Author Topic: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"  (Read 11923 times)

Offline zackandjen2004

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S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« on: February 12, 2010, 08:57:55 AM »
Anyone up for a challenge?  In the followup episode to underrated teotwaki skills, Jack's final encouragement was for us to cultivate our gifts and talents and to pursue that better life by practicing them.

I have a lot of interests, but what I find myself doing whenever I'm in the car is watching the cows.  What are they doing?  Where are they in the field?  Does one of them look sick? 

Maybe I should keep my eyes on the road and practice my concentration while I'm driving :-) But perhaps I should make a commitment to develop my stockman's eye. Maybe I should ask my fellow TSPers to hold me accountable on that.

I hereby throw my gauntlet: By April 1, I will have found out who owns the cows down the road and introduced myself to the owners.  I will develop that relationship so that, by May 1, I will routinely spend three hours a week (baby steps!) watching their cows or visiting with the B's, farmers in our area.  Please someone suggest where/how I should move a resulting thread to the appropriate place on the forum! 

Anyone else have one to throw?

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2010, 09:23:24 AM »
I like it, what would you guys think if I set up say.

sos.survivalpodcast.net as a community blog one anyone can register to post on.  We would need a few admins to keep out spamming scum but it could be pretty easy.  Then anyone can blog, post pics, etc. about any skill, how to do projects, etc.  We could just do it here but a blog may have more external impact.

I will  host it, do a few how to videos for a user help section, do up a nice basic design, in return I get the advertising space and anyone that wants it gets a platform.

Unlike some of my other projects in the works this one is pretty easy and could be live and ready to rock in a few weeks at most.


Offline marauder

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2010, 09:41:40 AM »
I'd be willing to help out moderating anything that had to do with cooking (both inside and primitive skills), butchering, preserving, outdoor bush crafting type skills, any sort of gear acquisition associated with the previous mentioned things and some other basic mod type stuff.   Let me know if you are interested or  you can e-mail me.   

Offline bartsdad

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2010, 09:44:15 AM »
I'd also be willing to lend a hand

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2010, 10:04:13 AM »
Moderation would be easier then on the forum because mostly it would just be banning a user who registers and posts about online poker.  In fact we could make all new members have to be approved, a quick email to the new member.  Who are you, how did you hear about us and what subjects do you plan to write about would be about it.  That could be a stock email, I may even be able to automate it and we just approve those who respond.

On comment moderation, it really isn't that bad and Akismet catches most spam.

The one issue with Word Press is you absolutely CAN NOT paste from MS Word with out problems.  That is my only concern for the publishers.  I guess I could do the how to videos and have a little quiz a person takes to be approved.  That would really automate vetting of new authors!

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2010, 10:05:58 AM »
Thinking about his we man just not allow comments on a project like this.  I would be the one on going headache.  What we could do is create a board here for articles and simply allow discussion of individual articles on the forum where we already have established rule and a very tight ship.

Offline marauder

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2010, 10:09:40 AM »
Whatever you think works best to fall in line with the vision of the show and the brand.  I'll either be readin' em here or there.  ;D

Offline joeinwv

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2010, 10:18:10 AM »
I have been at other sites that do this type of thing - keep a separate section of the site that is for how-to, articles, photo-essays, etc... These can be separated by topic and generally do not have a lot of discussion. Sort of like a forum that has nothing but "Stickied" posts, if you follow.

The idea being that you keep your important data out of the main site and raise the awareness of those items - they don't get lost in with all the general commentary.

As an example, bladesmith has posted some great pictorials on custom knife making - to me, this type of info should be segregated out of the general discussion forum so they are easier to find.

My $0.02 - worth less this year than last.

Offline zackandjen2004

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2010, 10:39:31 AM »
Help me think about how this will look, because I'm clueless regarding the broader administrative issues...
1. the site or section would be a collection of articles, videos, etc. by TSP members for TSP members (?)
2. would need some kind of editorial policy... the stuff that gets posted should be "original," not just pointing people off the site.  Interacting with someone's theory and reporting the results would be original.  Also, and perhaps most importantly, an admin/team who knows TSP...the forums, the podcasts, the brand...should catalog a contribution.  Authors may be invited to assign descriptors to their work, but it's the administrators who know the site and what might be of interest to whom.  There could be an article "shelf" where current "articles in waiting" would be _accessible_ to everyone...When the admin gets to it and decides where it should go it gets pulled and put into the appropriate place.  The cataloging data created would then get exported to other places in the site where it is most likely to attract interest.  So everything is cross linked...and the relationships between the skills we're trying to save becomes evident.

It's been so long since I used my librarian brain that I'm not sure if I'm making any sense.

Another good thing about an editorial policy is that it screens for humility.  If you're not willing to submit your "stuff" to scrutiny or for someone to categorize, that raises a red flag.  The SOS idea depends on true community mindedness...and it will add to it.

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2010, 10:53:11 AM »
I would envision it as an almost stand alone "property" that belongs to TSP overall.  The site would not even look like TSP directly but would have TSP all over it.  An author or reader would not have to be a forum member here or even a listener.

I would be a collective blog, sort of like, http://www.redstate.com/ not in content but in form.

Administration of what gets published is easy, contributors would have the ability to author and publish but not publish live.  The articles go into a que that say someone with "editor" creds can allow or disallow.

I may be able to have my wife do that which would be good as she could get involved a bit with out any real effort.

The guidelines would be how to articles, no hey this is cool "link" shit allowed.   If in time we built up to say 50 contributors and even half did one post a month it would be a damn fine site.

Word Press is very powerful and I can automate a lot of it, my only real concerns are.

1.  Participation - It will take me a week or two to build.  Not a big deal if people write articles and post them but if it flops that is 14 days of burned time.

2.  Comment moderation  - That can be a pain in the ass.  Part of why I suggested we just end each article with a link to a board here for discussing "Save our Skills" articles as the machine to handle it is in place.

The other option is to just allow comments on the articles, rely on Akismet (a word press tool that is free and effective and you don't have to do anything with) for spam and tell our authors to have a thick skin about critiques.  

ADDED  IN EDIT - The goal of doing it as a stand alone site is to increase viability and participation.  This would cast a "wider net" then a page or section on TSP would do alone.  There are also a ton of Search Engine benefits to this but that is to detailed a discussion for here, you just have to trust me on it that in time we would attract a lot more google, yahoo, etc. visitors.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2010, 10:55:33 AM by ModernSurvival »

Offline joeinwv

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2010, 11:00:47 AM »
I agree you would get more hits - if you just come up with good articles on BOB's you could probably get on the first page at Google pretty quick.

Offline marauder

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2010, 11:13:41 AM »
Jack,

as to your first concern.  Why don't you put out something like a "call for proposals"  but instead if would be a "call for articles" prior to doing any of the back end work?  Say you get 25 total responses, and 15 of them are articulate, credible, non tin foil stuff.  That way, you have content in your pocket, PRIOR to investing time, effort and dough on the back end.  Mention the "call" for a week at the beginning and end of the podcast and sticky it here.  Gauge the response before you spend even 10 minutes on the infrastructure.  If you get back a bunch of jibberish, you know the community is not yet ready to handle the idea. lol.  My feeling is that you would get way more positive feedback than not.  I would suggest some sort of editing process for grammar, spelling, etc..  Obviously, you don't need me to tell you that you don't want the rantings of a bunch of illiterate lunatics to become associated with the show.    ;D

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2010, 11:17:25 AM »
Another option would be to have a small team of "editors" and create a "gateway system".

Step One - I set up a blog all nice and branded as Save Our Skills

Step Two - We set up a SOS board here on the forum

Step Three - Contributors just post here as they always have

Step Four - A small team of "editors" just post summaries of the board articles on the SOS blog with "read the rest of this article" links pointing our forum here.

I could use the RSS Feeds to put some running updates on the blog, it would build over time and all the "discussion" would go on here.  The beauty is it will grow the forum, want to comment or ask a question you have to register here.   Yet all the new stuff would be consolidated in one place.

Editors would just cut and paste the first 300ish words of the post, perhaps on occasion drop in a picture to snaz it up a bit.  

By the way I just purchased saveourskills.com for the project if we do it.  It would be easy to launch (less then a week to do) and just by moving some of the existing posts to the new board we would be off and running with content.

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2010, 11:31:18 AM »
Another option would be to have a small team of "editors" and create a "gateway system".

Step One - I set up a blog all nice and branded as Save Our Skills

Step Two - We set up a SOS board here on the forum

Step Three - Contributors just post here as they always have

Step Four - A small team of "editors" just post summaries of the board articles on the SOS blog with "read the rest of this article" links pointing our forum here.

I could use the RSS Feeds to put some running updates on the blog, it would build over time and all the "discussion" would go on here.  The beauty is it will grow the forum, want to comment or ask a question you have to register here.   Yet all the new stuff would be consolidated in one place.

Editors would just cut and paste the first 300ish words of the post, perhaps on occasion drop in a picture to snaz it up a bit.  

By the way I just purchased saveourskills.com for the project if we do it.  It would be easy to launch (less then a week to do) and just by moving some of the existing posts to the new board we would be off and running with content.


What you're talking about in this post is similar to what is called "tiny portal".  It's basically a front page for your forum, where moderators or admins add specific articles that people can find all in one place, written by whomever you want.  I did this for the biology department at one of the colleges that I have attended, when I was the president of their bio club.

The cool thing about it is that, because it's part of the forum, people show up as being "online" right there on the front page.  If you redirected "saveourskills.com" to your tiny portal, then it would just go directly to the portal of the forum, which would drive more people to the forum in the long run.

You could also do a blog, that would work too.  But I want to make sure that you know that you have options right here without ever building a new member community.

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2010, 11:35:37 AM »
Good stuff Tiff!  Note that my new solution would actually still require TSP membership to participate.  The advantage of having stuff on a different domain though and pushing readers to this spot is huge with the engines though. 

The blog has its own feed and unlike a forum feed will be picked up by google blog search, technorati, etc.  In addition to news aggregators, etc.  not to mention new advertising space.

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2010, 11:40:36 AM »
Good stuff Tiff!  Note that my new solution would actually still require TSP membership to participate.  The advantage of having stuff on a different domain though and pushing readers to this spot is huge with the engines though. 

The blog has its own feed and unlike a forum feed will be picked up by google blog search, technorati, etc.  In addition to news aggregators, etc.  not to mention new advertising space.

Right - the tiny portal would require TSP membership, because it would technically be PART of the TSP forum.  The blog wouldn't.

I wonder why feeds from the forum aren't picked up by google search.....

In the mean time - if you were to go with a BLOG feature, we'll get somethin' worked out for it that is real pretty.

Offline zackandjen2004

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2010, 11:49:26 AM »
I think I'm following...  All that's left to do is...  Wait... Begin with the end in mind. Create the vision, create the structure, create the editorial team and policy, communicate the vision/call for participants, Launch, maintain, evaluate (how periodically?)... grow...  

All this business about portals is completely beyond me!  I am excited, though, that this might generate a resource to spread the preparedness message and provide a platform for teachers.   

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2010, 12:30:21 PM »
I'm a bit backed up for time right now, but i'd be willing to throw in some fast fingered work if it was needed.

Got a couple projects coming up in the next couple of months that may be ideal for this type of system.

Doc

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2010, 12:34:06 PM »
Right - the tiny portal would require TSP membership, because it would technically be PART of the TSP forum.  The blog wouldn't.

But it would, the source articles would be here, the blog would not be open to comments or registrations.  

I wonder why feeds from the forum aren't picked up by google search.....

They are picked up but they are not handled the same way.  Let's just say blogs get "special treatment" by a lot of search technology.  Google knows an SMF feed doesn't = blog.  So the forum is in google we get gobs of big G traffic direct to the forum but the feed is not in Googles Blog Search.  Further lots of aggregation sites (both honest and content pirates) use scrapers to pull articles and content from two main sources, Google News and Google Blog Search.  With the forum we have the "keys" to the google main index, with a second blog we get a second set of keys.  Make sense?


In the mean time - if you were to go with a BLOG feature, we'll get somethin' worked out for it that is real pretty.

That would be cool I didn't expect to tie up your design skills on this one but glad to have the offer.  What I really need is a good and FUNCTIONING wordpress theme with a magazine stye to it.  

Last the more I think about this the more I feel we don't even need a SOS board on TSP, we can just take posts that fit the theme and syndicate them.  We could also create a way for authors and readers here to sort of suggest a SOS post.  This would make the whole thing easy.  Any volenteer who wanted to help would only have to learn how to make a post in Word Press and make a link in the post.  I can automate all the SEO stuff, I am sort of a "black hat" in that world.  

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2010, 01:48:09 PM »
Yeah, what you said about feeds makes perfect sense.

What I meant about the portal requiring TSP membership is that you wouldn't know it's  there unless you were a TSP member already, because it would be where you would go if you clicked on "forum" from the TSP front page.

With the blog, you wouldn't have to know that TSP exists in order to see it.

A magazine style WP theme is super easy to find and mod.  There are like 50 of them on WP's extend website.  And god only knows I've done enough blogs in the last year to make it work.

As you already know, a gfriend and I are working a female-oriented version of what you're talking about.  It would be nice to tie them in together when we get it started.  Sort of a brother-sister thing.

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2010, 02:08:23 PM »
Well here is a "pre beta" version to give folks an idea of what I have in mind.

http://saveourskills.com/

The theme is stock Sis and I can discuss finding a better one but see how the content is presented.  If we get it running we can provide guidelines for people that want to be featured to get more threads that are specifically instructional.

For now don't just the look and feel just how the site would basically function.

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2010, 02:52:13 PM »
Well here is a "pre beta" version to give folks an idea of what I have in mind.

http://saveourskills.com/

The theme is stock Sis and I can discuss finding a better one but see how the content is presented.  If we get it running we can provide guidelines for people that want to be featured to get more threads that are specifically instructional.

For now don't just the look and feel just how the site would basically function.
WOW!
That was fast!
SWEET!

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2010, 02:53:15 PM »
Great topic and thread zackandjen2004!
+1 from me!

Offline zackandjen2004

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2010, 03:25:43 PM »
Aww gee, my first karma.   :)    Now, who is going to "mine" the forum for existing gold?  I was browsing and found a thread on mapping contours...with pics and everything!  Where was that?...

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2010, 06:41:51 PM »
I'll work on getting a much better facade on that blog tonight.  Have been busy today.  Mom had surgery for basal cell carcinoma on her face (yikes), and a friend needed support for other stuff, and the DT forum went completely down, so had to fix that too.  And I am teaching a canning class tomorrow, so won't be around at all until tomorrow night.

Back for now, and will go to work on the blog very soon.

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2010, 10:15:32 PM »
Some day your gonna have to take a 5 minute break or something SW :)   

But until then, Keep on Keepin on with your amazing work.

Doc

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2010, 08:03:39 AM »
I'll work on getting a much better facade on that blog tonight.  Have been busy today.  Mom had surgery for basal cell carcinoma on her face (yikes), and a friend needed support for other stuff, and the DT forum went completely down, so had to fix that too.  And I am teaching a canning class tomorrow, so won't be around at all until tomorrow night.

Back for now, and will go to work on the blog very soon.

Hey I just saw what you did, AMAZING.  I know it was probably mostly a theme but it is beautiful.  I will install some SEO extensions, some stuff to promote the articles to my twitter automatically and some other well kinda "black hat stuff" he he.

For now anyone that finds a great post you want me to feature just PM me or email me the link.  I will get this running and then see if any editorial volunteers require "Posting to WordPress 101"

Also our families thoughts are with yours.  Hope you mom gets a speedy recovery.

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2010, 09:45:46 AM »
Yah, it's mostly a theme that I yanked.  But thank you!  :)

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2010, 11:51:09 AM »
I love this idea... I looked at the site so far and really think it will be great. I can't count how many times I have wanted to be able to find a great article or post by someone on here and just couldn't quite find the right key word to find it again. This forum has grown so massive... Save our skills will make a great tool to find those things again later for reference!

If we see a new posting that has great potential for saveourskills post, how should we suggest it? notify moderator or something like that?

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Re: S.O.S. "Save Our Skills"
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2010, 11:36:47 PM »
I love this idea... I looked at the site so far and really think it will be great. I can't count how many times I have wanted to be able to find a great article or post by someone on here and just couldn't quite find the right key word to find it again. This forum has grown so massive... Save our skills will make a great tool to find those things again later for reference!

If we see a new posting that has great potential for saveourskills post, how should we suggest it? notify moderator or something like that?

Notify me or Jack or TW, or yeah, pretty much any other mod you see posting on the board on a regular basis.  We have a couple of staff members who are on hiatus now and again, so if you haven't seen someone post for a while, just don't PM them about a post.  :)