Actiwiki: a practical idea?

A discussion on all aspects of Engaged Buddhism
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Dan74
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:57 pm

Actiwiki: a practical idea?

Post by Dan74 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:59 pm

So some time ago I had an idea that I would like to run by you folks here. For a while I had been thinking that millions of people spent inordinate amount of time online. Many of them feel disconnected from their communities and disempowered with no sense of purpose or meaningful engagement. I tried to think of ways to use the internet, not only to connect people in meaningful ways, but also give them back a sense of purpose and an ability to effect a change.


This is where Actiwiki comes in. Actiwiki is basically a wiki style global volunteer network for those who want to improve our towns, bring more justice and fairness, help the environment, assist those in need of help - fundamentally build friendlier, more caring, better functioning, healthier and happier communities. Simple things like organising to clean up the trash, build a cool children's playground or repaint a public building where the local government fails. Help recent arrivals integrate and learn the language. Organise visits to the neglected elderly people in your neighbourhood or solve deeper structural issues with help from those from across the globe who already have experience with such projects.

Experienced and vetted folks become editors, but anyone can post a question or a request. When you access it, you automatically see current projects in your area (on the basis of your IP) and also questions that relate to your area of expertise from around the globe.

It's a pretty simple idea and would not take much know-how to implement and to host the site. Some funds to promote it. Administrators and initial editors to start running it.

What do you folks think?

chownah
Posts: 501
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:08 am

Re: Actiwiki: a practical idea?

Post by chownah » Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:28 am

I certainly don't want to discourage and I hope that my ideas will not be discouraging.

I think your vision may be too broad. There is a saying "think globally, act locally".....and perhaps you are wanting to act globally. There are already a very large number of volunteer oriented sites on the internet. Here in thailand there are https://www.volunteerthailand.org and https://volunteerworkthailand.org which I quickly found in a google search.....and there may be others.

I think you should focus on exactly what service(s) you wish to provide and to whom you wish to provide them.

Maybe you should get familiar with what is already available and see if there is some service you can provide to these already existing endeavors which are more local than a world wide sort of thing.

I think you should think about how people will find your actiwiki.....the internet is already flooded with sites for volunteers it seems from my brief excursion with google.....how and why would people find yours?

I'm hoping this is helpful in refining your ideas
chownah
Edit: You might want to ask these people about your idea and see what they think: https://volunteerwiki.org.uk/index.php? ... unteerWiki!
....and maybe this is helpful: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volunteer_Center
chownah

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Kim O'Hara
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Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:07 am
Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: Actiwiki: a practical idea?

Post by Kim O'Hara » Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:42 am

:goodpost:
especially the "think globally, act locally" reminder.

If you want to connect people IRL, you need a very tight geographic focus so that the events they can actually get to aren't swamped by those they can't (e.g. the "Dharma happenings" sub-forums on our Wheels aren't very useful, IMO, just because they are global).
Here in Queensland, even a state-based network is too big, since only about 5% of the population lives within 2 hours' drive of me.

Maybe your plan would work if you divided it into districts, sectors, cantons or whatever, but I think that anything you can do to increase the reach and effectiveness of exisiting regional sites and networks would have better effects than a whole new generalist site.
Maybe a way of cross-linking local sites to their neighbours? A confederation of volunteering organisations?

:thinking:
Kim

Dan74
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:57 pm

Re: Actiwiki: a practical idea?

Post by Dan74 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:54 am

Thank you very much for the links, chownah, will check them out at the earliest opportunity.

As for think local, this line from my OP was meant to address this: "When you access it, you automatically see current projects in your area (on the basis of your IP) and also questions that relate to your area of expertise from around the globe." So the idea is that when you access the site, since your IP provides your locations fairly accurately, you'd see the map with local projects. You could also move around the map, as in googlemaps, and see what's happening in other areas.

But another point was that like in wiki, anyone could try to start a local project - from something so simple like rejuvenating a local park or repurposing an abandoned building for a youth centre. One could search similar projects in the past for ideas or ask experienced people for input.

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Kim O'Hara
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Location: Tropical Queensland, Australia

Re: Actiwiki: a practical idea?

Post by Kim O'Hara » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:17 am

Dan74 wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:54 am
Thank you very much for the links, chownah, will check them out at the earliest opportunity.

As for think local, this line from my OP was meant to address this: "When you access it, you automatically see current projects in your area (on the basis of your IP) and also questions that relate to your area of expertise from around the globe." So the idea is that when you access the site, since your IP provides your locations fairly accurately, you'd see the map with local projects.
Okay ... I may not have recognised the full importance of that bit. Sorry!
How "local" is the IP? I know it's accurate to national level, and in Australia it usually gets the state right, but I don't know the details.
You could also move around the map, as in googlemaps, and see what's happening in other areas.

But another point was that like in wiki, anyone could try to start a local project - from something so simple like rejuvenating a local park or repurposing an abandoned building for a youth centre. One could search similar projects in the past for ideas or ask experienced people for input.
I contribute to a global citizen-science project which automatically collects properly-tagged data from collaborating national projects. Could that be a model for you? Talk to organisations like WWF and GetUp!, offering them more outreach in exchange for machine-tagging their content or allowing you to do so? That way, you could build a critical mass of content far more quickly than if you started from zero.
Or perhaps you could start with a localised version and expand it stepwise to neighbouring regions?

:namaste:
Kim

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