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Help us make guide difficulty better!

Steven Skoczen Jan. 2, 2009
So right now, the difficulties for guides and fixes are the following:
1. Surfing the web
2. Mowing the lawn
3. Running two miles
4. Quitting smoking
5. Running a marathon
6. Climbing Mt. Everest

We're not entirely happy with these. In particular, quitting smoking pops out. Here's the issue - some fixes are one-time gigs (changing your lightbulbs), while others are continuous, lifestyle changes (eat less meat). We'd like to be able to have both of those types recognized, in a way that's clear and easy for people to understand.

It's also a little compounded by the fact that most lifestyle changes eventually simply become part of your life (for example, it doesn't take me any effort not to eat meat anymore, but it once did). So maybe, we add another (easier than smoking lifestyle change ("taking shorter showers"?)). Maybe we redo the whole thing.

This is one of the many places where all of your smart brains are much better than jeff and mine. So please toss us your feedback!
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Kaitlyn Van Arsdell Jan. 5, 2009
I think a lot will depend on the kind of people that you get to join. Because for a lot of people, the "climbing Mount Everest"-level things have become a 9-to-5, and even if it's still hard to do, they're getting paid for it and probably not going to think about quitting unless their coworkers are annoying or they have to leave to take care of family members or something. So, for me, "Install charging stations" is laughable, but for someone else it's a paycheck.

Will those kinds of people join? If they do, being able to select that "fix" and interact with people with similar "fixes" could definitely be useful.

I doubt that anyone is going to see the really big ones on a drop-down list and be inspired to do them, but that doesn't mean it won't be useful to have them there, for the people who are already doing them and to raise awareness among others who might give some type of support.

On a bit of a tangent, difficulty also greatly depends on where you are. Having just been in Peru (I did have to fly to get there, of course), I did most of the basic lifestyle things, and more, without even trying. No water heater? No gas used for bathing! No supermarkets? All local food, all organic, all the time, and there are at least two dozen species of potatoes available at the market. At the same time, eating meat there makes a lot more sense, because it's all on a small-scale and the animals are actually eating the food that people don't, as well as providing clothing and warmth -- it's just a whole different system. Run out of firewood? Good thing there's got some dried cow manure on hand so you can still boil the water and avoid giving the kiddo-s giardia. But, that is clearly not the target audience, and so, I digress...
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Steven Skoczen Jan. 5, 2009
Actually, it is the target audience.. eventually :)

The dream is to have SixLinks be a global site, driven by people across the world. We've already got the multilingual framework in the site, next it's a matter of developing a user-base that can make fixes/guides/etc for their own needs.

Clearly things in PerĂº are a world different from here, and the stuff we often do to 'be green' are simply economic and lifestyle choices there. But to assume that they'll continue to follow a sustainable, low-impact lifestyle as incomes improve is probably wrong. So, we should provide tools for users to create sustainable lifestyles no matter their income level.

And yes, I realize the irony of attempting to do that via a web site :)
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Steven Skoczen Jan. 5, 2009
As far as difficulty, I'd agree that it's unlikely that many people will take on the huge challenges. But someone will do it - and if they're on the site, all the better.

We also hoped that people, as they completed a certain number of fixes at a particular scope (probably starting in home and lifestyle), eventually would look to take on fixes with larger scopes - first in their communities, then city, then state..

With a good set of resources and positive feedback, I'd like to think that people taking on big fixes isn't completely out of reality. : )
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Kaitlyn Van Arsdell June 15, 2009
Baha I just realized 6 months later that I completely misunderstood this, thought you were actually worried about difficulty of guides, didn't realize it was about the numbering system.... Reply to comment
Rachel Mays Jan. 5, 2009
This might be a crazy idea (forgive me, blame the dogs instead) but what if we rated things in a way that reflects the theme of the site? Some people using the site will be runners; some will not. Some will be smokers; some will be former smokers; etc. BUT, they will ALL (ideally) be people who want to bring about change.

What if we did something like:

- Changing a lightbulb
- Changing a window
- Changing your lifestyle
- Changing school legislation

etc etc etc... the ones I listed may not apply at all, but I think the format provides an outline that is much more clear for the purposes of this site.

Just some mangled thoughts, feel free to disregard. :)
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Steven Skoczen Jan. 5, 2009
I like that a lot. Makes much more sense than running. Reply to comment
Andrew Shoffstall Jan. 6, 2009
I like Ms. Mays' idea! It keeps your theme running while not digressing to running... (horrible pun intended).

- Changing a nation, state, city, community, etc.
- Changing a diaper (it's dirty but somebody's gotta do it)
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Sam Fladung Jan. 6, 2009
I like the idea of having difficulty levels be associated with the theme. I do think that care needs to be taken to keep difficulty from blending into impact. I think changing a nation etc sounds a little too much like the impact option "makes an impact on a nation or an ecosystem" for example.

Some ideas for possible difficulty levels:

Changing your furnace filters
Reinsulating your house
Turning CO2 into gold via alchemy

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