Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Ning has Finally given me the ability to assign members to categories so I can recognize those folks who contribute so much here!

By default everyone starts as a member.  But then I'd like to have a few levels to recognize those are are truly experts in aquaponics (think TCLynx here), those who are almost experts, and those who might still just be getting started but are active, enthusiastic members here.

So my first take at levels is 

  • Expert
  • Teacher
  • Evangelist

What do you think about those levels?

And who would you nominate to be at each of those levels?

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So how would the categories be assigned or calculated?

Would it be based on post counts?  Or based on things like the leader boards?

What about Fry, Fingerling, Grower, Big Fish

i like the EVANGELIST category!!!

Randall Wimbish said:

Or Seedling - Plant - Farm or Seed- Plant -Fruit. Something green. Expert could be Master Garderner. Teacher could be Assistant Gardener   Evalgelist could be....I got stumped on that one.

I recently joined the Arizona Group and can tell you who I would put in each category from that group:

Expert:  Dr. George Brooks

Teacher: David Schwinghamer/Bob Camplbell/Sheri Schmeckpeper

Evangelist:  J. Shocklie/John Malone

Another category might be Prospect.  That would cover newbies like me!

I'm fine with Expert, Teacher, Evangelist, Member.

Expert is someone to be trusted, whose utterances could be collected into tutorials without too much work. Peek under their scales and you see cycled media for flesh, pipes for bones. TC, Sylvia, Rupert and Murray are some icons that come to mind.

Teachers have been putting water on gravel for a couple of years already while listening to the Experts. They'll steer you in the right direction and have results to back it up. They are motivated by a burning desire for everyone to succeed in aquaponics.

Evangelists have gotten the bug, shall we say "seen enough aquaponics to know where this is going." They're past that first big plunge in the roller coaster ride; they may still be planning their first system but their heads are swimming with fertile facts. Watch for these fanboys and fangirls to have some really good fresh ideas, listen to them too. (Their offline friends are probably tired of hearing about aquaponics, so they need to vent some of it here!)

Keeping in mind that we are on a public forum and no one is being paid to research and apply any strict criteria to "categorizing" members so it is totally likely that the rankings will probably be applied based on post counts and activity since the computer system can't really rate the quality or content of posts.  So something a bit more on the "fun" side is probably appropriate.  And it will probably be more of a scale about how addicted to this site the person is rather than actual aquaponic Knowledge.  Just one would hope that if they spend enough time reading on here they will pick something up.

TCLynx said:

Keeping in mind that we are on a public forum and no one is being paid to research and apply any strict criteria to "categorizing" members so it is totally likely that the rankings will probably be applied based on post counts and activity since the computer system can't really rate the quality or content of posts... 

I can't access NING (or its manuals) directly from here, but from reading hints on other sites it seems that Sylvia can now manually assign categories to members who qualify for a higher echelon, and also some automation could be used that assigns them based on answers in the starter questionnaire. Maybe there's a number-of-posts basis available too, but I haven't seen mention of it yet.

That said, I agree, "Fun" is appropriate so my contribution on the "lighter" side is:
> Toe In The Water
> Wrinkled Fingertips
> Growing Gills

Evangelist seems too preachy or religious biased in my opinion.   Cooperative Extention Offices associated with Agricultural based colleges seem to have "Master Gardener" Programs already in place and they earn that title thru study and volunteerism in the community.  

Apprentice would be inline with the first two. 

Of course you can always use things like  Prawn,  Smolt,  Elver,  Small Fry, Tadpole, Hornpout aka Bullhead catfish,  There is a whole host of cute and funny names that could be used.   Hmmm do my NE roots seem to be showing - lol.

My question is this...For those who spend their time doing AP, but do not spend a lot of time posting;  For those who spend their money on family, AP, domestic consideration so don't/can't go to the conferences to 'rub elbows'...How do you relegate those to "categories'?

  Might it be possible that many on this forum who have very valid and helpful ,experiential and well informed posts to share would be relegated to less-than-reliable, or not ones to be taken into account? 

  How do you know if someone is an "expert" or a "teacher"...Number of posts?  Many people who do not have a life (I am not pointing to anyone here), or spend their time at a computer rather than "doing" are more than willing to post all over cyberland in amazing volume.  That does not make one an 'expert" or worthy of 'teacher'.  But then again this is cyberland...people from all over and all walks of life coming together. Sages exist in many unlikely do you designate "Expert" to those who came to a conference? What about the real expert who spends time doing successful AP and spends their resources helping others do the same, and cannot come to conferences to be seen there...and yet they'd have "expert" practical advice to share here on this forum.


Personally, I do not see the need for "categories" of members here...but it seems to be the trend on forums.

   If the goal is just to recognize people who contribute so much ( as in volume?) to this forum, then my vote is to stick to categories that do not give the impression of 'expert-ness'.  The idea of fish size "fry/fingerling/big fish" and so on , or "seed/plant/fruit"  as has already been suggested, or some such designation seems appropriate.

Just my 2 cents. 


- Converse


I agree Converse.  I prefer the Entertaining kinds of categories that are really more a comment on the time and volume of contributions since most other kinds of categories are either going to be just some one's opinion or as you note, misleading.

And I must ask the question: Do we really want to be like other forums?

I personally love this forum for it's uniqueness, friendliness, awareness, guruness (sorry) and ease of use and have forsaken all the others

Great discussion - thank you for your thoughts everyone. All points well taken!  Seems like more of a bag (bed?) of worms than anything else. I decided to just create a Moderator category and have asked a few active site veterans to help me manage things around here (re: spot spammers and trolls). 

I'm all for the moderator category, just call it something fun! Btw, i feared this website had gotten bogged down with spam, and rarely visited for a while.

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