When Graham Bates was telling me about his interesting idea to solve Victoria's water crisis by colocating a thermal multi-effect distillation desalination plant at Portland Aluminium to make use of their waste heat to produce maybe 200 megalitres a day, I thought that a blog might be a great way to promote the idea.
A blog could also be a way to explore and develop such ideas, but Graham is still a little "computer1.0" (you know offline office tools ;) ) so he'd already fleshed it out into a documented concept paper. While I could cut and paste its sections into blog posts and link them together carefully, it wasn't going to be efficient for Graham's editing processes.
We experimented with Zohowriter, Thinkfree and Googledocs to get his concept paper online. Only Zohowriter included his footnotes, though it moved them from original page-bottoms to end of document. None of them completely retained his original formatting, and we did have to reconfigure the images, and convert a textbox to a table in Zohowriter. We discovered that Thinkfree would publish a pdf for others to view, although we couldn't upload a pdf there and Thinkfree lost the footnotes, so while ideal in the former respect, it became useless as a result of the latter. If anyone knows a free and easy-to-use file store and share site (that allows upload and public access of pdfs) please tell me.
I still thought that a blog would be useful for exposure, but I didn't get to it right away. With the media attention after the Glenelg Shire's Council meeting last week it became potentially even more useful an idea, so we sketched it up this week. Unfortunately someone who hasn't actually done anything with it has already tied up the preferred blogtitle, so Graham went with...
Are We the Clever Country?
Update: 16 June 2007
We finally solved the problem: I don't remember how we found it but Scribd has done the job in a wonderful way.