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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum...


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I started this forum (as Aquaponics HQ) in collaboration with Murray Hallam back in 2007 or thereabouts.  

Murray eventually peeled off to build his business and to become the most widely-regognised face of Aquaponics in the world...and I carried on as the sole owner of APHQ.

In 2013, Google destroyed our Page 1 ranking and I ran out of steam.  I gifted the forum to Kellen...who assumed its stewardship,  and put it back on a sound technical footing.  

Long story short...a few days ago, he offered it back to me...and I accepted the offer.

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In the coming posts, I'll update you on what I've been up to for the past six years...and what led to my decision to resume stewardship of the forum.

I'd like to get a sense of the state of things before we start to breathe some life back into APN.

First, I'd like to get a sense of how many of our old members are still standing...and to pay my respects to our moderator team.

Feel free to chime in...and let me know you're still here.

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I've been looking at the people who have visited the forum in the past 24 hours.  

We've clearly got some characters in that list that shouldn't be here...largely spam bots that have crashed the forum security arrangements.  As soon as resources permit, we'll upgrade the forum software and that will give us better control of the bots.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I want to talk about the operational status of the forum.

In so doing, I want to be very clear. I infer no judgements...and I assume all due responsibility for its current state.

I have no undue feeling about the past seven years...the period of Kellen's ownership. I can make no judgments about the failings of others when it comes to taking on too much. I live in that zone.

Whatever acts of fate conspired to cause Kellen to choose the precise moment to reach out to me...and for me to be of the mindset that I was...I am grateful beyond words.

Everything that we say about the history of APHQ/Nation is for the purposes of benchmarking and the quest for ongoing improvement. There is no good or bad...or right or wrong...there's simply what can be learned.

Kellen is currently giving me all of the time that he can to help me get APN sorted from a technical standpoint. I'm making good use of his counsel...and I really appreciate his generosity. With his help on the back end of the forum, I can focus on the front.

In the meantime, I'll stay focussed on content and enhancing the visitor experience.

The vision is still unfolding but it's becoming clearer. I'll share that with you soon.

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2020 was a weird time for the world...one game-changer after another...scary times for many people!

What we should all take away from 2020 is that simple living and self-reliance are our protection against life's challenges.

Knowing how to grow our own food...provide our own shelter/utilities...design, make and mend...and acquire the means of exchange...are the cornerstones of freedom and security.

Helping others to acquire that knowledge - and to develop those skills - is our reason for being.

We started (as APHQ) back in 2007, as an aquaponics forum...but we quickly broadened to include other things like micro-livestock and all manner of other things...and we are about to become even broader.

I've changed the Forum menu to reflect that broader approach.

A name change...to better reflect what we do...is also imminent. I'm pondering several possibilities.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The structure of APN is slowly expanding to enable it to address a broader audience.   I've been freshening up the existing content and introducing some new stuff.  Kellen has been upgrading the forum platform and updating our service agreements.  Our moderators have kept the perimeters tidy.

We're about to undergo a name change...and then it's time for us to rouse our sleeping membership and invite them to a new relationship with APN.

I've decided locate my personal headquarters at  APN (or whatever we call it)...and members of my two websites and both Facebook groups will be invited to to join APN, too.

Feel free to comment on the changes - and ask questions.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi,

Aside from the name change, we've just about finished the renovation of the forum. 

Actually, the renovation is still in hand...so let's think of the changes as a 'refresh'...a tidy up in advance of our 're-awakening' and re-opening.

By the way, when I talk about we, I mean the team of stalwarts who are responsible for the fact that we still exist at all.  To our moderators...and pest control operators...Ande, bigdaddy and Toga....and Kellen who runs the back end of APN.  We've been part of one another's lives for over a decade, I count them as friends and I seek their counsel and ideas with most things to do with APN.

If I sound as though the 'refresh' has been a bigger deal that it appears, be assured that much of the work was to do with the platform itself...so it was invisible to members.  The main forum activity was identifying spammers so changing that was the initial priority.  I decided that we didn't want to be confronted with several thousand banned spammers every time we looked at the member list, so I picked out and deleted them...one at a time.  I admit that was more symbolic than time-efficient...but I had resolved that my first task on my return to the helm would be to improve this aspect of my team's roles.

I've freshened up the content a bit so that there's something current to read...and I've made some changes to the Forum Page.

Since many of those members on my other sites and groups know me through Aquaponics (and other food production activities), I've decided to roll APN out to them...before the name change...and hopefully to take them with us - on a bigger self-reliance journey - from a point of connection and understanding.

The pace of things here slowed to the point where our members drifted off elsewhere...and APN drifted off to sleep.

But we're about ready to fire her up again...

To the tiny band of members who have been with us throughout the 'refresh'...what's your impression? 

 

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  • 3 months later...

While I've been communicating with my moderators, it occurred to me that I had allowed my other priorities to assert themselves at the expense of this forum.

So, my humble apologies for allowing this thngs to go quiet.

For the past two months, I have been engaged a project of some personal importance...something that I've chosen to call Sandgardening.

Sandgardening is a gardening method that utiliises media in which to grow clean fresh organic fruit and vegetables...and other plants.

My other growing passion (of some four decades' duration) is integratated food production with the later 16 years of that working with aquaponics

The truth is that APN's upgrade is still evolving.  We're at a crossroads....do we continue as we have been....or do we broaden our scope?

Are  we Microponics Nation - waste transformationf farmers?  Or are we Have More For Less...simple living through self-relieance?

What do you want?  We're all in this together.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Gary/all

On 8/14/2021 at 9:39 PM, GaryD said:

Does anyone have an opinion to share?

I do :D

On 7/22/2021 at 1:11 AM, GaryD said:

Are  we Microponics Nation - waste transformationf farmers?  Or are we Have More For Less...simple living through self-relieance?

What do you want?  We're all in this together.

I belive Microponics Nation is the better of the two (I would maybe ad HQ or use HQ instead of nation ?)

A forum name really dosen't matter much, other than being hit or found by random, by people searching the www  without knowledge of the forums existence.

If the forum name contains Microponics the likelihood of being hit by potential forum participants are higer IMO

If one do a google search using the word Microponics vs Have more for less, you will see what I mean or why I mean it.

1248991988_Bilde03_09.2021klokken21_11.thumb.jpeg.50960f93bc99ec56c8b38c0a6b079b1f.jpeg

 

It is also very likely that someone would actually use Microponics, as a search term, to seek info of the kind you find here in this forum, if you do use that search word on google, you will get  581 000 results, and also find a nice explanation or origin of the word Microponics at the bottom of the 1. page in this link : https://garydonaldson.net/2009/05/the-origins-of-microponics/  

Quote: ................................ Integrated Backyard Food Production became too much of a mouthful and so it became Microponics.  The name suggests its own origins…..the combination of micro-livestock, micro-farming and aquaponics.  I subsequently discovered that the name is also used to describe an obscure grafting method using in hydroponics............................................ Quote end

So I have now sheared my opinion :sword:

cheers

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Hi Ande,

I own the URL microponics.net (and microponics.nat.au)...so it can be just plain Microponics since we don't have to compete for the space.  Both that name - and this forum - have a lot of history contained within.  Microponics has its own heritage...much of it chronicled here.  It has its own Facebook group

I'll talk to Kellen about the technicalities involved in a name change....but - at the moment - it's got my vote.  I think Joe suggested Microponics not so long ago.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We've begun to experience a trickle of new members in recent days.

To them, I offer a hearty welcome...and an invitation to plumb the depths of the second oldest aquaponics forum in the world.

Things have been quiet in recent years as discussion forums yielded to the lure of Facebook...and the principals of this one responded to other prioirities.

We're in the process of upgrading things around here in advance of awakening our sleeping membership and encouraging new ones.

The active membership of APN is very small at the moment but we have a collective experience of aquaponics and other food production systems that spans many years.

So, if you have a question...or something that you'd like to discuss...feel free.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Today, we saw eight new or existing members show up on the "Who's Online" in response to posts that I made on my various websites yesterday.

Welcome to everyone.  We hope you enjoy your new APN experience...and we look forward to hearing from you.

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