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Topics in Category: Your suggestions for improvements of the forum - SuSanA Forum Mon, 29 May 2017 17:21:36 +0200 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management /media/kunena/images/icons/rss.png Topics in Category: Your suggestions for improvements of the forum - SuSanA Forum en-gb Sanitation systems sub-categories on the Forum - a suggestion to change the current setup - by: Decentral I was not able to enter the discussion earlier, but considering that it is an important on-going exercise, decided to share my comments, as related to the current structure of the forum.
1. I have problem with the main definition of sanitation systems as per the main page of the website. Actually, all existing sanitation structures worldwide are included, but the site itself focuses mainly on existing practices and applications in developing countries. This is very clear by the number of posts and related topics. If this is not outlined, the area to be discussed becomes very wide and difficult to manage and categorize.
2. Different types of toilets cannot be categorized as a system. These are sanitation fixtures/appurtenances. On my point of view there is no need to separate in two chapters the urine diverting and the other types of toilets.
3. The “treatment processes…”:
3.1 Treatment processes and treatment technologies are different topics, so I suggest this chapter to be formulated as: “Treatment and disposal technologies for…..
3.2 There are not centralized or decentralized treatment processes or technologies, so I suggest these two to be deleted.
3.3 I suggest two additions to this chapter: aerobic technologies and stabilization ponds
4. The chapter “various topics…”, would sound better as: “various topics related to sanitation systems”
4.1 I see some overlapping between “resilience “and the “climate change” issues in the following chapter.
4.2 I do not understand well - a very serious problem, such as “wastewater characterization (in terms of quantity and quality)” is almost neglected in this forum. No treatment technology can work properly if the loads are not estimated correctly or close to it. Therefore, I suggest an additional chapter: “Wastewater characterization and conveyance (“sewers”)
4.3 Storm water management is also a very important issue related to sanitation systems, but I am not sure in which chapter to go, in this one, or may be with the flooding issues.
4.3 The topic: “drinking water treatment” is totally unrelated to sanitation systems and should be removed (sorry, if somebody disagree)
5. I agree the water reuse issue to be part of resource recovery, but people tend to forget that you have to produce (treat the wastewater) the water, which will be reused, therefore sanitation systems are linked to water reuse systems.]]>
Your suggestions for improvements of the forum Wed, 24 May 2017 21:42:07 +0200
Does this forum have a "mobbing culture"? And have you had any negative experiences when posting on the forum? - by: ben
I felt I needed to answer, even if it's been a while I haven't posted anything on the forum. I've been guilty in the past of being pretty "aggressive" on some of my posts, mainly on ethics, source of financing of some programs, transparency of some projects, etc ...

I remember especially a discussion on Unilever, another on a program being financed by Goldman sachs, where I might have crossed the line in terms of politness.

I do believe that it is very sane for some organisation to face the critics on their program on this forum, with people who have no risks for their career criticizing them. I was very sad in the development world about the quantities of harsh discussion I had about big orgnisation / money providers / gouvernments / etc ... but it was always between closed doors, very little high rank people had the courage to critic them openly, which I regret profoundly.

My wife is british and I realise every day that some culture will find offending what other will just find a "normal discussion". That has to be taken in consideration too, but this forum, on the side of having to be welcoming, should keep being challenging for the one bringing subjects in. I love constructive critics and they force people to defend their techno / approcah / publication with practitionners that are far more critical than founders bankers who like the way you presented it rather the pertinence of your work.

Long live this forum ! sometimes full of passion, sometime full of harsh critics, but this is actually the only place where they can be shared, so even if they are sometimes scary for people just arriving, this is at the same time a good test on the pertinence of what you're bringing in.

By the way, I like the "anonymous" idea Elizabeth. No one high rank and inside the system would openly critic harshly Unicef, Gates, corruption on a specific program, etc ... with their name associated. That would definitly help.

Your suggestions for improvements of the forum Mon, 11 Jan 2016 13:47:52 +0100
How to increase the participation of "practitioners" in SuSanA? - And do we have lurkers or empowered listeners? - by: muench , accessible from the top left blue box) contains more than just resources. It does contain e.g. the guide or tutorial videos (on youtube) on how to make posts, edit your profile etc. (I know not everyone has access to youtube, but the same information is also available in the help section: )

It also contains a link to key documents, links to featured photos, videos and threads (when you hover over the round icons) and - when you scrol down - listings of top contributors and of tweets mentioning SuSanA. I think this is all quite useful stuff, so I think "guide" is fine for this page. Besides, it is shorter than "resources". :-)

I hope this page is not being overlooked as it should be quite useful for new people, I hope:
(there is always room for improvement though, so if anyone has any ideas what else could help newcomers or practitioners, please do let us know)]]>
Your suggestions for improvements of the forum Thu, 17 Dec 2015 03:40:54 +0100
Suggestions by featured users for improving the forum - thematic issues and forum software issues - by: secretariat
many thanks for your great ideas on how we could improve the Website and Forum functionalities!

We were discussing your ideas with our IT experts, but unfortunately the implementation would be very difficult and time consuming.

A link in the email digest (similar to "click here to reply online") to like and favorite / subscribe to a post, for example, would be difficult to implement because of security and technical reasons. For that you need to send out every digest mail personalized with private likes/favorite links. Means that every Email has to be generated for every single user. Now it is only generated once and sent out to all. Another problem is what happens with the mail if you forward it or somebody else read it and clicks on the personalized link..

Nevertheless, good ideas on how to improve the Forum and Website functionalities are always welcome!

Best regards,
Annkathrin (on behalf of the SuSanA Secretariat)]]>
Your suggestions for improvements of the forum Tue, 11 Aug 2015 08:03:38 +0200
How to attract forum users who rarely write? - by: F H Mughal

F H Mughal]]>
Your suggestions for improvements of the forum Tue, 10 Mar 2015 06:01:57 +0100
Forum e-mail digest has been improved: it is now ordered by category - by: secretariat
The forum e-mail digest is now set up so that the new posts are grouped by category, using the same category icons that we have here on the forum (and - for now - in the same order as we have it here: ).

This makes for much easier reading, now that we usually have quite a few posts per day or per week, so that you can quickly jump to the category that interests you the most.

Here is what it looks like for me in my inbox with Outlook 2010:

Please let us know how you like this change? Also if anything is not displayed correctly in your e-mail software, please let us know, by stating which mail browser you use (in this thread or by using the contact button on the left). We have tested it with quite a few mailing systems (e.g. Outlook 2010, Hotmail, Gmail) but it is still possible that there is an e-mail client out there where it needs to be adjusted.

Also if you have further suggestions for simple improvements to the digest, please let us know.

I am saying "simple", because I have to state already now that customised versions of the e-mail digest will not be possible (for example each user being able to choose in which order the categories are displayed or not displaying certain categories etc.). This is too much IT programming work. To subscribe to only selected categories, you are better off using the subscribe function directly in the Kunena Forum (see here how to subscribe to sub-categories).

One idea that Trevor had which we didn't implement yet: if there is large demand for having a digest that excludes the category "Announcements" (as this rarely involves discussions), this option could possibly be provided. It could possibly appear on this kind of list where you currently only choose the frequency:

But we would have to weigh up if the additional programming required would be worth it, i.e. if enough members would desire this.

As the desires of our 4000+ members are difficult to know, we are starting a large user survey tomorrow! You can add suggestions about the e-mail digest into one of the comment fields of the survey (or put them into this thread, of course).

Elisabeth, Trevor, Shobana and Steffen
(for SuSanA secretariat)

If you want to change the frequency at which you receive the e-mail digest or want to unsubscribe from it, please simply login and change your settings here:

If you want to know more about this digest or other subscription or e-mail notification options, please read here: ]]>
Your suggestions for improvements of the forum Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:58:11 +0200
Re-naming of categories? For example the category "agricultural reuse" - by: F H Mughal
For example, when it comes to me, I would suggest names like hygiene, wastewater reuse (if it is not there), sanitation as a business, innovations in sanitation, governance in sanitation and, as I have often said, "water."


F H Mughal]]>
Your suggestions for improvements of the forum Tue, 30 Sep 2014 05:06:05 +0200
Could we have a forum post editor that is a "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG)? - by: JKMakowka

Hans wrote: The SuSanA forum doesn’t have a WYSIWYG editor as the forum has no power and free developers for the open source project to develop or license and maintain a safe editor. So the forum sticks to a Bulletin Board Code editor fit for posting on a message board as the Forum has access options to write/edit for everybody.

There are good and free/open-source WYSIWYG editors like TinyMCE or CKEditor, however it seems like Kuena (the forum software used) is not able to use these easily. I came across this discussion where the developers explained the problems.
It seems however that there might be an official (commercial) WYSIWYG editor plugin for the latest version of Kuena end of 2014 or so; in other words, if and when this forum is updated it might be possible in the not too far future.]]>
Your suggestions for improvements of the forum Tue, 23 Sep 2014 13:56:19 +0200
Concerns about quality of the forum - by: Marijn Zandee
I understand where Christoph's concern comes from and I partly share them. It seems to me that the increase of off-topic posts and responses may also be partly due to the fact that our field is slowly gaining more traction and attention outside the group of "old-hands". If that is true, it would be a great achievement for all, but inevitably also mean that there will be more people on the forum who have not followed the conversation for multiple years.

I like Kris' suggestion to have a function to switch off some categories from the recent topics feed. On a voting system, I am less sold, who is going to vote and what will come to the top? I think the number of people who would likely vote would be too small to create a good average indication of quality.

Pre-vetting of posts, as Kris and Neil suggest would be one possible solution if you want to make sure the discussion stays professional. I think this may run into a resources problem at Susana though, and it may also deter people from posting to a degree.

Further, it is a reality that we live in an age where people go out on the interweb to get ideas and information. Having a forum like this one, where the discussions surrounding sustainable sanitation is kept in the realm of science to a large degree is probably a good thing in that light.

Ultimately, I think it may be time for a discussion on what we want this forum to be. Is it to be a very open and easy access platform on which we accept that some posts and answers go off-topic, but where we have an atmosphere of "there are no stupid questions"? Or do we want a forum where the discussions stay much more focused, probably at the risk of deterring some people who are new to the field? The answer probably lies somewhere in the middle.

One suggestion for a middle ground could be that the moderators are given some standard responses (maybe with a little cartoon), to gently remind people that they are getting to personal or off topic. This may be a tool to help moderate a bit closer.


Your suggestions for improvements of the forum Tue, 01 Jul 2014 04:01:49 +0200
Can the search function of the forum be optimised? For example by adding the date of posts? - by: secretariat )

I suggest we add more options for quick feedback than just liking a post or adding or subtracting karma points. These could include:
• Please give more support for the ideas expressed.
• I would like to put this into practice myself.
• This would be an excellent thesis topic.
• This is a great option for the billions who have no toilet.
• This is excellent for elegant applications.
• This is very environmentally sustainable.
• This seems to have an excessive environmental impact.

If we do this, members could then search for these items. Also, some of our thousands of members may prefer to only see posts that others have ticked with one or more of these items … or to receive all the posts ordered according to these items (with a delay of several days to allow standard members to tick these). This may be especially important now that the Forum has grown so much and the list of posts is sometimes very long. This would make it easier for the “silent majority” of members to give feedback, even if just ticking these items … and some privilege, such as searching, could hinge on ticking.

My response: Chris' suggestion of “ticking” is similar to the idea of hashtagging on Twitter, which can be useful for quick searches on a certain topic. On Twitter (with the IT-capabilities and system functioning for such a mechanism), “hashtagging” allows you to search or click on a certain combination of words, ex. #sustainablesanitation, and search results are pulled up from those entries that "hashtag" that combination.

(Posted by Roslyn)]]>
Your suggestions for improvements of the forum Wed, 28 May 2014 08:54:32 +0200
Forum navigation, is it easy or not - and have our recent improvements made things better? - by: secretariat
Thank you for bringing up this issue, and apologies for the delayed response to your feedback!

We have chosen to have this feature (when you click on a link in a digest email it goes further down in the email, not directly to the online page) to facilitate reading for people who are offline to read the post in the email, rather than lead directly to the forum, which requires internet connection.

Because the content of the posts is important, we have left it this way so that people with limited internet connections still have access to the post content and information, although it is one more step for those with internet access.

Please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions for improvement on this feature!

Kind regards,

Your suggestions for improvements of the forum Fri, 23 May 2014 09:02:39 +0200
Suggestions for improvements at 2 year anniversary - by: canaday
Congratulations to all who are responsible for launching and operating this community of communication, which is helping us to formulate, refine and disseminate sustainable sanitation.

One of the things that I most like is that each thread is stored and viewed separately (which was not the case in the also beloved Ecosanres Yahoogroup that served us for so long before), together with the new bits being sent to all interested parties.

It may be good to remind everyone how to sign up for just the bits they want.

I would like to make a suggestion to the members: Please try to give more feedback on the postings (especially in terms of that silent majority out there). For this, it may be good to have more buttons to click, in addition to "like", such as:
"please give us more information",
"I would like to replicate this",
"This is hard to believe",
"This is a great idea with enormous potential",

One last couple of questions:
After how much time does the forum log us out?
Why does it not tell us that we are logged out?

Best wishes and long live the forum,
Chris Canaday]]>
Your suggestions for improvements of the forum Wed, 10 Jul 2013 09:27:01 +0200
Face lift of the SuSanA Forum to improve navigation, especially for first time users but for the veterans as well! - by: muench Thank you very much for your feedback on the new look of the forum! It puzzles me that so few people commented on the new look & feel of the forum, but maybe that means everyone liked it immediately (?). Or people just want to discuss content and not layout questions.

To give some quick feedback on your suggestions:

I like the icons and the structure, but would prefer to have the titles of the icons written on top of the icons or somehow integrated into them.

We decided against that because we didn't want to overload the page with even more text. The icons should be quite self-explanatory and there is also the hover text. So together, one quickly gets used to them. [edit on 22 May 2014: this modification has been made in the meantime as others wanted to have it, too!]

Furthermore I would like to link the big SuSanA forum icon on the left with the recent topics and also write the title there. I am usually most interested in the recent topics.

Good suggestion, this has now been incorporated, see above when you hover over the Forum Logo icon; clicking there takes you directly to "Recent Topics".

A link back to the SuSanA homepage would also be useful - maybe under the top left item of the black bar "Sustainable Sanitation Alliance".

That is already there - maybe you overlooked it? You have to put the mouse pointer there to see the options or simply click on the white on black text.

I also miss my profil picture as it quickly showed me that I am logged in and gives a homy feeling.

Yea, I understand that. But again, it was taking up too much (vertical) space which meant the user had to start scrolling before being able to read anything. We figured that you know what you look like. :-) Your name still appears next to the Logout button at the top right e.g. "Welcome, muench", so that you know that you are logged in.

Who else has any comments or suggestions for further improvements of the forum pages?
(have you noticed that at the end of each thread you can now share the thread with your facebook, twitter or google+ account? There will be a separate posting about this new feature in the next few days)

Your suggestions for improvements of the forum Tue, 16 Apr 2013 08:20:08 +0200
SUSANA Forum, the ecosanres group and about other world wide communication - by: jkeichholz Your suggestions for improvements of the forum Wed, 30 Nov 2011 23:53:45 +0100 Susana forum / ecosanres mailing list - by: jkeichholz
...which dorothee.spuhler started to broaden our member base. Please feel free to comment there if you think we've missed out something

As much as I would love to have a single place where we all meet, I think in reality users will always prefer to go where the action is or where they feel comfortable. So to answer tmsinnovation's question: only time will tell which place is preferred by the users. Heck, we could also end up having everyone move to the forum. Are 2 months already enough to have an answer?

I was recently told that the 2nd biggest forum on the internet actually is the comments section on YouTube! Pretty amazing, especially since it's not a usual forum as we know or expect it.]]>
Your suggestions for improvements of the forum Thu, 03 Nov 2011 15:50:14 +0100