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The Definitive Martenson Community Database Thread

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  • Mon, May 04, 2009 - 04:30pm

    #1

    JAG

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    The Definitive Martenson Community Database Thread

 Hi Everyone,

 

After some initial success in establishing a Martenson Community Database, I thought it might be useful to discuss some guidelines for the content, sign-up procedures, contributing procedures, and management of the database. I’ll get the conversation started with the following suggestions:

 

Some Background: The idea for the database was established by Pete in Florida in his thread Post-Crash Database  and expanded upon in my corresponding thread Community Database Established . If your new to this idea, please review those threads for more details.

 

 

About Dropbox: The dropbox service is a perfect fit to serve as our community database. I will attempt to describe it in more detail here. Basically, the service allows the automatic syncing of a folder and its content among many computers. Some of its advantages are the following:
  • It works on both PCs and Macs, and has a web browser interface as well. There is even an iPhone application in the works too.
  • Changes to the content of the shared folder are automatically propagated to all of the dropboxes that share that folder. That means if you open and edit a document, and then save it, the dropbox service will automatically update the corresponding document in everyone else’s dropbox with your changes. Also, if you add a folder and/or content, that new content will be automatically downloaded to everyone else’s dropbox.
  • The risk of losing the data is minimal, because it is stored both in the cloud (the dropbox server) and on all of the participant’s computers throughout the world. If for some reason you were to lose your computer and all of its files, you could easily restore all the content of the database on a new computer by simply signing in to your dropbox account.
  • If you were to lose your internet connection, you would lose the ability to contribute to the database (and receive updates), but you would have access to all the information in the database that is stored locally on your computer in your dropbox.
  • Files can be recovered if accidently deleted. The dropbox allows any user to recover a file that has been deleted or removed from the shared folder (the database). It also allows users to restore documents to a previous rendition.
  • Its Free! The basic dropbox service is free and initially provides 2 GB of server space for each new member. We can expand this server space up to 5 GB by using the invitation promotion. For each new member that is invited, Dropbox will add 250 MB to both the inviter’s and invitee’s account (up to 5 GB). We should take advantage of this to provide the most free space available for our community database. (More info on how we do this below.)
  • Its safe. I have used dropbox for some time now to synchronize my business records between my computers at the office and home with no problems. Additionally, all information is synced using SSL (the same protection used in making secure online credit card transactions) and all information is protected with AES-256 encryption before it is stored on the Dropbox Server back-end.
  • You can find out more at http://www.getdropbox.com . But don’t sign up yet…see below for more information.

 

How To Sign Up: If your interested in participating in this database, please do the following:

  1. Send me a private message with your email address and I will email you 2 invites.
  2. The first invite will be a promo invite for you to establish a free account with Dropbox. I believe signing up with this invite, will allow us to expand our dropbox memory storage by 250 MB for each new account. I signed up before they had this promo, so I’m not exactly sure how it works. Try to look for any reference to this referral program during your sign up process and respond accordingly. It might be that all that is required is just clicking on the link that I will provide you in my first invite.
  3. During the account start-up process, you might decide to locate your local dropbox folder on your computer’s desktop (if the default location is not already set to be on your desktop). This allows easy access to the database. You might want to also enable "Growl Notification" (if available) to alert you when changes are made to the database. The Growl application puts a brief and unobtrusive message in the top right corner of your computer screen that alerts you to dropbox updates. Both of these options are available in the Dropbox Preferences Pane, so you can change them later if needed.
  4. The second invite that you will receive from me will be an invite to share the folder titled "Martenson Forum Database". Once you have established your dropbox account, go back to your email and click the link provided in this second invite. Once you accept the invite, your dropbox folder should start automatically downloading the community database. it is currently about 40 MB in size, so give it a little time to download to your computer.

Using Dropbox: The following are some guidelines to the proper use of the Dropbox service for our community database.

  • Please open and edit all documents from within your local dropbox folder. If you move a file from your dropbox to your desktop to view it and/or edit it, the file is automatically removed from all the other dropboxes that share the same folder, and is thus removed from our community database. If you must do this, or accidently do this, be sure to put the file back where it came from so that we don’t lose it from our database.
  • If you simply want to transfer a file to another database member, but don’t necessarily want it to be part of the official database, then create a new folder outside of the database folder and invite the other member(s) to share that folder. But be aware that we have limited space for our database, so we don’t want to use up our available space transferring large files (i.e. no video files please).
  • If your Dropbox folder has a large red "X" on it, it means that you have exceeded your personal memory allotment. I think that we should have enough space for our community database, but if you use your dropbox for other things outside of our community database, you might have to delete them (or purchase more space) if space gets tight. (Please do not delete the "Martenson Forum Database" folder to free up space in your dropbox. If needed, you can stop sharing the database folder to free up space in your dropbox, without affecting the database for the rest of us.)
  • It takes a little while to "wrap your head around" this dropbox service, but in a short time it really becomes very easy to use.

 

Initial Database Folder Structure: I have initially set up the database with the following folder structure. I have created "master" folders for various topics. Each folder has a PDF document titled "_About This Folder" that describes the content that is to be placed in that folder. Each "master" folder will consist of subfolders that break the topic down into more specific components. Another document titled "-About This Folder" should detail what specific information should be placed in this subfolder. Additionally, we can add subfolders to subfolders to get as specific as we need to be to properly organize the content of the database. I created this organizational system on-the-fly so I’m open to any ideas that might improve it. I have created a brief skeletal structure of master and subfolders that is far from complete, so please feel free to add folders in this manner as needed. Also, if you could place a document that describes the desired content of any new folder that you create, it would greatly simplify the administrative process for me.

Also, be sure to check and make sure that the folder doesn’t already exist before you create it. It will be necessary to "drill-down" into the folder structure to do this.

 

How To Use The Community Database:

  • I think we should use Microsoft Word to create the content documents. I use Macintosh computers myself, but I think the majority of the users of this database will use PCs. Also, any document that does not require updating could use the PDF format. I know that PDFs can be edited but I’m not sure everyone would be as familiar with this process as with editing Word docs.
  • If you would like to add or edit information in a document that is already created, simply open it from within your dropbox folder, edit it or add to it, and then save it. Your additions and/or edits will be automatically propagated throughout the database system.
  • If two users modify the same file simultaneously, then the first user to save the file will have his/her changes updated to the database. When the other user saves his/her version it will be saved to the database with the addendum "conflicted copy". If I see this happen, I will try to resolve the two copies into one.
  • If a master or subfolder on a given topic doesn’t exist, create it using the method that I described above. Then create and add your content document to it.

 

Management of the Database: For this Community Database to be effective, I think we are going to need volunteer facilitators for a given topic and/or subtopics. Naturally, if a member of the community database has professional or extensive experience on a given topic, then he or she would be a good candidate for a facilitator for that topic. A facilitators duties would be the following:

  • To organize the various inputs of content for their given subject or topic into a a folder structure that allows for efficient content discovery and viewing.
  • To  provide the bulk of the content for their particular expertise and to research and resolves disputes over the accuracy of the information provided by all members of the database.
  • To alert the Administrator of the Database to any problems or abuses that occur in their respective sections.
  • The Administrator has the duty to "un-invite" any database contributors that seek to be a detriment to the database and its collective goals.
  • I guess I have inadvertently stepped into the role as Administrator of this community database. Its a job I’m willing to do because I think that this database will be invaluable in the future. If any one objects to this, however, I’m perfectly open to "handing over the reins" to the person of your choosing.

Content: As per Pete’s original post, I feel that the content of this database should serve one overall objective: to provide information to its members that would be valuable in a post-crash environment and way of life. Additionally, I think the database should only be a supplement to the information that has amassed on the Chris Martenson website and forums, and not a replacement for that information source.

 

Well, that took the best part of my morning to compose. As I stated in the beginning, these are only my suggestions and I’m very open to any other suggestion that the "Martenson Forum Braintrust" might have. Thanks for your considerable attention, and I truly hope we can make this project work.

 

 

  • Mon, May 04, 2009 - 06:00pm

    #2
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: The Definitive Martenson Community Database Thread

We should also be very careful to only post content that is free, public, or your own. Information dissemination is good, but doesn’t give us the right to pirate other people’s intellectual property!  Maybe we could put a file in each folder that contains titles and links for paid content like eBooks and subscription articles (this could also work for paper books as well). 

  • Mon, May 04, 2009 - 06:13pm

    #3
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: The Definitive Martenson Community Database Thread

I have a whole copy of Wikipedia on my computer, if you think that would benefit anyone. Its XML though. I know some might find this stupid, but I have been saving Ebooks on free energy, and I have a few on the Hendershot generator.

Thank you JAG and Pete, I think this is a great idea.

  • Mon, May 04, 2009 - 06:38pm

    #4
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: The Definitive Martenson Community Database Thread

Ohh my God.

What I have accumulated as of now will fill a GB.

How much room do we have JAG?

  • Mon, May 04, 2009 - 06:48pm

    #5
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: The Definitive Martenson Community Database Thread

Thanks, JAG, for the time you invested in this project. What a great resource!

  • Mon, May 04, 2009 - 06:50pm

    #6
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: The Definitive Martenson Community Database Thread

I signed up for this puppy.  Psyched!

 

Sager

  • Mon, May 04, 2009 - 07:13pm

    #7
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: The Definitive Martenson Community Database Thread

[quote=PlicketyCat]

We should also be very careful to only post content that is free, public, or your own. Information dissemination is good, but doesn’t give us the right to pirate other people’s intellectual property!  Maybe we could put a file in each folder that contains titles and links for paid content like eBooks and subscription articles (this could also work for paper books as well). 

[/quote]

I totally agree with respecting copyright laws. The e-books that I uploaded to the database are in the public domain and free of any copyright issues. I have many other e-books that I think would be of interest, but the copyright law is still in effect for them so I couldn’t upload them in good faith.

Thanks

  • Mon, May 04, 2009 - 07:21pm

    #8
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: The Definitive Martenson Community Database Thread

[quote=Pete In Florida]

Ohh my God.

What I have accumulated as of now will fill a GB.

How much room do we have JAG?

[/quote]

Hi Pete, we currently only have 2 GBs of space, but I think that will grow as new users are referred (invited) to the dropbox by me. The most we can have in a free account is 5 GB. If needed, I will upgrade the account to 50 GBs at a later date.

Does your GB of content include video files? If so, we might want to wait on uploading those to the database until we have the database up and running smoothly. If not, way to go Pete! You have accumulated a great deal of information. 

Looking at my files, I have only about 200 MB of non-video content.

Thanks

  • Mon, May 04, 2009 - 08:38pm

    #9
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: The Definitive Martenson Community Database Thread

 You can view some screenshots of the general database layout by using the link below. Just click on a picture to view it.

http://www.getdropbox.com/gallery/617020/1/Martenson%20Forum%20Database%20Screenshots

  • Mon, May 04, 2009 - 08:41pm

    #10
    Peak Prosperity Admin

    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: The Definitive Martenson Community Database Thread

The Wiki database is 4GB.

I have a question though. In the event of an post-SHTF event. Would we still have acess to the database? Is it stored on each individual computer, or on a remote server?

Thank You

 

Sean

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