Moving forwards with this website!

Welcome to UKHIppy2764@2x.png

UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • All the ideas about restructuring the overall layout will take time and serious thinking - and with so many good ideas, people quickly lose interest and things go out of date. I regularly have to remove no-longer-relevant sticky threads that haven't been updated etc.

    Granted its a major headache to restructure a forum thats run for a long time Ive done it myself but maybe as a short term measure instead of creating sticky threds within a main topic you create sticky sub topics under the main one such as in Nomadic living have subs like vehicles,technical,off-grid etc etc then lump all the relevant thread into those sticky's at least they would be kept together until you get around to reorganising the forum and the more relevant info would not keep getting pushed down the ranks by more the less inofrmative or less important threads.

    As for the relevance of the hippy mantra I dont really know why its suddenly become a 'must change' issue. Everyone knows what a hippy is, even most teenagers I know know what a hippy is but have no clue what alternative living or new age travellers or punks or stoners or tribal refer to.Rebranding is what corporates do to lose some connotation theyd rather hide from their public image.
    We dont need to lose who we are or the name that best sums up what were about people keep on saying 'if it aint broke dont fix it'.

  • What about a section dedicated to getting one over on the rulers.. you know, even causing a bit of local chaos in the dole office or making your MP so fucking angry they explode.. we made ours resign his [ minor ] ministerial post many years ago.. Tory goon...
    Good news stories like you've saved your local community centre or spanners that can be thrown into the system's gearbox would be welcome..

  • As for the relevance of the hippy mantra I dont really know why its suddenly become a 'must change' issue. Everyone knows what a hippy is,

    It's not a must change, he's wondering whether it is still relevant. People know what it is but do they relate to it? Does the name put some people off of joining the site?
    Or maybe it puts off the right people? :)
    Then again, uk hippy & alternatives dot com is a bit of a mouthful.

  • I think the ukhippy branding is fine. If I remember correctly, searching for the term 'hippy' is how I found the site. I don't think it's off putting, as I have never really taken it that seriously. I always sort of just viewed 'hippy' in the context of this forum as a slightly tongue in cheek way of referring to people who might be a little bit 'alternative', have a different way of life or be fun loving, gentle, kind and peaceful.

    Unless I'm searching for something in particular, I always access the forum using the Activity Stream page to see the most up to date content. The only downside to this for me is having to scroll through all of the 'word association game', 'last post wins', blah blah blah.... I don't have an issue with these exactly, but I think it would be really useful if there was some sort of way of filtering the activity stream. I think this would give people the option of choosing more easily how they wanted to use the site, whether it be for a bit of fun chit chat or seriously looking for guidance on alternative living and surviving the system etc. I think that a drop down menu at the top the the activity stream where you can choose to view: 'All', 'The banter' or 'The nitty gritty', would be a good place to start :-)

    How easy would that be to do?

  • I agree wit r3ubs. I understand that people do like the banter side of things but they do tend to swamp the new posts/todays posts/activity stream to the extent that interesting and useful threads disappear too quickly and get missed.

    If people like them then keep them but it would be good if we can filter them out if you don't want to see them.


  • I think a direct help section might be a good thing. The nomadic living section of the forum practice's this to some extent, when somebody needs something and someone else has it/ can sort it and is in the area things get done.

    More political and radical is always a good thing though it will cause more heated debates, already we have people thinking that the Tories are doing OK.

  • Well having slept on all the above (and a couple of PMs) I think I have some plans...

    I've already renamed some of the more obscure sounding forums - they should become more search engine friendly too.

    I've opened up the forum search tools for non-members to search for information that may help them (this won't compromise privacy as it'll only search public content)

    I'm going to look again at the "editor" roles and consider adding a couple more to key forums, with the added responsibility of maintaining at least one sticky of useful threads to the forums they manage.

    I'm going to research ways to bring members together, either by adding mapping software or a members noticeboard forum or something like that ... I have to look into what'll work best before I do it.

    I like the idea of a skills wiki or improved article section, but feel that it will split our energies - so I'm going to reserve that until we can improve the usefulness of the forum a bit more.

    I'm all for encouraging activism, but not necessarily protests - growing your own food, being self-sufficient, sharing ideas and skills, working outside the system, well it's all activism in some ways. I think we should encourage more of it ...

    I may also revisit my "classified campers" site and think of reworking that as a classified ads site for alternative skills and products rather than just vans - again, independent but linked to this site (I dunno, long term project and whatnot and I have gotten lazy with it lately)

  • I think that the fact that such posts as above mentioned are there straight away that it encourages people to hank around and post a bit whilst they are having their morning cuppa or whatever and it only takes seconds to scroll down to see what else has passed. I find that it is easy enough for me to click on any of the subject headings in the forum section that are of interest to me.
    The only part that I do not spend much time on,which is strange as its something I am passionate about is the music based threads such as what are you listening to.
    This is because I am often using a wifi connection in a bar or a temporary parkup and have only a limited time to check my mail,do work related stuff and visit uk hippy and when I click on said posts they are often slow to load because of all the video content. I would like to have the option of reading through it without having to wait for the upload of the videos and just see what people are saying. It would be great if both options were available.

    One thing that we must remember though is that it does take time and money for paul to try and create a site that works for everyone and he does already put in a vast amount of effort into this for us.
    Thank you paul for your efforts already. If you improve the site even more then many thanks again in advance.

    I know that the donations do slowly come in and that you use them to good effect,but if you were to need some expensive software to vastly improve the site,then maybe we could all come together with a financial push to make it happen!!

  • I know that the donations do slowly come in and that you use them to good effect,but if you were to need some expensive software to vastly improve the site,then maybe we could all come together with a financial push to make it happen!!

    I haven't upgraded the software from VB4 to VB5 because, in their infinite wisdom, vbulletin seem to have dumbed down their latest release ... I tried it and this version suits our needs far more than the new one - however, that won't always be the case and the software will need upgrading (or adding to) at some point.

    The thing is, while donations need to keep coming in to pay for this site, we always seem to scrape through - sometimes it does need a little encouragement, but in the grand scheme of things this is just a website and not life or death.

  • More direct help like already practiced in the nomadic section. Slightly stricter moderation on the opening oh threads would help too. I'm part of several other forums and this one is the hardest to navigate. If there isn't 20 Threads to ask effectively the same question (solar set up related questions come to mind) it would be a lot easier to find information and likewise the people answering questions don't have to work themselves through badly worded thread titles.
    There could be threads for mechanics, solar set ups, benefit system etc. The current structure seems to decluttered and random to my eye. It also is very hard to search.

    Proposed structure to address this:
    A sticky thread listing and linking all the collection threads. Links get updated regularly. This is a no post thread. New Threads can be added as and when.
    A maximum of 50 pages for collection threads, then they get closed and a new one started.
    Collection threads should be numbered to ease searching.
    Frequently used resources could be part of the starting post of collection threads.

  • I'm totally sure those who wish to actively protest over 'whatever' know groups/people outside of ukh anyway.

    We can ALL share new aspect of help that may be decided upon by sharing the ukh page on faceache all helps promote the site. ALSO we could ask our best mates/mother/sister/son/pet dog/budgie, ya get the picture, to:-

    1. ADD ukh to their own fb page as we all check out and click on people on other peoples friends lists - thus getting us even better known.

    2. If we have best mates/ mums/ biudgies etc., who are ebay addicts please ask them to shop via ukh homepage link thus helping finance any changes you decide on!

    Do you HAVE to be a member to ebay-shop through the link Paul?

    Just thoughts..........................

  • I am not sure the site needs to do anything except continue to exist. We in Canada have survived 10 years of right-wing dictatorship that hopefully will end soon. UKHippy and similar sites have helped me and others keep our sanity, just as they are.

    In the grand scheme of things, all things are impermanent, even right-wing dictatorships. In recent polls, our NDP (equivalent of your Labour Party) is looking good to win the next election. They just won in Alberta, the most right-wing part of Canada. If they can do it there, they can do it anywhere.

    This too shall pass.

  • This is really positive :)

    Encouraging community spirit, woop :)

    I wouldnt change the name... I like being a hippy and meeting/knowing other hippies!

    I would seriously benefit and be very grateful for more self sufficiency stuff as a resource.

    When possibly i think that an annual massive gathering and mini regional gatherings would help others establish bonds with one another and feel more part of the place and strengthen things. But then again i am biased being a technophobe lol

    People might think this is off topic or irrational but with watching the self sufficient heating systems on grand designs and the neighbourhood/houses that people built together as a co operative and the communities in wales and scotland, it shows that living together as a community is realistically achievable, diggers and dreamers shows woofing etc but i would be really interested inmore accessible and substantial information on avenues to join something more permanent like that, but not sure if/when they become available and spring up etc as they're not very common and probably not too widely advertised or maybe im just not looking in the right places..

    Maybe when i start a commune in 20years time you can all come and live with me :D

    I think that the little things count and can make a difference, the country may be getting worse but this site is a refuge for those that are alternative/liberal and is needed for those to connect with likeminded individuals that desire that :)

  • As Mrs P has already said to be the change we want to see, I dont personally think that the answers we seek will come any time soon from the root cause of many of the issues and ultimately our own survival that being the twisted corrupt form of law & politics that govern and all that flows from. I also believe that turning this haven to any kind of political talk shop is a step backwards, politics wont help us its not and never was intended to. Through time we have been drip fed rights as a way to make the people compliant and not to be inquiring individuals and now that inquiring minds have multiplied and many eyes opened, the politics have run out of sweets and treats that being those that have never got any closer than election promises so they now and for sometime now don't even try to hide their itinerary's or agendas and have put the people against the don't hate us hate your freind your neigbour and on they go.

  • This site works for me pretty much as it is, and I don't think a majority Tory government is going to make much difference to the likes of us one way or another. All of the major parties like order and conformity, and so would be at odds with many of the values we live by.

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  • I agree with astartosteerby, what we like to get up to is not standard, we dont fit the average life or feel the need to conform to varying degrees. Local attitudes and politics effect me much more than national government ever has. That is not a reason to disregard national tendencies. When i have had the opportunity to express my views on living freedoms with the odd politician or two, I have felt that there is no way they will ever count us as significant. The only power is that of gaining lots of votes, that, we will never have. I like the site and would not want it to have a radical change. This site has made me feel a part of something and not the only one who lives in something other than a standard domecile.

  • Firstly, I think the UK Hippy title is perfectly good. There's more harm than good to be done by changing it.

    And I'll echo most people in saying the how-to and skills sections seem a very good idea. Perhaps it could also be possible to barter skills via the forum..?

    The main thing about this forum for me, in my short stay, is the great feeling of community, or as MrsP put it, 'A haven'. A warm welcome is far more likely to draw members than a million subsections trying to cater for all.

  • I think a lot of valid points are being expressed in here, but not all of them can be achieved or implemented overnight - and some things need to evolve rather than get forced.

    Like we can't force people out into the community when they're more comfortable with online discussion (or otherwise restricted), but this site has always had a history of real-time interractions, and loads of friendships have developed as a result of this website.

    Anyway, I've just created a couple of new "editor" roles, with the hope of helping to sift out some of the more useful topics within their specific forums - so hopefully we'll soon start seeing some lists of important threads and helpful websites within the relevant sections.

    There's more to do, but (as I said above) I can't do everything overnight.

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  • So, just to reiterate, this thread is about how THIS WEBSITE can move forwards and not how we can move forwards as a society or as individuals.

    So, while feedback is appreciated (and it certainly is) I'm looking for ideas we/I can implement to make this website more useful - if you have ideas how to create a better world, that's fantastic, but there are tonnes of other places on this website to share those ideas, and if you do it in this thread those ideas will just be lost.