Brisbane Local Food

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Brisbane Local Food members - What do you LOVE (and what could be a wee bit better)?

Okay - here we go!

We know that for many people, Brisbane Local Food is like an old glove - one that fits perfectly! For others though, especially new users and those who post less regularly, this may not be the case. 

So this is a chance to have your say about what you think really works about this site and also throw in for consideration any areas you feel could do with improvement. 

For instance:

  • What are your favourite aspects of this site and what it offers?
  • How easy is it to use the site?
  • Are there things that hold you back from posting and getting involved in discussions?
  • Are there too many / not enough / better categories?
  • Communication - does this happen too often / not enough?
  • How easy is it to find and access help when you need it?
  • What about the look of the site?
  • What would you like to see more of or any new ideas? 

Be honest - all suggestions are welcome!

(Note, at some point in the future we will also send out a short survey of members, but this is a nice and easy way to get the ball rolling and creative juices flowing :) 

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Lol yep! ... But that wasn't the point of the example ;)

Most of the site fits me well and I am very grateful for its existence.

I do agree with ordering frequent topics, as per Elaines post and I do wonder how to best use the gems including films and articles. Perhaps it does not need a separate wiki but an index system, a database trick where each keyword refers you to entry x y z, but who would have time and energy to do that? I would put this question to a good data analyst: perhaps there is a simple and clever way? In fact, I will begin by asking Megan who used to hang at Billarong before moving to the UK. Distance is no longer an issue in this world!

Does anyone we know have this computer data base kind of savvy?

Is there in fact a spot where you call for experts needed?

I would have a small window for events and if you click it it expands and I would have the 'what are people talking about now' a bit higher up the home page. or shout really loud that it can be found below.

Thanks for asking this whole question/ thread and yes, it is great to see this grow (I was in the first 16) even though I don't garden. I share a house with people that do: much simpler and better use of talents (I cook well). :)

Cheers G

Thank you Gabrielle!! Yes, expert knowledge would be much appreciated. Ultimately we want something that is simple, automatic where possible and not overly time consuming as it would be sure to fall over the minute it was felt to be too burdensome - I don't know anyone who wouldn't prefer to be gardening (or cooking!) than completing repetitive tasks, even the most dedicated!

And I agree that events could be made smaller or moved to a less prominent place - what do others think?

Wow, first 16 - you're an old hand! :) 

Follow up from Megan:

It seems Nings don't yet have a wiki option available. Not sure if it's possible to embed something? Probably needs some good information management, utilising tags in posts, appropriately categorising, maybe a separate section for commonly asked questions, a sticky post with links to commonly asked questions etc??
I think most forums have these issues. Quite often see sticky posts, faq, newbie sections etc?
Not sure if i've interpreted that correctly as only had a quick look?
By the way, if you are a friend: Marion Forest from Billarong could use some TLC at the moment.  

Brilliant, thanks Gabrielle! All good to know / think about :) You are or were involved in the Transition Ning right? Your experiences could be a real help - I caught up with Luke Reade the other day and it sounds like their group has covered much of this type of ground before... some of that info could be handy! On a similar note, do you know Russell Austerberry by any chance? And sorry to hear about Marion :( We haven't met... yet! 

Plenty of food for thought! 

Here's a summary of what's been said so far if you're just joining the conversation (or like to skip the detail!)...

Things that people love

  • being able to share 
  • the look of the site
  • fantastic resources e.g. videos
  • old discussions - there is useful info in them!

Things that could be better

  • structure of the forum (too many pages; too many categories)
  • how often items are featured
  • ability to find old discussions
  • structure of the home page (latest activity needs to be more prominent; events less prominent; easy to add discussions)
  • having easy access to help info 
  • ability to keep similar content together and easily accessible
  • ability to collaborate on developing content
  • highlighting / leveraging some of the really great content e.g. videos / old discussions

New suggestions (not in great detail - if you want that you'll have to read the thread!)

  • reducing the forum page to headings only 
  • reducing the number of categories in the forum (see my reply to Lissa at the start of the thread for suggested categories)
  • introducing wikis to collaborate on content development 
  • introducing index database to track content ..

What do you think? Do people agree or disagree with the loves / issues that have been raised so far? Are there others?

I'd agree completely.

Thanks Andrew :)

OK so I think you should do everything like we do it at Logan Food Gardeners and then your site would be perfect :)

BLF is an awesome site and my inspiration for creating Logan Food Gardeners.  So I love it.  there is heaps of room for improvement (as with ours too)

  • What are your favourite aspects of this site and what it offers? - lots of events listed and I loved the garden visits that I use to attend (years ago)
  • How easy is it to use the site? - suggestion - create some jing (short video)to show people how to use parts of the site.
  • Are there things that hold you back from posting and getting involved in discussions? - just busy with LFG
  • Are there too many / not enough / better categories? - too many categories (we have too many too)
  • Communication - does this happen too often / not enough? - like the summary emails best
  • How easy is it to find and access help when you need it? - never tried on BLF, but there is no tech support for users of Ning sites (only for the creator).  
  • What about the look of the site? - sorry - yuck!  red is too angry and the photos are not clear 
  • What would you like to see more of or any new ideas? Activity feed on front middle of front page (like ours).  Some people don't have the technical skills to look at anything other than that.  Let them see what is going on.
  • Change your tabs.  Look at what we have done and then choose something that suits you.  Put them in a logical order if nothing else (eg. most used on left).

Also need to encourage more activity on the site.  Give people a reason to come back.

Of course you do Lyn! ;)

Logan Food Gardeners does have a lot going for it including lots of activity given the number of members and a fresh tidy look.

I have the impression (please correct me if I'm wrong BLF crew!) that there isn't a mood for going down the incorporated route the way that LFG has, if possible.

But lots of good suggestions, thanks heaps!

Meant to mention. I would love to see Blitz's started by someone within the group. Anyone been involved with these and know how to go about them?


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