[NAFEX] electronic and membership discussion

Douglas Woodard dwoodard at becon.org
Sat Feb 16 05:59:04 EST 2008

Amen, brother.

I think we have to remember that the people who provide the core value 
of NAFEX are the people who have some land (in many cases in the 
boondocks where it is cheap), actually do stuff with plants and spend 
their spare time doing *that* kind of thing, have collections of 
uncommon cultivars, have been around for a long time, have learned a lot 
of stuff but probably have not invested a lot of effort in information 

They probably make or made (if retired which is often the case by the 
time they develop of lot of knowledge useful to NAFEX) their livings sin 
ways that do not provide a really high income.

IT is about manipulating information and getting the most leverage from 
it, but it does not create the information that is the core value. Paper 
and electronics can record some information, but the crucial information 
is in living plants and the "tacit knowledge" of the people who are 
close to the plants.

People like me who are not in this "core-value" group are kibitzers, 
parasites. users of the value created by the core-value people. The 
users, mostly people who grow and eat fruit and appreciate quality, are 
essential to the organization, but they do not create the core value.

The organization is needed to connect the people who create the core 
value and to make it easy for them to do their work as well as to share 
their knowledge and material and apply it - the audience is important to 
the art as well as the performers. The creators of our core value are 
always going to be, by and large, conservative and backward regarding 
information technology. They are plant people not IT specialists - or 
writers. Now, able plantspeople are always interested in good tools, and 
information technology is certainly a tool - but it is never going to be 
their primary interest and it is usually going to get a minimal amount 
of their time.

The inplication is the the information technology we use has to be 
convenient for people who create our core value and don't have a lot of 
time to spare transmitting information or learning specialized 
techniques to do it. There are and will continue to be exceptions, but I 
think we have to build our organization with the above points in mind.

Doug Woodard
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

mangodance wrote:
> tanis cuff wrote:
>> Please keep it simple!  Whatever works on older & slower computers.
>> I have yet to meet a gardener or orchardist who wants THE lastest
>> computer & associated graphics.  And who can afford it?  I use
>> friends' & libraries' mostly older computers.  Too many new websites,
>> and "improvements" of older websites, don't work well or won't
>> download at all on them.
> This is paramount.  Web stats and surveys show that while many folks 
> have broadband, the majority do not.  Add to that that most rural areas 
> are on dialup or have shared slow service and it is clear than bandwidth 
> hog websites might be pretty, but they quickly cut off most of their 
> intended market.  We'll be going for easily maneuvered content 
> primarily.  We'll make other stuff available for folks who have 
> broadband and those who don't mind waiting, bu there will definately be 
> no splash pages, few java applications, no animations, etc. 
> Additionally, it should work a simply as possible due to software issues 
> as well.  While many of us do have newer software packages (me 
> included), many of us do not like the resource hogs newer software 
> versions have become (me included) and for no real good reason.  I'm not 
> a person who favors bells and whistles when they don't make sense and 
> detract from site usability.
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