Re: sample document library: laying the groundwork
From: Dirk Herr-Hoyman (
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2007 06:23:24 -0800 (PST)

On Feb 13, 2007, at 1:04 PM, Tree Bressen wrote:

Lastly, once it's all compiled, is there anyone out there
that would be willing to make this sample library available online?

Personally I would love to see this on the Cohousing USA Website rather
than on somebody's personal host. (Of course, I can't speak for the
office/web folks there as to the appropriateness/do-ability of this...)

Personally i think that as long as there is a link from the Coho-US site, it would be ok if the library were hosted elsewhere. Putting a project
formally within the purview of an organization means grappling with
organizational politics, and that can slow things way down. I notice how
well this email list functions, without any organizational affiliation
(hats off to Fred, of course).

Tree, I'll have to be on the other side of this one. Having an organizational home will grease the wheels of both getting this going and keeping it going. You'll have the same "political" discussions, they
will just go faster :-)

On the wiki question, i have mixed feelings. I personally feel fond of wikis. I resonate with the concept. I'm confident the appropriate wiki software could be located, for free. In principle i think it could work fine. But when it comes to actually doing it on the ground, i have two

1. I think it would still need to be moderated and paid attention
to. Given that, it might actually be *less* labor for one well- organized person to receive documents and post them appropriately than for one or more folks to track changes to a wiki, check out each change and make sure it is furthering the purpose of the site. I'm suggesting that it could be
easier to play gatekeeper at the intake point, just like our public
libraries do.

2. My observation is that most people who are comfortable enough with
technology to use email can send documents as attachments (or as text
within the body of a message), but that there are many email users who find wikis too much of a technical challenge to use--they might read pages on a
wiki just like they would on any website, but they will not post or
edit. In this case, that could mean that many available documents will
never get posted, which would obviously derail the purpose of the
library. This concern could perhaps be addressed by having a moderator who receives and posts documents from anyone who's unsure how to post documents

Yes I agree the technology of a wiki can be a barrier. But, I will point out the Wikipedia examplar of how those barriers are overcome with desire.

Someone will need to watch over this.  I consider that a Good Thing.
One more note, about format. I understand why it is probably preferable to have the library in PDF or text rather than Word. But i think a lot of community policies are currently available in Word, and not everybody is set up to convert from Word to PDF, and if they go to text-only then they
lose the formatting that makes the document more readable.  If the
moderator (Andrew or whoever else steps forward) is willing to receive
items in Word and then do the conversion to PDF before posting the document in the library, that would ensure maximum access. And i don't think it
would be that much extra work; but since i'm not the person who has
volunteered to do the work, i will also support requirements requested by
those who are.

Conversion to PDF can be done easily enough.  Especially if you have
a Mac :-), where this is standard issue. Or you buy Adobe Acrobat. Or you use a freely available PDF converter.

I'd not get stuck on that point, it will sort itself out.
If the information is important, someone will convert to PDF.





Tree Bressen
1680 Walnut St.
Eugene, OR 97403
(541) 484-1156
tree [at]

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Dirk Herr-Hoyman
Member of Arboretum Cohousing
Madison, WI

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