Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Well, the time has come. I must bow out of BLF.

It's been five years since BLF started, and it has grown into a vibrant community of great service to the people of Brisbane and to people searching for information on the internet.

I am very pleased and proud.

It has been almost three years since I moved to country Victoria, and I feel I must now retire from the site. I am not exactly a Brisbane local anymore ;)

This leaves us all with several options.

If you wish to be considered to take over as creator of the network, or as an administrator (job descriptions below) in order to keep the site running, then please message me.

Otherwise, I will shut the site down at the end of June. If you wish to keep your content you will need to copy/ archive it manually I'm afraid :(

Ning requires a subscription fee to host our content, so I'm afraid we can't just leave it on the internet. 

Job descriptions as follows:

NETWORK CREATOR

* personal credit is card is billed monthly for ning subscription fee. Currently it's $25 per month, or $300 p.a., but it's about to go up to $49 per month i.e. $600 per year (with a lot more features like apps and facebook integration and phone support apparently)

* creates an adsense account to generate revenue. FY 11-12 earnings $442. So far, since I put more ads on this year, current FY earnings are $612. Google ad money is paid every few months when the amount reaches $150 or more. I've received almost $400 so far and gave $150 to the new farm house community garden and paid $40 for some fairly dud BLF badges from the internet :)

* create a google analytics account (optional?) to view traffic statistics

* approve new members

* check posts, moderate content for appropriate content and tone

* be available by email, preferably via smartphone, to act on inappropriate content asap (i.e. ban offending members and delete their content)

* design network appearance, choose elements

* send out notifications - e.g. events and selected discussions

* feature photos and discussion

* add tag words to content

* close off and unfeature old content

* create a brisbane local food facebook page and post selected links to it

ADMINISTRATORS

* approve new members

* check posts, moderate content for appropriate content and tone

* send out notifications - e.g. events and selected discussions

* feature photos and discussion

* add tag words to content

* close off and unfeature old content

*******

Note I have been donating any additional revenue to local food gardens and businesses in Brisbane but with the new fee structure, I foresee minimal funds left over.

The creator (and administrators) needs to check the network at least twice a week, preferably at least every 48 hours. 

I have intervened (deleting content and contacting members as appropriate) as a moderator, on 5 occasions in 5 years where I felt discussions were overly negative, or contained content I deemed inappropriate (swearing, and links to an offsite profile detailing sexual preferences). Some members join explicitly to send spam, and when these bogus members get through it is necessary to delete them. You get better at spotting them before you approve them, but there are still several per year - maybe 15 per year?

From April 6th 2012 - April 7th 2013,  115, 000 unique visitors have visited BLF, from all over the world. In the last month, there have been 12, 000 unique visitors and 16, 000 visitors altogether. 35% are returning visitors. Most arrive by search engines, some directly, and some from links on other websites. There seem to be about 5, 000 regular (returning) visitors per month - circa 300 to 600 per day.

I will cede direction, flavour etc entirely to whoever takes it over. 

Personally, I see BLF as a community service, a change catalyst, a knowledge exchange repository, an empowerment and resilience tool. I see the creator role as a facilitator, not a preacher. Although I have considered spamming you all with my 'world according to scarlett' views on the way out, heh heh. Okay, I won't ;)

If you would be interested in either of these roles please let me know - otherwise please consider saving your favourite blogs/ photos/info before they disappear on the 1st July 2013.

Without a new creator, the network will have to close down. Administrators can help share the workload re approving new members etc.

If I can share one observation here -I believe that in any community endeavour, it is the key people and the governance arrangements which are the most important for longevity. You can make a garden on any site, but you must have the gardeners. The best land in the world will lie fallow without the people who want to tend it. That's how we got things happening in Cuba - we found the key, capable, motivated  people and built what they wanted and needed. Same for community gardens. And unfortunately, my failure to attend to succession arrangements is what brings us to this pass now :(

I would like to say a huge thankyou to the biggest contributors to the site - especially Lissa, Elaine, Andrew, Donna,  Christopher, Joseph, Florence, Vanessa and Trinette. And indeed, to everyone who has ever posted on BLF . Your generosity and openness, willingness to share and exchange has helped thousands of other people. A special mention to all who have copied event details onto BLF - that is a real community service. May your positive karma return to you all threefold.

I do hope, though, that someone will take it over and keep it going. Give it some thought. It's amazing how much you get back from it in terms of happiness, pride, sense of agency, sense of helping. Also it's a CV stuffer :)

Ach, the end of an era!

Farewell

(although I'll stick around until end June)

and thanks for all the good times

Scarlett

PS I'd love to hear any thoughts/ comments you might have about this. Please feel free to leave some feedback.

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Replies to This Discussion

We can't have it closed down, it's become an important tool, community and source of information for gardeners in Brisbane and beyond. Hopefully one of us will be willing to take on the Creator role.

Yikes websites are forever I always believed! I have been a passive member of this community for approx 1 yr I reckon. But have probably become attached to the info that lands in my. Inbox. Have zero idea about gardens etc but feeling that I can be an administrator/ creator. How hard can it be? But do u mind giving me some time to think about it please? Thanks Amrita

yay :)

absolutely Amrita

Scarlett

Well done keeping this awesome site going Scarlett- you've done your bit to stop the Monsanto meanies - Hope a Brizzie local food person can keep it all going :) 

thanks Andrew :)

Well done on keeping this great website up and running.  Lots of really good information...and hope someone will follow in your footsteps to keep it going.  If I were more tech savvy I would put up my hand.

thankyou :)

Hi Scarlett

I can help with the administration too. Being from an IT background, I might be able to assist in areas of new tools and/or possibly hosting etc. 

Joseph

thanks Joseph - this is where it's going apparently: http://creators.ning.com/page/product-roadmap

there are all sorts of things to play with in there 

It would be rude of me not to say a big thank you to you, Scarlett, for the creation of this site and the knowledge you've passed on. I will forever be grateful to you for the growing coriander secrets! Wood ash, who would have thought! Certainly wouldn't have ever crossed my mind. :)

did you try it - did it work?

you're very welcome

you've inspired me to be slightly more orderly and agricultural in my approach - i planted things almost in blocks/ lines recently! :)

Woo hoo, BLF is one site I've come to rely on for info and connection to like-minded gardeners.

Ideally the 'creator' role should be someone much younger than 70, someone with the passion and some longevity. I'd be pleased to be a part-time Admin, taking a turn say a week or a month at a time to do approvals and moderation.

Scarlett I've had such fun, met some great people. Having a reason to take pix to share has been more than payment for the time I've spent at the keyboard. It was a seriously good idea on your part and all I can say is "thank you" to you for your time and energy.

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