Need help? Look within!

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This handbook aims to answer all the questions you might have about this web site and especially how to use it.

If you have a question that is not answered in any of the sub-sections below, please ask here!


This is a collectively editable wiki page. Be bold and improve it by adding any relevant information you may have. wants to reach out to the wider community and to do whatever it can to help some of the most disadvantaged communities. Towards that end, is adopting charities who are doing a great work in the poorest countries in the world.

As of the 1st November 2012, officially support MAG, an anti-personnel-landmine charity working to tackle the destructive legacy of violence and conflict; to release land for food production; to increase safe access to vital resources like water, education and health services; and to build a better future for women, men and children alike. adopts a charity!

I have always wanted the web sites I operate to adopt a charity. itself is a charitable work. Although minguo is not registered as such, our work here is non-profit and with an aim to improve our society. However, I don't want minguo to live in a world of its own. This site must be connected to the outside world, not for its own good, but in order to do good for the wider society.

In this spirit, I have been looking for a charity that minguo could adopt and support, and I wanted to do it soon. It's an easy cope-out to say: "I'll donate money to charities when I'll be (filthy) rich." or "I'll do something good for the world when I'll be famous, powerful and influential". Some of the biggest actors for change in the world are ordinary people who are neither richer nor more famous and powerful than the other people in the communities they live in. What sets those great souls apart is a will to do something good and the audacity to start doing what they can with the (meagre) means that are available to them. Thus, I didn't want to have the easy excuse to wait until minguo is a big and influential web site in order to do something for charities. As of today, minguo is still a very small web site lost in some corner of the interwebs. But that's not an excuse for not doing what we already can do.

Having decided to support a charity, my main problem was: which charity to support? I thought about it for a long time. I could easily have gone with some of the big names, like the Red Cross. But then, everybody knows about them and one way I could help the chosen charity would be with name recognition. I wanted to advertise the great work done by some unknown charity. More importantly, I wanted to support a charity working for the poorest communities of this planet, the kind of communities where people do not have internet access and would never visit minguo. The charity should work in an area which does not concern me in the least in my daily life. I didn't want to do it for myself nor for selfish motives. I wanted to do something for other people so that they can enjoy the same things as all the minguo visitors, including myself, do and that we usually take for granted.

And I am happy today to report that I have found such a charity.

Last week, I was talking with one of my students: the teaching material had led us to talk about Prince Charles, in a funny way (a story about a prince with big ears!). That led to talking about Lady Diana and her own charitable work. We watched some videos about her work against anti-personnel landmines. This soon led us to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and to the work of the Mines Advisory Group.

I then spent some time to have a thorough look at MAG's web site, trying to understand the scope of their work, etc. I was truly impressed. The charity works in the poorest countries of the world, training local people to become professional mine clearing experts, financially empowering them and their families in the process. It also allows the much needed expertise to be transferred into the countries that need that expertise the most. The charity does not work "for the numbers" (e.g. to impress donors with the numbers of mines they have cleared) but for the communities, working with them to work out which land, if it were cleared of mines, would have the greatest positive impact on the community by providing arable land, a place to build a home or a field for children to play in.

Every day, I go about my personal business without ever fearing to have my life blown apart or to lose a limb should I step on the wrong place. I'm guessing the same can be said of 100% of the minguo members of visitors (with the exception of potential soldiers who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan...). We take our ability to move around safely for granted. We have homes and a safe food supply. People in the communities in which MAG works in cannot say the same. They must cultivate their own food but fear for their lives should they dig the wrong field. Children there do not have computers nor game stations and for them, an unexploded ordinance (UXO) looks like a toy. MAG is providing a safer future to such people.

For all these reasons, is very proud to announce that, as of today, it officially supports MAG (the Mines Advisory Group).

Next, we should explore all the possible ways our little web site can support this great cause.

Republished at Democracy Chronicles: adopts a charity!.

Forgotten children

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Ukraine's Forgotten Children (BBC4 documentary) :

Future Youth Project "is a charity that promotes 'community spirit' on a world wide scale."

The UK to Ukraine road trip project.

LifeLine Network "LifeLine Network is a growing and dynamic group of grassroots community organisations and NGOs spread out all over the world."

"Happy Child" foundation (Ukrainian charity).

Maya’s Hope: "We help disadvantaged children living in extreme poverty by sending aid (food, medicine, books, school supplies, diapers, clothing, etc) to orphanages throughout the world; initially focusing on the Philippines and Ukraine and responding to international emergencies as they arise. We strive to give hope and love to each child, to nurture a strong foundation for a brighter future."

MAG: Mines Advisory Group

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Important links:

MAG introduction from their web site:

MAG (Mines Advisory Group) is a neutral and impartial humanitarian organisation, registered as a charitable company in the UK and co-laureate of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.

Clearing UXO in Juba, Sudan

We work to tackle the destructive legacy of violence and conflict; to release land for food production; to increase safe access to vital resources like water, education and health services; and to build a better future for women, men and children alike.
MAG* has worked in more than 40 countries since 1989 and we currently have operations in Angola, Burundi, Cambodia, ChadDemocratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Iraq, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, LibyaSomaliaSouth Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Vietnam.

MAG is co-laureate of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded for our work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which culminated in the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty – the international agreement that bans anti-personnel landmines, sometimes referred to as the Ottawa Convention.

[* Pronounced "mag", as in magazine, rather than M.A.G.]

Photo: Preparing the controlled demolition of a unexploded ordnance cleared from an area around a weapons store in Juba, South Sudan 2011.[J.B. Russell / MAG]

Other charities

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RAPt (the Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust) "works to help people with drug and alcohol dependence, both in prison and in the community, move towards, achieve and maintain positive and fulfilling drug-free and crime-free lives. In 1992 RAPt founded the first drug treatment facility in a UK prison. Today we are the leading provider of intensive, abstinence-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation programmes in UK prisons, and we provide high-quality drug and alcohol services to over 13,000 people every year within the criminal justice system and in the community."

Community projects

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This web site is the home of many projects. All projects are owned and developed by the entire community. We discuss our individual opinions; we share insights; we collaborate; we build something together, not least of which is a better world for future generations.

Community Manifesto

The Manifesto is an emerging document, collaboratively and consensually written by the members this web site. The content of the manifesto will change and evolve with time, as members contribute to it.

Les Misérables

Les Misérables Project is dedicated to Victor Hugo and his masterpiece, Les Misérables. We investigate the novel from the perspective of the author's humanity and our social activism, moving the context from 19th century France to our 21st century world.

The Forgotten Ones

The Forgotten Ones are the most miserable people on this Earth and who are largely neglected by the media and the citizens of the rich countries. We try to give them a voice and promote solutions to their plight.

Election methods

The Election Methods project examines alternative Election Methods that correct the well-known flaws of Plurality Voting, with focus on research, practical demonstrations, policies, outreach and education.

Minguo Community Project

The Minguo Community Project is where the whole community is empowered to take charge of itself and of the web site as a whole. We cover issues like technical help, web site development, content and user moderation, etc.

Mines Advisory Group (MAG)

Support this charity to the extent that we can.
* adopts a charity!.
* MAG: Mines Advisory Group.

Public Policy Project

The purpose of the Public Policy project is to collect any information on policy issues that the community might find useful or interesting. This wiki can contain references to policy papers, policy decisions and proposals as well as supporting data from anywhere in the world.

Political Discourse project

The Political Discourse project aims to enhance public discourse on matters related to policy, elections and politics in general. We try to identify what's wrong with today's level of debates, and investigate better ways to approach and take part in political discourse.

Creating a new project

If you have a great idea for a new project, share it with us: what would its scope be, its purposes, its name, etc. Explain your vision in a new discussion thread to gain some feedback first, before the project can officially be created.

How to...?

This is a collectively editable wiki page. Be bold and improve it by adding any relevant information you may have.

Content formatting

This is a collectively editable wiki page. Be bold and improve it by adding any relevant information you may have.

Check formatting tips here:


The title of each page is a <h1> heading.
In your articles, start using <h2> and add subsections with h3, h4... headings, preferably without skipping any level, i.e. don't have a h4 section as a direct child of a h2 section without having a h3 section in between.

A judicious use of headings, especially in long articles, can provide a great looking table of contents for your article, as you can see in this article:

Focus blocks

See this page:


Trusted users have all the ability to upload attachments when creating or updating a node (content). Please respect copyright issues. Only upload images or other attachments that you own, that you have created yourself, when the copyright holder allows you to or when the license allows you to.

Embedding images

Use this piece of code as a template to embed images:
<img src="" />


It is not currently possible to embed videos. Simply link to them. It will eventually be possible to embed videos (e.g. youtube videos), but implementing this is not a priority and may have to wait until the next major upgrade of the site.

Here: , we have a list of 'tickets' or To Do item corresponding to the various projects of this community.
See: Content types: Tickets / issue tracker.

Each ticket has a corresponding number, or ID. The number is the one that can been seen in the URL.
For example, the ticket found at this URL has for ID number: 16322.
One can easily link to it by entering the following code:
This will be rendered as:
#16322: Explain how to link to tickets [#]
The benefit of linking this way is also that the color of the link will change according to its state. It will go from a normal link, to a green link when the ticket has just been fixed, to a red link when the ticket is closed.

We can use this way to create custom list of To Do items:

Those are the issues I plan to work on, in the given order:

This will be rendered as:

Those are the issues I plan to work on, in the given order:

  1. #16372: Winning the peace
  2. #16373: Songs about peace and kindness
  3. #16374: Palestinian / Israeli reconciliation

One can also link to a specific comment within a ticket.
For example, to link to the 3rd comment in the following ticket, append -3 to the ticket number, thus:
This will directly link to the given comment and be rendered as:
#16322-3: Explain how to link to tickets [#]

Creating a poll and adding options to a poll

This is a collectively editable wiki page. Be bold and improve it by adding any relevant information you may have.

wiki-style polls

Polls here are all "wiki-style polls". It means that the content of polls are not dictated by a single user. For most polls, any member of this web site can add more options. The poll creator may not have thought about all the best answers to add to a poll. You can add whatever answer you'd like best given the poll question. Also, the poll summary works as a wiki. You can edit the poll description to summarize the policy discussion held in the comments, so as to better inform voters.

Creating a poll

Any registered member can generally create a poll on any topic. To do so, follow the link on the left: "Create content" > add "Poll".

In the "titlle" field, put the question you want to ask.

In the "body" field, you can explain what motivates the creation of the poll, give some general context and provide instruction on voting. Note that every poll is owned by the community, so other members might update this when appropriate.

Then select the appropriate poll settings:

- Select the voting method. If you select "Score Voting", you will need at a later stage to input the actual range (e.g. 0~10) for the poll. You will be prompted to do so after the new poll has been submitted.

- If the poll is open, anonymous visitors can vote, but the poll results cannot be used in our Community Manifesto. For that, we need a poll that is restricted to registered members.

- Proxy settings: you must select "Voting by proxy is disallowed". Further work must be done and, more importantly, the community should discuss the proper use of proxy voting before we can use this feature. So, for now, proxy voting should be disallowed.

Now, you are ready to submit your new poll. Note that the poll options will be added in the next stage.

Adding options to the poll

Right after you have submitted your new poll, you are ready to add new options (candidates) to the poll. You can do so by opening the "Add new option" fieldset. If there are any typos in any of the existing option or any duplicates, ask augustin to fix them for you.

Generally speaking every registered member can add new options or new candidates to almost any poll (only a handful of polls are 'locked' and no new options can be added). New options can even be added after polling has started. This is an important feature for this community. Indeed, most of the polls here concern policies and the poll creator may not think about all the options the voters would like included. As the discussion progresses, new, better alternatives might come up and they can be added any time. Thus, a poll is not limited to whatever options the poll creator could think of at the start. Minguo polls are fully a community feature.

Poll activation: For the time being, you must wait until augustin activates the poll before anybody can actually cast a ballot. See this comment for details.


Beware! The Community Manifesto might have specific policies about new and existing polls:

How to get started with my Personal Book?

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See this article first:

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.

To start adding content to this book, follow the link that reads "Add child Personal Book Page".

You may want to keep the first book page as a kind of 'book cover', or table of contents. This way, you can add any number of pages, sections and sub-sections to your book, as you find things to share.

To give you an idea, see what Fred did with his book:

See the "How to?" section in the help handbook:
in particular:

How to make massive changes to my book?

This is a collectively editable wiki page. Be bold and improve it by adding any relevant information you may have.

Making massive changes

The short answer is: "Don't. Ask first!" The reason is simple: there is often an easier way to achieve your purpose. Also, massive changes to any content may have unintended consequences.

Changing the outline

If you want to change the outline of your Personal Book, moving one page from one place to another, do not attempt to delete the page to recreate it in the new place. It won't work. Check the following page, and ask for help:
There is a very easy method to move a page.

Repurposing a page

Do not "repurpose" a page, by completely rewriting its content, changing the title, the body of the article, etc. The unintended result might be that links previously established might no longer link to the intended content. You'd be misleading the potential readers of your articles. Ask first about what might be the best way to accomplish what you are after.

How to organize a book structure (outline)

This is a collectively editable wiki page. Be bold and improve it by adding any relevant information you may have.

A book outline represents the structure of a book. It is a way to arrange different web pages (wiki pages, personal book pages, etc.) into a logical order, divided into sections and sub-sections.

Personal books

Once an administrator has set up your now Personal Book, you can start editing your book's home page (i.e. cover page).
You can also start adding pages to your book by following the link "Add child Personal Book Page" at the bottom of your book's home page.
You can arrange your book into section and sub-sections.

As examples of what can be achieved with a Personal Book, see:

Book outline

Provided you have the necessary permissions to do so (if you don't, ask!), you can arrange the outline of a book by editing individual pages.

  1. Click on the Edit tab of a page you want to move around (node/nnnn/edit).
  2. Below the page Body textarea, click on 'Book outline' to open the collapsed form.
  3. Change:
    1. Book: the book the page belongs to. Usually, this does not need to be changed.
    2. Weight: by default, pages in the same section (at the same level) are ordered in alphabetical order of title. If this ordering is not appropriate, you can change the weight of individual items. You can control the ordering of the pages at the same level by adjusting the weight of each page.
    3. Parent item: this allows you to move the page to a different section of the book, thus giving you control of the overall structure.
    4. [moderators only] Content type for child pages: this usually should not be changed.
    5. [moderators only] Preferred depth for table of contents display: this allows control of how many levels a visitor will see in the book's table of content. "1" would only display the direct sub-sections. "2" would display sub-sections and sub-sub-sections, etc.
  4. Save the page.

How to organize the content? Where to post?

This is a collectively editable wiki page. Be bold and improve it by adding any relevant information you may have.

One objective of this site is to organize the content as well as we can so that current and future readers/members can more easily find the content they are interested in and comment upon it.

Make sure to post your new blog entries in the appropriate place. Comments or content posted in the wrong place may be deleted.

When you create a new blog entry, you have the opportunity to create "general topics" tags: make sure to only create generic ones that can be reused by other users so that related posts are conveniently grouped together. Inappropriate tags may be deleted by the moderators.

Do not cram many topics in on single blog post. Try to create on post per topic. When you cram many questions and many topics into one blog entry, it is difficult to keep the discussion focussed on one topic, and the discussion thread is less interesting to follow for future readers and future members.

Site navigation: how to find changes, replies, etc.

This is a collectively editable wiki page. Be bold and improve it by adding any relevant information you may have.

The short answer for regular users: if you want to track changes and replies to your post, go to Your personal polling station.
The polling station is designed as a personal hub and links to the pages the most relevant to the user. There, you will find a link to your tracker page, where you can see replies to your posts, etc, and a link to the global tracker page, which will show all the latest activity of the site.

See also the "RECENT POSTS" menu item at the very top of every page.

The main navigation menu, under your name at the left, also presents regular users with links to the most important starting points in using this site.

The site is a work is progress. Expect things to change and improve over time.

How to find replies to my posts?

It is a current limitation of the web site that you do not get notified by email when there is a reply to one of your posts. We are working on an adequate long term solution. Meanwhile, if you want to notice replies to your posts, you must follow the steps below.

Regularly check your personal tracker page and see new comments in your discussion threads.

You can access this personal tracker page in many different ways. You can either:

  1. Go to My account (link on the left) and click on the tab Track.
  2. Follow the Recent Posts link and click on the tab My Recent posts.
    The Recent Posts link can be found:
    • at the top of every page.
    • in the navigation menu on the left, under your name.
    • at the bottom of every page.
  3. Got to your Polling station and following the link My Recent posts.

In any case, notice the column Replies which will state the number of new replies (if any) since you last visited a particular page.
You can also check updated content.

The Recent Posts page will obviously show you other recent activity in the site.


Note the 'Revisions' tab next to the 'Edit' tab in each articles. You can use it to check differences between any two revisions.

Analogies and distribution of content

In order to better understand how the content is organized and distributed throughout the site, it helps to make some analogies.

A public library

Like in a public library, where the content is classified according to type (fiction, non-fiction, reference books, etc.) and topic (philosophy, history, science fiction, etc.), we'd like users of this site to be able to browse the content of this site according to their needs and topics of interest. We will strive to ensured that all relevant and interesting content is appropriately tagged.

On each topic, we try to provide an entry point with all the most relevant content related to that topic. The current implementation1 is clearly sub-optimal and is one of the areas where we have a lot of room for improvement.

A home

Each member has a personal home. By default, each member has its own blog and can start blogging in their own, personal space. The personal blog of each user can be found from the user's home page.

In addition, some users are granted the right to have their own, personal space where they can post their own articles and control the presentation and the outline of the content. We plan to extend the concept to all trusted users.

Thus, each user has its own personal space it controls in many ways.

A village

Obviously, this web site is open to many people and all members have their own blog, their own 'home', etc. It makes us a village. We have, in a way, neighbours, who live and blog beside us.

A community

Most importantly, we are a community. We live nearby each other because we chose to. We aim to work together to make our world a better place. A lot of the content in this site is the fruit of community work (wiki pages, etc.)

A sieve

We would like to allow valuable content to remain visible at the appropriate places, regardless of when it was posted. We do not operate under the wrong assumption that newer is better. Content that was posted years ago might still be relevant. Decades-old or even centuries-old insights are as much valuable today as they were then.
Meanwhile, a lot of cross-talk is redundant, irrelevant, boring, etc.

We will always strive to make the most valuable content be the most visible. In this point as in many others, we have a lot of improvement to do.

  • 1. As of January 2017

Site organization

This is a collectively editable wiki page. Be bold and improve it by adding any relevant information you may have.

There are many sections to this site, and there is much more content that meets the eye at first.

This wiki page is a placeholder, where we'll document the different ways to browse this web site.

Basically, you can browse:
- by polls, starting at your polling station.
- by topic, following any taxonomy tag you are interested in.
- by project. See the project list in the help section.
- by book: see user contributed books in this site.
- by user: follow a user blog, etc.
- using the tracker pages, your personal one and the global one.

Content types

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.
  • etc.

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.

Content types

Wiki page

By and large, any member of the community can edit any wiki page. Like at, 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 entry

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 .

See also: Formatting: Link to tickets.


There is a specific node type for pages of the Community Manifesto. See the Community Manifesto project for details.


Content hierarchy

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.

Site taxonomy (tags)

This is a collectively editable wiki page. Be bold and improve it by adding any relevant information you may have.

Like most web sites, this one allows you to tag content so that related content can easily be found together.
Unlike most web sites, tagging content is not something we do as an after-thought, without paying it too much attention. The proper tagging of content is an important part of our strategy to serve the community.

Primary objectives

Although currently a work in progress, the site taxonomy, i.e. the way different pages are content are tagged according to topics, is an important way content is categorized.

The aims are:

  • To allow users to find the most relevant content on any topic.
  • To find the most compelling content, whenever it was posted, newer content not necessarily being more interesting than older one.
  • To provide a community-editable wiki article related to each topic.
  • To present on any topic the best available content, with the highest signal to noise ratio.

Tagging policy

Community driven

Tags are considered community editable content. It means that users may be able to edit the tags on pages created by any other user, including tags on personal pages (blog entries, personal book pages).
Generally speaking, the tagging policy is to ensure that the aforementioned goals are being met, especially to ensure that any user can find the most compelling content in the most appropriate place.

This site will be further improved to allow members to edit tags everywhere, and to make any such changes visible so that interested parties and the community can review them.

Tag combinations

Specific content

Generally speaking, content should be as specific as possible.

As mentioned above, one of the main objectives is to enhance the signal to noise ratio. The problem is that someone's signal can be another person's noise. It really depends what the user is looking for.

In order to allow users to find precisely what they want, tags can be combined so as to narrow down the search results.

Let's imagine two discussion threads, one about Finland, another about Basic Income. In which thread would an article about Basic Income being implement in Finland go? Putting it in both would cause some duplication of content and confuse people as to where best discuss the topic. Worse, people specifically interested about anything related to Finland may find the discussion thread about Basic Income, but for them the specific bit about Finland would be signal while all the rest of the thread would be perceived as noise. Conversely, someone interested about Basic Income might find the discussion thread about Finland, and will be interested to read about the policy implementation there, but might consider all the rest (e.g. touristic information about Finland) noise.

The basic mistake in the above example is the attempt to have extended discussion threads on one broad topic. The solution is to post each interesting, worthy news item separately, and tag them appropriately. Thus, following our example, a news article about a trial implementation of Basic Income in Finland can be posted separately, tagged appropriately with the tags Basic Income and Finland.

Generic tags

As opposed to content and discussion threads, which should be as specific as possible, tags should be as generic as possible. Thus, with a good combination of the two, readers will be a able to find the exact information they are looking for.

For example, having the very specific tag Children charities in the UK would make it hard to search for charities anywhere in the world (because one would have to explicitely include all the countries in the search), for all the topics related to the UK or for all information relevant to education or children's Rights.

Instead, it is more helpful to have the generic tags: UK, Charity, Education and Children's Rights. Appropriate content can then be tagged with all the relevant tags, allowing readers to find the very precise content they are after.

How to combine tags

tid1,tid2: content with both tags: narrow the search.
tid1+tid2: content with either tags: broaden the search.

Best practice for new content


Tags within comments

Within discussion threads (blogs), it is possible to change the tags within comments. It is important to keep the following in mind:

  • Tag changes within a comment apply to the whole post, not to the comment only.
  • Tagging content is meant to be a collective endeavour, so that the best content can be found in the most appropriate places. The ability to change tags within comments is part of that logic.

How to...?

How to tag content?

When you create (/node/add/type) or edit (/node/edit/nnn) content, you may see a field "Topics", which allows you to search and select existing tags to attach to the content.

Tagging content, step 1

Type in any partial string like "Cor" and wait for the background process to return a list of available tags that contains this string.
You can refine your search by typing longer strings, for example "Corpora" and see what comes up.

Tagging content, step 2

Use your mouse or the down-arrow button to select the tag you want.
This should create a new checkbox with the tag name and a link to the relevant content listing.
Keep the checkbox checked and save the content.

How and when to create new tags?

Before creating a new tag, consider the following:

  1. Check first for the existence of similar tags.
  2. Tag creation are subject to the tagging policy.
  3. Only create reusable, generic tags.
  4. Tags considered inappropriate or not useful enough will be deleted or merged into other existing tags.
  5. If you are not sure whether a new tag would be appropriate or not, you may ask first.
  6. Creating new tags requires the necessary permission. You may ask to be granted this permission if you don't have it yet.

Creating a new tag, step 1

If you are certain that the new tag meets the required standard, then you can create it by typing the tag as if you were searching for existing tags. The system will reply with an option, at the bottom of the list, which says: "Creating new term: ...".

Creating a new tag, step 2

Select that option and a dialogue should appear that will ask you to confirm the creation of this new tag. If you confirm it, a background process will create the tag and automatically add a checkbox with the new tag to your content.

Creating a new tag, step 3

Remember to save the page to complete the process!

News and discussion

Web site goals

This is a collectively editable wiki page. Be bold and improve it by adding any relevant information you may have.


- Increase the signal/noise ratio: favour high-quality content over chit-chat.
- Allow users to find the best content available on any topic they might be interested in.

In order to achieve the above, the community shall encourage members to contribute accordingly:
- respect the tagging policies:
- Provide titles to their book pages and blog entries that properly reflect the content. It means avoid surprising the readers, click-bait.
- As far as possible, have each discussion thread focussed on the given topic.

See also

Web site roadmap

This is a collectively editable wiki page. Be bold and improve it by adding any relevant information you may have.

The web site is still being actively developed. The user interface leaves a lot to be desired in many places. Existing features need to be improved and new features are also planned, etc.

This page aims to answer commonly asked questions about the future development of this web site and its roadmap.

Incremental improvements

Ranked ballot: in order to complement our lineup of election methods available in this site, we plan to implement a ranked ballot.

Other: this list is far from being exhaustive. Many other features are also planned, some minor, some much less so.

Requests: to request specific features, you can add options to the following poll and vote: What improvement would you like for this site?. You can also ask questions and post your thoughts on a new opinion post attached to that poll.

Long term development

There is a long term plan to create a brand new web site from scratch. All the existing content will be migrated to the new system, and the existing features will be kept but the software itself will be a completely new one.

Why? The core software running this web site leaves a lot to be desired, especially in terms of performance. As the minguo community grows, performance will become a bigger and bigger issue. We are not waiting until that time to figure out what to do. We are planning way ahead of time. Thus, we have already started a long term plan to develop a completely new software for this web site. There are two main considerations that are constantly at the fore-front as we build this new software from the ground up: performance and usability.

When? As said, this is a long term plan. Development has already started but there is a lot to do. We hope that this ambitious project will be ready to be unveiled within 2~3 years from now. Until then, we still actively maintain the current framework and we are working on the incremental improvements listed above.


Terms of Use

This is a collectively editable wiki page. Be bold and improve it by adding any relevant information you may have.

People of all political views are welcome. There is no moderation based on political or religious points of view.

We only ask that you remain courteous and civil and respect our code of conduct.

Here are the offences that will lead to warning and/or a temporary ban:
- illegal activities.
- promotion of hatred, violence.
- rude and uncivil behaviour like name calling, insulting, etc.

Here are the offences that will lead to an immediate, outright ban, without appeal:
- spamming (spambots or registering and posting content for the sole purpose of Search Engine Optimization for your web site, organization or product).
- illegal activities.

See Site governance: