-groups-all
>
>
>
> I do know of some other resources and would be willing to share what I
> know.  There aren’t a ton and some have closed or reduced functionality in
> recent years.  Others are not free, and one of the best of these doesn’t
> offer conversations.  But I don’t know of another open resource that can
> categorize and welcome people and conversations so openly.  The trick is,
> you get back out what you put in.  If you let me know what you need, you
> can create it or I can.  No limit.
>
> You can’t be all things to all people, and in the past I heard both “What
> a neat idea and resource for consumers!” and at the same time, “Oh, this
> has so much potential to connect pros.”  Really, I wanted people and
> companies and organizations to self organize along the lines of topics and
> areas and affiliations so that everyone out there decides how to connect
> and what to organize those connections around. it’s not all things to all
> people as much as, “What do YOU want to share or ask that pertains to green
> building?”  I feel we need to widen the umbrella and let people with
> experience on a topic, no mater who they are, reach others who want to know
> about that experience.  Some people will just join one conversation and not
> want to connect with a “group.”  Others have recently asked just to post an
> article to share on one topic they know.  I see this “group” on this
> listserv as an inspiring and unique set of really knowledgeable people who
> know how to solve problems, and who make the time to help each other out.
> I don’t want to see that lost in any way, and yet I do feel that the rest
> of the world would benefit from these solutions being more available, and
> that this group might benefit from organized threads in one place, where
> the replies don’t repeat each time.
>
> Connect with me directly or here if you’d like to chat.  I am here if I
> can help.  I felt it was time to remind and offer.  I just have built this
> resource specifically to help anyone who wants to connect on these and
> related topics, and people like all of you inspire me and are part of the
> stakeholders I envisioned.  So while I am not a “salesperson,” even for
> something that is free, I did feel my gosh, this is part of what we built
> this platform to help with.
>
> The challenge remains:  Moving has risks.  But so does staying in place.
> At least now the functionality I was working on in the past actually
> works.  With your feedback, I can adjust and make a group into what will
> serve you - and anyone looking for your wisdom - work.  I believed in still
> do in enabling infinite conversations that others can find and read as
> well, even if they aren’t technically in the group.  Maybe they’d also be
> welcome in…   (And if not, I have to look into making private groups work,
> or moderated, where you can decide.  But as far as I know, this listserv
> has been open?)
>
> Thanks again,
> Allison
>
>
>
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2016 13:09:20 -0800
> From: Reuben Deumling <9watts at gmail.com>
> To: Green Building <greenbuilding at lists.bioenergylists.org>
> Subject: Re: [Greenbuilding] Conversation/Listserv Format
> Message-ID:
> <CAE5fceAwAouYMEPY9f4NJV0SQoaP4m1WFoZfz-4XVc0n96eAMw at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>
> When you say 'platform' is that similar to what I would call a 'discussion
> forum'? Something with a home base url and a bit more colorful than an
> email list?
>
> I've long assumed that part of the decline in activity here on our
> longstanding list could be explained by folks drifting to these slightly
> more visually engaging formats, rather than that the interest in green
> building per se might have declined.
> I'm not a computer person so haven't the foggiest idea how to set up or
> maintain such a forum/platform, but I do participate in a variety of such
> forums and certainly think they could work great for our topic. The
> question I asked a few weeks ago was whether there were particular forums
> to which folks here had in fact drifted. Your list of forums, Allison,
> didn't seem to include any obvious analogue to this email discussion list,
> though perhaps you were suggesting one could be created and added to that
> list which would in essence substitute for our email discussions?
>
> On Sun, Dec 11, 2016 at 11:37 AM, Allison Friedman <
> afriedman at rateitgreen.com> wrote:
>
>
> If this format is really working for everyone, great.
>
> If not, and it used to come up every few years, let me know if I can
> help.  I am not saying that I have found the perfect solution, but with
> your help (feedback and info posted) I'd have a better shot at delivering
> it - for everyone.  (Last time this question came up a few years ago, I was
> still working to make things work ?foundationally," as I wanted.)
>
> I honestly can?t follow these conversations when they get long.  And more
> importantly, the answers aren?t seen out side the group. Why not have the
> solutions shared reach more people?
>
> I am glad to see more activity recently. Honestly, this group of people
> makes me believe that more is known and more is getting done to build
> better and greener than most people know.  Still, we need hundreds of
> thousands of people talking like this.  And I want people to be able to
> learn from those who have come before.
>
> Here are our groups so far.  The site can handle any topic, or type of
> categorization.  If we don?t have it, I?ll just add it.
>
> http://www.rateitgreen.com/green-building-community/
> sustainable-building-groups-all
>
> If moving to a platform is of interest, find me.  If not, well I will
> still be here. These 10 replies just made me think of brining the idea back
> up.  You want to be able to categorize your own ideas, and I think we can
> do so much more if others can see the information as well.  (information in
> groups lives in groups, but can also optionally ?cross post? to discussions
> so others can find it by topic).
>
>
> Thanks for doing what you all do.  I will help when I see questions I can
> help with (or find someone to help with), regardless.
> Allison
>
>
> Allison Friedman
> Rate It Green
> www.rateitgreen.com
> @rateitgreen
> @MAGreenbuilding
>
>
> Rate It Green is a directory, network, and information resource for the
> green building industry.
> Rate It Green welcomes all green builders, from beginners to seasoned
> experts, and for both residential and commercial projects.
> Individual Membership and Basic Company Listings are free of charge.
>
>
>
>
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