[personal profile] alexbayleaf

Originally published at Growstuff Blog. You can comment here or there.

Here’s an update on the outcomes of our crowdfunding campaign that finished a few weeks back. Since then, Alex has been travelling and running conferences, so apologies for the slow turnaround on following this up!

In total we raised $6,778 through IndieGoGo, plus a further $500 from Linux Australia who belatedly offered to come in at the “individual sponsorship” level, making $7,278 in total. Sadly, this wasn’t enough to meet our minimum to contract Frances Hocutt to work on the Growstuff API; she’s going to be continuing her work with Wikimedia APIs for the Wikimedia Foundation, and we wish her the best of luck with it!

So, as laid out on our crowdfunding campaign page, we’ll be doing a reduced API project. After fulfilling the various rewards (stickers, tote bags, and so forth) the remaining funds will go toward Alex working on a scaled-down version of the API project through December/January. This will include work towards Growstuff’s version 1 API, and examples and documentation to help people understand Growstuff’s data, APIs, and how they can use them.

Over the coming months you will see:

  • Regular blog posts on the Growstuff blog about our API work, to keep you updated on progress.
  • API samples and demos will be posted to Github in the api-examples repo.
  • Improvements to the API itself, leading to a version 1 API release, will be discussed in our API forum and will make their way to Growstuff’s main code repo over the course of the project. You can also see what work is planned via our task tracker; search for “label:api” to find all API-related work. We’ll be involving the community in this so please do dive in if you’re interested!
  • Due to the lower funding levels and Frances not joining us, we’re not able to do the group API workshops we had planned as one of the crowdfunding perks; instead, we’ll arrange one-on-one consultations with people who signed up for this perk, which was originally part of our higher-level “API Partner” perk. For all other API supporters, we’ll be in touch soon to find out more about your API use, technical needs, and how Growstuff’s API can help you.
  • For those who signed up for physical schwag (stickers, postcards, tote bags) we’ll be sending these out in December. We’ll email you when they ship.
  • To those who signed up for lifetime premium accounts on Growstuff, we’ll be in touch with you, too, to make that happen.

Thanks everyone for your support! We’re looking forward to diving into our API work over the coming months, and will keep you informed as things progress. If you’d like get all the updates as they happen we recommend you follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or follow the Growstuff blog via your preferred RSS reader. We’ll be posting weekly (approximately) with updates.

[personal profile] alexbayleaf

Originally published at Growstuff Blog. You can comment here or there.

We’re two weeks from the end of our crowdfunding campaign and I don’t mind telling you it’s incredibly hard work — especially when you manage to sprain your wrist and can’t spend too long at the computer!

Here’s how things currently stand:

We’re aiming to get at least $10,000 to have a developer work intensively on making Growstuff’s open food data more accessible and usable by the world, and $20,000 to fulfil our overall goal.

If you haven’t contributed yet, please do so! Here are ten reasons why:

  1. Growstuff’s database of edible crops is 100% free and open, licensed under CC-BY-SA. It’s vitally important that information about growing food not be locked up in proprietary websites.
  2. Growstuff’s data is international. Many other food-growing websites are US- or UK-specific, but ours gathers data on how to grow any crop, anywhere in the world.
  3. We’re edible crop specialists. While there are other open databases of biological species or garden plants in general, we’re the only ones who can tell you about harvesting zucchini flowers or all the different varieties of chilli pepper. Food growing isn’t just gardening: it’s about the use of the crops, too, which means we need different approaches.
  4. Growstuff is for small-scale growers. Most of the existing open data about growing food is aimed at big agri-business. However, small-scale growers and backyard veggie gardeners are increasingly important to a diverse and resilient food system.
  5. Growstuff is community-focused. We have a strong commitment to collaboration and transparency, and over a hundred community members from all around the world have helped build Growstuff so far.
  6. Growstuff mentors and supports new developers through our inclusive open source community. Many of our contributors come to us to learn web development, then go on to jobs in the tech industry.
  7. Growstuff supports women in technology and open source. Women make up less than 25% of people in the ICT sector, around 10% of executive positions in tech companies, and single digit percentage of open source developers. Growstuff provides a respectful, supportive environment which means that around half of our developers — including those in leadership positions — are women.
  8. We’re an established project. Many projects for food-growing data are great ideas, but they haven’t built anything yet (and some never do). However, we already have a platform, a database of hundreds of crops, and over 1200 members across 6 continents. We’re not just a flash in the pan.
  9. We are open data experts. Growstuff’s founder, Alex Bayley, previously worked on Freebase from 2007 until after its acquisition by Google in 2010, and was instrumental in the early days of Wikidata.
  10. Our API developer’s expertise and experience in working on Wikipedia’s APIs means she’ll bring exactly the right combination of analysis of developers’ requirements, hands-on coding, documentation and outreach. But she’s not available for long — if we want to work with Frances, we have to do it now.

Contribute to Growstuff’s campaign to share our open food data with the world. There are great perks for gardeners and developers, and you’ll be supporting one of the best open food data projects around.

[personal profile] alexbayleaf

Originally published at Growstuff Blog. You can comment here or there.

Hey everyone! I’m very excited to have just launched our first crowdfunding campaign.

Check out this video, where I talk about the importance of open data for food growers:

We’re raising money for an intensive project around our API (Application Programming Interface), to help more people use Growstuff’s data for more purposes. We’re going to focus on improving our technology platform, building demos and examples, and helping developers and researchers use Growstuff’s data to build apps, study growing trends, and more.

Here are just a few examples of the things that are possible using Growstuff’s open data:

  • A harvest calculator to show you how much money you save by growing food
  • A plugin that automatically posts your garden activity to your blog
  • Emailed planting tips and reminders based on your location and climate
  • A map showing how food-growing patterns change over time in a region
  • A website combining Growstuff’s data with other sources of information, such as nutritional or climate data
  • Data visualisations and infographics about growing patterns
  • Web apps, mobile apps, apps embedded in specialised hardware gadgets — anything is possible

We need to raise $20,000! Please help by contributing to the campaign over on IndieGogo. Perks include awesome Growstuff schwag, workshops, and other great stuff.

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