FarmPEP.net

Share your views on how we can improve Farmpep.net

This FarmPEP platform has been initiated by an Innovate UK project here  and the original ideas and co-design are archived at https://concept.farmpep.net

The FarmPEP Performance Enhancement Partnership will develop this platform further through a separate Innovate UK project here, with the aim of supporting on-farm knowledge generation through facilitated group working, data sharing, dynamic benchmarking and on-farm trials tools. 

We aim for the site itself to become self-supporting through paid memberships by organisations. This page is to continue the co-design of farmpep.net, to feedback what works and what doesn't, and to discuss ideas for taking the site forward.

We've added specific issues under 'Recommended Content' below.

Please do get involved and tell us what you think, using the comments below

 

Related Organisations

Comments

Discussion

We know that the current 'All Topics' page doesn't work - it is too overwhelming as a list and by putting into categories we risk creating silos rather than breaking barriers and creating connections. Ideally we would find a way of showing Topics as a network, like in the Brain here https://farmpep.net/Topics ... but this isn't currently possible. 
I think at this stage we should be seeing Topics as an underlying connecting framework, rather than the key route to structuring and navigating the site.
If you have better suggestions for how to present Topics, please let us know.

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We had a good workshop with a group of farmers this week on how they would use FarmPEP.  Some good points and ideas, including; Need to achieve criticall mass to get wider farmer engagement,  only 3 times to get someone to try the site before give up - so need to make it worthwhile them coming; importance of PEP in identifying (& filling) knowledge gaps; important role for students and young people in driving PEP.

Add your ideas below...
 

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We are starting to get more organisations and individuals on board with PEP now. One thing that could be useful is an 'invite colleagues' button, so that colleagues can be added to the site and connected to organisations and groups without having to sign up themselves.

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When adding a post from dashboard the screen goes back to a Page Not Found, rather than redirecting to dashboard.

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Added this to developers fix list

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Some feedback that we also learned from our Land Management 2.0 community -

The site could do with being a bit more people-centric. People will make the community tick - and there are not enough visuals on the website to highlight the people who are using it. 

For the same reason, you should encourage/incentivise people to make profile images of themselves - it gives it more of a community feel.

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I don’t find the present FarmPEP website user-friendly.  It still seems to be configured for the builder (of the site) rather than for the user.  My suggestions is as below:

i.e. It needs a welcome page for the user, which needs to have a farm focus (I don’t think the existing photo of one wheat crop is quite right) and it needs to enable the user to access the main resources it provides quickly, with minimal requirement to read text .. my suggestion is based on the YEN's 4 pillars, but it may need more pillars (like links to people & organisations) and I know some of this doesn’t yet exist e.g. Tools for Testing.

I accept that this may be premature, but still feel that, if the present site is primarily to attract people and organisations to join and inter-connect, it needs to say this in a headline near the top, and make it easier, ... and more immediately rewarding.

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Agree Roger that ultimately the Four pillars will be useful approach to FarmPEP ... once we have developed the data exchange, benchmarking, faciltiation and Farm Trials Tool from the FarmPEP FIP Innovate UK project.

In the meantime I agree that the site needs to be much more user focussed. We've had a go at re-designing the landing page to make the content more visible and interactive. Someone should be able to come to the homepage and see a selection of whats new (or updated/ popular/most viewed) across People, Orgs, Initiatives, Posts and Topics and see all on one page. They should be able to filter by theme or sector (highest level Topics) and search by any keyword, updating the content shown. We could also have featured or sponsored content show first or be highlighted on this page. 

What do you think of the mock-up below:

 

We also want to make it clear that people can easily engage with the site and add content, so make it easy to join and add any content type from this page.

Please give us your feedback by liking or commenting below.

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Some further suggestions re: FarmPEP nomenclature & presentation

  • I prefer the word 'Knowledge' to 'Topic'. For each Topic page, there are too many boxes (or these are too prominent).   I think the aim should be for the main body of text to mimic Wikipedia in its organisation .. with a title, brief summary and then trusted / stewarded knowledge being the most obvious resource it provides.
  • Give much less space / prominence to:
    • Stewards & Authors
    • Related Topics
    • Actions / Stats
    • Recommended Content
    • Related organisations
    • Connected content
    • (but still include these, e.g. by just using hyperlinks in the main body of stewarded text, or by using much smaller fonts and smaller boxes)
  • I think the second and most prominent sub-section (below the stewarded knowledge) in each topic area should be where people leave comments, and we should work hard to get people to do this.   Maybe there should simply be a bold line halfway down the first screen which separates trusted content (the bottom of long articles could just be hidden, with a ‘more’ statement) from open comment, suggestions & opinions.   
  • Couldn’t people wanting to add ‘Posts’ just use the Comments (or Connected Content) section in the appropriate Topic area?  I don’t see why Posts needs to be in the menu.
  • Also I think ‘Groups’ have the wrong name … maybe something like ‘initiatives’ or ‘debates’ would be better?  At present Farmpep mainly has (what I would regard as) ‘Organisations’ included under Groups.  I think users will not appreciate or benefit from the current distinction between ‘groups’ and ‘organisations’.  I think this (initiatives) is what best matches with the ‘Ideas’ pillar of the YEN's 4 pillars.
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Thanks Roger, I agree with most of this. 

Would like to agree better names for each of Topics, Organisations, Groups and Posts.

  • I like 'Knowledge' for Topics, but i don't think it works as a collective description? 
  • There is a distinction between organisations and groups - most people are only employed by one or a few organisations, but they may be part of multiple projects, initiatives and networks.Ultimately we want organisations to pay for their presence on PEP, not necessarily initiatives. 
  • I don't like the way that Post pages currently work- they are not getting viewed and can't be edited by multiple people. I would rather they work the same as other Group pages. The reason for having posts separate to comments is because a post (article, resource, video, report) often relates to multiple organisations, groups and Topics, not just one, so it needs to exist separately to be able to connect to all.  Currently posts are the only place to upload files - I think we should add functionality to upload files to all page types.
  • 'Initiatives' is perhaps better than 'Groups' as name... Also problematic where we ask Groups to be defined between Projects, Networks and Events as losts of things don't easily fit this.  Originally we used 'Projects' for everything but then thought of just calling everything 'Pages' without any distinctions. Any ideas & views on this welcome!
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Re: FarmPEP knowledge building, making authorship attractive

The scope of potential FarmPEP topics is enormous, indeed infinite .. so we need to develop a plan to reach a viable & attractive breadth of topics in a reasonable time .. 12 months?   A credible plan is needed soon to motivate potential authors, especially those in academia or education.  Suggestions are:

  • In preparation, we need to make clear how the FarmPEP website is governed e.g. who appoints or approves Stewards / Authors
  • We need to clarify how or whether Stewards & Authors differ.  I think they should be one and the same, and I prefer to call them Authors.  The name 'stewards' is potentially misleading.  
  • We need to develop a protocol for Authoring a Topic.  The existing guidance (on the editing page) is helpful but I think we need more. e.g. I think people should be encouraged to be brief, to be farmer-friendly in what they write, and to take responsibility for Topic content on an on-going basis
  • When someone adds authorship or content to or edits a Topic, other authors need to be notified.   It will be impossible for authors to take responsibility for the trustworthiness of any Topic until this is enabled.
  • I think authorship could be a big motivation for academics if it is managed & promoted well.   Many academic funders require evidence of 'impact'; FarmPEP will provide measurable impact with industry on any subject.  We should promote this.
  • When notifications are enabled, I suggest an authorship campaign should be launched
  • Never having registered to become a Wikipedia editor (until today!) I’m only just coming to appreciate how Wikipedia and FarmPEP differ. FarmPEP should highlight that …
    • FarmPEP credits its Authors
    • FarmPEP identifies & publishes likes, debate & disagreement .. whereas Wikipedia has much less evident protocols & processes to reach a consensus.
  • People late in their careers, who want to leave a legacy, without the pain of formally refereed publication, should be prime targets for recruitment as authors.
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I have just replied to a comment on a topic.   However, I am doubtful that the author of that comment will be notified that I have done so.  It is essential that notifications like this become automated if FarmPEP is to become a useful debating platform. 

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Agree there need to be notifications when comments are made. Users also need to be able to get back to the comments they've made via their dashboard.  This should also count as an update or revision to the page so that the page shows as having been updated to anyone who follows that page, and on the home page. This is in the development list, but may not be a simple thing to implement. 

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The comments on PEP take up quite alot of space.  See TheConversation.com for quite a good way of presenting comments. 

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Some feedback from Innovation for Agriculture:

There appears to be no “live feed” page/tab. No live option. Popular topic appears to show trending topics and this is good. However, having a live feed can get people engaging to respond/make comments on topics. 

Interface is quite user friendly for professionals but may not necessarily be so for farmers as the platform requires some attention to details. It requires some skills to navigate. It is also very text based.

Too many texts and not enough infographics

Not quite clear how the post-reply knowledge exchange works

Knowledge exchange interaction appears to be in form of feedback and replies, but not readily visible?

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Several people have said that 'Events' could help drive the FarmPEP community, but we don't yet have a good solution for dealing with events on the site. I've drafted some possible screenshots below.

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We need to make it clearer and easier for people to engage with the site. We suggest to move the Actions box on the side bar to the top of the screen so this is more obvious. Few people will actually add content, but everybody should be encouraged to 'Like' and 'Follow' pages ... so suggest reordering the list to:

  • Like
  • Follow (ideally with numbers following)
  • # views
  • Ask to Join (or Manage Members)
  • (Edit Page)
  • Report
  • Add content

The box could be made smaller to take up less space.

What do you think?

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The types of content (People, Organisations, Groups, Posts and Topics) need to be more clearly distinguished. It needs to be obvious what sort of page is being viewed. The colour of the top banner should only be blue for Topics (Knowledge). We should perhaps have different gradations of green for People, Orgs, Initiatives, Posts... with some small text in the banner as well as showing different icons. 

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Tiny points but

1) Can comments be dated and organised so the most recent is at the top (which might be the case anyway) or capable of sorting?

2) It might be useful to have an option to monitor replies so responses to a comment spur an email to the person being commented on. This encourages dialogue.

3) It might be useful to reduce the line spacing on the comments to make it slightly more compact. 

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Thanks Simon, Good suggestions. Yes we should include dates with comments, and we need to enable notifications for comments.

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Connected Content

ADAS provides ideas, specialist knowledge and solutions to secure our food and enhance the environment. We understand food production and the challenges and opportunities faced by organisations operating in the natural environment

We deliver transformational projects to drive productivity and boost farming and supply chain businesses. We want the industry to thrive in a rapidly changing world and continue to produce high quality food, maintain our beautiful landscape and leave a legacy for generations to come. 

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) was established in 2012 through the merger of the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) with Barony, Elmwood and Oatridge Colleges. Through these institutions, we can trace our lineage back over 100 years.

Innovative Farmers was established in 2012 by the Soil Association with the aim of bringing scientific rigour to on-farm trials co-designed by farmers and researchers. With a focus on sustainability and resilience groups come together on discrete topics and trials range from six months in duration.  

The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs

What web resources do you find useful to find and share knowledge?

The initial Farm-PEP project funded under the Innovate UK competition 'UKRI Ideas to address Covid-19'.  ADAS led  consortium to assess the impact of Covid-19 on knowledge exchange in agriculture, and to develop the Farm-PEP web solution at www.farmpep.net. The initial Farm-PEP project began in January 2021 and runs to February 2022.

The ideas behind Farm-PEP came together in ~2018, drawing from the developments of Agronomics, the YENs, AHDB's Monitor Farm programme and the idea of a 'What Works' Centre for Agriculture. 

Agri-TechE is a business focused member organisation, supporting the growth of a world-leading network of innovative farmers, producers, scientists, technologists and entrepreneurs who share a vision of increasing the productivity, profitability and sustainability of agriculture. 

AICC member agronomists are now the preferred source of advice on over 2.2 million hectares, which is almost half of the UK’s arable land, and the demand for it is stronger than ever

The development of Farm-PEP Performance Enhancement Partnerships to support on-farm knowledge generation through shared ideas, data and experimentation. Funded as part of Farming Innovation Pathways programme from Defra and Innovate UK Transforming Food Production.

TFF is the leading Farming discussion site in the UK.

Many of the most telling innovations that make a difference on-farm come from farmers themselves, or from close collaboration between farmers, advisors, industry and researchers

How should we ensure the long term growth and development of the PEP platform and community?  Give us your ideas here

Many thanks to our Steering Group for a really good session on how to take FarmPEP forward. 

We are a world-leading independent research organisation providing objective, expert geoscientific data, information and knowledge.

An internationally excellent Research Institute” (REF, 2021). Shaping rural development policy and practice in the UK, Europe and further afield.

I'm very conscious that the current front page for the this website doesn't really work, as it do

We are developing Directory views for Organisations, People & Groups. We hope this will help