Sunday, January 21, 2007

Howtopedia, technology goodness gone wiki!

This is the first unsolicited email that I've been pleased to get in a long time. In fact, this is really neat.

Think of Instructables meets Hackaday meets Wikipedia within the development context. The very elegant outcome is something called Howtopedia. It's wonderful how-to list arranged in a wiki fashion covering topics that include Healthcare, Energy, Small Business, Food Processing and others.

The email they sent states that Howtopedia is a Swiss non-profit supported by Practical Action (which we covered earlier) and the International Network for Technical Info (INTI). When you look at the site, some of the articles will look familiar if you've checked out Practical Action's technical briefs.

It's community geared and thanks to the wiki metaphor, I can't wait to see what other users contribute. Who knows, I might throw in a recipe or two.

This ties in very well into our previous coverage of open source design initiatives. I hope Howtopedia fares well.

The excerpt below shows a method of refrigeration.

AIDG has lists a similar repository called Appropedia. I'm less familiar with them, but at first glance, Howtopedia seems to have many more articles. They are also available in English, French, and Spanish. Way to go Howtopedia and Practical Action. I'm a fan.

Learn more here.


Chris Watkins (a.k.a. Chriswaterguy) said...

Actually, Appropedia is much, much bigger, and growing. It recently merged with WikiGreen, giving a big boost, and has a very active community.

That's not to criticise Howtopedia - it's good in content and concept. I actually think there's enormous synergy between Howtopedia and Appropedia, and would love to see the two communities join efforts on a single site.

Appropedia hasn't done much with other languages yet, but we're looking at Spanish and Indonesian, and have contributors from continental Europe as well...

Disclaimer: I'm an active editor and admin on Appropedia.

acardon said...

I find your website very informative, unfortunately I was not able to find your contact info for article suggestions.

I want to share with you the design of a water treatment system called a tablet chlorinator.

These chlorinators are designed by NORWECO Inc, Ohio; and installed in Haiti by International Action, a Washington DC based NGO.

In Haiti nearly every water source is contaminated by human waste. The bacteria carried in the water is responsible for a very high rate of waterborne diseases such as chronic diarrhea, typhoid, and hepatitis; among children. Waterborne diseases are the number one killer of children in Haiti.

Today International Action protects more than 400,000 Haitians with our chlorinators. They are cheap, simple (made in PVC), easy to install use and maintain, perfectly adapted to the developing world for they do not require electricity. They operate on the gravity flow of the water which goes through the device and dissolve chlorine tablets in a water tank at safe and pre-set levels.

The rate of waterborne diseases among children has dramatically decreased in the neighborhoods where International Action intervened. In Jalousie, a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, one single chlorinator provides clean safe water to 50,000 people!!

You should check out the website at