Discussing Organic Farm Knowledge: learning from users how the online platform can be improved

On 6 July, IFOAM Organics Europe held a successful digital cross-exchange about the online platform Organic Farm Knowledge as an exemplary online knowledge platform. The webinar took place within the framework of the Horizon 2020 EURAKNOS project. It was attended by 24 participants from different European countries and beyond, mostly advisors and researchers. It served to discuss how the platform can be improved.

The discussion zoomed in on four topics, starting with: “How to improve the user experience & navigation? How should the user interface look like?” Next, participants talked about improving the discussion forum and integrating it with social media. It turned out that the preference largely depends on the country. Twitter for example is widely used in Italy, Spain and the UK whereas in Hungary and Bulgaria, Facebook is the platform of choice. Similarly, the preference depends on the target audience. Farmers could find the website too complicated and would prefer Facebook or a mobile app in the national language.

The third topic centred on the funding model. Participants largely agreed that the platform should remain free (i.e. open access) to be widely known and used. However, new knowledge produced can be used for online courses, trainings, webinars, etc. for which a fee could be charged. Research projects could be asked to pay a fee to have their content on the platform.

Finally, the channels to promote the platform were discussed. Promoting the platform locally, through national organic associations and research networks (their website, magazine, newsletter etc.), turned out to be key. Visit the Organic Farm Knowledge platform on organic-farmknowledge.org or contact organic-farmknowledge@fibl.org.

Organic Farm Knowledge is a product of OK-Net Arable and OK-Net EcoFeed. These projects have received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreements No. 652654 and No. 773911 respectively. The information contained within this platform only reflects the author’s view. The Research Executive Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information provided. EURAKNOS has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 817863.

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