This is a collectively editable wiki page. Be bold and improve it by adding any relevant information you may have.
Not all pages on this site look exactly the same nor behave exactly the same way. There are several types of pages, called content types, that we use for different purposes:
- Some content types are personal, and can only be edited by their author.
- Other content types are collective, and can be edited by any member of the community.
- Some content types are dated, while others do not display any date or timestamp. We can thus distinguish perishable from non-perishable content
- Some content types are created for specific purposes, like polling.
There are many different ways to create new pages within this website. The main way is to follow the link "Create content" on the left navigation menu. There you will be given a choice of different content types to create. Chose the best content type according to your purposes. See below for details on each content type.
By and large, any member of the community can edit any wiki page. Like at wikipedia.org, wiki pages are collectively written articles.
Wiki pages do not display any author name nor any date information.
Being collective articles, wiki pages are not suitable for personal opinions, but they can link to the most relevant and the most eloquent personal opinions posted elsewhere on the site.
Wiki articles will contain the sum of the collective knowledge of the members of this site. With time, the wiki will become the most valuable content of this site, and as such, will be put front and centre.
Blog entries are personal articles. Each member of this community has its own blog, where it can express its own opinions.
Blog entries are best used for perishable information. The system will assume that the older a blog entry is, the less relevant the information therein is.
Blog entries can also be posted to discuss polls (see below).
Blogs are the best place for:
- General discussion.
- Get feedback on some sections or specific pages of your Personal Book.
- Work together, brainstorm, explore ideas or for any kind of collective endeavour. For more focused discussion on specific items to be done, see below the Ticket node type and the corresponding TODO tracker for things that need to be done and that require community involvement.
Discussion is the beginning of the process, but it is not the end of it. What matters is the concrete results of the discussion. For example, insight or knowledge gained within a discussion thread ought to be fed back into collective wiki articles.
Personal book page
Some trusted members have the opportunity to post Personal book pages. Such pages carry the author information but are not dated. The system will assume that the content of those pages will remain relevant forever, and represent the best thoughts that a person has on the topic addressed within the page.
See this blog entry about Personal Books:
Personal books are where members can express the best of themselves. They can be considered as a safe haven, especially for people who hold a minority opinion. However, like all the content on this site, they are subject to site and community regulations.
One of the most unique features of this web site are Poll pages. What is to be noted about this content type is that it operates like a wiki. A poll is not a personal page. Regular members of this community can create any poll they wish. They can also edit polls created by other people, add options to the polls, offering alternative/better answers to the question being asked.
Tickets (issue tracker)
A ticket is a discussion thread focussed on accomplishing a specific task. The list of current tickets is called the TO-DO tracker or issue tracker.
Each ticket must have the following characteristics:
- Each ticket represent a task to be performed by the community.
- The title of the ticket should adequately represent the task to be performed.
- The discussion is focussed on the task to be completed. Any discussion that is not directly relevant to the current ticket should be discouraged and moved to another ticket or to an appropriate discussion thread in a blog.
- Tickets get 'closed' when the task has been completed. Closed tickets are still available, but by default, they are not listed in the TO-DO tracker .
There is a specific node type for pages of the Community Manifesto. See the Community Manifesto project for details.
In order for you to make the best of the web site, it is important to understand all the content types listed above are not created equal. Each is created for a specific purpose, filling a specific need. If you want the best of your thoughts and ideas to be easily found and read by present and future members, you must carefully the right content type and the right place to post your content.
Collective vs. individual content
One of the main objectives of this website is to encourage and facilitate cooperation. We all aspire to build a better society. Individually, there is very little we can do, but by combining efforts, we can move mountains. These truths are reflected in the way the website is being organized. The aim is to make collective content more easily found and more visible than individual content. Collective content is the fruit of combined efforts of many individuals and represent the best that those individuals could come up with. Also, the quality of collective content tends to improve over time, as more individuals contribute.
Collective content types include: wiki, polls, and manifesto pages.
Individual content types include: personal book pages, blog entries, and all comments.
Non-perishable vs. perishable content
Most websites are built around the false assumption that newer content is better than older content. A lot of very interesting and valuable content is thus lost and forgotten. Within this site, we make the distinction between perishable and non-perishable content.
Perishable content is dated (see the timestamp displayed on such content). The web site is being organized with the assumption that such content loses value over time. The older content will get buried under newer content.
Non-perishable content is not dated. It can be updated and improved over time. It is assumed that such content will remain relevant years after the original version has been posted. Non-perishable content includes all collective content as well as personal book pages. Thus, if there are topics or policies you strongly care about, the best place to write about them would be within your personal book. Also, work with the community to ensure that your best ideas are fairly represented in the wiki and other collective content.
Discussion and useful output
This web site affords members every opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas. The major difference between this site and other political forums or blogging web sites is that, here, we consider discussion as a stepping stone towards something greater, constructive, and more concrete.
In most political forums, nothing really constructive results from endless discussion. People use such places to vent their frustration and pent-up anger.
Here, discussion is seen as the means and the method to build and improve both individual and collective non-perishable content. Thus, as time passes and as more and more members contribute to the process, we can build something concrete, valuable, that will eventually evolve into action plans that will make a difference in our society.
One of the current weaknesses is that all pages look too similar, regardless of type. Regular users can still tell them apart thanks to several cues that have been introduced. Still, it would be better if one could more easily differentiate them. The design currently used in this web site is temporary. One design goal of a future design would be to provide more visual clues so that users can more easily differentiate content types and their uses.