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Old 12-08-2008, 12:25 PM   #21
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That is an excellent idea, Prairefreak! Maybe put that toward the top of future projects to do???
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Staff View Post
Prairiefreak, great idea worthy of more than a general forum. This type of a database would be a very useful tool. An ID area, such as what you have suggested, may very well be doable however don't know if we have the funds or the manpower to begin such a project. Could this be revisited a few months from now after the graphics and artwork is up and after the majority of the set up woes are behind them?
We have "free" manpower in some of our posters with expertise. I agree it should wait until we're live, but maybe a wiki? Even a free one? People could post pics with IDs when they can, probably with somebody in charge to set up the organization and to approve people to post and/or edit (I, for example, am completely unqualified to ID anything more exotic than pokeweed). A volunteer effort? It wouldn't have to be a burden, just ask folks to consider adding to the wiki when they're posting pictures anyway, or to do more if they get the urge.
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:17 AM   #23
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I know we are being asked to wait on this one ( plant ID database) but I just want to add that with the with the ability to post multiple photos in a sequence we can follow the plant through the seasons. This way it can be ID'd at various stages of growth.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:02 AM   #24
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No disagreement on this end. It's a great idea. An idea we wish we could afford to act upon right now. Unfortunately, there is no application out there available for purchase that we can find. And we’ve scoured the internet. That means a data base or wiki such as what was suggested would be from the ground up. And that means having to hire programmers. Preliminary estimates indicate the programming alone for such a data base would be in the thousands and that wouldn't include the cost of maintenance.

To get to where we are currently, we were confronted with quite a few stumbling blocks. We've lost some of our core people to untimely death, another to a serious health issue that will require an organ transplant, while another struggles with a recent breast cancer diagnosis. The loss of core people has by far been our greatest obstacle. Money being the second major obstacle. We had pooled our resources and had limited funds to start. We believe we've managed what little money we had well. We budgeted for the basics, paid for attorneys, paid for insurance, had a slush fund for the unexpected, and a supplemental fund to be able to offer add-ons and functionality we'd discover along the way that we thought the community might like. We've wiped through our money but are very proud to announce we have no outstanding debt. We are admittedly struggling to make sure the basics get up and running so we can lift the password protection to the site with the eye candy everyone wanted. The eye candy is proving to be challenging. Not insurmountable, but challenging.

What this community has at the helm would be a group of people who care a heck of a lot about the environment who wanted to provide an educational yet friendly and low-key setting where educators would be able to find programming materials free for the taking and like-minded could gather with minimal conflicts of interest. We’re shamelessly “green” and will be advocating for North American native species of flora and fauna but fully understand there have been many non-native species that substantially improve the quality of human life. We're not a well organized corporation with unlimited financial resources to pay for the services of programmers and other site professionals.

It’s our intent to continue our lives outside this community while learning how to expand upon basic features as well as how to administer it. Juggling the two hasn’t been easy particularly in consideration of the loss of some of our core people. There’s that learning curve but more importantly, time and money restraints. We’re “pinchables”. In other words, we’re real people. Please know we are trying our very best to provide the functionality and features everyone wants but we most probably won’t be able to please everyone. Our best might not be good enough because we can’t afford to provide the level of customer service or features found at other sites. Please be patient with us while we get the hang of this and do our best making sure the applications we could afford to purchase and support are functional.

Sometime real soon, we’d like to purchase a blog application. Our intent is to offer a subscribers only area complete with a private forum for off topic discussions called the ‘Subscribers Lounge’, access to private diaries, and access to personal blogs. We’ve decided on an annual subscription fee of $15. It is important to us to save up enough money to buy that blog application and the programming support necessary to make it happen so we can begin to offer subscriptions to keep us afloat. We have no third party ads here so there is currently no money coming into this site to help with expenses.

We’re all trying but being "green" can be hard
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:40 AM   #25
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Everyone is doing exceptionally well.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:30 PM   #26
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Fearless Weeder - I understand your anxiety about bringing all of the wonderful things that you have planned for this site to fruition. And I do appreciate that you have had to overcome a lot of challenging obstacles to get it to where it is. But please don't overlook all of the major accomplishments that you have already achieved and inspired. This site is already heads and shoulders above any ecologically friendly, multifaceted site that I am aware of on the internet. And it hasn't even been opened to the public yet! I think this site has a terrific future in front of it. All of the people supporting this site have done a wonderful job of contributing to its future success. And I'm confident that the quality and lofty goals of this undertaking will continue to inspire the present cast and many new members in the days and months ahead!

Put more succinctly, don't forget to take a little time to "stop and smell the roses along the way"!
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:27 PM   #27
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Yes; we've all had a rough go of it and have restructured and resurfaced, bobbing a little but we resurfaced.

Many thanks to popowich. We would have been dead in the water without him.
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Old 12-09-2008, 05:36 PM   #28
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Well, I'd be happy to take pictures of native plants at all stages of their growth. For free. I've already taken some seed pictures. I'd try to organise them, too. Wouldn't cost you a dime, in fact, with the money my mom left me I bought a camera that is able to take good macros.

I'm growing about 70+ flats of native plants for my school, so seedling pictures should be no problem, barring crop failure. Mostly the uncommon stuff...I'm growing the more common stuff on my own.

I think you guys are doing exceedingly well. that voodoo, that you do, so well. LOL~ PF.

Last edited by Prairiefreak; 12-09-2008 at 05:39 PM. Reason: left out a word.
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:49 AM   #29
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Maybe interested members could start with an unofficial site at a free service? I've had good luck using http://www.wikispaces.com for clasroom wikis. There would be ads, though, unless we wanted to pay $5 a month or $50 a year. Probably not suitable for something that's tied to the website officially, but would there be any harm to our administration if individual members were to start there, perhaps with the idea of moving when/if it's possible to do one on site?

And please, don't anyone feel pressured to give this a shot; I would be no use at all, so I can't volunteer myself. I don't mean to volunteer anyone else, I just happen to know about that resource from teaching.
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:37 AM   #30
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The ads that appear at many sites aren't exactly chosen by a human being and seem to disturb people who take the time to share their gifts and talents. Particularly the syndicated ads that determine what to place for viewers based on artificial intelligence that searches for key words within any provided content then attaches an ad based on who is paying them what to target select audiences.

Example, one of our core members wrote a high quality article published at a website. The article was on no-till gardening and the many associated benefits of no-till gardening. A huge third party ad was inserted at the top of her article for a brand new shiny bright red Honda roto tiller. Others have had similar experiences.

Next issue would be that Wildlife Gardeners would have no control over the ads. We don't encourage discussions of a political or religious nature here. Some, not all, scientific names of plants as well as the words used to describe the plants tend to elicit some rather controversial ads being inserted and attached.

Here's an excerpt from wikispaces' terms of service which might cause issues-
Quote:
6. Information Rights
Tangient LLC does not claim ownership of Content you submit or make available for inclusion on the Service. However, in order to provide you the Service and maintain the Service, with respect to Content you submit or make available for inclusion on the Service, including without limitation page content and comments you post to the Service, you grant Tangient LLC world-wide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty free, non-exclusive, fully sub-licensable license(s) to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, display, and translate, such Content (in whole or in part) solely in connection with the provision of the Service.
How would you, and the others, feel about allowing threads with content for a future "wiki" right here in the 'Help Identifying Plants' forum for the time being? The subject of any thread started with content for your future database could be set apart from other threads by simply adding the word wiki in the subject line along with the scientific name of the plant accompanied by the common name(s) in parentheses if any exist? Members who are in a position to contribute additional photos of that particular species would be able to post in the thread with their comments and photos of the plant. This would enable us to keep all of the content per species in an easily accessible location for future use.
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