For many years already I have been building an e-mail network for people interested in desertification, poverty and dryland gardening. Recently, I opened a part of this blog to “container gardening“. The main reason for the establishment of such a network is that I noticed, when speaking with my colleagues of the Committee for Science and Technology (CST) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), that we all spend a lot of time searching the internet for interesting publications concerning our fields of interest. Everyone is looking for the same information, spending considerable time to find mostly the same articles, all of us reading these texts to see if their content is important enough, and if it is, to use that info for our own purposes.
There is no general communication whatever between the members of the CST and between many more people interested in desertification, poverty, agriculture, horticulture and sustainable development. It does not suffice to send them the addresses of interesting websites, because not all the articles on that sites deal with dryland gardening, desertification, poverty, sustainable development or container gardening, so that we all have to start again searching and reading the content of the different sites. In other words: we all waste the same amount of time !
Therefore, I started selecting messages on these topics and all related subjects that can be important for people interested in the issues mentioned above and republishing the texts (some entirely, some partly) on my blog, so that my visitors do not have to switch again to all those websites to look for the entire texts they possibly want to read. My main aim is to reflect the diversity of publications on these topics. Thereby, I try to ease up the access to a panoply of articles and stories and to a panoply of sites and blogs. From time to time, I am also publishing my own contributions, mostly about my own experience with ways and means to improve plant growth in the drylands with a minimum of water and fertilizer.
Some people seem to be not so happy with this system, claiming their property rights. If so, I respect their views. I do not wish to harm their proper interests, whatever their objectives to create a public site or blog may be. I only tried to bring the attention of thousands of people worldwide to their messages.
Again, for me all this is a question of offering time-saving to my readers. This is not MY BLOG, it is OURS for I am only the administrator to easy up the work of many colleagues and friends. My blog visitors seem to be very happy with this system, as I offer them a chance to save plenty of time by aggregating valuable information on all aspects of the topics in a sort of newsletter, in which I (re)publish that what seems to be of some interest to most of us. This way, we all save time for more practical things to do and meanwhile we bring interesting websites and blogs to the attention of many more people worldwide than one single site or blog could do for itself.
Personally, I spend this time for collecting and aggregating the info because I am a retired professor of the Ghent University (Belgium) and I want to serve my colleagues and friends in an efficient way, without any other personal advantage than having the pleasure to serve and to do it the best way I can.
Of course, I mention always the source of the info I collect from the internet, so that the visitors of my blog can be immediately linked to my sources and go to these websites for additional interesting messages. Moreover, I am listing the links with important sites and blogs under my “Blogroll”, so that visitors of my blog can click directly the website’s address.
Observations, remarks, critics or additional ideas are always welcome. I also hope to find ways and means to improve cooperation and networking between people working for closely related websites. There is still a lot of improvement and collaboration to realize. Let’s do it together, in full respect for the work achieved by all of us, instead of “combating” each other in the battle of worldwide information!
Thanks for understanding.