User:Mcktimo/on organizing the wiki

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This might be something we consider implementing. There are many extensions. Out of the box it would be a nightmare to support.

semantic mediawiki (SMW)


Have you seen the posters at the site that Monica has done where there is some question in big print and then everybody marks it up adding their ideas. It is very cool. Noah transcribed a couple of them into word clouds. Also cool.

Having a way to aggregate ideas on the wiki might be useful. Tagging ala blogs is a possibility Semantic mediawiki extends tagging beyond category:tags. It adds markup like [[is a::city]] to pages. Having 300 people tag their own and anybody elses pages might not actually work out.

ideas that might work

Pages on the wiki have an overlap in what they are talking about. there a lots of ideas about what to do about the 'financial sector' or 'taxes' for instance or on ways of creating a 'participatory democracy'. Those pages could be anywhere. We are also educating ourselves reading Taibbi or Klein or ... It could be useful to assemble ideas by topic/subtopic.

What the tagging process might look like

We could start by developing a baseline collection of terms that we might want to tag with. We could automate this a bit by scanning documents with and find the 'social study' terms. In SMW format the social study terms would become property pages.

There could be a way to make a first pass on a document putting it through a 'machine' that finds words matching the property tags and marks the document with the tags and the contexts in which that tags occur. Then the author could make refinements by hand.

What the aggregation process might look like

what's in the box

Mediawiki itself aggregates for you by

  • special:categories lists all the categories and clicking on each category lists the pages that have included that category tag.

The SMW basic tools aggregate for you by

  • giving you pages for each property tag in which are listed all the articles that include that tag.
  • listing all the property tags and the number of times they have shown up
what we might want
  • clouds of ideas that even show connections between ideas. Click on a part of the cloud and see all the connected relationships.
  • a way to gather quotations from all the documents that relate to an idea

so far what's done

I've got the semantic bundle installed on another 1.17 wiki and I'm slowly adding modules as I figure them out. I've uploaded a few pages from the OBwiki.

User:Mcktimo/on organizing the wiki/problems with the current organization

create a more democratic space

Users and User(Working)groups can have their own page hierarchy, useful for collecting and sharing and organizing within that group but not in the main page space. The idea of a public face existing alongside a 'workspace'.

One might say the existing wiki is a collection of manifestos read only by their authors. Ok so now everyone has a personal set of pages where they can put their own stuff. Perhaps this is an important part of developing our community.

leave the hierarchy flat

Don't pretend to know how this space will organize. Allow it to organize itself. Rules about /WG/OBIT/littlebit are not really in the spirit of wiki. Look at mediawiki, millions of articles all in the main page space.

that being said...

put Working groups in the user: space

Consider the wiki as serving 2 functions. One is to present a compelling collection of ideas in support of the occupy movement. The other function is as a space that helps to grow this movement. This part is a little messier. I propose encouraging the user: space as the place for the latter.

Working Groups could reflect these 2 functions as follows:

  1. a public face that includes a presentation of the best and most succinct work of the group. The focus is on people not in the group per se.
  2. a workspace for the work group with random ideas, links, discussions and drafts that are mercilessly edited in good spirit.

Perhaps there could be a naming convention to differentiate Working Groups from regular users eg: 'WG-transparency'.

Another reason to be in a namespace instead of a made up / space is that you automatically get a link trail thingy to get back to the user page.

OBIT's role

(or the wiki subgroup of OBIT) (after putting out the transition fires) would be to...

  • decide on the sidebar menu,
  • maintain the main_page
  • create overall (css) look
  • decide on how much functionality we can uncover $wgturnWhichVariableOn or how come I can't see the image below on the page? Upload file is such a pain.
  • decide and act on extension requests
  • provide integration with other occupyboston websites
  • provide good training and help

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[[image:6209634263_0c2689cf72.jpg width="392" height="235"]]

/help file

A draft help file.