Writing guides

Tell us about the best posts you see on BIABrewer.info, suggest changes to the site and report any technical errors here.
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Writing guides

Post by Inconceivable » 3 weeks ago

In wonder if there's anywhere in the community you can write a guide e.g. in PDF and post it where other members may find it useful?

I've written a fairly substantial guide about 'getting started in home brewing' a 12 x page PDF and I think it would help others make a start, but I dunno how to get it out there for newbies to see it

I fear if I drop an article in say the beginners forum it'll get rapidly eclipsed and lost.... thoughts would be appreciated
Last edited by Inconceivable on 05 Sep 2017, 18:13, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Writing guides

Post by Pat » 3 weeks ago

Nick, I've started writing an essay here as it is such a good question. However, I've saved what I have written so far as I've been going for about 18 hours straight now and think I'll be able to write much more "efficiently" tomorrow :)

Also quickly read your other post. Many thanks to you :salute:
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Re: Writing guides

Post by Pat » 2 weeks ago

Nick, apologies for the delay. Rather than tie everyone up here with my thoughts, could you send me your guide? That way I can check / offer suggestions before "publishing" and then find the best place to do so.

Once things are published, they become almost impossible to correct. I know this from personal experience!

:salute:
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Re: Writing guides

Post by ShorePoints » 2 weeks ago

Hey, there is previous history of guides:

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=2223
edited to fix link thanks to inconceivable's post below.

and a pdf link in this thread, too.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3647&p=53895&hilit=2223#p53895

What do we do to use what has been done and add what is new to make it better? Wait till after the new site, then get on the subject of guide(s)?

Where am I coming from?
I saw an excellent Youtube video expelling home brewing myths https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdr_TkbBb6c and then used the search box (upper right) in the BIABrewer forum for "myths." There were 15 hits using the advanced search feature and limiting the topics to where I thought some hits might reside. They were not anyting like a guide regarding "myths." When it comes to writing guides for BIAB in general, BIABacus use, mini-BIAB and more, I'd like to help put one together regarding myths, if that might be useful. :think:
Last edited by ShorePoints on 10 Sep 2017, 21:33, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: Writing guides

Post by Streamer » 2 weeks ago

This thread exemplifies why I love this site; an intelligent discussion of brewing facts vs brewing myths. Putting together a guide like this would be so helpful to many new and intermediate brewers. It also sounds like a hell of a lot of work! I don’t have the brewing experience/knowledge to contribute well grounded commentary, but I do have some editorial experience that I would lend to the effort if you all think it would be helpful.
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

George Orwell


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Re: Writing guides

Post by Inconceivable » 2 weeks ago

ShorePoints wrote:
<span title="09 Sep 2017, 04:24">2 weeks ago</span>
Hey, there is previous history of guides:

http://http://biabrewer.info/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=2223

and a pdf link in this thread, too.
viewtopic.php?f=55&t=1863&p=26334#p26334

What do we do to use what has been done and add what is new to make it better? Wait till after the new site, then get on the subject of guide(s)?

Where am I coming from?
I saw an excellent Youtube video expelling home brewing myths https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdr_TkbBb6c and then used the search box (upper right) in the BIABrewer forum for "myths." There were 15 hits using the advanced search feature and limiting the topics to where I thought some hits might reside. They were not anyting like a guide regarding "myths." When it comes to writing guides for BIAB in general, BIABacus use, mini-BIAB and more, I'd like to help put one together regarding myths, if that might be useful. :think:
Shorepoints your first URL is bad; please edit and fix it by removing the first http:// and then it will work

It's crying shame Mally's beginners guide is lost in the 'general chit chat' forum which was kind of the point of my post.... There may be merit in having dedicated area for quality guides that the community ratify.

Your myths guide sounds fascinating. I wonder if you'll be using some content from Brulosopher? :think:
Last edited by Inconceivable on 10 Sep 2017, 17:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Writing guides

Post by Mad_Scientist » 2 weeks ago

I'll say it here. Brew-ology is not worth following.


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Re: Writing guides

Post by Pat » 2 weeks ago

[Inconceivable: Have sent you my email.]

I haven't done any sort of update for some time on the new site structure. This thread is probably an opportunity for me to give you an idea of what I'm currently working on behind the scenes. To cut a long story short, I'm basically using a very structured thinking and planning process to see if what I have envisioned is possible. I haven't finished that process so don't have an answer yet.

Please bear in mind, I've worked very hard for over ten years straight now on brewing. I've worked my "normal" business however all the time or money that brought me has gone into "exploring" brewing information. That was not a conscious decision, I simply found the whole area fascinating and very challenging. There are thousands of hidden posts on this forum, several thousand Skype hours and God knows how many tens of thousands of emails and PM's where I and others have found "individual" information problems and, with a hell of a lot of work, solved them.

Even after all that though, it wasn't until last year that I could see a way of bringing all this brewing information together into an elegant whole. I deliberately stopped work to solve this and with Sarah's help, and charts all over the walls here, the structure was solved.

BREWER.info, intends to be One Big Guide

Yes, if the process I'm working through atm shows what I have envisioned is possible, then BIABrewer.info, will change name to BREWER.info.

The structure and content of BREWER.info has been planned. For the user, it will seem very simple and easy to use - it will make perfect sense. Designing it that way has been an incredible task of combining thousands of components in layers that will appear to the user as they need them.

And, the same consideration has been paid to the forum/community/communication side of things. BREWER.info, I beleive, is a very elegant solution to a very complex information problem. I wrote the other day, as part of the current planning process...

“Elegance,” is an important word. It’s a word that is impossible to adequately define as it is really a summation of subtleties. It may help though to use the analogy of a prestige or “elegant” car. This vehicle is a congregation of care. Components, some complex within themselves, are combined to ‘simply’ form a car that is effortless and enjoyable to drive.

BREWER.info aims to be a prestige “information” vehicle for the home craftbrewer. Simplistically, it is a website that allows home craft brewers to “jump in” and embark on brewing journeys that fit their level of experience and needs. The vehicle can handle any terrain from the safe journey required for a new driver through to the exciting drive that may be desired by a seasoned driver.


Is it Possible?

BREWER.info is amazing. It's a site of layers of information structured in a manner that totally considers the user.

We've created the solution, it's sitting there ready to go, but can it be realised? Well, that's what I'm currently trying to work out...

Current Doubts - IT

Most websites do not really seem to consider the user. And, most websites, when you look at them, have very little information to convey. Why is that?

And then we have big websites such as government ones that often actually don't work.

The IT side of things is a very big worry for me. I drained an incredible amount of money into it last year until I had nothing left. Bear in mind too, this was done with the motivation of just getting the quality out there. (You might be asking, "Why on earth did you do that?" Well, every week it seemed that just another week or two would solve the IT problems. I'm not an IT expert so why wouldn't I believe that?) My intention was to get the info out there first and, if it cost too much, put my thinking in to getting those dollars back after the job was done :roll:

Anyway, I know a lot more about IT now than I did 12 months ago. The most mundane or simplest of things seem to be incredibly difficult to solve. In fact, it's not the site structure that seems to pose a problem in implementing, it's incredibly stupid, little stuff that is, however, critical (e.g. email notifications.)

This is definitely the biggest area of concern for me as there are quite a few parts to the IT side. Even if we had $1,000 a week to spend on IT, I'm not confident, at this stage, how that would best be spent. For example, I can't seem to find one person that has skills across all the areas needed. If that is true, and several people have to be engaged, how do you co-ordinate that?

Other Difficulties - Communication/Co-ordination

The second big issue for me, personally, is that of communication and co-ordination. I try to contribute on the forum (under a different name) as much as I can and I enjoy that. Behind that though are many other communications. It annoys me that those who contribute the most here, I leave until last because I know I can. The rare occasions that I can just sit and write to them is an absolute treat for me.

Communicating as much as I should, I find extremely difficult - there are simply not enough hours in the day for me to communicate, with quality, to those who matter most.

As for coordinating communications, when we might be working on something behind the scenes, that, in the past, has stolen many hours, however, I think I do have a solution to that now.

Only Content Worries I Have...

The only content worries I have are with pictures and videos but I have seen some excellent talent buried on this site so I'm marking this problem as solved :peace:.

We Have a Lot and Have Done a Lot

Hopefully once I have finished the thinking/planning process I'm working on, I'll have identified the resources we need and how to finance them. However...

If I conclude that BREWER.info is not possible, I'm fine with that. (I'll at least change the skin of the site. If we don't change it soon, even I will leave!) The founders and "unseen" members here have created a lot. BIAB brewing (unfortunately on other sites, the original concept is often lost) is now the most common method of all-grain brewing in the world. We've also done a lot of far less-known things - Clear Brewing Terminology and The BIABacus (which we might change to The BrewAbacus) will hopefully also become common-place one day.

The site was founded on a simple principle though; quality information from a quality community. Fingers crossed, I quickly find a less laborious way for members to access quality information. This way, our existing quality members will have more quality time to spend on newer members and the cycle will continue.

All the best,
Pat

P.S. I'll leave PistolPatch to write on the myths issue mentioned above ;)
P.P.S. The below is one of many diagrams I've drawn up over the last month. (An older version as some money lines are not the right thickness etc.)
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by Pat on 11 Sep 2017, 01:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Writing guides

Post by Inconceivable » 2 weeks ago

Hi Pat

you won't be the first or last person to grapple with the challenges of trying to deliver a good UX/ UI (User Experience / User Interface) website. Big businesses spend big dollars on specialists trying to deliver UX/ UI. Many fail badly. Sorry I'm not trying to discourage you but plenty of places dream of elegant sites to effectively serve online content (i.e. information) and plenty lose a great deal of time & money without achieving their goal.

Quick sidebar: in my opinion Adobe, one of the best creative tech companies in the world, has a terrible UX/ UI in their current Creative Cloud administration portal. Everyone I talk to about it in the software industry complains about it and rolls their eyes. If Adobe can't do it what chance does anyone else have?!

Anyway the road to a good UX/ UI is full of pitfalls and I don't personally know individuals/ companies that do it well, but know people who could recommend someone..... which brings me to my second point: There are definitely good, smart, experienced people in the IT industry who do have the skills to pull together everything you're asking for, or at least effectively manage it, but they aren't cheap. $1k a day wouldn't cut it if you couldn't get them to volunteer.
I'm not one of those people; my skillset lies on the Infrastructure and management side of IT so I'm not much use, but it seems to me your best bet is seeking help from the community to see if any members specifically have experience and could offer advice on this web development and UX/UI side.

Beer & brewing bring people together and getting people to volunteer their professional skills to aid people/ a community that supports their hobby sounds like a positive quid pro quo that could work and won't be a deep money pit. The kind of people I have in mind could probably at least get to the bottom of where you're up to "IT wise" on a 1-2 hour conference call/ meeting and steer you right.

I fear I've got nothing but negativity and pessimism so I'll shut up now and wish you the best in your pursuit, but before I do let me offer one last piece of advice: I've spent years seeing elaborate grand plans fall in the dust due to the technical challenges. Sometimes the best improvements come about through small, targeted changes which either stand alone, or cumulatively make things better. So don't despair if you ultimately conclude the BREWER.INFO grand plan is not possible, you've still got a solid foundation to improve upon.

I liked your diagram by the way and the fact it nicely illustrates the difficulty of getting high quality/ integrity information to home brewers.

cheers
Nick


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Re: Writing guides

Post by Pat » 1 week ago

Great post Nick - intelligent, realistic thoughts there, not negativity or pessimism. It's a good thing we like to take on the impossible :)

As for the diagram, I have quite a few more that investigate all the different relationships. Doing that sometimes help me to find some "missing links." Nice of you to comment on it :salute:

Pat

P.S. Received your email too thanks. It might take me several days to get back to you as I'll spend some time on my reply.
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