GaryD

What's the next step with iAVs?

35 posts in this topic

Hi,

 

During the past 18 months, Dr Mark McMurtry and I have collaborated on a project to assert the merits of iAVs - the Integrated Aqua-Vegeculture System.

 

In that time, we've developed a web site, filled it with relevant content (and a few multimedia presentations).....and we're about to launch a video that places iAVs in the context of the emerging food security situation.

 

While we have discussed/debated the merits of iAVs in a range of environments, we acknowledge that the task of raising awareness of the system has yet to get underway.

 

In advance of that launch, we want to optimise our website, and, one of the messages that we have consistently received is that people have difficulty accessing the information that they need.

 

I'm seeking  your assistance, suggestions and ideas about what we should do to change that.  It seems pointless for us to attempt to bring iAVs to a wider audience while the possibility of frustrating many people still exists.

 

What would you do if you were looking to launch an idea (like iAVs) onto the world stage?

 

Gary

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Well if you could show all the benifits and if these systems and were practical for homeowners than possible a starter kit product could be produced and put on the market . Questions and concerns is can everyone afford the material or the price to run it. Also how fully self sustainable are Ivas systems?

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Hi,

 

During the past 18 months, Dr Mark McMurtry and I have collaborated on a project to assert the merits of iAVs - the Integrated Aqua-Vegeculture System.

 

In that time, we've developed a web site, filled it with relevant content (and a few multimedia presentations).....and we're about to launch a video that places iAVs in the context of the emerging food security situation.

 

While we have discussed/debated the merits of iAVs in a range of environments, we acknowledge that the task of raising awareness of the system has yet to get underway.  I have tried to follow all the threads here where iAVs was/is discussed and I have to say, you've raised awareness of iAVs.  Maybe not to the extent you'd like, but lots of folks here know about iAVs (and, I must add, you've been quite patient with the questions and answers.  Much more than I would have been).  Since APN is an aquaponics forum with most contributers pretty heavily invested in what might be referred to as traditional aquaponics with all the necessary filters, testers, and associated what-not, iAVs does present an about-face to what most here accept, and converting someone to the iAVs way, I think, is going to be an uphill challenge. 

 

In advance of that launch, we want to optimise our website, and, one of the messages that we have consistently received is that people have difficulty accessing the information that they need.  I have to agree with this observation.  After much back and forth on the iAVs site, and here, and with the help of Google, I was able to figure out what I thought I needed to do to convert my system to iAVs ....... which I finally completed today.  I disassembled/discarded my blue-barrel gravel based FD system and replaced it with a brand new iAVs system.  It is cycling and hopefully building the detritus layer as I write this. 

 

I'm seeking  your assistance, suggestions and ideas about what we should do to change that.  It seems pointless for us to attempt to bring iAVs to a wider audience while the possibility of frustrating many people still exists.

 

What would you do if you were looking to launch an idea (like iAVs) onto the world stage?  I think one of the first things I would do is to rewrite the iAVs story to include as much information as I could under one heading.  Along with that, I would include every operational iAVs setup I could find.  You or Mark need to get one up and running so you will have first-hand experience(s) to refer to.  I know Mark has, but that was then.  What folks want to know, read and talk about is now.  I know about, and follow the iAVs in India, and I know there is a setup in Oklahoma, but the Oklahoma one doesn't post much about his iAVs.  I think I've read about another iAVs somewhere, but can't remember ....... and I'm not going to look it up right now.  I've just finished schlepping lumber and a ton of sand around for the past 3 days and I'm just about done-in for the day.  Don't know if any of this helped, Gary, just wanted you to know there is at least one more convert out here.  Hope my new setup works as well as it's touted, and I have patience enough so I don't do something stupid to screw things up.

 

I do have a couple questions, tho.  Do you intend to make iAVs a separate stand-alone topic on this forum, or are you thinking of starting your own forum?

 

  Are you thinking of completely re-doing your iAVs site and/or adding a forum type section to it?  If so, I would like to see a notification option added so I could be notified when someone is contributing to the site. 

 

Gary

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Well if you could show all the benifits and if these systems and were practical for homeowners than possible a starter kit product could be produced and put on the market . Questions and concerns is can everyone afford the material or the price to run it. Also how fully self sustainable are Ivas systems?

Go here ....... http://iavs.info/   Cruise this site a while and you might understand what we're/you're talking about. 

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Hi Aufin,

 

Let me begin by expressing my appreciation for your considered reply.

 

I have tried to follow all the threads here where iAVs was/is discussed and I have to say, you've raised awareness of iAVs.  Maybe not to the extent you'd like, but lots of folks here know about iAVs (and, I must add, you've been quite patient with the questions and answers.  Much more than I would have been).  Since APN is an aquaponics forum with most contributers pretty heavily invested in what might be referred to as traditional aquaponics with all the necessary filters, testers, and associated what-not, iAVs does present an about-face to what most here accept, and converting someone to the iAVs way, I think, is going to be an uphill challenge. 

 

Initially, I thought that APN would see its renaissance on APN....particularly since Kellen invited Mark to the forum.

 

It quickly became apparent, however, that the only way that Mark could participate in discussions of his own work - on his own terms - was to have his own site....so I set up the iAVs.info site and Mark and I collaborated on the development of its content.

 

I also continued to discuss iAVs on APN.  Frequently, however, I found myself in situations where my role was to defend various aspects of iAVs - to the point where those discussions became battlegrounds.  Invariably, the other people in those discussions had not built iAVs systems (and probably never would) so, in a sense, that was time that would have been more productively used elsewhere.

 

I agree with your observation about people's investment in other system configurations.  What's more, such 'investment' invariably has nothing to do with fact.....or data....or research.....any even any meaningful comparison.  It's more about what people believe and less about what they know.  

 

In advance of that launch, we want to optimise our website, and, one of the messages that we have consistently received is that people have difficulty accessing the information that they need.  I have to agree with this observation.  After much back and forth on the iAVs site, and here, and with the help of Google, I was able to figure out what I thought I needed to do to convert my system to iAVs ....... which I finally completed today.  I disassembled/discarded my blue-barrel gravel based FD system and replaced it with a brand new iAVs system.  It is cycling and hopefully building the detritus layer as I write this.  

 

This is the part that confounds me.....and, regrettably, I'm too close to the information to be able to see the problem.  No matter how hard I try, I can't easily put myself in the shoes of a new user of the information.

 

This the area where I'd really value more information from you.  Why did you have difficulty in learning what you needed?  If you could wave a magic wand what would the iAVs site look like?

 

Don't misunderstand me, I'm delighted you finally got what you needed.....and that you're now an iAVs operator.....but I wish it hadn't been difficult for you.  That's the part that I want to change.

 

To that end, I'm happy to answer any questions you have....and what I don't know I can get from Mark.  That opportunity has always been available to you and I wonder why you didn't take advantage of it.  I'm not challenging you.....I just want to better understand how we might have been of more use to you.....and others.

 

I'm delighted that you've got your new system up and going.....and we're really looking forward to the photos.

 

I think one of the first things I would do is to rewrite the iAVs story to include as much information as I could under one heading.  Along with that, I would include every operational iAVs setup I could find.  You or Mark need to get one up and running so you will have first-hand experience(s) to refer to.  I know Mark has, but that was then.  What folks want to know, read and talk about is now.  I know about, and follow the iAVs in India, and I know there is a setup in Oklahoma, but the Oklahoma one doesn't post much about his iAVs.  I think I've read about another iAVs somewhere, but can't remember ....... and I'm not going to look it up right now.  I've just finished schlepping lumber and a ton of sand around for the past 3 days and I'm just about done-in for the day.  Don't know if any of this helped, Gary, just wanted you to know there is at least one more convert out here.  Hope my new setup works as well as it's touted, and I have patience enough so I don't do something stupid to screw things up.

 

So, is the fact that the information is under various headings (like the iAVs Promise, iAVs Benefits, iAVs Mission, etc) what makes it difficult to comprehend/access?  I put it under various heading so that it would be easy to find.....but I'm sensing that I may have shot myself in the foot.

 

You're right about the need for more examples of the iAVs breed.....and they are on my agenda.  The first of those....a desktop iAVs system....is due for completion by the end of this coming week.  And I'll follow up with what we call "the carpark model" as soon as possible.  It's not practical for Mark to build one in Montana.  Without a heated greenhouse, his growing season is about three months.

 

Start to talk about your new system....get some photos happening.....and ask questions whenever you need.  I'm happy to do that here.....or you can comment (and ask questions directly on the iAVs site (particularly if you'd like Mark's input).  We'd do whatever we can to underpin your success.

 

I do have a couple questions, tho.  Do you intend to make iAVs a separate stand-alone topic on this forum, or are you thinking of starting your own forum?

 

  Are you thinking of completely re-doing your iAVs site and/or adding a forum type section to it?  If so, I would like to see a notification option added so I could be notified when someone is contributing to the site. 

 

iAVs has several threads on APN.  I started this forum nearly 10 years ago....and one forum per lifetime is enough for me.....so another forum is out of the question.  I guess we (Kellen and I) could compartmentalise iAVs further and create its own sub-forum.  I'd have to speak to him about that.

 

Renovating the web site is definitely on the books.  In fact, it crept onto my "30 Projects in 30 Weeks" list a few days ago.  We're in the process of having an iAVs video made with the idea that viewers will be able to obtain more information back on our website.  That's what this thread is about....we're trying to get some ideas in advance of changing the website.  

 

Wordpress is a good platform (particularly for those skilled in its use) but I lack the expertise to get the best from it.  In any case, I'm not sure that a blogging platform is the best format for a project like iAVs.....so I'm leaning toward a more conventional content generation website builder.....like I used on my Urban Aquaponics web site.

 

I also plan to hang a business Facebook page off of the main website.....and a discussion group might be part of that.....to allow people to discuss what we're doing , to ask questions and to make comments. 

 

 

Gary

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Hi Aufin,

 

Let me begin by expressing my appreciation for your considered reply.

 

 

Initially, I thought that APN would see its renaissance on APN....particularly since Kellen invited Mark to the forum.

 

It quickly became apparent, however, that the only way that Mark could participate in discussions of his own work - on his own terms - was to have his own site....so I set up the iAVs.info site and Mark and I collaborated on the development of its content.  From what I've read and learned about MM, he's earned the privilege to call the shots. 

 

I also continued to discuss iAVs on APN.  Frequently, however, I found myself in situations where my role was to defend various aspects of iAVs - to the point where those discussions became battlegrounds. I remember.  I've been on the sidelines watching some of those peeing contests.  Invariably, the other people in those discussions had not built iAVs systems (and probably never would) so, in a sense, that was time that would have been more productively used elsewhere.

 

I agree with your observation about people's investment in other system configurations.  What's more, such 'investment' invariably has nothing to do with fact.....or data....or research.....any even any meaningful comparison.  It's more about what people believe and less about what they know.  Yep.  My use of "investment" was meant to include time, dollars spent on materials, supplies, testing/monitoring gadgets, research, etc.  It can be kinda difficult to make an about-face when so deeply involved in one direction when something else comes along.  Better?  Easier?  I really don't know with absolute certainty, but from everything I've read, iAVs does seem like an easier path to follow.  I intend to give iAVs a chance to prove itself ........ if I can manage to not screw it up. 

 

 

This is the part that confounds me.....and, regrettably, I'm too close to the information to be able to see the problem.  No matter how hard I try, I can't easily put myself in the shoes of a new user of the information. Well, taken at face value, iAvs does seem just too stupid simple in light of the "teaching/preaching" of the past decades.  What .... No water filtration!?  No adding chemicals for the plants!!?  This can't be because Mr. So-and-So said........ 

 

This the area where I'd really value more information from you.  Why did you have difficulty in learning what you needed?  If you could wave a magic wand what would the iAVs site look like?  I'm not so sure it was "difficult" as much as it was just "getting used to" navigating around the different topic headings to find the finer points of iAVs.  I understood the basics and the simplicity, just took a little poking around the site to get myself to the point where I felt confident enough to dive in. 

 

Don't misunderstand me, I'm delighted you finally got what you needed.....and that you're now an iAVs operator.....but I wish it hadn't been difficult for you.  That's the part that I want to change.  Gary, don't worry about it.  I'm sure of anyone's interested enough in iAVs, the information is all there if one takes the time and makes the effort to look. 

 

 

To that end, I'm happy to answer any questions you have....and what I don't know I can get from Mark.  That opportunity has always been available to you and I wonder why you didn't take advantage of it. I did.  Just under a different name on the iAVs site. No problem, Gary.  I'm perfectly happy with the way things are progressing.  Rest assured, if I have a question, you'll know it.

 

I'm delighted that you've got your new system up and going.....and we're really looking forward to the photos.

 

 

So, is the fact that the information is under various headings (like the iAVs Promise, iAVs Benefits, iAVs Mission, etc) what makes it difficult to comprehend/access?  I put it under various heading so that it would be easy to find.....but I'm sensing that I may have shot myself in the foot.  Like I said, it's probably just a matter of getting used to the site.  As far as comprehending, I understand, but I'm the kind who wants to see, touch, watch something do what it does so I can know the how's and why's of it. 

For example, I know you say the furrows need to be connected at the ends, but I didn't thin much of it till I watched my bright shiny new iAVs bed work, and, Bing, a light went off and I now know that's a vital fine point of iAVs's operation.  The sand bed ...... it needs to be level with the water level.  I knew that, but watching my bed work, bingo, another light.  That, too is a very vital fine point that must be given proper attention for the successful operation of an iAVs bed.  Both these points were addressed in the iAVs presentations, but weren't presented as being a very important fine point of an iAVs bed that must be given proper attention. 

 

 

You're right about the need for more examples of the iAVs breed.....and they are on my agenda.  The first of those....a desktop iAVs system....is due for completion by the end of this coming week. Desktop??!  Interesting.  I have a little bit of sand left over and was thinking of a small version of what I just built.  I'm thinking a small version just for okra since okra has such a large root structure.  And I'll follow up with what we call "the carpark model" as soon as possible.  It's not practical for Mark to build one in Montana.  Without a heated greenhouse, his growing season is about three months. Don't believe he's physically up to it, either.

 

Start to talk about your new system....get some photos happening.. They're on my phone and this site and my phone don't get along so well. I'll have to add photos on the next post....and ask questions whenever you need.  I'm happy to do that here.....or you can comment (and ask questions directly on the iAVs site  Been there, done that (BH). (particularly if you'd like Mark's input). Yes I do ......  full of information he's willing to share.  He's straight to the point.  No mistake where you stand with him.  Sometimes he gets a bit heavy with the science talk and goes over my head, but I still enjoy reading his posts.    We'd do whatever we can to underpin your success. About this, I have no doubt.

 

 

iAVs has several threads on APN.  I started this forum nearly 10 years ago....and one forum per lifetime is enough for me.....so another forum is out of the question.  I guess we (Kellen and I) could compartmentalise iAVs further and create its own sub-forum.  I'd have to speak to him about that.  On second thought, keeping iAVs mainstream on the forum does get the attention of someone just beginning their research into backyard growing. 

 

Renovating the web site is definitely on the books.  In fact, it crept onto my "30 Projects in 30 Weeks" list a few days ago.  We're in the process of having an iAVs video made with the idea that viewers will be able to obtain more information back on our website.  That's what this thread is about....we're trying to get some ideas in advance of changing the website.  Nowhere near being qualified to advise on web design. 

 

Wordpress is a good platform (particularly for those skilled in its use) but I lack the expertise to get the best from it.  In any case, I'm not sure that a blogging platform is the best format for a project like iAVs.....so I'm leaning toward a more conventional content generation website builder.....like I used on my Urban Aquaponics web site.

 

I also plan to hang a business Facebook page off of the main website.....and a discussion group might be part of that.....to allow people to discuss what we're doing , to ask questions and to make comments. 

 

 

Gary

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Hi Aufin,

 

 

 

From what I've read and learned about MM, he's earned the privilege to call the shots. 

 

Some people have portrayed Mark as difficult to work with.....and that's probably the result of them ignoring the fact that, while he's more than willing to teach people about iAVs, he absolutely refuses to argue or debate about it....particularly with people who lack practical experience of iAVs or who are willing to let beliefs interfere with facts.

 

He detests what aquaponics has become....and those who peddle the misinformation that is such an entrenched part of aquaponics.

 

I've worked with Mark for about 18 months now.  In that time, we've never had a dispute over anything.  I've found him to be generous of spirit  and very easy to work with.....to the point where we've become firm friends. 

 

He'll share what he knows with anyone who is willing to learn.....and that's evidenced by the existence of the iAVs.info site....and the way that he interacts with those who seek his assistance there.  For him, it's all about being able to talk about and teach iAVs.....on his own terms.  Since iAVs is his work - which he's made "open source" since 1985 - I think that's a reasonable position to take.

 

I'm not so sure it was "difficult" as much as it was just "getting used to" navigating around the different topic headings to find the finer points of iAVs.  I understood the basics and the simplicity, just took a little poking around the site to get myself to the point where I felt confident enough to dive in. 

 

 

 Gary, don't worry about it.  I'm sure of anyone's interested enough in iAVs, the information is all there if one takes the time and makes the effort to look. 

 

Like I said, it's probably just a matter of getting used to the site.  As far as comprehending, I understand, but I'm the kind who wants to see, touch, watch something do what it does so I can know the how's and why's of it. 

 

For example, I know you say the furrows need to be connected at the ends, but I didn't thin much of it till I watched my bright shiny new iAVs bed work, and, Bing, a light went off and I now know that's a vital fine point of iAVs's operation.  The sand bed ...... it needs to be level with the water level.  I knew that, but watching my bed work, bingo, another light.  That, too is a very vital fine point that must be given proper attention for the successful operation of an iAVs bed.  Both these points were addressed in the iAVs presentations, but weren't presented as being a very important fine point of an iAVs bed that must be given proper attention. 

 

Thank you for these insights.  I've gleaned some useful ideas for the new web site.

 

Desktop??!  Interesting.  I have a little bit of sand left over and was thinking of a small version of what I just built.  I'm thinking a small version just for okra since okra has such a large root structure.

 

People who are new to aquaponics often try to build a small "proof of concept" system.  I've observed that most of them are short-lived and generally impractical......usually because the smaller the system, the more pronounced the shortcomings of gravel/clay pebbles as a media.  Most people who start such systems either abandon them for something larger.....or decide that aquaponics is not really for them.

 

iAVs does not suffer from the same filtration shortcomings as gravel/clay pebbles and will, I believe, scale down much more effectively.

 

I'd not only like to demonstrate that a small iAVs works, from a practical perspective, but also to use it to grow plants other than tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and the like.

 

The other reason that supports a small system for now is that I have about 100 litres (about 25 gallons) of suitable sand on hand.

 

 

 

He's straight to the point.  No mistake where you stand with him.  Sometimes he gets a bit heavy with the science talk and goes over my head, but I still enjoy reading his posts.   

 

I think one of the strengths of the relationship is that one of us is a scientist.....and one is not.   I often prevail on him to speak in terms that I can understand so that I can use language that is within the scope of understanding of most of our users.

 

He has pointed out that my writing sometimes appears to be pitched at ten-year olds.....to which I can smugly reply that most articles in newspapers (and most magazines) are written in acknowledgment of the fact the reading and comprehension skills of their readers average those of ten-year olds.  I've also pointed out that people who are not scientists often view the use of jargon by scientists as pontificating.  Our relationship accommodates such robust expressions of humour.

 

Once again, thanks for your help.

 

Gary

Edited by Gary Donaldson (see edit history)
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I for one would love to do some testing with iAVs, however I am currently lacking the space to do so unless I did it in temporary space outdoors during the summer.  I'd be more than willing to convert entirely over if the system works in my environment, I'm just not in the position financially right now to make the investment into a total change.

 

An observation on the iavs.info site, is that while there is much information on promises, benefits, history, what it is, and why one should do it, there is very little in practical how-to.  If people could see photo or video documentary on the building of the system, layouts, and then see how it matures over 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months, 6 months, etc. that would be invaluable.  A YouTube channel covering every component of the system from build to operation would be great.

 

One of the factors that has driven awareness of aquaponics are the many "peddlers" who are making a fast buck teaching the basics of RAS and making grandiose promises.  Another factor is commercially available kits that a novice can set up in their back yard very easily.  It seems that while you question why iAVs has not taken off, you also want to avoid the marketing methods that have made systems like CHIF PIST popular.  I think you can achieve a balance in that, and market small scale systems via people who have realistic projections of performance and production, and can make a few dollars off of sharing that knowledge with other interested people.  If you can build a marketing plan based on ease of use vs. other gardening methods and specifically vs. aquaponics, I think you will automatically drive interest for those already interested in aquaponics.

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What I've been working to glean from the wealth of scientific & commercial-scale information on the iAVs site is: Basic, backyard scale examples with instructions for the layman.  While I can work my way through the research, I'm not well-versed in turning data into an image in my mind's eye and frankly, the image needs to be there (and be based in the reality of the data, I'm not arguing otherwise) in order for me to manifest something real. 

 

I think you're premature to think you can present iAVs to "the world" at this point. What you need (and are slowly getting, just from those of us who have been introduced to it here) is a group of early adopters who aren't afraid to experiment and "stand corrected" when need be. Saying I think you're premature isn't a negative judgment on all the effort you've put in so far - it's just that my "sense" (sorry, woo woo) of what is needed to generate social buzz is that until you have pretty pictures (and what that implies: lots of systems running, varieties of plants growing, different designs in support of the basic iAVs fundamentals), you're still in the early-adopter phase.

 

Ultimately, I'd like to resurrect my defunct blog (that has a totally different focus at this point - I'll bet you never imagined creative writing and iAVs would share the same mental-space) and add my experience to the side of the very-necessary-anecdotes that balance out the science. 

 

As it is right now, though, two IBCs sitting in my backyard do not equal Pretty Pictures.

 

As to platform, Wordpress is more than blogging software - it powers many, many business websites. Ultimately, since facebook content is owned by facebook, you might consider your fb page doing nothing more than bringing visitors to your official site. I'd swing very firmly against fb hosting ANY of your meaningful content (and that includes the pretty pictures) that isn't already to be found on the website. Also, in the world of online marketing, email lists (a group of self-selected individuals who chose to provide their email address to you in exchange for content you provide) are the currency of the realm - the better online retailers, marketers & content providers treat their email-list members like trusted friends - so I'm not advocating spam or "email blasting" or other idiotic practices. In iAVs' case, it's about education and assistance - much like your free aquaponics guide, Gary.

 

I've seen you working to improve the iAVs site since I started looking at it - the various headers and the "recent posts/comments" features do help with navigating. I don't think you've shot yourself in the foot.

 

Hope this helps. :)

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An observation on the iavs.info site, is that while there is much information on promises, benefits, history, what it is, and why one should do it, there is very little in practical how-to.  If people could see photo or video documentary on the building of the system, layouts, and then see how it matures over 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months, 6 months, etc. that would be invaluable.  A YouTube channel covering every component of the system from build to operation would be great.

 

exactly!

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Sure a detailed video - or perchance many - would indeed be nice.

And, so would a bevy of naked dancing girls coming through my door right now.

 

But, who is going to pay for it (or pay the dancers)?   and who will pay for  the 'system' to be  built/documented, and the labor and the video gear?

You?  Anyone?  Right!  I didn't think so.

 

WRT marketing of kits (or whatever perverted plastic phantasy), which of you chooses to cover the inventory, storage, advertising, etc?

Oh, that's right.  No one.  

 

<< rant on >>

 

BTW, the money that it would cost to generate video(s) and/or to produce/market kits would easily be sufficient to feeding a village of malnourished children. Perhaps several.   But that would  be for those stinking brown apes, and the black, and yellow ... and since they breed like rats anyway (not), so to hell with them, literally.  And so we drop bombs on them instead  - so that they may reach 'our' culturally indoctrinated  theocratic vision of Hell and out of the one they actually live in ASAP (thereby out of the sight/mind/way of us "good" demon-fearing folk).  Oh Joy!

 

[bTW, everyone is pink inside. And there are more bacterial cells in each centimeter of your small intestines than their are human cells in your entire body.  That means that humans (you) are in many ways actually a transport vehicle for bacteria.  And it shows.  but I digress  ...

 

For those who may have yet to notice, iAVs has been "open-source' (FREE for the taking) since 1985.  Decades prior to the concept of open-source tech. arising.

It is (or was intended as) a gift to the world ... an opportunity for (in)humanity to amend our destructive-consumption ways - and also for you, you,and you to perhaps modify your trajectory - one which few to no one would accept.  Yeah, I called you a "you you', deal with it.

 

It certainly wasn't free for me , in no sense and in no way,  The list of costs I've incurred is as extensive/severe as could possibly be imagined.

If I had it to do over, knowing what I do now,  I would NOT.  And not one of you would have ever heard of me (or F&D) and this forum (and all the others) - ntm Youtube channels and legions of aqua-shysters, etc - almost certainly wouldn't exist. NTM a cyber-verse of other utter nonsense, scams, fraud, lies, mal-investmet and wasted time as well.   Ooops, sorry 'bout that.  My bad.  Just shoot me (I know you want to).

 

One of the things I've learned through the decades (reinforced daily) is that NO one appreciates or values that which they acquire without cost.

Never happened and never will.  

 

For analogy, try imagining spending 10 or more years (actually much more) worth of your income/time to create and operate an ermine farm such that you could produce the most awesome ermine coat ever made as a gift to your wife.  And when the day finally arrived to present it to her, she refuses to accept it,  saying that what she really wanted were muskrat mittens.  Then you try gifting it to the next woman you see, with the same response.  And the next, and the next ... several thousand times over with the identical outcome.  At some ill-defined point you will come to understand that the perhaps the best thing that you could do with the coat is wipe your ass in splendid comfort.  And eventually you come learn (with zero effort)  that all the women that you attempted to gift the coat to then went out and purchased a fake ermine coat for themselves anyway, wore it once or twice and discovered that everyone who saw it actually believed that it was real ermine (since they have never seen one before).  So they saw their opportunity and traveled the country/world selling trashy fake ermine coats as the Real McCoy several thousand times over to willful idiots.    At which point would you come to despise, loathe and even fear coats, ermine, women and gifts?  .... But I digress again.

 

I still have no idea as to why I persist, or give a eF, or even exist (endure).  No one else does either.  

 

I've come to accept that fish poo is actually a broad-spectrum brain pathogen, that (so-called) aquapoopics (sic) is a insidious yet terminal neurological disorder. (easily confused with religion complete with conflicted cults of mystical woo).  The longer and closer one's contact is with the culprit vector, the faster one's cognitive condition seems to deteriorate.  Once non-functionality has accrued, the infected. hijacked mind is spread out across the bullshit cyber-rodeo circuit and sold (big$) to adoring audiences thereby propagating the dementia demon amongst the masses.  Apparently, negative IQ values are actually achievable by this means.

 

Yet, here I am (still), attempting to argue with a disease vector - still yapping on about pH and pounding sand (as if anyone understood or cared to).  My own personal hell, I suppose.  Hey folks, there are hundreds if not thousands of other things (matters, skills) other than pH and sand and pumps and woo-woo fluffer-nutter sandwiches without the bread,  that could be discussed/taught/learned (list omitted in the interest of sanity), other that the most obvious (to me), mundane technical detail which in truth very few can or will ever come to agree on.  But we'll never get to any of that because almost everyone seems to want only to so-called debate/hype their happy-place fantasy d'jour and 'argue' with, aka deny, aka avoid facts.  

 

Well, when I began this rant I truly didn't know where it was going to end up.  

And, once again, I discovered that I was right.  

Damn, this would have been so much more entertaining if it only it was a video.  

 

HINT: life is not a video ... nor a game ... nor up for debate.  Life could be applied to actual doing (participation) instead of watching that screen you're looking at now.    Hey babe, was it good for you too?

 

click, you're it.

 

 

<< rant off >>

Edited by Mark McMurtry (see edit history)
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I think the short answer is that no-one will develop these multimedia assets or backyard kits unless there is money to be made off of selling equipment or training people to build and use it. An entrepreneur with an opportunity for profit will invest what is necessary to market and sell his product.

After further perusal of the web site and many blog posts, I think the main issue with getting information from the site is the blog format. After spending time clicking through a multitude of individual posts I was able to get a more complete picture of the system. Organization of this information into a traditional web site would go a long ways toward making iAVs more accessible, simply due to being able to quickly drill down to the subject matter quickly.

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Sure a detailed video - or perchance many - would indeed be nice.

And, so would a bevy of naked dancing girls coming through my door right now.

 

But, who is going to pay for it (or pay the dancers)?   and who will pay for  the 'system' to be  built/documented, and the labor and the video gear?

You?  Anyone?  Right!  I didn't think so.

 

Damn, this would have been so much more entertaining if it only it was a video.  

 

HINT: life is not a video ... nor a game ... nor up for debate.  Life could be applied to actual doing (participation) instead of watching that screen you're looking at now.

 

click, you're it.

 

 

<< rant off >>

 

[part one, in which neighbor keeps to the topic at hand]

 

umm - in case you hadn't noticed, there's something called user generated content - and lots of it - on YouTube. This means that those of us who are giving iAVs a try can put our mediocre home-made videos online (or, photos, on other platforms). See VKN's videos (which are not mediocre though they're home-made) - which are a labor of love rather than a way to spend money on video production or naked dancers. (I'll not comment on whether his methods are up to spec)

 

I do recall you saying something about not letting perfection get in the way of action...

 

Why would anyone do that (post stuff)? because we're not burnt out on generosity and sharing and recognize that there is more than one way to get a message across - with some folks more capable of some methods than others. I'd hazard a guess that producing a how-to-video is not something you should do. 

 

But why would we not consider it as a way to show people what iAVs is?

 

 

 

[Part two, in which neighbor gets testy. Ignore if you prefer]

 

Sorry Dr. McMurtry but just because it was suggested that there be videos and examples doesn't mean anyone is requiring anything from anyone (ie., you) who doesn't want to give it.

 

Also, great, I'm glad to hear how shitty everything is. Thanks for the head's up.

 

Meanwhile, Gary asked a good question - how to get the iAVs info "translated" into a format and spread via a medium so more people can have access to it. Pity that it'll be The Wrong People (â„¢), those of us in a crashing and burning former-industrialized top-dog world rather than those already at the bottom of the heap. I apologize for my privilege, can't wait to see you all at the bottom.[/testy]

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[Part two, in which neighbor gets testy. Ignore if you prefer]

 

'testy' is fine with me'  I eat there often.  Vast menu to pick from.  Shirt and shoes optional.

 

I was and am not against video per se.  I have no capacity, skills, patience, time, tools or money to take on yet another project.  

 

VERY obviously, I'm the very last person who should be attempting to 'sell' anyone on anything  - and I know it.

 

I have a 'saying' (actual hundreds) that I've applied to myself, which goes like this.  "I couldn't give away iced Evian (french spring water) in a Somalian dust storm". Literally.  Actually, I despise selling - which may be a large chunk of why I give everything I can away for free.  The good news is that I started life with nothing and I still have most of it left.

 

If someone else (or many) does possess the skills/tools/time etc and can developed accurate/effective video documentation, then that's SO okey-dokey with me.

 

I wasn't picking a fight nor intending to imply any specific criticism or discouragement to any/all responses to Gary's inquiry (which was actually mine suggestion in his words, albeit he'd likely have posed the question anyway.

 

wrt the rant:  I found I had a bit of 'energy' today and what happened was a stream of semi-consciouness got off of the leash.

Fortunately for everyone here, this will continue to diminish with time yet I offer no guarantee that it can't happen again.

Admittedly, I got more than a little 'carried away', deeper and deeper into rant - which equally admittedly was WAY off-topic and likely incomprehensible as well.

'Stuff' happens - to everyone.

Sometimes an over-heated boiler will just have  to vent and its difficult to predict when much less to stop the leakage mid-blast.

The escaping steam was not target at you or anyone else per se.  My apology to anyone who felt that they were targeted or otherwise scalded.

OTOH, don't interpret this to be an apology for having expressed emotionally-charged opinion regardless of how poorly expressed or ill-received.

 

 

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Come to Florida, I'd like to sit and have a couple cold ones with ya.  Nevermind, bad idea.  Doubt you'd be able to tolerate the knuckle-head tourists we encounter every day.  Maybe I'll work on my bucket list and find my way to Montana some day and see if I can buy you a cup of coffee or dinner. 

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Hi Dave,

 

An observation on the iavs.info site, is that while there is much information on promises, benefits, history, what it is, and why one should do it, there is very little in practical how-to.  If people could see photo or video documentary on the building of the system, layouts, and then see how it matures over 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months, 6 months, etc. that would be invaluable.  A YouTube channel covering every component of the system from build to operation would be great.

 

This is very helpful.....and it points to how easy it is for those of us who are close to iAVs to suffer from being too close to the forest to be able to see the trees.  On a practical footing, Mark and I see iAVs as being so very simple (that's one of its principal benefits).  It hasn't occurred to us (until very recently) that others may not see it quite the same way.  I've also overlooked the fact that people have different learning styles (a serious oversight for a trainer).

 

We've begun to address that but I can see that much more needs to be done.

 

One of the factors that has driven awareness of aquaponics are the many "peddlers" who are making a fast buck teaching the basics of RAS and making grandiose promises.  Another factor is commercially available kits that a novice can set up in their back yard very easily.  It seems that while you question why iAVs has not taken off, you also want to avoid the marketing methods that have made systems like CHIF PIST popular.  I think you can achieve a balance in that, and market small scale systems via people who have realistic projections of performance and production, and can make a few dollars off of sharing that knowledge with other interested people.  If you can build a marketing plan based on ease of use vs. other gardening methods and specifically vs. aquaponics, I think you will automatically drive interest for those already interested in aquaponics.

 

I agree that the popularisation of aquaponics has been largely due to the efforts of those who want to make money out of it.....and there's something to be learned from the practical strategies that they've employed.....while being careful to avoid the ethical breaches that are so much a feature of what they do.

 

You're right.  No one values that which they get for nothing.  We've begun to re-think the idea of selling things.  We're not interested in making money ourselves but we've begun to think of some of the things that we could do to advance iAVs if we had more money.....like a demonstration farm or interpretation centre.....or the funding of systems in developing countries.

 

Thanks for your response, Dave.  Very insightful.

 

What I've been working to glean from the wealth of scientific & commercial-scale information on the iAVs site is: Basic, backyard scale examples with instructions for the layman.  While I can work my way through the research, I'm not well-versed in turning data into an image in my mind's eye and frankly, the image needs to be there (and be based in the reality of the data, I'm not arguing otherwise) in order for me to manifest something real. 

 

I think you're premature to think you can present iAVs to "the world" at this point. What you need (and are slowly getting, just from those of us who have been introduced to it here) is a group of early adopters who aren't afraid to experiment and "stand corrected" when need be. Saying I think you're premature isn't a negative judgment on all the effort you've put in so far - it's just that my "sense" (sorry, woo woo) of what is needed to generate social buzz is that until you have pretty pictures (and what that implies: lots of systems running, varieties of plants growing, different designs in support of the basic iAVs fundamentals), you're still in the early-adopter phase.

 

I'm hearing that we need more of the practical 'how-to' stuff that Dave has mentioned.  Thanks Wendy.

 

As to platform, Wordpress is more than blogging software - it powers many, many business websites. Ultimately, since facebook content is owned by facebook, you might consider your fb page doing nothing more than bringing visitors to your official site. I'd swing very firmly against fb hosting ANY of your meaningful content (and that includes the pretty pictures) that isn't already to be found on the website. Also, in the world of online marketing, email lists (a group of self-selected individuals who chose to provide their email address to you in exchange for content you provide) are the currency of the realm - the better online retailers, marketers & content providers treat their email-list members like trusted friends - so I'm not advocating spam or "email blasting" or other idiotic practices. In iAVs' case, it's about education and assistance - much like your free aquaponics guide, Gary.

 

I take your point about Facebook.  I'm inclined to see it as a way of getting our website stuff out to a broader audience.  The jury's still out on Wordpress.  While it's powerful, I've really struggled with finding pro-active people with the necessary skills to help me develop it.  I can find tech's that know how to do what I want.....but they lack the creativity or business sense to guide the development of a site that has the look and feel that we need.

 

Much appreciated, Wendy.

 

Sure a detailed video - or perchance many - would indeed be nice.

And, so would a bevy of naked dancing girls coming through my door right now.

 

But, who is going to pay for it (or pay the dancers)?   and who will pay for  the 'system' to be  built/documented, and the labor and the video gear?

You?  Anyone?  Right!  I didn't think so.

 

WRT marketing of kits (or whatever perverted plastic phantasy), which of you chooses to cover the inventory, storage, advertising, etc?

Oh, that's right.  No one.  

 

Grrr!  How did you get out?  I was sure I'd locked the gate.

 

Seriously, this thread is useful......and I thank all of those who have contributed thus far.

 

Gary

Edited by Gary Donaldson (see edit history)
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Grrr!  How did you get out?  I was sure I'd locked the gate.

No cage will ever hold me, except for the one between my ears.

This makes me in no way unique. Or so I'd want to believe despite a world of countervailing evidence.

==========

WRT aqua-shysters, plastic profiteers and gullibility pirates

“The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduces them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim†(Gustave Le Bon 1896)

Edited by Mark McMurtry (see edit history)

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There appears to be some consensus that we need to change the website - substantially. We'd pretty much reached that conclusion as well, but your feedback has reinforced this.

So now, the questions becomes how? in specific. not vague generalities.

For example, what should be presented first (what do you feel is most important aspect/compenent/process for a newbie to know before attempting to take to nest step on this path?

And the second, third and so forth. What sequence should be adopt to convey the substance of this apparently confounding picture? Just what is that people aren't getting or somehow are unable (ntm unwilling) to access? - other than visuals. yeah we get it, more pictures, more video ... but there is only so much I can do about that in the rearview mirror (remember that iAVs was 'found' (proven) and then 'lost' again way before anyone had ever heard of the internet - my bad!). IMO, its up to the rest of you to pick up the ball and then show the product of your efforts in this regard. Hopefully at some point your contribution(s) to the stream will eventually result in a flood. Whether this happens or not is not up to me nor is this something I'll take responsibility for. Participate as I can yes, but the doing is now up to others.

Back on the matter of organization of the content, what is it that you want to understand and in what order will this be most likely to be comprehensible. BTW. there exists uncountable issues/matters that have yet to even get a mention - since merely conveying the basic operation and materials has been (felt) much like sourcing that proverbial pot of leprechaun Gold at the end on the rainbow.

I get it ... some folks don't respond well to 'sciencey' geek verbiage - or numbers (data, maths - which is too say nothing of sorting fantasy from fact)- at all. Not much if anything I can do about any of that. Gary has consistently, generously and patiently attempted to translate 'stuff' into layman terms (quite well I'd assert) yet even that seems to largely evoke complaints, or yawns, and/or 'arguments' (borderline tantrums) - too often built upon no foundation and virtually exclusively without any evidence (or rationality) whatsoever. Oops - trespassing into rant territory (again). Note to self, dial it back

Perchance, is it that its just too simple and basic that some/many demand that it be more complicated than it in fact is? Or what. Or is it that prior exposure to - hmmm -- hype an BS has heightened some folks's skepticism volume? If this is the case I can MORE than understand and sympathize with that. I would agree that as a field of inquiry and technology development, as things stand its near categorically disgusting. I can't fight the farts in the wind nor dispel the hype and fraudulent claims of shysters alone - that will require a consistent and coordinated community effort IMO and perhaps the best way to do battle with BS is furnish evidence, proofs, facts.

Again, the rant monkey beckons seductively ... sho fly, go away

Ummm, I suspect that I've said/asked enough to make a point - more likely too much.

So, just what is it, and in what order/sequence, that you folk need to access/understand ?

IMO someone (preferably MANY) need to step up, 'just do it' and become the masters of your own destiny (and therefore positively influence that of others). My energy wanes, as too do my expectations of any future worth having. I'm not going to be around to teach (or 'debate') forever. I feel that the world could benefit if some (pr many) of you pick up the torch that I lit and run with all the way to the bank.

Your turn. Your choice. Your future.

PS: I HATE this forums text entry box. It's going to make me blind even faster than I'm traveling that direction. Any remaining typos in the above screed will 'just have to do' It's already given me a headache ntm P-ing me off.

Edited by Mark McMurtry (see edit history)
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I've got a lot on my plate over the weekend but would like to come back and revisit your questions here, since I'm one of the ones who needs the 'translation' to non-sciency.

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Another small suggestion for the iAVs site, as well as for the current discussion on another thread about sand and the bucket test

.  Since proper selection of the sand is a very important part of iAVs, make the "Sand Selection Guide" easier to find.  Addition to the Page Selection Menu would be a  nice place.  I knew the SSG page was there, but still had to do some searching to find it.  I know Mark had said in one of his responses to a question on the iAVs site that "ideal" sand size is a question at this time, but still, some reccomendation as to minimum/maximum grain sizes would be something to aim for instead of just going on a blind hunt at a sand supplier. 

  Also, for the benefit of anyone else reading this who may be considering sourcing sand for iAVs, ask the operator if they offer "washed and graded" sand. If they do, this site http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/sieve-numbers-openings-d_1645.html  may give a little insight and more able to visualize what you're looking for and talking about with regard to sand particle sizes and corresponding sieve sizes. 

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Thanks, I've updated the 'publication' date such that it remains on the first page (for now).

I thought I had done so previously yet had failed to adjust the year in addition the month and day.

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Still has no link to the Sand Selection Guide page.  I interpreted the happy face guys to mean the goal was to have a good mixture of sand in the range of .5mm to 2.0mm for a somewhat "ideal"  iAVs bed.  

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Still has no link to the Sand Selection Guide page.  I interpreted the happy face guys to mean the goal was to have a good mixture of sand in the range of .5mm to 2.0mm for a somewhat "ideal"  iAVs bed.

Try again! Its there on front page at iavs.info. Works for me. My reply to you can be found there as well.

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